Top Cabinet Approvals: 7 December 2018

Dec 7, 2018 15:01 IST
Top Cabinet Approvals: 7 December 2018

Cabinet approves MoC between India, Japan in the field of environmental cooperation

• The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its ex-post facto approval to the Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) between India and Japan.
• The MoC was signed on October 29, 2018 during the visit of the Indian Prime Minister of India to Japan.
• The MoC will enable establishment and promotion of closer and long-term cooperation between India and Japan in the field of environment protection and management of natural resources on the basis of equity, reciprocity and mutual benefits, taking into account the applicable laws and legal provisions in each country.
• Further, the MoC entails exchange of information and technology between the two countries. It is expected to bring in the latest technologies and best practices suited for bringing about better environmental protection, better conservation, better management of climate change and biodiversity conservation.

Cabinet approves MoU between India, US on scientific and technical cooperation in earth sciences

• The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been apprised of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and the United States of America concerning scientific and technical cooperation in the Earth Sciences. The MoU was signed on November 1, 2018.
• The collaboration between the two countries will enable sharing of the expertise available with organisations in both countries and adoption of the latest state-of-the-art technology in the field of Earth Science.
• The specific areas of cooperation include ecosystems, climate variability and land-use changes, energy, minerals, environmental health, natural hazards, risk and resilience of assessments, water resources, and informatics and data integration.
• The cooperation under the agreement is envisaged through various modes namely, exchange of technical information, visits, training and cooperative research consistent with on-going programmes of both countries in the above fields.

Cabinet approves revised model MoU between India and foreign Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs) for exchange of information


• The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its approval to the revised Model Memorandum of Understanding between the Financial Intelligence Unit(FIU) – India with its counterpart foreign Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs) for exchange of information.
• The revised model MoU was drafted based on Egmont Group Secretariat revised model MoU 2014.
• The core functions of FIU-IND in relation to foreign FIUs include screening and processing requests from foreign Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs), disseminating information to foreign FIUs, establishing and maintaining relationship with foreign FIUs and facilitating, administering and negotiating MoUs with foreign FIUs.
• Most of the foreign FIUs require an MoU to be signed for sharing of information with them.

Cabinet approves MoU between India, France in the field of energy efficiency, energy conservation

• The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been apprised of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and France in the field of energy efficiency and energy conservation.
• The MoU was signed on October 17, 2018. The MoU is a science and technology agreement, which involves knowledge exchange and cooperation in the nature of technical assistance only.
• The MoU is expected to take forward information exchange on policies, programmes and technologies relating to enhanced energy efficiency and demand-side management.
• The MoU will lead to awareness creation on energy efficiency. The development of tools for collection, use and analysis of CO2 emissions and GHG data for tracking global emissions for INDC.
• It will promote Research and Development, and demonstration of energy efficient technologies.

Cabinet approves Amendment of the Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial Act, 1951

• The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the Amendment of the Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial Act, 1951.
• The decisions aims to suitably amend the Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial Act, 1951 so as to secure representation as trustees, “the leader of opposition recognised as such in the house of the people, or where there is no such leader of opposition, then the leader of the single largest opposition party in the house”.
• In the existing act, there is a provision for representation of a single national political party. The deletion of the party-specific member from the trust will make it apolitical.
• The proposed amendment ensures representation of the opposition party in the trust. It will empower the government to terminate and replace a trustee to participate in the functioning of the trust or for any other reason.

Cabinet approves MoC between India, Japan for Cooperation in the postal field

• The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given ex-post facto approval to the Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) between India and Japan for cooperation in the postal field.  
• The MoC seeks to improve postal services and cooperation in the postal field between the two countries.
• The MoC would help improve postal services and cooperation in the postal field between India and Japan by:
- Sharing information and exchanging views based on both sides’ experiences regarding the postal policy.
- Promoting discussions to build a cooperative relationship.
- Setting up of Postal Services Dialogue for carrying forward cooperation in specific areas mutually decided by Both Sides.
• The MoU would enhance cooperation between India and Japan, thus benefitting postal operations of both countries.

