Welcome to the February 19, 2015 bulletin of key policy decisions and high-impact news from India, presented by the Embassy of India, in Washington D.C.
High-Impact News

Modi Inaugurates GE Manufacturing Facility in Pune      


Inaugurating GE's multi-modal manufacturing facility in Pune, Prime Minister Modi said there are immense possibilities for manufacturing in India, as investors are drawn to the country's young and skilled workforce.



Senior U.S. Officials at Aero India Show   


Top American officials are participating in the Aero India air show being held in Bengaluru, India from February 18-22. The U.S. delegation is headed by U.S. Ambassador Richard Verma and includes several senior officials and senior military leadership from the U.S. Pacific Command.  

Modi and Michael Bloomberg Partner on Smart Cities Initiative                      

Prime Minister Modi and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced a partnership between Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Government's Ministry of Urban Development to advance the Smart Cities initiative. The effort is meant to promote economic growth, improve governance and deliver more effective public services to India's urban residents.



Survey: Patent Applications Rise Ten-Fold

Frontline IT companies have seen a ten-fold increase in the number of patent applications made over the past five years, an indication of the growing push toward automation and higher margin offerings. Data from industry body Nasscom show that Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys, Wipro and others filed for about 1,500 patents in fiscal year 2014 compared to only 150 in 2009.

Key Policy Decisions

India, U.S. Boost Trade Ties, Work Toward Tax Compliance Pact

Committing to boost trade ties, India and the U.S. agreed to enhance cooperation, remove obstacles to investment flows and work toward early adoption of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act at the 5th Indo-U.S. Economic and Financial Partnership dialogue. U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Mr. Jacob J. Lew headed the U.S. delegation. Indian delegation was headed by Finance Minister Mr. Arun Jaitley. "We affirmed our shared commitment to fostering an enabling tax environment and expressed our satisfaction at the progress made in resolving tax disputes," read a joint statement.


Reserve Bank OKs Multilateral Bonds for Interbank Borrowing    


The Reserve Bank of India has allowed bonds issued by multilateral financial institutions such as the World Bank Group, the Asian Development Bank and the African Development Bank in India to be eligible securities for interbank borrowing. The move will further develop the corporate bonds market, the Bank said


Sports Minister Urges Use of CSR Funds for Sports Promotion                     

Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal urged businesses to spend a portion of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funds for promotion of sports, including those for the disabled. Sonowal urged the industry to provide CSR support in setting up a Specialized Sports Academy for Differently Abled Sportspersons. 

Importers, Exporters Can Now Get Codes Online                     


Exporters and importers can now apply online for their new Importer Exporter Codes instead of physically submitting papers and making payments at various offices. The Directorate General of Foreign Trade has started the process of online filing and processing of applications and issuing of codes in a digital format, a release said.

IT-Comms Minister: Govt. to Create Electronic Innovation Fund                    

The Government plans to create an electronic innovation fund to promote research and development activity, IT and Communications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said. The Cabinet has already given its approval to the creation of the fund, he said. Prasad said the Government's Digital India concept will bridge the gap in technology literacy. 



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