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India and Japan ink three agreements for cooperation in Railway Sector



India and Japan ink three agreements for cooperation in Railway Sector

One MoU is on cooperation and assistance in the Mumbai – Ahmedabad High Speed Rail Project

Two more comprehensive technological cooperation agreements signed for modernization and upgradation of Indian Railways
India and Japan have signed an MoU on 12th December, 2015 on cooperation and assistance in the Mumbai – Ahmedabad High Speed Rail Project (referred by many as Bullet Train project). The two countries have also entered into two comprehensive technological cooperation agreements on 11th December 2015, for modernization and upgradation of Indian Railways.

These agreements have been signed during the official visit to India of His Excellency Mr. Shinzo Abe, the Prime Minister of Japan, during December 11 – 13, 2015.
The details of cooperation envisaged in the three Memorandums are as follows:
1)      MoU between India and Japan on cooperation and assistance in the Mumbai – Ahmedabad HSR Project
India and Japan have signed an MoU on 12th December, 2015 on cooperation and assistance in the Mumbai – Ahmedabad High Speed Rail Project (referred by many as Bullet Train project). Japan has offered an assistance of over Rs.79,000 crore for the project. The loan is for a period of 50 years with a moratorium of 15 years, at an interest rate of 0.1 per cent. The project is a 508 Kilometer railway line costing a total of Rs. 97,636 crore, to be implemented in a period of seven years. It has been agreed that Shinkansen Technology will be adopted for the project.  The cooperation of Japan will be fixed on transfer of technology and “Make in India”. Japan will assist India in training of personnel for HSR.
2)      Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) between Ministry of Railways and MLIT, Japan on technological cooperation
 
 Areas of cooperation:

 (a) Railway Safety;

 (b) Rolling stock including train sets/EMUs;

 (c) Information sharing for station development and land value capture;

 (d) Information sharing for environment friendly sanitation technology in trains

 (e) Signalling and telecommunication;

 (f) Railway Electrification;

 (g) Civil structure and railway track system;

 (h) Train control system;

 (i) Mitigation of natural disasters;and

 (j) Any other areas jointly determined by both Sides within the scope of this MoC.

3)      MoU on technological cooperation between RDSO and Railway Technical Research Institute Japan

The main directions of cooperation between the Parties shall be the development of rail-related technical cooperation in which the Parties may have mutual interest, performance of consultation and other services,

The broad areas of technical cooperation may include:

 (i)             Safety in train operation;

 (ii)           Advanced techniques of maintenance;

 (iii)          Use of environment friendly technologies;

 (iv)         Throughput enhancement measures; and

 (v)           Any other area jointly agreed upon by the Parties

Specific projects under the above cooperation areas and modalities of cooperation will be jointly discussed and decided by the parties.
Background
Union Railway Minister Shri Suresh Prabhu had wide-ranging discussions on various aspects of railways - covering modernization, safety and technology upgradation of Indian Railways - during his visit to Japan in September 2015. He held discussions with the concerned Ministers of Japan and met Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. On the investment requirements of Indian Railways, he had discussions with leading financial institutions and investment bankers and explained to them the 5 year USD 140 billion investment plan of Indian Railways. He had discussions with Pension Funds as well, to seek their investments in the Railways. Another focus was the Technology upgradation of Indian Railways through cooperation of Research Designs and Standards Organization (RDSO) of India and the Japan Railway Technical Research Institute (JRTRI), both key railway research organizations.
The comprehensive technological cooperation as envisaged in the above Memorandums are the result of the above discussions and follow-up.
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Government of India Signs MoU to establish 3 IIITs 
The Central Government today signed Memorandum of Understanding and documentation for establishing three Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIITs) at Ranchi, Nagpur and Pune. These IIITs are operated on a Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) mode with participation of State Government and Industry, apart from the Central Government. The IIITs are expected to bring out high quality IT manpower required for building up IT industry in the country. The agreement has been signed by Shri Vinay Sheel Oberoi, Secretary, Department of Higher Education from the Central Government side and by Tata Consultancy Services, Tata Motors, M/s ADCC Infocad, Nagpur and M/s Hubtown, Mumbai.

IIIT-Ranchi will operate from the Old Judicial Academy in the Administrative Training Institute, Ranchi admitting 120 students for the year 2016-17 through JEE 2016 examination. The partners for IIIT-Ranchi - the TCS and Tata Motors have committed participation in developing curriculum which is required by the industry. The institution will be mentored by NIT-Jamshedpur.

IIIT-Nagpur will be set up in the BMIT Campus (temporary campus) with the participation of M/s ADCC Infocad and TCS. Government of Maharashtra has identified 88 acres of land for setting up a permanent campus. The BNIT will be the mentor institution. It has proposed to admit 120 students in the CSE and ECE branches in 2016 through JEE-2016 examination.

