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Finance Ministry starts consultation with investors to launch global ETF General

The Finance Ministry has started consultation with global investors for launching CPSE-scrip based Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) in overseas market in the current fiscal, a government official has said. The Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) will start developing the index for the ETF based on investors' feedback about demand of sector specific stocks. "We are eyeing large overseas pension funds for investments into the overseas ETF. We will soon appoint fund managers for developing the new ETF. Global roadshows have seen good investor interest in ETF route for investments into CPSEs," the official said.  The government currently has two exchange-traded funds — CPSE ETF and Bharat-22 ETF — listed on domestic exchanges. ETFs function like a mutual fund scheme and have underlying assets of government-owned companies. Bharat-22 ETF, which was launched in 2017-18, has 16 central public sector enterprises covering six sectors, 3 public sector banks and 3 private sector companies where the government holds minority stake.

(LiveMint, Apr 28, 2019)

Delta 12V and 48V 600W PMC Series with IEC/en/UL 62368-1 Approvals General

Delta Electronics is extending the popular 600W PMC series of panel mount power supply with output voltage 12V and 48V, namely, PMC-12V600W1BA and PMC-48V600W1BA. The products come with universal AC input at 85Vac to 264Vac and have built-in active PFC circuit. Both models also have feature Power Boost of 200% (peak load 12V 100A, 48V 25A) for 3 seconds, included the built-in fan speed control and fan lock protections. The products are certified with IEC/EN/UL 62368-1 approval that will replace IEC/EN/UL 60950-1 for ITE which expires on December 20, 2020. EMI according to EN 55011 (Industrial, scientific and medical (ISM) radio-frequency equipment) and EMS according to EN 61000-6-2 (Immunity for industrial environments).  Delta, founded in 1971, is a global leader in power and thermal management solutions and a major player in several product segments such as industrial automation, displays, and networking. Its mission statement, “To provide innovative, clean and energy-efficient solutions for a better tomorrow,” focuses on addressing key environmental issues such as global climate change. As an energy-saving solutions provider with core competencies in power electronics and innovative research and development, Delta's business domains include Power Electronics, Automation, and Infrastructure. Delta has 163 sales offices, 64 R&D centres, and 39 manufacturing facilities worldwide. Throughout its history, Delta has received many global awards and recognition for its business achievements, innovative technologies and dedication to corporate social responsibility. Since 2011, Delta has been selected as a member of the Dow Jones Sustainability™ World Index (DJSI World) for 7 consecutive years. In 2017, Delta was selected by CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project) for its Climate Change Leadership Level for the 2nd consecutive year.

(Businesswire India, May 13, 2019)

Govt. reworking strategic sale procedure for CPSEs General

The finance ministry is reworking strategic sale procedure to ensure outright sale of Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) within 4 months of issuance of documents to potential investors, a move aimed at ensuring speedier conclusion of the entire process, an official said. However, for CPSEs like Air India, which are relatively bigger in size, the timeline for completion of strategic sale is likely to be fixed at 6 months from the date of issuance of Preliminary Information Memorandum (PIM) about the company. Currently, there is no set timeline for concluding strategic sale of a state-owned company and the entire process, in some cases, drags on for months, if not years. "The strategic sale policy is already in place, but the procedure needs to be streamlined so that the sale process is completed within 3-4 months' time. The thinking is that if a process cannot be completed in 4 months then it should be abandoned," an official told PTI. Facing a daunting task of meeting the ₹90,000 crore disinvestment target in the current fiscal, the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) will focus on outright sale of selected CPSEs, which have been pending for long. NITI Aayog has already identified 35 profitable and loss-making CPSEs which can go in for strategic sale.

(Livemint, May 12, 2019)

RP tech India Opens 50 E-Waste Collection Centers Pan India General

In a bid to tackle the growing menace of E-Waste, RP tech India, Country’s only value-added distributor has commenced 50 e-waste Collection points across the country. The Company has collaborated with Reteck Envirotech Pvt. Ltd., one of the largest authorized e-waste recyclers, to recycle end of life electronics and accessories collected from end users. The Company has urged people to handover electronics to these collection points for safe disposal. The issue of e-waste pollution has become a grave concern in India with the drastic surge in electronics and gadgets. The industry estimates state that India stands at the 5th place with over 2 million ton of e-waste production annually. According to the report of ASSOCHAM, the e-waste generation in India would reach 5.2 MT per annum by 2020 from 1.8 MT per annum in 2016. E-waste pollution causes toxic emissions and poses several serious health hazards to the environment. The recycling of e-waste is largely in the hands of the unorganized sector, which do not implement scientific recycling methods, causing serious threat to workers (mostly women and children) handling this waste on a daily basis. Talking the cognizance of this serious issue, the Government in 2017, introduced the concept of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) under e-waste (Management) Rules 2016, which is mandatory for every producer of electrical and electronic equipment. The objective of EPR is to make producers and manufacturers accountable for the recycling of e-waste in an environmentally friendly manner. RP tech India is committed towards the Green initiative and duly comply with the EPR norms.

(Technuter, May 10, 2019)

India keeps out Chinese gear-makers from 5G trials on security concerns Telecom

India will keep out Chinese vendors from its 5G trials expected to start next month, though this may be reviewed later, said officials. A telecom ministry panel has recommended spectrum tests for telecom firms that wish to bring in this next generation network technology. 5G networks are the next generation of mobile internet connectivity, offering faster speeds and more reliable connections. Analysts expect 5G network to help power a surge in use of Internet of Things technology enabling smartphones to be used to connect and run most electronic devices. Officials said the ministry has recommended 5G spectrum tests for Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Reliance Jio initially for three months, which can be scaled up to one year in case they need more time for network stabilisation. These firms will be using three equipment vendors: Samsung, Nokia and Ericsson, they said. The allocations are expected to be done within the next fortnight, so that trials can start from June. Officials said at a later stage, they could give Huawei an opportunity to test its 5G equipments. India imports telecom gear worth about $22 billion annually, much of which is from Chinese firms such as ZTE, Huawei, Dongfang and Cosco. Electronics are the third top import item for India.

(Indian Express, May 10, 2019)

IIT-B researchers develop ‘Made in India’ microprocessor General

Engineers from the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT Bombay) have developed a microprocessor called AJIT, the first to be conceptualized, designed, developed and manufactured in India. The innovation, which has brought industry, academia and the government together, could reduce the country’s dependence on imports. The project was funded by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and IIT Bombay. Powai Labs, a Mumbai-based company, has invested in the venture, and will own, market and support the product.  Prof. Madhav Desai of the electrical engineering department and his team of nine researchers from IIT Bombay designed and developed the processor entirely at the institute. In a sense, the researchers have built the first proof of concept, Prof. Desai told The Hindu. “It is out of the laboratory, but not on the road yet. We are refining it. If successful, it will be mass produced.”  India’s electronics market is expected to reach $400 billion by 2020. Most of the electronic devices we use are imported; only a quarter of the devices are produced in the country.

(The Hindu, May 09, 2019)

Karbonn to relaunch Sansui brand in India Telecom

Home-grown mobile phone maker Karbonn Mobiles has acquired the brand licence of Japanese consumer electronics brand Sansui for the Indian market, marking its entry into the television and white goods segment and mirroring the strategy of its domestic peers Micromax and Intex, who have been squeezed out of the mobile phone market by Chinese players, said two industry executives.  The licensing arrangement with Karbonn Mobiles’ holding company Jaina India is for five years and the Sansui brand will be relaunched in the country in July with products in categories such as LED television, home audio, refrigerator, washing machine, split air-conditioner and small kitchen appliances, the executives told ET on condition of anonymity. The Sansui brand was earlier licensed to Videocon for 17 years but after the expiry of the licence in 2018 post Diwali, the owners of Sansui — Hong Kong-listed Nimble Holdings Company — did not want to renew the licence owing to the financial crisis at Videocon.  Emails sent to Jaina Group MD Pardeep Jain and Nimble Holdings did not elicit any response till press time on Tuesday. Karbonn Mobiles will sell Sansui through bricks-and-mortar stores and Flipkart, pricing the products on a par  with Chinese brands such as Xiaomi and TCL, said the executives cited earlier. They said the company also had plans to set up a plant for manufacturing of televisions and appliances at an outlay of Rs 300 crore, although initially the products would be contract manufactured in India. 

(ET, May 08, 2019)

New factory-focused solar tender reportedly in the offing General

With domestic solar manufacturing in the doldrums and India’s first manufacturing-linked PV tender having been met with a tepid response, the nation is mulling a new procurement exercise to develop an industrial base for solar – this time with no generation capacity element attached. Business news service Bloomberg has reported plans are being considered in India for a solar cell and module manufacturing tender which would include a financial incentive. The news comes as the world’s biggest democratic elections continued to unfold, with polling completed in 424 of India’s 542 Lok Sabha constituencies on Monday. India has around 3 GW of annual solar cell production capacity and 9 GW of module capacity – figures eclipsed by some individual businesses in China – and in February the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs provided Rs8,580 crore of viability gap funding to enable government-owned companies to establish 12 GW of solar capacity with costlier Indian-made products. An attempt by the government to staunch the flow of solar imports by applying a 25% safeguarding duty on them appears to have done little to help the expansion of domestic solar manufacturing. With the domestic production sector supplying just 15% of India’s solar equipment needs, the nation continues to import almost 90% of its PV modules. Chinese imports make up almost 89% of India’s total solar needs with Singapore a distant second, followed by Taiwan. India also imports solar products from Malaysia, Canada, Thailand, Vietnam and Hong Kong.

(PV Magazine, May 08, 2019)

Rooftop solar needs greater push to reach 2022 target: IEEFA General

Rooftop solar is the fastest growing renewable energy sub-sector in India but installations must rapidly accelerate if the nation is to meet its ambitious renewable energy target of 175 GW by 2022—according to a new briefing by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA). Notably, while India’s installed solar capacity has grown fourfold to 28 GW in less than three years, the country has achieved only 10% of its ‘40 GW by 2022’ rooftop solar target. IEEFA estimates that, for the next three years, solar rooftop installs will grow at 50% annually, reaching a cumulative 13 GW of installed capacity by FY 2021-22—well short of the 40 GW target despite the impressive growth. Regulatory uncertainty is slowing the pace of rooftop solar installations, even as “there has been significant investment in preparing the regulatory framework, up skilling the workforce for small scale deployments, and in educating the market.” The IEEFA briefing note, titled Vast Potential of Rooftop Solar In India, highlights further steps that the government can take to increase installations. “Policy certainty and more financial subsidies would incentive the market, as would support for domestic manufacturing and simplifying the net metering application process,” according to Tim Buckley, co-author of the briefing note and IEEFA’s director of energy finance studies.

