an Inter-Governmental agreement between India and Armenia in the field of agriculture



Signing and ratification of an Inter-Governmental agreement between India and Armenia on cooperation in the field of agriculture 
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today gave its approval for signing and ratification of an Inter-Governmental agreement between India and Armenia, on cooperation in the field of Agriculture. 


This Agreement will promote cooperation through short and medium term programs, within the framework of the joint activities mentioned in the agreement. The Biennial Work Plan will be drawn up by mutual agreement between the two parties to give effect to the objectives of the agreement.

The agreement will provide for a Joint Working Group for agricultural cooperation which shall be responsible for elaborating Biennial Work Plans. The Joint Working Group shall identify areas and forms of cooperation, and shall coordinate their implementation. The Joint Working Group shall meet periodically and alternatively in India and Armenia.

The agreement will promote understanding of best agricultural practices in the two countries and will be mutually beneficial. 

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Redevelopment of railway stations on the basis of proposals obtained through open invitation from interested parties 
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today gave its approval for redevelopment of railway stations on 'as is where is' basis, through open invitation from interested parties with their designs and business ideas including permitting commercial development of real estate by the Zonal Railways.

‘A-1’ and ‘A’ category stations (about 400) shall be offered for redevelopment by inviting open bids from interested parties. These stations are to be developed by leveraging real estate development of land and air space in and around the stations.

This approval will enable the Ministry of Railways to accelerate the redevelopment of ‘A-1’ and ‘A’ category stations. These category of stations are generally located in metros, major cities, pilgrimage centres and important tourist destinations across the country. It will also encourage innovative ideas from interested parties at no cost to the Railways.

Background:

Redevelopment of identified stations is undertaken through the Indian Stations Development Corporation Ltd. (IRSDC). As the IRSDC is able to undertake redevelopment of only a few stations, and there is a need to redevelop a large number of stations, it has been proposed to redevelop stations through invitation of open bids from interested parties. 

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Repealing and Amending (Third) Bill, 2015 
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today gave its ex-post facto approval for Repealing and Amending (Third) Bill, 2015, which was introduced in Lok Sabha on 13th May, 2015 for repealing 187 Acts. The Cabinet also approved introduction of a new Bill, namely, the Repealing and Amending (Fourth) Bill, 2015 in the Lok Sabha for the repeal of 295 Acts, identified for repeal by the concerned Ministries/Departments and the Legislative Department.

The Repealing and Amending (Third) Bill, 2015 was introduced in Lok Sabha on 13th May, 2015 containing the proposal for repeal of 187 obsolete Acts. As an ongoing process, the Repealing and Amending Bill is one of the periodical measures by which enactments which have ceased to be in force or have become obsolete or the retention whereof as separate Acts become unnecessary are repealed, or by which the formal defects detected in enactments are corrected. 
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Approval for Phase II of eCourts Mission Mode Project 
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today gave its approval for the second phase of eCourts Mission Mode Project at an estimated cost of Rs.1670 crore. It envisages enhanced ICT enablement of courts through universal computerisation, use of cloud computing, digitization of case records and enhanced availability of e-services through e-filing, e-payment gateways and mobile applications etc.

Background:

The eCourts project of the Government is aimed at providing necessary hardware and software applications to enable courts to deliver e-services to citizens, and to enable the judiciary to better monitor and manage the functioning of courts. In Phase I of the project more than 13000 District and Subordinate courts have been computerised and case information linked to the respective District court websites. These courts are now providing online eServices such as cause lists, case status and judgments, to litigants and public through the eCourts portal (http://www.ecourts.gov.in) also. Case status information in respect of over 5 crore pending and decided cases and more than one crore orders/ judgments are available online. Litigants and lawyers are also provided services through Judicial Service Centre at the court complexes. More than 24 crore transactions have already been recorded regarding online access of court information.

The Phase II of the eCourts project would also help in the automation of workflow management in courts thereby contributing to better court and case management. Touch screen based Kiosks and Video Conferencing facility will be installed at all Court Complexes and corresponding jails. Hand held process service devices will be provided to process servers to ensure transparent and time bound delivery of court notices and summons. Also, the use of solar energy has been proposed at 5 percent of the court complexes on a pilot basis.

