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INDIA NEWSLETTER Indian Embassy, Vienna

Published by the Embassy of India, Vienna Year 6 • Issue 71 • November 2016


India Newsletter • 1

Indian Embassy, Vienna

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 2 • 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 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 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.

India Newsletter • 5

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India has moved up by one spot to be ranked second in a global index of business optimism, during the third quarter (July-September 2016), according to the latest Grant Thornton International Business Report.


Indian fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies have performed better than their multinational peers as the combined revenue of country’s seven leading FMCG companies stood at US$ 11.1 billion in FY 2015-16, as compared with US$ 9.4 billion revenue generated by select seven MNCs, according to a report by Assocham and TechSci Research.


India has surpassed the US to become the second-biggest market globally in terms of smartphone connections, which stood at 275 million at the end of June 2016, higher than 259 million connections in the US, according to data from global telecommunications body GSMA.


PwC has stated that India has become the preferred growth market in BRICS based on its favourable political environment and brand of trust. 6 • India Newsletter


India has retained its position as the third largest startup base in the world with over 4,750 technology startups, with about 1,400 new start-ups being founded in 2016, according to a report by Nasscom.


The Government of India has drafted a new Consumer Protection Bill with special emphasis on setting up an extensive mechanism to ensure simple, speedy, accessible, affordable and timely delivery of justice to consumers.


Standard and Poor’s (S&P) has retained India’s long-term sovereign rating at BBB, and shortterm rating at A3, with a stable outlook, reflecting India’s sound external profile and improved monetary credibility.


The Indian economy is expected to fare better during the second half of FY 2016-17 (October 2016 - March 2016), based on increased spending on infrastructure largely by the Government of India, robust growth in sales and improved capacity utilisation, according to the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ASSOCHAM).


The Government of India has approved 100 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) in other financial services carried out by non-banking finance companies (NBFCs), which is expected to attract more foreign capital into the country.


India will likely displace the UK to become the third largest aviation market in the world in terms of passengers by 2026, while growing at a compound average growth rate (CAGR) of 3.7 per cent to 7.2 billion air passengers by 2035, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).


Germany to collaborate with India to improve rail connectivity of Indian ports : may also bring in technology for scrapping old vehicles.


Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in September 2016 increased 13.4 per cent year-on-year to reach 615,000: Ministry of Tourism.


The Indian real estate market is expected to touch US$ 180 billion by 2020. The housing sector alone contributes 5-6 per cent to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

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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:// 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

INDIA-AUSTRIA NEWS ARTICLES Austrian Business Delegation to Delhi and Mumbai A high-ranking Austrian business delegation covering the fields of “industrial supply” as well as “machinery” will be visiting Delhi and Mumbai from 21st to 25th November 2016. The members of the delegation will present their company and products during the Austria Showcase event on the 21st of November in New Delhi as well as on the 22nd of November in Mumbai which will be followed by B2B meetings with potential Indian business partners. All participants are eager to strengthen and extend their current business ties to India and are looking for potential future business partners. The delegation is comprised of the following Austrian companies: Berndorf Band Engineering GmbH (Steel Belt Systems), Doppelmayr Transport Technology GmbH

(Material Transport Systems), Getzner Werkstoffe GmbH (Reduction and insulation of vibration in mechanical engineering and plant construction), Kristl, Seibt & Co GesmbH (Testing equipment for automobile, aviation and railway engineering), Kärntner Holzindustrie Villach F.X. Wirth Gesellschaft m.b.H. & Co. KG (Aluminium slugs) and pewag austria GmbH (Industrial chains, tyre protection chains, conveyor technology)

NextDrop is this year’s winner of the Energy Globe Award in India NextDrop, this year’s winner of the Energy Globe Award in India, implemented a sustainable and outstanding project. The NextDrop SMS alert service informs its subscribers about when their water supply would be turned on, and when they could next expect water. This saves an average resident 13 hours of waiting-time per month. A sustainable initiative for a sustainable future!

The Austrian Foreign Trade Center (Advantage Austria) organized a solemn ceremony during which the nominees for the famous Energy Globe Award were presented. Anurag Sridharan was awarded with a winner’s certificate for a great initiative which contributes to an intact environment. Many more national winners will be announced and honored in their country in cooperation with the foreign trade centers of the Austrian Economic Chamber. Committed people all around the world develop solutions for the most pressing environmental problems of our time like resource scarcity, air and water pollution, erosion, climate change or dependence on fossil fuels. Although these solutions are readily available, they often remain unheard of. Energy Globe gives them a voice and presents them to a large audience in order to make them visible and encourage others to come up with their own innovative solution. India Newsletter • 7

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Austrian Gourmet Food at Ernas Gourmet New Delhi

Incredible India Roadshow in Vienna

Erna’s Gourmet is a household name in New Delhi’s world cuisine culture, conjuring up rustic delicacies from Austria, Germany, other European countries, the Middle East, and Brazil. Erna’s Groumet is offering both, home delivery and catering services including buffets, flying buffets, plated dinners. They are offering veg, non-veg, vegan and glutenfree meals delivered at home or any event.

An Incredible India! Roadshow took place on October 24th, 2016 at the Intercontinental Hotel in Vienna. The event organized by the Incredible India Tourism Office Frankfurt counted with the participation of dozens of Austrian tour operators , who had the chance to interact with the Indian delegation headed by Mr. Jitendra Jadhav, Assistant Director of the Frankfurt office. The B2B event featured a key note speech on Indian Tourism by our

Embassy’s Deputy Chief of Mission, Dr. Suhel Ajaz Khan, a presentation by Mr. Jadhav, a speed B2B session and a networking follow-up hour including an Indian classical dance performance and refreshments. The event was highly appreciated by the Austrian business community as well as by the Indian delegation, all of whom reported on the high untapped potential for bilateral business in the field of tourism. Some impressions of the event in the pictures below:

NEWS ARTICLES Samajik Adhikarita Shivir witnesses three Guinness World Records in Navsari, Gujarat Samajik Adhikarita Shivir and scheme of assistance to disabled Persons for Purchase/Fittings of Aids/ Appliances (ADIP) camp witnessed three Guinness World Records at Sai GarbaMaidan of Navsari, Gujarat on September 17, 2016. Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi graced the occasion as Chief Guest.

single location’’ was set on the eve (16thSeptember, 2016) of the Mega camp. An incredible 989 Divyans (Person with Disabilities) came together to set an all-new record – almost doubling the minimum of 500 participants they needed in order to achieve the title. The challenge was for each person to light the lamp exactly at the same time after a given signal within 30 seconds.

The three world records were the part of ADIP camp conducted by the Department of Empowerment of Persons with disabilities (Divyangjan), Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India organized by Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Corporation of India (ALIMCO).

■■ The second record ‘’Biggest Wheelchair Logo’was broken on 17th September, 2016 in Navsari, Gujarat. The 1,000 participants in wheelchairs depicted a message saying ‘’Happy Birthday PM’’ in tricolour. It bettered the previous record of 346 participants that was achieved by Hope Inc. in Moorhead, Minnesota USA.

■■ The first record ‘’highest number of oil lamps lit simultaneously at

■■ The third world record ‘’Most people fitted with Hearing Aid

8 • India Newsletter

in 8 hours – Single location (600 Hearing Aid) – was also set on the same day. Free assistive devices kits were handed out to thousands of Divyangs throughout the weekend, in addition to the hearing aids distributed during the record attempt. It is important to mention here, Navsari Camp is the 159th Mega ADIP camp and so far is the biggest one. The 1130 Divyangjan beneficiaries were benefitted in the camp. The scheme is in force since 1981. This has been revised and further adopted from April, 01, 2014.

