19 November 2018

Notifications & Circulars

Reserve Bank of India



RBI imposes monetary penalty on The Jammu and Kashmir Bank Ltd


The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has imposed, by an order dated November 05, 2018, a monetary penalty of Rs. 30 million on The Jammu and Kashmir Bank Ltd. (the bank) for non-compliance with the directions issued by RBI on Income Recognition and Asset Classification (IRAC) norms and Know Your Customer / Anti-money Laundering (KYC/AML) norms. This penalty has been imposed in exercise of powers vested in RBI under the provisions of Section 47A(1)(c) read with Section 46(4)(i) of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949, taking into account the failure of the bank to adhere to the aforesaid directions issued by RBI.

This action is based on deficiencies in regulatory compliance and is not intended to pronounce upon the validity of any transaction or agreement entered into by the bank with its customers.

Tags : Penalty Imposition Bank

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Press Information Bureau



Liberalization of visa regime of India during the last one year


India has a robust visa regime to facilitate smooth entry, stay and movement of foreigners in India for legitimate purposes while ensuring the security of the country. During the last one year, the MHA has taken a series of steps to liberalize the visa process in India. Some of the major steps are described below:

The Electronic Visa Facility now covers practically all the countries of the world. Foreign nationals of 166 countries can now enjoy this facility at 26 airports and 05 seaports. The foreigner does not have to interact with any Indian official till his arrival at the immigration counter. The Bureau of Immigration (BoI) generally decides within 24-48 hours whether or not to grant an e-visa to a foreigner. The popularity of e-visa is sky rocketing. The number of foreigners who visited India on e-visa has gone up from 4.47 lakhs in 2015 to 17.00 lakhs in 2017. The figure for 2018 is 18.78 lakhs upto 30th October, 2018.

Two new categories of e-visa i.e. e-Conference & e-Medical Attendant visa have been introduced recently. E-visa is now available for five categories i.e. (i) Tourist, (ii) Business (iii) Medical (iv) Conference and (v) medical attendant.

The local FRRO has been empowered now to extend duration of electronic visas beyond 60 days upto 90 days. Moreover, these e-visas can now be availed three times in one year against twice in a year earlier.

For foreigners who are already in India and who require any consular/visa services like extension of visa, conversion of visa, exit permission or any of the total 27 visa-related services, an online e-FRRO facility has now been launched throughout the country. The foreigners do not have to physically visit the offices of FRROs/FROs. They can apply as well as receive consular/visa services online after making online payment.

To promote cruise tourism immigration facilities have been provided at five major seaports where e-Landing Permits are granted to passengers for their onshore site-seeing. The condition of biometric enrollment for such tourists arriving at the ports of Mumbai, Cochin, Mormugao, Chennai & New Mangalore has also been suspended till December, 2020 to ensure faster immigration clearance so that cruise tourists can spend maximum time on shore.

Foreign nationals who fall sick during their stay in India can now avail medical treatment without converting their visa into Medical Visa. This would take care of sudden medical emergencies.

Allowing conversion of any category of visa of a foreign national who is married to an Indian citizen/Person of Indian Origin/OCI Cardholder into an Entry Visa at any point of time by the FRRO himself

Facilities such as extension of employment and business visas for a period up to ten years within India as against five years at present; extension of visa of foreigners who are staying in India upto 15 years continuously and for 5 years at a time; permitting a foreign national who is already in India on Long Term Visa to attend international conferences/seminars/workshops without any specific permission from the FRRO concerned have also been extended.

FRROs have been delegated powers for various visa related services like Visa extension, Visa conversion, registration, exit permission, etc. These measures will help in expediting clearances for various visa related services to foreigners and cut their waiting time.

FRROs have been delegated power for various visa related services like Visa extension. Visa conversion, registration, exit permission, etc. These measures will help in expediting clearances for various visa related services to foreigners and cut their waiting time.

