International Relations Current Affairs - 2019

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MoU on Maldivian Civil Servants training and Capacity Building operationalised

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Maldives on Training and Capacity Building Programme for Maldivian Civil Servants became operational. This comes following discussions between senior officials of National Centre for Good Governance (NCGG), Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG) from India and Maldives Civil Service Commission at Male (capital of Maldives)

Background

The MoU was signed between National Center for Good Governance, India and the Civil Services Commission of Maldives during official state visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in June 2019. It had envisaged capacity building activities for 1000 Civil Servants of Maldives at NCGG, India over the next 5 years.

Under, NCGG was designated nodal institution for designing customised training modules and its implementation taking into account requirements of Maldives’s Civil Service Commission.

The subject matter of training programs includes public administration, public policy and governance, e-governance and service delivery, information technology, urban development and planning, ethics in administration and challenges in implementation of SDGs.

PM Modi’s visit to Maldives

It was his first foreign visit after assuming office for second term. He had emphasised India’s ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy and assured India’s full support to Maldives in realising its aspirations for broad based socio-economic development and strengthening of democratic and independent institutions.

India suspends Thar Link Express

India suspended weekly Jodhpur-Munabao Thar Link Express amid the ongoing tension with Pakistan over the Kashmir issue. This move comes days after India cancelled Samjhauta Express from its side after Pakistan had announced suspension of all train services to India.

About Thar Express

It is Indian portion of international passenger train operated weekly (every Saturday morning) by Indian Railway using its own coaches and locomotives, between Jodhpur and Munabao in India. Passengers from Munabao (Rajastan) after clearing customs are transported to across border to Zero Point station where Thar Express takes passengers to Karachi, Pakistan via Munabao (India)-Khokhrapar (Pakistan’s Sindh province) border crossing. It carries only passengers and not goods.

Background: The agreement to link two countries by rail service through Munabao-Khokhrapar link was signed in 2006 with aim to facilitate people-to-people contact. It was revived after gap 41 years after Munabao-Khokhrapar rail link was destroyed during 1965 war between two countries. This agreement was extended in 2018 for three years till January 31, 2021. According to estimates, over 4 lakh passengers from both countries have taken train in the past 13 years.

About Samjhauta Express

It is another passenger train running between India and Pakistan. It runs from Delhi to Attari on Indian side and from Lahore to Wagah on the Pakistan side. Its service was started in 1976 following Shimla Agreement.