Monthly Archive: February 2019

Pilot Abhinandan’s immediate safe return non negotiable, Govt source

Pilot Abhinandan’s immediate safe return non negotiable, Govt source

New Delhi, The government on Thursday asserted that there will be no negotiation with Pakistan on the issue of ‘safe return’ of Indian Air Force pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan and New Delhi is also not impressed with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s fresh offer to talks. There will be absolutely no deal, no negotiations with Pakistan on safety and immediate return of pilot Abhinandan….If they think otherwise, they will not achieve such goals, a source said here. Reacting to Mr Imran Khan’s fresh offer for talks with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi, the source said — the ball is in Pakistan’s court, It is time for Imran Khan to walk the talk and take immediate,

verifiable and credible actions. On the overall scenario in the ongoing conflict between India and Pakistan, the source said New Delhi has the upper hand and even, the US, the UK and France have moved a proposal in UNSC to ban JeM chief Masood Azhar. The source said India is firm about not falling into Pakistani trap of 1999 when the national mood in India was changed after the hijack of IC814. So far, the government’s efforts to convince the international community about Pakistan’s complicity on terror has been successful and today, the fact of the matter is even – the neighbour’s friend who is also India’s friend – is no longer with them. The government is also not inclined to accept the offer of mediation by any third party, including the US, the source said.


Ministry of Tribal Affairs launches schemes of Minimum Support Price for Minor Forest produces to cover 50 items

Ministry of Tribal Affairs launches schemes of Minimum Support Price for Minor Forest produces to cover 50 items

Van Dhan, Trifood and Friends of Tribes schemes also launched

Shri Jual Oram, Union Minister of Tribal Affairs launched the ambitious scheme of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Van Dhan, the scheme for Minimum Support Price (MSP) for Minor Forest Produce Scheme (MFP) and Development of Value Chain of MFPs at a National Workshop organized by TRIFED under Ministry of Tribal Affairs here today. Representatives from 30 States participated in the workshop where detailed interaction took place about various aspects of these schemes. Collector, Jagdalpur made a presentation about roll out of the scheme in Bastar.

Shri Jual Oram launched the following schemes on the occasion: –

  1. MSP for MFPs
  2. Release of guidelines (a) Scheme of MSP for MFPs (b) Van Dhan Vikas Karyakram
  3. TRIFOOD project of TRIFED and Ministry of Food Processing Industries
  4. TRIFEDs CSR initiatives –“Friends of TRIBES”/ Exchange of MOUs
  5. Release of Special edition of TRIBES HAAT
  6. DBT Scholarship portal of Ministry of Tribal Affairs
  7. Van Dhan TVC


  1. on the occasion, the Shri Jual Oram said that almost 5.5 crores tribals residing in the dense forest areas of the Country will benefit from the Schemes of Minimum Support Price and Value Addition. The Scheme will offer remunerative Minimum Support Price for 50 commercially viable items to the Tribals. MFPs now covered the entire range of forest produces. He expressed his happiness that the MSP had been raised by 30% to 40%. This would go a long way in adding to the income of the Tribals. He was also happy to note that the procurement mechanisms at the Haat Bazars where tibals bring their commodities had now also been worked. 307 District Collectors have been given responsibility through the State Agencies to provide Minimum Support Price to the tribal gatherers. It is proposed to set up almost 6000 Van Dan Vikas Kendras comprising 300 tribal gatherers each in the Country providing employment to almost 45 Lakh tribals.


Launching the “Van Dhan Scheme”, Shri Oram said that this programme promotes enterprise and marketing skills in tribals. This will be a game changer in the very near future, if implemented diligently. The tribals presently get only 20 – 30% of the value chain of the Minor Forest Produces. This situation will change after Van Dhan scheme which aims to take this share to 70 to 80%. The Prime Minister of India launched the Van Dhan Scheme in Bijapur District of Chhattisgarh on 14th April, 2018.


