There is tumult and uncertainty in Britain, varying degrees of apprehension abroad following the Brexit referendum victory. The establishments in the UK and EU, certain Remain party would carry the day, scarcely gave thought to possible defeat. Shock and awe have characterized their reactions to the decline and fall of those believing in their divine right to rule, come what may. Election results have nothing to do with approval ratings. Instead of sulking as bad losers, the Remain would do well to accept the democratic verdict with grace and move. It is preposterous to suppose that a second referendum would be possible or that the Scottish Assembly could veto the people’s mandate.
It will take time for the tumult in Britain to die down and things to fall into place before normal political life resumes. India is a major stakeholder in the British economy. Eight hundred Indian companies have investments in Britain – indeed, India is third-largest investor in the country – hence a take from one of the captains of Indian indury on the impact of the UK situation on India should be of interest.
India to ridev out crisis
India’s Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley, reacting to the Brexit vote, said, ‘We are well prepared to deal with the short and medium term consequences to Brexit. Our macro-economic fundamentals are sound with a very comfortable external position, a rock-solid commitment to fiscal discipline, and declining inflation. Our immediate and medium-term fire walls are solid too in the form of a healthy reserve position.’ According to Shaktikanta Das, Economic Affairs Secretary, Government of India, India will ‘stabilize faster than others.’ He said: ‘It is difficult to predict how long the volatility will persist but we expect Indian markets to stabilize than other markets mainly due to our strong macro-economic parameters.’
Robust growth; high foreign exchange reserves 2)Lower commodity prices 3)Room for rate cut as price pressures abate 4) Expectation of robust monsoon, revival of rural demand 5) Government’s reform measures. However, much will also depend on fast and smoothly Britain’s exit from the EU is negotiated.
Opportunities for India in UK
While India will have to await further developments, consequent to Brexit, but if the statement of Nigel Farage, the leader of UKIP is anything to go by, Indians will be in a position to benefit. Why? Because, says Mr Farage, ‘people from India and Australia are more likely to speak English, understand common law and have a connection with the country,’ than, say, people from Eastern Europe. According to BJP Rajya Sabha MP, Swapan Dasgupta, ‘Brexit signals new opportunities for India and Indians.’ (Times of India June 27)
Confidence in India
Honeywell, a Fortune 100 American multinational firm, has already invested $200 million in its largest global engineering centre in Bangalore in the current year, where 6,000 of its 8,000 engineers in India operate. The company plans to accelerate its investments in India, where its businesses are clocking growth thrice as fast the country’s GDP. Honeywell President Shane Tedjarati, speaking to the Hindu newspaper, said:: ‘There is lot of engineering talent here – India is one the biggest exporters of talent for Honeywell. Some of our biggest leaders now come from India. Centre of gravity ‘For us, India is becoming the world’s centre of gravity for innovation and production…we have five major engineering centres with 8,000 engineers and seven manufacturing sites here. All our Indian businesses are growing healthily at double-digit rates…Over the last 12 months, we have ramped up up to make India a global centre for finance,’ said Tedjarti (Hindu June 27)
India top destination for R&D investments
India’s arrival as a global hub for research and development (R&D) is epitomized in the strides it has made, and is making, in attracting in R&D investments in electronics and Information Technology, beating the US and Germany. According to the latest report by the US-based Hfs Research, India leads with 30 per cent of the global ER&D centre announcements.
List of leaders
‘From April to December 2015, we found details of 190 ER&D centre announcements, India leads the pack with 57 per cent of those ER&D announcements. Other countries are the US, China, Singapore, France, Israel, the UK, South Korea and Ireland,’ said Pareekh Jain, Research Director at Hfs research. The ‘Make in India’ and ‘Sell in India’ are making a visible impact on the market. (Business Line June 28)
India’s defence purchases
The Indian Army’s efforts to acquire more lethal weaponry received a major boost with the government’s Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) approving the purchase of America’s M777 ultra-light Howitzer, and the indigenous Dhanush howitzers.. The US howitzers will be particularly effective in mountain warfare on the borders with China.
