Thursday, March 20, 2014

Florida Beaches Shine in 2014 Travelers’ Choice Awards
Ten of the top 25 beaches in America are in Florida
Click here for the social media release, with downloadable digital assets.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Millions have spoken:  Florida is beach heaven, with 10 Sunshine State beaches rated by TripAdvisor travelers among the best 25 in the nation for 2014.
The 10 seaside beauties in Florida range from northwest Florida’s pristine Navarre Beach to historic St. Augustine Beach on the northeast coast and south to Bahia Honda State Park in the Florida Keys.
TripAdvisor, which hosts more than 150 million reviews by travelers, announced this year’s Travelers’ Choice awards for beaches on March 18.  In their reviews, beach-goers raved about their experiences in Florida.
“We appreciate the passion of visitors who love Florida beaches and recommend them to others through TripAdvisor,” said VISIT FLORIDA Chief Marketing Officer Paul Phipps. “The Sunshine State has 825 miles of beaches, and they all have won people’s hearts — from the wild beauty you find at St. George Island to the urban sophistication of Miami’s South Beach.”
The Travelers’ Choice Top 25 beaches for 2014 include Florida beaches that are serene and wild such as Caladesi Island State Park and those that brim with activity such as Pensacola Beach.
The beaches on the 2014 Travelers’ Choice lists of best in America and best in the world include:
St. Pete Beach (#9)                                        
Bahia Honda State Park and Beach (#17)
Lido Beach (#22)
Learn more about Florida beaches at
Media contact:
Rodney Crasto
Corporate Communications


The Candidate by Anirudh Bhattacharyya

Penguin Books India
cordially invites you to the launch
The Candidate by Anirudh Bhattacharyya
About the Book
‘I can’t picture you surviving in Indian politics. Let me tell you the reasons: you have morals, too much integrity, and you lack an ego.’ Without a job, and a marriage on the rocks, the mild-mannered Jay Banerjee has no choice but to come back from the US to Delhi. A chance meeting with a childhood friend, Govardhan Ray, aka Raja—a neta with a scandal too many—plunges him into the seamy, madcap world of Indian politics.
The fight for the Narayanpore seat—a nondescript district in West Bengal—begins, and along with it, the process of discovering ‘the real India’. Jay’s challenge: to provide a ‘clean campaign with integrity’. Replete with colourful campaigns, media hullabaloo, cynical voters, goondas, chamchas and all the usual suspects, The Candidate is a breezy and humorous story of the great Indian election tamasha.


The Growth Net conference

Dear Mr. Sagar,

It is with great pleasure I extend you a special invitation to The Growth Net conference, being held in The Taj Palace, New Delhi from 23 – 25 March, 2014.
The theme for this year is “Reviving Growth – Reversing the Tide.”
Stanley Bergman, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, Henry Schein, USA;Ronnie Chan, Chairman, Hang Lung Properties Ltd, Hong Kong SAR; Canan Çelebioğlu, Vice-Chairman Çelebi Holding, Turkey;  Wendy Luhabe, Chair of the Women Private Equity Fund, South Africa; S. Ramadorai, Vice Chairman of Tata Consultancy Services and Adviser to the Prime Minister of India have kindly consented to join us as Co-Chairs.

The list of confirmed speakers include Lin BinCo-Founder & President Xiaomi Corporation, People’s Republic of ChinaCarlos BragaPresident, The Evian Group, Professor of International Political Economy, IMD, BrazilMontek Singh AhluwaliaDeputy Chairman of the Planning Commission, India; Wang HuiyaoDirector General, Center for China and Globalization, People’s Republic of China; Guiomar Namo de Mello, Chairman of the State Board of Education of Sao Paulo, BrazilGautam ThaparFounder & Chairman Avantha Group, IndiaDilma PenaPresident & Director General SABESP, Brazil; Chew SutatExecutive Vice-President, Singapore Exchange Ltd, SGX Singapore, SingaporeAlexandre Zeller,Chairman Six Swiss Exchange, Switzerland amongst others.