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The Government of India has announced demonetisation of high denomination bank notes of Rs 1000 and Rs 500 With a view to curb financing of terrorism through the proceeds of Fake Indian Currency Notes (FICN) and use of such funds for subversive activities such as espionage, smuggling of arms, drugs and other contrabands into India, and for eliminating Black Money which casts a long shadow of parallel economy on our real economy, it has been decided to cancel the legal tender character of the High Denomination bank notes of Rs.500 and Rs.1000 denominations issued by RBI till now. This will take effect from the expiry of the 8th November, 2016. 2. Fake Indian Currency Notes (FICN) in circulation in these denominations are comparatively larger as compared to those in other denominations. For a common person, the fake notes look similar to genuine notes. Use of FICN facilitates financing of terrorism and drug trafficking. Use of high denomination notes for storage of unaccounted wealth has been evident from cash recoveries made by law enforcement agencies from time to time. High denomination notes are known to facilitate generation of black money.In this connection, it may be noted that while the total number of bank notes in circulation rose by 40% between 2011 and 2016, the increase in number of notes of Rs.500/- denomination was 76% and for Rs.1,000/- denomination was 109% during this period. New Series bank notes of Rs.500/- and Rs.2,000/denominations will be introduced for circulation from 10th November, 2016. Infusion of Rs.2,000/- bank notes will be monitored and regulated by RBI. Introduction of new series of banknotes which will be distinctly different from the current ones in terms of look, design, size and colour has been planned. 3. The World Bank in July, 2010 estimated the size of the shadow

economy for India at 20.7% of the GDP in 1999 and rising to 23.2% in 2007. There are similar estimates made by other Indian and international agencies. A parallel shadow economy corrodes and eats into the vitals of the country’s economy. It generates inflation which adversely affects the poor and the middle classes more than others. It deprives Government of its legitimate revenues which could have been otherwise used for welfare and development activities. 4. In the last two years, the Government has taken a number of steps to curb the menace of black money in the economy including setting up of a Special Investigation Team (SIT); enacting a law regarding undisclosed foreign income and assets; amending the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement between India and Mauritius and India and Cyprus; reaching an understanding with Switzerland for getting information on Bank accounts held by Indians with HSBC; encouraging the use of non-cash and digital payments; amending the Benami Transactions Act; and implementing the Income Declaration Scheme 2016. 5. In order to implement the above decisions of the Government and keeping in view the need to minimise inconvenience to the public, the following operational guidelines have been issued:Old High Denomination Bank Notes may be deposited by individuals/ persons into their bank accounts and/or exchanged in bank branches or Issue Offices of RBI till the close of business hours on 30th December, 2016. Old High Denomination Bank Notes of aggregate value of Rs.4,000/- only or below held by a person can be exchanged by him/her at any bank branch or Issue Office of Reserve Bank of India for any denomination of bank notes having legal tender character, provided a Requisition Slip as per format to be specified by RBI is presented with proof of identity and along with the Old High

Denomination Bank Notes. Similar facilities will also be made available in Post Offices. The limit of Rs.4,000/- for exchanging Old High Denomination Bank Notes at bank branches or at issue offices of Reserve Bank of India will be reviewed after 15 days and appropriate notification issued, as may be necessary. There will not be any limit on the quantity or value of Old High Denomination Bank Notes to be credited to the account of the tenderer maintained with the bank, where the Old High Denomination Bank Notes are tendered. However, in accounts where compliance with extant Know Your Customer (KYC) norms is not complete, a maximum value of Rs.50,000/- of Old High Denomination Bank Notes can be deposited. The equivalent value of the Old High Denomination Bank Notes tendered can be credited to an account maintained by the tenderer at any bank in accordance with standard banking procedure and on production of valid proof of Identity. The equivalent value of the Old High Denomination Bank Notes tendered can be credited to a third party account, provided specific authorisation therefor accorded by the said account holder is presented to the bank, following standard banking procedure and on production of valid proof of Identity of the person actually tendering. Cash withdrawal from a bank account, over the counter will be restricted to Rs.10,000/- subject to an overall limit of Rs. 20,000/- in a week for the first fortnight, i.e., until the end of business hours on November 24, 2016. There will be no restriction on the use of any non-cash method of operating the account which will include cheques, demand drafts, credit/debit cards, mobile wallets and electronic fund transfer mechanisms. Withdrawal from ATMs would be restricted to Rs.2,000 per day per card up to November 18, 2016. The India Newsletter • 9

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limit will be raised to Rs.4,000 per day per card from November 19, 2016 onwards. For those who are unable to exchange their Old High Denomination Bank Notes or deposit the same in their bank accounts on or before December 30, 2016, an opportunity will be given to them to do so at specified offices of the RBI on later dates along with necessary documentation as may be specified by the Reserve Bank of India. Instruction is also being issued for closure of banks and Government Treasuries, on 9th November, 2016. In addition, all ATMs, Cash Deposit Machines, Cash Recyclers and any other machine used for receipt and payment of cash will remain shut on 9th and 10th November, 2016. The bank branches and Government Treasuries will function from 10th November, 2016. To avoid inconvenience to the public for the first 72 Hours, Old High Denomination Bank Notes will continue to be accepted at Government Hospitals and pharmacies in these hospitals/ Railway ticketing counters/ticket counters of Government/Public Sector Undertaking buses and airline ticketing counters at airports; for purchases at consumer cooperative societies, at milk booths, at crematoria/burial grounds, at petrol/diesel/gas stations of Public Sector Oil Marketing Companies and for arriving and departing passengers at international airports and for foreign tourists to exchange foreign currency at airports up to a specified amount. 6. The relevant Notifications are available in the website of Finance Ministry ( Further details including Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) are available on the website of the Reserve Bank of India (

10 • India Newsletter

With 4,750 startups, India retains its position as 3rd largest startup base Despite a funding slowdown this year compared to last year’s bonanza, as many as 1,400 startups have come up in the country this year, allowing India to maintain its position as the third largest startup base in the world with over 4,750 tech startups, ahead of countries such as China and Israel, the startup report released at the Nasscom Product Conclave on Wednesday revealed. Even the number of startups that have been funded this year has increased by 8%, though the overall funding has come down by 20-30%. “One of the reasons for the funding to have come down could be that investors are funding in tranches based on milestones. But it’s a very positive sign that more startups are getting funded,“ said Ravi Gururaj, chairman, Nasscom Product Council. Sharad Sharma, founder of software think tank iSPIRT, pointed at the strengthening startup density in Bengaluru, Pune, Chennai, NCR, Mumbai and Hyderabad over the last few years. “Since 2014, India has had 3.2 times more startups than Israel which is a shining example of the hi-tech industry,“ he said. The Indian government’s backing of the startup ecosystem was one of the talking points at the event. “The government has a really fantastic approach here. They go to the absolute bottom of the stack and have been building the core foundational infrastructure and have created a regulatory and legislative framework that is very supportive and conducive to innovation,“ said Chamath Palihapitiya, co-founder of Silicon Valley-based venture fund Social+Capital. The report also highlighted the emergence of tier-II and tier-III cities in the startup ecosystem, with 66% of the new incubators set up in the smaller cities. “I had gone to Udaipur for a wedding, and a local entrepreneur invited me to an incubator with 200

entrepreneurs working there. We are hearing the same stories from cities such as Bhubaneshwar, Indore and other cities,“ said CP Gurnani, Nasscom chairman. Sectors such as fintech, healthtech, edtech were touted as the next big sectors in the report. More than 70 startups have come up in the fintech domain this year, 100+ in healthtech and 40+ in the education technology space. Navakanta Bhat, professor at the IISc’s electrical communication engineering department and cofounder of Pathshodh, a portable diagnostics devices startup, was also positive about the government’s role. “The key takeaway is that there is sensitivity from both sides -industry and academia. They were two worlds before. Now, the ecosystem, especially through right government intervention, has made it possible to have this transformation”.

Digital payment platforms record surge in transactions after demonetization Paytm, MobiKwik and other mobile payment and e-commerce platforms recorded a surge in transactions after the demonetization of Rs500 and Rs1,000 bank notes on Tuesday. ATMs were shut on Wednesday after the surprise announcement by Prime Minister Narendra Modi that the high-value notes would cease to be legal tender from Tuesday midnight as part of the battle against black money. “Since Paytm is fast becoming synonymous with all kinds of payments, we are happy to announce we have registered a strong surge in volume (of transactions) on our platform,” said Madhur Deora, chief financial officer of Paytm. The Paytm platform saw a more than five-fold increase in overall traffic as millions of consumers used their Paytm wallets to transact. The number of app downloads tripled and there was a 250% surge in overall transactions and transaction value.

