UPSC: PIB Summary and Analysis Jan 10

Cabinet approves MoU between India and Canada for cooperation in the field of Science & Technology

The MoU will provide a mechanism and help to foster scientific cooperation between R&D and academic institutions of India and Canada.

  • An innovative model of R&D cooperation between India and Canada will be implemented under a MoU concluded by the Department of Science and Technology with the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada.
  • Under this MoU, the India-Canada Centre for Innovative Multidisciplinary Partnership to Accelerate Community Transformation and Sustainability (IC-IMPACTS) programme will be supported to promote India-Canada multidisciplinary research partnerships.
  • The R&D projects will be aimed at accelerating social transformation by providing solutions through application of science and technology.
  • The participants will include researchers from scientific organizations, academia and R&D laboratories from India and Canada.
  • Identified areas of mutual cooperation include safe and sustainable infrastructure and integrated water management.
  • This will help to develop institutional networking and support the establishment of connections between scientific organizations, scientists and specialists of India and Canada.


Innovation Multi-disciplinary Partnerships to Accelerate Community Transformation and Sustainability (IMPACTS)

  • The Department of Biotechnology and Department of Science and Technology is collaborating with Canada through the India-Canada Centre for IMPACTS, on programme focusing on Clean Water technology.
  • Technologies that are being developed are: Bio-sensors for detection of toxins Heavy metal detection and removal Bio-recovery from waste water


  • The India-Canada Centre for Innovative Multidisciplinary Partnerships to Accelerate Community Transformation and Sustainability (IC-IMPACTS) and its partners are developing and implementing community-based solutions to meet the most urgent needs faced by some communities in Canada and India: poor water quality, unsafe and unsustainable infrastructure, and poor health from water-borne and infectious diseases.
  • Under IC-IMPACTS’ leadership, researchers, industry innovators, community organizations and government agencies work collaboratively to develop and test local solutions that can be scaled up across India and Canada.
  • The centre also provides training and professional development to address critical skills shortages.



FDI policy further liberalized in key sectors

  • 100% FDI under automatic route for Single Brand Retail Trading
  • 100% FDI under automatic route in Construction Development
  • Foreign airlines allowed to invest up to 49% under approval route in Air India
  • FIIs/FPIs allowed to invest in Power Exchanges through primary market
  • Definition of ‘medical devices’ amended in the FDI Policy


  • Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is a major driver of economic growth and a source of non-debt finance for the economic development of the country.
  • Government has put in place an investor friendly policy on FDI, under which FDI up to 100%, is permitted on the automatic route in most sectors/ activities.
  • In the recent past, the Government has brought FDI policy reforms in a number of sectors viz. Defence, Construction Development, Insurance, Pension, Other Financial Services, Asset reconstruction Companies, Broadcasting, Civil Aviation, Pharmaceuticals, Trading etc.
  • Measures undertaken by the Government have resulted in increased FDI inflows in to the country.



Matunga Railway Station in Mumbai Division of Central Railway enters Limca Book of Records 2018 for posting all women staff on the station.

  • Indian Railways initiative of empowering its women employees has brought laurels as Matunga Railway Station has entered into Limca Book of Records 2018.
  • Matunga Railway Station has become the first station in India which has all women staff managing the operations of the stations.
  • Ladies staff across all departments viz. operating, commercial, RPF, etc. are posted at Matunga Railway Station to make it first of its kind station on Railways.


  • The staff has been handling overall operations of the railway station round the clock from last six months and results are positive and encouraging.
  • The idea is creation of an environment for women where they can make decision of their own for their personal and professional well being, organizational good, notwithstanding.



Ministry of Road Transport & Highways signs MoU with Transport for London to revamp public transport system in the country

  • The MoU is aimed at using the expertise of TFL to revamp the public transport architecture in the country. TFL is the agency that manages the transport system for Greater London, and has demonstrated its capability by creating a strong and dependable public transport system in the city.


  • TFL has created a unique system of operating buses in PPP model with over 17 operators under a single brand.
  • A salient feature has been their double decker buses which provide for high capacity with low road space requirement.
  • They have also been operating large number of electric and hybrid buses. The common mobility card is another successful product launched by TFL which has made travel easy for the commuters and accounting easier for the operators.


  • MoU will help to revamp the public transport and augment passenger capacity by way of creating a sustainable public transport system.
  • The MoU can see an increase the use of electric vehicles in public transport and promote digital transaction for ticketing.
  • It can also help us improve major procurement strategies including PPP models for operations, infrastructure maintenance strategies, infrastructure design and delivery, besides promoting behavioral change towards promotion of public transport.
  • It will also enable improved customer services, harness from scientific data analysis and implement effective IT systems in the transport sector.

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