List of Agreements/MoUs signed between India and Mauritius during the visit of the Prime Minister to Mauritius

List of Agreements/MoUs signed between India and Mauritius
 during the visit of the Prime Minister to Mauritius

 Signatory from India : Mr. Navtej Sarna, Secretary (West), Ministry of External Affairs

Signatory from Mauritius : Mr. Sateeaved Seebaluck, Secretary to the Cabinet

Memorandum of Understanding between India and Republic of Mauritius in the field of Ocean Economy
This MoU will provide an extensive framework for cooperation in the field of Ocean Economy, a novel and critical area of sustainable development in the Indian Ocean Region. It provides for mutually beneficial cooperation for exploration and capacity development in the field of marine resources, fisheries, green tourism, research and development of ocean technology, exchange of experts and other related activities
Programme for Cultural Cooperation between the Republic of India and the Republic of Mauritius for the year 2015-18
India and Mauritius share unique bonds based on our shared cultural heritage and traditions. This programme will provide for enhanced bilateral cooperation in this field for the term 2015-2018. The programme, inter alia, envisages exchange of cultural troupes, training in fine arts, organization of cultural exhibitions, preservation of cultural heritage, promotion of Indian languages, exchange of students, etc. This programme will also enhance greater people-to-people participation between the two countries
Protocol between the Department of Agriculture and Cooperation, Ministry of Agriculture of Republic of India and the Ministry of Agro-Industry and Food Security of Republic of Mauritius for the importation of fresh mango from India
The aim of this Protocol is to facilitate importation of fresh mango fruits from India by Mauritius so that our Mauritian brethren can also relish the flavor of the world-renowned Indian mangoes.
Memorandum of Understanding for the Improvement in Sea and Air Transportation Facilities at Agalega Island of Mauritius
This MoU provides for setting up and upgradation of infrastructure for improving sea and air connectivity at the Outer Island of Mauritius which will go a long way in ameliorating the condition of the inhabitants of this remote Island. These facilities will enhance the capabilities of the Mauritian Defence Forces in safeguarding their interests in the Outer Island.
MoU on Cooperation in the field of Traditional System of Medicine and Homeopathy
This MoU will promote cooperation in the field of traditional system of health and medicine between the two countries which already share these traditions due to our unique historical and cultural ties. It envisages exchange of experts, supply of traditional medicinal substances, joint research and development and recognition of the traditional systems of health and medicine in both countries. It also aims at promotion and popularization of the various Indian traditional systems which fall under AYUSH.


My Stamp 

Department of Post has launched a scheme named “My Stamp”. My Stamp is a personalised sheets of postage stamps. The personalization is achieved by printing a thumb nail photograph of the customer, images and logos of institutions, or images of artwork, heritage buildings, famous tourist places, historical cities, wildlife, other animals and birds etc., alongside the selected “My Stamp” sheet. Rs. 300 is charged from customers for one My Stamp sheet contacting 12 stamps. My Stamp can be used as valid postage for domestic mail purposes. A customer can choose from a variety of My Stamp themes available. 

This information was given by the Minister of Communication and Information Technology Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad in Lok Sabha today. 


North East BPO Promotion scheme 

The Government has approved North East BPO Promotion scheme (NEBPS) for promotion of BPO Operations in North East Region (NER) including small towns, for creation of employment opportunities and growth of IT-ITES Industry. The Administrative Approval for implementation of NEBPS under the Digital India Programme, to incentivize establishment of 5000 seats, with capital support in the form of Viability Gap Funding (VGF), with an outlay of Rs. 50 crore for remaining period of 12th Five Year Plan i.e. 31.03.2017 has been issued on 30th January 2015. The Software Technology Parks of India (STPI), an autonomous society under the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY), Government of India, shall be the Nodal Agency for implementation of the NEBPS. 

This information was given by the Minister of Communication and Information Technology Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad in Lok Sabha today. 