(PV Magazine, May 08, 2019)

IEA warning against stagnation of renewables General

Last year saw 180 GW of renewable energy generation capacity installed worldwide, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). Although the figure is impressive, and matched the amount added in 2017, the IEA has pointed out it was the first time the volume of new renewables had not risen year on year since 2001 and was not enough to keep the world on track to achieve the objectives defined in the Paris climate change agreement. In fact, the world saw a 1.7% rise in energy related CO² emissions last year, said the agency.  According to the IEA’s Sustainable Development Scenario, at least 300 GW of new renewable energy capacity is required per year up to 2030 to keep the Paris goals within reach. Adding 180 GW annually, said the agency, will provide barely 60% of the new clean energy capacity required. Among the competing clean energy technologies, solar power again dominated, with 97 GW of new generation capacity added, similar to the amount of PV installed in 2017. In 2018, China was the world’s leading nation for new renewable energy capacity, with some 77 GW of generation assets added – 45% of the global total. However the much publicized decision of the Chinese government to rein in public solar subsidies prompted an 18% decline in PV figures, with 44 GW of new solar capacity installed, versus a record 53 GW in 2017.

(PV Magazine, May 08, 2019)

India has overly restrictive market barriers General

While the U.S. is India’s largest export destination, India is only the 13th largest for the U.S. due to “overly restrictive market access barriers,” U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Tuesday. “India is already the world’s third largest economy, and by 2030, it will become the world’s largest consumer market because of the rapid growth of the middle class,” Mr. Ross said, while speaking at the Trade Winds conference organized in the national capital. “Yet, today, India is only the U.S.’s 13th largest export market, due to overly restrictive market access barriers,” he added. “Meanwhile, the U.S. is India’s largest export market, accounting for something like 20% of the total. There is a real imbalance.” Mr. Ross went on to say that while American technology and expertise can play an important role to meet India’s developmental needs, U.S. companies faced significant market access barriers in India. “These include both tariff and non-tariff barriers, as well as multiple practices and regulations that disadvantage foreign companies,” he said. “India’s average applied tariff rate of 13.8% and that remains the highest of any major world economy. The very highest.” “It has, for example, a 60% tariff on automobiles; it has a 50% on motorcycles; and 150% on alcoholic beverages,” Mr. Ross added, highlighting a stress point U.S. President Donald Trump had mentioned several times. “These are not justified percentages. They are way too high.” The U.S. Commerce Secretary said that the U.S. was working with the Indian government and the private sector to address the market access issues through the U.S.-India Commercial Dialogue, and the recently re-convened U.S.-India CEO Forum.

(The Hindu, May 07, 2019)

India may reject US demand for outright ban on Huawei Telecom

Pointing out countries such as the UK and Germany that are "pushing back" the US pressure on barring Huawei from 5G network deployments, India may join these developed countries in rejecting Washington’s insistence of an outright ban on the Chinese network equipment maker despite real security concerns. “We are seeing that the UK has decided to use Huawei equipment in some non-core areas, also, Germany is pushing back on the US pressure, since it is unfair to deprive telcos of end-to-end technology at a lower cost which the Chinese company offers,” a senior government official told ET. Another official said that there were security concerns in using Chinese equipment, but added that each country needs to address this issue in “a carefully structured and customized method, thus selectively crafting its strategy rather than completely banning of Huawei equipment. It could become a trade-off between not allowing a newer technology versus security concerns.” Huawei, on its part, feels confident that the company will, along with rest of the industry, be allowed to participate in the 5G trials but expects a decision only after the ongoing general elections, results of which are slated for May 23, is over. Stakeholders are currently awaiting allotment of 5G trial spectrum from the Indian government. Huawei competes mainly with European vendors Nokia and Ericsson besides Chinese rival ZTE for the global telecom gear contracts.

(ET, May 07, 2019)

Army to induct 460 Russian-origin tanks to add muscle on Pakistan front General

The Indian Army will induct an additional 464 Russian-origin upgraded T-90 'Bhishma' main-battle tanks at a cost of Rs 13,448 crore in the 2022-2026 time frame to bolster its "shock and awe" capabilities on the western front, even as Pakistan is also discussing a deal with Russia for acquiring about 360 such tanks.  Defence ministry sources on Monday said the "indent" to produce the 464 T-90 tanks would soon be placed on the Avadi Heavy Vehicle Factory (HVF) under the Ordnance Factory Board after the cabinet committee on security cleared the licence acquisition from Russia over a month ago.  The Army already has around 1,070 T-90 tanks as well as 124 'Arjun' and 2,400 older T-72 tanks in its 67 armored regiments. After the first 657 T-90 tanks were imported for Rs 8,525 crore from Russia from 2001 onwards, another 1,000 are being progressively licenced and produced by HVF with Russian kits. "There has been some delay in the indent for the remaining 464 tanks, which will also have night-fighting capabilities. Once it is done, the first 64 tanks should be delivered in 30-41 months,"  said a source. 

The move comes at a time when the 1.3-million strong Army is also re-formatting its entire war-fighting machinery and the "Cold Start" or "Pro-Active Strategy", which envisages fast mobilisation to strike hard across the border with multiple offensive thrusts, as was reported earlier by TOI.  This task will primarily be carried out by restructured and agile integrated battle groups (IBGs) centred around the T-90S tanks, along with a mix of infantry, artillery, air defence, signals and engineers, backed by attack helicopters. The Army's new Land Warfare Doctrine itself notes that the "response along the western front will be sharp and swift, with the aim to destroy the adversary's centre of gravity and secure spatial gains". 

(ET, May 07, 2019)

Westway Electronics eyes Rs 1,000 crore turnover over three years General

Westway Electronics Ltd, the maker of India’s first colour television, is targeting a turnover of Rs 1,000 crore over the next three years. The consumer electronics company, which is present predominantly in north India, is on an expansion drive and hopes to have a footprint across south and east India over the next 2-3 years. “Currently, our turnover is about Rs 143 crore, but with aggressive expansion in south and east India, we hope to increase our sales and revenue,” said Sumit Maini, Director, Westway Electronics. He added that the company was ramping up its production capacity, anticipating higher sales, from the current 2.5 lakh units at its plant in Noida to 5 lakh units. The additional capacity will come from its upcoming plant in Noida that will be operational by 2020. Westway is an original equipment manufacturer that makes TVs, washing machines, refrigerators and other goods. Televisions are its mainstay, accounting for nearly 70 per cent of the product mix, and sells them under its brand—Weston. The competition is fierce in the television segment, from both, existing players and even new entrants like Xiaomi, which is holding the pole position within a year of its launch. “We have an affordable product range (priced between Rs. 8,000 and Rs 50,000) and the latest technology that will drive sales,” said Maini.

(Indian Express, May 07, 2019)

Foxconn's Terry Gou wants to be peacemaker between US, China and Taiwan Telecom

The chairman of Apple supplier Foxconn said on Monday he told U.S. President Donald Trump that he wanted to be the peacemaker between the United States, China and self-ruled Taiwan, which Beijing claims as its own. Billionaire Terry Gou, who said last month he would run for president of Taiwan in 2020, met Trump last week to discuss the status of the Taiwan Company’s planned investment in Wisconsin. Using Taiwan's official name, Gou also said Beijing needed to acknowledge the existence of the "Republic of China". Beijing regards the island as a breakaway province, part of "one China", and has not renounced the use of force to bring it under its control. The United States acknowledges that China takes the position that there is one China and Taiwan is part of it. But it also Taiwan's biggest ally and arms supplier and is duty-bound by legislation to help the island defend itself.

(ET, May 06, 2019)

Amazon beefs up cloud business, data centre infrastructure in India Telecom

Amazon is beefing up its data centre infrastructure and cloud services business in India as the clamour around data localisation grows louder every day. The Seattle-headquartered company has infused around Rs 1,380 crore into its local data centre arm, Amazon Data Services India (ADSIPL), documents sourced from business intelligence platform Paper.vc showed. Apart from its online retail business, Amazon operates ADSIPL and Amazon Internet Services (AISPL). The latter undertakes the resale and marketing of Amazon Web Services (AWS) in India and directly competes with its Chinese rival Alibaba's cloud services business. Cloud services platforms such as AWS offer data storage, computing power and other functionalities to startups, large businesses and government organizations for a fee. The recent fund infusion could help Amazon take on the dual responsibilities of strengthening its data centre infrastructure and compete against the growing clout of Alibaba Cloud in the Asia-Pacific region, including India. "My bet is on Amazon seeing a massive opportunity that only it can effectively leverage with the new data localization norms in India. One can expect to see new data centre locations coming up alongside India-specific localization solutions," said Paper.vc founder Vivek Durai. An Amazon India spokesperson did not reply to an email from TOI.

(ET, May 06, 2019)

Indian Navy's submarine 'Vela' of Project 75 launched General

The Navy on Monday launched the Scorpene-class submarine Vela, the fourth of six underwater warships being built in India with French collaboration, with an aim to boost Indian capability to defend and secure the strategic sea lanes.  The Vela submarine will undergo a number of tests conducted by the Navy before it is commissioned in the defence fleet, an official said.  Defence production secretary Ajay Kumar's wife Veena Ajay Kumar launched the submarine at Mazagon Dockyard in Mumbai.  The state-owned Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited has entered into a contract for construction and transfer of technology for six Scorpene-class subs with French collaborator Ms Naval Group (formerly DCNS). INS Vela is the fourth in that series.  The fifth Scorpene-class submarine will be launched soon, an MDL official said.  Before Vela, MDL launched Kalvari, Khanderi, Karanj submarines. While Kalvari has been commissioned, the others are at various levels of trials and tests.  INS Vela was first commissioned on August 31, 1973 in the Indian Naval Service and continued to serve for 37 years. It was the country's oldest submarine when it was decommissioned on June 25, 2010, MDL said in a statement. 

ET, May 06, 2019)

Amazon Strengthens India Data Centre Business With Fresh $198 Mn Infusion IT

Tech giant Amazon is strengthening its data centre business in India by reinforcing Amazon Data Services India (ADSI) with an INR 1,380 Cr ($198.2 Mn) investment, according to documents seen by business intelligence platform Paper.vc. Amazon’s investment in its data centre services comes at a time when the Indian government has been taking a tough stand on data localisation and urging international companies to move their data centres to India. Incorporated in India in 2016, Amazon Data Services provides data storage, data protection solutions and operations that pertain to computer hardware and software that deal with data storage. According to an ET report, this deal wills not only help the company strengthen its data centre infrastructure in the country but it will also help it compete against the growing popularity of Alibaba Cloud in the Asia-Pacific region including India. Prior to this, Amazon had invested about $214 Mn (INR 1,381 Cr) in its data services unit, Amazon Data Services India in 2016.

