The Mint report for 9 Nov 2009

The Mint report for 9 Nov 2009

Monday’s programme was kicked off by a session on attracting private capital to India. The discussion took place just one day after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh stressed the need for financial sector reforms. And while participants took heart from Singh’s promises, the focus was on making use of India’s own savings.

Most of India’s investment is currently funded by domestic savings, which are about 38% of GDP.

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Creating world-class education in India was the topic of another session on Monday. HRD minister Kapil Sibal addressed the issue head-on with his view on what was possible.

And while some speakers called on the government to encourage for-profit institutions to play a greater role in education, Sibal expressed his unease.

Sibal also laid out his agenda for the coming months. He said he wanted all planned education reforms that require legislation to be in place before the budget session of Parliament in February. Sibal also said his ministry plans to set up a single authority to oversee education before the budget session and added that he was in talks to create unique ID cards to track the progress of primary school children.

Industry leaders debated gender equality in the workplace at a session on Monday. Issues included everything from making companies accountable for gender parity to social norms impacting women in India.

Also at the summit on Monday, the CEO of Renault and Nissan, Carlos Ghosn, said the two companies would share platforms in the Indian market and would tailor their products for the Indian consumer.

A Microsoft executive indicated his company’s Indian subsidiary will go easy on hiring this year and focus on consolidation. Infosys Technologies, on the other hand, said it would hire 1,200 people in the current financial year and was looking to acquire companies in Europe and in the US.

Power company Alstom’s Indian arm is talking to Bhel and Nuclear Power Corporation about becoming a third partner in their joint venture. Last year, Bhel and Nuclear Power corporation formed an alliance that would provide engineering and procurement service to the nuclear industry.