Bridging Worlds A Meeting of Minds: The Story of Indians in The United Kingdom

Of all the countries Indians have made home, the United Kingdom has perhaps the longest and definitely the most complex relationship with the Diaspora. Starting as a legacy of colonisation, continuing when immigration opened after the War, immigration today is also about economic opportunities and big business with Indian companies leading the way in investing in Big Britain.

Overcoming painful legacies, building on commonalities and shared histories, Indians and Britons have come closer together as allies, creating truly A Meeting of Minds. And this has been possible largely due to the efforts of the Indian Diaspora whose success has exceeded the wildest expectations. Prominent in every field – business, politics, the professions, art and culture, media and communication – their success has not just helped relations between both countries, but has also created within the UK, a deep appreciation for the culture and capacities of the Land that was once the jewel in the crown.

Prime Minister Modi and President Obama Meet at the Whitehouse

Narendra Modi Obama

On Tuesday, September 1st, President Obama and Prime Minister Modi met, marking the first bilateral discussion between the two heads of state. The President touched on the Prime Minister’s impressive victory earlier this year: “I think that the entire world has watched the historic election and mandate that the people of India delivered in the recent election.” Prime Minister Modi expressed his gratitude for the visit and the two touched on the relationship between India and the U.S.

ISRO Scientists present the first images of the surface of Mars to the PM

Mars

Scientists from the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) met the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today and presented the first images of the surface of Mars taken by the Mangalyaan to him.

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PRIME MINISTER TO LAUNCH ‘MAKE IN INDIA’ INITIATIVE

Make in Inda-2

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi will launch “Make in India” initiative on 25th September 2014 from Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi. The launch will be at both national level, state level and in Missions abroad. The ‘Make in India’ initiative has its origin in the Prime Minister’s Independence Day speech where he gave a clarion call to ‘Make in India’ and ‘Zero Defect; Zero Effect’ policy. State Governments, Business Chambers, Indian Missions aboard are playing an active role in the launch of the initiative.

The Government is committed to chart out a new path wherein business entities are extended red carpet welcome in a spirit of active cooperation. Invest India will act as the first reference point for guiding foreign investors on all aspects of regulatory and policy issues and to assist them in obtaining regulatory clearances. The Government is closely looking into all regulatory processes with a view to making them simple and reducing the burden of compliance on investors.

A dedicated cell has been created to answer queries from business entities through a newly created web portal (www.makeinindia.com). While an exhaustive set of FAQs on this portal will help the investor find instant answers to their general queries, the back-end support team of the cell would be answering specific queries within 72 hours. A pro-active approach will be deployed to track visitors for their geographical location, interest and real time user behaviour. Subsequent visits will be customised for the visitor based on the information collected. Visitors registered on the website or raising queries will be followed up with relevant information and newsletter. Investor facilitation cell will provide assistance to the foreign investors from the time of their arrival in the country to the time of their departure. The initiative will also target top companies across sectors in identified countries.

The ‘Make in India’ initiative also aims at identifying select domestic companies having leadership in innovation and new technology for turning them into global champions. The focus will be on promoting green and advanced manufacturing and helping these companies to become an important part of the global value chain.

The Government has identified 25 key sectors in which our country has the potential of becoming a world leader. The Prime Minister will be releasing separate brochures for these sectors along with a general brochure. The brochures covering sectors like automobiles, chemicals, IT, pharmaceuticals, textiles, ports, aviation, leather, tourism and hospitality, wellness, railways among others will provide details of growth drivers, investment opportunities, sector specific FDI and other policies and related agencies.