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The number of saved cards also jumped by 30%, pointing at a strong set of repeat customers the platform has now acquired. The company has also noted an 11-fold growth in money added to the wallet and fivefold increase in transaction value of offline payments. “With this policy change, we expect a 10x impact; we expect to easily hit $10 billion in payments volume by 2017. Indian users do a trillion US dollars’ worth of payments annually, of which more than 90% are in cash. We were earlier trending to process $1 billion payments by 2017,” said MobiKwik co-founder Upasana Taku. MobiKwik has already witnessed a more than 40% increase in app downloads within less than 18 hours of the demonetization. Additionally, user traffic and merchant queries tripled among its over 35 million users. A move to a cashless economy will ensure lower cost and improved transparency in transactions. Every transaction you make online is usually done through a bank or a thirdparty service such as Paytm. It would make it easier for the government to note any discrepancies between a person’s actual income and his/her transactions and to follow up with investigations. “There has been significant increase in the load money transactions by up to 40-45% during the first half of the day and we are expecting the spike in the short term,” said Sunil Kulkarni, deputy managing director, Oxigen Services India Pvt. Ltd. “However, this situation is going to stabilize to a new normal, which should be at least 40-45% of the pre-announcement period. In terms of average ticket size, each Oxigen wallet is also expected to jump by 50% going forward. All this because most people will become comfortable in adopting digital wallet for their everyday transactions.”

Indian Tourism Outlook is Certainly Very Promising Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Tourism and Culture along with an Indian delegation participated in the “World Travel Market (WTM) 2016” in London, United Kingdom, which is one of the largest international events of the travel and tourism industry. India is the official Premier Partner at WTM 2016 with the theme – ‘India - The Land of Eternal Heritage’. The Indian delegation comprises of Chief Ministers, State Tourism Ministers, dignitaries from the State Governments & Union Territories, Industry partners and officials of the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India. Around 42 co-exhibitors/ partners including State / Union Territory Tourism departments, tour operators, hoteliers, resort owners, Air India, IRCTC, ITDC, and other stakeholders are present at the India Stand, to showcase their diverse tourism products and services. Dr. Mahesh Sharma, in his address, said that the Indian tourism outlook is certainly very promising with an upswing in the growth of Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in India in the recent years. In 2015, India received 8.03 million Foreign Tourists as compared to 7.68 million in 2014 with a growth rate of 4.5%. In 2015, the tourist arrivals in India from the U.K alone was 867601 with a 3.4% growth over the previous year (2014). The Minister said that India has set a target to achieve 1% of international tourist arrivals through a multipronged approach, including proactive marketing strategies in partnership with the tourism stakeholders. Dr. Sharma said that the Government of India is fully aware of the contribution of tourism towards the economic growth and stands committed to make it easy for the travellers to visit India. The initiative taken by the Government of India to introduce Electronic Tourist Visa (eTV) has been a great step in this

direction and has further boosted tourist arrivals. The facility of eTV is at present available for nationals of 150 countries including Visa on Arrival for Japan. He further said that India has a rich and diverse natural, cultural, and religious heritage which provides a unique opportunity for tourism. The architecture of India’s temples, palaces, forts, the grandeur of its sculptures, and the beauty of its paintings, all offer an unparalleled experience. The desert circuit in Rajasthan, snow-bound Himalayas, back waters of Kerala, and the beaches of Goa are very popular with international tourists. India has 35 World Heritage Sites including cultural properties and bio geographical zones.

India key player in Internet governance Batting for a greater role for India in the global Internet governance space, Ravi Shankar Prasad, the Union Minister for Electronics and Information Technology, said that the next large wave of Internet users from the country would require a more inclusive and affordable Internet. Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Internet Corporation for Assigned names and Numbers’(ICANN) 57th meeting, Prasad said “the language of the Internet cannot be English and English alone,” and appealed to the ICANN community to make more local languages available to users. ICANN is a non profit that manages the Domain Name System (DNS), which helps organise the Internet with the allotment of domain names such as .com, .org and .net. It holds three public meetings each year to discuss issues related to development and implementation of Internet policies, and has recently completed an exercise where the US government gave up oversight of Internet naming functions. ICANN’s top priority now is work with the community, said its president Goran Marby. “Expanding India Newsletter • 11

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our outreach is key to our mission. In this context, we are keen to further our ongoing engagement in India. As the second largest group of Internet users globally, we welcome India’s voice and participation,” he said. The non-profit is currently in the middle of an exercise to localise domain names, or the words next to the period in a website’s address. A group of linguists and technologists are currently working on internationalised domain names (IDNs) that will enable web addresses in 22 local languages in India. This puts India in the leadership position for having the most number of local language domains. The ICANN57, as the ongoing meeting is called, is historic because it is the first after the US ceded oversight of the naming functions, and is going to be the first where decisions of how things will work in the multistakeholder model adopted by the community, which includes over 150 countries. With the multistakeholder model in place, issues of accountability and transparency have taken precedence. “The world is watching closely to see how a post-transition ICANN community handles its new found role. And much of that focus will be on those of you who are involved in enhancing ICANN’s accountability and transparency,” said Stephen Crocker, ICANN Board Chair. ICANN57 in Hyderabad is seeing 3,000 strong participation from different parts of the world, with over 1,300 participants from India. While appreciating and upholding India’s commitment to the multistakeholder model of Internet governance, minister Prasad said: “Critical infrastructure that affects the national economy and security must be protected by state agencies with full support from all stakeholders including ICANN. Critical Internet Resources (CIR) including root servers, mirror servers and data centres should be equitably distributed to reflect the 12 • India Newsletter

global nature of the Internet and aspirations of Internet users.”

India emerges a hub for start-ups India has emerged as the third largest technology startup hub in the world in terms of number of tech-startups, just behind the US and the UK, according to a report by Assocham in association with Thought Arbitrage Research Institute. The US has more than 47,000 technology driven startups followed by the UK with over 4,500 and India with over 4,200 startups. Bengaluru is host to the largest number of technology startups in the country, followed by Delhi NCR and Mumbai, while Hyderabad and Chennai are also quite popular among budding tech entrepreneurs. Bengaluru is host to 26 per cent of domestic tech startups, followed by Delhi NCR (23 per cent), Mumbai (17 per cent), Hyderabad (8 per cent), Chennai (6 per cent) and Pune (6 per cent). In terms of total number of startups, including both tech and non-tech, India stands among the five largest hosts in the world with around 10,000 startups.

India rises to second spot on global biz optimism index India has moved up by one spot to be ranked second in a global index of business optimism, during the third quarter (July-September 2016), based on policy reforms and the adoption of goods and services tax (GST), according to the latest Grant Thornton International Business Report. India was ranked third during the second quarter (April-June 2016) after being on top for two consecutive quarters. Indonesia took the top spot, with the Philippines coming in third. “The improvement in the optimism ranking in the recent past clearly reflects that the reform agenda of the government and its efforts on improving the climate for doing business are having an impact,” as said by Mr Harish H V, Partner at Grant Thornton India LLP. He further stated that the programs

and initiatives introduced by the Government of India, as well as its focus on building relationships with all major economies, has enabled India to become a bright spot in the global economy.