Foreigners require Restricted Area Permit/Protected Area Permit besides a proper visa to visit areas which have been declared as "Restricted" or "Protected" areas. In many cases such permits are granted only after a Prior Reference is made by the concerned State/UT Govt. to the MHA. This takes time and creates another entry barrier for a foreigner. The MHA has now rationalized issuance of such permits. Prior Clearance of the MHA for grant of Protected Area Permit (PAP) and Restricted Area Permit (RAP) to foreigners in the following three major areas has been dispensed with :

Foreigners intending to visit a place covered under the PAP/RAP regime for activities other than tourism on a visa other than Tourist Visa;

Foreigners visiting a place for tourism purpose which is not opened for tourism;

Individual foreign tourists

Accordingly, the State Government concerned or the FRROs can now take decision locally and grant PAP or RAP to such foreigners immediately.

Earlier, foreigners visiting Andaman & Nicobar Islands required a visa as well as an RAP. With a view to promote flow of tourism and investment, 30 islands of Andaman & Nicobar have been excluded from the RAP regime notified under the Foreigners (Restricted Areas) Order, 1963. Foreigners will also be allowed to visit 11 uninhabited islands, to be notified by Andaman & Nicobar Islands Admn., only for day trips without any RAP. Requirement of registration by foreigners visiting these islands has also been dispensed with.

Provisions relating to grant of intern visa have been liberalized with a view to attract more foreigners for internship in India which will be beneficial to Indian organizations. Intern Visa is now available at any time during the course of study. Further, minimum remuneration requirement for grant of intern visa for internship in a company has been reduced from Rs.7.80 lakhs to Rs.3.60 lakhs per annum.

With a view to enhance transparency and speed in processing of grant of event clearance for international conferences/seminars/workshops, an e-Event Clearance Module has been rolled out in April, 2018. Faster conference clearance would result into faster visa issuance for the foreigners intending to attend such conference.

Tags : Liberalization Visa regime Foreigners

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Press Information Bureau



Morocco and India agree to assist in Legal and Commercial Matters, NIC to support Modernization of Courts


Morroco & India yesterday signed an agreement to further mutual legal assistance in Civil & Commercial Courts. Union Minister of Law & Justice and Electronics & IT, Sh. Ravi Shankar Prasad and his Moroccan Counterpart Mr. Mohammed Auajjar, Minister of Justice were present on the occasion. The agreement will enhance co-operation in the service of summons, judicial documents, letters of request and the execution of judgments decrees and arbitral awards.

Speaking on the occasion Sh. Prasad said that India believes in the necessity of enhancing the domain of mutual co-operation with Morocco and realizing the importance of broadening the aspects of co-operation between both the countries in Civil and Commercial Matters.

Some of the salient features of the proposed agreement are:-

i. Service of summons and other judicial documents or processes;

ii. taking of evidence in civil matters;

iii. production, identification or examination of documents, recordings;

iv. The execution of a Letter of Request for taking of evidence in civil matters;

v. Recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards.

A joint declaration of Intent on cooperation in the field of modernization and use of information technology between National Informatics Center (NIC) of Government of India and Ministry of Justice of the Kingdom of Morocco was signed. The objective of this is to strengthen e-Governance including modernization of courts using IT as a tool to the mutual benefit of both sides by means of exchange of best practices, field visits of officials and experts and by such other means as may be jointly decided by the sides.

Center for Development of Advance Computing (CDAC), Govt. of India had set up a Center of Excellence in Information Technology in Casablanca in Morocco. This center was inaugurated on 7th May, 2018. It has 193 students and 10 students have already received placements in private as well as public sectors.

The said agreements will be beneficial for the citizens of both the countries. It will also fulfill the desire of both the countries to strengthen the bonds of friendship and fruitful cooperation in the Civil and Commercial matters, which is the spirit, essence and language of the agreement.

India and Morocco have interacted in historical terms going back to the 14th century when the famous traveler and writer from Tangier, Ibn Batuta travelled to India. His writings on medieval Indian society are as much an important source of historical information about India to the Indians as to the Moroccans. In modern history, India was active in the UN supporting the Moroccan freedom movement and recognized Morocco on 20 June 1956 when it became independent of the protectorate arrangements with France and diplomatic Missions were established in 1957.

