Academics have reacted strongly to the denial by the Indian government of visas to Pakistani scholar.
The Central government launched a common admission portal for foreign students to promote Indian education.
The morass we have let ourselves sink into in higher education calls for some tough love at all levels.
“Modern economic growth has little room for people with rudimentary skills and low education levels”
Source: Study International
Canada is outpacing other countries in taking post-seconday students into its higher education institutions.
PSE institutions in British Columbia would be wise to “cultivate new markets” for international student enrolment and avoid becoming overly dependent on China, according to a US-based analyst. Rahul Choudaha tells The Province that despite a recent jump in the number of Chinese international students coming to BC, this growth—and the overall growth in international student numbers—is slowing. However, India stands out as an exception to this slowdown, says Choudaha, who notes that enrolments from India grew 25% last year, outpacing the growth rate of Chinese enrolments. “Given the scale and the growth potential of India as a source of international students, Canadian institutions have an untapped potential in recruiting Indian students at the bachelor’s level,” the analyst concludes.
Representatives from five Canadian colleges and nine universities have travelled with Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne on a trade mission to India. An ON release states that the purpose of the mission is to “strengthen economic, political and cultural ties with the world’s third-largest economy.” The creation of new institutional partnerships between the two countries features as one of the highest priorities for the participating Canadian PSE institutions. Prince Edward Island Premier Wade MacLauchlan has also joined the mission, along with 12 delegates from that province.
Future Scope Education Fair 2014 is a quest to provide every student the solution and guidance towards choosing the right career. Consisting of seminars, a counsellors forum & career advisors, the fair aspires to guide students to choose the right institution and course in line with their future aspirations.
More information can be found at: http://futurescope.co.in
Source: Times of India | February 21, 2014
Guwahati: Students in Assam will soon be connected via cloud services, announced state education minister Himanta Biswa Sarma here on Thursday.
Speaking to mediapersons on the sidelines of an event to distribute Netbooks among students under a government-sponsored programme, Sarma said that the education department is also aiming at providing internet connectivity for students in all colleges across the state to keep them updated.
“We are planning to connect all the students who have got laptops and Netbooks through cloud services. Only then can the government’s initiative of providing laptops and Netbooks to students be fully effective,” said Sarma.
The state government has been awarding free Netbook computers and laptops to students who have passed matriculation with 50 per cent or more marks. He said that plans to connect students with cloud services are aimed at keeping them in constant touch with the latest developments in the education department.
“After the students are connected via cloud, we will be able to send them timely updates related to examinations and study routines and even send them study material,” the minister said. Cloud computing, which is a process of running a program or application over many computers connected by a network, will benefit thousands of matric passouts who have received laptop computers and Netbooks from the state government. Sarma said connecting the students through cloud services features in the state’s annual plan this year.
TCS Insights: The Indian government is achieving their goal of keeping Assam students connected to their studies by making portable computers accessible to an increasing number of students. Through this upgrade to the education system, students will have more access to course material and information than ever before.
Source: Times of India | February 17, 2014
But in 2013-14, the DTE had received applications from only 20,757 eligible candidates, which was the lowest since 2010 for over 45,000 seats in the state. Fearing a repeat of last year, the state government had decided to revert to its own CET this academic year. However, the response was still “not as good as it was before the CMAT”. As the last day of registrations has been extended up to Monday, officials expect the number to rise by 2,000.
“Of the 53,000 candidates, who will take the MH-CET this year, the number of eligible candidates will definitely be much more than last year’s—20,757. This year, there will be no group discussions and personal interviews, so more students might qualify. It is a hopeful trend for the students, B-schools and the industry,” said Apoorva Palkar, president of the Association of Indian Management Schools. She added that the biggest challenge for students this year is the introduction of the online MH-CET.
“The state is conducting CET only for 65% of the total seats; the rest of the seats are filled on the basis of other entrance exams, such as CAT and CMAT. Over 53,000 registrations for close to 30,000 seats are not bad,” said Dayanand Meshram, joint director of DTE.
Palkar said that in 2008, there were 15 registrations for every one seat, but now the ratio is slightly above 1:1, which is worrisome. However, she said the numbers are already on the uptick. Increase in the number of seats has also contributed to the poor ratio.
A state official said that the placement scenario is also not as good as it was two years ago. “After spending a lot of money on the course, students expect a decent placement offer,” said the official.
Source: Times of India | February 18, 2014
BANGALORE: It’s a windfall for the class of 2012-14 at the Indian Institute of Management-Bangalore. Bucking negative trends, 388 students received 425 job offers from 150 companies during the final placement season. And compared to last year, international placements offered to the students doubled, from 20 to 41. This year, the B-school saw its biggest ever postgraduate programme in management (PGP) batch.
The pre-placement offers poured aplenty with 117 students receiving offers prior to the start of the final placements, which is 20% higher than last year.
The lateral placement season for candidates with more than 22 months of work experience broke all records with 127 offers made by firms in varied domains like strategy , leadership, product management , consulting and general management . Nine candidates chose to join social ventures.
The highest number of offers, about 27%, came from the consulting sector. Accenture Management Consulting, with 13 offers, was the top recruiter in this segment this year; McKinsey and Co. and the Boston Consulting Group had 11 each.
Average hike: The average salary offered this year is Rs 19.5 lakh per annum, 13.3% more than the Rs 17.2 lakh offered in 2013
Top sectors: Consulting 27% Banking & finance 19% IT & technology 17% General management 14%
Key recruiters: Amazon, Samsung, IBM, Coca-Cola , PepsiCo, Reliance Industries Ltd and Flipkart
Foreign companies flock to IIMB: Germany-based incubator Rocket Internet hired exclusively from IIMB for the first time, offering an international role for one candidate. Another firsttime recruiter was LinkedIn.
Sankarshan Basu, chairperson of Career Development Services, IIMB, said usually final placements take place during March. This year it was advanced by three weeks. Two students opted out of the placement process, with one wanting to pursue research and the other seeking to explore opportunities with his previous employer.
There is a rise in salary package over last year. This year the average salary is Rs 19.5 lakh per annum and the median salary, Rs 17.3 lakh. Last year, they were Rs 17.2 lakh and Rs 15.5 lakh, respectively. Ankit Rustogi, students’ placement representative , said the highest salary packages were offered by general management and financial services sector.
TCS Insights: Students of IIMB found success after graduation with many graduates quickly earning job offers, including international placements. Industries that have seeked IIMB graduates include Management, IT, Consulting, Banking and Finance. With the average annual salary offered having increased from last year, graduates look to gain as much from foreign companies as these firms hope to gain from their new employees.
Source: Hindi Center
Harish Trivedi, Professor at University of Delhi, highly appreciates the fact that over last two or three decades, translation and translation studies have become a more visible, more prolific and more respectable activity than ever before.
Trivedi further links this discipline with post-colonial studies that emerged as an area of studies just a few years before translation studies and both of them have become interactive to each through a series of books in this direction, eg. Siting Translation: History, Poststructuralism and the Colonial Context (1992) by Tejaswini Niranjana, The Poetics of Imperialism: Translation and Colonization from The Tempest to Tarzan (1997) by Eric Cheyfitz, Translation and Empire: Postcolonial Theories Explained (1997) by Douglas Robinson, and Postcolonial Translation: Theory and Practice (1999), a collection of essays edited by Susan Bassnett and Harish Trivedi etc.
Before new development took place, translation remained confined to two different subjects or discipline: linguistics and comparative literature, and remained restricted to substitution of a text in one language for a text in another. But shortly after, it began to be noticed that literary texts were constituted not primarily of language but in fact of culture, language being in effect a vehicle of culture.
Trivedi recognizes that interaction of language with culture helped translation studies expand its horizons and revitalize the discipline. This helped liberate it from the completely mechanical tool of analysis available in linguistics. The words which proved intractable are often described as being culture specific. For example, words like kurta, dhoti, roti, loochi, dharma, karma, or maya etc. began to be treated as specific cultural elements very different from their corresponding western near equivalence shirt, trouser, bread, religion, deeds both past and present, or illusion respectively. Slowly not only some words were taken as culture specific but indeed the whole language became specific to the particular culture it belonged to.
Trivedi refers to Susan Bassnett and Andre Lefevere who added cultural dimension to translation studies through their title, ‘the cultural turn in translation studies’ in their book – Translation History and Culture (1990). Trivedi further explains, it was Susan Bassnett who declared death of comparative literature in wake of gaining popularity of post–colonial literature.
Trivedi is concerned with the fact that in parallel there has been growth of Culture Studies – from Eurocentric beginning to International stature- which is like translation studies is interdisciplinary in nature, but of them have failed to interact properly. Susan Bassnett did propose a four point agenda: the way in which different culture construct their images of writers and texts, a tracking of the ways in which text become cultural capital across culture boundaries, and an exploration of the politics of translation, especially of what Lawerence Venuti has called, “ethnocentric violence of translation”, and pooling of the resources.
Trivedi is disappointed with the fact that the cultural turn in translation and culture studies have not come to terms together, maybe because of the fact that translation deals at least between two languages whereas culture studies deals only in one language mainly English. Hence it remains an unfulfilled desire.
Trivedi further moves on to yet another discipline called, “Cultural Translation”. This may not be confused with old fashioned sense of translation that involves domestication of text from source to target language. This sort of cultural translation is yet to find its entry in the encyclopedia and anthologies of translation studies, and that this sort of Cultural translation is a dangerous trend that promotes monolingualism, monoculturalism and wants to convert multicultural and diversified world to a monolithic world.
Trivedi sites some examples of this postcolonial and postmodernist discourse and refers to Homi Bhabha who promotes this trend. Trivedi is critical of Bhabha who in his book, “The Location of Culture (1994)” discusses Salman Rushdie’s novel “Satanic Verses” as an example of cultural translation, inspite of the fact that this mentioned book was written originally in English and read in that language only (not in any other translation). Trivedi called it representation of postcolonial diaspora, and what Bhaba is talking is “Transnational as Translational”. Trivedi rejects this concept and suggests for use of another word in place of translation. It is not translation, it is a process of human migrancy.
