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Cabinet Approvals on March 15, 2017

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The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, on March 15, 2017 made certain approvals to MoUs and projects for the overall development of various sectors as well as the people involved. The various approvals made includes

Cabinet Approves MoU between LBSNAA, Mussoorie and NIPAM, Namibia for Capacity Building

The Union Cabinet under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi gave its approval for signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA), Mussoorie and Namibia Institute of Public Administration and Management (NIPAM), Namibia on March 15, 2017.

  • Aim: For capacity building of public officials of Namibia and other training activities for the benefit of both the institutes.


  • The MoU will enable LBSNAA to deliver some of its experience in running a training institution for higher civil services to NIPAM.
  • Further, it will also help the two sides to engage in collaborative activities in the sphere of public administration and capacity building.


  • Capital: Windhoek
  • President: Hage Geingob
  • Currencies: South African rand, Namibian dollar

Cabinet apprised of MoUs for cooperation in Youth and Sports Matters with Indonesia and the Kyrgyz Republic

During the cabinet meeting on March 15, 2017, the government was apprised of the Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) signed between India with

  • Indonesia for cooperation in youth and sports matters and Kyrgyz Republic for cooperation in the field of youth development
  • Objective: Organize Youth Exchange Programmes with Indonesia and Kyrgyz Republic; and Cooperation in other youth and sports related matters.


  • International Youth Exchange programmes would promote exchange of ideas, values and culture, peace and understanding amongst youth and help in developing international perspective among the youth.
  • Cooperation in other youth and sports-related matters would also help in sports promotion and strengthen friendly relations between countries.

Kyrgyz Republic                                Indonesia
Capital: Bishkek                                   Capital: Jakarta
Currency: Kyrgyzstani som                   Currency: Indonesian rupiah
President: Almazbek Atambayev           President: Joko Widodo

Cabinet approves revised MoU with Bangladesh to set up Border Haats
The Union Cabinet also gave its approval to the revised Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and Mode of Operation (MoO) between India and Bangladesh on March 15, 2017 for establishing Border Haats on India-Bangladesh Border.

  • The Revised MoU and Mode of Operation will provide a legal framework for establishment and operationalization of additional Border Haats.
  • There are four Border Haats that are operational-two in Meghalaya and two in Tripura.

Benefit of Border Haats

  1. Promoting the well-being of the people dwelling in remote areas across the borders of two countries.
  2. Promoting traditional system of marketing the local produce through local markets.
  3. Improve economic well-being of marginalized sections of society.

Cabinet approves of MoU between India and Bangladesh on Aids to Navigation (AtoNs)

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi approved signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Directorate General of Lighthouses & Lightships (DGLL), Ministry of Shipping (GOI) and the Department of Shipping, Government of Bangladesh on Aids to Navigation (AtoNs)


  • Extend advice on lighthouses and beacons and Extend advice on Vessel Traffic Service and chain of Automatic Identification System (AIS)
  • Impart training as per International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA) training module to AtoN Managers and Technicians for Bangladesh

MoU will enable the two countries to collaborate in the following areas

  • Provide advice on AtoNs
  • Provide academic interaction by imparting training to AtoN personnel
  • Provide necessary cooperation in organizing workshops/conferences for enhancement of skills in AtoN field


  1. Cooperation in capacity building in the field of AtoN training in the South Asian region.
  2. Give a boost to imparting training on the management of marine aids to navigation based on IALA Model Course E-141/1 and accordingly facilitate the delivery of a professional training course as per the IALA guidelines.

Cabinet approves Policy for Early Monetization of Coal Bed Methane Gas Marketing and Pricing Freedom for CBM Gas 

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs gave its approval to provide marketing and pricing freedom to the Coal Bed Methane (CBM) Contractors to sell the CBM Gas at Arm’s Length Price in the domestic market.

  • Besides, while discovering the market price for Arms Length Sales, the Contractor will have to ensure a fully transparent and competitive process for sale of CBM and also that the best possible price is realized for the gas without any restrictive commercial practices.
  • Royalty and other dues to the Government however shall be payable on the basis of Petroleum Planning & Analysis Cell (PPAC) notified prices or selling prices, whichever is higher.


  1. Incentivize the CBM operation in the country to boost gas production.
  2. Generate economic activities which in turn will be beneficial for creating more employment opportunities in CBM operations and related activities.

Cabinet approves additional 2% Dearness Allowance / Dearness Relief From January 1

The Centre has also approved to increase the Dearness Allowance (DA) to Central Government employees and Dearness Relief (DR) to pensioners to 4 percent from the existing rate of 2 percent with effect from January 1, 2017.