(Inc 4, May 08, 2019)

GRSE to build eight ASWSWCs for Indian Navy General

The public sector Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Limited (GRSE) has been awarded a Rs 6,311 crore contract to build eight anti-submarine warfare shallow water craft for the Indian Navy, a statement from India’s defence ministry said on Monday. The contract was signed by Joint Secretary & Acquisition Manager (Maritime Systems) Ravi Kant on behalf of the Ministry of Defence and S S Dogra, Director (Finance), on behalf of GRSE, in New Delhi. The request for proposals was issued by the Indian Navy to defence public sector unit shipyards and other Indian private shipyards in April 2014, with GRSE emerging as the successful bidder for design, construction and supply of the eight craft, the statement said. These craft are designed for a deep displacement of 750 tons, speed of 25 knots and complement of 57 and capable of full-scale subsurface surveillance of coastal waters besides coordinated anti-submarine warfare operations with aircraft, the statement said. “In addition, the vessels shall have the capability to interdict or destroy sub surface targets in coastal waters. These can also be deployed for search and Rescue by day and night in coastal areas," the statement said.

(Defence News, Apr 30, 2019)

Russia sends new S-400 missiles to China to replace those damaged in 2017 General

Russia has sent several dozens of new S-400 Triumf missiles to China in place of those damaged in 2017 on a ship that got into a storm, a military-diplomatic source told TASS on Tuesday. "At the start of April, several dozens of new S-400 missiles were sent by maritime transport from the Baltic to China to replace those damaged in a storm in the English Channel," the source said. 0sap Rosoboron export refused to provide any comments on this matter.

(Defence News, Apr 30, 2019)

Army invokes emergency powers for missile deal General

The Army is in the process of procuring Spike-LR Anti-Tank Missiles from Israel and Igla-S Very Short Range Air Defence Systems (VSHORAD) from Russia through a set of new financial powers for emergency procurements sanctioned by the Defence Ministry earlier this month, Defence sources said. “Under the latest emergency financial powers, armed forces have been given a free hand to procure equipment worth up to ₹300 crore on a priority basis. The Request For Proposal (RFP) for the two deals have been issued and negotiations are ongoing,” the source said. Entirely new systems not in use can also be procured under the new powers, the source stated. Tenders for both deals had gone through regular procurement process earlier. While the Spike tender was cancelled during the cost negotiation phase, the deal for Igla, after repeated delays, is in the cost negotiation phase. However, given the questions that were raised in the earlier deals, clarity is needed on the modalities for purchase through the emergency route.

(Defence News, Apr 30, 2019)

Opportunities in the Indian Defence Market, 2019 - ResearchAndMarkets.com General

India's defence sector has been growing at a modest pace for the past few years. Modernisation of the armed forces and indigenisation of manufacturing have emerged as focus areas. The segment is receiving the much-needed push under the Make in India programme. The concept of import substitution is being gradually accepted by stakeholders. This is an opportune time to embark upon a new phase of self-reliance in the sector by manufacturing technologically advanced equipment within India. Defence production in India is gradually heading towards private sector participation. Between 2015-16 and 2018-19 (April-October), out of a total 188 contracts, 121 contracts have been signed with Indian vendors including DPSUs/PSUs/OFB and private vendors for capital procurement of defence equipment. The equipment to be procured includes Helicopters, Naval vessels, radars, ballistic helmets, artillery guns, simulators, missiles, bulletproof jackets, electronic fuzes and ammunition. DPP 2018 is a step towards creating an industry-friendly structure to facilitate better contract negotiations and improve the pace of contract awards. Breakthroughs like Make procedure, strategic partnership (SP) model, liberalisation of FDI norms and creation of a level-playing to private industry have been introduced. However, the strategic partnership (SP) policy has several shortcomings which might create barriers in realising the goals.

(Yahoofinance, Apr 29, 2019)

Quikr acquires Zefo for Rs 200 crore in offline push General

Quikr, the e-classifieds and transactions marketplace, has acquired online pre-owned goods seller startup Zefo in a Rs  200-crore, stock-and-cash deal as it looks to ramp up the business in the segment. The deal comes as the Bengaluru-based company, valued at $1.6 billion, is looking at an aggressive offline expansion with plans to open 200-300 franchisee stores across the country over six-nine months. “In the last 18 months, we have found the right way to grow this category — a mix of pure consumer-to-consumer and where we also sell products which we have a possession of. It is a high-margin space and we have been seeing 100% year-on-year growth,” said Quikr founder and CEO Pranay Chulet. Some of the major segments in the refurbished category for Quikr include smartphones, electronics and furniture — already accounting for about 15% of revenues. Quikr said that the pre-owned products market in India is expected to reach $12-15 billion by 2020. The refurbished goods are sold under the Quikr Bazaar vertical and with quality control under Quikr Assured label, with Zefo its first acquisition in the space.

(TNN, April 26, 2019)

South Korea advances industrial ties with India and US General

South Korea has held separate talks with India and the US to strengthen its defence industrial and technological alliances with the two countries. The Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) in Seoul said the talks were held on 24 April in New Delhi and on South Korea’s southern Jeju Island respectively. DAPA said the one-day seminar in India was aimed at “stimulating defence exports” to India and supporting defence industrial partnerships between the two countries. DAPA said that during the event two defence memoranda of understanding (MOUs) were signed. The first featured an undertaking by South Korean firm LIG Nex1, which specialises in electronics and missiles, and Indian company Adani Defence Systems and Technologies to collaborate on marketing and production activities in support of sales to the Indian military.

(Jane’s 360, April 26, 2019)

LG launches Best Shop in Warangal General

LG Electronics has opened the exciting BEST SHOP at Nakkalagutta in the city on Thursday. Designed to meet the current demands of the retail environment in the country, this new store has been inaugurated by Managing Director (MD) Kim Ki Wan. Speaking on the occasion, Kim Ki Wan, MD  of the LG Electronics India, said, “It has been our endeavor to create a store that would not only stand out, but also showcase the values of LG brand. Our retail strategy is to be where our customers are, instead of being present in the conventional electronics markets. LG BEST SHOP has been conceptualized as the ultimate retailing experience that synchronizes with the international image of innovation, quality and excellence.”  P.Sudheer, K.Shashi Kiran Rao,  K.Sridhar Branch Manager of LG Electronics India, and Aleem Ahmed were present.

(Telangana Today, April 25, 2019)

Policy - New Delhi’s views on China’s Belt and Road Initiative is bad for India’s private sector General

Various reports indicate that this time again New Delhi has decided to skip Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) summit taking place between April 25 and 27 in Beijing. Close to 40 heads of states or governments are attending the meeting. These include all 10 ASEAN nations, most Central Asians, Russia, Egypt, Italy, Portugal, Pakistan, Switzerland and the UAE among others. Many others are participating at ministerial or official levels. Instead of developing a coherent Indian strategy to deal with the Chinese BRI challenge, just not attending a meeting even at a lower level shows a lack of understanding and preparedness. Negative official narrative about the BRI may also influence Indian private sector not developing strategies to take advantage from emerging opportunities in the neighborhood. Once the governmentally-driven geopolitical phase of hard infrastructure is over, private companies will take over. If by then Chinese, European or ASEAN companies have taken over major operations, it will be too late Indian companies to enter.

(Moneycontrol Contributor, April 24, 2019)

TCL Electronics announces partnership with Eros Now to offer unmatched online content streaming General

nderlining its commitment to delivering an unmatched home entertainment experience to its customers, TCL Electronics has joined hands with Eros Now, the cutting-edge digital over-the-top (OTT) South Asian entertainment platform by Eros International Plc, a Global Indian Entertainment Company. As part of the partnership, TCL has deep linked Eros Now’s extensive library of HD-quality content comprising Bollywood movies, premium original shows, and music videos on the TCL content platform. Eros Now is a leading subscription-based video-on-demand entertainment platform and has a content library that offers unmatched quality, quantity, and diversity to South Asian audiences. With more than 12,000 digital titles across multiple genres, categories, and languages on the platform, the Eros Now partnership further expands the depth of high-quality content choices seamlessly available to TCL customers across India. The association also enables TCL customers to enjoy an extra month of free Eros Now premium subscription, on top of the 14-day free trial period. Speaking on the partnership, Hongwei Li, the General Manager of Falcon Technology at TCL Electronics said, “At TCL, we want to enable an immersive, end-to-end entertainment experience for our customers across India. Partnering with a leading domain player like Eros Now, with an extensive array of high-quality content offerings, is aimed at furthering that vision. The HD-ready content on the Eros Now platform will perfectly complement the state-of-the-art audio/visual technology integrated into our range of innovative offerings and will add greater value to the ownership and entertainment experience of TCL customers in India.”

(CIOL, April 23, 2019)

China's TCL Electronics forays in India with a new blend of home appliances General

China's TCL Electronics is foraying into home appliances this week in India after consolidating its position as one of the leading brands in television space. The company will roll out AC, washing machine, refrigerator and sound bar to strengthen its position in the Indian market.  TCL India country manager Mike Chen said India is home to a growing number of tech-savvy and digital users that demand more from the products that they use.  "Driven to make life intelligent through our products ranges, we are going to launch a range of innovative and affordable home appliances for our Indian consumers. At TCL, it has been our endeavor to follow an India-first approach, as reflected in our brand promotion strategy or the launch of our first-ever factory in India," said Chen. TCL had recently announced its partnership with Indian Premier League’s (IPL) Delhi Capitals as a sponsor. In December last year, TCL had inaugurated its TV panel factory - TCL Industry Park in Tirupati marking the brand’s first manufacturing unit outside of China. This will not only allow TCL to provide Indian-centric products at competitive prices but also create over 8,000 jobs.

(ET, April 22, 2019)

State focuses of alternative electronics hubs IT

The state government is laying emphasis on developing alternative hubs for the manufacture of electronic equipment, ranging from mobiles, drones, solar and other components. "We have developed three Electronic Manufacturing Clusters (EMCs) at Naihati, Falta and Sonarpur. The lands for all these EMCs are ready for allotment. Apart from mobile manufacturing, we are welcoming solar, drones, robotics and LCD TVs in these clusters as well," a senior official of the state Information Technology & Electronics department said.  Additional Chief Secretary of IT&E Debashis Sen recently visited the EMC at Naihati situated on 70 acres of land and took stock of the services on offer. "The facilities in this park have been developed by WEBEL. A site office will come up soon. We are expecting a lot of electronic units here as the place has its locational advantage. It is an hour-long drive from the city and is very close to the industrial park of West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation," the official added.

