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Last Updated: October 17, 2020 2 days ago

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  • Israeli Parliament Approves Historic Peace Deal with UAE

    2 days ago
    The Parliament of Israel, approved the historic normalization deal or the peace deal called as the Abraham Accord with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on October 15, 2020. Israeli Parliament initially signed the agreement in Washington on September 15, 2020. Highlights: ♦ Eighty were voted in favour of the deal while 13 were opposed it. ♦ Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for peace with Lebanon which is Israel's neighbour in the north. ♦ The UAE and Bahrain became the first Gulf countries to agree upon the formulation of official relations with Israel. ♦ The two countries had recently launched US-led negotiations to end the dispute over their maritime border. ♦ Earlier, two Arab countries, namely Egypt and Jordan, had signed peace agreements with Israel.  Israel-UAE peace deal: Under the Abraham Accord, the United Arab Emirates will establish diplomatic relations with Israel. While in return PM Benjamin Netanyahu has committed to giving up a plan to annex the West Bank. West bank is the main disputed territory that Palestine wants. Israel and the United Arab Emirates would also be finalizing the bilateral ties covering the areas of investment, tourism, the establishment of direct flights, energy, security, telecommunications, healthcare, technology, cultural exchange, environmental issues, and the establishment of embassies. 

    IIT- Guwahati signed MoU with the C-DAC to establish 650TF supercomputing facility

    3 days ago
    Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Guwahati has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC). The aim is to establish Rs. 17 crore worth of 650TF Supercomputing Facility under the National Supercomputing Mission (NSM). The MoU was signed by C-DAC Director General Hemant Darbari and IIT-G Director T G Sitharam during a virtual event in the presence of Union ministers.of State for Education, Communications and Electronics & Information Technology.   Highlights: ♦ The MoU has been signed for a period of 5 years. ♦ IIT stated that using the Supercomputing facility, the Institute will focus on quantum turbulence, instabilities and turbulence in thermal convection and MHD, supercooled liquid and glasses; reactivity of high-valent metal intermediates; computational study of polymer-composites, membranes, poly electrolytes, granular flows; NLP, clinical text mining, Machine Learning and its application in computational biology, Deep Learning; and Computational Social Systems areas of research ♦ The new supercomputer with 650 TFLOPS will be more powerful and a technologically superior facility. It will play an important role in the field of scientific and engineering applications. ♦ The Communication Centre and IIT-G’s Computer is already equipped with ‘Param Ishan’, a ‘250 TF’ supercomputer. ♦ Under the MoU the institute will organise training courses to popularise the use and applications of supercomputers in the northeastern region. ♦ This facility with the new inter-disciplinary master programme on data sciences was jointly initiated by the Departments of Electronics and Electrical Engineering (EEE), Computer Science and Engineering and Mathematics· ♦ The supercomputing facility will be a part of the National Supercomputing Mission (NSM).   What is super computer? A supercomputer has a very high speed in its operation. This computer has higher memory. The computing system can perform assigned tasks including multiple tasks at very high speeds than any other normal personal computer (PC) and in many cases are able to operate at speeds that are millions of times faster than ordinary PCs.  

    India, Netherlands sign SoI on Decarbonization and Energy Transition Agenda

    19 days ago
    The policy think tank of the Government of India, NITI Aayog and Embassy of the Netherlands, New Delhi, signed a Statement of Intent (SoI) on 28 September 2020. The aim is to support the decarbonization and energy transition agenda for accommodating cleaner and more energy. Highlights: ♦ The agreement aims for a strategic partnership to create a platform which will enable a comprehensive collaboration among stakeholders and influencers, including  industry bodies, policymakers, Original equipment manufacturer (OEMs), private enterprises, and sector experts. ♦ The partnership focuses on co-creating innovative technological solutions by leveraging the expertise of the two entities.  ♦ It will be achieved through an exchange of knowledge and collaborative activities.  ♦ Key elements include:  i) lowering the net carbon footprint in industrial and transport sectors  ii) realise the target potential of natural gas and promote bio-energy technologies iii) adopt clean air technologies from monitoring to reducing actual particulates  iv) adopt next-generation technologies, such as hydrogen, carbon capture utilization, and storage for sectoral energy efficiency  v) financial frameworks to deliver and adopt climate change finance   ♦ The SoI will enhance Indo-Dutch collaboration, and it will successfully work towards achieving the decarbonization and energy transition agenda.

    India-Denmark Bilateral Summit; Partners to Work Towards Supply-chain Diversification

    21 days ago
    Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Danish counterpart Mette Frederiksen held a virtual summit on 28 September. The aim is to strengthen the bilateral relations between the two countries.  Highlights: ♦ The leaders signed an MoU in the field of intellectual property cooperation between the two countries.  ♦ The virtual bilateral summit provided an opportunity for the two leaders to comprehensively review the broad framework of the bilateral relationship between the two countries ♦ The summit gave broad political direction for a strengthened and deepened collaborative partnership on key issues of mutual interest. ♦ A major outcome of teh summit is joining of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) by Denmark.

    Ministry of AYUSH signed MoU with Ministry of Women and Child Development for Controlling Malnutrition

    27 days ago
    Ministry of AYUSH signed MoU with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in New Delhi. The MoU is aimed to control Malnutrition as a part of POSHAN Abhiyaan.  Highlights: ♦ The MoU aims time-tested and scientifically proven Ayush-based solutions being adopted for controlling malnutrition in the country. ♦ The MoU is aimed to tackle the problem of malnutrition in mothers and children in the country.  ♦ Centre aims to establish Nutri-gardens and medicinal gardens in every Anganwadi in near future. ♦ The MoU will enable co-operation between the Ministries in identified areas including Integration of AYUSH into POSHAN Abhiyaan and Control of malnutrition through the principles and practices of Ayurveda, Yoga and other Ayush systems.  The collaboration will do the following activities: ♦ At Anganwadi Centres: Visit of AYUSH workforce to Anganwadi Centre once in a month with Anganwadi workers in coordination with State health Authorities, Department of WCD Development of PoshanVatika Yoga programmes ♦ For AYUSH Nutritional Care Generate baseline data in the nutritional status of the targeted population Create Provision of Telemedicine, AYUSH call centres/ helpline through Common Service Centres Customize region-specific nutrition Prepare proper documentation of all efforts for scientific evaluation ♦ Raise awareness among the community about the traditional indigenous food items. ♦ Introduce the concept of nutrition based on Ayurveda and other AYUSH systems ♦ The Anganwadi worker who provides the Ayurveda nutrition message to the community at ground level may be designated as DHATRI (Dedicated Health Activist to Replenish the Innutrition). ♦ The two Ministries have is set to launch the hashtag #Ayush4Anganwadi for generating awareness about the activities on the digital media.

    FACT signed MoU with ITI Kalamassery to improve industry-institute interaction

    28 days ago
    Fertilisers and Chemicals Travancore Limited (FACT), a PSU under the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Government Industrial Training Institute (ITI) Kalamassery to improve industry institute interaction. The Executive Director (Production Co-ordination) of FACT Sri Kesavan Nampoothiri and Principal of ITI Kalamassery Sri Raghunadhan signed the MoU agreement. Highlights: ♦ The MoU aims to implement anthe adoption programme to share training facilities and facilitate academic interaction between ITI students and FACT employees. ♦ The MoU will enhance exchange knowledge, conduct factory visits, enable experts from FACT to impart training, organize joint projects, participate in research, provide on-the-job training in FACT, mutually intimate courses, seminars, workshops, etc.

