Olympics Torch

India Event Diary – 24th July 2012, Tuesday

Indian steel magnate to carry Olympics Torch

Indian steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal who is the main sponsor of the AreclorMittal Orbit near the Olympics Stadium, will be among those who will carry the Olympics Torch. His son Aditya would also accompany him. The torch will be carried from Camden to Westminster on Thursday, a day before the Games begin.

Reduction in government’s discretionary quota for Haj

The Supreme Court has reduced the number of seats from the 5,050 recommended under the government’s discretionary quota for the 2012 Haj pilgrimage, to a mere 300 and hoped that representation for them would be made on “reasonable basis”.

U.S. urged India to raise FDI ceiling

On Monday, the visiting U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defence Department Dr. Ashton B. Carter said that India would increase commercial incentives to invest, if it raises its Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) ceiling in defence to international standards.

His visit comes less than a month of U.S. Defence Secretary Leon Panetta’s to New Delhi.

India currently allows 26 per cent FDI in the defence sector. An offset policy was announced in 2005 and the first offset contract was signed in 2007. According to the data, the country had already attracted over $4.27 billion through defence “offsets” through arms contracts inked since October 2007.

The defence procurement policy specified that a foreign armament company, which bagged an arms deal over Rs. 300 crore, must plough back at least 30 per cent of the contract value back into India as offsets. It is to be noted that India still imports almost 70 per cent of its defence requirements because the private sector has not made major foray into the defence arena.