INDIA NEWSLETTER Indian Embassy, Vienna
Published by the Embassy of India, Vienna Year 7 • Issue 73 • January 2017
MAKE IN INDIA ■■SKILL DEVELOPMENT
India Newsletter • 1
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The Digital India programme is a flagship programme of the Government of India with a vision to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy Digital Infrastructure as a Core Utility to Every Citizen
Governance and Services on Demand
Digital Empowerment of Citizens
www.digitalindia.gov.in 2 â€˘ India Newsletter
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The Government of India has prepared a five pillar strategy to drive India’s growth, which offer multiple avenues of collaboration and investments
■■ Infrastructure Development
■■ Manufacturing Growth
■■ Skill Development
■■ Energy Sufficiency
■■ Improved Business Environment
www.makeinindia.com India Newsletter • 3
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the ‘Startup India, Standup India’ initiative in his Independence Day address last year. Last January 16th, PM Modi unveiled the action plan for startups in the country. He announced a self-certification scheme in respect of nine labour and environment laws and said there will be no inspection during the first three years of launch of the venture. Addressing the first conference of start-up entrepreneurs, Modi announced an action plan to boost such ventures which are seen as key to employment generation and wealth creation. Around 40 top CEOs and startup founders and investors from Silicon Valley attended the event. Here are the top takeaways from the prime minister’s speech.
■■ 1. Compliance regime based on self certification The objective of compliance regime based on self certification is to reduce the regulatory burden on startups. This self-certification will apply to laws like payment of gratuity, contract labour, employees provident fund, water and air pollution acts. ■■ 2. Startup India hub A startup India hub will be created as a single point of contact for the entire startup ecosystem to enable knowledge exchange and access to funding. ■■ 3. Simplifying the startup process A startup will be to able to set up by just filling up a short form through a mobile app and online portal. A mobile app will be launched on April 1 through which startups can be registered in a day. There will also be 4 • India Newsletter
a portal for clearances, approvals and registrations
■■ 4. Patent protection The government is also working on a legal support for fast-tracking patent examination at lower costs. It will promote awareness and adoption of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) by startups and help them protect and commercialise IPRs. ■■ 5. Funds of funds with a corpus of Rs 10,000 crore In order to provide funding support to startups, the government will set up a fund with an initial corpus of Rs 2,500 crore and a total corpus of Rs 10,000 crore over four years. The fund would be managed by private professionals drawn from the industry while LIC will be a co-investor in the fund. The credit guarantee fund for start-ups would help flow of venture debt from the banking system to start-ups by standing guarantee against risks. ■■ 6. Credit Guarantee Fund A National Credit Guarantee Trust Company is being envisaged with a budgetary allocation of Rs 500 crore per year for the next four years. ■■ 7. Exemption from Capital Gains Tax Currently, investments by venture capital funds in startups are exempt from this law. Now, the same is being extended to investments made by incubators in startups. ■■ 8. Tax exemption for startups Income tax exemption to startups announced for three years ■■ 9. Tax exemption on investments above Fair Market Value
■■ 10. Startup fests Innovation core programs for students in 5 lakh schools. There will also be an annual incubator grand challenge to create world class incubators ■■ 11. Launch of Atal Innovation Mission Atal Innovation Mission started to give an impetus to innovation and encourage the talent among the people ■■ 12. Setting up of 35 new incubators in institutions PPP model being considered for 35 new incubators, 31 innovation centres at national institutes ■■ 13. Setting up of 7 new research parks Government shall set up seven new research parks - six in IITs, one in IISc with an initial investment of Rs 100 crore each. ■■ 14. Promote entrepreneurship in biotechnology Five new bio clusters, 50 new bio incubators, 150 technology transfer offices and 20 bio connect offices will be established. ■■ 15. Innovation focused programmes for students There will be innovation core programs for students in 5 lakh schools. ■■ 16. Panel of facilitators to provide legal support and assist in filing of patent application ■■ 17. 80 per cent rebate on filing patent applications by startups ■■ 18. Relaxed norms of public procurement for startups ■■ 19. Faster exits for startups
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INDIAN DIASPORA & INDIAN STUDENTS ABROAD MADAD (‘MEA’ in Aid of Diaspora in Distress) - a new Consular Services Management System from the Government of India to the Indian Diaspora The Government of India has launched an online portal: MADAD (‘MEA’ in Aid of Diaspora in Distress), a Consular Grievances Monitoring System. Consular grievances regarding compensation, court
cases, domestic helps, imprisonment abroad, transportation of mortal remains, repatriation, salary dues, tracing the whereabouts can be lodged under this portal. Grievances relating to visa and passport, travel documents, attestation of documents will not be entertained in this portal. To register and to monitor the status of your grievances please visit the MADAD portal under madad.gov.in Please register as MADAD user if
you have any grievance related to consular s e r v i c e s o f f e r e d by Indian Missions/Posts abroad or are an Indian student studying/planning to study abroad. MADAD enables online logging and tracking of grievances, and submission of course/contact details of students.
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POSITIVE NEWS FLASHES
India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is expected to grow at 7 per cent in FY 201617, and regain its growth momentum to 7.6 per cent in FY 2017-18 based on the on-going reforms, which are expected to loosen domestic supply bottlenecks and increase productivity in the country.
Moody’s has maintained a positive outlook on India’s rating (Baa3 positive), and stated that the on-going implementation of economic and institutional reforms would likely boost mediumterm growth in the country.
India’s per capital income is expected to increase by 10.4 per cent year-on-year to Rs 103,007 (US$ 1,515.9) during FY 2016-17, according to the Central Statistics Office (CSO).
India has been ranked third in the US Green Building Council’s (USGBC) annual ranking of the top 10 countries for Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) certified buildings, which is a green building rating system.
India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has surpassed that of 6 • India Newsletter
United Kingdom after nearly 150 years, led by India’s sustained growth and nearly 20 per cent decline in the value of the pound over the last 12 months, according to a report published in Forbes.
The Government of India has established a ‘Fund of funds’ of Rs 10,000 crore (US$ 1.48 billion), which will be managed by Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI), to build a strong ecosystem for nurturing innovation and start-ups in the country.
The Government of India plans to implement various reforms like introducing eBiz portal for starting a business, reducing the number of procedures and days for starting a business to four, introducing online payment for EPFO and ESIC, reducing the cost and time involved in export and import, integrating the Central Registry of Securitisation Asset Reconstruction and Security Interest (CERSAI) database with the Registrar of Company (ROC) to create a single registry of assets, among other reforms, in order to improve the business climate and thereby improve India’s ranking in
World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business index to top 50 in the world.
According to data compiled by Thomson Reuters, merger and acquisition (M&A) activity in India has reached record levels in 2016 by increasing to US$ 69.75 billion across 1,195 deals, mainly driven by structural reforms that the government has announced in the past couple of years.
At least one member in 99 per cent of households in both urban and rural India had a bank account as of July 2016, as per Household Survey on India’s Citizen Environment & Consumer Economy (ICE 360° survey).
During the International Civil Aviation Negotiations (ICAN) 2016 held in Nassau during December 5-9, India has signed Open Skies Agreement to encourage connectivity and passenger travel between India and Jamaica, Guyana, Czech Republic, Finland, Spain and Sri Lanka, apart from resolving other issues such as greater traffic rights, new service agreements and code sharing with several other countries.
