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"Worrying is carrying tomorrow's load with today's strength- carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying doesn't empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength." - Corrie ten Boom

"Man is not worried by real problems so much as by his imagined anxieties about real problems" - Epictetus

"Okay, so, flying," I started, taking a deep breath and focusing on the thing I loved most in the world. "Flying is … great. It feels great when you're doing it. It's fun. Pure freedom. There's nothing better." Dylan smiled, a slow, easy smile that seemed to light up his whole face. "So the first thing we're going to do," I told him, "is push you off the roof." - James Patterson, Fang

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""Mockingbirds don't do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don't eat up people's gardens, don't nest in corncribs, they don't do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That's why it's a sin to kill a mockingbird." ? Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

"Adam was but human—this explains it all. He did not want the apple for the apple's sake, he wanted it only because it was forbidden. The mistake was in not forbidding the serpent; then he would have eaten the serpent." ? Mark Twain, Pudd'nhead Wilson

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Centre should draw more financial commitment from states private sector to sustain long-term funding of DFCs: Stud

NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 14 : Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes; but no plans." ? Peter F. Drucker The Centre should draw more financial commitment from states and private sector (both domestic and foreign, especially pension funds) to sustain long-term financing of dedicated freight corridors (DFCs), said a recent ASSOCHAM-Yes Bank joint study.

Growth in manufacturing to slowdown in Q 3

NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 30 : The outlook for Indian manufacturing sector in the third quarter of 2015-16 looks to be weakening, as lesser percentage of respondents expect high growth to continue in Q3 (October-December 2015-16). The percentage of respondents expecting higher growth in Q3 has gone down to 55 per cent as compared to 63 per cent for Q2 (July-September 2015-16), according to the survey.

CCI to soon come out with changes in regulations to ease M&A process: Ashok Chawla

NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 18 : The fair-trade regulator, Competition Commission of India (CCI) will soon come out with changes in regulations to ease the process of mergers and acquisitions (M&As), CCI chairman, Mr Ashok Chawla said at an ASSOCHAM event held in New Delhi on Friday.

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The celebration... you cannot
practice it or anything
NCR held

XIMB organises Business Excellence Summit 2017

"Not knowing when the dawn will come I open every door." - Emily Dickinson, The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson

Thesynergyonline Management Bureau


Mr A L Jagannath- Senior Director VMWare , speaking at XIMB Business Summit


" The celebration... you cannot practice it or anything. It's a moment when the excitement of your goal make you react to the moment. Peter Bondra

Xavier Institute of Management (XIMB) is celebrating 30 years of distinguished service in the field of academics and business, and to the society. The celebration aims to bring together alumni from diversified realms of business and to create an insightful blend of ideas, which will make the next leg of the journey even more fulfilling.

In this pursuit, the Institute recently inaugurated the Business Excellence Summit in the college premises, in the presence of twenty-six distinguished alumni of the college spanning across the 30 years. This was done to initiate an opportunity to interact, celebrate, discuss, reflect and collaborate. The central theme of the event is, 'Building the vision for XIMB at 40 in accordance with the VUCA world'.

Reminiscing over the glorious history of XIMB, it is evident that this milestone has been possible due to the collaborative efforts of the management, faculty, students and the entire Xavier fraternity.

This event was a great opportunity for the institute to celebrate its past, acknowledge the present, and share the collective vision with renewed enthusiasm.

The summit commenced with Father Augustine, the Registrar of XIMB, taking a trip down the memory lane and speaking about how XIMB came into being 30 years ago. Vice Chancellor and Director of Xavier University, Dr. Fr. Paul Fernandes, concluded the inauguration ceremony by delivering an enlightening speech on excellence and universal education. He spoke of "wings of excellence" about which, he quoted, "We need to put on and make sure we are able to have conviction and commitment in the future." He believed that there is a need to, "think, reflect, inspire, and empower" minds to achieve this excellence.

Day 2 of the summit witnessed leadership talks by esteemed alumni and panel discussions participated and moderated by the alumni. Panel discussions delved into topics like VUCA, entrepreneurship, the bond between industry and academia, and leadership.


It's still magic even if you know how it's done

"There is a tremendous change in technology over the past years."

Mr Lalit Desiraju
Senior Director




The first series of leadership talks started with Mrs. Mrinalini Khusape (Head of Special Projects (Sales & After Sales, Skoda India) stating that we might believe we are the makers of our fate but it doesn't happen. Mr A.L. Jagannath (Senior Director, VMWare) spoke about how individuality is important and suggested everyone to have a passion that will keep them alive. Mr Nilanjan Roy (Business Head, Cigna TTK) ensured that how having a mentor is very important. Mr Lalit Desiraju (Senior Director, Capgemini) cited how there is a tremendous change in technology over the past years. Mr Krishna K V (Senior VP, Yes Bank) advised the audience to have clarity over what one likes doing. Mr Vijay Sinha (Senior VP HR, JSW) cited, "People who master the art of telling their story effectively will succeed". Mr Sanjay Nayak (Strategic Business Head, Infosys) insisted on using persuasive leadership to get people to contribute.

The second leadership talk included notable alumni like Mr. P C Joseph (Head – Technology Operations, Wells Fargo), Mr. Simanta Mohanty (VP,HR, Community Empowerment Lab), Mr. Subrat Sarangi (Associate Professor in Marketing, KIIT), Mr. Shreeprakash Hota (Associate Director, HSBC), Mr. SS Mishra (Chief Safety Officer, IRTS) and Mr. Dipankar Das (Business Head & APAC Sales Leader, BridgeI2I).

The speakers for the next leadership talks were Mr. Chittaranjan Mohanty (Own Venture, Ex VP, JP Morgan Chase), Mr. Ashok Singha (MD, CTRAN Consulting Ltd.), Mr. Chandra Sekhar Chitrala (Managing Director, Catalyst IT Solutions), Mr. Om Prakash Agarwal (CEO, Plastend), Mr. Susanta Mishra (CEO, Placidivision Pvt Ltd), Mr. Zafrullah Khan (President HR, Emcure Pharma) and Mr. Rakesh Kumar (Advisor, International Solar Alliance).

The fourth phase of the leadership talks had illustrious alumni like Ms. Sunita Raut (Chief Inspiration Officer at Own consulting practice), Mr. Ashok Dash (Director-Partner Development (Tier I System Integrators), Microsoft), Mr. Ashish Pati (COO, Care Hospitals), Mr. Sidharth Rath (Group Executive, Axis Bank), Mr. Sanjiv K Ambasta (Senior VP, Piaggio) and Mr. Prithwish Mukherjee (Marketing Head, Vodafone).

The leadership talk series ended with concluding reflections and a vision of the future. This panel had esteemed speakers like Mr. Krishna K V (SVP, Transactional Banking, Yes Bank), Mr. Simanta Mohanty (VP, HR, Community Empowerment Lab), Mr. Chandra Sekhar Chitrala (Managing Director, Catalyst IT Solutions) and Ms. Sunita Raut (Chief Inspiration Officer at Own consulting practice).

Mr. Chandra Sekhar Chitrala (Managing Director, Catalyst IT Solutions), opened the first panel discussion for the day by delivering a heartfelt talk on Entrepreneurship, a topic, he professed, was very close to his heart because he, himself, is an entrepreneur. The speakers felt that entrepreneurship was necessary for our country at this point. They discussed as to how management education could foster entrepreneurship, noting that management education is giving a huge boost to the employment of our country. He quoted, "We are being taught entrepreneurship in our MBA without us knowing about it". Mr. Om Prakash Agarwal (CEO, Plastend) believes that entrepreneurship can be taught but a calculative risk is needed. Mr. Chittaranjan Mohanty( Executive Director, JP Morgan Chase) quoted, "Everyone has their own journey. If you create values, money comes on its own." Mr. Susanta Mishra (CEO, Placidivision Pvt Ltd) emphasized that when one talks about innovation, it shouldn't be confused with invention. Mr. Zafrullah Khan(President HR, Emcure Pharma) believed in inculcating qualities of entrepreneurship irrespective of whether one is starting a startup or not. Mr. Ashok Singha (MD, CTRAN Consulting Ltd.) cited, "Being an entrepreneur, we consistently have to be innovative".

This was followed by a discussion on how management education inculcated leadership capabilities. The moderator, Ms. Sunita Raut, (Chief Inspiration Officer at Own consulting practice), opened the discussion quoting, "The way I look at leadership is: Everybody is a leader." The alumni discussed how leaders not just deliver significant results but also inspire and impact other people. Mr. Ashish Pati (COO, Care Hospitals) quoted, "Leadership is not a part of education system. It is something we develop over time." They urged the panelists as well as the students to imagine how the world would be if the percentage of leaders increased ten times. They also noted that inspiration was missing in today's world, and that there was dire need for it. Eminent guests like Mr. Ashok Dash (Director-Partner Development (Tier I System Integrators), Microsoft), Mr. Sidharth Rath (Group Executive, Axis Bank), Mr. Sanjiv K Ambasta (Senior VP, Piaggio) and Mr. Prithwish Mukherjee (Marketing Head, Vodafone) contributed in the panel by putting forward their constructive thoughts and views.

Mr Sidharth Rath (Group Executive, Axis Bank) marveled at how impactful the change in the next thirty years will be, stating that, 'India is at the cusp of a big change, the seeds of which are already sown.' Mr Krishna K V (SVP, Transactional Banking, Yes Bank) opened the discussion on VUCA and the challenges posed by it. The panel discussed strategies which XIMB needs to adopt to surmount these challenges and be an enabler in the VUCA world. The panel believed that though there was nothing new to VUCA, its importance is profound today because of the rate of change that is happening in the business world. To sail through a VUCA world, agility, nimbleness, and discipline are of paramount importance, they concluded. The panelists included illustrious personalities like Mrs. Mrinalini Khusape(Head of Special Projects (Sales & After Sales, Skoda India)), Mr. A.L. Jagganath (Senior Director, Dell-EMC (VMWare)), Mr. Nilanjan Roy (Business Head, Cigna TTK),Mr. Lalit Desiraju (Senior Director, Capgemini), Mr. Vijay Sinha (Senior VP HR, JSW) and Mr. Sanjay Nayak (Strategic Business Head, Infosys).

Mr. Simanta Mohanty (VP, HR, Community Empowerment Lab) spoke on the Industry-Academy interface and how the industry's linkage with XIMB would create excellent opportunities. The panel discussed on the channels and partnership structures which would bridge the gap between the institutes and the companies. They even noted that the linkage between XIMB and the industry would result in a lot of business.

A light was thrown upon how strong and long lasting relationships between them would be instrumental in achieving greater success. Esteemed guests like Mr. Krishna K V (SVP Transactional Banking, Yes Bank), Mr. Simanta Mohanty (VP, HR, Community Empowerment Lab), Mr. Chandra Sekhar Chitrala (Managing Director, Catalyst IT Solutions) and Ms. Sunita Raut (Chief Inspiration Officer at Own consulting practice) were a part of this exciting panel.

"There has always been an elegance to the application of excellence." - Richard Diaz"


The Ancient Greeks had a concept of arete which meant an outstanding fitness for purpose. This occurs in the works of Aristotle and Homer.

Another related concept was eudaimonia which was the happiness which resulted from a life well-lived, being prosperous and fulfilled. The equivalent concept in Muslim philosophy is ihsan.

Practice makes perfect

Studies have shown that the most important way to achieve excellent performance in fields such as sport, music, professions and scholarships is to practice. Achievement of excellence in such fields commonly requires approximately 10 years of dedication, comprising about 10,000 hours of effort.

Excellence is a talent or quality which is unusually good and so surpasses ordinary standards. It is also used as a standard of performance as measured e.g. through economic indicators.

Excellence is a continuously moving target that can be pursued through actions of integrity, being frontrunner in terms of products / services provided that are reliable and safe for the intended users, meeting all obligations and continually learning and improving in all spheres to pursue the moving target.

In modern public relations and marketing, "excellence" is frequently criticized as a buzzword that tries to convey a good impression often without imparting any concrete information (e.g. "center for excellence in ...", "business excellence", etc.).



Cost management is key to Indian competitive advantage

Thesynergyonline Management Bureau

NOIDA, MARCH 17 : In an effort to help improve management practices in the industry and devising better cost management strategies, leading management institute IMS Noida today began its three-day periodic Management Development Programme that brings together leading academics, industry insiders and experts in the field.

This programme will discuss Strategic Cost Management, a crucial subject in management studies that pertains to the economics of reducing costs without compromising on quality and delivery.

Professor Rajendra Patel from IIM Ahmedabad will offer his valuable inputs and new perspectives on methods and techniques for appropriate cost planning, importance of managing costs and aligning them with the business strategy of an entity.

The forces of globalization, liberalization and privatization have not only knitted the world economies closer together but the spill-over effects of the changes happening in world are today felt more strongly and swiftly by all the economies. It is cost effectiveness that prompt hundreds of western companies to outsource jobs to low-cost destinations like India. Cost effectiveness is the key to competitiveness in a highly connected world like ours. Hence, there is greater need today to recognize different costing systems and strategies and devise better managerial decisions and business strategies to constantly remain cost effective.

"As a discipline, management studies needs to constantly evolve itself to include in its paradigm the changing needs of the time, which keep throwing up new challenges into the discipline. Cost management is an area of management that needs constant re-thinking and evolution to keep tiding over the rising costs. Today, Indian organizations may be benefitting from the outsourcing boom because of low labor costs; however, the wages are bound to increase and they need to devise other strategies to keep costs low and their competitive advantage high. The management development programme is an initiative from our end to help the management sector improve on various fronts. We are, therefore discussing cost management as it forms of the basis of any enterprise and management," said Dr KJS Anand, Executive Director, IMS Noida.

The first day of the programme began with inauguration and lamp lightening by Dr Debarshi Mukherjee, Chairperson, Centre for e-Commerce, IMS, Noida and Dr KJS Anand, Executive Director, IMS, Noida. The day introduced the participants to the basics such as costing terminology, cost objects, cost drivers, break-even analysis using concept of relevant costs, conventional method of indirect cost allocation, activity-based costing in product industry, service industry, relevant costs for alternative choice decisions etc. While the day 2 of the programme will discuss aspects of Management Control & Organizational Performance, ProPt Centres & Transfer Price issues, Analysis of Financial Performance, Corporate Performance Measurement in Multi Divisional Companies, Performance Measurement – Balanced Scorecard – Beyond Financial Numbers, Day 3 will deal with issues Target Costing ,Value Engineering, Just-in-Time, Theory of Constraints, Life Cycle Costing etc.

"What's measured improves"

"As a discipline, management studies needs to constantly evolve itself to include in its paradigm the changing needs of the time, which keep throwing up new challenges into the discipline. Cost management is an area of management that needs constant re-thinking and evolution to keep tiding over the rising costs. Today, Indian organizations may be benefitting from the outsourcing boom because of low labor costs; however, the wages are bound to increase and they need to devise other strategies to keep costs low and their competitive advantage high. The management development programme is an initiative from our end to help the management sector improve on various fronts. We are, therefore discussing cost management as it forms of the basis of any enterprise and management," said Dr KJS Anand, Executive Director, IMS Noida. "With India emerging as the third largest startup ecosystem in the world, there is growing demand for efficient and innovative management graduates who are adept and trained at devising new strategies to resolve problems. While globalization has made more markets easily available, improved connectivity and helped fasten business processes, it has also increased competition and challenges to new businesses manifold. Hence, management development programmes are necessary to provide relevant training to the executives of different sectors of the economy operating at different levels in the organizational hierarchy, through real-world case studies, group discussions, and interactive presentations. I am honored to receive to the opportunity from IMS, Noida to share my knowledge and experience with all the management people," said Prof Rajendra Patel.

"With India emerging as the third largest startup ecosystem in the world, there is growing demand for efficient and innovative management graduates who are adept and trained at devising new strategies to resolve problems. While globalization has made more markets easily available, improved connectivity and helped fasten business processes, it has also increased competition and challenges to new businesses manifold. Hence, management development programmes are necessary to provide relevant training to the executives of different sectors of the economy operating at different levels in the organizational hierarchy, through real-world case studies, group discussions, and interactive presentations. I am honored to receive to the opportunity from IMS, Noida to share my knowledge and experience with all the management people," said Prof Rajendra Patel.

A visiting faculty at IIM Ahmedabad for Finance & Accounting now and with a past association of twelve years as a regular faculty, Prof Patel specializes in management planning and control. He worked closely with World Bank in debt rescheduling and providing balance of payment support for central African countries as a senior manager with Peat Marwick Mitchell & Co during 1978 -1985 and with Rolls Royce plc group as Finance director for over fourteen years. He has to his credit over 100 training programmes in India and Asia Pacific region.

Centre should draw more financial commitment from states private sector to sustain long-term funding of DFCs: Study

Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau



There's a difference between interest and commitment. When you're interested in doing something, you do it only when it's convenient. When you're committed to something, you accept no excuses - only results." ? Kenneth H. Blanchard



Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes; but no plans." - Peter F. Drucker

"There's a difference between interest
and commitment. When you're interested in doing something, you do it only when it's convenient. When you're committed to something, you
accept no excuses - only results."
― Kenneth H. Blanchard

The Centre should draw more financial commitment from states and private sector (both domestic and foreign, especially pension funds) to sustain long-term financing of dedicated freight corridors (DFCs), said a recent ASSOCHAM-Yes Bank joint study.

"There is also a need to establish institutional mechanisms for business incubation, venture capital, to draw private investment in the DFCs," noted the study titled 'Dedicated Freight Corridors: Paving India's track to smart growth,' conducted by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM jointly with Yes Bank.

DFCs are capital intensive and have very long gestation periods due to which they appear financially unviable at commercial funding rates thereby making them overly dependent on funding from government and multi-lateral agencies, highlighted the study.

The government should also set up 'national freight strategic plan' to provide direction for long-term implementation of freight-supportive policies, suggested the ASSOCHAM-Yes Bank study.

"Strategic decisions including unbundling terminal operations and corporatization of railways and ports will accelerate investment and modernize freight facilities, besides it would also help to prioritize projects and efficiently direct resources."

The study has further proposed to set up an independent regulatory authority to facilitate projects through coordination with various stakeholders, rationalize tariff and govern business.

"DFCs are envisioned to create sophisticated infrastructure to trigger economic development, inject foreign investment and attain sustainable development, however infrastructure development along DFCs is hampered by a combination of delayed clearances, cost overruns, land acquisition and financing problems," said Mr D.S. Rawat, secretary general of ASSOCHAM while releasing the study.

"Timely delivery of the projects is essential, in order to realize the full potential of the DFC strategy," said Mr Rawat.

"Stable macro-economic regime and simplification of regulatory and taxation process (including GST) is important to meet infrastructure projects' investment related needs that face delay in execution due to complicated procedures and uncertainties," he added.

The ASSOCHAM-Yes Bank study has also stressed on the crucial need to protect freight routes from encroachment.

Strategic development of transport infrastructure will spur growth of freight-intensive industries, generating both direct and indirect employment, and fuel economic development, noted the study.

Fostering private participation and social equity in all spheres including freight and logistics and urban and regional development is critical to unlock this opportunity and ensure inclusive development, it added.

"Sometimes, it is true, a sense of isolation enfolds me like a cold mist as I sit alone and wait at life's shut gate" 

Govt to bring accessible index for companies to see how disabled- friendly they are

Thesynergyonline Corporate Bureau

NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 11 : "When you focus on someone's disability you'll overlook their abilities, beauty and uniqueness. Once you learn to accept and love them for who they are, you subconsciously learn to love yourself unconditionally." - Yvonne Pierre, The Day My Soul Cried: A Memoir

"I do not have a disability, I have a gift! Others may see it as a disability, but I see it as a challenge. This challenge is a gift because I have to become stronger to get around it, and smarter to figure out how to use it; others should be so lucky."

So the government may make about 3,000 Central and State government websites and 5,000 public buildings accessible and friendly for people with all types of disabilities, a top Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry official said at an ASSOCHAM event held in New Delhi on Thursday.

"Although no clear cut timeframe has been given but we expect that in next two years about 3,000 websites of central and state governments will be made disabled- friendly for people with all types of disabilities," said Dr Vinod Aggarwal, secretary, Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities while inaugurating an ASSOCHAM conference on 'Empowering Disabled Persons with Accessible & Assistive Technology.'

"Secondly, we are going to make about 5,000 public buildings where people have to go much more often to be disabled friendly and make them accessible to people with all types of disabilities," said Dr Aggarwal.

The union government had launched a nationwide Accessible India Campaign on World Disability Day – December 3, 2015 with the vision to achieve universal accessibility that will enable persons with all types of disabilities to gain access and live independently in line with the United Nations Convention on the rights of people with disabilities.

"The three verticals of the campaign – built environment (hospitals, schools, colleges, office buildings, parks), public transportation and information and communication technology cannot be looked in isolation," said Dr Aggarwal.

He also said that more efforts and innovations are required to achieve the aims and objectives for successful completion of this campaign.

Talking about the need to make buildings disabled-friendly, Dr Aggarwal said, "Even the plenary hall of government's 'Vigyan Bhawan' is not disabled-friendly, we had to temporarily make it disabled friendly for conducting event on World Disability Day, the hall needs to be made disabled friendly at all times."

Highlighting the role of private sector in socio-economic transformation of persons with disabilities, he said, "Industry should come forward in a big way for promoting the objectives and targets of Accessible India Campaign by contributing aggressively through CSR activities, funding, making disabled friendly buildings, generating employment opportunities by taking up innovation and development of assistive technology, providing training and creating overall awareness."

In his address at the ASSOCHAM conference, Mr Mukesh Jain, joint secretary, Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities said, "The Government is trying to build a pool of sign language interpreters and encourage the use of sign language by making every verbal information system in India in both public and private sectors."

He also informed that government will bring an educational assessment tool for companies whether in private or public to find out how accessible or disabled friendly they are.

"We are trying to build an accessible or disabled friendly index, we don't intend to punish anybody but we intend to educate people that these are the dimensions on which you can improve your services, systems and infrastructure so that it becomes more accessible," said Mr Jain.

He also said that government is trying to assimilate and incorporate the educational institutes in its initiative of Accessible India Campaign. "We have written to about 100 educational institutes like IITs, IIMs, schools of planning and architecture to create accessibility clubs in their colleges and schools not only for organising conferences and exhibitions but to create some transformative solutions for accessibility."

He also said that government was trying to make a procurement standard. "Any kind of procurement, be it a product, system or process should be aligned to the requirements of persons with disabilities, but it will take time."

Govt will come up with construction , demolition waste management rules by next month: Prakash Javadekar

Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau

The Centre will come up with rules on construction and demolition waste management by next month as a solution to reduce air pollution caused by construction dust, union minister for environment, forest and climate change, Mr Prakash Javadekar said at an ASSOCHAM event held in New Delhi on Wednesday.

"For the first time in India, we will come with separate rules for construction and demolition, hazardous, plastic and solid waste management rules," said Mr Javadekar while inaugurating a global summit on 'Smart Cities-Smart India,' organised by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).

"We are bringing out all waste management rules in next 30-40 days one-by-one," he added.

Mr Javadekar also said that almost 20 per cent of pollution and dust in India's all major cities is caused to due to construction debris and dirt.

"Unless we change all organs of governance and all aspects of life, our cities, rural areas and even citizens will not become smart," said the minister.

On the issue of pollution, Mr Javadekar said that while entire nation had been debating about Delhi's odd and even scheme, Modi government took the decision to leapfrog to Euro-VI standards of emissions, vehicles and fuel norms by 2020.

"The government is investing Rs 60,000 crore to improve quality of fuel and it will be ready with fuel of Euro VI norms by 2019, it is the real game changer as it is a permanent remedy to reduce vehicular pollution," he said.

Mr Javadekar also said that the Centre along with Punjab and Haryana governments has managed to reduce 35 per cent of stubble burning in the first year which used to add to pollution in Delhi-NCR.

Talking about government's flagship Smart Cities' campaign, the union minister said, "It is a sustainable city campaign, it is about rebuilding the whole country with a fresh outlook, with people's participation, private and public investment, it will ensure that India grows to its real potential."

"We are sure that in 10 years we are going to make a real difference to our cities, rural areas and islands," he said.

Recalling his recent trip to Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Mr Javadekar batted for developing uninhabited islands from tourism perspective. "There is such a huge development potential for tourism, forestry, fisheries and others, as such our government has now decided for island development."

"Had we developed even few of such islands there would not have been Phuket, Langkawi and other such globally famous tourist spots," he added.

Traffic congestion is caused by vehicles, not by people in themselves." "Why do I always forget that traffic is a social affair?" - Stefan Emunds

Kerala transport policy requires
re-orientation: Study

Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau 

NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 08 : "Traffic congestion is caused by vehicles, not by people in themselves."

"Why do I always forget that traffic is a social affair?"
― Stefan Emunds

And so roads in Kerala are under excessive pressure with traffic growing at a rate of about 10-11 per cent annually, moreover distribution of traffic is also highly skewed and is concentrated on district and city roads thereby leaving villages and remote areas virtually unconnected, noted a recent study by apex industry body ASSOCHAM.

"Transport policy in Kerala requires re-orientation and it is important to visualise the transport system as an integrated structure of different modes and services functioning as distinct entities in a level playing field with the element of inter-modal and intra-modal competition, thereby ensuring organisational efficiency and individual viability," highlighted the study titled 'Roadtech: Sustainable roads and highways,' conducted by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).

The emphasis will have to shift from merely providing transport infrastructure and services to technological upgradation and modernisation in order to ensure mobility and not only accessibility, noted the study.

Besides, the thrust will have to be on provision of improved high quality services with minimum use of cross subsidisation and emphasis on achieving optimal inter-modal mix with appropriate pricing and user charges policy and through injection of competitive impulses.

There is a need to scientifically plan and develop transport infrastructure under a long-term perspective considering the economic transition of Kerala and status of knowledge economy, it suggested.

"The transportation network in Kerala is choking as a result of high population density and the resulted travel demands."

The national highway itself calls for improvement in terms of widening as most its length remains as two lane.

In Kerala, the most important challenge in the road sector involves building all-weather roads connecting each and every village. "This is essential to promote the development of backward regions and integrate them with the mainstream economy by opening them to trade and investment."

Research and development activities have an important role to play in meeting the challenges of modernising the road system, technology upgradation and finding cost-effective solutions to infrastructure problems in the state.

Road transportation network in Kerala:

The transport infrastructure of the state consists of over 3.3 lakh kilometres (kms) of road and road density in Kerala is 852 kilometre (km) per 100 square km and it is ahead of the national average of 387 km/100 While the length of road per lakh of population is 991 km, the roads maintained by different Panchayats have also increased by 49 per cent in 2013-14.

DPE and SCOPE holds workshop
on CSR in SCOPE premises

Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau

Mr Ameising Luikham, IAS, Secretary, Department of Public Enterprises (DPE),Dr. U.D. Choubey, Director General, SCOPE ,Dr. Madhukar Gupta, IAS, Additional Secretary, DPE at a workshop in New DElhi on Monday

NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 08 : "Justice is itself the great standing policy of civil society; and any eminent departure from it, under any circumstances, lies under the suspicion of being no policy at all."
― Edmund Burke

And so while inaugurating the workshop, Mr Ameising Luikham, IAS, Secretary, Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) asked for more vigorous efforts towards utilization of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funds in judicious manner. He told that public sector enterprises (PSEs) have to work within the ambit of Companies Act 2013 and the Guidelines of the Government to undertake CSR activity.

Dr. U.D. Choubey, Director General, SCOPE highlighted the excellent work done by PSEs for corporate social sector which is a matter of paramount importance providing intangible benefits to corporate sector, sometimes even better than technology and patent. Dr. Choubey said if we are able to enhance the expectations of the society, we can claim the credit. He also urged for recognition and rewarding of the PSEs for excellent work and provide some fiscal incentives for fund utilized on CSR.

Dr. Madhukar Gupta, IAS, Additional Secretary, DPE and a galaxy of CPSEs representatives at top level participated in the workshop.

Capital goods industry write to PM
against excessive protectionism

Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau

Process Plant and Machinery Association of India (PPMAI) and apex body representing the process plant manufacturers in the country have written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi against excessive protectionism including imposition of Minimum Import Price (MIP) being given to the steel sector in the country .

Process plant and machinery manufacturers which include major companies include Larsen & Toubro(L&T) , Godrej, Thermax, Praj Industries, Aker Solutions, Toyo Engineering., ThyssenKrupp Industrial Solutions (India). (UHDE), Ion Exchange and BGR Energy Systems have strongly objected and expressed serious concern at perpetual protectionist environment being created excessively in favour of steel sector in the country without consulting the capital goods and industry sector.

"India is in the process of globalizing its manufacturing base through establishment of Capital Equipment and downstream industries in MSME to generate employment as well as boost Make in India vision through competitiveness of Indian products. However, government must also be understood that this goal is endangered if our industrial and trade policies are based on narrow perspectives of PROTECTIONISM FOR ONE individual industry. India should not be seen as a protectionist nation with unpredictable policies." Said Mr V P Ramachandran, Secretary, Process Plant and Machinery Association of India (PPMAI) .

"If steel industry including stainless steel is favoured with so much of excessive protectionism including curb on imports with anti dumping duties and additional safe guard duties and latest Minimum Import Price (MIP) in this competitive world, it will end up as a burden on the economy and scare away investors in other productive Capital Equipment as well as downstream MSME areas which have the potential to run efficiently and grow without support and develop export markets and most importantly generate employment for the youth in our nation,"said Mr Ramachandran .

"Government has already provided enough protection to steel industry through high imports duties, Rupee devaluation by over 50 per cent and trade barriers such as anti-dumping or safeguard duties. In a deregulated environment government is taking away capital goods industries right to access the required quality of raw materials and intermediates at competitive prices,"he said .

" Why only steel sector alone which is about 80 -90 per cent family owned business in the country is being taken care of and that too at the prospect of killing the downstream capital goods & MSME sector who are the backbone to make in India theme. The recent proposal by the Government to impose Minimum Import Price (MIP) for steel products without discussing with all the stake holders will further create confusion if arbitrary price is fixed and will hit domestic industry if asked to follow prices"added Mr Ramachandran.

"The current high import duties are also inverted. this basically protects the steel industry but hurts the business operations of downstream value added producers. thus, the steel industry can face lack of domestic demand if the closure of downstream sector happens in near future. Government must therefore look at the big picture and not sacrifice the Capital Goods and MSME sectors to protect the business interests of steel producers alone," Mr Ramachandran said.

"PPMAI urges the government to make the duty structure logical and bring down the import duties on semis and intermediates like Hot and Cold rolled carbon steel and stainless steel to the original rate of 5 per cent. if China , Korea & Japan are dumping at low price , start anti dumping investigations instead of further protection through import curbs as Indian Economy is not only steel sector alone "he said.


CVC inaugurates SCOPE HR Summit

Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau

Mr K.V. Chowdary, Central Vigilance Commissioner delivering an inaugural address at the SCOPE International HR Summit 2016 organized jointly by SCOPE and ILO. Also seen on the dais are Mr Ameising Luikham, Secretary, DPE, Mr R.G. Rajan, Chairman, SCOPE and CMD, RCF Dr U.D. Choubey, Director General, SCOPE and Ms. Veena Swarup, Director (HR), EIL and Summit Convener.  

"Whether your transformation happens through trauma, surprise, or intention, the process begins because of a growing need for change." - Suzy Ross

And so Standing Conferece of Public Enterprises (SCOPE) and International Labour Organization (ILO) jointly organized the SCOPE International HR Summit 2016 on the theme "Reinventing HR: Breaking the Mould Globally" here on Friday. Mr K.V. Chowdary, Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) inaugurated the summit and released the Special Issue of Kaleidoscope journal on HR.

Mr Ameising Luikham, IAS, Secretary, Department of Public Enterprises delivered the keynote address.

Mr R.G. Rajan, Chairman, SCOPE and CMD, RCF, Dr. U.D. Choubey, Director General, SCOPE and others addressed the inauguration session. CVC Mr Chowdary also presented Gold Trophies to the winning PSEs of the HR Case Study Contest and inaugurated the exhibition.

Inaugurating the Summit Mr K.V. Chowdary, CVC said any organization is as good and is recognized by its brand culture. HR department holds the key to build up the organizational culture. Cultivate Organizational Ethics and Values so that one could easily recognize the organization by simply looking at its employees. The way employee manages himself in and out of the system is crucial and the responsibility falls on HR. CVC appreciated SCOPE's effort for organizing the International Summit.

