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Top Cabinet Approvals: 8 January 2020

The cabinet has approved the MoU signed between India and UK’s Department for International Development for enabling self-sufficiency for Indian railways.

Jan 8, 2020 17:52 IST
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Cabinet approves MoU between India and Sweden on polar science cooperation
• The Union Cabinet has been apprised of an MoU signed between India and Sweden for cooperation in polar science. The agreement was signed between the Union Ministry of Earth Sciences and Sweden’s Ministry of Education and Research on December 2, 2019.
• India and Sweden are signatories to the Antarctic Treaty and Protocol to the Antarctic Treaty on Environmental Protection. Sweden, one of the eight Arctic states is a member state in the Arctic Council while India has the observer status.
• India and Sweden both have vigorous scientific programmes in the polar region, including both the Arctic and the Antarctic region. Hence, the collaboration will enable the sharing of expertise between the two nations.

Cabinet approves MoU between India, & Melinda Gates Foundation on cooperation in health sector
• The Union Cabinet has approved the Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) signed between the Indian Department of Health & Family Welfare and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) on cooperation in the field of Health. The cooperation agreement was signed in November 2019.
• The areas of cooperation under the agreement include to reduce maternal, neonatal and child mortality, improve key nutrition outcomes by improving the coverage and quality of essential primary health, immunization and nutrition services.
• The agreement also covers cooperation to increase the quality of family planning methods and to reduce the burden of select infectious diseases such as TB, Visceral Leishmaniasis and Lymphatic Filariasis.
• It also includes strengthening of health systems including aspects such as budget management, utilization and human resource skill for health, digital health, strengthening supply chains and monitoring systems.

Cabinet approves MoU between India, UK for enabling energy self-sufficiency for Indian Railways
• The Union Cabinet has approved the MoU signed between Union Ministry of Railways and the UK’s Department for International Development for enabling self-sufficiency for Indian railways. The MoU was signed on December 2, 2019.
• Under the agreement, the two nations agreed to jointly work towards energy planning for Indian Railways by adopting energy efficiency practices, enabling Fuel efficiency, electric vehicle charging infrastructure deployment and battery-operated shunting locomotives.
• The two nations will coordinate the activities, as appropriate, under the agreement. The key objective is to support structural reforms and the integration of renewable energy into the electricity grid.

Cabinet apprised of amendments to the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2019
• The Union Cabinet has been apprised of the amendments made to the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2019 by the Indian Parliament.
• The amendments will ensure consensus of the state Governments while formulating National Transport Policy and the central government’s schemes for national, multimodal and inter-state transportation of goods and passengers.
• The re-introduction of the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2019 in the Lok Sabha was approved by the Union Cabinet on June 24, 2019.
• The amended Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was passed by the Parliament on August 5, 2019 after being passed by both Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha.

Cabinet approves ratification of Migration agreement between India, France
• The Union Cabinet has approved the ratification of the Migration and Mobility Partnership Agreement, signed between India and France in March 2018.
• The agreement will foster mobility of students and skilled professionals between the two nations and enhance people-to-people contact. 
• It will also strengthen cooperation on issues including human trafficking and irregular migration. 
• The agreement will initially be valid for seven years. It is significant as it is proof of India's rapidly expanding multi-faceted relationship with France and increasing trust between the two nations.

Cabinet approves agreement between India, Mongolia on cooperation in outer space
• The Union Cabinet has approved an agreement signed between India and Mongolia on cooperation in the exploration and use of outer space for civilian and peaceful purposes. The cabinet was chaired by PM Narendra Modi.
• The agreement was signed on September 20, 2019 in New Delhi during the state visit of President of Mongolia to India.
• The agreement will enable cooperation in potential areas such as space technology, space science, satellite communication, satellite-based navigation, use of spacecraft and space systems and planetary exploration. 
• The agreement will lead to the setting of a Joint Working Group comprising members from DOS/ISRO and Communications and Information Technology Authority of Mongolia. The joint working group will chalk out the plan of action and the means of implementing the agreement.

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