1. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of bilateral air services talks held in Mauritius in October 2014 with the delegation of the Government of the Republic of Seychelles. The main points that have been agreed upon are as follows –
(a) Each contracting party shall have the right to designate one or more airline(s) for the purpose of operating the agreed services on the specified routes.
(b) The designated airline(s) of each contracting party shall be allowed to operate up to four weekly frequencies in each direction per week on specified routes using any aircraft type.
(c) The operation of cargo services between and beyond the territory of the contracting parties will be unrestricted in terms of capacity and frequency, and with full third and fourth freedom traffic rights and, subject to agreement between the aeronautical authorities of the Contracting Parties.
(d) New Articles dealing with aircraft leasing, aviation safety and codesharing and cooperative arrangements have been included in the existing Bilateral Air Services Agreement.
2. Cabinet has taken note that, under the Mauritius Africa Scholarship Scheme, 19 scholarships would be awarded to African students in 2014. The Mauritius-Africa Scholarship scheme was launched in 2013 as part of the strategy to attract more African students to study in Mauritius. 121 applications were received and after consideration the application of 19 candidates from the following 11 countries were approved -
Botswana (1) Madagascar (5) Tanzania (1)
Comoros (1) Malawi (1) Uganda (1)
Gambia (1) Rwanda (5) Zimbabwe (1)
Kenya (1) South Africa (1)
3. Cabinet has taken note that, in line with the National Cancer Control Programme, the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life, with the support of the International Atomic Energy Agency, would implement a new Nuclear Medicine Project at the Jawaharlall Nehru Hospital. The Project aims at implanting hybrid imaging in Nuclear Medicine to better manage Non-Communicable Diseases, like cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. In this context, a new Positron Emission Tomography/ Computer Tomography machine would be acquired, the personnel trained and clinical protocols developed.
4. Cabinet has taken note that the Ministry of Business, Enterprise and Cooperatives and the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of India would sign a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in cooperatives and related fields. The Memorandum of Understanding provides for the development of bilateral cooperation in cooperatives, enhancement of sharing know-how, and cooperation in the following areas –
(a) regulatory framework for cooperatives;
(b) cooperative development policies and strategies;
(c) cooperative education;
(d) technical assistance in cooperatives;
(e) dairy sector; and
(f) sharing of information, exchange of views and identification of new avenues in the field of cooperatives in relation to areas such as agriculture, agro-processing and handicraft.
5. Cabinet has taken note of the activities that would be organized to mark the World Diabetes Day 2014, observed on 14 November, namely –
(a) launching of a series of activities, including a Graduation Ceremony for the 59 Diabetes Specialist Nurses, and handing over of Certificates to the 20 Foot Care Officers;
(b) talks/exhibitions on prevention of diabetes, the importance of balanced diets and physical exercise; and
(c) sensitization campaign on Diabetes.
The theme selected by the International Diabetes Federation and the World Health Organization to mark World Diabetes Day for the period 2014 to 2016 is “Healthy Living and Diabetes” and the focus this year is on the slogan “Diabetes: protect our future”.
6. Cabinet has taken note that the State Trading Corporation, the Indian Oil Corporation Ltd, and the Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd would sign a Memorandum of Understanding regarding participation in the setting up of oil storage terminals in Mauritius. The Memorandum of Understanding provides, amongst others, for the setting up of a Joint Venture Company, the conduct of a detailed feasibility study, and cooperation in the marketing of petroleum products.
7. Cabinet has taken note that the Minister of Health and Quality of Life would make regulations under the Medical Council Act to provide for the inclusion of James Cook University, Australia, and Universiteit Gent, Belgium on the list of medical institutions recognised by the Medical Council for the purpose of registration.
8. Cabinet has taken note of the activities that would be organized in the context of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, celebrated on 3 December, namely –
(a) organization of the National Disability Excellence Award 2014 to reward best employers of disabled persons, and best disabled employees;
(b) launching of a National Troupe of Artists with Disabilities that include artists with disabilities, such as Jane Constance, blind singer, Eddy Sangor, and Jessica Malié, hearing impaired dancers;
(c) a visit to a child with severe disability and an NGO catering for the welfare of persons with disabilities; and
(d) holding of the third edition of the Yogesh Patroo Award, a song competition for persons with disabilities, to pay tribute to Yogesh Patroo, a former student at Vacoas State Secondary School and talented artist with muscular dystrophy who passed away on 31 December 2011. The Award would comprise three categories, i.e., Oriental, Sega and European, and a shield and a cash prize would be offered to the winner of each category.
The theme chosen by the UN this year is “Sustainable Development: The Promise of Technology”.
9. Cabinet has taken note of the publication of the Family Planning and Demographic Yearbook 2013 that presents data on population trends, vital rates, family planning and health service points. The key features of the Yearbook are –
(a) The proportion of the elderly population aged 60 years and above increased from 5.4% of the total population in 1962 to 13.8% in 2013. By year 2053, this proportion is projected to reach 34.3%.
(b) Mauritius has the highest old age dependency ratio in Africa. The number of population aged 60 years and above per 1,000 population to that aged 15-59 years was 121. This number will increase to 419 in 2053.
(c) Mauritius is the most densely populated country in Africa and among the 10 countries with the highest population density in the world, i.e., 653 persons per square kilometre in 2013.
(d) The infant mortality rate has decreased from 25.6 in 1983 to 12.2 in 2013, i.e., by 52.2%.
(e) In 2013, there were 5,720 new acceptors of family planning methods under the national family planning programme in the Island of Mauritius, as compared to 6,227 in 2009.