On March 9, 2022, the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister (PM) of India, Narendra Modi has approved the following proposals:
- MoU signed between ICMR, India and Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft e.V. (DFG), Germany
- MoU signed between ICMR, and US’ NIAID and NIH
- MoU signed between ICMR & the Oxford University, UK
- WHO GCTM: Approves establishment of World’s 1st & Only Global Outposted Centre for traditional Medicine in Jamnagar, Gujarat
- Setting up of NLMC as SPV for Undertaking Surplus Land Monetization
- Amendment of the Second Schedule to the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957
Cabinet approves MoU signed between ICMR, India and Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft e.V. (DFG), Germany
The Union Cabinet has approved the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), and Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft e.V. (DFG), Germany signed in December 2021, and in accordance with Rule 7(d)(i) of the Second Schedule of Government of India (Transaction of Business) rules 1961.
- The MoU envisages cooperation in scientific research and technological development.
What is in the MoU?
i.It include cooperation in the field of medical sciences and research in areas including toxicology, neglected (tropical) disease, rare diseases and any other areas of mutual interest.
ii.It also includes the joint funding of scientific research projects as well as the exchange of researchers, funding of joint seminars, symposia and workshops which would be of high scientific standard and beneficial to the advancement of science.
About Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR):
It is the apex body in India for the formulation, coordination and promotion of biomedical research.
Director General– Prof. Balram Bhargava
Headquarters– New Delhi, Delhi
About Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft e.V. (DFG):
President– Prof Dr. Katja Becker
Headquarters– Bonn, Germany
Cabinet approves MoU signed between ICMR, and US’ NIAID and NIH
The Union Cabinet also approved the MoU signed between ICMR, and the United States’ (US) National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), and National Institute of Health (NIH) of Department of Health and Human Services, Maryland in September 2021 and in accordance with Rule 7(d)(i) of Second Schedule of Government of India (Transaction of Business) rules 1961.
- This MoU envisages cooperation in the scientific area which will be undertaken primarily in Chennai, India at the National Institute for Research on Tuberculosis (NIRT) of ICMR.
Areas included under MoU:
i.Basic, translational and applied innovative research, epidemiology, medicine, molecular biology, medical entomology, parasitology, immunology, medicine, microbiology and virology, with a focus on techniques for prevention, diagnosis and treatment of tropical infectious and allergic diseases.
ii.The collaboration also focus on tuberculosis, parasitic infections, HIV/AIDS, Allergic diseases, immune system diseases, other emerging and re-emerging pathogens, and other diseases of shared scientific interest.
i.The MoU provide opportunity for the employment of Indian scientists/researchers/students on contractual/project mode, as per applicable rules, under collaborative research projects through International Center for Excellence in Research (ICER) program.
- This will help them in learning various techniques/skill development and capacity building in the area of TB and other diseases.
ii.The US Government and the Government of India (GoI) will support funding for activities under this MoU along with the additional funding and active participation from governmental, non-governmental, private sector, foundation, and other sources.
iii.All activities under this MoU will be conducted in accordance with applicable laws, regulations, procedures, policies, and guidelines prevailing in the countries of respective Parties
The Indo-US joint statement was signed in 2003 for the establishment of an International ICER in Chennai. It has been extended in 2008 and again renewed in 2017 and now renewed as MOU. The ICER is located in Chennai and is a partnership between NIAID and NIRT.
Cabinet approves MoU signed between ICMR & the Oxford University, UK
The Union Cabinet approved the MoU signed between ICMR and the Oxford University, the UK in November 2021 and in accordance with Rule 7(d)(i) of the Second Schedule of the Government of India (Transaction of Business) rules 1961.
What is in the MoU?
i.It aims towards capacity building for Indian scientists and researchers, Collection of data compliant with international standards and regulatory requirements, Development of India towards becoming a regional hub for capacity development using its own funds.
ii.Both entities will jointly raise and pool funds with time-bound hosting of IDDO (Infectious Diseases Data Observatory) secretariat towards achieving the outcomes at ICMR.
iii.Both the parties have agreed to exchange and share ideas on three vector-borne diseases in the elimination phase viz. malaria, visceral leishmaniasis, filariasis.
iv.The Parties will bear their own costs in relation to the collaboration envisaged by this MOU.
