INDIA NEWSLETTER Indian Embassy, Vienna
Published by the Embassy of India, Vienna Year 5 • Issue 59 • November 2015
MAKE IN INDIA ELECTRONIC SYSTEMS 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 new Government 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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I n c r e a s i n g number of senior executives from large global corporations like Microsoft, Twitter and P&G are joining internet and app-based Indian startups like Paytm and Flipkart, attracted by the opportunities and startups vision over the next five to 10 years.
India’s Department of Information and Technology plans to create a separate online portal for inviting ideas from technology innovators, with the objective to provide them with assistance including finance, and thus help to boost initiatives like StartupIndia and DigitalIndia.
India added the highest number of net mobile phone subscriptions of 13 million during the third quarter of 2015, which was equal to the additions of China (7 million) and US (6 million) combined, as per a report by Ericsson.
Finance Minister Mr Arun Jaitley has stated that the government plans to use the increased tax receipts to fund infrastructure spending than to reduce its borrowing target for the current fiscal year, adding that he would continue to aim for the fiscal deficit target of 3.9 per cent of GDP for FY 2015-16. 4 • India Newsletter
The engineering sector in India attracts immense interest from foreign players as it enjoys a comparative advantage in terms of manufacturing costs, technology and innovation. The above, coupled with favourable regulatory policies and growth in the manufacturing sector has enabled several foreign players to invest in India.
India’s domestic gems and jewellery industry had a market size of Rs 251,000 crore (US$ 40.45 billion) in 2013, with the potential to grow to Rs 500,000–530,000 crore (US$ 80.59-85.43 billion) by 2018, according to a study by a leading industry body.
During Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi’s visit to UK, both Indian and British companies announced investment commitments worth US$ 13.7 billion across sectors such as ThermalPower, RenewableEnergy, telecommunications, healthcare, automobiles and IT, apart from partnerships in education and skill development between the two countries.
The Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore has become the first Indian institution to enter the Top 100 universities
ranking in engineering and technology, published by The Times Higher Education of Londo0.
Global credit rating agency Fitch Ratings has considered the government’s recent easing of foreign direct investment (FDI) norms in 15 sectors as a ‘significant structural macroeconomic reform’, which along with the earlier reform measures with respect to power distribution sector, indicates continued momentum in the government’s reform agenda.
The world’s top two aircraft manufacturers, Boeing and Airbus, forecast India to be among the top aircraft markets in the world over the next 20 years, with an annual growth rate of 11 per cent for domestic air traffic and 10 per cent for international air traffic, driven by an expanding middle class, economic growth and under penetration of airlines.
India’s wind power capacity, installed in FY2016, is estimated to increase 20 per cent over last year to 2,800 mega watt (MW), led by favourable policy support that has encouraged both independent power producers (IPP) and nonIPPs, as per rating agency ICRA.
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INDIA-AUSTRIA & EMBASSY NEWS India Forum at the Austrian Federal Chamber of Commerce
Andhra Pradesh Delegation visited Vienna on a Study Tour
On 21th October 2015, the Foreign Trade Department of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber organised an event focused on India. Entitled “Parameters for Your Success with Business in India”, the event counted with the participation of ca. 70 Austrian companies and entrepreneurs aiming for India and/or potentially interested in doing business there but still undecided. In the context of the event, our Ambassador H.E. Rajiva Mishra held a presentation entitled “India-Austria - From Friendship to Partnership”. Moreover, the Embassy set up an India desk, where Embassy publications on Indian Business have been distributed. The event counted with presentations from the Chamber of Commerce, the companies Maier+Divorno and TuV Austria on several topics from Market Entry Strategies to Success Stories.
An 8-member delegation from Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development Authority (APCRDA) visited Vienna from October 29November 1, 2015 on a study Tour. The Embassy in coordination with the Office of City of Vienna and the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber of Commerce had organized a series of meetings with Vice Mayor, Vienna Smart City Agency, Municipal Department of Vienna for Urban Development and Planning, Mr. Christoph Chorherr, Member of the Vienna Provincial Parliament. Besides there were site visits to SIEMENS metro and Tram production facility, “Seestadt Aspern” Vienna’s new urban lakeside district. Besides there are presentations by Wolf Reicht Architects ZT GmbH, Austrian Institute of Technology on Smart City and Cable Runner Austria. The delegation and the Austrian side had very fruitful discussion.
Mission releases 25 Industry-focused Make in India Information Flyers in German In order to further promote the Make in India campaign among Austrian corporates, the Embassy of India, Vienna, has published 25 issues of a series on Industryspecific topics. These publications feature the Make in India headlines for the 25 focus-industries of the campaign along with information on current investment opportunities, incentives for investments and Industry-specific FDI policies. All of these have been compiled in the German language.
India Newsletter • 5
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NEWS ARTICLES Govt plans dedicated portal to support innovative ideas In a move seen as providing a boost to initiatives like Startup India and Digital India launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the government is now planning to set up a separate online portal dedicated for technology innovators. Minister for Communication and Information and Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad said innovators can register themselves in the portal, which would help them in every way possible, including bankrolling their ideas. “Today, we have decided that the Department of Information and Technology will create a separate portal dedicated to innovators of India. Anyone one who innovates can put forth their ideas on this portal. We will reach them and provide them support,” Prasad said. The minister added that under the Digital India initiative, the government is pushing for technology innovation across geographies. “Be it urban or rural, we will help anyone who has a great idea which has a social impact.” Though details of the portal have not yet been worked out, senior officials of the Department said it would only be open to people who come up with innovations, mainly encompassing the use of technology in sectors such as manufacturing, agriculture, and education. “Once the innovation is checked and vetted by the in-house team, the innovator and the creation would be registered. We will then get in touch with the innovator,” said a senior official at the ministry. Prasad also said in the past year, there has been a 26 per cent increase in the number of Internet users in India. Also, the government is pushing electronic manufacturing in a major way. “Something around Rs 1,17,000 crore of investments 6 • India Newsletter
have come in,” he added. The government plans to double the number of common service centres (CSCs) in the country. Implemented under the National e-Governance Plan formulated by the Department of Electronics and Information Technology. CSCs are information and communications technologyenabled front-end service delivery points at the village level. These are instrumental in delivery of government, financial, social and private sector services in agriculture, health, education, entertainment, banking, insurance, pension and utility payments.
Launch of Technology Acquisition and Development Fund under National Manufacturing Policy Minister of State for Commerce & Industry (I/C), Mrs. Nirmala Sitharaman, launched on 18.11.2015 the Technology Acquisition and Development Fund (TADF) under National Manufacturing Policy being implemented by Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion(DIPP). TADF is a new scheme to facilitate acquisition of Clean, Green & Energy Efficient Technologies, in form of Technology / Customised Products / Specialised Services / Patents / Industrial Design available in the market available in India or globally, by Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). While launching this Scheme, the Commerce Minister hoped that the Scheme would facilitate acquisition of clean & green technologies by micro, small and medium units across the sectors and thus, bridge the technological gap at an affordable cost. The Scheme is conceptualised to catalyse the manufacturing growth in MSME sector to contribute to the national focus of “Make in India”.
