Archive for ‘India alert’

21/05/2015

Watch Indian Fighter Jet Land on Highway to Taj Mahal – India Real Time – WSJ

The Indian Air Force on Thursday landed a fighter jet on an expressway for the first time to showcase its ability to use national highways as runways in case of conflict.

The Mirage-2000 jet landed on a cordoned-off stretch of the Yamuna Expressway that leads to Agra, the home of the Taj Mahal.

Test landing of a Mirage 2000 fighter jet of the Indian Air force on the Yamuna Expressway near Delhi on Wednesday. India’s Ministry of Defence

The single-engine, single-seater combat plane is produced by Dassault Aviation SA of France. It can reach a top speed of 2,495 kilometers, or 1,550 miles an hour.

The jet took off from an undisclosed air base in central India. Facilities such as a makeshift air traffic control center, safety services, rescue vehicles, bird clearance parties were set up in coordination with local agencies for its landing.

The air force has “plans to activate more such stretches on highways in the future,” the Ministry of Defence said in a statement.

The Mirage-2000 strike aircraft is a critical part of India’s fighter jet fleet. Its flying qualities and maneuverability came into prominence during the bombing of Pakistani positions in the Himalayas during the Kargil war in 1999.

India’s air force fleet however comprises mainly Russian-origin aircraft such as the Sukhoi and MiG planes.

via Watch Indian Fighter Jet Land on Highway to Taj Mahal – India Real Time – WSJ.

20/05/2015

Renault Unveils Its Cheapest New Car in India, the Kwid – India Real Time – WSJ

Renault S.A. unveiled on Wednesday an affordable small car in India as it seeks to expand its foothold in this growing automobile market.

Named Kwid, the car would have a 0.8 liter gasoline engine and go on sale during the festival season that starts around September, Carlos Ghosn, Renault’s chief executive, said after its unveiling. It would be priced between 300,000 rupees ($4,710) and 400,000 rupees ($6,280).

“The Kwid will be a big contributor to Renault’s growth in India followed by emerging markets and other parts of the world,” Mr. Ghosn said. The company is aiming to increase its market share in India to 5% from the current 1.5%, he added, without elaborating by when it hopes to do so.

via Renault Unveils Its Cheapest New Car in India, the Kwid – India Real Time – WSJ.

19/05/2015

Tata Motors’ New Nano Automatic Costs 269,000 Rupees – India Real Time – WSJ

Tata Motors Ltd. launched the first automatic transmission model of its Nano on Tuesday along with new features aimed at turning around falling sales of the micro vehicle, which made its name with a minuscule price.

The new version costs 269,000 rupees ($4,236) and 289,000 rupees at dealerships in New Delhi for the two variants on offer, the company said.

Tata Motors has revamped some of the exteriors and interiors of the Nano with features such as a Bluetooth-connected music system, fog lamps and a trunk,  which, for the first time on a Nano, can be opened.

The Mumbai-based auto maker has included these additions on three other new models in the Nano range. Prices start at 199,000 rupees for the base model with manual transmission.

Only around 1% of the cars sold in India have automatic transmissions, but car makers increasingly are putting them in cheaper models, betting that more Indians want to buy cars that are easier to drive.

Tata Motors—owner of Jaguar Land Rover Automotive PLC—marketed the Nano as the world’s cheapest car when it was introduced in 2009. But sales have failed to meet expectations, in part because the pitch back fired: Indian consumers were reluctant to be associated with a car considered cheap. Some incidents of earlier versions of the Nano catching fire also drew skepticism from some buyers.

Sales of the Nano fell 20% in the fiscal year ended March 31 to 16,901 vehicles, according to industry data.

All models of the Nano are powered with a 624-cubic-centimeter two-cylinder gasoline engine delivering 38 horsepower.

via Tata Motors’ New Nano Automatic Costs 269,000 Rupees – India Real Time – WSJ.

18/05/2015

Narendra Modi arrives in South Korea on final leg of tri-nation tour – The Hindu

Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Seoul on Monday on the last leg of his three-nation visit during which he will hold talks with the South Korean leadership aiming to give a fillip to economic and trade cooperation.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Seoul National Cemetery. Photo: PIB

A slew of agreements are expected to be signed during the visit including one on Double Taxation Avoidance Convention, cooperation in shipping and logistics, audiovisual co-production, transport, highways and electric power development in new energy industries.

The Prime Minister, who flew in from Mongolia after his three-day visit to China, will hold talks on the entire gamut of bilateral, regional and global issues with President Park Geun-hye and explore ways to upgrade cooperation in diversified areas.

He will have a hectic schedule that will start with a wreath—laying ceremony at the Seoul National Cemetery.