S&P affirms India’s sovereign ratings, says outlook is stable Global rating agency Standard and Poor’s (S&P) has affirmed India”s sovereign rating for long term at ‘BBB-’ and short term at ‘A-3’. The outlook is stable. The ratings on India reflect the country’s sound external profile and improved monetary credibility, S&P said in a statement on Wednesday. India’s strong democratic institutions and a free press, which promote policy stability and predictability, also underpin the ratings. These strengths are balanced against vulnerabilities stemming from the country’s low per capita income and weak public finances, S&P said. Indian economy is expected to clock growth of 7.9 per cent in 2016 and 8 per cent on average over 2016-2018. India’s governing parties have made progress in building consensus on a passage of laws to address long-standing impediments to the country’s growth. These include comprehensive tax reforms through the likely introduction in the first half of 2017 of a goods and services tax (GST) to replace complex and distortive indirect taxes. These measures, supported by India’s well-entrenched democracy, will promote greater economic flexibility and help redress public finances over time, it said. India’s external position remains a credit strength. The country has a floating exchange rate and limited reliance on external savings to fund its growth. While India experiences modest volatility in its terms of trade, the country will record a moderate current account deficit of 1.4 per

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cent in 2016 (2.1 per cent in 2015), and to average similar levels through 2018. “Our forecasts are partly informed by our view of enhanced monetary policy credibility. In addition, we expect India to fund this deficit mostly with inflows without adding to debt”, rating agency said. India’s external debt net of public and financial sector external assets will average only 5 per cent of current account receipts over 20162018. Some decline is expected in India’s external liquidity metrics in the next three years as its banks increasingly turn to external financing. India’s gross external financing needs will remain below its current account receipts plus usable reserves through 2018. The Reserve Bank of India’s foreign reserves reached $369 billion as of September 2016. The authorities also maintain contingent financing facilities of $68 billion through bilateral swaps and contingency reserve arrangements. A rating constraint is India’s low GDP per capita, which we estimate at $1,700 in 2016. That said, India’s growth outperforms its peers and is picking up modestly. The domestic supply-side factors will increasingly bind economic performance, and the government has little ability to undertake counter-cyclical fiscal policy given its current debt burden. This debt load and India’s overall weak public finances are additional rating constraints. India has a long history of high general government fiscal deficits (averaging 8.8 per cent of GDP over the past 20 years and 7 per cent in the past five years). The deficits have not closed India’s sizable shortfalls in basic services and infrastructure. The country’s fiscal challenges reflect both revenue under performance and constraints on expenditure. India’s general government revenue, at an estimated 21% of 2016 GDP, is low among rated sovereigns.

Its expenditure constraints are mainly related to subsidies (about 2% of 2016 GDP) for food, energy, and fertilisers.

Economy to gain momentum in second half of FY17 The economy is expected to fare better in the second half of the current financial year, backed by a likely rise in sales and improved capacity utilisation, though fresh investments and jobs creation might be a concern, according to a report from the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Assocham). More spending on infrastructure, largely by the government, is seen as the most important driver for a turnaround in the economic outlook for the second half, the period between October and March, it added. About 66 per cent of those polled in the Assocham Bizcon Survey expected improved sales and capacity utilisation during the second half but remained uncertain on fresh investment. A majority (55.6 per cent) believe employment conditions will not improve in the coming days. And, 38.9 per cent feel their profits might not change in the ongoing quarter. The second best driver for an optimistic outlook is effective policy reform, followed by a stable exchange rate for the rupee, despite global uncertainty on account of the US Federal Reserve’s next policy move and the bitterly fought polls there. While a big chunk of Bizcon Survey participants felt the present economic situation was better than the previous six months on several parameters, the optimism is more pronounced for the second half of 2016-17. “There is a clear turnaround in business confidence, which holds the key to new investment and consumer confidence,” said Assocham president Sunil Kanoria. He said unlike the previous surveys, the latest round indicated a slight

uptick even with regard to capacity utilisation and the order book. However, generation of employment and improvement in wages is some distance away. The confidence was pronounced at the level of individual companies, as 89% of respondents expressed optimism about better days ahead. About 55.6% felt there was an increase in sales volume during the September quarter and expected more during the December one. “The power to increase price on the part of producers and service providers would remain constrained till there is some more improvement in consumer demand,” said Kanoria. About 44.4% felt that in the July to September period, there was no change in wage costs. Half felt this wouldn’t change in the near future. The economy grew at the slowest pace in six quarters at 7.1% in April-June, mainly on subdued performance of the mining, construction and farm sectors. The finance ministry expects the economy to grow by 7-7.75% in the current financial year, against 7.6% the previous year.

Andhra Pradesh, Telengana best places to do business in India Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have emerged as the top states in terms of ease of doing business in the country. The second edition of the government’s ranking of various states, released on Monday, showed that apart from the two states, the states of Gujarat, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh are also in the top five rank. Also released on Monday was a new index by the NITI Aayog which looks at implementation of reforms in making agricultural marketing easier in various states. The index showed Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan top the rankings. The State Implementation of Business Reforms, 2016 is based on the ranking by Department of India Newsletter • 13

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Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) tracks the level of implementation of norms by state governments making it easier to do business in. Last year, DIPP had finalised a total list of 340 reforms which it had asked states to implement. Haryana, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and Maharashtra — in that order, are those that are on the top ten. The states had submitted evidence of implementation of 7124 reforms, a release by DIPP said. “While last year only 7 states implemented more than 50 % of the reforms back then, this time 18 states have implemented more than that level”, Commerce and Industry minister Nirmala Sitharaman said. States traditionally weak in this regard such as Arunachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, and Meghalaya have scores between 0 and 1 on a scale of 100.

Amazon will continue to invest heavily in India Inc. will continue investing heavily in India, the chief of its local operations said, dispelling concerns of slower spending by the US e-commerce company after its chief financial officer Brian Olsavsky said that while the India investments were starting to show results, they had hit margins, contributing to lower-than-expected results in the third quarter. “Not at all,” Amazon’s India chief Amit Agarwal said in an interview on Monday when asked whether Amazon would slow down investments in India. Amazon, which initially said it would invest $2 billion in India, had said in June that it would invest an additional $3 billion in the country. That investment is on track, Agarwal said, adding that the company is “excited about the momentum that we see in India”. “India is very early in its e-commerce trajectory. Amazon is very early in its e-commerce trajectory in India. To 14 • India Newsletter

transform how India buys is going to take a long time; it will take a lot of investment and... for many years. This is just the beginning.” Amazon is betting big on its Prime service in India and expects the loyalty programme to dominate sales in the coming months. “Prime continued to be the top seller in all of October, not just for wave one (of the Great Indian Festival). Prime membership continues to be a top seller and it is going to be so going forward every month. My belief is that Prime membership will be the top seller every month based on the trends that we are seeing,” said Agarwal. On Monday, Amazon also said that it witnessed record numbers during its month-long Diwali sale event, the Great Indian Festival, with sales jumping 2.7 times from last year. This year’s Diwali sale has proven to be the biggest showdown in the history of Indian e-commerce, with Amazon India and rival Flipkart going all out to woo shoppers. While Flipkart claimed to outsell Amazon India during the first leg of the sale season, Amazon claims it came back strongly during the latter half of the sale season, with bigger discounts in key categories such as smartphones and large appliances. “October this year for us was 2.7 times of last year’s October—which is incredible because last year was 4 times the October before,” said Agarwal, adding that this growth came even as “conversations” suggested growth in India’s e-commerce business was going to be flat. Agarwal said that October could be an inflection point for e-commerce in India. “We had categories from phones to Amazon Fashion to appliances growing three to 11 times; even newer categories such as luxury and beauty grew 46 times; grocery and everyday consumables, 7.1 times; furniture, 11.8 times; gold jewellery, eight times—so a lot of these categories are showing robust growth.”

Agarwal said that 70% of the company’s new customers in October came from tier-II and tier-III cities, adding that it was confident of carrying the momentum from its Diwali sale well into November and December. Mint couldn’t independently verify the numbers, but, in general, all e-commerce marketplaces (including Snapdeal, Amazon and Flipkart’s smaller rival) did well in October, carrying forward their momentum from their annual sales. “When I look at the gaps between the waves, our growth rates in those gaps continued to the same extent. We’re growing at 150% year-overyear. At peacetime, the growth rate is still what I’m telling you. And as we exit out of wave three (the third sale event in October), we don’t see a slowdown,” Agarwal said. “The broader e-commerce story is not just a Flipkart-Amazon battle. Of course, both Flipkart and Amazon are trying to get a fair share of the pie in key categories such as electronics, fashion and large appliances. And despite drags on margins, nobody is going to reduce investments in India. What you will see, however, is that they will focus on innovation. For example, during the festive season, smartphone sales shot up and a lot of the sales jumped due to things like product exchanges. Another new innovation was something like Amazon Prime. So, you’ll see a lot of that going forward,” said Sreedhar Prasad, partner-e-commerce at KPMG.

Indian pharma sector going digital at a fast pace A digital wave is sweeping across the $17 billion Indian pharmaceutical industry and companies are dumping old ways of marketing for newer technology, a survey of 20 top drug makers in the country has found. This new technology ranges from scientific detailing to doctors to using newer algorithms for better insights into issues like patient compliance. The trend matches a similar switch in China over the last few years.

