Monthly Archives: September 2021

Nairobi Half Life

Kenyan award winning movie “Nairobi Half Life” (2012) directed by David “Tosh” Gitonga and starring Joseph Warimu and Nancy Wanjiku Karanja among others. 

Mwas (Joseph Warimu) is a young man making his life selling video movies and acting the part in order to sell them. He dreams of being an actor and gets half an opportunity when a theatre troupe comes to his village. 

On the way to Nairobi he is forced to do some chores by his cousin and gets promptly robbed the moment he enters into Nairobi. Forced into the streets he is arrested for a day and in jail meets a gang leader who provides him job. 

They do small odd jobs like stealing car parts. Mwas meanwhile gives an audition for a play at the National Theatre and lands the job. In stealing they graduate from stealing car parts to stealing cars themselves. 

The movie shows the dark underbelly of Nairobi crime life where crime is common, gangsters are hand in glove with the policemen, there is corruption, violence and brutality galore. Gitonga has deftly woven the plot nicely moving on two parallels – the crime life and the theatre life, the only common thread being Amina who is the girlfriend of one of the gangsters but who starts loving Mwas. 

Cinematography is quite breathtaking in the movie and both Joseph Warimu and Nancy Karanja have played their parts quite well. Its quite a realistic movie in that sense almost like Salaam Mumbai of Mira Nair. IMDB 7/10  

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superior voting rights

SEBI has in its Board meeting held on 28th September, 2021 tweaked some of the provisions of superior voting rights to make it more amenable and less bureacratic to techno centric promoters in start ups etc.

Read on.

The Board decided to relax the eligibility requirements related to Superior Voting Rights (SR) Shares framework as follows:
Earlier, in 2019, SEBI had introduced superior voting rights (SR) framework specifically for issuer companies intensive in use of technology. The framework allows issuance of SR shares to promoters/ founders holding executive position in the company desirous of listing on the Main Board. The framework also has checks and balances such as coat tail provisions –i.e. matters in which SR shares shall have the same rights as that of ordinary shares and sunset clause i.e. time period until which such an SR shareholder shall enjoy superior voting rights.
i. As per the existing provisions, an SR shareholder should not be part of promoter group having net worth more than INR 500 crs. This has been changed to require that the SR shareholder, as an individual, should not have net-worth of more than INR 1000 crs.
ii. The minimum gap between issuance of SR shares and filing of Red Herring Prospectus is reduced to 3 months from the existing requirement of 6 months.

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Mortu Nega

“Mortu Nega” an award winning film on Guinea-Bissau by Flora Gomes. 

War is going on against the Portugese and it is a war for independence from the colonialists so the nationalism is sky high. Diminga (Bia Gomes) wants to go to the frontier because her husband Sako (Tune Eugenio Almada) is fighting there. 

She reunites with her husband, but he ends up injured in the war. Diminga comes back to her village where she is welcomed back whole heartedly. Meanwhile Sako also comes back, but his injury has not gone yet. 

Just when independence is got, drought hits them and they all suffer because of that. There is a tribal village cultural dance and song which i think is to propitiate the rain gods. The rains do come in the end, which is the final shot of the movie, which the children dancing in the rain.

Bia Gomes has done a splendid role as Diminga. There is lot of pathos in the movie in the form of an untold grief, human tragedy with the war taking lives of innocent people, the tough, hard life of people, the sadness of people living with bare little essentials to go by, lack of education and all. IMDB 7/10  

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delisting pursuant to open offer

SEBI has in its Board meeting held on 28th September, 2021 sought to simplify the procedures especially when the acquirer seeks to delist the company along with the open offer being made under the Takeover regulations. The existing procedure was a complicated three step process which was cumbersome and time consuming. Now the acquirer can make a delisting offer along with the open offer itself and if he crosses the 90% threshold, then all shareholders will get the delisting prices, otherwise it will be the takeover price which will come into effect.