Since the new Government took over, a series of initiatives have been taken to revitalise the industrial sector in general and manufacturing sector in particular. To mention a few:

  1. The process of applying for Industrial License and Industrial Entrepreneur Memorandum has been made online on the e-Biz website 24*7;
  2. A vast number of Defence items have been de-licensed;
  3. The validity of Industrial license has been extended to three years;
  4. With a view to providing flexibility in working hours and increased intake of apprentices for on the job training, the Government has decided to amend a number of labour laws;
  5. An advisory  has been sent to all Departments/ State Governments to simplify and rationalize regulatory environment which includes:
  • on-line filing of all returns in a unified form;
  • no inspection without the approval of the Head of the Department, etc.

Recently the Foreign Direct Investment policy has been liberalized. 100% FDI under automatic route has been permitted in construction, operation and maintenance in specified Rail Infrastructure projects; FDI in Defence liberalized from 26% to 49%. In cases of modernization of state-of-art proposals, FDI can go up to 100%; the norms for FDI in the Construction Development sector are being eased.

The government is committed to improving the physical infrastructure. Development of dedicated freight corridors and investment in improving our ports and airports are underway. These corridors would house Industrial agglomerations along with smart cities. The private sector would be playing a significant role in these developmental works.

For the manufacturing sector to take advantage of the improved physical infrastructure, the need for having a strong human capital is recognized. Government’s effort would be to equip the working age population with the right kinds of skill so that the manufacturing sector finds them employable. One of the first decisions that the new Government has taken is to set up a separate Department of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.

Various prominent National and International industry leaders are likely to attend the programme to launch the campaign along with Ministers, senior officials, Ambassadors and opinion leaders.

PM launches “Make in India” global initiative

Make in India

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today launched the Make in India initiative with an aim to boost India`s manufacturing sector.

Addressing a gathering consisting of top global CEOs at the event in Vigyan Bhawan in the capital, the Prime Minister said “FDI” should be understood as “First Develop India” along with “Foreign Direct Investment.” He urged investors not to look at India merely as a market, but instead see it as an opportunity.

The Prime Minister said it is important for the purchasing power of the common man to increase, as this would further boost demand, and hence spur development, in addition to benefiting investors. The faster people are pulled out of poverty and brought into the middle class, the more opportunity will there be for global business, the Prime Minister said. Therefore, he said, investors from abroad need to create jobs. Cost effective manufacturing and a handsome buyer – one who has purchasing power – are both required, the Prime Minister said. More employment means more purchasing power, he added.
The Prime Minister said that India is the only country in the world which offers the unique combination of democracy, demography, and demand. He said the new Government was taking initiatives for skill development to ensure that skilled manpower was available for manufacturing. He also referred to the Digital India mission, saying this would ensure that Government processes remained in tune with corporate processes.

The Prime Minister said he had felt a mood of gloom among India`s business community in the last few years, due to lack of clarity on policy issues. He said he had heard even Indian businessmen say that they would leave India and set up business elsewhere. The Prime Minister said this hurt him, and added that no Indian business should feel a compulsion to leave the country under any circumstances. He said on the basis of the experience of the last few months, he could say that the gloom has lifted.

The Prime Minister gave the example of the new Government`s initiative on self-certification of documents, and said this was illustrative of how the new Government trusted the citizens. The Prime Minister said trust is essential for investors to feel secure. Let us begin with trust; if there is an issue, Government can intervene, he said. The Prime Minister said trust too can be a transformative force.

Shri Narendra Modi said development and growth-oriented employment is the government`s responsibility.

The Prime Minister noted that India ranks low on the “ease of doing business” and added that he has sensitized Government officials in this regard. He also emphasized the need for “effective” governance.

To the expression “Look East,” the Prime Minister added “Link West”, and said a global vision was essential. He said Mission Swachh Bharat and “waste to wealth” could lead to good revenue models for business as well. He referred to his vision of waste water management and solid waste management in 500 towns across India through public private partnership.

The Prime Minister also spoke of infrastructure of the future – including i-ways besides highways – and mentioned port led development, optical fibre networks, gas grids and water grids.

The Prime Minister also unveiled the Make in India logo, and launched the website makeinindia.com