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The pharma industry’s marketing spends through digital platforms is estimated to shoot up nearly 50% in the next two years to touch Rs 220 crore, Bengaluru-based market research firm Indegene’s study shows. Mobile apps and social media are set to play a bigger role in this growth, the study that is part of a larger report on global digital marketing trends found. Indegene executive vice president Gaurav Kapoor says this will help India catch up with tech-savvy emerging markets peers like China, where nearly half the companies are expected to allocate more than a fifth of their marketing budget to digital marketing by 2018. Pharma companies in India have already begun switching to new technology, as new launches show. Sun Pharma launched a mobile app called RespiTrack earlier this year for patient awareness on asthma and to

ensure their adherence to treatment regimen. The company reportedly plans to make similar apps for other ailments as well. GlaxoSmithKline’s local unit believes companies will have to hone their digital skills because a large portion of their customers will operate in that space. At least 20%30% of GSK’s own customers are already in the digital world, said the company’s managing director for India, Annaswamy Vaidheesh. GSK has not only leveraged webinars, video chats, information portals and platforms like ‘Viva’ for doctors, it has also equipped its field force with devices like iPads, Vaidheesh said. This would help the company disseminate real-time information on developments in therapy areas as opposed to waiting six months, he added. Others like Abbott Healthcare see India as a ground for introducing tech innovations that can be

replicated worldwide. It introduced several tools like Knowledge Genie, a heart and liver app and another one for vertigo exercises. Some of these build on augmented and virtual reality to engage with both doctors and patients. “From an earlier product-specific detailing, the focus has now moved to scientific detailing. This digitisation is also helping companies to gear up for the introduction of the proposed uniform code of pharmaceutical marketing practices,” an Abbott spokesperson told ET. While technology is sharpening patient interface, the Indegene survey adds that pharma companies currently face a big hurdle in implementing multi-channel marketing campaigns here — they aren’t able to adequately measure how much return on investment they get using these new channels.


India Newsletter • 15

Indian Embassy, Vienna

MAKE IN INDIA Summary ■■ Total coal reserves stood at 301.564 billion tonnes, out of which


125.909 billion tonnes were proven reserves (as on 01/4/14). ■■ Proven




measure up to 1488.73 billion cubic meters (as on 01/4/15). ■■ Fifth




consumer of electricity. ■■ 100%




automatic route in the power sector.

Reasons to Invest ■■ The Government has set a generation capacity addition target

Ltd (PFC) has been appointed as

India is actively working for bidding

the Nodal Agency to facilitate the

out of following UMPPs:

development of these projects.

■■ Cheyyur UMPP, Tamil Nadu

this, generation capacity addition of

Various inputs for the UMPPs are tied

■■ Bedabahal UMPP, Odisha

101.64 GW is likely to be achieved

up by the Special Purpose Vehicle

during 2012-17.

The generation

(SPV) with assistance of Ministry of

capacity addition during 2017-22 is

Power & Central Electricity Authority

being worked out considering the

(CEA). CEA is involved in selection

likely generation capacity addition of

of sites for these UMPPs. Ministry

101.64 GW during 2012-17.

of Power is finalizing the guidelines

■■ The revised tariff policy 2016

for determination of tariff through



transparent process of bidding for

investment to companies engaged in

procurement of power from UMPPs

power generation, transmission and

based on allocated domestic captive

distribution and ensures financial

coal blocks and to be set up on

■■ With a production of 1108 TW,

viability of the sector in order to

Build, Own and Operate (BOO) basis”

India is the world’s fifth largest

attract investments by companies.”

(the Guidelines). To carry out the

producer and consumer of electricity

■■ Government of India through

bidding process expeditiously, the

with a total demand of 1905 TW

Ministry of Power launched the

bid documentation shall be as per

expected by 2022.

initiative of Ultra Mega Power Projects

the Request for Qualification (RFQ),

■■ The power sector accounts for

(UMPPs) i.e. 4,000 MW super thermal

Request for Proposal (RFP) and the

almost a quarter of the projected

power projects (both pit head and

Power Purchase Agreement (PPA)


imported coal based) in November

(collectively the “Standard Bidding

infrastructure sectors between 2012-

2005 with the objective to develop

Documents”(SBDs)) issued by the


large capacity power projects in

Central Government in Terms of

■■ A Total Thermal Installed Capacity

India. Power Finance Corporation


of 211.67 GW as of May, 2016.

of 88.5 GW during 2012-17. Against


16 • India Newsletter




■■ Bihar UMPP ■■ The standard Bidding Documents (SBDs) are under finalization in Ministry of Power. Bidding out of UMPPs would be done after finalization of SBDs and allocation of Coal Blocks (for Domestic Coal Block based UMPPs) to Infra SPV..





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Growth Drivers ■■ Expansion in industrial activity to boost demand for electricity. ■■ A growing urban & rural population is likely to boost demand for energy. ■■ Increasing market penetration and per-capita usage will provide further impetus to the energy industry. ■■ Ambitious projects and increasing investments across the value chain in various sectors..

FDI Policy ■■ 100% Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is allowed under the automatic route in the power sector for Generation from all sources (except atomic energy), transmission and distribution of electric energy and Power Trading, subject to all the applicable regulations and laws. ■■ FDI in power exchanges up to 49% registered under Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (Power Market) Regulations, 2010 under the automatic route, subject to the following conditions, as laid down in the Policy. ■■ Foreign Institutional Investors (FII)/ Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPI) purchases shall be restricted to secondary market only. ■■ No non-resident investor/ entity, including persons acting in concert, will hold more than 5% of the equity in these companies and ■■ The foreign investment would be in compliance with Securities & Exchange Board of India (SEBI) regulations. Other applicable laws/regulations, security and other conditions.”

Sector Policy ■■ Electricity Act, 2003: ■■ Elimination of licensing for electricity generation projects. ■■ Increased competition through international competitive bidding. ■■ Demarcation of transmission as a separate activity. ■■ National Tariff Policy, 2006

(Revised Tariff Policy, 2016) ■■ Ensure availability of electricity to consumers at reasonable and competitive rates; ■■ Ensure financial viability of the sector and attract investments ■■ Promote transparency, consistency and predictability in regulatory approaches across jurisdictions and minimize perceptions of regulatory risks; ■■ Promote competition, efficiency in operations and improvement in quality of supply; ■■ Promote generation of electricity from Renewable sources; ■■ Promote Hydroelectric Power generation including Pumped Storage Projects (PSP) to provide adequate peaking reserves, reliable grid operation and integration of variable renewable energy sources; ■■ Evolve a dynamic and robust electricity infrastructure for better consumer services; ■■ Facilitate supply of adequate and uninterrupted power to all categories of consumers; ■■ Ensure creation of adequate capacity including reserves in generation, transmission and distribution in advance, for reliability of supply of electricity to consumers. ■■ Ultra Mega Power Projects (UMPPs): ■■ Govt. of India has taken initiative for setting up of Ultra Mega Power Projects of 4000MW capacity each to reap the benefits of economies of scale, fast capacity addition and provide The Ministry of Power identified Power Finance Corporation (PFC) as the nodal agency for the UMPPs. In order to enhance investors’ confidence, reduce risk perception and get good response to competitive bidding, PFC incorporates Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) for each UMPP to undertake the bidding process on behalf of the power procuring (beneficiary) States. The purpose of the SPVs is to carry out the bid process management and obtain various clearances/consents for the projects so that the same are transferred to the successful bidder

along with the SPV, who is selected through the tariff based International Competitive Bidding (ICB) in accordance with the Guidelines issued by Ministry of Power. These logistic supports provided by the SPV prior to award of the project is considered necessary to enhance the investor’s confidence, reduce risk perception and get a good response to the competitive bidding process. ■■ Based on the above initiative of Government of India and its implementation process, Four UMPPs namely Sasan in Madhya Pradesh, Mundra in Gujarat, Krishnapatnam in Andhra Pradesh and Tilaiya in Jharkhand have already been awarded to the successful bidders. Mundra UMPP and Sasan UMPP are fully commissioned and are generating electricity. ■■ Renovation & Modernization of Distribution System: ■■ Govt. of India launched two schemes ,namely, Deendayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana(DDUGJY) and Integrated Power Development Scheme(IPDS) in December 2014 for providing capital subsidy to the States for strengthening of sub-transmission and distribution networks in rural areas and urban areas. ■■ Under DDUGJY scheme, capital subsidy is being provided for feeder separation, electrification of unelectrified villages and households, metering and system strengthening & augmentation of distribution system in rural areas. The erstwhile scheme of RGGVY has been subsumed in DDUGJY as a separate component for rural electrification in the country. REC is the nodal agency for the operationalization of DDUGJY in the Country. Projects worth USD 16.72 billion (including RGGVY) have been sanctioned under DDUGJY and out of which USD 6.58 billion have been released till 31st July 2016. ■■ Under IPDS Scheme, capital subsidy is being provided for strengthening and augmentation of distribution system, metering of distribution transformers/feeders/ consumers, and IT enablement in India Newsletter • 17

