Decisions taken by the Union Cabinet

 

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Cabinet approves the extension of tenure of the Commission constituted to examine the issue of Sub-categorization within Other Backward Classes in the Central List

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the final extension of the term of the Other Backward Classes in the Central List currently mandated up to 20th June 2018, till 31st July, 2018. The Commission 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 Communities. The Commission also obtained records, caste-wise 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 & Financial Institutions.

 

·         Cabinet approves Agreement between India and Peru

 

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved an Agreement between India and Peru which was signed in May, 2018 at Lima, Peru. The agreement aims to establish the basis for a cooperative institutional relationship to encourage and promote technical bilateral cooperation on new and renewable issues on the basis of mutual benefit equality and reciprocity. The Agreement envisages establishing a Joint Committee to develop Work Plans in order to implement the Agreement. The Agreement will help in strengthening bilateral cooperation between the two countries.

·         Cabinet approves MoU between India and Viet Nam on Joint issue of postage stamp 

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has been apprised of the joint issue of a postage stamp between Department of Posts and Viet Nam Post. Department of Posts, Ministry of Communications and Viet Nara Post mutually agreed to jointly issue Postage Stamps on India-Viet Nam: Joint Issue on the theme “Ancient Architecture”. The joint stamps were released on 25-01-2018. The Commemorative Postage Stamps on India-Viet Nam: Joint Issue depicts Sanchi Stupa of India and Pho Minh Pagoda of Viet Nam. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between postal administrations of India and Viet Nam for this joint issue on 18-12-2017.

·         Cabinet approves Repositioning of North Eastern Council

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the proposal of Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) for the nomination of the Union Home Minister as ex-officio Chairman of North Eastern Council (NEC) – a statutory body with Governors and Chief Ministers of all the eight North Eastern States as its Member. The Cabinet also approved that Minister of State (Independent Charge), Ministry of DoNER would serve as Vice Chairman of the Council.

Impact:

NEC implements various projects through the State and Central agencies. Under the new arrangement with Home Minister as Chairman and Minister of DoNER as Vice Chairman, NEC and all the Governors and Chief Ministers of North Eastern States asMember would provide a forum for discussing inter-state matters more comprehensively and also consider common approaches to be taken in future. NEC can now also perform the tasks undertaken by the various Zonal Councils to discuss such inter-State issues as drug trafficking, smuggling of arms and ammunition, boundary disputes etc. This repositioning of NEC will help it to become a more effective body for the North Eastern Region. The Council shall, from time to time, review the implementation of the projects/schemes included in the project; recommend effective measures for coordination among the state Governments for these projects etc. The Council shall have such powers as may be delegated to it by the Central Government.

·         Cabinet approves proposal for enactment of Dam Safety Bill, 2018

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the proposal for introduction of Dam Safety Bill, 2018 in the Parliament.

Benefits:

It will help all the States and Union Territories of India to adopt uniform dam safety procedures which shall ensure safety of dams and safeguard benefits from such dams. This shall also help in safeguarding human life, livestock and property. The draft Bill has been finalised after wide consultation with leading Indian experts and international experts.

Details:

·         The Bill provides for proper surveillance, inspection, operation and maintenance of all specified dams in the country to ensure their safe functioning.

·         The Bill provides for constitution of a National Committee on Dam Safety which shall evolve dam safety policies and recommend necessary regulations as may be required for the purpose.

·         The Bill provides for establishment of National Dam Safety Authority as a regulatory body which shall discharge functions to implement the policy, guidelines and standards for dam safety in the country.

·         The Bill provides for constitution of a State Committee on Dam Safety by State Government.

