India signs cooperation with Maldives

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his Maldivian counterpart Abdulla Shahid, in Maldives. (Photo: twitter)

India and Maldives have signed an agreement that is set to pave the way for connectivity between the two countries.

The neighbouring nations early this week made some significant strides in building capacity after India's National Knowledge Network and the Maldives' Higher Education Network (NKN) signed cooperation in education.

The NKN is a multi-gigabit national research and education network, whose purpose is to provide a unified high-speed network backbone for educational and research institutions in India. The network is managed by India’s National Informatics Centre (NIC).

"Foreign Minister Shahid and I acknowledged strides made in fields of capacity building and training. With the signing of the peering agreement, 1500+ Indian Institutes, Universities and centres of learning from Singapore, Europe and the US are connected to Maldives via India’s National Knowledge Network," India’s External Affairs Minister said at a joint press appearance with Maldives Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid.

Shahid said the peering agreement signed between the Maldives' National Centre for Information Technology (NCIT) and NIC is an important step for cooperation in the field of education, "paving the way for connectivity between the Higher Education Network of Maldives and the National Knowledge Network of India".

A peering agreement is an agreement between two network administrators to share data routing responsibilities across multiple networks. Peering is a mainstay of the global Internet and large data mobility systems.

The Indian government officials arrived in Male earlier in the evening as part of his five-day two-nation visit to the Maldives and Sri Lanka to explore the possibilities of further expansion of bilateral engagements with the two key maritime neighbours of India.

The Maldives is one of India's key maritime neighbours in the Indian Ocean region and the bilateral defence and security ties have been on an upward trajectory in the last few years.