Mr. Modi will address a community reception where about 1,500 members of the Indian community are expected to attend before getting into talks with the Korean President.

Mr. Modi, who is keen to woo Korean investments in India, will address India—Republic of Korea CEOs Forum, which would also be attended by the Korean President.

The Prime Minister will follow this up with meetings with some of the heads of Korean companies that are willing to invest in India or have already invested in India.

He will also visit the Hyundai Heavy Industries shipyard in the backdrop of shipbuilding emerging as an important area of cooperation between the two countries.

via Narendra Modi arrives in South Korea on final leg of tri-nation tour – The Hindu.

18/05/2015

How the Family Got in the Way of an Outright Ban on Child Labor in India – India Real Time – WSJ

The government approved a set of amendments to India’s child labor law last week to allow children under 14 years of age to work in non-hazardous family enterprises, some entertainment industries and sport so long as they work after school or during vacations.

Though it drew the line at allowing children to work in the circus, the cabinet decision also drew a lot of criticism from child rights activists because it rowed back on a plan to outlaw all child labor for those below age 14.

The Bharatiya Janata Party–led cabinet said that a total ban–as proposed in the Child Labor Amendment Bill 2012 — had to be balanced against the need to maintain the country’s social fabric and bearing in mind the socio-economic conditions.

“In a large number of families, children help their parents in their occupations like agriculture, artisanship etc. and while helping the parents, children also learn the basics of occupations,” the government said.

Some of the amendments were welcomed by child rights campaigners. For instance, under the changes, anyone aged 14 to 18 would be protected by law from hazardous occupations and punishments for employing children illegally would be strengthened.

A fund to help support children rescued from illegal child labor also fell into the proposed amendments.

via How the Family Got in the Way of an Outright Ban on Child Labor in India – India Real Time – WSJ.

18/05/2015

India beats own target to contain fiscal and revenue deficits | Reuters

The government said on Sunday it managed to better its target for containing the fiscal and revenue deficits in the last financial year.

A money lender counts rupee currency notes at his shop in Ahmedabad, May 6, 2015. REUTERS/Amit Dave/Files

The fiscal target was 4 percent of gross domestic product for the year ending March 31, compared with a goal of 4.1 percent, the government said in a statement. The revenue target was 2.8 percent, compared with the aim of 2.9 percent.

Over the past year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken a slew of measures to stabilize the economy and attract investment. But while inflation has cooled, in large measure due to the dramatic fall in global oil prices, recovery in India’s domestic demand-driven economy remains sluggish.

via India beats own target to contain fiscal and revenue deficits | Reuters.

17/05/2015

India to open $1 billion credit line to finance infrastructure in Mongolia | Reuters

India will open a $1 billion credit line to bolster Mongolia‘s “economic capacity and infrastructure”, the Mongolian and Indian prime ministers announced on Sunday.

Photo

Mongolia is seeking investment in infrastructure for the transport of its minerals as well as in generating energy. Money has been tight for the Mongolian government since the coal market in China weakened and growth has slowed.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he hoped his visit would bring closer economic relations that could lead to cooperation in Mongolia’s minerals sector. India has no investments in Mongolia’s mines, although Indian companies have expressed interest in its coal.

Modi said economic relations between the two countries had been modest though that would change as India grew.

“As the Indian economy adds strength to our region and the world, it will also benefit Mongolia,” he said.

Modi began a three-nation Asian tour on Thursday with a focus on economic ties.

Before Ulan Bator, Modi visited the Chinese cities of Shanghai and Beijing. He is next scheduled to go to South Korea.

Mongolian Prime Minister Chimed Saikhanbileg said India would be opening a $1 billion credit line that could be used for expanding the landlocked nation’s railway system.

Mongolia is building a rail link from its coal mines in the Gobi desert to overcome bottlenecks in deliveries to China, but it is seeking funding to finish the job.

Saikhanbileg also mentioned establishing a “joint investment fund” but he did not elaborate.

Indian and Mongolian officials signed 14 agreements in areas such as renewable energy, cyber security and dairy production.

Modi’s visit to Ulan Bator was the first by an Indian prime minister although India was the first country to open diplomatic relations with the north Asian country outside of the Soviet bloc, in 1955.

Modi said India and Mongolia shared friendly connections, recalling how millennia ago, Indians helped bring Buddhism.

“We have a strong convergence of views,” Modi said, adding: “We are starting a new era in our partnership.”

via India to open $1 billion credit line to finance infrastructure in Mongolia | Reuters.

17/05/2015

China, India sign more than $22 billion in deals: Indian embassy | Reuters

China and India signed 26 business deals worth more than $22 billion in areas including renewable energy, ports, financing and industrial parks, an Indian embassy official said on Saturday.