National Dam Safety Authority

·         It shall maintain liaison with the State Dam Safety Organisations and the owners of dams for standardisation of dam safety related data and practices;

·         It shall provide the technical and managerial assistance to the States and State Dam Safety Organisations;

·         It shall maintain a national level data-base of all dams in the country and the records of major dam failures;

·         It shall examine the cause of any major dam failure;

·         It shall publish and update the standard guidelines and check-lists for the routine inspection and detailed investigations of dams and appurtenances;

·         It shall accord recognition or accreditations to the organisations that can be entrusted with the works of investigation, design or construction of new dams;

·         It will also look into unresolved points of issue between the State Dam Safety Organisation of two states, or between the State Dam Safety Organisation of a State and the owner of a dam in that State, for proper solution;

·         Further, in certain cases, such as dams of one State falling under the territory of another State, the National Authority shall also perform the role of State Dam Safety Organization thereby eliminating potential causes for inter-state conflicts.

State Committee on Dam Safety

It will ensure proper surveillance, inspection, operation and maintenance of all specified dams in that State and ensure their safe functioning. It further provides that every State shall establish a “State Dam Safety Organisation”, which will be manned by officers from the field dam safety preferably from the areas of dam-designs, hydro-mechanical engineering, hydrology, geo-technical investigation, instrumentation and dam-rehabilitation.

·         Cabinet approves MoU between the ICMR and INSERM, France

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has been apprised of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which was signed in March, 2018 between the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the Institut National de la Santeet de la RechercheMedicale (INSERM), France.

Salient Features:

The MoU aims at cooperation in areas of common interest within the medical, life sciences and health research fields. Based on scientific excellence on both sides, the parties have agreed to have a specific focus upon:

1.       Diabetes and Metabolic disorders;

2.       Bio-ethics with focus on Ethics and regulatory issues of Gene editing techniques;

3.       Rare diseases; and

4.       Any other areas of mutual interest can be considered after discussions between the two sides.

The MoU will further strengthen relations between ICMR and INSERM within the framework of international scientific and technological cooperation in fields of mutual interest.  The scientific excellence on two sides will help to successfully work on health research in specified areas.

·         Cabinet approves monetization of 3.70 acres of land at Pragati Maidan for construction and running of a Hotel by a third party including private sector, waiver of charges levied by L&DO and waiver of land charges raised by the Ministry of Railways

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the monetization of 3.70 acres of land at Pragati Maidan by India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITJPO) on long-term leasehold basis for 99 years for construction and running of a Hotel by a third party including private sector through a transparent competitive bidding process. This measure is part of the Phase – I of redevelopment project of Pragati Maidan i.e. Integrated Exhibition-cum-Convention Centre (IECC) Project. It was was approved by the CCEA in January 2017 at an estimated cost of Rs. 2254 crore. IECC project envisages construction of a world class state-of-the-art Exhibition-cum-Convention Centre with a seating capacity for 7,000 pax, exhibition, space of over 1,00,000sq.mtr. and a basement parking for 4,800 vehicles. Traffic decongestion measures in and around the Pragati Maidan will also lead to decongestion of the area.

Funds raised through monetization of land will be one of the means of financing the IECC project which is essential for Central Government and State Governments to hold Summit Level Meetings and Exhibitions/Events for trade promotion. The work for IECC project as well as the traffic decongestion solutions is in full swing. ITPO has stated that the entire project is expected to be completed by September 2019. IECC project will benefit Indian trade and industry, and help increase India’s foreign trade.

·         Cabinet approves proposal for withdrawal of Nalanda University (Amendment) Bill, 2013 pending in Rajya Sabha

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the proposal for withdrawal of Nalanda University (Amendment) Bill, 2013 pending in the Rajya Sabha. The Nalanda University was established on the basis of a Joint Press Statement at the 4th East Asia Summit held in Thailand in October, 2009, which supported its establishment as a non-state, non-profit, secular and self-governing international institution. Subsequently, the Nalanda University Act, 2010 was passed by the Parliament and came into effect from 25thNovember 2010.  The present proposal is for moving a motion in Rajya Sabha withdrawing the Nalanda University (Amendment) Bill, 2013 introduced in Rajya Sabha on August 26, 2013 to amend certain existing provisions of the Nalanda University Act, 2010 and add some new provisions.