Culture Minister inaugurates the curtain raiser of the year long celebrations of 125th Anniversary of National Archives of India 

Digitisation of records will help to preserve the archives for the future and increase ease of access: Dr Mahesh Sharma 

The Union Minister of State for Culture (Independent Charge), Tourism (Independent Charge) and Civil Aviation, Dr. Mahesh Sharma inaugurated the curtain raiser of the year long celebrations of 125th Anniversary of National Archives of India(NAI) in New Delhi today.  The National Archives of India was established on 11th March, 1891 at Calcutta as the Imperial Records Department.

 Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Mahesh Sharma said that history is very important for a country because it has the potential to contribute to nation building. It is due to this reason that we must make the valuable age-old records available with us transparent and accessible to the people, the Minister explained.  The Minister said that these archives and records contain a wealth of knowledge and through them we can take the cultural heritage of the country to the people.

Dr Mahesh Sharma said that this is the era of E-Governance and the digitization of records will help to preserve these archives over the future generation.  Not only this, digitization also helps to add to the ease of accessing these records, he said.  The Minister added that once these records are digitized, it will facilitate the introduction of our cultural heritage to the youth of the country.

The Minister inaugurated i) A Logo for the 125th Year Celebration of the National Archives of India; ii) an Online Search Portal  entitled Abhilekh-PATAL, which puts the catalogue of over 2 million records in the public domain together with over 2000 digital images of records; iii) a Virtual Exhibition: Gandhi-Mandela that was displayed at Johannesburg as a part of the ‘Festival of India in South Africa’ and iv) 3 New publications of the department on the occasion.

Secretary Culture, Shri Ravindra Singh said that the computerization of records is proceeding at a rapid pace.  Under the Swachha Bharat Mission started by the  Prime Minister, nearly 6 lakh files were transferred to NAI  and several more lakh files are also in the process of being transferred, he added.

Dr. Tridip Suhurd, Director, Sabarmati Ashram Preservation and Memorial Trust, Ahmedabad  delivered the 125th Foundation Day Lecture entitled ‘From Scriptorium to Variorum: The Journey towards Digital Archives on the occasion.

An exhibition entitled Treasures of National Archives of India has also been organised in the National Archives Museum premises which will remain open for public till 10 April 2015.During the yearlong celebrations, the National Archives of India has plans to release a series of publications, launch the renovated National Archives Museum, organise archival exhibitions to raise the archival awareness amongst masses, arrange workshops and seminars for the professionals to highlight the role of Archives in Society as well as in the administration.

National Archives of India was established on 11 March 1891 at Calcutta as the Imperial Record Department, and later shifted to New Delhi following the transfer of the capitalfrom Calcutta to Delhi in 1911. The present building of the National Archives of India was constructed in 1926, and the transfer of all records was completed in 1937. Today, it has one Regional Office at Bhopal and three Records Centres at Bhubaneswar, Jaipur and Puducherry.

This department is the custodian of the non-current records of the Government of India and is holding them in trust for the use of the records creators and the users at large. Archives are the priceless documentary heritage of any nation and as the premier archival institution in the country, and play a key role in guiding and shaping the development of archives both at the national as well as international level.

For the images of fascinating documents from various collections housed in this premier institution of the nation, please visit the face book page                 (



National Mission for Manuscripts 

The National Mission for Manuscripts (NMM) was established in the year 2003 to document, preserve and digitize the vast manuscript wealth of India. Through its Manuscript Resource Centres (MRCs), the NMM has documented 31,23,000 manuscripts and a total of 185,88,390 pages have been digitized up to the end of 2014. 31 Manuscript Conservation Centres (MCCs) are identified across the country which conserve manuscripts with the help of grants from NMM. 

Besides this, the National Archives of India operates two schemes for providing financial assistance for preservation of documentary heritage including manuscripts. These are: 

(i) Scheme of Financial Assistance for Preservation and Conservation of Manuscripts, Rare Books, Old and Rare Documents, Record of History to Registered Voluntary Organizations/Individuals etc. 

(ii) Scheme of Financial Assistance to State/Union Territory Archival Repositories, Government Libraries and Museums. 

