News & Updates

Renewable energy sector upbeat on Budget 2015 proposals

NEW DELHI: Proposals such as creation of a national infrastructure investment fund and doubling of coal cess in the Union Budget have buoyed the renewable energy industry, which believes these steps could help solve financing challenges, thereby boosting clean energy projects.

“…as environmental degradation hurts the poor more than others, we are committed to make our development process as green as possible,” Finance Minister said during his Budget speech.

He emphasised on achieving the 1,75,000-megawatt target set for clean energy installations by 2022. This would comprise 1,00,000 MW of solar power, 60,000 MW of wind power, 10,000 MW of energy from biomass and 5,000 MW from small hydroelectric projects. Currently, India’s clean energy capacity is 33,000 MW.

Jaitley envisioned providing electricity by 2020 to the remaining 20,000 villages that still don’t have access to electricity, including through off–grid solar power.

Although there weren’t any sector-specific sops, industry players do not consider it as a major concern.

“The national investment and infrastructure fund will prove to be a game-changer for the renewable energy sector,” said Vineet Mittal, co-founder and managing director of Welspun Energy. “It is also good to allow foreign investments in alternative investment funds”.

The Budget proposed creation of a national investment and infrastructure fund and finding monies to ensure an annual flow of Rs 20,000 crore into it. The money thus raised can be invested in infrastructure finance companies.

Welspun’s Mittal said increasing coal cess to Rs 200 a tonne from Rs 100 will be helpful for sustaining subsidies to clean energy projects.

The minister proposed a programme for faster adoption and manufacturing of electric vehicles. “I am proposing an initial outlay of Rs 75 crore for this scheme in 2015-16,” he said.

Meanwhile, experts note that unlike rail and roads, tax-free bonds have not been specifically proposed for renewable energy. Given this, any funds to the sector from tax-free debt will now have to come out of the general pool of infrastructure bonds. Also, proposals for the utilisation of funds from the increased coal cess are yet to be spelt out.

“It would have been better to propose specific allocations and measures for renewable energy, especially on availability of low-cost funds for the renewable energy sector,” said Anish De, partner, infrastructure and government services at consultancy firm KPMG.

The Economic Survey 2014-15, released on Friday, said India’s clean energy sector was likely to generate business opportunities of $160 billion in the next five years.

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RE-INVEST 2015 Concludes with 2,66,000 MW Commitments of Green Energy

The RE-INVEST 2015 which concluded today is the take off point which will have a multiplier effect in the economic front, said the Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley. Addressing the valedictory session of the three day event, Shri Jaitley said that this will lead to enormous jobs generation, investments resulting in profitability, competitiveness between various sectors, filling up the gaps in power supply, enhancement of manufacturing sector, and yet not hurting the environment. The Finance Minister pointed out that this conference is a starting point of a great initiative whose effect will be clearly visible in the coming years.

Shri Jaitley said India has a very large land mass and therefore raw material required for renewable energy is right in front of us. It would be sheer incompetence if we are not able to convert this into a resource, and therefore the initiative which the Prime Minister has taken in the renewable energy sector , created an economically conducive environment. There is a huge change of mood and attitude in India, and that is reflective in the large scale enthusiasm shown in this conference. The Finance Minister said the kind of enthusiasm that the international investors are reposing in India today is a very rare occasion in the history, where you can become a natural recipient of both domestic and international investments. There is a great opportunity for India to grow in terms of manufacturing and we also have to concentrate on our infrastructure. Shri Jaitley added that the starting point of all this has to be the credibility of the Indian economy, the faith of people in Indian economy, and our ability to provide opportunity to investors and it is from that point of view our own systems have to be tuned themselves accordingly.

The Finance Minister said that the coal auctions initiated by the present government, will ultimately lead to a roadmap for cheaper electricity, and the process of reverse bidding will reach the common man in a sustainable manner.