Under the Scheme which would be implemented through Global Innovation and Technology Alliance (GITA), a joint venture company, support to MSME units is envisaged by the following: I. Direct Support for Technology AcquisitionProposals from Indian industry will be invited for reimbursement of 50% of technology transfer fee or Rs. 20 lakhs, whichever is lower, II. In-direct Support for Technology Acquisition through Patent PoolFinancial support will be provided in acquiring of technology/Patent from across the Globe based on applications received from MSMEs. Technology/Patent will be licensed to selected companies, with a mutually agreed value and the selected companies will get a subsidy of 50% of the mutually agreed value or Rs. 20 lakhs, III. Technology / Equipment Manufacturing Subsidies: The fund will support, via subsidies, manufacturing of equipment / machines / devices for controlling pollution, reducing energy consumption and water conservation. The manufacturing units will be provided with a subsidy of up to 10% of capital expenditure incurred on new plant & machinery subject to a maximum of Rs. 50 lakhs. IV. Green Manufacturing – Incentive Scheme: The scheme will facilitate resource conservation activities in industries located in NIMZ through the introduction of incentive/ subsidy schemes for energy/ environmental/ water audits, construction of green buildings, implementation of waste treatment facilities and implementation of renewable energy projects through financial support under the TADF. The guidelines for the Scheme envisage providing assistance to units in MSME sector owned by Indian residents..
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Government prioritises International Health Regulations Signaling its strong commitment to the implementation of International Health Regulations (IHR), the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in collaboration with the WHO Country Office for India has organized a national consultation on strengthening intersectoral coordination for IHR (2005) and Points of Entry, at Goa on 18-19 November 2015. Speaking on the occasion, Dr (Prof ) Jagdish Prasad, Director General of Health Services (DGHS) highlighted the critical role various sectors play in IHR and called for greater attention on building capacities at state level, particularly for hospital preparedness, infection control and surge capacity for IHR. In his address, Shri Anshu Prakash, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Health& Family Welfare, Government of India emphasized that pathogens do not recognize political boundaries and hence move across countries. “IHR are an instrument for the world to have a robust protocol for prevention, reporting, information sharing and preparedness. India is committed to becoming IHR compliant in 2016. The Goa meeting is an important step toward this goal,” he added. Government of India has prioritized the implementation of IHR as it moves towards full compliance by 2016. It is investing in building and sustaining core capacities under IHR (2005), particularly in view of emerging global threats such as Ebola and MERS-CoV. Speaking at the consultation, Dr Prakin Suchaxaya, CoordinatorHealth Programmes, WHO Country Office for India said, “Building and maintaining IHR core capacities of surveillance, response, laboratory verification, with preparedness, both at national and sub-national level for all hazards, and in particular zoonoses is absolutely critical. This calls for many different agencies and
sectors to come together for public health and cannot be done by the health sector alone.” Sectors represented in the meeting include: human health, animal health, food safety, points of entry (ports, airports and ground crossings), atomic energy, shipping, airport authority, disaster management and response (NDMA), emergency medical and relief, international health as well as the Armed ForcesHealth Division. Several technical and research agencies are also participating, such as the National Centre for Disease Control, National Institute of Virology, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre and the Public Health Foundation of India, National institute of health & family welfare, National vector borne Disease control programme, Family welfare Training centre , Mumbai. etc.
India’s rooftop solar capacity to touch 6.5 GW by 2020: Study India’s rooftop solar capacity has touched 525 mw this year, according to consulting and knowledge service provider Bridge to India. In a report the firm said that over the past 12 months, solar capacity installation in the country was almost equal to the cumulative of what was added in the last three years. According to Bridge to India, India’s rooftop solar industry has grown 66% from last year despite lack of specific rooftop initiatives, unlike the utility-scale solar segment. This growth is directly linked to improved project economics and is expected to continue accumulating up to 6.5 gw of installed capacity until 2020, it said. Among states, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Gujarat lead in total installed capacity in that order. Tamil Nadu’s good performance, especially in the industrial segment, can be attributed to high consumer awareness, high industrial and commercial tariffs, and wide gap between energy demand and
supply in the highly industrialised state. “The map also highlights that India is fast approaching nationwide grid parity for all rooftop segments, particularly the commercial and industrial segments. Six new states have achieved grid parity for commercial consumers, bringing the total number of grid parity states to 19. Similarly, six new states have also achieved grid parity in the industrial segment, increasing the total number of grid parity states to 17. However, while none of the states have achieved grid parity for residential segment, the gap between solar and grid tariffs has reduced substantially. The consultancy has identified rising grid tariffs and falling costs of solar to be the reasons for the reduction in gap between solar and grid tariffs,” the study said. Vinay Rustagi, managing director, BTI, said, “This capacity addition comes at a time when the government has gradually started withdrawing the capital subsidies and the market grew mostly on its own fundamentals. Going forward, we expect tremendous growth opportunities in the rooftop solar market in India in the next few years for both existing and new companies, fuelled mainly by reducing solar costs, increasing grid tariffs, increased customer awareness, robust policy support, and on-ground implementation of net-metering across all states.” BTI said the rooftop solar sector has the ability to grow independent of government assistance, and the increase in net-metering capable states from nine, as of last year, to 23 now and seven UTs this year will help accelerate the market’s growth next year.
India’s growth to be consumption driven: Stanchart India’s economic growth in FY’17 is expected to be driven by consumption growth due to the impending pay revision of India Newsletter • 7
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government employees. This would reverse the trend of FY’16 in which growth has been largely investment driven, said a report by British Bank Stanchart. “We expect consumption to drive India’s GDP growth in FY17 (year starting April 2016), taking over from investment,” say Saurav Anand and Anubhuti Sahay of South Asia Research at Stanchart in their report. “Impending pay rises for public-sector employees, to be implemented from FY17, are likely to partly redirect the government’s limited fiscal resources from investment to recurrent spending that will boost consumption.” While higher government spending on salaries will benefit consumption, the diversion of resources is likely to slow India’s investment recovery, which has been driven entirely by government capital expenditure. This is going to impact the fiscal numbers according to the writers. “We expect the fiscal burden to be borne mostly by the central government, as it will implement the pay revisions in the first year (FY17), when it also aims to reduce the fiscal deficit by 0.4% of GDP to 3.5% of GDP.” The amount and details of the pay revisions - which are implemented once a decade - are expected to be finalised and announced by end-2015. Assuming a 15% hike in public-sector pay and pensions, we estimate total additional recurrent expenditure of 1.2% of GDP by the central and state governments over the next three years. This is likely to boost consumption. The impact in FY17 is likely to be limited to 0.7% of GDP, as states usually stagger the pay revisions over two to three years. Urban consumers are likely to benefit the most from the pay rises, leading the consumption recovery in FY17. While urban consumption improved in H1-FY16, deteriorating rural demand has caused consumption to stabilise at low levels, putting the onus on investment to drive growth this year. Low inflation and 8 • India Newsletter
the lagged impact of lower interest rates are also likely to boost urban demand, particularly for autos and white goods, in FY17. Rural demand is likely to improve if monsoon rains return to normal after three seasons of unfavourable weather conditions. States’ capacity expansion should hold up better given the staggered implementation of pay revisions and more fiscal headroom at the state level, according to the report. Since the private sector is unlikely to plug the gap created by slower central government investment, the pace of investment is likely to slow unless the central government slows the pace of fiscal consolidation. It aims to reduce the fiscal deficit to 3.5% of GDP in FY17 from 3.9% in FY16.
