Welcome to the January 29, 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

Obama In India: 10 Major Takeaways   


In a landmark visit, US President Barack Obama and PM Narendra Modi agreed on many important deals and committed that the two nations will be partners in economic progress, as they put the civil nuclear deal to work, took defence cooperation up another notch, besides US endorsing India for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council. Obama said the U.S. could be India's "best partner" as he wrapped up a three-day visit by highlighting the shared values of the world's biggest democracies and Modi said that Delhi and Washington also decided to establish hotlines between the PM and President and also between their National Security Advisors. Take a look at the ten major takeaways from Barack Obama's India visit. 


"Shared Efforts; Progress For All" - Joint Statement During Obama's Visit to India               

Prime Minister Modi and President Obama acknowledged and expressed satisfaction at the qualitative reinvigoration of strategic ties and the intensity of substantive interactions since the Prime Minister's visit to Washington in September 2014. They appreciated the focused action and accomplishments by both sides on the decisions taken during the September summit  


Report: Indian Investments in U.S. Showing Strong Traction          

India's foreign direct investments in the U.S. have been consistent, and a bilateral investment treaty could help foster further investment opportunities, a Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industry-Ernst and Young (FICCI-EY) report said. The time is also right for U.S. companies to scale up their engagement in India, leveraging the economic multipliers that exist on both sides.      
IMF Growth Projection Sends Indian Markets to Record Highs
The International Monetary Fund's forecast that the Indian economy will be the fastest-growing major global economy by 2016-17 sent the country's benchmark indices to record levels. Experts believe India has tremendous untapped potential that can be unleashed with the right economic policies.

Global Fast Food Chains Take Spicy-Hot Road to Success              

Indian consumers are gobbling up fries, burgers and wraps from KFC, Dunkin' Donuts and McDonald's that have a high chili quotient. Sales of KFC's Flaming Crunch Chicken, flavored with one of the world's hottest chili peppers -- the Assam-grown ghost pepper or "bhut jolokia" -- have
soared since its December launch. 


Key Policy Decisions

India, U.S. Reach Breakthrough in Civil Nuclear Deal 


India and the U.S. reached a breakthrough on the stalled civil nuclear agreement and vowed to take defense cooperation to a new level. In his opening remarks at the joint media session, Prime Minister Modi said "the civil nuclear agreement was the centrepiece of our transformed relationship, which demonstrated new trust. In the course of the past four months, we have worked with a sense of purpose to move it forward. I am pleased that six years after we signed our bilateral agreement, we are moving towards commercial cooperation, consistent with our law, our international legal obligations, and technical and commercial viability".

Defense Pact Renewed, India, U.S.To Pursue Joint Projects     

India and the U.S. have renewed their 10-year Defense Framework Agreement and agreed in principle to pursue joint development and production projects. The two countries will step up joint military exercises, increase intelligence-sharing and cooperate on maritime security efforts. 



India, U.S. Share Vision for Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean Regions

India and the U.S. have agreed on a Joint Strategic Vision for the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean regions that will support sustainable, inclusive development and increased regional connectivity by collaborating with other partners to address poverty and support broad-based prosperity, among other infrastructure and security initiatives.

Reserve Bank OKs 100% Foreign Investment in Construction Sector             

The Reserve Bank of India has approved 100 percent foreign direct investment (FDI) under the automatic route in the construction development sector. To qualify, new development project must be at least 20,000 square meters in size and the company receiving the investment must bring in at least $5 million in FDI within six months of the start of the project

Enviro Ministry Approves 53 Public Utility Projects                


Fifty-three public utility projects including power, irrigation, railways and roads have been cleared by an Environment Ministry committee. Power projects in Tamil Nadu and Telangana were among those approved.

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