Satish Kaushik promotes ‘Gang of Ghosts’

Satish Kaushik promoted his film ‘Gang of Ghosts’ in New Delhi
Star cast of film ‘Gang Of Ghosts’ visited hotel Le Meridien, New Delhi to attend the press conference. Captain of the ship Satish Kaushik was present with actors Sharman Joshi, Mahie Gill, Anupam Kher ,Meera Chopra & Producer Ganesh Jain at the event.
Known for his bold performances in B-Town Mahie said, “ I don’;t do such big budget films. The films which I do reap benefits at the box office, they become commercially successful and are critically acclaimed as well. So I don’;t worry about the box office numbers”. Worked with many big banners and performing a role of Struggling writer in the film Sharman said, “I tried my hands on Paranomal Comedy theme for the first time and i enjoyed working on sets”.  Talking about the location of the film Director Satish Kaushik said, “I and producer Ratan Jain were on our way to Surat when I saw the Dumas Haveli. At the time, we had already seen and rejected over 50 havelis. However, there was something about this Dumas Haveli which caught my eye. Furthermore, I got to know that the haveli is actually haunted and is counted as one of the 10 most haunted places in India! This factor was what convinced me to shoot my film there.”
Coming with the Ghost- Comedy, Gang Of Ghosts,  is remake of Bengali film ‘Bhooter Bhabishyat’ which has put director Satish Kaushik back into the action. A Multi starrer film Gang Of Ghosts is a paranormal comedy film. The story is about a haunted house which is being pulled down and being replaced with a swanky shopping mall. Apparently, the ghosts who belong to different era consider this as their home so what happens later on shapes the rest of the story.
Other casts ensembles  Parambrata Chatterjee,  Anupam Kher, Meera Chopra, J. Brandon Hill, Rajesh Khattar, Saurabh Shukla, Rajpal Yadav, Yashpal Sharma, Vijay Verma, Chunky Pandey and Jackie Shroff.
Gang of Ghosts a paranormal comedy based film is produced by Venus Records & Tapes Pvt Ltd  and  The Satish Kaushik Entertainment. It is directed by Satish Kaushik.
Gang of Ghosts is releasing on 21st March 2014.
Shailesh Giri
Effective Communication


‘Environmental Histories: Pasts and futures’

Nehru Memorial Museum and Library
cordially invites you to a Conference
at 9.00 a.m. on Friday-Saturday, 21-22 March 2014
in the Seminar Room, First Floor, Library Building

Environmental Histories:
Pasts and futures’
in association with
Prof. Michael Mann,
Humboldt-University, Berlin,
and the
German Research Foundation
Concept Note:
The epochal times we live in make the relations of histories and environments a major theme in studies of past ages and the more uncertain domains of the future. By asking when, why and how specific political, socio-economic or cultural choices reshaped the human environment, we can get a more rounded and holistic sense of our present dilemmas.
In any such endeavour, certain broad questions standout. How do perceptions of ecological change varies and contested as they often are intersect with the material changes themselves? How far are local knowledge and science based approaches more or less influential and why? How can long term or ‘deep’ histories interact with more conventional approaches focused on a few years or decades?
The conclave brings together scholars based mainly in India and Germany, countries with distinct if overlapping historical traditions. All are aware of the deep historic links of imperial forestry and natural history and the sciences in British imperial India with German science and administration. But well beyond this, the contrasts of an industrialized European major nation state and a former colony (and now emerging economy) throws up historical contrasts and similarities rich in insight. It aims to showcase specific and focused papers by engaged and active historians but in a manner that opens up dialogue and fresh enquiry. After all what we make of our environmental futures has a lot to do with rethinking our own histories.
Programme Schedule:                              Friday, 21 March 2014
9.00 a.m. – 9.15 a.m.

Prof. Mahesh Rangarajan,

Nehru Memorial Museum and Library,
New Delhi
Prof. Michael Mann,
9.15 a.m. – 10.15 a.m.

Prof. K. Sivaramakrishnan,

Yale University, USA
‘Ethics, Attachments, and Nature:
Reflections on environmental history from the Indian experience’
10.15 a.m. – 10.30 a.m.
Tea Break
10.30 a.m. – 12.30 p.m.

