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 countryDate of accession to observer status
People’s Republic of ChinaFebruary 2016.
European UnionOctober 2017.
International organization of FrancophonieMarch 2017
Sovereign Order of MaltaMarch 2017
India March 2020
JapanMarch 2020
United Nations OrganizationMarch 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 CountriesDate of joining
AustraliaMarch 1997
IndiaMarch 1997
IndonesiaMarch 1997
KenyaMarch 1997
MadagascarMarch 1997
MalaysiaMarch 1997
MauritiusMarch 1997
MozambiqueMarch 1997
OmanMarch 1997
SingaporeMarch 1997
South AfricaMarch 1997
Sri LankaMarch 1997
TanzaniaMarch 1997
YemenMarch 1997
BangladeshMarch 1999
IranMarch 1999
ThailandMarch 1999
United Arab EmiratesMarch 1999
Seychelles November 2011
Comoros November 2012
Somalia October 2014

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?

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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.

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