Speaking on the occasion, the Railway Minister Shri Suresh Prabhu, said that RE-INVEST 2015 is a significant step in making India self reliant in energy. With the ambitious target of 200GW of solar energy, he said this is going to be a game changer for the energy scenario of the world and India would soon be the Renewable Energy capital of world. The Minister said if more commercial electricity is made available to villages, then migration from villages could be stopped.

The Minister of State(IC) for Environment, Forests, and Climate Change Shri Prakash Javadekar announced that environment clearances for green energy will be given through green channel. He also said that the government would provide predictable policy regime with standard guidelines.

The Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog, Shri Arvind Panagariya speaking on the occasion said that there is a vast potential of wind and solar energy in the country which are complementary to each other which needs massive investments. He also said that in the coming years, challenges in cost effective renewable energy appliances have also to be taken into consideration.

Outlining the future action plan in the renewable energy sector, Shri Piyush Goyal, Minister of State ( IC) for Coal, Power and New & Renewable energy said that a long term roadmap will be drawn to achieve the targets of RE . He said there will be a monthly working session with various states so that the developers and states can work in partnership and there will be a six monthly personal review to ensure that the policies are actually implemented on the ground. The Ministry of New and Renewable energy will work actively in identifying the infrastructure requirements and de-bottling them, so that the manufacturers in India can successfully take their plans forward, Shri Goyal added.

On the occasion, 14 banks and financial institutions, 8 PSUs and private manufacturers, 15 private sector companies gave their Green Energy Commitments to the Ministers. Green Energy Commitments worth 2, 66, 000 MW were received during the conference. 2800 delegates from 42 countries participated in the three day RE-INVEST 2015 . 202 speakers addressed various sessions, out of which the 40 international speakers were from 29 countries. Shri Goyal also complemented the 118 exhibitors who showcased India’s strength and potential . 200 global investors providing financing and investment solutions also participated. 9 states showcased their policy initiatives in the renewable energy sector.

Shri Upendra Tripathy, Secretary, Ministry New & Renewable Energy informed the meeting that 14 companies from seven countries have their Green Energy Commitments for 58 GW. Similarly, 22 PSUs for 18 GW, 257 private limited companies for 190 GW and the Railways for 5000MW have submitted their commitments for renewable energy. In addition, 27 banks have also submitted their commitments for financing 72 GW renewable energy projects. Shri Dipak Dasgupta, Board Member Green Climate Fund was also present in the valedictory session.

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AICA Group Director Shiju Mathews at the epicenter of major Business Prospects between Australia & India

Hon Andrew Robb AO MP leads team of delegates to strengthen relationship between Australia and India –

Australia Business Week in India January 2015 (ABWI) has commenced in New Delhi, India amid a lot of excitement and vigor with full support from the Indian Government. Andrew Robb, the Australian Trade and Investment Minister, along with over 450 Australian business leaders and entrepreneurs who represent a wide range of sectors are currently in India participating in various activities to strengthen the relationship between these giant economies. Shiju Mathews, Director AICA Group is also part of this Business delegation and is travelling with the team across many Indian cities including New Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Jaipur, Chandigarh and Bangalore.

robb india

Hon Andrew Robb has introduced a pilot program online lodgment of subclass 600 visas for Indian business and tourism visitors which will be rolled out through selected travel agents in India. Australia is an attractive and popular destination for Indian visitors. For the year ending September 2014, Indian visitors to Australia reached 189,866, an increase of 14.5 per cent on the previous year. Indian tourists contributed almost $800 million to the Australian economy. Tourism Research Australia forecasts arrivals from India to Australia will reach almost 300,000 by 2022-23.


What does this mean for Immigration?

A strengthened relationship between the two countries often means that both Immigration departments may relax their Migration Policies. In turn, this often leads to more people being eligible to apply for visas in either country. Although pure speculation with minimum evidence (albeit not none), it is not unreasonable to suggest that Australia will relax some of its stringent Immigration policies to allow more people from India to come into Australia to further their studies, take up employment or conduct business activities.