The detailed note on this is given below as per SEBI press release:

The Board approved the proposal to amend the existing regulatory framework for delisting of equity shares pursuant to open offer as provided under the extant Regulation 5A of the SEBI (Substantial Acquisition of Shares and Takeovers) Regulations, 2011 (Takeover Regulations).

Under the existing framework, if an open offer is triggered, compliance with Takeover Regulations could take the incoming acquirer’s holding to above 75% or perhaps even 90%, however, to ensure compliance with Securities Contract (Regulation) Rules, 1957 (SCRR) the acquirer would be forced to first bring his
stake down to 75% as the SEBI (Delisting of Equity Shares) Regulations, 2021 (Delisting Regulations) would not let the acquirer even to attempt at delisting unless the holding is first brought down to 75%. Such directionally contradictory transactions in a sequence pose complexity in the takeover of listed companies especially where the acquirer desires to get the company delisted pursuant to his take over.


The revised framework aims to make M&A transactions for listed companies a more rational and convenient exercise, balancing the interest of all investors in the process. The key features of revised framework for delisting pursuant to an open offer are as under: –

  1. The framework shall be made available in the case of open offers under the Takeover Regulations for an incoming acquirer who is seeking to acquire control under Regulation 3(1) or Regulation 4 or Regulation 5.
  2. If the acquirer is desirous of delisting the target company, the acquirer must propose a higher price for delisting with suitable premium over open offer price.
  3. If the response to the open offer leads to the delisting threshold of 90% being met, all shareholders who tender their shares shall be paid the same delisting price and if the response to the offer leads to the delisting threshold of 90% not being met, all shareholders who tender their shares shall be paid the same takeover price.
  4. If a company does not get delisted pursuant to the open offer under this framework, and the acquirer crosses 75% due to the open offer, a period of 12 months from the date of completion of the open offer will be provided to the acquirer to make further attempts to delist the company under the Delisting Regulations using the reverse book building mechanism. If delisting during this extended 12-month period is not successful, the acquirer then must comply with the minimum public shareholding norm within a period of 12 months from the end of such period.
  5. If the acquirer at the time of open offer, states upfront that it would opt for remaining listed, and the total stake at the end of the tendering period reaches above 75%, then the acquirer may opt for either proportionately scaling down of purchases made under both, i.e. the underlying share purchase agreement and the shares tendered under open offer, in such a manner that the 75% threshold is never crossed or alternatively, the acquirer shall have to become compliant with minimum public shareholding within the time stipulated under SCRR.
  6. While undertaking delisting under this framework, all the provisions of the Delisting Regulations shall be applicable mutatis-mutandis, save otherwise provided in this framework.

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social stock exchange

SEBI has in its Board meeting held on 28th September, 2021 approved a concept of social stock exchange for the fund raising by social enterprises i.e. NGOs established as Trusts or societies or section 8 companies. The regulatory architecture will be formed by SEBI in this regard. It will obviously be under the ambit of SEBI with audit, reporting mechanism in place.

Moot point to consider what will happen to the CSR funds that companies have to spend on as part of their CSR obligations under section 135 of the companies act, 2013. If NGOs are able to tap funds directly from the public via a listing route, then would they go to corporates to seek the CSR funds. Food for thought.

The salient features of social stock exchange are given below:

The Board approved the creation of the Social Stock Exchange (SSE), under the regulatory ambit of SEBI, for fund raising by social enterprises (SE). The framework for the SSE has been developed on the basis of the recommendations of a working group and a technical group constituted by SEBI. The salient features of the framework approved by the Board are as follows:
i. SSE shall be a separate segment of the existing stock exchanges
ii. Social Enterprises eligible to participate in SSE, shall be entities (NonProfit Organization – NPO and For-Profit Social Enterprise – FPE) having social intent and impact as their primary goals. Social Enterprises will have to engage in a social activity out of the list of 15 broad eligible social activities approved by the Board.
iii. Eligible NPOs may raise funds through equity, Zero Coupon Zero Principal (ZCZP) bonds, Mutual Funds, Social Impact Funds, and Development Impact Bonds. NPOs desirous of raising funds on SSE shall be required to be registered with SSE.
iv. Social Venture Funds under SEBI (Alternative Investment Funds) Regulations will be rechristened as Social Impact Funds (SIFs). The corpus requirements for such funds shall be reduced from Rs. 20 crs. to
Rs. 5 crs. Further, the reference to “muted returns” shall be removed.
v. SEBI shall make suitable amendments to its regulatory framework, towards mandating initial and continuous disclosures for Social Enterprises, covering aspects relating to governance, financial and social
impact.
vi. Audit of social impact, i.e. social audit shall be mandated for SEs raising funds/ registered on SSE. To begin with only reputed firms/institutions having expertise in the area of social audit shall be allowed to carry out social audits employing social auditors who have qualified the certification course conducted by NISM. A separate sustainability directorate under ICAI shall function as an SRO for Social Auditors.
vii. SEBI shall engage with NABARD, SIDBI and stock exchanges towards institution of a capacity building fund, with a corpus of Rs 100 Crores.

Operationalization of the above framework will require amendments to applicable regulations such as ICDR Regulations, LODR Regulations, AIF Regulations, Mutual Fund Regulations etc. which will be taken up by SEBI.

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gold exchange

SEBI board meeting on 28th September, 2021 decided to launch a Gold Exchange along with appropriate regulations viz. SEBI (Vault Managers) Regulations, 2021. Salient features are as under:

Proposed framework for Gold Exchange and SEBI (Vault Managers)
Regulations, 2021

  1. The Board, after deliberations, approved the framework for Gold Exchange and SEBI (Vault Managers) Regulations, 2021.
  2. The salient features of the framework for Gold Exchange are as under:
    2.1 The instrument representing gold will be called ‘Electronic Gold Receipt’ (EGR) and it will be notified as “securities” under Securities Contracts (Regulation) Act, 1956.
    2.2 EGRs will have the trading, clearing and settlement features akin to any other “securities”.
    2.3 Any recognized stock exchange, existing as well as new, can launch trading in EGRs in a separate segment.
    2.4 The denomination for trading of EGR and conversion of EGR into gold, can be decided by the recognized stock exchanges, with the approval of SEBI.
    2.5 The Clearing Corporation will settle the trades, executed on the stock exchange/s, by way of transferring EGRs and funds to the buyer and seller respectively.
    2.6 The EGR holder can continue to hold the EGR as long as intended, since EGRs will have perpetual validity.

    2.7 The EGR holder, at his discretion, can also withdraw the underlying gold from the vaults, upon surrender of the EGRs.
    2.8 To lower the costs associated with withdrawal of gold from the vaults, EGRs will be made “fungible” and “inter-operability between Vault Managers” will be allowed.
  3. The salient features of SEBI (Vault Managers) Regulations, 2021 are as under:
    3.1 The Vault Manager should be a body corporate incorporated in India.
    3.2 The Vault Manager should have net worth of at least Rs. 50 crores.
    3.3 The Vault Manager will be registered and regulated as SEBI intermediary, for providing vaulting services meant for gold deposited to create EGRs.
    3.4 The obligations of Vault Manager will include accepting deposits, storage and safekeeping of gold, creation of EGR, withdrawal of gold, grievance redressal and periodic reconciliation of physical gold with the records of depository.
  4. The Gold Exchange, encompassing the entire ecosystem of trading of EGR and physical delivery of gold, is expected to create a vibrant gold ecosystem in India commensurate with India’s large share of global gold consumption. The Gold Exchange would be a national platform for buying and selling
    EGRs with underlying standardized gold in India and also create a national pricing structure for gold. The Gold Exchange is expected to offer a host of benefits for the value chain participants as well as for the entire gold market ecosystem, such as, efficient and transparent price discovery, investment
    liquidity, assurance in the quality of gold, etc.

https://www.sebi.gov.in/media/press-releases/sep-2021/sebi-board-meeting_52976.html

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cost audit report

MCA has vide its general circular no. 15/2021 dated 27th September, 2021 extended the time by which the cost auditor is required to submit his report to the Board of Directors of the company to 31st October, 2021.

As per the extant rules, he is supposed to forward his report within 180 days from the closure of the financial year. The company is required to file the cost audit report in form CRA-4 within 30 days of its receipt.

However, where the company has got an extension of time to hold the annual general meeting, then such filing can be done in such extended time.

Copy of the said MCA circular can be found at the MCA site. i.e. http://www.mca.gov.in

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alternate rate to LIBOR

RBI has allowed authorised dealers to accept any other widely prevailing alternative rate to LIBOR in view of the impending cessation of LIBOR from December 2021 onwards. Read on...

Attention of Authorised Dealer Category– I banks (AD banks) is invited to extant Regulation 15 of Foreign Exchange Management (Export of Goods & Services) Regulations, 2015 notified vide FEMA 23(R)/2015-RB dated January 12, 2016 and various directions issued to AD banks from time to time prescribing LIBOR linked interest payable in respect of export/import transactions.

2. In view of the impending cessation of LIBOR as a benchmark rate, it has been decided to permit AD banks to use any other widely accepted/Alternative reference rate in the currency concerned for such transactions. All other instructions in this regard shall remain unchanged. The necessary enabling amendment to FEMA 23(R)/2015-RB has since been notified vide Notification No. FEMA 23(R)/(5)/2021-RB dated September 08, 2021 (copy enclosed).

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penalty on RBL Bank

https://www.rbi.org.in/Scripts/BS_PressReleaseDisplay.aspx?prid=52301

RBI imposes monetary penalty on RBL Bank Limited of Rs.20 million on two counts of non compliance i.e. in not having a non interested Board of Directors u/s 10A(2)(b) of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 and for violation of regulation 28(h) of the RBI (interest rate on deposits), directions, 2016 – in opening a savings deposit a/c in the name of entities other than individuals, karta of HUF and organisations/ agencies listed in Schedule I of those Directions.

Gist of the press release is given below:

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has, by an order dated September 27, 2021, imposed a monetary penalty of ₹2.00 crore (Rupees Two Crore only) on RBL Bank Limited (the bank) for contravention of section 28 (h) of the Reserve Bank of India (Interest Rate on Deposits) Directions, 2016 and for non-compliance with the provisions of clause (b) of sub-section (2) of section 10A of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 (the Act). For the non-compliance with the provisions of section 10 A (2) (b) of the Act, penalty is also imposed for the period during which the contravention or default continued. This penalty has been imposed in exercise of powers vested in RBI under the provisions of section 47 A (1) (c) read with section 46 (4) (i) of the Act.

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.

Background

The Statutory Inspection for Supervisory Evaluation (ISE) of the bank was conducted by RBI with reference to its financial position as on March 31, 2019 (ISE 2019). The examination of the Risk Assessment Report and Inspection Report pertaining to ISE 2019, RBI letter dated October 27, 2020 and related correspondence in the matter, revealed, inter alia, contravention of the regulatory directions and non-compliance with the provisions of the Act, to the extent of (i) opening of five savings deposit accounts in the name of a co-operative bank and (ii) failure to comply with the provisions of section 10A(2)(b) of the Act relating to composition of Board of Directors. In furtherance to the same, a notice was issued to the bank advising it to show cause as to why penalty should not be imposed for contravention of / non-compliance with the provisions of the directions/Act, as stated therein.

After considering the bank’s reply to the show cause notice, oral submissions made during the personal hearing and examination of additional submissions made by the bank, RBI came to the conclusion that the aforesaid charge of contravention of / non-compliance with the directions /Act were substantiated and warranted imposition of monetary penalty on the bank.

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9.09 kms

9.09 kms for a pleasant morning. Have a great day folks.