"Maybe deep down inside we were all still in our formative years. Maybe it was never too late for any of us to change." - Claire Cook, New Leash on Life


The journey of reinventions:

Slide Down || Slide Up
The journey of reinvention is one of raw emotions Emerging from dormancy Surprising as a paper cut Overwhelming as a hailstorm One part vulnerability One part rage One part surrender Uncomfortable Unfamiliar Unsure Fearful Alone Damaged Broken And finding a new Self Slowly Different Healing Humble Present Open Longing Free - Dave Rudbarg



Expressing concerns over the skill development of the country, Shri Ameising Luikham said India needs a lot in skill training and it is a priority for Public Sector Enterprises.

SCOPE Chairman, Shri R.G. Rajan, who is also CMD of Rashtriya Chemicals & Fertilizers Ltd told that HR needs to innovate today to compete at global level. He was of the opinion that a company that invests in people have good future.

Dr U.D. Choubey, Director General SCOPE said," Talent Management and present attrition rate are two major challenges in front of HR. The challenge is to retain the talent and manage the work diversity, succession planning and update the skill of employees. He emphasized the greatest need of transparent, ethical, accountable and responsible organization. "

The Summit is being attended by large many participants from India and outside including senior representatives from ILO.


'Put coking coal blocks to auction , allocate them through competitive bidding

Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau

NEW DELHI,FEBRUARY 04 : Apex industry body ASSOCHAM has urged the government to put coking coal blocks to auction and allocate them through competitive bidding in order to boost domestic production of coking coal and generate revenue for the exchequer.

"Coking coal blocks should not be allotted on nomination basis as this would delay coking coal development in India and discourage creation of level playing field in steel sector," said The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) in a communication addressed to Mr Piyush Goyal, union minister of state for coal, power, new and renewable energy.

Import of coking coal by India's steel industry crossed 45 million tonnes (MnT) in 2014-15 as against about 39 MnT in 2013-14 and the same is likely to increase to 180 MnT in wake of India's ambitious target of producing 300 million tons of crude steel per annum by 2025.

Besides, India's coking coal import has also increased from 13 MnT in 2003-04 to over 39 MnT in 2013-14 and during the same period coking coal production dropped from about 18 MnT to 14 MnT and supply of washed coking coal to steel plants was only 6.6 MnT in 2013-14.

"This is resulting in a loss of forex reserves, stress in inland transportation and logistics and congestion at ports, as such it is imperative that indigenous production of coking coal is given a big thrust," said Mr D.S. Rawat, secretary general, ASSOCHAM.

"Allocation of coking coal blocks to steelmakers has much merit as steel industry is capable of efficiently utilising 100 per cent of prime coking coal reserves from the blocks," said Mr Rawat.

In its letter to the union minister, ASSOCHAM has highlighted that many virgin coal blocks of Bharat Coking Coal Limited (BCCL) are lying undeveloped despite being allocated long back, while operational blocks of BCCL are unable to produce to their full potential.

Similarly, ASSOCHAM has urged that coking coal blocks should be allocated to public sector steelmakers to ramp-up production to meet country's growing coking coal needs.

"Farming is a profession of hope" - Brian Brett

'Well-developed commodity futures market imperative to ensure farmers' welfare'

Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau

"A farmer, as one of his farmer correspondents once wrote to Liberty Hyde Bailey, is "a dispenser of the 'Mysteries of God.'"

A well-developed futures market for agricultural commodities is imperative for farmers to predict their earnings and plan their future investments as these markets reduce the range of seasonal price variations thereby protecting the farmers from post-harvest slump in prices, union agriculture and farmers welfare minister, Mr Radha Mohan Singh said at an ASSOCHAM event held in New Delhi on Wednesday.

"Our small farmers have not been able to reap benefits of India's growth, technological advancement and overall development as they lack bargaining strength and possess limited awareness about market conditions," said Mr Singh while inaugurating the ASSOCHAM 14th Commodity Futures Market Summit.

However, the union minister suggested for major transformation of physical market considering that most farmers in India do not participate in futures market due to lack of expertise in hedging price risk, besides many do not have enough marketable surplus and enough cash to meet margin requirements.

He said that factors like inefficient physical operations, excessive crowding of intermediaries, long and fragmented market chains and low-scale have deprived farmers of fair price for their produce.

"Farmers should get fair price for their produce that is the biggest and foremost challenge," said Mr Singh. "We are in the process of removing all discrepancies to promote agriculture sector across India."

The union minister informed that government has given funds to about 214 markets from eight states that have come up with a proposal to join the online trading platform National Agriculture Market (NAM).

"The strategic partner has been hired to make an e-trading platform and computerise the markets, I believe that we will have a single e-trading platform for 200 markets by September 25, 2016 and we will add another 200 markets by March 2017 as we aim to connect 585 markets and this number might increase considering the number of proposals being received from states," said Mr Singh.

He said that NAM will ensure expansion of existing markets and will also facilitate transactions where physically markets currently do not exist. "While material flow (agriculture produce) shall continue to happen through mandis, an online market would reduce transaction costs and increase transparency."

Seeking the industry's co-operation and active engagement, Mr Singh said "The success of NAM programme will depend not merely on technical solutions, but on complete involvement and collaboration all players."

He added that government would provide full support to the futures market to improve remuneration to farmers through hedging, risk mitigation and strengthening commodity exchanges.

RBI keeps keeps policy rate
unchanged at 6.25%

Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau

NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 02 : Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in 6th bi-monthly Monetary Policy Review on Tuesday kept the policy repo rate unchanged at 6.75 per cent . The central bank kept the cash reserve ratio (CRR) of scheduled banks unchanged at 4.0 per cent of net demand and time liability .

Inflation has evolved closely along the trajectory set by the monetary policy stance. With unfavourable base effects on the ebb and benign prices of fruits and vegetables and crude oil, the January 2016 target of 6 per cent should be met.

Going forward, under the assumption of a normal monsoon and the current level of international crude oil prices and exchange rates, inflation is expected to be inertial and be around 5 per cent by the end of fiscal 2016-17 (Chart 1).

However, the implementation of the VII Central Pay Commission award, which has not been factored into these projections, will impart upward momentum to this trajectory for a period of one to two years. The Reserve Bank will adjust the forecast path as and when more clarity emerges on the timing of implementation. Vagaries in the spatial and temporal distribution of the monsoon and the impact of adverse geo-political events on commodity prices and financial markets add additional uncertainty to the baseline.

For 2016-17, growth is expected to strengthen gradually, notwithstanding significant headwinds. Expectations of a normal monsoon after two consecutive years of rainfall deficiency, the large positive terms of trade gain, improving real incomes of households and lower input costs of firms should contribute to strengthening the growth momentum.

In keeping with the Government's start-up India initiative, the Reserve Bank will take steps to ease doing business and contribute to an ecosystem that is conducive for growth of start-ups. These measures will create an enabling framework for receiving foreign venture capital, differing contractual structures embedded in investment instruments, deferring receipt of considerations for transfer of ownership, facilities for escrow arrangements and simplification of documentation and reporting procedures.

The current momentum of growth is reasonable, though below what should be expected over the medium term. Underlying growth drivers need to be rekindled to place the economy durably on a higher growth trajectory.

The revival of private investment, in particular, has a crucial role, especially as the climate for business improves and fiscal policy continues to consolidate. The Indian economy is currently being viewed as a beacon of stability because of the steady disinflation, a modest current account deficit and commitment to fiscal rectitude. This needs to be maintained so that the foundations of stable and sustainable growth are strengthened.

Market Reactions :

Though the RBI monetary policy is on the expected lines, what really worries the industry are the challenges in the next fiscal because Governor Dr Raghuram Rajan has not factored in the impact of the Seventh Pay Commission while setting the inflation target and the government fiscal balance. It said the disinvestment targets, ironically, have always been off the mark with either the government doing a mere academic budget making exercise or getting it completely wrong. " It is nobody's case that we can always be on the top of the market moods and the projections can go wrong at times, but it is difficult to understand how year after year, these targets have gone completely haywire under successive governments" , the paper said.

If the Pay Commission recommendations are accepted and implemented without any dilution or staggering, the consequences are going to be disastrous for the economy, coming from deteriorating quality of expenditure both at the state and central level. Let us hope, we do not remain in the fire-fighting mode even when there are immediate concerns on growth revival. The tepid sale of the automobile firms in January is a clear pointer of slackening consumer demand amidst continuation of high interest rates. The picture is further marred by the level of stressed assets in the economy, said Mr. Sunil Kanoria, President ASSOCHAM.

The ball is certainly now in the court of the Finance Minister Mr Arun Jaitley who must ensure that his Budget is innovative in creating a trigger impact on investment in the key infrastructure while there should be a well-coordinated inter-ministerial approach to clear the stalled projects. With so much pressure on the fiscal, the Finance Minister may have to depend on some off-Budget tools to boost investment, said Mr. Kanoria.

With the rural economy in distress due to failure of monsoon for two successive years, the macro picture could become more challenging. To that extent, the RBI Governor is justified in waiting for clarity before he outlines his priorities for the next financial year. He would like to wait for the effects of likely events including the Budget announcement and the Monsoon, What the US Fed is going to do in March, and the effect of turmoil in global economic environment also remain areas of concern.

As the financial industry is facing liquidity crunch, ASSOCHAM expects RBI to keep a watch on the unfolding situation and ensure that enough cash is available in the system to help growth, said its Chief.

"The truth is not in the touch of a stone, but in what the stone tells you."

4- day "STONA 2016 Fair" to be held
in Bangalore from February 03

Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau

"No matter what your origin or beliefs, rather adolescent or full grown. Thoughts are scribed in pencil but actions are carved in stone" - Carl Henegan, Darkness Left Undone

And so Federation of Indian Granite and Stone Industry will be organizing "STONA 2016 Fair, international stone exhibitions from February 03 to 06 , 2016 at Bangalore International Exhibition Centre (BIEC), Bangalore.

STONA 2016 Fair is the 12th International Granites and Stone Fair - an exhibition showcasing the unique range of country's colorful, eye-catching natural stones and provides a platform that helps in demonstrating the capabilities, capacity and the most modern and latest techniques in the craft of stone workings. The Natural Stone Industries, which come under the category of Ornamental or Decorative building stones like Granites, Marbles, Sandstones, Slates, Quartzite etc., and ancillary and auxiliary Industries of Machinery, Tools, Consumables related to Stone Industries will be participating in the conference.

The aim of STONA 2016 Fair is to give the natural stone industry in India a significant growth opportunity with higher visibility, a professional oriented visitor profile and extremely efficient business development modules. Delegates from India, Brazil, Italy, Portugal, Turkey, Egypt, China, Taiwan, Korea and a host of other countries have been participating in large numbers as STONA. This provides enormous business opportunities and also opens a window to new trends in the natural stone sector. Over 600 exhibitors, diverse seminars and more than 10,000 visitors each day of the event is what STONA will have on offer. Besides the highlight of STONA 2016 will be - Shilpgram, showcasing the skill of Indian artisans who will exhibit their skill before the international visitors.

The STONA 2016 Fair is expected to have participation from leading Architects, Hoteliers, Builders, Real Estate Promoters, Town Planners, Decorators & Designers, Interior Designers, Stone Quarry Owners, Stone Processors, Importers & Exporters, Traders, Transporters of Stone Products, All in all, every market leader in the Natural Stone Industry.

Speaking on the occasion Mr R. Sekar, president -Federation of Indian Granite and Stone Industry (FIGSI) said, "The STONA fair has been recognised all over the world. STONA has become a brand name in the world and it has become a very powerful platform for the Indian Industry to market the Indian stone internationally."

The export value of Indian stone trade is around 2 billion which is 2 per cent of the world trade which is around more than 100 billion US$.

"You have the legs and other also have it; they have the brain and you have it! Stop thinking you can't transact the business that others can. If you do, you are raising your inflation rate!" 

'RBI needs to target WPI inflation of
3-4 % continuous deflation harming growth'

Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau

"Inflation is when you pay fifteen dollars for the ten-dollar haircut you used to get for five dollars when you had hair." - Sam Ewing

And at a time when central banks in most parts of the world are going to new lengths to ease money and push growth, the ASSOCHAM expects the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to at least take note of the fact for well over a year, the Wholesale Price Index (WPI) for several industrial products has remained in a deflationary mode, requiring an urgent infusion of life –saving consumer demand.

"A whole lot of manufactured products including cotton textiles, manmade products, chemicals and organics, rubber –plastics, iron and semis, have suffered deflation. Besides, there are several other items such as leather and leather products and machine tools which are near zero inflation reflecting poor demand and virtually no pricing power left with the manufacturers. It is almost a distress situation," ASSOCHAM President Mr Sunil Kanoria said, seeking cut in interest rates in the policy Repo by the RBI.

He said while the RBI is certainly not expected to go anywhere near the western central bankers, who are going to the other extreme positions of zero or negative interest rates, Dr Raghuram Rajan can be a little more accommodative with the monetary policy to boost the economic growth, particularly in the industrial production.

The Index of Industrial Production (IIP) declined by annualised 3.2 per cent in November, 2015. The cumulative growth for the period April-November 2015 over the corresponding period of the previous year stood at mere 3.9 per cent. Mining, manufacturing and electricity sectors continue to remain in distress.

"In fact, when it comes to WPI, it is time the RBI started setting target for at least 3-4 per cent inflation over the next two quarters. We cannot afford deflation for long. Looking at only Consumer Price Index alone will not be a wise policy," the ASSOCHAM said.

Besides creating the demand at the consumer level, the moderating of interest rates would bring in much-needed interest burden of the over-leveraged industries in sectors like real estate, telecom and infrastructure.

Mr Kanoria also impressed upon the RBI to further exert pressure on the banks to adequately pass on the previous cuts in the interest rates. "Even though the policy rates have been cut by up to 125 basis points in the last one year, there are still industries particularly at the SME level which are still given loans by banks at 13-14 per cent. This must stop and accountability be fixed".

Wellness Slideshow

SCOPE holds welllnss programme for PSUs

Thesynergyonline Health Bureau

L to R : Dr H.K. Chopra, president, World Wellness Foundation, Dr U D Choubey, Director General, SCOPE, Dr Shikha Sharma, Managing Director, Nutri Health, Dr S Malik, Professor, Deptt of Oncology, AIIMS and Dr Astha Sharma, Psychiatrist  

NEW DELHI, JANUARY 27 : "We are living in times that demand more and more of our brains and muscles, of our nerves and physical energy. Only those who are strong and know how to keep it so, can stand the wear and tear. It pays to stop once in a while to look over our machinery and oil the parts that need it."- Adrian Peter Schmidt

And so Standing Conference of Public Enterprises (SCOPE), World Wellness Foundation and Expressions India jointly organized an interactive session on Mind Wellness and Happiness at Workplace with focus on heart protection and cancer prevention for the benefit of employees of public sector enterprises.

While welcoming, Dr U.D. Choubey, Director General, SCOPE said that employees of PSUs are working in a global competitive environment and undergo a lot of stress and strain in performing their day-to-day duties. This causes hypertension, diabetes and lifestyle related problems which lead to a number of health problems.

He urged the employees to adopt a healthy and disciplined lifestyle to combat stress in the fast changing environment.

Dr Choubey told that wellness, recognition and limelight are only one part of life whereas the most important part covers health. Therefore, PSUs employees must learn the art and science of healthy living which Wellness programme addresses.

Dr. H.K. Chopra, President, World Wellness Foundation, said that 80-90% of diseases are caused by the faulty lifestyle at workplace. Heart attack, brain attack, hypertension, cancer, obesity, asthma, depression, liver diseases, migraine etc. are all linked to negative stress with poor cooping capabilities at workplace, he added.

Eminent doctors of cardiology, oncology, mental health and nutrition also addressed the programme.

Terrorist attacks on India, France attack on fundamental values of liberty, freedom and universal brotherhood : President Mukherjee

Thesynergyonline News Bureau

NEW DELHI, JANUARY 26 : The President of India, Mr Pranab Mukherjee received Mr Francois Hollande, the President of the French Republic and chief guest of the Republic Day at Rashtrapati Bhavan on Monday (January 25, 2016). He also hosted a banquet in his honour.

Welcoming the French President, President Mukherjee congratulated him on the successful CoP-21 in Paris. The President said the growing strength of India-France strategic partnership in defence, space, civil nuclear energy and security demonstrates high mutual trust and understanding between the two countries.

The President appreciated the French President for his leadership and resolute action in the wake of the dastardly terror attacks in Paris in November last year. He said the French President’s response reflected the spirit and determination of the people of France to not let the terrorists succeed. India appreciates the support and solidarity expressed by France for India in the wake of the attacks in Pathankot. Whether in Paris or Pathankot, terrorist attacks on democracies such as India and France are an attack against fundamental values of liberty, freedom and universal brotherhood. Terrorism is a global threat and it poses a threat to all nations. No cause can justify terrorist acts. It is imperative that the world act in unison against terrorism, without political considerations.

In his banquet speech President Mukherjee said France made history as the only country to have been accorded the honour of being Chief Guest at India’s Republic Day celebrations a fifth time. When the French Infantry troops march in step with Indian troops in the parade tomorrow, they will make history yet again by being the first-ever foreign contingent to do so. This is not just history in the making – it is a testimony to the enduring bonds between our two civilisations and our two people; it is a tribute to our long-standing and strategic partnerships. It is emblematic of our two national mottos: “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity” and “Satyameva Jayate”, coming together, with the power to inspire the world to achieve the universal ideals of peace and justice.

The President said the two countries must fight resolutely for freedom from the forces of intolerance, extremism and terrorism. The dastardly terror attacks in Paris and Pathankot have underlined the urgency for countries like India and France to jointly combat this existential threat to humanity and human civilisation.

The President said friendship between India and France is driven by a remarkable similarity in the ideals and aspirations of our people. Our civilizations have interacted with each other over the centuries, united by a shared vision of the world we want to live in - a world that is premised on individual liberty, freedom and equality; a world that respects pluralism and democracy; a world that seeks tolerance and peaceful co-existence. The deep bonds of our time-tested friendship are only set to strengthen in the years ahead, anchored as they are in this rich, unshakeable foundation.

The President said while our cooperation in science and research, education, culture and health is growing, he was glad that the Government of France and the captains of French industry are actively partnering India in our ambitious developmental initiatives, infrastructure, smart cities, clean energy, railways and skill development.

The President said the unveiling of the historic findings of an Indo-French archaeological team dating back to 2.6 million years in Chandigarh and the proposed Indo-French partnership in Mars exploration, juxtapose the incredible breadth of our partnership - from jointly plumbing the depths of history to joining hands to explore the stars and the skies. Chandigarh is also the capital of Punjab and Haryana, a region from where more than a century ago, thousands of Indian soldiers fought France’s battle during the First World War and close to ten thousand of them today lie buried in scattered cemeteries in France, having made the supreme sacrifice for the freedom of France.

The President said we have begun the New Year with fresh hopes and dreams and a resolve to jointly overcome the challenges facing us. We live in difficult times characterized by violence, fundamentalism and inequality. But we also live in times of brilliant innovation, of great creativity, of unparalleled global interaction. He said the French President’s visit heralds new beginnings in scaling new heights in India-France bilateral relationship and in the common quest for peace, stability and prosperity for all.

Ahmedabad to host 3-day global meet 'Chemtech Gujarat World Expo from Jan 1 

Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau

'CHEMTECH Gujarat World Expo 2016', the three- day international exhibition and conferences will bring the entire ecosystem of downstream chemicals industry to the common platform over the three days if the event from February 10-12, 2016 in University Grounds Ahmedabad.

The event will create strong opportunities for the chemical manufacturers to engage with the technology providers for the downstream chemicals processing, engineering, equipment & machinery, industrial automation, environment, water and wastewater treatment technologies over the three days of mega event in Ahmedabad.

CHEMTECH Gujarat World Expo 2016 is supported by the Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers, Government of India, Gujarat as the Partner State and IndexTB Gujarat.

Over 200 exhibitors from 14 countries will showcase latest technologies for applications across Refining & Petrochemicals, Chemical & Fertilizers, Specialty Chemicals, Pharma & Biotechnology and various other manufacturing industries.

Eminent lineup of speakers will include Mr B Narayan, Group Projects (Procurement and Projects), Reliance Industries Ltd; Mr A M Tiwari, Managing Director, Gujarat Alkalis and Chemicals Limited (GACL), Dr S.K Nanda ,CMD, Gujarat State Fertilizer Corporation , Mr SK Dhargupta, Executive Director, IOCL – Gujarat Refinery, Mr P D Samudra, Managing Director, TKIS – India (earlier UHDE India),Mr K Ravindranath, Senior VP & Whole Time Director, L&T Hydrocarbon Engineering, Mr NandaKumar, Managing Director, Chemtrols Industries , Mr A B Pandya, former Chairman Central Water Commission, Ministry of Water Resources, Government of India & Chairman, WaterEX Gujarat World Expo 2016

Mr Vijay Rupani, Minister, Transport, Water Supply, Labour and Employment, State of Gujarat to inaugurate WaterEX World Expo 2016 on February 11, 2016.

"Bringing our flagship event to Gujarat has been a natural progression for CHEMTECH, as the state of Gujarat has witnessed phenomenal growth in the chemicals downstream and petrochemicals during the past decade and recognised as one of the global destinations for investments in chemicals. Today, the state of Gujarat hosts some of the largest chemical and petrochemicals facilities in the country and continues to offer opportunities for investments in the chemical downstream industry. This clearly means ample scope for the technologies and the services providers sectors right from engineering services… to chemical processing technologies…to manufacturers & suppliers of process equipment & machinery manufacturers …to industrial automation solutions…to environment, water & wastewater management services providers and various other industries," says Mr Maulik Jasubhai, Vice Chairman & Chief Executive, Jasubhai Group & CHEMTECH Foundation.

He adds, "The event also strives to encourage Make in India for manufacturing Chemical, pharma, engineering and water technology process equipment and technologies and also provides a platform to global investment community to connect with stakeholders."

The major highlight of the expo will be thematic seminars that will be held concurrently to deliberate on topical issues which are of critical importance in today's context with the industry.


Adversity slideshow

"One thing you can't hide - is when you're
crippled inside." - John Lennon

More pain left for equity investors in
short, near- term: ASSOCHAM study

Thesynergyonlin e Economics Bureau

"Pain is a pesky part of being human, I've learned it feels like a stab wound to the heart, something I wish we could all do without, in our lives here. Pain is a sudden hurt that can't be escaped. But then I have also learned that because of pain, I can feel the beauty, tenderness, and freedom of healing. Pain feels like a fast stab wound to the heart. But then healing feels like the wind against your face when you are spreading your wings and flying through the air! We may not have wings growing out of our backs, but healing is the closest thing that will give us that wind against our faces." -
― C. JoyBell C.

Notwithstanding relief rally caused by European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi about some stimulus in March, equity investors are likely to see more pain in the short-to-medium term since overall risk aversion to new investment continues to stay, hitting the investment sentiment in the bargain, an ASSOCHAM study has said.

According to the ASSOCHAM study, "It would be a mistake to separate India from rest of the world when it comes to the equity investment."

"In well-integrated financial markets today, it would be rarest of rare that the Sensex and Nifty would move a direction different from rest of the Asian markets, European indices and the Dow Jones. In about 90 per cent of cases, they all move in a tandem. Thus, the capital outflows will not stop merely because we describe ourselves as a bright spot. The real test would be on the way India takes advantage of the fast unfolding global situation which gives a positive bias to our policy makers in terms of a huge windfall through crude oil fall," it noted.

However, shaving off 1-1.5 percentage points of GDP because of nose-diving of exports which have a big multiplier on the job markets, would also weigh on the macro economy, more so through trade deficit.

"Despite the domestic institutional investors (DIIs) holding the ground in the recent few months, it is not going to be great time for the stock investors at least for the next few months," said the study, adding these outflows are also having an impact on the rupee exchange value near about 68 to a dollar.

"Despite the domestic institutional investors (DIIs) holding the ground in the recent few months, it is not going to be great time for the stock investors at least for the next few months," said the study, adding these outflows are also having an impact on the rupee exchange value near about 68 to a dollar.

The Chinese saga is not done as yet and transition for the world's second largest economy from an export-investment–led model to the one based on domestic consumption is not going to be a smooth sailing , leaving bruising impact on several big economies, including the US, Europe, Russia and India.

"However, armed with solid foreign exchange reserves, the rupee depreciation should not be a great cause of worry since bulk of the commodities like oil through which inflation used to trickle in, are trading at new lows. In a way, the rupee depreciation is helping our exporters to ward off their competitive edge to some extent," ASSOCHAM secretary general Mr D.S. Rawat said.

Though India had closed the year 2015 with a loss of about five per cent when the Sensex had closed at 26,117, the expectation was of a better 2016. But the first few weeks of the New Year have been a disaster for the equity investors who are scouting for alternatives.

Going forward, the ASSOCHAM analysts would also prefer to err on the side of caution, rather than going bold. In the mean while, the domestic economy, particularly the next Monsoon and the directional shift in the Budget could make a great difference to the overall sentiment, the paper said, expecting rural India to get more attention from the Modi Government.

Finally, "It's during a storm that the best songs get written."
― Marty Rubin

Create Venture Fund investment for young entrepreneur in N-E: Jitendra Singh

Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau

The Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North-Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Dr Jitendra Singh said that the Ministry of DoNER could possibly create a venture fund for investment in North- East for young entrepreneurs without much of a liability, said at an ASSOCHAM event held in New Delhi on Wednesday

"A three-day mega Northeast festival will be held at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi from February 12 to 14, 2016. It will aim at showcasing the vast resource and potential of the Northeastern States," said Dr Singh while inaugurating "Start Up India 2016" organised by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).

Dr. Singh said, "We believe that India's economic future lies in encouraging startups which will bring dynamism, new thinking and create jobs to the Indian economy."

He further said, presently we have 80 million population which is below the age of 35 that's the huge strength and I think this is the most opportune time for startup to have happen in India.

Mr Daniel Carmon, Ambassador, Embassy of Israel,said," Startups can grow almost anywhere. But in order to really cultivate them, an ecosystem has to be in place. The latest initiative announced by PM Modi on Saturday is doing exactly that. It provides the needed conditions to evolve and develop. Israel applauds this initiative and would be happy to share its experience in developing suitable ecosystems, comprehensive mechanisms that will encourage unique and sustainable economic growth in India.

There are many ingredients and factors to this success, but I would like to elaborate on one of them: the "Israeli Way", the ability to dream. For it takes dreamers to bring an ancient nation back to its historic homeland; For it takes dreamers to believe that an arid land can become a leader in agriculture; for it takes dreamers to dare to dream and to live the dream, said Mr Daniel Carmon.

In Israel there are over 5000 start-ups and still growing. Israel holds the highest number of startups per capita and has a strong viable venture capital industry. It enjoys as the highest rate of Governmental investment in R&D (almost 4% of GDP). It has developed a unique alliance between Society, Government, Industry, Academia, Technology Transfer Companies, Innovators, Inventors, Private Sector, Human Capital and Venture Capital. The startup ecosystem is ready to take risks, to accept failure, to be curious, to argue, to challenge.

Start up and innovation are also closely related to finding out the next "big thing". Israel is considered to be a leader in two growing fields: IoT – the Internet of Things – and cyber. Two fields with an enormous growth potential mainly because these two interdisciplinary fields will affect almost anything we do in the future, added Mr Daniel Carmon.

In cyber, there are over 300 cyber companies in Israel including a dedicated cyber-park - Cyberspark, located in Beer Sheva, Israel's Cyber Capital. It is designed to materialize the potential and create a unique cyber ecosystem that includes also amongst others, an increasing number of multinational companies and of course - startups. Israel will also soon open the world's first aviation cyber innovation center in Tel Aviv University that will highlight innovative technologies and solutions.

Startups are an engine of growth. They have the potential to create jobs for a growing number of people and open the door for new segments of economic activity. Let me mention in this context the growing e-commerce industry in India that has evolved very rapidly, creating giants like Snapdeal, Flipkart and others, making shopping for many of us easier and more accessible, mentioned Mr Daniel Carmon.

Mr Puneet Y. Dalmia, Managing Director, Dalmia Bharat Limited said, "the StartUp India is really an out-of-box idea and its strength lies in taking programme well beyond IT and Apps ….the involvement of the private sector and academia through incubation centres should make a difference".

According to the joint study undertaken by ASSOCHAM and Grant Thornton on "Startups India-Overview" released today says that 2015 witnessed the maximum traction in the space with over 600 companies getting funding; more than US$ 2 bn being deployed by PE and VC funds.

Over and above the US$ 2 billion deals in the startup specie other top deals in the overall tech specie in 2015 include the usual suspects i.e. investment of US$ 700 mn in Flipkart by Sequoia Capital & Steadview Capital, US$ 500 mn in Snapdeal by Alibaba, Softbank & others, US$ 1100 mn in Olacabs by a group of investors including Tiger Global, Softbank, DST Global etc, mentioned the study.

Investment momentum in startups have increased rapidly over the last five years with investment values increasing at a CAGR of more than 57% between 2011 and 2015 while investment volumes have increased at a CAGR of over 62%, noted the study.

The startup ecosystem continue to be concentrated in regions like NCR, Bangalore and Mumbai which together contribute to 87% of total investment value and 84% of total investment volumes, adds the paper.

Others who also spoke during the conference Mr Sujit Kanoria, Managing Director, Shristi Infrastructure, Mr Rajkumar Dhoot (MP), past president, ASSOCHAM, and Mr D.S. Rawat, Secretary General.

"How do you explain plastic to a medieval forest bard?" - Jefferson Smith, Strange Places

'Need to address polluting characteristic
of plastic in a scientific manner'

Thesynergyonline Econmics Bureau

NEW DELHI, JANUARY 19 : "Plastic should be a high value material... [It] should be in products that last a long time, and at the end of the life, you recycle it. To take oil or natural gas that took millions of years to produce and then to make a disposable product that last minutes or seconds, and then to just discard it--I think that's not a good way of using this resource. (Robert Haley)" - Susan Freinkel, Plastic: A Toxic Love Story

Today plastics are the material of choice in packaging for the sectors such as FMCG, food and beverages, pharmaceuticals etc. . Plastics are used heavily for
packaging due to innovative visual appeal for customer attraction and convenience.

Additionally, they improve the hygiene quotient and shelf-life of the products especially in food and beverages segment.

Nothing on this earth lasts forever. Except maybe plastic."
― Patricia Dunn, Rebels by Accident

A report prepared by FICCI and Tata Strategic Management Group (TSMG) on plastic industry titled 'Plastic Packaging - The Sustainable Choice' was released by FICCI today at the conference on the plastic packaging industry in New Delhi.

Packaging is one of the fastest growing industries and stands at US$ 700 billion globally.

Globally, Plastics comprise of 42% of packaging with the combination of rigid and flexible plastics in packaging.

It has grown higher than GDP in most of the countries. In developing country like India, it grew at a CAGR of 16 per cent in the last five years and touched ~US$ 32 billion in FY 15. The Indian packaging industry constitutes ~4 per cent of the global packaging industry. The per capita packaging consumption in India is quite low at 4.3 kgs, compared to countries like Germany and Taiwan where it is 42 kgs and 19 kgs respectively.

Overall, the Indian packaging industry is valued at over US$ 32 billion and offers employment to more than 10 lakh people across the country through ~10,000 firms approximately.

In the coming years it is expected to grow at 18 per cent per annum. wherein, the flexible packaging is expected to grow at 25 per cent per annum and rigid packaging to grow at 15 per cent annum. The overall packaging industry in India has a huge growth potential and is expected to reach ~US$ 73 billion in the year 2020.

In India, the industry is driven by key factors like rising population, increase in income levels and changing lifestyles. Growth prospects of end-user segments are leading to rise in the demand of the plastic packaging industry. The demand from rural sector for packaged products is being fuelled by the increasing media penetration through the means of Internet and television.

Out of 30,000 processing units, about 75 per cent are in the small-scale sector. The small-scale sector, however, accounts for only about 25 per cent of polymer consumption. The industry also consumes recycled plastic, which constitutes about 30 per cent of total consumption.

However, there are quite a few challenges and risks. High inflation rate and rising prices, lack of skilled workforce, difficulty in procuring raw material due to weak infrastructure, growing environmental concern, effective recycling of mixed plastic waste and plastic recovery are some of the issues plaguing the industry.

Going ahead recycling and reuse of plastics will be an important step towards fostering innovation and sustainability. Also increased awareness through help of industry groups and the Government could help successfully address some of these challenges.

As plastics possess versatile properties it can help us do more with less. One such property is light weight. As plastics are light in weight, they have a high product to package ratio which results in lighter weighed end product. For example: Only 1.5 pounds of flexible plastics can deliver ~60 pounds of beverage; compared to three pounds of aluminium or 50 pounds of glass.