Session I:

Prof. Michael Mann,

Speakers:Mr. Stephan Beutner,

‘Transforming Nature, Developing People?:
Environmental history of the Maikal hills’
Prof. Corinna R. Unger,
Jacobs University
Bremen, Germany
‘India’s Green Revolution:
A transnational environmental history’
12.30 p.m. – 1.30 p.m.
1.30 p.m. -3.30 p.m.
Session 2
Chair:Dr. Rohan D’Souza,

Shiv Nadar University,
Speakers:Prof. Franz-Josef Brueggemeier,

University of Freiburg, Germany
‘History of Environment, 1750-2000:
Germany in an international perspective’
Mr. Martin Bemmann,
Technical University of Dresden
‘”Damaged Vegetation” and “Dying Forests”:
On the construction of an environmental problem in Germany between the 1890s and 1970s’
3:30 p.m. – 3.45 p.m.
Tea Break
3.45 p.m. -4.45 p.m.
Session 3
Chair:Prof. Mahesh Rangarajan,

Nehru Memorial Museum and Library,
New Delhi

Dr. Hanna Werner,

‘Histories of Protest:
Water Conflicts and the politics of resistance
in a cross-cultural perspective’
Saturday, 22 March 2014
9.00 a.m. – 11.00 a.m.
Session 4
Chair:Dr. Ghazala Shahabuddin,

Ambedkar University,
Speakers:Ms. Shibani Bose,

University of Delhi,
‘Beyond the Glittering Eye:
Tiger tales from the Harappan Civilization’
Dr. Divyabhanusinh Chavda,
Independent Researcher,
‘Emperor Jahangir and the Natural World’
11.00 a.m. – 11: 15 a.m.
Tea Break
11.15 a.m. -12.30 p.m.
Session 5
Chair:Dr. Tripta Wahi,

Affiliate Fellow,
Speaker:Dr. Vasudha Pande,

‘Changing Landscapes:
Terracing the Central Himalaya’
12.30 p.m.-1.30 p.m.
1.30 p.m. -3.30 p.m.
Session 6
Chair:Dr. Vasudha Pande,

Speakers:Dr. Rohan Arthur,

Nature Conservation Foundation,
‘Marine Resource Use, Ecosystem Responses and the Accidents of History:
Narratives from Indian seas’
Dr. Rohan D’Souza,
Shiv Nadar University,
‘Drainage, River Erosion and Chaurs:
An environmental history of land in colonial eastern India’
3.30 p.m. -3.45 p.m.                                             Tea Break

3.45 p.m.
Session 7
Concluding Debate


Jean-Philippe Bottin
To Jean-Philippe BottinMe
Mar 19 at 1:42 PM
Dear Friends,
You will find attached the description of our 3 last events of our Francophonie Week.
This evening, the opening a an exhibition of the works from 3 French female artists Tri Angle.
Friday evening, a fantastic and innovative show about World War I, On les aura !
Saturday during the day: our Francophonie Mela.
Please join us to celebrate the French language and Francophonie culture. You will find the details on the attached documents.
Warmest regards,


Analysis of Candidates Announced by INC and BJP

The major parties, INC and BJP announced their candidates for Lok Sabha, 2014 recently. A total of 469 candidates were announced by INC and BJP for Lok Sabha till 13th March, 2014. Out of these, Association for Democratic Reforms and National Election Watch have analysed the background details of 280 candidates whose affidavits were available from assembly or Lok Sabha/Rajya Sabha elections in the past. The first ‘Preliminary Analysis of Candidates Announced by INC and BJP for Lok Sabha, 2014’ report analysed the candidates announced in the first and second list of BJP and the first list of INC. This is the second in the series of reports analyzing the candidates announced by INC and BJP. The latest information regarding assets as well as criminal charges if any, would be available once the candidates file their affidavits for 2014 Lok Sabha Elections. Detailed report in English attached with the mail
Candidates Announced by INC and BJP
No. of Candidates Announced in the First List
No. of Candidates Announced in the Second List
No. of Candidates Announced in the Third List
Total Candidates Announced
Analysis of candidates announced by INC from the 2nd list and BJP from the 3rd List
No. of Candidates Announced
No. of Candidates Analysed (Total)
No of Candidates with Criminal Cases
No. of Candidates with Serious Criminal Cases
% of Candidates with Criminal Cases
% of Candidates with Serious Criminal Cases
No of Crorepati Candidates
% of Crorepati Candidates
Average Assets (in Rs.) of Candidates
97 (3rd List)
2 crore+
71 (2nd List)
4 crore+
3 crore+