Hon Andrew Robb recognises the positive impact opening Australia’s doors to India can have on both countries. Steps are already being taken to increase the number of Indian Tourists. Tourism Research Australia forecasts arrivals from India to Australia will reach almost 300,000 by 2022-23. A new pilot program for online lodgment of subclass 600 visas for Indian business and tourism visitors will be rolled out through selected travel agents in India. We strongly believe that these are the early steps to a long-established lasting relationship between two compelling economies.

In the event that you, are someone you know, wishes to migrate to Australia, please do not hesitate to contact our specialised Immigration Consultants at AICA Migration.

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The preparation of 7th Vibrant Gujarat Summit, which is planned during 11th to 13th January 2015 at Mahatma Mandir, Gandhinagar, and Gujarat, India has begun well head by the Government of Gujarat after the Vibrant Gujarat 2013 Summit resounding success last summit has given an example of a visionary approach of the Government of Gujarat towards inclusive and sustainable development. The sixth edition of the summit provided enormous prospects to the State to display its strengths, progressive stand, initiatives taken to improve governance, investor friendly climate and art & culture of Gujarat. Six summits held so far have been a resounding success that immensely contributed to transformation of Gujarat into a “Global Business Hub”. The brand “Vibrant Gujarat” began as an “investors’ summit” has now evolved into an ideal platform for knowledge sharing, social and business transformation.

The Summit gradually evolved into a round-the-year investment promotion exercise with events scheduled well in advance of the main Summit planned in 2015.

Vibrant Gujarat Summit 2015

The prime focus of Government of Gujarat is inclusive development. The key areas for development identified included: Innovation, Sustainability, Youth & Skill Development, Knowledge Sharing and Networking. Also, this Summit is an ideal convergence for other states and other countries to showcase their strengths, highlight business opportunities, facilitate knowledge dissemination etc. It also provides an attractive opportunity to its participants to understand the potential of Gujarat in various sectors. Besides, it provides the platform to interact with policy makers, industry leaders, and renowned academics from all over the world.

A chance to be a part of

  • An International Trade Show and a Global Business Summit
  • A Business Platform showcasing over 25 Sectors
  • India’s Largest Exhibition Area: 1,25,000 sq mtrs
  • No of Participants: 2000+ Companies
  • Expected No. of Visitors: over 2 Million
  • Expected International Delegates: over 2500
  • International Representations: from over 101 Countries

The Gujarat Advantages

  • Inter-Sectoral Business Potential
  • Professional Marketing
  • Business Visitor

Events Details

Click here to view the Events Dates

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Pravasi Bharatiya Divas

Pravasi Bharatiya Divas

Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) is celebrated on 9th January every year to mark the contribution of overseas Indian communities to the development of India. January 9 was chosen as the day to celebrate this occasion since it was on this day in 1915 that Mahatma Gandhi, the greatest Pravasi, returned to India from South Africa. He then led India’s fight to freedom and changed the lives of Indians forever.

PBD conventions are being held every year since 2003. These conventions provide a platform to the overseas Indian communities to engage with the government and people of the land of their ancestors for mutually beneficial activities. These conventions are also very useful in networking among the overseas Indian communities residing in various parts of the world and enable them to share their experiences in various fields.


During the event, individuals of exceptional merit are honored with the prestigious Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award to appreciate their role in India’s growth. The event also provides a forum for discussing key issues concerning the Indian diaspora.

The Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs

The Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) is an interactive ministry, dedicated to the multitude of Indian nationals settled abroad. Established in May 2004 as the Ministry of Non-Resident Indians’ Affairs, it was then renamed to the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) in September 2004. Driven by a mission of development through coalitions in a world without borders, MOIA seeks to connect the Indian diaspora community with their motherland.

Positioned as a ‘Services’ Ministry, it provides information, partnerships and facilitations for all matters related to Overseas Indians (comprising Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) and Non-Resident Indians (NRIs)) .

The Ministry is headed by a Cabinet Minister. It has four functional service divisions to handle its diverse scope of services:

  • Diaspora Services
  • Financial Services
  • Emigration Services
  • Management Services

The Ministry focuses on developing networks with and amongst Overseas Indians with the intent of building partnerships with the diaspora.

