GENERAL STUDIES PAPER 2
Topic: International relations and Health
Cabinet approves MoU between India and Morocco on cooperation in the field of health
- The Union Cabinet has given its approval for signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Morocco on cooperation in the field of health.
- The MoU covers the following areas of cooperation:
Non-communicable diseases, including child cardiovascular diseases and cancer;
Drug Regulation and Pharmaceutical quality control;
Maternal, child and neonatal health;
Hospital twinning for exchange of good practices;
Training in administration and management of health services and Hospitals;
Any other area of cooperation as may be mutually decided upon.
- A Working Group will be set up to further elaborate the details of cooperation and to oversee the implementation of this MoU.
Cabinet approves MoU between India and Armenia on Cooperation in the field of Disaster Management
- The Union Cabinet has given its approval for signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Armenia on Cooperation in the field of Disaster Management
The MoU would enhance cooperation in the field of Disaster Management and contribute to the well-being and safety of the people of both the countries in the event of disaster.
- It will also result in exchange of information in the relevant fields of disaster management which is of mutual interest.
Further, the MoU will help in strengthening the areas of preparedness, response and capacity building.
Topic: Governance and Polity
Cabinet approves introduction of the Payment of Gratuity (Amendment) Bill, 2017 in the Parliament
- The Union Cabinet has given its approval for introduction of the Payment of Gratuity (Amendment) Bill, 2017 in the Parliament.
- The Amendment will increase the maximum limit of gratuity of employees, in the private sector and in Public Sector Undertakings/ Autonomous Organizations under Government who are not covered under CCS (Pension) Rules, at par with Central Government employees.
- The Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972 applies to establishments employing 10 or more persons.
- The main purpose for enacting this Act is to provide social security to workmen after retirement, whether retirement is a result of the rules of superannuation, or physical disablement or impairment of vital part of the body.
- Therefore, the Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972 is an important social security legislation to wage earning population in industries, factories and establishments.
- The present upper ceiling on gratuity amount under the Act is Rs. 10 Lakh.
- The provisions for Central Government employees under Central Civil Services (Pension) Rules, 1972 with regard to gratuity are also similar.
- However, with implementation of 7th Central Pay Commission, in case of Government servants, the ceiling now is Rs. 20 Lakhs effective from 1.1.2016.
- Therefore, considering the inflation and wage increase even in case of employees engaged in private sector, the Government is of the view that the entitlement of gratuity should be revised for employees who are covered under the Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972.
GENERAL STUDIES PAPER 3
Topic: Food Processing
Cabinet approves implementation of the scheme “Dairy Processing & Infrastructure Development Fund”
- The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister has approved a Dairy Processing & Infrastructure Development Fund” (DIDF).
- Consequent to the Union Budget 2017-18 announcement, Dairy Processing & Infrastructure Development Fund will be set up as a corpus of Rs 8004 crore with National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD).
- The end borrowers will get the loan @ 6.5% per annum. The period of repayment will be 10 years with initial two years moratorium.
The major activities of DIDF:
- The project will focus on building an efficient milk procurement system by setting up of chilling infrastructure & installation of electronic milk adulteration testing equipment, creation/modernization/expansion of processing infrastructure and manufacturing faculties for Value Added Products for the Milk Unions/ Milk Producer Companies.
Management of DIDF:
- The project will be implemented by National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) and National Dairy Development Cooperation (NCDC) directly through the End Borrowers such as Milk Unions, State Dairy Federations, Multi-state Milk Cooperatives, Milk Producer Companies and NDDB subsidiaries meeting the eligibility criteria under the project.
- An Implementation and Monitoring Cell (IMC) located at NDDB, Anand, will manage the implementation and monitoring of day-to-day project activities.
Benefits from DIDF:
- With this investment, 95,00,000 farmers in about 50,000 villages would be benefitted.
- Additional Milk processing capacity of 126 lakh litre per day, milk drying capacity of 210 MT per day, milk chilling capacity of 140 lakh litre per day, installation of 28000 Bulk Milk Coolers (BMCs) along with electronic milk adulteration testing equipment and value added products manufacturing capacity of 59.78 lakh litre per day of milk equivalent shall be created.
Employment Generation Potential:
- The implementation of DIDF scheme will generate direct and indirect employment opportunities for skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled manpower.
- Direct employment opportunities for about 40,000 people will be created under the scheme through project activities like expansion & modernisation of existing milk processing facilities, setting up of new processing plants, establishment of manufacturing facilities for value added products and setting up of Bulk Milk Coolers (BMCs) at village level.
- About 2 lakh indirect employment opportunities will be created on account of expansion of milk and milk product marketing operations from existing Tier I, II & III to Tier IV, V & VI cities/towns etc.
- This will lead to deployment of more marketing staff by Milk Cooperatives, appointment of distributors and opening of additional milk booths/retail outlets in urban/rural locations.
- With the increase in milk procurement operations of the Milk Cooperatives, there would be generation of additional manpower employment for supervision of increased milk procurement operations, transportation of milk from villages to processing units, and increased input delivery services like Artificial Insemination (AI) services, Veterinary Services, etc.