Top Cabinet Approvals: 18 December 2018
The Union Cabinet has approved the establishment of two new AIIMS at Madurai, Tamil Nadu and Bibinagar, Telangana. Each new AIIMS will add 100 undergraduate seats and 60 B.Sc. seats and would have 15-20 super specialty departments and around 750 hospital beds.
Cabinet approves MoU between India, France in the field of new and renewable energy
• The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 17, 2018 was apprised of an MoU signed between Solar Energy Corporation of India Limited (SECI) and France’s state-owned research entity, Commissariat a l energieatomique et aux energies alternatives (CEA) and another French company BlueStorage SAS.
• The MoU was signed in three originals each in Hindi, English and French language on October 3, 2018 in New Delhi.
• The main objective of the agreement is to define the modalities of discussions concerning the future collaboration regarding a pilot project to provide SECI an e-vehicle charging station with embedded batteries, powered by solar panels and optimised connection to the grid in order to support the Indian government’s ambitious plan for the deployment of electrical vehicles by maximising solar mobility and minimising its grid impact.
• The agreement will help in strengthening bilateral cooperation between India and France.
Cabinet approves MoU between India, Afghanistan in the field of human resource development
• The Union Cabinet on December 17, 2018 gave its approval for signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Afghanistan on cooperation in the field of human resource development.
• The MoU would facilitate students and faculty of Educational Institutions in Afghanistan to register and use the SWAYAM Courses. It would also facilitate them to upload on SWAYAM, the courses developed in Afghanistan.
• Under the agreement, the required training to students and faculty from Afghanistan would be imparted by the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development.
• The agreement is expected to promote student mobility under Study in India program, by attracting more foreign students to come and study in Afghan Institutions.
Cabinet approves establishment of two new AIIMS at Tamil Nadu, Telangana
• The Union Cabinet has approved the establishment of two new All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) at Madurai, Tamil Nadu at a cost of Rs 1,264 crore and Bibinagar, Telangana at a cost of Rs 1,028 crore.
• As far as benefits go, each new AIIMS will add 100 undergraduate (MBBS) seats and 60 B.Sc. (Nursing) seats and each would have 15-20 super specialty departments and around 750 hospital beds.
• As per data of the current functional AIIMS, it is expected that each new AIIMS would cater to around 1500 outdoor patients per day and around 1000 indoor patients per month.
• The move will lead to direct employment generation for nearly 3000 people in various faculty and non faculty posts in each of the AIIMS.
• The timeframe for the establishment of the two new AIIMS will be 45 months. The cost of construction and running of the new colleges would be met by the Central Government under Pradhan MantriSwasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY).
Cabinet apprised of Joint Issue of Postage Stamps by India and South Africa
• The Union Cabinet has been apprised of Joint Issue of Postage Stamps by India and South Africa on the theme “125th Year of Mahatma Gandhi’s Pietermaritzburg Station Incident & Birth Centenary of Nelson Mandela”.
• The MoU on the Joint Issue of Postage Stamp was signed on July 24, 2018.The stamps were released on July 26, 2018.
• The commemorative postage stamps on the above theme depict images of Mahatma Gandhi of India and Nelson Mandela of South Africa.
Cabinet approves signing of MoU between India, Australia for cooperation in the disability sector
• The Union Cabinet has been apprised of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between India and Australia for cooperation in the disability sector. The MoU was signed on November 22, 2018 in Sydney, Australia.
• The MoU will encourage cooperation between India and Australia, through joint initiatives in the disability sector.
• It will strengthen bilateral ties between India and Australia and will facilitate in improving rehabilitation of persons with disabilities especially for persons with intellectual disability and mental illness in both the countries.
• Under the MoU, both the nations will take up specific proposals in disability sector as mutually agreed upon, for implementation.
Cabinet approves expansion of beneficiaries list under Pradhan Mantri UjjwalaYojana
• The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has cleared the proposal of Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas to release deposit free LPG connections to poor families, who have not been considered earlier for the release of LPG connections under Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY).
• The beneficiary families include those who were left out on account of their names not been covered either in Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) list or the seven identified categories including SC/STs households, beneficiaries of Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) (Gramin), Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY), forest dwellers, Most Backward Classes (MBC), tea and ex-tea garden tribes and people residing in islands or river islands.
• Considering several representations received from various quarters, now, the poor families who could not get LPG connection under PMUY are now eligible to get a connection subject to fulfilling the eligibility norms and furnishing required documents.
• Under PMUY, which was launched on May 1, 2016, deposit free LPG connections are released with cash assistance worth Rs 16007 per connection by the Indian Government and also, interest free loans to purchase stove and refill by oil marketing companies.
• So far, more than 5.86 crore LPG connections have been released under PMUY against the target of 8 crore. Among the beneficiaries, around 48 per cent are either SCs or STs.
CCEA approves setting up of Eklavya Model Residential Schools
• The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given its in-principle approval for setting up of Eklavya Model Residential Schools (EMRSs) in every block with more than 50 per cent ST population and at least 20,000 tribal persons.
• To begin with, the CCEA has approved a financial assistance worth Rs. 2242.03 crore during 2018-19 and 2019-20 for rolling out the revamped scheme.
• The CCEA has further approved the setting up of an autonomous society under the Ministry of Tribal Affairs similar to Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti to run the EMRSs. It has also approved upgradation of the already sanctioned EMRSs on need basis with unit cost subject to a maximum of Rs 5 crore per school.
• The schools are an excellent approach to cater to the educational needs of ST children. Apart from school building including hostels and staff quarters, provision for a playground, students' computer lab, teacher resource room are also included in the EMRSs.
Cabinet approves construction of new 4 - Lane Bridge across river Ganga in Patna
• The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the project for construction of a new 4-lane bridge across River Ganga in Patna, Bihar with a capital cost of Rs. 2926.42 crore.
• The construction period for the project is three and a half years and so, the bridge is likely to be completed by January, 2023.
• The mega project is 14.500 km long and passes through Patna, Saran and Vaishali districts of Bihar. It will include a 5.634 km long major bridge parallel to the existing old MG Setu, 4 Vehicular Underpasses (VUPs), one Rail Over Bridge (RoB), one 1580 meter long viaduct, one 110 meter long flyover, 4 minor bridges, 5 bus shelters and 13 road junctions.
• The Ganga divides the state of Bihar in two parts, North Bihar and South Bihar and the existing 4 - lane old M G Setu is an important bridge across river Ganga connecting north Bihar with its capital city of Patna besides facilitating the movement of traffic from Nepal, East UP, North Bihar and North Bengal to Patna, South Bihar and Jharkhand.
• Though this old MG Setu is 4- lane, an additional bridge is required due to increased volume of traffic, which is more than 60,000 PCUs at present.