Launching the TRIFOOD Scheme, a joint initiative of Ministry of Food Processing Industry, Ministry of Tribal Affairs and TRIFED, Shri Oram stated that under this scheme a tertiary value addition center will be set up in Jagdalpur in Chhattisgarh and Raigad in Maharashtra at a cost of approximately Rs.11.00 crores. A highlight of this is the production of “Heritage Mahua” drink. The traditional Mahua tribal drink will be mainstreamed and marketed all over the Country under this project. He praised the efforts of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs and TRIFED to take all these programmes to the present level and hoped that TRIFED will leave no stone unturned to reach the tribals residing in forest areas.

Shri Oram also launched the “Friends of Tribes” initiative of the Ministry. TRIFED has tied up CSR funds to promote tribal livelihoods. He was happy to note that socially oriented Public Sector Organisations like BPCL, IOCL and SPMCL have sanctioned approximately Rs. 10.00 crors for promoting Van Dhan operations in Barwani, Rajnandgaon, Dewas and Hoshangabad Districts of Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh. He congratulated the Chairman and CMDs of these organisations and invited other PSUs to come forward with open arms to serve tribals of the Country.

Shri Nand Kumar Sai, Chairman, NCST congratulated the officers of the Ministry and TRIFED for the work done to invigorate the MSP operations, which was pending for a long time. He also stated that the tribal students would be benefitted from the DBT scholarship scheme initiated by the Ministry.

Shri Sudarshan Bhagat, Minister of State for Tribal Affairs said that value addition will create new dimensions to the activities of tribals who will be encouraged to take up the entrepreneurial activities in areas for which they have very developed skills.

The Chairman, TRIFED, Shri R.C. Meena said that TRIFED will leave no stone unturned to take the programme to logical conclusion of all tribal districts of the Country.

Shri Deepak Khandekar, Secretary, welcomed the Guests and assured that all the dignitaries of the Ministries full guidance and support in taking the programmes further. Shri Pravir Krishna, MD, TRIFED thanked the delegates and participants and hoped that these programmes will benefit forest dwellers across the Country to provide higher levels of income and betters opportunities for their growth.



Need to bridge urban rural divide and rural India needs attention for development: Vice President

Need to bridge urban rural divide and rural India needs attention for development: Vice President

Young generation should come forward with new ideas and innovations for India’s growth story;

Use science and technology and innovations to change the lives of farmers;

Addresses 3rd edition of Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Summit & gives way Kalam Innovation in Governance Awards

The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has stressed up on the need to bridge the urban rural divide to ensure uniform development of the country and rural India needs attention for development. He was addressing the third edition of Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Summit on Innovation and Governance and gave away Kalam Innovation in Governance Awards 2019, here today.

Shri Naidu said that giving equal access to resources, healthcare and education to everyone regardless of their social status would help the nation in bridging the divide. He urged upon the young generation to research and come up with new ideas and innovations and contribute to India’s growth story.

The Vice President opined that every citizen must play a key role in achieving self-reliance for a globally competitive nation. Together, with sustainable efforts, we can realize this dream of New India, he added.

Calling governance as key, performance as the only touchstone for real progress, Shri Naidu said that ideas have to be translated into tangible realities.

Opining that Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam’s name conjures up the visions of India that was firmly on a development trajectory, harness its intellectual, uses its cultural and spiritual capital to regain its rightful place in the comity of nations.

The Vice President called up on the scientific community, researchers and innovators to use science and technology and innovations to change the lives of farmers. He wanted a special attention towards farming as most of the village economy relies on agriculture. The critical challenge is to deploy the best possible ideas in the innovation-led development of the rural areas of the nation – where 60 per cent of its population lives, he added.

On this occasion, the Vice President also started 75 new Kalam Digital Libraries that are aimed at serving as centers for no-cost digital based learning in schools and children observatories across India.

The former Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, Shri Shivraj Singh Chouhan, the DGDIA & DCIDS, Intelligence, Ministry of Defence, Lt. Gen. Amarjeet Singh Bedi, the Minister for Art & Culture, Tribal Affairs and Civil Supplies, Goa, Shri Govind Gaude, the Chief Secretary of Gujarat, Dr. Jagdip Narayan Singh and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.


