Contents

  1. CABINET GIVES EX-POST FACTO APPROVALS TO AGREEMENTS AND MoU
  2. AMENDING BENGAL EASTERN FRONTIER REGULATIONS (BEFR)
  3. CONSTITUTION OF THE UNIVERSAL POSTAL UNION (UPU)
  4. INSOLVENCY AND BANKRUPTCY CODE (AMENDMENT) ORDINANCE
  5. ATAL BHUJAL YOJANA
  6. GOOD GOVERNANCE INDEX REPORT
  7. GUIDELINES FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF JAL JEEVAN MISSION (JJM)

CABINET GIVES EX-POST FACTO APPROVALS TO AGREEMENTS AND MoU

Agreement between India and Uzbekistan:

Cooperation in the field of Combating Transnational Organized Crime and International Terrorism (CTOCIP)

  • Agreement between the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Internal Affairs of Uzbekistan.
  • The agreement aims to improve the effectiveness of both countries in prevention and suppression of crimes including crime relating to terrorism and its financing, organized crime.
  • It also aims to establish a framework for enhancing cooperation between the officials of intelligence and law-enforcement agencies of the two countries, in line with domestic laws and international obligations.

MoU between India and Bangladesh:

Cooperation in Youth Matters

  • Exchange programmes in the field of youth affairs between India and Bangladesh to exchange ideas, values and culture amongst Youth and in consolidating friendly relations.
  • To help in developing international perspective among the Youth and expanding their knowledge and expertise in the areas of youth affairs.

Agreement between India and Saudi Arabia:

Security Cooperation

  • Agreement between Govt. on India and Govt. of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia aiming at improvement of effectiveness of both countries in the prevention and suppression of crimes including crime relating to terrorism and its financing and organised crime.
  • It aims to Establish a framework for enhancing cooperation between the officials of intelligence and law-enforcement agencies.

MoU between India and Brazil:

Bioenergy Cooperation

  • Federative Republic of Brazil is one of the most important trading partners of India in the entire Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) region.
  • Brazil is currently the world’s largest producer and consumer of Biofuels. 18% of Brazil’s energy mix was Bioelectricity.
  • India also has strong focus in the area of biofuels and has set a target to achieve 20% blending of Ethanol in Petrol and 5% blending of Biodiesel in Diesel by 2030.
  • The two countries signed an MoU  agreeing to cooperate on research and development of renewable energies, as well as in the field of second-generation biofuels.
  • Provides framework to promote investment in biofuel, bioelectricity and biogas supply-chains, including feedstock, industrial conversion, distribution and end use sectors.

AMENDING BENGAL EASTERN FRONTIER REGULATIONS (BEFR)

Why in News?

  • The Cabinet gave ex-post facto approval to the Adaptation of Laws (Amendment) Order, 2019, issued by the President of India (as per Article 372) to amend the BEFR, 1873.
  • The notification will extend BEFR to the State of Manipur to give its indigenous people protection from the provisions of Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 and make necessary changes in the said Regulation.

Background

  • The Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulations (BEFR), 1873, protected British interests in the tea, oil and elephant trade by prohibiting “British subjects” and Indians from entering into these “Protected Areas” (to prevent them from establishing any commercial venture that could rival the Crown’s agents).
  • The word “British subjects” was replaced by Citizen of India in 1950
  • Hence, it continues to be used in India to officially protect indigenous communities cultures in the North-East.
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) is issued under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873.
  • ILP is an official travel document issued by the Concerned State Governments of Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram to allow inward travel of an Indian citizen into a protected/restricted area  for a limited period of time.
  • The President’s order was issued according to clause 2 of Article 372 Which states that : For the purpose of bringing the provisions of any law (prior to the commencement of the constitution) in force in the territory of India into accord with the provisions of this Constitution, the President may by order make such adaptations and modifications of such law, whether by way of repeal or amendment, as may be necessary or expedient.

CONSTITUTION OF THE UNIVERSAL POSTAL UNION (UPU)

Why in News?

  • The Cabinet gave approval to the Ratification of the Tenth Additional Protocol to the Constitution of the Universal Postal Union (UPU)
  • The approval enables the Postal Administration of India to have the Instrument of Ratification signed by the Hon’ble President of India and have the same deposited with the Director General of the International Bureau of the Universal Postal Union.
  • It will enable the Department of Posts to bring out any administrative orders to implement the provisions of the UPU Convention in India.

Background

  • UPU is specialized agency of United Nations that coordinates postal policies among member nations, in addition to worldwide postal system.
  • It was established in 1874 and is second oldest international organization worldwide.
  • The Oldest international organisation is International Telecommunication Union (ITU), 1865.

INSOLVENCY AND BANKRUPTCY CODE (AMENDMENT) ORDINANCE

Why in News?

  • The cabinet approved promulgation of Ordinance and amend the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016.
  • The Amendment will remove certain ambiguities in the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 and ensure smooth implementation of the Code.

