Goa State Cooperative Bank Ltd not a ‘State’ Under Article 12, does not discharge any public functions: Full bench of Bombay High Court - The Daily Guardian
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Goa State Cooperative Bank Ltd not a ‘State’ Under Article 12, does not discharge any public functions: Full bench of Bombay High Court

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Bombay High Court

It must be said before saying anything else that the Full Bench of the Bombay High Court comprising of Justice MS Sonak, Justice Dama Seshadri Naidu and Justice Bharati H Dangre on March 5, 2021 in a latest, learned, laudable and landmark judgment titled Mr Vassudev Madkaikar and others vs. State of Goa and others in Writ Petition No. 92 of 2021 (Filing) has clearly, cogently and convincingly held that the Goa State Cooperative Bank Ltd. is not a ‘State’ nor does it fall within the ambit of ‘any other authority’ for the purposes of Article 12. It certainly deserves mentioning that the Bench also made it a point to observe that the said Bank does not discharge any public functions which would warrant issuance of a writ in the nature of mandamus. Very rightly so!

To start with, the ball is set rolling in para 1 of this notable judgment authored by Justice Bharati H Dangare wherein it is put forth that, “The cleavage of opinions between the two sets of perspectives on the issue as to whether a ‘Goa State Cooperative Bank’ is a ‘State’ within the meaning of Article 12 and whether the said Bank is discharging any public function, so as to render it amenable to the writ jurisdiction of this Court under Article 226 is the issue placed for consideration of this Full Bench.

The two division benches of this Court, in Ganesh Morto Naik v/s. Goa State Co-operative Bank Ltd., (1991) SCC OnLine Bom 211 and in another case of Surendra J. Kalangutkar v/s. Goa State Cooperative Bank Ltd., (2016) SCC OnLIne Bom 2587 ruled that the Goa State Cooperative Bank Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as GSCB) is a ‘State’ for the purpose of Article 12 and that since it is discharging public functions, it is amenable to writ jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution of India. On the other hand, the judgment delivered at Aurangabad, in case of Shri Suresh Bhanudas Shinde & Anr v/s. State of Maharashtra & Ors Writ Petition No. 334 of 2018 has taken a contradictory view, when confronted with the issue whether the District Cooperative Bank Ltd. is a ‘State’, in the backdrop of the grievances raised by one of its employees and held that the said Bank is not a ‘State’ within the meaning of Article 12 and even the exercise of writ jurisdiction was refused since the contractual terms between the employer and employee were held to be not subjected to any control of the State Government. Relegating the petitioner to avail other remedies available under the law, the writ petition was dismissed. Running parallel to the said view is the decision of the Full Bench of this Court in Shamrao Vithal Co-operative Bank Limited v/s. Padubidri Pattabhiram Bhat AIR (1993) BOM 91, which ruled that Multi State Co-operative Bank registered under the Maharashtra State Cooperative Societies Act, 1984 is not a ‘State’ within the meaning of Article 12, though it is governed by the Banking Regulations Act, 1949 and it performs public functions.”

Be it noted, the Full Bench then observes in para 3 that, “The question for our consideration, in light of the reference order can be precisely and accurately framed as under:

i) Whether Goa State Cooperative Bank Ltd. is a ‘State’ or any instrumentality thereof, for the purposes of Article 12 of the Constitution of India.

ii) In case GSCB is not a ‘State’ within the meaning of Article 12, whether it performs any public functions, which would warrant issuance of writ in the nature of mandamus in discharge of its performance of the public functions.”

It is worth noting that it is then observed in para 25 that, “In order to deal with the submission, we deem it expedient to decipher the scheme of the enactment, which clothed the GSCB with the status of the State Cooperative Bank and the Land Development Bank.

A need was felt for establishment of a national level institution for providing credit for the promotion of agriculture, small scale industries, cottage and village industries, handicrafts and other allied economic activities in rural areas with a view to promote integrated rural development and securing its prosperity, which gave birth to establishment of a development bank to be known as NABARD. It was established as an apex organization with respect to all matters in the field of credit in rural areas and aimed to serve as a re-financing institution for extending credit for promotion of activities in the said field. The Bank was endowed with a function to provide re-finance to various banks for their term lending operations for the purposes of agriculture and rural development.