This information was given by the Union Minister of State for Culture (Independent Charge), Tourism (Independent Charge), & Civil Aviation, Dr. Mahesh Sharma in a reply to an Unstarred question in the Rajya Sabha today. 


CNS Reviews Operational Readiness Exercise in Kochi 

The Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral RK Dhowan PVSM AVSM YSM ADC, presided over the debrief of the recently concluded annual Theatre Level Readiness and Operational Exercise (TROPEX) at Kochi on 11 March. Commanders’-in-chief of all the three naval Commands along with a number of senior operational commanders attended and participated in the discussions held at the Naval Base, Kochi. In addition the naval brass discussed the future roadmap of operations for the Navy which included refining existing concepts of operations catering for the improved maritime capabilities with new acquisitions and infrastructure. 

The recently concluded maritime exercise TROPEX 2015, was unique in scale and size with the participation of two aircraft carriers and integration of various new platforms including Mig 29K, P8-I Long Range Maritime Reconnaissance Aircraft, the nuclear submarine Chakra, indigenous stealth destroyer Kolkata and anti-submarine warfare frigate Kamorta besides the participation of 50 ships, submarines and more than 70 aircraft from all the three Commands as also assets of IAF and ICG. All the participating units were completely networked and the operations were facilitated by the robust and seamless communications network, including satellite communications under the navy’s overall thrust on Network Centric Operations, aligned with the prime minister’s vision of ‘Digital India’. Overall, the exercise reiterated the Navy’s readiness and capability to meet various mandated roles, in support of national objectives. 

The hon’ble Raksha Mantri, Shri Manohar Parrikar had also spent a day on board INS Vikramaditya during the exercise (mid Feb 15) and witnessed the operational prowess of the newly acquired assets. 

The Admiral would also be interacting with officers and men of the Command during his stay at Kochi. 


Keynote Address by External Affairs Minister Smt. Sushma Swaraj at the Inaugural Session of Delhi Dialogue VII in New Delhi 

Following is the text of the Keynote Address by the External Affairs Minister Smt. Sushma Swaraj at the Inaugural Session of Delhi Dialogue VII in New Delhi today:

H. E. General Tanasak, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand,
H.E. Dr. Naron, Minister of Education, Youth and Sport of Cambodia, 
H.E. Mr. Fachir, Vice Foreign Minister of Indonesia,
H.E. Mr. Lwin, Deputy Foreign Minister of Myanmar,
H.E. Dr. Mochtan, Deputy Secretary General of ASEAN
Hon`ble Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh, Shri Nabam Tuki
Hon`ble Chief Minister of Manipur, Shri Okram Ibobi Singh,
Hon`ble Minister for Planning and Development of Assam, Ms. Ajanta Neog, 
Representatives from Brunei Darussalam, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam

Distinguished Guests, 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

1.                  I extend a warm welcome to all of you to the seventh edition of the Delhi Dialogue.

2.                  Over the past six years, the Delhi Dialogue has emerged as India’s pre-eminent, ASEAN-centric Track 1.5 forum where we, the policy makers, along with stalwarts from academia and think tanks, from both India and ASEAN Member States, have been exchanging ideas and perspectives on how we can build upon the robust partnership that already exists between India and ASEAN. This has benefited us tremendously.

3.                  For ASEAN, the year 2015 is a key milestone in its journey towards establishing a close-knit ASEAN Community. It also coincides with a decade of the East Asia Summit process - an ASEAN-driven, Leaders-led forum, to address strategic, political and economic issues of regional and global import.

4.                  For us too, the year has started with a new development in our relationship with ASEAN. In January this year we established our independent Mission to ASEAN, which is reflective of our commitment to further intensify our engagement with the ASEAN. We also expect that the ASEAN-India Agreements on Trade in Services and Investment signed last September will enter into force later this year. This will complete our Free Trade Area with ASEAN and bring greater economic integration between our countries.

5.                  The new-found salience of our engagement with our eastern neighbourhood and beyond is evident from the fact that at the 12th India-ASEAN Summit and 9th East Asia Summit in Myanmar in November 2014, our Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi underscored our Government’s resolve to move with a great sense of priority and speed to transform India’s hitherto ‘Look East Policy’ into an ‘Act East Policy.’