Following is the text of Vice President’s address:

” Distinguished awardees assembled here from all over India, delegates and guests present here. My greetings to all those who are joining in the Kalam Libraries spread across several/ 50 locations in India.

It gives me great pleasure to join you today at the third edition of Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Summit on Innovation and Governance which has become a valued tradition since 2016.

I am truly delighted to be present at this summit which is dedicated to a great personality like the Bharat Ratna Dr. Kalam, the missile man of India, who was known for his unique and innovative leadership in various government positions, including as the 11th President of India from 2002-07. He truly was a ‘People’s President’, whose only aim was to improve the living conditions of every citizen and strive towards propelling India into a developed country.

I am also delighted to know that this summit is being organized in collaboration with the Deendayal Research Institution, which was started by Bharat Ratna Nanaji Deshmukh ji – who was a pillar of rural development and service.

I am happy to note that today we are also starting 30 new Kalam Digital Libraries spread across India and many of these libraries are connecting with us via internet today. I am told that these Kalam Libraries will be serving as centers for no-cost digital based learning in schools and children observatories across India. I am happy to note this mission of Dr. Kalam is being spread via technology.

I am told that from its first edition in October 2016, this conclave has consistently been exploring how cutting-edge technology, 21st century management and out-of-box thinking, can transform the role and impact the governance in India and across the world.

Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam’s name conjures up visions of the India we all dream of. An India that is firmly on a development trajectory, an India that will harness its intellectual, cultural and spiritual capital to regain its rightful place in the comity of nations , an India which will reap rich demographic dividends by providing knowledge and skills to its youth, an India that is inclusive, dynamic, forward looking with the courage to bridge numerous divides, especially the urban-rural divide.

He stood for the vision that for India to become a superpower “Governance should be transparent, responsive and corruption free.” In his own life, he lived up to these words through his professional actions and conduct. Therefore, the summit is rightfully dedicated to his vision and missions.

I am aware that all those who gathered here including policy makers, civil service officers, NGOs, leaders from the Armed Forces, members of the media and academia, are all dedicated to improving governance.

I believe like Dr. Kalam that governance is key, performance is the only touchstone for real progress. Ideas have to be translated into tangible realities.

I am glad to see that this year, the awardees have done exceptional work in improving governance and delivering value to the citizens from across 10 Indian states. There is someone who started a Mahila E-Rickshaw project, someone who adopted a 360 approach to advance safety and security of the citizens, someone who implemented technology-based low-cost solutions for public healthcare, someone who has worked to promote financial literacy, and someone who has contributed to the social and economic uplift of leprosy affected people in India.

I am happy to note that all have implemented innovations in various areas of education, healthcare, women and child welfare, finance, rural development, and information technology.

Dear sisters and brothers,

We have numerous challenges before us. The most glaring is the urban-rural divide. I am, however aware that the government has not neglected the welfare of the rural population of the country. There is a clear perception that bulk of India’s challenge and opportunity lies in the rural hinterlands of the nation. While the cities and urban centers have seen a growth led by services and manufacturing sectors, the village economy relies mostly on agriculture.

The critical challenge is to deploy the best possible ideas in the innovation-led development of the rural areas of the nation – where 60 per cent of its population lives.

From Ujjwala Yojna to Fasal Bima Yojna and now with the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi, rural development has always been the priority of the government. Today, nearly every single village is connected to electricity. Growth would not have real meaning unless it touches the lives of people living in rural areas. Growth has to be inclusive and all amenities available in urban areas need to be provided in the rural areas as advocated by the former President, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam under the PURA concept.

I am happy to note that the ideas of Dr. Kalam are seeing the light of the day under such missions.

Dear sisters and brothers,

India’s economy has consistently recorded a growth rate of over seven per cent in the last few years and India is the fastest growing major economy. We are moving in the right trajectory and India is set to become the third largest economy in the world in the next 10-15 years. To achieve that goal, we need to ensure that India performs exceptionally well on all fronts from agriculture to manufacturing and infrastructure.

Dr. Kalam propounded the idea of a developed India by leveraging innovative models of governance, so that India can stand up to the world. We are now just one year away from the India 2020 that he had envisioned and we can still fulfil the dream of Dr. Kalam if the entire nation steps forward to achieve the noble endeavour. Innovation and dedicated implementation hold the key to our future growth.

