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Covid-19 pushes the right to trigger corporate insolvency into hibernation

While the defaulting corporate debtors attain refuge from insolvency under Section 10A, it would not be out of place to expect policy decisions and amendments to put in place checks and balances on the possible misuse of Section 10A.

Ever since the ominous dark clouds of the COVID -19 pandemic spread across the world, the global economy has taken an unprecedented hit, the Indian economy being no exception. On March 24, 2020, the Central Government, declared a countrywide lockdown in the wake of the outbreak. A grinding halt in business operations and hence, revenue generation, led to a dwindling of corporate cashflows. The financial health of establishments at large, especially MSMEs, has been seriously imperiled, pushing them to the brink of insolvency. Acknowledging this, the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 (“Ordinance”) came to be promulgated by the President of India on June 5, 2020, given that the Parliament was not in session and the President was satisfied of the existence of circumstances rendering such promulgation necessary. This was in line with the recent announcements made by the Finance Minister informing that the government would consider a complete suspension of the “trigger provisions” for initiation of corporate insolvency resolution process under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (“Code”) , in case the COVID-19 situation continues. Needless to state, the economic situation in the country and the grave financial stress faced by corporates, including MSMEs, has only worsened with the passage of time.

 The Ordinance:

In light of such circumstances, the Code has been amended by way of the Ordinance dated June 5, 2020, which came into force with immediate effect, suspending the initiation of fresh corporate insolvency proceedings against companies under Sections 7, 9 and 10 of the Code, by insertion of Section 10A into the Code. With this, a lot of speculation that had built up regarding the scope of such suspension ever since the announcements made by the Finance Minister has been laid to rest. The newly inserted Section 10A does not place a blanket ban on initiation of corporate insolvency proceedings, and only bars initiation in respect of defaults arising on or after March 25, 2020 till the expiry of a period of six months (i.e., till September 24, 2020) or such further period as may be notified, not exceeding one year (i.e., till March 24, 2021) (“exemption period”).

Pertinently, Sections 7 and 9 of the Code allow Financial Creditors and Operational Creditors, respectively, to make applications before the Adjudicating Authority for initiation of corporate insolvency resolution process against a defaulting Corporate Debtor. On the other hand, Section 10 of the Code provides for the initiation of corporate insolvency by the defaulting Corporate Applicant against itself. By way of the amendment, Section 10A suspends the rights of Operational Creditors, Financial Creditors as well as Corporate Applicants, to initiate insolvency under the Code, provided that the ‘default’ in question occurs during the exemption period. For the sake of complete clarity, the ‘Explanation’ to Section 10A expressly lays down that there would be no bar against such initiation of corporate insolvency proceedings against Corporate Debtors in respect of defaults that may have occurred before the exemption period, i.e., before March 25, 2020.

Lending permanency to the effect of the amendment, the Proviso to Section 10A goes on to provide that no Application shall ever be filed for initiation of corporate insolvency resolution process of a corporate debtor for a default occurring during the said exemption period.

Impact of the Ordinance:

There is no doubt that this is indeed a welcome move which would have the effect of salvaging companies from the brink of insolvency, many of whom may be facing dire financial situations owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. This provision will protect companies against having to give up the reins and handing over control of their assets and would also prevent them from being driven into liquidation. Protecting companies from going under would also in turn prevent a further increase in unemployment.

Interestingly, while the preamble of the Ordinance expressly refers to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on businesses, financial markets and the economy, and correlates it to the resultant need for such a provision to be inserted to the Code, the language used in Section 10A does not necessitate linkage of defaults occurring during the exemption period to the COVID-19 pandemic. This ensures that precious time will not be lost before the Adjudicating Authority by parties trying to prove or disprove that a particular default arose out of the economic impact of COVID-19, so long as the default occurs during the exemption period.

The amendment protects defaulting Corporate Debtors amidst this time of unprecedented economic crisis. In the absence of such a ban, firstly, an unprecedented number of solvent companies would have run the risk of being dragged into insolvency. Secondly the prospects of such companies reaching a successful resolution through a commercially viable resolution plan at the end of the corporate insolvency resolution process would also have been minute, given the dearth of potential investors. Expectedly, the potential investors would also be grappling to recover from the economic aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. The preamble to the amendment reasonably points out that in the given circumstances, it is difficult to find an adequate number of resolution applicants to rescue the corporate person who may default in discharge of their debt obligation.

