Top Cabinet Approvals: 22 November 2018

Cabinet approves MoU with Mauritius on Consumer Protection and Legal Metrology

• The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved MoU between India and Mauritius on Consumer Protection and Legal Metrology
• The MoU is beneficial for bilateral relations of both the countries. It will help in expanding cooperation in the field of consumer protection and will provide an institutional mechanism for exchange of information and derive mutual benefits from development taking place in both the countries.
• It will further promote inclusive sustainable and resilient development in the areas of Consumer Protection and Legal Metrology to deal with new challenges such as misleading advertisement, telemarketing, multi-level marketing and e-commerce.
• It will ensure traceability of national and international standards, thereby developing new areas of expertise that may facilitate in tackling new challenges.
• Further, periodical exchange of information and training programme will ensure gainful expertise for good governance and in fighting consumer vulnerability.

Cabinet approves setting up of Medical College at Silvassa

• The Union Cabinet has approved the setting up of Medical College at Silvassa in the Union Territory (UT) of Dadra and Nagar Haveli.
• The medical college is expected to be set up at a capital cost of Rs 189 crore to be incurred in two years, 2018-19 – Rs 114 crore and 2019-20 – Rs 75 crore with yearly intake of 150 students.
• The project will be completed by 2019-20 and the construction and capital expenditure will be incurred as per the norms of Medical Council of India (MCI) norms and extant guidelines of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
• The annual recurring expenditure for the Medical College shall be managed within the budget provision for the UT.
• The approval will increase the availability of doctors and address the issue of shortage of doctors. It will also enhance medical education opportunities for the students of the UT.

Cabinet approves extension of commission’s term to examine issue of sub-categorisation of OBCs

• The Union Cabinet has approved the extension of the term of the Commission to examine the issue of Sub-categorization of Other Backward Classes in the Central List for six months beyond November 30, 2018 and till May 31, 2019.
• The Commission has held extensive meetings with the stake holders including the state governments, the state backward classes commissions, various community associations and general public belonging to various backward classes and commissions and obtained caste-wise records of OBCs admitted in higher educational institution as well as similar caste-wise data of recruits in central departments, central public sector undertakings, public sector banks and financial institutions.
• Based on the emanating information from the data as processed and analysed, the Commission has expressed that a round of discussion with the states and their backward classes commission was required before finalising the sub-categorised lists and the report.

Cabinet apprised of agreement between India, Uzbekistan on cooperation in the field of Science, Technology and Innovation

• The Union Cabinet has been apprised of an agreement on cooperation in the field of Science, Technology and Innovation between India and Uzbekistan.  
• The agreement was signed on October 1, 2018 at New Delhi in the presence of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirayoyev,  by Union Science & Technology Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan and Uzbekistan’s Minister of Innovative Development Ibrohim Abdurakhmanov.
• The agreement will help boost bilateral relations of the two nations, as both sides will now leverage complementary strengths spurred by a significant convergence of mutual interests in science and technology.
• The objective of the agreement is to promote cooperation in the fields of science, technology and Innovation between the two countries.

Cabinet approves MoU between India, Tajkistan on cooperation on Youth Matters

• The Union Cabinet has given its ex-post facto approval to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Tajikistan on Cooperation on Youth Matters. The agreement was signed on October 8, 2018 at Dushanbe.
• The MoU was signed by Somnath Ghosh, Indian Ambassador to Tajikistan, for Youth Affairs and Sports, and Abdullozoda Ahtam Rustam, Chairman of the Committee for Youth and Sports Affairs for the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan. The agreement shall remain valid for a period of five years.
• The areas of cooperation under the MoU include exchanges of youth, representatives of youth organisations and government officials in-charge of youth policy-making, exchanges of printed materials, films, experiences, research and other information on youth matters and participation in youth camps, youth festivals and other youth events held in the two countries.
• The objective of the MoU is to strengthen and encourage cooperation on youth matters with Tajikistan through participation in events and activities organised by either side, information and knowledge sharing, and youth exchanges.

Cabinet apprised of MoU between Atal Innovation Mission, India and Fund "Talent and Success", Russia for promotion of Science & Technology

• The Union Cabinet has been apprised of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Atal Innovation Mission, India and Fund "Talent and Success" and Russia for promotion of science and technology through exchange of students, teachers, researchers and scientists between both countries. The MoU was signed on October 5, 2018.
• The MOU will provide a mechanism in taking part in establishing relationships with-schools, universities, cultural institutions, science & technology and specializsd education institutions, high-tech companies, start-ups and innovation centers in both countries.
• The activities are expected to promote creation of new scientific knowledge, generation of intellectual property, innovations and products development in both countries.
• PM Narendra Modi during his visit to Russia during December 23-24, 2015 visited Sirius Educational Centre in Sochi where, it was proposed to invite the Russian students to India to work with Indian students.

Cabinet approves continuation of nine sub schemes under umbrella scheme ‘ACROSS’

• The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved continuation of the nine sub-schemes of the umbrella scheme "Atmosphere & Climate Research-Modelling Observing Systems & Services (ACROSS)" during 2017-2020 at an estimated cost of Rs 1450 crore.  
• It will be implemented by the Ministry of Earth Sciences through its institutes namely India Meteorological Department (IMD), Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF) and Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Service(INCOIS).
• The CCEA also approved establishment of National Facility for Airborne Research (NFAR) with a financial commitment of Rs 130 crore during 2020-21 and beyond.
• The scheme  will   provide  improved  weather,   climate  and   ocean   forecast  and services, thereby ensuring transfer of commensurate benefits to the various services like Public weather service, disaster management, Agro-meteorological Services, Aviation services, Environmental monitoring services, Hydro-meteorological services, climate services, tourism and pilgrimage.
• ACROSS scheme pertains to the atmospheric science programs of the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) and addresses different aspects of weather and climate services, which includes warnings for cyclone, storm surges, heat waves and thunderstorms.

CCEA approves extension of norms for mandatory packaging in Jute Materials

• The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given its approval to expand the scope of mandatory packaging norms under the Jute Packaging Material (JPM) Act, 1987.
• The CCEA approved that 100 per cent of the food grains and 20 per cent of the sugar shall be mandatorily packed in diversified jute bags. The decision to pack sugar in diversified jute bags will give an impetus to the diversification of the jute industry.
• Initially 10 per cent of the indents of jute bags for packing food grains would be placed through reverse auction on the Gem portal. This will gradually usher in a regime of price discovery.
• The decision will give a fillip to the development of jute sector, increasing the quality and productivity of raw jute, diversification of jute sector and also boosting and sustaining demand for jute product.
• This is important considering the fact that nearly 3.7 lakh workers and several lakh farm families are dependent for their livelihood on the jute sector.
• The jute industry is predominantly dependent on Government sector which purchases jute bags of value of more than Rs 6,500 crore every year for packing food grains.
• The decision will benefit farmers and workers located in the Eastern and North Eastern regions of the country particularly in the states of West Bengal, Bihar, Odisha, Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Meghalaya and Tripura.

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