Perusal of the scheme underlying the statute would reveal that a particular Cooperative Society in a State with an object of financing of other cooperative societies is entitled to be categorised as State Cooperative Bank and also the State Land Development Bank if a Cooperative Society has its primary object of providing long term finance for agricultural development. The proviso appended to both the clauses, i.e. Section 2(u) and (v) lead to an inference that where such principal society or particular land development bank is not in existence in a State, the State Government may declare any State Cooperative Society carrying on business in that State to function as a State Land Development Bank to provide long terms loans for declare it as a State Cooperative Bank. Another contingency when such exercise can be undertaken is when the State feels that in addition to such particular society in a State, it is expedient to declare one or more Cooperative Society to be State Cooperative Bank within the meaning of Section 2(u) or to be the State Land Development Bank within the meaning of Section 2(v). Merely because GSCB has received recognition under the Act, it cannot be said that it enjoy complete monopoly in the field.

Being declared as a State Cooperative Bank certain benefits are conferred on it by virtue of Chapter 6 of the Act, in particular as conferred under Section 21 and 25. The State Cooperative Banks alongwith the regional rural banks or any other financial institutions approved by the RBI are entitled for re-finance, loans and advances from the National Bank, but by virtue of subsection 3 of section 21, the National Bank may in its discretion grant a loan or advance to a State Cooperative Bank if the loan or advance is fully guaranteed for repayment of principal and interest by the Government and also in case of a State Cooperative Bank which is a scheduled bank, if the loan or advance is secured either by a bill of exchange or promissory note executed by the Central Cooperative bank and assigned in favour of the State Cooperative Bank instead of the loan being advanced against security of stocks, funds as contemplated under sub-section 2. Further, in respect of other investment credit for promoting agriculture and rural development, the National Bank may provide financial assistance to a State Land Development Bank or a State Cooperative Bank or a Scheduled Bank or any other financial institution and reschedule the payment of such loans and advances. The scheme incorporated under the NABARD Act, 1981 itself would divulge that barring section 21, the State Land Development Bank or State Cooperative Bank is entitled for financial assistance alongwith other schedule bank or financial institutions approved by RBI and therefore it looses its unique character as far as the NABARD Act is concerned barring the provision mentioned above. The peculiar character of the Bank as has been attempted to be projected on a higher pedestal than any other society registered under the Cooperative Societies Act thus fail to impress us and has to be brushed aside as a hollow claim, since the GSCB is neither established under a State legislation nor its entire Share Capital is held by the State. Thus, the mere status conferred on it under the NABARD Act and that it is empowered to provide long term finance for agricultural development, which will ultimately benefit the farmer of the State in our considered opinion, is not sufficient and it do not satisfy the test of it being a functionality of the State attracting the expression “Other Authorities” within the meaning of Article 12 nor does this feature enable it to be an instrumentality or agency of the State Government.

The State focus paper of NABARD on which attempt is made to bank upon is not of much relevance as it merely reflect the bank working in the State of Goa and as to how security schemes have landed support to banking and it also speak of the inspection of the bank by NABARD by virtue of Section 35 of section 6 of Banking Regulations Act, 1949, pursuant to which the GSCB is inspected by NABARD every year.”

Adding more to it, the Bench then also goes on to make it amply clear in para 26 that, “Emphasis on the bye-laws of the GSCB also do not render any support urging us to take a view that GSCB is a State, for more than one reason. The Bank has framed its bye-laws by invoking the power conferred on it as a Cooperative Society under Section 10A of the Goa Cooperative Societies Act, 2001. Pertinent to note that the GSCB is recognized as an Apex Cooperative Bank within the meaning of Section 2a of the Act, making it the Federal Cooperative Bank having jurisdiction over whole of the State of Goa and recognized as such by the State Government for the said purpose.

