Welcome to the latest bulletin of key policy decisions and high-impact news from India, presented by the Embassy of India, in Washington D.C.
Key Policy Decisions
Defense Ministry OKs $1.6 billion in new projects
More than a dozen new defense spending proposals worth $1.6 billion were approved this week by a Defense Ministry panel. The projects, many of which involve modernizing India's military airfields and upgrading ordnance depots, are designed to improve the country's defense capabilities.
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India, U.S. intensify fight against tax evasion  

India and the United States are enhancing cooperation for automatic exchange of information on tax evasion and detection of financial crimes, shoring up efforts to crack down on black-money cases involving the financial systems of the two countries. The pact will speed up each government's access to information required to detect and prosecute tax criminals.

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Govt. clears $2.6 billion for highways, port


The government has approved seven infrastructure projects worth $2.6 billion that will significantly upgrade key parts of India's infrastructure and improve the country's internal and external trade capabilities. Highways in Rajasthan, Delhi, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh will be widened and the Jawaharlal Nehru Port in Maharashtra will get another liquid bulk terminal.

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New corporate social responsibility rules for business   

The Government this week approved new corporate social responsibility (CSR) rules for Indian businesses designed to increase corporate contributions to a wide range of charitable projects in health, the arts, veterans affairs and rural development. In a move meant to improve corporate citizenship, companies larger than the government-mandated thresholds must contribute 2 percent of their three-year average profit to CSR projects. 
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High-Impact News

Ambassador: Switch to problem-solving mode

Indian Ambassador S. Jaishankar has advised officials in India and the U.S. to stop arguing and switch to a "problem-solving mode." In a speech last week at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Jaishankar said, "The United States can be an indispensable partner on every score." However, he added, positive results will come only as the result of a "relationship that is assiduously tended by constant gardeners."Read More 

NASA, Indian space agency team up

NASA said this week that it will collaborate with the Indian Space Research Organisation to launch a satellite that will monitor water-use and drought-related conditions. The launch will be the first of several over the next seven years, as the agency partnership gathers data on climate and surface conditions.


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Foreign investment doubles in Indian pharma

Foreign direct investment in the Indian pharmaceutical sector grew by more than double to $1.25 billion from April to November of 2013, compared to $581 million during the same period of 2012. Mylan Laboratories' $829 million bid to buy Indian generic producer Agila Specialties led the way, emphasizing the strength of Indian pharma. 

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WhatsApp, eBay high on India


The Bollywood-loving founder of WhatsApp, one of the world's fastest-growing communications apps, says he wants all Indian smartphone owners to use his app. Meanwhile, online retail giant eBay showed its optimism about the booming Indian e-commerce market, announcing a $134 million investment in Snapdeal, one of the country's biggest online marketplaces.  


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on WhatsAppon eBay

Ford India sales surge 69%

Ford India continued its 2014 momentum in February, selling 12,253 India-built vehicles in the domestic and export markets, up 69% from the same period last year. Ford debuted the Chennai-built EcoSport, destined for export to Europe, and opened new sales and service centers around the country.Read More 

Ericsson: India is key growth market

Swedish telecom company Ericsson views India as a big growth market given the surge in smartphones and impending 4G launches using LTE technology. "This is the place where we have among the most employees in the world. So, we are extremely committed to India and believe that we want to be part of that business," Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg said. Indians currently own about 45 million smartphones, a number that is expected to triple in three years, according to IDC research.


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