  • The 2 percent increase in the DA/DR over the existing rate of 2 percent of the basic pay/pension is to compensate for price rise and it is in accordance with the accepted formula based on the recommendation of 7th Central Pay Commission.
  • The hike in DA/DR will benefit about 48.85 lakh Central Government employees and 55.51 lakh pensioners.

Cabinet Approves Introducing Bill to Declare 15 IIITs as Institutes of National Importance

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved. Introduction of the Indian Institutes of Information Technology Public Private Partnership (IIIT PPP) Bill, 2017;

  • Grant statutory status to the 15 Indian Institutes of Information Technology set up under Public Private Partnership and declare them as Institutions of National Importance;
  • To enable these institutions to grant degrees to their students in the academic courses conducted by them.
  • The 15 IIITs includes: Andhra Pradesh (Chittoor), Assam (Guwahati) Gujarat (Vadodara), Haryana (Sonipat), Himachal Pradesh (Una), Jharkhand (Ranchi), Karnataka (Dharwad), Kerala (Kottayam) Maharashtra (Nagpur & Pune), Manipur (Senapati), Rajasthan (Kota), Tamilnadu (Tiruchirappalli), Uttar Pradesh (Lucknow), Kalyani (West Bengal).
  • The proposed IIIT PPP Bill, 2017 will declare the existing Indian Institutes of Information Technology in Public Private Partnership as Institutions of National Importance with powers to award degrees.


The HRD Ministry had announced to set up 20 new Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIITs) across the country under PPP mode in December 2010. The cost of each IIIT is Rs. 128 crore and is contributed by the Centre, State government and the industry in the ratio of 50:35:15.

Govt Approves National Health Policy To Provide Assured Health Services To All

The Cabinet has also approved the National Health Policy 2017 to address the current and emerging challenges which arise due to the changing socio-economic, technological and epidemiological landscape.

  • Aim: Provide assured healthcare to all particularly the underserved and underprivileged.

Features of the National Health Policy 2017

  • The policy envisages attainment of the highest possible level of health and well-being for all at all ages through a preventive and promotive health care orientation in all developmental policies.
  • Universal access to good quality health care services without anyone having to face financial hardship as a consequence.
  • It includes increasing access, improving quality and lowering the cost of healthcare delivery.
  • The policy seeks to put in place a system for setting standards and ensuring quality of health care to improve and strengthen the regulatory environment.
  • The policy looks at stronger partnership with the private sector for strategic purchases and leveraging their strengths to achieve national health goals.
  • The policy also seeks to address health security and looks at reforms in the existing regulatory systems both for easing manufacturing of drugs and devices to promote Make in India

Cabinet Approves Special Assistance for EAPs in Andhra Pradesh

During the meeting, the Cabinet Committee gave its approval for the special assistance measure for the successor state of Andhra Pradesh by way of dispensation in funding of Externally Aided Projects (EAPs).

  • The Cabinet also approved funding of irrigation component of Polavaram project.

Financial Assistance for Externally Aided Projects (EAPs)

The Central Government will provide special assistance measure to Government of Andhra Pradesh if the funding of Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS) would have been shared at the ratio of 90:10 between the Centre and the State.

  • The special assistance will be provided by way of repayment of loan and interest for the Externally Aided Projects (EAPs) signed and disbursed by Andhra Pradesh during 2015-2016 to 2019-20.
  • This support for capital expenditure by way of repayment of EAP loans would help and assist the newly formed state of Andhra Pradesh to have strong base for  State’s finances and promote economic growth.

Financial Assistance for Polavaram project

The Government has approved to fund 100% of the remaining cost of the irrigation component only of the Polavaram project for the period starting from April 1, 2017 to the extent of the cost of the irrigation component on that date.

  • Under the approval, Andhra Pradesh Government will execute the project on behalf of Government of India but the overall coordination, quality control, design issues, monitoring, clearances related issues will be dealt by the Polavaram Project Authority of Ministry of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation.
  • The Polavaram Project Authority will also assess out the cost of the irrigation component as on April 1, 2017 in consultation with the Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance.
  • The central funding of the irrigation component of the Polavaram Irrigation Project and its execution by the State Government shall accelerate the completion of the project and increase the irrigation prospects in the State.

Cabinet Approves Setting Up 50 Kendriya Vidyalayas

Besides, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved the proposal for opening of 50 new Kendriya Vidyalayas (KVs) under Civil / Defence Sector in India.

  • The total project cost based on Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS) norms for the proposed 50 new KVs is Rs.1160 crore.
  • The approval was made keeping in view the high demand for KV schools for their high quality of education and excellent results and will address the educational needs of eligible students with high quality standards.
  • These new KVs when fully functional will provide quality education to approximately 50,000 students and create about 4000 regular post.