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WASHINGTON, DC—In one of his first speeches, India's new Ambassador Arun K. Singh talked about a growing sense of optimism about India's growth prospects and closer economic ties between the United States and India. He thanked the US-India Business Council for extending him a warm welcome.

"My special thanks to Chairman, Ajay Banga, and President, Mukesh Aghi, for arranging this occasion for us to meet very early in my tenure," Singh said. "It's great to be among old friends and to have this opportunity to meet others whom I don't know. I look forward to working with all of you to enhance bilateral trade and investment."

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif— Geeta Aiyer, who received the prestigious Joan Bavaria Award this week, said that Sustainable and Responsible Investments (SRI) now account for over $6.5 trillion in the United States.

"When I started in SRI over twenty five years ago, it was a very niche industry, and I've been excited to see it grow to attract institutional and mainstream investors, while staying true to its values. Here in the U.S., SRI assets now account for over $6.5 trillion — nearly 18% of all investment assets," said Aiyer founder and president of Boston-based Common Asset Management, LLC.
CAMBRIDGE, MA -- An anti-poverty program tested extensively on three continents has produced sustained gains in individuals' income, wealth, and well-being, according to a study published today in the journal Science.
 
The program provides very poor people with productive assets, such as livestock, as well as job training, life-skills coaching, and health information. Known as the "Graduation" program, its intention was to examine whether helping the poor in multiple ways simultaneously could be especially effective in fighting poverty.
BOSTON—HBX, Harvard Business School's online digital education initiative, has announced that it has entered into agreements to work with several U.S. liberal arts colleges to provide additional benefits for their students taking the Credential of Readiness (CORe) program. CORe is an online program, consisting of approximately 150 hours of learning, for students and early career professionals to learn the fundamentals of business on a highly engaging and interactive platform designed by Harvard Business School faculty.
NEW DELHI--Ratings agency, Moody's on said that at 7.5 percent, India's growth rate during 2015-16 will be the highest among the global 20 major economies (G20). It said the growth has been predicted on the basis of various reforms initiated by the government in face of lower oil prices.

A report from the global credit rating firm said: "We forecast strong growth in India... At 7.5 percent in 2015-16, the highest among the G20 economies. Lower oil prices will reinforce gradual growth-enhancing reforms to support robust economic activity over the forecast period."
Ease of Doing Business in SEZs improved
Seeking to improve ease of doing business in special economic zones (SEZs), the Commerce Ministry has permitted units in these zones to send goods for purposes such as repair and maintenance to outside markets and abroad.

Highways, Railways Will Raise $4.7 Billion with Tax-Free Bonds
The Finance Ministry has mandated the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) and Indian Railways Finance Corporation to raise $3.8 billion and $900 million, respectively, by selling tax-free bonds. The higher share of tax-free bonds will help NHAI to fund road projects in the country. Road Minister Nitin Gadkari plans to award 15,000 km of roads by March 2016 spread over two fiscal years.
BOSTON--Localytics, a marketing and analytics platform for mobile and web apps,announced the acquisition of Splitforce, an automated optimization tool purpose-built for mobile apps. With the acquisition, Splitforce co-founders Zac Aghion and David Ruiz join the Localytics team, bringing additional data science expertise to fuel the company's predictive app marketing capabilities.
NEW DELHI— The Indian economy has turned the corner, says the latest India Development Update of the World Bank. Aided by a supportive external environment, in particular the sharp decline in oil and commodity prices, the Indian economy has taken strong strides towards higher growth and enhanced stability. Growth has accelerated, inflation has declined, the current account deficit has narrowed, and external reserves have increased.

CAMBRIDGE, MA—TiE-Boston has rebranded it annual flagship entrepreneurial conference as TiE StartupCon, which was previously known as TiECon East and has been recognized as the largest start-up conference on the East Coast.

In an exclusive video interview with INDIA New England News, Tie-Boston President Gaugarin Oliver talks about TiE-Boston, why the name of its flagship conference was changed and what should we expect at the TiE StartupCon on May 1 at Cambridge Marriott in Cambridge, MA. To watch the interview, click here.

IndUS News Wire
Breaking News
Govt. Launches Single Form to Register New Businesses: In another move to make doing business in India easier, the Government has launched single-form registration for new businesses, reducing red tape in incorporation of firms from the currently required up to eight forms.

Rules Relaxed for Foreign Investment in Real Estate: The Cabinet relaxed rules to allow foreign funds to invest in real estate investment trusts, a move designed to boost the country's property sector. "The approval is expected to enable foreign investment inflows into the completed rent-yielding real estate projects, which is, as of now, prohibited," the Government said in a statement.

HYDERABAD, India-- Global Internet services company Google will build its largest campus outside the US in Hyderabad with an investment of Rs.1,000 crore, announced Telanagana Information Technology Minister K. Tarakarama Rao on Tuesday.

The minister, who is on a visit to the US, said the state government has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Google, which will develop about two million square feet campus, the first in Asia.

Govt. Extends Defense Industrial License Validity to 7 Years
To improve ease of doing business and boost defense manufacturing, the Government has decided to increase the validity of the defense industrial license to seven years with a provision for further extension of three years. The Commerce and Industry Ministry said this is being done in view of the long gestation period of defence contracts to mature.

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In previous years we suggested purchasing Virginia Land Preservation Credits. A dollar of tax credit could be purchased for 75 or 80 cents, saving a significant amount of money on state taxes. In recent years, however, some of these credits were challenged. Some of the people who purchased them had to redo their tax returns. Now, 88 cents is one of the best prices available. You still have to pay short-term capital gains on what you save. As a result, we are not recommending them this year.


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