Top Cabinet Approvals: 14 February 2019
The Union Cabinet has given its approval to the cabinet note on the proposal for official amendments in the Constitution (Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2016 so as to modify the list of scheduled tribes of Chhattisgarh.
Cabinet approves revision in the list of Scheduled Tribes of Chhattisgarh
• The Union Cabinet has given its approval to the cabinet note on the proposal for official amendments in the Constitution (Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2016 so as to modify the list of scheduled tribes of Chhattisgarh.
• The act will called the Constitution (Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2019.
• After the Bill becomes an Act, member of the communities newly listed in the revised list of scheduled tribes of Chhattisgarh will also be able to derive benefits meant for STs under the existing schemes of the government.
• Some of the major schemes of this kind include post matric scholarship, national overseas scholarship, national fellowship, top class education, concessional loans from national scheduled tribes finance and development corporation and hostels for ST boys and girls.
• They will also be entitled to benefits of reservation in services and admission to educational institutions as per government policy.
Cabinet approves MoU between India, Saudi Arabia in the field of tourism
• The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the signing of Memorandum of Understanding between the Union Ministry of Tourism and the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for strengthening cooperation in the field of tourism.
• The key objectives of the agreement include exchanging information and expertise in legislations in the tourism development, exchanging media publications, tourism related films, introducing tourism investment opportunities and encouraging mutual tourism investment in tourism projects.
• It also includes encouraging joint tourism events, joint participation in exhibitions, encouraging public and private education facilities, exchanging innovative experience and technologies in the tourism field, and consultation services.
• It also involves cooperation and coordinating in international forums and organisations concerned with tourism affairs.
• Saudi Arabia is one of the potential tourist generating market for India from Middle East. The signing of the MoU with Saudi Arabia will be instrumental in increasing arrival from this source market.
Union Cabinet approves MoU between India, Saudi Arabia on cooperation and mutual assistance in customs matters
• The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the signing of Memorandum of Understanding between India and Saudi Arabia on cooperation and mutual assistance in Customs Matters.
• The agreement will help in making available, reliable, quick and cost effective information and intelligence for the prevention and investigation of customs offences and apprehending of customs offenders.
Cabinet approves signing of MoU between India, Saudi Arabia on establishing a mechanism for investment infrastructure in India
• The Union Cabinet has approved the signing Memorandum of Understanding between India and Saudi Arabia on establishing a mechanism for investment Infrastructure in India.
• The MoU will be a step forward in engaging with the institutions of Saudi Arabia to attract a potential investment into the infrastructure sector in the country.
• It will lead to boosting infrastructure development in the country, creation of more jobs, growth of ancillary industries sectors which will lead to growth in GDP and overall economic prosperity.
Cabinet approves MoU between India, Finland in the field of peaceful uses of outer space
• The Union Cabinet has given its approval for the Memorandum of Understanding signed between India and Finland on cooperation in the field of peaceful uses of outer space. The MoU was signed on January 10, 2019 at New Delhi.
• The agreement will provide impetus to explore newer research activities and application possibilities in the field of remote sensing of the earth, satellite communication, satellite navigation, space science and exploration of outer space.
• The cooperation with the government of Finland would lead to develop a joint activity in the field of application of space technologies for the benefit of humanity.
• The MoU shall enable cooperation in areas including remote sensing of the earth, satellite communication and satellite based navigation, space science and planetary exploration, development, testing and operation of space objects and ground system, launching of Finnish space objects by Indian launch vehicles and processing and use of space data.
• It would also enable developing of innovative applications and solutions based on space technologies and use of artificial intelligence and cooperation around emerging new space opportunities and data ecosystems and sustainable used of outer space.
Cabinet approves MoU between India, Morocco for setting up of a JWG on counter-terrorism
• The Union Cabinet has approved the MoU between India and Morocco for setting up of a Joint Working Group (JWG) on counter terrorism.
• The setting up of the joint working group on counter terrorism by India and Morocco would help cases relating to terrorist attacks.
• The agreement would, thus be the basis for obtaining and exchanging information on terrorist activities.
Cabinet approves extension of tenure of the National Commission for Safai Karmacharis
• The Union Cabinet has approved the proposal for Extension of tenure of the National Commission for Safai Karmacharis (NCSK) beyond 31.3.2019 for three years.
• The commission was established in 1993 as per the provisions of the NCSK Act 1993 initially for the period up to March 31, 1997.