Cabinet approves MoU between India, Tajikistan on cooperation on peaceful uses of space technology for development

• The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been apprised of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Tajikistan on Cooperation on peaceful uses of space Technology for Development. The MoU was signed on October 8, 2018 at Dushanbe, Tajikistan.
• This MoU shall enable pursuing the following potential interest areas of cooperation such as remote sensing of the earth, satellite communication and satellite-based navigation space science and planetary exploration; use of spacecraft and space systems and ground system and application of space technology.  
• The MoU would lead to set up a Joint Working Group, drawing members from DOS, ISRO and the State Committee of Land Management and Geodesy of Republic of Tajikistan, which will further work out the plan of action including the time-frame and the means of implementing this MoU.
• The signed MoU will provide impetus to explore newer research activities and application possibilities in the field of remote sensing of the earth, satellite navigation, space science and exploration of outer space.
• The MoU would lead to the development of joint activity in the field of application of space technologies for the benefit of humanity.

Cabinet approves MoU between India, Russia on Joint Activities under human spaceflight programme

• The Union Cabinet has been apprised of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Russia on Joint Activities under Human Spaceflight Programme. The MoU was signed on October 15, 2015 at New Delhi.
• The signing of the MoU will strengthen the cooperation between India and Russia and would provide impetus to develop the technologies and advanced systems required for the human spaceflight programme like radiation shielding, life support systems, crew module, rendezvous and docking systems, space suit and training for astronauts.
• The MoU would lead to the development of a joint activity in the field of application of space technologies for the benefit of humanity.
• It will lead to setting up of a Joint Working Group, which will further work out the plan of action including the time-frame and the means of implementing the provisions of this agreement.

Cabinet approves agreement between India, Uzbekistan on Cooperation in exploration and uses of outer space

• The Union Cabinet has been apprised of agreement between India and Uzbekistan on cooperation in the exploration and uses of outer space for peaceful purposes.
• The Agreement was signed on October 1, 2018 at New Delhi during the State visit of the President of Uzbekistan to India.
• The signing of the agreement will strengthen the cooperation between India and Uzbekistan and would 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 agreement would lead to develop a joint activity in the field of application of space technologies for the benefit of humanity.
• It will lead to setting up of a Joint Working Group, which will further work out the plan of action including the time-frame and the means of implementing the provisions of this Agreement.

Cabinet approves MoU between India, Zimbabwe for cooperation in the field of geology, mining and mineral resources

• The Union Cabinet has given its ex-post facto approval to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Zimbabwe for cooperation in the field of geology, mining and mineral resources. The MoU was signed on November 3, 2018 at Harare, Zimbabwe.
• The key objectives of the MoU include the exchange of information on resources, laws and policy, organisation of seminars to exchange views on development strategies, encouragement of transfer of technologies between the parties, promotion of value addition and opportunities for investment in the mining sector.
• These provisions will enable taking up of activities like documentation, dissemination and would serve the objective of innovation.
• The MoU will provide an institutional mechanism between India and Zimbabwe for cooperation in the identified fields.

Cabinet approves MoU between India, Morocco for cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space


• The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been apprised of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Morocco for cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space. The MoU was signed at New Delhi on September 25, 2018.
• This MoU shall enable the following potential interest areas of cooperation such as space science, technology and applications including remote sensing of the earth, satellite communication and satellite-based navigation, space science and planetary exploration, use of spacecraft and space systems and ground system and application of space technology.
• The MoU would lead to set up a Joint Working Group, drawing members from DOS/ISRO and Royal Centre for Remote Sensing (CRTS) and the Royal Centre for Space Research and Studies (CRERS), which will further work out the plan of action including the time-frame and the means of implementing the MoU.
• Morocco had expressed interest in cooperation with India in the field of space in the early 1990s. However, no deal could be materialised due to the cancellation of the visit by VVIP from Morocco side.  The Indian Ambassador to Morocco has negotiated this current MoU at Government level and shared with ISRO.