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EVENTS REPORT Celebration of Pravasi Bhartiya Divas The Embassy of India , Vienna, celebrated the Pravasi Bhartiya Divas on 09.01.2017 at the Business Center of the Embassy. The programme started with screening the highlights
Incredible India! Stall at the FERIEN MESSE Vienna The Incredible India Tourism Frankfurt Office has set up an India stall at the FERIEN MESSE Vienna, Austria’s largest holidays, travel and leisure exhibition. Our Deputy Chief of Mission and Charge D’Affaires, Dr. Suhel Khan, along with Second Secretary and Head of Chancery, Mr. T.K. Mishra, have attended the stall innauguration ceremony, which
of the PM’s inaugural speech at 14th Pravasi Bhartiya Divas Convention in Bengaluru followed by the short film “Redefining Engagements with the Overseas Indians”. Dr. Suhel Ajaz Khan, Charge de Affairs, delivered concluding speech highlighting
important programmes and initiatives of the Government of India and the Mission’s initiatives for the Indian diaspora. The members of Indian community and the embassy officials were present during the occasion.
took place in the morning of January 12th. The fair runs until January 15th, 2017 and counts with more than 800 exhibitors from 70 different countries. The “Incredible India!” delegation, led by Ajit Pal Singh (Assistant Director, Frankfurt office), welcomes travellers, India enthusiasts and tourism agencies to visit the India Stall, which counts with several special programmes including live Kathak and Bollywood dance performances by Ms.
Kaveri Sageder and Ms. Domenica Arnetzeder as well as Henna hand painting by Ms. Anjona Saha. The commercial wing of our Mission is also glad to give its contribution to the fair by distributing its Make in India and other Tourism/Wellness business material compiled by the mission in the last year as well as the India States business profile publication recently published by the mission, which also cover several tourism-related business matters.
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IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT FOR AUSTRIAN CITIZENS e-Tourist Visa (e-TV) for Austrian citizens The Government of India has extended e-Tourist Visa (e-TV) scheme to the citizens of Austria w.e.f. 26th February 2016. Under e-Tourist Visa scheme, citizens of Austria may now apply online (https:// indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/tvoa. html) four days in advance to obtain the Electronic Travel Authorisation for travelling to India.This facility is in addition to the existing Visa services. This facility is also available to the citizens of Montenegro as well.Queries related to e-TV; for any assistance call 24x7 Visa support centre at +91-11-24300666 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
NEWS ARTICLES India: World’s fifth largest economy
Indian CEOs most optimistic amidst global gloom
India has overtaken UK in terms of GDP to emerge as the fifth largest economy in the world by the end of 2016, the same year when it overtook China to emerge as the world’s fastest growing major economy. Interestingly, India has achieved this feat well before 2020, the year that was projected (for India to overtake UK) by the economic think-tank Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) in 2011. India’s GDP by the end of 2016 reached US$ 2.3 trillion while UK’s GDP was projected at US$ 2.29 trillion. This has been made possible due to India’s rapid growth in recent years and the issues being faced by the UK post-Brexit.
Amidst existential questions over the impact of globalisation and concerns around the rising trend of protectionism, 71 per cent of India’s chief executive officers (CEOs) are very confident of their company’s growth in the next 12 months, against a global average of 38 per cent. Globally, 29 per cent of CEOs, on an average, expect economic growth to improve over the next 12 months. However, 42 per cent of India’s CEOs are optimistic of improvement in the global economy. According to an annual survey of 1,379 CEOs across 79 countries carried out by PwC — the findings of which were released at the World Economic Forum in Davos — an impressive 67 per cent of India’s CEOs (against 52 per cent globally) expect to increase headcount in the next 12 months, with just nine per cent (16 per cent globally) planning to cut their workforce. When
In addition, India’s growth rate at 6-8% per annum till 2020 is much higher than UK’s projected growth rate of 1-2%, which means this gap is only expected to widen further in the coming years. 8 • India Newsletter
asked to name the country’s most important for their organisation’s overall growth prospects in the next 12 months, Indian CEOs cited the US (55 per cent), followed by China (30 per cent), the UK (22 per cent) and Germany (16 per cent). Mumbai, New York and London were identified as the most important cities by Indian CEOs for their organisation’s growth. “Confidence in the Indian economy is reflected in the optimism of Indian CEOs in their company’s growth. It reinstates India’s growth story, backed by the government’s reforms agenda,” noted Shyamal Mukherjee, chairman, PwC India. The survey found that CEOs worldwide feel globalisation has done little to solve income inequality — 44 per cent said globalisation has not helped close the gap between the rich and the poor. Worries about protectionism were on the rise, with 59 per cent of CEOs concerned about the issue. This increased to 64 per cent for CEOs in the US and Mexico. Around 58 per cent of business leaders think it has become
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harder to balance globalisation with rising trends in protectionism. Economic uncertainty (82 per cent), over-regulation (80 per cent) and availability of key skills (77 per cent) were among the top concerns of CEOs worldwide. “Despite a tumultuous 2016, CEO confidence is moving back up — albeit slowly, and still a long way from the levels we saw back in 2007 (52 per cent),” noted Bob Moritz, global chairman, PwC. The survey said that the top three concerns in the mind of CEOs worldwide were creating a people and technology strategy fit for the digital age, preserving trust in their businesses in a world of increasingly virtual interactions and making globalisation work for everyone by engaging ever more with society and collaborating to find solutions. All topics will be high up on the Davos agenda, Moritz said.
India gears up to ink pact for global customs transit system India is gearing up to sign the Transports Internationaux Routiers (TIR), or the customs convention on the international transport of goods, as it eyes seamless trade connectivity with both Eurasian region and Southeast Asia. This will allow India to take full benefit of International North South Transportation Corridor or INSTC, which enables access to Eurasian region via Iran, and BangladeshBhutan-India-Nepal Motor Vehicles Agreement. TIR is the only global customs transit system that provides easy and smooth movement of goods across borders in sealed compartments or containers under customs control from the customs office of departure to the customs office of destination. It plays an important role in boosting regional connectivity and facilitating cross-border trade flows, according to connectivity experts. Since all members of INSTC, except India and Oman, are already signatories to TIR Convention
1975, custom issues and common documentation issues could be quickly resolved if India signs the convention and aligns its system with it, an official said. INSTC links Mumbai with St Petersburg through Iran and Azerbaijan. It is a land- and sea-based 7,200 km long network comprising rail, road and water routes that is aimed at reducing costs and travel time for freight transport in a bid to boost trade between Russia, Iran, Central Asia, India and Europe. It will link South Asia to western and northern Europe. A study conducted by the Federation of Freight Forwarders’ Associations in India showed that INSTC will be 30% cheaper and 40% shorter than the existing routes. The first test shipment between India and Russia through INSTC took place in October last year. Germany has also decided to trade with Iran via this connectivity project. The TIR system operates with certain parameters – secure vehicles or container, international guarantee chain, TIR carnet, reciprocal recognition of customs controls, controlled access and TIR IT risk management tools. These elements guarantee that goods travel across borders with minimum interference en route and at the same time provide maximum safeguards to customs administration. The TIR system has a globally accepted electronic control system for integrated transit operations. Aligning with the TIR system will also enable India to take full advantage of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU). Negotiations for a free-trade agreement between India and EEU are expected to start early this year, according to officials. EEU, comprising Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan, have an integrated single market of 183 million people and GDP of more than $4 trillion in purchasing power parity. The TIR system can also make Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal Motor Vehicles Agreement efficient for sub-regional cooperation on India’s eastern flank