• Later the validity of the Act was initially extended up to March 31, 2002 and thereafter upto February 29, 2004. The NCSK Act ceased to have effect from the date.
• Post that the tenure of the NCSK has been extended as a non-statutory body from time to time. The tenure of the present Commission is up to March 31, 2019.
• The major beneficiaries of the proposal would be the Safai Karamcharis and persons engaged in manual scavenging in the country since the NCSK will work for their welfare and upliftment.
Cabinet approves MoU between India, Argentina in tourism
• The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has approved the signing of Memorandum of Understanding between India and Argentinein the field of Tourism.
• The signing of the agreement in the field of tourism will help the two parties in creating an institutional mechanism for enhancing cooperation in the tourism sector.
Cabinet approves allotment of land to Pasteur Institute for establishment of New Viral Vaccine Manufacturing Unit in Tamil Nadu
• The Union Cabinet has approved the proposal for allotment of land measuring 30 acres to Pasteur Institute of India (PII) for establishment of New Viral Vaccine Manufacturing Unit at Coonoor, Tamil Nadu.
• The project entails production of Viral Vaccines (like TCA anti-Measles Vaccine, JE Vaccine etc.) and Anti Sera (like Anti Snake Venom and Anti Rabies Sera) at the PII, Coonoor. Land for the project will be transferred free of cost.
• The land used for the project will also be got changed by the Ministry of Health & FW from ‘Industrial’ to ‘Institutional’.
• The allotment of land will encourage the production of life-saving vaccines for children, to strengthen the vaccine security of the country and would reduce the cost, besides providing import substitution as presently these are being imported.
CCEA approves continuation of Credit Linked Capital Subsidy and Technology Up-gradation Scheme beyond 12th Plan
• The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the Credit Linked Capital Subsidy and Technology Up-gradation Scheme (CLCS-TUS) with a total outlay of Rs 2900 crore.
• The scheme aims at improving the competitiveness of MSMEs by integrating various ongoing schematic interventions aimed at up-grading technology through Credit Linked Capital Subsidy (CLCS), hand holding for zero defect zero effect manufacturing (ZED), increasing productivity through waste reduction (Lean), design intervention (Design), cloud computing (Digital MSMEs), facilitation of intellectual property (IPR) and nurturing new ideas (Incubation).
• Special provisions have been made in this scheme to promote entrepreneurship for SC/STs, women NER, Hill States (Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh & Uttarakhand) Island Territories (Andaman & Nicobar and Lakshadweep) and the Aspirational Districts/ LWE Districts, as in these cases the subsidy shall be admissible also for investment in acquisition /replacement of plant & machinery / equipment & technology up-gradation of any kind.
• The scheme would be demand driven but its coverage has been made more inclusive.
Cabinet approves continuation of Centre's tribal welfare schemes
• The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given its approval for continuation of sub-schemes under Umbrella programme for development of Scheduled Tribes from April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2020 with an outlay of Rs 11,900 crore.
• The approved schemes include pre-matric scholarship, post matric scholarship, ashram schools, boys & girls hostels, vocational training, monitoring and evaluation, tribal festivals, tribal research, information and mass education and aid to voluntary organisation working for the welfare of scheduled tribes.
• They also include development of particularly vulnerable tribal groups, minimum support price for minor forest produce and special central assistance to states for tribal sub-schemes.
• The sub-schemes will help to fill critical gaps in institutions and programmes for the welfare of Scheduled Tribes with focus on specific interventions.
• More than 10 crore Scheduled Tribe population are expected to be benefitted through this scheme.
CCEA modifies order for allowing CPSEs, private sector entities to participate in bidding for Strategic Disinvestment of Engineering Projects (India) Limited
• The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given approval for partial modification of the CCEA’s decision dated October, 2016 by allowing all eligible Central Public Sector Enterprises (EPSEs) and private sector entities to participate in the bidding for the strategic disinvestment of Engineering Projects (India) Limited (EPIL).
• Earlier CCEA in its meeting held on October, 2016 had given in-principle approval for strategic disinvestment of 100 per cent shareholding of Government of India in EPIL through merger with a similarly placed CPSE.
• The modification would promote competition in the bidding process and may result in higher yield to the union government.
• The proposed strategic disinvestment of EPIL would unlock resources to be used to finance the social sector and developmental programmes of the Government benefiting the public.
• It is also expected that the successful strategic buyer will bring in funds, technology and new management practices for the optimum development of business and growth of the company, which may generate more employment opportunities.