Namgya C. Khampa, of the Indian Embassy in Beijing, made the remarks at the end of a three-day visit by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during which he sought to boost economic ties and quell anxiety over a border dispute between the neighbors.

“The agreements have a bilateral commercial engagement in sectors like renewable energy, industrial parks, power, steel, logistics finance and media and entertainment,” Khampa said.

At the same event, Modi encouraged Chinese companies to embrace opportunities in India in manufacturing, processing and infrastructure, announcing “now India is ready for business” with an improved regulatory environment.

“You are the ‘factory of the world’ whereas we are the ‘back office of the world’,” Modi said.

via China, India sign more than $22 billion in deals: Indian embassy | Reuters.

14/05/2015

5 Gaps That Define the India-China Relationship, in Charts and Maps – WSJ

1 Trade Gap

To better understand why there is a gaping trade deficit between India and China, take a look at the list of things each country exports to the other.

Some of China’s biggest exports to India are telecommunications equipment, computer hardware, industrial machinery and other manufactured goods. India sends back mostly raw materials such as cotton yarn, copper, petroleum products and iron ore.

As India has grown its consumers and corporations have been importing an increasing amount of China’s affordable products but India’s exports to China have not kept pace.

During his visit to China, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be seeking better access to Chinese markets to correct the widening trade imbalance.

“The visit is going to be crucial because our trade deficit with China is very huge compared to other countries,” says N.R. Bhanumurthy, an economist at think-tank National Institute of Public Finance and Policy.

While China has a cost advantage in most products, analysts say India is very competitive in the pharmaceutical, textile and some services sectors. That is where it needs more access if it wants to start to rectify the skewed trade balance.

2 The 13-Year Gap

Even though India is now growing faster than China (see number 4)  the world’s largest democracy still has a way to go to catch up with the size of the economy in the world’s most populous nation.

China, though, got a 13-year head start on India in opening its economy and giving companies greater freedom to invest and produce. In exports, capital spending and foreign investment, India today is remarkably similar to China circa 2001.

That should both console and concern India as it gets back on its feet after three years of weak growth and high inflation. Console, since it suggests the country’s economy could remain on a China-like trajectory for years to come. But concern, because India’s delay could mean that the country has missed out on some big advantages that catalyzed China’s boom.

3 The Border Perception Gap

Friction along the two nations’ 2,200-mile-long border, much of which is undefined and contested, has mounted in recent years, India says. And it poses a serious hurdle to improving relations between Delhi and Beijing.

Part of the problem, Indian officials say, is that India and China have “differing perceptions” of their de facto border, known as the Line of Actual Control. Both sides patrol up to their respective perceptions of the border, leading to frequent claims of transgressions.

Without a clearly demarcated border, “it is quite natural for some incidents to happen,” Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Col.Geng Yansheng said in September during a border confrontation between the two countries.

4 The GDP Growth Rate Gap

Everyone from the World Bank to Goldman Sachs had predicted it wouldn’t happen for another two years but recent recalculations indicate that India has already dethroned China as the world’s fastest-growing big economy.

5 The FDI Gap

While Chinese companies have been great at peddling their products in India, they have been surprisingly reluctant to invest here. China has invested less in India than even Poland, Malaysia or Canada have.

via 5 Gaps That Define the India-China Relationship, in Charts and Maps – WSJ.

14/05/2015

India’s Parliament Just Had the Most Productive Session in Years – Here’s How It Did It – India Real Time – WSJ

India’s Parliament is not known for its productivity. Disruptions, adjournments and delays to proceedings are often a feature of parliamentary business in the world’s largest democracy.

But the recently-concluded budget session was the most productive in recent years, according to PRS Legislative Research, an organization that tracks the affairs of the Indian Parliament.

During the four-month-long sitting, productivity in India’s lower house –the number of actual working hours as a percentage of the total scheduled hours for parliamentary business – was 123%.

That’s the most productive the lower house, known as the Lok Sabha, has been in 15 years. In fact, the lower house decided to extend the session by three days.

The upper house was slightly behind, with a productivity measurement of 101%.

“A lot of financial business got done, a lot of legislative business got done and a lot of issues of national importance were discussed,” said Chakshu Roy, head of outreach at PRS Legislative Research.

“Both the houses met for a longer period of time and that’s the reason the productivity of the Parliament has gone up,” he said.

Such prolonged discourse eventually results in robust policies and laws, which ultimately helps in better governance, said Mr. Roy. ”If you debate something extensively, then the different nuances of the subject come out,” he said.

via India’s Parliament Just Had the Most Productive Session in Years – Here’s How It Did It – India Real Time – WSJ.

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