Context: Indian Navy has launched Operation “Samudra Setu” - meaning “Sea Bridge”, as a part of national effort to repatriate Indian citizens from overseas. 

More on the news: 

  • This operation is being progressed in close coordination with Ministries of Defence, External Affairs, Home Affairs, Health and various other agencies of the Government of India and State governments.
  • Indian Naval Ships Jalashwa and Magar are presently enroute to the port of Male, Republic of Maldives to commence evacuation operations.
  • Defence sources confirmed that INS Shardul and INS Airavat had set sail to the UAE.
  • The Indian Mission in Republic of Maldives is preparing a list of Indian nationals to be evacuated by Naval ships and will facilitate their embarkation after requisite medical screening. 

In view of the unique challenges associated with COVID-19 stringent protocols have also been stipulated. The evacuated personnel will be disembarked at Kochi, Kerala and entrusted to the care of State authorities. 

Vande Bharat Mission

  • The Mission will see the operation of 64 flights from May 7 to May 13 to bring back around 15,000 Indian nationals stranded abroad amid the Covid-19 lockdown. 
  • Once completed, it may turn out to be the largest evacuation operation ever since the 1990 airlift of 1.7 lakh people from Kuwait.
  • To which countries will the flights be sent?

Source: https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1621256