Decisions taken by the Union Cabinet

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Naresh Kumar Sagar

Cabinet approves Memorandum of Understanding between India and France in the field of new and renewable energy

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi was apprised of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which has been signed between the Solar Energy Corporation of India Limited (SECI), India and Commissariat a l energieatomique et aux energies alternatives (CEA), French state-owned research entity and BlueStorage SAS, a French Company. The MoU was signed on 3rd October, 2018 in New Delhi.

The objective of the MoU is to define the modalities of discussions concerning, in particular, the future collaboration regarding in a pilot project to provide SECI an e-vehicle charging station with embedded batteries, powered by solar panels and optimized connection to the grid in order to support the Indian governments ambitious plan for the deployment of electrical vehicles by maximizing solar mobility and minimizing its grid impact. The Memorandum of Understanding will help in strengthening bilateral cooperation between India and France.

· Cabinet approves Memorandum of Understanding between India and Afghanistan in the field of human resource development

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Afghanistan on cooperation in the field of Human Resource Development.

The MoU would facilitate students and faculty of Educational Institutions in Afghanistan to register and use the SWAYAM Courses. Also, it would facilitate them to upload on SWAYAM, the courses developed in Afghanistan. The required training to students and faculty from Afghanistan would be imparted by MHRD, Government of India.

Through this MoU, Government of India would provide access and share the technology of other major ICT Initiatives in Education such as National Digital Library of India (NDLI), Virtual Labs, Spoken Tutorials. It is also proposed to establish Joint Master Degree Programmes between Indian and Afghanistan Universities / Institutions. MHRD would assist the Ministry of Higher Education, Afghanistan in the areas of Curriculum Development and Capacity Development of Teaching Staff.

Through this MoU, both the countries agree to sign an agreement on mutual recognition of academic qualifications. This is expected to promote student mobility under Study in India program, by attracting more foreign students to come and study in Afghan Institutions. This MoU would be a significant mile-stone in the collaboration between two countries in education sector.

· Cabinet approves establishment of two new AIIMS at Tamil Nadu & Telangana under Pradhan MantriSwasthya Suraksha Yojana

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi approved establishment of two new All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) at Madurai, Tamil Nadu at a cost of Rs 1,264 crore and Bibinagar, Telangana at a cost of Rs 1,028 crore. The AIIMS will be set up under Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY).

The Union Cabinet has also given its approval for creation of one post of Director in the basic pay of Rs 2,25,000/- (fixed) plus NPA (however pay + NPA would not exceed Rs 2,37,500/-) for each of the above two AIIMS.


• Each new AIIMS will add 100 UG (MBBS) seats and 60 B.Sc. (Nursing) seats.

• Each new AIIMS will have 15-20 Super Specialty Departments.

• Each new AIIMS will add around 750 hospital beds.

Impact: Setting up of new AIIMS would not only transform health education and training but also address the shortfall of health care professionals in the region. The establishment of new AIIMS will serve the dual purpose of providing super speciality health care to the population while also help create a large pool of doctors and other health workers in this region that can be available for primary and secondary level institutions / facilities being created under National Health Mission (NHM). Construction of new AIIMS is fully funded by the Central Government. The Operations & Maintenance expenses on new AIIMS are also fully borne by the Central Government.

Employment Generation: Setting up new AIIMS in the states will lead to employment generation for nearly 3000 people in various faculty & non faculty posts in each of the AIIMS. Further, indirect employment generation will take place due to facilities & services like shopping centre, canteens, etc. coming in the vicinity of new AIIMS.

• Cabinet approves signing of MoU between India and Australia for Cooperation in the Disability Sector

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has been apprised of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Australia for Cooperation in the Disability Sector.The MoU was signed at Sydney, Australia on 22nd November 2018.

Benefits: The MoU will encourage cooperation between India and Australia, through joint initiatives in the disability sector. It will strengthen bilateral ties between India and Australia. Further, the MoU will facilitate in improving rehabilitation of persons with disabilities especially for persons with intellectual disability and mental illness in both the countries. Both the countries will take up specific proposals in disability sector as mutually agreed upon, for implementation.

• Cabinet approves expansion of beneficiaries list under Pradhan MantriUjjwalaYojana

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) chaired by Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, cleared the proposal of Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas to release deposit free LPG connections to poor families, who have not been considered earlier for release of LPG connections under Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) on account of their names not been covered either in Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) list or the seven identified categories i.e. SC/STs households, beneficiaries of Pradhan MantriAwasYojana(PMAY) (Gramin), Antyodaya Anna Yojana(AAY), Forest dwellers, Most Backward Classes (MBC), Tea & Ex-Tea Garden Tribes, people residing in Islands / river islands, whose names did not appear in the SECC Iist.

Considering several representations received from various quarters, now, poor families who could not get LPG connection under PMUY are now eligible to get a connection subject to fulfilling the eligibility norms and furnishing required documents.

It may be recalled that PMUY was launched on 1st May, 2016 through which deposit free LPG connections are released with the cash assistance of Rs 16007- per connection by Government of India and also, interest free loan to purchase stove and refill by Oil Marketing Companies. Provision of LPG, among other things, so far, more than 5.86 crore LPG connections have been released under PMUY against the target of 8 crore. 48% of the beneficiaries are SC/STs.

World Health Organisation hailed PMUY as decisive intervention by the Government to facilitate switch to clean household energy use, thereby addressing the problems associated with Indoor Household Pollution.

• Cabinet approves construction of New 4 – Lane Bridge (Parallel to the Existing MG Setu) with its approaches from km 0/0 to km 14/500 across river Ganga on NH-19 at Patna in the State of Bihar on EPC Mode

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, approved the project for construction of a 5.634 km long new 4 – lane bridge across river Ganga, just 38 meters on upstream side of the existing MG Setu, along with approaches from km 0/0 to km 14/500 on NH-19 at Patna in the State of Bihar with a capital cost of Rs. 2926.42 crore. The construction period for the project is three and a half years.and likely to be completed by January, 2023.

This mega project is 14.500 km long and passes through Patna, Saran and Vaishali districts of Bihar. The project includes 5634 meter long major bridge parallel to the existing old MG Setu, 4 number of Vehicular Underpasses (VUPs), one Rail Over Bridge (RoB), 1580 meter long one viaduct, 110 meter long one flyover, 4 minor bridges, 5 numbers bus shelters and 13 road junctions.

The new 4-lane bridge will provide for an arrangement of 8-lane movement of traffic by supporting existing old 4-lane MG Setu. The traffic crossing river Ganga through the combination of this 8 – lane bridge will get best mobility, comfort and convenience alongwith safer travel. The project will greatly facilitate the traffic movement without any congestion for the road users alongwith socio – economic benefits to the society at large.

In addition, this project of new bridge will generate direct employment of about 20.94 lakh mandays during construction.

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