Besides dealing with all matters relating to overseas Indians, the Ministry is engaged in several initiatives with them for the promotion of trade and investment, emigration, education, culture, health and science & technology.

Partner State – Gujarat

The Land of the Legends, stands bordered by Pakistan and Rajasthan in the north east, Madhya Pradesh in the east, and Maharashtra and the Union territories of Diu, Daman, Dadra and Nagar Haveli in the south. The Arabian Sea borders the state both to the west and the south west.

The State took its name from the Gujjars, who ruled the area during the 700’s and 800’s. Stone Age settlements around Sabarmati and Mahi rivers indicate the same time as that of the Indus Valley Civilisation while Harappan centres are also found at Lothal, Rampur, Amri and other places.

Rock Inscriptions in the Girnar Hills show that the Maurya Emperor Ashoka, extended his domain into Gujarat in about 250 BC. With its fall, the control of the region came under the Sakas or Scythians. During the 900’s the Solanki Dynasty came to power and Gujarat reached its greatest extent.

Thereafter there was a long period of Muslim rule. Ahmed I, the first independent Muslim ruler of Gujarat, found Ahmedabad in 1411. The Mughal Emperor Akbar conquered Malwa and Gujarat in 1570s. The British East India Company set its first footsteps in Surat in 1818 and the State came in control of their rule.

Gujarat was divided into princely states. After the Indian Independence in 1947, all of Gujarat except Saurashtra and Kutchh became part of Bombay State until May 1, 1960, when the Government split Bombay state into the States of Maharashtra and Gujarat. Ahmedabad became the chief city of the new State and housed the State Government Offices. They remained there until they were transferred to Gandhinagar in 1970.

Click here to view Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2015 Programme


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Australia open for business

The Hon Andrew Robb AO MP, Minister for Trade and Investment, will lead Australia Business Week in India (ABWI) from 12 to 15 January 2015. ABWI involves activities across major Indian cities including New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chandigarh.

ABWI promotes Australia as a trade, investment, education and tourism destination with programs tailored to each targeted industry sector. The programs reinforce the message that Australia is open for business and help Australian businesses identify and strengthen relationships with Indian businesses.


Registrations have now closed, with over 300 representatives from Australian businesses registered to join the mission to promote Australian expertise across India.

Business programmes

ABWI targets industry sectors where Indian demand best aligns with Australian capability. Focus sectors are:

  1. Agriculture Equipment, Technology and Services (AgETS) and Dairy
  2. Cultural Services
  3. Education
  4. Health and Assisted Living
  5. Life sciences
  6. Investment – Resources and Energy
  7. Investment – Innovation and Research
  8. Premium Food and Beverage
  9. Resources – Mining, Equipment, Technology and Services (METS)
  10. Sport
  11. Transport – Road Safety
  12. Transport – Rail
  13. Tourism
  14. Water

Mission detail

12-15 January 2015

Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chandigarh, Jaipur, Ahmedabad and Pune.


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First IUSSTF Astronomy meeting in Kerala to foster Science and Technology partnership between India and US

The IndoUS
Science and Technology Forum (IUSSTF) is an autonomous body established by the governments of India and the United States to synergise the IndoUS collaborations in science and technology. Its main objective is to provide grants that aid in building opportunities for people in academia as well industry with mutual interest to exchange ideas, skill and technology between the two countries.

An international meeting of two such IUSSTF joint centers is hosted by St. Thomas college, Kozhencherry, one of the collaborating institutions, from 2024th January 2014. This meeting has two components (a) the discussion between the two groups on research topics of mutual interest (b) a training program for potential young researchers. The former is held at Contour Resort, Changanacherry and the latter at Mar Athanasius Centre for Advanced Studies, Thiruvalla. This joint meeting is expected to open new insights to the challenges and to increase the technology transfer between researchers in both countries. The Executive director of IUSSTF, Dr. Rajiv Sharma, Director of IUCAA Prof. Ajit Kembhavi and Professor Ranjan Gupta spoke in the public meeting held at St. Thomas College today on various IUSSTF and related funding facilities available for research in science and technology. About a dozen visiting scientists from India and US participated in the discussions.

One of the participant centres, ClassACT (Centre for Astronomical Object Feature Characterisation and Classification) is a joint centre with California Institute of Technology,
IUCAA, HarvardSmithsonian and St. Thomas College as partner institutes. ClassACT is researching characterisation and classification technology for Time Domain Astronomy that study peculiar and rare objects which appear for a finite duration in the sky. These observations may be exploding stars, high energy bursts from galaxies or even fast moving asteroids. Building baseline technologies to characterise and study these exotic objects have great significance in the event of upcoming very large sky surveys.

The second joint centre that participate in the meeting, the Center for Analysis of Variable Star Data is a joint centre between University of Delhi, SUNY Oswego, Texas A&M University, IUCAA and the University of Florida. Variable stars, or stars whose brightness varies in the course of time are key components to identify planetary systems outside our solar system and for the study of the properties of such stars. The data deluge from recent sky and ground based surveys studying variable stars have posed several new questions and challenges in this field. This centre focus on developing technology and expertise to address them.

St. Thomas college has set up a 10 KW solar power station in collaboration with AICA Engineering AustraliaIndia to produce green energy for providing uninterrupted power to the labs in its campus that are working on these projects. Both these joint centers are expected to lead the future astronomy research in the country by developing technology and human resources necessary to address them.

Video Link

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NATIONAL / TAMIL NADU : Feed-in-tariff for solar power proposed

KSERC will hold a public hearing on suggestion before issuing the order

The Kerala State Electricity Regulatory Commission has proposed a feed-in-tariff structure for the electricity generated by solar systems set up under private initiative.

A detailed discussion paper on the proposal has been put up on the commission’s website for eliciting the views and suggestions of the stakeholders.

The commission will hold a public hearing on the proposal (which covers both feed-in-tariff and connectivity standards) before issuing its order in the matter, the commission said in a press release on Friday.

The proposed feed-in-tariff at which the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) will buy the power generated by solar systems set up under private initiative is Rs.12.49 a unit in the case of rooftop installations with capacity to generate up to 100 kW.

The proposed feed-in-tariff in the case of rooftop or ground-mounted solar installations with capacity to generate between 100 kW and 1 MW of power is also Rs.12.49 a unit.

Solar energy generated by ground-mounted systems with capacity exceeding 1 MW is proposed to be bought by the KSEB at a rate of Rs.10.41 a unit.

The commission clarified that the solar systems had been put under two categories — megawatt-scale ground-mounted systems and kilowatt-scale rooftop systems — in view of the differences in size, scale and investment required to set up the installations.

The quantity of electricity that will flow into the grid from solar installations will be metered separately for determining the amount the KSEB will have to pay the power developers concerned.

The discussion paper suggests that in view of the decreasing trend in the cost of solar power installations and the need for encouraging the solar energy sector, the feed-in-tariff can be reduced by 7 per cent at a compounded level after each year till 2016-17. The tariff proposed for the first year shall be applicable from the date specified by the commission for projects synchronised before March 31, 2014. Thereafter, the tariff is proposed to be reduced by 7 per cent every year from April 1.

It is further proposed that the distribution licensee will provide connectivity for solar power generators seeking interconnection with the grid in a time-bound manner at the cost of the developer.

The cost involved in strengthening the system for receiving the feed-in power from the solar power installations will be the responsibility of the distribution licensee.

The commission has urged the stakeholders to send their comments and suggestions on the feed-in-tariff system to the Secretary, Kerala State Electricity Regulatory Commission, KPFC Bhavanam, Vellayambalam, Thiruvananthapuram, to reach him on or before December 6.

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Intersolar India 2012: Conference and exhibition

The international solar industry will convene for the fourth time at Intersolar India 2012. From November 6 – 8, 2012, Bombay Exhibition Centre in Mumbai (BEC), India will shine exclusively on solar power. With over 350 exhibitors expected to present their latest products and services in the photovoltaic’s and solar thermal technologies field along with trade visitors, the 20,000 square meters of space will witness exhibitor numbers that are forecasted to rise significantly by over 30% in 2012, building on previous success.

