Infrastructure Current Affairs - 2020

India, Russia sign 16 agreements across diverse sectors

India and Russia have signed 16 agreements across diverse sectors including in defence, infrastructure, energy, space, ship building sectors etc.

They were signed following delegation-level talks co-chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin during the 17th India-Russia Annual Bilateral Summit in Goa.

Some of the signed agreements are

  • Agreement on cooperation in International Information Security.
  • MoU for expansion of bilateral trade and economic cooperation.
  • Shareholder agreement for establishing a Joint Venture to manufacture Ka-226T helicopter in India.
  • MoU for developing smart cities in Andhra Pradesh and Haryana and for developing transport logistics systems for such cities.
  • MoU between Gazprom and Engineers India Limited (EIL) for the joint study of a gas pipeline to India from Russia and other areas of cooperation.
  • Cooperation Agreement between Rosneft Oil Company and ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL) in the area of Education and Training.
  • MoU for setting up an investment fund of $1 billion by the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) and the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF).
  • MoU for Cooperation between Russian and Indian Railways in increasing the speed of trains between Nagpur- Hyderabad/ Secundrabad.
  • MoU between ROSCOSMOS and ISRO on Mutual Allocation of Ground Measurement Gathering Stations for NAvIC and GLONASS.
  • Inter-governmental agreements (IGAs) for the procurement of S-400 Air Defence System and construction of 1135.6 series of frigates.
  • MoU between India’s Department of Science and Technology and Russia’s Federal Agency for Scientific Organisations.

Sports Sector Gets the Infrastructure Status

The Union Finance Ministry has decided that sports infrastructure will be included under the harmonised master list of infrastructure sub-sectors.

Earlier, the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports Affairs had moved the proposal for inclusion of sports in the list to address the issue of deficit of sports infrastructure in the country.

Key Facts

  • It will include sports stadia and infrastructure for academies for training and research in sports and sports-related activities in the infrastructure sub-sectors.
  • With this, sports sector becomes eligible for obtaining long term financial support from banks and other financial institutions on same principle available to other infrastructure projects.
  • It will also encourage private investment in a public good which has socio-economic externalities in a country with young population.
  • It will also bolster investment in sports infrastructure sector which will contribute to the economy and help in promotion of health and fitness of the people.
  • It will also provide opportunities for employment in the new and existing sectors. Besides, investment from private sector will widen the platform from where the country can become a sporting power in future.