(Millennium Post, Apr 22, 2019)

Samsung Launches New SpaceMax™ Series Side-by-Side Refrigerator in India IT

Ø  Samsung India has launched its new SpaceMax™ Series Side-by-Side Refrigerator lineup that will be available in two-door and three-door options. Samsung is the market leader in the Side-by-Side Refrigerator category with over 50% market share. The new refrigerator lineup comes with unique features. SpaceMax™ technology lets you store more food without increasing external dimensions or compromising on energy efficiency. The refrigerator also has a sleek and seamless counter-depth design that will fit perfectly with the dimensions of the consumers’ existing appliances and cabinetry to create a harmonious kitchen interior and comes with an all-around cooling system that makes sure food is fresh wherever it is stored in the fridge. “Samsung continues to bring delight to the consumers through innovative technology solutions in the refrigerator space. Being an industry leader, we are excited to bring the all-new SpaceMax™ Series Side-by-Side refrigerators that are designed to change the way consumers store food. These refrigerators are highly energy efficient and durable, ensuring longer-lasting performance,” said Saurav Katyal, Director, Consumer Electronics Business, Samsung India.

(Samsung Newsroom India, Apr 22, 2019)

Mobile phones, consumer electronics lift Reliance Retail General

India’s largest retailer Reliance Retail’s cellphone and consumer electronics retailing business crossed the $5-billion revenue mark in the year to March, underscoring the breadth of its market presence. Sales in these two categories — which account for about a third of the total — through Reliance Digital and Reliance Jio stores more than doubled to Rs 39,170 crore in FY19 from Rs 15,154 crore in FY18, according to the company’s investor presentation made to analysts. Reliance attributed the growth to having the largest network of stores and enjoying a first-mover advantage in many cities. New brand introductions in mobile phones and air care (air conditioners, air purifiers and air coolers), such as Lloyd and Godrej, helped the retailer outpace market growth rates across key categories. The contribution of smartphones and consumer electronics retailing increased to 30% of total sales in FY19 compared with 21.9% in the year earlier, as per the presentation. The connectivity business, which includes Reliance Jio Infocomm subscriptions and recharges, was the largest at 33.5% (Rs 43,739 crore) of total retail sales and grocery was third at 17.9% (Rs 23,371 crore), the company said.

(ET, April 20, 2019)

ETtech Top 5: India's social media scrutiny, IT firms under cyber-attack & more IT

Social media, content, and gaming apps are grappling for a way to deal with heightened regulatory scrutiny as Indian courts step in to stem the flood of so-called objectionable content on these platforms, in one of the world’s fastest growing internet markets. Content companies such as Facebook, Google-owned YouTube as well as Chinese apps such as TikTok and Bigo Live are expected to face even more regulatory scrutiny in the future. TikTok and Bigo Live have been accused of allowing sexually explicit content to be beamed on their platform. TikTok was banned earlier this week and is currently not available for download on Apple's App Store or Google Play Store. RBI's draft framework to enable regulatory sandbox (RS) for fintech innovation has been well-received by a majority of fintech players, even as some have suggested a few tweaks in order to make it even more comprehensive. The regulators should also have opened the sandbox for established companies as well and not just startups since it would have widened the scope of innovations, said Mandar Agashe, founder of Pune-based Sarvatra Technology. He said a lot of fintech companies would have benefited from these findings./Fintech firms also raised concerns on the restrictions of not letting crypto and initial coin offering (ICO) startups to participate in the regulatory sandbox, claiming that RBI's stand against crypto currency technology is "not well informed.

(ET, Apr 20, 2019)

Reliance Retail's cellphone, consumer electronics sale doubles; boosts revenue IT

India's largest retailer Reliance Retail's mobile phones and consumer electronics have boosted the retail business and crossed the $5-billion revenue mark in March 2019 augmenting its market presence. The retail giant credited its growth to having the largest network of stores and having attained the first mover advantage in many cities. Reportedly, new brand introductions in cellphones and air care equipments (air conditioners, air purifiers and air coolers) such as Lloyd and Godrej helped the retailer outgrow market rates across key categories. According to the company's investor presentation made to analysts, "Sales in these two categories - which account for about a third of the total- through Reliance Digital and Reliance Jio stores more than doubled to Rs 39,170 crore in FY19 from Rs 15,154 crore in FY18". As per tracker Counterpoint Research, Jio Phone has made Reliance the largest brand in the category of feature phones and the overall cellphone market, as of 2018. The sales of Jio Phone has contributed to the revenue generation of the retailer, The Economic Times quoted an industry executive as saying.

(Business Today, April 20, 2019)

50% local sourcing likely for companies to book EV ride under FAME-II General

The government will insist that electric vehicle makers source at least 50% of their components locally if they want to avail of its incentive programme and bid for its orders, even as it looks to promote local manufacturing and discourage imports.  An inter-ministerial steering committee led by Niti Aayog chief executive officer Amitabh Kant has decided that only companies that meet the 50% localization threshold will be eligible for the incentives that will be available under the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles (FAME-II) scheme to boost electric mobility as well as the ‘Make in India’ initiative.  “Government will not use taxpayers’ money to subsidies imports but will push for 50% localization content as we want to promote local manufacturing,” Kant told ET.  The steering committee, which held its first meeting on April 1, has finalized the mission’s approach to make domestic industry competitive at the global level. 

(ET, April 19 2019)

Major display issues bug Samsung’s Galaxy Fold phone Telecom

Ahead of its public release scheduled for April 26, U.S.-based tech reviewers who were testing the $2,000 worth ‘Galaxy Fold’ encountered and reported major display and screen-related issues within just two days of using the phone. Tech reviewers from renowned media brands like The Verge and CNBC noted issues like screen flickering, display distortion and unexplainable buldges bugging the industry-first device, ABC News reported on Thursday. Subtitling the review “Yikes”, The Verge said that the flaws were “distressing to be discovered just two days after receiving the review unit”. “A review unit given to CNBC by Samsung is completely unusable after just two days of use,” the report quoted CNBC reviewer Todd Haselton as saying. Defending its devices just days before its roll-out, a Samsung spokesperson assured that the South-Korean giant would “thoroughly inspect” the units. “A limited number of early ‘Galaxy Fold’ samples were provided to media for review. We have received a few reports regarding the main display on the samples provided. We will thoroughly inspect these units in person to determine the cause of the matter,” the ABC News report quoted a Samsung spokesperson as saying.

(The Hindu, Apr 19, 2019)

Retail, Telecom to Support RIL’s Journey on Bourses Telecom

The muted earnings growth from Reliance Industries’ core energy vertical in the quarter ended March may narrow the performance gap between the company’s stock and the Nifty 50 index. The Reliance stock has outperformed the Nifty by 15% in the past three months and contributed to about 25% of the index’s gains. Profit in the quarter was better than the Bloomberg consensus estimate, but the quality of earnings may weigh on investor sentiment as it was driven by higher other income and lower tax rates. The company’s capital expenditure was almost Rs 1.32 lakh crore in FY19 as it continued to invest in Reliance Jio Infocomm, its digital business unit, and Reliance Retail, its organised retail venture. As a result, the company’s debt increased by over 30% to Rs 2.87 lakh crore at the end of FY19.

(ET, April 19 2019)

Recycling of e-waste in India and its potential General

Electronic waste (e-waste) typically includes discarded computer monitors, motherboards, mobile phones and chargers, compact discs, headphones, television sets, air conditioners and refrigerators. According to the Global E-Waste Monitor 2017, India generates about 2 million tonnes (MT) of e-waste annually and ranks fifth among e-waste producing countries, after the US, China, Japan and Germany. In 2016-17, India treated only 0.036 MT of its e-waste. About 95 per cent of India’s e-waste is recycled in the informal sector and in a crude manner. A report on e-waste presented by the United Nations (UN) in World Economic Forum on January 24, 2019 points out that the waste stream reached 48.5 MT in 2018 and the figure is expected to double if nothing changes. Only 20 per cent of global e-waste is recycled. The UN report indicates that due to poor extraction techniques, the total recovery rate of cobalt (the metal which is in great demand for laptop, smart phone and electric car batteries) from e-waste is only 30 per cent. The report cites that one recycler in China already produces more cobalt (by recycling) than what the country mines in one year. Recycled metals are also 2 to 10 times more energy-efficient than metals smelted from virgin ore. The report suggests that lowering the amount of electronics entering the waste stream and improving end-of-life handling are essential for building a more circular economy, where waste is reduced, resources are conserved and are fed back into the supply chain for new products.

(Down to Earth, April 17, 2019)

India Electronics and Semiconductor Association appoint Intel's Jitendra Chaddah as its Chairman General

Industry body India Electronics and Semiconductor Association Monday said it has appointed Jitendra Chaddah as its chairman. Chaddah, Intel India senior director for operations and strategy, has over two decades of industry experience. "I feel extremely honored for taking up the position of IESA chairman at a time when the Indian electronics and semiconductor industry is poised for exponential growth," Chaddah said in a statement.  IESA also appointed Satya Gupta, co-founder and CEO SenzOpt Technologies India as the new Vice Chairman and Veerappan V, co-founder and director, Tessolve Semiconductor as the new Treasurer.

(Business Today, Apr 16, 2019)

Panasonic India eyeing 20% share in full-frame mirror less camera segment in a year IT

Consumer electronic major Panasonic India is aiming to garner around 20 per cent market share in the full-frame mirror less camera segment with sale of around Rs 100 crore within a year, a top company official said. The company, which forayed into the full-frame mirror less camera segment Monday, extending its portfolio of imaging business, expects rising demand for better image quality from business segments such as wedding, advertising, fashion to help it capture the market share.  "The potential of the DSLR market is around Rs 2,000 crore in our country in which the full-frame camera range is around 25 per cent, which is roughly around Rs 500 crore to 600 crore," Panasonic India President and CEO Manish Sharma told. He further added: "Utilising this, we are expecting a revenue of around Rs 100 crore with 20 per cent market share in the full-frame mirror less camera market within the first year."  A mirror less camera does not require a reflex mirror, unlike DSLR (digital single-lens reflex) cameras. A full-frame mirror less camera uses digital sensor of large 35 mm format, as by high-end DSLR cameras.

(ETRail.com, April 16, 2019

Qualcomm and Apple Drop All Litigation Worldwide IT

Qualcomm and Apple have announced an agreement to dismiss all ongoing litigations, including with Apple's contract manufacturers, between the two companies worldwide.  The deal would result in a massive cash windfall for Qualcomm and put Apple on a faster path to 5G for iPhones.  The companies have reached a global patent license agreement and a chipset supply agreement, Apple said in a statement on late Tuesday.  "The settlement includes a payment from Apple to Qualcomm. The companies also have reached a six-year license agreement, effective as of April 1, 2019, including a two-year option to extend, and a multi-year chipset supply agreement," said the Cupertino-based iPhone maker. The Apple-Qualcomm agreement was reached after chip-maker Intel decided to exit the 5G smartphone modem business and complete an assessment of the opportunities for 4G and 5G modems in PCs, Internet of Things devices and other data-centric devices. 