In line with the Digital India Programme of the Government of India which emphasises on Citizen centric services, this project would also focus on Digital Infrastructure as a core utility to every citizen providing Governance and Services on demand eventually making the citizens digitally empowered. 

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Revised cost estimates for National Cyclone Risk Mitigation Project Phase-I in the States of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha 
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today gave its approval for revised cost estimates for Phase-I of the Centrally Sponsored Scheme of National Cyclone Risk Mitigation Project for Andhra Pradesh and Odisha. The original cost has been enhanced by Rs. 835 crore to Rs 2331.71 crore from Rs. 1496.71 crore. This will address the vulnerability of coastal communities to cyclone. This section of the population is generally poor and from the weaker sections of society.

The Central Government will provide financial assistance equivalent to Rs.1843.94 crore through a World Bank loan. The remaining amount of Rs. 487.77 crore will be contributed by the State Governments of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha. The broad objectives of the project are to provide cyclone forecasting, tracking and warning systems, cyclone risk mitigation and capacity building in multi-hazard risk management. The major infrastructure being constructed includes multipurpose cyclone shelters (including shelter-cum-godown and approach roads/bridges to habitations) and embankments (including construction and renovation of saline embankments).

The investments proposed in the States would strengthen the coastal infrastructure for protection of the coastal community and their evacuation, greater accessibility, improved warning dissemination and quicker response. The project is expected to benefit 10.46 lakh persons in Odisha and over 7.18 lakh persons in Andhra Pradesh. It will help protection of 38,296 hectares of land in Odisha and about 12,640 hectares in Andhra Pradesh. The increased cost will cater to the construction of additional infrastructure (246 multipurpose cyclone shelters, 204 kms. of roads and 15 bridges) for cyclone risk mitigation in these States, on the basis of the experience gained during the handling of Cyclone Phailin. This cyclone affected these States in October, 2013. The time limit of the project has been extended from 31st January, 2016 to 31st March, 2018 to complete the construction of additional infrastructure.

Background:

Approximately 5700 km out of around 7516 km of India’s coastline, its flat coastal terrain and high population density are extremely vulnerable to cyclones and its associated hazards such as storm surges, high winds and heavy rainfall. Approximately 40 percent of total population in the maritime States lives within 100 km of the coastlines. Recurrent cyclones account for a large number of deaths, loss of livelihood opportunities, loss of public and private property, and severe damage to infrastructure. This reverses developmental gains at regular intervals. 

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Extension of Scheme of Recapitalisation of Regional Rural Banks to improve their Capital to Risk weighted Assets Ratio 
The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today gave its approval for extension for the next three years, that is upto 2016-17 of the scheme of recapitalisation of weak Regional Rural Banks (RRBs). These banks are unable to maintain their minimum Capital to Risk weighted Assets Ratio (CRAR) of 9 percent. This decision will help them improve this ratio.

A strong capital structure and minimum required level of CRAR will ensure financial stability of RRBs which will enable them to play a greater role in financial inclusion and meeting the credit requirements of rural areas.

Presently there is a Budget provision of Rs.15 crore for recapitalization of RRBs. After this approval for extension of the Scheme, further funds as required will be requested in Supplementary Demands.

Background:

The RRBs were established under Regional Rural Banks Act, 1976 to create an alternative channel to the 'cooperative credit structure' and to ensure sufficient institutional credit for the rural and agriculture sector. RRBs are jointly owned by Government of India, concerned State Government and Sponsor Banks with the issued capital shared in the proportion of 50 percent, 15 percent and 35 percent, respectively. With a view to bring the CRAR of RRBs to at least 9 percent, the Dr. K. C. Chakrabarty Committee recommended recapitalisation support to the extent of Rs.2,200 crore to 40 RRBs in 21 States. The recapitalisation process started in 2010-11. The share of Central Government in respect of some RRBs could not be released in the absence of the release of the share of State Governments. Therefore, the scheme of recapitalisation was extended upto 31st March, 2014. A total amount of Rs. 1086. 70 crore has been released, as on 31st March, 2014, to 39 RRBs including the Central Madhya Pradesh Gramin Bank. 