Thus, plastic packaging enables in shipping more products with less packaging material. And also brings down the fuel consumption and the overall transportation cost.

Besides this, plastics can be reused and recycled. They have low energy requirements during production, hence considered to be energy efficient. They consume ~25 percent less energy in production compared to other alternatives. They result in lower emission of CO2 gas. Thus when compared to glass or aluminium plastics results in lighter environmental footprint.

India is a growing market for plastics and consumes about 12.8 Million Metric Tonnes (MMT) of plastics annually against global consumption of 285 MMT per year. The plastics and polymer consumption isgrowing at an average rate of 10 per cent . About 30,000 processing units with 113,000 processing machines have created manufacturing capacity of 30 MMT per annum in India. This has been achieved with a 13% CAGR of processing capacity during last 5 years. The industry has invested $5 billion in the machinery and it is expected to make further investment of $10 billion for further increase in capacities during the next 5 years.

The per capita consumption of polymers in India during 2014-15 was just 10.5 kg as compared to 109 kg in the USA, 45 kg in China and 32 kg in Brazil. India is expected to be among the top ten packaging consumers in the world by 2016. The low level of per capita plastics consumption in India is indicative of the massive growth potential of the plastic industry. Given the rising consumerism and modern lifestyles, it is expected that per capita consumption will be doubled in the next five years. "Near term growth will be driven by sectors like retail, agriculture, small and medium enterprises segments in private banks' advances," said the ASSOCHAM-Crisil study. "Private banks have developed an expertise and can offer quick end-to-end solutions to customers in these segments as they have invested significantly in developing branch network, retail franchise and technology platforms."

While the usage and benefits of plastics are manifold, it invariably gets branded as a polluting material. The facts or myth regarding the polluting characteristic of plastic are needed to be addressed in a scientific manner. Plastics are chemically inert substances and they do not cause either environmental or health hazards. If plastics can be collected and disposed off or recycled as per laid down guidelines/rules then the issue of plastic waste can be suitably addressed. In fact there is wide scope for industries based on re-cycling of plastics waste.

Further, India is emerging as the most favoured destination for organized retail destination in the world. And also the presence of e-commerce is expanding rapidly and is bringing around a revolution in the retail industry. Retailers are now leveraging digital retail channels thereby enabling wider reach out to customers with less amount of money spent on real estate.

Therefore, organized retail and boom in e-commerce offers huge potential for future growth of retailing in India which in turn is pushing the growth of packaging sector.

Private banks` advances to grow at 24% CAGR between fiscals 2016-2019

Thesynegyonline Economics Bureau

Advances of private banks in India are likely to grow at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 24 per cent between fiscals 2016 and 2019, materially ahead of 12 per cent for public sector banks (PSBs) over the same period, noted a recent ASSOCHAM-Crisil joint study.

"Private banks are expected to play an increasing role in banking sector's growth over the medium term, given their strong balance sheet, large presence in retail segment and strong, low-cost liability franchise," highlighted the study titled 'Indian banking sector: The changing landscape,' conducted by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) jointly with rating agency Crisil.

Credit growth of banking sector which remained muted at around eight per cent in first half of current fiscal, is expected to remain subdued at about 11 per cent in current fiscal as credit demand from corporate sector remains muted, it noted.

"Near term growth will be driven by sectors like retail, agriculture, small and medium enterprises segments in private banks' advances," said the ASSOCHAM-Crisil study. "Private banks have developed an expertise and can offer quick end-to-end solutions to customers in these segments as they have invested significantly in developing branch network, retail franchise and technology platforms."

"Near term growth will be driven by sectors like retail, agriculture, small and medium enterprises segments in private banks' advances," said the ASSOCHAM-Crisil study. "Private banks have developed an expertise and can offer quick end-to-end solutions to customers in these segments as they have invested significantly in developing branch network, retail franchise and technology platforms."

Political will to undertake big-ticket reforms, and improvement in capacity utilisation, signalling an uptick in demand, will be key drivers for corporate investments in near term, it added.

PSBs will be forced to focus on re-orienting their business model and become more competitive and will need to increase focus on improving their performance (asset quality and profitability) instead of chasing growth, improving governance and building better customer connect, asserted the study.

Mid-size to small PSBs will face greater challenges and will need to develop regional expertise and focus on smaller ticket lending in retail and SME segments.

"PSBs will face strong competition from private banks in the low yield segments like mortgage, auto and from non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) in the high yield segments like loan against property, used vehicles, personal loan, gold loan and others," it said.

Banking in India is dominated by PSBs that account for about 74 per cent of total advances, while private sector accounts for 22 per cent and foreign banks for the rest, however, share of private banks has increased from about 18 per cent during the course of past five years.

Private banks have grown at a CAGR of 20 per cent between fiscals 2010-2015 compared to 16 per cent CAGR clocked by PSBs. Within private banks, growth is driven by new private banks, whose advances grew by 21 per cent CAGR over fiscals 2010 and 2015 compared with 17 per cent by old private regional banks.

'Through the English appropriation of the French ambience and the related amientae of Italian , I found ambient defined in English as the character and atmosphere of a place.'

Need to create appropriate ambience to promote entrepreneurship for achieving intended benefits,says President

Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau

NEW DELHI, JANUARY 16 : "The ambience of every environment in a country is the value system of the given nation. It is that culture that influences how citizens of a nation react, respond and behave among themselves in regards to politics, commerce, family and social life."

And so the President of India, Mr Pranab Mukherjee addressed a group of leading Silicon Valley CEOs, entrepreneurs, technologists and venture capitalists at Rashtrapati Bhavan on Friday (January 15, 2016) on the eve of the launch of "Start-Up India" initiative.

Speaking on the occasion, the President said that in the year 1600, India had a share of 22.5 percent of the world GDP. This declined to 12.3 percent in 1870 and further to 3 percent in 1950. Today, our GDP is only 2.6 percent of the world GDP. If we have to catch up with our past performance and eliminate poverty, we have to achieve high growth level of a minimum of 10 percent and sustain it over a period of more than 10 years. It is technology and entrepreneurship that will drive our country's production to optimum levels. The objective is to convert the young minds from being job seekers to job creators. The existing talent and resources are to be utilized to their optimal capacity.

The President said that we have people with great competence and talent but unless we create the appropriate ambience to promote entrepreneurship and risk-taking ability, we may not be able to achieve the intended benefits. Mere political freedom, if not backed by economic freedom, will not solve the problems of the country's vast multitude of people. He stated that there are chances that out of every 100 new enterprises, if 30 are bound to succeed; one has to be prepared that 60 may be bound to die and 10 would be in the grey area i.e. they may succeed or may not succeed.

The President said that as Visitor of 114 institutions of higher learning, he had in the last three years been repeatedly pointing out that not a single University figured in the top 200 institutions as per international rating agencies. He refused to believe that there was dearth of talent in the students, teachers, and institutions. He was happy to note that in 2015, two Indian institutions found place in the top 200. He expressed confidence that in the next two –three years many more institutions will figure in the top rankings.

During the interactions, the CEOs, entrepreneurs, technologists and venture capitalists stated that India is on the cusp of a Start-up revolution. They saw big hopes and tremendous potential in India and were willing to do their best to share and work to make India as successful as the Silicon Valley. They felt that entrepreneurial energy is the kind of energy required for economic progress and that it was crucial for India to adopt innovation. They stressed on the need for creating the right environment in India where entrepreneurship could be encouraged and there would be ease in doing business.

Among the entrepreneurs who participated in the interaction were Mr. Venktesh Shukla, president, TIE; Mr Suhas Patil, CEO, Cradle Technologies; Mr Krishna Yarlagadda, president, Imagination Technologies; Mr. Adil Adi, CEO, World Link; Mr Sarvajana Dwivedi, co- founder & CEO, Pearl Therapeutics; Mr Kanwal Rekhi, General Partner, Inventus Capital; Mr. Prakash Bhalerao, Venture Capitalist, Rainbow Enterprises; Mr. KB Chandrashekhar, Chairman & CEO, Jamcracker Inc; Mr. Vinod Dham, Founder, Indo-US Ventures; Mr Nimish Mehta, CEO, Lumen Data; Mr Prakash Iyer, vice president, Trimble Navigation , Mr Sarvajit Thakur, Chairman, Enterprise Solutions Inc., Mr Manu Rekhi, Venture Partner, Inventus Capital and Mr Raju Indukari, Chairman & CEO, Mtuity.

Media Realations Slideshow

SCOPE advocates better media
relations by public sectors

Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau

Mr. A.K. Bhattacharya, Editor, Business Standard, Dr. U.D. Choubey, Director General, SCOPE, Mr Sanjiv Singh, Director (Refineries), Indian Oil Corporation and Member of SCOPE Executive Board, and others at a one-day conclave on "Media Relations

"The best relationships in our lives are the best not because they have been the happiest ones, they are that way because they have stayed strong through the most tormentful of storms."
― Pandora Poikilos, Excuse Me, My Brains Have Stepped Out

And so Standing Conference of Public Enterprises (SCOPE) organized one-day conclave on "Media Relations" here which was attended by CEOs, Directors and Top Management of public sector enterprises. The inaugural session was addressed by Mr. A.K. Bhattacharya, Editor, Business Standard,

Dr U.D. Choubey, Director General, SCOPE, Mr. Sanjiv Singh, Director (Refineries), Indian Oil Corporation and Member of SCOPE Executive Board, and others.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. U.D. Choubey, Director General, SCOPE highlighted the importance of media relations for successful enterprises and said that reputation and brand promotion by public sector enterprises could be the most important ingredient for taking competitive advantage over others.

Dr. Choubey advised that CEOs should make a dedicated group of persons under him to bring the corporate visibility at national and international level and also thwart negative publicity. It would be better if CEOs directly contribute to social media to share the achievements by the company so that the same could reach the people at large. This in turn will give a better brand at national/global level, he added.

Mr. Sanjiv Singh, Director (Refineries), IndianOil and Mr. A.K. Bhattacharya, Editor, Business Standard, appreciated efforts taken by SCOPE and highlighted the importance of media relations.

"Without a constant livelihood, there will be no constant heart."
- Ueda Akinari, Tales of Moonlight and Rain

Machine-made Chinese chikan threatening livelihood of 5 lakh embroidery workers in Lucknow: ASSOCHAM

Thesynergyonlie Economics Bureau

NEW DELHI, JANUARY 13: "If aliens ever visit us, I think the outcome would be much as when Christopher Columbus first landed in America, which didn't turn out very well for the Native Americans." - Stephen Hawking"

And centuries-old chikankari craft of Lucknow is facing strong competition from Chinese chikan which is up to 30 per cent cheap and consumes less time in production threatening livelihoods of about five lakh people involved in this unorganised industry, apex industry body ASSOCHAM said on Wednesday.

"Lack of awareness together with dearth of skilled manpower is affecting the growth of chikankari as only five per cent of total production is exported while the rest is sold in the domestic market," noted a sector specific analysis of Chikankari craft conducted by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).

"Machine-made Chinese chikan is thriving as it can be produced faster as against the handcrafted embroidery where timely delivery of end product is a significant concern as most workers stay in villages around Lucknow," highlighted the analysis conducted by the ASSOCHAM Economic Research Bureau (AERB).

Less than even five per cent of chikan manufacturers in the city are into direct exports, it added.

"Chikankari industry is highly fragmented and has been facing significant challenges owing to insufficient market information on export trends, opportunities and prices, scarcity of raw materials, lack of adequate finance and growing competition from mill and factory made products," said Mr D.S. Rawat, secretary general of ASSOCHAM.

"There is a pressing need to create awareness about the chikankari craft and products through promotional methods like building brand image, conducting road shows and craft festivals in target countries and also point of sale publicity through attractive display and banners," said Mr Rawat.

"Besides, marketing tools like innovative and appealing packaging need to be extensively used," he added.

Government facilitation for creation of niche markets for chikan products, opening showrooms and warehouses in select countries according to their current market size, import values and others are certain key suggestions to improve exports of chikankari craft from India.

There is also a need for developing a mechanism to enable rural and semi-urban artisans to encourage them to become entrepreneurs and take advantage of emerging market opportunities.

"The Government in partnership with private sector needs to encourage integrated enterprise development by providing supporting services such as local centres for skill training, product adaptation, vocational training and entrepreneurship development," suggested ASSOCHAM.

Given demand pattern in international markets revolves around quality goods and high quantities, slow response from the supply side could be a limiting factor for exports of chikankari craft.

The Government should offer small, disadvantaged artisans and craft producers an access to global markets with complete support right from product development and manufacturing to export marketing.

Need for India,CLMV countries to promote greater connectivity , integration with regional value chains : Sitharaman

Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau

According to Mrs. Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of State for Commerce & Industry (IC), Government of India "The trade links and ties between India and the CLMV countries can be much better, and the two governing principles, connectivity and economic integration with regional value chains are crucial."

The minister was delivering the keynote address at the 3rd India – CLMV Business Conclave being organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in collaboration with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India, at Chennai. The conference focused on the topic," India – CLMV Economic Integration: Developing Regional Value Chains."

"India's trade with the CLMV countries is over 11,000 million USD and there is immense potential." The tri-lateral highway, connectivity in the North East, port connectivity improvement and the Act East policy are moves in that direction. The External Affairs study proves that there's a huge potential of about 100billion USD dollars of additional export.

The Minister stated that there was a need for Indian banks to establish their branches overseas and the proposal of a Project development fund, an important instrument to handhold manufacturing units in the CLMV countries and duty free tariffs. While globally FDIs are falling, last year India had 38% growth in FDI, which shows the investors' confidence in India. She also added that with the world economy falling, it will depend on CMLV countries and India for revival.

Mr. Sun Chanthol, Senior Minister, Minister of Commerce, Kingdom of Cambodia said, "It's important to network and share best-practices and strengthen businesses ties between the countries. The trade investment between India and the ASEAN countries is crucial since the CLMV countries cover 32% of the ASEAN region and has a huge market for Indian products and with a 165 million strong population. This will attract considerable amount of FDI from India. It has an open investment regime and does not discriminate between foreign and local investors. It is investing heavily into its transport infrastructure."

Mr. Somchinth Inthamith, Vice Minister of Industry and Commerce, Lao PDR, said, " The investment between Laos and India is still insignificant. We are working on policy level changes in laws and regulations and open sky policies to facilitate trade. CLMV and India should work together to strengthen the strategic partnership to reduce the poverty. We are committed to make Laos a preferred destination."

Mr. Pwint San, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Commerce, Myanmar, said, "Myanmar is trying to improve the trade policies and create attractive and investor-friendly policies. A new foreign investment law has been passed to attract more investors and the mass investment potential lies in the economic partnerships."

"We are stepping up our stand in business collaborations and diplomatic cooperation between the CLMV countries and India. Knowledge sharing, simplifying laws and policies should be encouraged between countries to address commercial challenges."

Mr. Nguyen Cam Tu, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Industry and Trade, Vietnam, said, "We welcome India's economic integration with the CLMV countries. India and CLMV need to strengthen economic integration through connectivity, infrastructure, and trade facilitations.We also aim to focus on the added advantage from sectors such as seafood, manufacturing, engineering, automobiles and chemicals.

In his address, Mr. Ravi Capoor, Joint Secretary, Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India stated that "The Ministry of Commerce has taken a huge step to launch the CLMV fund and is looking at large investments in these regions. We see problems in connectivity, banking, actual physical movement of people in trade and business collaborations. We are also looking at physical land connectivity to the CLMV countries through the North-East region."

Ms. Shobana Kamineni, Vice-President, CII, and Executive Vice Chairperson, Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Limited, said, "Every business has opportunities to thrive and it would be a threat if we do not make use of the opportunities as growth elements. CLMV countries have been going on a major transformation inward and outward. We should aim to follow best-practices to enhance productivity in Agriculture, mining and minerals, oil and gas, infrastructure, Service sector (manpower, training, skilled-resources), SMEs, and opportunities for smaller business to engage and grow.

Earlier in his welcome address, Mr. Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General,CII stated that "This conference comes at an opportune time, with a slew of reforms announced by the Government of India. I firmly believe that India needs to deepen the relationship with the CLMV countries in sectors such as agriculture, mining, healthcare, and energy (hydro and solar energy)." He added that through this trade and business expansion millions of job opportunities will be opened up.

Banks to use non-core assets for capitalisation as they brave stress : SBI chief

Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau

Allaying concerns over inadequate capitalisation of banks reeling under the stressed assets, State Bank of India (SBI) Chairperson Ms Arundhati Bhattacharya today said her bank and several others in the public sector would divest non-core assets for meeting the funding requirement as per the Basel III norms.

Delivering the ASSOCHAM Foundation Day Lecture in New Delhi, Ms Bhattacharya said let people rest assured that the banks would be capitalised both by the government as also through generation of internal resources by sale of non-core assets.

She said as part of the ' Indradhanush ' package of Rs 1,80,000 crore, the government was to capitalise the PSU banks to the extent of Rs 70,000 crore while the balance of Rs 1,10,000 crore was to be raised by the individual banks through different means. At the SBI, the banks has indentified certain non-core asset and some unlisted entities which would be used for raising such resources for measuring up to Basel III norms.
The SBI chief also allayed apprehensions that the journey towards the global banking norms would raise the cost of borrowing.

Answering a question from an ASSOCHAM member over the kind of competition which may ensue with the entry of payment gateways, Ms Bhattacharya asserted, "we have no intention of vacating that space. We will (rather) leverage it to the hilt". She said the SBI with a legacy of 209 years has a kind of trust with the small and retail customers which the new payment gateways would not have. The country's largest bank is opening as many as 70,000 accounts per day through 54,000 Customer Service Points (CSPs) outside the bank branches, operated through channels like the fertiliser dealer or grocery stores.
These CSPs are now being equipped to sell banking, insurance and pension products by way of massive 25,000 training sessions.

Sharing a multi-pronged strategy to deal with the problem of stressed assets and non-performing assets, the SBI chief informed the ASSOCHAM members that her bank would, in about a year, would launch a platform along with the SIDBI and NSE for discounting of bills by traders. The initiative would not only help the traders but also help the bank to reduce the NPAs.

She put the blame for the NPAs on all the stakeholders- promoters, government, lenders and even the regulators. Ms Bhattacharya said promoters were bidding aggressively riding on the back of good times around 2007-08 and some of them were diverting funds out of the well-run units hoping the money flow would continue forever. On their part, the banks extended loans for long duration, as much as 30 years, while hoping the funds would be recovered in 10 years or so. The regulator is to blame for allowing such a dispensation while the government was to take the blame for policy uncertainty like cancellation of telecom licences.

On China, Ms Bhattacharya said the communist country has abundant reserves to capitalise the banks with a swift "China would not have a hard landing". The problems arose for China as after a scorching pace of growth the county is faced with negative inflows as it grapples with shifting from investment -led growth to consumption led pattern of expansion.

As for the government's financial inclusion programme like the PM Jan Dhan Yojna, she said with the help of unique programme like Aadhar, which is the world's largest biometric programme, the banks would have capture the transaction history of the beneficiaries and then accordingly design finance products for them .

In his address, ASSOCHAM president Mr Sunil Kanoria said, the growing level of NPAs in the Indian banking system is an area of concern. Gross NPAs of commercial banks stood at 5.1% in September 2015, while the restructured standard advances as a percentage of gross advances stood at 6.2% during the same period. The figures are even higher for the public sector banks (PSBs) which account for roughly 70% Indian banks' assets. Initiatives like the 5/25 scheme and strategic debt restructuring to tackle stressed assets and especially to help companies in infrastructure and core sector to tide over bad times.

Thus, despite the growing NPAs, the scenario is not all that alarming. In fact, about 58% of the impaired assets are due to stalled projects, thus that portion is very much recoverable. In addition, our banks remain well capitalized. RBI has kept the risk-weighted capital adequacy ratio for our banks at 9 per cent and aims to take this figure up to 10.5 per cent by 2019, whereas the figure as per Basel II standard is 8 per cent. Not a single PSB has capital adequacy ratio below 9%, in fact except for 4 PSBs, all have capital adequacy ratio higher than 10.5 per cent. Net, net, our banks are resilient and still enjoy space for maneuverability, and with corrective action the NPA problem can be mitigated. And now with a new Bankruptcy Code on the anvil, the banks will be better equipped to deal with stressed assets, said Mr. Kanoria.

During the last 2-3 years, use of technology has become integral to banking operations and technology is used for data analysis, understanding of credit needs of customers, customer interaction, etc and even helps banks to offer more focused products to customers. Thus, banking and technology are now inseparable.

This emerging technological landscape in the financial world according to me is the greatest opportunity and at the same time the biggest challenge. Players who will be able to successfully ride the technology curve will emerge winners, while those who will fail to do so will lose out. Some of the banks who have taken the lead in embracing technology are now being equated with 'technology players with banking license', added ASSOCHAM chief.

Others who also spoke during the conference were Mr. R N Dhoot, past president ASSOCHAM and Mr. D S Rawat, Secretary General ASSOCHAM.

This is the real secret

46,000 mw power projects at high risk: ASSOCHAM-CRISIL study

Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau

NEW DELHI, JANUARY 11 : The Associated Chamber of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM)-CRISIL joint study has revealed that today about 46,000 mw of power projects are at high risk as these projects are not having any strong sponsor company support.

Banks and Financial Institutions (FIs) have together lent about Rs. 75,000 crore as on March 15, 2015 and these projects are not expected to turn viable in the long-run even if they are structured under the 5/25 scheme. It is rather apprehended that accretion of non-performing assets (NPAs) from these accounts could be high in the medium term.

Releasing the white paper on 'Infrastructure Financing', the chamber Secretary General Mr. D S Rawat said, the ground reality today is that 46,000 mw of capacities are at risk. Of this, nearly 36,000 mw are coal-based and about 10,000 mw, gas-based. Loans to these projects are pegged at around Rs. 2.1 lakh crore of which about two-thirds are lent by public sector banks.

The study has classified coal-based projects (76% of the Rs 2.1 lakh crore exposure) into three buckets of risk- offtake, fuel availability, and aggressive bidding. The risk is highest where lenders are exposed to projects that were bid so aggressively that there is a question mark over their viability. Gas-based projects (24% of the exposure), on the other hand, are weak due to lack of fuel availability.

The study believes nearly 20,000 mw of weak generation projects involving debt of Rs 1 lakh crore can benefit from the 5/25 scheme in the medium-term. Of this 15,000 mw are coal-based. Some of these were operating at sub-optimal PLFs because of inadequate feedstock, but coal supplies are improving now. They can further benefit from elongated loan tenures under the 5/25 scheme. Additionally, 5,000 mw of gas-based capacities, having been allocated subsidised RLNG in the recent round of auctions, will be able to service their interest obligations for the next two years.

Therefore, providing moratorium on principal repayment under 5/25 till such time domestic gas production improves can provide relief to these projects.

However, as per stipulation, for debt to be structured under the 5/25 scheme, banks will have to bring in an additional lender or ensure zero net present value loss. And the performance of projects, even after structuring, will be a monitorable.

There is a glimmer of hope for India's power sector if one were to go by the list of states that have agreed to participate in the UDAY (Ujjwal Discom Assurance Yojana) package announced by the Central government for the struggling state owned distribution companies (discoms). At last count, 7 states- Rajasthan, Jharkhand, AP, Punjab, J&K, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarkhand have joined UDAY. The first five states are also amongst the weakest and account for a significant portion of overall discom borrowings.

The study believes that the scheme has the potential to wipe out losses of discoms in Haryana, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana by fiscal 2018. For discoms in Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand, losses will reduce, but total elimination can happen only by achieving milestones on operational inefficiencies lest they should regress to around into the debt trap. If the larger states adhere to their milestones by reducing AT&C losses to around 15 per cent by fiscal 2019 through efficiency improvements, UDAY could spawn a transformational change in India's power sector.

The discoms have been the weakest link in India's power sector. The all-India losses of discoms are estimated at Rs 70,000 crore for March 31, 2015. There are three reasons for this Poor operational inefficiencies because of high aggregate technical and commercial (AT&C) losses; Tariff hikes of the past not being reflective of the actual cost; and Huge interest burden because losses were being funded by debt. This had necessitated bailout by the Central government in the past because the discoms are financially fragile, they are wary of committing to long-term power purchase agreements. This has resulted in lower purchases by discoms, and has led to sub-optional plant load factors for generating companies, especially the newly commissioned projects.

Industry needn't worry about impact
of TPP: Sitharaman

Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau

"There is nothing to worry about the adverse impact of TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement) on India. We have taken necessary steps to boost India's trade and investment in the wake of emerging new trade architecture", said Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman, Union Minister of State for Commerce & Industry. She was addressing industry members on "regionalism vs multilateralism: the future of global trade" at the 22nd edition of CII Partnership Summit being held at Vishakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh.

Ms. Sitharaman also highlighted that the real implementation of TPP has a long way to go as till date not a single TPP member has got it passed through their Parliament. The TPP is a US-led trade agreement involving twelve Pacific Rim countries concerning a variety of matters of trade and economic policy, which was reached on 5 October 2015 after 7 years of negotiations. "There is nothing regional about TPP as countries are spread across different continents. This is an agreement involving a basket of countries", she further added.

The Union Commerce & Industry Minister re-iterated India's strong belief and commitment towards multilateral trading system, which transparent, equitable and supports consensus based decisions. In WTO each members irrespective of their size and socio-economic development has equal voting rights, which instills lot of confidence in them.

Ms. Sitharaman highlighted the strong performance of India in sourcing FDI. She stated that while globally FDI flows have fallen by 16%, FDI inflow into India has seen a sharp increase of 38% last year. This speaks about the inherent strength of Indian economy and shows the impact of steps being taken by the incumbent Government.

The session was also addressed by her counterparts from Bangladesh, Nepal, Sudan, Malawi and Kuwait. The Minister of Commerce of Bangladesh Mr. Tofail Ahmed said that how US and other developed nations are discriminating against Asian LDCs while granting Duty-Free Quota-Free Market access. The Commerce Minister of Nepal Mr. Deepak Bohara emphasized the importance of further boosting regional economic cooperation in South Asia.

Earlier, moderating the session, the President-Designate of CII Dr. Naushad Forbes called for adopting a more inclusive approach in regional trading arrangements, particularly for mega-FTAs. The session was also addressed by Mr. Shishir Priyadarshi, Director, Development Division, World Trade Organization. He said that the debate over multilateralism vs regionalism is no more relevant as in the current scenario both are going to stay. The challenge is how to make it a win-win situation for the large group of countries including small economies and LDCs. Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action

Luxury Market Slideshow

"Luxury is the ease of a t-shirt in a very expensive dress."
- Karl Lagerfeld

Indian luxury market to cross
$18.3 bln by 2016 : Paper

Thesynergyonline Econoics Bureau

"Every state of society is as luxurious as it can be. Men always take the best they can get. " - Samuel Johnson

And so with increasing brand awareness amongst the Indian youth and purchasing power of the upper class in tier II and III cities, Indian luxury market is expected to cross $18.3 billion by 2016 from the current level of $14.7 billion growing with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 25%, reveals the ASSOCHAM study.

"What they liked in things they called luxury was only the money behind them; they loved wealth before they loved life." - Georges Perec, Things: A Story of the Sixties; A Man Asleep

The factors that have fuelled the luxury industry's growth are the rise in disposable income, brand awareness amongst the youth and purchasing power of the upper class in Tier II & III cities in India, said Mr. D S Rawat, Secretary General ASSOCHAM.

The sectors such as five star hotels and fine-dining, electronic gadgets, luxury personal care, and jewellery performed well in the year of 2015 and are expected to grow by 30-35 per cent over the next three years. Big ticket spends such as on luxury cars mainly SUV are likely to continue, growing upwards of 18-20 per cent over the next three years, driven by consumption in smaller towns and cities.

With the luxury market expected to grow at over 25% year on year, Private Equity investments (PE) in the luxury segment are expected to increase and support the enhanced size of the Indian luxury market.

The chamber paper segregated the luxury sector into products: apparel and accessories, pens, home décor, watches, wines & spirits and jewellery, services: spas, concierge service, travel & tourism, fine dining and hotels and assets: yachts, fine art, automobiles.

The high internet penetration across tier-II and tier-III cities along with high disposable income shall lead to approx. 100 mn transactions on the Internet by 2020. As a result, the luxury consumption is going to increase manifold in the country, highlighted the study.

The size of the High Income group (HIG) consumers continue to enlarge and spend over 40% of their monthly income on some of the world's largest luxury brands whereas the middle income group (MIG) consumers spend 8-10 per cent of income on luxury products , reveals the ASSOCHAM latest survey. Globally too consumer spending is on a rise, expected to reach USD 40 trillion by 2020 with an unprecedented growth of US$ 12 trillion in a decade, adds the report.

"Luxury jewellery, electronics, SUV cars and fine dining have grown beyond expectations, while apparel, accessories, wines and spirits have continued their strong growth in 2016, according to the ASSOCHAM assessment. Consumption of branded wine is also likely to register over 30% increase in the metro cities.

Some of the significant players across various verticals who performed well in 2015 included – GUCCI, Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton, Ocean Style Yachting, Canali India, L'Oreal Luxe India, LVMH India, Judith Leiber, The Phenix Mills, The SPA Group, Geetanjali Group, The Bauers, Starwood Asia Pacific Hotels & Resorts, Da Milano Leathers, Reliance Brands, Hidesign and others.

The aspiration and disposable income of consumers in India is on the rise, the purchasing power of women has improved, and men are fast emerging as a separate consumer category. As per the estimate, luxury beauty products market has been growing at average 28% over the last three years.

The survey was conducted in major places like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Hyderabd, Pune, Chandigarh, Dehradun etc. A little over 250 employee were selected from each city on an average. In 2015, Delhi ranks first in spending most on luxury brands followed by Mumbai (2nd), Ahmedabad (3rd) Pune (4th) and Bangalore (5th).

Around 55 per cent of the survey respondents fall under the age bracket of 20-29 years, followed by 30-39 years (26 per cent), 40-49 years (16 per cent), 50-59 years (2 per cent) and 60-65 years.

Mr. Rawat further said that the slowdown in the economy has not affected the spending patterns of high income group (HIG), with many of them stating that maintaining their lifestyle is an extremely important facet of their social life. "Throwing lavish parties such as business success, wedding or launch parties has become a new area of spending", reveals the survey.

According to survey majority of women tend to make purchasing decisions around cosmetics, perfumes, spa treatments, clothes, footwear, bags and jewelry. Men on the other hand mostly decide on purchases related to alcohol, watches and automobiles, mentioned the ASSOCHAM survey.

A majority of survey respondents said they purchase luxury items during overseas trips, with cosmetics, watches, bag, and perfumes etc. Nearly 85% of potential consumers search for luxury brands on the internet at least once a month. There are also increasing signs of changing consumption patterns in major cities.

The demand for luxury goods in metros are booming as incomes continue to rise. The survey also reveals the role of digital media and the extent to which it is being used as a tool to engage high-end consumers. Indian Luxury market is poised to expand five fold in next three years and the number of millionaires expected to multiply three times in another five years.

Many of the major luxury brands are continuing with their current investments, despite the ongoing global economic slowdown, women are an important target market for luxury players, as their purchasing power rises and start to seek a wider range of products, adds the survey.

Over 69% of survey respondents said they prefer to purchase well known luxury brands, whilst 65 percent separately indicated they would pay a premium for well-known, popular luxury brands.

Finally, "The idea of luxury, even the word "luxury," was important to Arabella. Luxury meant something that was by definition overpriced, but was so nice, so lovely, in itself that you did not mind, in fact was so lovely that the expensiveness became part of the point, part of the distinction between the people who could not afford a thing and the select few who not only could, but also understood the desirability of paying so much for it. Arabella knew that there were thoughtlessly rich people who could afford everything; she didn't see herself as one of them but instead as one of an elite who both knew what money meant and could afford the things they wanted; and the knowledge of what money meant gave the drama of high prices a special piquancy. She loved expensive things because she knew what their expensiveness meant. She had a complete understanding of the signifiers." - John Lanchester, Capital

Pakistan must be encouraged to develop "vested" economic interest in India for lasting peace 

Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau

Without getting bogged down by the terrorist attack on Pathankot Airbase, India must remain engaged with Pakistan to the extent that the Pakistan economy develops a 'vested' interest in the Indian economy which would then mean heavy economic costs for brazen militant attacks, ASSOCHAM said on Tuesday.

