Big News

President Ram Nath Kovind approved The Industrial Disputes (Assam Amendment) Bill, 2017; Maharashtra announces an ambitious plan to supply solar-powered agricultural pumps at highly subsidized rates to 100,000 farmers; Essar Power commissions the second 600 MW unit of the Mahan power plant in Madhya Pradesh; Delhi adopts an emergency action to respond to the severe air pollution in the city; and more.

Center – State relations

The British Council in India and the North Eastern Council signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to strengthen educational and cultural cooperation, as well as support the knowledge ambitions and economic growth of the eight northeastern Indian states. Source: Business Standard

State-owned Indian Oil Corporation said it will invest $740.7 million to set up a city gas distribution network for the retail of compressed natural gas to automobiles, and of piped cooking gas to households in seven districts. Source: Economic Times

Seven companies have secured contracts to supply 1,900 megawatts (MW) of power to the states of Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Bihar, West Bengal, and Haryana. The seven power companies quoted a price of $0.05 per kilowatt-hour (kWh), or unit, in the auction for contract-starved, stressed power plants. Source: Economic Times

The Union Cabinet has decided to set up Indian Institutes of Science Education & Research at Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh and Berhampur, Odisha, at a total cost of $416 million. Source: The Hindu Business Line In detail: Press Release

Ahead of the annual summit between India and Japan next month, both countries have agreed to deepen their cooperation in various sectors at the second meeting of the Japan-India Act East Forum, including building infrastructure in northeastern region, and undertaking forest management projects in Tripura and Meghalaya. Source: Financial Express In detail: Press Release

Andhra Pradesh

HCL Technologies announced that it will set up a global information technology development center, spread over nearly 30 acres, at Gannavaram, Andhra Pradesh, which will help create more than 5,000 jobs. Source: Times of India


The Bihar cabinet approved a “Detail Project Report” to set up a metro rail in Patna, which would be sent to the central government for approval. The cabinet also approved a decision to ban the use of plastic carry bags in all the municipal corporations, municipal councils, and nagar panchayats of the state. Source: Money Control

New Delhi

The center has approved a land pooling policy for Delhi, which will allow the city to get 1.7 million housing units capable of accommodating 7.6 million people. The policy was approved by the Delhi Development Authority earlier last month. Source: Economic Times In detail: Press Release

The Delhi government has adopted an emergency action plan to respond to the severe air pollution in the city. Steps in the plan include banning diesel power generator sets, halting construction activity in Delhi, impounding high-polluting vehicles, and mechanized sweeping of roads. The plan will build upon the Graded Response Action Plan adopted last year. Source: Economic Times In detail: Graded Response Action Plan


International Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology, or iCreate, an Ahmedabad-based tech incubator, has signed an MOU with BootUP Ventures and University of Houston aimed at assisting Indian start-ups to understand U.S. entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystems, as well as acting as a safe landing pad for U.S. companies and start-ups interested in exploring the Indian market.  Source: Economic Times


Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for a rail coach refurbishing factory, saying the project will create employment and boost industrial development in Haryana. The Rail Coach Refurbishing and Rehabilitation Factory will be set up at a cost of $67.7 million at Barhi in Sonipat district. Source: Money Control In detail: Press Release

The Haryana government signed an MOU with the center and the All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) to set up an innovation and learning center at AIIMS, New Delhi, which can provide technical support on comprehensive primary healthcare and ensure quality services at Haryana’s health and wellness centers. Source: Bio Spectrum

Haryana will be the first state to undertake a project to geo-map its cities and urban properties. The state has said that the project would ensure there would be no errors regarding the details of properties that fall under the purview civic bodies because of this project. Source: Times of India


Ramanan Ramanathan, Mission Director at the Atal Innovation Mission, Government of India launched the India-Israel Innovation Center in Bengaluru at the conclusion of the third edition of the Internet-of-Things Congress India. The center will help teams and individuals to grow their technologies and businesses, and work collaboratively in both the countries.  Source: Economic Times

The National Thermal Power Corporation has invited bids for the development of a wind-solar hybrid power project at Kudgi, Karnataka. The tender is for a mix of at least 60 MW of wind energy and at least 130 MW of solar energy. Source: Mercom In detail: Tender details

Madhya Pradesh

Rewa Ultra Mega Solar Limited has announced a tender of 1,500 MW of grid-connected solar photovoltaic projects to be developed across three solar parks in the state of Madhya Pradesh. Source: Mercom In detail: Bid Invitation – Agar solar Park, Neemuch Solar Park, Shajapur Solar Park

Essar Power announced it has commissioned the second 600 MW unit of the Mahan power plant in Madhya Pradesh, completing an overall $1 billion investment in the flagship project.