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distribution sector in the urban areas. The erstwhile Restructured Accelerated Power Development And Reform Programme (R-APDRP) scheme has been subsumed in the IPDS as a separate component for IT enablement and system strengthening. PFC is the nodal agency for the operationalization of IPDS in the country. IPDS Projects worth USD 9.55 billion (including R-APDRP) have been sanctioned and out of which USD 1.42 billion have been released till 31st July 2016. ■■ Domestic and Street LED lighting program ■■ Ministry of Power has launched UJALA (Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LED for All) Yojana for replacement of 770 million incandescent domestic bulbs with energy efficient LED bulbs in the country. Along with, 35 million street lightings are also being replaced with energy efficient LED street lights in the country. Under Domestic Efficiency Lighting Programme, out of a target to replace 770 million incandescent bulbs in the country, about 140 million LED bulbs have already been distributed by 31st July 2016. Under Street Lighting National Programme , about 0.9 million smart & energy efficient LED street light have been installed in the country by 31st July 2016. ■■ Fuel Supply Agreement: ■■ Fuel supply agreement with Coal India Ltd. will ensure the availability of coal for power companies over the long term. ■■ Public Private Partnership(PPP): ■■ To reduce dependency on imported coal, a PPP policy framework will be devised with Coal India Ltd. to increase coal production. ■■ National Electricity Policy ■■ The Govt. of India is revising the National Electricity Policy to bring out far reaching changes in the power sector, to ensure a cleaner atmosphere by increasing renewable generation including rooftop solar PV generation using 18 • India Newsletter

the energy of the sun, increasing electric vehicles in cities and towns which get polluted on account of emissions from diesel and petrol vehicles, improved reliable supply of power to consumers through smart grid. This policy would also encourage efficient utilization of resources including land and water. ■■ Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana (UDAY) ■■ The Scheme “UDAY” (Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana) has been formulated and launched by the Government on 20.112015 for the financial and operational turnaround of State owned DISCOMs (Electricity Distribution Companies). The scheme UDAY envisages reform measures in all sectors – generation, transmission, distribution, coal, and energy efficiency. ■■ The Scheme also envisages that States shall take over 75% of DISCOM debt as on 30.09.2015 over two years i.e. 50% in FY 2015-16 and 25% in FY 2016-17. The scheme aims to reduce interest burden, reduce the cost of power, reduce power losses in Distribution sector, and improve operational efficiency of DISCOMs. The scheme also incentivizes the States by exempting State takeover of DISCOM debts from Fiscal Responsibility & Budget Management (FRBM) limits for two years; increased supply of domestic coal; coal linkage rationalization; liberally allowing coal swaps from inefficient to efficient plants; allocation of coal linkages to States at notified prices and additional/ priority funding in schemes of Ministry of Power and Ministry of New & Renewable Energy, if they meet the operational milestones in the scheme. However, no financial implications are involved on the part of Government of India. ■■ The scheme also envisages that States accepting UDAY and performing as per operational milestones will be given additional/ priority funding through DDUGJY, IPDS and Power System Development Fund (PSDF) or other such schemes of Ministry of Power

and Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. Such States shall also be supported with additional coal at notified prices and, in case of availability through higher capacity utilization.

Financial Support ■■ Budget Incentives: ■■ Extension of sunset date under section 80 IA (4) (iv) of the Income Tax Act for the power sector (generation, distribution and transmission) to 31.03.2017 for claiming deduction of 100% of profits and gains for 10 consecutive assessment years. ■■ Adequate quantity of coal will be provided to power plants which are already commissioned or are to be commissioned by March 2015. ■■ Allocation of USD 15.38 million for preparatory work for a new scheme creating ultra-modern super critical coal-based thermal power technology aimed at providing cleaner and efficient thermal power. ■■ Allocation of USD 76.92 million to Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana, for launching feeder separation to augment power supply to the rural areas and for strengthening sub-transmission and distribution systems. ■■ Full exemption from central excise duty is being provided to liquefied propane mixture, liquefied propane, liquefied butane and liquefied petroleum gases for supply to non-domestic exempted category customers by the Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL), Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) or Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) retrospectively from 08.02.2013 ■■ The duty structure on nonagglomerated coal of various types is being rationalised at 2.5% Basic Customs Duty (BCD) and 2% Counterveiling Duty (CVD). The BCD on anthracite coal and other coal is being reduced from 5% to 2.5%. ■■ The CVD on anthracite coal, coking coal and other coal is being reduced from 6% to 2%. ■■ Exemption from BCD is being granted on re-gassified LNG for

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supply to Pakistan. ■■ Imports of liquefied propane mixture, liquefied propane, liquefied butane and liquefied petroleum gases for supply to non-domestic exempted category customers by the IOCL, HPCL or BPCL retrospectively from 08.02.2013. ■■ Tax Incentives R&D Incentives: ■■ Industries and infrastructure sectors including the power/energy efficiency sectors with in-house R&D centers get a write-off in revenues and capital expenditure incurred on R&D. ■■ A weighted tax deduction is given under section 35 (2AA) of the Income Tax Act to industry/private sponsored research programmes. ■■ A weighted deduction of 200%

is granted to assesses for any sums paid to a national laboratory, university or institute of technology, or specified people with a specific direction and the said sum will be used for scientific research within a programme approved by the prescribed authority. ■■ State Incentives: ■■ India offers additional incentives for industrial projects in certain states. ■■ Incentives are in areas such as rebates in land cost, the relaxation of stamp duty exemption on the sale and lease of land, power tariff incentives, a concessional rate of interest on loans, investment subsidies, tax incentives, backward area subsidies and special incentive packages for mega projects.

■■ Area based Incentives: ■■ Incentives are available for the setting up of projects in special areas like the North-east, Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh & Uttarakhand.

Foreign Investors ■■ CLP Holdings (Hong Kong) ■■ GE Energy (USA) ■■ AES (USA) ■■ Kosep (South Korea) ■■ Abellon Clean Energy (Canada) ■■ GDF SUEZ (France)

Agencies ■■ Ministry of Power ■■ Council of Power Utilities ■■ Bureau of Energy Efficiency ■■ Independent Power Producers Association of India

Investment Opportunities

distribution networks in the urban areas

■■ Thermal Power Projects

■■ Metering of distribution transformers / feeders / consumers in the urban area. ■■ IT enablement of distribution sector and strengthening of distribution network being under taken under R-APDRP. ■■ Investment opportunities: ■■ Metering: USD 317.07 million; Sub Stations (New + Augmentation): USD 592.61 million; HT / LT Lines (New + Augmentation): USD 1.27 billion; DTs ((New + Augmentation): USD 495.23 million; UG Cabling (HT & LT): USD 339.87 million; Rooftop Solar / net metering: USD 36.30 million; Misc. (ABC cable, R&M, Capacitor etc): USD 696.76 million.