    Niti Aayog partners with ISPP for capacity building

    30 days ago
    Niti Aayog has partnered with the Indian School of Public Policy (ISPP) for mentoring, training, and capacity building of government officials and public policy scholars. A statement of intent (SOI) was signed between the Development Monitoring and Evaluation Office (DMEO) of the NITI Aayog and the ISPP regarding this. Highlights: ♦ The partnership aims to build collaboration for faster intermediation of knowledge and use within the public system. ♦ Under the partnership, communications, and outreach, evidence building exercises, organizing joint conferences, and podcast series will be conducted. The ISPP scholars will interact and interview the DMEO and Niti Aayog's experts on current policy issues, evaluations, and perspectives during all the activities and conferences. ♦ Also, Live projects for ISPP scholars, internships, exchange of experts between DMEO and ISPP will be explored.

    India, Japan signed agreement on Reciprocal Provision of Supplies and Services between Forces

    38 days ago
    India and Japan signed an agreement concerning Reciprocal Provision of Supplies and Services between the Armed Forces of India and The Self-Defense Forces of Japan. The agreement was signed by Ambassador of Japan Mr. Suzuki Satoshi and Defence Secretary Dr. Ajay Kumar. Highlights: ♦ The agreement between India, Japan will establish the enabling framework for closer cooperation between the Armed Forces of India and Japan in the reciprocal provision of supplies and services. ♦ Under the agreement, both the countries will get engaged in bilateral training activities, United Nations Peacekeeping Operations, Humanitarian International Relief, and other mutually agreed activities. ♦ The agreement will enhance the interoperability between the Armed Force of India and Japan. It will further increase the bilateral defence engagements under the Special Strategic & Global Partnership between the two countries.

    ADB, India signed USD 500 Million Loan for Delhi-Meerut RRTS Corridor

    41 days ago
    The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India (GoI) signed a $500 million loan on 8 September. The first tranche of a total $1 billion facility will be used to build a modern, high-speed 82 Km Delhi-Meerut Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) corridor. It will improve regional connectivity and mobility in India’s national capital region (NCR). Highlights: ♦ The first tranche loan will support the construction of the first of three priority rail corridors planned under the NCR Regional Plan 2021 to connect Delhi to other cities in adjoining states. ♦ The project is aimed to provide better connectivity to allow other towns in the NCR to develop as urban economic centers surrounded by residential areas while easing the concentration pressure on Delhi.  ♦ The corridor will have a huge demonstration effect and pave the way for a paradigm shift in mobility and the pattern of urban development within the region. ♦ The project will have a transformational impact on the development trajectory of the NCR by introducing high-level technologies for RRTS, signaling, and station designs. ♦ The project will support transit-oriented development (TOD) with systematic urban and land use planning around the RRTS corridor while promoting value capture financing (VCF) to generate additional municipal revenues.

    AIM partnered with Freshworks to empower AIM Startup Innovators

    42 days ago
    Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), NITI Aayog, has partnered with Freshworks Inc., a customer-engagement software company, with an aim to provide robust support to innovators and entrepreneurs in India. It also aims to increase the efficiency of several institutions and startups in the AIM portfolio. It also aims to foster innovation and entrepreneurship among startup innovators. Highlights: ♦ Under the partnership, Freshworks will provide credits for its suite of products to AIM and its beneficiaries. It aims to empower startups to function efficiently while keeping a tab on costs in related activities.  ♦ The credits will be related to Freshdesk-Customer Support Software, Freshchat-Customer Messaging Software, Freshsales-Sales CRM Software,  Fresh Release-Agile Project Management Software, Freshmarketer-Marketing Automation Software,  Freshcaller-Cloud Telephony Software, Freshteam-HR Management Software, Freshservice-and IT service management software. ♦ Freshworks will provide support including in the functional training in sales, marketing, resources and mentorship to startups and customer support use of cloud technology for providing better customer experiences. ♦ AIM will organize various webinars including workshops, training of modules and other relevant topics. ♦ The move will support the efforts of SME/MSME and startups with the right tools and guidance required so they can provide great experiences.   ♦ It will also improve the effectiveness and sustainability of the startup world across the country. Freshworks Inc.: Freshworks Inc. is a cloud-based software as a service (SaaS) company. The company provides innovative customer-engagement software for businesses of all sizes, making it easy for teams to acquire, close, and keep their customers for life. The company provides a 360-degree view of the customer.

    AIFC, FCA signs MoU for the development of football in India and Australia

    52 days ago
    The Association of Indian Football Coaches (AIFC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Football Coaches Australia (FCA) for the development of football in India and Australia. The aim is to promote enrollment of female coaches and make football more accessible for all participants.  Highlights: ♦ Under this MoU, standard contracts for the coaches with the country will be introduced. This will inturn provide the minimum employment conditions and structured and resourced process for termination of employment. ♦ The two firm will look to encourage the involvement of more female coaches and increase access to football for all participants. ♦ The move aims to use the opportunities for both parties to collectively advance professional development, cultural, employment, and commercial opportunities for football coaches.

    APEDA signs MoUs with AFC India, NCUI to synergize the activities in the interest of agriculture and allied sectors

    55 days ago
    Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, has signed Memorandum of understanding (MoUs) with AFC India Limited, and National Cooperative Union of India (NCUI), Delhi. The MoU aims to utilise their expertise by mutually working together to synergize the activities in the interest of agriculture and allied sectors for bringing better value to the stakeholders. Highlights: ♦ Under the MoU, AFC India Ltd. will identify and introduce the critical technology intervention requirement for organic production systems and chemical/ residue-free production system. ♦ It will maintain and enhance the present per unit area production level of the different Crops / Fruits & Vegetables.   ♦ AFC will support the development of the Common Processing Centers as per the guidelines of APEDA with international market requirements. ♦ AFC will support the entire value chain system until the clusters and value chain becomes self-sufficient in the shortest possible time. ♦ AFC will undertake the ground level implementation of all the activities under export-oriented clusters notified under Agri Export Policy and other clusters recommended by APEDA in project mode by seeking the presently available subsidies through different Central Sectors and State sponsored programmes. ♦ APEDA shall encourage AFC for developing Pre-Production, Production, Post Harvesting, Primary Processing, Secondary Processing, and transportation/ distribution guidelines for all the stakeholders (including farmers) to meet international compliance. ♦ AFC will work for the development of cluster identified by APEDA for implementation of various projects in the entire value chain dovetailing and converging schemes of various line Ministries.