Since the establishment of relations, India and Morocco have enjoyed cordial and friendly ties. From time to time dignitaries of one country visited other country. Indian dignitaries who visited Morocco includes Vice-President Dr. Zakir Hussain (1967) and Minister of Law & Justice (2016).

Tags : Commercial Matters Assistance Agreement

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Press Information Bureau



DIPP hosts Global Digital Content Market, 2018


DG, WIPO addressing Press Conference in New Delhi

The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, is hosting a conference on Global Digital Content Market (GDCM) 2018, on 14th-15th November 2018, in New Delhi. The conference will feature sessions on music, film, broadcasting and publishing, as well as collective management, emerging models and the implications for the market and policy makers.

India has been chosen as a host nation for the conference by World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) due to the strong creative industry in the country in films, music and media. The focus for this year's conference is the Asia Pacific region. The GDCM 2018 will see participation of professionals from various creative fields, the digital industry around the world and delegates of the diplomatic community from Missions to the United Nations.

The aim of GDCM 2018 is to give industry stakeholders a platform to come together and discuss new avenues in the films, music, gaming and creative industry along with points of challenge that is presented due to the changing creative landscape because of the disruption brought about by digital technologies. It is hoped that through the GDCM 2018 an exchange of knowledge, culture and good practices amongst the nations of the Asia Pacific region will take place. GDCM is a platform to discuss vital issues and enhance development of the digital and IP generating industries such as publishing, films, music, and gaming all of which are major contributors to the Indian GDP. The presence of key stakeholders from India in GDCM will place it on the global digital stage.

GDCM 2018 is the second edition of the conference. The first conference was held in Geneva 2016. Speaking at a press conference today in New Delhi, Mr. Francis Gurry, the Director General of World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Geneva, said that the aim of WIPO is to ensure that a creative artist continues to be protected and receives better remuneration on the digital platform. He appreciated India's efforts of integration with international systems through the National IPR policy 2016 under which the Government of India has taken efforts for creating an environment in the country that is conducive for the generation of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) by increasing awareness among the citizens on the subject and strengthening IPR enforcement mechanisms.

Secretary DIPP, Ramesh Abhishek, informed in the press conference that India's rank in the Global Innovation Index 2018 has improved by 24 places from that of 2015 and now ranks 57th. India is the top-ranked economy in Central and Southern Asia and has now outperformed on innovation relative to its GDP per capita for seven years in a row.

Secretary DIPP further stated that to better equip the enforcement agencies to deal with IP related crimes 33 enforcement training programmes have already been conducted in 9 states in order to train police, customs and the judiciary for tackling cases on IP. Government has also pulled down 80 rogue websites to combat online piracy. India has recently approved accession to the WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT) and WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT) that has increased the coverage of protection of copyrights in the international IP regime as it is extended to even the internet and digital environment. This will bring the Indian creative industry under and international copyright system, secure distribution of their work and provide them with a level playing field.

Secretary DIPP also informed that large scale augmentation of man power of Indian IP offices has been done which has brought down pendency of IP applications. Trademark registration has increased by leaps and bounds and patent applications have quadrupled in 2017-18 as compared to 2015-16. These efforts are being made to ensure that the country moves towards realizing the goals of Creative India; Innovative India.

Tags : Content Market Global Digital Hosting of

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Press Information Bureau



India and Morocco sign Agreement on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters


An Agreement on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters was signed by Shri Kiren Rijiju, Minister of State for Home on behalf of the Government of Republic of India and Mr. Mohamed Aujjar, Minister of Justice on behalf of the Government of the Kingdom of Morocco, here today. The Agreement will strengthen bilateral cooperation with Morocco and enhance effectiveness and provide a broad legal framework for prevention, investigation and prosecution of crimes; as well as in tracing, restraint and confiscation of funds meant to finance terrorist acts. Both Ministers reiterated their resolve to jointly counter the threats posed by organized crime and terrorism.