Trivedi further sites examples of Hanif Kureishi, a writer born in England with one British and one Indian/Pakistani parents. He has nothing to do with immigrant population as he is by birth British, but he writes on new British immigrant’s communities because he is being paid for it. Thus Trivedi rejects Bhabha’s claim that cultural translation is the need of immigrant population, and asserts that such works are hegemonic western demand and necessity.
Trivedi further sites examples of Jhumpa Lahiri, who was born of Bengali parents in London, grew in America to become an American citizen at age of 18. She has written fiction not about Indians in America, but also some stories about Indians still living in India. She has been criticized for having reflected erroneous and defective understanding of India. She admits that her knowledge of India is limited- the same way- all translations are defective, thus her representation of India is her translation of India. She further elaborates that almost all her characters are translators, insofar as they must make sense to the foreign to survive.
Trivedi is very much worried about use of the word translation with cultural translation as it dilutes the discipline of translation studies. Therefore, he calls for use of other words like migrancy, exile or diaspora with culture to describe such phenomenon, but not the “Translation”.
Trivedi is worried over Susan Bassnett’s statement on Edwin Gentzler’s book, “Contemporary Translation Theories” where she says, “… the book is not only a critical survey but effectively also a translation, it transforms a whole range of complex theoretical material into accessible language”. Trivedi puts his concern by saying, “it is the same language English, in which such theoretical complexity and such accessibility both exist”.
Thus we notice that Trivedi ‘s concern on dilution of the word ‘translation’ with monolingual cultural interpretation of migrant population is quite genuine, and that a careful approach is needed to tackle such dilution process that aims to bury multilingualism, multiculturalism and diversity of culture in name of cultural translation.
NEW DELHI: Education is what will determine how fast India joins the ranks of leading nations of the world, President Pranab Mukherjee said here Thursday.
“I believe education is the alchemy that can bring India its next golden age,” Mukherjee said in his address at the valedictory session of the 12th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, the annual gathering of the Indian diaspora.
“The success we achieve in educating our people will determine how fast India joins the ranks of leading nations of the world,” he said.
Mukherjee said that if India has to attain a growth rate of nine percent per year, as has been envisaged during the 12th Five Year Plan period, “we must put in place enabling factors, most prominent of which is education”.
He pointed out that no Indian from India has won the Nobel Prize since C.V. Raman in 1930, and said educational institutes in the country should focus more on research and development.
“I have been urging our educational institutions to invest more in research and development and to pursue greater international linkages by establishing collaborations with foreign universities and inviting the best of faculty from across the world to come and teach in our institutions,” the president said.
He said the government has prioritized higher education and supported it with increased resources, and enrolment to higher education institutions in the country has increased from 1.39 crore in 2006-07 to 2.18 crore in 2011-12.
“India has today 659 degree-awarding institutions and 33,023 colleges,” he said.
However, despite the rise in the number of higher education institutes, India has very few institutes of global standards, Mukherjee said.
“Time has now come for us to reclaim our leadership position in the world as far as higher education is concerned. Our effort to increase ‘quantity’ must be matched with commensurate efforts to improve ‘quality’,” Mukherjee said.
He said that in a world that is facing increasing constraints on natural resources, innovation was another key area India should focus on.
“China and the US are amongst the countries at the forefront of innovation with over five lakh (500,000) patent applications filed by each country in 2011,” he said.
“In contrast to this, India filed only 42,000 patent applications, which is far behind these countries. As per an international survey, only three Indian companies are amongst the world’s 100 most innovative companies.”
He called on both the industry and higher education institutes to emphasize on research.
“We have only 119 researchers in R&D per million people, as compared to 715 in China and 468 in the US. Out of the total student strength of 71,000 in NITs, there are only 4,000 PhD students. In IITs, there are only around 3,000 PhD students in the total student strength of 60,000,” the president said.
Stating that upgrading the standards of higher education in India should be accorded top priority, he said: “Overseas Indians such as all of you gathered here can play a major role in supporting and supplementing the efforts of the government to remedy this situation.”
He said the Indian economy was more resilient than most other countries.
“I am sure you have (the) confidence in the inherent resilience of our people and the dynamism of our economy which has the ability to overcome temporary downturns,” he said.
TCS Insights: President Mukherjee believes that an increased focus on innovation by the government will improve the ability of India to rank with global leaders. Countries around the world, including Canada, have invested in research and have seen their institutions climb international standings while strengthening themselves economically. India aims to achieve similar results by raising the quality of their educational institutions to meet others around the world.
Source: The Economic Times | January 6, 2014
NEW DELHI: Indian institutions could improve their scores dramatically in Times Higher Education’s globally cited World University Rankings as the British magazine has agreed to develop and include India-specific parameters for assessment from the next time.
Confirming the development, education secretary Ashok Thakur said the human resource development ministry had asked all groupings of domestic institutions such as the IITs, National Institutes of Technology and central universities to appoint a nodal person to coordinate with Times Higher Education to develop India-specific parameters.
Domestic institutions have long argued that the rankings, which give 55% weight to research indicators and 30% to teaching environment, including 15% to the faculty, do not take into account extenuating “Indian circumstances”.
No Indian institution has yet made it to the top 100 in the rankings, in which Panjab University is the highest ranked domestic institution clubbed in the group of universities ranked 226-250.
India’s premier engineering colleges, the Indian Institutes of Technology, made it to the list last year, with the IITs from Delhi, Kanpur, Kharagpur and Roorkee all ranked in the group of institutions between 351 and 400.
The government has been concerned over the poor performance of domestic institutions in international rankings and keen to ensure that the rankings take India-specific parameters on board.
There is little clarity on what exactly constitutes “Indian circumstances” except the constitutionally mandated reservation quotas (15% for scheduled castes, 7.5% for scheduled tribes and 27% for other backward classes) and the cross-cutting quota for physically-challenged persons. But issues including intake of foreign students, foreign faculty, marketing and branding of institutions will be addressed while designing India-specific parameters for assessment.
Academics and analysts argue that it is unfair to compare India’s top institutions with American or other western institutions. Centrally-funded institutions such as the IITs, which have a national mandate, cannot admit foreign students at the undergraduate level, and restrictions on assistantships for international students make it difficult to attract foreign students at the PhD level.
None of India’s publicly-funded higher education institution can hire foreign nationals as regular faculty members since guidelines prohibit hiring of foreigners for jobs with salaries less than $25,000 a year. Moreover, even at higher salaries, international faculty can only be brought in on contract for up to five years.
The ministry had also approached the widely respected Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) Rankings to develop India-specific parameters for assessment.
TCS Insights: By using India-specific parameters, Indian educational institutions will be better able to compete with international colleges and universities when ranked together. It is difficult for publicly funded institutions in India to measure up to global competition while unable to take in foreign undergraduate students and competing for PhD students from abroad. Times Higher Education has made it possible for such institutions to compete in a manner that is better suited for them.
NEW DELHI: Access to education beyond higher secondary schooling is a mere 10% among the university-age population in India. This is the finding of a report “Intergenerational and Regional Differentials in Higher Education in India” authored by development economist, Abusaleh Shariff of the Delhi-based Centre for Research and Debates in Development Policy and Amit Sharma, research analyst of the National Council of Applied Economic Research.
The report says that a huge disparity exists — as far as access to higher education is concerned — across gender, socio-economic religious groups and geographical regions. The skew is most marked across regions. Thus, a dalit or Muslim in south India, though from the most disadvantaged among communities, would have better access to higher education than even upper caste Hindus in many other regions. Interestingly, people living in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal — designated as the north central region — and those in northeast India have the worst access to higher education. Those in southern India and in the northern region — consisting of Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Chandigarh, Haryana and Delhi — are relatively better placed in this regard.
In the age group 22-35 years, over 15% in the northern region and 13% in the southern region have access to higher education. In the north-central region, the number is just 10% for men and 6% for women whereas in the northeast, only 8% men and 4% women have access to higher education.
The report, brought out by the US-India Policy Institute in Washington, is based on data from the 64th round of NSSO survey 2007-08. It throws up quite a few other interesting facts. For instance, among communities, tribals and dalits fare worst with just 1.8% of them having any higher education. Muslims are almost as badly off, with just 2.1% able to go for further learning. Similarly, just 2% of the rural population is educated beyond higher secondary level, compared to 12% of the urban population and just 3% of women got a college education compared to 6% of men.
South India offers the best opportunities for socially inclusive access to higher education including technical education and education in English medium. For instance, the share of Hindu SC/ST in technical education in south India is about 22%, and the share of Muslims 25%. These were the lowest shares among all communities in south India. But this was higher than the share of most communities including Hindu OBCs and upper caste Hindus in most other regions. South India also has the highest proportion of higher education in the private sector at about 42%, followed by western India where it is 22%. The northeast has the least privatized higher education sector and is almost entirely dependent on government-run or aided institutions.
Not surprisingly, government institutions are the cheapest places to study at, with annual expenditures ranging from less than Rs 1,000 to around Rs 1,500, except in north and south India, where the average is above Rs 2,000. Both private and private-aided institutions are quite costly, making them difficult to access for the poor. With little regulation of the quality of education and cost differentials, the poor and deprived are often trapped in low quality education, the report points out. It adds that although free education is provided at school level, it is almost non-existent at higher levels.
The report also compares India’s low 10% access to higher education with China’s 22% enrolment and the 28% enrolment in the US. Since the early 1990s, China’s post-secondary enrolments grew from 5 million to 27 million, while India’s expanded from 5 million to just 13 million, says the report, while emphasizing that higher education has the potential to enhance productivity and economic value both at the individual and national levels.