    AIIB, India signed USD 500 million loan agreement for Mumbai Urban Transport Project-III

    55 days ago
    Government of India, Maharashtra State Government, Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) signed a loan agreement for a $500 million Mumbai Urban Transport Project-III. The aim of the MoU is to improve the network capacity, service quality and safety of the suburban railway system in Mumbai.  Highlights: ♦ The Mumbai Urban Transport Project-III will benefit 22% of the female passengers from improved safety and the quality of the service. ♦ It will also provide direct safety benefits to the public and the passengers through the introduction of trespass control measures. ♦ The project is expected to assist the improvement of service quality, mobility, and safety of passengers of the sub-urban railway system of Mumbai. ♦ The project will be more reliable, and higher quality of transport services as compared to road-based transport. ♦ The move comes to provide easy transportation in the highly populated region. Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), has a population of 22.8 million (based on 2011 data), is the most populous metropolitan region in India. The population is expected to reach 29.3 million by 2031 and 32.1 million by 2041.

    CMIA partnered with UNDP to set up help desk for MSMEs

    55 days ago
    Chamber of Marathwada Industries and Agriculture (CMIA) partnered with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on 24 August to set up help desk for MSMEs amid Covid-19. The partnership aims to establish Covid-19 help desk in order to facilitate Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). The help desk will be active till January 2021.  Covid-19 help desk: ♦ The Covid-19 help desk will provide various information on government safety guidelines, regulatory norms and government Covid-19 response schemes and support measures.  ♦ It will provide support to MSMEs through in-person and phone consultation. It will offer advisory services on scaling operations and bridging the skill gap. It will also facilitate linkages to financial institutions and government departments. ♦ The helpdesk will facilitate the recruitment of skilled workforce requirements as per the demand by MSMEs along with state skill development missions and other relevant government departments/support agencies. ♦ It will host regular webinars, consultation and interactive sessions for MSMEs to address and alleviate the Covid-19 related business challenges, clarify their queries, promotion of the business, financial guidance with necessary linkage to get support from the government and other stakeholders. ♦ MSMEs are directed to contact CMIA for their relevant jobs and apprenticeship opportunities available with the industries with skill requirements, location, qualification, experience etc and challenges faced by MSMEs.

    Ministry of Tourism signed MoU with TAAI and FLO to promote tourism as sustainable livelihood model

    59 days ago
    The Union Minister of State for Tourism (IC), Shri Prahlad Singh Patel, a formal Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was virtually signed today by the Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) and FICCI Ladies Organisation (FLO) with the Ministry of Tourism for women empowerment.  Highlights: ♦ The MoU gives us an opportunity to increase participation of women in the tourism sector.  ♦ It will make them an integral part of the tourism workforce of the country.  ♦ The initiative by FLO and TAAI will lay emphasis on personal and hospitality skills, a more flexible work balance and greater options for entrepreneurship with significantly lower capital. ♦ The MoU provision will create awareness, along with state tourism departments and state tourism corporations. It will also highlight the vital role, the tourism industry can play as a model for sustainable livelihood for women and ensure their economic upliftment.   ♦ The initiative encourages travel to at least 15 destinations within the country under the DekhoApnaDesh initiative. This will be a mandate for FLO's & TAAI's membership base of over 8000 women and their family support systems. ♦ It will also conduct community-based tourism activities around one Iconic Monument or Tourist Landmark in each state. Women will be the tour guides, run food stalls, souvenir stalls with their own arts & crafts, handle the overall accounts and running of the landmark. ♦ FLO and TAAI are expected to raise awareness on Sustainable Tourism practices and focus on Tourism as a vital sustainable livelihood tool for women's empowerment, by way of advocacy and awareness, educational workshops, seminars and panel discussions. ♦ It encourages tie up with training agencies for Tourism workshops for training women about concepts on food safety, health & hygiene, sanitation, environment, culinary skills and entrepreneurship skills. ♦ It will encourage the women to be engaged about the "Atithidevo bhava" motto through sensitisation workshops. ♦ The MoU will create community-driven and women-led initiatives for rural and urban homestays to provide livelihood opportunities for women. ♦ It will also create awareness about the Incredible India Tourist Facilitator (IITF) Certification Programme.

    IIT Kanpur, DARPG, DoD signs tripartite MoU to conduct predictive analysis of public grievances

    76 days ago
    Department of Defence (DoD) Ministry of Defence (MoD), Department of Administrative Reforms & Public Grievances (DARPG), and Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur (IITK) signed a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on 4th August 2020. The MoU aims to conduct predictive analysis of public grievances. Highlights: ♦ Under the MoU, IIT-Kanpur will develop Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) Techniques to conduct exploratory and predictive analysis of Public Grievances received on the web-based Centralized Public Grievances Redress & Monitoring System (CPGRAMS) pertaining to the MoD.  ♦ The DARPG will provide the data dump on the Public Grievances pertaining to MoD to IIT-Kanpur to facilitate their analysis. DARPG is the nodal Department of Government of India in respect of policy initiatives on Public Grievances and custodian of data on web-based CPGRAMS portal. ♦ The project is aimed to help the MoD to identify the cause and nature of grievances and bring about systemic changes and policy interventions wherever required.

    KVIC and ITBP sign MoU to supply Khadi Mustard Oil now

    79 days ago
    The Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) to supply mustard oil on 31st July 2020. The move is in line with “Aatmanirbhar.” The MoU was signed by Shri VK Nagar, Director, KVIC and Shri Rama Kant Sharma, DIG, ITBP in presence of KVIC Chairman, Shri Vinai Kumar Saxena. Highlights: ♦ The KVIC and ITBP have signed the MoU for a period of one year and it will be renewed further. ♦ The next products in the pipeline are cotton mats (dari), blankets, bedsheets, pillow covers, pickles, honey, papad, and cosmetics, etc. The total value of oil and dari will be approximately Rs.18 crore. ♦ The move By GoI is to encourage local products in a bid to support the “Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan” initiated by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.  ♦ GoI also made it mandatory to sell only “Swadeshi” products through the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) canteens across India.  ♦ ITBP is the nodal agency appointed by MHA for the procurement of provisions on behalf of all paramilitary forces. ♦ The ITBP is expected to place an order for a supply of 1200 quintals of high quality kacchi ghani mustard oil which will be supplied by KVIC through its Prime Ministers Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) units in a month’s time. ♦ The MoU aims to provide the best quality oil to the jawans guarding our borders, that too, on time will be our top priority. ♦ KVIC recently supplied products like honey, pickles, edible oils, agarbatti, papad, amla candy, and cotton towels, etc. to CAPF canteens on trial basis.  ♦ Also, 63 new products are being prepared for adding in the supply basket.

    CSIR, UBA-IIT Delhi, Vijnana Bharati sign a tripartite MoU to adopt CSIR technologies for rural development

    80 days ago
    Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), Unnat Bharat Abhiyan-Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi (UBA-IITD), and Vijnana Bharati (VIBHA) has signed a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in New Delhi. Under the MoU, it is expected to lay the foundation for cooperation and joint action in the area of UBA for rural development of India.  Highlights: ♦ The MoU aims to provide access to CSIR rural technologies for Unnat Bharat Abhiyan (UBA). ♦ It is expected that the adoption of CSIR technologies and related knowledge base are in tune with the people's aspirations in furtherance of initiatives such as UBA and VIBHA. ♦ UBA is a national program that functions under the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) envisioning the transformational change in rural development processes by leveraging knowledge institutions to help build the architecture of an inclusive India. ♦ The MoU is needed as an adequate structural network is essential for effective implementation of UBA nationwide.  ♦ The MoU will enhance collaboration among the concerned ministries, district administration, local Panchayat Raj Institutes (PRIs), voluntary organizations, other stakeholders, and participating institutions in Unnat Bharat Abhiyan. ♦ The MoU will pave the way for effective coordination between CSIR, IIT Delhi, and Vijnana Bharati (Vibha) towards meeting the objectives of the Unnat Bharat Abhiyan.

