IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


7th March, 2024 Security


Disclaimer: Copyright infringement not intended.


INS Jatayu is being commissioned days after the inauguration of an airstrip and a jetty that India has built on Agaléga, Mauritius.


INS Jatayu naval base

  • The existing Naval Detachment Minicoy, which is under the operational command of the Naval Officer-in-Charge (Lakshadweep), will be commissioned as INS Jatayu.
  • A naval detachment has administrative, logistics, and medical facilities. INS Jatayu will be upgraded to a naval base with additional infrastructure such as an airfield, housing, and personnel, after obtaining the requisite environmental and other clearances.
  • The fragile ecology of the island may pose challenges for the construction of a jetty. But there are plans to construct a new airfield that will be capable of operating both military and civil aircraft.

Teeth to Navy operations

  • As per the Navy, the basing of an independent naval unit with requisite infrastructure and resources will enhance its overall operational capability in the islands. The establishment of the base is in line with the government’s focus on comprehensive development of the islands.
  • According to Indian Navy the base will enhance its operational reach, facilitate its anti-piracy and anti-narcotics operations in the western Arabian Sea, and augment its capability as the first responder in the region.
  • With the commissioning of INS Jatayu, the Indian Navy will add to its strength on the western seaboard. The proposed airfield will allow operations for a range of aircraft, including P8I maritime reconnaissance aircraft and fighter jets, and extend the Navy’s reach and operational surveillance capabilities at a time when India is seeking to counter the growing Chinese influence in the Indian Ocean Region.
  • This has an immediate bearing at a time when India’s relations with the Maldives have come under strain since the election of the pro-China President Mohamed Muizzu.

The Lakshadweep Islands

  • Lakshadweep, ‘a hundred thousand islands’ in Sanskrit and Malayalam, is an archipelago of 36 islands located between 220 km and 440 km from Kochi. The islands, only 11 of which are inhabited, have a total area of only 32 sq km.
  • The Lakshadweep are part of a chain of coralline islands in the Indian Ocean that includes Maldives to the south, and the Chagos archipelago farther beyond, to the south of the equator. Given their location in the Indian Ocean, the Lakshadweep are of huge strategic importance to India.
  • Minicoy straddles vital Sea Lines of Communications (SLOCs) — the world’s main maritime highways — including the Eight Degree Channel (between Minicoy and Maldives) and the Nine Degree Channel (between Minicoy and the main cluster of Lakshadweep islands). In consequence, the Lakshadweep Islands are also vulnerable to marine pollution.


INS Jatayu, an upgraded naval base is located in which of the following location?

  1. Lakshadweep Island
  2. Andaman Island
  3. Swaraj Dweep
  4. Majuli Island

Answer A