IIIT-Pune will be set up in the Siddhant Engineering College (temporary campus) and the permanent campus will be constructed at Chakan for which the State Government has identified 100 acres of land. The industry partners are M/s Hubtown Mumbai and M/S Roltas have agreed to develop the curriculum suitable to the industry. The Institute will start functioning under the mentorship of COE Pune and 120 students will be admitted in 2016 through JEE-2016.

With this, the total number of IIITs in the PPP mode has gone up to 16, leaving 4 more to be set up for which scheduled has been fixed in the month of January 2016. 
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ESIC to Launch its Hospitals and Dispensaries Website on Monday 

 Curtain Raiser                                                                                                           


ShriBandaruDattatreya, the Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Labour & Employment is to launch the new website ofEmployees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC)on 14.12.2015. The new website will offer a host of hassle-free features to the ESIC Insured Persons and their beneficiaries.  The ESI Scheme benefits about 2.03 crore family units of workers and over 7.89 crores beneficiary population.
Recent initiatives of ESIC
During the last one year, ESIC has launched many new and progressive initiatives aimed at empowering the entire gamut of its stakeholders, which has proved to be very effective. Aimed at Good Governance, as a part of Digital India, ESIC has launched E-Governance Project to bring efficiency, transparency and accountability in its various operations. Introduction of various online services, launching of IP portal, Employer Portal, Integration of the Inspection Scheme of ESIC with ShramSuvidha Portal of the Ministry of Labour& Employment, introduction of online payment of ESI Contribution, facility for online grievance redressal etc. are some of the notable initiatives.
For providing better and improved services, the ‘ESIC 2.0: HEALTH REFORM AGENDA’ was launched on 20th July, 2015. The salient features of the Health Reform Agneda areonline availability of Electronic Health Record of Insured Persons and their family members; change of bed sheet every day in all ESIC Hospitals according to VIBGYOR pattern under operation Indradhanush to maintain hygiene and cleanliness; evening OPD form 3PM to 5 PM in ESIC hospitals for Sr. Citizens and disabled persons and Medical Helpline 1XXX-XX-3839 for emergency and seeking guidance from casualty /emergency wing of ESIC hospitals. Under theHEALTH REFORM AGENDA’ , over 73 lakhs discrete e-Health records have been generated till date which has enabled the IPs and their family members to view e-prescriptions and investigations/ tests reports online.

ESIC is making all out efforts to bring ESI coverage in the uncovered areas and to bring more and more factories/ establishments and Insured Persons under the ambit of ESI Scheme. As a part of this the North-Eastern States of Mizoram, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh and Union Territory of Andaman & Nicobar Islands will be brought under ESI coverage with effect from 31.12.2015. The latest decision taken is bringing the construction site workers under the purview of ESI Scheme. The mission of ESIC   is to extend ESI Coverage to the remaining 393 districts of the country by 1.4. 2016. Efforts are also on to upgrade ESI Dispensaries and to start appropriate cancer detection/ treatment, cardiology treatment and dialysis facilities, Yoga facilities in all ESI Hospitals, and also to extend AYUSH facilities at the dispensary level etc.

ESI Scheme in India
The Employees’ State Insurance Corporation is a pioneer Social Security organization providing comprehensive social security benefits like complete Medical Care and a range of Cash Benefits in times of need such as employment injury, sickness, death etc. The ESI Act applies to premises/precincts where 10 or more persons are employed. The employees drawing wages up to Rs. 15,000/- a month are entitled to health insurance cover and other benefits, under the ESI Act. The Act now applies to over 7.23 lakh factories and establishments across the country, benefiting about 2.03 crores family units of workers. As of now, the total beneficiary population of ESI Scheme stands over 7.89 crores. Ever since its inception in 1952, the ESI Corporation has, so far, set up 151 Hospitals, 1459/188 Dispensaries / ISM Units, 812 Branch/Pay Offices and 61 Regional & Sub-Regional/Divisional Offices.
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Dr. Najma Heptulla Inaugurates National Conference on “an Understanding of Educational Aspirations and Attainment of Minority Girls” 
Dr. Najma Heptulla,the Union Minister for Minority Affairs inaugurated atwoday National Conference on “An Understanding of Educational Aspirations and Attainment of Minority Girls” here today. In her inaugural address Dr. Najma said that a lot needs to be done in the field of education for girls specially girls of the minority community. Advocating equality for girls in every aspect, the Minister said that generations grow in the womb and lap of a mother and only enlightened mothers can nurture enlightened citizens. Referring to her own education and days, she underlined the importance of education and invited the girls to come forward and to reap the benefits of various schemes being implemented by her Ministry. Wishing the Conference success, the Minister said that a strong message should emerge from this two day conference in this direction.