“The government has to urgently address the geographical skew in the availability of higher education facilities in the two regions of north-east and north-central,” says Shariff. “The central region, comprising Chhattisgarh, MP, Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Odisha, too needs attention. There is so much talk about a Harvard in India. I say, give two hoots to Harvard. What we need are thousands of community colleges that can offer professional courses so that youngsters can improve their skills and become employable.”
TCS Insights: In regards to the ability to access a higher education, disparities are apparent across a various groups in India. Due to a lack of regulation, in terms of the quality of education provided, not being able to afford a private institution can lead to individuals earning a poorer education because of where they are from, in addition to factors such as religious beliefs and gender. It is thought that increased enrolment in higher education has been linked to both individual and national improvements.
Source: News Track India | January, 9, 2014
Lucknow, (ANI): Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari on Thursday said that India as a nation is facing multiple challenges and crises in terms of delivery in the higher education sector, and warned that if comprehensive correctives are not initiated, the demographic dividend would be severely compromised on the employability front in the years to come.
He said that it was lamentable to note that in spite of the higher education system turning out nearly seven lakh science and engineering graduates every year,industry surveys have shown that only 25 percent of these are employable without further training.
He said comprehensive correctives had to be applied on quality covering students, faculty and teaching, research and assessment standards while delivering an annual convocation address at the University of Lucknow.
He said that any assessment of what ails “our institutions of higher education must begin with the quality of the school leavers that seek admission in them.”
“The challenge here is to modulate the very considerable quality difference between the elite higher secondary schools in the public and private sectors on the one hand and the average or below average ones on the other, a difference that is often camouflaged by the variations in marking standards by different Boards,” he said.
Ansari said that in the 21st century, the world is increasingly moving towards a knowledge economy, where industrial trade relations are being replaced by a complex system of information exchange.
“This has shifted the focus to a nation’s abilities and resources to produce and generate new knowledge that can place it on top of the global power hierarchy. Countries are now required to match the global demand for skills with appropriate supply of human resources in order to remain competitive in the global market place,” he said.
He expressed that a disturbing phenomenon is the lack of focus on research with only one per cent of the enrolled students pursuing research in various areas.
According to data for 2009, India stood eleventh in terms of number of papers published, seventeenth in terms of the number of citations, and thirty fourth in terms of number of citations per paper.
“Our research output as global share of scientific publications was a mere 3.5 per cent compared to 21 per cent of China. The total number of patent applications filed by Indians in 2010 comprised only 0.3 per cent of the total applications filed globally. The picture is no better in social sciences and humanities. In social sciences, India is 12th in ranking with 1.18 percent of global publication share compared to China’s 3rd rank and 5.14 percent share,” Ansari said.
The vice president said that given the structure of the higher education system, the attainments of these objectives would need to be a collective effort of the central and state governments.
TCS Insights: It is said that various sectors of the Indian education system is in need of corrective actions. Ansari claims that further investments in research, similar to those seen in Canada, can make India increasingly competitive in the global knowledge economy.
Mumbai: An influx of free apps to make online learning more accessible is slowly transforming education in city colleges.
Academicians too are making efforts to bridge the gap between their technologically advanced students and traditional, blackboard learning.
Mangesh Karandikar, professor, Mumbai University’s Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, has developed a free series of an Android apps called ‘EduSanchar’, which explains communication theories in easy to read formats.
“Communication theories are often difficult to understand. But such tools make them easier. Plus, it is a great way to revise before exams,” said Samantha D’souza, a BMM student from St Andrews College, Bandra. Priyanka Ketkar, a resident of Thane, gives French lessons to students in London via video chatting. “Though class room interactions are essential, online learning is convenient,” she said.
Recently, the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT- B) tied up with EdX, a non-profit, to provide online versions of lectures held at IIT to non-IIT students. Before Edx, IIT-B had a centre for distance engineering education programme, called CDEEP.
“The lectures are very informative for students who couldn’t make it to IIT. The IITians who have missed a lecture can also listen to it online,” said Aman Chowdhery, a second year student at IIT-B. School education is not far behind. MT Educare, the parent company of Mahesh Tutorials, a coaching institute, has developed a unique e-learning tool called ‘Robomate’. “It’s a study friend for students who are shy and don’t ask doubts in class,” said Chhaya Shastri, director, MT Educare.
According to Basanti Roy, educationist and former secretary of the state board’s Mumbai division, technology and e-learning are needed to supplement education.
“The national policy is encouraging technological advancements in education. However, virtual mediums cannot replace class room interaction since it is very important for students to have peer groups and socialise,” said Roy.
TCS Insights: India is one of the largest consumers of distance education in the world. Canadian academic institutions can look to partner with Indian companies to deliver online courses across a broad range of sectors. Such courses and their assessment and training tools can be customised for corporations to enable employee recruitment and training, as well as generic courses for graduate/post graduate studies.
Pune: In a bid to get rid of random disbursement, the government is planning a selective approach in allocating research support for academic institutions. This will also ensure that resources for research are used to the best advantage.
This has been one of the mandates given to the special committee set up by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) to improve research performance of academic institutions.
The 18-member committee, headed by chairman of Centre’s Department of Biotechnology, has former heads of UGC, AICTE, and NCL. The heads of NAAC, NBA, IISc Bangalore and JNU are among other educational establishments.
“As India moves in the global knowledge economy, building awareness about critical global rankings, research evaluation and targeted and competitive research funding would be central to the country’s strategy to improve its research capacity and performance. The government has decided to constitute a committee to drive up the research performance of academic Institutions,” a MHRD notification reads.
Review of existing arrangements for funding of research, both core funding of research facilities, infrastructure and project funding in academic institutions, to identify gaps and create a framework to evaluate research and rankings are some of the key objectives the government has laid down before the committee.
TCS Insights: In a bid to eliminate random disbursement, the Indian Government is planning a selective approach in allocating research support for academic institutions. The move is also expected to ensure that resources for research are used to the best advantage.
This is a progressive move by the Indian government towards more application based research and from traditional research focused on publishing papers in journals. This approach has the potential to create opportunities for Canadian academic institutions to focus on high quality research exchange programs with Indian counterparts.
The Canadian Trade Commissioner Service’s education team has connections with a range of academic institutions in India across the areas of social science, physical science, engineering, technology, management, finance etc. and can facilitate discussions.
The economic slowdown has hit smaller management schools in India big time as campus hiring drops sharply, forcing many of them to shut shop. “Business schools are closing down due to poor quality of education, lack of right kind of faculty and dearth of proper infrastructure to run them,” said N K Dhooper Professor emeritus, IMT Centre for Distance Learning, Ghaziabad.
It’s a piquant situation for those managing or running B-schools in India. And there are over 3,500 of them. A majority of these schools had come up over the past decade or so on the back of the economic reforms that ushered in large-scale foreign direct investment into manufacturing and other sectors. These schools came up to cash in on the increasing demand for management graduates. But the demand has been sluggish in the recent past, due to the economic slowdown.
On one hand, there is a severe shortage of trained faculty, which varied industry estimates place at a high 50 per cent of the actual requirement. As a result, several of these schools are opting to fly down experienced faculty from developed markets to conduct core classes as well as short-term courses. Even some of the top-notch B-schools in the country seem to be facing this problem, albeit of a lower degree.
On the other hand, a number of B-schools have either been closed down or are facing closure due to their inability to attract sufficient numbers of students to get enrolled year after year.
While many B-schools have been closed down due to lack of basic infrastructure, a few others had to beat a retreat due to their inability to place their students with leading companies.
With the economic slowdown hitting corporate balance sheets across the board, a large number of B-schools other than the top 15-20 institutions like the IIMs are going through hard times on account of a sharp 40-50 per cent drop in campus hiring and a similar decline in the number of students opting for fresh admissions, said a recent study conducted by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Assocham).
Campus recruitments have fallen drastically. As a result, a large number of B-schools are unable to attract students. About 190 B-schools were closed down in 2012 in major cities like Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Lucknow and Dehradun, among others.
Another 165 are struggling for survival, said the study.
The number of B-school seats for MBA programs in India grew almost fourfold from 95,000 in 2006-07 to 3,60,000 in 2011-12, resulting in a five-year compounded annual growth rate of 30 per cent. A lot of B-schools have either been closed or are facing closure due to their inability to attract sufficient numbers of students to get enrolled year after year. Apart from the IIMs and a handful of other top B-schools, it will be difficult for other business schools to get 100 per cent placements in the future. This capacity was built based on the projection of a 9-10 per cent economic growth. Unfortunately, job opportunities for MBAs have not grown in the same proportion during this period, thanks to the global financial crisis and the economic slowdown that followed.
“Business schools are closing down due to poor quality of education, lack of right kind of faculty and dearth of proper infrastructure to run them. Over the years, B-schools mushroomed minus the credentials and without verifying the potential for the right kind of students,” says N K Dhooper, professor emeritus & adviser at IMT Centre for Distance Learning, Ghaziabad.
Sankaran P Raghunathan, professor of international business and dean of The National Management School, Chennai, puts it in perspective. “B-schools are no different from businesses. The supply needs to be bought by the consumers for it to survive,” he says.
According to him, B-schools think they are making MBAs and students are the consumers. Whereas in reality, education is the product here and the industry, which recruits these management graduates, is the consumer. As a result, there is a mismatch between the expectations of the industry and the actual product being offered to the market.
The Assocham study said the global uncertainty affected placement patterns at B-schools. The number of placements has been fewer and average pay packages have been flat. Apart from the IIMs and a handful of other top B-schools, it will be difficult for other business schools to get 100 per cent placements in future.
B-schools have to improve infrastructure, train their faculty, work on industry linkages, spend money on research and knowledge creation and pay their faculty well in order to attract good talent, the study pointed out.
