Big News

Himachal elections see record turnout; Karnataka allows IT workers to unionize; Delhi struggles with toxic air; Telangana offers instant licenses to commercial establishments; and more.

Center–State relations

The central government launched Phase II of the BharatNet project, which aims to provide high-speed broadband connections to all panchayats by the end of 2019, with an outlay of $5.2 billion. Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd will develop optical fiber networks in eight states — Assam, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Jammu and Kashmir, and Sikkim —and Power Grid Corporation of India will develop networks in Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Odisha. Source: News 18

Andhra Pradesh

Nothing critical to report this week


The state cabinet allocated $205 million to the Bihar State Power Transmission Company to strengthen the state's transmission network, with an emphasis on Patna area. Source: Times of India

New Delhi

New Delhi's annual smog crisis is reaching epic proportions this year, with poor air quality leading to school closures and the cancellation of trains and flights to the capital. November 9 saw the worst air quality of the season so far, reaching an Air Quality Index of 486. The national environmental tribunal mandated reintroduction of the odd-even scheme (in which only 50 percent of cars are allowed to drive on any one day) began Monday, November 13. Source: Hindustan Times


Nothing critical to report this week


Nothing critical to report this week


The winter session of the state legislature will begin on November 13. It will be the last legislature session in Karnataka before assembly elections. Source: Times of India

The labor commission of Karnataka has certified the formation of the Karnataka State IT/ITES Employees Union (KITU) under the Trade Union Act, 1926 and Karnataka Trade Unions Regulations, 1958. The decision represents a breakthrough for trade unions in the technology sector. Source: Economic Times

Madhya Pradesh

Nothing critical to report this week


The state cabinet decided to offer exemptions from stamp duty and registration fees for 25 years for businesses and manufacturing units operating in special economic zones. Source: Live Mint

The Maharashtra government has been able to spend less than 27 percent of the budget allocation for capital assets, such as infrastructure, in the first seven months of the fiscal year. Of the $19.4 billion budgeted for development schemes, only $5.2 billion has been spent. A majority of the state departments have spent less than 30 percent of their budget. Source: Hindustan Times

Moving a step closer towards major labor reform, a cabinet sub-committee has cleared a proposed change to the Industrial Disputes Act to allow businesses with less than 300 workers to shut down or lay off workers without seeking government permission. Currently, only units with less than 100 workers are exempt from the requirement. The change would mean that 96 percent of the state's industrial units would be covered by the waiver, compared to 87 percent currently. If enacted, Maharashtra would become the fourth state to make the change. Source: Times of India In Detail: Breakthrough Index - Labor Reform


Rajasthan launched iStart, a dedicated program for nurturing start-ups. Start-ups registering with the state will be provided with a detailed assessment of their business plan and will have access to skill-building and mentoring programs. Founders who complete the program will be matched with potential investors and will have the opportunity to apply for grants from the state government. Source: Inc 42 In Detail: Rajasthan iStart Website

Tamil Nadu

The Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (Tangedco) is planning to set up 350 kiosks across the state selling energy-efficient bulbs and fans, with the goal of distributing more than 30 million energy efficient LED bulbs in the next year. Source: Times of India, Financial Express


The Telangana assembly passed three bills, including the Shops and Establishments (Amendment) Act, 2017, which gives instant licenses to new commercial establishments. Previously business owners had to wait a month to receive the permits. The assembly also passed an amendment to the Telangana Prevention of Dangerous Activities Bill that gives the police power to investigate cyber crimes and sexual harassment, among other offenses; and the Telangana Road Development Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2017, which aims to promote development of roads and highways by securing funds from financial institutions. Source: Deccan Chronicle In Detail: Shops and Establishments Bill text, Prevention of Dangerous Activities Bill text, Road Development Corporation Bill text

The Telangana government will provide 24x7 power supply to the agricultural sector beginning November 13 on an experimental basis. The state experimented with supplying round-the-clock power to agricultural users in three districts during the monsoon sowing season. It will now be offered across the state for 5-6 days. Source: Hindu Business Line

Uttar Pradesh

Nothing critical to report this week

West Bengal

Nothing critical to report this week

Best of the Rest

Himachal Pradesh

Himachal Pradesh elections took place on November 9 with a record 74 percent turnout, the highest ever for the state's assembly elections. 101-year old Shyam Saran Negi, the first person ever to vote in an Indian general election, cast his vote in state assembly elections for the fifteenth time. Source: The Hindu


India and the World Bank signed a $119 million loan agreement to improve access to education in Odisha. The five-year Odisha Higher Education Programme for Excellence and Equity Project is intended to offer equitable access to top-quality academic institutions and to improve governance and economic management of the state's universities. Source: India Today In Detail: World Bank Project Website


Solar power producer Azure Power won a tender from the Jharkhand Renewable Energy Development Agency to electrify 320 households in 11 villages through development of mini and micro solar power grids. The contract represents a shift into rural power provision for Azure. Jharkhand currently has three million households without electricity. Source: PVTech