Tags : Criminal Matters Assistance Agreement

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Press Information Bureau



Government approves the process of constitution of new Boards of Governors for the IIMs as per the IIM Act 2017


The Government has today approved the process of constitution of new Boards of Governors for the IIMs as per the IIM Act 2017. "The process of constitution of Boards for the IIMs, which have been given full powers of running the institutions, is a major development which signals complete autonomy of quality institutions in higher education and will ensure quality expansion of higher education", said Prakash Javadekar, Minister for Human Resources Development after approving the process of constitution of Boards for the (20) IIMs in accordance with the IIM Act 2017.

This process is in accordance with the provisions of the Section 10 of the IIM Act 2017, and has been approved in consultation with the Ministry of Law and Justice.

The IIM Act is a historical step of the Govt. which for the first time, provided comprehensive autonomy to the higher educational institutions. In accordance with the spirit of the Act, Govt. has decided to immediately withdraw the Govt. nominees who are in excess of the provisions of the Act. This will pave way for complete control of the institutions by reputed academicians and alumni.

The process of constitution of the first Boards as laid down in Section 10 of the Act would be kicked off with the (3) Ex-officio members. who will select Chairperson, who shall normally be the current Chairperson and would be given the full term under the new Act (except where there are issues of ineligibility). Then on, the Chairperson would lead the further process of constitution of the Boards as laid down under the Act.

Thereafter, the Board consisting of Chairperson and ex-officio members will co-opt (5) alumni from each of the IIMs, who will normally be the current serving members, except in cases of ineligibility.

In the first meeting of the Board, the regulations for selection of (4) eminent persons and two faculty members would be framed; and based on this, normally the current serving persons would be selected for a full term. This process is expected to be completed before 15th Dec 2018.

On completion of the constitution of the Boards in the above manner, the Rules under the IIM Act would be issued, which would bring out the operational details more clearly.

Tags : Constitution New Boards Approval

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Telecom Regulatory Authority of India


Media and Communication

Release of Consultation Paper on 'Regulatory Framework for Over The Top Communication Services


Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) today released a Consultation Paper on 'Regulatory Framework for Over The Top (OTT) Communication Services'. Full text of the consultation paper is available on TRAF's website.

2. Earlier, the Authority issued a consultation paper on Regulatory Framework for Over-the-top (OTT) services on the 27th of March, 2015, which also included questions on the principles of net neutrality, reasonableness of traffic management practices, non-price based discrimination of services and transparency requirements. Due to the large number of issues and their complexity, it became difficult to deliberate upon and conclude all of them together. Therefore, Authority decided to deal with related issues in separate parts, keeping focus on a core set of issues each time. Accordingly, the following actions have been taken:

a. The Authority issued regulations on Prohibition of Discriminatory Tariffs for Data Services Regulations, 2016.

b. Recommendations on provisioning of free data given to Government on 19th December 2016,

c. Recommendations on Net Neutrality to Government on Nov 28, 2017.

d. Recommendations on privacy, security and data ownership issues in the telecom sector submitted to Government on July 16, 2018.

3. Questions relating to the potential market failures in each segment, the appropriate tools to address those failures and the costs and benefits of any possible regulatory interventions have also been investigated.

4. Keeping in view the fast evolving nature of the sector, it is also considered useful to examine OTT related aspects, after taking into account the changes that have taken place since March, 2015.

5. The objective of this Consultation Paper is to analyse and discuss the implications of the growth of OTTs; the relationship between OTT players and TSPs; the similarity, if any, between services provided by the TSPs and OTT players; changes that may be required in the current regulatory framework to govern these entities; and the manner in which such changes should be effected. While preparing this consultation paper, information collected by the Authority in response to previous consultations has also been used. It may also be noted that current consultation is not intended to revisit regulations or recommendations given by the Authority earlier on OTT, which had broader implications and were therefore concluded first following due consultation and diligence.

6. Comments on the issues raised in the consultation paper are invited from the stakeholders by 10.12.2018 and counter comments, if any, by 24.12.2018.

Tags : Release Consultation Paper Communication Services

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