On June 14, 2022, the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister (PM) of India Narendra Modi has approved the following proposals:
- Agreement between India and UN on a ‘Way Finding Application’ to be used in the Palais des Nations, UNOG
- Agreement on Cooperation in the Field of youth Work among SCO Member States
- MoA by India for establishment of BIMSTEC Technology Transfer Centre at Colombo, Sri Lanka
- Grant of moratorium to Cochin Port Authority on repayment of GoI loans for a period of 3 years
- Development of New Greenfield Airport in Dholera, Gujarat
- Nod for 5G auctions; 72097.8 MHz spectrum to be put on block by July 2022
Cabinet approves Agreement between GoI and UN on a ‘Way Finding Application’ to be used in the Palais des Nations, UNOG
The Union Cabinet has approved the proposal for signing of an agreement between the Government of India (GoI) and the United Nations (UN) on a ‘Way Finding Application’ to be used in the Palais des Nations, United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG).
- The Palais des Nations (Palace of Nations) is a home of the UNOG located in Geneva, Switzerland. UNOG consists of 5 buildings and 21 floors.
What is in the MoU?
The huge building of UNOG is often visited by large number of delegates; members of civil society; and general public to participate in various meetings and conventions. But due to the complexity of building, the visitors find it difficult finding their way inside the premises.
In order to overcome this situation, a navigational application will be developed by the GoI’s Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DoT), an autonomous telecom Research & Development centre of Department of Telecommunications (DoT) which will help delegates in finding their way inside the premises while adhering to all security perspectives.
- The financial implication for development deployment and maintenance of the App is ~ $ 2 Million.
i.Though there are Global Positioning System (GPS) based Apps but they function properly in open space. For locating the room and offices inside in Palais des Nations premises, a more precise in-building navigational App will assist users to find their way from point to point.
ii.The project of development of ‘Way Finding Application’ has been conceptualized as donation from the GoI to UN on the occasion of its 75th anniversary in 2020.
iii.The App will work on Android and iOS devices with an internet connection.
iv.This Made in India app will act as a significant contribution from GoI to the UN. It will not only highlight the technical capabilities of India but also enhance it’s prestige at the UN level platform.
v.UN is an international organization founded in 1945. It is currently made up of 193 Member States. India is a founding member of the United Nations.
Union Cabinet approves Agreement on Cooperation in the Field of youth Work among SCO Member States
The Union Cabinet approves Agreement on Cooperation in the field of youth work among the authorized bodies of the member states of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).
- The agreement was signed by India after its adoption by SCO member states in September 2021.
- The official working language of the SCO Secretariat is Russian and Chinese.
i.To strengthen mutual trust, friendly relations and cooperation among young people of SCO member States.
ii.To further improve the conditions for youth cooperation based on international experience.
Areas of Cooperation:
- Strengthening cooperation in the field of work with youth and public youth organizations (associations) implementing state youth policy, as well as support initiatives aimed at enhancing international youth cooperation.
- Training of professional staff in the sphere of work with youth
- Work experience of state bodies
- Carrying out joint research and activities on various youth policy issues and cooperation
- Exchange of scientific publications, research works on topical issues of preventing youth involvement in destructive structures
- Promote joint economic and humanitarian initiatives aimed at engaging youth in entrepreneurship and innovative projects to increase their employment and well-being
- Supporting the activities of the SCO Youth Council.
About Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO):
The SCO currently comprises eight Member States (China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan), four Observer States (Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran, and Mongolia) and six Dialogue Partners (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Turkey).
Secretary-General– Zhang Ming
Secretariat/Headquarter– Beijing, China
Cabinet approves MoA by India for establishment of BIMSTEC Technology Transfer Centre at Colombo, Sri Lanka
The Cabinet also approved a Memorandum of Association (MoA) by India for the establishment of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) Technology Transfer Facility (TTF), which was signed by the BIMSTEC member countries at the 5th BIMSTEC Summit held at Colombo, Sri Lanka in March, 2022.
- The objective of BIMSTEC TTF is to coordinate, facilitate and strengthen cooperation in TT among the BIMSTEC Member States by promoting sharing of experiences and capacity building.