Expressing a great sense of shock and grief at the loss of lives at Pathankot where the Indian security forces have foiled the nefarious designs of forces in Pakistan, ASSOCHAM President Mr Sunil Kanoria said, "at times, the instrumentalities of economic costs work quite well. But since the commercial engagement between India and Pakistan have remained so low that there is no option for any such recourse".

India's total trade with Pakistan in fiscal 2014-15 was less than USD 2.5 billion with balance of trade loaded heavily in favour of New Delhi. Against exports of USD 1.85 billion, imports from Pakistan were less than USD half a billion, meaning thereby that "Pakistan does not depend on India , either for seeking markets for its exports , nor meeting its crucial requirements of imports. So , there is no possibility of any economic costs which can be inflicted on them in situations like this".

The ASSOCHAM President said while the basic principle of building commercial relations cannot be to inflict economic costs on the trading partner at a later stage, "a deep and well-entrenched commercial relation have dissuaded countries from taking extreme steps. To that extent, the economic ties have been used for strategic purposes as well".

While Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal remain the top commercial partners for India in South Asia, the total size of the engagement in the region is far less than the desired level. "Here too, a vast Indian market has not been really converted into a strategic resource for the partners in south Asia since India's total imports from South Asia are less than USD three billion, against exports of USD 20 billion". ASSOCHAM said, India needs to be using its vast market for the South Asian partners a "strategic resource" for them by giving them liberal access and even hand holding them.

While Pakistan aspires to be among the 25th top economies of the world, according to a World Bank report, the country is getting a least amount of foreign direct investment. While the World Bank has listed factors such as lack of ease of doing business, "the geo-political reasons with a negative bias have also played a role", the ASSOCHAM said.

FM : To make health and social security benefits accessible to unorganised sector workers major priority

Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau

The Union Finance Minister Mr Arun Jaitley said that the making social security schemes accessible to unorganised sector workers is a major challenge, which the Government is keen to address at this juncture where the unorganised sector is growing at a faster pace.

He said that to make health and social security benefits accessible to un-organised sector workers like construction workers, migrant labourers, volunteers of different schemes like Anganwadi workers etc are one of the major priorities of the present Government. Mechanisms can be thought of wherein social security benefit contributions to workers can be made by employers at a single window for all workers. The Finance Minister Shri Jaitley was speaking during his second Pre -Budget Consultative Meeting with the representatives of different Trade Union Groups here on Monday.

The Finance Minister Shri Jaitley said that the present framework of social security is structured for different groupings –organized, unorganized and those not employed/BPL, which are functional requirements. He said that there is a need to ensure a convergence of benefits for all these groupings, above a minimum threshold.

Mr Jaitley further said that for employment generation, the Government has taken many intiatives like Make in India, Skill India, Mudra Yojana and National Career Service Portal. He said that around 9.63 lakh organizations have registered on National Career Service portal and 2.09 crore persons have also registered for employment on the same. Along with skill development, identifying labour-intensive industries and new areas where jobs can be created like renewable energy and reusable resources etc. and providing employment linked training can be some of the ways to capitalise on the demographic dividend, the Finance Minister added.

Along with the Finance Minister Shri Jaitley,the Pre-Budget Consultative Meeting with the representatives of Trade Union Groups was also attended among others by Mr Jayant Sinha, Minister of State for Finance, Mr R.N. Watal, Finance Secretary, Mr Shaktikanta Das, Secretary, DEA, Dr. Hasmukh Adhia, Revenue Secretary and Dr Arvind Subramanian, Chief Economic Adviser (CEA).

The representatives of various Trade Union Groups who attended the  meeting include among others Mr Vrijesh Upadhyay (BMS),Mr Rajender Prasad Singh (INTUC),Mr A.L.Sachdev (AITUC), Mr Harbhajan Singh Sidhu (HMS), Mr Tapan Sen, (CITU), Mr Sankar Saha (AIUTUC), Mr S.P. Tiwary (TUCC), Mrs. Jyotiben Macwan (SEWA), Shri Rajiv Dimri (AICCTU), Mr L.Rashid Khan (LPF), Mr Deeepak Jaiswal (NFITU) and Mr Ashok Ghosh (UTUC).

Most of the Trade Union representative gave a joint memorandum to the Finance Minister containing suggestions for the forthcoming Union Budget 2016-17.Various suggestions were made by the representatives of Trade Union Groups.

The major suggestions include that next Budget should be people oriented budget and help in creation of more jobs/employment opportunities including opening of the Government sector for the employment opportunities. It was suggested to increase the minimum wage to Rs.15,000 especially after the 7th Pay Commission recommended lowest scale starting from Rs. 18,000. Other suggestions include need for taking effective and timely measures to keep prices especially of food items under control, strengthening of social security schemes for the workers especially those working in un-organised sector, extension of National Pension System(NPS) to the workers of un-organised sector.

Many other suggestions include need for over hauling of tax structure, and minimum tax exemption limit be raised to Rs. 5.00 lakh in case of employees. creation of a separate Social Sector Affairs Department coordinating different ministries and experts and to include representative of such sectors so that the benefits reach directly to the real beneficiaries.

Other suggestions include minimizing the administrative cost upto 5% of total allocation. It was suggested that growth may be related to the wage of workers and hence a ‘wage-led growth’ has to be brought in. Increase in wages would lead to increase in purchasing power of the people which in turn will strengthen the market and the economy.

It was suggested that allocation to education sector be raised to 6% and health allocation be raised to 3 per cent (from present 1 per cent) of the total budget. It was suggested that un-organised sector required a comprehensive decent work agenda which includes reasonable/decent wages, work conditions, social security, welfare, safety, gender justice and job security among others.

It was suggested to open a ‘Worker’s Bank’ for general interest of workers. It was suggested that there is need for amendment of Contractual Labour Act and same wages be given for same work for those working on contractual basis. Anti-dumping measures especially in metal sector have to taken-up on utmost priority to save the domestic industry from irreparable loss and ultimate closure. There should be no ceiling on bonus and no FDI be allowed in crucial sectors such as railways & defence and no disinvestment of profit making PSUs be made among others.

Govt intends to integrate science and technology into choices that it makes and strategies that it pursues: PM

Thesynergyonline EconomicsBureau


NEW DELHI, JANUARY 03 : Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi, has emphasized the need to bridge the gap between Science and indigenous growth aspirations. He was speaking to the gathering of Nobel Laureates, Scientists and delegates across the world at the Inauguration of 103rd Indian Science Congress at the Mysore University on Sunday.

He stressed that innovation in approach is not just the obligation of the government, but also the responsibility of the private sector and the academia. It was the time of a new awakening in India which sought not just freedom, but also human advancement in India.

He drew the attention of the delegates towards the one of the biggest challenges for the world, and one that dominated global attention last year which is to define a path to a more prosperous future for our world and a more sustainable future for our planet. We were consistent in our message that it is not enough to speak of targets and restraints but it is essential to find solutions that help us easy transition to a future of clean energy said the Prime Minister. For this, he stressed on 3 A's available, accessible and affordable for all.

Prime minister suggested for the network of 30-40 universities and labs focusing for next ten years on transforming the way we produce, distribute and consume energy which he said he will also pursue in G 20. This is especially critical for India to achieve target of adding 175 GW of renewable generation by 2022. He called to employ fossil fuel for more efficient use and tap newer sources of renewable energy like ocean waves to geo thermal. Shri Modi said that that Government intends to integrate science and technology into choices that it makes and strategies that it pursues.

Calling the present century as 'Urban Century', as by the middle of this century two thirds of world's population would live in the cities, he said that studies suggest that nearly 40% of the global urban population lives in informal settlements, or slums, where they face a range of health and nutritional challenges. That is why I have placed so much emphasis on smart cities, the Prime Minister added.

He called upon the scientists to be concerned of what he called as Five E s at the centre of their enquiry and engineering: Economy, Environment, Energy, Empathy and Equity.

This year marks a hundred years of a significant moment in the history of science, when Albert Einstein published in 1916 "The Foundation of the General Theory of Relativity". Today, we must recall the humanism that defined his thought: "Concern for man himself and his fate must always form the chief interest of all technical endeavors. "

He called upon everyone whether we are in public life, or we are private citizens, and whether we are in business or explore science to leave the planet in a better state for our future generations. Let the different disciplines of science, technology and engineering unite behind this common purpose.

The Union Minister for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences Dr. Harsha Vardhan has said that India has made substantial progress in the field of science and technology and we only have to endeavour to take fruits of such progress to the people. Speaking at the inaugural ceremony of the 103rd Indian Science Congress at Mysore he said that India need not look towards western world for its scientific requirements. He said India made substantial progress in the fields of biotechnology, nanotechnology and in space sector.

The Minister while pointing out that a substantial progress has been made in the field of vaccination development said that rotavirus vaccine has been developed in the country at a fraction of the cost as it is now available in the international market. He also said that a cheaper medicine for diabetics - BGR-34 is also to be launched through technology transfer from the CSIR labs.

The Governor of Karnataka, Mri Vajubhai Rudabhai Vala, Chief Minister of Karnataka, Mr Siddaramaiah, the Union Minister of Science and Technology and Earth Sciences Dr. Harsh Vardhan, the Union Minister of State for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences, Mr. Y.S. Chowdary, General President Indian Science Congress Association Dr. Ashok Kumar Saxena, and Vice – Chancellor of the Mysore University and Organizing Chairman of the Science Congress Prof. K.S. Rangappa, Bharat Ratna Dr.C.N.R.Rao the Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilisers Mr Anantha Kumar, the Union Minister of Law and Justice Shri D.V.Sadananda Gowda, the Union Minister of State for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, Mr G.M.Siddeswara, nobel laureates were among several luminaries who attended the inaugural ceremony of the Science Congress to be held from 3rd to 7th January, 2016.

Later delivering the Bharat Ratna Sir M.Visvesvaraya lecture on 'Doing Science in India' Bharat Ratna Dr.C.N.R.Rao called upon the scientists to work with passion. Speaking upon importance of time Prof. Rao went back to PM Modi's speech where he spoke of India in 2030. Prof. Rao said that, the preparation should begin soon and the works should be done. If we do not understand the value of time, we will never be serious about our works. We have to work in a hurry. If we do that, we will be in the top of the world in next 10-15 years.


"If ethics is not the engine of success, in the train of growth, it sure is a guard, with a flag, which may be green, or at times red" 

FM exhorts IRS young officers to maintain absolute standards of ethics

Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau

"Every skill and every inquiry, and similarly every action and rational choice, is thought to aim at some good; and so the good had been aptly described as that at which everything aims." - Aristotle

And so the Union Minister of Finance Corporate Affairs and Information Broadcasting Mr Arun Jaitley asked the young Officer Trainees (OTs) of the 67th Batch of Officer Trainees (OTs) of the Indian Revenue Service (Customs & Central Excise) to emulate the Gandhian principle that even in moments of struggle, they should be in a position to maintain the position of ethics and morality on their side.

He said that even when facing pulls and pressures, they must never forget to go straight. The Finance Minister told the officer trainees that if they maintain absolute standards of ethics and 100 per cent integrity, they would definitely go a long way. All this was to be accompanied with professional competence and a judicious and fair approach in tax collection, he added.

Mr Jaitley was addressing the 67th Batch of Officer Trainees (OTs) of the Indian Revenue Service (Customs & Central Excise) here today. The function was attended among others by the Chairman, CBEC Shri Najib Shah, Shri Ram Tirath, Shri P.K.Bansal,and Ms Ananya Ray, all Members, CBEC and other senior officers of the Ministry of Finance and CBEC.

He further said that the taxation should not be a painful process for the people. Ideally, the Minister said that the Government should collection taxes like a honeybee, which sucks just the right amount of honey from the flower so that both can survive,.

Mr Jaitley also mentioned that the starting point of any activity is investment and the purpose of investment is to yield profitability. And in this process, he said that the investors work out the element of taxability and this tax content which is generated as revenue is used for infrastructure and for fulfilling the social responsibilities of the State as well as to yield more economic activity.
And for this, the Finance Minister in his address to the OTs indicated the road map for the future. He wanted them to retain the idealism which they inculcated at the time of joining the service to be retained with the same enthusiasm at the time when they are retiring from Service. For this, the Finance Minister said that they need to have the basic cardinal principle of striving for excellence.

Earlier, the Officer Trainees (OTs) of 67th Batch qualified the Civil Service Exam 2014 have joined the Indian Revenue Service (Customs & Central Excise Service) on 28th Dec 2015. 190 officer trainees have reported for training including 25 officers of the earlier batch who had availed of extra ordinary leave. There are also five customs officers from the Royal Govt. of Bhutan who are training with this Batch. The educational qualifications of the OTs varies from engineering degrees to doctors to post graduate degree holders and graduates in the field of humanities science and commerce besides management and law graduates and a Ph D. The batch is truly representative of the States of India covering Jammu and Kashmir to Tamil Nadu and Gujarat to Manipur and Nagaland. The largest representation come from the state of Rajasthan followed by Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Maharashtra. Their age profile varies from 24 years to 35 years.

Their training includes class room training in Customs, Central Excise, Service Tax and Narcotics besides Public Finance and Policy, Foreign Trade Policy, International Conventions, Administrative Law and other related laws including those relating to protection of the environment, heritage of India, national security etc. Besides they are exposed to on the job training in the various field formations of Customs, Excise and Service Tax and also training with para military forces, like BSF, ITBP, Coast Guard, Indian Navy to learn the finer aspects of Border Management and National Security. They are also sent to a leading university abroad for a week's training on leadership and public policy and to acquaint with international best practices.

. "Time, of course, topples everyone in its path equally- the way that driver beats his old horse until it dies. But the thrashing we receive is one of frightful gentleness. Few of us even realize that we are being beaten."

M'ashtra topples Gujarat to become most attractive investment destination: Study

Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau

"Great meals rarely start at points that all look like beginnings. They usually pick up where something else leaves off. This is how most of the best things are made - imagine if the world had to begin from scratch each dawn: a tree would never grow, nor would we ever get to see the etchings of gentle rings on a clamshell... Meals' ingredients must be allowed to topple into one another like dominos. Broccoli stems, their florets perfectly boiled in salty water, must be simmered with olive oil and eaten with shaved Parmesan on toast; their leftover cooking liquid kept for the base for soup, studded with other vegetables, drizzled with good olive oil, with the rind of the Parmesan added for heartiness. This continuity is the heart and soul of cooking."
Author: Tamar Adler

And so Maharashtra has toppled Gujarat as the most sought after destination for global and domestic investors as the latter recorded least growth rate of just over two per cent amid top 21 states across India during the course of past five years, revealed a recently concluded study by apex industry body ASSOCHAM.

"Maharashtra, Gujarat and Odisha have emerged as most lucrative investment destinations as they together account for over one-fourth share (26.6 per cent) in the total outstanding investments worth over Rs 154 lakh crore attracted by various sectors from both public and private sources across major 21 states in India as on December 2014 which grew from Rs 105 lakh crore as on December 2009," noted the study titled 'A Comparative Analysis of Investment Pattern in States,' conducted by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).

"With a share of about 10 per cent, Maharashtra has ranked on top attracting investments worth over Rs 15 lakh crore as on December 2014 closely followed by Gujarat (9.2 per cent share), while Odisha (7.5 per cent), Karnataka (6.8 per cent) and Tamil Nadu (6.5 per cent) are other states with significant share in this regard," highlighted the study prepared by the ASSOCHAM Economic Research Bureau (AERB).

"Investment is the key driver of productivity and sustainability that leads to development and growth making most state governments to strive to better the investment climate prevailing in their respective states to make them conducive to attract domestic and foreign investors," said Mr D.S. Rawat, secretary general of ASSOCHAM while releasing the chamber's study.

With investments worth over Rs 84.5 lakh crore, private sector accounted for almost 55 per cent share in total investments attracted by major 21 states across India. While investments attracted from public sector grew at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of just over 11 per cent, those from private sector grew at just about five per cent during the five year period of December 2009-December 2014.

Private sector accounted for highest share of over 81 per cent in the total outstanding investments attracted by Haryana. While in Gujarat private sector accounted for 74 per cent share in total investments attracted by the state as on December 2014.

Infrastructure sector accounted for lion's share of 64 per cent in terms of total investments made by public and private sectors (both foreign and domestic) across India followed by manufacturing (20 per cent), construction (9.5 per cent), mining (3.5 per cent) and irrigation (three per cent).

Similarly in Gujarat, infrastructure accounted for highest share of 57 per cent in total investments attracted by the western state followed by manufacturing (25 per cent), construction (13 per cent), mining (three per cent) and irrigation (two per cent) as on December 2014.

With a share of 11.5 per cent and 10 per cent, Gujarat had attracted third highest share in investments attracted by manufacturing and construction & real estate sector across India, while the state attracted fourth highest share of about eight per cent share in infrastructure sector investments.

Interestingly, share of manufacturing sector had increased by five per cent in the total investments attracted by Gujarat as on December 2009 (20 per cent). While the share of infrastructure and mining both had increased by about two per cent respectively, the share of construction and irrigation sectors had declined by six per cent and three per cent respectively, highlighted the ASSOCHAM study.

Projects with investments worth over Rs 86.5 lakh crore i.e. over 56 per cent of the total investments were under implementation or remained non-starter as on December 2014 and private sector accounted for major share (51.5 per cent) in this regard.

Maharashtra had maximum share of over 10 per cent in projects under implementation followed by Karnataka (7.4 per cent), Gujarat (7.4 per cent), Odisha (seven per cent) and Tamil Nadu (6.5 per cent).

Public sector accounted for 56 per cent share in projects that remained non-starter in Gujarat as on December 2014 which had increased from 50 per cent in 2009.

Long delays in implementation of investment projects hurts the sentiment of investors and also results in incurring of huge costs as such the government needs to have a strong plan and must prioritize cleaning up delayed projects in the form of effective implementation which would only be possible through an appropriate, target-oriented roadmap for both the clearance authority and the investors, suggested the ASSOCHAM study.

"The government needs to limit the time frame for each clearance authority and if they are unable to meet the deadline, they should be penalized," the report said.

Inappropriate planning, change of ownership, lack of finance, lack of co-ordinance with the contractors and others have also resulted in delay in implementation which calls for strict monitoring of such activities in an appropriate manner, it added.

Growth in manufacturing to
slow down in Q3

Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau



The outlook for Indian manufacturing sector in the third quarter of 2015-16 looks to be weakening, as lesser percentage of respondents expect high growth to continue in Q3 (October-December 2015-16). The percentage of respondents expecting higher growth in Q3 has gone down to 55 per cent as compared to 63 per cent for Q2 (July-September 2015-16), according to the survey.

The survey had earlier indicated revival in the manufacturing activity in Q2 of 2015-16, which seems to be slowing down little bit in Q-3 now. The outlook on the basis of FICCI Manufacturing Survey for Q2 of 2015-16 was more optimistic than in the current quarter. Exports are primarily responsible for this less optimistic outlook besides domestic factors like poor demand conditions, high interest cost etc. FICCI's latest quarterly survey gauges the expectations of manufacturers for Q3 (OctoberDecember, 2015-16) for 12 major sectors namely textiles, capital goods, metals, chemicals, cement and ceramics, electronics, auto, leather & footwear, machine tools, food, tyre, and textiles machinery.

Responses have been drawn from 336 manufacturing units from both large and SME segments with a combined annual turnover of over ₹3.94 lac crore (₹3.94 trillion). In terms of order books, 44% respondents have reported higher order books for the quarter October-December 2015-16 which is almost the same as that of previous quarter, indicating a muted demand conditions, FICCI survey noted.

Export outlook for manufacturing followed its trajectory downwards in Q3 2015-16. The proportion of respondents expecting higher exports in Q3 2015-16 is 24 per cent as compared to 36 per cent in Q2 2015-16 and 33 per cent in Q1 2015-16. Though, the proportion of respondents expecting lower exports has also gone down from 43% in Q-2 of 2015-16 to 37% in Q-3 of 2015-16, but the scenario remains bleak as percentage of respondents expecting no change in their export level has also increased.

In terms of investment, for Q3 2015-16, 68 per cent respondents as against 73-75 per cent respondents in earlier quarters reported that they don't have any plans for capacity additions for the next six monthsimplying slack in the private sector investments in manufacturing to continue, even though there is a fall in the percentage of respondents not looking at fresh investments. Poor
demand conditions, high cost of borrowing, delayed clearances and cost escalation are some of the major constraints which are still affecting the expansion plans of the respondents.

However, the current average capacity utilization as reported in the survey is around 73 for Q2 which is less than the capacity utilizations indicated in the previous two surveys i.e. Q4 2014- 15 and Q-3 2014-15 when it was around 77 per cent.In some sectors, average capacity utilization has almost remained same in Q-2 of 2015-16 as was in Q-4 of 2014-15. These are sectors like auto, textiles and tyres. On the other hand, capacity utilization has improved in cement, food, capital goods and leather &footwear sector.

Inventory levels reflect poor demand conditions both in the economy and exports vis-à-vis last quarter as currently around 32 per cent respondents reported that they are carrying more than their average inventory levels of finished goods as compared to 30 per cent in earlier quarters. Another
56 per cent are maintaining their average inventory levels which is slightly lower as compared to 59 per cent of earlier quarter.

Hiring outlook seems pessimistic in coming months as around 76 per cent respondents are not likely to hire additional workforce in next three months. On a broader scale, this proportion is slightly less than that of previous quarter (79%) but still remains too high to consider it as any
Improvement .

Interest rate paid by the manufacturers ranges from 8 per cent to 18 per cent as per the survey with average interest rate at around 11.8 per cent per annum. 49 per cent respondents reported availing credit at over 12 per cent interest rates.

Based on expectations in different sectors, the Survey pointed out that ten out of twelve sectors were likely to witness low to moderate growth (less than 10 per cent). Two sectors namely, capital goods and auto are likely to witness strong growth of over 10 per cent in Q3 2015-16.

The cost of production as a percentage of sales for product for manufacturers in the survey has increased vis-à-vis last year as over 50 per cent respondents reported so. The primary reasons for this increased cost were devaluation in rupee and higher wage cost.


"The desire for safety stands against every great and noble enterprise."
― Tacitus


Along with automobiles, construction industry faces policy risks on account of city pollution: ASSOCHAM Study

Thesynergyonline Ecoomics Bureau

NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 29 : "Risk is the stuff that sucks the predictability right out of the very things that we desperately wish were predictable." - Craig D. Lounsbrough

And with fast deteriorating air quality in big cities like Delhi -NCR leading to tougher regulatory norms such as the odd-even policy for private cars, the high stake construction industry along with the automobile sector should be prepared to deal with possible public outrage and must devise ways for meeting such challenges, an ASSOCHAM Paper has noted.

"Risk is uncertainty injected into our most vulnerable places. And because that's the case, we may choose not to risk."

"There are a number of environmental concerns that impact the construction industry. These include erosion, contaminated soil, lead paint removal, air contamination by asbestos particles, disposal of hazardous material, dust control and noise level," it said.
Mapping various policy and regulatory risks which have increased with rising environmental concerns, the paper stated these issues were also flagged by a working sub-group of the erstwhile Planning Commission.

"We have begun this exercise of sensitising various stakeholders in the construction industry since a perception is gaining ground as if unplanned construction, done in a crude and unscientific ways is among the main culprits of pollution in big cities," ASSOCHAM Secretary General Mr. D S Rawat said.

The paper highlighted the fact India is urbanised only the extent of 31 per cent but urbanisation at a faster pace is imperative for a sustainable economic growth. The construction industry has a major role in stepping up the urban development.

"After an aborted attempt to smoothen land acquisition, any controversy on environment pollution is the last thing that the industry wants," the ASSOCHAM said.

In the absence of planned and organised urban development, cities have witnessed mushrooming of slums which now account for a quarter of all urban housing. Mushrooming growth of slums with lack of sanitation and absence of waste disposal add to the city pollution.

"Whether we like it or not, pollution in some of the big cities is becoming unbearable and as happened in the past, the court intervention, accompanied by pressures from civil society, health activists and environmentalists would bring in tougher regulatory norms for a host of industries which should be living up to these challenges by technology innovation and going green in their approach," the chamber said.

Except for the top 20 players, the Indian construction industry is highly fragmented, family owned, or based on individual ownership. "The process of evolving has been painfully slow and unplanned. Even a lot of construction happens in the primitive way with concrete and bricks being moved by head load. Mechanisation has crept in as projects have become large but these are only a small fraction of the construction market.

Growth would be meaningful and inclusive only if it results in improving the standards of the last man : President

Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau

NEW ELHI, DECEMBER 27 : THE emphasis has to be on providing adequate employment opportunities. The growth would be meaningful and inclusive only if it results in improving the standards of the last man, as welfare economists are fond of saying. India is a young nation, said the President of India, Mr Pranab Mukherjee at the  98th Annual Conference of  the Indian Economic Association in Hyderabad on Sunday

With the bulk of our population in the working age group, it becomes imperative for government and the policy makers to come up with policies for achieving growth with job creation. Growth which favours the top deciles or an even lower proportion of the population can never be sustainable or desirable. Balancing growth with equity and social justice is a fundamental requirement of our democratic polity. A careful study of not just income disparities but also of their source is required. That is the urgent task for economists to undertake, Mr Mukherjee added.

The President said the Paris Declaration or the green proposals for attaining socially just and environmentally sustainable livelihoods, shows the commitment of the world economies to the cause of environment. India being an important world player has to play a critical role towards attainment of these sustainable development goals.

The President expressed confidence that the deliberations of the 98th annual conference of the Indian Economic Association will provide valuable policy inputs to think tanks, trade associations and government at large. He stated that IEA’s regular interactions and participation in the International Economic Association’s activities would provide a great platform for Indian researchers to come up with policy prescriptions relevant to both India and the global economy.

'Successful enterprises are built from the ground up.'

Growth of large enterprises closely tied to SME growth : Panagariya

Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau

Entrepreneurs and their small enterprises are responsible for almost all the economic growth … Ronald Reagan

"There is nothing man will not attempt when great enterprises hold out the promise of great rewards."- Livy

And so speaking at the opening session of the Global SME Business Summit, organised by CII, Dr. Arvind Panagariya, Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog, said that enterprises with less than 20 employees comprise of 73 per cent of employment generation in the manufacturing sector. Eighty per cent of manufacturing output however is churned out by enterprises employing greater than 20 workers. This, he opined, clearly revealed the fact that growing enterprises contribute more to the economic output as well as lead to SME growth.

Dr. Anup K Pujari, Secretary, Ministry of MSME announced that Indian MSMEs are increasingly becoming more vibrant, which has resulted in their increasing share to the country's GDP, employment and productivity. He said that the Government is constantly working towards further enhancing the capabilities of the Indian SME sector. He added that the true victory of policy makers in the SME space will be to see these enterprises' transition from small to large enterprises. The Ministry of MSME is prepared to work towards this goal with support from various stakeholders.

Ms. Partricia Hewitt, Chair, UK India Business Council emphasised on the need to strengthen partnerships and enhance trade relations between the two countries. She added that it is imperative for SMEs in both country to work closely together so they can grow together. She also confirmed that UK is working with the Indian Government and some State Governments to dismantle regulations. Many UK based firms have invested in India, many with 100% FDI, and contributed to the 'Make in India' campaign initiated by Shri. Narendra Modi, she added.

The power of internet is also rendering its magic in the arena of business development, said Mr. Rajan Anandan, Vice-President and Managing Director, Google India. India has been ranked as the second largest country for technology start-ups which by 2020 will be pegged at the count of 10,000. It has been seen that the impact of internet on business growth and profitability is profound. It has been found that Enterprises who have braced internet for business development are able generate a particular targeted revenue 50% faster and also have up to 49% greater net income than those who are not tapping into the clout of internet.

The largest employment generators after agriculture, Indian MSMEs account for around 38% of the overall GDP, 46 per cent of exports and provide employment opportunities for around 120 million people, mostly concentrated in rural areas. As such, they not only boost the economic performance of India but also promote social inclusiveness by contributing to rural industrialization. With the theme 'Make in India through Global SME Partnerships', CII organized the 12th Global SME Business Summit 2015 today in partnership with the Ministry of MSME.

QCI , FICCI join hands to create ZED Cell, implementing ZED Maturity Assessment Model

Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau

Dr. R P Singh, Secretary General, Quality Council of India (QCI) and Dr Arbind Prasad, Director General, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) on Wednesday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) outlining the scope of collaboration between QCI and FICCI to create a ZED Cell at FICCI for implementation of the ZED Maturity Assessment Model. This would be the first MoU which QCI has signed at the national level with an apex industry body.

The endeavour will leverage QCI's nationwide established accreditation system (for consultants, assessors, rating agencies etc.) and FICCI's large network of membership and state offices. The objective of the MoU is to implement the Prime Minister's vision of "Make in India" with Zero Defect, Zero Effect covering all sectors, industries (including healthcare, education etc.) and government public services.

Under the MoU, the scope of activities would include enhancing capacities for implementing the ZED model across all levels of MSMEs. It would also include developing an ecosystem through sensitization of industry bodies to drive the ZED model for continuous improvement among MSMEs.

To provide an operating framework to this agreement, the MoU shall be operated by NABET – QCI, which is driving the ZED movement. QCI and FICCI would be responsible for creating FICCI ZED Cells across focus states and districts that will include activities across ZED awareness and activation of SMEs, ZED training for consultants and creation of ZED-related quality content. The framework of the agreement will be initially valid for a period of three years and will be renewed after mutual review of progress.

To maintain a focus on fulfillment of the MoU's objectives a Steering Committee would be comprised. The Steering Committee (SC) would meet once a month to review the progress and ensure proper focus and resource utilization. FICCI will be represented by Ms. Jyoti Vij, Deputy Secretary General, FICCI as the alliance champion and Mr. Vipin Sahni, CEO-NABET will represent QCI.

Hike in fee of H-1B and L-1 visas to hamper US Economic Growth

Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau

FICCI feels that the hike in special fee on the popular H-1B
and L-1 visas for James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010 will hamper the growth of the US economy and will be discriminatory for Indian IT companies. Such legislation will have a negative bearing on efforts made by the strategic partnership efforts made by Indian and US governments trying to build stronger trade ties.

Indian IT industry is of the opinion that the additional fee is unjustified similar to the earlier border security and now Health and compensation Act it has little relation with the technology industry. Such legislations not only impact business of the Indian IT sector but also limit access to skilled IT personnel for US companies. Moreover, increasing costs of hiring IT skilled personnel & services will influence US technology companies to consider moving IT operations overseas, thereby reducing US jobs and tax revenues. In the longer run, it will also imbalance Americas IT services and products consumer market.

In our view linking unemployment and H1-B visa issue with 9/11 Health and Compensation Act is unfair and should be dealt independently with a much broader outlook considering the overall impact on both economies.

RBI will support NBFCs by approving new variants: RBI Deputy Governor

Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau

For development needs of the nation RBI will continue to approve of new types of NBFCs. Myth that NBFCs compete with Banks, they complement them. CII BCG whitepaper on the NBFC sector released.

The Non-Banking Financial Companies sector, NBFCs received a major boost today at the Confederation of Indian Industry – CII's 1st NBFCs Summit with the theme 'Regulatory Paradigm & Contours of Growth – Vision 2020'. Despite global reservations on the sector, Mr R Gandhi, Deputy Governor, Reserve Bank of India said, "The Reserve Bank is allied to the developmental needs of the economy and therefore will continue to approve of new types of NBFCs if the economy will so require them."

"World over there is an awakening post the financial crisis of 2008 about the existence, contribution, magnitude, significance and risk of the NBFC sector. From benign neglect to indifference of this sector, the world has now become anxious and seriously concerned about it. This has resulted in enhanced attention, monitoring and regulation of the sector. While the world sat up and noticed the sector recently, India had understood its relevance way back in 1963, chapter 3B dealing with regulations of Non-Banking Financial Institutions was added to the Reserve Bank of India Act 1934. It recognised that non-banking financial activities are an integral part of the financial system and compliments commercial banking. Only appropriate vigilance will be required," said Mr. Gandhi.

Mr. Gandhi also praised NBFCs when he said, "NBFCs can be advantageous due to their ability to lower transaction costs, quick decision making, customer orientation and prompt delivery of services. In terms of products and services offered, NBFCs complement banking services. They have their risk elements that have led to continuous monitoring and assessment. However RBI has been dynamically making regulatory framework suitable for the day."

Talking about the future of NBFC Mr. Gandhi said, "In my opinion, prospects for sector are not going to be uniform. Different segments of the sector are posed for different prospects and challenges. Infrastructure NBFCs will have a greater scope in the coming years both because economic growth will bring forth new projects and banks having a restrained approach towards such projects."