I urge each one of you present here, and especially the young generation of the country, to research and come up with new ideas and innovations and contribute to the Indian growth story.

We have to develop a nation where rural-urban difference is reduced to a thin line, where everyone has equal access to resources, where best of healthcare and education is available to everyone regardless of their social status, where poverty is eradicated and crime rates are reduced. Every citizen has a unique role in achieving this form of self-reliance for a globally competitive nation. Together, with sustainable efforts, we can realize this dream of New India.

As the Vedic sages have said, “ with ennobling thoughts coming from all sides, let us work together with firm determination to create a brighter world”




Textiles Minister launches Short Term Courses at NIFT Panchkula

Textiles Minister launches Short Term Courses at NIFT Panchkula

Smriti Zubin Irani addressing the academic staff at Panchkula campus through video link


Union Minister of Textiles, Smriti Zubin Irani, launchedfive short term courses at NIFT Panchkula, Haryana,through video link from New Delhi today.

The permanent campus building is under construction and is expected to be completed by June, 2020. Till the completion of the permanent campus, the Institute will be run from temporary campusin Polytechnic-cum-Multi Skill Training Centre in Sector 26 Panchkula. The campus is being set up with the support of Department of Technical Education, Government of Haryana.

Speaking on the occasion Smriti Zubin Irani urged the NIFT administration to conceive special projects to study the impact of Suraj Kund craft mela and made up industry in Haryana. She expressed hope that the students joining the new campus will not only be able to learn technology but also understand the process of entrepreneurship. The Textile Minister thanked the Haryana Government for providing land and infrastructure support. The Minister also released the brochure of the courses offered in the NIFT Panchkula.


The proposed one-year Certificate Programmes are:

  1. Fashion Clothing & Technology
  2. Design Development for Indian Ethnic Wear
  3. Fashion & Media Communication
  4. Textile for Interiors & Fashion
  5. Fashion Knitwear Production and Technology


  1. Fashion Clothing & Technology

The programme is tailor made for the professionals from the areas of fashion, apparel design, construction and technology. The curriculum is designed with a view to also help aspirants who would like to join the fashion industry.


  1. Design Development for Indian Ethnic Wear

The programme focuses on dressmaking, value addition, pattern making and surface techniques for Indian ethnic wear. It aims to develop entrepreneurial skills for fashion, bridal market and designer market.


  1. Fashion & Media Communication

The course aims at providing knowledge of fashion industry, fashion editing, styling, fashion ethics and computer aided designing and animation techniques and will benefit the existing and upcoming business in the vicinity.


  1. Textile for Interiors & Fashion

The programme aims to train professionals and young enthusiasts to pursue careers in interiors and the apparel industry.


  1. Fashion Knitwear Production and Technology

The programme aims to impart intensive training to prepare professionals for the knitwear garment industry, especially in the area of knitwear fashion coordination, merchandising and production.


The Continuing Education Programme will enroll students of any age group. A pre-requisite of 10+2 years of schooling is mandatory. The students will be selected based on their performance in the entrance examination and interview conducted by NIFT. The total numbers of students proposed in each programme will be 30.


Students will be exposed to experiential learning through laboratory and projects. Industry visits willbe arranged to nearby industries which will make the students more prepared to take up jobs locally.



Sale of Electoral Bonds at Authorised Branches of State Bank of India (SBI)

Sale of Electoral Bonds at Authorised Branches of State Bank of India (SBI)

Government of India has notified the Electoral Bond Scheme 2018 vide Gazette Notification No. 20 dated 02ndJanuary 2018. As per provisions of the Scheme, Electoral Bonds may be purchased by a person (as defined in item No. 2 (d) of Gazette Notification), who is a citizen of India or incorporated or established in India. A person being an individual can buy Electoral Bonds, either singly or jointly with other individuals. Only the Political Parties registered under Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 (43 of 1951) and which secured not less than one per cent of the votes polled in the last General Election to the House of the People or the Legislative Assembly of the State, shall be eligible to receive the Electoral Bonds. The Electoral Bonds shall be encashed by an eligible Political Party only through a Bank account with the Authorized Bank.

