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On January 3, 2018, Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved following bilateral agreements and initiatives:

Cabinet approves Agreement between India and Myanmar on Land Border Crossing

This agreement envisages regulation of the existing free movement rights for people residing in the border areas of both countries.

  • Besides, it will also facilitate trans-border movement of people on the basis of valid passports and visas which will enhance economic and social interaction between Indian and Myanmar.
  • This agreement will not only strengthen people-to-people ties but will also provide a boost to the economy of the North Eastern India.

Cabinet apprised of the MoU between India and Italy on cooperation in the field of renewable energy

This Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed on October 30, 2017 in New Delhi.Approvals

  • Through this MoU, India and Italy will strive to establish the basis for a cooperative institutional relationship to facilitate technical bilateral cooperation in renewable energy sector.
  • A Joint Working Committee will be established to review, monitor and discuss matters relating to areas of cooperation enlisted in this MoU.

Cabinet approves MoU between India and Israel on Cooperation in the Oil and Gas Sector

This MoU is expected to strengthen India – Israel ties in the energy sector.

  • The MoU envisages promotion of investments in each other’s countries, technology transfer and Research & Development in energy sector.
  • Joint studies, collaboration in the area of Start-ups and capacity building of human resources have also been covered under the scope of this MoU.

Cabinet approves MoU between India and Belgium on Cooperation in the field of ICT&E

This MoU was signed on November 7, 2017 during the State Visit of King Philippe of the Belgium to India.

  • The MoU envisages cooperation between India and Belgium in sharing of best practices in the areas of Information Communication Technology and Electronics (ICT&E), e-Governance, e-Public Service Delivery, exchange of experts and cyber security.
  • In context of this news, it is important to note that Belgium has expertise in the Communication Technology sector especially in the field of e-Governance and Tax on web.

Cabinet approves MoU between India and ‘Transport for London’

Union Cabinet has approved signing and implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Union Ministry of Road Transport & Highways and ‘Transport for London’.

  • ‘Transport for London’ is a statutory body established under the Greater London Authority Act, 1999 (UK) to improve Public Transport in India.
  • This MoU will help to improve the overall public transport system in India. Besides it will also promote the use of high capacity buses in India.

Cabinet approves revised Model Concession Agreement for PPP Projects in Major Ports

Union Cabinet has approved the revised model concession agreement for public private partnership (PPP) projects in major ports.

  • The model concession agreement has been amended to make the port projects more investor-friendly and to make investment climate in the port sector more attractive.
  • The amendment has stipulated that a Society for Affordable Redressal of Disputes – Ports (SAROD-PORTS) will be constituted, that shall serve as a dispute resolution mechanism.
  • Developers will now be able to exit the project after completion of 2 years by way of divesting their equity up to 100 per cent.

Cabinet approves setting up of new AIIMS in Bilaspur

The new All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Bilaspur (Himachal Pradesh) will be set up at cost of Rs.1351 crore under the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY).

  • The new AIIMS in Bilaspur will consist of a hospital with a capacity of 750 beds, trauma center facilities, Medical college with an intake of 100 MBBS students per year and Nursing college with an intake of 60 B.Sc. (Nursing) students per year.
  • It will also have 20 Speciality/Super-Speciality Departments including 15 Operation theatres and AYUSH department with 30 beds.
  • Under Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY), AIIMS on the pattern of AIIMS, New Delhi have been established in Bhubaneshwar, Bhopal, Raipur, Jodhpur, Rishikesh and Patna.

Cabinet approves Rs 6809-cr Zojila tunnel project in J-K

The Zojila pass tunnel project in Jammu and Kashmir will provide all-weather connectivity between Srinagar, Kargil and Leh which remains cut-off from the rest of the world during winters due to heavy snowfall.

  • Zojila pass is situated at an altitude of 11,578 feet on Srinagar-Kargil-Leh National Highway.
  • The project includes 14.15 km long 2-lane bi – directional tunnel with 14.2 km long Parallel Escape (Egress) Tunnel.
  • This project will be implemented by National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL) under Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.