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penalty on Apna Sahakari Bank

https://www.rbi.org.in/Scripts/BS_PressReleaseDisplay.aspx?prid=52291

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has, by an order dated September 23, 2021, imposed a monetary penalty of ₹79.00 lakh (Rupees seventy-nine lakh only) on Apna Sahakari Bank Ltd., Mumbai (the bank) for non-compliance with directions issued by RBI on ‘Income Recognition, Asset Classification, Provisioning and other related matters (IRAC norms)’, ‘Interest Rate on Deposits’ and ‘Maintenance of Deposit Accounts’. This penalty has been imposed in exercise of powers vested in RBI conferred under section 47 A (1) (c) read with sections 46 (4) (i) and 56 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949, taking into account failure of the bank to adhere to the aforesaid directions issued by RBI.

This action is based on deficiency 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.

Background

The statutory inspection of the bank conducted by the RBI with reference to the bank’s financial position as on March 31, 2019, the Inspection Report pertaining thereto, and examination of all related correspondence revealed, inter alia, that the bank had not complied with the directions issued by RBI on NPA classification, payment of interest on deposits lying in current accounts of deceased individual depositors or sole proprietorship concerns while settling the claims and levying of penal charges in savings bank accounts for non-maintenance of minimum balances. In furtherance to the same, a notice was issued to the bank advising it to show cause as to why penalty should not be imposed for contravention of aforesaid directions.

After considering the bank’s reply to the notice, additional submissions and oral submissions made during the personal hearing, RBI came to the conclusion that the charge of non-compliance with the aforesaid RBI directions were substantiated and warranted imposition of monetary penalty, to the extent of non-compliance with the aforesaid directions.

AUTHORS NOTE: We have seen this kind of press releases almost every day, where RBI imposes monetary penalties on banks and FIs for non compliance with the extant regulations. Wondering why these banks are so lax in complying with the regulations. They should appoint Company Secretaries to handle their compliance functions either in house or outsourced to PCS.

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CCI penalty on beer companies

https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1757712

The Competition Commission of India (‘CCI’) passed a final order against three beer companies, namely United Breweries Limited (‘UBL’), SABMiller India Limited (now renamed as Anheuser Busch InBev India Ltd. after being acquired by Anheuser Busch InBev SA/NV) (‘AB InBev’) and Carlsberg India Private Limited (‘CIPL’) for indulging in cartelisation in the sale and supply of beer in various States and Union Territories in India, including through the platform of All India Brewers’ Association (‘AIBA’).

As AIBA was found to be actively involved in facilitating such cartelisation, CCI also held AIBA to be in contravention of the provisions of Competition Act, 2002 (the ‘Act’), apart from the beer companies. The period of cartel was held to be from 2009 to at least 10.10.2018 (the date on which the Director General (‘DG’) conducted search and seizure operations at the premises of the beer companies), with CIPL joining in from 2012 and AIBA serving as a platform for facilitating such cartelisation since 2013. All three beer companies were lesser penalty applicants before CCI.

Based on evidences of regular communications between the parties collected by the DG during search and seizure, and on the basis of the disclosures made in the lesser penalty applications, CCI found that the three companies engaged in price co-ordination in contravention of the provisions of Section 3(3)(a) of the Competition Act, 2002 (the ‘Act’) in the States of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, West Bengal, National Capital Territory of Delhi and the Union Territory of Puducherry, in collectively restricting supply of beer in the States of Maharashtra, Odisha and West Bengal in contravention of the provisions of Section 3(3)(b) of the Act, and in sharing of market in the State of Maharashtra as well as co-ordination with respect to supply of beer to premium institutions in the city of Bengaluru in contravention of the provisions of Section 3(3)(c) of the Act. CCI also found co-ordination amongst UBL and AB InBev with respect to purchase of second-hand bottles. Further, 4 individuals of UBL, 4 individuals of AB InBev, 6 individuals of CIPL and the Director General of AIBA, were held by CCI to be liable for the anti-competitive conduct of their respective companies/ association, in terms of Section 48 of the Act.

Giving benefit of reduction in penalty under the provisions of Section 46 of the Act of 100% to AB InBev and its individuals, 40% to UBL and its individuals and 20% to CIPL and its individuals. The CCI directed UBL and CIPL to pay penalties of approx. Rs 750 crore and Rs 120 crore respectively, besides passing a cease-and-desist order.

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fire detection & protection system

https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1757383

The Ministry of Road Transport & Highways has issued a Draft Notification on 21st September 2021 for introducing the Fire Alarm System and Fire Protection System in the Passenger (or Occupant) Compartment in buses, through an amendment in AIS (Automotive Industry Standard)-135.

At present, fire detection, alarm and suppression systems are notified for fires originating from the engine compartment only.

The draft notification is intended for fire detection and protection in the passenger compartment for Type III buses [‘Type III’ buses are those designed and constructed for long distance seated passenger transport) and School Buses.  Studies on fire incidents indicate that injuries to passengers are mainly due to heat and smoke in the passenger compartment.  These injuries can be prevented if the heat and smoke in the passenger compartment is controlled by providing an additional evacuation time (of at least 3 minutes) to the occupants by thermal management during fire incidents.

A technical solution to this problem has been developed by the Ministry in consultation with various stakeholders, including DRDO.  A water mist- based active fire protection system has been designed and developed alongwith a fire alarm system. Simulation studies have demonstrated that the designed system is able to manage the temperature in the passenger compartment within 50 degree C centigrade in less than 30 seconds of mist operation.

Comments have been sought on this notification from stakeholders within a period of thirty days.

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patent amendment rules

https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1757202

In a yet another significant push towards Mission  Aatmanirbhar Bharat,  benefits related to 80 Percent reduced fee for patent filing & prosecution have been extended to Educational institutions as well. Centre has notified the amendments to the Patents Rules in this regard

Recognizing the importance of nurturing innovation and creativity in a knowledge economy, India is taking great strides in strengthening its intellectual property ecosystem in recent years. In order to create a conducive environment for innovation, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade has been working towards promoting greater collaboration between industry and academia. This can be achieved by facilitating commercialization of research undertaken in educational institutions.

These institutions engage in many research activities, where professors/teachers and students generate several new technologies which need to be patented for facilitating commercialization of the same. High patenting fees present a restrictive element for getting these technologies patented and thus work as a disincentive for development of new technologies.

At the time of applying for patents, the innovators have to apply these patents in the name of the institutions which have to pay fees for large applicants, which are very high and thus work as a disincentive. In this regard and to encourage greater participation of the educations institutions, who play a pivotal role in country’s innovation, official fees payable by them in respect of various acts under the Patents Rules, 2003, have been reduced by way of the Patents (Amendment) Rules, 2021, which came into effect on 21st September, 2021.

Moreover, Patents Rules have been amended in 2016, 2017, 2019 and 2020 to achieve the objective of removing procedural inconsistencies and unnecessary steps in processing of applications thereby speedup grant/registration and final disposal. By amending the Rules, the procedures are made more compact, time-bound, user- friendly and compatible for e-transactions. In this regard, following initiatives have been taken by the Department:

i. Augmentation of manpower by recruiting new examiners.

ii. Making process of applying and granting patents completely online.

iii. Hearing of cases in Patents through Video-Conferencing for speedy and contact-less  proceedings.

iv. Dynamic redesigning of website and real time based hassle free dissemination of IP  information to stakeholders.

v. Encouraging the digital process for applying & granting Patents.

vi. Scheme for Facilitating Startups Intellectual Property Protection (SIPP) has been launched  to provide facilitators to Startups for filing and processing of their applications.  Professional charges of such facilitators are reimbursed as per provisions under the SIPP  scheme.

vii. The mechanism to lodge feedback/suggestions/complaints in respect of issues related to  functioning of the IP offices has been set up in IPO website for the benefit of stakeholders.  A team acts promptly on stakeholders’ suggestions/grievances and communicate  appropriate response through e- mail.

