On March 21, 2018, Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved following initiatives:
On March 21, 2018, Union Cabinet gave ‘in-principle’ approval to inclusion of 2 communities – ‘Parivara’ and ‘Talawara’ – in the list of Scheduled Tribes (STs) in Karnataka.
- Members of these communities had been demanding Scheduled Tribes (ST) status since long time.
- Karnataka State Government had recommended inclusion of the Parivara and Talawara communities as synonyms of “Nayaka”.
- Now that the approval has been granted, members of these communities will be eligible to get the ST certificate from the state and will thereby get all benefits meant for the ST in the state.
Cabinet approves Opening of Missions in Africa to implement IAFS-III
Union Cabinet has approved the opening of 18 new Indian Missions in Africa over a four year period from 2018-2021 to implement commitments of India-Africa Forum Summit (IAFS-III).
- 18 new Indian Missions in Africa will be opened in: Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cameroon, Chad, Djibouti, Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea, Eritrea, Guinea Bissau, Mauritania, Liberia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Sao Tome & Principe, Somalia, Swaziland and Togo.
- Opening of these missions will increase the number of Resident Indian Missions in Africa from 29 to 47.
- This move will not only enhance India’s diplomatic outreach in the African continent but will also allow India to engage with Indian Diaspora in African countries.
Cabinet approves North-East Industrial Development Scheme (NEIDS) 2017
Objective of NEIDS 2017 is to promote employment in the North Eastern States of India, by providing incentives, primarily to the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Sector.
- NEIDS 2017 has been approved with financial outlay of Rs.3000 crore up to March, 2020.
- It is a combination of the incentives covered under the earlier two schemes, with a much larger financial outlay.
Cabinet approves Ayushman Bharat – National Health Protection Mission
Union Cabinet has approved the launch of a new Centrally Sponsored Ayushman Bharat -National Health Protection Mission (AB-NHPM), which was announced in Union Budget 2018.
Salient Features of Ayushman Bharat -National Health Protection Mission (AB-NHPM):
- AB-NHPM will provide a benefit cover of Rs. 5 lakh per family per year.
- The benefit cover will include pre and post-hospitalisation expenses. Besides, there will be no cap on family size and age.
- More than 10 crore families belonging to poor and vulnerable population (based on Socio-Economic Caste Census database) will be the target beneficiaries of this scheme.
- It will subsume the on-going centrally sponsored schemes –Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) and the Senior Citizen Health Insurance Scheme (SCHIS).
Cabinet approves extension of term of Commission constituted to examine the issue of Sub-categorization of OBC
Term of the Commission to examine the issue of sub-categorization of Other Backward Classes has been extended by twelve weeks i.e. up to April 2, 2018.
- The Commission, headed by Justice (Retd.) Smt. G. Rohini was formed on October 2, 2017, in accordance with article 340 of Indian Constitution.
- It commenced functioning on October 11, 2017 and it was stipulated that it would submit its report within twelve weeks i.e. in January 2018.
- Considering the quantum of data involved and the time required for its analysis to prepare a comprehensive report, the Commission had sought extension of its term by twelve weeks.
- Extension till April 2, 2018, will enable the Commission to submit a comprehensive report on the issue of sub-categorization of OBCs, after consultation with various stakeholders.
Cabinet Approves Moving Official Amendments to Ban Commercial Surrogacy in India
Union Cabinet has given approval for moving official amendments in ‘Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016’, aimed at banning commercial surrogacy and allowing ethical surrogacy to needy infertile couples.
- Enactment of ‘Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016’ by the Parliament, will lead to the formation of National Surrogacy Board and State Surrogacy Boards.
- Provisions of the bill seek to control the unethical practices in surrogacy and preventing commercialisation of surrogacy in India.
- Prohibiting commercial surrogacy and allowing ethical surrogacy by enacting a suitable legislation was recommended in the 228th report of the Law Commission.
CCEA allows ITI Limited’s FPO
Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has allowed ITI Ltd to bring a Further Public Offer (FPO) for fresh equity shares in order to achieve 25 per cent Minimum Public Shareholding requirement of Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), raise working capital for new projects and to reduce its debt obligations.
- ITI Limited is a Central Government-owned company under the administrative control of Union Ministry of Communications, Department of Telecommunication.
- It is engaged in supply of Defence communication and networking components and is a major supplier of encryption products to Indian Army.
Cabinet approves continuation of higher education mission
Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given its approval for continuation of Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) from April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2020.
- RUSA was launched in year 2013; however, implementation in its right earnest began after May 2016.
- It is administered by Department of Higher Education, functioning under Union Ministry of Human Resource Development
- Objective of RUSA is to provide strategic central funding to State/UT Higher Education Departments and Institutions and thereby facilitating equitable access to superior quality higher education. ‘Equity, Access and Excellence’ in higher education are the key components of RUSA.
- Funding under RUSA is subject to fulfilment of stipulated norms and future grants are outcome dependent.
Cabinet approves central sector sericulture scheme
Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given its approval for Central Sector Scheme “Integrated Scheme for Development of Silk Industry” for the period 2017-18 to 2019-20.
- The scheme includes interventions geared towards increasing silk production from the level of 30348 MTs during 2016-17 to 38500 MTs by end of 2019-20.
- It will be implemented by Union Textiles Ministry through Central Silk Board (CSB).
- Financial allocation for this scheme is Rs. 2161.68 Crore.