Lenovo aims US$ 6-bn revenue from India in next 3 years Chinese tech major Lenovo is aiming to become one of the top 20 companies in India in the next three years and has set a target of US$ 6 billion annual revenues as compared to the present revenue of US$ 2.5 billion. Lenovo has committed to invest in not just manufacturing but also research and development (R&D). The company had recently announced manufacturing of smartphones in India, which in future are planned to be exported to other markets. Lenovo also plans to move beyond just manufacturing devices but also software and provide total solutions to sectors like education and health care. Post its acquisition of Motorola Mobility from Google last year, Lenovo and Motorola together have six per cent market share in the Indian handset market.
India, EU set to resume FTA talks: Sitharaman After suspending talks for a bilateral trade agreement with the European Union, India is set to return to the negotiating table to discuss lower import duty for European cars and wines in return for pushing some of
its farm products, garments and IT services into the trading bloc. Commerce and industry minister Nirmala Sitharaman told TOI that the dates for resuming the dialogue are being discussed and the government was trying to push the pedal with the EU trade pact, along with those with Australia and Canada. After taking charge in the summer of 2014, the government had ordered a review of all proposed trade agreements and it was only later that it decided to restart negotiations. In August, days before talks were to resume, the government had suspended the dialogue with EU, while protesting against a ban on the import of 700 generic medicines from Indian pharmaceutical firms, such as GVK Biosciences. “We have gone back to negotiations because in Bangalore, the Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) had taken up the issue with Angela Merkel (German chancellor) and she had responded positively, saying ‘she will look into it and EU will do justice’. So, we have no reason now to doubt their intentions. Our intention was not to dismantle the talks. It was more to make the point about unilateral action by EU,” the minister said. A joint statement during Merkel’s visit had mentioned about a commitment from India and Germany for “resumption of the negotiations as soon as possible”. India and EU have been working on Broad Based Trade and Investment Agreement, which has been in the pipeline for close to a decade and there are some gaps that need to be filled for the deal to be clinched. There is a growing view in the government that such trade agreements need to be pursued given the changing global dynamics with the advent of Trans-Pacific Partnership and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). At the same time, with the exports falling for 11 months in a row, bilateral trade deals are seen to offer a way forward although they will kick in only after a few years.
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India Signs MoUs with six countries in the International Civil Aviation Negotiations ICAN (International Civil Aviation Negotiations),2015 was held in Antalya, Turkey from 19th to 23rdOctober,2015. The Conference was attended by 106 countries out of ICAO membership of 191 countries 2. The Indian delegation representing Ministry of Civil Aviation participated in the Conference and negotiated with the delegations from 11 countries. During these negotiations,“Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)” was signed with six countries namely Finland, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Sweden, Norway &Denmark, Oman and Ethiopia and “Agreed Minutes”with Serbia, Greece, European Commission and “Record of Discussions” with Brunei Darussalam and Qatar. 3. The main features of the negotiations are as under:■■ OMAN A MoU was signed with Oman whereby, additional 5131 seats were granted taking the total capacity entitlements from 16018 seats per week to 21149 seats per week for both sides. ■■ KAZAKHSTAN The two sides agreed to review the initialled Air Services Agreement (ASA) as per the latest Article 11 given by the Indian side. Third country airlines code share and domestic code share operations to four points was also agreed to by both sides. ■■ KENYA The two sides signed aMoU, whereby the capacity entitlements have been increased from 14 frequencies for each side to 21 additional frequencies and Hyderabad was allowed as an additional point of call for the designated carriers of Kenya. Domestic code share was agreed to from any 4 points by both sides. Kenya agreed to grant one additional point, intermediate and beyond point with full 5th freedom
rights in Africa to India. ■■ ETHIOPIA A MoU was signed between both the sides by capacity entitlements were increased from the existing 21 frequencies per week to 28 frequencies per week for both sides. Ethiopia was allowed to exchange Bangalore in place of Kolkata as a point of call. Three additional domestic code share points exclusively to code share with Air India were granted namely Jaipur, Kolkata and Pune. ■■ FINLAND An MoU was signed with Finland by which the provisions namely code share, intermodal services, routing flexibility and open sky on cargo, which are mandatory requirement of Horizontal Agreement coming into force were agreed to by Finland. Further domestic code share was agreed to on 5 points in the territory of both parties. The domestic code share points for the designated airline of Finland are Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Pune and Kolkata. For the designated airlines of India, these additional points would be specified by India at a later date. ■■ SWEDEN, NORWAY AND DENMARK A MoU was entered into by both the parties by which 4 provisions namely, code shares, intermodal, routing flexibility and open sky on cargo, which is a mandatory requirement of Horizontal Agreement coming into force was agreed to by the three Scandinavian countries. India accepted Norway’s request to bring Norway-India bilateral in line with Horizontal Agreement on receiving a letter to this effect from European Council. Sweden allowed India another a new point namely Gothenburg for code share operations. 4. The Indian delegation also met the delegations from Greece, Serbia, Qatar, European Inion, and Brunei Darussalam and discussed about expansion of air services between India and these countries.
5. The above negotiations would enhance the international air connectivity from India and would offer the passenger wider choice and seamless connectivity.
Five Indians among top 50 management thinkers Published every two years, Thinkers50 is a who’s who of business thinkers and ideas and is considered to be one of the world’s most prestigious rankings. Renowned Harvard professor Michael E. Porter, the father of modern business strategy, is the most influential living management thinker of 2015, according to the Thinkers50 2015 global ranking. Published every two years, Thinkers50 is a who’s who of business thinkers and ideas and is considered to be one of the world’s most prestigious rankings. This year, theThinkers50 ranking was unveiled at the Oscars of Management Thinking awards at Drapers’ Hall in London. The top 50 includes thinkers from 10 countries: the US, Canada, Bangladesh, Denmark, the Netherlands, South Korea, China, the UK, India and Cuba. Top 5 management thinkers Michael Porter returns to the top of the list after eight years. He previously topped the list in 2008. Management guru, thinker, consultant and author, Porter wears many hats. Originator of the Five Forces Framework and the concept of shared value that argues that firms should generate value for society as well as shareholders, Porter stands tall at No. 1. Innovation is the middle name of Harvard professor Clayton Christensen who is No. 2 in the 2015 Thinkers50 ranking. The Kim B. Clark Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School and author of The Innovator’s Dilemma, Christensen topped the Thinkers50 in 2011 and then again in 2013. Michael Porter returns to the top of the list after eight years. India Newsletter • 9
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He previously topped the list in 2008. Management guru, thinker, consultant and author, Porter wears many hats. Originator of the Five Forces Framework and the concept of shared value, which argues that firms should generate value for society as well as for shareholders, Porter stands tall at No. 1. Innovation is the middle name of Harvard professor Clayton Christensen, who comes in at No. 2. The Kim B. Clark Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School and author of The Innovator’s Dilemma, Christensen topped the Thinkers50 in 2011 and then again in 2013. At No. 39, Subir Chowdhury, “The Quality Prophet”, is chairman and CEO of ASI Consulting Group and author of The Power of Six Sigma: An Inspiring Tale of How Six Sigma is Transforming the Way We Work (2001), and, most recently, of The Power of LEO: The Revolutionary Process for Achieving Extraordinary Business Results (2011). Nirmalya Kumar (No. 40) is the recently appointed director of strategy at Tata Group. He was previously professor of marketing at London Business School and is the author of Private Label Strategy and India Inside, among others. Interestingly, Kumar is a keen collector of the works of Indian artist Jamini Roy, and is said to have the largest collection of Roy paintings outside of India. At No. 47 is stalwart Anil K. Gupta, who is the Michael D. Dingman Chair in Strategy and Entrepreneurship at the Smith School of Business, University of Maryland, and a visiting professor at INSEAD. He is also chief adviser to the China India Institute, a Washington DC-based research and consulting firm. He is the author of Global Strategies for Emerging Asia (2012). New additions to the list A record 14 newcomers make it to the Thinkers50 ranking this year. One of them is Zhang Ruimin, CEO of Chinese white goods giant Haier. At No. 38, Ruimin is the highest-ever 10 • India Newsletter
ranked Chinese thinker (and the third Chinese thinker ever to make the top 50). Haier and Ruimin also picked up the Thinkers50 Award for Ideas into Practice, for applying a progressive business philosophy.