From the student’s point of view, the way one looks at an institution has changed in the present scenario. He is looking for a 1:1 match between the fee he pays for a course and the salary he is likely to get after the degree.
As a result, B-schools that charge low fees do not attract students, who think they will end up getting a lower salary. On the other hand, institutions that charge higher fees do draw students, but there are not enough jobs that offer high salaries.
“There is a complete mismatch in expectations among the three segments – B-schools, students and the industry. The expectations of each segment simply do not match that of the other,” says Sankaran.
A part of the blame also lies with the pathetic undergraduate education system. About 67 per cent of general graduates are not employable. Having wasted four years of their prime and finding themselves unemployable, they turn to MBA programmes. “But the B-schools find it difficult to make them learn in two years, especially after wasting four years. Hence, the input itself is a problem,” Sankaran points out.
Questions have also been raised as to whether the B-schools are doing a good job of imparting education and if they are delivering it in the right format?
People who run the undergraduate institutions also end up running MBA courses. As a result, the problem persists. “We as a country have failed to groom quality teachers over the past 25 years, because the system itself runs on approvals, and not on accreditations. As a result, anyone can teach anything in India. Thus, there is an input problem, process problem and hence an output problem,” Sankaran explains.
On its part, the industry needs to join hands with the B-schools to decide on what needs to be imparted to make these management graduates employable. The faculty problem has been there for several years, and it is only going to magnify over the next 10 years. In the US, people are trained to teach; India has failed to do this. Singapore focused on this area long before and it took 25 years for that country to establish itself as a leading player in the international education market. An estimated 44 million students study outside their home countries every year and industry estimates pegs the revenue potential of this industry at $44 trillion. “As a result of the country’s failure in establishing a proper system, we are now a leading importer of this service, instead of being an exporter,” Sankaran points out.
Education can be an economic engine, not only to meet our demand but also to take it to the overseas market, as it happened in the case of the IT industry, which today accounts for seven per cent of the country’s GDP and 30 per cent of exports. It should be noted that even the IT industry suffered for the initial two decades due to lethargy on the policy front. “Let us not do that mistake on the education front. The need of the hour is to invest on creating the right system,” says Sankaran.
According to Dhooper, when there is a shortage of really competent faculty, the recruitment of the right faculty becomes even more difficult for institutions. At the same time, it becomes very difficult to retain good talent. “In fact, recruiting faculty through references is a more reliable mode of recruitment; but finding such reference is not an easy task,” he feels. As for the newfound trend of flying down overseas faculty, Dhooper says this could at the most be an interim arrangement and not the end solution. Flying down professionals may be a temporary solution or maybe an add-on flavour to teaching.
“B-schools should look for industry experts having a taste for teaching on sabbatical or on a visiting basis, besides recruiting academicians from other B-schools or universities. They can also have arrangements for exchange of faculty to supplement or complement their pool of talent” says Dhooper.
NSB’s Sankaran is not so enthusiastic about using industry experts. “Institutions recruit people with industry experience in order to overcome shortage in faculty. But these people end up sharing only anecdotes, which do not really add much value,” he says.
Technology could be an option for B-schools to focus on in order to overcome faculty crunch, feels Dhooper. “Faculty shortage can be overcome by B-schools to a great extent by using technology and internet by having bipartite arrangements to help each other, wherever they can through exchange of faculty, without loss of time and without physical presence in the class through video conferencing,“ he says.
TCS Insights: This article highlights the growing gap between the top tier and the next level of academic institutes. It also highlights how Tier 2 institutes are not able to address student expectations such as quality education delivery and employment opportunities.
This presents an interesting opportunity for Canadian colleges to tap into those students who have not been successful in getting into the top Indian institutes due to limited intake. It also represents an opportunity for students as potential recruits for quality programs in Canada.
Source: Business Standard
The speed at which China built steel capacity has left the rest of the world bewildered
Overcapacity and production more than the market can absorb at rates remunerative for suppliers have remained principal concerns for the world steel industry since the 2008-09 global financial meltdown, the members of which still keep flying. In the first quarter of this year, the world steel production at 388.696 million tonnes (mt) clocked a growth of 2.3 per cent over the corresponding period of 2012. In contrast to growing production restraints in most parts of the world, Asian steel output in the first three months of 2013 advanced on a year-on-year (y-o-y) basis by 6.4 per cent to 259.8 mt. The speed at which China built steel capacity has left the rest of the world bewildered. Once again the progress in Asia’s production so far this year is largely on account of the world’s second largest economy.
China’s production growth when steel prices remain under pressure and capacity lay off in particularly high-cost centres continues, is not endearing the steel goliath to others. The first quarter steel production in the European Union was down 5.4 per cent to 41.5 mt, while North American output slid 5.7 per cent to 29.7 mt. This led an official of consulting firm Wood Mackenzie to tell Reuters that “most of the world is in decline, but the steel industry in China isn’t disciplined in the way Europe might be”. He thinks with Chinese production remaining “persistently high,” steel prices cannot but remain under pressure leading to margin erosion for producers everywhere. The issue is why should China be courting criticism of other producing nations and still stick to growing steel production. Moreover, near-term industry outlook is not at all encouraging. An official of ArcelorMittal credits China for building a “fearsome low-cost steel industry”. At the same time, some spirited house cleaning operation notwithstanding, the Chinese industry is still left with a good amount of high cost and polluting capacity.
That China supports its steel industry and steel products exports by way of subsidies is widely known and resented. The subsidy issue comes to the fore at regular intervals as China will have scrap with countries alleging dumping of steel products by it to the detriment of local producers. What, however, should not be lost sight of is that an industry with China’s capacity is a massive provider of employment in steel mills, upstream mines, downstream value-adding enterprises and tertiary sectors. More than half the steelmakers in China are government owned. Neither Beijing nor the provincial authorities are ready to risk economic disorder and social unrest by withdrawing life-sustaining government support to steel mills. The ArcelorMittal official says, “We are mesmerised by China, but if you look at its steel industry, despite its rise, 92 per cent of steel companies are trading at a loss.” Rising cost of energy and finance is steadily robbing Chinese industry of the status of a low-cost producer. Steel mill wage bill too, is spiralling. And this is happening when world steel demand grows slowly.
In case China sustains steel production at the first quarter rate, then it will end the year with an output of 768 mt against 716.5 mt in 2012. In its short range outlook, World Steel Association says steel use in China in 2013 should rise by 3.5 per cent to 668.8 mt. This is to leave China with an exportable surplus of nearly 100 mt. A point of concern for India, which already is a net steel importer: We should also keep an eye on Japan where softening of yen has significantly improved export competitiveness of its steel. At the same time, “conditions in Europe will remain under pressure in spite of acceleration in production discipline. We, therefore, expect southern European steelmakers to increase their presence in export markets,” says an analyst with Metal Bulletin. In this context is to be seen SAIL Chairman Chandra Shekhar Verma’s observation that “Steel imports will remain a hot button issue for India as long as the world will have much surplus capacity and producers in many places will be in some desperation to export extra metal with them.”
India’s March steel production at 6.86 mt shows a y-o-y rise of 6.5 per cent. However, production rise in this year’s first quarter at 19.826 mt was 2.8 per cent more than in the corresponding period of 2012. Production rises here are due to more and more capacity coming on stream from new projects and existing mill expansion. In fact, this will remain the trend as the country targets a steel industry of the size of 180 mt to 200 mt by 2020. As we go forward, large capacities on account of SAIL, Tata Steel, Vizag Steel and others will get commissioned in close proximity. But will local demand be growing at a rate to ensure that the steel industry will not at any stage be left with much surplus capacity. To go by the observations of Tata Steel Managing Director Hemant Nerurkar and SAIL’s Verma, steel demand in an emerging economy with its focus on infrastructure development should be more than tracking the gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate. A six per cent GDP growth in 2013-14 should, therefore, translate into Indian steel use growing at double last year’s 3.3 per cent.
EMERGING PRIORITIES FOR SUSTAINABLE PARTNERSHIPS
To be organized by Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute
at the India International Centre in New Delhi
June 1, 2013
The Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute is a bi-national organization that promotes understanding between India and Canada through academic activities and exchanges. Its broad-based initiatives support the creation of bi-national links between academia, government, the business community and civil society organizations by funding research, faculty and student exchange, conferences, workshops and seminars. With a membership of 93 leading Indian and Canadian universities and research institutions, the Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute has facilitated greater collaboration between Indian and Canadian institutions in the humanities, social sciences, arts, science & technology, legal education, and management studies. The Institute, as part of its mandate, has also supported research on sustainable development and other United Nations Millennium Development Goals.
The Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute is organizing a Conference at the India International Centre, New Delhi on June 1, 2013, to present collaborative research that has been completed, or is currently being undertaken, by Indian and Canadian universities/research institutions in four focus areas.
- Energy & Environment
- Public Health
- Food Security & Sustainable Development
- Bi-lateral Trade and Investment
Emerging opportunities and strategies to address challenges in these four areas that have been identified as priority sectors by both the Indian and Canadian governments will be the themes of this Conference. One of the objectives of this Conference is to gather experts and a new cadre of researchers to discuss their contributions to higher learning while weaving academic and institutional collaborations between Canada and India. It is expected that strategic recommendations will be derived from the Conference that will contribute to sustained academic and institutional partnerships.
Call for Papers
Papers are invited from faculty, post-doctoral researchers, and doctoral students from Shastri member institutions, as well as faculty/researchers from non-member institutions to present and share work that has been completed or is currently progressing in these four areas. The papers could be the outcome of research funded by the Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute or by other agencies, universities or research institutions. We particularly encourage submissions that develop inter-disciplinary themes.
Abstract of Papers must be submitted by April 30, 2013, to Dr. Prachi Kaul, Programme Officer, Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute by email at email@example.com. Authors must indicate the focus area for which they would like their paper to be considered.