The DAC chaired by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, approved 19 other acquisitions, including the much anticipated Russian S-440 Triumph air defence system, indigenously developed simulators for Jaguar aircraft and an electronic warfare system developed by Bharat Electronics Limited (Hindu June 26)
PM warning to Swamy
To the visible relief of the BJP mainstream, Prime Mini8ster Narendra Modi has issued a warning to the party’s maverick loudmouth Subramanian Swamy to button up. The unlicensed Swamy launched a swinging attack on RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan, followed another intemperate outburst at Arvind Subramanian, Chief Economic Adviser to the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. The Prime Minister spoke warmly of Mr Rajan, saying tht he would always at the service of India, whenever required (Times of India, Hindu June 28)
Lead by example
Mr Modi was speaking to the media, when he made veiled reference to the irresponsible and obstructionist tactics of the Congress party, which in its present dire straits is unelectable. But mentioning the Emergency yet again ad nauseam has its limits. In fairness why does he not refer to Jayaprakash Narayan’s call to Army and Police to revolt against the government, and George Fernandes attempts to disrupt the country’s rail network through sabotage, prior to the declaration of the Emergency.
Indira Gandhi’s service
Mr Modi’s government in unable to handle Pakistan; Mrs Gandhi presided over its defeat and the thwarting of American and Chinese designs to keep the Pakistani military dictatorship afloat. Senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha has attacked the the Modi government’s craven Pakistan policy, highlighted by another jihadi attack on a paramilitary CRPF unit in Kashmir, resulting in eight fatalities and two of the jihadis shot dead. Their weapons were of Pakistani make (Times of India June 27)
IS module busted
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has busted an Islamic State module in Hyderabad and arrested 11 men, including their handler, at ten different locations in the early hours of Wednesday (June 29) last week. The arrested men, in their 20s and 30s, were university graduates from a middle class background. The jihadis were getting funds via Dubai and had been under close watch for the past three months. Their recruitment took place through the Internet, Explosives, incrimination laptops and weapons were seized. Planed attacks were imminent when NIA operatives struck. Earlier in January, NIA arrested 25 men with IS links (Times of India, Hindu June 30)
Green shoots in rural India
Spending in rural India is rising steadily, leading to visible growth in the agriculture sector. Increasing sales of tractors and mopeds have been recorded, pointing to green shoots of economic recovery following two years of drought. With a good monsoon forecast this year, revived rural growth is expected to spur overall national growth this fiscal (Business Line June 30).
Sukhoi aircraft tests BrahMos missiles
In a landmark development, India’s frontline Sukhoi 30MKI warplanes have integrated the heavy 2,500 kg supersonic cvo-developed Indo-Russian force multiplier BrahMos cruise missile in its armoury by modifying the aircraft’s frame. The successful test flight took place at Nashik, where a Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) team witnessed the flight. HAL Chairman & Managing Director, T.Suvarna Raju said a further 14 to 15 tests would be carried out before induction at the end of the year. HAL’s modification of the Sukhoi was ‘an engineering marvel,’ said Mr Raju.
BrahMos CEO and Managing Director S.K.Mishra, said: ‘The world did not believe that we could do it, and thanks to the vision of of the late President APJ Abdul Kalam, we did and made history.’ There was critical cooperation between different bodies in this endeavour. Forty Sukhois will carry this game changing missile (Hindu, Times of India June 26).
India joins elite missile group
India has been admitted to the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR). A ceremony marking membership of the group was held last week at the Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi, where the French Ambassador-designate to India Alexandre Ziegler handed over the relevant papers to S. Jaishanker, India’s foreign secretary (administrative head of the ministry). Membership of the MTCR should improve India’s chances of eventually joining the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). (Hindu, Times of India, Telegraph June 28).