Indian govt. restricts mobile connections for foreign tourists

According to a report appearing in the Economic Times (Sept. 2, 2012), the Government of India „has asked Telecom Service Providers not to provide mobile connection for more than three months to any foreign tourist visiting India“.

„Any mobile connection issued to a foreigner should not have a validity beyond the validity of the visa. In case of foreign tourist, the validity of connection should not be beyond the visa period and also not exceed three months at a time even if the validity of the visa is beyond three months,“ the fresh guidelines, which have been vetted by Union Home Ministry, said.

[Read the complete report]

The fresh regulations are set to cause hassles to foreign tourists, who regularly travel to India and wish to keep their local mobile number unchanged. It may be subject to question, how effective such a policy is going to be in achieving its stated objective, i.e. to check misuse of SIM cards by terror groups. Those bent on harming India can probably use the numerous STD/ISD booths, WiFi networks, or satellite phones without getting detected easily. It is a common, innocent tourist, who will have to face the hassles, despite registering him- or herself and thus being identifiable at any point of time. The regulations are especially and unnecessarily harsh, because they do not even allow a connection for the full period of visa validity and restrict it to a maximum of 3 months, as if a terrorist would misuse his or her connection only after 3 months.

This goes in the same direction as the (incomprehendible) restriction on entry within less than 2 months on a tourist visa, despite having a „valid“ visa for the complete duration. Those who wish to harm India probably do not necessarily apply for a visa and rather infiltrate the country in an illegal manner. But it is a commoner who usually suffers the consequences of a short-sighted policy.

Indo-German Trade has grown significantly

According to a report by Federal Statistical Office (FSO), Germany’s trade with the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) has grown 7-folds within past 15 years (between 1996-2011). In comparison the trade volume as a whole grew only 2.5 folds.

Trade with India also registered significant growth. While German exports to India rose from € 2.4 billion in 1996 to € 10.9 billion in 2011, Indian exports to Germany rose from €2.0 billion to € 7.5 billion in the same period.

Detailed information  in German are available in press release issued by FSO on 29.08.2012.

An English version without detailed information on the matter (but contact details for further enquiries and methodological description) is also available at FSO website.

Smart Mobility for India: Needs, Opportunities and Challenges

India finds itself in a precarious situation. While the lack of efficient and effective mediums of mobility for public-at-large outside metropolitan cities continues to cause loss of productivity and stifle economic growth in a considerable manner; the economic growth in major urban centres and the resultant growth of passenger vehicles and two-wheelers is leading to heavy traffic jams and pollution, again causing loss of productivity and chocking of economic growth. This article argues that a viable solution to these entwined and complex challenges lies in implementing “smart mobility” solutions. This could prove to be the next growth driver and present immense opportunities for Indo-German collaboration, in both private and public sectors. []

This article, authored by Rajnish Tiwari, has been published in GermanyContact India (issue 02/2012, August). To continue reading click here. An extended, unedited version of the article with additional information/graphs can be accessed here (PDF, 524 KB).

Hamburg and India: Facts and Figures

For a properly formatted and aligned copy please download as PDF: German / English
Status: 20.04.2012
Indian life in Hamburg

Population: Hamburg is the home to 2,666 persons of Indian nationality (figures from 31/12/2011); with an average of 50 Indian men and women obtaining German citizenship each year (source: Statistical Office North). In the year 2011, a total of 6,092 Indian tourists visited the Hanseatic City of Hamburg (19,676 overnight stays; source: Hamburg Tourismus GmbH.)

Hamburg-based organisations and associations relating to India:

  • Consulate General of India, including department of trade
  • German-Indian Round Table (GIRT)
  • Deutsch-Indische Gesellschaft in Hamburg (DIG)
  • Kerala Samajam Hamburg
  • Indian Festival Committee Hamburg
  • Indisch-Deutsche Gemeinschaft
  • Bharatiya Kala Kendra Indische Vereinigung Hamburg
  • Naya Bharat Gemeinschaft Hamburg
  • Deutsch-Indisches Kulturforum
  • Institut für Klassische Indische Musik
  • Deutsch-Indische Marwari-Gesellschaft
  • Bhakti-Yoga-Zentrum
  • Dewi Saraswati (primarily involved in development co-operation)
  • H.E.L.G.O. (educational programmes regarding child labour in Kolkata)
  • Afghan Hindu temple in Hamburg Rothenburgsort
  • Cricket clubs in Hamburg: Alster Cricket Club, Hamburg International Cricket Club, Pak Alemi Cricket Club, Hansa Cricket Club, and the cricket division of HSV