April 30, 2013: Deadline for Submission of Abstracts
May 15, 2013: Acceptance Notification
June 1, 2013: Conference
Travel and Accommodation
Economy class air-fare within India, and local accommodation in New Delhi, will be provided to out-station scholars whose papers have been selected for presentation at the Conference. Travel and accommodation arrangements/ reimbursements will be done according to the travel and accommodation policy of the Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute.
Dr. Biju Paul Abraham, IIM Calcutta, and Dr. Ravishankar Rao, Mangalore University
Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute
Calgary, AB, April 2, 2013 – “Indians and Canadians of Indian descent should be proud of India’s strong economy, particularly that it is no longer considered a poor developing country,” said Devinder Shory, MP (Calgary Northeast) in response to concerns raised by some that Canada was removing India from the list of countries under the General Preferential Tariff (GPT).
As part of Economic Action Plan 2013 the Canadian Government removed India, along with several other BRIC countries, such as Brazil, China, and Russia from the special tariff deduction list. Countries were placed on this list back in 1974 based on criteria set by the World Bank, and had lower tariffs applied to their exports in a bid to give preferential access to the Canadian market for poor developing countries. The removal from the special tariff deduction list will be effective January 1, 2015.
“Removal from the special tariff deduction list is evidence of how far India has come during this period. Its economy is growing each and every year and this growth has lifted millions of people out of poverty and into long-term prosperity.”
“The good news, said MP Shory, is that Canada and India are currently negotiating a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA). Trade between our two countries could reach $15 billion by 2015, and the agreement, once signed, will help to increase trade between our countries.”
“The removal of India from the GPT will encourage both our governments to finish trade agreement negotiations by the end 2013, which is the target set by both our governments. The goal of the negotiations is not only to eliminate or reduce tariffs and non-tariff barriers to trade, but also to increase and improve investment and expansion opportunities for businesses from both countries. Once the trade agreement is signed there will be no discernible impact from removing India from the GPT.”
Source: The Times Of India
BANGALORE: Our mushrooming higher education institutions are of little help, unless they lay emphasis on quality education, and health institutions focus on community-oriented research, especially malnutrition.
Every year, the government focuses on setting up new professional colleges. Instead, it should give importance to quality education and research, which Karnataka lacks, when compared to other progressive states.
Health institutions should concentrate on public health and community-oriented research. Many children in North Karnataka suffer from malnutrition; research on its eradication will be helpful to society. The institutions could also study ways to bring down infant mortality rate, besides focusing on nutritional aspects for a healthy society.
Research should also be taken up on tropical and sub-tropical diseases, besides water-borne illnesses, dengue and malaria. While western countries have managed to eradicate malaria, it is still prevalent in India, and we are yet to find lasting solutions to such issues.
The government should improve the quality of BSc and MSc courses, and put them on par with international standards. Scientific temper is missing, though we have many facilities and centres like the Indian Institute of Science and NAAC headquarters in Bangalore.
At KLE University, we are giving importance to community-oriented research; even the health secretary of the USA visited our centre to know more about it. Public Health Foundation had approached KLE to undertake research on public health centres, for which Manitoba University from Canada has come forward to help.
The government has also failed to come up with long-term policy. If it focuses on health education, we can think of a bright future ahead.
Chandrakant Kokate was appointed first vice-chancellor of KLE University in March 2006. He has 40 years of experience in academics, research and administration. He was also vice-chancellor of Kakatiya University and Nagarjuna University. He was a visiting scientist in Germany.
He served as president of the Pharmacy Council of India from 1998 to 2003. He held positions in All India Council for Technical Education, National Assessment and Accreditation Council, University Grants Commissions Committee for Deemed Universities, Defence Research and Development Organisation and Drugs Technical Advisory Board. He has received many national awards and citations, including the Indira Priyadarishini National Award and Best Teacher Award.
More emphasis on quality higher education. The quality of BSc and MSc courses should be on par with international standards. Research quality should be improved.
In North Karnataka, many children are suffering from malnutrition. Health research should focus on malnutrition, infant mortality and nutrition for a healthy society.
The government should focus on quality higher education instead of quantity higher education. Apart from this, quality research and long-term government policies are needed. Health institutions should give more importance to community-oriented research and also take up malnutrition.
Source: The Times of India
GURGAON: The dropout rate at primary and upper primary levels in government schools in Haryana is reportedly 1% and 2% respectively while the gross enrolment ratio has considerably improved.
The government has taken steps to ensure that basic facilities including uniform, text books and work books are available to children in the age group of 6-14 years. State education minister Geeta Bhukkal said social mobilization programmes have been started in Mewat district to encourage enrolment and ensure every child in the area goes to school. Programmes such as Jajba-e-Taleem and Dastak-e-Taleem have recently been started in the district, under which members of school management committees, NGOs and eminent citizens conducted door-to-door survey to ensure 100% enrolment of students in schools.
Another programme, ‘Pravesh Utsav’, has also been launched in all the government schools across the state for the enrolment, retention and transition of students for classes I, VI, IX and XI. The target is to bring all children in the age group of 6-18 years in the mainstream of education. The school management committees (SMCs) have been constituted in all the schools in Haryana and funds are being directly transferred to SMCs for decentralization of power and their strengthening.
Bhukkal said all private schools in the state must have certificate of registration as per RTE norms. All such schools have been asked to get themselves recognized and after the implementation of RTE Act, recognition is compulsory for all private schools.
The Haryana State Teachers Selection Board has been established for regular and timely recruitment of teachers. As many as 8,403 junior basic trained (JBT) teachers and 1,910 masters have recently been posted in schools across the state. Recruitment of 9,870 JBT teachers is under underway. Apart from this, rationalization of JBT teachers as per RTE norms has also been done for improving the quality of education as well as maintaining the right student-teacher ratio.
Source: The Economist
A pioneer in outsourcing but a laggard in the internet era, can India become a leader in mobile technology?
Information technology has been a mighty force for good in India. Its first tech revolution began 30 years ago, when a few engineers came up with the unlikely idea of doing back-office IT work for far-off Western firms. Today that outsourcing industry is a capitalist marvel. It has annual sales of $100 billion, mostly from abroad, and these export earnings have been vital in a country with a weak balance of payments. Millions of good jobs in India have been created. Young Indians have seen that globalization creates winners. India’s reputation in the world has changed, too: Bangalore’s shining IT campuses have become as famous as the Ganges and the Gandhis.
Yet India has been a comparative failure in terms of innovation over the past decade. You might have expected India’s many advantages (the English language, abundant engineers and a thriving diaspora in Silicon Valley) to pay off spectacularly on the internet. But only a few start-ups have made clever technical innovations that have been sold abroad. And at home e-commerce is in its infancy, with sales only 6% of China’s. Thanks to lousy infrastructure, useless regulation and a famously corrupt telecoms sector, the web is available to only 10% of Indians, many of them squinting at screens in cafés.
India boasts no big internet firms to compare with Chinese giants such as Alibaba, Baidu and Tencent, nor start-up stars like Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg. Instead, it has seen a succession of false dawns, from its version of the dotcom bubble in 1998-2002 to more recent hype over deal-of-the-day websites and text-based cricket updates. In 2010-11 lots of start-ups raised cash, but they have struggled since. Venture capitalists grumble that their returns have been poor. The original emerging-market tech pioneer has fallen behind in the internet era.
Catching up should be a priority for India—not least because its outsourcing champions are now reaching middle age. As the wages of India’s engineers rise, its IT industry cannot rely for ever on doing straightforward work cheaply for foreigners. The good news is that India now has a chance to lead again; the bad news is that this opportunity relies in part on Delhi’s bureaucrats not messing it up.
Optimism springs, first, from a healthy stock of young entrepreneurs (see article). Many have gained valuable experience working in America or for multinational firms. Many are battle-hardened through previous ventures that flopped, from dairy farms to bowling alleys. As in California, failure is no longer frowned upon in India. New firms such as Flipkart and Redbus are adapting Western e-commerce models to deal with India’s rickety logistics and cash-based economy. They are transforming mundane areas such as bus tickets, and opening up scores of smaller cities to modern retailing. Tens of millions of people are benefiting as a result.
The second change is the mobile internet. India’s fixed-line system may be abysmal, but cheap smartphones and fast wireless networks are rapidly spreading. India is poised to leapfrog the era of the personal computer and go straight to the mobile-internet age. Already a quarter of internet traffic is from phones, compared with a seventh worldwide. E-commerce sites are getting a surge in activity from phone-users.
But this budding revolution needs clever regulation. Outsourcing boomed in part because it avoided government: the product was exported through global networks. The mobile internet needs capital, payment systems, and wireless capacity. In all three areas the government is in the way.
The e-commerce industry appears stymied by the same restrictive rules on foreign investment that have bedevilled bricks-and-mortar retailing. Only a fifth of Indians have credit or debit cards—and using them online is a nightmare, again thanks to regulations (India could learn a lot from Africa’s use of mobile money). And India needs more and better wireless networks; some big players such as Mukesh Ambani, India’s richest man, have been tempted in, but the telecoms regime is a tangle of overcomplicated rules and graft.
India has the talent to lead in the mobile internet, as it did in outsourcing. But so long as Indians struggle to get a signal or to make payments, the revolution will be held back.
Source: The Economic Times
LONDON: India is a compelling example for the Commonwealth nations on issues of human rights and democracy, Canada’s special envoy for the 54-member grouping has said.
Describing India as a “powerful, significant and important player in the Commonwealth,” Senator Hugh Segal, Canada’s special envoy for Commonwealth renewal, said, “We believe that both on issues of human rights and democracy India is a compelling example for the rest of the Commonwealth.”
He said “India’s presence is fundamental. India’s influence around the world is increasing because of the power of its economy, remarkable exports in terms of trade and technology and skills sets. It is one of the fundamental pyramids of the Commonwealth and fundamental to its survival and success.”