State Bank of India (SBI) has been authorized to issue and encash Electoral Bonds through its 29 Authorized Branches (as per list enclosed) in the months of March, April and May 2019 as per below mentioned schedule.


i)          01.03.2019 to 15.03.2019

ii)         01.04.2019 to 20.04.2019

iii)        06.05.2019 to 15.05.2019


The Electoral Bonds shall be valid for fifteen calendar days from the date of issue and no payment shall be made to any payee Political Party if the Electoral Bond is deposited after expiry of the validity period. The Electoral Bond deposited by an eligible Political Party in its account shall be credited on the same day.

Electoral Bearer Bond Scheme – 2018

Authorized Branch of State Bank of India


Sl. No. State Name Of The Branch & Address Branch Code No.
1. Delhi New Delhi Main Branch,

11, Parliament Street, New Delhi – 110001

2. Haryana, Punjab and Chandigarh Chandigarh Main Branch,

SCO 43-48, Banking Square,

Sector-17B, Chandigarh, State: Chandigarh,

Pin : 160017

3. Himachal


Shimla Main Branch

Near Kali Bari Temple, The Mall, Shimla

Himachal Pradesh, District : Shimla

State: Himachal Pradesh, Pin : 171003

4. Jammu and




Badami Bagh (Srinagar) Branch

Badami Bagh Cantonment, Srinagar, Kashmir

Dist : Badgam, State: Jammu & Kashmir

Pin : 190001

5. Uttarakhand Dehra Dun Main Branch

4, Convent Road, Dehradun

Uttarakhand , State: Uttarakhand Pin : 248001

6. Gujarat, Dadar & Nagar Haveli

and Daman & Diu

Gandhinagar Branch, I Floor,

Zonal Office, Sector 10 B Gandhinagar

Distt: Gandhinagar, Gujarat. Pin: 382010.

7. Madhya


Bhopal Main Branch,

T.T.Nagar,Bhopal-462003, Bhopal,

Madhya Pradesh, District : Bhopal,

State: Madhya Pradesh. Pin : 462003

8. Chhattisgarh Raipur Main Branch

P.B.N0.29/61, Jaistambh Chowk, Raipur,

District : Raipur, State : Chhatisgarh, Pin: 492001

9. Rajasthan Jaipur Main Branch, P.B.No.72,

Sanganeri Gate, Jaipur, Rajasthan

District :Jaipur, State: Rajasthan,  Pin : 302003



Maharashtra Mumbai Main Branch,

Mumbai Samachar Marg

Horniman Circle, Fort, Mumbai,

Maharashtra      Pin : 400001

11. Goa, Lakshadweep Panaji Branch

Opp : Hotel Mandovi, Dayanand,

Dayanand Bandodkar Marg,

Panaji, Goa . District : North Goa, State : Goa,

Pin: 403001

12. Uttar Pradesh Lucknow Main Branch,

Tarawali Kothi, Motimahal Marg,

Hazratganj, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh

District : Lucknow, State: Uttar Pradesh

Pin:  226001

13. Odisha Bhubaneswar Main Branch

P.B.No.14, Bhubaneswar

Bhubaneswar, Orissa. District : Khurda

State: Odisha, Pin : 751001

14. West Bengal and Andaman

& Nicobar

Kolkata Main Branch,

Samriddhi Bhawan

1, Strand Road, Kolkata, West Bengal,

District :Kolkata. State: West Bengal.

Pin : 700001

15. Bihar Patna Main Branch

West Gandhi Maidhan, Patna, Bihar.