6.                  ASEAN lies at the core of India`s Act East Policy and at the centre of our dream of an Asian century. Since the launch of our Look East Policy in the early 1990s, we have matured from being Sectoral Dialogue Partners to being Strategic Partners.

We cherish the deep and abiding historical and civilizational links that anchor our relationship. At the same time, we are focusing on reorienting our partnership in the 21st century context to make it more pragmatic, action driven and result oriented. For this we need to intensify our cooperation in security, trade, investment, connectivity and capacity building and strengthening people-to-people linkages. I would focus my remarks today on these areas.

7.                  As countries inhabiting a contiguous geographical space, India and ASEAN Member States share several common traditional and non-traditional security challenges. We are consciously forging concrete collaboration, both bilaterally and through such ASEAN-led fora as the East Asia Summit, ASEAN Regional Forum, ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting (ADMM) Plus and the Expanded ASEAN Maritime Forum (EAMF), to ensure regional peace and security.

8.                  India has been co-chairing various inter-sessional meetings and workshops under the ARF and ADMM Plus. At the third EAS Workshop in Jakarta last year, India presented a paper on a dialogue-based, open, transparent and cooperative Regional Security Architecture. We have also consciously striven to step up our consultations with ASEAN mechanisms dealing with terrorism and other transnational crimes.

Following up on my commitment at the third meeting of the ASEAN-India Network of Think-tanks in Hanoi last August, we hosted the first ever India-ASEAN cyber-security Conference in New Delhi in January 2015. I would like to thank all ASEAN countries and the ASEAN Secretariat for their participation in the Conference.

9.                  We have also enhanced our participation in various Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) exercises undertaken under the rubric of EAS, ARF and ADMM Plus. In December 2014, we organised an EAS 24x7 Points of Contact Meeting in New Delhi and also launched a Virtual Knowledge Portal dealing with disaster management.

10.             India-ASEAN trade and investment relations have also been growing steadily. ASEAN is India`s fourth largest trading partner. Our annual trade stood at over US$ 76 billion in 2013, having registered an average growth of 22% per annum over the past decade. The defining characteristic of our trade relationship is that it is largely balanced, which reflects the strong complementarities of our export-driven manufacturing industries.

11.             The signing of a FTA in Goods in 2009 has given a spurt to bilateral trade. However, we need to make a special effort to achieve our target of enhancing trade to US$ 100 billion by 2015, and our aspiration to double it to US$ 200 billion by 2022. We will have to significantly augment the utilisation level of the Agreement on Trade in Goods and further liberalise the tariff lines. I am glad that the process has started to revive the ASEAN-India Trade Negotiations Committee to kick-start these discussions.

12.             Investment flows are also substantial both ways, with ASEAN accounting for approximately 12.5% of investment flows into India since 2000. FDI outflows from India to ASEAN countries over the last 7 years were over US$ 31 billion while FDI equity inflows into India from ASEAN countries during this period were over US$ 25 billion.

13.             As our Government actively works to ease norms for doing business under its ‘Make in India’ initiative new vistas for investments from ASEAN into India are opening up. ASEAN companies could look for investments in a large number of sectors such as smart cities, roads and highways, ports, railways, power and urban infrastructure. 

The India-ASEAN Agreements on Trade in Services and Investment will also unleash large potential for mutual investment. Similarly, we will also encourage our businesses to seize the investment opportunities presented by an economically integrated ASEAN.

14.             We are committed to engaging ourselves in constructive discussions on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, which involves ASEAN and its 6 dialogue partners, to ensure its early fruition with a balanced outcome. I understand that the B-to-B Session held earlier in the day as a curtain raiser to DD VII was productive and covered some of the issues mentioned be me.

15.             Enhancing connectivity between India and ASEAN in all its aspects - physical, institutional and people-to-people, is a key strategic priority for us. Our North-Eastern region is our land-bridge to the ASEAN, and I am delighted that the Chief Ministers of so many states from the region have spared their valuable time to be with us this evening to contribute to our deliberations.