“Canada has always viewed India as an important bilateral ally and we see them as partners in efforts to modernize the Commonwealth and make it as effective in people’s lives as humanly possible.
“India has been a partner of growing significance. It has invested in the Commonwealth. It has been very active on issues like Commonwealth scholarships and technical assistance.”
He said aid from India to other Commonwealth countries has been a great value and importance and “we believe that the interest India has taken for championing human rights and other issues as it relates to Sri Lanka is a very constructive force.”
“A constructive force of engagement and we respect Indian participation and contribution. We also feel India can do even more.”
Source: The Economic Times
KOLKATA: Canada is keen on investing in joint projects with India especially in tourism, agriculture, IT and education sectors.
At a meeting with a multi-sectoral gathering organised by Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) here today, a delegation of Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), which included some senators and MPs of Canadian Parliament, said the size of trade between the two countries had grown to 5.2 billion dollars last year from 1.75 billion dollars in 2010.
“By 2015, this (trade between the two countries) is expected to touch 15 billion dollars, a target set by the Canadian Prime Minister,” Russel Hiebert, MP, said.
There was immense scope of widening ties in education and agriculture sectors between India and Canada, he said.
The opportunity in education sector lay in the fact that in India 500 million people are under 25 years of age and to cope up with the added demand of quality education it needs another 1,000 universities for which the two countries could collaborate.
There was scope of partnership between the two countries in the agriculture sector as 24 per cent of pulses consumed in India are grown in Canada.
Canada, he said, would like to offer technological collaboration in the area of exploration natural gas for which India has got abundant resources.
Source: Connect – Canada in India
Representatives from Canada’s Athabasca University and the University of British Columbia and participants from across India shared perspectives on the developing field of distance learning at an India-Canada International Conference on Open and Flexible Distance Learning, from February 20-22, at the Shreemati Nathibai Damodar Thackersey (SNDT) Women’s University, Mumbai, University Grants Commission Area Studies’ Centre for Canadian Studies. Maharashtra Governor K. Sankaranarayana, and Rajesh Tope, Maharashtra’s Minister of Higher and Technical education, opened the conference which included a roundtable on Higher Education in Canada.
Source: Connect – Canada In India
Executive MBA students from Canada’s Richard Ivey School of Business (Western University) recently visited India to study business opportunities for Canadian companies. With a mission “to prepare leaders who think globally, act strategically and contribute to the communities in which they operate,” the International Business Trip to India enabled the students to gain an appreciation for what it takes to do business in India, to work with Indian managers and to compete with Indian companies. This experience enabled the participants to put into practice the themes of their third semester which include; “Crossing Borders”, “International Investments”, “Collaborative Strategies” and “Looking Ahead Globally.”
Source: Connect – Canada in India
Taking over as the new Consul General for Canada in Mumbai on March 5, Richard Bale said, “Canada has great potential for collaboration in the Indian market in the areas of education, energy, agriculture and infrastructure. I look forward to working with Canadian and Indian organizations and people to increase the linkages between our two countries.” As Head of Canada’s mission in Mumbai, Consul General Richard Bale leads the charge in promoting relations between Canada and Western India, including the states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Goa and Madhya Pradesh.
Welcoming the new appointment, Stewart Beck, High Commissioner for Canada to India, said, “Canada and India are working together towards achieving the ambitious goal of increasing bilateral trade to $15 billion by 2015. We are happy to welcome Richard to India and are confident that he will play a significant role in helping us not only to meet our objectives but to surpass them.”
Source: Connect – Canada In India
Two Canadian satellites were launched on board Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) PSLV-C20 rocket from the spaceport at Sriharikota, India, on February 24. The Canadian Space Agency’s (CSA) NEOSSat is the world’s first experimental microsatellite designed to detect and track space objects, debris and satellites, and, Canada’s Department of National Defence satellite Sapphire is Canada’s first dedicated operational military satellite. Team Connect spoke with CSA on their latest satellite and the cooperation with India, check it out!
Source: BBC News via Indian Economic Business News
With 689 movie theatres in 52 countries, the large-screen cinema operator Imax has emerged as a truly global player in the world of films. The Canadian company has yet to conquer India, home to the world’s second largest film industry after Hollywood. More than a decade after first entering India, there are still just four Imax theatres in India. And even as the company guns for growth, their number is expected to barely hit double digits by the end of this year. Mr Gelfond said it is difficult to compete in a country with as strong a cinema culture as India’s In India, Bollywood films that are often low-budget are shown all over the country, often in small, local cinemas where tickets cost $2-3. This makes it much harder to sell an altogether different entertainment proposition that costs five times as much or more, he says. Imax’s latest India strategy is much more comprehensive than its previous ones. At its core is a partnership with Bollywood production company Yash Raj Films Studios to shoot Dhoom 3 in the Imax format, in an effort to build on the success of blockbusters Dhoom and Dhoom 2.
Source: Press Trust of India via Indian Economic Business News
Canada-based International Development Research Centre has chosen India for its research in agriculture and allied areas as the quality of research and science in the country is very high, a top official of the agency said. “The quality of research and science in India is very high and that is why IDRC has chosen the country for its research in agriculture, water and climate change, besides waste management,” IDRC President David M Malone said. IDRC is spending nearly USD 260 million on various countries for research in agriculture and health sector, he said, adding India is being given USD 30 million for research projects, mainly in the agriculture sector, through Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU). On the ongoing projects in TNAU, Malone said IDRC is funding two projects: one on ‘enhancing preservation of fruits in South India, under Canadian International Food Security Research Funds programme, which involves University of Guelph, Canada, TNAU and International Technology Institute, Sri Lanka and an NGO, MYRADA, with an outlay of Rs 4.99 crore. Another Rs 1.47 crore project is on ‘revalorising small millets: enhancing the food and nutritional security of women and children in rain-fed regions of South Asia using underutilised species, he said.
Source: Networks of Centres of Excellence of Canada via Indian Economic Business News
Communities in Canada and India will be the first to try out new technologies related to water quality, infrastructure and public health, owing to the new India-Canada Centre for Innovative Multidisciplinary Partnerships to Accelerate Community Transformation and Sustainability (IC-IMPACTS). The centre was announced in November as the winner of the Canada-India Research Centre of Excellence competition, an NCE initiative introduced in the 2011 federal budget. “Canada needs to be connected to an international supply of ideas, research, talent and technologies in order to prosper in an increasingly competitive global environment,” said Prime Minister Stephen Harper in announcing the competition results. “This new Canada-India Research Centre of Excellence will build stronger bilateral research ties and create valuable learning opportunities while generating positive economic and social benefits for both countries.” Major Canadian and Indian universities, as well as various private and public sector partners in Canada and India, will pool their expertise in IC- IMPACTS’ efforts to develop and implement better ways of providing safe drinking water, building sustainable and affordable infrastructure, and preventing and treating diseases in the two countries.
Source: Quebec Ministry of International Relations via Indian Economic Business News
Jean-François Lisée, Minister of International Relations, La Francophonie and External Trade, and Élaine Zakaïb, Minister for Industrial Policy and the Banque de développement économique du Québec, are enthusiastic about the potential for expanding economic, political, educational and cultural relations with the emerging Asian giant. They led a delegation of representatives of about 15 Québec companies and institutions. In Delhi, Jean- François Lisée met with Shashi Tharoor, former United Nations Under-Secretary General for Communications and Public Information and current Indian Minister of State for Human Resource Development, with a view to expanding collaboration and discussing the numerous existing agreements between Québec and India in the field of higher education. He also met with Valayar Ravi, Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs, who confirmed that the Québec-India social security agreement currently on the drawing board may be ready for signing this coming spring. In Mumbai, Bhopal and Delhi, the Québec participants met with national and regional players involved in the deployment of various segments of this ambitious project. All told, the Québec representatives took part in over 50 bilateral business meetings. In Gujarat, Minister Zakaïb toured the facilities of the Indian Farmers Fertiliser Co-operative Limited (IFFCO), one of the world’s leading agricultural co-ops. Élaine Zakaïb also met with IFFCO executives at the organization’s headquarters in Delhi.
Source: PTI via Indian Economic Business News
Haryana has offered the services of doctors, drivers and trained manpower to Manitoba province of Canada. The offer was made by Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda during his meeting with Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger and members of his delegation, who called on him recently. Mr. Hooda said drivers of Haryana are well known for their skill and enterprise. Haryana has three government-run Driving Schools in Kaithal, Bahadurgarh and Rohtak. He said Indian doctors are also doing well in the US, the UK and other countries and asked the Canadian authorities to provide their syllabus to fill in the gap and train them as per Canadian requirements. Indian doctors going to Canada will not have to undertake further studies in Canada and it will thus save them a number of years. Hooda said Haryana being an educational hub also has a number of prestigious technical institutions, which are providing skilled training to youth. Their skills can further be upgraded as per the syllabus of Manitoba.
Source: Asia Pacific Business & Technology Report via Indian Economic Business News
Visiting Premier of Canada’s Manitoba Province, Greg Selinger congratulated Manitoban firms for growing their business with India, and welcomed a major Indian firm that has established its Canadian headquarters in provincial capital Winnipeg. “India is one of the world’s fastest growing economies and with our strong cultural and business connections, there’s huge potential for greater trade between our economies,” said Selinger, Manitoba’s 21st premier. “Homegrown companies like Westeel and MTM are thriving and sharing Manitoban expertise with India, helping store their grains and foods, and power their homes and businesses. And Indian firms like Riya Travel are taking advantage of opportunities in Manitoba,” he added. Westeel, a leader in the commercial storage industry, announced it will open an office in Mumbai to share its expertise in agricultural storage to help Indian producers preserve more of their harvest and better protect India’s food supply. Micro Tool and Machine Ltd. (MTM) of Winnipeg and Kirpekar Engineering of Pune announced the creation of a joint venture company, MTM-Kirpekar, to design and manufacture advanced transformer production equipment for the Indian market. Riya Travel, one of India’s largest travel companies, also announced the official opening of its Canadian headquarters in Winnipeg to grow its Canadian operations.