■■ Hydro Electric Projects

■■ Investment in Transmission Sector during last quarter of 2015-16 and during 2016-17

■■ Integrated Power Development Scheme ■■ Total outlay : USD 11.78 billion with Gross Budgetary Support of USD 7.39 billion from Govt. of India (including erstwhile R-APDRP) ■■ Components: ■■ Strengthening



and India Newsletter • 19

Indian Embassy, Vienna

PERSPECTIVES ON INDIA Reinventing traditional Indian fashion with a modern twist By ADITI BAJPAI, CO-FOUNDER & DESIGNER, ALMIRAH Almirah, a conscious clothing and bedding label for children, was born in New Delhi almost five years ago, in 2011. Our mission was to make in India and to design an India for the world. The retail sector was, at the time, recovering from the after effects of recession; a large number of small and small-medium sized businesses had been hit and were slowly regressing. Despite this, we witnessed a massive influx of foreign brands into the market and India, very quickly, became a playing field for global retail players. In such a scenario, the Indian fashion industry found itself polarised between high-end Indian, foreign labels and, the handloom sector. This created a huge mid-market space with room to develop designs which combined the strengths of both (high-end and handloom) and changed the discourse around Indian wear, one that could be both fashionable, yet timeless. Indian retail is one of the fastest growing sectors in the Indian economy, where industry experts have, rightly, projected a growth at US$ 1.3 trillion by 2020. We started Almirah with the idea of reinventing traditional Indian fashion by giving it a modern twist; we decided to bring back silhouettes like the kalidaar kurta and traditions like gudri quilting --workmanship that were fading fast in a mass produced market. Since 2011, Almirah has grown steadily --mostly through word of mouth and, with minimal marketing. In India, we have three exclusive stores across the country in New Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai and also cover cities like Kolkata, Ahemadabad, Cochin, Goa. We have gained a formidable presence 20 • India Newsletter

abroad; we have sold our clothes and bedding in Canada, Singapore, Dubai, Europe and are now available in over 20 states across USA. Through the course of our global journey, we realized that a large number of Indian consumers are as conscious as their western counterparts when it comes to sustainability in fashion through natural fabrics, abiding silhouettes and recycling. Our focus on promoting locally grown fabrics like organic cotton as well as the decision to use organic dyes like Indigo has appealed to a customer base globally. The Indian consumer associates with brands that appeal to a familiar aesthetic sensibility and while we bring to consumers sustainability in fashion, we also ensure that through our motifs and silhouettes we’re helping them re-connect with India. Our Indian motifs are inspired by folklore like the Panchatantra and our fabrics tell stories of a changing India. Historically, handicrafts and handloom have been synonymous with Indian textiles and this is what we reiterate through our fabric. Our journey across 500 SKU’s has led to over 300 collaborations with artisans and skilled workers in India, in the process, bridging communities of tailors, shoemakers, embroiders and printers with our products. The maker movement, which

recognizes handmade and craftsmanship, has helped massively push sales of our designs. In 2011, a report from the Crafts Council India states that handicrafts is the second largest employment sector, however, it continues to face impediments like poor computer literacy and stiff competition from the largely organised fast fashion retail sector. Through Almirah, we strive to bridge the gap between modern consumers and traditional Indian makers or craftsmen, and strike the right balance of a design that is Indian, contemporary, yet affordable. While the world is witnessing a trend of mass consumption, a market for more ‘artisanal’ design that has been so popular with the Indian customer is on the rise. At the end of this year, we will complete five years since our flagship store opened in Meher Chand market in New Delhi. While a number of factors have helped us boost growth in India and abroad, it goes without saying that the changing consumer mindset and the (much needed) push from the maker movement have played a huge role in accelerating growth. The robustness of the retail space globally has paved way for new business models to emerge and it is these factors that have opened up a space for independent Indian brands like Almirah to grow and evolve.

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INDIAN STATE ECONOMIC PROFILE WEST BENGAL West Bengal is situated in eastern India and shares its borders with Jharkhand, Bihar, Odisha, Sikkim and Assam. The state also shares international borders with Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal. The Bay of Bengal is in the south of the state. West Bengal is India’s sixth largest economy, and recorded a gross state domestic product (GSDP) of US$ 132.86 billion in 2014-15. The state’s GSDP expanded at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.06 per cent from 2004-05 to 2014-15. Agriculture is the chief occupation in the state and contributed 18.8 per cent to the GSDP in 2014-15. West Bengal is the largest producer of rice in India. Rice production for the state totalled 15.4 million tonnes in FY 15. West Bengal is also the largest fish producing state in India. As of January 2016, West Bengal had a total installed power generation capacity of 10,063.84 megawatt (MW). West Bengal is the second largest tea-producing state in India. During 2014-15, it produced 329.3 million kg of tea, accounting for 27.8 per cent of India’s total tea production and is home to the globally acclaimed Darjeeling tea variety. Kolkata is the prime centre for India’s jute industry. During 2014-15, West Bengal accounted for 79.6 per cent of India’s total jute production. West Bengal is also a leading exporter of leather and has about 500 tanneries accounting for 55 per cent of India’s leather goods exports. About 22-25 per cent of India’s tanning activity is undertaken in Kolkata. Its location advantage makes the state a traditional market for eastern India, the Northeast, Nepal and Bhutan. It is also a strategic entry point for markets in Southeast Asia.

The cost of operating a business is lower in Kolkata than in other metropolitan cities. During FY 200015, the state attracted total foreign direct investment (FDI) of US$ 2.9 billion. West Bengal has abundant natural resources of minerals and suitable agro-climatic conditions for agriculture, horticulture and fisheries. It is in vicinity to mineral rich states like Jharkhand, Bihar and Odisha. It offers excellent connectivity to the rest of India in terms of railways, roadways, ports and airports. West Bengal has also made a beginning in information technology (IT) sector. By 2015-16, eight IT parks are expected to start operating in the state. In addition, seven new IT parks are expected to start in the state over the next five years. West Bengal stands 11th among Indian states in rankings based on ease of doing business and reforms implementation, according to a study by the World Bank and KPMG. ■■ Key Sectors: ■■ Tea, petroleum and petrochemicals, leather. Iron and steel, information technology, mineral resources, automobile and auto components, biotechnology, fisheries, jute products and textiles. ■■ Major Government Initiatives for Investment Promotion: ■■ The state government of West Bengal has proposed an investment of US$ 8.2 billion for the budget 2015-16. It has allocated US$ 99.67 million for constructing Asia Highway 2, which will connect Nepal Border (Kakarbhita) to Bangladesh Border (Banglabandha). ■■ The state government has set up an integrated leather complex on the eastern fringe of Kolkata, spread over 1,100 acres.

■■ In 2014-15, the state government commissioned a 250 MW thermal power unit in Durgapur and renovated a 210 MW of Bandel thermal power station. The third and fourth units of Sagardighi thermal power plant, of 500 MW each, are expected to be operational in 201516. ■■ A number of road development projects have been taken up under Public-Private Partnerships (PPP). The Barasat-Krishnanagar section, Palsit-Dankuni road project and Panagarh-Palsit road project are some of the PPP projects taken up in the state. ■■ In 2014-15, the state government approved the construction of a 293 MW hydropower plant in Darjeeling district. The plant is expected to be operational by 2016. ■■ Three steel parks are expected to be established in Raghunathpur at an investment of about US$ 5.9 billion. ■■ The State’s Textile Policy 201318 aims to increase the sector’s contribution to 10.0 per cent of the state GDP by 2022-23 from 6.1 per cent in 2014-15. This would provide employment to at least 10 million people. ■■ Under the Smart City Program, the state government has announced plan to build seven smart cities in West Bengal. The four cities of New Town Kolkata, Bidhannagar, Durgapur and Haldia, have already been selected under the central government’s flagship Smart Cities project. ■■ Under Backward Regions Grant Fund Programme (BRGF), 171 projects for widening and strengthening of 2,087 km of roads, and 18 new bridges are anticipated to be operational by September 2015. India Newsletter • 21

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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 to get more information about possible assistance/subsidies.

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Indian Embassy, Vienna

INVEST INDIA Federation House, Tansen Marg New Delhi—110 001 0091-11-23765085, 23487278


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

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

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.

