Memorandum of Understanding Current Affairs - 2020

Central Drug Research Institute signs MoU to sequence virus strains

On April 18, 2020, the Central Drug Research Institute (CDRI) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with King George Medical University to sequence the strains of COVID-19 virus samples obtained from different patients.

What is the plan?

According to the MoU, a Lucknow based lab is to sequence the virus strains. This is to be done under a “Digital and Molecular Surveillance”. A molecular surveillance system is collection, reporting and analysis of genetic sequences. Molecular surveillance is currently being used in HIV drug testing, foodborne infections and TB.


There are nine different variants of the virus known so far. Three were recently found by Gujarat Biotechnology Research Centre.

Current Scenario

Currently, the CDRI is working on repurposing of drugs to fight COVID-19. According to CDRI, repurposing of drugs is the fastest way to find solution to the virus rather than finding a new drug. Repurposing of drugs is a new strategy that investigates the existing drugs for therapeutic purposes.

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.