Cabinet approves Agreement between India, Algeria on Cooperation in the field of Space Sciences, Technologies and Applications

• The Union Cabinet has been apprised of an agreement between India and Algeria on Cooperation in the field of space sciences, technologies and applications. The Agreement was signed on September 19, 2018 in Bengaluru.
• This agreement shall enable pursuing the following potential interest areas of cooperation such as, space science, technology and applications including remote sensing of the earth, satellite communication and satellite-based navigation, space science and planetary exploration, use of spacecraft and space systems and ground system and application of space technology.
• The agreement would lead to set up a Joint Working Group, drawing members from DOS/ISRQ, and the Algerian Space Agency (ASAL), which will further work out the plan of action including the time-frame and the means of implementing this Agreement.
• The signing of the Agreement will strengthen the cooperation between India and Algeria and provide impetus to explore newer research activities and application possibilities in the field of remote sensing of the earth, satellite navigation, space science and exploration of outer space

Cabinet approves MoU between India, Armenia on joint issue of postage stamp

• The Union Cabinet was apprised of a Memorandum of Understanding signed between India and Armenia on joint issue of postage stamp.  The MoU was signed in June 2018.
• As per the MoU, Department of Posts, Ministry of Communications and the National Postal Operator of Armenia (“HayPost” CJSC) mutually agreed to jointly issue Postage Stamps on India-Armenia: Joint Issue on the theme “Dence”.  The Joint stamps were released in August, 2018.
• The Commemorative Postage Stamps depict “Manipuri Dance” of India and “HovArek Dance” of Armenia.

Cabinet approves MoC between India, Japan in the field of Healthcare and Wellness

• The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its ex-post facto approval on the Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) between India and Japan in the field of Healthcare and Wellness signed on October 29, 2018.
• The MoC covers the following areas of cooperation:
(a) Promoting specific projects such as developing human resource in the field of acute medicine, surgery and trauma care including focus on new areas of competency in each field and establishing an advanced joint testing laboratory for clinical examination.
(b) Development of infrastructure such as establishing a centralised management healthcare distribution centre and improving the sanitary environment by increasing access to hygienic and affordable toilets.
(c) Human development such as developing human resource, research and project promotion for health self-management such as ME-BYO and Ayurveda and holding an India-Japan public and private healthcare forum.
• A Joint Committee as a high-level consultative mechanism will be set up to further elaborate the details of cooperation and to oversee the implementation of this MoC.

Cabinet approves implementation of Shahpurkandi Dam (National Project) on river Ravi in Punjab

• The Union Cabinet has approved implementation of Shahpurkandi Dam Project, Punjab on river Ravi.  
• For the same, central assistance worth Rs 485.38 cr (for irrigation component) would be provided for over five years from 2018-19 to 2022-23.
• The implementation of this project would help minimising some of the water of the River Ravi which at present is going waste through the Madhopur Headworks downstream to Pakistan.
• On completion of the project, an Irrigation Potential of 5,000 ha in Punjab State and 32,173 ha in J&K State would be created.
• The funding for Central Assistance to Shahpurkandi Dam project shall be made through NABARD under the existing system for funding of 99 PMKSY-AIBP projects under LTIF.

CCEA approves strategic sale of Government’s existing 52.63% of total paid-up equity shareholding in REC to Power Finance Corporation

• The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its ‘In Principle’ approval for strategic sale of the Government of India’s existing 52.63 per cent of total paid-up equity shareholding in Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) to Power Finance Corporation (PFC) along with transfer of management control.
• The acquisition intends to achieve integration across the Power Chain, obtain better synergies, create economies of scale and have enhanced capability to support energy access and energy efficiency by the improved capability to finance the power sector.  
• It may also allow for cheaper fundraising with an increase in bargaining power for the combined entity.
• Both REC and PFC are Central Public Sector Enterprises under the Ministry of Power.

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