    PFC signed an agreement with IIT- Kanpur for Training, Research, and Entrepreneurship Development in Smart Grid Technology

    81 days ago
    Power Finance Corporation (PFC), a PSU under the Ministry of Power signed an MoA with the Indian Institute of Technology- Kanpur (IIT-K). The agreement aims to support Training, Research, and Entrepreneurship Development in Smart Grid Technology. The agreement was signed by Shri M Prabhakar Das, Chief General Manager (CSR&SD), PFC, and Prof. Jayant Kumar Singh, Dean Resource and Alumni on a virtual platform. Highlights: ♦ Under the MoA, PFC will provide financial assistance of Rs.2,38,97,000 to IIT-K under its CSR initiative. ♦ The main objective of the pact is to provide support to IIT-K in developing infrastructure for research and development on smart grid technology.  ♦ Under this project, IIT-K will provide training on smart grid technology to 90 participants. It will als provide fellowship to 9 selected candidates for the development of ideas on Smart Grid Technology.  The participants will be assisted by the Start-up Innovation and Incubation Centre (SIIC) of IIT-K and will take up entrepreneurial activities.

    Cabinet approved MoU between India and Zimbabwe on Cooperation in the field of Traditional System of Medicine and Homeopathy

    81 days ago
    The Union Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between India and Zimbabwe on on 3 November 2018. The MoU was to enhance cooperation in the field of Traditional Systems of Medicine and Homeopathy.   Highlights: ♦ The MoU will provide a framework for the cooperation between the two countries for the promotion of traditional systems of medicine and homeopathy. ♦ The MoU will benefit both the countries in the field of Traditional Medicine. The aim is to strengthen, promote and develop co-operation in the field of traditional systems of medicine between the two countries on the basis of equality and mutual benefit.  ♦ The MoU identifies the following areas of cooperation: ♦ The supply of all the medicine materials and documents necessary for demonstration and reference to achieve the objectives specified within the framework of the MoU ♦ It will promote the regulation of teaching, practice, drugs, and drugless therapies ♦ It promotes exchange of experts for the training of practitioners, scientists, paramedics, teaching professionals, and also students. It will also include accommodation for them. ♦ Under this MoU, the countries will mutually recognize systems of medicines, Pharmacopoeias and Formularies ♦ Provision of Scholarships for education in recognized Institutions ♦ Recognition of traditional preparations on a reciprocal basis by the qualified practitioners as per the existing laws of the respective Countries ♦ Permission to practice on a reciprocal basis by the qualified practitioners as per the existing laws of the respective Countries ♦ Any other areas and/or forms of cooperation mutually agreed upon subsequently by the Parties.

    TRIFED partnered with IIT-Delhi for Unnat Bharat Abhiyan

    86 days ago
    Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED) has entered into a partnership with IIT-Delhi (on behalf of the UBA, as the National Coordinating Institute) and Vijnana Bharati (VIBHA, a Swadeshi Science Movement) at IIT, Delhi  for the Unnat Bharat Abhiyan (UBA), a flagship national programme of Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) , Government of India (GoI).  MoU Provisions: ♦ The MoU will Introduce Tribals to Newer Processing Technologies, Product Innovation, Mentorship and Transformational Digital Systems. ♦ Over 2600 Institutions will partner with TRIFED for Skilling Tribals for Livelihoods ♦ The collaboration aims to promote Tribal Livelihoods and Income generating programmes among the concerned Ministries, District Administration, local Panchayat Raj Institutes (PRIs), Voluntary Organisations, other stakeholders, and the other participating institutions.  ♦ The partnership can help promote enhancing livelihoods through the Van Dhan Vikas Kendras established under the Van Dhan Yojana. ♦ Under the Mou, the tribal forest dwellers who are engaged in Minor Forest Produces will get an exposure to newer processing technologies, product innovation, mentorship, transformational digital systems and handholding.   ♦ The MoU will pave ways for the best of brains in the country to attend to the problems of sustainable tribal livelihoods.

    India, Maldives signs agreement to establish Emergency Medical Services in Male

    88 days ago
    India and Maldives have signed an agreement for the establishment of ‘Emergency Medical Services’ in Male, Maldives. This service is one of the several small and medium projects that are being financed by India under grant assistance of around $20 million to the Maldives. Highlights: ♦ The emergency medical service unit will enhance timely access to quality emergency care.  ♦ The Emergency Medical Services will increase collaboration between disaster response agencies and healthcare facilities, especially during critical times of need in the country.

    CBIC signed MoU with CBDT to facilitate smoother bilateral exchange of data

    89 days ago
    Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) and the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on 21 July 2020 with immediate effect. The MoU aims for data exchange between the two organizations.  Background: This MoU will supersede the MoU signed between CBDT and the erstwhile Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) in 2015. Changed circumstances, including advancements in technology, are duly incorporated in the MoU signed. After the MoU in 2015, significant developments have taken place, including the introduction of GST, incorporation of GSTN, and change in the nomenclature of Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) to Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC).  MoU Provisions: ♦ The MoU aims to facilitate data sharing and information between CBDT and CBIC on an automatic and regular basis.  ♦ Apart from this, CBDT and CBIC will exchange with each other, on request and spontaneous basis, any information available in their respective databases which may have utility for the other organization. ♦ The MoU is an ongoing initiative of CBDT and CBIC, who are already collaborating through various existing mechanisms.  ♦ Under the MoU, a Data Exchange Steering Group has been constituted for the initiative. The group will meet periodically to review the data exchange status and take steps to further improve the effectiveness of the data-sharing mechanism.

    CBDT signed MoU with MoMSME for data sharing

    90 days ago
    The Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Government of India (MoMSME) and the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has signed a formal Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on 20 July 2020. The MoU is aimed at the sharing of data by CBDT to MoMSME. The MoU comes into force from 20 July 2020, the date it was signed. MoU Provisions: ♦ The MoU will facilitate the seamless sharing of certain Income-tax Return (ITR) related information by the Income Tax Department to MoMSME.  ♦ The shared data will enable MoMSME to check and classify enterprises in Micro, Small, and Medium categories. ♦ Under the MoU, both the organizations will appoint Nodal Officer and Alternate Nodal Officers to facilitate the process of data exchange. ♦ It is expected that the MoU will mark the beginning of a new era of cooperation and synergy between the CBDT and MoMSME.

