Current Affairs Agreements

 A Loan Agreement for IBRD Credit of US$74 million equivalent for the Uttrakhand Workforce Development Project (UKWDP) was signed between India and the World Bank. The Project objective is to improve the quality and relevance of training at priority Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) and to increase the number of labor-market-relevant workers through short-term training in Uttrakhand. The Project has a 5-year grace period and a maturity of 17 years. 
The Project has three components:
  • 1. Improving the quality and relevance of ITI Training; 
  • 2. Increasing the number of skilled workers certified under National Skills Qualification Framework (NSQE) - Compliant Short Term Training; and 
  • 3. Policy and Institutional Development and Project Management. 

 The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given the following set of approvals. The important Cabinet Approvals are given as follows-
The Cabinet has approved-   
  • Equity infusion of RCF in Talcher Fertilizers Ltd.: approved the proposal of the Department of Fertilizers for equity investment of Rs.1033.54 crore of the total project cost for setting up a Coal Gasification based fertilizer project in Talcher Fertilizer Ltd. (TFL) by Rashtriya Chemicals & Fertilizers Limited (RCF).
  • Indore (Mangaliyagaon) — Budni New Line (205.5 Km) with Electrification. Total estimated cost of this project is Rs. 3261.82 crore. 
  • Revised Cost Estimate of Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project: Approved the Revised Cost Estimate of Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP) at the revised cost of Rs 3466 crore with the financial assistance of the World Bank to improve safety and operational performance of 198 Dams. 
  • ASHA Benefit Package: The package entails an expenditure (Central funding) to Rs.1224.97 crore for two years
Source- Press Information Bureau (PIB)

 The Delhi government signed an MoU with the Seoul Metropolitan Government to work closely in the fields of environment, tourism, wastewater and solid waste management, infrastructure and public health. The MoU on the 'Friendship and Cooperation Agreement' was signed by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Seoul mayor Park Won-Soon in Seoul. The Delhi CM particularly sought the city’s expertise in dealing with transport and air pollution.
Source- Business Standard

 Cisco, a U.S.-based firm, that makes networking telecommunications equipment, has signed two agreements with the NITI Aayog and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) to speed up its Country Digital Acceleration programme in India. The current set of investments will focus on fostering innovation and entrepreneurship through the Atal Innovation Mission and in developing use cases to showcase the possibilities of 5G in citizen services and application of innovative digital technologies in transportation modernisation.  
Source- The Hindu

 The Union Cabinet of India has approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the collaborative research of distributed ledger technology (DLT). The research will be jointly conducted by the Export-Import Bank of India (Exim Bank) and one bank from each BRICS member states. The MoU was initially proposed at the 10th International BRICS Summit held in Johannesburg in July, the main focus of which was cooperation in economic development in the face of the fourth industrial revolution. The banks then agreed to jointly study DLT in the interests of the development of the digital economy.
Source: The Moneycontrol

 Unlimit, end-to-end IoT service provider in India announced its partnership with State-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) to offer comprehensive Internet of Things (IoT) solutions and services to the enterprise customers across India. The partnership between Unlimit and BSNL will leverage seamless wireless network footprint pan India to provide its solutions and services across industries. The solutions and services include managed connectivity, application enabling platform and device management, and advance analytics to customers across industries.
Source- Business Standard

  NITI Aayog, Intel and Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) are collaborating to set up a Model International Center for Transformative Artificial Intelligence (ICTAI). The collaboration aims to bring together fundamental and applied research, innovation and technology development to solve important problems. The ICTAI will work towards developing and deploying artificial intelligence based research projects in critical domains such as healthcare, agriculture, smart cities and mobility. The initiative is part of NITI Aayog’s National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence discussion paper that focuses on establishing ICTAI through private sector collaboration.
Source- Press Information Bureau (PIB)

 The Haryana government signed an MoU with Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) to set up an ethanol plant in Panipat with an outlay of over Rs 900 crore. The initiative with a proposed capacity of 100 kilolitres of ethanol per day will manage crop residue and prevent straw burning before the upcoming paddy season. The MoU was signed by Director, Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare Department of Haryana, Dusmanta K Behera and Chief General Manager, Alternate Energy and Sustainable Development, IOC Ltd Sanjay Kumar Srivastav. The pact will be valid for one year. 
Source- The Moneycontrol

 The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given the following set of approvals. The important Cabinet Approvals are given as follows-
The Cabinet has approved- 
  • 1. Transfer of land of M/s. Rashtriya Chemicals & Fertilizers (RCF) to Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA)
  • 2. MoU between India and Brunei Darussalam on Cooperation in the operation of Telemetry Tracking and Telecommand station for satellite and launch vehicles, and for cooperation in the field of Space Research, Science and Applications
  • 3. MoU on Collaborative Research on Distributed Ledger and Block Chain Technology in the context of Development of digital economy by Exim Bank under BRICS Interbank Cooperation Mechanism
  • 4. MoU between India and South Africa on cooperation in the exploration and uses of outer space for peaceful purposes
  • 5. MoU between India and Egypt on cooperation in the field of Agriculture & allied sectors
  • 6. Signing of MoU between India and Malta for strengthening cooperation in the field of Tourism
  • 7. Policy Framework to Promote and Incentivize Enhanced Recovery Methods for Oil and Gas
  • 8. New Umbrella Scheme “Pradhan Mantri Annadata Aay SanraksHan Abhiyan” (PM-AASHA).
  • 9. Amendment to National Institute of Design (NID) Act, 2014. 

 Prime Minister Narendra Modi, his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina, and Chief Ministers of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee and Tripura Biplab Kumar Deb jointly inaugurated three projects in Bangladesh via video conferencing.  These include: 
  • 1. 500 MW additional power supply from India to Bangladesh, 
  • 2. Akhaura – Agartala Rail Link, and 
  • 3. Rehabilitation of the Kulaura-Shahbazpur section of Bangladesh Railways. 
Akhaura-Agartala rail project is about 12 km long of which 5.5 km would be laid in India while 6.5 km would be in Bangladesh. The total cost of the project would be about 960 crore rupees. The Agartala-Akhaura rail project is part of India's $4.5 billion third line of credit extended to Bangladesh for its infrastructure and social sector development.
Source- AIR World Service

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