December exports at 21-month high Merchandise export grew in December for a fourth straight month and was at a 21-month high in absolute terms. Led by a spike in oil prices and improved competitiveness from a weaker rupee, amid muted global demand. Import growth moderated to a fourmonth low, owing to sharp decline in that of gold. Export grew 5.7% in December and import by 0.5%, compared to the yearago period, leaving a trade deficit of $10.3 billion, showed data issued by the ministry of commerce and industry. Outbound shipment was $23.8 billion, the highest in close to two years; it was $20 bn in November. Petroleum, engineering, gems & jewellery and pharmaceuticals were the top contributors. Incidentally, industrial production in November, showed data issued by the Central Statistics Office , grew at a 13-month high of 5.7%, however, this was explained more by a low base effect than actual improvement in manufacturing activity. Non-oil, non-gold import in December rose by 4.4%. Led by coal, electrical & non-electrical machinery and chemicals, suggesting industrial demand and not consumer demand, said ratings agency ICRA. “Even as the pick-up in merchandise export in December is encouraging, the bulk of the decline in the trade deficit can be attributed to lower gold import. The high growth of export of value added items such as engineering goods is a big positive,” said Aditi Nayar, principal economist at ICRA. After the currency note ban, labourintensive sectors displayed a mixed trend in December. There was high growth of gems & jewellery, yarn and fabrics, and mild contraction in textiles, carpets and leather items, added Nayar. Total export for the financial year up to December, the first nine months, touched $198 bn, barely 0.75% higher than the corresponding period last India Newsletter • 9
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year. The World Trade Organization had cut its global trade growth forecast for 2017 to 1.8-3.1%, from an earlier estimate of 3.6%. China, the world’s largest shipper, is held to be facing a threat with Donald Trump taking over as US president. It reported a 7.7% decline in 2016 exports, its worst since the global economic crisis of 2009. “We need to be cautious about the Chinese currency devaluation. Since China is facing negative export growth, there might be further devaluation of currency. This will again have adverse impact on our exports,” said Sanjay Budhia, co-head of export policy at business chamber CII. A weaker rupee against the dollar lent competitiveness to Indian export. It went to 67.93 a dollar in December, from Rs 66.62 in September and Rs 67.53 in June. Pharmaceutical export grew 12.5%, gems and jewellery by 27.9%, engineering goods by 19.9%, and organic and inorganic chemicals by 18.2%. Gold import shrank by 48.5% in December to almost $2 bn, from $4.4 bn in November, which had been a 23% increase. That November spike was partly due to demonetisation of high-denomination currency — it resulted in a sharp diversion of old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes to buy jewellery on backdated bills. A sharp increase in oil prices contributed to both higher export and import in value terms. Petroleum export grew 8.2% in December and import rose 14.6%. The Indian basket of oil prices almost doubled to $52.74 a barrel, year-on-year. It was $44.46 a barrel in November and $39.8 in April. “Global sentiments have started showing positive signs and the US Federal reserve rate hike and demonetisation have had very limited impact on export. Labourintensive sectors like gems and jewellery, handicrafts, and marine and engineering have shown impressive growth,” said S C Ralhan, president, Federation of Indian 10 • India Newsletter
Export Organisations. He added the economy was on course to touch export of $270-280 bn in this financial year. Services export growth maintained a healthy pace at $13.3 bn and import grew by $8.3 bn..
India’s share of global economy to increase: Lars Heikensten, Executive Director, Nobel Foundation Lars Heikensten, executive director of the Nobel Foundation, said he expects India’s share of the global economy to increase while commenting on the role of the country in the emerging world order, ahead of the biennial Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit. “For decades, the western world has been standing up for democracy, science and facts. Now these values are being questioned. Democratic countries like India, which also have a growing role in the world, need to step up. I think the policies of India are important,” he said. “The world needs more of values that India has been building since the 40s.” The investor summit will for the first time see the participation of a galaxy of Nobel Laureates apart from various heads of state and global corporate leaders. The Nobel Foundation is the institution that manages the Nobel prizes for physics, chemistry, medicine, literature and peace. Heikensten emphasised the need for adequate infrastructure to connect people to the digital economy. “In my country Sweden, everyone is connected today. With more people being connected in India, you will see people shifting to digital transactions,” he added. He also addressed the digital divide and the need to bridge this chasm. “Digitisation is part of our lives and necessary but it does have consequences,” he said. Heikensten has been governor of the Swedish Central Bank and held various positions in the Swedish ministry of finance, including that of director general and head of the
economic affairs department. There are risks (with digitisation) and IT policies need to address these issues,” he told ET. “This is not something that will solve itself. People have been left behind in the process and I expect we shall see more and more academic debate on how to keep fairly equal, at the same time we have good economic development… The populist movements in the western countries reflect that people are left behind.” He said that Sweden, for instance, has become less equal over the years. “This is not the whole story part but an important part of the story,” Heikensten said. “But it is still very equal compared to the United States where there are wider income differentials between people.” The link between digitisation of the economy and inequality is not a straightforward one. However, he pointed out that this marks the way forward and said that “we will see more and more countries moving towards digitisation as lot less cash is being used now than before.” He said that India was one of the countries buying notes from Sweden.
India’s economic activity to pick up in second half of 2017: Moody’s Moody’s Investors Service and its Indian affiliate ICRA Ltd said the country’s growth of gross value added (GVA) at basic prices will ease to about 6.6% in 2017 from around 7% in 2016, with a likely pick-up in the second half of the calendar year, as the economy adjusts after demonetisation. India’s economic growth is likely to decelerate to 7.1% in 2016-17 from 7.6% the previous year, chiefly due to an industrial slowdown, the statistics department said earlier this month, sidestepping the possible impact of demonetisation. The comparable measure of economic activity with Moody’s projection—GVA at basic prices— showed the economy growing 7%
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in 2016-17, compared with 7.2% last year. “Even after the currency in circulation is replenished, we expect that India’s economic growth will stabilize with a lag, while remaining strong,” said Aditi Nayar, an ICRA principal economist. “The adjustment and recovery period could stretch to as much as 2-3 quarters for certain sectors.” Moody’s and ICRA pointed out that after a temporary dampening effect on consumption and investment in the medium term, demonetisation will likely strengthen India’s institutional framework—by reducing tax avoidance and corruption—and should support efficiency gains through greater formalisation of economic and financial activity. ICRA also said that the loss of incomes in some sectors and deferral of consumption are likely to weigh on capacity utilisation, delaying the capacity expansion plans of the private sector. “And, the extent of capital spending budgeted by the central and state governments for the fiscal year ending 31 March 2018 will affect the extent to which infrastructure spending can stimulate growth in a non-inflationary manner,” Moody’s said. “Nevertheless, economic and institutional reforms already introduced and potentially forthcoming, continue to offer a reasonable expectation that India’s growth will outperform that of its similarly rated peers over the medium term, and that the country will achieve further improvements in its macroeconomic and institutional profile,” William Foster, a Moody’s vice-president and senior credit officer said. ICRA said that the focus on digital transactions and the introduction of a goods and services tax (GST) will likely reduce the competitiveness of the unorganized sector. ICRA, therefore, anticipates a relatively healthier expansion of the organised sectors in 2017, at the cost of the
unorganized sectors. ICRA further pointed out that low agricultural growth in H1 2016, as well as healthy reservoir levels on a seasonally adjusted basis, will support the pace of expansion of agricultural output in the first half of 2017. “But agricultural growth in subsequent quarters will be influenced by various factors, the most important being the magnitude and dispersion of monsoon rainfall,” Moody’s said in a statement. Moody’s also said that in an environment of lacklustre global trade, and with economies globally facing the increasing risk of protectionism, India’s very large domestic markets provide a relative competitive advantage when compared to smaller and more trade-reliant economies. On the fiscal front, Moody’s said that the government will likely remain committed to achieving its fiscal deficit target of 3.5% of the gross domestic product (GDP) for the fiscal year ending 31 March 2017. However, room to reduce the deficit further to the target of 3.0% of GDP in the following year will be limited, due to the need for increased infrastructure spending and higher government salaries. On the issue of average CPI (consumer price index) inflation, ICRA said that the rate will soften to 4.5% in 2017 from 4.9% in 2016, although the readings will continue to register month-tomonth volatility. Key factors that will dominate CPI inflation in 2017 include monsoon dynamics, the impact of GST on prices of various goods and services, commodity price movements and the rupeedollar exchange rate.
