India builds bridges with Maldives; trains civil servants on e-governance

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By Our Special Correspondent

New Delhi, December 12: India’s relations with Maldives are further deepening, as over 550 civil servants from the island archipelago are being trained on the best e-governance practices. The budding bureaucrats of Maldives are being given exposure to the e-governance in parliament, health services, while they are also acquainting with India’s achievements in meeting the sustainable development goals (SDGs).

The National Centre for Good Governance (NCGG) has entered into an MoU with the Civil Service Commission of Maldives for capacity building of 1,000 Maldives civil servants by 2024. The agreement was signed during the state visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Male on June 8, 2019. As part of the agreement, NCGG is the nodal institution for designing customized training modules after considering the requirements of the countries and their implementation.

So far, more than 550 officers of Maldives Civil Service, including the permanent secretaries of the Government of Maldives, have been imparted training in India. The 18th capacity building programme started in Delhi from the December 5 for the Secretary Generals of various atolls councils of Maldives.

Bharat Lal, Director General, NCGG, said: “The role of civil servants is key in improving the quality of life of people.” He underlined the need to strengthen women’s role in decision-making. He gave examples of various programmes in India wherein women have proved to be instrumental in transformation. The Maldivian bureaucrats are especially being trained in the functioning of the public service delivery and governance, ensuring transparency and quality in works, water, sanitation, public health and waste management in villages.

Another area of focus during the training programme is environment, sanitation and waste management. They are also being familiarized with ‘LIFE – Lifestyle for Environment’, which was given by Modi as the mantra for sustainable lifestyle. With Maldives facing perennial challenge of drinking water, the civil servants are also getting exposure to the best practice in India. Incidentally, Maldives along with other island nations face greater risks of the climate change, and the trainee civil servants from the archipelago are being acquainted with ways to mitigate the impact of the climate change.

With COP27 at Sharm El-Sheikh committing to $100 billion loss and damage fund to finance the efforts for climate action, small island nations such as Maldives may be among the first beneficiaries, and India may share its expertise in climate action.

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