Details

  • Under the Amendments, the liability of a corporate debtor for an offence committed prior to the commencement of the corporate insolvency resolution process shall cease, and the corporate debtor shall not be prosecuted for such an offence from the date the resolution plan has been approved by the Adjudicating Authority, if the resolution plan results in the change in the management or control of the corporate debtor to a person who was not:
  • A promoter or in the management or control of the corporate debtor or a related party of such a person; or
  •  A person with regard to whom the relevant investigating authority has, on the basis of material in its possession, reason to believe that he had abetted or conspired for the commission of the offence, and has submitted or filed a report or a complaint to the relevant statutory authority or Court.
  • Subject to relevant provisions the corporate debtor shall, as required, extend all assistance and co-operation to any authority investigating an offence committed prior to the commencement of the corporate insolvency resolution process.

ATAL BHUJAL YOJANA

Why in News?

  • The Cabinet approved the implementation of Atal Bhujal Yojana (ATAL JAL) on 24th December 2019.
  • On 25th December, the birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the Atal Bhujal Yojna was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi (Along with the naming of Tunnel under Rohtang Pass after Vajpayee as “Atal tunnel”)

Significance of the scheme

  • Ground water contributes to nearly 65% of total irrigated area of the country
  • Groundwater contributes to nearly 85% of the rural drinking water supply.
  • Increasing demands of growing population, urbanization and industrialization, deteriorating quality, intensive and unregulated pumping are a major threat to the Ground Water resources.
  • 81.67% of rural households are yet to have household water tap connections.

Aims of the scheme:

  • To facilitate the Jal Jeevan Mission’s (JJM) aim provide Functional Household Tap Connection (FHTC) to every rural household by 2024.
  • To improve ground water management through community participation in identified priority areas in Seven States.
  • To promote panchayat led ground water management and behavioural change with primary focus on demand side management.

Implementation of the scheme:

  • The scheme is to be implemented in the identified priority areasof the 7 states of Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, benefitting nearly 8350 Gram Panchayats in 78 districts in these States.
  • The scheme is to be implemented over a period of 5 years (2020-21 to 2024-25).

Agencies Involved:

The Department of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation, Ministry of Jal Shakti

Funding:

Out of the total outlay of Rs. 6000 crore, 50% shall be in the form of World Bank loan, and be repaid by the Central Government. The remaining 50% shall be through Central Assistance from regular budgetary support.

Details

ATAL JAL has two major components:          

  • Institutional Strengthening and Capacity Building Component:
    • For strengthening institutional arrangements for sustainable ground water management.
    • Improving monitoring networks, capacity building, strengthening of Water User Associations, etc.
  • Incentive Component:
    • For incentivising the States for achievements in improved groundwater management practices, viz., data dissemination, preparation of water security plans, implementation of management interventions through convergence of ongoing schemes, adopting demand side management practices etc.

Expected outcomes:

  • Source sustainability for Jal Jeevan Mission in the project area with active participation of local communities.
  • Will contribute towards the goal of doubling the farmers’ income.
  • Will promote participatory ground water management.
  • Improved water use efficiency on a mass scale and improved cropping pattern;
  • Promotion of efficient and equitable use of ground water resources and behavioural change at the community level

GOOD GOVERNANCE INDEX REPORT

Why in News?

On the occasion of Good Governance Day, observed on the Birth Anniversary of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee (December 25) The Government of India launched Good Governance Index.

Details

  • The Index has been scientifically designed on various parameters of governance, keeping in mind the citizen-centricity, seeking to determine the status of governance as it exists today and provide reference threshold for future.
  • The GGI takes into consideration ten sectors:
    1. Agriculture and Allied Sectors
    2. Commerce & Industries
    3. Human Resource Development
    4. Public Health
    5. Public Infrastructure & Utilities
    6. Economic Governance
    7. Social Welfare & Development
    8. Judicial & Public Security
    9. Environment and
    10. Citizen-Centric Governance.
  • These ten Governance Sectors are measured on total 50 indicators.

Highlights

  • The States and Union Territories were divided into 3 groups namely Big states, North East and hill states and union territories.
  • Tamil Nadu topped in Good Governance Index in the “Big States” category followed by Maharashtra, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh.
  • Odisha, Bihar, Goa and Uttar Pradesh. Jharkhand were ranked last in that category.
  • In the North East and hill states category, Himachal Pradesh ranked first.
  • In Agricultural and allied ranking, the best performing states were Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram and Daman and Diu.
  • Under the category of commerce and industries, Delhi, Uttarakhand and Jharkhand were the top performers.

GUIDELINES FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF JAL JEEVAN MISSION (JJM)

Why in News?

The Prime Minister released the Operational Guidelines of JJM on 25th December, 2019.

Highlights of the Guidelines:

  • Time bound completion of schemes taken up under National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP) has been proposed by providing FHTC to every rural household. No extension of time or cost escalation will be allowed except for the cost towards retrofitting the same to provide FHTCs.
  • For the implementation of JJM, following institutional arrangement has been proposed:
    1. National Jal Jeevan Mission at the Central level
    2. State Water and Sanitation Mission (SWSM) at State level
    3. District Water and Sanitation Mission (DWSM) at district level
    4. Gram Panchayat and/ or its sub-committees i.e. Village Water Sanitation
    5. Committee (VWSC)/ Paani Samiti at village Level.
  • Gram Panchayats or its sub-committees will play a crucial role in planning, designing, execution, operations and maintenance of the in-village infrastructure (with the essence of 73rd Amendment)
  •   JJM aims at providing potable water in adequate quantity i.e. 55 litre per capita per day (lpcd) of prescribed quality.
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