The current analysis of the candidates fielded by the major parties shows that political parties continue to give tickets to candidates with serious criminal cases. The Association for Democratic Reforms and National Election Watch recommend tha
  1. Political parties should refrain from giving tickets to candidates with serious criminal cases.
  2. Political parties should take a stand against misuse of money power, bribing of voters and distribution of freebies.
  3. Political parties should move towards transparency and disclose the criteria for selection of candidates during elections.
To report any electoral violations and malpractices during elections download the Election Watch Reporter (Android App)
Analysis of Declared Criminal Cases from the 2nd List of INC and 3rd List of BJP
Candidates with Criminal Cases: Out of 92 candidates analysed, 28 candidates (30%) had declared criminal cases against themselves in their previous election affidavit. BJP has 17 out of 53 candidates (32%) with criminal cases and INC has 11 out of 39 (28%) candidates with criminal cases.
Candidates with Serious Criminal Cases: 12 candidates (13%) out of 92 analysed had declared serious criminal cases against themselves in their previous election affidavits. 6 out of 53 (11%) candidates of BJP and 6 out of 39 (15%) candidates of INC have declared serious criminal cases against themselves.
Candidates with Cases of Murder and related: 1 candidate, Satish Dubey of BJP from Valmiki Nagar Constituency had declared a case of murder in his previous election affidavit.
Candidates with Cases of Attempt to Murder: 2 candidates had declared cases of attempt to murder. Ramesh Chand Tomar of INC from Gautam Buddh Nagar Constituency and Satish Dubey of BJP from Valmiki Nagar Constituency had declared a case of attempt to murder against himself.
Candidates with cases related to electoral violations: 1 candidate, Kirti Jha Azad of BJP from Darbhanga Constituency had declared a case related to Illegal payments in connection with an election (IPC Section-171H).
Analysis of Declared Financial Details from 2nd List of INC and 3rd List of BJP
Average Assets of Candidates: The average assets of 92 candidates analysed is Rs. 3.18 crores.
Party-wise average assets: The average assets of 39 INC candidates is Rs. 4.30 crores and the average assets of 53 BJP candidates is Rs. 2.36 crores.
No. of crorepati candidates: Out of 92 candidates, 44 candidates (48%) have declared total assets (Self assets +Others Assets) of more than Rs. 1 crore.
Party-wise crorepati candidates: 24 out of 39 candidates (62%) in INC and 20 out of 53 (38%) candidates in BJP have declared total assets worth more than Rs. 1 crore.
High Asset Candidates: Uday Singh from Purnia Constituency had declared the highest assets worth, Rs. 41.90 crores followed by Pratibha Singh of INC from Mandi Constituency with assets worth Rs. 33.96 Crores and Vincent H. Pala of INC from Shillong-ST Constituency with assets worth Rs. 25.16 Crores.