The Proviso to Section 10A also stands to reason, inasmuch as it lays down that the ban in respect of defaults occurring during the exemption period shall be permanent and not be limited only to the exemption period. Had this position not been clarified in the Ordinance, the purpose of the amendment would have been defeated. This is because availability of a remedy under the Code or not, defaults, operational as well as financial, will continue to occur as the financial burden of companies increases. Thus, the mere suspension of this right to initiate insolvency proceedings for a certain period would not have served the purpose of the amendment and the ban had to be made permanent in order to be effective in the long run. Otherwise, an aggrieved creditor would simply have awaited the expiry of the exemption period before approaching the Adjudicating Authority and initiating corporate insolvency proceedings in respect of defaults occurring during the exemption period. In fact, Corporate Debtors defaulting during the exemption period, under the threat of being dragged into insolvency once the exemption period expires, may possibly have even taken to unlawful and illegal measures such as misappropriation and siphoning off funds during this period, had it not been for the Proviso to Section 10A. Thus, the amendment essentially permanently excludes all defaults occurring during the exemption period from the purview of the term “default” for the purpose of the Code. Perhaps the use of the word “suspension” in the title of Section 10A can be misleading given the permanent nature of the amendment, insofar as defaults occurring during the exemption period are concerned.

On the flipside, however, the blanket suspension during the exemption period, as imposed under the Ordinance, may adversely impact both lending and borrowing activities in the country. In the absence of access to the remedy of initiating insolvency proceedings under the Code, lenders may feel constrained to restrict their lending activity which would also be severely detrimental to the financial health of companies.

Additionally, the lack of a deterrent of being driven into insolvency may lead borrowers to take undue advantage of Section 10A and commit defaults in their repayment obligations. This ban on initiation of insolvency proceedings may also discourage foreign creditors from investing in India.

While suspension of Sections 7 and 9 may lead to hibernation of insolvency actions between contending parties, the suspension of Section 10 leads to an odd situation wherein a defaulting company would be deprived of its opportunity to voluntarily seek resolution of its debt and consequent revival. In this regard, it is pertinent to note that as per the preamble of the Ordinance, the amendment suspending Sections 7, 9 and 10 has been brought about to prevent corporate persons experiencing distress, being pushed into insolvency proceedings. In our view, imposing a prohibition upon a Corporate Applicant from initiating voluntary insolvency proceedings under Section 10 of Code would be contrary to the preamble of the Ordinance itself, as it would cause such Corporate Applicants greater distress owing to further deterioration of its assets, and a diminishing chance of revival and resolution.

In addition to the foregoing, it would be interesting to see as to how the Adjudicating Authority and superior courts deal with the ever contentious and critical issue of determining the “date of default”. The determination of “date of default”, owing to the impact of Section 10A has become all the more critical since it directly impacts a creditor’s right to initiate insolvency proceedings, depending on whether the date of default occurs before, during or after the exemption period. Questions may arise as to whether a default in payment of a certain amount of debt occurring during the exemption period can be treated as a continuing default for the purpose of initiating insolvency proceedings under the Code after the expiry of the exemption period.

Apart from inserting Section 10A into the Code, the Ordinance has also brought about an amendment in Section 66 of the Code which deals with ‘Fraudulent trading or Wrongful trading’ by the Corporate Debtor. The Ordinance has inserted sub-section (3) inserted into Section 66, which seems to be ambiguous. It lays down that no application shall be filed by a resolution professional under sub-section (2) of Section 66, i.e., in respect of such default against which initiation of corporate insolvency resolution process is suspended as per section 10A. From the language employed in sub-section (3), it seems that it proposes to excuse lack of due diligence by a director or partner of a corporate debtor resulting in default by the Corporate Debtor during the exemption period. Such an exemption may result in directors/ partners of corporate debtors engaging in unlawful and illegal measures such as misappropriation and siphoning off funds without facing consequences under Section 66(2) of the Code and may adversely impact the realisable value for its creditors.