Being registered as a Cooperative Society, it is empowered to frame bye-laws in accordance with the provisions of the Goa State Cooperative Act, 2001 and the Rules made thereunder. Sub-section 2 of Section 10A enumerate the matters on which the bye-laws can be made. Section 12 of the Act empower the Registrar to call upon the Society to amend the bye-laws if it is necessary or desirable in interest of the Society and if there is a failure to effect such an amendment of the bye-laws, he is empowered to register such amendment himself and the bye-law shall stand deemed to be amended.”

What’s more, the Full Bench then also elucidates in para 33 stating that, “A strong reliance on the judgment of the Apex Court in case of U.P State Cooperative Land Development Bank Ltd. V/s. Chandra Bhan Dubey & Ors 37 is also not of any succour to the petitioners, since the facts clearly distinguish the said decision. In the said case the Bank came to be constituted under a statute, U.P. Cooperative Societies Act as well as under the U.P. Cooperative Land Development Bank Act. Section 122 of the Act gave the State authority for recruitment, training and disciplinary control of the employees of the Cooperative Societies and also an authority to frame regulations regarding recruitment, terms of conditions of service, pay etc. The State Government thus constituted the U.P. Cooperative Institutional Service Board with the approval of the Government it published certain regulations which govern the service conditions of the employees. It was the only State Land Development Bank in the whole State of U.P and the Registrar of the Cooperative Societies of the State was entrusted with the functions of securing fulfillment of obligations of the Bank to the holders of the debentures. Further, the State Government has constituted guarantee fund under the Act for meeting likely losses and the Finance Department maintains the said fund. The Government officers were sent on deputation by the State to the bank on the post of Managing Director and Chief General Manager. Holding that the State exercised all pervasive control over the Bank, the U.P. Cooperative Land Development Bank was held to be ‘State’. This is not the situation before us when we deal with GSCB. Ltd. Applying the aforesaid parameters to determine whether the bank is an instrumentality or agency of the State, it has failed to make up to any of the characteristics which would clothe it with a status of ‘authority’ so as to fall within the meaning of expression “other authorities” under Article 12. It has no statutory flavour, i.e. it is neither a creation of a statute nor clothed with any statutory power, enabling it to take the shape of an authority. It does not discharge such functions as are governmental or closely associated or being fundamental to the life of people and discharge public function. The bank do not have deep and pervasive control or the brooding presence of the State Government so as to satisfy the test of instrumentality or agency of the State. This leaves the bank with an independent legal existence flowing from its status as a registered society and a cooperative society under the GSCB Society Act. However, it fails to cross the impediments of the aforesaid parameters laid down by the apex court before it attained the status of a State or instrumentality of the State under Article 12 of the Constitution.”

Truth be told, the Full Bench then observes in para 34 that, “On answering the issue (1) in the negative, we now turn to the second question under reference, when GSCB is not a State or an instrumentality of a State under Article 12 of the Constitution, whether a writ would lie against it, in discharge of performance of any public functions.

Please read concluding on thedailyguardian.com.

The fulcrum of the arguments, staking the claim that a writ would lie, is based on the judgment of the Apex Court being Andi Mukta Sadguru Shree Muktajee Vandas Swami Suvarna Jayanti Mahotsav Smarak Trust & Others v/s. V. R. Rudani & Others. (1989) 2 SCC 691 and U.P State Cooperative Land Development Bank Ltd. V/s. Chandra Bhan Dubey & Ors (1999) 1 SCC 741. The decision in Andi Mukta was delivered on peculiar facts, being a writ petition filed by teachers of a Trust whose services were terminated by the institution which was affiliated to the University and governed by ordinance, casting certain obligations which it owed to the petitioner. The ratio flowing from the said judgment could be culled out to indicate that no writ would like against the private body except where it has some obligation to discharge duty which is statutory or of public character. The said decision delivered in the light of the facts where the management of the college was a Trust registered under the Bombay Public Trust Act and the issue was whether the writ petition is maintainable under 226 of the Constitution and whether the Court would issue writ of mandamus to the management, compelling it to pay the terminal benefits and arrears of salaries. Taking note, that the Trust was managing the affiliated college, which is admissible to grant-in-aid and that is how the Government played a major role in the control, management and working of educational institutions, it was held that the aided institution like the Government institution was discharging public functions, by imparting education to the students. The activities being closely supervised by the University authorities, employment in such institutions being not devoid of any public character and the service conditions of the academic staff was held to be not purely of a private character. On noting the existence of the relationship between the staff and the management resulting into a right/duty relationship,, the Apex Court held that a mandamus cannot be refused to the aggrieved party. However, it was clarified that if the rights are purely of private character or if the management of the college is purely a private body, with no public duty endowed, no mandamus will lie. These two exceptions carved out for issuance of a writ in the nature of mandamus being a private character and no public duty being discharged.”