App named ‘SEZ India’ launched by Commerce Ministry A Mobile app named “SEZ India” has been launched by the Commerce Secretary on 06.1.2017. SEZ Division, Department of Commerce under its broader e-Governance
initiative i.e. SEZ Online System, has developed mobile app for Special Economic Zones (SEZs). Commerce Secretary launched the app and mentioned that the App would help the SEZ Units and Developers to find information easily and track their transactions on SEZ Online System. Now the SEZ Developers & Units can file all their transactions digitally through SEZ Online system and track the status on the go through the SEZ India mobile app. The app is available on Android Platform for use by SEZ Developers, Units, officials and others. The app has four sections i.e. SEZ Information, SEZ Online Transaction, Trade Information, and Contact details. Salient Features of the four sections are as under:1. SEZ INFORMATION: This is a compendium of the SEZ Act, 2005, SEZ Rules, 2006, MOCI Circulars, details of SEZs and Units etc. It gives up to date comprehensive details on all the above aspects. 2.TRADE INFORMATION: This provision gives access to important information / tools such as Foreign Trade Policy, Hand Book of procedure , Duty Calculator , Customs & Excise Notification and MEIS Rates. 3.CONTACT DETAILS: We see that the contact details of all Development Commissioners Office, DGFT, DG System, DGCI & S and SEZ online. 4. SEZ online Transaction This is a dynamic submenu that tracks the Bill of Entry / Shipping Bill processing status and also does verification. The app also helps the Importers / Exporters to track the status of ‘Bill of Entry / Shipping Bill” integration and processing in the EDI system of the ICEGATE.
Foreign tourist arrivals on E-visas up 57% in Dec The inflow of foreign tourists arriving into the country through e-visas in December registered a significant 56.6% growth year on year, the ministry of tourism has said. In a statement released , the ministry said 1,62,250 foreign tourists visited India on e-tourist visas last month, India Newsletter • 11
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up from 103,617 in December 2015. For calendar 2016, foreign tourist arrivals on e-visas more than doubled to 10,79,696 from 4,45,300 in 2015, partly because the e-visa facility was extended to 161 countries from 113 previously, the ministry said. Overall, 8.91 lakh foreign tourists had visited the country from January to November last year, up 10.4% from a year earlier. The December number is yet to be released. The maximum inflow of foreign visitors through e-visas last month came from the UK (22.4%), followed by the US (16.4%) and Russia (7.7%). Tour operators and hoteliers had predicted a slump in travel and tourism following the government’s demonetisation drive in November, which prompted countries like the UK, Australia and Canada to update their travel advisories for India. While demonetisation seems to have not much impacted tourist arrivals in the short term, Rajeev Kohli, senior VP of Indian Association of Tour Operators, said it has damaged the country’s reputation in the long term. “The move has upset the foreign tourist operators and has impacted our credibility severely. All the international travellers in the country in the last two months saw very little support coming to them and have gone back with negative stories about the destination,” he said. “We are not questioning the numbers. We are questioning the harm it has done to the reputation,” Kohli said. He said e-visa figures mainly reflects people shifting from applying for visa at an embassy to online. “When the ministry’s figures of increase (of overall tourist arrivals) are single digits (it was 9.3% in November 2016) you can’t co-relate that with the double digit growth in the e-visa system,” he said. Rakshit Desai, managing director at FCM Travel Solutions, said Indian travel itineraries involve a long gestation period of travel, and that bookings for December would have 12 • India Newsletter
been done about three months in advance. “Most tourists come through operators, so the bulk of the trips are paid in advance,” he said. Desai said e-visas have helped accelerate an upward trend in inbound travel and that demonetisation may not impact it much. “India’s bigger problem tends to be around security perceptions as opposed to economic issues,” he said.
Moody’s changes power sector outlook from negative to stable Moody’s Investors Service and its Indian affiliate, ICRA predicts stable outlook for the power sector over the next 12-18 months reflecting sustained improvement in domestic coal availability, as well as the Indian government’s policy initiatives, which is likely to lead to improvements in financial positions of state-owned electricity distribution companies in the next two to three years. Abhishek Tyagi, a Moody’s vice president and senior analyst said: “In fact, we changed the outlook for the Indian power sector to stable from negative, because increased domestic production of coal will ease constraints on fuel supply.” Moody’s also says that the Indian government’s debt restructuring of the financially weak distribution utilities —under the Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana (UDAY) implemented by 17 states so far — will likely improve the companies’ financial capacity to make timely payments to power generators. “These distribution utilities will also benefit from the lower cost of power purchases, due to improved domestic coal availability, the subdued tariff level of shortterm traded power, and flexibility provided by the government to generating companies for the optimal utilization of coal,” said Sabyasachi Majumdar, an ICRA Senior Vice President. ICRA pointed out that an improvement in domestic coal
availability has substantially mitigated coal supply risk and the risk of under-recovery in fuel costs — due to a reliance on costlier coal imports — for thermal independent power producers (IPPs). ICRA also said that the improving financial profile of distribution utilities — which are key off-takers — will benefit IPPs through a reduction in the receivable cycle, and a modest improvement in the plant load factor over the next 18 months. In addition, ICRA noted that the uncertainty as to the timing of tariff compensations for affected thermal IPPs, given that the relevant authorities have yet to decide on the timing of such compensations for imported coal-based projects affected by changes in regulations in Indonesia. Moody’s says that renewable generation could act as a complementary source of power, rather than a competitor to thermal energy.
Canada seeks Indian support for its infrastructure bank Canada is keen to boost its economic ties with India and would invite Indian funds for Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB). Canada would welcome Indian participation in the CIB, the country’s Minister for Infrastructure and Communities Amarjeet Sohi told ET. Sohi is the fourth Canadian Minister to visit India since the Trudeau government was voted to power and led his country’s delegation at the Vibrant Gujarat Summit. CIB is being created by the Trudeau government in 2017 and the government is mandated to invest Canadian $35 billion. This is part of efforts to woo investments for Canada’s infrastructure sector. Th two-way annual trade between the countries currently was at $6.3-billion in 2015 and is set to grow, according to Sohi. Trade with India has grown 30 per cent from 2014, but the size of
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bilateral trade between the nations is relatively small, at about onetenth the size of Canada’s annual trade flow with China. “India is critical for Canada to engage with, as it is not only a growing economy, but a major player in the region,” the Minister noted. Canada’s largest pension funds and investment firms –Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Ontario Teachers Pension Plan to Fairfax Financial and Brookfield Asset Management – have in recent invested billions of dollars into investments within infrastructure, real estate and even start-ups in India. Canadian funds have invested close to $15-billion in India in recent years. “There is a lot of potential of that investment growing,” said Sohi. Leading Canadian firms focusing on urban infrastructure have lot of opportunities for collaboration and growth in that sector, according to Sohi. Canada’s Bombardier, which has a manufacturing unit in Gujarat, has been a key supplier of rail locomotives and equipment to the metro systems in Delhi and Mumbai. Canada has been a steady partner of Vibrant Gujarat Summit for past many years and the first Western block country to reach out to Narendra Modi since his days as Chief Minister of Gujarat.
