600 Indian Scholarships Boost Agricultural and Civil Service Reform
Kabul, Afghanistan: Agricultural research and development is expected to receive a major boost in Afghanistan with the formalization of an agreement between the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL) and the Government of India that will allow Afghan students to avail of over 600 scholarships to Universities in India over the next five years. The scholarships will be granted for Bachelors, Masters and Ph.D. programs in the fields of Agriculture, Civil Service and Forestry. The agreement is part of the support provided by the United National Development Programme (UNDP) to the Government of Afghanistan under the National Institution Building Project (NIBP).
The Second Quarter Board Meeting of NIBP, to be held here tomorrow, will be attended by senior government and multi-lateral agency partners will take stock of the progress made by the project in 2012 in ramping up capacities of ministries, civil servants and state-run institutions for improved delivery of government-run services in the country.
To address rampant child labour throughout the country, NIBP has supported the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, Martyrs and Disabled (MoLSAMD) in formulating the National Policy on Child Labor. Over 200 civil servants in the ministry – a fourth of them women -- have been exposed to gender mainstreaming concepts and strategies, giving rise to the hope that the ministry will be better equipped to advance the agenda of gender equality in the future. NIBP supported the Deputy Ministry of Youth Affairs (DMoYA) in conducting the first three-day Youth Civil Society Conference in Kabul that deliberated on various aspects of the youth development strategy for Afghanistan. Over 300 youth attended, including 140 girls participated in the youth mobilization event.
The primary focus of the National Institution Building Project (NIBP) is on building the individual, institutional and organizational capacity of leading Government ministries and agencies at the national level and local authorities at the sub-national level. The initiative supports efforts towards strengthening the capacity of the General Directorate of Projects Design and Management (GDPDM) of the Independent Administrative Reform and Civil Service Commission (IARCSC) to efficiently manage the programmes and projects of IARCSC. The initiative tracks its impact through incremental improvements in budget utilization, clear organization structures and proficient civil servants.
The NIBP Board meeting is expected to be attended by senior government officials and representatives of the following embassies of India, Japan, Denmark, Sweden, Poland, Kazakhstan, Italy and Australia.