WHO GCTM: Cabinet approves establishment of World’s 1st & Only Global Outposted Centre for traditional Medicine in Jamnagar, Gujarat
In accordance with the Cabinet approval, a Host Country agreement was signed between the Government of India and the World Health Organization (WHO) under which the WHO Global Centre for Traditional Medicine (WHO GCTM) will be set up in Jamnagar, Gujarat under the Ministry of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy).
- Notably, this will be the first and only global outposted Centre (office) for traditional medicine across the globe.
What will WHO GCTM do?
i.WHO GCTM not only positions AYUSH systems globally but also act as global leader on health matters pertaining to traditional medicine.
ii.It will ensure quality, safety and efficacy, accessibility and rational use of traditional medicine by developing relevant norms.
iii.It also envisages creation of WHO TM Informatics centre by collaborating withthe existing TM Data banks, virtual libraries, and academic and research institutes.
iv.It will develop specific capacity building and training programmes in campus, residential, or web-based, and through partnerships with the WHO Academy and other strategic partners.
On the occasion of 5th Ayurveda Day on November 13, 2020, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghbereyesus, Director General, WHO announced the establishment of WHO GCTM in India. In this regard, a Joint Task Force (JTF) is constituted for coordination, execution and monitoring of activities for the establishment of this Centre.
- An interim office is also established at the Institute of Teaching and Research in Ayurveda (ITRA), Jamnagar, Gujarat to execute the identified technical activities and planning of fully functional WHO GCTM.
Other Collaborations between Ministry of AYUSH and WHO include:
i.Developing benchmarks documents on training and practice of Ayurveda and Unani System
ii.Introducing a second module in the Traditional Medicine Chapter of the International classification of Diseases-11
iii.Developing apps like M-yoga, supporting the work of International Pharmacopeia of Herbal Medicine (IPHM) and other research studies
About Ministry of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy):
Union Minister– Sarbananda Sonowal (Constituency- Assam)
Minister of State (MoS)– Dr. Munjpara Mahendrabhai Kalubhai- (Constituency- Surendranagar, Gujarat)
Cabinet approves setting up of NLMC as SPV for Undertaking Surplus Land Monetization
On the lines of the Budget Announcement for 2021-22, the Union Cabinet approved the setting up National Land Monetization Corporation (NLMC) as a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to undertake monetization of surplus land and building assets of Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) and other government agencies.
It has been set up as a government-owned company with an initial authorized share capital of Rs 5000 crore and paid-up share capital of Rs 150 crore. Its Board of Directors (BoD) will comprise senior central government officers and eminent experts.
- The Department of Public Enterprise (DPE) under the ministry of finance will set up the company and act as its administrative ministry.
- NLMC is also expected to own, hold, manage and monetize surplus land and building assets of CPSEs under closure and the surplus non-core land assets of Government owned CPSEs under strategic disinvestment.
Need for NLMC:
Currently, CPSEs hold surplus, unused and under used non-core assets in the form of land and buildings. For CPSEs undergoing strategic disinvestment or closure, monetization of these surplus land and non-core assets is important to unlock their value. NLMC will support and undertake monetization of these assets for their further productive utilization.
Cabinet approves Amendment of the Second Schedule to the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957
The Union Cabinet approved the amendment of the Second Schedule to the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) (MMDR) Act, 1957 for specifying the rate of royalty in respect of certain minerals viz. Glauconite, Potash, Emerald, Platinum Group of Metals (PGM), Andalusite, Sillimanite and Molybdenum.
i.The approval will ensure auction of mineral blocks in respect of notified minerals thereby reducing import of these minerals, generating empowerment opportunity in the mining sector as well as manufacturing sector.
ii.The rate of royalty for Andalusite, Sillimanite and Kyanite which are mineral polymorphs are kept at the same level.
iii.This Act was amended in 2015, then to give further impetus to the mineral sector, the Act has been further amended in 2021.
Recent Related News:
i.The Union Cabinet approved the signing of MoU between India and Turkmenistan on cooperation in disaster management including preparedness, response and capacity building.
ii.The Union Cabinet has approved the sanction of remaining Rs 973.74 crore (*over and above Rs 5,500 crore) under ‘Scheme for grant of ex-gratia payment of difference between compound interest and simple interest for six months to borrowers in specified loan accounts (1.3.2020 to 31.8.2020)’ to State Bank of India (SBI).