    Cochin Shipyard signed agreement to build autonomous electric ferries for Norway

    93 days ago
    Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) has signed a contract with ASKO Maritime AS, Norway, a subsidiary of NorgesGruppen, to build autonomous electric ferries. The agreement paves way for the construction and supply of the two autonomous electric ferries along with an option to build two more identical vessels. Highlights: ♦ The project will put CSL into a league of premier shipbuilding yards in the world, which will be known capable of handling high tech vessel construction.  ♦ The total value of the contract has not yet been disclosed by CSL. ♦ Naval Dynamics, Norway has designed the vessels using Kongsberg Maritime systems and detailed engineering that will be carried out by CSL.  ♦ The vessels will be built under DNV GL Classification. ♦ The vessels are 67 km long and powered by 1846 kWh capacity batterie. It will initially be delivered as a full electric transport ferry. ♦ The vessel is capable to transport full loaded 16 Standard EU trailers in one go across the fjords. ♦ After the commissioning of autonomous equipment and field trials in Norway, the vessel will start operating as a fully autonomous ferry of ASKO.

    India, Israel sign agreement to expand collaboration in dealing with cyber threats

    94 days ago
    India and Israel have signed an agreement to expand cooperation in cybersecurity. The agreement was signed to expand collaboration in dealing with cyber threats amid rapid digitization due to the COVID-19 pandemic that exposed the vulnerabilities of the virtual world. Highlights: ♦ This new agreement is another opportunity to reaffirm the mutual commitment between India and Israel. ♦ It is expected that Israel can contribute from its experience and can benefit from the vast experience gained in India in dealing with cyber attacks. ♦ The MoU is signed between the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT), a unit of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), and INCD. ♦ The MoU will deepen the operational cooperation between the two sides and will expand the scope of exchange of information on cyber threats in order to raise the levels of protection in the field. ♦ The agreement is expected to lay down the framework for dialogue, cooperation in capacity building, mutual exchange of best practices in the field and facilitates regular exchanges. Background: The two countries, India and Israel, are cooperating in the cyber field since January 2018. After the first agreement, several professional seminars have been held among industry and government officials and many reciprocal visits have taken place. Many meetings have been held between the Indian and Israeli side since 2018 to strengthen cooperation in the field of cybersecurity.

    NTPC partnered with NIIF to explore business opportunities in India

    95 days ago
    NTPC Ltd, a central PSU under the Ministry of Power and Country’s largest power generation company, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) on 16 July 2020. The aim of the MoU is to explore opportunities for investments in areas like renewable energy, power distribution among other areas of mutual interest in India. Highlights: ♦ With this MoU, NTPC and NIIF will collaborate to further help India’s vision of building sustainable and robust energy infrastructure in the country.  ♦ The agreement will bring together NTPC’s technical expertise and NIIF’s ability to raise capital and bring in global best practices by leveraging its existing relationships with leading players. ♦ NTPC targets to have nearly 30 GW of its overall power generation capacity from renewable energy sources by 2032. ♦ As of now, NTPC has a total installed capacity of 62110 MW, 70 Power stations comprising of 24 Coal, 7 combined cycle Gas/Liquid Fuel, 1 Hydro, 13 Renewables along with 25 Subsidiary & JV Power Stations. ♦ Also, NIIF Limited manages over $4.3 billion of equity capital commitments across its three funds namely Master Fund, Fund of Funds, and Strategic Opportunities Fund, each with its distinct investment strategy. NIIFL is a collaborative investment platform for the international and Indian investors, anchored by the Government of India. It is the largest infrastructure fund in the country and invests in core infrastructure sectors such as transportation and energy.

    IIT Alumni Council, CSIR-IGIB signed MoU for joint research on COVID-19 and patient data analysis

    102 days ago
    The IIT Alumni Council signed an agreement with the CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (CSIR-IGIB) to conduct research on the COVID-19 and patient data analysis. The IIT Alumni council is currently setting up the world's largest molecular diagnostic lab 'MegaLab Mumbai'. Highlights: ♦ Under the agreement, IIT Alumni Council handed over imaging data of over 8,500 patients. These patients were admitted to the COVID Care Facility at Worli’s National Sports Club of India.  ♦ The partnership is expected to create a world-leading testing and treatment ecosystem and establish global data leadership.  ♦ It will focus on creating an ecosystem for Covid-19 diagnostics, therapeutics, and preparedness.  ♦ The ecosystem will enable a value chain with expertise, spanning digital health, Artificial Intelligence (AI), molecular diagnostics, next-generation sequencing, antibody harvesting, and production of monoclonal antibodies. ♦ It will provide open data access to every scientist and innovator across the world for the development of bleeding-edge testing and treatment solutions Background: In May 2020, the Council had announced the launch of the world's largest virology lab testing centre with a capacity of conducting one crore tests. The first phase, with a capacity to carry out 10 lakh tests, will be ready by July.  The IIT Alumni Council is the largest body of alumni, students, and faculty from all the 23 Indian Institutes of Technology and partnering Technical Institutes of Excellence and was formed in 2019 to carry out projects of social importance.

    CBDT, SEBI signs MoU for data exchange between the organizations

    102 days ago
    Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) and the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for data exchange between the two organizations. The MoU was signed by Smt. Anu J. Singh, Pr. DGIT (Systems), CBDT, and Smt. Madhabi Puri Buch, Whole Time Member, SEBI in the presence of senior officers from both the organizations via video conference.  Highlights: ♦ The MoU marks the initiation of cooperation and synergy between SEBI and CBDT. ♦ The MoU will facilitate data sharing and information sharing between SEBI and CBDT on an automatic & regular basis.  ♦ It will facilitate regular exchange of data between the two organizations for the purpose of carrying out their functions under various laws. The data will be shared on request and suo moto basis. ♦ The MoU came into effect from the date it was signed and is an ongoing initiative of CBDT and SEBI, who are already collaborating through various existing mechanisms.  ♦ Under this, a Data Exchange Steering Group has been constituted for the initiative. The group will meet periodically to review the data exchange status and take steps to further improve the effectiveness of the data-sharing mechanism.

    World Bank to provide USD 400 million to enhance support to rejuvenate Ganga

    104 days ago
    World Bank and the Government of India (GoI) signed a loan agreement to enhance support for the Namami Gange programme that seeks to rejuvenate the Ganga river. The Second National Ganga River Basin Project aims to help stem pollution in river Ganga. It will also strengthen the management of the river basin, which is home to more than 500 million people. Highlights: ♦ The $400 million projects comprise a loan of $381 million and a proposed Guarantee of up to $19 million.  ♦ The agreement aims to ensure that the river Ganga returns to a pollution-free, ecologically healthy state.  ♦ The new project will extend the engagement of India and the World Bank in this critical national programme to make the Ganga a clean, healthy river. ♦ The project will help build infrastructure and institutions that are needed to make the Ganga clean.