Priority areas under TT:
Biotechnology, Nanotechnology, Information and Communication Technology, Space technology applications, Agricultural technology, Food processing technology, Pharmaceutical technology automation, New and renewable energy technology automation, New and Renewable energy technology, Oceanography, Nuclear Technology Applications, E-waste and solid waste management technology, Health Technologies, Technologies pertinent to Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation
About Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC):
Secretary-General– Tenzin Lekphell
Headquarters– Dhaka, Bangladesh
Member Nations– 7 (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Thailand
CCEA approves grant of moratorium to Cochin Port Authority on repayment of GoI loans for a period of 3 years
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) chaired by PM Narendra Modi has approved a moratorium of three years (2020-21, 2021-22 & 2022-23) to Cochin Port Authority (CoPA) on repayment of the balance Government of India (GoI) loans amounting to Rs. 446.83 crore to tide over the financial crisis due to Covid-19 pandemic.
The amount was to be repaid in 10 installments commencing from 2018-19. However, CoPA paid the installments of 2018-19 and 2019-20 only as installments of 2020-21 and 2021-22 were impacted by Covid-19 pandemic.
- Cochin Port has been brought under the Major Port Authorities Act, 2021 with effect from November 2021.
- In August 2016, CCEA approved the proposal for waiver of Penal interest on GoI Loans taken by Cochin Port for various infrastructural developmental activities during 1936-37 to 1994-95.
CCEA approves Development of New Greenfield Airport in Dholera, Gujarat
CCEA has approved the proposal for development of Phase I of New Greenfield Airport at Dholera (Ahmedabad), Gujarat at an estimated cost of Rs 1305 crore, with completion time within 48 months.
- The Airport is planned to operationalize from the year 2025-26.
Dholera International Airport Company Limited (DIACL), which is a Joint Venture (JV) Company comprising Airports Authority of India (AAI), Government of Gujarat (GoG) and National Industrial Corridor Development and Implementation Trust (NICDIT) holding equity in the ratio of 51:33:16.
- It will be constructed on 1,501 hectares of land.
i.Dholera Airport will get Passenger and Cargo traffic from Dholera Special Investment Region (DSIR) and is expected to become a major cargo hub to serve the industrial region.
ii.The initial passenger traffic is estimated to be 3 lakh passengers per annum, which will grow to 23 lakh over a period of 20 years.
- The annual cargo traffic is also estimated from the year 2025-26 at 20,000 tonne, which would increase to 2,73,000 tonne over a period of 20 years.
iii.The New Greenfield Airport at Dholera is situated at an aerial distance of 80 Km from Ahmedabad Airport, therefore, it will serve as a second airport to Ahmedabad.
- It will be connected by broad gauge railways, dedicated freight corridor as well as six-lane expressways.
Cabinet gives nod for 5G auctions; 72097.8 MHz spectrum to be put on block by July 2022
The Union Cabinet has approved a proposal of the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), Ministry of Communications to conduct a spectrum auction through which spectrum will be assigned to the successful bidders for providing 5G services to public and enterprises.
- In this regard, the Central Government is putting up a total of 72097.85 MHz (Megahertz) of spectrum with a validity period of 20 years to auction by July, 2022.
- It is the largest quantity being sold at one go.
i.The auction will be held for spectrum in various Low (600 MHz, 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz), Mid (3300 MHz) and High (26 GHz) frequency bands.
ii.The Mid and High band spectrum will be utilised by Telecom Service Providers to roll-out of 5G-based services.
iii.The auctions have a value of around Rs 4.3 lakh crore just at the reserve.
iv.The bidders will have an option to surrender the spectrum after 10 years with no future liabilities with respect to balance installments.
India will now join Germany, UK, France, Italy, US, South Korea, Japan, China and Saudi Arabia – which have assigned spectrum for private usage of 5G.
The Cabinet also decided to enable the development and setting up of ‘Private Captive Networks’ to boost innovation in new-age industry applications such as machine-to-machine communications, Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI) across automotive, healthcare, agriculture, energy, and other sectors.
ii.It also decided to double the number of traditional Microwave backhaul carriers in the existing frequency bands of 13, 15, 18 and 21 GHz bands.
Recent Related News:
i.The Union Cabinet approved USD 808 million (Rs 6,062.45 crore) for a new World Bank (WB) assisted scheme ‘Raising and Accelerating MSME Performance (RAMP)’ which will probably be initiated in FY23 to directly or indirectly benefit all 63 million MSMEs.
ii.To compensate for the price rise, the Union Cabinet also gave its approval to release an additional instalment of Dearness Allowance (DA) to Central Government employees and Dearness Relief (DR) to pensioner’s w.e.f. January 1, 2022 representing an increase of 3% to 34% from the existing rate of 31% of the Basic Pay/Pension.