Hyderabad, the capital city of India’s youngest state Telangana, is fast emerging as the favourite destination for big business firms to set shop, as nearly 20 IT firms are expected to open offices in the city in the next 8 to 12 months, according to a top official of the state.”They are in advanced stages of discussion with us. We expect formal announcements to be made by them on the same, pretty soon,” said Jayesh Ranjan, secretary (IT, electronics and communications), Telangana government.Replying to a query on the allotment of land to Google to set up its largest campus outside the US in Hyderabad, Ranjan said that the state government had already assigned the land to the search engine giant.”According to the communique that we received, Google is expected to lay the foundation stone for its own centre in Hyderabad in the first quarter of next year,” he said.Search engine giant Google had said in May that it would to set up its biggest development centre outside the US in Hyderabad, with an outlay of Rs 1,000 crore. The new campus will be spread across over 2 million square feet and accommodate 13,000 employees.The state government has already given its nod to the draft for the new IT policy, which would be announced after the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) elections in January next year, said the state ITE&C secretary.He said that the IT policy would focus on expanding the IT sector presence “beyond Hyderabad” to Tier-II and Tier-III cities in the state.”As part of the policy, we have identified Warangal, Nizamabad, Karimnagar and Khammam to develop mini-IT hubs,” Business Standard quoted Ranjan, as saying.Formed just a year ago, Telangana has already become a favourite destination for big companies to set up operations, as the state strives to provide transparent tax policies and give speedy approvals to projects.In the past one year, Telangana has emerged as a tough competitor to neighbouring states – Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.Top players in e-commerce, retail and aviation sectors have already set up facilities or have announced plans to expand their operations in Hyderabad.In July, US-based online cab aggregator Uber had announced plans to set up a “response and support centre” in Hyderabad, India, which will be its biggest investment outside the US.
This handout photo shows Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin (R) speaking with US National Security adviser John Bolton following their meeting at the presidential complex in the capital Ankara, on 8 January. Photo: AFPTurkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday condemned comments by a key US envoy over the future of a US-allied Syrian Kurdish militia as a “grave mistake”, as tensions flared over Washington’s planned withdrawal from war-torn Syria.Erdogan’s comments came shortly after US National Security adviser John Bolton held talks in the Turkish capital with Erdogan’s adviser Ibrahim Kalin, in a key meeting focusing on the surprise US decision to withdraw its troops from Syria.But it was comments made by Bolton on Sunday in Israel that had already raised hackles in Ankara, when he suggested the retreat was also conditional on the safety of US-backed Kurdish fighters, considered terrorists by Turkey.”John Bolton has made a grave mistake on this issue,” Erdogan told his party’s lawmakers in parliament.US president Donald Trump caused a political storm last month when he announced the troop pullout, claiming to have succeeded in the battle against the Islamic State (IS) group.Fighting continues however, with Syrian Observatory for Human Rights saying IS suicide attackers had hit the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces in eastern Syria late on Sunday, killing 23 of its fighters.The pullout, which Washington has since stressed will be gradual, was hailed by Erdogan as the “right call” in a column published Tuesday in the New York Times.But it has also raised concerns that Kurdish fighters would be exposed to the threat of a cross-border operation by their archfoe Turkey.No promisesUS-led coalition forces have provided air power and other support to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in its operation to flush out IS from the last rump of its now-defunct “caliphate”.As part of this, American forces have worked closely with the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) militia, seen by Ankara as a “terrorist offshoot” of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has waged an insurgency against the Turkish state since 1984.That US military support for the YPG has shaken relations between Washington and Ankara.US secretary of state Mike Pompeo drew the wrath of the Turkish leadership last week when he said Washington would ensure “the Turks don’t slaughter the Kurds” in Syria as American troops withdraw.”That Turkey targets the Kurds is the most vile, the most dishonourable, the ugliest and the cheapest slander,” Erdogan said on Tuesday.But the Turkish leader made it clear that Ankara would not soften its stance against the YPG.”Those who are in the terror corridor in Syria will learn necessary lessons,” he said.After meeting Bolton on Tuesday, Kalin also urged Washington to take back all the weapons provided to Syrian Kurdish militia forces.He denied comments by Pompeo that Turkey had promised the US not to attack the Kurdish fighters.”Nobody should expect Turkey to provide assurances to a terror organisation,” he told journalists in Ankara.Bolton’s spokesman Garrett Marquis described the talks as “productive” and centred on “the president’s decision to withdraw at a proper pace from northeast Syria”.Military win ‘first step’When Trump first announced the pullout of 2,000 ground troops on 19 December, Ankara was a lonely voice among NATO allies welcoming the decision.Erdogan has promised Trump that Turkey could finish off the remnants of IS in Syria.”A military victory against the terrorist group is a mere first step,” he said in the New York Times, warning against premature declarations of victory.Nicholas Heras, an analyst at the Center for a New American Security, said Ankara would need so much support from Washington to completely eradicate IS, that it would be “to the point where the US military would essentially still be inside Syria”.Trump on Monday conceded that the fight against IS was not over.”We will be leaving at a proper pace while at the same time continuing to fight ISIS and doing all else that is prudent and necessary!” he tweeted.Last month, Erdogan threatened to launch a cross-border operation against the YPG, east of the Euphrates River, which he said later would be delayed after Trump’s pullout order.Turkish military forces supporting Syrian rebels launched incursions into northern Syria against IS in August 2016 and against the YPG in January 2018.