Swiss chemicals maker Clariant may buy Mumbai’s Galaxy Surfactants Swiss speciality chemicals maker Clariant AG is in advanced talks to acquire Mumbai-based chemical manufacturer Galaxy Surfactants Ltd, two people aware of the development said. The deal is potentially worth Rs1,300-1,500 crore, the two said on condition of anonymity. Galaxy had hired Mumbai-based investment bank Avendus Capital to find a buyer, one of the two people said. Galaxy supplies a wide range of speciality chemicals including surfactants (compounds that
go into detergents, wetting and foaming agents, and emulsifiers), preservatives and coating additives. Its customers include personal care and home care products makers such as Colgate-Palmolive Co., Unilever Plc., and Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc . Established in 1980 as Galaxy Chemicals, it has presence in Latin America, Europe, North America, Africa and the Middle East. Mails and text messages sent to Unnathan Shekhar, managing director and chief executive officer of Galaxy Surfactants, did not elicit any response. A Clariant spokesperson declined to comment. An email sent to an Avendus spokesperson did not elicit a response. As per data from the company’s filings with the Registrar of Companies (RoC), Galaxy Surfactants’ consolidated revenue declined to Rs1,807.43 crore in the financial year 2015-16, from Rs1,875.33 crore in the previous year. Consolidated profit rose to Rs101.13 crore in 2015-16 from Rs67.99 crore in the previous year. In 2011, Galaxy Surfactants withdrew an initial public offering (IPO) a day before its close due to poor response from high net-worth individuals and retail investors. The overall offer was subscribed just 0.30 times, the Press Trust of India reported at the time. Clariant has been aggressively pursuing acquisitions to expand its footprint globally. In September 2015, Clariant Chemicals (India) Ltd, a 100% subsidiary of the company, acquired a part of the personal care portfolio of Hyderabad-based Vivimed Labs Ltd for an undisclosed sum. Earlier that year, it bought the black pigment preparations portfolio of Lanxess India, the local arm of German speciality chemicals company Lanxess AG. In September last year, Clariant made two acquisitions in the oilfield production chemicals business in North America. It acquired Kel-Tech Inc. and X-Chem LLC to accelerate growth of oilfield production
chemicals. India has seen a limited number of big-ticket transactions in chemical industries. In April last year, Fairfax India Holdings Corp. invested $300 million (Rs2,000 crore ) to acquire a 30% stake in Sanmar Chemicals Group. “The interest from European chemical manufacturers in India is high in the last couple of years. India, more a technology and IP (intellectual property)driven market, is one of the best outsourcing destinations for the European firms, especially in niche speciality chemical manufacturing space,” said Gopal Agrawal, a partner at investment bank Singhi Advisors Pvt. Ltd. “Hence, acquisition is considered to be a good choice to get access to manufacturing facilities in India.”.
World Bank projects India’s GDP growth at 7% in FY17 The World Bank has projected India’s economy to grow at seven per cent in the current financial year, even after taking into account the impact of demonetisation. It stated the impact of demonetisation was for the SHORT term. Though the projection was 0.6 percentage points lower than its earlier estimate of 7.6 per cent, these are only a shade below the Advance Estimates put out by the Central Statistical Office (CSO). CSO estimated the growth to be at 7.1 per cent without considering the effect of demonetisation and will factor in the impact in its revised Advance Estimates to be put out by February-end. The World Bank also highlighted weak private investments for “slightly” pulling down economic growth, besides demonetisation. The forecast, contained in the World Bank’s latest Global Economic Prospects, was, as such, more optimistic than economists and experts. None of the 10 economists polled by Business Standard had agreed to the Advance Estimates. But the India Newsletter • 13
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most optimistic of them did talk of a seven per cent growth rate, but he gave a range of 6.8-7 per cent. India’s economy grew at 7.6 per cent in 2015-16 and the World Bank expected the country to return to this growth rate by 201718. That way, it slightly cut growth projections for the next financial year by 0.1 percentage points from the 7.7 per cent forecast earlier. However, it raised growth forecasts by 0.1 percentage points for 201819 at 7.8 per cent, which it said the country would maintain in 2019-20, when the Narendra Modi government is expected to seek the electoral verdict in the initial part of the year. “India’s slight growth slowdown (in 2016-17) from the preceding fiscal year reflects the short-term impact of the unexpected exchange of most of the bank notes in circulation. Ongoing weakness in private investment also weighed on activity,” the multi-lateral agency said in the report, titled ‘South Asia Weak Investment in Uncertain Times’. The World Bank said India’s growth in 2016-17 will reflect the direct and indirect benefits of a normal monsoon following two years of sub-par rains, and solid private and public consumption. The rains were normal in 2016, though lower than initial estimates of the India Meteorological Department. Advance Estimates pegged agriculture growth at 4.1 per cent in the current financial year against 1.2 per cent in 2015-16. The World Bank said India is expected to regain its growth momentum in 2017-18 as reforms loosen domestic supply bottlenecks and increase productivity. “Moderate inflation, and a civil service pay raise should continue to support real incomes and consumption. Private investment is expected to recover as firms and banks deleverage and the effects of IMPORTANT structural reforms such as the Goods and Services Tax and the Insolvency and Bankruptcy 14 • India Newsletter
Code start being felt,” it added. The World Bank, however, said its outlook is tilted to downside. Uncertainty about fiscal consolidation could weigh on confidence in the near-term in India among other countries of South Asia, it said. While the Union government is expected to meet its target of reining in its fiscal deficit at 3.5 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product, it is unlikely to accept the three per cent goal for the next financial year given in the fiscal consolidation road map. It would get a leeway form the yet-to-be-submitted panel on Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Act. Overall, the Washington-based institution cut the world’s growth estimates projection by 0.1 percentage points each at 2.3 per cent for 2016, the lowest after the global financial meltdown, and 2.7 per cent for 2017. “Stagnant global trade, subdued investment, and heightened policy uncertainty marked another difficult year for the world economy. Global growth in 2016 is estimated at a post-crisis low of 2.3 per cent and is projected to rise to 2.7 per cent in 2017,” it said.
Indians’ per capita income may rise by 10.4 per cent to cross Rs 1 lakh in FY2017 India’s per capita net national income at current prices, a gauge for measuring living standard, is estimated to be Rs 103,007 (US$ 1,515.9) during FY 2016-17, registering a year-on-year growth of 10.4 per cent in comparison with Rs 93,293 (US$ 1,372) during FY 201516, according to the ‘First Advance Estimates of National Income, 201617’ released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO). The per capita income at 2011-12 prices is expected to increase by 5.6 per cent year-onyear to Rs 81,805 (US$ 1,203.9) in FY 2016-17, as against Rs 77,435 (US$ 1,139.6) for the year 2015-16. The CSO expects India’s gross domestic product (GSD) to ease down to 7.1
per cent during FY 2016-17, from 7.6 per cent in FY 2015-16, due to a slump in manufacturing, mining and construction activities.
India: an innovation hub for Microsoft India is a hotbed of research and development (R&D) activity for Microsoft. Other than its local data centres, cybersecurity and Smart City initiatives, the country is home to Microsoft Research India, (MSR India), which was established in January 2005 in Bengaluru. The other unit—Microsoft India (R&D) Pvt. Ltd set up its India operations in Hyderabad in 1998. Over the past 18+ years, it has expanded to become one of Microsoft’s largest R&D centers outside its headquarters in Redmond. MSR India does work around three major areas, said Sriram Rajamani, managing director of Microsoft Research India Lab. “The first is the ‘Theory and Algorithm’ group that does fundamental work with big data clients, which results in very innovative and novel machine learning algorithms. Then we have the ‘Systems’ group which does a lot of work in security, privacy, etc. Third, we have the ‘Technology for Emerging Markets’ group that studies the role of technology in socio-economic development, which does a lot of work around societal problems in healthcare, education and agriculture. This group does a lot of deployments as pilots in India too,” says Rajamani. Similarly, Microsoft’s India Development Centre (IDC) is part of global centres in Microsoft. “The aim is to work on both global engineering solutions and problems related to India,” says Anil Bhansali, managing director of Microsoft India (R&D) and General Manager, Cloud and Enterprise, MSIDC. For instance, when the Andhra Pradesh government wanted to examine the reason why children drop out of school, in a bid to stop the trend, it took the help of Microsoft researchers to build machine learning models based
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on data being collected on student enrolment to predict drop outs. This was done by applying machine learning and advanced visualization techniques that take into account multiple data points, including a student’s board exam performance, post-exam enrolments, school facilities, and teachers’ abilities and skills. This solution, according to Rajamani, has been taken to 10,000 government schools across Andhra Pradesh. “The interface also allows officers to counsel students accordingly,” he says. Microsoft also partnered with the LV Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI) to create an eye-care solution that successfully predicts the outcome of eye surgeries and improves treatment. Using EyeSmart—an ophthalmic electronic medical record and hospital management system—and Microsoft Azure, LVPEI has registered over 400,000 new patients digitally.
