India’s development cooperation with other nations does not come with any condition and is not influenced by political or commercial considerations, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asserted on Thursday.
He also said the country’s approach to development is mainly human-centric and it wants to work for the welfare of humanity.
“Our development partnerships reflect the development priorities of our partner nations,” Modi said, addressing a virtual event of the inauguration of a new Supreme Court building of Mauritius.
Modi and his Mauritian counterpart Pravind Jugnauth jointly inaugurated the new Supreme Court building at Port Louis.
The building is a symbol of the two countries’ cooperation and shared values, Modi said.
“Both India and Mauritius respect our independent judiciaries as important pillars of our democratic systems,” he observed.
The prime minister said history has taught us that in the name of development collaborations, countries were forced into “dependence partnerships”.
“It gave rise to colonial and imperial rule. It gave rise to global power blocs and humanity suffered,” he said.
India is making development partnerships that are marked by respect, diversity, care for the future and sustainable development, he noted.
For India, Modi said, the most fundamental principle in development cooperation is respecting its partners.
“This sharing of development lessons is our only motivation. That is why our development cooperation does not come with any conditions. It is not influenced by political or commercial considerations,” the prime minister said.
He observed that Mahatma Gandhi had said, “My patriotism includes the good of mankind in general. Therefore, my service to India includes service to humanity.”
This, Modi said, is India’s guiding philosophy.
“India wants to develop and help others in their development needs,” he noted.
India’s development partnerships are diverse, Modi said, adding that from commerce to culture, energy to engineering, health to housing, IT to infrastructure, sports to science, the country is working with nations across the globe.
“If India is honoured to help in the parliament building in Afghanistan, it is also proud to be associated with the making of the Mahatma Gandhi Convention Centre in Niger,” he said.
Modi said New Delhi has been happy to help Nepal improve its health services through the construction of an emergency-and-trauma hospital.
“We were similarly privileged to support Sri Lanka’s efforts to establish emergency ambulance services in all nine provinces,” he said.
India is glad that its oil pipeline project with Nepal will help ensure the availability of petroleum products, Modi said.
Last month, Nepal completed the process to update its political map by incorporating three strategically-important Indian areas by amending the Constitution. India has termed the territorial claims by Nepal as “untenable” and “artificial enlargement”.
Modi said India is contributing towards ensuring the availability of drinking water and sanitation in 34 islands of the Maldives.
“We have tried to make cricket popular in countries as diverse as Afghanistan and Guyana by helping build stadiums and other facilities.
“We are excited to see the young Afghan cricket team, trained in India, emerge as a force to reckon with,” he said.
India is now providing a similar support to develop the talent of cricket players in the Maldives.
Modi also pointed out that India is at the forefront of a major housing project in Sri Lanka.
“India is not only proud to be helping your present, we consider it our privilege to help you create a better future for your youth. That is why training and skilling is such an important part of our development cooperation,” he said.
With Mauritius, India shares not only the waters of the Indian Ocean but also a common heritage of kinship, culture and language, the prime minister said.
Jugnauth lauded India’s support to the project as reflective of the close ties of friendship and cooperation between the two countries.
He noted that the construction of the Supreme Court building with Indian assistance is a new milestone in the modernisation of infrastructure in Mauritius.
In his address, peppered with sentences in Hindi, Jugnauth also thanked India for the assistance rendered amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
He referred to Modi’s “sabka saath, sabka vikas, sabka vishwas” mantra.
Later, at a media briefing, Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said this is another landmark project completed under India’s development partnership and an example of “our ability to implement such projects in various parts of the world”.
“The new Supreme Court building provides state-of-the-art facilities. It is a fully green building. The project has been completed on schedule and at a cost below the initial estimates,” he said.
“As the PM noted in his speech, India is making development partnerships that are marked by respect for our partners, diversity, care for the future and sustainable development,” he added.
According to an MEA statement issued on Tuesday, the new Supreme Court building in Mauritius is spread over an area of more than 4,700 sq.mtr with over 10 floors and a built-up area of around 25,000 sq.mtr.
The project is one of the five being implemented under the special economic package of $353 million extended by India to Mauritius in 2016.