Conclusion:

The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016, was considered as a panacea for all ills plaguing the Indian financial system, which, in January, 2019, led the Honourable Supreme Court of India to observe as follows, in the landmark judgement of Swiss Ribbons Pvt. Ltd. and Ors. vs. Union of India (UOI) and Ors. reVported at (AIR 2019 SC 739):

“86. We are happy to note that in the working of the Code, the flow of financial resource to the commercial sector in India has increased exponentially as a result of financial debts being repaid. Approximately 3300 cases have been disposed of by the Adjudicating Authority based on out-of-court settlements between corporate debtors and creditors which themselves involved claims amounting to over INR 1,20,390 crores. Eighty cases have since been resolved by resolution plans being accepted. Of these eighty cases, the liquidation value of sixty-three such cases is INR 29,788.07 crores. However, the amount realized from the resolution process is in the region of INR 60,000 crores, which is over 202% of the liquidation value. As a result of this, the Reserve Bank of India has come out with figures which reflect these results. Thus, credit that has been given by banks and financial institutions to the commercial sector (other than food) has jumped up from INR 4952.24 crores in 2016-2017, to INR 9161.09 crores in 2017-2018, and to INR 13195.20 crores for the first six months of 2018-2019. Equally, credit flow from non-banks has gone up from INR 6819.93 crores in 2016-2017, to INR 4718 crores for the first six months of 2018-2019. Ultimately, the total flow of resources to the commercial sector in India, both bank and non-bank, and domestic and foreign (relatable to the non-food sector) has gone up from a total of INR 14530.47 crores in 2016- 2017, to INR 18469.25 crores in 2017-2018, and to INR 18798.20 crores in the first six months of 2018-2019.

These figures show that the experiment conducted in enacting the Code is proving to be largely successful. The defaulter‘s paradise is lost. In its place, the economy‘s rightful position has been regained.”

The Ordinance appears to have been promulgated with the intention of protecting companies and promoters from “no fault liability”. It is, however, necessary to ensure that Section 10A does not become a tool for regaining the defaulter’s paradise.

The insertion of Section 10A in the wake of COVID19 would most certainly provide a cushion to businesses that are facing a financial crisis or are heading for an inevitable crisis, and may also encourage creditors to adopt alternate remedies such as restructuring, negotiating settlements, etc., instead of rushing to the insolvency route. However, the impact and the longterm effects of this suspension on the financial health of the aggrieved creditors, will also need to be tended to. While the defaulting Corporate Debtors attain refuge from insolvency under Section 10A, it would not be out of place to expect policy decisions and amendments to put in place checks and balances on the possible misuse of Section 10A, and to safeguard the interests of creditors of such Corporate Debtors. The legislature and Adjudicating Authority under the Code may also need to be mindful of ironing out certain creases in the implementation of the Ordinance, which may arise on account of ban on voluntary insolvency for defaults during the exemption period, inability of lenders to file insolvency proceedings even for intentional defaults during this period, among others.

The authors are Advocates at Khaitan & Co, New Delhi. Ajay Bhargava (Partner) is part of the Dispute Resolution practice, Siddharth Srivastava (Partner) is part of the Banking & Finance/ Restructuring & Insolvency practice, Wamika Trehan (Senior Associate) and Maithili Moondra (Associate) are part of the Dispute Resolution practice at Khaitan & Co.

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Policy & Politics

Textiles sector poised for a $100 bn export: Vikram Jardosh, MoS for Textiles

Industry should take full advantage full advantage of the global market shifts: Secretary, Ministry of Textiles.

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The Government has set a strong aspirational goal of achieving $100 billion from textiles exports in thenext 5 years and we will remain committed to ensure implementation of all development schemes and bring in many more schemes in pursuit of this aspiration, said Darshana Vikram Jardosh, Minister of State for Textiles, Ministry of Textiles, Government of India.

Government has already announced MITRA scheme to attract new investments and build mega textile parks in the country. Other significant programs including the launch of PLI scheme for achieving manufacturing excellence and RoDTEP for enhancing export competitiveness will help India to position it as a global leader in the sector.

The Minister was speaking at the inauguration of TEXCON: The 13th edition of the International Conference on Textiles & Apparel organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry today. A specialCII-Kearney report was also released on “Creating a competitive advantage for India in the global textiles and apparel industry”. The report covers the entire textile value chain and highlights the imperatives for both government and industry to bring global positioning for the sector.

Speaking on the occasion, Upendra Prasad Singh, Secretary, Ministry of Textiles said that the Government is making all efforts to proactively address the challenges and facilitate the creation of an enabling environment for the growth and development of the Textiles and Apparel sector. “We are capable to meet the domestic as well as the global market demands. I would like to urge the industry to take full advantage of the present global market shifts in establishing the excellence and prominence of India globally.”

