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Greetings from the Embassy of India in Washington DC!
Welcome to the September 22, 2020, edition of our newsletter, bringing you important policy and high-impact news about India.
I hope you find it useful.
High Impact News
Prime Minister Modi's Address at 3rd Annual US-India Strategic Partnership Forum
Ambassador Sandhu: U.S.-India Health-Care Partnership Will be Crucial in the Battle Against the Coronavirus
Over the years, scientific cooperation has become a critical element of India’s expanding strategic ties with the United States. U.S.-India scientific collaborations have expanded in fields ranging from health and energy to earth and ocean sciences, and from space to agriculture. The India-U.S. partnership in medical research has been complemented by the strength of our cooperation in pharmaceuticals. India’s capabilities in R&D and in manufacturing have made its pharmaceutical sector the world’s third-largest by volume. When the coronavirus outbreak began, the network of existing collaborations between our countries sprang into action. Using the platform of the India-U.S. Science and Technology Forum, an initiative led by both governments, calls were put out to support joint research and incubate start-up engagements. The initiative was directed at developing technologies for the containment and management of the novel coronavirus, including diagnostics and therapeutics.
India Holds First World Solar Technology Summit
The First World Solar Technology Summit (WSTS) was organised by International Solar Alliance (ISA) and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) on 08 September 2020 with an aim to bring together key stakeholders - leading academic scientists, technology developers, researchers and innovators to present and discuss the recent highlights of solar technologies, cost-wise; technology-wise, technology transfers, challenges and concerns in the field. The main objective of WSTS was to showcase to member countries the state of the art and next-generation solar technologies worldwide and to give an opportunity to decision-makers and stakeholders to meet, and discuss their own priorities and strategic agenda towards a larger integration.
India, Australia and Japan Work to Ensure Supply Chain Resilience 
On September 1, 2020, India, Australia, and Japan formed a pact to ensure supply-chain resilience. The pact aims to deliver a free, fair, inclusive, non-discriminatory, transparent, predictable, and stable trade and investment environment. The details of the agreement are being finalized and the agreement is expected to come into force by later this year.
Shri Piyush Goyal Makes Clarion Call for Stronger Indo-US Trade Ties

Indian Minister for Commerce and Industry and Railways Shri Piyush Goyal called for increased bilateral trade between India and USA during the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF), held on September 1. Emphasizing the shared values of democracy and transparency, he said the two nations can be resilient and trusted partners in the global value chain. Minister Goyal also signaled that India is ready to sign initial limited trade package.
PM inaugurated 1.75 lakh houses built under PMAY-G in Madhya Pradesh
Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi participated in ‘Grih Pravesham’ and inaugurate 1.75 lakh houses built under Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana – Gramin (PMAY-G) in the state of Madhya Pradesh, on 12th September, via video conferencing. All of these houses have been built/completed during the current challenging COVID-19 pandemic period. In the state of Madhya Pradesh, 17 lakh poor households have also benefited from this scheme till now. These are all households of poor people who either had no house or lived in dilapidated makeshift homes.
DRDO successfully test flight of the Hypersonic Test Demonstration Vehicle
The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi congratulated the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) for successful flight of the Hypersonic Test Demonstration Vehicle. PM tweeted from his handle congratulating DRDO for successful test.
Key Policy Decisions
Parliament passes farms bills for One India, One Agriculture Market
Three farm Bills have been passed in the Lok Sabha (Lower House) and two in Rajya Sabha (Upper House) of the Parliament of India. The Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 will allow the farmer to sell their produce directly anywhere in the country at any prices. It also aims to establish one agriculture market throughout the county where farmers can sell their produce in any part of India. The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 enables farmers to enter into a contract with agribusiness firms, processors, wholesalers, exporters, or large retailers.
India to Bolster Connectivity and Transport for Coal Based Projects 
Targeting 1 billion tonnes of coal production by the year 2023-24, Coal India Ltd. Will invest over INR 1.22 lakh crores on around 500 projects related to coal evacuation, infrastructure, project development, exploration and clean coal technologies. This will also be a step towards making India self-reliant in coal.
New Integrated Cold Chain Projects likely to Benefit 257,904 Farmers
Twenty-seven projects have been approved by the Inter-Ministerial Approval Committee (IMAC) under the Scheme for Integrated Cold Chain and Value addition infrastructure of Pradhan Mantri Kisan SAMPADA Yojana (PMKSY). The projects aim to create a modern, innovative infrastructure and effective cold chain facilities for the food processing sector across the nation.
Comprehensive Civil Services Reforms Ushered In
“Mission Karmayogi” or the National Architecture for Civil Services Capacity Building has been approved by the Union Cabinet to metamorphize the capacity building apparatus in the Government. Emphasis of the Mission will be to create a ‘citizen centric civil service’ and to shift the focus from “Rule based training to Role based training”. Greater thrust has been laid on behavioural change. The Programme will be delivered by setting up an Integrated Government Online Training- iGOT Karmayogi Platform.
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