Speaking at the summit, Mr. Y M Deosthalee, Chairman, CII National Committee on NBFCs and Chairman & Managing Director L&T Finance Holdings Limited, said, "NBFCs in India have evolved over the past five decades to emerge as a notable alternate source of credit intermediation to meet the diverse financial needs of the economy. The resultant capital formation has become a catalyst for India's growth and development. Over the years, NBFCs have exhibited an ability to create innovative products and reach out to new client segments and regions, those which banks have typically been slow to expand into. NBFCs thus play a proactive and complementary role to the banking system by broadening access to financial services, enhancing competition and diversifying the financial sector."

He highlighted their importance in the growth of the economy when he said that, "Establishing their strong presence as an integral part of the Indian financial system, NBFCs have played a vital role in providing credit to growth-enhancing sectors (such as MSMEs) through products like project finance, transport fleet finance, trade finance, equipment finance and microfinance."

He also talked about a key pain point for NBFC that of being considered 'shadow banks' after the global financial crisis in 2007-08. "Shadow banking activities constitute a very useful part of the financial system. Their main advantage lies in their ability to lower transaction costs of operations, quick decision-making ability, customer orientation and their prompt provision of services. In the Indian context however, it may be a misnomer to term NBFCs as shadow banks, since NBFCs have been brought under progressively prudential regulations by RBI and many of the activities which contributed to the global crisis are either not allowed, or, if allowed, are allowed in a regulated environment with appropriate limits."

Mr Ramesh Iyer, Managing Director, Mahindra & Mahindra Financial Services, put the NBFC sector into perspective when he said, "While we are all under the financial umbrella, I do not believe NBFCs compete with one another. Each one of us is a niche. Some have chosen a particular geography, some focus on products while others have segmented themselves only on customers. It is also a myth that we compete with banks because we service different needs and different customers. We do not compete with Banks, we complement them. It is hence with certainty that I say that NBFCs have a great future."

Mr. Iyer stressed that the greatest strength of the NBFC sector are customer, "Historically NBFCs are focussed on customers more than on products. Everything we do: our products, processes, channels etc. are all customer driven. This has helped us differentiate between intentional and circumstantial defaulters and that I think has been a key success factor of NBFCs. Our processes have an ability to ensure that over a period of time we are able to understand and hence service customers well."

Our other strength is that we have continuously been able to innovate products. We have gone deeper and expanded the market by pricing better than others. We have recruited people from local markets that has helped us individualize products. We have invested in technology that has helped us control and bring down costs. These have resulted in the successes of the NBFC sector."

Talking of the future he said, "Our future rests on investments in technology. It will decide how fast and well we grow. We also have to go to banks on a partnership mode and say that together we will sever every need of the customer. Unless we partner, costs will not come down." He also addressed the need to reposition NBFC in the mind of the various stakeholders. "Every stakeholder – bankers, customers, regulators, training agencies, promoters - has a doubt about NBFC. This despite the fact that NBFC are India's best promotors and that this industry has never defaulted on its bank loans. We have to zero in on one point of each stakeholder and go and collectively address and convince them. This way we will raise the level of the industry substantially high." He ended by coining a new term for NBFC to call it Need Based Finance Companies.

CII and technical partner Boston Consulting Group (BCG) released a whitepaper on the potential of NBFCs in India, including outlining ways to accelerate their growth in the country. Mr Saurabh Tripathi, Partner and Director, BCG said, "Traditional sources of advantage for NBFCs will erode over time with deepening of banking in the country. It is imperative that NBFCs harness latest trends in technology, digital adoption by customers, and the web of partnerships to innovate and come up with new models. NBFCs are likely to benefit from these underlying trends and developments in the Indian market."

The day long summit was a huge success because of a large participation from the captains of the Indian NBFC industry.

GDP growth for FY16 pegged at 8.1 % : ASSOCHAM Mid Year Review

Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau

Assocham Mid-Year Review:



India will truly live up to its reputation of being the bright spot in an otherwise hazy horizon of global economy with a "likely" GDP growth of over eight per cent and "very likely" acceleration of 7.8- 8 per cent in the current financial year, an ASSOCHAM Mid Year Review has pointed out.

The Review made quite an optimistic forecast of nine per cent and above growth in the next financial year of 2016-17 if the government and the Congress come together and clear the Goods and Services Constitutional Amendment Bill in Parliament and the roll out of the major tax reforms takes place from April, 2016.

"The renewed optimism comes about despite continuation of a global meltdown in commodity prices with crude oil trading well below USD 40 barrel mark while the entire metal pack is melting away in the heat of crisis. But , it is the domestic demand pickup, supported by government investment and the services sector , especially transport, hotels and trade that will push the Indian economy to cross the psychologically important level of eight per cent," the Mid Year Review of the chamber said. So, the ASSOCHAM Review pegs the GDP growth for fiscal 2015-16 at 8.1-8.2 per cent.

It said the latest revival in manufacturing which helped overall Index of Industrial Production to reach 9.8 per cent in October,2015 along with robust pick up electricity and capital goods would lead the growth trajectory triggering, in the process, lot more activities in the services. The number of passengers handled by civil aviation in second quarter of the current fiscal went up by 17 per cent. So was the case with commercial vehicles which registered a growth of 10.7 per cent , another indicator of pick up in the economic activity.

There was a catch up seen by 3.5 per cent in the case of civil aviation cargo and 3.9 per cent by major ports during Q2 of 2015-16.

The overall industrial growth is seen at 7.5-7.8 per cent for the entire FY 16, while the services should expand well over nine per cent with agriculture and allied picking up to 2.8- 3 per cent. The confidence in industrial growth is largely being now driven by manufacturing, electricity and capital goods, while mining would improve as well in the remaining months of the year, it stated.

The winter months, from October onwards, helped by the festival season and pick up tourism in states like Rajasthan, Goa, Kerala, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh augur well for the transportation, hotels and trade. Construction activities seem to be picking up , especially in the roads and highways while some green shoots are visible in micro markets of real estate as well.

According to the review, while rains have remained deficient for two successive years, the negative impact on the Rabi crops would not be as bad as Khariff. "The latest reports suggest the wheat sowing is still in progress in several parts of the country and if we get some showers in the next three to four weeks and do not face any unseasonal rains in March, Rabi crops mainly of wheat, rice ,grams and oilseeds like mustard should help the farm sector. Should these crops improve their prospects the livestock activities also look up giving vibrancy to the agro economy, which is so vital to the country", the Review said.

Sharing the optimism in the document, ASSOCHAM President Mr Sunil Kanoria said while the only drag is the export sector and overall external scenario is playing itself out , helping India. " We would call it 'Luck by Chance' factor. See, the moment dollar started rising against rupee due to strengthening of the US economy, global prices of two main import items for India –crude oil and gold fell further. So, it was an even –out situation giving the RBI Governor extra room in the face of global headwinds".

The ASSOCHAM Review , however, remained worried about the continuous stress on the balance sheets of the public sector banks, underlining the need for a multi-pronged strategy by the Finance Ministry , RBI and the bank managements along with the major borrowers who are well meaning but somehow find themselves in woes of hard economic realities .

The combined stressed assets and NPAs may well be 15 per cent of the total advances, which have to be brought down substantially without any further loss of time. No significant credit growth is possible if this issue is not resolved. "Even if interest rates become further benign, the NPAs and stressed assets would remain a major deterrent for credit growth," the paper mentioned.

"Time heals everything apart from corrosion."
- Aaron J. Munzer

India losing US$ 40 billion due to corrosion per year

Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau

"The corrosion impacts, I would say, caught us by surprise, when we opened them up and realized the extent of the corrosion damage, we realized we couldn't just replace the parts we were going to replace. We had to put those airplanes aside."-– Michael Manazir

"I have legs of iron, but to tell you the truth, they're starting to rust and buckle a bit."- Jeanne Calment

And so experts attending the 2-day long seminar on Corrosion Management and Corrosion Audit organized by Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) on Saturday have stressed the need of sustainable infrastructure having long life in the coastal state of Maharashtra, which has vast coastline with high salinity.

The experts also stressed on the need of government and private push to generate steel and stainless steel in the country with push in infrastructure, ports, civil aviation, urban infrastructure and storage, ports and improvement in overall business scenario.

"India loses Rs 2 trillion (US$ 40 billion) every year due to corrosion of infrastructure, industrial equipment and other vital installations, according to last estimates from Corrosion Management Committee of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) . Corrosion has a huge economic and environmental impact on virtually all facets of the world's infrastructure, from highways, bridges, and buildings to oil and gas, chemical processing, water and waste water systems and particularly industrial structures." Said Dr U Kamachi Mudali, ,Member CII corrosion management committee and Associate Director , Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research speaking at the seminar.

"In addition to causing severe damage and threat to public safety, corrosion especially in coastal states including Gujarat where salt content is high in atmosphere, water, rain and air disrupts. operations and requires extensive repair and replacement of failed assets. India is a resource crunched nation it needs sustainable and maintenance free Infrastructure that has long span of life. Gujarat being a coastal state and has highest number of high end critical industries including petroleum, energy, ports, auto industry and power plants ,where sustainable production is the key " said Mr Yatinder Pal Singh Suri, MD & Country head, Outokumpu India, Finland based world's largest stainless steel making company an member CII Corrosion Committee while speaking at the seminar.

"These high end industries in the State as well as in the country need high quality corrosion resistance stainless steels which form a key material in hostile environments . Outokumpu , being the oldest manufacturer with over 80 years of experience and a pioneer in product and application innovations, is supporting the demand for customised stainless steel for all leading engineering companies as a reliable supplier,"said Mr Suri.

"Stainless steel structural elements and reinforcing bars in concrete have been used in coastal regions to achieve more than 100 years of maintenance free life. Duplex stainless steel storage tanks are in use world wide to store oils and corrosive chemicals with life cycle cost advantages over carbon steel. Duplex Stainless steel is essential for desalination of sea water into drinking water. Also for drinking water storage and distribution for humans in safe, clean and hygienic manner. Railway coaches, Metro coaches, Wagons becoming maintenance free and lighter to save on haulage energy costs with stainless steel. Railway stations can go for clean drinking water in taps through stainless steel storage tanks and pipelines for distribution. Stainless Railway bridges along coastlines will also become maintenance free, said Mr Suri .

"Stainless steel is the fastest growing segment of the metals industry,its applications are diverse and new applications are being constantly being developed. It has become major part in all of our lives, and has truly changed the world. In India demand for stainless steel is on constant increase due to awareness about the product and availability of right grades and sizes. The demand for the corrosion free metal is on increase in Architecture , Construction high end industries including Oil & Gas, Energy and shipping-related industries, railways, ports, infrastructure and automotive where corrosion is a serious issue," said Mr Suri.

"Even the grand iconic 312 feet statue of Maratha warrior king Chhatrapati Shivaji in the arabian sea off the coast of Mumbai and 'statue of unity' in Gujarat should be designed to meet 1000 years life span with ever lasting eco-friendly advanced material stainless steel Similarly stainless steel should be used for beautification of civic projects for making Pune a smart city ."he added .

"Even Shri Swami Narayan temple (Akshardham) coming up at Kolkata and a Buddhist temple being built in hill area in Thailand are using stainless steel rebar for non-maintenance above 1,000 years of life of the temples,"said Mr Suri .


CCI to soon come out with changes in regulations to ease M&A process: Ashok Chawla

Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau


  • "We are actively and quickly reviewing regulations, we have called for comments from some of the law firms which have been filing with us and I think before this year ends...."
  • The idea is to make the regulation and process as user-friendly as possible," said Mr Chawla. "These are minor nuts and bolts issues but they are very important from the point of view of the stakeholders."
  • "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead
  • "Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself." -Leo Tolstoy
  • "Be the change that you wish to see in the world." - Mahatma Gandhi

Expand 1 Panel | Expand 2nd Panel | Expand 3rd Panel | Expand 4th Panel | Expand 5th Panel



The fair-trade regulator, Competition Commission of India (CCI) will soon come out with changes in regulations to ease the process of mergers and acquisitions (M&As), CCI chairman, Mr Ashok Chawla said at an ASSOCHAM event held in New Delhi on Friday.

"We are actively and quickly reviewing regulations, we have called for comments from some of the law firms which have been filing with us and I think before this year ends, which is in the next few days and 2016 starts, we will make further changes on things which have been bothering companies in terms of authorised signatories, invalidation of notices, which has become a matter of concern," said Mr Chawla while inaugurating 4th National Summit on Mergers & Acquisitions organised by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).

"The idea is to make the regulation and process as user-friendly as possible," said Mr Chawla. "These are minor nuts and bolts issues but they are very important from the point of view of the stakeholders."

"So we are taking a look at these and we will be in a position to finalise the changes whatever they are before the end of the month," he added.

Expressing concerns over time taken in approval of cases due to rise in number of filings and dearth of professionals, Mr Chawla said, "We want that majority of cases which are simple should be cleared expeditiously, so there will be in 2016 a clear southward direction in terms of time taken in which cases are approved."

"The discipline is that we should clear it in 30 working days, but if you take the total time taken without taking into account clock stop and others, average time taken is about 50-60 days, which according to the Commission is on a higher side, we want to reduce it and try and bring back majority of the cases to within actually 30 days," said the CCI chief.

He also advised the industry and corporates, particularly the multinational corporations (MNCs) to use the route of e-filing which was recently started to facilitate industry's interaction with the Commission.

Talking about the M&A regime that has operated during the course of past 4.5 years, Mr Chawla informed that CCI had approved 322 cases out of the total 355 cases that have come up during June 2011 and December 2015 and the balance are in the pipeline.

He said that in less than even one per cent of the 355 cases, the CCI felt the need to go into detailed scrutiny of the proposal.

He also said that number of filings have been going up steadily as from 45 in 2013 it had almost doubled to 88 in 2014 and in 2015, till a few days ago it was 117 already. This year, October saw the highest number of filings - 21.

He said that almost 98 per cent of cases are relatively simpler cases of routine consolidation, sale of shares, intra-group restructuring and others and it needs to be encouraged so that industry and its various sectors reach a scale and size which are optimum from the economic efficiency point of view.

"So basically the increase is a proxy for improved business climate and the need for consolidation, it will also help in an important way in the overall march towards greater competitiveness of the economy which is extremely important for 'Make in India,' programme and policy which the government is pursuing," said Mr Chawla.

He also said that M&A is a process which is inevitable, is relevant for corporate, which is encouraged from the policy point of view and it should not be seen as a tax-saving or tax-evading instrument. "It is the need of the hour and that is the approach which we in the Commission have been trying to follow."

On the penalty regime, Mr Chawla said, "There has to be a certain amount of proportionality in terms of penalty that are imposed and the Commission has in recent past been trying to look at that proportionality quite effectively and genuinely but otherwise, practices which fall foul of competition particularly cartel activity need to be curbed with a reasonably heavy hand, more not because of that company but to serve as a signal to others to prevent them from doing what they might be tempted to do."

"We need enforcement which changes behaviour and we also actively pursue advocacy, so the idea is that corporates are apprised of the fact that there is this law which is fairly robust, it can aggressive and therefore, better to prevent anything happening then it be cured later," further said the CCI chairman.


Govt to revamp satutory provisions
in shipping sector

With a view to simplify the statutory provisions in the shipping sector, the Centre is in the process of revamping archaic acts and will introduce the same in Parliament in next six months, Mr Rajive Kumar, secretary, shipping ministry said at an ASSOCHAM event held in New Delhi ON Thursday.

“We are relooking at most of our acts some of which are more than 100 years old and we expect that in the next 6 months we should be able to revamp and introduce in the Parliament all the major acts which this ministry is concerned with, be it the major ports act, merchant shipping act, doing away with damp and so on,” said Mr Kumar while inaugurating 5th International Summit on ‘Infrastructure Finance-Bridging the gap,’ organised by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).

He informed that National Perspective Plan (NPP) for government’s ambitious Sagarmala project is likely to be ready by about end of next month.

“Under the Sagarmala programme, for the first time in the country, we are getting an OD study done of more than 80 per cent of our total cargo, which will optimise what should be our transportation mode because we acknowledge and know that this number of 14 and 16 per cent of the cost is substantially higher than what our economy can afford,” said Mr Kumar.

“So we expect by end-January or mid-February we will have this complete national perspective plan ready for the Sagarmala programme,” he added.

“The most important component of Sagarmala is coastal community development, we are getting coastal regional development plans so that local population is also taken along while other plans are put in place,” informed Mr Kumar.

The shipping secretary also said that ministry was in the process of decking up 106 new waterways to be studied as national waterways. “There would be a large number of components where investment opportunities would be available.”

He also said that shipping ministry was in the process for revising model concession agreement.

On the issue of resolution mechanism, Mr Kumar said “30 years is a long enough time to be fixated in a rigid concession agreement, post-bidding changes are huge issues to resolve.”

He said that under the Indian Port Rail Company set up by the shipping ministry to take care of the last mile railway connectivity proposals, work was in progress on 25 projects while tenders were done for six projects and the government would expedite work on this front.

Talking about capacity enhancement of ports, Mr Kumar said “We have studied about the mismatch in capacity, major ports are increasing their capacity through PPP projects and we hope that if we are able to increase our GDP growth to nine per cent then too we will have enough capacity as even various private sector ports are doing a good job.”

The shipping secretary further said that there is a huge scope in coastal movement of goods and in having capacities of cement, steel and other commodities.

In his address at the ASSOCHAM conference, former finance secretary, Dr Arvind Mayaram emphasised upon the need for more innovative ways for raising long-term finance for infrastructure sector.

“There is also a need for right ecosystem to ease flow of infrastructure financing,” he said.

Plaudit for CII's efforts in promoting technology-driven growth

Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau

The Global Innovation & Technology Alliance (GITA) which the Technology Development Board (TDB) runs in partnership with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) is an innovative funding mechanism for cross-border technology development through partnerships between industry and academia between India and other countries. This was stated here on Thursday by Minister of State for Science and Technology, Mr Y S Chowdary on the occasion of 21st Technology Summit, which is a joint initiative of the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and CII.

This year the country partner for the summit is Republic of Korea with its Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning and the National Research Foundation of Korea being the partner organisations for the Technology Summit. The minister also announced that as a follow-up to the announcement made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to Korea in May 2015, a joint request for proposals had been launched by GITA for seeking applied research proposals from industry and academia in the areas of cleantech, renewable energy, robotics & automation and electronics system, design & manufacturing.

At the time of Union Minister for Science and Technology Dr Harsh Vardhan’s visit to Republic of Korea the two sides had agreed to support three joint business-led industrial R&D projects aimed to develop new technology prototypes which will have potential for commercialization. This will contribute to the national initiative on Make in India, said Mr Chowdary. Lauding CII’s efforts in creating and sustaining the platform of technology promotion and investment for 20 long years, he said, “Platforms like these not only facilitate exchange of views but also lead to creation of new knowledge through cross-pollination of ideas.” He promised all possible support to industry in promoting R&D investment to create smart technologies for sustainable growth.

Dr Arbindra Mitra, Advisor and Head, International Affairs, Department of Science and Technology, who was present on this occasion, said the platform of Technology Summit had enabled India to develop a variety of programmes with different countries with the involvement of industry. It was important to focus on solution science than discovery science, he said and added that academia needed to be part of this matrix too. He also announced that a new policy for promoting start-ups was under works.

Dr Gopichand Katragadda, Chairman of CII’s National Committee on Technology; & Group Chief Technology Officer, Tata Sons Limited said, “Cultural aspects of partnerships with different countries are interesting to study. Korea has the phase of palli palli, which means “quickly quickly”. They have done all things quickly. That is the cultural aspect. They were quick to achieve 100 per cent literacy, they have put up a 100 billion dollar research fund Speaking on this occasion.”

Dr Ra Sang Won, Director of Center for International Affairs, National Research Foundation of Korea, said, “This year’s technology summit is important since the two countries are going to discuss creating smart technologies for sustainable growth. Korea spends 2.5 per cent of GDP on R&D and offers significant opportunities to Indian scientists and researchers to collaborate. NRFK has a budget of USD 3.5 billion for 2015.

Mr BVR Mohan Reddy, Executive Chairman, Cyient and Chairman, Board of Governors, IIT Hyderabad said, “Global economies have been on a high growth trajectory because of new waves of technology at every stage. The present phase is of internet and it has the power to disrupt old technologies in a drastic manner.”

Minister of the embassy of Republic of Korea, Mr Minsik Ahn, who was present at the inaugural session said Korea was proud to be the partner country of this year’s Technology Summit. He shared that Korea became a technology advanced country in a matter of six decades. The country focused on building indigenous technologies from the very beginning. Today it owns cutting-edge technology in a number of areas such as ICT, electronics, energy and internet of things.

Guidelines for production subsidy for electronics manufacturers being finalised: DeitY official

Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau

The Centre is finalising guidelines for production-linked subsidies for companies willing to manufacture electronic items like microprocessors, semiconductors and others within India, a top IT and Communications Ministry official said at an ASSOCHAM event held in New Delhi today.

"We have introduced an element of production subsidy, now we are in process of finalising guidelines and since there are different kinds of projects, we are looking for specific technical inputs," said Dr Ajay Kumar, additional secretary in Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) while addressing a roundtable conference on 'Make in India: Trade and fiscal Incentives for IT hardware and electronics industry,' conducted by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).

"Where we need support in that is, to be able to pin-point what needs to be subsidised and how, some work is going on, the consultants are working on it, but any specific inputs from industry are more than welcome," added Dr Kumar.

He said that the production subsidy is very substantive and a huge differentiator with 10 per cent of the turnover for 10 years and it is meant for projects that are capital incentive and possibly do not look attractive by themselves.

He also informed that government is working on fabless chip design policy. "That is work under progress, it will support the companies involved in chip design."

He emphasised upon the need to manufacture low-priced laptops in India to spur computer manufacturing. "May be a price point of Rs 10,000 and it cannot be a device which can be seen as a low grade version of laptop."

Dr Kumar also informed that with a view to push demand for PCs and other IT infrastructure, the government was formulating a project that would be launched during the course of about next three months to provide fundamental facilities of education, health, skilling and others to every village that is connected.

"Every village which has connectivity should have these 3-4 fundamental things - facility for e-education (virtual classroom), e-health whereby every PHC (primary health centre) will have telemedicine linked to the district hospital so that counselling and basic diagnostics can take place and skilling - resource centres in each Panchayat where through VC-kind of system people can be skilled and made available; CSCs (community service centres) - these can become four fundamental pieces in a village to be implemented in places where there is connectivity," he said.

"After due approval, we hope to start implementing this scheme by March 2016," added Dr Kumar.

He also said that about 20-25 interested parties had made presentations to the Canara Bank Venture Capital, the nodal agency for Electronics Development Fund (EDF) and they have zeroed on 6-7 cases.

Dr Kumar informed that the EDF is getting registered under the alternative investment fund (AIF) category. "That process, I am told should be over sometime in December, it is already before the SEBI (Securities Exchange Board of India) and there is a certain timeline which SEBI has to follow to register fund like this."

"The moment EDF gets registered, we will have 6-7 cases which can immediately be supported under EDF, but that is still the beginning, I honestly feel that a whole lot of funding and innovation requirement should be met through this ecosystem of EDF," said Dr Kumar.

"We are looking to expand this whole exercise of giving direct grant to industry for research and the Conditional Access System was one such effort, we now need to institutionalise this effort and we are trying to work in that direction, so it is not only that we give money to public sector institutions, but we also give it to the industry," he further said.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav to flag off UP Pravasi Divas

Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau

Come January 4, 2016 and the curtains will go up on the two-day 'UP Pravasi Divas' (UPPD) at Agra. UPPD is aimed at cementing the bonds between Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) and Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) with their state of origin. The mega event also seeks to deepen the commercial engagement with UP NRIs and PIOs by way of
enhanced investment and trade flows into the state.

UPPD will be inaugurated and chaired by the State Chief Minister, Shri Akhilesh Yadav who will be accompanied by other State Ministers and top government officials. The Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) is the institutional partner for Govt of Uttar Pradesh, India, for this iconic event.

Contract All | Expand All

The key highlights of UPPD:h
Sharing of investment plans and policies in Uttar Pradesh on sectors like, manufacturing, infrastructure development, urban transports, smart cities, industrial and social development, electronics, IT & ITeS and tourism etc.

Appraising steps taken for Ease of doing business initiatives by Government of Uttar Pradesh pertaining to industrial development and setting-up of your business.

Exchange of views of Indian diaspora(s) for developing Uttar Pradesh as a smart State. Connecting Uttar Pradesh with Innovative and Knowledge network of Indian Diaspora. Interface with senior officials from Government of Uttar Pradesh for developing fast-track mechanism for absorbing and resolving U.P. Diaspora(s) issues related to business and other matters. Heritage and Cultural tripsNEW DELHI, DECEMBER 02 : The private security industry has assumed an important role in recent years. It was the opportunity and nature of the private security industry which enabled employment to a hitherto large section of the populace, which, if not employed in this industry, may have remained outside the fold of formal employment


To promote this event, a team from Government of Uttar Pradesh and FICCI, organized a Roadshow in Dubai in partnership with IBPC. During this event, Principal Secretary NRI, Govt of Uttar Pradesh, Mr. Sanjiv Saran, shared that " UP State Government would like the UPPD to develop as the largest platform for exchange of knowledge and information amongst and with UP NRIs and PIOs. The Government of Uttar Pradesh has taken a number of initiatives towards engaging with the UP diaspora and it has already set up a full-fledged NRI Department which looks into the issues of the NRIs/ PIOs striving towards building a meaningful relationship with the State. A new Department of NRI Affairs has been set up and all efforts are being made to involve the NRIs and PIOs in the mainstream of the development in the State. A new website has been launched to keep the diaspora from U.P. abreast of the latest developments in the state", he said.

An exhibition is also being organized along with this event at the same location to showcase the economic strengths of the State and its achievements. The major achievements and economic developments to be highlighted include modern infrastructure such as Lucknow-Agra Expressway, Lucknow Metro, Metros in NOIDA and Greater NOIDA, Trans-Ganga City at Kanpur, Saraswati Knowledge City in Allahabad, Solar Parks in Jalaun and other places, IT City in Lucknow, IT SEZs in the state, the integrated industrial cities of NOIDA and Greater Noida and the upcoming hubs of electronic manufacturing.

Since a large number of start-ups seek venture capital, UPPD would provide an excellent opportunity for the young entrepreneur seeking venture capital since a number of prominent venture capitalists, both from the India and abroad will also be participating in the event. Some have already confirmed their participation. For instance, an entrepreneur from U.P. settled in U.K. can meet an angel investor from the Silicon Valley, who hails from U.P. to set up a venture in the State or anywhere in the world. This would be the strength of the platform that the UPPD will provide.

UPPD would also be an excellent opportunity to showcase the state's strengths in the education and healthcare sectors. Leading hospitals including Medanta (Lucknow and NOIDA), Fortis (NOIDA, Greater Noida and Lucknow) and other international groups are setting up stateof-the-art medical facilities in the state beside the Cancer Hospital being set up by the State Government in Lucknow. Leading educational groups including Amity, Sharda and Jaipuria are also operating in the state and plan to open up new facilities. A Knowledge University is coming up at Trans-Ganga City in Unnao.

An entire session would be devoted to the Girmitiyas, their history, achievements and the present issues. devoted to the Indian diaspora settled in the pacific rim countries, namely,
Surinam, Fiji, Trinidad and Tobago, Mauritius who migrated during the period 1833 to 1920 as indentured labour, popularly known as the Girmits. Most of them are PIOs and have risen to occupy the highest positions in politics and economy in those countries. Some of them would be conferred the UP Ratna Award at the UPPD. This session would recognize the pains of emigration as well as the achievements of the Girmitiyas.

The State Government runs a program "Discover your roots" to enable the PIOs connect with places of origin of their fore-fathers and their relatives who may be still living in U.P. The State Government is roping in University scholars from History and Anthropology Departments of various Universities in U.P. to help trace and discover roots of people who left the country a long time back. The participants can take full advantage of this program. This session will be unique to the UPPD as this segment does not get adequate focus during the PBDs.

As the State is aggressively promoting electronic manufacturing, IT and renewable energy
including solar farms and solar parks, making of films in the state, the UPPD will be an excellent platform to showcase our progress and the potential. This will attract and encourage potential investors and also enhance the image of U.P. as a state, which is now at the forefront of cutting edge technology.

A number of eminent personalities and industry captains from these sectors have been invited to speak at the sessions in UPPD 2016.


SCOPE for better safety measures

Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau

SCOPE Workshop:


Standing Conference of Public Enterprises (SCOPE) in association with Directorate General Factory Advice Service Labour Institute (DGFASLI) and International Labour Organization (ILO) organized a National Workshop on "Strategies for Improving Occupational Safety & Health in CPSEs" here on Tuesday. Dr. D N. Sharma, Member, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) inaugurated the Workshop.

Mr. R.G. Rajan, Chairman, SCOPE, delivered the special address. Mr P P Mitra, Principal Adviser, Ministry of Labour & Employment delivered the keynote address. Dr U.D. Choubey, DG, SCOPE, Mr Ravindra Peiris, Sr. Specialist (Employers Activities), ILO and Dr. Avneesh Singh, DG, DGFASLI also addressed the inaugural session of the workshop.


Dr. D.N. Sharma, Member, NDMA complimented SCOPE for conducting knowledge sharing programme on a periodic basis to promote excellence in the field of environment, health and safety. He emphasized on building sustainability so that multi stake holder partnership work towards unified goal of chemical safety. Adherence to the laws and enforcement of applicable rules and regulations are the actual drivers for robust chemical disaster management in the country, he added.

Mr. R.G. Rajan, Chairman, SCOPE & CMD, Rashtriya Chemicals & Fertilizers Ltd in his Special Address said occupational safety and health measures increases productivity and performance and contributes in building a culture of health safety. He said Corporates should draw lessons from reports of near miss incidences, analyze and discuss them to avoid future accidents. He emphasized that Operating Manuals on occupational safety should be updated periodically.

Dr. U.D. Choubey, DG, SCOPE in his Address said occupational safety and health is an integral part of the public sector management who employee about 14 lakh employees. He informed that Public Sector has structured safety departments and are better placed than others to overcome hazardous accidents. While citing a ILO study, he said occupational accidents and work related diseases cause over 2.3 million fatalities and adversely erode 4% of world GDP (2.8 trillion dollar) in terms of capital owing to occupational accidents and work related diseases.

Mr. P.P. Mitra, Principal Adviser, Ministry of Labour & Employment informed that the Govt. of India is codifying 44 labour laws into four labour courts to make compliance easy. He emphasized the need to have a converged database to devise occupational health policy of the government. Training is an integral part of the safety culture, he added.

Mr. Ravindra Peiris, Sr. Specialist (Employers' Activities), ILO in his address said the government, trade unions and employers should work together to build a culture of occupational safety and health. He extended full support to SCOPE in such endeavour.

Dr. Avneesh Singh, DG, DGFASLI said there is need to innovate and devise new steps to counter these hazards. The Workshop was attended by senior executives working in safety departments of PSEs.

GST model law to be finalised and put on public domain in about a month: FinMin

Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau

"The Union Finance Ministry today quashed reports of draft model law on goods and services tax (GST) being in the public domain and said the draft law will be finalised in a month's time and put up for comments and suggestions from the trade and industry.

"It is going to take at least another month by which we will be able to finalise the draft law and once that is done we will be putting it up in the public domain and similar process of consultation and regional conferences for interaction with trade and industry will be done, so that we are able to get your comments on the draft law," said Ms Rashmi Verma, special secretary, Department of Revenue while inaugurating ASSOCHAM's 53rd national conference on GST.

"There was talk about draft model law being there in the public domain, but let me clarify the draft model law which has been put up by somebody on the public domain is not the official draft law, in fact we are still working on it," said Ms Verma.

"Whatever is in circulation is just the base paper which was prepared for kicking off the discussion on the draft law and there might be number of changes in it," she added.

"It is a huge tedious process through which we are going, it is a consultative process in which we are involving all states and we look at each clause very-very minutely and only then we will be able to finalise the draft law," further said Ms Verma.

She said that FinMin has also finalised core business processes on the basis of recommendations of the several committees set up by the Empowered Committee and the ministry has received number of valuable comments from the industry.

"We have set up a committee which is looking at each of your suggestions and this sub-committee which consists of some of the state government officers, CBEC officers will be giving their recommendations to the main committee which will be chaired by me and member secretary of the Empowered Committee and we will look at each recommendation made by this sub-committee on the business processes and take a view whether we need to make any changes in these business processes based on your feedback," said Ms Verma.

