India-Sweden Current Affairs - 2020

Cabinet approves India’s MoUs with UK, Sweden and BMGF

On January 8, 2020, the Union Cabinet approved Memorandum of Understandings India had signed with United Kingdom, Sweden and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF)


The Ministry of Health and BMGF had signed the Mou in November 2019. The BMGF agreed to work with the Ministry to strengthen health sector of the country. It focuses on reducing child mortality, morbidity, maternal mortality and neonatal mortality. Also, it will aim to reduce burden of diseases such as Lymphatic Filariasis, Visceral Leishmaniasis and TB. The BMGF will also aid in improving quality of family planning methods.

The cabinet provided an ex-post facto approval for the project. Ex-post Facto is a Latin Word that means “from a thing done afterward”. In simple words, the project has already been started of completed.


The Ministry of Earth Sciences and Ministry of Education and Research signed Mou in December 2019. According to the MoU, the countries will work on Polar Science. The countries agreed on polar exploration as they are both signatories of Protocol to Antarctic Treaty on Environmental Protection and Antarctic Treaty.


The Ministry of Railway and the UK Government signed MoU to make Indian Railways self-sufficient in energy. The parties will work towards adopting solar and wind energy and adopt energy efficient practices. The UK Government will also aid in deploying Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure.

The objective of the MoU is to integrate renewable energy into electricity grid of railways. The UK Government will also help in conducting workshops, trainings and technological exchanges on emerging technologies on renewable energy.

Sarai Sewage Treatment Plant inaugurated in Uttarakhand

King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden inaugurated Sarai Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) in Uttarakhand. The Swedish King and Queen are on a five-day visit to India to strengthen bilateral ties.

About Sarai Sewage Treatment Plant (STP)

It is the first STP to be completed under Hybrid Annuity (HAM) Based Public Private Partnership Model (PPPM). The 14 million litres per day (MLD) Sarai STP has been constructed at a cost of Rs.41.40 crore under Centre government’s Namami Gange Programme.  Namami Gange – National Mission for Clean Ganga is an Integrated Conservation Mission (ICM) , approved as ‘Flagship Programme’ with budget outlay of Rs.20,000 Crore. It seeks to accomplish twin objectives of effective abatement of pollution, conservation as well as rejuvenation of National River Ganga.


Unique feature of this HAM project is that after its commissioning, this plant will also be maintained and perated for a period of 15 years by same developer for efficient performance and for meeting output parameters.

This Sarai 14 MLD Sewage Treatment Plant is based on advanced aerobic biological process, Sequential Batch Reactor (SBR) process. Thus it is capable of removing nutrients during treatment and is a 100% eco-friendly project. The plant will meet the highest standards of output parameters and has been completed before its scheduled timeline.

NOTE: Municipal sewage is considered as the main source of pollution in Ganga. It is being tackled through 150 Sewerage projects at a cost of more than Rs.23,000 crores (over 3 billion USD), in addition to various interventions for checking industrial and other sources of pollution in Ganga basin. Namami Gange interventions extends to urban as well as rural areas covering diverse sectors.