It cannot be glossed over that it is then stated in para 39 that, “In our determination of the aforesaid issue we are also guided by the view taken by one of us (Mr. Justice Dama Seshadri Naidu), as a Judge of the High Court of Kerala at Ernakulum in the case of Bindu K. B v/s. State of Kerala and Others delivered on 09.10.2014 Writ Petition (C) No. 22233 of 2014 dated 09.10.2014. An employee of the Socio Economic Unit Foundation, Thiruvananthapuram -respondent no.2 on being placed under suspension and called upon to submit explanation to the charges framed against him invoked the writ jurisdiction of the High Court. The writ petition was opposed on the ground of maintainability and that is how the issue of maintainability was exhaustively examined. After a detailed analysis of the scheme flowing through the 2 important agencies, the submission of the petitioner that the 2nd respondent, his employer is an accredited agency and a unit of a local self government it is mandatory to approach it in the matter of conservation and sanitation though not subjected to any statutory or supervisory control of governmental agency nor was it in receipt of any aid from the Government was specifically noted. After making reference to the several decisions holding the field and expressively quoting paragraphs 36 and 37 of Binny Ltd (supra) and also on examination of the decisions of the coordinated benches and adopting the principle of stare decisis, the 2nd respondent Society registered under the Travancore-Cochin, Literary Scientific & Charitable Societies Registration Act of 1955 was held to be not a ‘State’. Further, dealing with the relationship between the employer and the petitioner-the employee, it is held as under:-

‘58. Though, the submission of the learned counsel for the petitioner, in the first blush, appears attractive, I am afraid it cannot stand the legal scrutiny. In Roshan Lal Tandon v. Union of India, AIR 1967 SC 1889, a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court has observed that the origin of Government service is contractual; there is an offer and acceptance in every case, but once appointed to his post or office the Government servant acquires a status and his rights and obligations are no longer determined by consent of both parties, but by statute or statutory rules which may be framed and altered unilaterally by the Government. In other words, the legal position of a Government servant is more one of status than of contract. It is further observed that the hall-mark of status is the attachment to a legal relationship of rights and duties imposed by the public law and not by mere agreement of the parties. In fact, under these circumstances, the recourse to public law remedy comes into picture. It is, by any reckoning, fallacious to contend that there is no element of contract in public service.

59. In the present instance, whatever the nomenclature given to the service conditions governing the employees of the 2nd respondent, they are not statutory in nature. In other words Ext. P6 service rules have not been framed under any statute, to say the least. Thus the dichotomy sought to be introduced by the learned counsel for the petitioner that the service rules framed and applied, without actually entering into individual contracts with the employees, are of public nature cannot be sustained.’

The conclusive indication is in the ultimate paragraph; ‘In the facts and circumstances, this Court holds that the 2nd respondent does not answer the description of a State, an agency or any instrumentality of State or that of any other authority. Despite the fact that as an accredited agent to the Government it discharges duties of public nature, a mere service dispute in terms of Ext.P6 non-statutory service rules does not give the necessary wherewithal to the petitioner to take recourse to Article 226 of Constitution of India. Accordingly the writ petition is dismissed at the threshold as not maintainable, but leaving it open for the petitioner to explore other legally permissible methods of grievance redressal.’”