The Governing Board of Nalanda University has since been constituted as per section 7 of Nalanda University Act, 2010 with effect from 21.11.2016 with, the approval of Hon’ble President of India. The Amendment Bill will need to be discussed with the current Governing Board of Nalanda University before a final decision could be taken on going ahead with the proposed amendments. Further, the current Governing Board may also look into the entire Nalanda University Act, 2010 afresh and suggest amendments/additions wherever necessary. Teaching in the University was inaugurated by Smt.SushmaSwaraj, External Affairs Minister in September 2014. Hon’ble President of India is the Visitor of the University, Dr. Vijay Bhatkar, the Chancellor and Professor Sunaina Singh, is the Vice Chancellor. At present, the University has 116 students in three schools of studies namely School of Historical Studies, School of Ecology and Environment Studies and School of Buddhist Studies. This includes 35 international students from 21 foreign countries.

·         Cabinet approves ‘Three Year Action Plan of Agricultural Education Division & ICAR Institutes

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the continuation of the Three Year Action Plan (2017-2020) of the scheme for Agricultural Education Division and ICAR Institutes with an outlay of Rs.2225.46 crore[Rs. 2197.51 crore + Rs. 27.95 crore (State share) as salary component for AICRP-HS]for strengthening and developing higher agricultural education in India.  It comprises of:

1.       “Strengthening and Development of Higher Agricultural Education in India – Rs. Rs.2050.00 crore;

2.       ICAR-National Academy of Agricultural Research Management (NAARM) – Rs. 24.25 crore and

3.       ICAR – Central Institute of Women in Agriculture (CIWA) including All India Coordinated Research Project on Home Science (AICRP-HS) – Rs.151.21 crore.

The scheme is aimed to generate quality human resources from the institutions of higher agricultural education.It encompasses several new initiatives including, steps to attract talented students, reducing academic inbreeding and addressing faculty shortage.  It will also take care ofgreen initiatives, mitigating faculty shortage, international ranking, alumni involvement, promoting innovations, inspired teacher network, reducing inbreeding, academia interface, technology enabled learning, Post-doctoral Fellowships, Agriculture Education Portal, Scientific Social responsibility etc. for quality assurance ranking of the agricultural universities has been linked to the financial support under the scheme along with accreditation. Support for strengthening and modernization of infrastructure related to student and faculty amenities and capacity building of both faculty and students in cutting edge areas through Niche Area of Excellence programme will improve teaching and encouraging holistic development of the students.

This will lead to generation of competitive and confident human resource. In addition, research on gender issues in agriculture and allied fields, formulating gender-equitable agricultural, policies/programmes and gender-sensitive agricultural-sector responses will be undertaken by ICAR-CIWA and capacity building needs of the human resources and stakeholders of the entire National Agricultural Research & Education System (NARES) will be catered leading to enhancing of competencies and capacities of the stakeholders including farmers, young scientists, students and agri-industry in NARES by ICAR-NAARM.

·         Cabinet approves raising of additional share capital of M/s. HDFC Bankup to a maximum of Rs. 24,000 crore

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the proposal for grant of permission to M/s. HDFC Bank Ltd. to raise additional share capital of up to a maximum of Rs. 24,000 crore, including premium, over and above the previous approved limit of Rs. 10,000 crore, such that the composite foreign shareholding in the Bank shall not exceed 74% of the enhanced paid-up equity share capital of the bank.

The decision would ensure that the composite foreign shareholding in the bank inclusive of all types of foreign investments, both direct and indirect, will not exceed 74% of the enhanced paid-up equity share capital of the bank. It will be subject to Foreign Direct Investment Policy conditionalities and other sectoral regulations / guidelines. The proposed investment is expected to strengthen the capital adequacy ratio of the bank.

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