Pin: 800001

16. Jharkhand Ranchi Branch

Court Compound, Ranchi

Jharkhand, District : Ranchi,

State: Jharkhand, Pin : 834001

17. Sikkim Gangtok Branch

M G Marg, Gangtok SIKKIM

Dist: East Sikkim, State : Sikkim Pin : 737101

18. Arunachal


ltanagar Branch

TI Marg,VIP Road Bank Tinali, ltanagar,

Arunachal Pradesh

District : Papumpare

State : Arunachal Pradesh Pin : 791111

19. Nagaland Kohima Branch

Near deputy commissioner’s office

Kohima, Nagaland, Pin: 797001

20. Assam Guwahati Branch,

Pan Bazar,

MG Road, Kamrup, Guwahati.  Pin: 781001

21. Manipur lmphal Branch

M G Avenue, lmphal west, Manipur, Pin: 795001

22. Meghalaya Shillong Branch

MG road, Near General PO Shillong,

District: Khasi Hills (E), Meghalaya, Pin: 793001

23. Mizoram Aizawl Branch

Solomns cave

District: Aizawl. Mizoram,  Pin: 796001

24. Tripura Agartala Branch

Hari Ganga Basak Road,

Agartala, District: Tripura (W), Tripura, Pin: 799001

25. Andhra


Visakhapatnam Branch

Rednam Gardens, Jail Road, Junction,

Opp. Pages/Vodaphone Off ,

Visakhapatnam, Visakhapatnam

District: Visakhapatnam, State : Andhra Pradesh

Pin : 530002

26. Telangana Hyderabad Main Branch

Bank Street, Koti, Hyderabad.

District : Hyderabad, State: Telangana Pin: 500095

27. Tamil Nadu and Puducherry Chennai Main Branch

336/166, Thambuchetty  Street, Parrys,

Chennai. State: Tamil Nadu    Pin : 600001

28. Karnataka Bengaluru Main Branch,

Post Bag No.5310,

St. Marks Road, Bangalore, District : Bangalore Urban,

State : Karnataka, Pin : 560001

29. Kerala Thiruvananthapuram Branch

P.B.No.14, M.G.Road,

Thiruvananthapuram, District : Trivandrum,

State: Kerala. Pin : 695001




Dr. Krishnamurthy Subramanian, Chief Economic Advisor to deliver the Key Note Address at the 4thNational Conference on Economics of Competition Law

Dr. Krishnamurthy Subramanian, Chief Economic Advisor to deliver the Key Note Address at the 4thNational Conference on Economics of Competition Law

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) is organizing its 4th National Conference on Economics of Competition Law tomorrow on 1st March 1, 2019 in New Delhi. CCI has been organising the Conference every year since 2016.

Dr. Krishnamurthy Subramanian, Chief Economic Advisor, Government of India will be delivering the Keynote Address of the 4th National Conference on Economics of Competition Law.

The one-day Conference is an endeavour to develop and sustain interest in the Economics of Competition Law and create a critical mass of antitrust economists. The Conference brings together scholars, practitioners, academicians and experts working in the area of economics of competition law and mentors future antitrust economists through this platform. Knowledge sharing and discussions at the conference go beyond case specific sessions and provide the economic milieu for the enforcement of the Act. It provides an ideal platform for understanding the economic perspectives of competition law.

The objectives of the Conference include (a) to stimulate research and debate on contemporary issues in the field of economics of competition law, (b) to develop a better understanding of competition issues relevant to the Indian context and (c) to draw inferences for enforcement of competition law in India among others. 


India-Korea Startup Hub Launched

India-Korea Startup Hub Launched

India Korea Business Symposium was hosted by Invest India and Korean Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI)in Seoul on 21st Feburary, 2019.The Symposiumwas organized to felicitate the Korean business community on their success in India and to present more opportunities for Korean businessinIndia.

Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, addressedthe business gathering on thewayahead to further strengthen bilateral ties between India and the Republic of Korea.Over 400 Korean business leaders, which includedcorporate groups likeCJ Group, Hyundai, Youngone Corporation, Samsung, LG, Lotte Group, SK Group and Hyosung were present on this occasion.

To furtherstrengthen the bilateral ties between India and Republic of Korea, Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, launched the India-Korea Startup Hub and Startup Grand Challenge.The Hub is hosted on theStartup India digital platform, the world’s largest virtual incubator with over 300,000 registered startups and aspiring entrepreneurs. The Hub willenableaccess to resources for market entry and innovation exchangebetween India and the world.