    NMPB signs MoU with ICAR-NBPGR to conserve Germplasm on long-term basis

    104 days ago
    National Medicinal Plants Board (NMPB) under the AYUSH Ministry signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) - National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources (NBPGR) under Department of Agricultural Research and Education on 6 July 2020. The agreement aims to conserve the Medicinal and Aromatic Plants Genetic Resources (MAPGRs). It will be preserved at ICAR-NBPGR's designated space in the long-term storage module in the National Gene bank and Regional Station for a medium-term storage module, as per the availability. Highlights: ♦ The MoU aims to acquire hands-on training on the conservation techniques of plant germplasm to the NMPB working group. ♦ NMPB and ICAR-NBPGR will serve the National interests through conservation of germplasm on a long-term basis, safely and cost-effectively for present and future generations.  ♦ The move also aims to ensure social and economic security.  ♦ Under the MoU, NMPB and the ICAR-NBPGR will develop modalities for seed storage of MAPGRs in detail and submit a periodic progress report to their respective organizations. Background: Medicinal Plants are considered as the rich resources of traditional medicines. These plants are used for several thousand years in the health care system. It is well known that India has a rich diversity of medicinal Plants (MPs) resources. Due to developmental activities, natural resources are gradually getting depleted. These plants should be conserved so that the natural resources will be utilized. An integral part of biodiversity conservation is to conserve plant genetic resources. The aim of conservation is to make sustainable development by protecting and utilizing natural resources. It aims to keep a variety of genes and species or do not destroy important habitats and ecosystems.

    Indian oil, NTPC Ltd, and SDMC signed MoU for Waste to Energy plant in Delhi

    110 days ago
    A Memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed on Waste to Energy plant at Okhla, Delhi, between Indian Oil, NTPC Ltd and South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) on 30 June 2020.  MoU Provisions: ♦ Under the MoU, IndianOil, SDMC, and NTPC will jointly develop a demonstration Waste-to-energy Plant at Okhla landfill site in Delhi, using Gasification technology.  ♦ The Plant will process 17,500 tons per annum of Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) produced from combustible components of Municipal Waste to generate syngas which shall in turn be used to generate electricity. ♦ This Energy plant is expected to bring solutions to the management of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) in Delhi. ♦ The gas generation from waste will also help in cutting imports of petroleum products and saving foreign exchange. ♦ The technology that is used in the Delhi plant will result in less emission and also provide usable residues.

    GoI, World Bank signed agreements to increase access to affordable Housing for Urban Poor in TN

    111 days ago
    Government of India, Government of Tamil Nadu and the World Bank signed an agreement to help low-income groups in Tamil Nadu State to get access to affordable housing. Highlights: ♦ The agreement was signed for two projects: First Tamil Nadu Housing Sector Strengthening Program for $200 million Tamil Nadu Housing and Habitat Development Project for $50 million ♦ The project aims to strengthen the state’s housing sector policies, institutions, and regulations. ♦ The first operation will support the government’s ongoing efforts to increase the availability of affordable housing by gradually shifting the role of the state from being the main provider to an enabler.  ♦ It will aim to unlock regulatory barriers and incentivize private sector participation in affordable housing for low-income families.  ♦ The second operation aims to deepen these measures to make the affordable housing sector more efficient and inclusive.

    India Bhutan signs agreement for joint venture hydroelectric project

    112 days ago
    India and Bhutan signed the first Indo-Bhutan joint venture hydroelectric project on 29 June 2020. The agreement will pave the way for the commencement of its construction and other related works. The agreement was signed by the Bhutanese government and the Kholongchhu Hydro Energy Limited in the virtual presence of the Union Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar and his Bhutanese counterpart Tandi Dorji. Highlights: ♦ The concession agreement is for the 600 MW Kholongchhu project. ♦ The agreement will lead to the commencement of construction and other works of this first Joint Venture (JV) Hydroelectric Project between India and Bhutan. ♦ The project will be completed in the second half of the year 2025. ♦ The 600 MW run-of-the-river project is located on the Kholongchhu River in the Trashiyangtse district in eastern Bhutan. ♦ The main objective of the project to build an underground powerhouse of four 150 MW turbines with water impounded by a concrete gravity dam of 95 metres height. ♦ It will be implemented by Kholongchhu Hydro Energy Limited, a JV company formed between Druk Green Power Corporation (DGPC) of Bhutan and Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Limited (SJVNL) of India.

    AIM partners with CIL to boost its Innovation and Entrepreneurship initiatives

    121 days ago
    Coal India Limited (CIL) has agreed to partner with Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), NITI Aayog to support proactively the flagship mission's innovation and entrepreneurship initiatives across the country. A strategic Statement of Intent (SoI) partnership between AIM and Coal India Limited was signed and exchanged in a virtual e-summit for the 19 June. Highlights: ♦ AIM has various innovation programs and entrepreneurial ecosystem building initiatives such as: Atal Tinkering Labs (ATL) at a school level Atal Incubation Centres (AIC) at institutional levels Atal Community Innovation Centres (ACIC) for Tier-2, Tier3 cities, and rural India Atal New India Challenges (ANIC) at an industry level ♦ Applied Research and Innovation (ARISE) for stimulating innovations in the MSME industry ♦ The partnership intends to conduct various activities/programs to support greater awareness and promotion of the innovation ecosystem through the above-mentioned AIM programmes and newer initiatives.

    JNCASR signed MoU with Breathe to scale up technology to reduce CO2 to methanol and other useful chemicals

    132 days ago
    Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR), an autonomous institute of the Department of Science and Technology (DST) signed an MoU with Breathe Applied Sciences, a company incubated at JNCASR for transfer of technology based on lab-scale research on reducing CO2 to methanol and other useful chemicals and fuels.  Highlights: ♦ The MOU aims for a smooth translation of the research in the area of CO2 reduction to useful chemicals and fuels from the laboratory scale to pilot scale economically.  ♦ It will highlight the scientific contribution of a research institute translating to the industry to solve the problems associated with renewable energy and environmental pollution.  ♦ It will also help in developing an indigenous technology in line with government policy. ♦ The MoU is important as the conversion of CO2 to clean fuels such as methanol and other useful chemicals on the scale with cost-effectiveness is a needed measure to address sustainable development, environmental, and climate.

    India, Denmark sign MOU to develop cooperation in the power sector

    133 days ago
    India and Denmark signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Indo-Denmark Energy Cooperation to develop cooperation in the power sector. The MoU was signed between the Ministry of Power, India, and the Ministry for Energy, Utilities, and Climate, Denmark. The MoU was signed by Mr. Sanjiv Nandan Sahai, Secretary (Power) from India and Mr. Freddy Svane, Ambassador of Denmark to India from Denmark. MoU Provisions: ♦ Under the MoU, a strong, deep, and long-term co-operation between two countries in the power sector will be developed on the basis of equality, reciprocity, and mutual benefit. ♦ The MoU will establish collaboration in areas like offshore wind, long term energy planning, forecasting, flexibility in the grid, consolidation of grid codes to integrate and operate efficiently variable generation options, flexibility in the power purchase agreements, incentivize power plant flexibility, variability in renewable energy production, etc.  ♦ The Indian electricity market would benefit from cooperation with Denmark in all the aspects of power. ♦ To implement the agreement, a Joint Working Group (JWG) will be established under the MoU.  ♦ The JWG will be co-chaired by Joint Secretary level officials.  JWG will report to a Steering Committee, jointly chaired by the Secretary level officer from both sides. ♦ GoI aims to take the necessary steps to encourage and promote strategic and technical co-operation in the power sector for mutual benefit.