Dilip Gaur, Chairman, CII National Committee on Textiles and Apparel & Managing Director, Grasim Industries Limited, Aditya Birla Group said, achieving breakthrough growth in Indian textiles will imply doubling down on multiple areas. The key ones include increasing share in MMF fiber and yarn, become regional leaders in apparel and fabrics and further augmenting India’s position as global home textiles leader. “Government of India has already shown strong commitment to this sector by launching multiple mega schemes in recent times which set a very positive tone for the future and to energize all industry stakeholders to take necessary steps forward in achieving the goals”, he added.

Kulin Lalbhai, Co-Chairman, CII National Committee on Textiles and Apparel & Executive Director, Arvind Ltd said, “The growing sentiment around “China plus one” sourcing is a golden opportunity for Indian textiles to stage a turnaround and gain back its leadership position as a lead exporting economy.” India is much better placed to maximize this opportunity as compared to competitors like Vietnam and Bangladesh because of India’s strategic depth.

Dilip Gaur, Chairman, CII National Committee on Textiles and Apparel & Managing Director, Grasim Industries Limited, Aditya Birla Group said, achieving breakthrough growth in Indian textiles will imply doubling down on multiple areas. The key ones include increasing share in MMF fiber and yarn, become regional leaders in apparel and fabrics.

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Piyush Goyal calls for free trade within rules-based multilateral trading system

We must work to resolve issues posed by Non-Tariff Barriers in international trade: Piyush Goyal.

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The Minister of Commerce and Industries, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution and Textiles, Piyush Goyaltoday called for free trade within a rules-based multilateral trading system with honesty and transparency as core values. He added that wherever India faces an unfair or unjust treatment, it will take reciprocal action. Shri Goyal also emphasized upon the need for resolution of issues posed by Non- Tariff Barriers in international trade. He was addressing the 54th Convocation of Indian Institute of Foreign Trade in New Delhi today.

Referring to India’s recent achievement of 100 crore vaccines, he said that the milestone was the result a collective effort of 130 crore Indians and a proof of India’s ‘Atmanirbhartha’ and its resolve to leverage its capacities to the best possible extent and to serve the needs of the entire world.

Piyush Goyal said that a convocation is an important ceremony that marks the next step in the journey of the graduates when they grow from ‘acquisition of knowledge’ to ‘application of knowledge’.

He commended IIFT for contributing immensely to India’s external trade since its establishment in 1963. He said that IIFT has been widely recognized for its strong knowledge &resource base and has been consistently ranked amongst theleading business schools in the Asia-Pacific Region.

Underscoring the need for a committed and vibrant leadership in the field of academics in India, Shri Piyush Goyal called for enhancing exposure of our students to the best of technology, foreign law, economics, and international trade. Calling for tie-ups of Indian Universities with institutions of eminence across the world, he asked Indian universities to enter into sustained collaborations with such institutions.

Encouraging academic institutions to engage on a much larger scale with the industry, Shri Goyal asked students to take up internships with both the public sector and private players. Speaking of the opportunities offered by online education, Shri Goyal called for more exploration into online and hybrid modes of education.

Piyush Goyal told the students that they were graduating amidst one of the most disruptive events in the collective memory of our times. He emphasized that in the post-COVID ‘New Normal’, we can no longer play by the old rules. He called for using the disruptive interventions brought about by COVID to reorient our conventional, traditional thinking processes. Offering two cents from his versatile experience in foreign trade, Shri Goyal urged the students to ‘Learn, Unlearn, Relearn and Repeat’.

Piyush Goyal said that despite challenges, India under PM Modi has aimed to convert a crisis into an opportunity for transformation. He said that India is being looked upon as a trusted partner & we are engaging with like-minded nations e.g. EU, UK, Canada, Australia & UAE for early conclusion of FTAs.

Referring to India’s ambitious programmes like the PM GatiShakti National Master Plan for infrastructure and multimodal connectivity, Shri Goyal said that there was a need for planned, focussed efforts to create infrastructure in the country by breaking silos and bringing in synergy. “There is a need to bring in quality and productivity in all we do. A ‘Made in India’ product must be a guarantee to the world”, he added.

Applauding the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi’s visionary leadership, Goyal said that India’s decisive leadership, strong industry, vibrant media and its resolve to uphold the rule of law, had made India a trusted partner to world nations.

Lamenting that India had suffered from several missed opportunities in the past, Shri Goyal expressed the hope that we would now be able to seize every opportunity available to us to grow. “The past is a stepping stone, not a milestone”, he added.