Govt eases FDI norms in 15 major sectors Top executives of global information The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government eased foreign direct investment (FDI) norms across 15 sectors, including defence, civil aviation and broadcasting, to attract overseas funds and boost economic growth, signalling that the ruling coalition will not allow the electoral debacle in Bihar to come in the way of economic reform. The steps include allowing foreign investment under the automatic route subject to caps in key sectors including defence and removing restrictions in sectors such as construction and single-brand retail. The Narendra Modi government is banking on the measures to improve India’s ranking in the World Bank’s ease of doing business index and, coupled with measures introduced in recent months, help accelerate job creation-a key electoral promise of the NDA. India ranked 130 out of 189 countries in the index released last month. It’s also seeking to allay concerns that the Bharatiya Janata Party’s debacle in the Bihar assembly election may set back the government’s economic reforms agenda. The government awarded two key railway projects to be built in Bihar to General Electric Co. and Alstom SA. “FDI is an additionality of resource. This is required if the cycle of economic activity has to go on,” said finance minister Arun Jaitley. “Reforms are an ongoing process. There is no finishing line. As and when sectoral requirements so warrant, we will look into it,” he said when asked about which sectors will see such changes in the future. In a move that could help foreign single-brand retailers such as Ikea
and Hennes & Mauritz AB, the government said the mandatory 30% domestic sourcing condition will come into force at the time of opening of the first store rather than at the time of receipt of FDI. It also permitted these entities to undertake e-commerce. The government has also relaxed sourcing norms for single-brand entities that require state-of-theart technology, a move that could potentially help companies such as Apple Inc. to manufacture in India. The government also raised the FDI limit in news and current affairs television channels and FM radio to 49% from 26% under the government approval route. In the defence sector, the government allowed foreign investment up to 49% under the automatic route. Also, the cap on foreign portfolio investment and venture capital investments in this sector has been raised to 49%, from 24%, again under the automatic route. Any foreign investment more than 49% or an investment that results in change of ownership will need government approval. To boost manufacturing, companies will also be permitted to sell their products through the wholesale channel and retail routes including the e-commerce channel without needing any government approval. For foreign investments in private banks, the government has allowed so-called full fungibility. This means that foreign institutional investors or foreign portfolio investors or qualified foreign investors can invest up to the sectoral cap of 74%, provided that there is no change in management and control. To encourage investments in limited liability partnerships (LLPs), 100% FDI has been allowed under the automatic route in LLPs in sectors where 100% overseas investment is allowed. “The crux of these reforms is to further ease, rationalize and simplify the process of foreign investments in the country and to put more and more FDI proposals on automatic
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route instead of the government route where time and energy of the investors is wasted,” the department of industrial policy and promotion said in a statement. Further, only foreign investments of more than Rs.5,000 crore in specified sectors need to approach the foreign investment promotion board for approval. That is higher than the previous cap of Rs.3,000 crore. It has also relaxed the requirement for seeking government approvals in case of transfer of ownership and control of Indian companies. “An extremely welcome step which will go a long way in reviving the investment cycle which is the real need of the hour if India has to be placed firmly back on the high growth path. Some of the changes could go a very long way in promoting ease of doing business and creating an environment to support job creation,” said Pranav Sayta, tax partner, EY India. The government has also brought in some large-scale changes in the construction sector, making it easier for foreign investors to enter and exit. It has removed the restriction of a minimum floor area of 20,000 sq. m in construction development projects and minimum capitalization of $5 million to be brought in within the period of six months of the commencement of business. A foreign investor will be permitted to exit and repatriate foreign investment before the completion of a project, subject to a lock-in period of three years. However, the lock-in period condition will not apply to hotels, hospitals, special economic zones, educational institutions, and investment by non-resident Indians. The government has also permitted 100% FDI under the automatic route in completed projects. Further, each phase of the construction development project would be considered a separate project for the purposes of FDI policy. It has also clarified that leasing and rental activities will not come under the definition of real estate.
Companies owned and controlled by non-resident Indians will enjoy the special dispensation of being treated as domestic investment. “There has been a slowdown in the construction sector. Now that interest rates have started falling, we hope that with these measures this sector will see a revival,” Jaitley said. “It may not open the floodgates of investments immediately, but it helps in creating a significant macro impact on the ease of investing in Indian real estate,” said Shashank Jain, partner, transaction services, and real estate deal leader, PwC. Anuj Puri, chairman and country head of real estate consultant JLL India, said the government has done away with both the restrictions with regards to size and minimum capitalization to enable FDI to come into the construction sector in any amount and for any size of project. “This will have a huge positive impact on the housing sector as a whole, but much more so on the affordable housing segment, which was so far not been a beneficiary of FDI in any significant manner,” he said. Other sectors where FDI has been increased to 100% from 74% include non-scheduled air transport service, ground handling services and credit information companies. FDI in regional air transport service will also come under the automatic route. The government has allowed 100% foreign investment under the automatic route for the plantation sector, allowing foreign investment in coffee, rubber, cardamom, palm oil and olive oil. Only tea plantations are allowed foreign investment as of now. Vidhi Choudhary and Shrutika Verma in New Delhi and Madhurima Nandy in Bengaluru contributed to this story.
Fitch ratings on India intact Fitch Ratings said its sovereign ratings on India remains intact and are not affected by a debacle suffered by the Bharatiya Janata Party-led alliance in the Bihar Assembly polls. Fitch, like other two agencies - Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s - has the lowest investment grade on India. Fitch said its outlook on the ratings for India would also remain the same at ‘stable’. “The election outcome does not change the ratings or outlook,” Fitch said. The rating agency also said it was not changing its medium-term outlook on India’s economy due to the Bihar poll outcome. It does not believe the reform process by the Centre would be reversed in light of the Bihar election results. “While the opposition to some big-ticket reforms has been substantial, the government has gradually rolled out a large number of initiatives and there is no indication it would now change course,” said Thomas Rookmaaker, director in Fitch Ratings’ Asia-Pacific Sovereigns.