In another such instance, Microsoft partnered with the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), a United Nations agency, to analyse volumes of data on weather forecasts, local rainfall and soil conditions. The data, according to Bhansali, was analysed to develop a “Sowing Date” application that tells farmers the right sowing date to maximize their yield. Access to this platform for farmers was simplified by providing information to farmers via SMSes in Telugu. 99DOTS, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, USAID, and UKAID, is another case in point. Incubated at Microsoft Research India, Everwell Health Solutions—a healthcare technology start-up based in Bangalore—has been developing and deploying 99DOTS for the past three years. 99DOTS is a technology-enabled project focusing on medication adherence for anti-tuberculosis
drugs. Treatment programmes wrap each medication pack in a custom envelope, which hides phone numbers behind the medication. Patients can only see these hidden numbers after dispensing their pills. After taking daily medication, patients make a free call to the hidden phone number. The combination of the call and patient’s caller ID yields high confidence that the dose was “in-hand” and they took the dose. Patients receive a series of daily reminders (via SMS and automated calls). Missed doses trigger SMS notifications to care providers, who follow up with personal, phone-based counselling. Real-time adherence reports are also available on the web. The R&D challenge, as Bhaskar Pramanik, chairman of Microsoft India puts it, is to develop products and services “that have a global footprint and also work in emerging countries like India”.
INDIA PERSPECTIVES MAGAZINE ONLINE
India Newsletter • 15
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MAKE IN INDIA Skill Development Skills and knowledge are the driving forces of economic growth and social development for any country. India is blessed with 65% percent of its youth in the working age group. As per the National Policy for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship 2015, it is estimated that the average age of the population in India by 2020 will be 29 years as against 40 years in USA, 46 years in Europe and 47 years in Japan. In next 20 years, the labor force in the industrialized world is expected to decline by 4%, while in India it will increase by 32% which creates a need and opportunity to provide its workforce with required skill sets and knowledge to enable them to contribute substantially to the economic growth of India. The skill ecosystem in India is undergoing major reforms and policy interventions as India embarks on its journey to become a Knowledge Economy. The skill gap study by the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) for the period of 2010-2014 reports that over 109.73 million additional skilled manpower will be required by 2022 across different sectors. In the last two years, the government has taken a host of initiatives to channelize the efforts and provide impetus to the Skill Development ecosystem. To steer and coordinate the current skilling initiatives with quality deliverables, the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) was created in November 2014 to drive the ‘Skill India’ agenda in mission mode. Key interventions taken up by the government during the last two years have resulted in the number of trained Indians growing by 36.8%from 0.76 crores in FY 2014-15 to 1.04 crores in FY 2015-16. These trainings were done through Central Government Programs and NSDC associated training partners in the private sector. 16 • India Newsletter
SKILL DEVELOPMENT: ACHIEVEMENTS
Policy Initiatives MSDE has made great strides in a relatively short span of time and the key policy initiatives have been launched to support the skilling mandate. Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) Launched in July 2015 with the mission statement “Kaushal Bharat Kushal Bharat’, PMKVY is the flagship scheme of MSDE aimed to benefit 1 crore youth. PMKVY is being implemented through National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC). A new version of PMKVY was launched on July 13, 2016 with modification and continuation of PMKVY as ‘Skill Development Component’ of umbrella PMKVY with a target to skill 10 million people over four years (2016-2020) at an outlay of INR 12,000 crore. ■■ A total of 19.8 lakh candidates (17.8 lakhs in fresh training and 1.8 lakhs under Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)) have been enrolled, out of which 17.93 lakh have been trained and 11.9 lakh have been certified. ■■ 7.22 lakh candidates alone have been trained in manufacturing job roles.
Revitalizing the landscape of Industrial Training Institutes (ITI’s) across the nation The scheme envisages up-gradation of an existing Government ITI in a State to Model ITI through Institute Management Committees (IMC’s) with a representative as chairperson from Industry. The scheme was approved in December 2014 for a total cost of INR 300 crore. Implementation period is for 3 years with a funding pattern 70:30 between Center and States. For North Eastern states, the funding pattern is 90:10 between Center and States. Some of the major achievements are: ■■ The number of ITIs in the country has increased from 10,750 in May 2014 to over 13,105 in May 2016. More than 1141 new ITIs have been added and 1.73 lakh seats have been increased in the last one year. ■■ 15,000 instructors have been trained by Central Institutes of Directorate General of Training (DGT). ■■ Distance learning infrastructure has been created and over 18000 trainers have been trained in last two years. ■■ MSDE has also enabled opening up of 8 new Regional Vocational
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Training Institutes (RVTIs) for women in skill development. Five of which were opened during FY 2015-16, 2 of which have been operational since August 2015, 3 are to be opened in FY 2016-17.
entrusted with responsibility of setting up Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendra (PMKK) to run industrydriven courses of high quality with focus on employability. Some of the initiatives taken by NSDC are:
SSC since November 2014.
■■ 2,33,000 youth were awarded certificates from ITIs, and 18,000 plus graduating students received job offer letters on the occasion of World Youth Skills Day.
■■ NSDC partners have skilled 24.93 lakh people and placed about 12 lakh people through its ecosystem in FY 2014-15.
■■ In the textile sector, a total of about 8.61 lakh persons have been trained including traditional sectors under ISDS (Integrated Skill Development Scheme) of which 69% got placed.
National Skills Qualifications Framework (NSQF) NSQF is a competency-based framework that organizes all qualifications according to a series of levels of knowledge, skills and aptitude. NSQF aims to safeguard the consistency in outcome of skills training. Over 1661 qualifications from both the NSDC and ITI ecosystems have been aligned to NSQF during the last two years.
Apprenticeship Act reformed to scale up Apprenticeship training The Apprenticeship Act was modified in December 2014 to incentivise employers to take on more apprentices. Advocacy campaign amongst industry partners has been taken up and an online portal has been launched. Employers can now engage up to 10% of its total workforce as apprentices. The number of apprentices in the country has increased from 2.70 lakh to 3.10 lakh in FY2015-16, which is 15% higher as compared to FY 2014-15. ■■ National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme (NAPS) was also notified on August 19, 2016 to equip 50,000 apprentices during 20162022.
National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) NSDC which was established to catalyse private sector involvement in the area of skill development was further strengthened and
■■ Under UDAAN, a special industry initiative to enhance the employability in the state of J&K, the number of candidates trained has leapfrogged from 3062 in May 2014 to 10,810 in May 2016. ■■ 33 Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendras (PMKK) have been set-up across India as yet. Target is to create 426 PMKK across 409 districts.
Pradhan Mantri YUVA Yojana (PMYY) MSDE launched its flagship scheme on entrepreneurship, education and training in November 2016. The scheme spans over five years (2016-17 to 2020-21) with a project outlay of INR 499.94 crore, and will provide entrepreneurship education and training to over 7 lakh students in 5 years through 3050 Institutes. The institutes under the PM’s YUVA Yojana include 2200 Institutes of Higher Learning (colleges, universities, and premier institutes), 300 schools, 500 ITIs and 50 Entrepreneurship Development Centers, through Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).
Sector Skills Councils (SSC’s) ■■ NSDC is funding industry led Sector Skill Councils (SSCs) that create National Occupation Standards (NOS). Till date, NSDC Board has approved 40 Sector Skill Councils. ■■ 11 New SSCs have been added namely Chemical & Petrochemicals SSC, Paints & Coatings SSC (IPA), Management SSC, Green Job SSC, Strategic Manufacturing SSC, Furniture & Fitting SSC, and PWD
■■ The number of SSCs that developed National Occupational Standards (NOS) have grown from 22 in Nov 2014 to 31 at end of Oct 2015.