"Whatever changes are made with that, we will again be making public the revised draft of business processes which will be open for discussion with the trade and industry," she added.

"We have to come up with the law and business processes which will be trade-friendly and much simpler than the existing ones, with that in mind we are working towards finalising the business processes and the draft law," further said Ms Verma.

On the issue of proposed one per cent tax on inter-state movement of goods, Ms Verma said that FinMin has accepted the recommendations of the Select Committee and the cascading aspect of one per cent additional tax will get minimised because this one per cent additional tax will now be only on the sale i.e. on the value addition and not on the supply of goods.

"The fear that every time goods move from one state to another or from one depot to another there will be a one per cent additional tax need not be there because that change has already been made which is now currently in Rajya Sabha for passage," said Ms Verma.

"However, if after consulting various pressure groups, political parties and trade and industry it is felt that we should drop this one per cent, we are open to it and definitely I also agree that with the one per cent going, the GST structure will improve considerably because even if it is going to be there only for two years, there will be some amount of cascading though we are making all efforts to minimise this," she added.

Talking about the preparedness of the government vis-à-vis roll out of GST in 2016, Ms Verma said, "We are fully geared towards rolling out of GST in 2016, our IT infrastructure is going to be in place, we have selected the agency, we have finalised the draft business laws which have been approved by the Empowered Committee, we are in the process of finalising the draft law which will be soon put in the public domain and all other administrative measures which have to be taken have already been taken by the government."

She also informed that IT processes will be ready by the end of January.

In his address at the same ASSOCHAM conference, Mr Najib Shah, chairman, Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) said that trade and industry need to understand that in the GST regime exemption may not be the way to go forward.

"We are in the process of pre-budget discussions and despite the fact that GST is not too far in the horizon, every single industry association starts their discussions only with a series of exemptions which they would like to have," said Mr Shah.

"So long as every tax which you pay across borders are being VATable so that the final product does not have any input taxes you should be comfortable, that really should be your concern and aims rather than look for any exemptions," he added.

Conceding that dispute resolution is going to be a challenge, the CBEC chief said "We have to have uniformity between the centre and the states in the manner in which we handle disputes, we have to ensure that there is least amount of trouble for trade in having resolution to the disputes."

FICCI and UN Women sign MoU to advance gender equality and women empowerment

Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau

NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 15 : Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry
(FICCI) and UN Women Multi Country Office for India, Bhutan, Maldives & Sri Lanka have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in New Delhi to strengthen collaboration on advancing gender equality and women's empowerment in the business sector. The strategic partnership between the two organizations will help to achieve the common goal of realizing the rights of women and girls as critical preconditions for effective and sustainable development.

Dr. Rebecca Tavares, Country Representative, UN Women India MCO and Dr. Jyotsna Suri,
President FICCI who is also the Chairperson & Managing Director of Bharat Hotels signed the MoU on behalf of their respective organisations.

On this occasion, Dr. Jyotsna Suri noted that "FICCI is upbeat about its partnership with UN Women. This MoU will enable us to identify, facilitate and influence business practices that promote gender equality and women empowerment, the two vital components for advancing development and enhancing representation of women across all sectors and levels of economic activity".

Dr. Tavares also complemented that by saying the strengthened partnership would provide a strategic platform to both organizations' to leverage their comparative advantages in furthering progress on shared goals to contribute to transformative changes for women in the private sector.

"The new Sustainable Development Goals, which are expected to shape policies and social
investments for the next generation, strongly emphasize the role of the private sector in the implementation of the Goals. Our agreement here today is in line with that vision," she said, noting that the agreement will set an example for businesses and motivate them to prioritize equal opportunities and representation of women in all layers of management, supply chains, and markets, right up to the boardroom.

The strategic partnership between FICCI and UN Women is another significant step towards advancing equal opportunities and rights for women in the workplace, marketplace and communities. As a step forward in this partnership, UN Women will be collaborating with FICCI for the first ever FICCI-FLO Film Festival on women's empowerment along with a Global Symposium on 'Gender in Media' presented by the Geena Davis Institute of Gender Studies in Mumbai in February next year.

Through this partnership UN Women and FICCI will also work towards furthering UN Women's global solidarity movement on Gender Equality – "HeForShe". HeForShe invites men and boys as equal partners in the crafting and implementing of a shared vision of gender equality that will benefit all of humanity.

Since the campaign's launch at the United Nations, September 20th, 2015, by Sam Kahamba Kutesa, President of the 69th session of the General Assembly, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and UN Women Global Goodwill Ambassador, Emma Watson, hundreds of thousands of men from around the world including Heads of State,
CEOs, celebrities, and global luminaries have committed their voices to gender equality.
UN Women and FICCI will together look at creating HeForShe Corporate Partners who will have very high reputations for strong ethical practices and equitable gender policies; demonstrate global excellence in their field of business; offer a global reach with a broad information distribution channel that they are prepared to bring to the campaign; and commit their expertise and other corporate resources to end gender inequality.

The MoU will provide a framework to both the organisations, to promote research and
advocacy on gender responsive policies in select sectors. It will also ensure capacity building of women professionals enabling them to assume leadership roles in line with the provisions of the recent Companies Act 2013.

This proposed collaboration between UN Women and FICCI, the largest and oldest apex
business organization in India will inform policy of India's businesses and industries to design and implement gender responsive practices. As a growing effort by UN women to strengthen collaboration with the business sector UN women hopes to expand its outreach within the industry and acknowledge the role of this sector as an important stakeholder in development and economic growth.


Think together, work together and grow together, says President


Thesynergyonline News Bureau

The President of India, Mr Pranab Mukherjee, on Monday (December 14, 2015) delivered the Indira Gandhi Memorial Lecture of the Asiatic Society in Kolkata.

Speaking on the topic of "National Integration", the President said India has maintained remarkable unity and identity though the centuries, in spite of its vast size and immense diversity. National integration is essential for the idea of India to grow. With India emerging as an influential player in the international arena, the problems of our nation with a population of 1.28 billion can be successfully handled if we think together, work together and grow together.

The President said the foundations of national integration must be laid in the minds and hearts of all Indians. Every citizen of this country must know what India is and has been. He must be broadly aware of our long history and the great civilizations that grew on this soil. All Indians must learn about the people who came here from different parts of the world and made their own contribution to the splendid mosaic that Indian culture is. Knowledge about different religions and great saints who took birth here should be part and parcel of everyone's education. Most important of all, the basic unity that keeps us together amidst the immense diversity of our peoples, ethnicities, languages and cultures should be ingrained in every individual citizen, especially the youth.

The President said national integration demands that every citizen recognise the primacy of national interest over group or individual interests. Sometimes, it does happen that regional interests overtake our commitment to the national interest. We have to guard against any such tendency. We must encourage a broad human outlook in all our citizens and educate them to rise above caste or communal loyalties. We must learn to respect the rights and sensitivities of minorities, both in letter and spirit. We must cultivate a secular and democratic outlook, and promote a way of life that is inclusive and does not interfere with civic duties and rights as well as responsibilities of individuals. We must strive to maintain an atmosphere where every community feels a part of the national narrative.
The President said if India is to meet the challenges of development and carve an honourable place for itself in the comity of nations, its citizens must make efforts continuously to increase production, distribute wealth and provide services equitably among all the people. They must constantly endeavour for national advancement and for achieving a shared vision of a great India.

We need world class academic institutions if we aspire to become one of the top nations of the world, says President

Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau

NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 13 : The President of India, Mr Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday delivered the Debranjan Mukherjee Memorial Lecture in Kolkata.

Speaking on the occasion, the President said India cannot aspire to become one of the top nations in the world and sit at the high table of the international comity without having world class academic institutions. He said physical infrastructure for higher education has expanded fast in India in recent years. We have 712 universities and over 36,000 colleges, but not a single Indian institution figured in the top 200 rankings till recently. There was a time when India played a dominant role in the higher education system and we had renowned seats of learning like Takshashila, Nalanda, Vikramashila, Valabhi, Somapura and Odantapuri. India now has to work towards regaining that glory of the past.

The President said as Visitor to large number of institutions of higher learning, he has been regularly convening conferences and emphasizing on the need to improve international rankings. The basic problem is not lack of merit on the part of our higher learning institutions but technicalities and our not providing relevant information to the international rating agencies. The President said he was happy institutions are now taking the ranking process more seriously in a proactive and systematic manner. Thanks to the efforts of the institutions concerned and his constant prodding, two Indian institutions have broken into the top 200 for the first time. He was confident many more would join these institutions soon.

The President said the Internet, mobile phones and TV have transformed the world. There are no longer any territorial limitations. Technology and e-classrooms can be used to access best of teachers anywhere. This will help address the problem of faculty shortages.
The President said there is need for cross fertilization of ideas. Faculty and student exchanges should be regularly organized. Novel ideas that can be transformed into marketable products should be supported and higher education institutions should in association with grassroots entrepreneurs create incubation centers.

The President said India has been traditionally a fossil fuel driven energy economy. There is a need to develop solar energy and other alternate energy to reduce dependence on hydro carbons.

The President fondly remembered Shri Debranjan Mukherji who taught him for four years in Suri Vidyasagar College. He recalled that the College has excellent teachers at that time.

The Memorial Lecture has been instituted in the memory of Late Debranjan Mukherji, an influential figure who taught Bengali language and literature. He served in Suri Vidyasagar College, Guskara Mahavidyalaya, Bidhanchandra College at Asansol and the University of Burdwan, where he later became the Head of the Department of Bengali.


"We live in a society where everything's packaged "

Packaged food biz set to rise to
US$ 50 bln by 2017: Survey

Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau

Packaged food


"The packaged food business environment is very Darwinian. You're fighting for survival every year; you evolve and grow or you die. It's really that simple."-Douglas Conant

And so the size of packaged food in India is set to witness a quantum jump to USD 50 billion by 2017 from the present level of USD 32 billion growing by a CAGR of 35 per cent on the back of increasing popularity and demand for ready to eat food, snacks as such food is convenient and gaining consumer confidence, according to an ASSOCHAM survey.

Average rate of annual spending on packaged food by Indian households has increased by 32.5 per cent during the years 2010 to 2015 while the growth is expected to touch around 35 per cent in the coming years, it said.

The survey highlighted that 76 per cent of parents, mostly both working, with children under five year in the big cities are serving these easy-to-prepare meals at least 10-12 times per month in some form or the other.

Mr D.S. Rawat, Secretary General ASSOCHAM said, the consumption of packaged food is much higher in the urban areas, especially metros, where life is fast-paced, attracting lot more companies to launch new types of products and variants.
The paper also points out that there is a large divide between urban, semi-urban and rural consumers. The urban demand accounts for 80 per cent of all packaged food.

About 76 per cent of the nuclear family feels that they have less less time to spend in the kitchen. It is in this background that home delivery business model for cooked food has grown multi-fold.

Nearly 79 per cent of unmarried people prefer the convenience food. The main categories of packaged food are bakery products, canned/dried processed food, frozen processed food, ready-to-eat meals, dairy products, diet snacks, processed meat and health products and drinks, points the survey.

Food manufacturers have also started concentrating on manufacturing new innovative food products and ready to eat processed food so that it can keep up with the speed of ever changing taste of the consumers.
There has been a major shift in food habits in the metropolitan cities, about 79% of households prefer to have instant food due to steep rise in dual income level and standard of living and convenience.


Technology upgradation key enabler
for MSMEs: Shripad Yesso Naik

Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau

Technology up-gradation is a big concern for MSMEs, need to adopt latest technology to compete with rest of the world, the awareness and affordability of Information and communication technology (ICT) tools is relatively low, said Mr Shripad Yesso Naik, Minister of State (I/C) for AYUSH & MoS, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare at an ASSOCHAM event held in New Delhi on Thursday .

The government has been striving to provide a sustainable platform to MSMEs to grow and develop in terms of productivity, better availability to finance, wider product range, world class marketing strategies and international competitiveness, said Naik while inaugurating a national summit on 'Financial Inclusion for Entrepreneurship and Innovation & 3rd SMEs Excellence Award-2015,' organised by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).

He said, "working capital management is a segment where ample amount of attention should be given by the small entrepreneurs. Ineffective working capital management causes the sickness amongst the MSMEs. Moreover, payment delays by corporations raise the transaction cost of MSMEs, which eventually bring these to verge of sickness. So, therefore it is important for MSMEs to adopt the working capital management effectively.

Mr. Naik further said that MSMEs hold enormous opportunities for growing faster provided they are facilitated with sustainable finance, latest technology and suitable marketing strategies including the branding of their product.

It is well known that MSMEs have been lagging behind because of lack of financial assistance but the scenario is changing since financial institutions have been focusing towards the sector. Banks have established the dedicated cells & braches to cater the needs of this segment. MSMEs should get the credit rating from the reliable and trust worthy credit rating agencies, said the Minister.

The government is committed to provide all possible support to promote and encourage the MSMEs in the country. The primary responsibility of promotion and development of MSMEs is one of the state governments. However, the government of India, supplements the efforts of the state governments through various initiatives

Mr. V Srinivasan, business head, SME Ratings, CRISIL said, "the time has come for concerted efforts by the government, financial institutions and other stakeholders to improve the financial inclusion of micro enterprises by not just formulating the right policies and processes, but also ensuring relentless implementation. What also needs to be enhanced is the soft power potential of the sector to propagate financial literacy, awareness of government schemes and benefits, and technological skills."

A joint study by CRISIL and ASSOCHAM found that access to institutional finance remains the biggest hurdle to growth for this segment. "With access to institutional finance for meeting working capital needs as low as 15 per cent, a good 59 per cent of the promoters relied heavily on own contribution and 26 per cet on supplier credit", the study found.

Institutional finance accounted for only 7 per cent of the working capital needs of those with a turnover of less than Rs 0.5 crore, which is the lowest in the entire micro and small enterprise (MSE) category, adds the study.

All of this impacts the working capital cycle and profitability of micro enterprises, impacting their ability to upgrade infrastructure and technology, expand, or hire skilled workforce.

To be sure, schemes propagating financial inclusion have been implemented, such as the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, which facilitates financial mainstreaming of individuals from low-income groups. The Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana and the Mudra Bank, too, make way for institutional financing of MSEs.To be sure, schemes propagating financial inclusion have been implemented, such as the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, which facilitates financial mainstreaming of individuals from low-income groups. The Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana and the Mudra Bank, too, make way for institutional financing of MSEs, adds the study.

The study showed that credit flow to MSEs in 2014-15 was Rs 11.37 trillion, of which a lion's share of Rs 9.66 trillion was through scheduled commercial banks. The study estimates the Rs 11.37 trillion is only a quarter of the total funding demand of MSEs. The rest is met through informal sources, self-financing or remains unmet.

It means Rs 45 trillion would be the total credit demand in the MSE sector over the medium term, including Rs 5.15 trillion in the near-term. The calculation considers three major categories – term-finance, working capital finance, and non-fund limits for enterprises into manufacturing and trading, highlighted the study.

MSEs, together with medium-sized enterprises, form the backbone of Indian industry, employing nearly 80 million people – the most after agriculture. In the study sample of micro enterprises, the average number of employees per enterprise with less than Rs 0.5 crore turnover was 17, compared with 20 for an enterprise with turnover Rs 0.5-1 crore and it points to the large scope for employment in the sector.

It has been wonderful of late to see the sector driving innovation and process/product development in this age of e-commerce. Yet, MSEs tend to be overlooked by institutional finance, for reasons such as information asymmetry, lack of awareness and adequate financial infrastructure, adds the joint study.

UK to partner with India for Technology Summit & KnowledgExpo 2016

Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau

In October next year, a first ever high-level business and academic delegation will come from the United Kingdom to participate in the 22nd edition of Technology Summit which is an annual flagship event hosted by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in partnership with the Department of Science and Technology. This was announced here on Wednesday by Union Minister of Science and Technology and Earth Sciences, Dr Harsh Vardhan and UK's Minister of State for Science and Universities, Mr Jo Johnson, who was here as part of a high-level delegation.

Dr Vardhan recalled that in recent meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UK's Prime Minister Mr David Cameron, science, technology and innovation was recognised as an important pillar in the bilateral Indo-UK partnership. "The holding of the Technology Summit next year with the UK as the partner country will be a flagship event to mark 2016 as the Indo-UK Year of Education, Research & Innovation. The summit shall provide platform for linking scientific knowledge generation to market and economic growth of both the nations," said the Union minister.

Exuding confidence about the growing ties of his country with India, Mr Johnson said, "The UK's partnership of India's 2016 Technology Summit and KnowledgExpo is a unique opportunity for our countries to demonstrate our world class collaboration in education, innovation and entrepreneurship."

"The Technology Summit and KnowledgExpo will be a standout platform for innovative businesses and thought leaders in 2016. I am delighted to be here today with DST and CII to formally launch these events, which are indicative of the rapidly growing partnership between India and the UK in these areas," he said.

Dr Naushad Forbes, President Designate of CII and Director of Forbes Marshall, said, "The coming together of the two nations, who share a long history of more than 200 years, is fortunate. Though the two countries have been working together on several initiatives in the past 70-odd years, this is the first time that UK will be showcasing the technological prowess of its industry and academic institutions during the India-UK Technology Summit and KnowledgExpo 2016."

He added that he hoped that this bilateral summit will lead to new avenues of collaborations and joint ventures.

Director-General of CII, Mr Chandrajit Banerjee, said, "Indian industry looks forward to working more closely with British industry." Though there are several platforms such as the India-UK CEOs' Forum and Jetco through which the two sides have been collaborating in the past, the partnership for next year's Technology Summit and KnowledgExpo will take the ties to a different level, he added.

The India-UK Technology Summit and KnowledgExpo will take place from 24th October to 26th October 2016 at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi. At this event, key stakeholders from both the countries in the areas of knowledge economy like Science & Technology, R&D, Design, Higher Education, IPR, and Innovation & Entrepreneurship / Start-up will converge and explore partnerships. There will be five parallel summits, including technology summit, higher education summit, intellectual property rights summit, design summit and innovation & entrepreneurship summit. A large India-UK exhibition featuring technology-intensive industry; academic & R&D institutions of excellence; start-ups; innovative design firms; intellectual property institutions and many others from both the countries will showcase knowledge-intensive businesses and initiatives.

Its being organised for the 22nd consecutive year, previous partner countries of technology summit have been the US (in 2014), Spain, France, Israel, Germany and many others.

UK's science and innovation partnership with India is a fast growing, mutually beneficial relationship. Since 2008, over a 100 high-impact, high-quality research projects worth over £200 million have been co-funded by Research Councils UK and Indian partners. The UK and India signed the Newton Bhabha agreement in November 2014 under which the UK has committed £50m over 5 years for Science and Innovation collaborations and India will match fund joint programmes under this partnership. These collaborations will address grand societal challenges like food, water, energy, health and sustainable cities. Innovation collaboration with India is also growing rapidly, jointly accelerating the translation of knowledge to commercial outcomes. Innovate UK and Indian partners will announce the third round of their collaborative industrial R&D programme, making up to £3.5m available to support novel commercial solutions in the areas of clean-tech energy, affordable healthcare and ICT related to clean-tech energy and healthcare.

FICCI joins Green Infrastructure Investment Coalition at COP21 in Paris

Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau

FICCI has joined the Green Infrastructure Investment Coalition launched at the ongoing COP 21 in Paris, which aims to bring together investors, governments and development banks to help increase the flow of institutional investor capital to green infrastructure investments around the world.

Shifting infrastructure to being low-carbon and climate-resilient (for example, clean energy; low carbon transport, green buildings) will require more investment upfront. The Green Infrastructure Investment Coalition aims to address the investment challenge of building green infrastructure as it cannot be met with public sector funds and bank finance alone. A key task for the Coalition will be to look for ways to bridge risk gaps to ensure investment profiles can meet the needs of institutional investors.

Apart from FICCI, around 11 other organisations from across the world have confirmed their participation in the Green Infrastructure Investment Coalition, including: the Institutional Investor Group on Climate Change (IIGCC), Legal & General Investment Management, AB (global investment-manager with USD464 billion under management); Pax World Management; The Regions20 Coalition; The European Investment Bank; IDBI; India's Export Import Bank; the National Institute of Public Finance & Policy; Deutsche Bank; and Investor Group on Climate Change. The Coalition will help its members to better understand the pipeline of green infrastructure investments; examine barriers to capital flows and propose solutions; shape the capital market instruments needed to ensure capital flows; and also support investors to review asset allocation strategies to make sure they will be able to take advantage of the huge deal flow on the horizon.

The Coalition will hold roundtables to find out about and discuss government green investment plans, including specific pipelines being developed by individual agencies such as State energy and rail companies. Major Coalition activities will include mapping of information such as infrastructure deals by governments to identify deal attributes and participating investors; constituting a Climate Finance Aggregation Platform to tap low-cost capital from bond markets; developing Green Bond Markets in countries such as India, Mexico, Turkey, Canada, California and Brazil; and launching of a "Guide for Scaling-up Green Bond Markets for Sustainable Development" for governments. The Coalition will also help countries to develop green investment plans needed to meet their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs).

FICCI had undertaken few initiatives in the realm of sustainable financing in the run up to COP 21, such as the "UNEP Conference on Delivering a Sustainable Financial System in India" and a "Conference on Green bonds". By joining the Green Infrastructure Investment Coalition, FICCI has strengthened its support towards the need for bolstering sustainable financing in the country.


DHI-Ministry of Skill Development signs MoU for Capital Goods & Automotive Sector at DHIFICCI-HMFI

Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau

Department of Heavy Industry and Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship on Wednesday signed an MoU for capital goods and automotive sector for large scale capacity building by providing infrastructure and facilities, improving training content, curriculum and methodology and use of latest technologies,
during DHI-FICCI-HMFI WIN (World of Industry) India conference.

The MoU was signed by Dr Rajan Katoch, Secretary, Department of Heavy Industry and Mr Rohit Nandan, Secretary, Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship in the presence of Shri Anant Geete, Union Minister for Heavy Industries and Shri Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.

The key activities to be undertakn under the MoU, inter alia, are:

...Create jointly a National Ecosystem for Development of Skills for the Manufacturing Sector, in particular the Capital Goods sector and automotive sector and other sectors/subjects covered by DHI | Develope a Multi-location ‚National Institute of Manufacturing Technology (NIMT)' for training, education and research in manufacturing technologies by leveraging the infrastructure and facilities of PSUs under DHI | Creating Centres of Excellence in different categories by utilising/up-grading of exiting training facilities of the PSUs under DHI in collaboration with NSDC/Sector Skill Council and/or DGT | Bring in the internationally known best practices in the field of skill development and entrepreneurship for manufacturing sector and for that purpose get the services of internationally renowned experts and to leverage global partnerships and technical There would be top-level institutional arrangement for this initiative so that it is properly implemented and monitored on regular basis.  

Speaking at inaugural session ceremony of FICCI-DHI-HMFI WIN India Mr Anant Geete said "We know that our priority today is to create jobs for our 65 per cent population which is young. Partnership with Ministry of Skill Development is important to make people job-ready for our capital goods sector. The sector provides direct employment to ~1.4 million people and indirect employment to ~7 million people and impacts users of capital goods estimated to be 50 times of the direct employment. We are aiming to create direct and indirect employment for 30 million workers in the capital goods sector by 2025. Hence, we have signed the MoU with Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship to ensure that these targets are met".

"Draft 'National Policy on Capital Goods has been prepared after extensive industry consultations which we would be taking to the Cabinet shortly," said Mr Geete.
Speaking on the occasion, Shri Rajiv Pratap Rudy pointed out that "availability of talent and productivity of the workforce are amongst the top drivers for manufacturing competitiveness of a nation. The Central Government is committed to ensure that there is adequate supply of quality talent for the manufacturing sector. This would give India a competitive edge in manufacturing. This Agreement between the Skills Ministry and Ministry of Heavy Industries will go a long way in ensuring supply of such talent pool."

Mr Raman Singh, Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh also addressed the delegates in the inaugural session. Chhattisgarh is the partner State for the WIN India 2015.

Speaking at the occasion Dr Didar Singh, Secretary General, FICCI said "FICCI is already running the Capital Goods Skill Council (CGSC) along with DHI under the framework of NSDC, and FICCI welcomes this partnership with Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship. FICCI would like to work with DHI and Ministry of Skill Development and
Entrepreneurship to implement this MoU".

Lower Saxony's Under-Secretary, Daniela Behrens, is leading the business delegation from Lower Saxony to visit WIN INDIA with the specific goal of meeting Indian companies and intensifying Lower Saxony's economic relations with India. This is a direct result of India's Partner Country appearance in Hannover, which is the capitol of Lower Saxony.
Learning that there are numerous investment and cooperation opportunities in India, the delegation is visiting WIN India 2015.

Hannover Milano Fairs India Pvt Ltd, the Indian subsidiary company of the Deutsche Messe, organizers of Hannover Messe (Germany) along with Department of Heavy Industries and FICCI today announced the 9th edition of WIN India 2015, India's leading Industrial and engineering trade fair, schedule to be held from December 9-11, 2015 at the Pragati Maidan, New Delhi.

Department of Heavy Industries (DHI), Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprise, Government of India along with the support of FICCI, will work jointly with the organizers towards promoting India's high tech engineering and capital goods manufacturing industry as a part of Government of India's 'Make In India' campaign. Department of
Heavy Industries will also be organising DHI 'Make in India' pavilion at WIN India 2015, which will showcase the prowess of India's manufacturing in technology.

India needs to keep up with world corporate governance: U K Sinha, SEBI

Thesynergyonline Corporate Bureau

Stressing on the need for Indian corporates to match up with the world in corporate governance standards, Mr U K Sinha, Chairman, Securities & Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has reasserted its importance for all corporations for the coming years. "It is important to note what is happening in the world futuristically. There are a whole new set of areas where the world is moving. All corporations, who want to stay relevant at the global level have to become relevant in that regard. I would urge you not to regard corporate governance as being thrust upon you but to look at it as something that is important for you own long term survival," he said. Mr Sinha was addressing the 10th Corporate Governance Summit organized by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) on the overall theme titled 'Building a Strong Corporate Governance Ecosystem in India'.

Highlighting global governance trends, Mr. Sinha spoke about the new OECD principles that have been revised recently. He cited focus on equitable right of all shareholders with everyone being given an effective redressal mechanism; monitoring of the effectiveness of management; accountability of Boards to all stakeholders; and identification and mitigation of risk factors by the Board.

Drawing attention to the need for governance improvements, he highlighted how in the World Bank report of Ease of Doing Business, India has even beaten the USA to climb from number 49 in 2012 to being 8 this year on the parameter of shareholder protection. He stressed on the need for further improvement while talking about parameters like conflict of interests in boards; CEO's chairing the board etc which companies need to focus on.

Setting the tone for the future, he called on companies to note world developments futuristically and emphasized important areas like indirect impact reporting on impact in society; integrated reporting which is trying to capture sustainability etc saying these were central to long term corporate survival. He also talked about SEBI's role in bringing about change in a non-disruptive manner.

Delivering the Multilateral Partner Outlook, Ms Vladislava Ryabota, Regional Corporate Governance Lead, South Asia, IFC spoke about the emphasis on internal control, board oversight, independent directors etc brought about in India by the new Companies Act and SEBI Regulations raising the bar for Indian companies significantly. She opined how the board's true desire to conform, improve and perform in line with global best practices is the driver of governance. Asserting effective implementation of best practices, she deliberated how this is a universal challenge. She also spoke about the importance of following best practices not just by the letter of law but also spirit; need for independent directors to add value by providing strategic guidance; importance of gender diversity for different perspectives.

She announced that CII and IFC have entered into a 'Cooperation Agreement' to promote good corporate governance practices in the country and in the development and implementation of initiatives towards "Independent Directors" and "Women on Board" programs.

Mr. U K Sinha released a CII Deloitte publication titled 'Global Trends in Corporate Governance'. Talking about the report and the trends in Corporate Governance in the country, Mr. P R Ramesh, Chairman, Deloitte India acknowledged the regulatory efforts in India for the very high maturity levels of corporate governance - thanks to SEBI and developments in the Companies Act. He stressed the need for moving away from compliance to effectiveness for the need for building a strong ecosystem of Corporate Governance. He said it is not about board structures, charters, roles of responsibilities as such as it is about ensuring that boards effectively discharge their duties.

Mr Ramesh enumerated 11 top elements which Boards need to focus on in the coming couple of years. These include stakeholder democracy, independence, accountability, Board diversity, risk management, strategy and value-creation etc. Mapping world developments and trends, he spoke about making independent directors truly independent by removing shackles like availability of time and conflict of interest; gender diversity; and illustrative framework for evaluation of boards.

Mr. Leo Puri, Chairman, Managing Director, UTI Asset Management Co. Ltd., earlier set the tone for the Summit. He commended SEBI's efforts while discussing how there is a need to maintain the balance between voluntary adoption of corporate governance boosted by mandatory regulations to keep with the rest of the world.

The day long Summit is the flagship event of CII in the governance domain. Various sessions deliberated upon through the day included Governance Strategy: Global Standards and changing regulatory scenario; Women on Board: Connecting Corporate Performance and Gender Diversity; Board Evaluation: Helping Board improve its own performance; experience sharing; Internal Control & Fraud Prevention: Role of the Board.

"Empowerment is the ability to refine, improve, and enhance your life without co-dependency."

SCOPE for a better succession planning
for women employees in PSEs

Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau

SCOPE workshop:

NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 09 : "Every woman that finally figured out her worth, has picked up her suitcases of pride and boarded a flight to freedom, which landed in the valley of change." - Shannon L. Alder 

And so Standing Conference of Public Enterprises (SCOPE) organized a three-day workshop at Lucknow on Succession Planning for Board Level Positions for senior women executives of public sector enterprises (PSEs). Mr Ajit Seth, Chairman, Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB) inaugurated the workshop in the presence of Mr R G Rajan, Chairman, SCOPE, Dr U.D. Choubey, Director General, SCOPE and Dr Geeta Rani Duppati, Professor, University of Waikato, New Zealand. On the occasion, Mr Seth also released Special Issue of Kaleidoscope on Arbitration.

Mr. Ajit Seth, Chairman, PESB in his inaugural address said empowerment of women and gender equality are the pre-requisites for competitiveness and growth of economies. He said that a large number of women are working in public and private sector. However, a small percentage is visible in higher echelons. He complimented SCOPE for its initiatives on Capacity Building for strengthening the competencies and leadership qualities of the women executives in PSEs.

"I think women are foolish to pretend they are equal to men, they are far superior and always have been." - William Golding, Lord of the Flies

Mr R G Rajan, Chairman, SCOPE while delivering special address said that PSEs have emerged as role model for the career development of the women executives by providing safe and enabling environment for the women employees. He advised women employees to opt for challenging opportunities to reach at higher levels. 

Dr U D Choubey, Director General, SCOPE emphasized the need for a better succession planning for women employees in PSEs to facilitate them to reach at Board level positions. Expressing his concern over time taken in selection process at Board level positions, he suggested that PESB should be given Cabinet authority so that notification for appointment is issued within a week of appointment. He said that there is paradigm shift in the role and responsibilities at higher level as future vision and strategy implementation assumes paramount importance to drive the organization's performance.

Dr. Geeta Rani Duppati, Professor from New Zealand, said this workshop is important as it aims at systematic approach towards women empowerment. It manifests gender diversity and gender inclusiveness and emphasizes top leadership role.

Mr U K Dikshit, Advisor (Programmes), SCOPE proposed a vote of thanks. The workshop was attended by a large number of senior women executives of PSEs in India.


MAIT, Govt of Karnataka to host
workshop on 'Ease of Doing Business'

Thesynergyonline EconomicsBureau

Manufacturers' Association for Information Technology (MAIT), the apex body representing ICT manufacturers, is hosting a National Workshop on 'Ease of Doing Business' in association with the Government of Karnataka. The workshop, which will be conducted on December 10, 2015 at Hotel Lalit Ashok, Bengaluru, aims to assess the prevailing business environment in the State of Karnataka.

Attendees have an opportunity to voice out small but persisting operational and regulatory issues which require the cooperation and support of the state government as well as and regulatory authorities such as KIADB (for land acquisition), KSPCB (for e-waste compliances), Department of e-Governance (for favorable IT Procurement policies) and also the Commercial Taxes, Labour and Employment departments.

"MAIT intends to gather inputs from key industry members so that it can formulate its recommendations and take up important policy-related issues with the Government of Karnataka. This requires immediate attention so that Karnataka continuous to remain as a favorable IT destination." said Mr AnwarShirpurwala, Executive Director, MAIT.