Justice(Retd) M.S.A Siddiqui Prof.Syed Akheel Ahmed from Mysore Universityand Shri Zafar Agha,Member NCMEI were also present on the occasion.

Earlier Dr.Shabistan Gaffar, President All India Confederation for Women Empowerment through Education welcoming the guests and participants outlined the agenda of the Conference.

The two day National conference has been organised by All India Confederation for Women Empowerment through Education in collaboration with Ministry of Minority Affairs. The Conference have five sessions and will deliberate on topics “Transition from Elementary to Secondary Education: Issues pertaining to Equity, Efficiency and Effectiveness”; “Minority Girls: Educational Aspiration, Attainment and Locating them in Labour Market” and “Evaluating Policy Intervention and discussing evidence on innovative practices” 
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Government to make a statement on India-Pakistan ties in Parliament next week 
GST Bill, Real Estate Bill top legislative agenda
In Lok Sabha, 6 Bills passed, 6 introduced so far; 1-0 in Rajya Sabha
10 Bills passed by Lok Sabha still to be taken up in Rajya Sabha

External Affairs Minister Smt.Sushma Swaraj will make a Statement on her recent visit to  Islamabad and developments relating to ties between India and Pakistan in both the Houses of Parliament during the next week of Winter session of Parliament. This is one of the major agenda items for next week.
            In the Lok Sabha, the Government has proposed to take up 9 items of legislative and financial business during next week. Of these, time has been allotted for 7 items.  A heavy agenda of 16 items are due to be taken up in Rajya Sabha which lagged behind Lok Sabha in transaction of business this week due to disruptions and forced adjournments.
            Since the commencement of this Winter session on November 26, Lok Sabha has passed 6 Bills while 6 new Bills were introduced. In Rajya Sabha, only one Bill could be passed while no new Bills were introduced.

Legislative & Financial Business proposed in Lok Sabha for next week

S.No.
Name of the Bill
Time allotted
1
The Atomic Energy (Amendment) Bill, 2015
2 hrs
2
Supplementary Demands for Grants (General) for 2015-16

3 hrs
3
Demands for Excess Grants (General) for 2012-13
4
Introduction, consideration and passing of the related Appropriation Bills
5
The Sugar Cess (Amendment) Bill, 2015
Time to be allotted
6
The National Waterways (Amendment) Bill, 2015
7
The Commercial Courts, Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of High Bill, 2015
3 hrs
8
The Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill, 2015
2 hrs
9
The Payment of Bonus (Amendment) Bill, 2015
2 hrs


Short Duration Discussion (Rule 193) / Calling Attention (Rule 197) to be taken up in Lok Sabha

1.      Price rise
2.      Sustainable Development Goals (part discussed).


Suo-Moto Statement

            By Minister of External Affairs regarding her recent visit to Islamabad and recent development relating to ties between India and Pakistan.

Important Government Business transacted in Lok Sabha so far during the current Session
Bills passed

1.      The Carriage by Air (Amendment) Bill, 2015
2.      Bureau of Indian Standards Bill, 2015
3.      The High Court and the Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Amendment Bill, 2015
4.      The Indian Trusts (Amendment) Bill, 2015
5.      The Industries (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2015
6.      The Negotiable Instruments (Amendment) Bill, 2015 – Bill was earlier passed by Lok Sabha and the amendments proposed by Rajya Sabha agree to by Lok Sabha.


Bill introduced

1.      The Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill, 2015
2.      The Commercial Courts, Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of the High Court Bill, 2015
3.      The Atomic Energy (Amendment) Bill, 2015
4.      The Payment of Bonus (Amendment) Bill, 2015
5.      The Industries (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2015
6.      The Sugar Cess (Amendment) Bill, 2015

Other Business taken up

Special two days’ discussion on commitment to India’s Constitution as part of 125th Birth Anniversary Celebration of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar.

