Why in News?                                                                                                        

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi and Prime Minister of Mauritius, H.E. Mr Pravind Jugnauth jointly inaugurated the new Airstrip and St. James Jetty along with six community development projects at the Agalega Island in Mauritius via video conferencing. The inauguration of these projects is a testimony to the robust and decades-old development partnership between India and Mauritius and will fulfil the demand for better connectivity between mainland Mauritius and Agalega, strengthen maritime security and foster socio-economic development. The inauguration of these projects is significant as it follows the recent launch of UPI and RuPay Card services in Mauritius by the two leaders on 12 February 2024.

What is Mauritius?

  • It is an island country in the Indian Ocean, located off the eastern coast of Africa.
  • It lies about 500 miles (800 km) east of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean.
  • Its outlying territories are Rodrigues Island, situated about 340 miles (550 km) eastward, the Cargados Carajos Shoals, 250 miles (400 km) northeastward, and the Agalega Islands, 580 miles (930 km) northward from the main island.
  • Mauritius also claims sovereignty over the Chagos Archipelago (including Diego Garcia), some 1,250 miles (2,000 km) to the northeast, although this claim is disputed by Britain.
  • It is volcanic in origin and is almost entirely surrounded by coral reefs.
  • The climate is maritime subtropical, with fairly uniform temperatures throughout the year.
  • Capital: Port Louis.
  • Mauritius is a member of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC).