Update on India’s States: November 16, 2016

Andhra Pradesh sets a new high for efficiency of its power distribution network; Gujarat legalizes irregular land holdings in urban areas; Maharashtra switches up its solar-powered irrigation strategy; the Supreme Court sets the stage for increased water conflict between Punjab and Haryana; Karnataka meets with the United Kingdom and Gujarat meets with Japan; and more.

Center-State relations

Nothing critical to report this week.

Although Andhra Pradesh saw revenue growth of 13 percent in the first half of the fiscal year, the state is running a budget deficit of $980 million and is finding it hard to pay employee salaries. Revenue rose to $3.4 billion in the first half of the current financial year, up from $2.98 billion, but the deficit is $260 million above estimates. Source: Indian Express

Andhra Pradesh state energy utilities brought their transmission and distribution (T&D) losses down to 9.98 percent, the lowest in the country, in the first half of the current fiscal year. Source: Business Standard

The Andhra Pradesh government signed memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with the British Council — the United Kingdom’s international organization for educational opportunities and cultural relations — and Quacquarelli Symonds, a British company specializing in higher education, career solutions, and study abroad. Source: Livemint

Nothing critical to report this week.

Nothing critical to report this week.

Gujarat and Japan’s Hyogo Prefecture signed MoUs governing people-to-people contact, bilateral agreements on trade and investment, building disaster resilience, and agriculture. Source: Sify

Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani is planning to promulgate an ordinance regularizing illegal residential properties built on land that belonged to the government under the Urban Land (Ceiling and Registration) Act. Although Gujarat repealed the Act in 1999, properties built on state-owned land before that date existed in legal limbo. The state revenue department has finalized a draft ordinance, which will be sent for the formal approval of the cabinet. Source: Times of India

The Haryana government has prepared a draft Haryana Information Technology and Electronic System Design and Manufacturing Policy to develop these sectors over the next five years. The policy includes plans to build out a state-wide digital network with connections in each village by 2017. Other goals include a Wi-Fi zone in each of the 6,078 village council areas within two years, a broadband connection in every household, and 4G services in every village in the next three years. Source: Indian Express In Detail: IT & ESDM Policy 2016

The Supreme Court invalidated a 2004 Punjab state law which unilaterally rolled back a water-sharing agreement with neighboring Haryana, increases the changes that Punjab will be forced to assent to the construction of the long-awaited Sutlej-Yamuna Link canal. Haryana’s farmers hope that the canal will provide more water for agriculture in the state. Source: The Hindu

Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah met with UK prime minister Theresa May during her visit to Bengaluru. He urged May to relax UK visa rules, arguing that the tech sector relies on an effective immigration policy that attracts high-skilled workers and minimizes barriers to the flow of talented people. Source: Times of India

Karnataka became the third state in India, after Maharashtra and Kerala, to introduce a palliative care policy. The new policy guarantees all terminally ill patients round-the-clock care and seeks to create a cadre of specialized doctors and other health workers who ensure that chronically ill patients have an access to physical, psychological, social, and spiritual care. The program will start as a pilot in six districts before being extended to the entire state. Source: Times of India

Madhya Pradesh will be the first state in India to conduct a Happiness Index Survey, to take place in February 2017. The state government has already appointed an additional chief secretary to lead the Happiness Department. Source: India Today

Maharashtra signed an agreement with Canada to implement a joint action plan on urban infrastructure development in the state. Canada and Canadian companies will provide financing  and technology to help Maharashtra implement infrastructure projects. Source: Economic Times

The Maharashtra government has decided to switch from individual solar-powered irrigation pumps to a feeder-based system in which multiple pumps are driven by a single power source. Despite government efforts, so far only 10,000 solar-powered irrigation pumps have been installed in the state, with farmers objecting to the high cost of the equipment. The feeder system, which requires farmers to pool resources to buy a single power source, offers lower up-front costs. Source: Business Standard

The Rajasthan government signed 38 MoUs worth $650 million in the second day of the Global Rajasthan Agritech Meet 2016. Agreements mainly concerned the agriculture sector and related areas, like animal husbandry, fisheries, and agro tourism. Source: Times of India

Nothing critical to report this week.

Telangana’s flagship T-Hub incubator announced partnerships with PwC, DBS Asia, and Carnegie India to celebrate its one year anniversary. PwC will work with T-Hub to create an innovation incubator, while Carnegie will create a public policy incubator. Source: Economic Times

Nothing critical to report this week.

West Bengal signed on to the center’s regional air connectivity scheme but also threatened to walk away if the state had to bear more than the 20 percent share of Viability Gap Funding (VGF) for the project — the grant that covers the difference between the cost of a project and its expected revenue. Source: Economic Times


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