The workshop is in line with the government's 'Make in India' campaign to boost domestic manufacturing and help emerge India as a manufacturing hub for the world. Invitees of the event include R V Deshpande, Hon'ble Minister for Industries & Commerce, Govt. of Karnataka, S R Patil, Hon'ble Minister for IT, BT & S&T, Govt. of Karnataka, K Ratna Prabha, Additional Chief Secretary, Commerce & Industries and V Manjula, Principal Secretary, Department of IT, BT and S&T.

A broad agenda of topics to be discussed at the workshop include:

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Ease of Investments: Simplified environment for Investment| Operation Issues: Challenges of running business | Reasonable Taxation: Top priority of Ease of Doing Business | Removing infrastructural bottlenecks | Ensuring ease and transparency in Government Procurement | The 'Digital India' campaign has an ambitious target of achieving Net Zero Imports by 2020 in Electronics and IT Hardware goods by reducing its imports, encouraging indigenous manufacturing and increasing exports. This would be possible only if persisting issues are addressed.

India's direct selling industry has the potential to reach Rs 645 billion by 2025: FICCI-KPMG report

Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau

Mr. Amitabh Kant, Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, said that direct selling will have to be given a greater thrust as it empowers women, MSMEs and promotes manufacturing in India, at FICCI DIRECT 2015, an annual flagship event for Direct Selling (DS) industry. Mr. Kant said that the industry has a potential to grow to INR 1000 billion by 2025 much beyond the FICCI-KMPG report projection of Rs 645 billion.

Acknowledging the need for clarity in definition of direct selling and a separate regulatory framework for the industry, Mr. Kant said that DIPP has already submitted the draft guidelines to Ministry of Consumer Affairs for the direct selling industry and is hopeful for its implementation by various states.

He also urged the industry to embrace technology as the industry can deliver better and even faster once technology becomes its strength.

Mr. Kant released FICCI-KPMG report on 'Direct selling- Mapping the industry across Indian states.

Further on the occasion, Dr. A Didar Singh, Secretary General, FICCI said "Indian Direct Selling Industry" is an important component of the Indian economy and acknowledging this, we at FICCI through our focused task force on direct selling is working dedicatedly towards the growth of this industry and seeking regulatory clarity for this new industry.

"We have launched the FICCI-KPMG report on the current state and
contribution of Direct Selling industry in various states. This would be a reservoir of information on how this industry is contributing towards the development of various parts of India.

During the event, he assured Mr. Kant that FICCI would deliver a white paper on "Technology for Direct Selling".

The Report 'Direct 2015 – Direct selling- Mapping the industry across Indian states' by FICCIKPMG in India highlights the current challenges faced by the industry and the potential that the industry holds in select Indian states.

According to the report, the industry has recorded high double digit growth of about 16 per cent over the past four to five years. The market has grown to become a key channel for distribution of goods and services in the country, especially for health and wellness products, cosmetics, consumer durables, water purifiers and vacuum cleaners.

The report attempts to analyze the region-wise direct selling market comparing and contrasting growth patterns. In the last five years, the industry has recorded strong growth rates especially in the states of Assam, Delhi, Punjab and West Bengal. As per our analysis, North India emerged
as the largest region by market size and accounted for INR 22 billion in 2013-14; South India which holds the second highest share of the direct selling market was pegged at INR 19 billion in terms of revenue in 2013-14. While the north east is currently the smallest market, it has recorded the highest growth rate of 14 per cent in India with a revenue of INR 9 billion. The
growth has primarily been driven by rising income levels, high rate of urbanization and growing consumerism in the states.

The report also lists the challenges faced by the direct selling industry, one of the biggest being the lack of regulatory clarity. In our opinion, to provide a conducive and sustainable operating environment, a series of reforms are required ranging from short-term reforms like amendments in existing Acts/policies to long-term measures like implementing a specific
governing legislation for the sector. A separate policy framework for the direct selling industry is required which helps identify ethical industry players, and can help regain consumers' confidence.

The direct selling industry has significantly contributed to women empowerment, skill development, technology percolation and the growth of the SMEs sector in the states, besides contributing to the state exchequer. Total indirect tax contribution by direct selling industry to the government in FY14 alone is estimated at INR 740-790 million. In addition, the industry also
provides a viable means of alternative income, which promotes self-employment. Going ahead, the industry is expected to be driven by factors such as growth in consumer markets and increase in the penetration to globally comparable levels.

In continuation with Direct 2014, this year's summit has scaled up to new heights. It is unprecedented to have such a cohesive voice of all regional, sectoral and National associations working for this sector together at one platform. The confidence is displayed in the sheer number of more than 700 delegates assembled together here at FICCI.

Urban sanitation offers US$ 1.5 bn business in next 12-14 months: ASSOCHAM study

Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau

In the midst of a focus on Swachch Bharat sanitation programme, the market for generating value of municipal solid waste (MSW) is expected to be worth USD 1.5 billion (about Rs 10,000 crore) in the next 12-14 months, a comprehensive ASSOCHAM –cKinetics study has pointed out.

"Assuming the base capital expenditure of USD 8750 /TPD for compositing plants and average capital expenditure of USD 1.4 million /TPD for setting up waste to energy plants, market for generating value of waste is expected to be worth USD 1.5 billion by 2017," the study said.

It said a large portion of this market for generating value of MSW remains untapped owing to several operational, policy and technological barriers.

Quoting the data of the erstwhile Planning Commission, the ASSOCHAM-eKinetics study said the urban population in India is expected to increase to 404 million in 2017 (from the level of 365 million in 2012).

There is a four- level value chain for potential business opportunities across the MSW management. First, the value lies at the level of service contract for waste collection at source (both residential and commercial customers) and collection of recyclable materials for sale in local market.

Second, the value lies at the level of setting up and maintenance of transfer stations for transfer of waste from collection centres to processing centres for energy and material recovery. Then, there is also a value proposition for waste processing (waste to energy plants, RDF generation, composting systems and recycling plants). Finally, the opportunity for value creation is also available at the level of design and construction of sanitary landfills.

"It is imperative to move towards constructive waste management which involves Public-Private –Partnerships focused on eventual waste minimization, driven at the community level, using low energy and low technology resources. Additionally, future waste minimization programmes must derive greater economic benefits through decentrialized waste administration as well as reconciliation of investment costs with long-term goals", ASSOCHAM President Mr Sunil Kanoria said.

The study noted a good part of the story as also the bad one: The good part is that almost 80 per cent of the total urban municipal waste generated is collected. The bad part is that only about 23 per cent of the total MSW is treated. "So, the further flip side is that majority of the waste ends up being untreated and dumped in unsanitary landfills or local dumpsites".

During the last decade, India's urban population grew by 31.8 per cent to 377 million, which is larger than the entire population of the US, thereby underlining a tremendous need for waste management services, the study noted. Additionally, rapid economic growth, urbanization and industrialization have generated significant waste, adversely impacting environment.

9 Innovations win CII i3 Awards for Top Innovators

Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau

Nine best innovations in the field of healthcare, textiles, agriculture, food technology, electronics and products and services were conferred top awards of 7th India Innovation Initiative (i3) 2015, by Union Minsiter of Science and Technology and Earth Sciences, Dr Harsh Vardhan, here on Monday. The awards were conferred during the valedictory ceremony of the India International Science Festival (IISF) at Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi.

The national fair of i3 was held under the aegis of IISF which opened on 4th December and ended on 8th December. Also present during the award ceremony were Chairman, All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), Prof Anil Sahasrabudhe; Scientist G and Head, National Council for Science and Technology Communication, Dr B P Singh and lead industry partner of the initiative and Founder Chairman of Valluri Technology Accelerators, Mr Venkatesh Valluri. Other partner organisations of the initiative included Indian Venture Capital Association (IVCA) and the Young Indians. The awards across 9 different categories comprised trophy, cash prizes, certificate and a connect with the start-up ecosystem.

The national fair of i3, which is the annual flagship national innovation competition of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) organised in partnership with the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India and AICTE saw 76 best-in-class innovation entries battling it out for the top awards. The finalists were shortlisted from a total of 770 entries after a two-month long evaluation and selection by an online Jury comprising academics from some of India's top science and engineering colleges, industry experts from business incubators, VC funds and angel networks.

Speaking at the awards ceremony, Dr Harsh Vardhan said, "As part of the vision and mandate of the government, the Department of Science & Technology has been playing a pivotal role in promotion of research and more particularly high end research and development not only for cutting edge technologies for frontier applications but also for serving the requirements of the common man through the development of appropriate skills and technologies," adding that, "I believe that platforms such as i3 should be supported and encouraged to scale-up in size and impact so that more innovators from all corners of the country, especially the hinterland are able to take part and enrich the innovation and entrepreneurial landscape of the country.

Among the winners was 51-year old entrepreneur P A Sekar who hails from the weaving community in Vellore, Tamil Nadu. Because of family circumstances he had to drop out of school after class VII but he continued thinking about ways to make the task of turning yarn into warp less taxing and time-consuming for the community. He was able to find an answer to this problem through an innovative power loom which not only makes warp in short time but also eliminates the necessity of involving children in the process. After winning the i3 Gold Award for Best Innovator at the 7th india Innovation Initiative National Fair, Sekar said, "I want to open an R&D centre in my village in Guruvarajapet and need financial assistance in the form of a research grant for that."

Within a short span of time, the India Innovation Initiative as emerged as one of the largest and most well-known and anticipated platforms for innovation and entrepreneurship in the country with widespread participation from students, scientists, researchers, professionals and entrepreneurs from all corners of the country. Launched in 2009, it has grown multi-fold over the past six years.

An ensemble jury panel comprising eminent industrialists, scientists, business management experts and government representatives came together to evaluate each of the finalists' entries. The initiative is being supported by government and non-government incubators and investor associations for incubation, mentoring and funding support. There will be other awards, recognition and support to winners.

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Award Winning Projects of i3 2015 1st Prize i3 Platinum Award for Best Innovator Cash Award of Rs 50,000, Trophy and Certificate WINNING PROJECT (AndBio Shi2610) Rightbiotic - Fastest Antibiotic Finder INNOVATORS – Shivani and Anuradha Pal (PhD scholars at BITS Hyderabad, Telengana) 2nd Prize i3 Gold Award for Best Innovator Cash Award of Rs 30,000, Trophy and Certificate WINNING PROJECT (TamTextP. 3659) Power Loom Warping Machine INNOVATOR – P. A. Sekar (Entrepreneur from Vellore, Tamil Nadu) 3rd Prize i3 Silver Award for Best Innovator Cash Award of Rs 20,000, Trophy and Certificate WINNING PROJECT (AssProdAru1783) Injection Mouldable Polymeric Composite Based Passive Polycentric Knee Joint INNOVATORS - Srinivasan Arun and Dr. S. Kanagaraj (PhD Scholar and Associate Professor respectively at IIT Guwahati) VTA Award for Most Promising Innovator Cash Award of Rs 10,000, incubation and mentoring support from Valluri Technology Accelerators (VTA) and Certificate WINNING PROJECT (AndProdSan2072) Motorcycle Seat to Avoid Back Pain, Spinal Injury and Fatigue INNOVATORS - Santosh Kumar Samala and Viswanadh Malladi (Entrepreneurs from Hyderabad, Telengana) IVCA Award for Top Innovator Cash Award of Rs 5,000 each, mentoring and funding connect from IVCA and Certificate (No of Awards 3) 1. WINNING PROJECT (TamHealS. 2551) Low Cost Medical Sterilization Using Atmospheric Pressure Plasma INNOVATOR - S. Krupakar Murali (Businessman from Peelamedu, Tamil Nadu) 2. WINNING PROJECT (TamAgriDha1558) Automated Rubber Tapping Machine INNOVATOR - M.Saravana Mohan (Academician at Velammal College of Engineering and Technology, Madurai, Tamil Nadu) 3. WINNING PROJECT (MahFoodVED3060) Lemon Juice Making Machine INNOVATOR - Vednath Pundlik Kalbande (Academician at G. H. Raisoni College of Engineering, Nagpur, Maharashtra) Young Indians Awards for Best Young Innovators Cash Award of Rs 7,000 each and Certificate (No. of Awards 3) Only 2 awards were given in this category 1. WINNING PROJECT(KarElecNav3646) Smart Electronic Helmet for Motorcycle INNOVATORS - Navajith Padmanabha Karkera and Jagath H B (Students at Sahyadri College of Engineering and Management, Mangalore, Karnataka) 2. WINNING PROJECT (KarHealKou3442) Indrabhuja: Low-Cost Myoelectric Prosthetic Hand INNOVATORS - Koushik B and Biswajit Roy (Students at R.V. College of Engineering, Bangalore, Karnataka)


2-day global R&D summit
gets under way

Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau

Mr Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister for Road
Transport, Highways and Shipping, has exhorted industry to make all-out efforts to convert knowledge to wealth through intensive R&D and innovation efforts even as he urged FICCI to focus its innovation promotion efforts to boost agricultural productivity and rural development.

Giving the keynote address at the 'Global R&D Summit 2015' on the theme,'Leveraging international cooperation to boost Indian innovation ecosystem' here today organized by FICCI with the support of the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, Mr. Gadkari said that to increase the employment potential of the country and eradicate poverty, it was imperative to apply innovative solutions to the problems faced by the agricultural sector. This required political will and leadership for progress and development, both of which were present in adequate measure in the present government.

Mr. Gadkari said his Ministry was working on five inland waterways projects and hoped that a Bill to convert 101 rivers into waterways would be introduced and passed by Parliament in its next session.

He said the transportation of goods and passengers through waterways would bring down the cost by up to 25 per cent. Yet, this alternative mode of transportation was still at its infancy. This was evident from the fact that while in China, Korea and Japan 40%, 43 per cent and 44 per cent of the good and passengers moved through waterways, India fared poorly as waterways carried a mere 3.5 per cent through this mode.

He revealed that Cochin Shipyard, Dredging Corporation of India and Shipping Corporation of India has cumulatively posted a profit of over Rs 6000 crore and this would be deployed to give waterways transportation a boost.

Mr. Y S Chowdary, Minister of State for Science & Technology & Earth Sciences, in his inaugural address, emphasized the need to make a paradigm shift from scientist-centric research to people-centric research so that the fruits of R&D and innovation were reaped by the people, especially by those at the bottom of the pyramid. In this context, he urged state governments to come on board and become actively involved in developing an innovation ecosystem, own projects and support them to the hilt.

He said his Ministry was actively considering the grant of incentive to kick-start, the 'Startup India, Stand-up India' call by the Prime Minister. These would be in the shape of tax credits, setting up of incubation centres and mentor development.

Mr. Chowdary said that for 'Make in India' initiative to become employment-intensive and inclusive, it was essential to undertake innovative projects in rural India.

The event witnessed presentation of FICCI R&D Award to Hindustan Aeronautics for building indigenous capabilities in the 'Design & Development of Light Utility Helicopter & Light Combat Helicopter' and the FICCI R&D Catapult (Start-Up) Award to Cellzyme Biotech Private Limited for their exemplary work on 'Green Manufacturing of Pharmaceuticals Using Smart Enzymes'.

The inaugural session of the summit was also addressed by Dr. A Didar Singh, Secretary General, FICCI; Dr. Ray O Johnson, former Chief Technology Officer, Lockheed Martin Corporation; Mr. Sid Burback, Director, Global Commercialization Group, IC2 Institute, University of Texas at Austin, USA; Mr. George Sibley, Counsellor for Economic Affairs and Environment, Science & Technology, US Embassy in India; and Dr. Makarand Phadke, Chairman, FICCI National Committee on S&T/Innovation & Senior Vice President Innovations.

ASSOCHAM welcomes CEA-led committee`s suggestions on GST rate

Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau

Apex industry body ASSOCHAM has welcomed the report of Chief Economic Advisor (CEA) led panel recommending standard GST rate of 18 per cent and lower rate of 12 per cent on specified goods.

"This rate structure is quite appropriate and will be anti-inflationary for indigenous goods, however the cost of services will go up including some essential services like banking, telecom and information technology (IT)," said The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).

"The CEA panel has also suggested highest rate of 40 per cent on sin and luxury goods but not identified which items will be treated as luxury goods, in such situation it is feared that list of such goods may be expanded by including large number of normally used items by large population which is not desirable," said ASSOCHAM.

Such higher rate should only be applicable to sin goods, it added.

"The removal of one per cent additional tax is a welcome step as it will remove the cascading effect on cost of indigenous production by four to six per cent as goods move four to six times during entire value chain," further said ASSOCHAM.

ASOCHAM has always been advocating dropping proposed one per cent additional tax and levy of moderate GST Rates on all tradable goods and services, therefore the chamber fully supports the recommendations of the CEA-led panel to include petroleum products alcohol into the ambit of GST.

Further, it suggests that with respect to alcohol, in addition to GST, states may continue to collect additional state excise duty to maintain the current level of taxation on alcohol.

ASSOCHAM fully supports the CEA's view that rates can't be put in the Constitution Amendment Bill to make the rates inflexible, however the chamber feels that rates should be stable and predictable to attract investments.

Make in India' should be 'Made by India': Prof Lord Kumar Bhattacharya

Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau

Speaking at the CII Session on 'Make in India: The Next Wave', Prof. Lord Kumar Bhattacharya, Chairman, Warwick Manufacturing Group, said that 'Make in India' should ideally be 'Made by India', to foster the indigenous manufacturing and thereby facilitate economic growth. He stressed that India's future should be to lead global innovation and it should invest in global partnership of innovation for creation of outstanding products.

Prof. Bhattacharya praised the 'Make in India' initiative spearheaded by the government. He said that the Make in India initiative has a huge momentum not only in India but abroad as well.

Reflecting on his journey as a part of the Warwick Manufacturing Group, Prof Lord Bhattacharya stressed that technology, training, skills and infrastructure had helped renew and restore Britain's manufacturing industry and Indian should learn from Britain's experience.

He compared the current positive developments in manufacturing sector in India with that in China in 1980's and felt that India's growth was looking self-sustaining at this stage. He, however, cautioned that India should not become complacent and underestimate China. Over the recent years China has adopted the culture of innovation and has moved away from the culture on imitation and India should learn from China too, he added.

Mr. Amitabh Kant, Secretary, DIPP, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, reflected on the achievements of Professor Lord Kumar Bhattacharya in transforming several Chinese and Indian companies. Mr Kant sought to partner with Prof. Lord Kumar Bhattacharya to take forward India's manufacturing several notches up.

Mr Kant observed that India is at the cusp of a major change, and it should fully utilize its growth potential, by focussing on a paradigm shift in manufacturing sector.

Praising India's manufacturing prowess, Mr. Sudarshan Venu, Joint Managing Director- TVS Motor Company, commented that passenger vehicle manufacturers across the globe are now leveraging the Indian advantage provided by India's manufacturing hubs. He stated that India's manufacturing sector has a potential to contribute 25 per cent to GDP and generate 80 million jobs in the next decade.

Mr Banmali Agrawala, President & CEO- GE South Asia, General Electric Company, highlighted that in order to promote the Indian manufacturing sector there must be focus on improving the market size, financing the manufacturing units and making technology relevant to Indian standards.

Dr Mukund G Rajan, Member- Group Executive Council, Brand Custodian and Chief Ethics Officer, Tata Sons Ltd. commented that India should embrace the domestic as well as the global market. He noted that a way forward for India needs to focus upon preparation for climate change as it would drive us towards renewables, embrace digitization & innovation and creation of intellectual property rights.

Speaking at the Session, Mr Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CII, stressed on private sector participation in facilitating innovation.


SCOPE for wider RTI ambit

Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau


Speaking at the two-day Workshop on "Management & Implementation of RTI Act, 2005" organized by SCOPE in Lucknow, Dr. U.D. Choubey, Director General, advocated that private sector and NGOs must be brought under the ambit of RTI, not only for level playing field but also for bringing them on equitable basis under the provision of Right to Information Act (RTI) which is the law of the land. Dr Choubey strongly pleaded that public money in the private hand is as bad as public money in the public hands. Corruption is not the monopoly of government sector alone but it has a commonality between both Private and Public, he added.

DG, SCOPE complimented institution of CIC as it has enhanced the brand image of public sector enterprises on global basis. He desired that there is need of sufficient capacity building by increasing the number of officers in CIC to tackle huge number of queries which is received on daily basis.


Dr Choubey also informed that there are large number of habitual seekers of clarifications under RTI for obvious interests and the same is hampering the competitiveness and productivity in public sector enterprises. NEW DELHI, NOVEMBER 28:

Such a list of select PSU(s) has already been provided to CIC. He told that as of now ten years have already gone since we enacted RTI Act. There is need to review several stipulations based on practical experience during these years. As such, SCOPE has given negative list which could be considered when amendment is considered.

Mr Jawed Usmani, U.P. State Chief Information Commissioner inaugurated the two-days SCOPE Workshop on RTI. Shri Usmani appreciated the concerns of PSEs towards level playing and also some judicious consideration for large many clarifications sought particularly by habitual seekers.

The workshop was attended by a large number of Appellate Authorities/CPIOs/APIOs of public sector enterprises.

Innovative technology to
drive India's infra story

Thesynrgyonline Economics Bureau

Mr Nitin Gadkari, Hon'ble Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways and Shipping emphasized the importance of private sector in building India's infrastructure at the PPP Summit organized by CII. A lot of innovative initiatives like use of waste material for road construction, preparing precast designs et al are being implemented to reduce the cost of construction and improve the overall quality of road building.

He shared with the participants that major challenges be it land acquisition, environment/forest clearances, Railway over bridge related clearances etc. have all been resolved. He mentioned that 21 cabinet decisions have been taken in the last year and a half to revive and strengthen of the sector. In the Hybrid Annuity Model, Government plans to award 21 road projects by March 2016 of which 3 have already been awarded.

Further, State Governments have been roped in for preparing DPRs for roads worth 20000 kms which would help in achieving 1.5 lakh km road construction target per year. Moreover he stressed on the need to develop 101 important rivers in the country for inland waterways, something which has much higher economic potential and viability than Roads or Rail.

He also urged private sector to come forward to develop lighthouses and islands in and around waterways to improve water transport which would reduce logistics cost and spur tourism in the country. Highlighting the need to bring in technology, innovation and new practices in the sector, he urged the private sector to come and partner the Government in taking forward India's Infrastructure story.

Mr. Suresh Prabhu, Union Minister of Railways, Government of India in his Inaugural Address reiterated that there is no other alternative than to get private sector participation in the country. Balance needs to be achieved between profit and public interest objective.

Elaborating on his Ministry's increased focus to incentivize private sector participation, he highlighted the largest FDI project worth 40,000 crore in the Railway sector to set up Diesel and Electric locomotive factories. These state of the art manufacturing facilities will create an eco-system with spin-off benefits, which will not only create jobs in the manufacturing facilities but will also help in developing ancillary units.

He also highlighted that the proposal to redevelop about 400 railways stations is in advance stage and are structured in most viable manner that would benefit all stakeholders. Further, he also mentioned that Dedicated Freight Corridor project worth Rs 80,000 crore which is being implemented at a satisfactory pace. He also highlighted that the Ministry has signed projects worth Rs 3 lakh crore in JV with states.

In another important area of regulatory framework for rail sector, the Ministry would soon invite comments from stakeholders, he shared.

The work is also underway to revamp PPP cell within the Ministry of Railways with an objective to streamline processes to enhance transparency. In this regard, all contracts would be on E-tendering by end of the year, he added.

Mr. GV Sanjay Reddy, Chairman, CII National Committee on Infrastructure and Vice Chairman, GVK Power and Infrastructure Limited highlighted the focus on creating next generation PPPs especially at the time when Dr. Kelkar has just submitted his report to the Government. He emphasized that a lot of positive steps have been taken especially in areas of project preparation, regulatory framework overhaul, amending the existing dispute resolution mechanism. However, challenges still loom in respect of project appraisal, implementation and claim settlement. Going forward, it is imperative to revive confidence of investors to bring back the much-required equity in the system, he opined.

Mr. Vinayak Chatterjee, Chairman, CII Task Force on Railways and Chairman, Feedback Infra Private Limited apprised the participants on multiple successful initiatives undertaken by CII in the recent past to reset PPP framework in infra space. Government, whether PMO or Ministry of Finance, has been receptive to these suggestions, he added. However, the impetus still needs to be given on creating a level playing field with clear demarcation of Government's role either as partner or concessioning authority.

More importantly, it is crucial to create a renegotiation commission, bring in equal partnership, competitive neutrality and revived push to resolve stalled projects. Reverse BOT concept, wherein private sector is roped in after initial construction risk is taken care by Government needs to be pushed, he further added.

Other speakers at the Summit included Mr. Raghav Chandra, Chairman, NHAI; Mr. Rajive Kumar, Secretary-Shipping, Government of India, Mr. Ajay Shankar, Chairman-PPP Cell, Ministry of Railways, Government of India and Mr. Girish Pillai, Adviser-Infrastructure, Ministry of Railways, Government of India.

The speakers at the Summit engaged in a meaningful consultation with stakeholders including lenders, developers, concessionaires, consultants with an objective to revive and strengthen PPPs in infrastructure space.

'PPP boom years lay a promising future for Indian infrastructure

Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau

Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) hosted the PPP (Public Private Partnership) Summit in New Delhi, in collaboration with The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), its knowledge partner for the event. On this occasion, CII-BCG released a background paper highlighting the future of Indian infrastructure and the prominence of the PPP model in infrastructure development of India.

The government of India's agenda for infrastructure highlights sizeable investments in near future, thus driving higher economic growth across various sectors. In 2015-16, planned budget spend on infrastructure is estimated to be US$ 10.77 billion. By 2022, the government's vision targets electrification of 20,000 villages and connecting each of the 170,000 unconnected habitations by all-weather roads.

Public Private Partnership (PPP) in infrastructure has proven to be a well-established and mature model in many countries, both developed and developing countries. Over the last two decades, India has witnessed an increasing trend of private participation with highest aggregate investment commitment during 2008-2012, with the share of private investment reaching 40% in 2010-11.


Speaking at the backdrop of the event, Mr Suresh Subudhi, Partner and Director at BCG, said "PPP is a well-established model and is proven to be an efficient method to drive infrastructure development. India has progressed in the last decade to create a framework and attract private participation in infrastructure development.

A two-pronged effort is vital in order to reboot the infrastructure industry at large. De-clogging the existing PPP pipeline is a key imperative and can be done by fast-tracking dispute resolution and restructure & re-financing of stressed projects. Effort to build confidence through further strengthening of PPP Framework and innovating is also a need of the hour."


National chemical policy in couple of months: Union minister Ananth Kumar

Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau

With a view to boost chemical sector in the country, the Government of India will come out with a national policy on chemicals in a couple of months, Chemicals & Fertilizers Minister, Mr Ananth Kumar said at an ASSOCHAM event held in New Delhi today.

"Our national policy on chemicals, first ever in independent India is finalised, we have already sent it to the cabinet and I think very soon we are going to have a national chemical policy, which will be having some niche things like national chemical development centre, which is going to promote research and development," said Mr Kumar while inaugurating a national summit on 'Indian Chemical Industry: Challenges & opportunities,' organised by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).

"We are also going to have one national chemical safety centre, there is a proposal for a national bureau of corrosion control also," said the union minister.

"We have taken all the industry inputs, it has been circulated to various ministries, we are getting comments and finally the union cabinet will decide and promulgate the first ever national chemical policy of the country since independence," he added.

..."I am telling you that in next couple of months it will become a reality and it will be before you," further said Mr Kumar.Speaking at the backdrop of the event, Mr Suresh Subudhi, Partner and Director at BCG, said "PPP is a well-established model and is proven to be an efficient method to drive infrastructure development. India has progressed in the last decade to create a framework and attract private participation in infrastructure development.

Talking about the format of the policy, the union minister said, "Enabling the chemical industry, environment, infrastructure and duty structure, these are three basic parameters, therefore, national chemical policy will achieve that."

Considering that only four out of total 16 refineries in the country have petrochemical complexes, Mr Kumar said that government will roll out a policy to have petrochemical complexes in all the refineries.

"We will also see that they will not be standalone petrochemical complexes to manufacture the feedstock but there will be further value addition to that, there will be downstream and processing industries and government of India will create them," said the union minister.

"Therefore instead of four there will be 16 investment regions and we would be able to milk the entire crude to the last drop," he added.

Highlighting the dearth of workforce, Mr Kumar said "We require human resource capacity building, we require 4.5 lakh plastics engineers every year but we are producing 44,000 only and most of them are going abroad, getting placed before they complete their courses."

The union minister also informed that considering there are only 23 centres under the Central Institute of Plastics Engineering and Technology (CIPET), the government has decided to increase the number of centres to 100 in couple of years.

"It is already on the anvil, we have given sanction to 10 more centres in different parts of the country, we are going to add 70 centres in next three years so that we can at least increase the roll out of plastics technicians five times," said Mr Kumar.

Stressing upon the need to enhance private sector participation for development of human resources in the chemical industry, the union minister said, "CIPET can have an MoU with ASSOCHAM on human resources development and I am ready to sign that within next month."

He also said that biggest task ahead of the chemical sector is to make India a net exporter of chemicals and petrochemicals.

"Our total exports are worth $19 billion and imports are $27 billion, there is a need to reverse this trend, from a net importing country in chemicals and petrochemicals can India become an exporting country, that is the core issue," said Mr Kumar.

He also said that there is a lacuna of systematic and standardised interaction with industry. "We are going to hold a government-industry interaction at least two months before the Union Budget to fix an agenda and we will try to implement that agenda for the benefit of the industry."

The union minister also said that growth and development of chemical sector is critical for making India's growth story galloping.

India to witness more than 11,500 startups ecosystem by 2020

Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau

With India becoming world's fastest growing startup ecosystem country today,Startup India is the new buzzword by the Government of India. The numbers are telling—from 3,100 startups in 2014 to a projection of more than 11,500 by 2020… this is certainly not a passing trend.

Venture capital investments in India reached Rs 15,600 crore (US$ 2363) till June 2015, surpassing the total Rs 14,850 crore (US$ 2250) invested in entire 2014, setting the stage for another record year as interest in local technology startups peak.

In order to highlight the specific areas of growth opportunities and challenges being faced in and by the incubation ecosystem, Incubation India 2015, a Conference on Business Labs comprising the Investor, Incubator startups ecosystem was organized in Delhi today.

Dr. Raghunandan Rajamani, Executive Director, Indian Steps & Business Incubators Association says, "India needs several folds increase in mechanism such as incubation & acceleration that can assimilate entrepreneurs to make them globally successful."

Incubation in India is not more than decade old but it has and can create a huge impact. Incubation in healthcare and life sciences is far too complex if we were to compare it with IT. Healthcare is a very social subject hence tightly regulated and needs a completely different and dynamic ecosystem to take the product from bench side to bed side.

As per the detailed analysis by BIORx Venture Advisors, Healthcare is a favourable incubation sector and liked by all the investors as long as it is asset light but technologically sound and patentable. Mr. Gandhi, Founder & Executive Director, BIORx Venture Advisors Pvt. Ltd. says that medical devices is one such sub sector which is gaining a lot of traction from all the players of the ecosystem. This is largely on the assumption that India's own domestic consumption for such products is very high hence financially lucrative and viable for the medium to long-stage investors who will benefit the country's healthcare needs."

Various Key decision makers, Start-ups, Incubators, VC's& Young Entrepreneurs were the part of this first of its kind niche Conference in India to discuss theInitiatives taken to promote the concept of technology and business incubation in India, Marketing & communications strategies for early stage startups,Incubating in Healthcare sector: Opportunities and Challenges.

According to Mr. Kapil Malhotra, Founder Marketing Director, Total Solutions Group, "A part of the Total Solutions Group Have been investing in startups over the past decade ranging from telecom, FMCG, IT, skill development amongst others. We believe that India is at the perfect point to offer entrepreneurs opportunities for growth through incubation that has not been previously available. Events like Incubation India are the perfect platform for bringing entrepreneurs, incubators, funders &mentors together. We believe that many of the start ups present today will become unicorns of the future."

Themed 'Creating Value 360°', the Incubation India 2015 conference provided an opportunity for interactive discussions and insights on incubation trends, solutions and unique initiatives.

According to Mr. Ashish Taneja, CO-Founder & Managing Director, Grow X Ventures,"It's a great initiative by Incubation India to raise awareness about role of an Incubator and Accelerator on the Initial step of Startup."

Some of the Key issues discussed in the conference:


Impact of Business Incubation on the economy. Value creation strategies in Business Incubation. When does a StartUp turn into a ScaleUp? Valuing to exit and exiting for a value: Startups, VC's, Incubators. Marketing and communication strategies for early stage startups Growing impact of Venture Capital in Business Incubation. Fuelling entrepreneurial activity: Incubators, Accelerators, Co-Working Spaces,Technology Hubs. Initiatives taken by the govt. and non-govt. organisations, educational institutions to promote the concept of Technology and Business Incubation. Opportunities for startups in investment management services.

