CABINET DECISIONS – 29 OCTOBER 2010
1. In recognition of the endurance of the Chagossian community, Cabinet has agreed to 3 November being declared a special day of commemoration of the deportation of the Chagos community and special prayers being dedicated at national level.
2. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the Second Regional Ministerial Conference on Maritime Piracy held in Mauritius on 7 October 2010. The main objective of the Conference was to build on the momentum created by the previous meeting on piracy held in the Seychelles and to agree on a regional strategy to fight piracy based on an Action Plan with short-term, medium-term and long-term measures.
Dr the Honourable Navinchandra Ramgoolam, GCSK, FRCP, Prime Minister, who opened the Conference, indicated, in his keynote address, that Piracy places a significant burden on Governments and the global maritime industry and that the human cost resulting from the scourge should be looked into. He appealed to international and regional organizations to pull their efforts together to fight piracy. He also reiterated that Mauritius is prepared to play an active role in the fight against piracy and also agreeable to set up a tribunal for the trial of suspected pirates.
The Conference adopted a Regional Strategy providing for a framework to prevent and combat piracy, and promote maritime security through a three-pronged approach viz., -
(a) develop, agree and implement a Somalia Inland Action Plan to counter and prevent piracy;
(b) encourage States of the region to undertake prosecution of pirates apprehended in the region; and
(c) strengthen capacities of States of the region to secure their maritime zones.
3. Cabinet has taken note of measures taken by the Ministry of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare to deal with cases of tardy declaration of birth, including the mounting of an intensive sensitization campaign to highlight the importance for an individual to have a legal entity.
4. Cabinet has taken note that the Minister of Housing and Lands would proclaim part of Pas Géométriques Petit Sable and part of Pas Géométriques Anse Jonchée (commonly known as Bambous Virieux) as Public Beaches in line with Government’s vision to diversify places of recreation for the public.
5. Cabinet has taken note of the status in the implementation of the National Information and Communication Technology Strategic Plan 2007-2011 which aims at making ICT a strong pillar of the economy and Mauritius an intelligent country. The National Information and Communication Technology Strategic Plan is now being reviewed to carry out thorough analysis of the ICT industry to assess changes that have occurred, to identify and prioritize targets for the next three years, to review the institutional framework as proposed in the Plan and to come up with a revised proposal, including costed plan and Human Resource requirements, for an appropriate and responsive institutional set up.
6. Cabinet has taken note that the Mauritius Examinations Syndicate has opened an enquiry to situate responsibilities on the matter reported to the Ministry of Education and Human Resources regarding the Marathi Paper set for CPE Examinations 2010 which contained items similar to those set in the Marathi Paper of 1994.
The Mauritius Examinations Syndicate is monitoring closely the situation to ensure that this does not have any impact on the results of pupils.
Cabinet has also taken note that the Minister of Education and Human Resources has requested the Mauritius Examinations Syndicate to carry out a complete review of its procedures regarding paper setting for CPE Examinations.
7. Cabinet has taken note of arrangements made by the Ministry of Arts and Culture, in collaboration with Municipal and District Councils, for the celebration of Divali at national and regional levels.
8. Cabinet has taken note that the Ministry of Social Security, National Solidarity and Reform Institutions proposes to set up a National Committee on the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which was ratified in January 2010, and which aims at initiating measures to promote the socio-economic integration of persons with disabilities through equalisation of opportunities, accessibility, health, education, training and employment. The objectives of the Committee will be, inter alia, to create awareness and monitor progress in the implementation of the Articles of the Convention, as well as to assist in the preparation of Reports to be submitted to the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, as and when required.
9. Cabinet has taken note of the Fourth Report of the Project Plan Committee, set up under the aegis of the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, National Development Unit, Land Transport and Shipping, to assess public infrastructure projects and determine their feasibility and cost benefits. The Committee has recommended 26 project proposals to the tune of Rs4.2 billion for inclusion in the Public Sector Investment Programme. The projects comprise, inter alia, construction of drains and recreational centres, upgrading of schools and hospitals and protection of the environment.