Finally and far most importantly, the Full Bench then rightly holds in para 40 that, “It is trite position of law that the power of the High Court conferred under Article 226 of the Constitution to issue writs, for enforcement of any of the rights conferred by Part III of the Constitution and for any other purpose can be directed to any person or authority. But it is well understood that a mandamus would lie to secure the performance of a public or statutory duty in the performance of which, the person who seek such a writ has a sufficient legal interest. The writ, in form of a command directing particular act to be done would lie against a nature of public duty, though the person or authority on whom the statutory duty is imposed need not be a public official or an official body. A writ in the nature of mandamus would also lie against a private body, but only when such body performs any public function. The commercial business of banking, though is a function of public importance is not a public function and this position, succinctly flow from the decision of the Apex Court in case of Federal Bank Ltd. (supra). Merely because the Reserved Bank of India prescribe the banking policy for the sound economic growth and any particular bank function under the Banking Regulation Act, a private company carrying on business or commercial activity of banking do not conclusively establish that it discharge any public function or public duty. The Regulations are to be ranked not more than regulatory measures and if there is a failure to adhere to the said regulations, certain consequences are visited, is also not an indication to categorize the functioning as public duty. Similarly, merely because an organisation carries on function of public importance which are akin to or closely related to government functions, it would be no reason to hold that it discharge public functions.

Another important aspect which has to be borne in mind is that a writ can be issued for the discharge of only that public function if at all a body performs a public function and not any other function performed by it in the course of its business. Even if a body is performing public duty and amenable to writ jurisdiction, as a necessary sequel, all its decisions are not subject to judicial review but only those decisions which have public element therein can be judicially reviewed in exercise of writ jurisdiction. A fine line needs to be drawn between the contract of service by bearing its connection to the nature of contract and a contract of personnel service cannot be enforced with the exception when the employee is a public servant working under the Union of India or State, or an employee who is employed by any authority which is recognised as ‘State’ within the meaning of Article 12 and when such an employee fall within the ambit of “workman” within the meaning of Section 2(s) of the Industrial Dispute Act, 1947. There cannot be any dispute that writ is maintainable under Article 226 of Constitution of India even against a private management for enforcing the ‘public duty’ cast upon them, but it cannot be said that the same is available also for enforcing the terms and conditions of service in every situation. With the said observations, the Accountant who had knocked the doors of the Court who was aggrieved by issuance of a chargesheet by the Socio-Economic Unique Foundation, a private Society without any government control, and which was held to be not answering the description of a State, an agency or instrumentality of State or that of any other authority, it was held that though acting as a accredited agent to the Government it discharges duties of public nature, mere service dispute in terms of non-statutory service rules does not permit the petitioner to take recourse to Article 226 of the Constitution of India. In light of the aforesaid discussion on the two issues formulated by us in the primorial part of this judgment, we answer the same as under:

1) The Goa State Cooperative Bank Ltd is not a ‘State’ or an instrumentality thereof nor does it fall within the ambit of ‘Any other authority’ for the purposes of Article 12 of Constitution of India.

2) The GSCB does not discharge any public functions, which would warrant issuance of writ in the nature of mandamus in discharge of its performance of public functions. The questions being decided as aforesaid, we direct the Writ Petition to be placed before the appropriate Bench for its consideration.

The questions being decided as aforesaid, we direct the Writ Petition to be placed before the appropriate Bench for its consideration.”

In a nutshell, we thus see that the Bombay High Court effectively, elegantly and eloquently addresses both the questions and superbly answers them after according rational reasons for the same along with relevant case laws! In an 85-page judgment, the Full Bench of Bombay High Court has taken great pains to explain each and every aspect along with relevant case laws and we have dealt with only the most relevant part here. This brief, brilliant, bold and balanced judgment is like the key that has unlocked the lock and answered both the questions posed with consummate ease! It goes without saying: “There is nothing more that remains to be said”!

Sanjeev Sirohi, Advocate,

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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.

Tarun Nangia

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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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Policy & Politics

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.

Tarun Nangia

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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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Policy & Politics

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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Policy & Politics

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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Policy & Politics

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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Policy & Politics

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

Tarun Nangia

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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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