'Cleanliness of soul along with clean towns and villages will make India a nation on the go'

Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau

ASSOCHAM is teaming up with Srei Foundation and Times Foundation to launch 'Spirituality @ Work' for corporate India and global enterprises, an initiative which will lead them to profitable way of doing business in a sustainable manner as their leaders and workforce go about cleaning their soul under the 'Sach Bharat' campaign just as 'Swachch Bharat' focuses on cleaning up towns and villages.

These three organisations today unveiled the theme of 'Spirituality @ Work' for 'Sach Bharat Confluence and Samman' to be organised on December 22 and 23, 2015 at New Delhi.


"Just as Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is about cleanliness of our towns and villages, Sach Bharat is about cleanliness of the soul. Spirituality is not about religious beliefs, but universal truths about what is good for humanity. Through this confluence and samman, I believe corporate India and global enterprises will adopt spirituality in their business conduct. The spiritual way can also be a sustainably profitable way – this is the core message that we want to share with everyone through the idea of Sach Bharat," ASSOCHAM President and Vice Chairman, Srei Infrastructure Finance Mr. Sunil Kanoria said.

He agreed with a suggestion from the media that cleaning up the thoughts and mind is required as much as sanitation around us in the present milieu so that India stands up as a nation of enlightened citizens marching towards an economic uplift.

'Sach Bharat' is first of its kind conglomeration where all streams of thought converge for a great cause. The Sach Bharat Confluence and Samman will bring together international luminaries from diverse cross-sections of the society. Together with government representatives, heads of state, industry leaders and spiritual leaders, discussions will focus around the need for governments, citizens and corporate entities to imbibe spirituality in every aspect of life and business conduct.

Spirituality is and has been at the core that unifies Indians into one of the most vibrant societies in the world. In today's world, spirituality devoid of religious beliefs or customs has the potential to bring together diverse societies to advance humanity. This has been the endeavour of Srei Foundation, which has been organising the 'World Confluence of Humanity, Power and Spirituality' for the past six years.

"Spirituality is not a mere esoteric philosophical notion. It is a concrete set of 'to do' and 'not to do' elements that defines societies and businesses."

Smt. Indu Jain, Chairman, Times Foundation, adds "Spirituality has the power to unlock tremendous human potential over time. Alongside, spirituality bestows the ability to handle change wisely and smile through both springs and storms.

Dr. H.P. Kanoria, Chairman, Srei Foundation, says, "Spirituality manifests divinity within us. It ignites us to work with devotion and righteousness to serve humanity."


5 states have issued notice for inviting auctioning for mines in 28 blocks

Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau

"The process of auction of mines is moving fast and is to start soon. 5 states have issued notice for inviting auctioning for mines in 28 blocks for major minerals" announced, Minister, Mines and Steel while delivering his inaugural address on the interactive session on encouraging Exploration in India: Charting the course for better mineral finds conducted by Confederation of Indian Industry in Delhi today. Minister said that MMDR act 2015 was amended to bring in transparency in the auctions and now the thrust is on exploration. The Government is committed towards bringing in an attractive exploration policy to encourage private investment and expertise into the sector and has set up National Mineral Exploration trust (NMET).

Speaking further on the session, the minister stressed on the need for raising the exploration spend from the current 0.4 per cent which is abysmally low. He said that the government is moving with a new sprit towards exploration, while Geological Survey of India (GSI), the Mining Exploration Corporation of India (MECI) and other public and private sector have been working in this direction there is a need for a cohesive thinking amongst all stakeholders on arriving to the solutions on delivering the targets and addressing the need of hour to tap the potential of the segment.

Speaking on the current challenges before the sector, Mr Balvinder Kumar, Secretary, Ministry of Mines, Ministry of mines, said that, the draft National Mineral Exploration Policy will be ready in the few months has addressed the current concerns before the sector. Mr Kumar informed that the ministry would soon notify rules for atomic minerals under mining law.

Admitting that the exploration of minerals requires huge amounts of technology and financial resources, Mr Kumar said the government intends to bring in new models to attract the private sector in exploration. Elaborating further, Mr Kumar, said that the three proposed models for attracting private sector participation in exploration could be 1) revenue share from Mining Lease proceeds for 50 years, 2) reimbursement of costs with reasonable profits or 3) Joint Venture with public sector on proceeds. He invited comments and suggestions from CII and industry within the framework of MMDR to encourage the exploration in the country.

Welcoming the guests earlier in the session Mr Narendra Kothari, Chairman CII National Committee on Mining and Chairman cum-Managing Director NMDC Limited said that in the years to come, mining is expected to be a key industry, attracting huge investments (both domestic and foreign) thereby generating additional employment and stressed on concentrating on devising a strategy for a time bound Exploration throughout the country

Making Mineral specific and region specific demand supply analysis for various minerals and preparing exploration strategy accordingly; emphasize of the funding of the mineral exploration activities; Concentrating on exploration in Greenfield as well as Brownfield areas by utilizing the state of the art technology for the mineral exploration. There is a need of combination of geological, geophysical, geochemical, technologies for mineral exploration activities; making state-owned geological data more accessible and available to all; Development of technical expertise and training of manpower for more advanced exploration techniques

Underlining the fact that despite having good geological reserves, India lags behind in the global exploration map, Mr. P R Mandal, Head Strategy and Business Development, Essel Mining & Industries Limited said that there is a huge opportunity and scope for the private companies in the field of exploration in India in the near future and would require involvement of latest technology to exploit the potential in a cost effective and time bound manner.

Presenting his perspectives on the changed environment in the mining sector, Mr Sunil Duggal, Chief Executive Officer, Hindustan Zinc Limited welcomed the government's proactive steps in bringing transparency and forward looking policies for the mining sector. Going forward, he stressed on further thinking on the how to encouraging exploration, new revenue sharing models and the bringing in the best practices and collaborations for the fast development of the sector.

Speaking on the session, Mr Charles Devenish, Chairman, Geomysore Services Private Ltd, stressed on the need for carving an industry friendly policy with some tax incentives in lines of Canadian and Australian to encourage exploration in the country. A vibrant mining sector is vital for a faster economic growth and infrastructure development.

'Role of all communities will make Swachh Bharat Mission successful'

Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau

All the communities need to get involved and focus their attention towards making the Swachh Bharat campaign a success as efforts merely by the government and few non-governmental organisations (NGOs) will not bring desired results, Union Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh said at an ASSOCHAM event held in New Delhi on Wednesday.

"To achieve the goal of Swachh Bharat, there is a need for a national movement on sanitation, this should not only be a government programme but a people's movement," said the union minister of rural development, panchayati raj, sanitation and drinking water while inaugurating a conference on 'Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) for All,' organised by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).

"The biggest achievement of this program is that children have become the ambassadors of such a campaign," said Mr Singh.

The union minister also said that the government with the support from private sector in terms of creation of physical infrastructure for Swachh Bharat Mission will be able to hit the target of making available 11.11 crore toilets well before time (October 2, 2019).

"We will achieve our physical targets of creating 11.11 crore toilets well before 2019 but we need to ensure that they are utilised and we will work towards that through participation of social communities as they work on the ground," he added.

Mr Singh further said that there is a need to make it a sustainable movement to successfully achieve this target.

"But how to see that this herculean task is a feature with sustainability then we would say that we have not only attained but also achieved the target, functionality should be the base of our achievement and for that what kind of initiative should we take," further said Mr Singh.

The union minister urged the industry to come up with sanitation related innovative technology for rural sector.

Dealing with solid and liquid waste management in cities and towns is another important task for achieving clean India, said the minister.





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Saturday March 19 2016

Cost management is key to Indian competitive advantage

Thesynergyonline Management Bureau

"What's measured improves" - Peter F. Drucker

"As a discipline, management studies needs to constantly evolve itself to include in its paradigm the changing needs of the time, which keep throwing up new challenges into the discipline. Cost management is an area of management that needs constant re-thinking and evolution to keep tiding over the rising costs. Today, Indian organizations may be benefitting from the outsourcing boom because of low labor costs; however, the wages are bound to increase and they need to devise other strategies to keep costs low and their competitive advantage high. The management development programme is an initiative from our end to help the management sector improve on various fronts. We are, therefore discussing cost management as it forms of the basis of any enterprise and management," said Dr KJS Anand, Executive Director, IMS Noida. "With India emerging as the third largest startup ecosystem in the world, there is growing demand for efficient and innovative management graduates who are adept and trained at devising new strategies to resolve problems. While globalization has made more markets easily available, improved connectivity and helped fasten business processes, it has also increased competition and challenges to new businesses manifold. Hence, management development programmes are necessary to provide relevant training to the executives of different sectors of the economy operating at different levels in the organizational hierarchy, through real-world case studies, group discussions, and interactive presentations. I am honored to receive to the opportunity from IMS, Noida to share my knowledge and experience with all the management people," said Prof Rajendra Patel.

NOIDA, MARCH 17 : In an effort to help improve management practices in the industry and devising better cost management strategies, leading management institute IMS Noida today began its three-day periodic Management Development Programme that brings together leading academics, industry insiders and experts in the field.

This programme will discuss Strategic Cost Management, a crucial subject in management studies that pertains to the economics of reducing costs without compromising on quality and delivery.

Professor Rajendra Patel from IIM Ahmedabad will offer his valuable inputs and new perspectives on methods and techniques for appropriate cost planning, importance of managing costs and aligning them with the business strategy of an entity.

The forces of globalization, liberalization and privatization have not only knitted the world economies closer together but the spill-over effects of the changes happening in world are today felt more strongly and swiftly by all the economies. It is cost effectiveness that prompt hundreds of western companies to outsource jobs to low-cost destinations like India. Cost effectiveness is the key to competitiveness in a highly connected world like ours. Hence, there is greater need today to recognize different costing systems and strategies and devise better managerial decisions and business strategies to constantly remain cost effective.

"As a discipline, management studies needs to constantly evolve itself to include in its paradigm the changing needs of the time, which keep throwing up new challenges into the discipline. Cost management is an area of management that needs constant re-thinking and evolution to keep tiding over the rising costs. Today, Indian organizations may be benefitting from the outsourcing boom because of low labor costs; however, the wages are bound to increase and they need to devise other strategies to keep costs low and their competitive advantage high. The management development programme is an initiative from our end to help the management sector improve on various fronts. We are, therefore discussing cost management as it forms of the basis of any enterprise and management," said Dr KJS Anand, Executive Director, IMS Noida.

The first day of the programme began with inauguration and lamp lightening by Dr Debarshi Mukherjee, Chairperson, Centre for e-Commerce, IMS, Noida and Dr KJS Anand, Executive Director, IMS, Noida. The day introduced the participants to the basics such as costing terminology, cost objects, cost drivers, break-even analysis using concept of relevant costs, conventional method of indirect cost allocation, activity-based costing in product industry, service industry, relevant costs for alternative choice decisions etc. While the day 2 of the programme will discuss aspects of Management Control & Organizational Performance, ProPt Centres & Transfer Price issues, Analysis of Financial Performance, Corporate Performance Measurement in Multi Divisional Companies, Performance Measurement – Balanced Scorecard – Beyond Financial Numbers, Day 3 will deal with issues Target Costing ,Value Engineering, Just-in-Time, Theory of Constraints, Life Cycle Costing etc.

"With India emerging as the third largest startup ecosystem in the world, there is growing demand for efficient and innovative management graduates who are adept and trained at devising new strategies to resolve problems. While globalization has made more markets easily available, improved connectivity and helped fasten business processes, it has also increased competition and challenges to new businesses manifold. Hence, management development programmes are necessary to provide relevant training to the executives of different sectors of the economy operating at different levels in the organizational hierarchy, through real-world case studies, group discussions, and interactive presentations. I am honored to receive to the opportunity from IMS, Noida to share my knowledge and experience with all the management people," said Prof Rajendra Patel.

A visiting faculty at IIM Ahmedabad for Finance & Accounting now and with a past association of twelve years as a regular faculty, Prof Patel specializes in management planning and control. He worked closely with World Bank in debt rescheduling and providing balance of payment support for central African countries as a senior manager with Peat Marwick Mitchell & Co during 1978 -1985 and with Rolls Royce plc group as Finance director for over fourteen years. He has to his credit over 100 training programmes in India and Asia Pacific region.

Dr APJ Abdul Kalam IGNITE Awards - 2015

Constructive use of minds can free Indian society from many problems we face today, says President

Thesynergyonline Management Bureau

The President of India, Mr Pranab Mukherjee, presented Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam IGNITE Awards - 2015 instituted by the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India and the National Innovation Foundation today (November 30, 2015) at IIM, Ahmedabad, Gujarat.

Speaking on the occasion, the President said ," India is a country of 1.2 billion creative minds. The constructive use of these billions of minds can free the Indian society from many of the problems which we are facing today. It is for each one of us as an individual to make a commitment and to dedicate oneself to solving the problems of society and country. "

The President called upon the faculty, students, and alumni of IIM-Ahmedabad to continue to engage with creative minds from industry, business, entrepreneurs, society leaders and with those who work at the grassroots.

He said the Institute must address the pressing issues confronting today's society. It must strive to be a beacon of knowledge, nurture other institutions with generous mentorship, and maintain a culture that blends the drive for excellence and performance with the spirit of collaboration and compassion.

The President said National Innovation Foundation and IIM-Ahmedabad, has given a global identity to the Indian model of social innovation. He encouraged the Institute to continue investing energy and resources in nurturing innovations that accelerate the nation's economic progress and create a sustainable inclusive society.

The President said innovation is key to economic development and reflects the maturity of a nation and society to respond to the emerging needs and challenges. It is a continuous process and needs to be nurtured at each and every step.

Innovation, higher education and industry need to be closely networked for maximum benefit of the society. Any innovation happening either at the grassroots level or in the higher educational institutions must be linked to the industry for commercialization of the innovation.

The President said the children of India have proved that innovative spirits can dispel any amount of inertia and replace it with exciting new possibilities. He feels optimistic about the future when he sees the younger generation which does not want to live indefinitely with unsolved problems. Innovations from creative youngsters are the best examples of "Samvedna se srijansheelta" (innovation from compassion or empathy).

"To the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure." - J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Doyen of management education
Prof Ishwar Dayal is no more

Thesynergyonline Management Bureau

"When he shall die,
Take him and cut him out in little stars,
And he will make the face of heaven so fine
That all the world will be in love with night
And pay no worship to the garish sun."
- William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare Collection

And so Professor Ishwar Dayal, a doyen of Indian management education and founder director, IIM, Lucknow passed away today morning at New Delhi after prolonged illness. He was 90.

Despite his advanced age Prof Dayal was mentally agile playing the role of Chief Mentor of Birla Institute of Management Technology, BIMTECH, Greater Noida since 2012.

Prof. Dayal served as the first full-time Director of the fourth national level management institute-- Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Lucknow. In 1963, Prof. Dayal started teaching at IIM, Kolkata and later moved to IIM, Ahmedabad.

He also served as the founding Dean of International Management Institute, New Delhi, Director, Indian Institute of Public Administration, New Delhi and leader of UNDP/ILO Project on Management Development in Nigera.

He served several business organizations for nearly 15 years and held senior management positions at Alembic, Philips and Metal Box.

News of Prof. Ishwar Dayal's demise was received with grief by leaders in management education and corporate world across the country.

Oh, why should the spirit of mortal be proud?
Like a swift-fleeting meteor, a fast-flying cloud,
A flash of the lightning, a break of the wave,
He passes from life to his rest in the grave.
The leaves of the oak and the willow shall fade,
Be scattered around, and together be laid;
And the young and the old, the low and the high,
Shall molder to dust, and together shall lie.
Yea, hope and despondency, pleasure and pain,
Are mingled together in sunshine and rain;
And the smile and the tear, the song and the dirge,
Still follow each other, like surge upon surge.
'Tis the wink of an eye - 'tis the draught of a breath -
From the blossom of health to the paleness of death,
From the gilded saloon to the bier and the shroud
Oh, why should the spirit of mortal be proud?"
― William Knox

So Prof. Pritam Singh, former director, IIM, Lucknow and MDI, Gurgaon; Dr Rajan Saxena, Vice Chancellor, NMIMS University, Mumbai; Fr Abraham, Director, XLRI; Dr Bakul Dhaloka, Director General, IMI and Dr H Chaturvedi, Director, BIMTECH have condoled his death and paid tributes to Prof Dayal's illustrious contribution to the Indian management education.

In a tribute Dr Rajan Saxena, VC, NMIMS, Mumbai said, "I am saddened by this news. My association with Prof. Ishwar Dayal goes back to 1982 when he took over as founding Director of IIM Lucknow. We have lost a great teacher, an institution builder, a friend, mentor and an amazing leader."

In his message Dr. H Chaturvedi, Director BIMTECH said, "Prof Dayal was a fountainhead of ideas, strong conviction and institution builder. We were fortunate to have been mentored by Prof Dayal in our journey of excellence. We shall miss the presence of a great teacher."

Prof. Dayal went to University of California to study mechanical engineering and later specialized in Clinical Psychology. He took up post graduate studies in New York and London.

Prof. Dayal has been consultant to many large organizations in India such as Power Finance Corporation, Life Insurance Corporation, Indian Oil Corporation, Indo-Burma Petroleum, Air India, Indian Airlines, National Thermal Power Corporation, Mafatlal Industries, DCM, Voltas, Bank of Baroda among others.

He has served on several Government commissions and committees. In 1990 he chaired a Ministry of Human Resource Development committee to recommend on Policy Perspectives for Management Education that presented the report 2001.

Prof. Dayal has served on the Corporate Boards of several organizations. He was Chairman, DCM Ltd., for two and half years, and member of the Board of Bharat Electronic Ltd., Indian Oil Corporation, National Textile Corporation, U.P. Roadways Corporation among others. He was on the Governing Board of management schools.

Prof. Dayal has published 27 books and monographs and over 240 papers in journals and periodicals in India and abroad.

"What you deserve will be down to you, and you alone."


PMA president Adesh Jain wins Lifetime Achievement Award

Thesynergyonline Management Bureau

"If my mind can conceive it,
My heart can believe it,
I know I can achieve it!"
- Jesse Jackson

And so the Minister of State for Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (Independent Charge) Mr Rajiv Pratap Rudy has conferred the Lifetime Achievement Award on National President of Project Management Associates (PMA) Mr Adesh in recognition of his efforts to create a project-oriented India.

Mr Jain, who is also the Chairman of International Institute of Projects and Program Management (I2P2M), is globally acclaimed for his initiative to train managers in project management and create a right mindset for the same.

This latest recognition is another feather in Mr Jain's cap. Among his other major achievements, he was elected in 2005 the first non-European President of IPMA in its history of 49 years, and the Government of Turkey released a postal stamp (limited edition) in his honour in 2010 during the IPMA World Congress. He was also awarded the Honorary Chairmanship of China Construction Project Management Committee (CPMC) in Beijing in 2006.

Mr Jain had organized India's first project management International conference in association with UNDP and since then has been passionately involved in creating a project-oriented India.

" If you make a hiring mistake, make the change quickly. Don't ignore problems. Don't assume it will get better."

AuthBridge takes stride forward
to further strengthen its position

Thesynergyonline Management Bureau

"Actually, [Wax] said, we came here because we needed someplace safe to think for a few hours."
Ranette: "Your mansion isn't safe?"
Wax: "My butler failed to poison me, then tried to shoot me, then set off an explosive in my study"
Ranette: "Huh.... You need to screen these people better, Wax." - Brandon Sanderson, The Alloy of Law.

"Somebody once said that in looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy. And if you don't have the first, the other two will kill you. You think about it; it's true. If you hire somebody without [integrity], you really want them to be dumb and lazy." - Warren Buffett

And so AuthBridge Research Services , India's background screening and risk management consultancy company is all set to take stride forward in further strengthening its position as one of India's leading background acreening companies.

"Research is the process of going up alleys to see if they are blind. The desire for safety stands against every great and noble enterprise. Naive people tend to generalize people as—-good, bad, kind, or evil based on their actions."

But today our very survival depends on our ability to stay awake, to adjust to new ideas, to remain vigilant and to face the challenge of change. Look at everything always as though you were seeing it either for the first or last time.

Apropos of this the company recently launched its new website. It is the bright new face of the company that reflects its constantly evolving processes and business outlook.

With an eye to the future and belief in the value of smart technology the company's investment In the latest technology is a continuing process. The processes continually evolve to meet the unique needs of individual clients. Many of the processes are automated, a primary reason for AuthBridge's ability to maintain a record of meeting tight turnaround-times.

The company claims that efforts to get businesses to re-look at their HR practices and change attitudes are paying off.

The unique selling points (USPs) of the company are client satisfaction, passion for quality and strongly established processes. These are not merely marketing words but based on the fact that a third of the current business is the result of recommendations from established loyal clients.

The company also provides substance abuse testing, risk advisory and corporate fraud investigation solutions to a host of Fortune 500 companies.

"Try not to become a man of success. Rather become a man of value." - Albert Einstein

Cyrus P Mistry confers degrees
on management students

Thesynergyonline Management Bureau

When humans participate in ceremony, they enter a sacred space. Everything outside of that space shrivels in importance. Time takes on a different dimension. Emotions flow more freely. The bodies of participants become filled with the energy of life, and this energy reaches out and blesses the creation around them. All is made new everything becomes sacred.

So was the convocation held by The Institute of Management Technology (IMT), Ghaziabad and Institute of Management Technology, Hyderabad for the class of 2014 at Ghaziabad campus. Mr Cyrus P. Mistry, Chairman, Tata Sonsd, delivered the convocation address on this occasion.

The ceremony was presided over by Mr Bakul Nath, vice president, Board of Governors, Institute of Management Technology (IMT).

Director of IMT Ghaziabad, Dr Bibek Banerjee addressed the outgoing batch, "During your stay at IMT, you have been nourished on a rich diet of knowledge, skills and attitude, intended to make you fit to excel in the world of practice. In order to ensure success and accomplishment in your professional life, you will need to connect the dots – the theory and simulations with real-world situations and challenges, and combine these inputs with your own ingenuity and judgment, in order to solve the kind of problems that you will be faced with.

According to Henry Ford , " The man who thinks he can and the man who thinks he can't are both right. Which one are you?"

"Nothing comes as an accomplishment instantly. Success does not come overnight. Patience is the key! Grow up and be the tree; but remember it takes dry and wet seasons to become a fruit bearer, achiever and impact maker!"

According to Dr V Panduranga Rao, Director, IMT Hyderabad, "The ultimate aim of education is to make you a better human being and to be able to place the well-being of a larger less fortunate group over your personal goals. It has been attempted to imbibe in you the spirit of learning through questioning and discussion and inculcate logic, reasoning, team spirit, tolerance for ambiguity, sincerity, dedication and enterprise through classroom and extracurricular activities. It is expected of you to be at the forefront in creating opportunity for others, in furthering the cause of national growth and in raising the bar of professionalism."

According to Mr Cyrus P Mistry, Chairman, Tata Sons "The most significant of the challenges beset upon the industry in the world is to ensure high standards of ethical conduct and good corporate governance that stakeholders expect from corporate sector. Long term commitment to values need to be demonstrated by the industry leaders. In an increasingly interdependent world, young managers are required to develop the sensitivity to societal concerns, and use the many tools that are available."

The theme of convocation, Norming Excellence, commits to inculcate, refine and polish everyday aspects of life, the ability to look at ordinary things from a different perspective is gained, a hitherto unavailable point of view which impels and warrants a different action to the same input.

This leads to a marked difference in the way we go about with routine tasks at the workplace, an increase in efficiency and effectiveness as well as the ability to glean new insights and identifying hidden patterns.

The chief guest awarded diplomas to PGDM (Post Graduate Diploma in Management), DCP (Dual Country Program), PGDM-Executive and the PGDM-Part time students. The students belong to the following specialisations: Marketing, Finance, Human Resources, Information Technology and International Business. The event was also marked with the traditional IMT Ghaziabad way of felicitating the distinguished alumnus of the year, Mr Suprakash Chaudhuri, MD, SAP India and sub-continent.

Asia Pacific Institute of Management
signs MoU with PowerGrid

Thesynergyonline Management Bureau

Mr Rajendra Singh Executive Director (HRD) and Mrs Meenakshi Davar, General Manager (HRD) Power Grid Corporation of India and Dr S P. Chauhan, Officiating Director, Asia-Pacific Institute of Management New Delhi, as signatories at an MoU signing ceremony in New Delhi on Tuesday.  

NEW DELHI, JANUARY 07 : It is not the fruits of scientific research that elevate man and enrich his nature. but the urge to understand, the intellectual work, creative or receptive.- Albert Einstein

 Mr Rajendra Singh Executive Director (HRD) and Mrs Meenakshi Davar, General Manager (HRD) Power Grid Corporation of India and Dr S P. Chauhan, Officiating Director, Asia-Pacific Institute of Management  New Delhi, as signatories at an MoU signing ceremony in New Delhi on Tuesday.

Asia-Pacific Institute of Management (AIM) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Power Grid Corporation of India (PGCIL or PowerGrid). The main objective of the MoU is to start long-term collaboration between Asia-Pacific Institute of Management and PowerGrid.

The MoU will help in various areas of business and organization development by exchanging intellectual resource and infrastructure of both the organizations. Some of the areas identified for such collaboration are Management Development Programs, Executive Education, Consultancy, Summer Internship, Research, Conference and Case Writing and International Assignments, etc. 

 Mr Rajendra Singh Executive Director (HRD) and Mrs Meenakshi Davar, General Manager (HRD) Power Grid Corporation of India and Dr S P. Chauhan, Officiating Director, Asia-Pacific Institute of Management  New Delhi, were present as the signatories.
This MoU has opened new vistas for both the organizations, in order to explore intellectual capacity to strengthen organizational development initiatives.

As a partner to Power Grid, Asia-Pacific Institute of Management, New Delhi, has established a remarkable long term relationship with one of the Maharatna’s of India, which would not only unfold new horizons of development but also provide an opportunity for similar relationship with other Maharatnas and Navratnas of India.

"Fortune sides with him who dares."

FinNiche holds risk management conclave 'RISCON 13'

Thesynerrgyonline Management Bureau

"Stand at the top of a cliff and jump off and build your wings on the way down." RAY BRADBURY" -- Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

So FinNiche - the Finance Club of IMT-Ghaziabad is organizing National Risk Management Conclave, RISCON'13 in association with Power Finance Corporation Limited on November 16-17, 2013.

RISCON aims at identifying and obtain possible solutions to risks deeply associated with various aspects of the financial world.

After capturing and influencing the minds of people in its journey of 4 years, RISCON '13 now focuses its attention on the risks and advantages associated with the various government reforms influencing the Indian economy.

The theme for RISCON'13 is "Emerging Paradigms of India- Opportunities in Risk". The conclave is an attempt to provide a platform for sharing and addressing the various concerns in this domain and analyzing more effective ways for mitigating these risks. It aims to achieve this through a series of knowledge sharing sessions, panel discussion by industry experts and inter B-School events.

Noticeables on the occasion as guest speakers are:
Mr Sandeep Dash, Director(Finance), Planning Commission of India . Mr Sanjiv Bhasin, Ex-Capital Market Advisor, Deutsche Bank.

The topics to be covered in the sessions are : • Direct Benefit Transfer - Empowerment through Financial Inclusion • Emerging Markets
Various B-Schools which include IIM Rohtak, MDI, NMIMS, IIFT, IMI, etc to name a few will be battling it out in the event ENCEPHALON'13, a case study event on Financial Planning.

The Panel Discussion to be held on November 17 will include eminent panellists such as Mr R.J. Massillammani, Ex-CEO, Titan & Faculty, IMT-G- Moderator , Mr R.K. Sinha, Vice President, RvaluE Consulting , Mr Mohit Bhakuni, MD & CEO, Contify , Mr Bhuvan Asthana,

The topic for the discussion is "Tapping the untapped potential of Indian Economy".

B-schools should include industrial relations' challenges in PG degree course in HR

Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau

THE management schools in India should include the challenges of industrial relations (IR) as a significant subject in their curriculum while awarding a post-graduate (PG) degree in human resources (HR), a Chief Labour Commissioner said at an ASSOCHAM event held in New Delhi on Wednesday.

“Mutual respect, trust and understanding between both employees and management is imperative for good and harmonious industrial relations,” said the Chief Labour Commissioner, Mr B.K. Sanwariya while inaugurating an industrial relations conference on ‘Leveraging IR for Workplace Harmony & Growth’ organised by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).

“Analysis of work satisfaction, happiness index and productive index are key to real harmonious relations and also to build mutual trust, understanding and respect between both parties,” said the Chief Labour Commissioner. “A few personal actions, ego problems and lack of time management are factors that largely affect industrial relations.”

Suggesting certain other ways to improve industrial relations, Mr Sanwariya said, “We should promote social dialogue through statutory and non-statutory provisions to develop understanding between management and trade unions.”

“Some informal dialogue should also take place outside the workplace like family get-togethers, organising cultural activities where managements’ and workers’ representatives along with their families participate and discuss their personal things as it would develop inter-personal relationships in a harmonious way,” he added.

“Globalisation will bring into focus to a great extent, the outsourcing business i.e. outsourcing of functions and using contract workers,” said Mr S.Y. Siddiqui, chairman, ASSOCHAM National Council on Labour Affairs & COO, Maruti Suzuki India Limited while addressing the ASSOCHAM conference.

“This is a huge issue for the country at the moment but there is hardly anything that has been suggested as future framework,” said Mr Siddiqui. “A professional management framework will be required to manage the outsourcing business and contractual manpower.”

He also stressed upon the need for simplification of labour relations framework.

Amid others who spoke at  the ASSOCHAM conference included: Prof. J.S. Sodhi, director, Shree Ram Centre for IR, HR, Economic and Social Development; Mr S.C. Aggarwal, senior managing committee member, ASSOCHAM and CMD, SMC Global Securities Ltd. and Mr Ravi Wig, senior managing committee member, ASSOCHAM.

Career College holds 2-day "Six Sigma
Training Program" from August 3

Thesynergyonline Management Bureau

CAREER College of Management, Gandhi Nagar, Bhopal is organizing a two days “Six Sigma Training Program” on August 3 and 4, 2013. The training will be given by Mr C. Vishwanathan, Master Black Belt Six Sigma IASSC Accredited trainer from Mumbai with 12 years of experience. The course will cover 8QC tools and overview of SSDMAIC.

The fundamental objective of the Six Sigma methodology is to implement a measurement-based strategy that focuses on process improvement and variation reduction through the application of Six Sigma improvement projects.
Ms  Arti Gupta, Founder and Program Manager of ‘The School of Continuous Improvement, Mumbai said “Six Sigma is one of the most important and popular developments in the quality field.

It has saved huge amounts of money and improved the customer experience for a large number of organizations across the world, yet it is applied in an inconsistent and often reductive fashion in many companies. Hence it is recommended to train the employees and students.” The interested candidate may contact the institute.

BHEL bags AIMA Managing India Award

Mr B P Rao, CMD, BHEL receiving the AIMA Managing India Award for Outstanding PSU from the President of India, Mr Pranab Mukherjee . 

President presents AIMA Managing
India Awards 2013

Thesynergyonline Management Bureau

THE President of India, Mr  Pranab Mukherjee presented the Managing India Awards, 2013 at a function in New Delhi on Thursday.

Speaking on the occasion, the President congratulated all the award winners for contributing to the country’s progress. He expressed the hope that they would ignite the minds of other managers and entrepreneurs to think big towards nation building.

He said that he had an unshakable faith in the bright future of the Indian economy. The winners of Managing India Awards exemplify this conviction, he said.

The President said that to mark India’s growing stature, management principles should find application not only in business and industry, but also in other important processes such as social change and governance. He said that how change is managed would determine our progress. This is a need that the Managing India Awards denote, and is also a reality epitomized by this year’s award winners, he added.

The President said that to develop our manpower as partners of progress, all-round efforts are necessary. He stated that greater number of technical institutes is required to be set up. Existing technical institutes that lag behind in quality must be up-graded.

The President said that technology would determine our domestic industry’s ability to beat competition. He stated that our research and innovation efforts must aim at technology up-gradation to simplify production processes, improve quality and seek efficiency gains.

The President stated that our country needs visionary business leaders to manage India’s transition to a knowledge economy. He said that we also require the Indian industry to act as a catalyst for deepening our growth process. Our industry should aim at inclusion of all as participants in economic development, he added.



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