Source: Press Trust of India via Indian Economic Business News
Prime Minister’s key economic advisor C Rangarajan hoped that inflation will come down to 6.5% by end-March and suggested that steps should be taken to release more food stocks to ease price pressure. The wholesale price index-based (WPI) inflation eased to 6.62% in January, from 7.18% in December, 2012, as per official data. “The decline in inflation is a welcome and reassuring sign. I expect March end inflation to be 6.5%,” said Dr. Rangarajan, the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC) Chairman, adding that January inflation has moderated more than expected. This is the fourth straight month of decline in the WPI numbers. Retail inflation, however, remained in double digits at 10.79% in January mainly on account of higher prices of vegetables, edible oil, cereals and protein-based items. Dr. Rangarajan said with the moderation in manufacture or core inflation in January, there was a need to focus on supply side easing of food articles. Inflation in manufactured items category witnessed a decline and stood at 4.81% in January, from 5.04% in the previous month.
Source: Press Trust of India via Indian Economic Business News
Economic growth may improve to 6.1 per cent in the next financial year, from the decade low of 5 per cent in 2012-13, on the back of reform measures announced after mid-September 2012, India Ratings said today. The rating agency also expects aggregate State governments’ fiscal deficit to go up to 2.4 per cent against the budget estimate of 2.1 per cent. India Ratings expects slippage in aggregate fiscal deficit of states to be 0.3 per cent of the gross domestic product, from the budgeted fiscal deficit of 2.1 per cent in 2012-13. Unlike, the earlier episode of fiscal slippage in 2008-09, the slippage in the current year is expected to be low due to absence of adverse shock of salary revision. The agency noted that both global and domestic headwinds pulled down India’s economy growth to 6.2 per cent in 2011-12. Industrial growth performance in the next fiscal is expected to improve to 4.4 per cent from 3.1 per cent in the current fiscal. The Central government tax collection in the next financial year would rise due to higher projected growth in 2013-14 leading to increased growth in current transfer to states, it said.
By Goldy Hyder
Canadian business and political leaders are at last waking up to the importance of India. But they need to be aware that Indian attitudes toward Canada are changing too.
The Harper government has committed itself to an important goal: to complete negotiations on a free trade agreement with India by the end of 2013. Given the scope and complexity of the proposed agreement, which could include provisions related to federal and subfederal procurements, it is an ambitious and aggressive undertaking — yet it is absolutely vital to Canada’s continued economic prosperity. By the government’s own estimates, a comprehensive economic partnership agreement with India has the potential to triple bilateral trade from $5 billion to $15 billion as soon as 2015. If the full potential of the agreement is achieved, some observers contend, Canada’s GDP could in-crease by $6 billion, creating as many as 40,000 new jobs. At a minimum, a trade deal would provide Canadian business-es with a massive competitive advantage: preferential access to more than 1.2 billion consumers.
Curiously, despite ample evidence and intertwined national histories, Canadians have been among the last to fully acknowledge and join the West in a renewed interest in India. Western interest in India had lapsed after centuries of cultivating trading ties with the Indian subcontinent (after all, European settlement of North America was an unexpected outcome of Christopher Columbus’ expedition to find a better route to Asia). Canada’s bilateral relationship with India has languished due to a number of factors, including what some might describe as benign neglect.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper does not appear to need convincing that this trend must be reversed. In his recent speech to the World Economic Forum in New Delhi, the Prime Minister correctly noted that India is “a place where globally important decisions are increasingly being made.” But Canadian awareness of the shifting economic opportunities must also be matched with an evolution in attitudes toward India.
Fairly or unfairly, many in India still perceive Canada’s attitude as having colonial undertones, that there is an implied sense that “we are here to help.” Although India clearly has issues with income inequality and poverty, the perception of paternalism undermines our ability to foster stronger ties with Indian business.
Canada and India both have long legacies as nations of traders. But because so much of Canada’s trade has been with Europe and the United States, we have not developed the adaptability in our business culture that will be necessary for us to excel in the new markets that are so crucial to future growth. Despite being a diverse and tolerant multi-cultural society at home, we are often rigid and inflexible when it comes to our business dealings abroad.
I have often heard international clients and business contacts praise individual Canadian business people for being far more respectful of cultural differences than their American and European counterparts. And yet there is an overall sense among Indian businesses that Canadian companies try too hard to impose their own way of doing business when abroad. It is absolutely crucial that we bridge this gap without, of course, compromising core Canadian values.
Equally damaging is the perception that all levels of Canadian government and many companies lack the essential commitment to the long haul when it comes to building business relationships in India. There is a troubling view that we are there for the weekend or, worse, that we only visit India when we are “in the neighbourhood” having real negotiations with the Chinese. (Just think how we feel when international visitors tack on a token visit to Canada after travel-ling to the United States.)
I cannot stress enough how much India’s attitudes toward Canada and the West have changed in recent years. Indians are properly taking immense pride in the explosion of new opportunities in their country, and they are understandably demanding that they be treated as the peers and equals they clearly are. A failure to recognize and respect these changes will jeopardize our ability to seize the opportunities.
I have had an inside perspective on the evolution of Canada’s relationship with India. My family and I frequently travel back to India, and for many years we were often asked by friends and family about opportunities in Canada. During recent visits, however, those inquiries have been replaced by questions about when we will be moving back to India. The old adage “go West, young man” has been replaced with a steady chorus of “go East.”
There are encouraging signs that Canadian governments and business leaders are addressing our perceived shortcomings. Since 2006, there have been 24 visits by Canadian cabinet ministers to India, and the Prime Minister visited in 2009 and 2012. Moreover, we now have a High Com-missioner to India, Stewart Beck, who comes from the international trade side of the Department of Foreign Affairs, suggesting there is more of a focus on the business side of the relationship. Over 500 Canadian companies now have sustained operations and investments in India, and several hundred more are developing plans to do so. The Canada-India CEO Forum, led by Hari Bhartia and Tom Jenkins, has been established as a vehicle to promote and establish in-creased trade and investment ties between our two countries.
These steps reflect the type of dedicated, focused and sustained effort that Canada needs to undertake if it is serious about building stronger ties with India. But there is still more we can and must do if we are to succeed. We are only one of many suitors seeking to woo (and wow) Indians. And given the relative size of our population and economy, we are one of the smaller suitors seeking to rekindle a relationship.
The 2011 Indian census reveals there are 46 cities in India that have populations greater than 1 million people, not including urban agglomerations or “greater areas.” Canada has 3 cities of this size. More than 1 million Canadians of Indian origin live in Canada — effectively 3 percent of our population. By contrast, Canada’s total population is less than 3 percent of India’s.
Canada is therefore in fierce competition for India’s attention with much larger countries, including most of the major European economies as well as the United States. Overcoming that size disadvantage requires finding ways to emphasize other strengths. Australia, a country of a size comparable to Canada, has a strategic advantage due to its geographic proximity to Asia. Canada has advantages too, but to date we have not been able to effectively leverage them. One group that could lead the way is Canadians of Indian origin, who have not linked back effectively to the community in India. It is a strategic advantage that Canada must leverage better.
It is often said that where you stand on a given issue will depend on where you sit — so it is perhaps not surprising that I, the president of a large public relations consultancy, see the problem in the context of brand management. As odd as it might sound, in India Canada’s “brand” is not one of the most recognized. Conceptually, therefore, we need to base our efforts in the Indian — and wider Asian — markets on a strategy to enhance and improve “Brand Canada.”
As with any branding exercise, the key to a successful campaign is identifying and isolating your core strengths and communicating them effectively to your target audience. It is not so much an exercise in conveying how we see ourselves and want the world to see us, as it is one of highlighting those aspects of our country that are most attractive to those we want to attract. To that end, we need to better understand our target audience.
A 2012 Ipsos Reid report on the effectiveness of efforts to increase the number of international students attending Canadian colleges and universities found that Canada was not a “top-of-mind destination” for prospective students in India or China. The report stated, in part, that Canada’s work in this area was insufficiently detailed when it came to highlighting Canada’s advantages relative to those of the United States and the United Kingdom.
The report recommended that future marketing and advertising campaigns should more clearly articulate factors such as the quality of our educational institutions, our liberal immigration policies, our strong and distinct culture, as well as Canada’s record of innovation and research. More specifically, it recommended the development of a “clear national brand” — something that both the United States and the United Kingdom already have and exploit.
Given the undisputable links between higher education and economic growth, the broader lesson here is that promoting Canada’s cultural distinctiveness is crucial to strengthening our global brand. Foreign Minister John Baird has spoken passionately and persuasively about the need to promote Canadian values of freedom, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law as part of our efforts to promote Canada’s economic interests.
In contrast to some of the other large and emerging economies in Asia, India shares Canada’s strong commitment to all four of these core values. We also share similar banking and legal regimes, as well as other legacies of the former British Empire. We have a vested economic interest in highlighting the elements we share with India as well as what differentiates us from the other Western countries vying for its attention.
Prime Minister Harper has compared the Canada-India trade reationship to the plot of a Bollywood movie, in which the hero competes for the beautiful heroine in a crowded field of suitors. It is clear who the love interest is in the relationship. The question is whether Canada can present itself as being attractive enough to win the girl, in a world full of suitors.
Source: Connect – Canada in India
During his January 7-12 visit to India, Jason Kenney, Canada’s Minister for Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, visited several cities and participated in Pravasi Bharatiya Divas and Vibrant Gujarat.
By Sparsh Sharma
A group of 19 MBA students from Université Laval – located in Québec City in Canada, a city recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site – were on a study tour to India. This is the fourth time in five years that a team from the university came to India. Given their success in the previous years, the university decided to come back again this year.
