Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - February 21, 2018

Cabinet Decisions

Cabinet approves proposal for Mahanadi Water Disputes – Constitution of a Tribunal under Inter-State River Disputes Act, 1956

  • The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the proposal for adjudication of dispute on Mahanadi River Waters.
  • The Tribunal shall determine water sharing among basin States on the basis of the overall availability of water in the complete Mahanadi basin, contribution of each State, the present utilization of water resources in each State and the potential for future development.

Enlighten about ISRWD – 1956

  • The Tribunal shall consist of a Chairman and two other Members nominated by the Chief Justice of India from amongst the Judges of the Supreme Court or High Court.
  • Two Assessors who are water resources experts having experience in handling sensitive water-related issues will be provided to advise the Tribunal in its proceedings.
  • The Tribunal is required to submit its report and decision within a period of 3 years which can be extended to a further period not exceeding 2 years due to unavoidable reasons.


Coal mining open for private sector CCEA approves methodology for auction of coal mines and blocks

  • Opening up commercial coal mining for Indian and foreign companies in the private sector, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on Tuesday approved the methodology for auction of coal mines/blocks for sale of the commodity.
  • Coal accounts for around 70% of the country’s power generation, and the move for energy security through assured coal supply is expected to garner attention from majors including Rio Tinto, BHP, Vedanta, Anglo American, Glencore and Adani Group.

Cabinet Decisions

India-Morocco Cooperation Agreement in Railway Sector

  • Cooperation Agreement between India and the Moroccan National Railways Office (ONCF) to develop long-term cooperation and partnership in different areas of railway sector.

The Cooperation Agreement will enable technical cooperation in the following areas:-

a. Training and staff development;
b. Expert missions, exchange of experience and personnel; and
c. Mutual technical assistance, including exchanging of experts.

Enlighten about the agreement -

  • Ministry of Railways have signed MOUs for technical cooperation in the Rail sector with various foreign Governments and National Railways.
  • Areas of cooperation includes - high-speed corridors, speed raising of existing routes, development of world class stations, heavy haul operations and modernization of rail infrastructure, etc.
  • The cooperation is achieved through exchange of information on developments in areas of railways technology & operations, knowledge sharing, technical visits, training & seminars and workshops in areas of mutual interest.

Agreement between India and Israel on Film Co-production

  • The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its ex-post facto approval to an Agreement on Film Co-production between India and Israel signed during the visit of Prime Minister of Israel Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu to India

Enlighten about the agreement -

  • Indian producer can access international funds and can collaborate on the script, talent and distribution at international level.
  • Co-production of a film under this treaty will qualify it to be national production both in India and Israel.
  • The signing of the Film co-production agreement will lead to mutual exchange of art and culture, create goodwill and better understanding among the people of both the countries as well as various aspects of film making.

Silkyara Bend-Barkot Tunnel in Uttarkhand as part of ‘Chardham Mahamarg Pariyojana’approved by the Cabinet

  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has given its approval to the construction of 4.531 km long 2-Lane Bi-Directional Silkyara Bend - Barkot Tunnel
  • The project will be falling along NH-134 (old NH-94) in the State of Uttarakhand.
  • The project will be built under Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) Mode.
  • This is funded under NH (O) Scheme of Ministry of RT&H and forms part of ambitious Chardham Plan.
  • The construction of this tunnel will provide all weather connectivity to Yamunotri, one of the dham on Chardham Yatra, encouraging regional socio-economic development, trade and tourism within the country.
  • It will reduce the travel distance from Dharasu to Yamunotri by about 20 km and travel time by about an hour.
  • The proposed tunnel will save number of trees that would have been required to be removed in the road improvement of 25.600 km, had the original alignment been followed.
  • The project will be implemented by the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH), through National Highways & Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd. (NHIDCL), a wholly state owned company, formed in 2014 for development of highways in states on the international borders.

Ministry of Drinking Water & Sanitation

Ganga Gram, New Swajal Project and Gangotri Swachh Iconic Place Launched in Uttarakhand

  • Union Minister of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Uma Bharti, launched the Bagori Ganga Gram project, New Swajal Project at Bagori and Gangotri Iconic Place at Dunda village in Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand.
  • Besides creating cleanliness, providing basic amenities to the people of Ganga bank villages, these projects would also generate employment.
  • ODF village Bagori is one of the 24 pilot Ganga Villages picked up to be transformed into Ganga Grams this year.

Steps taken (PROJECTS Inaugurated) –

  • Inauguration of solid and liquid waste management scheme of Rs 11.88 lakh at Bagori.

Tree plantation in Ganga catchment area –

  • tree plantation programme
  • More than 1.5 lac saplings are ready to be planted in Ganga Catchment area in Uttarkashi this year.

Ganga Gram Concept –

  • integrated development by engaging communities

Swajal Project -

  • Swajal is a community owned drinking water programme for sustained drinking water supply.
  • to provide water supply to hundreds of villages in Uttarakhand.

Launched Gangotri as Swachh Iconic Places

  • ONGC with its CSR fund will help in taking Gangotri to a higher level of swachhta.

Cabinet approves creation of National Urban Housing Fund

  • The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given approval for creation of National Urban Housing Fund (NUHF) for Rs.60,000 crores.
  • This fund will be situated in Building Materials and Technology Promotion Council (BMTPC), an autonomous body registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 under the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.
  • The Ministry has so far sanctioned 39.4 lakh houses under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban).
  • 1.2 crore and make available housing to all by 2022, when the Country celebrates its 75th Anniversary of Independence.
  • NUHF will facilitate raising requisite funds in next four years so that flow of Central Assistance under different verticals i.e. Beneficiary Linked Construction (BLC), Affordable Housing in Partnership(AHP), In-Situ Slum Redevelopment (ISSR) and Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme (CLSS) is sustained and construction of houses to address the gap in Urban Sector progresses smoothly