Intercultural exchange
In the field of arts and cultural production, a whole range of connections and collaborations exist between Hamburg and India. Hamburg’s Ministry of Culture continually promotes intercultural exchange with India, e.g. by inviting Indian artists to the Hanseatic city. The Hamburg Cultural Authority is supported by partners and hosts, among them Hamburg-based associations such as Deutsch-Indische Gesellschaft, as well as other stakeholders from the cultural scene, such as Kampnagel, Metropolis cinema, as well as KinderKinder e.V. Since 2007, India Week Hamburg takes on the role of focussing these activities.

Economic and commercial relations with India
Trade relations between Hamburg and India can be traced back to the 16th century. Due to India’s dynamic economic growth, trade with India has increased considerably in the course of the last few decades. One of the major factors in this regard is the port of Hamburg. While Germany’s export to India increased by 160 percent between 2005 and 2011, the volume of export conducted via Hamburg increased by as much as 272 percent. Hamburg’s share of exports to India amounts to 4.3 percent; the city’s import share lies at 10.6 percent. The port trade volume increased from 240,000 standard containers (TEU) in 2010 to 275,000 standard containers 2011, which equals a growth of 14.5 percent
(Sources: Statistical Office Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein / Port of Hamburg Marketing market research)

Foreign trade between Hamburg and India
Volume Import Export
Volumen 2009: 1.483 bn Euro 2010: 1.260 bn Euro 2011: 1.260 bn Euro
Import 2009: 646.0 m Euro 2010: 815.1 m Euro 2011: 793.5 m Euro
Export 2009: 837.4 m Euro 2010: 45.2 m Euro 2011: 466.2 m Euro
(in 2012, export figures are due to rise considerably because of new orders for Airbus)
Indian enterprises in Hamburg
More than 35 Indian companies have branches in the Hamburg Metropolitan Region, among them renowned players such as Tata Consultancy Services Deutschland GmbH and Mahindra Satyam from the IT and engineering industry. Indian steel giant Laxmi Mittal acquired Hamburger Stahlwerke, and Suzlon Energy Ltd, Indian manufacturer of wind turbines, has a majority share in the Hamburg-based manufacturer Repower Systems. In addition to that, Hamburg is home to textile and spice importers such as Seth, BOOM and H.A.N.S. Spices.

Hamburg enterprises in India
More than 570 Hamburg companies are involved in foreign trade with India. Almost half of these companies run export businesses, the other half import goods from India. Approximately 120 companies from Hamburg have a representative office, a branch, a share or a production plant in India, among them Biesterfeld International GmbH, Mumbai, Eppendorf AG, Chennai, Evotec AG / Research Support International Pvt. Ltd (RSIPL), Thane/Mumbai, as well as C. Illies & Co.,Mumbai.
Aviation Airbus, Lufthansa Technik, et al.
Export trade Machinery, chemicals, iron/steel/metal goods
Import trade Textiles, machinery, chemicals, oil
Renewable energy Wind energy, solar power plants
Port, transport, logistics Export of services
IT / media Import of services
Water supply Export of services
Life sciences Biotechnology and pharmaceuticals