16.             We also have maritime boundaries with several ASEAN countries, and this is particularly important from a trade perspective. We have started negotiations on an ASEAN-India Maritime Transport Cooperation Agreement, and hope that it will be finalised by the end of the year.

17.             We have made progress in implementing the Trilateral Highway project which proposes to provide seamless connectivity from Moreh in Manipur to Mae Sot in Thailand via Myanmar. We have also started negotiations on an India-Myanmar-Thailand Transit Transport Agreement to address soft connectivity issues.

18.             Likewise, work is in progress on the Kaladan Multimodal Transport Project which will provide a road and riverine link between Myanmar and Mizoram as well as connect Indian ports to Sittwe port in Myanmar. Our experiment with a dedicated fortnightly freighter service with Myanmar has proven to be a commercial success. We plan to commission a study soon to see if this experiment can be replicated, both for cargo and passenger services, with other Southeast Asian countries.

19.             We are also looking to expand air connectivity, particularly between our North East and Southeast Asia.

20.             We are simultaneously endeavouring to see how we can transform the corridors of connectivity into corridors of economic cooperation. In this context, our Prime Minister announced, at the 12th ASEAN-India Summit, establishing a Special Facility to facilitate project financing and quick implementation of connectivity projects. We are currently working out the modalities of this Special Facility.

21.             Our Government has, meanwhile, also announced in the budget speech for this year, an SPV for setting up of manufacturing hubs and capacity building in CLMV countries.

22.             A host of joint projects for functional cooperation in sectors ranging from agriculture to environment to ICT are underway, utilising the three dedicated Funds we have set up for ASEAN.

23.             We are about to commence implementation of a space project, which will be the largest project under the ASEAN-India Fund, involving establishment of a Tracking & Data Reception Station and Data Processing Facility at Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam by ISRO; upgrading of the Biak Station in Indonesia; as well as provision of training for space personnel from all ASEAN countries.

24.             We will continue our assistance for human resource development and capacity building under the ITEC and Colombo Plan, the Mekong Ganga Cooperation (MGC) Quick Impact Fund initiative and the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Cooperation (BIMSTEC). I am pleased to announce five new ITEC slots for the ASEAN Secretariat with effect from 2015.

25.             We are also in the process of establishing Centres of Excellence in Software Development and Training and Centres for English Language Training in CLMV countries under the Initiative for ASEAN Integration - Narrowing Development Gap. This week, our project team is in Lao PDR and Vietnam, holding discussions with the host government on the establishment of these Centres of Excellence.

26.             Our endeavour in our joint projects is to foster a spirit of co-ownership of the projects among institutions from India and ASEAN Member States.

27.             Fostering people-to-people linkages remains at the heart of India`s engagement with ASEAN. We will continue efforts to build upon the existing programmes for regular exchange of students, journalists, farmers, scholars and academics.

I would like to acknowledge, at this point, the presence of a delegation of ASEAN journalists amongst us, who are visiting India under the annual ASEAN-India Media Exchange Programme.

28.             We host the ASEAN-India Centre in New Delhi and have also been extending modest financial support to the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia annually since its inception. Going forward, we will explore ideas on how to further expand civil society interaction and collaboration.

Excellencies and Friends,

29.             Our excellent bilateral ties with our ASEAN partners, which are largely "sans irritants,” have laid a strong foundation for our Act East Policy. As ASEAN engages in charting out its post-2015 roadmap, our officials are also working on drafting the ASEAN-India Plan of Action for the period 2016-2021, to translate the ASEAN-India Strategic Partnership Vision into concrete action. I therefore believe that the theme for Delhi Dialogue VII, "ASEAN-India: Shaping the Post-2015 Agenda” is very apt.

30.             I look forward to hearing the thoughts of my colleagues from ASEAN countries and our North Eastern States on how we can collectively shape our post 2015 agenda for greater progress and prosperity of our peoples and countries. I am confident that the deliberations this evening and tomorrow on various aspects of our multidimensional engagement will provide invaluable inputs for shaping our forward-looking agenda for the next five years.