■■ 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 India Newsletter • 29

Indian Embassy, Vienna

TOURISM Shillong: A Little to the East of Scotland by Hugh & Colleen Gantzer. That is, roughly, what the Scotsmen called it. When the Scots first came to these hills in the northeast of our land, met and intermarried with the handsome Khasi people, and delighted in the mists and deep valleys, they felt very nostalgic. So they called Shillong The Scotland of the East. The fact that the Khasis had never really been conquered by the British, helped. They accepted each other as equals, intermarriage between the two peoples was not frowned upon, and the inheritance laws of both partners cemented such bonds. Children opted to follow their British father’s patriarchal laws when it suited them, and were, at the same time, accepted as full-fledged members of Khasi matrilineal society, tracing their tribal rights through their Khasi mothers. Thus, the Khasis bridged the EastWest divide quite effortlessly and found no need to replace all things British when the Raj

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ended. Consequently, when we first visited Shillong, we saw many other resemblances between this green and pleasant town and the misty isles. Here there were vistas of Snowdonia, the watered serenity of the Lake District, even the austere and treeless beauty of Dartmoor. For all its occasional bursts of democratic unrest, much of Shillong still has the ambiance of a genteel, Victorian, England. One thousand five hundred meter high Shillong gets its name from the dominating peak that overlooks the valley-town. This, according to some people, is the home of the god Shylong. Two beautiful women from the mountain god’s family became two rivers which, even today, water the land below. We couldn’t see them very clearly when we stood on the peak, because a soft mist had hazed the valley, but the town spreading at our feet looked so much like an English market town that we wouldn’t have been at all surprised if we had seen Farmer Giles puffing up, mutton-chop whiskers et al. For all its western appearance, however, Shillong is still, very much,

a north-eastern place. To get a feel of the richly textured life of these hills, we always visit Barra Bazaar. For the people of the town, and folk from the surrounding villages, this big market is the place where they can get everything from implements to chickens to vegetables to baskets to tea with a smile thrown in for good measure. Here, there is a sharp aroma, of spices. And the glint of piercing arrows and strong bows for that great sport of the Khasi people: archery. We drove down to the archery field and became part of the ancient sport of Tir, as archery is called in these hills. There was a festive, fair-like, atmosphere with tents and colourful shacks lined up at one end. Cooking fires smoked, and appetising fragrances wafted around us making our mouths water. People sat on benches outside these eateries munching and chatting animatedly. But for all their apparent light heartedness there was an underlying tension: the sort of frisson that electrifies punters on a racecourse. Interestingly the Archery Stakes became so popular

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that they threatened the existence of horse-racing. The first time we visited the Archery Stakes, in fact, they were being held on a field just outside the race tracks: much to the ire of those who prefer fleeing horses to flying arrows.

destroyed. Technicians from the earthquake-prone islands of Japan had been called in and they had designed buildings of wood frames filled in with light bamboo and lime plaster. These buildings were both safe and eco-friendly.

The arrows were held by archers from the competing clubs. These chosen marksmen squatted on the greensward in a row facing their target: a long column of slatted bamboo. Betters massed in front of the booths, money changed hands. Betting stopped and the shooting began. Arrows impacted into the target like angry hornets. The firing stopped. Bets are placed on the number of arrows which pincushion the target, not on the ones that hit and fall, or do not hit at all. The judges walked up to the target and began to extract the arrows, stacking them in groups of ten in a grid. A Marshall then threw the last few arrows so that everyone could count the winning, single-digit, score. The manager of an up-market hotel told us that he had taken home a small fortune for a bet of 25p!

In many other ways Shillong continues to be an eco-tourists delight. Even though old residents tend to grumble about recent ‘developments’ , the town still offers interesting walks along roads whispering with Khasi Pines. We always make it a pint to visit the dramatic Bishop and Beadon Falls streaking like silver tinsel into a dark and forested gorge. Then there’s an excursion, possibly a picnic if you have the time, to the lacy, frothy, Elephant Falls. The air, here, has the rich fragrance of loam and a fine spray cools our skins. Once, a long while ago, we carved out the time from our itinerary to spend a lazy, unwinding, day drifting on the picture postcard Ward Lake. And then we strolled around Lady Hydari Park and really recharged our emotional batteries.

For those who take a more plodding view of sport there’s that archetypal highland game: golf. Some enthusiastic golfers, whom we met in the rambling old club house, assured us that the course had been designed by a man inspired by that mystic goal of all golfers: St. Andrews in Scotland.

After which we decided to make an excursion out of town. We chose a very special place via an equally special place: Cherrapunji via Mawflong.

We, personally, prefer to get in our exercise by pottering around a place, unearthing little-known facts about its past: things which contribute to its uniqueness, its individuality. We discovered a plaque which commemorated the stay of Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore, in Shillong. People still lit candles in his memory. We also asked why some of the pretty, flower-bright, cottages of Shillong seemed to be so flimsy. An amateur historian told us that, after a great earthquake at the end of the 19th century, nearly all the stone houses in Shillong had been

Mawflong, literally stone-grass, is a very apt name. Our road stopped at the edge of a bleak and barren moor. No birds sing, no butterflies flicker. Even the wind is silent though it blows chill and forlornly over this lonely land. The path that leads down across the moor was the old road to Cherrapunji and Sylhet in Bangladesh. On the moor we found standing stones, memorials erected by ancient Khasis and, below and beyond, the Sacred Forest. Nothing, not even a twig can be removed from the forest, we were told. Into this forest go the traditional Lyngdoh priests of the Khasis to worship their spirits. Possibly we are extra-sensitive; or perhaps, after years of travel in

strange places, we have developed a protective sense: whatever the reason, we felt uneasy in this place, as if we were treading on sacrosanct ground. We left but magic, a different sort of magic, followed us. Here were bracken-covered slopes and glens so deep that they were warm enough for farmers to grow oranges. We bought orange honey from a cottage in Cherrapunji village and headed out to a row of monoliths. “This is where travellers rested their backs”, an orange grower told us. “The stones with the caps on them are where kings took a breather. And down there you will find stone platforms, the size of a small house, their tops covered with scrub and weeds. That’s where our kings had been cremated after their successors had met the expenses of their elaborate last rites!” We trod across the soft, spongy, grass and it was exactly as he had described. We drove past conical baskets, two and a half meters long, filled with bay leaves and ginger, and then walked to the edge of an enormous gorge. It was so deep that we could not see the bottom, and strange clouds of mist kept rolling up, curling into themselves when they reached the edge, rolling down. The sun, shining behind us, threw our shadows on the restless mist banks like the enormous spectres of giants, shifting, growing. We moved back from the edge and drove to a flight of damp steps rising up a slope soggy with fallen leaves. There was an odd, musty, odour which grew ranker and ranker as we climbed and then, when it was strongest, a huge, cave loomed in front of us. It seemed to be as high as a dark cathedral. We stood there, uncertain, the sickly-sweet smell almost overpowering our senses. Just then, three bats swooped out low over our heads. It was all we needed. We had had enough of otherworldliness. We got into our car and headed back for the happy, sunlit, vistas of Shillong. India Newsletter • 31

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■■ The Embassy’s library is opened daily from 10am to 1pm without appointment. ■■ Our collection contains more than 2000 titles in dozens of categories. ■■ For appointments outside the opening hours or other inquiries, please contact us under or 015058666 33 ■■ Download our latest catalog of books under

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27. January, 17:30 HINDI OV mdUT


Seat reservation and further Infos: Indian Embassy Business Centre/Library Kärntner Ring 2, 1. Stock, 1010 Wien India Newsletter • 37

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NOTICE BOARD EMBASSY’S LIBRARY ■■ The EMBASSY’S library is opened DAILY from 10am to 1pm without appointment. ■■ For a complete list of books available in our library, visit our website ■■ For scheduling an appointment outside the opening hours, please contact the information assistant under or 01 505 8666 33

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STUDENTS WELFARE OFFICER ■■ Mr. Brijesh Kumar, Second Secretary (Press, Info. & Protocol) in this Embassy has been designated as Officer to look after welfare of Indian Students in Austria and Montenegro. ■■ His contact details are: 0043 1 505 866 17 and

MINISTRY OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS GOES MOBILE ■■ Avail services : passport, visa, consular assistance ■■ Ask your Minister : on the go, anytime, anywhere ■■ Follow your PM : on his visits abroad ■■ Find the nearest Indian Mission/Post : for emergency consular assistance ■■ Be informed : about India’s Foreign Relations on the move and form your own opinions ■■ Know more : about how to undertake Kailash Manasarovar Yatra and Haj Pilgrimage ■■ Download and watch : pictures & documentaries on India ■■ Play and Personalize : what you need, when you need ■■ Share and contribute : your views, pics & suggestions

Ministry of External Affairs proudly presents “MEAIndia” – an integrated smart app for mobile and other hand held devices ‘MEAIndia’ is now available for download on App Store and Google Play Store..

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India Newsletter 11 2016  
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