Points of contact for businesses from India and Hamburg

German Indian Round Table (GIRT): GIRT is an association of individuals who have business interests and a general interest in India. The overall aim is to promote economic relations between Germany and India. GIRT facilitates the exchange of information between German and Indian entrepreneurs, hosts events on economic topics and organises trips to India.
Hamburg Representation Mumbai: To strengthen relations between the two countries, the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce, and Hamburg Marketing e.V. have established an official representative office at the German-Indian Chamber of Commerce (IGCC). The Hamburg Representation Mumbai was opened in January 2011 and is managed by Mr Peter Deubet.
HamburgAmbassador: Mr Frank König, ILLIES Engineering (India) Pvt. Ltd, Mumbai, India. The aim of this honorary office is to set up an international network to promote the City of Hamburg in the respective country. HamburgAmbassadors are appointed by Hamburg’s First Mayor.
HWF Hamburg Business Development Corporation: Advisory services and support for Indian companies that settle in the Hamburg Metropolitan Region. HWF India representative is Mr Amal Mukhopadhyay (founder and director of ElGa Biotech), who is active in the field of life sciences.
Hamburg Chamber of Commerce: Responding to an increased interest in India, the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce launched an India Desk in 2007, a unit that closely collaborates with the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce. The main task is to advise Hamburg-based businesses and Indian businesses regarding import and export and on establishing branches and production plants. The India Desk also provides information on India’s economy and arranges business contacts.
Consulate General of India: Established in June 1952, the Consulate General of India in
Hamburg features its own commercial department. Consul General is Ms M. Subashini, who has been in office since 2010.
GIGA Institute of Asian Studies at the GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies: This research centre focusses on analysing political, economic and social developments in South East Asia, China, Japan, North Korea, South Korea and India.
OAV German Asia-Pacific Business Association: For 111 years, OAV has been involved in
organising specialist seminars, public workshops and information events. OAV organises business trips to the Asia-Pacific region and offers advice and support to its member companies. Being one of the sponsor organisations of APA Asia-Pacific-Committee of German Business, OAV plays a major role in representing the concerns of German businesses that are active in region.
Service point for SME – market access India: Since October 2010, small and medium- sized enterprises from Hamburg can receive specialised support for accessing the Indian market. The service point is operated by the HWWI Hamburg Institute of International Economics in collaboration with the IGEP Indo-German Export Promotion Foundation. The project initially runs until 2013 and is funded by the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg and the European Social Fund (ESF).

Exchange in science and research
Several Hamburg universities and research centres offer scholarships for Indian students and maintain exchange programmes and joint projects with Indian universities and research bodies. In the winter semester of 2010/2011, a total of 125 Indian students were enrolled in one of Hamburg’s many universities and polytechnics. 88 of these students, i.e. approximately 70 percent, were enrolled in engineering degrees at the Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH). The University of Hamburg, the TUHH, the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences (HAW), the GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies, the GKSS Research Centre Geesthacht, and DESY Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron collaborate with India’s high- ranking Central Universities, the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) and Indian Institutes of Management (IIM). Co-operation partners include the following:

  • University of Delhi Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi
  • National Institute of Science, Technology and Development Studies (NISTADS), New Delhi
  • Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad
  • Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai/Madras
  • Indira Gandhi Institute, Mumbai
  • Central University of Hyderabad
  • National Law School of India, Bangalore
  • Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
  • Filmschule Roopkala Kendro in Kolkata
  • Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna Garhwal University, District Garhwal
  • Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology, Bhubaneswar/Orissa
  • Institute for Defense Analysis and Studies (IDSA) Delhi
  • Observer Research Foundation, Delhi
  • National Institute of Oceanography, Goa.

The Institute for Technology and Innovation Management (TIM) at the TUHH in particular maintains a very close relationship with India. Current projects include the collaboration agreement between TUHH and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), as well as the “Global Innovation” project that addresses research and development in India. Many of the above mentioned Indian institutions are co-operation partners of TIM/TUHH.
South Asia Day at the University of Hamburg: Since 2003, the Department for Indian and Tibetan Culture and History at the Asia Africa Institute (AAI) hosts an annual South Asia Day. The event focusses on recent economic, political and cultural developments in the region. The South Asia day is frequented by diplomats from South-Asian countries, economists, political scientists, as well as media representatives; however the event is also open to a general audience.
Contact: Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH, Press and Public Relations
Saskia Jöhnk, Tel.: +49 40-3569-2445, e-mail:
Press texts, photos and poster motif for download, and current ship list at

India: „FII investment in stocks falls to 3-yr low“

According to a report in the Financial Express (April 8th, 2012):

The net investment by foreign institutional investors (FIIs) in stock market during 2011-12 was the lowest in the last three years at Rs 47,935 crore.

FIIs made a net investment of Rs 47,935 crore in the equity market during the fiscal ended March 31, 2012, which was way below the figure of Rs 1.1 lakh crore in 2010-11 and Rs 96,857 crore during 2009-10, according to the SEBI data.


The numbers above would tantamount to the following approximate figures after factoring in exchange rate variations:

FY 2011-12: Rs.479.35 billion / $9.6 billion ($1=Rs.50, approx. figure)
FY 2010-11: Rs.1100.00 billion / $24.1 billion ($1=Rs.45.58, FY average value)
FY 2009-10: Rs.968.57 billion / $20.4 billion ($1=Rs.47.42, FY average value)