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Indian University to train Afghanistan’s civil servants

Nov 21, 2014

India’s Jindal University has bagged a contract to train Afghanistan’s civil servants.

New Delhi: The Jindal School of International Affairs and the Jindal Institute of Leadership Development and Executive Education of O P Jindal Global University have been awarded a prestigious and internationally competitive contract from the Ministry of Finance, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, to conduct trainings for Afghan civil servants.

The university will be welcoming the first batch of senior Afghan civil servants, who hold the ranks of Director General to Deputy Directors in various Afghan government ministries, in the next few weeks on its Sonipat campus. These civil servants will be trained at Jindal University in topics like Leadership, Human Resource Management, Law & Justice, Organisational Change, Good Governance and Post-Conflict Institution Building.

The contract awarded by the Afghan government credits Jindal University for possessing “the required professional skills, personnel and technical resources” to deliver a world class training experience to the bureaucrats of Afghanistan.

Speaking on this occasion, Ashraf Haidari, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of Afghanistan, stated that the current focus is to strengthen civilian institutions in his country. He said “Although the international community has invested in reconstruction of Afghanistan, it has concentrated mostly on the military and security sectors. Not enough has not been done to build the civilian state structures, which are essential for a sustainable transition towards self-reliance and peace.”

He welcomed and appreciated this capacity building training by O P Jindal Global University and expressed hope that it would “fulfill a long-term and urgent need of Afghanistan.”

Commenting on why an Indian university has been chosen as a partner for capacity building and training, Haidari said “With India, there is a cultural affinity. In India too there are problems, but there are also institutions that have succeeded. India is a democracy that learns from its mistakes and we want to learn from that.”

Haidari added that O P Jindal Global University’s pilot project in training Afghan civil servants is a good start and that such engagements should become longer and turn into degree programmes so that the Afghan trainees become trainers themselves in the long run.

The Vice Chancellor of Jindal University, Professor C. Raj Kumar said: “I believe that this landmark in executive education will get JGU recognised as the leader in capacity building for governments around the world. Our University has already trained Indian Police Service, Indian Administrative Service and Indian Revenue Service officers in the past.  Training foreign civil servants is taking up our responsibilities to the global level. ”

Dr Sreeram Chaulia, Dean of the Jindal School of International Affairs, added: “Our prior experience of working to support Afghan state institutions and the global nature of our university were factors that led to us winning the contract. The fact that India has a strategic relationship with Afghanistan and recognition that JGU is leading the higher education reforms in India by creating a truly international learning environment were decisive in the decision of the Afghan government to award the contract to us.”

Previously, O P Jindal Global University’s Jindal Global Law School had conducted training workshops in Kabul for the Afghan Ministry of Justice on topics such as legislative drafting, legal research methodology and the relevance of jurisprudence.

O P Jindal Global University has also worked to strengthen the Afghan government’s Ministry of Commerce and Industries on the themes of lessons from the Competition Commission of India for Afghanistan; comparative perspectives on market regulations; monopolies and cartels, mergers and acquisitions (M&As) and abuse of market dominance by powerful companies.

O P Jindal Global University’s Jindal School of International Affairs is presently helping launch postgraduate level degree programmes in the field of international relations at the University of Afghanistan in Kabul.  This initiative is supported by officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Afghanistan.

Since inception in 2009, O P Jindal Global University has conducted several other training programmes for elite Indian bureaucrats from the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), the Indian Police Service (IPS), the Indian Revenue Service (IRS), the Indian Forest Service (IFS) and officers from the Indian Army, Indian Navy, Indian Air Force, and various Indian state government officials.

The capacity building capability and track record of O P Jindal Global University is now being internationally recognised, with the award of the contract from Afghanistan. The impact of this training programme is expected to deepen India’s role in nation building of its close partner country, Afghanistan.

Earlier this year, the Chancellor of O P Jindal Global University, Naveen Jindal, had gifted an iconic national flag to the Government of Afghanistan to create a sense of solidarity and unity among the Afghan people and to cement the symbolic and materialistic linkages between India and Afghanistan. This monumental flag over Wazir Akbar Khan hill is visible across Kabul and has won widespread international news coverage and praise.

With the commencement of trainings for Afghan civil servants, O P Jindal Global University is in a position to engage in vital knowledge sharing that can eventually make Afghanistan a self-reliant, high capacity state that can govern its people using cutting edge concepts of management and public policy. This is an instance of South-South cooperation between two developing countries, spearheaded by a world class Indian university.

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