Observing that contemporary India was confident & yet dissatisfied, he said that dissatisfied, confident people are the ones who would change the world. He urged fellow Indians to never settle for less and to work together to make India a global leader.

On the occasion, Shri Goyal presented several awards for excellence to graduating students.

Encouraging academic institutions to engage on a much larger scale with the industry, Shri Goyal asked students to take up internships with both the public sector and private players. Speaking of the opportunities offered by online education, Shri Goyal called for more exploration into online and hybrid modes of education.

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Builder hardware products from India have considerable global demand, says Minister of State for Commerce Som Parkash

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Builder hardware industry is linked to the construction equipment industry where the revenue was valued at US$ 6.5 billion in 2020 and construction market is expected to be the third largest globally by 2025: MSME Secretary B B Swain

India is the 17th largest supplier of builder hardware products and is on its way to fulfil the government ambition to become a global manufacturing hub of builder hardware products.

Builder Hardware is another performer making India as one of the top 20 suppliers with a 1.2 percent share in the world builder hardware export pie, said Som Parkash, Minister of State of Commerce & Industry

While addressing the Builder Hardware Expo, organised by EEPC India, virtually today, the Minister noted that builder hardware products from India have considerable demand across the continents.

Indian builder hardware product is one of the best performing segments in the Indian engineering goods sector which has been the key driver of merchandise exports from the country.

“Builder hardware industry is linked to the construction equipment industry where the revenue was valued at US$ 6.5 billion in 2020 and the construction market is expected to be the third largest globally by 2025,” said Mr B B Swain, Secretary, Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME).

India is the 17th largest supplier of builder hardware products and is on its way to fulfil the government ambition to become a global manufacturing hub of builder hardware products.

Swain stated that EEPC India with more than 60 per cent of its members representing MSME sector took several initiatives even during pandemic to provide global interaction opportunities to small players in the form of webinars and virtual Expos.

“The Government of India has been proactive to ensure that all the benefits of the MSME schemes reach the intended beneficiaries in time,” said Mr Swain.

EEPC India Chairman Mahesh Desai said that the four-day virtual Expo would provide opportunity to the Indian exhibitors to display an array of over 200 domestic builder hardware products to overseas buyers from nine focus regions and trade blocs.

“The buyers would comprise contractors, builders, building engineers, architects, landscape artists, interior designers, consultants and project management professionals,” he said.

Speaking at the Expo, EEPC India Vice Chairman Arun Kumar Garodia said India belongs to the league of leading builder hardware manufacturing and exporting nations.

“The Government of India has now set a National Mission of merchandise exports to reach US$ 400 billion within this fiscal, US$ 500 billion by FY-24 and US$ 1 trillion by FY-28 by making Indian products the only choice for global buyers,” he said.

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MOU SIGNED BETWEEN J&K AND GOVERNMENT OF DUBAI FOR REAL ESTATE DEVELOPMENT, INDUSTRIAL PARKS, SUPER SPECIALITY HOSPITALS

MoU will give UT a big developmental push: Piyush Goyal

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Jammu and Kashmir administration has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Government of Dubai for real estate development, industrial parks, IT towers, multipurpose towers, logistics, medical college, super specialty hospital and more.

Union Minister for Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal highlighted the significance of the day and said that with the signing of the MoU with Dubai Government, the world has started to recognize the pace with which Jammu and Kashmir is traversing on the development bandwagon. This MoU gives out a strong signal to the entire world that the way India is transforming into a global power, Jammu & Kashmir is having a significant role in that as well.

This MoU is a milestone after which the investment will pour in from entire globe and is a big developmental push. Different entities from Dubai have shown keen interest in investment. Development has to be aspired on all fronts and we are on track, he added.

Goyal thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Shri Amit Shah for their focus and commitment towards the development of UT of Jammu & Kashmir. Recent industrial package of 28,400 Crore rupees is a testimony towards ensured development.

Terming it a momentous occasion for the UT of Jammu and Kashmir, Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Shri Manoj Sinha said that this development journey will help the Union Territory to scale new heights in Industrialization and sustainable growth.

Union Minister for Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal highlighted the significance of the day and said that with the signing of the MoU with Dubai Government, the world has started to recognize the pace with which Jammu and Kashmir is traversing on the development bandwagon.