I thank you for your attention.


Union Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley to Leave for Three Day Official Visit to UK Tomorrow; 

To Unveil Statue of Mahatma Gandhi on Saturday at Parliament Square, London; 

To Meet UK PM Mr David Cameron and his British Counterpart and Chancellor of Exchequer Mr George Osborne; 

To Interact with Foreign Investors During his Visit 

The Union Finance Minister, Shri Arun Jaitley is leaving tomorrow for a three day official visit to London, U.K. on the invitation of the British Government. The Finance Minister will arrive in London tomorrow evening. On Friday, 13th March, 2015, the Finance Minister Shri Jaitley will hold a bilateral meeting with his U.K. counterpart and Chancellor of Exchequer Mr. George Osborne and will discuss various bilateral and multilateral economic and financial issues. Both the leaders will also discuss the economic situation in the two countries as well as overall global economic situation. 

The Union Finance Minister Shri Jaitley will also hold a meeting with the Institutional Investors organised by M/s J.P. Morgan. He will also participate in an Investors’ Meeting organised by U.K.-India Business Council (UKIBC), FICCI and High Commission of India, London. The Finance Minister will also visit London Stock Exchange (LSE) and will also hold meeting there as well. 

The Finance Minister will later inaugurate the branch of Union Bank of India in London. 

On Saturday, 14th March, 2015, the Union Finance Minister Shri Jaitley will unveil the statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Parliament Square, London. The UK Foreign Secretary and Chancellor had earlier announced plans for a statue of Mahatma Gandhi, the inspiration for non-violent civil rights’ movements around the world, to be erected in Parliament Square. The statue of the Father of the nation will be the 11th Statue to be erected there in Parliament Square standing alongside with world leaders like Britan’s war-time PM Winston Churchill and South African leader Nelson Mandela The bronze statue will be the focal point for the commemoration this summer of the 100th Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s return to India from South Africa to start the struggle for self rule. Gandhi ji has a particular connection to London having studied there like so many young and talented Indians who even go there today for studies. 

The Finance Minister will also later on meet the Prime Minister of U.K. Mr. David Cameron. In the late evening, the Finance Minister will leave for back home and will reach the national capital on Sunday morning, 15th March, 2015. 


Indirect Tax Revenue (Provisional) Collections Increase from Rs. 4,41,565 Crore in April-February 2014 to Rs. 4,78,630 Crore During April-February 2015; 

an Overall Increase of 8.4% Registered During April-February 2015 Over the Corresponding Period in the Previous Year; Customs Collections Increased by 8.2 % While Excise Collections Increased by 8.9% and Service Tax Collections Increased by 8.1 % During the Same Period 


                           Indirect Tax Revenue (Provisional) collections have increased from Rs 4,41,565 crore in April-February 2014 to Rs. 4,78,630 crore during April-February 2015. Thus an increase of 8.4 % has been registered during April-February 2015 over the corresponding period in the previous year. This is an achievement of 88.5 % of the revised target fixed for RE 2014-15.
Customs collections have increased from Rs. 1,57,944 crore during April-February 2014 to  Rs. 1,70,943 crore during April-February 2015 registering an increase of 8.2%. This is an achievement of 90.6% of the revised target fixed for 2014-15.
Central Excise collections have increased from Rs. 1,49,420 crore in April-February 2014 to Rs. 1,62,680 crore during April-February 2015 registering an increase of 8.9%.  This is an achievement of 88.5 % of the revised target fixed for 2014-15.
Service Tax collections have increased from Rs. 1,34,201 crore in April-February 2014 to    Rs. 1,45,007 crore during April-February 2015 registering an increase of 8.1 %. This is an achievement of 86.2 % of the revised target fixed for 2014-15.

*Exclusive of cess administered by other departments.


List of Agreements/MoUs signed between India and Mauritius during the visit of the Prime Minister to Mauritius List of Agreements/MoUs signed between India and Mauritius   during the visit of the Prime Minister to Mauritius Reviewed by Ajit Kumar on 7:20 PM Rating: 5

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