India Asks France to Pave The Way For Railway Projects

Delhi had asked Paris to allow French investors to help execute Railway projects and cooperation for the development of safety, customer service of the high-speed train service. According to Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, the Rail Sector could benefit from French investor’s support and the French’s expertise in developing the Indo-French Rail.

 

“There are multiple areas in rail sector where we can work together and in those areas we can hope for co-operation between France and India.

“Let’s find solutions and prepare completely actionable areas supported by corporate entities and set up shops here… then we can always work together to make it happen.”

The Railway Minister’s statements is the series of efforts Delhi is doing to woo French investors and companies to remove the inhibitions that doing business with India is a great challenge. He added that once Indian companies start working on such, they would realise that doing business with India is not as difficult as it seems to be.

“Solution to every problem is possible. We can work together. But for that you must come here first. You can have seminars and go back to France then nothing will happen. You have to come here to stay and make sure we work together,” Prabhu said.

 

India On High Alert With Increased Ebola Screening at Airports

India’s Airports have tightened security after the breakout of Ebola in West Africa over the last two months with heightened surveillance and additional medical examinations included with travel history investigation.

The Indian government has screened 21,799 people but none of them have become positively infected by the disease. Meanwhile 1,200 foreign travellers have suspected Ebola cases and 485 passengers remain in quarantine in a Delhi facility.

Most of these passengers came from Ebola-infected countries, namely Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Guinea, Congo and Senegal. They have also reported symptoms of suspected Ebola including fever, fatigue sore throat, muscle ache, nausea and headache.

According to Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan “The health ministry is providing technical and material support to states for preparing health facilities with dedicated isolation wards, enabling them to provide diagnosis, treatment and care, and infection control under proper guidelines.”

The World Health Organisation had declared the Africa Ebola outbreak an international public health emergency last August, with over 8,400 infected and half of the number dead from the virus.

According to Kolkata Airport Health Officer Dr. PC Mondal, 150 passengers have been screened at the airport and they are following central government guidelines religiously, with special counters used for individuals coming from Ebola-affected countries.

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Flood Hampers Indian Rescue Effort Operations and Communications

Commanding Officer for the Indian National Disaster Response team said “the lack of communication is a major setback because the Commanding Officer could not communicate with his own team.” He said this in light of the collapse of the communication systems due to the flood, stopping rescue efforts and medical workers indefinitely.

The severe flooding in Northern India, leaving Srinagar, Kashmir with hundreds of people dead and 70% of the population completely affected by the floods.

Bharat Sancher Nigam, a telecoms service provider, said that restoring communication for India will be difficult because their equipment and power supplies are drowned in the flood. BSN Executive Director M.C. Chaube said that it will take time to restore the network as the flood needs to subside before they can assess the damage and provide restoration efforts.

The flood’s death toll is currently above 150 casualties. In Pakistan, the death toll had increased to 231. Punjab hs 156 due to heavy rains in floods. Around 2,100 villages needed to evacuate their homes, swimming in more than six feet level of water.

Militant Group Lashkar-e-Taiba had also given rescue efforts using its own boats and ambulances. Meanwhile, they accuse the Indian government for causing the flood to become more severe.

India’s social networks have flooded with missing person searches as relatives have been torn apart by the storm.

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Donald Trump Plans Investing on Mumbai

Business Giant Donald Trump plans to have “substantial investments” in the Indian property and hotel sectors in India. According to real-estate Tycoon Donald Trump, Mumbai’s realty prices are very low compared to western standards. He also trusts that Indian Prime Minister Marendra Modi’s new government will definitely boost growth and infrastructure in the country.

Trump said that “I do see India as a great place to invest, and I think the election made that even better.”

The tycoon had recently entered a licensing pact with Lodha to build a Trump Tower in Mumbai. The Trump Tower is a luxury residential tower that offers its residents indoor Jacuzzi tubs and concierge services with a quality the Trump Tower is well-known.

It will be the first Indian investment of Donald trump.

Trump Towers in South Korea, Turkey and Dubai, as well as development projects for local hotels and luxury resorts, is part of the portfolio of Trump’s Trump Organisation.

The Indian government had received Trump with a warm welcome with having a market listing of real estate investment trusts. The trusts should help developers access cheaper sources of funding, especially those taking interest in increasing the prices for India’s properties.

Despite the announcement of his agreement, Trump did not detail his other plans of investing in India.

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Indian Budget 2014: Crucial, Hopeful, Industrial

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first budget may need to focus on the industrial side of the country. Economists are seeing that industrial manufacturing for export goods and infrastructure improvement are the key factors that would help India rise up using the proposed budget.

Economists said that 15% of India’s GDP comes from manufacturing. However, the slow economic recovery is further inflamed with the rising cost of living, given that India continuously imports more than it exports. The trade gap had lowered the country’s currency value.

The new budget is expected to aid route development that will accelerate the growth of large-scale manufacturing, and making lax the foreign investment rules for Indian firms. The limit of ownership is restricting the entry of other foreign companies and investors, given that 26% is the only stake given for foreign investors.

Route development is also part of the infrastructure development that economists expect to see in the budget. Indian roads are still problematic and daily electricity interruptions make business difficult for local and foreign businesses. Modernising India will need trillions of pounds, but investor confidence could rise with this improvement.