India emerging biggest aircraft market For years, plane makers Airbus and Boeing have made optimistic forecasts about growth of aviation in India - a rising middle class, growth in gross domestic product and under penetration of airlines making it a relevant market. Earlier this year, Boeing projected India’s demand for aircraft to touch 1,740, valued at $240 billion, over the next 20 years in India. This would account for 4.3 per cent of global volumes. The optimism is getting translated into orders, with Indian carriers placing multi-billion contracts to cater to growth plans. In August, IndiGo signed up with Airbus for a $25.7-billion order for 250 A320neo planes, largest ever order for the European plane maker. Previously the biggest single order in terms of planes was for 234 planes from Lion Air of Indonesia in 2013. Boeing’s latest market forecast claims India Newsletter • 11
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it will deliver 38,050 planes till 2034
(INDC) where it committed to achieve
it is important that there is an
with the highest share (38 per cent)
40% power installed capacity from
agreement that is broad, over-
in the Asian market. India will require
arching and enables full, effective
1,740 planes over the same period.
India has a solar generation capacity
and sustainable implementation
The current fleet size in India does
of 2,900MW. But Bharatiya Janata
of the climate change convention,
not stack up to some of the Asian
Party-led government substantially
which is the goal,” the official added.
countries or even China but IndiGo
revised an earlier target of achieving
and Jet Airways announcements is
20,000MW capacity by 2022 to
India retains top slot in air
an indication that aviation in India
100,000MW, unveiling the world’s
too is poised for growth.
According to Airbus India will be one
generation programme. This would
of the top three aviation markets
require an investment of around
globally in the next 20 years. Airbus
Rs.6.5 trillion over five years.
is expecting an annual growth rate
The government also estimates
of over 11 per cent for the domestic
that wind energy generation will be
market in India over the next ten
at 10% from the current 9% while
years, while the combined growth
nuclear power would remain at 2%,
rate for domestic and international
as at present.
routes would also be more than 10
“Generation of hydroelectric power
will, however, decrease from the
Solar energy to become main
present 17% to 9%. Coal power
pillar in India’s renewables target
that accounts for 61% of electricity generation would be reduced to 57% in 2031,” the official added.
India retained the top slot as the fastest growing domestic air traffic market in September with a demand growth of 13.2% over same month last year. Data from International Air Transport Association shows that demand growth in India was the highest amongst
Australia, Brazil, China, Japan, Russia and the US. Between JanuarySeptember
in India grew 19.3% over the corresponding period of last year. Passenger traffic in India has been
Though coal will continue to be
Another official, who also did not
India’s main source of power, solar
wish to be identified, said that if
power will account for around 18%
India needs to meet energy needs
of it by 2030 compared with only 1%
of its citizens by 2030, then the total
installed capacity would be in excess
India estimates 175,000 MW of
of 8,00,000 MW from the present
passenger growth in India.
renewable power by 2022 which it
In capacity addition and load factor
aims to ramp up to 250 GW by 2030.
Replying a query about India’s non-
India showed the second highest
According to government officials,
negotiables at the Paris summit, the
growth in the world in September.
who did not wish to be identified,
official said, “India will not negotiate
At a global level domestic travel
solar energy will become the main
unilaterally or whose outcome it can
demand rose 7.8% in September
pillar in India’s target to achieving
40% installed power capacity from
“India’s policy is set out in the
All markets except Brazil showed
renewable energy by 2030.
insertions that the country and
growth with the strongest increases
Ahead of the global climate summit
other nations sharing its stand have
occurring in India, China and Russia.
at Paris starting 30 November, India
placed within the draft recently
Domestic capacity climbed 6.1% and
last month submitted its Intended
finalised at Bonn for negotiations
load factor improved 1.3 percentage
Nationally Determined Contributions
in Paris summit. At the Paris meet,
points to 81%, IATA said
12 • India Newsletter
growing due to 15-20% drop in fares and increase in capacity. Increase in discretionary travel and rise in foreign tourist arrivals too has contributed to
Indian Embassy, Vienna
MAKE IN INDIA Summary ■■ Third largest pool of scientists in the world. ■■ USD 29 Billion consumer electronics market by 2020.
■■ USD 94.2 Billion – demand projected by 2015. ■■ 9.88% industry between 2011-15.
■■ 2 government-driven incentives – National Knowledge Network & National Optical Fibre Network.
Reasons to Invest ■■ Global demand to reach USD 94.2 Billion by 2015. ■■ Large demand generated due to government schemes like the National Knowledge Network (NKN), National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN), tablets for the Education sector, a digitisation policy and various other broadband schemes. ■■ Adequately developed Electronic Manufacturing Services (EMS) industry is set to be a significant contributor to the entire industry’s development.
■■ Top 10 electronic products by total revenue: mobile phones, flat panel display TVs, notebooks, desktops, digital cameras, inverters / UPS, memory cards/USB drives, EMS/LCD monitors and servers.
■■ India has the third largest pool of scientists and technicians in the world.
■■ Significant local demand.
■■ Skilled manpower available in abundance in Semiconductor Design and Embedded Software.
■■ 65% of the current demand for electronic products is met by imports.
■■ Strong design and R&D capabilities in auto electronics and industrial electronics.
Statistics ■■ The Indian Electronics Systems Design & Manufacturing (ESDM) industry was estimated to be worth USD 68.31 Billion in 2012 and is anticipated to be worth USD 94.2 Billion by 2015 with a CAGR of 9.88% between 2011-15. ■■ The sector comprises Electronic Products, Electronic Components, Semiconductor Design and EMS.
■■ Rising manufacturing costs in alternate markets.
■■ GOVERNMENT POLICIES : ■■ Modified Special Incentive Package Scheme (MSIPS) (USD 13.4 Billion investment proposals till March 2014). ■■ Electronics Manufacturing Clusters Scheme (EMC). ■■ Skill Development Scheme. ■■ Huge consumption in the Middle East and in emerging markets such as North Africa and Latin America. ■■ Existing R&D capabilities can be encouraged to develop ‘Made in India’ products and generate local IP.
■■ INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY INVESTMENT REGIONS (ITIR) : ■■ Karnataka (42.5 sq. km, near Bengaluru, a USD 17.6 Billion investment). ■■ Telangana (202 sq. km, near Hyderabad, USD 36.4 Billion investment). ■■ EMCs are being established across the country by GMR (near Bangalore), Telangana Government Corporation (near Hyderabad), Electronics Components Industries Association (near Delhi), MP State Electronics Development Corporation (Bhopal and Jabalpur); Kerala Industrial Infrastructural Development Corporation (near Kochi). ■■ Semiconductor Wafer Fabrication (FAB) manufacturing facilities being set up in India in Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat with a total investment of USD 10.5 Billion. ■■ Venture funds with a strong focus on electronics planned includes the Electronics Development Fund, Walden India Fund, KITVEN Fund and the SIDBI Fund. ■■ Electronic Sector Skills Council India Newsletter • 13
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and Telecom Sector Skills Council have been set up for establishing an effective and efficient ecosystem for developing and imparting outcome-oriented skills for the ESDM sector. A total of 90,000 people are to be supported under the Skill Development Scheme in six different states.