Analysis of Criminal and Financial Details of Re-contesting MPs from 2nd List of INC and 3rd List of BJP

Re-contesting MPs: Out of the 92 candidates analysed, 50 candidates are sitting Lok Sabha MPs.
Re-contesting MPs with Criminal Cases: Out of 50 re-contesting Lok Sabha MPs, 19 (38%) had declared criminal cases against themselves in their previous election affidavit.
Re-contesting MPs with Serious Criminal Cases: Out of 50 re-contesting Lok Sabha MPs, 7 (14%) had declared serious criminal cases against themselves like murder, attempt to murder, kidnapping etc.
Average Assets of Re-contesting MPs: The average assets of 50 re-contesting MPs is Rs. 4.05 crores.
No. of crorepati Re-contesting MPs: Out of 50 re-contesting MPs, 21 (42%) had declared assets worth more than Rs. 1 crore in their previous election affidavits.​
Consolidated Analysis of candidates announced by INC and BJP till the 13th March, 2014
No. of Candidates Announced (Total)
No. of Candidates Analysed (Total)
No of Candidates with Criminal Cases
No. of Candidates with Serious Criminal Cases
% of Candidates with Criminal Cases
% of Candidates with Serious Criminal Cases
No of Crorepati Candidates
% of Crorepati Candidates
Average Assets (in Rs.) of Candidates
2 crore+
6 crore+
5 crore+

Media and Journalist Helpline

+91 80103 94248
Mr Anil Verma

National Election Watch,
Association for Democratic Reforms
011 4165 4200,
+91 88264 79910,
Prof Jagdeep Chhokar

IIM Ahmedabad (Retd.)
Founder Member,
National Election Watch, Association for Democratic
+91 99996 20944
Prof Trilochan Sastry

IIM Bangalore
Founder Member,
National Election Watch,
Association for Democratic Reforms
+91 94483 53285

Association for Democratic Reforms
“Kiwanis Centre”, 4th Floor,
B-35, Qutub Institutional Area
(Near Rockland Hospital)
New Delhi-110 016
M: +91 8010394248 
T: +91 11 41654200/01/02/03
F: 011 4609 4248


The FISME Factor
President’s Message
” Public Procurement Policy for Micro and Small (MSEs) 2012 is undoubtedly a watershed development in MSME support initiatives. It is sad that most agencies not only have failed to inform MSEs about their procurement plans, but also have dragged their feet in extending even the basic facilities to MSEs whether it is exemption from earnest money or exemption from security deposits by successful tenderers. It looks highly unlikely that a mandatory procurement target of 20% from MSEs will be met by government agencies in such a situation. There is a need to make the Policy work for MSEs as was envisaged. “

Dr. D. Gandhikumar, President, FISME
Vol IV, Issue 54: March 15, 2014

Training Sessions of KNN in Eastern and Western India

As part of the capacity building of MSME associations, special sessions were convened for leaders of associations in Eastern and Western Part of India on how they could leverage Knowledge and News Network (KNN) for advocacy and knowledge dissemination. The two day workshops on “Emerging Roles of MSME Business Membership Organizations (BMOs)” were organized under EU Switch Asia Project. Over twenty four associations were present in Ahmedabad and 20 in Bhubaneshwar. KNN is a new age internet based media platform which enables aggregation of MSME related news and also dissemination of knowledge across MSMEs and institutions. Over 165 associations and 110 institutions are networked in KNN.

Do pre-election opinion polls influence voters? *
  •  Yes
  •  No
Business Banter: Lessons from Entrepreneurs

Don’t let over-confidence hinder your success

- Jason Fell is the managing editor of in New York
After starting and growing a company to early success, entrepreneurs can sometimes let confidence go to their heads. Not only can over-confidence be a turn off for others, it can blind you to important changes you need to make at your company. Being confident shouldn’t make you think you can do no wrong. When markets shift, you can’t always stay the course and ride the success you’ve enjoyed so far. A confident entrepreneur will know when to make the changes that will set his or her company up for success.

[Adapted from 7 Ways to Be a Confident, Rock Star Leader]
Writing on the Wall

Stuck in neutral

The index of industrial production (IIP) numbers for January 2014, published on Wednesday, showed that industry was still stagnant. Production grew by a minuscule 0.1 per cent over January 2013, a hair’s breadth better than the revised 0.2 per cent estimated for December. More importantly, manufacturing, accounting for almost 80 per cent of the index, declined by 0.7 per cent. Looking at the different use-based segments within manufacturing, both capital goods and consumer durables, reflective of long-term spending commitments by businesses and consumers, declined in January – the former by 4.2 per cent and the latter by an even more dismal 8.3 per cent.