    Cabinet approved MoU between India and Bhutan on Cooperation in the areas of Environment

    138 days ago
    The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between India and Bhutan. The agreement was signed to improve cooperation in the areas of the Environment. MoU Provisions: ♦ MoU will enable and promote the closer and long-term cooperation between India and Bhutan in the field of environment protection and management of natural resources on the basis of equity, reciprocity, and mutual benefits. ♦ Both the countries agreed mutually to set priorities in the following areas of the environment including Air, Waste, Chemical Management, Climate Change, any other areas jointly decided upon. ♦ The agreement will stay in force for a period of 10 years. ♦ It encourages organizations, private companies, government institutions at all levels and research institutions on India and Bhutan to establish cooperation activities. Background: The MoU was signed between the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) of India and the National Environment Commission (NEC) of Bhutan on 11 March 2013. This MoU expired on 10 March 2016. Considering the benefits of the earlier MoU, both sides have decided to continue cooperation and collaboration in the field of Environment.

    REC Ltd partners with TajSATS to provide nutritious meals to frontline healthcare workers

    146 days ago
    REC Foundation, the CSR arm of REC Limited, has tied up with TajSATS, a joint venture of IHCL and SATS Ltd, to distribute specially-made nutritious meal packets for medical staff in Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi.  Highlights: ♦ Under this tie-up, every day, 300 food packets are being delivered to the frontline healthcare warriors of New Delhi. ♦ Over 18,000 meals will be delivered in New Delhi through this initiative. ♦ REC Limited is spearheading the mission to feed the medical staff in key government hospitals as well as poor daily wage labourers across the nation, through collaborative efforts. REC Limited: REC Limited, formerly Rural Electrification Corporation Limited, was established in 1969. The NBFC is focusing on Power Sector Financing and Development across India. It provides financial assistance across the power sector value chain. Apart from this, REC is the nodal agency for the Government of India flagship schemes in the Power sector like Deendayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY), Saubhagya, etc.

    PFC signs MoU with NBPCL to fund 225 MW hydro-electric projects, Multipurpose projects in MP

    146 days ago
    Power Finance Corporation (PFC), the central PSU under the Ministry of Power and India's leading NBFC, signed an agreement with Narmada Basin Projects Company Ltd. (NBPCL), a wholly-owned company of Government of Madhya Pradesh on 26 May 2020. The move aims to fund projects worth Rs.22,000 crore for 225 MW hydro-electric projects & multipurpose projects in the State of Madhya Pradesh. Highlights: ♦ As per the agreement, the funds will be deployed by NBPCL for setting up hydroelectric projects of 225 MW and power components of 12 major multipurpose projects in Madhya Pradesh.  ♦ The Government of Madhya Pradesh has conducted the pre-feasibility study of these projects and has provided approval for their execution.  ♦ The disbursal of the amount will be linked to the execution of the projects. ♦ Under the MoU, PFC will actively partner with NBPCL and provide finance for hydro-electric plants totaling 225 MW along with power components of multipurpose projects as part of the state government’s endeavor to implement twelve major multipurpose projects. ♦ The major multipurpose projects that will be financed under the MoU are Chinki Boras Multipurpose Project Narsinghpur Raisen Hoshangabad, Basaniya Multipurpose Project Dindori, Sakkar Pench Link Narsinghpur Chhindwara, Dudhi Project Chhindwara Hoshangabad, etc.

    NTPC Ltd signs MoU with ONGC for Renewable Energy business

    150 days ago
    NTPC Ltd., the PSU under Ministry of Power, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC), the PSU under Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas on 22 May. The MoU aimed to set up a Joint Venture (JV) Company for the Renewable Energy business.  MoU Provisions: ♦ The MoU will enable NTPC and ONGC to accelerate their footprint in Renewable Energy. ♦ As per the MoU, NTPC and ONGC will explore the setting up of offshore wind and other Renewable Energy (RE) Projects in India and overseas.  ♦ The companies will explore opportunities in the fields of sustainability, storage, E-mobility and Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) compliant projects. ♦ The tie-up will accelerate NTPC's RE capacity addition program and expand its footprint in offshore wind and overseas RE projects. At present, NTPC has 920 MW of installed Renewable power projects in its portfolio and about 2300 MW of RE projects under construction.

    GoI, AIIB signed a loan agreement for a USD 145 million project to improve irrigation services

    156 days ago
    The Government of India (GoI), West Bengal state government, and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) signed a loan agreement for a $145 million project. The main objective is to improve flood management and irrigation services in the Damodar Valley Command Area (DVCA) in West Bengal state. Highlight: ♦ The West Bengal Major Irrigation and Flood Management Project aims to benefit about 2.7 million farmers from five districts of West Bengal. It will benefit over 393,964 ha area with better irrigation services and improved protection against annual flooding. ♦ The project will improve irrigation and agriculture in the area by optimizing the use of surface and groundwater. It will also strengthen flood management, which will, in turn, boost agricultural productivity and increase incomes in rural areas. ♦ The key challenges faced by the area is the degradation of infrastructure and inadequate irrigation management, including poor quality of service delivery, inefficient irrigation, and the failure to serve the middle and tail parts. The Lower Damodar basin area is historically flood-prone. The downstream part of the project area lacks the infrastructure to protect against recurrent flooding.

    GoI, World Bank signs USD 750 million to Protect Indias Poorest from COVID-19 pandemic

    156 days ago
    The Government of India (GoI) and the World Bank signed a $750 million of $1 billion proposed for Accelerating India's COVID-19 Social Protection Response Programme. The agreement aims to support India's efforts at providing social assistance to the poor and vulnerable households, severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Highlights: ♦ In April 2020, the World Bank announced $1 billion support towards immediate support to India's health sector. With this, the total fund committed from the Bank towards emergency COVID-19 response in India to $2 billion.  ♦ The support by the World Bank will be funded in two phases. In the first phase, there will an immediate allocation of $750 million for the fiscal year 2020. In the second phase, a sum of $250 million second tranche will be made available for the fiscal year 2021. ♦ This programme aims to expand the impact and coverage of India's social protection system by helping vulnerable groups access more social benefits directly and across the country. ♦ The project will help India to move from 460 plus fragmented social protection schemes to an integrated system that is fast and more flexible, acknowledging the diversity of needs across states ♦ It also aims to enable geographic portability of social protection benefits that can be accessed from anywhere in the country. It will ensure food, social insurance, and cash-support for all, including for migrants and the urban poor.

    GoI, AIIB sign agreement for USD 500 million COVID-19 support for India

    164 days ago
    The Government of India and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) signed an agreement for a $500 million "COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health Systems Preparedness Project" on 8 May. The agreement will help India to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and strengthen its public health preparedness. Highlights: ♦ The agreement will cover all States and Union Territories (UT) of India and address the needs of infected people, at-risk populations, medical and emergency personnel and service providers, medical and testing facilities, and national and animal health agencies. ♦ It will also provide help to GoI in its efforts to respond to the threat posed by COVID-19 and strengthen the national health systems for preparedness in India. ♦ The primary beneficiaries of the project are the COVID-19 infected people, at-risk populations, medical and emergency personnel, service providers at medical and testing facilities, and public and animal health agencies engaged in India's COVID-19 response. COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health Systems Preparedness Project: ♦ The project is expected to enable the Government to slow and contain the spread of COVID-19 in India by providing immediate support to enhance disease detection capacities by scaling up procurement of PPE, oxygen delivery systems, and medicines, build resilient health systems to provide core public health, prevention, and patient management functions to manage COVID-19 and future disease outbreaks.  ♦ The project will support research on COVID-19 by Indian and other global institutions working in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research, address significant negative externalities expected in the event of a widespread COVID-19 o ♦ It will also enhance the resilience of India's health system to provide core public health prevention and patient care to better manage COVID-19 and future disease outbreaks.  ♦ It will help strengthen India's Integrated Disease Surveillance Program, revamp infectious disease hospitals, district, civil, general, and medical college hospitals, and build a network of high containment Biosafety Level 3 laboratories.