FDI Policy ■■ 100% Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is allowed under the automatic route in the ESDM sector and is subject to all applicable regulations and laws. ■■ In case of electronics items for defence, FDI up to 49% is allowed under the government approval route, whereas anything above 49% is allowed through the approval of the cabinet committee on security.
Sector Policy ■■ NATIONAL POLICY ELECTRONICS (NPE):
■■ NPE’s vision is to create a globally competitive ESDM industry to meet the country’s needs and serve the international market. ■■ The objective is to build an ecosystem for a globally competitive ESDM sector in the country by attracting investment of about USD 100 Billion and generating employment for 28 Million people at various levels. ■■ The ultimate aim of the policy is to develop core competencies in strategic and core infrastructure sectors like telecommunications, automobile, avionics, industrial, medical, solar, information and broadcasting, railways, intelligent transport systems, etc. ■■ A number of state governments have also defined policies in electronics. ■■ Other important policies include the National Telecom Policy and the National Manufacturing Policy. 14 • India Newsletter
Financial Support ■■ KEY PROVISIONS IN BUDGET 2O14-15: ■■ Basic customs duty on digital still image video camera with certain specifications reduced to NIL. ■■ Round copper wire and tin alloys used in PV solar cells manufacture excise to NIL. ■■ Black light module for use in manufacture of LCD/LED TV panels from 10% to NIL (Customs Duty). ■■ Organic LED (OLED) TV panels custom duty from 10% to NIL. ■■ Wafers for use in manufacture of IC modules for smart cards reduced from 12% to 6% ■■ Either of the following two deductions can be availed: ■■ Inputs for use in manufacture of LED drivers and MCPCB for LED lights, fixtures and LED lamps, the excise duty is reduced from 12% to 6%. ■■ Excise duty on tablet computers reduced from 12% to 2% with CENVAT credit or 12.5% with CENVAT credit. ■■ Specified Raw materials used for manufacturing pacemakers excise reduced to nil. ■■ In order to provide a further fillip to companies engaged in the manufacture of an article or thing, the said benefit of an additional deduction of 15% of cost of new P&M, exceeding INR 250 Million that is acquired and installed during any previous year, until 31.3.2017. ■■ Under the existing provisions of Section 35 AD of the Act, investment- linked tax incentive is available by way of allowing deduction of the whole of any expenditure of a capital nature (other than expenditure on land, goodwill and financial investments) incurred wholly and exclusively for purposes of the “specified business” during the previous year in which such expenditure is incurred. ■■ In order to promote investment in new sectors few more businesses have been added under the above section.
■■ Setting up and operating a semiconductor wafer fabrication manufacturing unit, if such a unit is notified by the board in accordance with the prescribed guidelines. ■■ The above business shall begin operations on or after 01.04.2014. ■■ It has also been decided to provide for a lock-in period of eight years for use of assets in respect whereof a deduction under Section 35 AD has been claimed. ■■ MODIFIED SIPS: ■■ Capital subsidy up to 20-25% for 10 years on capex. ■■ Reimbursement of CVD/excise for capital equipment in non-SEZ units. ■■ Reimbursement of central taxes and duties for 10 years in select high tech units like fabs and ATMPs. ■■ Available for the entire value chain of identified electronics products. ■■ Incentives available for 10 years from the date of approval. MARKET ■■ PREFERENTIAL ACCESS: ■■ Preference to domestically manufactured electronics goods in government procurement. ■■ Extent of government procurement from domestic manufacturers will not be less than 30% of the total procurement. ■■ EXPORT INCENTIVES: ■■ Focus product scheme – 2% duty credit scrip. ■■ Special focus product scheme – 5% duty credit scrip. ■■ AREA-BASED INCENTIVES: ■■ Incentives for units in SEZ/NIMZ as specified in respective acts or the setting up of projects in special areas such as the North-east, Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh & Uttarakhand. ■■ National Scheme for Supporting MSMEs in the ESDM sector. ■■ For compliance of electronic goods with Indian Standards, both testing and certification are required for exports. ■■ Development of Electronic Manufacturing Clusters by MSMEs.
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■■ STATE INCENTIVES: ■■ Apart from the above incentives, India offers additional incentives for industrial projects, while some states offer separate policies for this sector. ■■ ELECTRONIC MANUFACTURING CLUSTERS: ■■ Subsidy of 50-75% – up to USD 10 Million per 100 acres of land. ■■ Applicable to both greenfield and brownfield projects.
Investment Opportunities ■■ Setting up of Electronics Manufacturing Clusters. ■■ Semiconductor Wafer Fabrication (FAB). ■■ Electronic Components. ■■ Semiconductor Design. ■■ Electronics Services (EMS).
Expected electronics market in India by 2O2O ■■ Telecom Equipment (USD 34 Billion). ■■ Laptops, Desktops, Tablets (USD 34 Billion). ■■ LED (USD 35 Billion). ■■ Consumer Electronics (USD 29 Billion). ■■ Set Top Boxes (USD 10 Billion). ■■ Automotive Electronics (USD 10 Billion). ■■ Medical Electronics (USD 8.5 Billion).
Foreign Investors ■■ Samsung (South Korea) ■■ IBM (USA) ■■ LG (South Korea) ■■ Tower Semiconductor Limited (Israel) ■■ Dell (USA) ■■ GE (USA) ■■ Jabil (USA)
■■ Telecom products.
■■ Motorola (USA)
■■ Industrial/ Consumer electronics.
■■ Lenovo (China)
■■ Flextronics (USA) ■■ Nokia (Finland) ■■ Lite-On (Taiwan) ■■ Foxconn (Taiwan) ■■ Bosch (Germany) ■■ Applied Materials (USA)
Agencies ■■ The Department of Electronics & Information Technology, Ministry of Communications & Information Technology, Government of India ■■ INDUSTRY PARTNERS : ■■ Manufacturers Association for Information Technology ■■ Electronic Industries Association of India ■■ Consumer Electronics and Appliances Manufacturers Association ■■ India Electronics Semiconductor Association ■■ Indian Electrical & Electronics Manufacturers Association ■■ Automotive Component Manufacturers Association of India ■■ Association of Indian Medical Device Industry
INDIA PERSPECTIVES MAGAZINE ONLINE
India Newsletter • 15
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PERSPECTIVES ON INDIA Payment banks to revolutionise Indian banking industry Ravi Capoor, IAS, Chief Executive Officer, IBEF. With the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issuing in-principle approval to 11 entities to open payments banks in the country in August 2015, it is expected that the move will widen the reach of banking services in the country and revolutionise the Indian banking industry. The payment banks are permitted to do limited banking services - for instance, they can accept deposits, issue debit cards and offer payments and remittance services, but can’t lend. It is expected that the payment banks will target financially excluded customers like migrant workers, low-income households and small businesses, thus supporting the financial inclusion drive of the Government of India from the Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana (PMJDY). Companies and individuals like Aditya Birla Nuvo Ltd; Airtel M Commerce Services Ltd, Cholamandalam Distribution Services Ltd, Department of Posts, FINO PayTech Ltd, National Securities Depository Ltd (NSDL), Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), Tech Mahindra Ltd, Vodafone m-pesa Ltd, Dilip Shanghvi, founder of Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd and Vijay Shekhar Sharma, CEO of One97 Communications that runs Paytm have received the in-principle approval from RBI. According to a recent IDC report, worldwide mobile payments will 16 • India Newsletter
account for US$ 1 trillion in value in 2017, registering an increase of 124 per cent from the less than US$ 500 billion expected in 2015. Reportedly, mobile wallets have already surpassed credit cards in terms of the number of users in India. In fact, according to The World Bank, RBI’s move is expected to expand penetration of the banking sector in rural areas of the country. At the same time, the entry of new players is likely to increase competition in the Indian banking industry, lower remittance costs and extend the formal market for remittances, thus pushing the sector towards the next phase of growth. India is already the world’s largest for global remittances and payment banks are expected to push the envelope even further. However, the success of these banks will depend on low-cost technology and high volume of transactions so that charges are reasonable and profitable at the same time.