[Adapted from Business Standard, Opinion Section]
Media Monitor

Macro Metre

RBI hikes trade transaction limit from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 5 lakh with immediate effect

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has hiked the trade related remittance limit from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 5 lakh per transaction with immediate effect, amid increased number of transactions handled by Exchange Houses. “On a review of the permitted transactions under the Rupee Drawing Arrangements (RDAs), it has been decided to increase the limit of trade transactions from the existing Rs 2 lakh per transaction to Rs 5 lakh per transaction, with immediate effect,” RBI said in a notification. For this necessary changes have been made in the Memorandum of Instructions for Opening and Maintenance of Rupee/ Foreign Currency Vostro Accounts of Non-resident Exchange Houses.

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MPEDA’s co-branding drive for seafood exports

India’s seafood export industry, dominated by small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and growing at 20 per cent a year, will soon get a shot in the arm. In a bid to help entrepreneurs, the Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) under the ministry of commerce is undertaking a major co-branding drive, which will promote the brand equity of Indian marine products in regulated markets. Seafood exports from India are expected to touch $4.3 billion in the current fiscal year and $10 billion a year by 2020, according to MPEDA.

Hardly any growth in industrial output for Jan; retail inflation tad lower in Feb

India’s industrial production just about reversed the trend in January, 2014 turning from a negative trend in December, 2013 but a mere growth of 0.1 per cent is no consolation as half of the industry segments continued to contract. For the April-January period, there was no growth in the Index of Industrial Production, though some glimmer of hope was visible in the form of slight fall in the retail inflation. The inflation based on consumer price index for February was a tad lower at 8.10 per cent from 8.79 per cent in January, 2014.

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India launches safeguard investigation on sodium citrate

India has informed the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) Committee on Safeguards that it has initiated a safeguard investigation on sodium citrate, to protect domestic producers of the substance against threat caused by increased imports of the same. The Director General (Safeguards), Customs and Central Excise has initiated the safeguard investigation following a petition from domestic producers who account for 90 per cent of the production of sodium citrate.

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Domestic Digest

SEBI asks stock exchanges for half-yearly audits & inspections in compliance of new norms

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has tightened norms to prevent money laundering through the capital market and has asked stock exchanges including the BSE-SME platform to monitor compliance of the new norms through half-yearly audits and inspections, and inform SEBI. The market regulator has asked capital market entities to conduct a detailed risk assessment of their clients, including those linked to countries facing international sanctions. Registered intermediaries shall carry out risk assessment to identify, assess and take effective measures to mitigate its money laundering and terrorist financing risk with respect to its clients, countries or geographical areas, nature and volume of transactions, payment methods used by clients. The risk assessment shall also take into account any country-specific information that is circulated by the government and SEBI from time to time,” the regulator said in a circular yesterday.

Exports may fall more as India loses preferential status in EU

The rupee has been on a winning streak since the start of this year. Despite the US cutting back its bond-buying programme, the rupee has held its own. In fact, it has appreciated 1.5 per cent over the past month, driven by steady foreign capital flows into Indian bonds and stocks The sharp improvement in the current account deficit (CAD) has contributed in equal measure to the rupee’s stability. Since last June, Indian exports have shown a pick-up, as India’s competitiveness improved with the rupee’s fall.

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RBI panel to review credit flow to MSME sector

A meeting of the Reserve Bank of India’s Standing Advisory Committee has been convened this month to review the flow of institutional credit to the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) sector, according to the fortnightly e-newsletter of the Federation of Indian Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (FISME). The RBI has constituted the Standing Advisory Committee (SAC) with Deputy Governor K C Chakrabarty as chairman. The officials of the ministry of micro, small and medium enterprises, banks and associations of the MSME sector are members of the SAC.

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Nasscom, Google launch ‘Girls in Technology’

To increase the representation of women in the Indian technology sector, Nasscom on Friday announced the launch of ‘Girls in Technology (GIT)’, a programme to promote women entrepreneurs in India The initiative will bring more women into the technology ecosystem by conducting technical workshops, tech talks and hackathons (events in which programmers and other software developers collaborate on projects). Nasscom’s 10,000 Start-ups is part of the Google for Entrepreneurs #40Forward campaign. It is among the 40 start-up communities working on new approaches to increase the representation of women in the technology space 25 per cent this year.