Mumbai, Maharashtra, June 20, 2012 /India PRwire/ — The international so*lar industry will convene for the fourth time at Intersolar India 2012. From November 6 – 8, 2012, Bombay Exhibition Centre in Mumbai (BEC), India will shine exclusively on solar power. With over 350 exhibitors expected to present their latest products and services in the photovoltaic’s and solar thermal technologies field along with trade visitors, the 20,000 square meters of space will witness exhibitor numbers that are forecasted to rise significantly by over 30% in 2012, building on previous success.

The exhibition will once again be accompanied by the Intersolar India Confer*ence. From November 5-7, 2012, over 700 industry experts are convening at the Leela Kempinski Hotel in Mumbai and the Bombay Exhibition Centre (BEC) to discuss the latest developments across international solar markets.

Intersolar India is already entering its fourth year in 2012. India’s leading exhibition for the solar industry covers the latest trends and technological developments in photovoltaic’s and solar thermal technologies. From November 6-8, 2012, over 10,000 trade visitors are expected to attend the event in hall 1 of the Bombay Exhibition Centre (BEC) in Mumbai, India. Under the motto “Connect*ing Solar Business”, this industry platform helps demonstrate technological potential and strength*en the business network at an international and local level.

Record investment in grid*-connected solar projects

The Indian government launched the National Solar Mission initiative as early as 2010, laying the foundations for a springboard into a new solar era in India. Today, the Indian solar market is expe*riencing significantly dynamic growth, captivating both the international industry and investors. According to information from the news agency Bloomberg L.P. Energy Finance in New York, India has seen investments in grid connected solar projects increase sevenfold, from US$600 million in 2009 to US$4.2 billion in 2011.

Other recent forecasts also anticipate a further sharp upturn in the Indian solar market. According to the study from the GTM Research Inc., Cambridge, Massachusetts (USA) entitled “The India Solar Market: Strategy, Players and Opportunities”, India is expected to install solar installations with a peak output of nine gigawatts (GW) by 2016. The sustainability study “Solar industry: Sur*vival of the fittest in a fiercely competitive marketplace” by the Sarasin AG bank ranks India among the world’s booming PV markets, with the Indian government ultimately aiming to increase in*stalled solar capacity to 20 GW by 2022. The government plan offers excellent opportunities not only for the Indian and global solar industry but also for transnational cooperation. Intersolar India 2012 provides the ideal platform for networking among market players and supports the govern*ment in achieving its goals.

Growing international diversity and new joint booths

Thanks to positive market growth, an increasing number of international solar companies are launching into the Indian market, working closely with developers and system integrators in the country. The increasing international presence in the market is also shown in the new joint booths from Spain and Germany that are for the first time giving interested companies new opportunities to enter the market in 2012.

The Spanish joint booth is organized by SOLARTYS, the Spanish Association for the Internationali*zation and Innovation of Solar Companies, with support from the Spanish Institute of Foreign Trade (ICEX). The German solar industry will also be represented as part of the “Renewable Energies Export Initiative” special program at the joint booth organized by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology at the exhibition. This information booth not only features various companies but also unveils the content and central ideas of the special program using topic banners and interac*tive exhibits.

Intersolar India Conference

From November 5-7, 2012, over 700 industry experts are convening at the Intersolar India Con*ference to discuss and pursue exhibition topics. Around 100 speakers will shine a light on policy and technological advances within the Indian and international solar industry. The conference is taking place in the Leela Kempinski Hotel and the Bombay Exhibition Centre, Mumbai and, this year, covers topics such as trends across the Indian and global photovoltaic’s market, develop*ments in the Indian solar thermal market, electrification of off* grid areas, as well as general topics on finance and project management.

Intersolar India 2012 takes place at the Bombay Exhibition Centre in Mumbai from November 6-8.

For further information, please visit

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