News about Indian Ocean Commission is trending these days and UPSC 2020 aspirants are taking extra interest in this because this might be a hot topic in the upcoming UPSC IAS exam. So, you know that this topic is trending but not sure what to study in it? Well, you have just landed in the right place.

Read on to know everything important about IOC, Indian Ocean Rim Association members and other important facts about IORA for UPSC.

What is IOC?

In 1982 in Port Louis, three countries Madagascar, Mauritius and Seychelles came together to build a region of peace and prosperity. The Indian Ocean Commission was officially institutionalized in 1984 upon signature of the Victoria agreement in Seychelles. The Indian Ocean Commission headquarter is based in Mauritius.

1n 1986, the Comores and reunion, a French overseas department signed the agreement for regional cooperation.

Indian Ocean Commission Members

Following are the IOC countries:

  • Comoros
  • Madagascar
  • IOC headquarters- Mauritius
  • Reunion
  • Seychelles

IOC Observer Member Countries

Along with the 5 Indian Ocean Commission members, there are 7 IOC observer countries who are invited to the important meetings of the organization. These IOC observer counties maintain sustained communication in matters of common interest.

IOC Observer Countries

IOC observer country Date of accession to observer status
People’s Republic of China February 2016.
European Union October 2017.
International organization of Francophonie March 2017
Sovereign Order of Malta March 2017
India  March 2020
Japan March 2020
United Nations Organization March 2020

Functions of IOC

  • Reinforce peace in democracy
  • Fight against illegal maritime fishing.
  • Protect the environment
  • Cope with natural disasters and climate change.
  • Monitor epidemics.
  • Enhance agricultural production.
  • Develop trade.
  • Overcome inequalities
  • Give women their rightful place in society.
  • Train and empower fisherman, doctors, entrepreneurs and lawyers.
  • Provide IOC member countries with the necessary tools and information.

What is the Indian Ocean Rim Association?

Indian Ocean Rim Association or commonly known as IORA was previously known as the Indian Ocean Rim Association for regional cooperation. It was established in March 1997. 

Indian Ocean Rim Association Members

Presently is the list of Indian Ocean Rim Association members, there are 22 countries.

Indian Ocean Rim Association Member Countries Date of joining
Australia March 1997
India March 1997
Indonesia March 1997
Kenya March 1997
Madagascar March 1997
Malaysia March 1997
Mauritius March 1997
Mozambique March 1997
Oman March 1997
Singapore March 1997
South Africa March 1997
Sri Lanka March 1997
Tanzania March 1997
Yemen March 1997
Bangladesh March 1999
Iran March 1999
Thailand March 1999
United Arab Emirates March 1999
Seychelles  November 2011
Comoros  November 2012
Somalia  October 2014
Maldives 2018

Also Read : UPSC Preparation Tips for Beginners: Strategy for The Indian Civil Service Examination

IORA Dialogue Partner States

IORA dialogue partners are not Indian Ocean Rim Association members but hold a special interest or capability to contribute to IORA in the areas of mutual interest. These states offer important support in the field of environmental issues, technology transfer, promotion of trade and investment, assistance to the special fund and technical cooperation.

Presently, IORA has 10 Dialogue Partners
  • China
  • Egypt
  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Turkey
  • The Republic of Korea
  • The United Kingdom
  • The United States of America

The objective of IORA:

  • Advancement of sustainable development and adjusted improvement of the region and Indian Ocean Rim Association members.
  • Concentrate on those zones of financial collaboration which offer extreme development scopes, common benefits and interest.
  • Promotion of progression, evacuation of impediments and lower barriers for enhancement of goods stream, investment, innovation and administration inside the IORA.

Priority Areas to Focus as Identified by IORA:

  • Promotion of tourism and cultural exchange.
  • Disaster risk reduction.
  • Cooperation in the field of science and academy.
  • Management of fisheries.
  • Facilitation of business and investment.
  • Maritime security.

Why is IOC Important for India?

In March 2020, India became one of the Indian Ocean Commission members which will benefit India in many ways. In the same way, the IOC will also get benefitted by this inclusion.

  • Islands in the Western Indian Ocean are becoming strategically significant and by becoming Indian Ocean Commission members, India can proceed informative engagement with those islands.
  • By becoming one of the IOC countries, India can improve its naval presence as well as get support for maritime projects across the Indo-Pacific region where China is growing its influence.
  • This new status will let India boost its relation with the strategic location of the Indian Ocean that is the Western Indian Ocean.
  • France has a strong influence in the Western Indian Ocean. So, by holding a seat in the list of Indian Ocean Commission members, India will also be able to enhance cooperation with France.

SAGAR Policy

India’s inclusion in the IOC countries will help to broaden its Security and Growth for all in the Regional aka SAGAR policy in the region.

Aim of SAGAR Policy:

  • Increment of abilities for safeguarding land and maritime territories and interests.
  • Reinforcement of economic and security collaboration in the zone.
  • Activities for coping with natural disaster, maritime warnings like terrorism, theft, etc.

How can IOC Benefit from India’s Inclusion in Indian Ocean Rim Association Members?

India has extensive satellite infrastructure which can be a matter of benefit for the IOC as this can be used for enhanced maritime security and monitoring in the region. It is also possible for the IOC countries to get involved in countering piracy activities and patrolling with the Indian Navy.


Hopefully, you have got all the required information on Indian Ocean Commission for UPSC. Keep a watch on this page for more relevant information on topics for the UPSC IAS exam. 

Do let us know how you are going to prepare for the current affairs section, by commenting in the box below and you can also share your thoughts on this article. Best of luck!

Also Read : Public Administration for UPSC Exams: What are the Public Administration Subjects and Syllabus?

Content Protection by
Indian Ocean Commission Members: Facts About Indian Ocean Rim Association for UPSC
Article Name
Indian Ocean Commission Members: Facts About Indian Ocean Rim Association for UPSC
What to study about Indian Ocean Commission for UPSC IAS exam preparation? What are the IOC countries? What is this Indian Ocean Rim Association all about? Read on to explore it all.
Publisher Name
UPSC Pathshala
Publisher Logo

About the Author


Shilpa is a professional web content writer and is in deep love with travelling. She completed her mass communication degree and is now dedicatedly playing with words to guide her readers to get the best for themselves. Developing educational content for UPSC, IELTS aspirants from breakthrough research work is her forte. Strongly driven by her zodiac sign Sagittarius, Shilpa loves to live her life on her own notes and completely agrees with the idea of ‘live and let live. Apart from writing and travelling, most of the time she can be seen in the avatar of 'hooman' mom to her pets and street dogs or else you can also catch her wearing the toque blanche and creating magic in the kitchen on weekends.

View All Articles