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Evening news Digest : 22 March 2018

Inclusion of communities 'Parivara and Talawara' as synonym of "Nayaka' in Karnataka ST list approved

  • The Union Cabinet, approved the inclusion of the communities, namely, 'Parivara and Talawara' as synonym of "Nayaka' in the list of STs of Karnataka.
  • This will fulfil the long term demand of 'Parivara' and Talawara' communities for granting Scheduled Tribes status in the State of Karnataka.
  • Impact: The persons belonging to "Parivara' and Talawara' communities will be eligible to get the Scheduled Tribe certificate from the State of Karnataka and will also be eligible for all benefits meant for the Scheduled Tribes in the State.

Opening of Missions in Africa to implement commitments of IAFS-III approved

  • The Union Cabinet has approved the opening of 18 new Indian Missions in Africa over a four year period from 2018-2021.
  • The 18 new Indian Missions in Africa will be opened in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chad, Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mauritania, Rwanda, Sao Tome& Principe, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Swaziland and Togo over a four year period from 2018-2021 thereby increasing the number of Resident Indian Missions in Africa from 29 to 47.
  • The will help in enhancing India's diplomatic outreach in the African continent and allow India to engage with Indian diaspora in African countries.

North-East Industrial Development Scheme (NEIDS) 2017

  • The Union Cabinet approved North East Industrial Development Scheme (NEIDS) 2017 with financial outlay of Rs 3,000 crore up to March 2020.
  • In order to promote employment in the North East states, the Government is incentivising primarily the MSME Sector through this scheme. The Government is also providing specific incentive through the scheme to generate employment.
  • The overall cap for benefits under all components of incentives will be of Rs. 200 crores per unit. The newly introduced scheme shall promote industrialization in the States of the North Eastern Region and will boost employment and income generation.

National Health Mission (NHM) to be continued till 2020

  • The government has cleared a proposal for continuation of the National Health Mission till March 31, 2020 with a budgetary support of Rs 85,217 crore.
  • Objective: One of the key objectives of the mission would be to reduce Out Of Pocket Expenditure (OOPE) on health care. Besides, the programme will strive to reduce incidence of communicable diseases, and improvement in coverage and utilisation of routine immunisation services.
  • During the extended period, National Health Mission will seek to improve key health indicators such as Neo-natal Mortality Rate (NMR), Infant Mortality Rate (IMR), Under-Five Mortality Rate (U5MR), Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) and Total Fertility Rate.

India-Qatar revised Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement approved

  • The union cabinet on Wednesday approved the revision of Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) with Qatar. The revision will help to prevent fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income.
  • The revised DTAA updates the provisions for exchange of information to latest standard, includes 'Limitation of Benefits' provision to prevent treaty shopping and aligns other provisions with India's recent treaties.
  • The existing DTAA with Qatar was signed on April 7, 1999 and came into force on January 15, 2000 

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Closure of India Development Foundation of Overseas Indians approved

  • The Union Cabinet has given its approval for closure of India Development Foundation of Overseas Indians (IDF-OI) to enhance synergies in channelizing Diaspora's contributions to Government of India's flagship programmes such as National Mission for clean Ganga and Swachh Bharat Mission.
  • It was decided by the 9th Meeting of Board of Trustees of the IDF-OI that the Trust would be closed down by March 31, 2018.
  • IDF-OI: IDF-OI was set up by Government of India with the approval of Cabinet in 2008 as an autonomous not-for-profit Trust, to facilitate Overseas Indian philanthropy into social and development projects in India.

Term of the Commission on Sub-categorization of OBC extended

  • The Union Cabinet has approved a 12 week extension of the term of the Commission set up to examine the issue of sub-categorization of Other Backward Classes in the central list up to June 20, 2018.
  • The extension of tenure will enable the Commission to submit a comprehensive report on the issue of sub-categorization of OBCs, after consultation with various stakeholders.
  • The Commission was constituted under article 340 of the Constitution with the approval of President on 2nd October, 2017 and it was stipulated that it would submit its report within twelve weeks from the assumption of charge by the Chairperson.
  • Keeping in view the voluminous data obtained by the Commission from all quarters and the time required for a scientific analysis of the data to prepare a comprehensive report, the Commission has sought extension of its term by twelve weeks, i.e. up to June 20, 2018

Formation of 100% owned C Corporation of TCIL in USA approved

  • The Union Cabinet has given its approval for formation of 100% owned C Corporation of Telecommunications Consultants India Ltd. (TCIL) in USA.
  • Formation of C Corporation of Telecommunications Consultants India Ltd. (TCIL) in the state of Texas, USA with authorization for registering in other states of USA for doing business subsequently.
  • C Corporation is formed in the state of Texas, USA in connection with the execution of Projects in USA.
  • The newly formed C Corporation shall earn an estimated profit of around 10% in the initial years with turnover of USD 10 Million, which may get increased subsequently depending upon the volume of work.

Amendments in "Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016" approved

  • The Union Cabinet has given its approval for moving official amendments in the "Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016". The Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016 proposes to regulate surrogacy in India by establishing National Surrogacy Board at the central level and, State Surrogacy Boards and Appropriate Authorities in the States and Union Territories.
  • The proposed legislation ensures effective regulation of surrogacy, prohibit commercial surrogacy and allow altruistic surrogacy to the needy Indian infertile couples.
  • Impact: The Act will regulate the surrogacy services in the country and will control the unethical practices in surrogacy, prevent commercialization of surrogacy and will prohibit potential exploitation of surrogate mothers and children born through surrogacy. The Bill shall apply to whole of India, except the State of Jammu and Kashmir.

Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) to be continued till 2020

  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, has given its approval for continuation of Centrally Sponsored Scheme of RashtriyaUchchatarShikshaAbhiyan (RUSA) from 1.04.2017 to 31.03.2020.
  • RUSA 2.0 extended till March 31, 2020, seeks to increase gross enrolment ratio by 30 per cent during this period, creation of 70 new model degree colleges and 8 new professional colleges
  • Aim: RUSA seeks to increase the Gross Enrolment Ratio of the country to 30% by 2020. It also seeks to increase the spending on higher education by the State Governments. To improve equity in higher education by providing adequate opportunities of higher education deprived communities; promote inclusion of women, minorities, SC/ST/OBCs and differently abled persons.
  • Under RUSA 2.0, an on-line virtual platform of infrastructure and equipment (inventory) will be created so that institutions can share these resources.

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