(ET, April 18, 2019)

Revolt plans 3 all-electric bikes for India General

It’s been a rollercoaster of a ride for electric-vehicle manufacturers in India, what with the government's recently announced FAME II scheme seeing changes. The policy – announced with a humongous budget of around Rs 10,000 crore and incorporating tough localisation levels for OEMs – has seen constant debate in the corridors of power and the India automotive industry. On April 4, 2019 Gurgaon-based Revolt Intellicorp, promoted by Rahul Sharma, co-founder of the giant consumer electronics company, Micromax, made an ambitious announcement that the company would launch the country's first AI-powered electric motorcycle by June 2019. However, no details about the company's plans, motorcycle design or specifications were revealed. What is known is that Revolt Intellicorp has a manufacturing capacity in Manesar, Haryana, spread across 10,000 sq ft and a production capacity of around 1.2 lakh units in Phase 1 of the project. Sharma has disclosed that the company's R&D team has been working on the project for nearly two years, now. The AI-enabled, LTE-connected motorcycle, which will be equipped with a 4G SIM card, will have a top speed limited to 85kph, which is likely to be increased to 100kph later, with a range of around 150km. While the motor and batteries are imported, the BMS (Battery Management System) and the ECU (Electronic Control Unit) are an in-house design. Furthermore, the eco-friendly motorcycle will also have a battery swapping system.

(Autocar India, April 15, 2019)

Recycling e-waste: ‘CPCB’s competence must be raised’ General

India is one of the biggest producers of electronic waste in the world. In 2016, the Centre notified E-waste (Management) Rules and one of its highlights was the concept of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR). It means the manufacturers of electric and electronic equipment must facilitate their collection and return it to authorized dismantlers or recyclers. However, even two-and-a-half years after the law was passed, there is little evidence that it is being implemented. Down To Earth spoke to Swedish academic Thomas Lindquist, who is credited with introducing the concept of EPR and is visiting India to understand the waste management practices post EPR implementation here. Excerpts of the interview: It is in many ways fantastic to see what has happened. The last time I had mainly spent time here when all of this was just ideas or aspirations, but now the country is starting to do something. So that’s really a good feeling. India has the same experience as many other countries and it’s that the practice is not that easy. When it comes to e-waste, I think there are number of issues India could have dealt with, but either no one was able to see it or they were not prepared for it. We need more supervision. I am not saying it has to be perfect. I haven’t seen perfect, but it has to be good. To begin with, India has 19 PROs (producer responsibility organizations, which are hired for collection) today and you need to really see what they are doing to create a level playing field. If you allow a few of them to not follow general rules or do not do a good job, then it will be really difficult for other ambitious ones. This will lead us to what we call a race to the bottom, where to exist you have to make shortcuts.

(Down to Earth, Apr 05, 2019)

Panasonic eyes 10 pc market share of online AC sales with brand Sanyo General

Consumer electronics maker Panasonic Thursday introduced residential air conditioners under its online brand Sanyo and expects to corner around 10 per cent market share in the e-commerce segment, said a top company official. Panasonic is also considering introducing brand Sanyo in appliances category after LED and ACs.  "Our intention is to command 10 per cent market share in the overall online AC market place this year and in the inverter segment of AC, we are aiming 15 per cent market share," Panasonic India President and CEO Manish Sharma told. The online AC market in India is estimated to be around 4 lakh units, which is 12-15 per cent of the total AC market, he added. "Under brand Sanyo, we would be selling only inverter range of ACs and not the traditional fixed speed, which is now an outgoing technology," Sharma, who is also Vice President of Appliances Company, Panasonic Corporation, added.  When asked if brand Panasonic and Sanyo would compete each other in the segment, he said value proposition for both brands are different.  "Brand Sanyo would be below Panasonic, value for money brand...it would be an exclusive online brand with features and affordable price for consumers," he said. Panasonic has introduced Sanyo Inverter AC range in five models, which would be available on Amazon. Earlier, Panasonic had introduced TV panels under brand Sanyo in India. 

(ET, Apr 05, 2019)

E-waste sector will create half million jobs in India by 2025: IFC General

The electronic waste sector will create 4.5 lakh direct jobs by 2025 and another 1.8 lakh jobs in the allied sectors of transportation and manufacturing, International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank group, said. The IFC, which has been working in the e-waste sector since 2012, said under a programme launched by it in 2017, over 4,000 metric tons of e-waste has been collected from citizens and corporations and recycled responsibly under the programme launched by it in 2017, over 4,000 metric tons of e-waste has been collected from citizens and corporations and recycled responsibly under the programme. Praising the IFC at the conference on 'E-Waste Management in India: The Way Forward', Environment Ministry official Sonu Singh said the government was happy to see the commitment from the IFC in helping the sector grow in a responsible manner. "The e-waste sector has significant potential to contribute to the country's economy and generate employment. The electrical and electronics industry has been cooperating with the government and has shown considerable initiative for handling e-waste responsibly.  "If the responsibility is shared between the government, producers, and consumers of e-waste, then efficient management of e-waste can be successfully achieved in India. We are happy to see the commitment from IFC in helping the sector grow in a responsible manner,” said Singh, Joint Director, Hazardous Substances Management Division, the Ministry of Environment. 

(ET, Apr 03, 2019)

Government Bodies float tenders for 500 EV charging stations IT

Government bodies like Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), Rajasthan Electronics and Instruments Limited (REIL) and National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) has floated tender for over 500 electric vehicle charging stations in the last two months. The announcements came just after the government notified Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles (FAME-II) scheme in India on February 29. The scheme proposed for establishment of 2,700 charging station in metros, other million-plus cities and smart cities. Delhi-based government body EESL has invited bid to set-up 200 fast chargers in Delhi and Andhra Pradesh. The bidder will have to give three years of on-site warranty and annual maintenance contract. Moreover, it will be also responsible for the finding location, supply and installation.  Similarly, a public sector enterprise, Rajasthan Electronics and Instruments Limited (REIL), had floated a tender to put 270 electric vehicle charging points across various locations in the country. Out of the 270 chargers, 70 normal AC chargers, 170 DC fast chargers, and 30 DC fast chargers will be installed in cities like Ranchi, Bengaluru, Goa, Shimla, Hyderabad, Agra as well as on the Delhi-Jaipur-Agra and Mumbai-Pune highways. The bidder will have to undertake the annual maintenance services for a period of five years. 

(ET, Apr 03, 2019)

Micromax Founder Rahul Sharma to Venture into Electric Mobility Space Telecom

When one thinks of Micromax, the first thing that comes to mind is smartphones. Micromax also manufactures and sells tablets, air conditioners, LED TVs, laptops, power bands and sound bars. It's safe to say then that Indian company has most of the angles covered as far as electronics are concerned. However, Micromax has now decided to venture into the mobility space and hence provide personal mobility solutions. The company says that Rahul Sharma's next entrepreneurial venture will transform the mobility industry and will also be for the greater good of the environment. This is also because of the specific nature of mobility space the Indian electronics giant is planning to enter - the e-mobility space. We'll have more details on this development after tomorrow's announcement by Micromax Informatics. Micromax had started selling mobile phones back in 2008. In 2015, Micromax had vaulted past Samsung Electronics to become India's leading smartphone brand. According to a media report, the company had the policy to identify with all sections of society. The company is believed to have broken the norm by producing products which matched the fit and finish of international rivals. Micromax is also known to have made mobile phones with unique features like dual/SIM standby, 30-day battery backup, universal remote controls and more.

(News18, Apr 03, 2019)

Tender Issued for 1.7 MW of Solar with Battery Energy Storage in Andaman and Nicobar General

There has been a steady uptick in solar plus storage tenders in India lately. The Rajasthan Electronics and Instruments Limited (REIL), a public-sector enterprise operating in the electronics, information technology, and renewable energy segment, is the latest government agency to issue a tender to set up 1.7 MW of solar photovoltaic (PV) projects with battery energy storage system (BESS) in Andaman and Nicobar islands. This is an engineering procurement construction (EPC) tender, and the bid-submission deadline is May 4, 2019. A pre-bid meeting will be held on April 10, 2019. Bidders are required to pay bid security of ₹5 million (~$0.072 million). The projects will be developed on a turnkey basis. The scope of work includes the design, engineering, procurement, supply, packing, forwarding, transportation, unloading, storage at the site, site development, construction, erection, installation of equipment, testing and commissioning along with the associated transmission system. A 1 MW solar PV project with 0.5 MW/0.5 MWh (at the point of coupling) BESS will be set up in Havelock Island while another 0.7 MW solar PV project with 0.5 MW/0.5 MWh (at the point of coupling) BESS will be set up in Neil Island. The successful bidder will need to provide ten years of operation and maintenance services. The selected contractor will also have to install and set up the communication infrastructure to provide telemetry data to the state load dispatch center (SLDC). The bidder needs to also install and set up an ‘Energy Forecasting System’ to forecast the energy generation by the project at both of the locations on the island. The successful bidder will have to run the project for one year after commissioning for performance demonstration for the final acceptance. After that, the 10-year operation and maintenance contract will begin.

(Mercom India, Apr 03, 2019)

Mendy LED Smart TV launched under Make in India General

Mendy Electronics and Communications LLP, the first television company which has worked under the ‘Make in India’ initiative to bring the Indian screens for Indian users. The range of exciting LED Smart TVs in India will be unveiled at Pacific Mall, Tagore Garden on March 31st 2019 by the well-known B-town actor Randeep Hooda. He will be there to unbox the unlimited new range of smart LEDs including 32 inches, 40 inches and 55 inches in the unbelievable prices. Mendy would bring ease and comfort for the future users and will provide door to door services across India majorly 18000 pin codes for free installations and services. The products being launched are well blend with Internet and interactive Web 2.0 features which enables the users to browse internet, stream music/ videos, access various internet streaming applications such as Youtube, Amazon Prime and Netflix added to that it also consists of voice search, built in Wifi, Google play. Speaking on the initiative, Vinay Chadha, Designated Partner said “With the name itself, Mendy which means perfection and we believe this would be a perfect product for all the Indian living rooms. This will bring revolution in the electronic industry with a Made in India Television which is served to Indians only. We wish to provide TV screens in every corner of the country in various sizes but pocket friendly prices. This would not only be giving fully HD screens to the users but will open more job opportunities for the coming generation and this will be a small attempt by team Mendyunder Made in India initiative in making Indian society more progressive.” Essentially, Mendy is attempting to break the shackles and want to give Indian users their personalized TV screens which will bring umpteen channels with full-fledged content delivery platform in the unseen and unheard price range.