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National Cyclone Risk Mitigation Project Phase-II to be implemented in the States of Goa, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra and West Bengal assistance 
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today gave its approval for the Centrally Sponsored Scheme of the National Cyclone Risk Mitigation Project (NCRMP) Phase-II. The second phase will be implemented in the States of Goa, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra and West Bengal with World Bank Assistance at a total cost 2361.35 crore to address the vulnerability of the coastal community to cyclone. This section of the population is generally poor and from weaker sections of society.

For the NCRMP Phase-II, the Central Government will provide financial assistance equivalent to Rs. 1881.20 crore through a World Bank loan. The remaining amount of Rs. 480.15 crore will be provided by the State Governments of Goa, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra and West Bengal. The broad objectives of the project are to provide cyclone forecasting, tracking and warning systems, cyclone risk mitigation and capacity building in multi-hazard risk management. Major infrastructure which will be constructed under the project includes multipurpose cyclone shelters, access roads, saline embankments and underground cabling.

The primary focus of the project is disaster mitigation with an objective to minimize loss of lives and property in the vulnerable States. The investments proposed in the States would strengthen the coastal infrastructure for protection of the community and their evacuation, greater accessibility, improved warning dissemination and quicker response. The project is expected to benefit lakhs of people in Goa, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra and West Bengal and help in protection of land. The project is to be implemented from 2015-16 to 2019-2020.

Background:

Approximately 5700 km out of around 7516 kms of India’s coastline, its flat coastal terrain and high population density are extremely vulnerable to cyclones and its associated hazards such as storm surges, high winds and heavy rainfall. Approximately 40 percent of the total population in the maritime States, lives within 100 kms of coastlines. Recurrent cyclones account for a large number of deaths, loss of livelihood opportunities, loss of public and private property, and severe damage to infrastructure. This reverses developmental gains at regular intervals.

The project is part of a series of disaster risk mitigation initiatives to be implemented to reduce loss of life and property in the event of future calamities. The first Phase of the project is being implemented since 2011 in the States of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha. This is with World Bank assistance at a total cost of Rs. 1496.71 crore and its cost is being revised to Rs. 2331.71 crore. 

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Cabinet approves setting up of an expert group to classify the Caste/Tribe data of the Socio Economic and Caste Census (SECC), 2011 
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today gave its approval for forming an expert group under the Chairmanship of Shri Arvind Panagariya, Vice-Chairperson, NITI AAYOG, to classify the Caste names returned in the Socio Economic and Caste Census, 2011 (SECC). The expert group will be serviced by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment and Tribal Welfare. Other members will be nominated by the two Ministries.

Background:

The Central Government had decided to collect data on Caste through the SECC vide the then Cabinet's approval dated 19th May, 2011. The SECC was conducted by the respective State/UT Governments. The field survey on economic data has since been completed and the socio economic data relating to rural areas has been released by the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD). The work on urban data is under progress. According to the earlier decision of the Union Cabinet of 19th May 2011, the Government was to constitute an expert group to classify the Caste/Tribe returns at an appropriate time. Accordingly, the Cabinet reviewed the status of the SECC and has decided to form an expert group under the Chairmanship of Shri Arvind Panagariya. The enumeration has thrown about 46 lakh Caste/Sub Caste names/ synonyms/ surnames/ clan/gothra names. The Expert group has been assigned to classify this data. 

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Signing of MoU between India and Canada in the field of Civil Aviation 
The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has approved the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Canada in the field of Civil Aviation.

MoU will help in deepening the bilateral cooperation and enhancing the experience and technical knowledge in the field of Civil Aviation between India and Canada.

Some of the important features of the MoU would be as under:

• An appropriate platform shall be formalized for exchange of views on the possibilities of fostering greater commercial/economic cooperation between the two countries in the areas of civil aviation.

• The two countries shall have a cooperation programme in the areas of safety of aircraft operations and related issues that will provide more up-to-date knowledge to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation to make it familiar with best international practices and latest International Civil Aviation Organisation’s safety oversight programme requirements.

• Apart from the above, India firms could also be benefited from the exchange of technical knowhow with Canadian companies as the aviation industry is far more developed in Canada. Reciprocally, Canadian companies could gain from enhanced access to the fast developing civil aviation industry in India. 


an Inter-Governmental agreement between India and Armenia in the field of agriculture an Inter-Governmental agreement between India and Armenia in the field of agriculture Reviewed by Ajit Kumar on 3:33 PM Rating: 5

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