Category — Politics

Chinese Group Expects India to Overtake China in Innovation by 2025

According to China’s Science Technology Exchange Center, India’s innovation growth rate will rise significantly over the next 15 years, and come close to surpassing China. “It is predicted that the innovation competitiveness of India will see a significant rise with its growth rate probably surpassing China between 2025-2030,” the independent Chinese research body wrote in its BRICS Innovation Competitiveness Report 2017.

CNBC India reports: India has been taking notable steps forward in innovation, supported in part by Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s reform agenda. Government initiatives such as Digital India, which expands the country’s online infrastructure, and Startup India, which promotes financial backing for entrepreneurs, have been unveiled to boost the country’s innovation and technology sectors. Meanwhile, the country’s growing information technology and scientific expertise have also helped turn it into an increasingly dominant outsourcing hub.

Innovation Poster

The International Monetary Fund recently forecast India’s GDP to grow 7.2 percent in 2017 versus China’s 6.5 percent. This new study highlights the growth that can be expected in intellectual advances, such as science and technology, which are often perceived as indicators of future growth.

September 15, 2017   No Comments

Nirmala Sitharaman Is India’s First Woman Full-Time Defense Minister

On September 3, Nirmala Sitharaman, who served as Minister for Commerce and Industry, was chosen for the biggest promotion in Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s cabinet reshuffle on the weekend, and was given independent charge of the Defense Ministry. Former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was the first woman to hold this portfolio, though as an additional charge.

Minister for Defense, Nirmala Sitharaman, after taking charge in New Delhi on September 07, 2017

Minister for Defense, Nirmala Sitharaman, after taking charge in New Delhi on September 07, 2017

“It will be a priority for me to ensure the smooth and speedy implementation of defense deals and projects,” Sitharaman told reporters, adding that her other priority was armed forces families and their welfare.

Sitharaman’s team consists of Dr. Subhash Ramrao Bhamre, Minister of State for Defense, Dr. Sanjay Kumar Pandey, personal secretary,  and Sanjay Mitra defense secretary among many others.

Sitharaman now joins the five-member Cabinet Committee on Security which includes Prime Minister Modi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.

Bhaskar Kanungo, deputy director, Strategic Trade at industry body FICCI, expects Sitharaman’s appointment to give foreign defense equipment manufacturers “new assurance and confidence, leading to much-needed time-bound reforms that are essential for bringing FDI in defense and aerospace.” He added, “Her vision on ‘Make in India’ will help to bridge the gap between foreign original equipment manufacturers and the Indian defense and aerospace industry,” reports Bloomberg.

The biggest challenge for the new minister will be to take decisions that will pave the way for the private sector to access India’s defense industry along with the preferred state-owned undertakings.

Twitterati welcomed the NDA government’s move to appoint Sitharaman as the defense minister.

— GhoseSpot (@SandipGhose) September 3, 2017

September 9, 2017   No Comments

American Exports to India Support 260,000 U.S. Jobs

According to the publication India Matters for America/America Matters for India created by The East West Center in Washington and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI),”Every U.S. state exports to India; these exports support more than 260,000 jobs directly and indirectly.”

Logos of East West Center and FICCI

The launch of the publication brought together experts from the U.S. Government, business, and academia to assess how the partnership between the United States and India has moved towards greater cooperation in matters of defense, trade and investment, and educational and people-to-people exchange. Particular emphasis was on how local connections at the state level are shaping the relationship.

Other notable bits of information, as reported by the Economic Times:

  • U.S. is India’s 2nd largest trading partner while India is the 9th largest goods trading partner of the U.S.
  • The U.S. is the top destination for Indian goods, forming 14 percent of India’s export
  • U.S. exports amounted to $21.5 billion in goods and $18.1 billion in services to India in 2015
  • U.S. goods imports from India increased from $1 billion in 2000 to almost $45 billion in 2015
  • Nearly 2,000 American multinational enterprises operate in India; sales by these companies amounted to $76.7 billion in 2014
  • Over 200 Indian companies operate in the United States; sales by these companies totaled $25 billion in 2014
  • More than 1.2 million U.S. tourists visited India in 2015, accounting for over 15 percent of all international visitors, contributing over $3 billion to the Indian economy
  • In 2015, over 1 million Indians traveled to the United States. As the 7th largest source of visitor
    spending in the United States, Indian tourists have contributed $11.4 billion to the U.S. economy
  • India’s foreign direct investment in the U.S. totaled $9.2 billion in 2015, up more than 500 percent since 2006. Among the Asia Pacific countries, India is the 7th largest investor in the U.S.
  • Since 2000, the cumulative investment from U.S. into India reached $28.3 billion in 2015
  • The defense trade between the U.S. and India increased from $1 billion to over $15 billion

August 28, 2017   No Comments

India, U.S. Shift Bilateral Ties to a Higher Strategic Plane

The existing India-U.S. Strategic and Commercial Dialogue, once described by the U.S. State Department as the “signature mechanism for advancing the United States’ and India’s shared priorities,” will be replaced by a dialogue in which the foreign and defense ministers will participate. The new dialogue format will involve the Indian foreign minister and the U.S. secretary of state as well as the Indian defense minister and the U.S. defense secretary.

The new ‘two plus two’ ministerial dialogue was announced in a White House readout of a telephone call between U.S. President Donald Trump and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the eve of India completing 70 years as an independent country on August 15.

Flags of US and India

Former Indian ambassador to the U.S. Lalit Mansingh said, “It [the new format] helps us because our strategic and defense interests reinforce each other. So a combined dialogue would be useful for India.” “Balancing commercial and strategic issues could be difficult now,” Mansingh added.

Live Mint reports that the two countries will have a separate dialogue on commercial issues, which will not include the foreign ministers.


August 18, 2017   No Comments

PE Investments in India Surge 48 percent

According to assurance, tax and advisory firm Grant Thornton India, there were 59 private equity transactions worth $1.22 billion in July this year, and PE investments in India jumped 48% in value terms. July was dominated by investments in start-ups which contributed to 49% of total investment volumes, while the banking sector dominated the PE investment values contributing to 46% of investment values, followed by the pharmaceutical sector.

Magazine with Investment Report written on it“The sector focus this month for PE seems to be the BFSI sector with manufacturing and pharma rallying closely behind,” Grant Thornton India LLP Partner Prashant Mehra said. “The sector flavor for this year has been around the core sectors and we will perhaps continue to see this trend as positive macro-economic factors boost these sectors the most. Also, from an exit through IPO perspective, the probability for success is more in core sectors than others,” Mehra added.

Mehra expects that the key growth will perhaps be from PE deals which serve as an alternate means of financing M&A in India, reports Live Mint.

August 18, 2017   No Comments