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In a sign of increasing trustworthiness, the US has updated its policy on gas-turbine engine technology transfer to India to expand cooperation in production and design of sensitive jet engine components.

US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter informed Indian Defence MinisterManohar Parrikar of the decision during the latter’s visit here.

As a result of this policy update, Carter exuded confidence that the US will be able to expand cooperation in production and design of sensitive jet engine components.

Carter and Parrikar look forward to US companies working with their Indian counterparts to submit transfer requests that will benefit from this updated policy, said a joint statement issued after a meeting between two leaders at the Pentagon yesterday.

During the meeting, the two leaders discussed ways and means to move the ambitious Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) forward.

Expressing satisfaction with DTTI progress to date, the two committed themselves to identifying additional projects for possible co-development and co-production of high technology items that meet the transformational intent of DTTI, the joint statement said.

Parrikar and Carter commended positive discussions at the Joint Working Group on Aircraft Carrier Technology Cooperation (JWGACTC), especially in the area of Aircraft Launch and Recovery Equipment (ALRE), and look forward to continued progress to be achieved at the second meeting of the JWGACTC in February 2016 in India.

They further expressed satisfaction that the Jet Engine Technology Joint Working Group (JETJWG), which met this week in Bengaluru, had concluded its ‘Terms of Reference’ and had productive discussion on cooperation in this area.

In an interaction with the media, Carter identified DTTI as one very important step in realising the potential of the India-US defence partnership.

DTTI, he noted, fosters technology cooperation, works to build industry-to-industry ties, and identifies opportunities for the co-development and co-production of defence systems. 

Carter said he and Parrikar discussed the progress that has been made towards cooperation on jet engines, and aircraft carrier design and construction, as well as opportunities to collaborate on additional projects of interest, which will also further Prime Minister Modi’s Make in India policy.

Parrikar said their desire is to further collaborate in the higher-end technologies within the framework of DTTI.

“The assurance I have, and I am confident of that India is placed at a level which would ensure that red tapism is cut. I think this is the biggest take home one can get. We have got a very clear promise and we have been experiencing it that our issues are fast tracked,” he told reporters.


Source : Business Standard




The country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is expected to grow by 7.9 per cent next financial year on the back of rising domestic demand and higher capital spending by the government, even though global economy will remain anaemic, Goldman Sachs said today (December 09, 2015).

India is already the fastest-growing large economy and will remain so in FY17. We have positive views on the economy. The cyclical upturn will continue to be driven by the domestic demand.

The investment demand will improve gradually, driven by greater government spending on infrastructure -- particularly railways and highways, lower interest rates, rising foreign direct investments (FDI) inflows and ongoing improvements in ease of doing business, including some improvement in stalled projects.

Moreover, the economic activity can be boosted by both monetary and fiscal policy being looser next year

The economy should also reap the benefits of the 125-basis point reduction in interest rates by the Reserve Bank of India and the continued weakness in commodity prices.

Higher productivity growth from improvements in technology, education and the ease of doing business (TEEs) can boost potential growth to 8 per cent from FY17 through FY20.

However, on the inflation side, headline inflation will inch up to 5.3 per cent in FY17 against the projected 4.9 per cent in FY16, driven by an uptick in both core and food inflation.

The inflation trajectory would be influenced by the effects of El Nino, which could add about 35 basis points to headline inflation and by a narrowing of the output gap.

The RBI has retained the option of cutting rates again, the bar for another rate cut is not very high and expects the RBI to remain on hold through 2016.





India’s first home-grown conditional access system (CAS) for set-top boxes, that allows television broadcasters to offer programmes on subscription basis has been jointly built by ByDesign, a Bengaluru-based software firm, and Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC).

The indigenous platform used in cable set-top boxes will bring down the cost of such boxes for manufacturers by as much as Rs 100 for each device. Globally, there are around four to five providers for CAS who charge royalty of $ 2 (Rs 130) per device from manufacturers.

“The normal cost for CAS is about 2-3 dollars per licence. They will make available at half a dollar to domestic manufacturer, so there will be a saving of one and a half to two dollars in the CAS for Indian manufacturers,” said Ajay Kumar, additional secretary at the department of electronics and information technology (DietY).

has mandated to license the technology to Indian manufacturers for a royalty of $0.5 (Rs 33) for a period of three years.

The CAS essentially encrypts information at the broadcasters-end and then decrypts it at the user-end, allowing only users with key to view channels. It allows broadcasters either on cable or direct to home providers to offer specific programmes for a fee.

“One of the conditions is that ByDesign has to integrate with five broadcasters and 2.5 lakh homes commercially. So apart from our testing, there will be a market testing, because broadcasters are not going to integrate if they think there is going to be compromise,” added Kumar.

The government of India, under the ambitious ‘Make in India’ campaign, envisions the manufacturing of set-top-boxes in the country to be a $ 10-billion industry by 2020. At present, India imports four of five set-top boxes. Today, the market for set-top boxes in India is worth $ 750 million, with locally manufactured devices contributing between 23-24 per cent of value.

By reducing the cost of CAS, the government hopes Indian manufacturers will be able to  compete better  with importers on price, promoting more to setup local manufacturing units.

“Today, locally we are in a position to only meet 20 per cent of the demand, the rest we’re importing. Developing an indigenous CAS will be a great initiative in terms of filling the gaps in the ecosystem and supply chain. Local production, with the kind of scale the Government is visualising, there will be a significant drop in price (of set-top-boxes),” said MN Vidyashankar, President of the India Electronics and Semiconductor

Source: Business Standard

After eight years of intense negotiations, bureaucratic hurdles and a shifting nuclear policy, the Australian government has finally given the green signal to the export of uranium to India "which can begin immediately".

The Australia-India Nuclear Cooperation Agreement permits Australian companies to commence commercial uranium exports to India, an important milestone in Australia's relationship with India, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said in a media release.

While previous Liberal prime minister Tony Abbott was quite gung-ho about the supply of uranium to India, current incumbent Malcolm Turnbull would get the credit for sealing the deal to export uranium to the power-hungry south Asian country.

"The supply of Australian uranium will help India meet its rapidly growing electricity demand and improve the welfare of its people," said Bishop in the media release. "The administrative arrangements have been signed and uranium exports can begin immediately."

Many observers of the bilateral ties would agree with foreign minister's assertion that the export of uranium to India is a milestone in the bilateral relations.

It was Liberal prime minister John Howard who first agreed to sell uranium to India in 2007 in spite of the refusal by New Delhi to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) which has been a pre-requisite to receive Australian uranium. It is believed that Australian PM was persuaded by the US to sell uranium to India soon after finalisation of the US-India Civil Nuclear Agreement in July that year.

His successor, Kevin Rudd of Labour reinstated the ban on export of uranium to India as it had not signed the NPT, but next Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who deposed Rudd in a bloodless party coup, made a historic shift in her party's policy by agreeing to export uranium to a non-NPT signatory in 2012.

Much more pragmatic than her predecessor, she admitted that a refusal to sell uranium to India had been an "obstacle" to getting a larger slice of the benefits of the booming Indian economy.

Australia is also keen in exporting coal to India to run her conventional power stations. But it was the nod to the uranium deal which was being awaited anxiously by New Delhi watchers in Australia.

Besides India, Australia has also finalized a Nuclear Cooperation Agreement with the United Arab Emirates.

Source: Times of India