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Nearly 15% SME foundries shut shop due to demand slump

Several small and medium-sized foundries across the country have been forced to stop production, owing to a demand slump. Industry insiders say that most of these units cater to automotive manufacturers and ancillaries, and that 10-15 per cent of them have either closed down or stopped production temporarily. About 80 per cent of India’s $12 billion foundry industry comprises SMEs, 15 per cent are medium-sized players and only five per cent are large units. Reena Bhagwati, joint managing director of Bhagwati Autocast Ltd and president of the Institute of Indian Foundrymen (IIF), said that while average capacity utilisation in the overall foundry industry is around 70 per cent, for those supplying to automotive players, especially manufacturers of heavy commercial vehicles and passenger cars, average utilisation is down to 50-55 per cent.

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Climate change can run MSMEs out of biz

Most businesses, especially those belonging to the micro, small and medium enterprise sector are affected by the changing climate which causes damage to their premises and processes, so much so that, at times it runs them out of business, a report has said. This was stated by the Gujarat Institute of Competitiveness (GIC) which has now designed a project to help MSMEs prepare for changes in weather patterns and adapt to climate change. On the need for such a programme, “awareness about these risks among businesses still remains low,” Director, GIC, Jagat Shah said.

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State Scan

Andhra Pradesh

Yarn Bank, Market & Design development centres for Andhra handloom clusters

Towards integrated development of the Andhra Pradesh Mega handloom cluster, Textile Ministry wants to set up Market Development and Publicity Centre; Design Development and Product Diversification Centre; and Yarn Bank in the Prakasam and Guntur districts of the state. The project is being implemented under the Comprehensive Handlooms Cluster Development Scheme (CHDS). The Development Commissioner, Handlooms has invited bids from private agencies for implementation of the project.


Educated farmers in Punjab venture into dairy farming

Worried over diminishing returns from small holdings in the state, young and educated farmers in Punjab with an entrepreneurial streak are venturing into commercial dairy farming. The farmers say that a commercial dairy farm gives them high returns compared with conventional agriculture on small land-holdings, which is proving unsustainable. There are about 6,000 progressive dairy farmers in Punjab and the state has more such farmers than any other Indian state, with farms varying in size from 10 to 500 high-yielding breeds of cows. Also, the daily production of milk by these farms is about 12-15 lakh litres.

Uttar Pradesh

UP industries happy about mandatory online application for SMEs ‘if sustained’

The Uttar Pradesh government’s announcement asking small, medium and major enterprises to submit applications online for setting up new industrial units in the state from May 1 has been welcomed by the units, although they are doubtful about the sustainability of the process. “Submitting applications online will be really good for the industry but we don’t know how the government will sustain it,” said Managing Director of Chakradhar Chemicals, Neeraj Kedia from Meerut. Last week the Uttar Pradesh Government made an announcement to make it mandatory to submit applications online for setting up industrial units in the state including small, medium and major categories from May 1.


Centre to help build more tourism capacity in Uttarakhand

With the view to finding new places for developing tourism destinations in Uttarakhand, the Union Ministry of Tourism wants to conduct a study on tourism carrying capacity of existing and potential destinations for planning for infrastructure development in the state. “It has been realized that there is a need of conducting a study to assess the carrying capacity of the destinations of Uttarakhand for better planning in construction of infrastructure and other operational development activities for tourism to ensure climatic resilient tourism. “Therefore, Ministry of Tourism has decided to conduct a study on tourism carrying capacity of existing and potential destinations and planning for infrastructure development in Uttarakhand,” according to a ministry notification.