viii. DPIIT through Cell for IPR Promotion and Management (CIPAM) and in collaboration  with the office of CGPDTM is regularly engaged in dissemination of information and  knowledge to IP stakeholders by way of participation in awareness activities in IPR,  conducted for schools, universities, industries, legal and enforcement agencies and other  stakeholders in collaboration with industry Associations in the country

As a result of these efforts, the time taken for examination of patents have come down from average 72 months in 2015 to 12-30 months at present, depending upon technology fields. Further, it is expected that the time for final disposal of patent applications, which has reduced to average 48 months at present from few years earlier, will be reduced to average 24-30 months from filing by end of 2021.Further, an Expedited Examination System has been introduced wherein an application for grant of patent is being decided within one year of filing such request under Expedited Examination as compared to the period of few years required in case of normal examination route.

The fastest granted patent is the one which was granted in 41 days after filing of such request. This facility of Expedited Examination system was initially provided for patent applications filed by Startups. It has been now extended to 8 more categories of Patent Applicants w.e.f. 17-09-2019 by making necessary amendments in the Patents Rules. These new categories include SME, Female applicants, Government Departments, Institutions established by a Central, Provincial or State Act, which is owned or controlled by the Government, Government Company, an Institution wholly or substantially financed by the Government and applicants under Patents Prosecution Highway. With regard to Initiatives for Startup India program, 80% fee concession has been provided for Patent applications filed by Startups.

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national single window system

https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1756966

“Launch of National Single Window System, is a giant leap, towards making India Aatmanirbhar” said Shri Piyush Goyal while Launching the facility.

Union Minister for Commerce & Industry, Textiles, Consumer Affairs & Public Distribution Shri Piyush Goyal said that NSWS will usher in Azadi from legacy of running to Govt. offices  for approvals and registrations  He said that in this 75 weeks of “Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav”, we can share “Azadi ka Amrit” with Investors, Business owners (MSMEs) not only form India but from the world.The Minister said that 

NSWS would usher in Azadi from legacy of running to Govt. offices, i.e. Ease of doing business & Ease of living Azadi from paperwork, duplication & information asymmetry Azadi from Windows within Window..   

The Minister said that PM Modi’s, decisive & bold leadership has enabled & encouraged India to dream bigger

His vision has become our mission for the progress of nation & prosperity for crores of citizens Need for a single interface between businesses & Govt at national level has been felt for a long time 

Speaking on the occasion, Shri Goyal said that this single window portal will become a one-stop-shop for investors for approvals & clearances

The portal as of today hosts approvals across 18 Central Departments & 9 States, another 14 Central depts & 5  states will be added by Dec’21 

Shri Goyal added that all solutions will be there for all at one click of the mouse through ‘End to End’ facilitation .

This would bring Transparency, Accountability & Responsiveness in the ecosystem  and all information will.be available on a single dashboard. An applicant  Dashboard would be there to apply, track & respond to queries.

Services include Know Your Approval (KYA), Common Registration & State registration Form, Document repository & E-Communication

Shri Goyal said  today India holds the attention of the world & the entire world is looking at India to rise & claim its rightful place as an economic powerhouse.GDP has grown at over 20% in Q1FY22, Exports jumped 45.17% in Aug w.r.t. Aug 2020 Record FDI investment of $81.72 bn in 2020, $ 22.53 bn inflow in first 3 months of this FY ~2X w.r.t. Same period in 2020 Recently, India has jumped to 46th spot on GII, a jump of 35 places in last 6 years

He said that with a rapid recovery, we are back on track to become one of the fastest growing large economies Like the other transformative & nation building initiatives launched in the last 7 years

The Minister said that NSWS will provide strength to other schemes e.g. Make in India, Startup India, PLI scheme etc.  

It may be noted that improving India’s business climate is one of the key focus areas of the Government of India. Reiterating its commitment to “Make in India, make for the world”, the government has launched several initiatives recently, including the flagship Production Linked Incentive Scheme (PLI) and the India Industrial Land Bank System. The PLI schemes have been announced for 13 sectors with an overall outlay of USD 27 billion and is set to create manufacturing global champions for an Atmanirbhar Bharat. 

