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Greetings from the Embassy of India in Washington DC!
Welcome to the July 11, 2020, edition of our newsletter, bringing you important policy and high-impact news about India.
I hope you find it useful.

-- Shambhu Hakki, First Secretary (Political & PIC) & Spokesperson
Key Policy Decisions
Prime Minister Modi's Inaugural Address at India Global Week in the United Kingdom
PM Modi addressed the India Global Week 2020 via video conferencing, which focused on foreign investment prospects in India. "Indians have the spirit to achieve what is believed to be impossible. No wonder that in India, we are already seeing green-shoots when it comes to economic recovery", said the PM.
Prime Minister’s address to Indian Armed Forces in Leh, India

PM Narendra Modi visited Nimu, where he interacted with the valorous Jawans. PM Modi paid rich tributes to the martyred soldiers in the Galwan valley. The PM applauded the soldiers and said, "Through display of your bravery, a clear message has gone to the world about India’s strength...Your courage is higher than the heights where you are posted today."
Private Sector Participation In Space Activities Approved
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi approved far reaching reforms in the Space sector aimed at boosting private sector participation in the entire range of space activities. India is among a handful of countries with advanced capabilities in the space sector. With these reforms, the sector will receive new energy and dynamism, to help the country leapfrog to the next stages of space activities.
India has taken a major decision to fully open the coal and mining sectors for competition, capital, participation and technology
On June 18th, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi launched the auction process of 41 coal blocks for commercial mining through video conference. Prime Minister said that after these reforms, coal production and the entire coal sector will become self-reliant. He said that India has taken a major decision to fully open the coal and mining sector for increased competition, capital, participation and technology. He added that care has been taken to ensure that the new players in the private mining sector do not face the problem of finance. Now the market has been opened for coal, so, any sector can buy coal as per their requirements.
  Ministry Of Micro, Small And Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Launches Funding Program
Last month, Shri Nitin Gadkari, the Minister of Micor, Small and Medium Enterprises, launched the “Distressed Assets Fund–Sub-ordinate Debt for MSMEs”. The program will provide $2,678,886 to support promoters of the operational MSMEs which are financially stressed under current banking rules. The program is expected to provide much needed support to more than 200,000 MSMEs and will help revive economic activity in and through this sector.
CBIC Enables End to End Paperless Exports Under Turant Customs
As part of its efforts to provide paperless and faceless administration, the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) has launched a new process that eliminates the need for exporters to approach customs officials with proof of export for each consignment.
High-Impact News
India, US ''Most Essential'' Countries For Global Peace: Texas Governor
The US and India, as the world's two leading democracies, can provide a balance globally and are the "most essential" countries to ensure peace and prosperity, Texas Governor Greg Abbott has said. "It's almost endless what we can do working together. We are two leading democracies in the world, and we are on opposite sides of the world. We can provide a balance globally. US and India are two of the most essential countries to ensure global peace and global prosperity," Governor Abbot said.
US aerospace major Boeing completes delivery of 37 military helicopters to India
Boeing said it completed delivery of all 22 Apache and 15 Chinook military helicopters to the IAF and is fully committed to meet their operational needs of the Indian armed forces.
U.S. Senate Confirms Indian-American Scientist Sethuraman Panchanathan as Head of National Science Foundation
The U.S. Senate has confirmed eminent Indian-American scientist Dr. Sethuraman Panchanathan as the Director of the National Science Foundation. Known as Panch among his friends and family, he is considered as a transformational leader whose human-centered efforts have led to positive changes on a global scale.
PM CARES Fund Provides Funding for 50,000 Made in India Ventilators 
The PM CARES Fund Trust has provided funds for 50,000 ‘Made-in-India’ ventilators to government run COVID hospitals in all States. Out of the 50000 ventilators, 30000 ventilators are being manufactured by M/s Bharat Electronics Limited. The remaining 20000 ventilators are being manufactured by AgVa Healthcare (10000), AMTZ Basic (5650), AMTZ High End (4000) and Allied Medical (350).
NITI Aayog Launches New Campaign, ‘Navigating the New Normal’ 
Focusing on Covid-safe behaviour, especially wearing masks, during the 'Unlock' phase of the Covid-19 pandemic, the campaign has been developed under the guidance of Empowered Group 6, chaired by NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant. The campaign is comprised of two parts. First, a web portal containing resources for COVID-safe behaviour. The second is a media campaign focused on wearing masks. The campaign was launched in partnership with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), Centre for Social and Behavioural Change (CSBC), Ashoka University, and the Ministries of Health and WCD.
Dr. Harsh Vardhan Launches Indian Red Cross Society’s ‘eBloodServices’ Mobile App
Dr. Harsh Vardhan said, “In keeping with the people-centered vision of the Hon. Prime Minister, Digital India has now become an integral part of every person’s daily life. This Blood Donation App is a prime example of how the Digital India Scheme is serving the need for accessing blood services”. At a time when the country is facing such a pandemic, the Mobile App will provide succor to all those who direly require blood, he stated.
Facebook’s $5.7 Billion Jio Stake Approved by India Regulator
India’s antitrust regulator approved Facebook Inc.’s purchase of a 9.99% stake in the digital services unit controlled by billionaire Mukesh Ambani, giving the social media giant another foothold in one of the world’s fastest-growing online markets.
India Gives Hetero Labs and Cipla Approval to Make Gilead's COVID-19 Drug
India’s drug regulator has given Hetero Labs and Cipla Ltd the green light to manufacture and market their generic version of Gilead Sciences Inc’s experimental COVID-19 treatment remdesivir, the Indian pharmaceutical companies said on Sunday (21 June 2020).
H-1B Workers Are Helping to Save Jobs During the COVID-19 Recession - CATO Institute
"We’d clearly be in a worse economic position without the contributions of skilled immigrants. If more skilled workers were able to have immigrated in the previous decades, whether on a larger H-1B visa program or through expanded numbers of employment‐​based green cards, then IT services would have been even cheaper and more firms would have been able to efficiently move to remote work during the pandemic – undoubtedly saving many jobs in the process. Rather than seeking to curb the number of H-1B visas and accepting absurdly long wait‐​time for employment‐​based green cards, Congress and the administration should seek to increase the number of these immigrants who can come here and making it possible for them to quickly earn green cards."
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