Category — Politics

Ram Nath Kovind Will Be India’s 14th President

Ram Nath Kovind, the presidential candidate proposed by the ruling BJP-led National Democratic Alliance, won  66 per cent of the votes cast by an electoral college of Ministers of Parliament and state lawmakers, defeating the opposition’s candidate Meira Kumar, and will be the next President of India. He will be sworn in as President on July 25. The President holds a largely ceremonial, head of state position in India, with virtually all executive powers residing with the Prime Minister.

Born on October 1, 1945, Kovind is an attorney by training and a native of the Kanpur area (where the India Expert Gunjan Bagla was also born) and has a long standing political career. He resigned as Governor of the state of Bihar to participate in the presidential elections. He served as the chairman of the Senate (Rajya Sabha) Committee.  Kovind also represented India in the United Nations.

Kovind’s career as a lawyer spanned 16 years. He was a Federal Government attorney in the Delhi High Court from 1977 to 1979 and a Federal Government Standing Counsel in India’s highest court, the Supreme Court, from 1980 to 1993. He served as member on the board of management of the Dr. B.R. Ambedkar University, Lucknow, and was a member of the board of governors of the Indian Institute of Management, Kolkata.

Ram Nath Kovind Wins Election

July 20, 2017   No Comments

U.S. House Passes Bill on Defense Cooperation with India

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a $621.5 billion defense policy bill that includes defense cooperation with India. An amendment in this regard, moved by Indian-American Congressman Ami Bera, was adopted by a voice vote by the House as part of the National Defense Authorization Act 2018, beginning October 1 this year.

The India-related amendment passed by the House requires the Secretary of Defense, in consultation with the Secretary of State, to develop a strategy for advancing defense cooperation between the United States and India. “The United States is the world’s oldest democracy and India is the world’s largest democracy. It is vitally important to develop a strategy that advances defense cooperation between our two nations,” Bera said.

Photograph of Ami Bera

The Act now  needs to be passed by the Senate before it can be sent to the White House for President Donald Trump to sign into law, reports News 18.

Cara Abercrombie, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for South and Southeast Asia, said, “We have the same interests in upholding this international system that upholds the rule of law that favors freedom of navigation, open sea lanes of communication, and freedom of over flight. Those are values that are critically important to the United States and India to our economic prosperity and to our access in the region.”

July 16, 2017   No Comments

OECD: India at the Top of Governmental Confidence League

According to the latest edition of the  Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development‘s Government at a Glance 2017 report, India, with a citizen support of 73%, is at the very top of the governmental confidence league. Canada ranks second with 62%.

Forbes says: Trust in government is vitally important. It serves as a driving force for a country’s economic development, makes governmental decisions more effective and leads to greater compliance with regulations and the tax system.

Russia and Turkey tied for the third spot at 58%; the U.S. scored 30%; and Greece is at the bottom with 13%.

Parliament House, india

Parliament House, India



July 15, 2017   No Comments

USIBC Launches India Civil Aviation Task Force

The US-India Business Council (USIBC) launched an India-Task Force on civil aviation to focus on identifying opportunities for implementation based on the National Civil Aviation Policy. Palash Roy Chowdhury, managing director-India, Pratt & Whitney will chair the entity, and Amber Dubey, partner and head of aerospace and defense, KPMG in India will be the co-chairman.

“India has witnessed annual growth exceeding 20% in domestic traffic with total passenger traffic estimated to reach 270 million by end of this year,” USIBC said, reports the Times of India.

Jet Airways

Jet Airways

USIBC president Mukesh Aghi said, “Our member companies are committed to the success of the government’s flagship programs such as the Regional Connectivity Scheme and Make In India, and bringing the best in technology in related areas such as airport infrastructure and security, MROs and skill development.”

June 29, 2017   No Comments

India, U.S., to Accelerate Cooperation in the Energy Sector

In the wake of President Trump‘s and Indian Prime Minister Modi’s meeting, the White House released a statement that said, “The United States and India are committed to realizing commercial civil nuclear cooperation, in particular through a contract for six Westinghouse Electric AP-1000 nuclear reactors to be built in Andhra Pradesh, India. Once completed, the project will provide reliable electricity for millions of Indian citizens.”

India’s Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar said that by the end of the year Westinghouse will rework its current situation and conclude contractual agreements between the Company and the Nuclear Power Corporation of India for the six nuclear reactors, as also related project financing, reports the Economic Times.

The White House said Indian energy companies have signed more than $30 billion in long-term contracts for U.S.- produced liquefied natural gas, including from Louisiana and Maryland. The industry estimates that Indian companies have invested more than $10 billion in the United States’ liquefied natural gas and shale sectors.
The two countries also announced the Smart Grid and Energy Storage consortia under the U.S.-India Joint Clean Energy and Research Development Center.
Additionally, the U.S. Department of State is facilitating connections between American and Indian industry, state governments, and universities to advance energy solutions, the White House said.

June 27, 2017   No Comments