Industry (CII). The sector has grown at a steady rate of around 10 per cent annually in the past five years. India currently has the third largest TV audience, second largest print circulation, and produces the highest number of films worldwide. “With a growth potential of 13-16 per cent YoY it has the potential to emerge as one of the largest employment providers, contributing significantly to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP),” said the CII-BCG paper ‘Vision 2020 Document on Media & Entertainment Sector’.
Ravi Capoor, IAS, Chief Executive Officer, IBEF.
With a contribution of around 1.7 per cent to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), the media & entertainment segment employs nearly five million people directly and indirectly. In fact, unlike in the West, India’s market retains vast absorption capabilities for new products and businesses, thus presenting new business opportunities for homegrown and international media and entertainment companies operating in the country. Currently, Indians spend 21 hours a week on live television, nominally less than the global average. However, there has been a shift in media distribution from conventional television and movie theatres to around 250 million digital screens (smartphones, tablets, laptops and PCs).
India’s media & entertainment sector is expected to reach an industry size of US$ 100 billion by 2025 from the current level of US$ 17.85 billion, according to a recently released report by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and Confederation of Indian
As the number of digital screens is further projected to reach 600 million by 2020, it is expected that the shift is consumption patterns will drive new business models and growth opportunities in the Indian media and entertainment industry.
Overall, the payments banks are expected to bring in additional funds into the Indian banking circuit and being a support system to the big banks in extending their rural reach.
Media & Entertainment sector to touch US$ 100 billion by 2025
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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.
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he Council for Leather Exports (CLE), India is pleased to invite you to the 19th International Technical Footwear Congress of the International Union of Shoe Industry Technicians (UITIC) to be held during February 3rd to 5th 2016 in Chennai, India. The UITIC has been a pioneer in the dissemination of technical developments and knowledge in the footwear industry by facilitating information exchanges between its members. UITIC’s main activity is to organize an International Technical Footwear Congress which addresses the latest technical issues and problems. The Council for Leather Exports (CLE)-India is the Apex body for the international promotion and overall development of the Indian
he Medical electronics industry has witnessed a double digit growth in recent years and this growth trajectory is expected to continue due to the rising incidence of chronic diseases, increased urbanization and a growing elderly population and increased awareness about latest technology solutions to save augment life and rehabilitation. The influx of Medical Electronics technology has also reinforced the existing Healthcare infrastructure in various ways right from digitizing medical test, diagnostic 22 • India Newsletter
Leather & Footwear sectors, and will host the 19th UITIC Congress. The Congress will be held in Chennai, capital of Tamil Nadu State which is home to some of the leading footwear clusters of India. The Theme of the 19th Technical Footwear Congress is “Future Footwear Factory”. Advances in technology, design and information sciences have enabled the modernization of factories for producing footwear with advanced properties, making optimum use of resources. However there remains the perennial challenge of changing consumer demands and market vagaries. Also, today’s instantlyconnected world has ushered in a plethora of opportunities and challenges. Footwear factories have to adapt and improvise to
stay ahead in this dynamic scenario. The 19th UITIC Congress aims to bring together technical experts, manufacturers, and stake holders of the Footwear industry, for a period of intense deliberations on the theme. The long running and well-known India International Leather Fair (IILF), Chennai will take place on contiguous dates during January 31 – February 3 2016; adding further value to participation in the UITIC Congress. The 19th UITIC Congress, Chennai is now open for Delegate Registrations We also invite papers of Technical Merit and relevant to the Theme of the Congress for selection for Oral and Visual presentations at the Congress.
and therapeutic procedures to Manufacturers to showcase their enhancing the reach of Healthcare products and technology to the through Telemedicine and Health IT. Indian and International Business India Medical Electronics Expo 2016 Visitors from the Healthcare sector. which is being jointly organized by the Department of Pharmaceuticals, The Indian Medical Electronics Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers industry is currently valued at and Federation of Indian Chamber around 1 billion and has been of Commerce & Industry from 7th- growing at an average rate of 9th January, 2016 at Bangalore 17% for past couple of years. It is International Convention and strongly believed that growth will Exhibition Centre, Bangalore will outperform the pace, resulting give a huge boost to this growing sector of Indian Economy and in the Indian Medical Electronics provide a platform to the Medical market reaching close to USD ~6.5 Electronics and Equipment billion by the year 2020.
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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
nvest India is the country’s official agency dedicated to investment promotion and facilitation. Set up as a joint venture between FICCI (51% equity), DIPP (35% equity held by the Department of Industrial
policy and Promotion, Ministry of Commerce & Industry) and State Governments of India (0.5% 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.