Special Focus on skilling and empowering Women ■■ In an endeavor to create a conducive socio-cultural and economic environment for women, several initiatives have been taken to further strengthen the ecosystem. ■■ 30% of all the seats are reserved in all Government and Private ITIs for courses for women candidates which includes girls as well. ■■ 5 new RVTIs for women in skill development have been established during FY 2015-16 and 3 are to be opened in FY 2016-17. 2 RVTIs are being established in Himachal Pradesh (Jhundla, Shimla) and Tripura (Anandanagar, Agartala) to facilitate the requirements in the hilly terrain since August 2015. ■■ NSDC training partners have trained a total of 1,55,236 women candidates across India, of which 54,456 have been placed as on October 31, 2016.
Other Achievements ■■ Under non-PMKVY, around 6000 candidates were trained through various training centers during the year 2015-16. ■■ Under the Craftsmen Training Scheme, more than 10 lakh trainees got skilled during FY 2015-16. ■■ Skill Loan scheme was launched in July 2015 and offers soft loans ranging from INR 5000 to INR 1.5 lakh to 34 lakh Indian youth seeking to attend skill development programmes over the next five years. India Newsletter • 17
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Invest India - The Investors Desk of the Make in India Campaign The national investment promotion agency, provides handholding and facilitation services for attracting investments, including: Following up on approvals from Government departments/agencies on behalf of the investor and the investing community.Providing handholding facilitation services from the point of arrival to the point of departure, including land/site identification and entry procedure advisory.Interacting with all States in a Hub & Spoke Model and providing investors with State policies relating to land/labour/capital and investment. Fixing meetings/appointments between investors and different Government departments/agencies. The team of domain and functional experts provide sector- and state-specific inputs, and handholding support to investors through the entire investment cycle, from pre-investment decision-making to aftercare. ■■ Invest India assist with: ■■ Market strategy ■■ Business plan advisory ■■ Location identification ■■ Expediting regulatory approvals ■■ Facilitating meetings with relevant government and corporate officials ■■ Initiating remedial action on problems faced by investors ■■ Contact Information Invest India, The Ashok, Third Floor, 50B, Diplomatic Enclave, Chanakyapuri New Delhi 110 021, India Telephone No: +91-11-2419 0300 E-mail: email@example.com 10 A.M. to 5:30 P.M. IT (Monday to Friday) 18 • India Newsletter
FDI at a Glance
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INDIAN STATE ECONOMIC PROFILE ODISHA Odisha is one of the most mineralrich states in India. Key minerals found in the state are iron, coal, bauxite,
graphite, decorative stones, beach sand, China clay, tin ore, etc. Odisha accounts for over 55 per cent of India’s bauxite reserves, making it an ideal location for setting up aluminium and aluminium-based companies. The state ranks first in the country in terms of both production capacity and actual output of aluminium.
a wide range of fiscal and policy
establishing BPO units. In places
incentives for businesses under the
where STPI (Software Technology
Industrial Policy Resolution, 2007.
Parks of India) stations are situated,
Additionally, the state has sector-
specific policies for IT and micro,
expected to be generated in the
small and medium enterprises. The
state. STPIs in the state are located
state government has constituted
in Bhubaneswar, Balasore, Rourkela
■■ As per budget 2016-17, US$ 39.71
The following are some of the major
million has been proposed by the
initiatives taken by the government
state government for developing
to promote Odisha as an investment
new railway projects such as the
■■ The Odisha Cabinet has approved
new Jaypore-Malkangiri, Jaypore-
the Odisha start-up policy, aimed at
Nabarangpur railway lines, etc. in the
setting up at least 1,000 start-ups
state through direct state funding.
over the next five years and bringing
■■ As per state budget 2016-17, the
Odisha is one of the favoured
the state amongst the top three
state government allocated US$
start-up hubs by 2020.
1.52 million for development and
domestic and international iron and steel players as well as one of the largest producers of iron and steel in India. The total production of iron
enhancement of eco-tourism in
employment opportunities in the
announced plans to invest US$
Bhubaneswar is being established
ore in Odisha was recorded to be
28.69 billion in the manufacturing
under the public private partnership
80.87 million tonnes during 2015-
sector generating nearly three lakh
(PPP) model over a land area of
job opportunities by 2020.
Between 2004-05 and 2015-16,
■■ In June 2015, in an effort to
■■ A mega food park is being
increase the traffic of foreign airlines
established near Bhubaneswar over
(GSDP) expanded at a compound
in the state, the state government
282 acres through the PPP mode.
annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.25
exempted the Value Added Tax
per cent to US$ 50.8 billion whereas
(VAT) imposed on aviation turbine
Development Corporation (IDCO)
the Net State Domestic Product
(NSDP) expanded at a CAGR of 10.37
■■ In July 2015, the state government
establishment of this park.
per cent to US$ 44.92 billion.
announced plans to frame a rural
■■ In order to strengthen the artisan-
Odisha is amongst the top ten states
Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)
based enterprises in the handicrafts
accounting for the highest number
scheme under which subsidies
sector, 19 handicraft training centres
of MSME enterprises. The state offers
are planned to be offered for
are functioning in different districts.
India Newsletter • 19
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INDIAN TRADE FAIRS INTERESTED IN VISITING A TRADE SHOW IN INDIA? In case your company is interested in visiting a tradeshow/B2B event in India, be it one listed here or another one that came to your attention, get in contact with us via firstname.lastname@example.org to get more information about possible assistance/subsidies.
INDIA TRADE PROMOTION ORGANISATION A GOVERNMENT OF INDIA ENTERPRISE
2017 Textiles: Inspired & International
A Fusion of Fashion & Tradition
February 21-24, 2017 Hall 11, Pragati Maidan
Trims & Accessories India Newsletter â€¢ 21
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INDIAN HANDICRAFTS India Newsletter â€¢ 25
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INTERNATIONAL EXHIBITION FOR PHARMA AND HEALTHCARE
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INVEST INDIA Federation House, Tansen Marg New Delhi—110 001 0091-11-23765085, 23487278 email@example.com www.investindia.gov.in
policy and Promotion, Ministry INVESTMENT of Commerce & Industry) and State Governments of India (0.5% The National Investment and Infrastructure Fund(NIIF)
■■ Objective: ■■ To maximize economic impact mainly through infrastructure development in commercially viable projects, both Greenfield and Brownfield, including stalled projects. ■■ Other nationally important projects in manufacturing, if viable commercially ■■ Structure: ■■ The NIIF will be established as one or more Alternate Investment Funds (AIF). It refers to any fund established or incorporated in Indian in the form of a Trust or a Company or a LLP or a body corporate. AIF shall raise funds only through private placement 28 • India Newsletter
nvest India is the country’s official agency dedicated to investment promotion and facilitation. Set up as a joint venture between FICCI (51% and cannot accept from any equity), DIPP (35%funds equity held investor (Indian or Foreign) whose by the Department of Industrial value is less than 1 crore Indian Rupees and is prohibited from making application to public for subscription to its securities. AIF can be of three categories; ■■ Category I: Investment in Start-ups, SMEs, infrastructure or social ventures ■■ Category II: Investment in private equity and debt funds
■■ Category III: Primarily for hedge funds, which use complex strategies or leverage to invest in unlisted derivaties and trade with a view to make short-term returns
each), its mandate is to become the first reference point for the global investment community. It provides granulated, sectorspecific and state-specific information to a foreign investor, assists in expediting regulatory approvals, and offers hand-holding services. Its mandate also includes assisting Indian investors make informed choices about investment opportunities overseas.
