Current Affairs 28 March 2019 Digest 3: Top Cabinet Approvals
1. Union Cabinet approves five year’s extension of Biomedical Research Career Programme
• The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 27, 2019 approved the continuation of the Biomedical Research Career Programme beyond its initial 10-year term from 2008-09 to 2018-19 to a new five year phase from 2019-20 to 2023-24.
• The programme is run by the Department of Biotechnology and UK- based biomedical research charity – Wellcome Trust. With the extension, the DBT would be increasing its commitment to the programme by two times, in comparison to that of the Welcome Trust.
• The total financial implication of the same will be Rs 1092 crore with DBT and WT contributing Rs 728 crore and Rs 364 crore respectively.
• In the last ten years, the programme has fulfilled its objectives of building and nurturing talent of highest global standards in cutting-edge biomedical research in India, which has led to important scientific breakthroughs and applications to meet societal needs.
• It has enabled high quality Indian scientists working abroad to return to India and has increased the number of locations geographically within India where world-class biomedical research is undertaken.
• In the five-year extension phase, the programme would continue to build this capacity and also strengthen clinical research and work towards addressing important health challenges for India.
2. Cabinet approves MoU between India, Croatia in the field of tourism
• The Union Cabinet on March 27, 2019 gave its ex-post facto approval to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between India and Croatia in the field of tourism.
• The agreement will help the two parties in creating an institutional mechanism for enhancing cooperation in the tourism sector.
• The MoU was signed on March 26, 2019 during the visit of Indian President Ram Nath Kovind to Croatia.
3. Cabinet apprised about MoU between India, Argentine on Antarctic cooperation
• The Union Cabinet was apprised about an MoU signed in February, 2019 between India and Argentine on Antarctic cooperation. The agreement will help scientific cooperation on projects in the fields of earth sciences, as well as those related to the protection and conservation of the natural environment of Antarctica and the Southern Oceans.
• The agreement covers exchange of scientific and bibliographical information related to the study of Antarctica, its environment and dependent and associated ecosystems and also exploring opportunities for exchanges of scientists.
• It also covers participation of scientists and technical experts of the national Antarctic programme of one country in the national Antarctic programme of the other, if so required.
• Under the agreement, both the nations have agreed to conduct joint scientific conferences and workshops, hold bilateral meetings on the sidelines of major polar forum meetings, release joint scientific publications and conduct joint training of scientific personnel.
4. Cabinet apprised about MoU for cooperation on youth matters between India, Morocco
• The Union Cabinet was apprised about an MoU signed in February, 2019 on youth matters between India and Morocco.
• The objective of the MoU is to strengthen and encourage cooperation between the two countries on youth matters through participation in events and activities, information and knowledge sharing and youth exchanges.
• The areas of cooperation on youth matters include organisation of youth programmes, exchange of invitations to international conferences and seminars, exchange of printed materials, films, experiences, research and other information and participation in youth camps, youth festivals and other cooperative youth events.
• The agreement also mentions that from the year 2019, both countries will annually exchange 20-member youth delegations for a period not exceeding ten days.
5. Cabinet apprised about MoU between India, Morocco to promote cooperation in the field of Housing and Human Settlement
• The Union Cabinet was apprised about an MoU signed in February 2019 between India and Morocco to promote exchange of information and technical cooperation in the field of Housing and Human Settlement.
• The implementation of the MoU would strengthen bilateral cooperation between the two countries in the areas of Housing and Human Settlement.
• The two countries will cooperate to address the challenges faced by cities, with the aim of promoting sustainable inclusive urban growth, while improving commercial and trade relations between the two countries.
• This will primarily include, low cost and mass affordable housing, water supply and sanitation, urban transport and smart cities development.
6. Cabinet apprised about MoU between India, Saudi Arabia for cooperation in the field of housing
• The Union Cabinet was apprised about a MoU signed in February, 2019 between India and Saudi Arabia for cooperation in the field of Housing.
• The agreement will promote technical cooperation in the field of housing, including affordable and low income housing and enhance participation of authorities and companies in the housing and infrastructure projects undertaken in both the countries.
• It will also promote sharing of knowledge and experiences in development and transfer of modern construction techniques and encourage research and development in the fields of housing development.
7. Cabinet approves MoU between India, Korea on startup cooperation
• The Cabinet has given its ex-post facto approval to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between India and Republic of Korea on startup cooperation. The MoU was signed in February, 2019.
• The agreement would facilitate and promote bilateral cooperation between the startups of both countries, subject to their national laws and regulations and any applicable international treaties, conventions and agreements to which the two countries are party.
8. Cabinet approves acquiring land of Central Water Commission
• The Cabinet has given its approval for acquiring 372 sq. yards out of 10 acres of land including compound wall, which is about 200m, in the eastern side of the Central Water Commission land by the Telangana State Government.
• The move is aimed at the improvement of Radial Road No.30 by widening of road with nil charges.
• The developed road shall be useful for Central Water Commission, as a Center of Excellence is proposed to be constructed over the allotted land.
9. Cabinet approves creation of additional posts in National Company Law Appellate Tribunal
• The Cabinet has approved creation of additional posts of three Judicial Members and three Technical Members in the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT).
• The posts will be created in Level 17 (Rs 2,25,000/- fixed) plus allowances as admissible. The total financial implication will be Rs 2,27,82,096 per annum.
• This will ensure to meet the mandate provided to NCLAT by the Finance Act, 2017, the Companies Act, the IBC, 2016 and the time frame provided for disposal of cases.