India Newsletter • 23
Indian Embassy, Vienna
TOURISM The Konkan - Bright Beaches Beyond Goa by Hugh & Colleen Gantzer. NH 17 led us out of Goa’s capital, Panaji, and then began to snake through a boulder strewn, submontane, land. The green hills of the Western Ghats rose on our right, the far horizons of the Arabian Sea spread bright on our left. In between, stretched a little-known coast from Goa to Mumbai. They call this the Konkan and our first encounter with it was in a town of old houses and new ideas. Sawantwadi basked, contented and quiescent, around its lake. We walked, in the warm sunlight, through a once imposing palace gate and into a venerable Durbar Hall. It was tatty with age but alive with activity like a crone with nimble fingers and sparkling eyes. With the passing of the princes, and their courts, the Durbar Hall had been converted into a workshop. There was the taste of turpentine on our tongues, the smell of varnish, as busy artisans created ganjifa,the forerunners of playing cards, ‘antique’ chess sets with typically Indian pieces, and lacquered furniture as bright as beetles’ wings. We were most interested, however, in the ganjifa. According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, ‘Circular cards in India are said to have been used on chess boards in a game of pure skill from which games of chance evolved ..’ But since there are 120 ganjifa cards, both the board and the game must have been very different from the ones we know today. Driving away from the lake and the palace of the former principality, we entered the colourful Chitar Alli, the Craftsmen’s Lane. Here, all the open-fronted shops held baskets of shining fruit and vegetables, many of them out of season. Curiously, they were not the products of 24 • India Newsletter
orchards and farms but of forests. They had all been hand-carved out of Pangara wood, realistically painted to resemble the real thing. We were told that they are very popular in Europe where they brighten up restaurants in the cold, grey, days of winter. Mayor Deepak Kesarkar, who took us around, does not intend to place all his tourism eggs in a single heritage basket. He’s developed the landscaped Jagannath Rao Bhosle Garden, with winding paths, a stream and a Musical Fountain, and is planning a thatched Craftsmen’s Village and Tourist Cottages set in a grove. The best kept secret of Savantwadi, however, is its Malvan cuisine: not quite Goan, not entirely Maharashtrian, but a delightful blend of both and very delectable. We drove out of Sawantwadi and crossed the broad Karli River, heading towards the coast. A posse of Customs officials lay in wait on the bridge, for smugglers: the Karli is an estuarian river, pouring into the sea. We wished them ‘Happy hunting!’ and climbed up into the Western Ghats, dense with forests. If you get this far, make it a point to stop below the ancient Bhagawati Devi Temple on the banks of the wooded Dhamapur Lake. Like the old temples of North Goa, this one has a pillared vestibule in front of the sanctum: very simple, very impressive. The damp, vegetative, aroma of the forest enveloped us till we reached the flat pasturelands of the plateau. Sheep and goats cropped the incense-dry grass, their herdsmen whistled as they do all over the world. And then the sharp ozone tang of the sea greeted us as we descended and drove into the casuarina grove of Tarkarli. This resort is owned and run by the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation. Laterite paths wound through the grove, the casuarinas showered a confetti of leaves on
us and the sea kept spreading its frou-frou of surf. The beach is wide and white and secluded. We sat in the verandah of our tiled cottage till the moon rose and hung like a burnished gong above the black sea. And then we fell into a deep, dreamless, restful sleep. We were snapping bright the next morning when we set off for Malvan Port. Our alertness got us a bonus. We spotted the rare Ganga Puja being conducted in the homestead of Ganpati Tari. He had just had a well dug, had lined it with laterite blocks, and was having it sanctified by priests before his family drew their first bucket of water from it. We left, to the fragrance of smoking sandalwood and the taste of sweet, yellow, ladoos: the tongue has to be sweetened, the air freshened, on auspicious occasions. Malvan port smelt of nets drying in the sun and rang with the chants of fisherfolk hauling their boats onto the beach. We boarded an outrigger with an outboard motor, bucketed our way across the bay, and landed at the gate of the only seafort built by the great Maratha warrior, Shivaji. Our forts are often vast enough to enclose living villages and their fields. Families of the proud Servants of Shivaji still lived and farmed in Sindhudurg Fort, still drew a pension from the government as Shivaji had decreed. The fort had wells, reservoirs, battlements, observation towers, an escape tunnel, the revered footprint and handprint of Shivaji, and the unique Shivarajeshwar Mandir: the only temple in the world in which Shivaji is worshipped as an aspect of Shiva. The idol was made of stone and was faced with a black, metal, mask with a moustache. Across the red robe draping it was a doubleedge sword, a dodhar, said to have been used by Shivaji. Our guide, Sadiq Sheikh, told us that his ancestors had been traditional drummers for the Maratha rulers. He
Indian Embassy, Vienna
also told us that Shivaji’s first admiral had been Daulat Khan, a Pathan. Sadly, the archaeologists have not erected any information boards to throw any light on the history of Sindhudurg. All through this trip we had passed stretch after stretch of lonely, inviting, beaches: most with soft sand, some pebbly, a few with interesting rock-pools. Only one or two had fishing settlements on them. We did, however, discover a most interesting fishing village. Devbagh covers both sides of a narrow spit of land, 4.5 kms long, between the Karli estuary and the sea. We drove, very slowly, down the road, between the thatched and tiled huts, and the life of the village unrolled like a film on both sides of us: people mended nets, others stacked blocks of laterite into walls, a woman wove palm fronds into thatch, two women strung fish on drying lines, a rotund matron worshipped at the outdoor altar of a basil shrub. Sada Tandel, the Deputy Sarpanch of the village, took charge of us, showed us the mouth of the Karli River, the beach where turtles came out of the sea to lay their eggs, and the temple of Mobareshwar: Shiva of the Lagoon. The beach seems to be endless and Tandel plans to set up a tented camp here for tourists. Cupped between the estuary and the sea, it’s a superb setting. Leaving Devbagh, we entered mango country. The world’s best mangoes thrive in laterite, we were told. This normally brick-coloured rock is soft when quarried but it hardens and becomes almost black when exposed to the weather. We crossed three creeks and drove through country that seemed to be covered in slabs of lava: weathered laterite looks like the molten rock spewed out of volcanoes. Then we climbed up into wooded hills again, and entered the temple town of Kunkeshwar. The road to the temple arrowed through low-lying green fields, ended at a flight of stone steps.
At the top of the steps was a row of stone Deep Stambhs: pillars on which oil lamps are placed on festive occasions. The temple rises on a headland, and at the base of the cliff on which it stands, a beach spreads: broad and sandy on one side of the headland, ominously surf-snarling and rocky on the other. Legend has it that, once upon a time, a rich Muslim trader was sailing past this headland when a storm blew his ship towards the rocks. He fell to his knees, praying for deliverance. At that moment he saw a light flaring on what looked like the top of a hill. Using it as a beacon, he navigated his ship to safety. When he landed ashore he discovered that the light
had emerged from a black rock in a bamboo grove atop a cliff. In thanksgiving, he built a shrine over the rock and a small hut for himself near it. The black rock is worshipped as the idol of Shiva of the Bamboo: kanak is bamboo in the local language. We stood at the edge of the temple’s headland, and looked up the beach, extending far to the north. For a fleeting instant we had a sense of déjà vu: this was Cornwall with Merlin and mermaids and other wondrous creatures. And then it blinked out. But there was still a lingering magic trembling over the long, bright, beaches of the legendary Konkan.
India Newsletter • 25
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INDIAN MOVIE EVENING AT THE EMBASSY Due to limited capacity, seats will be given on a first come, first served basis. Therefore, you are highly encouraged to reserve your seats online at www.indianembassy.at, via email under maoffice.vienna@ mea.gov.in
Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster Returns ■■ Synopsis: Queen is a movie about growing up. Rani (Kangana Ranaut) is a Delhi girl from a conservative family who is ditched by her fiancé just before her wedding. Shocked by this, she decides to set out on the planned honeymoon alone. As she travels the world and meets new people, she gains new experiences and discovers her own identity.. ■■ Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Drama ■■ Directed by: Vikas Bahl ■■ Starring:
Rajkummar Rao, Lisa Haydon ■■ Released: 2014 ■■ Duration: 146 Minutes ■■ Language: Hindi ■■ Subtitles: ENGLISH ■■ Image Quality: STANDARD
Showtime December 18th, 17:30 Indian Embassy Business Centre (1st Floor, Kärntner Ring 2, 1010 Vienna) 26 • India Newsletter
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