The next edition of Exercise MILAN is scheduled to be held in February 2024.
About Exercise Milan
- It is a biennial multilateral naval exercise which began in 1995.
- It has since significantly expanded in scope and scale to become the largest exercise held by India.
- It was started with the participation of only four countries, viz Indonesia, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Thailand, in the 1995 edition, the exercise has since transitioned leaps and bounds in terms of number of participants and complexity of exercises.
- Originally conceived in consonance with India's 'Look East Policy, MILAN expanded in ensuing years with the Government of India's 'Act East Policy' and Security And Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR) initiative to include participation from other Friendly Foreign Countries (FFCs).
- The mid-planning conference of Milan-24 was held in October this year. The last edition of Milan, which is held off Visakhapatnam, saw participation from over 40 countries.
What is the SAGAR initiative?
- It is an Indian foreign policy doctrine that was introduced in 2015.
- The aim of SAGAR is to enhance cooperation and mutual trust between India and its neighbouring countries, particularly in the Indian Ocean region.
- The SAGAR policy has several components, including ensuring maritime security and safety, promoting sustainable development and economic growth, and strengthening cultural and people-to-people ties between nations.
Q1) What is Act East Policy?
India's Act East Policy focusses on the extended neighbourhood in the Asia-Pacific region. The policy which was originally conceived as an economic initiative, has gained political, strategic and cultural dimensions including establishment of institutional mechanisms for dialogue and cooperation.