Discussion held under Rule 193

1.      Discussion regarding situation arising out of incidents of ‘Intolerance’ in the country.
2.      Flood situation in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and several parts of the country.
3.      Drought situation in the country

Likely Business in Rajya Sabha during next week from 14th December, 2015
Legislative & Financial Business

S.No.
Name of the Bill
Time allotted
1.
GST  The Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty Second Amendment) Bill, 2014 as passed by Lok Sabha and as reported by Selected Committee, as passed by Lok Sabha.
4 hrs
2.
The Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill, 2013 –
Cabinet approved amended Bill on Dec 9,2015
3 hrs
3.
The Whistle Blowers Protection (Amendment) Bill, 2015, as passed by Lok Sabha.
2 hrs
4.
The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill, 2015, as passed by Lok Sabha.
4 hrs
5.
The Carriage by Air (Amendment) Bill, 2015, as passed by Lok Sabha.
2 hrs
6.
The Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2012,Report of Standing Committee presented on 13.12.2013
2 ½ hrs
7.
The Anti Hijacking Bill, 2014 – Report of Standing Committee presented on 11.03.2015
3 hrs
8.
The Bureau of Indian Standards Bill, 2015, as passed by Lok Sabha.
2 hrs
9.
The High Court and the Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Amendment Bill, 2015, as passed by Lok Sabha.
3 hrs
10
The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Bill, 2015,as passed by Lok Sabha.
4 hrs
11.
The Appropriation Acts (Repeal) Bill, 2015, as passed by Lok Sabha.
2 hrs
(To be discussed together)
12.
The Repealing and Amending (Third) Bill, 2015, as passed by Lok Sabha.
13.
The Indian Trusts (Amendment) Bill, 2015, as passed by Lok Sabha.
2 hrs
14.
The Commercial Courts, Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of High Courts Bill, 2015, after it is passed by Lok Sabha.
2 hrs
15.
The Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill, 2015, after it is passed by Lok Sabha
2 hrs
16.
The Appropriation Bills, relating to following Demands, after they are passed by Lok Sabha:
(a)    Supplementary Demands for Grants (General) for 2015-16 (Second Batch)
(b)   Demands for Excess Grants (General) for 2012-13
Time to be allotted

Short Duration Discussions (Rule 176) /Calling Attention (Rule 180) which could be taken up

1.      Price of Essential Commodities & Food Grains in the country
2.      Growing Intolerance endangering the unity and diversity of the country

Suo-Moto Statement

            By Minister of External Affairs regarding her recent visit to Islamabad and recent development relating to ties between India and Pakistan.


Important Government Business transacted in rajya Sabha so far during the current Session
Bills passed

1.      The Negotiable Instruments (Amendment) Bill, 2015 which was earlier passed by the Lok Sabha has now also been passed by the Rajya Sabha.

Bill introduced – NIL


Other Business taken up

Special three days’ discussion on commitment to India’s Constitution as part of 125th Birth Anniversary Celebration of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar.


Short Duration Discussion taken up

1.      Damage caused due to north-west monsoon rain and floods in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.

2.      Situation in Nepal and the state of Indo-Nepal Relations.


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Government to Rope in CPSUs in Namami Gange Programme 
With the aim of expediting the progress of works under the flagship scheme of Namami Gange, Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation is initiating a number of entry level activities during Jan-March 2016 which will lead to visible results in a short time frame. These activities will include repair, modernization and provision of public amenities at ghats, cleaning of the river surface, treatment of directly discharging drains in villages along Ganga and repair, renovation and construction of crematoria. These activities will deploy improvised wood based cremation platforms, advanced trash skimming machines for removal of floating solid wastes, bio-toilets and bio remediation based sewage treatment in rural areas. The pollution being discharged into the river from open drains in rural areas is being addressed for the first time.

In the medium term the Ministry is targeting creation of sewage treatment infrastructure on priority in all 118 cities and towns on the banks of Ganga. For this purpose, condition assessment of the existing infrastructure, their capacity utilization and remaining gap in treatment capacity as also feasibility for new infrastructure will also be assessed through a comprehensive study. After completion of this assessment the project would be undertaken on Public Private Partnership (PPP) basis in Ganga basin and actual work will be undertaken by eligible firms selected through tendering process. These activities will not only be undertaken along Ganga, but the cities and towns on major tributaries namely Yamuna, Ramganga and Kali will also be included.

To take up these activities immediately, the Ministry has roped in the leading Central Public Sector Undertakings (CPSUs). These CPSUs include Engineers India Ltd. (EIL), National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC), WAPCOS Ltd., National Projects Construction Corporation Ltd. (NPCC), and Engineering Projects India Ltd.

For effective administration of these activities, the Ministry has divided the entire length of Ganga in five stretches coinciding with the boundaries of the states and allocated them to these CPSUs. These PSUs will take up the entry level activities and the assessment work in their designated stretches and will be responsible for implementation. This is expected to quick start the implementation process and facilitate easy scale up of these activities along the length of Ganga.

The Ministry is also institutionalizing a robust review and monitoring mechanism by roping in third party appraisal agencies from both public and private sector, State agencies, Urban Local bodies and Panchayati Raj Institutions. Contemporary audit tools including social audit and community monitoring is also being considered. 


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