Cabinet approves opening of 18 new Indian Missions in Africa
• The Union Cabinet approved the opening of 18 new Indian Missions in Africa over a four year period from 2018-2021 with an aim to implement commitments of India-Africa Forum Summit (IAFS-III).
• The 18 new Indian Missions in Africa will be opened in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chad, Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mauritania, Rwanda, Sao Tome & Principe, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Swaziland and Togo.
• The move will thereby increase the number of Resident Indian Missions in Africa from 29 to 47.
Cabinet approves inclusion of Parivara and Talawara communities as synonym of Nayaka in STs list in Karnataka
• The Union Cabinet approved the inclusion of the 'Parivara and Talawara' communities as synonym of "Nayaka' at SI. No. 38 in the list of STs of Karnataka.
• This will fulfil the long term demand of 'Parivara' and Talawara' communities for granting Scheduled Tribes status in Karnataka.
• The persons belonging to "Parivara' and Talawara' communities will be eligible to get the Scheduled Tribe certificate from Karnataka and will also be eligible for all benefits meant for the Scheduled Tribes in the State.
Cabinet approves North-East Industrial Development Scheme (NEIDS) 2017
• The Union Cabinet approved the North East Industrial Development Scheme (NEIDS), 2017 with financial outlay of Rs 3000 crores up to March 2020.
• Government will provide necessary allocations for remaining period of scheme after assessment before March 2020.
• This newly introduced scheme will promote industrialization in the States of the North Eastern Region and will boost employment and income generation.
Cabinet approves continuation of National Health Mission till March 2020
• The Union Cabinet approved the continuation of the National Health Mission from April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2020 with a budgetary support of Rs 85217 crore as Central Share over this period.
• The goals and targets of National Health Mission are aligned with the National Health Policy 2017 and SDG-3.
• The Cabinet also approved continuation of the Prime Minister’s Development Package for Jammu & Kashmir 2015 from April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2020 with a budgetary support of Rs 625.20 crores as total centrally-funded scheme.
Cabinet apprised of MoU between India and Guyana on cooperation in Renewable Energy
• The Union Cabinet was apprised of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation in Renewable Energy between India and Guyana on March 21, 2018.
• Under the MoU, both the sides aim to establish the basis for a cooperative relationship to encourage technical bilateral cooperation on new and renewable energy issues.
• The MoU envisages establishing a Joint Working Committee to review, monitor and discuss matters relation to areas of cooperation.
Cabinet approves revision of DTAA between India and Qatar
• The Union Cabinet approved the revision of the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) between India and Qatar for the avoidance of double taxation and for the prevention of fiscal evasion.
• The existing Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) with Qatar was signed on April 7, 1999 and came into force on January 15, 2000.
• The revised DTAA updates the provisions for exchange of information to latest standard to prevent treaty shopping and aligns other provisions with India's recent treaties.
• It also meets the minimum standards on treaty abuse under Action 6 and Mutual Agreement Procedure under Action 14 of G-20 OECD Base Erosion & Profit Shifting (BEPS) Project.
Cabinet approves closure of India Development Foundation of Overseas Indians
• The Union Cabinet approved the closure of India Development Foundation of Overseas Indians (IDF-OI) to enhance synergies in channelizing Diaspora's contributions to flagship programmes such as National Mission for clean Ganga and Swachh Bharat Mission.
• IDF-OI was set up by the Union Government in 2008 as an autonomous not-for-profit trust to facilitate Overseas Indian philanthropy into social and development projects in India.
• In order to enhance synergies and avoid duplication of work, it was decided by the 9th Meeting of Board of Trustees of the IDF-OI that the Trust would be closed down by March 31, 2018.
Cabinet approves extension of term of Commission constituted to examine the issue of Sub-categorization of OBCs up to June 2018
• The Union Cabinet approved the second and final extension of the term of the Commission constituted to examine the issue of Sub-categorization of Other Backward Classes in the Central List, for a period of twelve weeks up to June 20, 2018.
• The Commission was constituted under article 340 of the Indian Constitution with the approval of President on October 2, 2017.
• The Commission, headed by Justice (Retd.) G Rohini commenced functioning on October 11, 2017 and has since interacted with all the States which have subcategorized OBCs and the State Backward Classes Commissions.
Cabinet approves formation of C Corporation of Telecommunications Consultants India Ltd in USA
• The Union Cabinet approved the formation of 100 per cent owned C Corporation of Telecommunications Consultants India Ltd (TCIL) in USA.
• C Corporation will be expected to earn an estimated profit of around 10 per cent in the initial years with turnover of USD 10 Million.
• C Corporation will be located in Texas, USA for the execution of Projects in USA.
• It will help TCIL to expand its business and ultimately result in increased dividend to the Government.
Cabinet approves continuation of Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan - National Higher Education Mission
• The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved the continuation of Centrally Sponsored Scheme Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) from April 2017 to March 2020.
• RUSA seeks to increase the Gross Enrolment Ratio of the country to 30 per cent by 2020,
• The scheme, in its 2nd phase, aims at creation of 70 new model degree colleges and 8 new professional colleges and enhancing quality and excellence in 10 select State universities and 70 autonomous colleges.
Cabinet approves Revision of Energy Norms under New Urea Policy
• The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs accorded approval for the revision of Energy Norms under New Urea Policy as proposed by the Department of Fertilizers/
• The Target Energy Norms under New Urea Policy-2015 for 11 urea units will be implemented w.e.f. April 1, 2018.
• It extends the present energy norms with token penalties for a further period of two years for 14 urea manufacturing units which failed to achieve the Target Energy Norms.
• The extension of present energy norms for further period of 2 years will ensure easy availability of urea to farmers throughout the country.