(FreePress Journal, Apr 03, 2019)

India launches first electronic intelligence-gathering satellite IT

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has launched the first electronic reconnaissance satellite developed by the state-run Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to detect enemy radar and gather communications intelligence. Launched on 1 April from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota aboard the indigenously designed Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle-C45 (PSLV-C45), the 436 kg Electro-Magnetic Intelligence Satellite (EMISAT) was placed into a 748 km sun-synchronous polar orbit about 17 minutes after lift-off, officials said. The ISRO’s Telemetry Tracking and Command Network in Bangalore is expected to bring the satellite to its final operational configuration, according to the Indian government’s Press Information Bureau (PIB). Official sources told Jane’s on 2 April that EMISAT’s payload was designed by the DRDO’s Defence Electronics Research Laboratory in Hyderabad as part of Project Kautilya, while the ISRO built the satellite’s body. The entire development project was completed in eight years and is modelled on Satellite with ARgos and ALtiKa (SARAL): a co-operative altimetry technology venture for oceanographic studies between the ISRO and France’s National Centre for Space Studies (CNES). Industry sources said the EMISAT is a derivative of the ISRO’s Indian Mini Satellite-2 (IMS-2) series of electronic intelligence satellites, which has a maximum launch weight of 450 kg and a payload of no more than 200 kg.

(HS Jane's 360, Apr 02, 2019 )

Apple Starts iPhone 7 Manufacture In India Telecom

Giving an impetus to its India manufacturing plans, Apple has started the assembling of iPhone 7 at its supplier Wistron's facility in Bengaluru. Taiwanese industrial major Wistron already assembles iPhone 6S in the country. "We are proud to be producing iPhone 7 in Bengaluru for our local customers furthering our long-term commitment in India," Apple told IANS on Tuesday. The assembling of iPhone 7 began last month. Mr Wistron, which last year announced plans to invest Rs. 3,000 crore in the Narasupra industrial sector in Karnataka's Kolar district, started Apple operations with assembling low-end iPhone SE and later iPhone 6S. According to Wistron India head Gururaj A, the company would set up an iPhone making unit in the 43 acres of land allotted to it, with employment potential of over 10,000 people. The new Wistron facility is also set to manufacture a wider range of Apple's devices.  Apple is slowly but steadily strategizing its plans to make deeper inroads in a country where over 450 million people use smartphones, and assembling iPhone 7 is another step towards gaining more ground. According to Tarun Pathak, Associate Director at Hong Kong-based Counterpoint Research, the Indian electronics market is growing fast and has gained a significant advantage on some of the competing countries. "I think to start with, it makes sense for Apple to localize assembling of models that have the potential to scale up and then slowly expands it to entire portfolio," Mr Pathak told IANS.

(NDTV, Apr 02, 2019)

In a first, Apple starts iPhone 7 production in India Telecom

Giving an impetus to its India manufacturing plans, Apple has started the assembling of iPhone 7 at its supplier Wistron's facility in Bengaluru. Taiwanese industrial major Wistron already assembles iPhone 6S in the country. "We are proud to be producing iPhone 7 in Bengaluru for our local customers furthering our long-term commitment in India," an Apple spokesperson told IANS on Tuesday. The assembling of iPhone 7 began last month. Wistron, which announced last year plans to invest Rs 3,000 crore in the Narasupra industrial sector in Karnataka's Kolar district, started Apple operations with assembling low-end iPhone SE and later iPhone 6S. According to Wistron India head Gururaj A, the company would set up an iPhone making unit in the 43 acres of land allotted to it, with employment potential of over 10,000 people. The new Wistron facility is also set to manufacture a wider range of Apple's devices. Apple is slowly but steadily strategising its plans to make deeper inroads in a country where over 450 million people use smartphones, and assembling iPhone 7 is another step towards gaining more ground.

(TimesNow, Apr 02, 2019)

Bharat Electronics in the clock for ‘compromising’ confidential IAF project, favouring one vendor, BEL’s internal inquiry report reveals General

Defence public sector undertaking Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) is under the scanner for allegedly compromising national security by awarding a highly sensitive air command and control contract of the Indian Air Force to an ill-equipped and newly formed private design firm in 2011. The project was worth Rs 7,900 crore. An internal inquiry report of BEL has exposed massive irregularities in the way the contracts were awarded and how the Integrated Air Command and Control System (IACCS) was implemented at 10 locations across the country. IACCS is an automated command and control system for air defence operations that integrates all ground-based and airborne sensors. BEL is the executing agency for the highly-sensitive project. BEL's internal investigation report — exclusively reviewed by Firstpost — also highlighted a conflict of interest of a BEL officer, who was instrumental in the hiring of a private vendor to put together the Preliminary Project Report (PPR) of the coded system, in joining the same private company after retirement. The report also suggested that the investigative team looking into the irregularities was not provided with crucial project documents allegedly to bury the scam.

(FirstPost, Apr 02, 2019)

Huawei set to launch P30 series in India next week General

Chinese telecommunications and consumer electronics manufacturer Huawei is set to launch its flagship P30 series in India early next week. Huawei earlier unveiled the P30 and P30 Pro smartphones equipped with advanced camera system in Paris on March 26. Along with these phones, Huawei is also likely to launch the P30 Lite in India, industry sources told IANS on Tuesday. Huawei P30 Pro is the first smartphone to have a 5x periscope-like optical zoom and four cameras on the back. The four rear-camera system on P30 Pro has 20MP ultra-wide, 40MP wide-angle, 8MP 5X telephoto and a ToF (time-of-flight) depth-sensing lens. Huawei P30 has a "SuperSensing" 40MP Leica triple camera setup -- 8MP telephoto, 16MP ultra-wide and 40MP wide-angle lens. Both handsets come with a 32MP selfie camera. Huawei P30 and Huawei P30 Pro will be powered by the Kirin 980 SoC and will run Android Pie with an EMUI 9.1 custom skin on top. Powered by the Kirin 710 SoC, Huawei P30 Lite also has a triple camera set up at the rear.

(HansIndia, Apr 02, 2019)

India: The National Policy On Software Products 2019 Policy

The Union Cabinet on February 28, 2019 has approved the National Policy on Software Products to develop India as a Software Product Nation and aims to formulate several schemes, initiatives, projects and measures for the development of Software products sector in the country and also, to position India as a hub for software products development. The drive behind this policy is to accelerate the growth of entire spectrum of IT industry in the country. The preamble of the Policy states that according to NASSCOM the Information Technology and Information Technology Enabled Services (IT-ITES) industry is generating an estimated revenue of around USD 168 billion, including export of USD 126 billion on an annual basis, which is around 8% contribution to India's GDP. The industry is also one of the largest organised sector employers, generating nearly 14 million direct and indirect jobs. It is further estimated that the industry can contribute up to 350 billion USD accounting to 10 percent of India's GDP by 2025. The policy talks about the positive aspects of developing the software product industry and in order to keep pace with the advancement of technology globally, higher level of innovations are required for leveraging new and emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, Block Chain etc. to the maximum advantage across sectors of the economy. The "National Policy on Software Product" (NPSP) is the first significant step towards achieving this goal. The objective behind the policy is to create a software product hub in the Country driven by innovation, improved commercialization, sustainable Intellectual property (IP), promoting technology start-ups and specialized skill sets, for development of the sector, based on ICT.

(Mondaq, Apr 01, 2019)

New e-commerce policy - Indian retailers seek to override the fallout Policy

The advent of e-commerce in India 'smartly' altered the shopping habits of Indian netizens. Anything and everything - from groceries to apparel to electronics etc. – is now just a click away. For a while, it appeared that 'couch potato shopping' was gaining prominence and disrupting the entire brick-and-mortar business. It now emerges that this has not really happened. Despite causing disruptions, the 'e-commerce effect' was not enough to have a significant and lasting impact on the conventional retail formats. For a while, online giants like Amazon and Walmart-owned Flipkart were basking in the rising success of the effervescent Indian e-commerce business arena. They were maneuvering strategies to penetrate deeper into newer markets by way of discounts for their customers. And then, the Government pulled out a wild card - and thereby threw a major spanner in the works - with the new e-commerce policy.  It came as a shock for the affected entities, including consumers who were buried deep in the world of cash-backs and deep discounts. However, thanks to the new policy, traditional retailers now had a more level playing field and could gain a significant share of their brick-and-mortar stores.

(BBN Times, Apr 01, 2019)

India’s much-hated e-commerce policy is doing what companies could not in years Policy

A government policy that was seen as a death knell for several Indian e-commerce companies is instead proving to be a big boon for the sector. The cash burn of e-commerce players in India is expected to decline to 12% this year as compared to 15% in 2018, consulting firm Redseer said in a report on March 31. By 2023 it is expected to come down to 5%. This is mostly thanks to the new e-commerce policy announced last December by the government, barring online retailers from offering deep discounts, Redseer said. Cash burn is the share of a company’s sales that it spends to finance overheads, before generating positive cash flows from its business. Over the past decade, it has led to online players piling up huge losses.

(Quartz India, Apr 01, 2019)

India’s leap in space: the significance of the first Indian anti-satellite test General

Prior to the televised 10-minute address in Hindi shortly after noon on March 27 by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, few had expected that he would be announcing the beginning of a new space age for India. The Diplomat reports. Continue reading original article.  Modi declared that India had conducted an anti-satellite (ASAT) missile test, lauded the scientific establishment, emphasized that this was a measure for national security without contravening any international law, and assured that the step wasn’t aimed toward any specific state. The exercise, dubbed as “Mission Shakti,” involved the use of a direct ascent hit-to-kill, where a missile from Earth, without any explosive warhead, destroys the targeted satellite upon impact through kinetic energy alone. The Indian space program marks a half-century of operation this year, as the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), the sixth largest in the world, was established in 1969.

(Military Aerospace, Apr 01, 2019)

Startup Policy Rundown: Nagaland’s Startup Policy, Aadhaar Ordinance, Software Product Policy and more Policy

With the General Election set to occur in the next 60 days; the 16th Lok Sabha has been dissolved. The last session of the Parliament which concluded on February 13 saw the lapse of at least 22 Bills passed by Lok Sabha. The Bills could not be introduced in the Rajya Sabha. Among the Bills was also the Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill 2019 which the government has now implemented through the ordinance route after the Cabinet’s approval. The anticipated draft Bill that was not introduced in the 16th Lok Sabha was Personal Data Protection Bill 2018. However, the major policy changes since then be it, in RBI data-related circular, Aadhaar Amendment, TRAI circular and now draft ecommerce policy by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) has consistently in line with the draft PDP Bill, asking data fiduciaries of their domain areas to store Indian users’ data in India/ India only, depending upon the criticality of data. In addition to data privacy measures, the draft ecommerce policy also restricts ecommerce marketplaces from offering unlimited discounts and disallows ownership in vendors. Walmart which expects a $1.5 Bn loss from Flipkart this year expects another $280 Mn loss due to these regulatory measures. However, the executive vice president and CFO Brett Biggs said the company has already made adjustments regarding FDI policy and is ready to move forward.

