Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) Current Affairs - 2020

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MoU: signed between IAF and ISRO

The Indian Air Force (IAF) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for astronaut selection and training for ambitious Gaganyaan Programme, scheduled for 2022.

Key Highlight

  • IAF has signed MoU with ISRO for crew selection and training for prestigious Gaganyaan Programme. The MoU was handed over by R G K Kapoor, Air Vice Marshal to the Project Director of Gaganyaan Programme, R Hutton.
  • The signing of MoU was an official formality that will now kick-start the selection process which would take 12-14 months following which training will begin.
  • Training: Most of the basic training will happen in India but ISRO is also looking for foreign help for advanced training. From IAF’s side, the Institute of Aerospace Medicine (IAM) will undertake and lead the selection and training of astronauts.

Procedure Undertaken:

  • The IAM will first start with a pool of 30 aspirants, of whom, only 15 will be picked and given basic training.
  • As the plan is to send three member crew so IAM will shortlist three sets of three (i.e. nine) and will let one set go about three months before scheduled launch with others remaining in programme till the launch date.
  • The first set of evaluations will take around three months as IAM will have to ensure that it picks best crew whose physical condition is among best in India and they also have right mental make up.

About Gaganyaan Mission

  • Background: The launch of Gaganyaan programme was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his Independence Day address in 2018.
  • Gaganyaan Mission is India’s maiden human spaceflight programme, scheduled for 2022.
  • Updates: The Centre has officially sanctioned Rs.10,000 crore in December 2018. On 30 January 2019, ISRO has set up Human Spaceflight Centre at its headquarters in Bengaluru. Before sending humans to space ISRO plans to send humanoids so that it able to see a host of developments relating to project.
  • Significance: This mission will provide a unique micro-gravity platform in space to India for conducting experiments and test for future technologies.

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MOU: signed between NSIC and MSME Ministry

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between National Small Industries Corporation Limited (NSIC) and Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) for the year 2019-20.

Key Highlights

  • About: The MoU between NSIC and MSME envisages provisions of enhanced services by NSIC under its marketing, financial, technology and other support services schemes for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the country.
  • Projections: The NSIC projects to increase Revenue from Operation by 22% i.e. from Rs.2540 crore in year 2018-19 to Rs.3100 crore in 2019-20. It also projects growth of 32% in profitability during year 2019-20.
  • NSIC plans to enhance its activities in areas of imparting entrepreneurship and skill development training by targeting 45% growth in the number of trainees.
  • National SC-ST Hub Scheme: NSIC is implementing National SC-ST Hub Scheme on behalf of the Ministry of MSME. Under the scheme it will be a continued attempt to provide assistance to SC/ST entrepreneurs via different interventions and various outreach activities. The overall objectives of scheme will be to increase their participation in public procurement.
  • Way Forward: Although the performance of NSIC is appreciable it is suggested that greater efforts should be made to expand reach of NSIC so that it may be able to serve larger number of MSMEs in the country.

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