India to bring together 8-10 WTO countries to work on future trade agenda

Source: Business Standard, Jun 11, 2018

New Delhi: India is considering to bring together a group of 8-10 member countries of the WTO to prepare an agenda for creation of a conducive atmosphere in Geneva to ensure smooth functioning of the global trade body, a top government official said.

It would be an informal group within the World Trade Organisation (WTO), which may also include countries like Brazil, China, South Africa, China, Indonesia and Columbia.

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Import of medical devices from US on the rise

Source: Business Standard, Jun 11, 2018

New Delhi: Even as medical device makers in America allege the regulatory environment in India has hindered the growth of their export, the data suggests otherwise. From Rs 61.5 billion in 2014-15, import of medical devices from the US was Rs 74.2 bn in 2017-18.

India imports around 80 per cent of its medical devices’ requirement and a fourth of that comes from the US. The overall medical devices market in India is estimated to be Rs 640 bn.

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8 states, 4 UTs sign MoUs with health ministry to implement Ayushman Bharat

Source: Business Standard, Jun 09, 2018

New Delhi: Eight states and four Union Terrorities have signed MoUs with the Union Health Ministry to implement the government’s ambitious national health protection mission, which aims to provide a cover of Rs 500,000 per family annually to 100 million vulnerable families, an official said today.

Four states – Delhi, Odisha, Punjab and West Bengal – have not yet given any positive response towards adopting the programme, the health ministry official said.

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Govt counters UN report on fall in FDI, claims it rose to $61.96 bn in FY18

Source: Business Standard, Jun 09, 2018

New Delhi: Two days after a report by the United Nations Conference On Trade and Development (UNCTAD) showed that foreign direct investments into India fell by $4.5 billion in 2017, the government on Friday pointed to latest statistics to say that FDI has actually risen.

Addressing the media on four years of the Modi government, Ramesh Abhishek, Secretary at the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) pointed out that FDI rose to $61.96 billion in 2017-18 from $60.08 billion the year before. FDI in the first four years of the Narendra Modi government rose to $222.75 billion from $152 billion in the previous four years, Abhishek added.

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GST, infrastructure status drive PE investments in warehousing

Source: The Economic Times, Jun 11, 2018

Government initiatives such as Make in India, implementation of the Goods & Services Tax and infrastructure status for the logistics sector have been pushing both demand for and investment in warehousing and industrial real estate across the country.

The infrastructure status to the logistics sector that includes industrial parks, cold chains and warehousing facilities has been helping in attracting private investments in these sectors.

While investors eyed opportunities in this sector in anticipation of the reforms to be implemented by the government, the flow of investment has gained further momentum now.

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National Skill Development Corporation gets international recognition

Source: The Economic Times, Jun 11, 2018

Ministry of skill development and entrepreneurship’s training institute National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) that trains youngsters in almost all districts of India to make them employable, has been endorsed by the Indian National Commission for Cooperation with UNESCO as a member of the UNEVOC network.

The UNESCO-UNEVOC International Centre is one of seven UNESCO institutes working in education located at the United Nations Campus in Bonn in Germany. The organisation has been scouting for organisations that it can work with for the last few years. It finally zeroed in on NSDC and gave it full endorsement last week, official sources said.

UNESCO-UNEVOC works towards developing and strengthening technical and vocational training and undertakes its activities through a global network of institutions imparting skill education with a mandate to provide sustainable education.

This endorsement, said top government officials, will increase the engagement with Indian authorities and international experts to bring best ideas and technology related to skilling in India.

Manish Kumar, MD & CEO, NSDC, said the endorsement “showed there are lessons for the world to learn from our skilling programme that gives a lot of attention to jobs needs at the grassroots. The endorsement gives us the confidence that we are on the right track. It is a startup ministry but it is being recognised by international influential players, which is a validation in itself.”

“It is a recognition of the knowledge capacity we have built that can be studied and customised depending on whichever the country adopts it,” Kumar said.

There are 27 sectors in which NSDC skills youngsters, of which those related to manufacturing, service sector and technology are popular at the grassroots. Apart from this, a representative from Germany will also be stationed at NSDC in New Delhi from this year to look at “the best possible ways to customise the best of German skill training model in the Indian ecosystem,” Kumar said.

Sri Sri Ravishankar’s FMCG brand lines up a Rs 200-crore ad blitz to compete with Patanjali

Source:, June 08, 2018

NEW DELHI: As Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s FMCG brand Sri Sri Tattva tries to play catch-up with Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali, it plans to ramp up its marketing spend, earmarking about Rs 200 crore for advertising and promotion, said media buyers.

The new entrant in the field of ayurveda and herbal products will spend this amount on mass media advertising, outdoor campaigns and below-the-line marketing across the country to support its expansion plan of opening 1,000 stores in the country.

The Bengaluru-based firm was among the largest advertisers in the FMCG category during the recently concluded India Premier League (IPL), spending Rs 10 crore on television advertising. Read the rest of this entry »