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Union Government Approvals – October 5 2016

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Union Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approves bill, agreements and MoUs between different nations on October 5 2016.

Cabinet approves amendement bill related to HIV/AIDS

The Cabinet approved amendments to the HIV and AIDS (Prevention and Control) Bill, 2014 in a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The bill makes antiretroviral treatment a legal right of HIV/AIDS patients.

  • The HIV and AIDS Bill, 2014 has been drafted to safeguard the rights of people living with HIV and affected by HIV.
  • The provisions of the Bill seek to address HIV-related discrimination, strengthen the existing programme by bringing in legal accountability and establish formal mechanisms for inquiring into complaints and redressing grievances.Cabinet Approvals
  • The Bill seeks to prevent and control the spread of HIV and AIDS, prohibits discrimination against persons with HIV and AIDS, provides for informed consent and confidentiality with regard to their treatment, places obligations on establishments to safeguard rights of persons living with HIV arid create mechanisms for redressing complaints.
  • The Bill also aims to enhance access to health care services by ensuring informed consent and confidentiality for HIV-related testing, treatment and clinical research.
  • The bill, which was introduced in the last days of the UPA government, was revived by the present government. In July, a Group of Ministers (GoM) headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had met to smoothen out kinks in the bill, as pointed out by a parliamentary standing committee. 

India signs MoU with AARDO, will help member nations enhance rural development sector

The Union Cabinet gave its approval for the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and African-Asian Rural Development Organisation (AARDO) for capacity building programmes in the rural development sector.

  • AARDO is an autonomous, inter-governmental organization formed to promote cooperation among countries in the African-Asian region and eradicate thirst, hunger, illiteracy, disease and poverty in the region.
  • The programmes will be organised in institutes such as the National Institute of Rural Developmentand Panchayati Raj (NIRD and PR), Indian Institute of Management (IIM) and institutions governed by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).
  • The MoU for the triennium 2015-2017 is being signed, under which capacity building programmes for AARDO member countries will be organised every year during the triennium at various institutions of excellence in India.

Cabinet approves India-EU MoU on water cooperation

The Union Cabinet  gave its approval for the signing of MoU between India and European Union in the field of water resources.

  • The MoU envisages strengthening the technological, scientific and management capabilities of India and the European Union in the field of water management on the basis of equality, reciprocity and mutual benefit.
  • It provides technical exchange on water issues, including on integrated water resource management plans within river basins and through study visits.
  • It envisions a more sustainable management of water resources in India with an objective of tackling the challenges posed by water management in the context of growing population, competing water demands and a changing climate
  • The MoU aims to identify key environmental issues and approaches to sustainable development where exchange of experiences and cooperation could be mutually beneficial to strengthen and further develop cooperation between India and the European Union in the field of water management.

Government clears ONGC’s extra 11 percent stake buy in Russia’s Vankor fields

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on Wednesday gave its nod to the acquisition of 11 per cent stake in Russia’s Vankor oil fields by ONGC Videsh Ltd(OVL) from Rosneft Oil Company for $930 million, which will take its overall stake in the project to 26 per cent.

  • The latest move brings the investment by Indian companies in Russia’s east Siberian fields to $5.5 billion, aiding the country’s sanctions-hit economy.
  • The overseas arm of state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) had last year bought 15 per cent stake in the field for $1.268 billion. The acquisition of stake in Vankorneft will provide 3.2 million metric ton of oil equivalent (MMTOE) to OVL by 2017.
  • It is noted that the Cabinet also approved HLL Lifecare Ltd, a miniratna PSU under ministry of health and family welfare to sub- lease 330.10 acres of land at Chengalpattu, located in the outskirts of Chennai, to setup a medical devices manufacturing park (Medipark) through a special purpose Vehicle.