World Watch


India & Africa to strengthen bilateral relations, focus on SME development

In the broader framework of India-Africa cooperation, the two countries should give increasing focus to SME development and cooperation, said Executive Director, International Trade Centre, Arancha Gonzales. Speaking at the 10th CII-EXIM BANK Conclave on India Africa Project Partnership held here from March 9-11, she urged India and Africa to direct sharper focus on SME development and cooperation in the broader framework of India-Africa cooperation. She said that Africa’s SME sector could leverage the experiences of India’s SME development in the services sector. Citing this, she said the success of ‘Incredible India!’ promotion could inspire an ‘Amazing Africa’ initiative, a CII press release said.

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India, Australia trade relations can improve further

Trade relations between India and Australia have been growing steadily and with the “right mindsets” they can be enhanced further, Australian High Commissioner in India, Patrick Suckling has said. On the agreement of Uranium exports to India from Australia, he said the two countries were working on it and there has been “good progress”. “…(through this deal) we would just like to be assured that Uranium will be exported to India. That is how the frame- work is. Negotiations are currently underway. We are making good progress,” he said.

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6.8% growth in tourists availing VoA scheme; maximum tourists from Japan

Government’s “Visa on Arrival” (VoA) Scheme has helped attracting more foreign tourists to India, with maximum number of Japanese tourists, as there was a growth of 6.8 per cent per cent in the number of tourists availing of this scheme during the period January-February, 2014. A total number of 3,883 VoAs have been issued in this period as compared to 3,637 VoAs during the corresponding period of 2013,” said official data. During the month of February 2014, a total of 1,980 VoAs were issued under this scheme as compared to 1,947 VoAs during the month of February 2013, registering a growth of 1.7 per cent, the data said.

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United Kingdom    

UK trade body to forge tie-ups with Indian firms, including MSMEs

The UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) will be launching a hard-sell marketing initiative in India to forge tie-ups with Indian firms, including MSMEs, for promoting British investment in India. Last December, UK’s Secretary of State (Minister) for business, innovation and skills, Vince Cable visited India to explore business opportunities and strengthen existing partnerships in engineering, education skills and innovation. He was accompanied by a 25 member UK business delegation who visited four cities (New Delhi, Coimbatore, Bangalore and Chennai) with an aim to push business collaboration and work towards doubling trade with India by 2015.

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Dialogue with Trade Delegation from Pakistan



Dialogue with Trade Delegation from Pakistan

(Being organized by FISME; Supported by SAARC TPN Project, Nepal (GIZ))

Participating Pakistani Chambers
Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry
Islamabad Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry
Sector specific associations
(covering Import/Export/Trading of Auto parts, Yarn, Textiles, Chemicals, CNG, Insulating material ,
Agro, Furniture,  Leather, Household appliances, Hosiery, Electrical goods, Electronic Appliances, Ladies shoes, purses, handicrafts, batteries etc.)

19th March 2014 – 1030hrs to 1300hrs
(to be followed by Lunch)
The Park Hotel, Connaught Place, New Delhi

FISME - a network of more than 700 MSME associations is one of the chief representative bodies of MSMEs in India.  FISME has been entrusted with implementation of a bilateral trade promotion initiative between India and Pakistan, under the aegis of a GIZ sponsored project ‘SAARC Trade Information Network on South Asian region’ (Nepal).  As part of the project, FISME had organized a delegation to Pakistan (9th~14th Feb 2014) and held a dialogue with counterpart chambers and associations.

In the second leg of the project, FISME is hosting a multi sector delegation from Pakistan. We are organizing a dialogue between the representatives from all major chambers in Pakistan and the Indian business and industry community:
Date : 19th March 2014, Wednesday  Venue: Hotel The Park, New Delhi  Time : 1030hrs to 1300hrs followed by lunch.
We are pleased to extend a cordial invitation.
Thanks and with best regards

Mukesh Kalra
Joint Secretary (International Trade)
Federation of Indian Micro and Small & Medium Enterprises (FISME)
B – 4/161 Safdarjung Enclave,
New Delhi – 110029
Cell.:                 +91 – 9811465438
Telephone:    +91 – 11 – 26187948, 26712064, 46023157, 46018592
Fax:                  +91 – 11 – 26109470
E-mail:    Website:

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