Indian-Origin Mauritians of 7th generation now eligible for OCI Card

President Droupadi Murmu in Mauritus
President Droupadi Murmu in Mauritus
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India's President Droupadi Murmu in Mauritus (Courtesy: HCI, Mauritius)

In a significant diplomatic move, President Hon'ble Droupadi Murmu, during her recent state visit to Mauritius for the country's National Day celebrations, announced the extension of eligibility for the Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card to Indian-origin Mauritians up to the seventh generation.

At the state banquet hosted by Mauritius Prime Minister Pravind Kumar Jugnauth in Port Louis, President Murmu articulated the government's decision, stating, "I have great pleasure in informing you all that my government has just approved a special provision under which Indian-origin Mauritians of the 7th generation will also be eligible for the Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) Card." She emphasized that this initiative would facilitate younger Mauritians of Indian descent to reconnect with their ancestral homeland.

According to a statement by Ministry of External Affairs, india, both the leaders e-inaugurated 14 Community Development Projects, implemented with Indian grant assistance. They jointly laid the foundation stone of the New Forensic Science Laboratory of Mauritius, in virtual mode, to be built with Indian funding assistance.

Highlighting the enduring partnership between India and Mauritius, President Murmu underscored the bilateral cooperation in various spheres, including education and training. She mentioned the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) program, through which 400 Mauritians annually receive training in India, and the provision of scholarships for about 60 Mauritian students pursuing higher education in India. President Murmu expressed pride in the substantial presence of Mauritian alumni in key positions within the Mauritian bureaucracy and public life.

In her visit, President Droupadi Murmu paid tributes to the brave Mauritian ancestors at Aapravasi Ghat  and International Slavery Museum in Port Louis. She also climbed the same 16 stone steps from where the first indentured workers from India began their new lives in Mauritius, nearly two centuries ago. In the event, President Murmu was warmly welcomed at both sites by performers of Bhojpuri Geet Gawai and Sega,  unique musical traditions of Mauritius.

President Murmu also acknowledged the impact of India's educational outreach programs, such as e-VidyaBharati and e-ArogyaBharati distance learning initiatives, which have benefitted over 500 Mauritian students since 2020. Moreover, she highlighted the cultural exchange facilitated by programs like the Know India Programme, enabling Mauritian youth to reconnect with their Indian heritage through visits to India.

Characterizing Mauritius as a valued maritime neighbor and a crucial partner in the Indian Ocean Region, President Murmu affirmed India's commitment to supporting Mauritius' development and prosperity. She lauded the bilateral cooperation in various developmental projects, including the Metro project, the construction of a new ENT Hospital, and the installation of an 8 MW Solar Power plant.

President Murmu's visit coincided with the joint inauguration of several India-assisted projects by Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and Pravind Jugnauth, including infrastructure developments in Agalega Island. The visit also witnessed the exchange of bilateral agreements aimed at enhancing institutional collaboration and capacity-building between the two nations.

President Murmu's engagement in Mauritius underscores the deep-rooted ties and shared aspirations for mutual progress and prosperity between India and its diaspora in the region. As both nations navigate the evolving dynamics of the Indian Ocean Region, such initiatives serve to reinforce the strategic partnership and foster enduring friendship between India and Mauritius.

President Murmu with Indian Diaspora in Mauritius
President Murmu with Indian Diaspora in Mauritius (Courtesy: MEA, India Twitter)

India and Mauritius share a robust and multifaceted relationship deeply rooted in historical, cultural, and economic ties. The bilateral relations between the two nations have flourished over the years, characterized by extensive cooperation in various domains. India has played a significant role in Mauritius' development journey, offering support in areas such as infrastructure, education, healthcare, and capacity-building.

Both countries maintain strong people-to-people ties, with a large Indian diaspora contributing significantly to Mauritius' socio-economic fabric. Educational exchanges, cultural programs, and bilateral visits further strengthen the bond between the two nations, fostering mutual understanding and friendship.

Strategically, Mauritius holds immense importance for India as a key partner in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). The geographical proximity and shared maritime interests have led to collaborative efforts in maritime security, disaster management, and environmental conservation.

Economically, the bilateral trade and investment relations continue to grow, with India being one of Mauritius' top trading partners and a significant source of foreign direct investment. Additionally, initiatives such as the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) and the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation and Partnership Agreement (CECPA) aim to further enhance economic cooperation and facilitate trade between the two countries.

Overall, the India-Mauritius relationship exemplifies a strong and enduring partnership built on shared values, mutual respect, and common aspirations for regional stability and prosperity.



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