सामयिक विषय: Treaty & Agreements

Cabinet approved MoU between India, Portugal on governance reforms

Cabinet approved amendment to India and the Netherlands Social Security Agreement

Question: India has entered into a social security agreement with … countries.
(a) 18
(b) 10
(c) 25
(d) 30

  • On June 22, 2017, the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved Amendment to the bilateral Social Security Agreement (SSA) between India and the Netherlands by incorporating the “Country of Residence” Principle into the agreement.
  • The amended SSA will be operational from the third month from the date of notification to the Netherlands by India and will strengthen the ties between the two countries.
  • The SSA has been in successful operation since June 2010 and has benefitted Indian expatriates who have been working in the Netherlands.
  • About the Agreement:
  • Beginning 1st January 2013, the Netherlands introduced new rules on export of social security benefits to countries outside the European Union.
  • Under the new Social Security (Country of Residence) Act, the amount of benefit or allowance paid to a qualified beneficiary (read as Dutch national) is adjusted to the cost of living of the country where the beneficiary is currently residing.
  • As per the new Dutch legislation, social security benefits when exported or remitted would be indexed to the cost of living of the host country (as reflected in the World Bank figures), where the Dutch citizen resides.
  • The new Dutch legislation, in ordinary circumstances, has no implications for the Indian worker working in the Netherlands because it is applicable only to Dutch nationals residing outside the EU except for a very few exceptional cases.
  • The Indian posted workers would largely continue to get benefits as per the existing India-Netherlands Social Security Agreement.
  • However, the circumstances where the “country of residence” principle will apply to a few instances of Indian nationals include the following:
  • An Indian worker who dies in the Netherlands and has his/her spouse and children living in India.
  • An Indian worker who gets disabled while working in the Netherlands and returns to India.
  • Notably, the Netherlands introduced a new social security legislation on 1st January 2013, consequent to which the Netherlands began to apply the “country of residence” principle on certain social security benefits exported to other countries.
  • After the adoption of the new social security legislation, the Netherlands side requested that India agree to revise the bilateral SSA since such a revision would be necessary as per the national legislation of the Netherlands.
  • As on date, India has signed and operationalized SSAs with 18 countries – Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland and South Korea.


Cabinet approved MoU between India, Portugal on governance reforms

Cabinet approved MoU between India, Portugal on governance reforms

Question: Which one of the below is not an objective of Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances?
(a) Promoting administrative reforms in government policies, structures and processes.
(b) Formulation of policy and coordination of issues relating to redress of grievances.
(c) Maintaining secrecy about government policies and good practices
(d) Promoting reforms through e-Governance.
Ans: (c)

  • On June 22, 2017, the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Government of India, and Ministry of the Presidency and of Administrative Modernization, Government of Portuguese Republic, for ‘Cooperation in the field of Public Administration and Governance Reforms’.
  • The MoU will help in understanding the system of customer oriented public service delivery in Portugal with reference to rapidly changing environments in the area of public service management and enable in replicating, adapting and innovating some of the best practices and processes in the Indian Public Service Delivery System.
  • A Joint Working Group on Public Administration and Governance Reforms will be responsible for implementation of the MoU.
  • The areas of co-operation under this MoU may include, but shall not be limited to:
    (a) Digital transformation of Government
    (b) Administrative simplification and process re-engineering
    (c) Public Service Delivery
    (d) Building and developing staff capability
    (e) Sharing good governance practices in public administration
    (f) Public Grievance Redress Mechanism
    The forms of co-operation under the MoU will be as under:
    (a) organization of a senior consultative body and working sessions for ongoing discussions regarding cooperation and collaboration;
    (b) exchange of knowledge and experiences and the holding of consultations in the above mentioned areas, in situ and online;
    (c) exchange of invitations to events related to Public Administration and Governance Reforms and the dispatch of experts in this sector;
    (d) exchange of publications, reports and various public materials related to Public Administration and Governance Reforms, which are published by the Sides;
    (e) facilitating study visits and sharing of information and experience through workshops, seminars and conferences;
    (f) any other forms of cooperation and collaboration that are of mutual interest in the area of Public Administration and Governance Reforms and are jointly decided upon by the Signatories.
  • Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances has so far entered into bilateral MoUs with China, Malaysia, Singapore, France and United Kingdom and trilateral MoU with Brazil and South Africa.
  • MOUs with China and Singapore are under renewal/consideration in consultation with Ministry of External Affairs. The recent MoU with Portugal is a step in that direction.


Cabinet approves India- Australia MoU on cooperation in the textiles

Cabinet approves India- Australia MoU on cooperation in the textiles

Question: Powertex scheme is related to…
(a) Powerloom sector development.
(b) Development of government Printing Press.
(c) Development of alternative sources of Energy.
(d) Modification in taxation system to avoid tax evasion.
Ans: (a)

  • On June 22, 2017, the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation in the textiles, clothing and fashion sectors between the Ministry of Textiles government of India and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australia.
  • The MoU will facilitate cooperation in textiles and fashion sectors that may benefit to the participants.
  • The participants will jointly identify appropriate measures to connect the Australian and Indian textile and fashion sectors; promote collaboration and international engagement between those sectors.
  • The MoU will include nurturing talents, promoting economic opportunities and encourage professional engagement, training, skill development and public exhibition of products derived from these sectors in the two countries.
  • However, Intellectual Property Rights of either side will stand protected.
  • The weavers including ancillary workers will be benefited from activities to be taken under MOU.
  • For overall development of handloom sector, the initiative aims to increase the handloom fabric production so that weavers are able to get continuous
  • employment and improve their living standards.
  • Notably,Powertex Scheme has been launched for powerloom sector
  • development with objective
    (a) To provide financial assistance to economically weaker low-end powerloom units, for upgrading existing plain looms to semi-automatic/shuttleless looms by way of fixing certain additional attachments/kits.
    (b) To improve quality and productivity of the fabrics being produced and enable them to face the competition in domestic and international markets.


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