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India is working towards bridging digital divide in Africa: V. Muraleedharan

‘India has adopted an approach that facilitates development of human capital in the continent with the larger objective of harnessing socio-economic growth,’ said V. Muraleedharan, Minister of State for External Affairs & Parliamentary Affairs, Government of India

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‘India is working towards bridging digital divide in Africa and has adopted an approach that facilitates development of human capital in the continent with the larger objective of harnessing socio-economic growth”, mentioned V Muraleedharan, Hon’ble Minister of State for External Affairs & Parliamentary Affairs, Government of India while addressing the Inaugural Session at the 2nd edition of the India Africa Higher Education and Skill Development Summit organised by Confederation of Indian Industry in partnership with Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India today.

Muraleedharan elucidated that India is best positioned to partner Africa as we can offer affordable and high-quality education and skill development opportunities and make the young population employable and allow them to participate in growing economies of African countries. Elucidating on the strong Indo-African partnership in the domain of higher education and skill development, the Minister stated that capacity building and providing higher education opportunities with for the socio-economic development of our partner nations is a major element of our Foreign Policy.

India has long standing ties in education with Africa and over 2000 Indian faculty members have been involved in teaching and research activities of Ethiopian nations. Further, defence academies and colleges are being set up in nations like Nigeria and Tanzania. With a view to promote students from African nations to study in India, several initiatives have been undertaken like the Study in INDIA, ITEC programmes, Sir C V Raman Scholarship, collaboration of Department of Science & Technology with the World Bank to develop centres of excellence in African countries and the launch of e-VidyaBharti and e-ArogyaBharti Project, among others.

Dr Sarah Ruto, Chief Administrative Secretary, Ministry of Education Republic of Kenya, emphasised that Kenya is working towards the implementation of the 2030 Agenda of Sustainable Development Goals with a special focus on select education-based SDG Goals. She mentioned that Kenya has a competency-based curriculum to meet the rising demands for tertiary education and there is focus on alumni network funding as well as partnerships to promote skill development.

Buti Kgwaridi Manamela, Deputy Minister of Higher Education, Science & Innovation, Government of Republic of South Africa informed that a bilateral cooperation treaty is being negotiated in education for exchange of students as well as to share best practices. He added that forums like IBSA and BRICS have also provided opportunities to address the developmental needs of the nations.

Dame Diop, Minister of Employment, Vocational Training, Apprenticeship and Inclusion, Government of Republic of Senegal informed that the Plan for an Emerging Senegal (PES) which harmonises national policies particularly for human capital development and vocational training is a major step towards promoting employability. The Minister commended India for committing 130 million Rupees to Senegal to create science and technology institutes.

Dr Douglas Letsholathebe, Minister of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology, Government of Republic of Botswana highlighted that the commonality of English language based higher education system offers scope for greater cooperation between the countries. The Minister stated that the Botswana Vision 2036 aims at transformation from a resource-based to an all-ingredient knowledge-based economy focussing on education, training, and human resource development systems. Expressing the commitment to the youth, Botswana has joined the Generation Unlimited initiative as a leader thereby, playing a crucial role in forging multisector partnerships across geographies to provide greater access to skilling and livelihood opportunities.

S Kuppuswamy, Co-Chair, CII Africa Committee & Advisor-Group Finance & Special Projects, Shapoorji Pallonji Group, said that the Indo-African collaboration has strengthened in the post pandemic era as the nations are collectively focusing on new age learning models and enhancing the role of technology in education. Emphasizing on the strong multilateral cooperation with Africa, it was highlighted that one of the most popular programs, the Study in India commonly called EDCIL offered by Ministry of Education offers around 900 scholarships to African students to study in India and Indian universities are also investing in promoting their services to the African community.

The two day Summit organised in partnership with Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India will focus on Online education, Study in India and Skills Development programmes. Over 6 ministers from Africa and India participated at the Summit and event saw online registration of 600 delegates from India and Africa.

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INDEX NUMBERS OF WHOLESALE PRICE IN INDIA FOR THE MONTH OF SEPTEMBER, 2021(BASE YEAR: 2011-12)

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Note: P: Provisional, F: Final, * Annual rate of WPI inflation calculated over the corresponding month of previous year

The month over month change in WPI index for the month of September, 2021 (as compared to August, 2021) was 0.07 %. The monthly change in WPI index for last six-month is summarized below:

Annex-I

All India Wholesale Price Indices and Rates of Inflation (Base Year: 2011-12=100) for September, 2021

Annex-II

Note: * = Provisional, Mf/o = Manufacture of

Note: * = Provisional, Mf/o = Manufacture of

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