One such crucial initiative, announced by the  Finance Minister in the Union Budget speech 2020, is the ambitious Investment Clearance Cell (ICC). While presenting Budget 2020-21, the Finance Minister announced plans to set up an Investment Clearance Cell (ICC) that will provide “end to end” facilitation and support to investors, including pre-investment advisory, provide information related to land banks and facilitate clearances at Centre and State level. The cell was proposed to operate through a online digital portal. 

Subsequently, DPIIT along with Invest India initiated the process of developing the portal as a National Single Window System (NSWS), which will provide a single platform to enable investors to identify and obtain approvals and clearances needed by investors, entrepreneurs, and businesses in India.

The system is envisioned to address information asymmetry, duplication of information submitted across platforms and authorities and inefficient tracking of approvals and registration faced by investors. 

Extensive consultations were held with Central departments and States, especially the ones with effective Single Window Systems. Furthermore, discussions were undertaken with Industry associations, professional bodies, and legal firms to understand the expectations from the envisioned single window system. This was followed by the creation of Ministry-wise information dockets comprising of respective approvals and registrations along with relevant trigger conditions and policies. Each ministry undertook an extensive review and validation exercise to ensure all relevant approvals and registrations were covered in the scope of the National Single Window System.

While this exercise was conducted by the stakeholders, Invest India undertook the design of overall technology architecture suitable for a system scalable across Ministries & States. Invest India evaluated and selected technology implementation partners and started developing the system.

 In January 2021, Know Your Approval module was opened for feedback from Industry associations. Meanwhile, Ministries & States started integration with core modules of NSWS for seamless exchange of information. After incorporation of feedback in the KYA module, it was launched in July 2021. While extensive testing and trials were undertaken to test the robustness of NSWS and its integration with Central Departments and States.

NSWS has been designed keeping the needs of entrepreneurs and investors at the center.

 NSWS provides following online services: – 

• Know Your Approval (KYA) Service: an intelligent information wizard that generates a list of approvals required by any business to commence operations. It does so by asking the investor a series of dynamic questions about their planned business activities and identifies the applicable approvals basis the responses provided. The questionnaire, simple and user friendly on the surface, has a complex, automated logic built into it to sieve through hundreds of approvals, and shortlists only those relevant to the specific investor or entrepreneur. This service was launched on 21.07.2021 with over 500 approvals across 32 Central Departments and over 2000 approvals across 14 states.

 This service is only for guidance purposes and does not constitute any legal advice.

• Common Registration Form: To ensure a single point of submission of information and documents across Ministries and States, a unified information capturing system along with a common registration form has been introduced. Information is auto-populated on forms, eliminating the need to fill in the same information again. 

• State registration form: Enables investor to have seamless single click access to respective State Single Window System.

• Applicant dashboard: Provides a single online interface to apply, track and respond to the queries pertaining to approvals and registrations across ministries and States. 

• Document repository: An online centralized storage service for investors to enable one-time document submission and use the same across multiple approvals. This eliminates the need to submit documents at multiple portals.

• E-Communication module: Enables online response to queries and clarification requests related to applications by Ministries and States.

The beta version of the portal has now been completed and is being opened to all stakeholders and the public as trial soft launch. The beta version of the portal (under Phase I), hosts approvals from 18 Central departments and 9 States and is aimed at guiding investors to the list of business approvals they may need, based on information provided by them. Another 14 Central departments and 5 States will be onboarded by December 2021 (under Phase II)

The portal will progressively onboard a greater number of approvals and licenses, based on user / industry feedback. Though extensive testing by Ministries/States is ongoing, and will continue for next three months to stabilize & optimize the platform, it is critical that extensive feedback from the industry users is accommodated to ensure comprehensiveness and high utility for Investors & Entrepreneurs.

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