(Inc 42, Mar 09, 2019)

India needs to increase its scientific output: Prof Anurag Kumar General

Citing the fewer researchers and research publications in India compared to US and China, Professor Anurag Kumar, director of Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore said, “There is a need to substantially increase the scientific output of the country.” While speaking at the 15th graduation day of university departments of Anna University, he said, “For India’s progress as an advanced technological nation, it is essential to have science-driven innovation, leading to world-class techniques, products and services.”  “As a result of the small population of researchers, certain areas like quantum computing get overlooked and most other areas have a very small number of researchers working on them,” he said adding that India has only 2 lakh researchers and scientists while China is having 15 lakh scientists for an equal population like us and 13 lakh scientists in the US, with a one fourth population of India. He urged the scientists, engineers and government to have a very long-term vision and tenacity to see it through. “If India can create its own solutions and products, we will be less dependent on imports,” he observed.  “Projections indicate over five years annual electronics consumption will increase to US$400 billion with India having to import $300 billion of electronics, almost five times the bill for oil imports,” he pointed out.

(Deccan Chronicle, Mar 09, 2019)

Cabinet clears Transformative Mobility and Battery Storage mission for phased manufacturing of EV batteries IT

Finally, the writing's on the wall. The Union Cabinet, under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has come forward with a planned electric vehicle (EV) strategy. The government is planning to set up a National Mission on Transformative Mobility and Battery Storage to bring clean and connected technologies that can usher in an era of shared and sustainable EV infrastructure in the country. Apart from this, the government, which aims to have the country EV-ready by 2024, has introduced the Phased Manufacturing Programme (PMP) to set up integrated battery Giga plants in India to supply batteries for electric vehicles. According to a startup in the EV infrastructure space: “The government wants to localise EV production, and stop being dependent on global markets for battery packs and modules.” The government plans to have battery module and pack assembly plants ready by 2019-20, and an integrated cell manufacturing plant by 2021-22. These plants will be set up to export modules to countries that have EV programmes in the future.Reports suggest that there are several ministries getting together for this mission, which will be chaired by the CEO of NITI Aayog, and secretaries from the energy, transport and international trade departments. There will be a total of eight ministries getting together for this project.According to the India Electronics and Semiconductor Association (IESA), the market for energy storage would be 300 GWh by 2018-25. Electric vehicle companies such as Magenta, Strom, Sun Mobility, Ather, Tork, and Ultraviolette are going to benefit from this as they are betting big on Lithium Ion batteries.

(Yours Story Mar 08, 2019)

India Leases Mothballed Russian Nuclear Submarine For $3 Billion General

India inked a deal to lease a mothballed nuclear-powered Akula-1 class submarine from Russia for over $3 billion (INR 21,000 crore) on Thursday. The submarine hulls will be mothballed at the Zvezdochka shipyard in Severodvinsk and would undergo a deep refit and rebuild, to be fitted with Indian sensors, operation room electronics, and communication equipment before being delivered to India in or before 2025.  The contract also includes sustenance and spares support for 10 years, as well as training and technical infrastructure for its operations, sources were quoted by TOI as saying Thursday. An Indian naval delegation led by Inspector General (Nuclear Safety) Vice Admiral Soonil V Bhokare had conducted an inspection of two Akula-2 class submarines, the Bratsk and the Samara in December 2018. The new submarine will replace INS Chakra Akula-class submarine that lacks long-range missiles. It was taken on a 10-year lease from Russia in April 2012 for $900 million in January 2004. “INS Chakra’s existing lease will be extended till at least 2025 through another contract till the new submarine, which will be bigger and more advanced than it, becomes operational,” said a source. The stealth-capable INS Chakra is equipped with cruise missiles and can be deployed for ISR (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) missions. But the submarine is not meant for "deterrence patrol," that is, carrying out a patrol aimed at deterring enemies from attacking India with nuclear weapons.

(DefenceQWorld.net, Mar 08, 2019)


The recent clearance from the Indian Army and the defence ministry for the production of 114 ‘Dhanush’ artillery guns is the latest fillip to India’s indigenous gun manufacturing industry.The guns, deemed the ‘Desi Bofors’, will form part of a trio of artillery weapons, along with the K9 Vajra and the Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS), that will be manufactured in the country. While the Dhanush guns will be manufactured by the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB), making them the first indigenously-produced long-range artillery gun, the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) had last year cleared the production of 100 K9 Vajras and 150 ATAGS at a cost of Rs 3,365 crore.  The K9 Vajras are being produced by Larsen and Toubro (L&T) and South Korea’s Hanwha Tech Win (HTW) under the ‘Make in India’ initiative, while the ATAGS is being developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), with one prototype being made in partnership with Tata Power (Strategic Engineering Division) and the other with Bharat Forge. Once fully inducted, the three guns are expected to boost the artillery power of the Indian Army after a lull of nearly 31 years since the Bofors guns were inducted. The Bofors guns were controversially the last piece of artillery imported by India.

(Indian Defence News, Mar 08, 2019)


India’s defence sector seems to be picking itself up from a slump if the third quarter’s results are any indication, with the Street’s apprehensions about the growth and margin pressure on defence firms now reversing. To be sure, the recent financial performance of defence public sector undertakings (PSUs) has been encouraging. As against a mere two per cent year-on-year (YoY) growth in sales in the June quarter, financial results of eight PSUs in the defence sector show an aggregate 12 per cent spurt in sales in the third quarter. In the subsequent quarters too, analysts say, the trend looks favourable backed by a healthy order book providing revenue visibility and increasing emphasis on execution in the light of recent geopolitical uncertainty. With most companies expanding capacities in the recent past with the hope of increasing project sizes at home and opportunities overseas, the next few quarters are also expected to see higher earnings growth. Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE), one of the prominent PSUs in the sector, has reported a whopping 116 per cent sales growth during the third quarter due to approval of its finished inventory which allowed the company to book more revenue. The Mini-Ratna defence PSU is also set to launch its 99th and 100th warship in March and April this year, respectively.

(Indian Defence News, Mar 08, 2019)


Amid the ongoing tension with Pakistan, India on Thursday signed a $3.3 billion deal with Russia for leasing the third nuclear-powered Akula class attack submarine. An Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) was signed between the two countries in New Delhi. The submarine, to be called Chakra -3, will be delivered in 2025 for a 10-year period. It will be prepared out of one of the several Akula class submarine hulls available at the Zvedochka shipyard in Severodvinsk after extensive re-fit process. India at the moment operates Chakra-2 whose 10-year lease ending in 2022.  This is the second major India-Russia defence project finalised this month. A new facility to manufacture AK-203 assault rifles is coming up in Amethi in Uttar Pradesh. INS Chakra is a nuclear-powered submarine and unlike INS Arihant, the other nuclear submarine in Indian navy fleet, it does not have a strategic weapon. The Navy is all set to induct its second French Scorpene submarine -- Khanderi -- next month. The first submarine in this class -- INS Kalvari -- is already under operation. The Navy will get four more boats in the coming years. The Navy has 14 conventional submarines apart from a nuclear attack and nuclear ballistic missile submarine.

(Indian Defence News, Mar 08, 2019)


India will expand the scope and range of its strategic partnerships, if not create alliances, with both France and Russia. Future Indo-Russian co-operation could include Moscow’s assistance in developing India’s nuclear submarine fleet. India’s future co-operation with France could include joint maritime military exercises. India’s strategic alliance with France could also provide New Delhi with access to French military bases in the Indo-Pacific. As India is trying to expand its region of influence in the Indo-Pacific and beyond, both France and Russia offer it the opportunity to form strategic bilateral partnerships, if not explicit alliances. As India and Russia try to establish their positions in the international system, they will revisit or reset their existing bilateral relationship and will expand the range and scope of it. It is true to state that India and Russia are natural strategic partners and allies. Bilateral ties with Russia are a key pillar of India’s strategic outlook on the world. India sees Russia as a steady and all-weather friend that has played a significant role in its economic development and security. Since the signing of the “Declaration on the India Russia Strategic Partnership” in October 2000 (during President Vladimir Putin’s visit to India), India-Russia ties have acquired a new dimension in terms of style and quality, with increased political and strategic co-operation and enhanced security, trade and economic ties.

(Indian Defence News, Mar 08, 2019)

We aim to create Googles and Facebooks from India: Ravi Shankar Prasad IT

The new software products policy is aimed at developing Facebooks and Googles from India with government backing through funding, procurement and creating intellectual property rights, information and technology minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said. Speaking to ET’s Anandita Singh Mankotia and Romit Guha, Prasad said the National Policy on Electronics will boost local manufacturing not just for India but also for the export market, with the focus on designing in India. Edited excerpts: India is known for its software services. We want it to become a big hub for products. We are going to nurture 10,000 startups in technology products, out of which 1,000 will be in tier-2 and tier-3 towns. We intend to have direct employment for 3.5 million people by 2025. We wish to build a cluster base which will have the value chain, everything from incubation to marketing to software product development. Most interesting is up-scaling of 10 lakh IT professionals. One lakh schools and colleges students and 10,000 professionals for software products. We aim to create Googles and Facebooks from India. 

(ET, Mar 07, 2019)

UK ban on Huawei's 5G to cost millions of pounds, says Vodafone Telecom

Vodafone said any move by Britain to bar equipment made by China's Huawei from all parts of new 5G networks would cost it hundreds of millions of pounds and "very significantly" slow down the deployment of the new technology. The United States has asked allies not to use Huawei's technology because it could be a vehicle for Chinese spy operations, an accusation denied by the company. Vodafone said last month it had paused the use of Huawei components in its core networks in Europe until governments had assessed the risks. The group's UK chief technology officer Scott Petty said on Thursday that Huawei radio equipment was used in nearly a third of the company's 18,000 UK base stations - a part of the network it gauged to be very low risk. It would also be part of the foundation for 5G technology.

(ET, Mar 07, 2019)

Vodafone bringing 5G in 19 UK cities by end of 2019 Telecom

Vodafone will offer 5G in 19 cities across the UK by year's end, the carrier said Thursday. Vodafone is keen to preserve its lead in 5G, after activating the UK's first 5G network in Salford, Greater Manchester, in October. The company has now extended coverage to Bristol, Cardiff and Liverpool and is currently preparing equipment in Birmingham, Glasgow and London. 5G, the next generation of mobile network technology, promises to boost data speeds to up to 10 times what we're currently used to, as well as making connections more stable and offering more bandwidth for other technologies such as virtual reality, autonomous vehicles and the internet of things. Even though the first 5G networks were switched on last year, it's only been in the last couple of weeks that 5G has truly become a reality. At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and Samsung's Unpacked event in San Francisco, the first few phones that can connect to 5G networks were unveiled. The race to be first to 5G hasn't been as aggressive in the UK as in the US and South Korea, But over the past year or so, two of the UK's big four operators have significantly stepped up their game. In December at a Qualcomm summit in Hawaii, carrier EE announced it would bring 5G connectivity to 16 UK cities in 2019. Vodafone previously announced it would launch 5G in seven cities this year. But in a bid to outdo EE, Vodafone on Thursday added another 12 to its list: Birkenhead, Blackpool, Bournemouth, Guildford, Newbury, Portsmouth, Plymouth, Reading, Southampton, Stoke-on-Trent, Warrington and Wolverhampton.