The Startup Grand Challenge, on the India-Korea Startup Hub, will channelize the entrepreneurial capacity between Indian and Korean Startups to work together and build solutions for the challenges facing the world. Initial challenges will be focussing on issues across the themes of Credit Rating, Predictive Analytics, Fraud Detection, Cyber Security, Primary/Secondary/Tertiary Healthcare. The State Bank of India and Mahindra Group of India will be mentoring, providing pilot project opportunities, and financial support of upto USD 50,000 to the winners.

The applications for the Startup Grand Challenge are live on



Suresh Prabhu addresses Diplomats of LAC Region

Suresh Prabhu addresses Diplomats of LAC Region

Suresh Prabhu delivering keynote address at India-LAC Strategic Economic Cooperation in New Delhi

Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu,interacted with diplomats of India-Latin America and Caribbean Strategic (LAC) Economic Cooperation in New Delhi yesterday. In his keynote address Suresh Prabhu stressed on the need for a multi-pronged strategy to enhance our bilateral trade, both in merchandise and services.He said that establishing value chain linkages will help to boost trade relations between LAC-India. Patterns of trade have changed dramatically over the past few decades, and business activities at different stages of value addition are now located in different countries, based on where they are most efficiently produced. Any strategy for enhancing bilateral trade between LAC-India will therefore critically hinge on the scope for value chain integrations in various manufacturing and services segments.

The Minister said that there exists substantial scope for further cooperation in a multitude of sectors, includingagriculture, health, energy and information technology. India, as a fast growing developing economy is experiencing burgeoning food and energy needs, and therefore, deeper ties with partners in the LAC region could prove to be mutually beneficial.

Several countries in the LAC region are agriculture powerhouses with large exportable surpluses. In fact, the region is often referred as another global breadbasket. The Global Harvest Initiative estimates that if the region maintains a Total Factor Productivity growth rate of 2.67 percent per year, food demand within the region can be met and exceeded by 2030, enabling it to vastly increase its contributions to global agricultural markets.

The Commerce Minister said that Indian companies could form joint venture projects for cultivation of lentils, oil-seeds and food grains, which are crucial import items for India, providing win-win opportunities for our regions. Indian companies could also invest in in-situ storage to reduce produce-wastage. India could also share best practices and conduct joint research in sectors such as dairy farming, seeds and pulses.

Suresh Prabhu informed that owing to its competitive advantage in the sector, pharmaceutical products have also emerged as one of India’s main exports to LAC, accounting for nearly 3.3 percent of the region’s imports. Some Indian pharma companies have also set up manufacturing units in the region. Besides supplying to the local markets, these units also export to the US and other countries outside the region. Such mutually beneficial arrangements increase revenues for Indian firms, help develop cost-competitive healthcare services in the LAC region, and also lead to export of low-cost generic drugs from the region to other geographies.

The Commerce Minister said with the strength and capability in the Information Technology sector, Indian IT firms are also establishing business partnerships in LAC countries. The region has a huge pool of multi-lingual, cost-effective professionals which Indian companies are leveraging for a near-shore business model. Under this model, Indian companies use the units in the region for providing services to their North American clients for 12 hours from the same time zone, and the remaining 12 hours from India. Indian companies can work towards leveraging the opportunities arising from the growth in demand for IT products and services within the region.

Commerce Secretary, Dr. Anup Wadhawan, said that LAC is one of the major economic partners for India and trade has witnessed remarkable growth in recent years he said there are tremendous opportunities for development of growth of services sector in the region. The Commerce Secretary also emphasised on reducing the cost of doing business by removing unnecessary obstructions and relying on digital innovations.

The LAC region comprises of 43 countries and the most important economic and trading partners of India are Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Venezuela, Panama and Cuba.

The bilateral trade during 2017-18 was USD 29.33 billion, with exports at USD 8.61 billion and imports at USD 20.72 billion. Bilateral trade between India-LAC was USD 38.48 billion (2014-15), USD 25.22 billion (2015-16), USD 24.52 billion (2016-17). The large variation was due to petroleum crude prices.