On October 14, 2020, the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the following proposals, which were detailed by Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Keshav Javadekar during a press conference.
–Cabinet approved Special Package J&K and Ladakh under DAY-NRLM
The Central Government is planning to extend all centrally sponsored schemes to the union territories (UTs) of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) and Ladakh after revoking its special status under article 370 of its constitution. In this regard, the Union Cabinet approved changes in the criteria to extend benefits under the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM) to make 10.58 lakh women in both UTs as it’s part.
Launched in 2011 as Aajeevika – National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM) by the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD), the scheme is aimed at providing livelihood to rural women through self-managed Self Help Groups (SHGs). In November 2015, the program was renamed Deendayal Antayodaya Yojana (DAY-NRLM) with a target of reaching about 10 crore households.
DAY-NRLM has been implemented in the erstwhile state of J&K by the Jammu and Kashmir State Rural Livelihoods Mission (JKSRLM) as “Umeed” programme. As per the current funds allocation procedure under DAY-NRLM, the share of J&K was less than 1% of the annual allocation. In order to ensure sufficient funding support under the Mission, Gol had approved a Special Package for the State of Jammu & Kashmir.
About Jammu & Kashmir (J&K):
Capital– Jammu (Winter), Srinagar (Summer)
Lieutenant Governor– Manoj Sinha
–Cabinet approved Rs. 5718 cr World Bank aided project STARS to Strengthen School Education System
As a part of implementing the new National Education Policy (NEP), 2020, the Cabinet approved the implementation of Rs 5718 crore Strengthening Teaching-Learning and Results for States (STARS) project with a financial aid from World Bank amounting to US $500 million (approximately Rs. 3700 crore).
- It is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS) under Department of School Education and Literacy, Ministry of Education (MoE) to support states in strengthening the school education system by focusing on quality based learning outcomes.
- It will be implemented in six states — Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala and Odisha.
Key Features of Project:
-STARS has two components viz. National Level & State Level
-It will support MOE to set up PARAKH (Performance Assessment, Review, and Analysis of Knowledge for Holistic Development), an independent and autonomous institution, under the ministry’s Department of School Education and Literacy.
-The project also includes a Contingency Emergency Response Component (CERC) under the national level which would enable it to be more responsive to any natural, man-made and health disasters
–It also aims to focus on initiatives of PM e-Vidya, Foundational Literacy and Numeracy Mission and National Curricular and Pedagogical Framework for Early Childhood Care and Education as part of the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan.
Point to be noted:
Besides above, it is also envisaged to implement a similar ADB (Asian Development Bank)-funded project in five states — Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand and Assam. All states will partner with one other state for sharing their experiences and best practices.
About Ministry of Education (MoE):
Union Minister– Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank
Minister of state (MoS)– Sanjay Shamrao Dhotre
–Cabinet approved Demerger of Nagarnar Steel Plant from NMDC Ltd. and it’s strategic disinvestment
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has amended its decision taken on 27th October, 2016 by approving the demerger of Nagarnar Steel Plant (NSP) from state-owned mineral producer National Minerals Development Corporation (NMDC) Ltd. The CCEA also approved the strategic disinvestment of the demerged company (NSP) by selling the entire Government of India stake in it to a strategic buyer.
- This decision has been taken to unlock the NSP value as the plant is 90% complete and is expected to be commissioned by March 2021.
- After that it will be demerged from NMDC Ltd by April 2021, and the strategic disinvestment will be completed by September 2021.
Points to be noted:
-NSP is a three million ton per annum (mta) Integrated Steel Plant being set up by NMDC at Nagarnar, Bastar District, Chhattisgarh in an area of 1980 acres at revised estimated cost of Rs.23,140 crore (as on 14.07.2020).
-NMDC is a listed Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE) under the Ministry of Steel and Government of India (GoI) has 69.65 % shareholding in the Company.
–Govt allowed ADNOC to Export Oil from Strategic Reserve
The Cabinet has permitted Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) to export crude oil it has stored in Indian strategic reserve i.e. Mangalore strategic storage and also lowered the quantity of crude oil required in the emergency stockpile in a bid to make it commercially more attractive for the foreign investor.
- In this regard, the commercial quantity for Adnoc increased to 50% which means the company can trade half of 0.75 million tonnes at any time but can’t allow the stored quantity to slip below 50%. This would mean the government can have access to at least 50% of stored oil during a supply emergency, lower from the current 65%.
- Also, Indian companies will have a first right of refusal in case of any re-exports by ADNOC.
This decision has been taken on the demand of ADNOC and Saudi Aramco to re-export crude from Indian strategic reserves with the ambition to make India a regional crude storage hub from where they can serve neighbouring countries like Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
- The previous lease allowed ADNOC to sell only 35% of its oil stored in Mangalore to Indian refiners and another 15% with permission from the government. The remainder was kept for India’s needs.
Points to be noted:
–India is the world’s third-biggest oil importer and consumer.
–India also plans to build strategic storage at Chandikhol in Odisha and Padur in Karnataka for around 6.5 million tonnes of crude.
Cabinet Approval with Foreign Country:
–Cabinet approved India-Australia MoU for collaboration in R&D for sustainable groundwater management
The Union Cabinet approved the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between Central Ground Water Board (CGWB), Department of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga rejuvenation, India and Managing Aquifer Recharge and Sustaining Groundwater use through village-level intervention (MARVI) PARTNERS, Australia in October, 2019.
- It was signed to promote cooperation in surface and groundwater training, education and research to achieve sustainable groundwater management and water security for agricultural, urban, industrial and environmental purposes.
Currency– Australian dollar
Prime Minister– Scott John Morrison
Recent Related News:
i.On September 2, 2020, Union Cabinet has approved the launching of a National Programme for Civil Services Capacity Building (NPCSCB) or “Mission Karmayogi” to enable government officers and employees get the opportunity to improve their performance under ‘iGOT-Karmayogi’ Digital Platform.
ii.The Central Government has approved MoU for cooperation in the field of geology and mineral resources between Geological Survey of India (GSI), Ministry of Mines of India, and Geological Survey of Finland (Geologiantutkimuskeskus), Ministry of Employment and the Economy, Finland.