    Coir Board signed MoU with IIT-Madras for setting up Centre of Excellence for coir applications

    164 days ago
    Coir Board signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Indian Institute of Technology- Madras (IIT-Madras) on 7 MAy. The aim was to establish a Centre of Excellence (CoE) for the application of Coir exclusively or in combination with other natural fibres.  Highlights: ♦ Under the MoU, Coir Geo-Textiles (CGT) can be successfully used to prevent soil erosion in slopes/embankments, river embankments, mine slope dumps stabilization, etc. CGT can be used in the low volume rural roads as a re-enforcement material. ♦ CoE will extend the research work, which is done so far, in the coir sector with the support of IIT-Madras.  ♦ IIT-Madras will provide support to the development of relevant technology and evolve standards for production & processing through specific projects and monitor research projects and mentor of Coir Board’s research institutes/laboratories. ♦ CoE will also assist in generating the Intellectual Property Rights and technology transfer. ♦ Coir Board will provide financial assistance of Rs.5 crores initially for a period of two years for the establishment and running of the Centre of Excellence. ♦ So far, 27 areas of R&D needs of the Coir industry have been identified, to be taken up by this Centre of Excellence, in addition to 10 in-house projects of IIT-M, in machinery development and road projects.

    BDL partners with IIT-Kanpur to manufacture ventilators for COVID-19 treatment

    167 days ago
    Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL), a defence Public Sector Undertaking (PSU), has signed an MoU NOCCA Robotics, an incubated start-up of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur for the large-scale manufacturing of ventilators.  Highlights: ♦ The MoU will give a big boost to the development of affordable ventilators for COVID-19 treatment.  ♦ BDL partnered with IIT Kanpur's incubator Foundation for Innovation and Research in Science and Technology (FIRST) and NOCCA Robotics Private Limited (NRPL) to manufacture ventilators. ♦ It aims to develop an affordable ventilator which will be able to scale up the production. The device will be in line with the Make in India initiative.  ♦ For the project, the team has received inputs from the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Directorate General of Mines Safety (DGMS).

    IICT collaborated LAXAI Life Sciences to reduce dependency for APIs and drug intermediates

    177 days ago
    Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT), Hyderabad, has collaborated with Hyderabad-based integrated pharmaceutical company, LAXAI Life Sciences, to develop and manufacture Active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and drug intermediates. The initiative may help to reduce the dependency of the Indian pharmaceutical sector on Chinese imports of these ingredients. Provisions: ♦ The collaboration will use the know-how for the commercial manufacturing of the products.  ♦ LAXAI Life Sciences will be one of the first few to commercialize these products.   ♦ The manufacturing of these APIs and intermediates will be taken up at US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA)/Good manufacturing practice (GMP) approved plants held by LAXAI through its subsidiary, Therapiva Private Limited. India's dependency on APIs: Active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and intermediates are the key components of any drug that produces the intended effects. India is largely dependent especially on China for the supply of APIs and drug intermediates. LAXAI Life Sciences Pvt. Ltd: LAXAI Life Sciences Pvt. Ltd. was formed in 2007. The vision of the company is to accelerate the discovery chemistry campaign of global pharmaceutical companies. LAXAI is now an integrated pharmaceutical company with a presence in API/formulation development as well as API manufacturing. 

    IIL partners with Griffith University of Australia to develop vaccine for coronavirus

    194 days ago
    Vaccine manufacturer Indian Immunologicals (IIL) partnered with Australia's Griffith University to do research and develop a vaccine for COVID-19. The two entities have signed a pact regarding this. Highlights: ♦ Under the partnership Scientists from India and Australia will develop a 'live attenuated SARS–CoV-2 vaccine' using the latest codon deoptimization technology. ♦ IIL stated that the technology looks promising for developing a vaccine for prophylactic, active, single-dose immunization against novel coronavirus in humans, with an enhanced safety profile.  ♦ The vaccine is expected to provide long-lasting protection with a single dose administration with an anticipated safety profile similar to other licensed vaccines for active immunization. ♦ Upon the completion of the research, the vaccine strain will be transferred to ILL. It will work with the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO), to conduct clinical trials. IIL intends to use its Vero cell platform tech for mass production of the vaccine. ♦ IIL is promoted by the National Dairy Development Board. It is committed to addressing critical public health needs by engaging in this collaboration.

    IIT Madras collaborated With two Industry Partners for research projects

    203 days ago
    Indian Institutes of Technology-Madras (IIT-Madras) has partnered with two industry partners namely MagGenome Technologies and BUDDI Health. The partnership aims for research in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and magnetic nanoparticles-based products. Provisions of Partnership: MagGenome Technologies: ♦ MagGenome Technologies is a Chennai-based nano-biotechnology start-up. It focuses on developing magnetic nanoparticles-based technologies for application in life science, chemical, pharmaceutical, and engineering industries. ♦ Under the collaboration, IIT-Madar and MagGenome Technologies will develop magnetic nanoparticles-based products including developing advanced nucleic acid extraction kits.  ♦ It will also focus on many other applications of magnetic nanoparticles for providing solutions in the areas of diagnostics, therapeutics, and environmental remediation. BUDDI Healthcare Technologies: ♦ BUDDI Health is a US-based cloud-based patent-pending deep learning platform for Healthcare. ♦ With BUDDI Healthcare Technologies, IIT-Madras will develop AI-based software products for the Healthcare industry.

    India, Japan signed major rail projects for public, freight transport

    205 days ago
    Japanese government funding agency JICA signed Rs.15,295 crore agreement with the Indian government for three mega rail infrastructure projects.  Aim: The agreement aims to cope up with the increase in freight transport demand in India by constructing new dedicated freight railway system between Delhi and Mumbai. Agreement Highlights: ♦ As per the agreement, JICA has granted Rs.8,553 crore for phase-1 of the Dedicated Freight Corridor; Rs.4,262 crore for Mumbai Trans Harbour Link Project-II and Rs.2,480 crore for the Mumbai Metro Line 3 Project-III. ♦ The project has been scheduled to be completed by ♦ The project will promote comprehensive regional economic development along the freight corridor. Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) initiative is part of the Japanese-Indian collaborative project aimed at comprehensive regional development. ♦ The agreement will provide long-term low-cost loans for development projects to various countries. Background: The loan agreement for the first phase was signed on 31 March 2017, for an amount of Rs.7,912 crore.

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