What is Operation Samudra Setu?
On Thursday, Indian Navy has launched Operation 'Samudra Setu' as a part of national effort to repatriate Indian nationals stranded in the Maldives due to the COVID-19 chaos. Two ships of Indian Navy are en route for this Operation and are a part of 'Vande Bharat Mission'.
Indian Naval Ships-- Jalashwa and Magar are en route to Male, the Republic of Maldives to start evacuation of Indian citizens stranded there from May 8, 2020, under the first phase. Today morning, INS Jalashwa has entered Male port under the first phase of 'Operation Samudra Setu'. On the other hand, INS Jalashwa is en route to the Maldives from Thoothukudi in Tamil Nadu. The Indian Naval Ship is loaded with supplies along with the medical personnel who boarded the ship.
The Indian Naval Ships can accommodate 1,000 people at a time but due to COVID-19, it will only bring back 750 people at a time keeping in mind all the preventive measures. As per Sunjay Sudhir, Indian envoy to the Maldives, evacuation of the Indian citizens will be done in two phases-- first to Kochi in Kerala and then to Toothkundi in Tamil Nadu.
What is Vande Bharat Mission?
Vande Bharat Mission is launched on May 7, 2020, by the Government of India to evacuate Indian citizens stranded in different parts of the world due to COVID-19 pandemic. The Vande Bharat Mission will be the largest evacuation mission of the world. 64 flights in a week will bring back 14,800 Indians from 12 countries of the world under phase 1. The flights under Vande Bharat Mission will be operated by Air India. These will be non-scheduled commercial flights and will operate till May 13. The Indian Navy will bring back around 10,000 people under Vande Bharat Mission.
Indian Naval Ship: INS Jalashwa
Formerly USS Trenton, INS Jalashwas along with six Sikorsky SH-3 Sea King Helicopters were procured by India for 90 million USD in 2005 from the US. INS Jalashwas was commissioned on June 22, 2007, and is the only Indian Naval Ship from the US. INS Jalashwa is has a capacity of 1,000 people and is equipped with several medical facilities-- 4 operation theatres, 12-bed ward, medical lab and dental care.
Indian Naval Ship: INS Magar
INS Magar is Made in India ship and is built by Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers, Kolkata. INS Magar is the lead ship of Magar-class of the Indian Navy. INS Magar was commissioned to Indian Navy on July 15, 1987.
Due to coronavirus pandemic, many parts of the world are under complete lockdown. Many Indians are stranded in different parts of the world due to this unprecedented pandemic. Therefore, the Government of India has launched the Vande Bharat Mission to bring back the Indian nationals from various parts of the world.