Modi is also expected to straighten out the tax issues in the country, which had driven away many foreign investors. The new government said that it would respect existing tax laws, but it would definitely work on improving the tax laws for businesses. Many businesses complain that the taxes disallow them to optimise their operating costs due to heavy restrictions and red tape.

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Russia Agrees to India’s Nuclear Liability Law

India has paved the way to sign a contract for the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant’s Unit 3 and 4 on July. Russian officials had agreed “in principle” with the Indian government. Deputy Director General on Development and International Business of Rosatom State Corporation Kirill Komarov, said that the law had its difficult issues, but the two parties have resolved the differences, thus paving the way for India’s two reactors.

Indian and Russian officials have signed a General Framework Agreement for the two units. The agreement, which had crossed the hurdles of the Civil Liability Nuclear Damage Act 2010, faced some trouble with Moscow, who raised objection over some clauses of the CLND for Unit 3 and 4.

According to Rosatom Director General S. Kirienko, the approval of the agreement will take some time. India’s Atomic Energy Regulatory Board will need to give its approval, which it has not yet provided.

The Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant has two units. Unit one provides 1000MW of power at 100%, while the second unit will start generating its power later this year.

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The Indian Department of Atomic Energy had asked the Ministry of France to form a Nuclear Insurance Pool in case of any problems regarding the operation of the new power plants.

Novartis and Nexavar Case Should Not Be Basis to Call Indian Patent Laws as Weak

According to a Madras High Court Judge, Novartis and Nexavar’s failure to register a drug as an invention in India is not an indicator that its patent laws are weak. Many legal observers have pointed out that India’s IP laws are weak, but Judge Prabha Sridevan said that Novartis and Nexavar’s Compulsory License case had the Indian IP laws not hinder the access to drugs, nor did it restrict the presence of evidences supporting the new drug to be an invention.

Judge Sridevan had cited a few clauses from the Madras High Court hearing of the Novartis case. He said that that the Supreme Court decided that Novartis’ efforts had failed in the 3(d) test.

The test focuses on patentatbility and Novartis’ Imatinib Mesylate had possessed a free base form rather than having any enhanced traits or efficacy from the new substance. Sridevan pointed out that there was no innovation or anything “new” added to the substance, which had it fail the patenting.

Sridevan pointed out that minor tweaking of substances cannot be counted as innovation. He said that Indian law indicates that new forms of known substances which do not have enhanced efficacy are “advances without real innovation”, which invalidates it from being a genuine invention.

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Mulayam Singh Yadav Says “Boys Commit Mistakes” in Rape Law Change

According to Samjawadi Party Leader Mulayam Singh Yadav “boys are boys, they make mistakes.” He called on the Indian government to issue a change in anti-rape laws that can consider hanging exempted from the severity of punishments.

Yadav cited in an election rally a case of three men found guilty of gang-rape in the Shakti Mills in Mumbai in 2013. He said that the law could be misused by individuals. He also called for false rape reports to be given punishment.

He cited that relationships between males and females could make use of the law to punish males by accusing them of rape for their own benefit.

India is condemned by many human rights and female rights organisations because of its failure to implement anti-rape laws in its local governments. Annually, around 655,000 rape cases are reported in the country. Some go unreported as victims claim the police officers themselves commit rape upon rape victims.

The 2012 Delhi gang rape case, which had a young woman raped by six men with her sexual organ mutilated, became widely controversial. The failure of the government to implement its laws protecting women had it deal with protests.

It is estimated that a new case of rape is reported every 22 minutes in the country.

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India Needs a Centralized Legal Citation System

Thirty-two law schools in India and lawyers from the Standard Indian Legal Citation or SILC had called upon India’s legal professionals to help in developing a centralized legal citation system. According to Nalser Hyderabad 2013 Graduate Rohit Pothukuchi, India lacks a single uniform citation system. He mentioned the differences and even absences in methodology and citation systems in some Indian law universities.

In an interview, Pothukuchi explained that India cannot follow a foreign citation system because some of the codes for Indian legal sources do not exist from foreign citation systems. Foreign citation systems could also be very expensive. Pothukuchi said that some of the components of Indian sources are very specific only for the country itself.

India’s new citation system, according to the SILC, will do away with the usage of some Latin signs and symbols from foreign systems and it will only use universal symbols.

Lawyers in its group and 32 law schools who will provide their own representatives will develop the new system, which will be called the SILC Citation System. The system will be made available at this website. The group welcomes feedback from all students and professionals who will decide to use the SILC system to allow further improvements.

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America Slammed for Pressuring India’s IP Laws

The intergovernmental organization South Center, composed of different developing countries, had lashed out against America and developed countries for pressuring India over its IP laws. The organization also said that it violates the legitimacy of the World Trade Organization.

According to the South Center, the Indian IP laws ensure that the rights of people will not hinder the government’s ability to adopt measures to promote development priorities in the area of Public Health. They said that the developments was inappropriate because it is clearly against the spirit of the Landmark Ministerial Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and public health.

The pressure of developed countries will limit the use of the flexibilities in the TRIPS Agreement, which would limit the advancement of public health and other development needs for the country. According to them, it made the entire trade sanctions of the United States to developing countries as one sided.

The South Center said that the new sanctions will disrupt the balance of the multilateral dispute resolution and will not provide equal protection for the powerful and less powerful countries in the world.

They said that it is regrettable that India and other developing countries are designated as priority foreign country, which would limit its capabilities for expansion.

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