The students travelled to different cities in India mainly to meet companies and promote their products and services and perfect their knowledge of India. The Canadian students represented 19 different companies in varied sectors like education, foods, manufacturing, IT, entertainment, beverages, etc.
Geneviève Marcotte, coordinator of the tour and a participant, answers some questions about the group’s visit:
How would the knowledge be useful to the group and the companies they represent?
GM: This experience is something that no classroom can teach you; after doing in-depth research before coming here and then meeting with your contacts on the field makes us realise the fruit of our labour, which is most certainly rewarding.
I believe that all students should take part in a trade mission like ours, as the experience shows you how small the world really is, and how accessible international markets are. International trade is important to both Canada and India. All the resources offered, in Canada and on the field here in India, were extremely useful for my future career of working in international business development as they were for all students involved in the study tour.
What was the methodology behind the study tour?
GM: Université Laval acts as a non-profit organisation that offers Canadian companies the opportunity to develop their international market. Our team is young, dynamic and benefits from accumulated knowledge of our 16 years of existence. Over 400 companies such as Bombardier, Maison Simons, Philips Lumec, etc. have already used our services. Our agents not only receive training from field experts but also work year-long to perfect their knowledge about the country abroad, its culture, economy, politics and language(s). Before getting into a trade mission like this, they do a market study to be sure about the best way to penetrate that particular market. It is a good opportunity for companies that desire to penetrate new markets and obtain professional, personalised service at an exceptionally competitive price. The University of Laval Commercial Missions is here to facilitate a period of transition to these new markets. From market potential evaluation to importation and exportation logistics, possible entry modes, technical representation as well as searching for distributors and clients, development agents, or the MBA students this time, worked three weeks in India to reach all goals of Canadian enterprise. Companies wanting to participate in our trade missions pay an amount which covers only cost for mission such as hotel, per diem and transport.
Would the products be marketed focusing on the Indian market?
GM: I think the business opportunity in India is immense but foreign companies must be very careful while entering this market. Though marketing is an important process in selling most products, the cultural challenges and political barriers are numerous. Obtaining permits can take long, finding the right distributor can be difficult and finding the right logistic strategy to make it all work is the key. Marketing will come once you have everything else in place, and if you have done all other things correctly, the publicity and advertisement will find results by itself with minimal effort.
Did your group’s impression about India change?
GM: It’s my second time in India and every time I discover a wonderful country with people wanting to learn more about us and teach a lot about their culture. It’s amazing. We thought India is a misinterpreted country: the advances that have been made, the technology available is impressive and the stereotype of ‘poor India’ is misleading. Businesses, especially small and medium enterprises (SMEs) all across the country, offer a wide range of high-quality products and services, and I think many people confuse lower production prices to lower quality. When you look at a giant like Tata, and all of the industries they are able to thrive in, it gives you a great example of the wide range of available knowledge, and its influence on the global scale.
Nader Daher: “India is a very sense-awakening place. Doing business here is a full human experience.”
Jonathan Bouvrette: “India brings a model of cooperation through open-mindedness”
Simon Lemay-Roux: “India is an incredible experience – business-wise as well as personally.”
Marie-Pier Michaud: “Canada and India are so different that every aspect of India becomes so impressive.”
Source: Business Standard via Indian Economic Business News
India remains an attractive investment destination, even as taxation uncertainties pose a challenge, according to global consultancy Deloitte. “While India continues to be an attractive investment destination, the dynamic Indian tax framework creates some apprehensions in the investors’ perception about the approach on the tax issues related to transactions in India,” said a survey of investors, spread across various segments, conducted by Deloitte. “Around 63 per cent of those questioned consider Singapore to be a favourable jurisdiction for investments into India,” said the survey, adding 53 per cent consider uncertainties in the tax position as a significant challenge for doing business in India. Also, about 80 per cent of the participants indicated there should be rationalisation in India’s corporate tax rates in the range of 20 to 30 per cent. The survey suggested there was a need for a robust tax policy and an equally strong tax litigation process or an effective dispute resolution mechanism, to reinforce a stronger faith from multinational investors. It said investors believe India had an effective tax credit mechanism, which helped in reducing the overall tax burden, though there was room for improvement.
Source: Government of British Columbia via Indian Economic Business News
Business leaders from India and British Columbia will meet to discuss investment opportunities at the BC-India Global Business Forum on Tuesday, March 12, 2013, at the Vancouver Trade and Convention Centre. The opening and expansion of markets for British Columbia’s goods and services, particularly in Asia, and the attraction of investment to grow B.C.’s priority sectors is a key pillar of the BC Jobs Plan. India is identified in the BC Jobs Plan as a priority market. The B.C. government has been spearheading India market outreach efforts to seek new export and investment opportunities for B.C. businesses, and to create greater awareness of B.C.’s advantages as a trading partner. The BC-India Global Business Forum is a key part of B.C.’s longer-term economic and trade strategy with India. It will profile key sectors that are of mutual priority for both the B.C. and Indian markets. The forum will include sector-specific discussions and presentations, as well as networking sessions to facilitate business opportunities and business matching.
Source: Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce via Indian Economic Business News
The Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce (ICCC) led a multi-city, multi-sector trade mission to India from January 2-17. 2013. The 117 member delegation representing various sectors such as trade, banking, construction, food security, education, energy security and infrastructure visited Mumbai, Bangalore, Kochi, Ahmedabad and Delhi. The delegates also participated in the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, and in Ahmedabad-Gandhinagar in Vibrant Gujarat. The Mayors of both Markham and Brampton also joined the mission and led large delegations from their cities.
Source: Daily News and Analysis via Indian Economic Business News
Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper, has lauded the entrepreneurial spirit of Gujarat and said that the state is playing an important role in strengthening Canada-India relations. In a letter to Chief Minister Narendra Modi, the Canadian PM said that Gujarat, one of India’s most dynamic and industrious states, is world-renowned for its entrepreneurial spirit. “The state is an important partner for Canada thanks to its strategic location, strong economic credentials, and multilingual skilled workforce,” Harper said in the letter. Canada is one of the partners of Vibrant Gujarat Summit 2013,. Describing Vibrant Gujarat Summit as an international platform which provides a wonderful opportunity to foster new commercial relationships and enhance people-to-people ties, Harper said that Canada recently opened a trade office in Ahmedabad to facilitate new business and trade opportunities for Canada and the Gujarati community.“I would like to thank the Chief Minister Narendra Modi and Gujarat government for their contributions to strengthening Canada-India relations,” the Canadian Prime Minister added.
Source: High Commission of Canada, New Delhi via Indian Economic Business News
As a partner country, Canada had significant presence at the 2013 Vibrant Gujarat Global Business Summit (VG2013), from January 11 to 13, in Gandhinagar, Gujarat. With precursor events starting on January 8, VG2013 brought together business leaders, investors, corporations, industry experts, policy and opinion makers and over 500 exhibitors with over 40,000 visitors attending from India and more than 100 countries. Highlights of Canada’s presence at VG2013 included: Canada Country seminar on January 11; Canada-Gujarat Trade and Investment Opportunities seminar on January 12; Canada Business Partnering Forum (match-making event); Canada Pavilion with provincial representations at the Trade Show and an Education Pavilion at the Trade Show Delegates also participated in the International Conference for Academic Institutions on January 9 and 10, the Innovation Convention on January 9 and the Technology Convention on January 10.
Source: Economic Times via Indian Economic Business News
Implementation of the free-trade agreement between India and EU will help in creating lakhs of jobs besides boosting two-way trade, a London-based non-profit organisation has said. Indo-European Business Forum (IEBF), a non-government organisation involved in promoting trade between the two sides, said that both the regions are facing problems related with unemployment. “When the free trade pact will come into force, it will help in creation of lakhs of jobs both in India and in the European Union (EU) nations,” IEBF’s India Head Sunil Kumar Gupta said. India and the 27-nation EU are negotiating the free trade agreement, officially dubbed as Bilateral Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA), since June 2007 and are aiming to conclude negotiations soon.”The FTA would certainly help in creating more employment opportunities. The increase of business and growth of economies would result in creation of more jobs and uplift the standard of living in the EU and India,” Gupta added. The BTIA seeks to liberalise trade in goods and services.
Source: Press Trust of India via Indian Economic Business News
Striking a positive note, Godrej and Boyce Manufacturing Company CMD Jamshyd N Godrej recently said the economy should be in a better position next year. “It is difficult to say (when the economy will recover). I think next year should be better,” he said. “The government is talking about six to seven per cent growth rate.” It was difficult to forecast the kind of growth, but if the government puts right policies in place, things would change for better, he said. Showing persistent sluggishness, India’s economy grew by 5.5 per cent in the April-June quarter, mainly on account of poor performance of manufacturing, mining and farm sectors. The gross domestic product had expanded by 8 per cent in the April-June quarter of 2011-12. Besides, the economic growth in the January-March quarter last fiscal was at nine-year low of 5.3 per cent.
Source: Press Trust of India via Indian Economic Business News
India’s economy could expand by around 6 per cent in 2013, World Bank Chief Economist Kaushik Basu said, attributing the current slowdown to global factors. Amid global slowdown impacting India, the government had lowered the country’s economic growth for the 2012-13 fiscal to 5.7-5.9 per cent from its earlier projection of 7.6 per cent. The GDP had expanded by 6.5 per cent in 2011-12, which was nine-year low. On India’s current account deficit (CAD) which widened to record 5.4 per cent of GDP in the July-September quarter, Mr. Basu said that though it is a cause of worry, there are market factors which will come into play to stabilise it. “India has proper floating exchange rate, it (CAD) is not as worrying because there are automatic market stabiliser which will begin to kick in,” he said. The CAD, which represents the difference between exports and imports after considering cash remittances and payment, was $18.9 billion in the same period of a year ago and $16.4 billion in the first quarter (April-June).