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India, Australia ink 5 pacts as President Kovind meets PM Morrison

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President Kovind

Melbourne | India and Australia signed five agreements on Thursday to boost investments and enhance cooperation in key sectors like disability, agricultural research and education as President Ram Nath Kovind met Australian Prime minister Scott Morrison in Sydney.

Kovind, the first-ever Indian head of state to visit Australia, arrived in Sydney on Wednesday on the second leg of his two nation trip.

External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said that during the state visit of President Kovind to Australia, five agreements were exchanged in the presence of Marise Payne, Foreign Minister of Australia and Anantkumar Hegde, Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, by High Commissioners of both countries.

The first agreement was for cooperation in the area of disability and to deliver services to the differently-abled. The second one was between Invest India and Austrade to facilitate bilateral investment.

The third agreement was signed between the Central Mine Planning and Design Institute, Ranchi, and the Commonwealth Scientific and Research Organisation, Canberra, to foster scientific collaboration and innovation.

The fourth one between the Acharya N G Ranga Agricultural University, Guntur, and the University of Western Australia, Perth, for cooperation in agricultural research and education while the last one was between the Indraprashta Institute of Information Technology, New Delhi, and the Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane for a joint Ph.D agreement.

Following the meeting with President Kovind, Prime Minister Morrison announced the release of Australia’s response to the India Economic Strategy, a blueprint to transform the economic engagement. “This report provides a roadmap for our economic future with India,” Morrison said.

India is the world’s fastest growing major economy and offers more opportunity for Australian business over the next 20 years than any other single market, he said.

The Australian government said it endorsed the report and provides in-principle support to its 20 priority recommendations.

“Our work will focus on greater economic engagement targeting 10 Indian states and 10 key sectors, while providing practical support for Australian businesses entering or expanding operations in India,” Trade Minister Simon Birmingham said.

Australia also pinpointed the initial implementation plan with key actions for next one year which will include agreements forged between Austrade and Invest India, the establishment of an Australia-India Food Partnership, opening up new opportunities for agri-tech and service companies and Australia-India Strategic Research Fund grants of up to Australian dollar 500,000.

The fund is designed to help researchers solve challenges shared by both nations, including energy storage, marine science and plant genomics.

Other actions include the expansion of the Australia-India Mining Partnership at the Indian School of Mines, connecting Australian companies to India’s mineral-rich northeastern states, supported by the new Consulate-General in Kolkata, engagement with airlines to increase direct flights through the Australia-India air services agreement.

Ministers across education, agribusiness, resources and tourism will oversee progress of the government’s response and ongoing implementation of the India Economic Strategy.

Morrison along with the ministers for trade and resources will join President Kovind at the launch of the Australian chapter of the Confederation of Indian Industry India Business Forum, which will serve as a platform for networking and policy advocacy for Indian businesses in Australia.

“I look forward to continue discussing the opportunities presented in the India Economic Strategy with President Kovind, and how we can continue to work together to develop enhanced economic ties,” Morrison said. “Today’s steps are only the first on a long journey that will see Australia and India grow together,” he said.

Kovind, who was accorded a ceremonial Guard of Honour by Governor General Peter Cosgrove in Sydney, will be visiting Melbourne on Friday to address university students.

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Hasmukh Adhia rumoured to be the next RBI governor: sources

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Hasmukh Adhia

New Delhi | After the resignation of Reserve Bank of India governor Urjit Patel on Monday, former Finance Secretary Hasmukh Adhia is rumoured to be the next RBI governor, as per unconfirmed sources.

Adhia, a 1981-batch Gujarat cadre officer of the Indian Administrative Services (IAS), served as a secretary in the Department of Financial Services after Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister.  A close of aide of  PM Narendra Modi and Arun Jailtley retired on November 30 this year.

Adhia also served as the Union Revenue Secretary and Union Financial Services Secretary, in the Union Government which makes his case stronger for the post of the RBI governor.

Earlier Urjit Patel on Monday resigned from the post of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor. Patel’s three year team was to end in September 2019. Patel is also the first RBI governor to resign since 1990.

Submitting his resignation, Urjit Patel cited personal reasons and stepped down with immediate effect. He said, “On account of personal reasons, I have decided to step down from my current position effective immediately. It has been my privilege and honour to serve in the Reserve Bank of India in various capacities over the years,” Urjit Patel said in a statement. “The support and hard work of RBI staff, officers and management has been the proximate driver of the Bank’s considerable accomplishments in recent years. I take this opportunity to express gratitude to my colleagues and Directors of the RBI Central Board, and wish them all the best for the future,” he added.

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Breaking: Vijay Mallya to be extradited to India

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Vijay Mallya

London | In what could be termed as end of the party for the king of good time, Liqour baron Vijay Mallya to be extradited to India as the London court gives its nod for the same

London’s Westminster Magistrates Court orders the extradition of Vijay Mallya to India. The Court has further referred the matter of extradition of Vijay Mallya to India to the Secretary of State. The Central beaurue of Investigation has welcomed the decision of the London’s court. Chief Magistrate Judge Emma Arbuthnot announcing the order stated that he found prima facie a case against Vijay Mallya for fraud, conspiracy and money laundering.

Speaking on the extradition CBI said,”We hope to bring him soon and conclude the case. CBI has its own inherent strengths. We worked hard on this case. We are strong on Law and facts and we were confident while pursuing extradition process.”

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Urjit Patel resigns from RBI governor’s post

Anil Rajpurohit

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Urjit Patel

New Delhi | Urjit Patel on Monday resigned from the post of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor. Patel’s three year team was to end in September 2019. Patel is also the first RBI governor to resign since 1990.

Submitting his resignation, Urjit Patel cited personal reasons and stepped down with immediate effect. He said, “On account of personal reasons, I have decided to step down from my current position effective immediately. It has been my privilege and honour to serve in the Reserve Bank of India in various capacities over the years,” Urjit Patel said in a statement. “The support and hard work of RBI staff, officers and management has been the proximate driver of the Bank’s considerable accomplishments in recent years. I take this opportunity to express gratitude to my colleagues and Directors of the RBI Central Board, and wish them all the best for the future,” he added.

RBI Governor Urjit Patel earlier appeared before a parliamentary panel to brief on demonetisation and NPA situation in the public sector banks, among other issues. The RBI Governor appeared before the panel days after the central bank’s face-off with the finance ministry over issues ranging from appropriate size of reserves to be maintained by RBI to easing of lending norms for small and medium enterprises.

Business Editor of HW Business and Finance Akhilesh Bhargav states it is not only the failure of the finance ministry but the board of the Reserve Bank of India.

Urjit Patel who was appointed as the 24th Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) succeded Raghuram Rajan on 4 September 2016.

 

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