10. Cabinet has agreed to the Draft Schedule of Commitments of Mauritius, in the context of the COMESA Trade in Services Negotiations, which aims at ushering Mauritius into a services-based economy, expanding services exports and attracting more Foreign Direct Investment in the Services Sector. The Draft Schedule of Commitments is based on commitments already taken by Mauritius at the WTO and in the context of the Economic Partnership Agreement negotiations with the EU.
11. Cabinet has taken note of activities organised by the Rajiv Gandhi Science Centre to promote science in Mauritius and Rodrigues and of developments in the Caravane de la Science programme which was launched in Bel Air and comprises planetarium shows, science talks, science shows and science films. The Caravane de la Science has also been held in Rose Belle, Curepipe and Rodrigues. Cabinet has further taken note that the Programme would be held at Pointe aux Sables, Grand Gaube and the Cybercity, Ebène, in the months of November and December 2010.
12. Cabinet has taken note that, in the context of the commemoration of the 176th Anniversary of the Arrival of Indentured Labourers in Mauritius, the Mahatma Gandhi Institute would hold an International Conference on Migration and Settlement from 10 to 12 November 2010, on the theme Migration and Settlement in the South-West Indian Ocean – Shifting Paradigms. The main objectives of the Conference are to –
(a) provide new perspectives on the history of migration and settlement in Mauritius and the region;
(b) address related issues and their implications for development;
(c) provide a forum for exchange of ideas and dissemination of research findings; and
(d) encourage academics and youth to undertake research on societal issues.
Professor A. Singh from the University of Kwazulu Natal, Durban, and Professor A. K. Mishra from the University of Hyderabad, India, would facilitate the Conference. Around 70 participants, including Researchers, Scholars, Academics and University Students from Germany, India, Reunion Island, South Africa and Mauritius are expected to attend the Conference.
13. Cabinet has taken note that the Amity University, Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India, proposes to set up a private post-secondary educational institution in Mauritius. The University would, in the first instance, offer Bachelor, Masters and Doctoral Programmes in Management, Information Technology, and Hospitality and Tourism Studies, on full-time, part-time and distance education/online modes, and subsequently, programmes in Advanced Sciences, namely Nanotechnology, Biotechnology and Engineering. The initiative of the Amity University is in line with the objective of Government to attract 100,000 international students and target one graduate per family by 2020.
14. Cabinet has taken note that, following the promulgation of the Information and Communication Technologies (Fraud Tracking Account Charge) Regulations 2010, the Minister of Information and Communication Technology would make the Information and Communication Technologies (Universal Service Fund) (Amendment) Regulations to provide for the change in the contribution payable into the Universal Service Fund with effect from 1 November 2010.
15. Cabinet has taken note that the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade would promulgate the Patents, Industrial Designs and Trademarks (Amendment) Regulations to discourage repeated changes in ownership and frivolous applications for patents and the registration of industrial designs, trade and other collective marks, as well as to address certain administrative problems encountered by the Controller of the Intellectual Property Office in administering the Regulations.
16. Cabinet has agreed to Mauritius signing the Charter establishing the Centre for Coordination of Agricultural Research and Development for Southern Africa, a subsidiary organization of SADC, which aims, inter alia, at promoting collaboration among regional and national Agricultural and Development Systems, strengthening research and development in SADC Member States by mobilizing resources to empower farmers and facilitating regional capacity building of agricultural scientists.
17. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the recent mission of the Minister of Civil Service and Administrative Reforms to Malta where he participated in the Third Commonwealth Ministers Forum on Public Sector Development. The Forum considered the following two issues - valuing good governance in the Commonwealth; and innovating public policy development.
In the margins of the Forum, the Minister of Civil Service and Administrative Reforms discussed areas of cooperation with, inter alia, the delegation of Singapore and the Commonwealth Secretariat for the setting up of the Civil Service College.
18. Cabinet has taken note that the Annual Civil Service Kermesse organized by the Public Officers' Welfare Council would be held on 31 October 2010 on the Gymkhana Grounds, Vacoas.