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TOURISM Gir: Regal Sanctuary by Hugh & Colleen Gantzer. An Indian icon rules Britannia. It, quite literally, supports the crest of the British Monarch along with version of another Indian animal in the mythical form of a Unicorn. As an 18th century nursery rhyme put it The lion and the unicorn Were fighting for the crown; The lion beat the unicorn All round about the town We had written about the origin of the unicorn in our swampy, northeastern, sanctuary of Kaziranga. We now went in quest of our very special lions in Gujarat’s thorn forest sanctuary Gir. Once upon a distant this rare Asiatic breed of lions roamed the whole of West Asia from Northern Turkey through Arabia to northern India up to the Narmada.River. But the dedicated ‘sportsmen’ of the Raj reduced them to just 12 by the end of the 19th century. Then an Indian prince, the Nawab of Junagadh, called a halt. Today, over 400 Asiatic Lions roam free in 1412 sq km of sequestered wilderness and, because they are protected, a whole eco-system is alive and thriving. As Gir is the only place in the world where these magnificent felines are born free and roam free, perhaps it’s time that the term Asiatic Lion was changed to the, more accurate, Indian Lion This year, when Spring was warming into summer, we drove into the
green campus of the Gujarat Forest Department’s Sinh Sadan hoping to sight one o,f these rare, legendary, great felines. The accommodation was no-frills comfortable; the meals in the dining hall were vegetarian and sustaining; and because many visitors had flocked into the hamlet of Sasan Gir, we had to take the second round that morning, missing our favoured dawn tour. Lions prefer hunting at night, settling down to sleep when the sun begins to rise. So though we didn’t expect to sight a lion on that forenoon safari, we drove around anyway. We’re glad we did. The other jeeps had returned to Sinh Sadan and apart from the forest workers and a few Maldhari herdsmen... who have some encampments, called nesses, in the forest... we had the thornscrub jungle to ourselves. Spring is the right season for wildlife spotting. Most trees have shed their leaves and forest workers were sweeping them up and burning them to prevent forest fires. Consequently, visibility was clear for fairly long distances. We realized, once again, that when an animal at the top of the food chain is protected then everything lower down also thrives. There were herds of chital, their speckled coats flickering through the sun-dappled forest, drinking at the water troughs set up and filled by the Forest Department. There are thousands of chital in Gir more than enough to ensure that the predators, including the hundreds of leopards, are able to keep fit hunting for their natural prey. Lions, unlike leopards, don’t like scaling up trees. Feasting in the branches were clans of grey langur monkeys. They had teamed up with the spotted deer, dropping leaves and fruit to the chital grazing on the forest floor. From their high viewpoint, they would also spot predators approaching from far away. Their hooting warning would alert the deer to flee, flashing the white on
their tails as danger signals to other animals. This late in the morning, however, most of the predators were asleep and even peacocks, with their beautiful, and ungainly, tails pecked at their breakfast with the deliberate fastidiousness of gourmets. The late forenoon is an excellent time for bird-watching. The sun, high above the trees, pierces through the feathery canopy, illuminating birds on the branches and the forest floor. We saw the usual assortment of doves, wood-peckers and garrulous babblers, and also a spotted owlet, fluffed up like a sage in a downy coat, a brace of fat partridges who seemed as curious about us as we were about them, and a brilliantly painted kingfisher. He glittered in a Spring-green valley, perched on a branch above a chortling jungle stream. If it hadn’t been for the lions, the trees would probably have been cut for firewood, the stream would have dried and the birds would have found their way to greener pastures. We also saw a pair of Stone Curlews, informally known as ‘Thicknees’. They looked as if they had arthritis but were as agile as Curlews are expected to be. They are ground-nesting birds and they were guarding their scooped-out property on the forest floor. But we still hadn’t seen any lions though, when we returned to Sinh Sadan, a family from Mumbai were as bubbly as champagne. They had seen and photographed a whole pride of lions: a full-maned lion, two lionesses, and three cubs. “I wanted to get out of the jeep and cuddle them” gushed 10-year old Sania, “but India Newsletter • 29
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ancestors in Africa must have done. If, sometimes, an accident happens..” our informant shrugged, “we accept it” So, too, do the Maldhari herdsmen who have been permitted to live, as their forefathers had always done, within the Park. their mother might have bitten me. No?” We agreed that that might have happened but that didn’t dampen her enthusiasm one little bit! Encouraged by Sania’s close encounter, we set off after lunch with guide Ketan, who was also a photographer, and driver Ashish. We were told that they were very lucky: in animal spotting luck plays a major role. Years ago, an over-enthusiastic official had tried to reduce the element of luck. He had introduced the, so-called, ‘Lion Show’. He had directed that lions should be fed in clearings in the forest, every day, at specific times. Tourists would then be brought in and allowed to stand around enjoying this staged spectacle. We had attended one of them and, later, had witnessed the humiliating sight of a snoozing, well-fed, lion, being scared away by a village dog! Clearly, regular feeding of these regal animals had robbed them of their natural hunting instincts. Happily, after we had expressed out outrage to everyone we knew, this farce was stopped and the lions of Gir rediscovered their wild ways. This was confirmed by a group of Sidhis we met outside the Park. These people are proud descendants of Africans reputedly brought to this area by the former Nawabs of Junagadh. They have integrated seamlessly into the ecology of Gir while maintaining many of their customs and traditions. They told us that one of their villages was still in the National Park “But the lions don’t trouble us and we don’t trouble them. We live in harmony as our 30 • India Newsletter
these large antelope.. A little later we spotted nervous chinkara, leaping away like ballet dancers. But their nimble-footed performance could have been triggered by our presence. They needn’t, necessarily, have sensed a predator approaching.
We passed a Maldhari herdsman grazing his buffaloes just outside a rather made-shift village. He said a lion had been seen not far from his settlement this morning and his herd of buffaloes was still restless. In spite of having their herds attacked by lions and leopards, many Maldharis prefer to claim their right as forest dwellers and stay on. They get paid for every one of their cattle killed by a jungle predator, but the natural fodder in the forest is so plentiful that it makes up for the danger.
The sun was quite low in the sky, the light had softened, and we were giving up hope of ever spotting one of the lions of Gir when we heard the yap! of a frightened spotted deer. Three of them were just off the road, a little ahead of us. We drove up and saw that they we standing rigid, their ears swiveled forward. Danger lay in front of them and they were ready to scoot.
If a lion had been seen in the morning the chances were that it had not wandered too far after dawn. We passed a nilgai bull standing stock-still against a huge, overshadowing, banyan tree. It wasn’t grazing but was as immobile a blue-grey boulder. We wondered, for a moment, if it had seen a big cat, but then it moved and began to nibble at some leaves. Clearly it had been wary of us and had frozen: this is the normal survival strategy of
There, in the half-shadows of the forest floor, stretched out in regal ease, was a magnificent lioness. She turned her head and looked at us with serene arrogance, the sunlight glowing on here amber eyes. Then, when we had taken all the pictures we wanted, she rose and, very languidly, vanished into the protected forests of Gir.
We raced ahead, Ketan mentioned a wooded ravine as a likely spot. We drove into it. Stopped.
And far, far, away in the UK, the stylized icons of her ancestors still, very proudly, rule Britannia.
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INDIA-AUSTRIA BY AIR
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INDIAN MOVIE EVENING AT THE EMBASSY 27. January, 17:30
HINDI OV mdUT
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INDIA-RELATED EVENTS IN AUSTRIA
विश्व हिंदी ददिस में “मालगुडी की बेटियााँ” „Die Töchter von Malgudi “ am Welttag der Hindi काययक्रम/Programm: 18:30 स्िागत मन्तव्य/Grußworte 18:45 दिल्म “मालगुडी की बेटियााँ”/Filmvorführung „Die Töchter von Malgudi“ 19:20 कविता पाठ/Gedichtslesung 19:40 धन्यिाद ज्ञापन/Danksagung 19:50 जलपान/ Erfrischungen
31. Januar 2017 18:30-19:30 Uni-Campus, Hörsaal B Spitalgasse 2, Hof 2.10 1090 Wien
Institut für Südasien-, Tibet – und Buddhismuskunde
Der Film wurde von den Studierenden des ISTB produziert. Eine deutsche Übersetzung ist vor Vorstellungsbeginn erhältlich.
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