CABINET DECISIONS – 5 FEBRUARY 2010
1. Cabinet has taken note of the courses, facilities and services that the forthcoming Open University of Mauritius would provide through distance education. To start with, the University would offer courses leading to Certificate in Management Proficiency, Diploma in Management, Degree in Computer Applications, Management and Post-Graduate in Business Administration. The Open University, third after the University of Mauritius and the University of Technology, Mauritius, is being set up to consolidate the position of Mauritius as a regional knowledge centre.
The Open University would establish linkages and cooperation networks with international institutions, such as the British Open University, the Commonwealth of Learning, the Indian Association of Universities and the Indira Gandhi National Open University. The University would also provide for a Language Institute and a Confucius Institute to enhance proficiency in foreign languages.
2. Cabinet has taken note that, with a view to creating a teaching/learning environment conducive to the development of students of Zones d’Education Prioritaires Schools, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Human Resources proposes to implement, on a pilot basis, a project aiming at developing creativity, artistic talents and other skills in the pupils. The project, which would be implemented after school hours, comprises, inter alia, -
(a) initiation to artistic creativity, such as Art, Music, Drama, Sculpture, Painting, etc.;
(b) the provision of a broad-based education that caters for the whole entity of the individual – cognitive, affective, physical, etc.;
(c) pastoral care and family life education to help students and their parents cope with and overcome hardships as well as develop schemes for personal and family empowerment; and
(d) the development of social skills of negotiation, collaborative living and learning, tolerance and mutual understanding.
3. Cabinet has taken note that HE Ramesh Pokhriyal, Chief Minister of Uttarakhand, India, would visit Mauritius from 8 to 10 February 2010. He would call on important personalities with whom he would have bilateral talks. He would also attend a business workshop organized by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Empowerment.
4. Cabinet has taken note that more than Rs 13m have, as at date, been collected during the telethon organized in favour of Haiti. Cabinet has further taken note that contributions in favour of Haiti would continue to be received until Wednesday 10 February 2010 at noon.
5. Cabinet has agreed to the age limit for the recruitment of manual workers in the public service being increased from 45 years to 48 years.
6. Cabinet has taken note that the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life would acquire two fully-equipped ambulances specifically for cardiac emergency services to supplement the SAMU services.
7. Cabinet has taken note of progress in the adoption of the new Intellectual Property Policy for Mauritius, which would play a prominent role in the economic and cultural development of the country, in the promotion of innovation and creativity, as well as, in attracting high quality investment. The Intellectual Property Policy provides, inter alia, for the establishment of the Mauritius Intellectual Property Office, the Intellectual Property Council and the modernisation of existing legislation on Intellectual Property.
8. Cabinet has taken note of measures taken by the Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment for the expedient issue/renewal of work permits, taking into consideration the current economic situation, the need to preserve local employment and the requirement of companies for skilled labour, viz.,-
(a) quotas granted to companies for import of foreign labour would, henceforth, be for a period of three years with the possibility of renewal after an assessment of the labour demand and supply situation at that point in time and a reassessment of the situation of the company;
(b) the list of occupations requiring fast track consideration would be reviewed regularly in the light of prevailing market situation;
(c) the delay granted to companies to effect payment of work permit fees has been reviewed;
(d) before having recourse to foreign labour, companies should continue to first canvass the local labour market and make use of other existing means, such as the “Choisir ou Travay” programme for that purpose; and
(e) the recruitment and training of local counterparts would be a condition attached to all work permits, except for positions where persons with the relevant profiles are not readily available on the local market.
9. Cabinet has taken note of the ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities by Mauritius as a testimony of the unflinching commitment of Government to cater for the welfare of persons with disabilities. Cabinet has also taken note of measures taken by the Ministry of Social Security, National Solidarity and Senior Citizens Welfare & Reform Institutions in line with the Budget 2010, to further encourage students with disabilities to pursue tertiary studies.
10. Cabinet has taken note of development in the implementation of the Road Decongestion Programme, including the construction of the Port Louis Ring Road (Phase II), the Harbour Bridge, the Terre Rouge-Verdun-Ebène Road, the bridge over the Grand River North West to link at Belle Étoile to Motorway M1 at Sorèze and the East-West Connector.
11. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the mission of the Minister of Agro Industry, Food Production and Security from 27 to 29 January 2010 to South Africa where he participated in the Conference on “Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported (IUU) Fishing in Africa”. The objective of the Conference was to ensure that strategies were being put in place to strengthen the monitoring, control and surveillance of IUU fishing, and foster regional cooperation among countries.
12. Cabinet has taken note of the reconstitution of –
(a) the Board of Governors of the University of Technology, Mauritius with Dr S. J. Reddi, C.S.K., G.O.S.K. as President; and
(b) the Board of Trustees of the Malcolm de Chazal Trust Fund with Mr Robert Furlong as Chairperson.