Source: Economic Times In detail: Press Release


The Maharashtra government has announced an ambitious plan to supply solar-powered agricultural pumps at highly subsidized rates to 100,000 farmers. According to initial estimates, the project — which is modeled on the lines of the center’s Atal Solar Krushi Pump scheme — will cost $505 million. Source: Indian Express

The Maharashtra government has approved the center’s plan of a drone taxi service for Mumbai asking that the state set ground rules with regards to height, high-rises, and charging stations for the battery-operated drones. Source: The Hindu

Maharashtra will expand its injectable contraceptives program by extending the availability of intramuscular contraceptive injections, a reversible method of contraception, to sub-district and rural hospitals, and will work with the United Nations Population Fund. According to state data, since last year, approximately 7,500 women have used the contraceptive programs. Source: Indian Express


Additional Chief Secretary, Medical and Health, of the government of Rajasthan Veenu Gupta released the latest numbers of a Zika virus outbreak in Rajasthan, noting that five new cases of Zika virus were detected in Jaipur and that there are now 60 confirmed infected cases total. Source: NDTV

Tamil Nadu

The Robert Bosch Center for Data Science and Artificial Intelligence at the Indian Institute of Technology - Madras will collaborate with Tamil Nadu e-Governance Agency to enhance data-driven governance by working closely with various official branches and entities within the state government, and contributing towards various aspects of governance, including education, healthcare, and agriculture. Source: The Hindu Business Line


Qualcomm will invest $400 million to establish a campus in Hyderabad, which will be its largest facility outside of the United States. Source: NDTV

Uttar Pradesh

The Uttar Pradesh New and Renewable Energy Development Agency Solar recently concluded an auction for 500 MW of grid-connected solar projects, where Maheshwari Mining and Energy and National Thermal Power Corporation Limited’s renewable energy section quoted the lowest tariff of $0.043/kWh to develop 20 MW and 140 MW respectively. Source: Mercom In detail: Press Release

Solar Energy Corporation of India has extended the deadline for submissions for its tender for 150 MW of floating solar to be developed over the Rihand Dam in the Sonbhadra district of Uttar Pradesh. Source: PV Magazine In detail: Notice of Extension

West Bengal

Nothing critical to report this week.

Best of the Rest


President Ram Nath Kovind approved The Industrial Disputes (Assam Amendment) Bill, 2017, that will replace the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 in the state and will allow companies to lay off or retrench up to 300 employees without seeking prior approval of the government. Source: The Shillong Time In detail: The Industrial Disputes (Assam Amendment) Bill, 2017

Himachal Pradesh

The center has sanctioned $4.4 million to Himachal Pradesh to strengthen the dairy sector in the state. Source: Business Standard

Jammu and Kashmir           

The Indian Space Research Organisation signed an MOU with the Central University of Jammuto establish a Space Applications Center at the university. Source: NDTV In detail: Press Release


The Meghalaya cabinet approved a proposal to reduce the price of petrol and diesel by 3 cents a liter, a move that will cost the state $2 million annually. Source: NDTV

The center has approved a proposal of the Meghalaya government to develop fisheries in the state at a total cost of $12.8 million, noting that the Meghalaya government must ensure direct benefit transfers in cash or kind to the beneficiaries. Source: The Sentinel


Oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan laid the foundation stone of Odisha’s first second-generation bio-ethanol refinery, established by government-owned fuel retailer Bharat Petroleum (BPCL) in Bargarh district. When commissioned by August 2020, the refinery will have the capacity to produce 30 million liters of bio-ethanol per year at a cost of $135.6 million.  Source: Economic Times In detail: Press Release


Following a decision by the Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commissioner (PSERC) to increase the fuel cost adjustment (FCA) surcharge, the board of directors of the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) has passed the cost of the increased surcharge to consumers, which has led to a slightly increase in the cost of power in Punjab. Source: Energy Infra Post

Between October 14, 2018 and March 31, 2019, the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited will schedule power supply at varying increments depending on type of agricultural use (for example for vegetable farming versus grains). Source: Daily Pioneer


Sikkim, which was declared fully organic in 2016 after phasing out chemical fertilizers and pesticides and substituting them with sustainable alternatives, has won the Gold Prize of the Future Policy Award. The award is backed by the United Nations, and was awarded to Sikkim for its policies which “has helped more than 66,000 farmers, boosted tourism, and set an example to other countries.” Source: The Hindu Business Line In detail: Press Release


U.S. ambassador Kenneth Juster visited Tripura as a part of his first visit to northeast India and met Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb at the state secretariat. The two officials discussed issues pertaining to business, connectivity, and Indo-U.S. relations. Source: Indian Express In detail: Press Release

The Tripura government fulfilled its electoral promise of revising the salary of state employees and the pension of retired officials, making them at par with the recommendations made in the 7th Central Pay Commission. Source: Financial Express


Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat inaugurated the trial run of the hill-state’s first electric bus in a boost the state’s Electric Vehicle Policy. Source: Economic Times In detail: Uttarakhand Electric Vehicle Policy

Electric vehicle manufacturer Olectra-BYD said it has signed an agreement with Uttarakhand government to deploy 500 electric buses in the state with an investment of $95 million. Source: Money Control

The National Stock Exchange of India announced it has signed a pact with the Uttarakhand government to provide access to capital to micro, small and medium enterprises by increasing awareness about exchange guidelines, listing processes, and compliance with listing agreement opportunities to raise capital. Source: Economic Times In detail: Press Release