By Cdr Sanjeev Raman
The G20 New Delhi summit concluded on September 10. One of the biggest achievements is the joint declaration by all the participating nations, which many were not expecting given that China and Russia did not participate. Inclusion of African Union as a permanent member is another positive in favour of India, which will act to counter the balance of power of China in Africa. The leaders also made a joint declaration to build a rail and shipping corridor linking India with the Middle East and Europe, calling it the India- Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor. India, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Israel and the European Union are the participating nations in the declaration of the economic corridor. One must remember that International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) is also in the execution phase, which will connect India with Central Asia. INSTC provides transport connectivity between India–Iran–Azerbaijan–Russia–Kazakhstan passing through Azerbaijan. This will be a better alternative to the Belt and Road initiative of China, in which only China is the major player for investment.
What Jharkhand gains from this G20 summit in particular with the USA collaboration
The city of Jamshedpur, founded by the visionary leader Shri Jamsetji Tata was nicknamed ‘The Pittsburg of India.’
The region specializes in steel, mining, automobile and automobile components. There are a few reputed MSME companies in Jamshedpur that have started their subsidiary as well as collaborations with US companies. There are a number of opportunities for US collaboration and Joint Ventures in these areas and much more.
For India to become a USD 5 trillion economy, Jharkhand needs to play a crucial role. Jharkhand has the capability and capacity to not only contribute but also drive India’s growth. With proactive government policies, favorable investment climate, Jharkhand is coming up fast in the investment space. This is evident from the fact that in recent times Jharkhand has been constantly ranked high in the DIPP ranking of Ease of Doing Business.
Prime Minister Modi and President Biden committed their administrations to promoting policies and adapting regulations that facilitate greater technology sharing, co-development, and co-production opportunities between U.S. and Indian industry, government, and academic institutions. There exist vast opportunities and latent possibilities from multiple Indo US agreements, signed in the area of Technology, defense, others and importantly between ISRO and NASA.
Infact, Indo American Chamber of Commerce is organizing a webinar on opportunities available in the space sector in collaboration with ISRO. It is essential that other areas must be opened to widen the industrial base of Jharkhand.
India is the newest partner in the Mineral Security Partnership (MSP). The MSP focuses to accelerate the development of diverse and sustainable critical energy minerals supply chains globally.
Jharkhand is one of the richest mineral zones in the world. The state boasts of 40 per cent and 29 per cent of India’s mineral and coal reserves, respectively. With 25.7 per cent of the total iron ore (hematite) reserves, Jharkhand ranks second among the states. Jharkhand is the only state in India to produce coking coal, uranium & pyrite. The state is also a leading producer of coal, mica, kyanite & copper.
Historically, the state’s economy has been closely tied to the mining and mineral extraction industry. So, Jharkhand, has an inherent advantage as far as India is concerned with regard to its Mineral Security Partnership Policy. IIT (ISM) Dhanbad, the premier mining institute of the country is also located in Jharkhand. Collaboration with NML and premier technical institute like BIT (Mesra) and NIT Jamshepdur will further help in researching this area.
Biofuel & Forest
Both India and USA have lauded the creation and development of the Global Biofuels Alliance. It has also been a joint declaration in G 20 summit. Jharkhand has an inherent advantage because of its vast forest reserve. Not just Bio Fuel, medicinal plants, and forest related products, which are eco friendly, can boost the economic prosperity of the state. It will also reduce carbon footprint.
There are ongoing discussion between the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) and Westinghouse Electric Company (WEC) of the USA for the construction of six nuclear reactors in India. Currently the installed nuclear power capacity in India is 7.4 GW. Many more plants are under various stages of construction. Jaduguda uranium Mine in the district of Singhbhum East, Jharkhand is in continuous operation since 1967 providing the basic raw material for the nuclear power programme of the country. The ore produced from the mine is treated in the metallurgical plant located close to the mine. The passing of the US India Civil Nuclear Agreement will significantly enhance India’s Nuclear power generating capacity.
India and U.S have launched New and Emerging Renewable Energy Technologies Action Platform. The leaders have called for the development of joint efforts in carbon capture, utilization, and storage, given its role in reducing emissions.
The government of Jharkhand has approved he Rs 14,000-crore special economic zone (SEZ) project of Adani Power in Jharkhand, which will also export to Bangladesh. This will provide opportunities to work in this field.
It would be imperative to mention that Tata Steel is also working to serve growing markets in the recycling industry to reduce carbon footprint.
Education is another Area
There has been growing bilateral education partnership between the United States and India. Indian students are soon going to become the largest foreign student community in the United States, with an increase of nearly 20 percent in Indian students studying in the United States last year alone.
IACC Jamshedpur Chapter is working to educate the student community about various scholarships offered by the US universities and VISA regulations in collaboration with USIEF (US India Education Foundation). A separate session on Fulbright Scholarship program for the benefit of the students will also be held shortly in collaboration with XLRI.
Recognizing the essential role that micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) play in advancing inclusive growth, expanding exports, and boosting employment across our respective cities, towns, and rural areas, the Prime Minister Modi and President Biden welcomed plans under the Commercial Dialogue to organize a forum to promote the role and scope of MSMEs in bilateral trade.
IACC Jamshedpur Chapter is working with the US consulate office in Kolkata, to facilitate an interaction with the Foreign Commercial Services department (FCS) for the benefit of the industrial community at Adityapur Industrial Area.
Dissemination of information and interaction at local level is very important to propel the growth and increase of industrial base.
This is one area where tremendous potential is available but Jharkhand is not able to capitalize on it. General Electric and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited have recently signed MOU for the manufacture of GE F-414 jet engines in India, for Light Combat Aircraft Mk 2. There are many Indian companies working in Defence field including Tata, Mahindra, L&T. We must encourage them to set up units in the state so that Jharkhand also become a hub for atleast one system or equipment.
Indo US is the partnership of democracies which is looking into the 21st century with hope, ambition, and confidence. The rippling effect on industry will be visible soon. The near future will witness this upward trajectory of this bi-lateral relation as never before.
Jharkhand will enjoy the projection of the untapped potential awaiting exploration. This can be a ‘game changer moment’.
Coincidentally, the paradigm shift in the global economy towards East, will enhance the favourable bi-lateral trade
(Author is Vice Chairman of IACC Jamshedpur Chapter. The views expressed are personal.)