(C-Net, Mar 07, 2019)

Telecom department reshuffles officers to fast-track connectivity programs Telecom

The department of telecom (DoT) has reconstituted the group of officers assigned to operationalize some of the ambitious mobile connectivity programs such as mega BharatNet-II, Wi-Fi pilots, Left Wing Extremism (LWE)-II and Northeast, including strategic areas along Indo-China border in Arunachal Pradesh. In an internal notification dated March 5, seen by ETT, the department has assigned BharatNet deployment, Wi-Fi pilot initiatives and other common service centers or CSC-related projects to joint administrator Ranjan Ghosh who was earlier responsible for the provision of mobile services in Northeast region. The Narendra Modi government has concluded BharatNet-I in December 2018, making as many as 1.25 lakh gram panchayats or village blocks connected with optic fiber-based network, capable to offer high-speed Internet services for the delivery of citizen-centric public services.

(ET, Mar 07, 2019)

LG Electronics wants govt. to incentivise local TV manufacturing General

LG Electronics, the country’s second-largest consumer electronics firm, has voiced concerns on the lack of enough incentives to expand local television manufacturing. Umesh Dhal, chief relationship officer, LG Electronics India, said local manufacturing can be made attractive by “abolishing customs duty on panels and open cells till manufacturing ecosystem for same is ready in India”. He also said the government should incentivise manufacturers for local production. The statement comes at a time when the country’s largest consumer durable firm Samsung India is negotiating hard with the government. The firm has moved its TV production to Vietnam and is seeking additional sops to restart manufacturing here. The tussle between the government and manufacturers began last year, when a Customs duty on open cells was revised to 5 per cent. A 7.5 per cent duty on panels was also levied. Dhal also said the goods and services tax (GST) rate on TV sets should be brought down, “as it is more of an educative device”.

(BS, Mar 07, 2019)

One Nation, one card, here’s how to get & use the new Pan-India mobility card IT

If paying for different purchases in different mediums stresses you out, the ‘One Nation, One Card’ might just be the good news you were waiting for. Citizens can use the inter-operable transport card to pay for their bus travel, toll taxes, parking charges, retail shopping and even withdraw money. Speaking to the Hindustan Times, Durga Shanker Mishra, the secretary to the Ministry of Urban Affairs, said, “It is a matter of pride that this card, based on National Common Mobility Card (NCMC) standards is compliant with the ‘Make in India’ initiative. The gate and reader prototype has been made by government-owned Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL). All Debit/Credit Cards will be NCMC compliant.”   The One Nation One Card is India’s first indigenously developed payment ecosystem. The initiative is supported by the Automatic Fare Collection Gate called ‘Swaagat’ and an open Loop Automatic Fare Collection System called ‘Sweekar.’ Both Swaagat and Sweekar have been developed in India. The One Nation One Card can be compared to a RuPay debit/credit card issued by your bank. Along with a swipe-to-pay option, the transport ecosystem card will also be contactless, allowing quick payment options like your metro smart card.

(The Better India, Mar 06, 2019)

Samsung President on India visit for launch of latest Galaxy S10 series Telecom

The President and CEO of IT & Mobile Communications Division at Samsung Electronics DJ Koh will be visiting India to unveil the latest edition of the tenth iteration of its flagship Galaxy device series in the country on March 6, 2019. Koh, who earlier visited India six months ago to launch another flagship device – Samsung Galaxy Note9, has stated immense admiration for the country’s culture, cuisine and entertainment. India currently ranks the highest in the world in terms of volume shipments for Samsung and is a crucial market for the company’s growth. The South Korean electronics giant is also likely to showcase all the three variants of the Galaxy S10 series including Galaxy S10, S10+, S10e and its entire wearables line up.

(The Statesman, Mar 06, 2019)

ICICI-Videocon case: NuPower-Matrix Group deal on ED's focus General

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has extended its probe to find out if there was an illegal fund trail between Mauritius-based Firstland Holdings and NuPower Renewables Pvt Ltd owned by Deepak Kochhar, husband of former ICICI Bank CEO Chanda Kochhar, in a multi-crore money laundering case. The case is related to the alleged irregularities and corrupt practices in the sanction of a Rs 1,875 crore loan disbursed by ICICI bank to the Videocon Group during 2009 and 2011.The ED got clues about an illegal transaction running to crores of rupees routed through Firstland to NuPower, an official requesting anonymity told IANS.  Firstland is owned by Nishkant Kanodia, the chairman of Matrix Group and son-in-law of Essar Group co-founder Ravi Ruia.  The ED learnt about the suspected transactions when Kanodia was questioned on Sunday and Monday. The questioning of Chanda Kochhar, her husband and Videocon Group MD Venugopal Dhoot during the last five days in Mumbai have also given leads to the agency regarding these transactions. "There is money transaction in crores (of rupees) to NuPower from different companies owned by Dhoot and Kanodia's Firstland. But the transaction was done through a web of companies. We have to establish the link," said the official. The ED has learnt that NuPower got investments of Rs 3,250 crore from Firstland and that the process started in December 2010.

(IndiaTV, Mar 05, 2019)

Chinese invasion of Indian Industry General

It’s been a huge coup for Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu. Chinese firm TCL, which is looking to expand its presence in the Indian market hugely, has selected Naidu’s showpiece electronics hub at Tirupati to make a ₹2,200-crore investment in two plants that will turn out mobile phones and television screens. TCL grew 120 per cent in the last year and has major plans for the Indian market. Cut to Delhi where Taiwanese company KYMCO has just picked up an undisclosed stake in an ambitious electric two-wheeler start-up Twenty Two Motors. KYMCO brings with it a new, lightweight 5 kg battery that can be swapped quickly. Twenty Two is now looking at setting up charging infrastructure at 2-km intervals in six Indian cities where vehicle-owners can stop and change these lightweight batteries. Strictly speaking, KYMCO isn’t a Chinese company but the investment in India has come from its Hangzhou-based fund. Says Parveen Kharb, Twenty Two’s co-founder: “India’s the fastest-growing market in the world for two-wheelers so they saw it as a very attractive place to be.”

(Hindu BusinessLine, Mar 05, 2019)

Bharat Electronics launches SWAGAT – Automatic Fare Collection Gating System General

Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), a defence public sector undertaking, presented SWAGAT the Automatic Fare Collection Gating System. Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the system on Monday as part of the inaugural of Phase I of the Ahmedabad Metro. SWAGAT is an initiative steered by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) in collaboration with BEL and Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC) with the support of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) and State Bank of India (SBI). SWAGAT is compliant with the National Common Mobility Card (NCMC) ecosystem for hassle-free commute across India. It is in keeping with the spirit of Make in India, Digital India and Skill India. The fare collection system is the first indigenous system and the first ever outside the developed world. It can operate across all cities and all modes of transport to make ‘One Nation – One Card’ a reality. It has also received EMVCo certification by FIME Lab, France. “This technology is a huge step towards a cashless, digital India. This fully indigenous and interoperable System consists of: National Common Mobility Card, Automatic Fare Collection System and Validation Terminal,” said the company release.

(BusinessLIne, Mar 05, 2019)

Firms scramble to reply to draft ecommerce policy within a week Policy

US technology companies and Indian startups are working overtime to put together a response within a week to the government’s proposed ecommerce policy, which is being touted as a digital economy policy that will have far-reaching impact on the country’s technology ambitions. The policy deals with contentious subjects such as data dominance, data sovereignty and abuse of market power by big technology companies. The proponents of the policy argue that India needs to protect its data to make it available for Indian startups while the opposing camp sees the policy as protectionist that will stifle innovation, foreign capital flow and hurt consumer choice. “This policy is not about only ecommerce, there is social media, cloud and everything in between,” said Nikhil Narendran, Partner at Trilegal. “It’s a huge hit on consumer choice. It’s like an internet blockade.”  The policy proposes that all ecommerce websites selling to Indian consumers and apps available for downloading in India have a registered business entity here. These technology companies must provide government access to source code, algorithms of AI systems and are barred from sharing of sensitive data of Indian users with third party entities, even with consent. The last date for response to the draft policy is March 9.  To ensure that India’s. data is used for the country’s development, and Indian citizens and companies get the economic benefits from the monetization of data, the policy proposes that antitrust regime must take into account the network effect — a phenomenon wherein increased numbers of people or participants improve the value of a goods or service. 

(ET, Mar 04, 2019)

Electric vehicles to get cheaper by up to Rs 2.5 lakh General

Electric vehicles will get cheaper by Rs 20,000 to Rs 2.5 lakh, following the government’s goahead to Niti Aayog’s proposal to give purchase rebate as incentive to buyers.  The move will help reduce India’s dependence on imported fuel and bring down pollution levels in the country.  The Union cabinet had on Thursday approved incentive of Rs 10,000 per KWH for purchase of e-vehicles directly linked to battery size under the FAME II (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicle) scheme. This will spell a saving of Rs 20,000-40,000 for two-wheelers fitted with battery of 2-4 kwh, rs 50,000-100,000 for three-wheelers (5-10 kwh) and Rs 1.5-2.5 lakh for four-wheelers (15-25 kwh battery). ET had reported on February 14 that the government was considering the option of offering purchase rebate linked to battery size and vehicle type.  The move is part of the government’s twin strategies to promote manufacturing as well as sales of EVs in India to create enough size and scale for the industry as the government aims to ensure EVs account for 15% of total vehicle sales in the country. 

(ET, Mar 02, 2019)

Green Companies continue to bid aggressively for solar projects General

Renewable energy firms are continuing with aggressive bids for solar projects, with the winners in the latest auction including Finland’s Fortum and US-based Acme quoting a tariff of Rs 2.48 per unit.  Palimarwar Solar House also quoted the same tariff to win 40 MW, while Acme Solar won 250 MW of the 750 MW auctioned by Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI). Fortum won 250 MW, while UPC won 100 MW. Sumant Sinha-led ReNew Power won 110 MW at Rs 2.49 per unit.   In this non-solar park auction, projects have to be built in Rajasthan within 18 months. This tariff is lower than the auction conducted by SECI earlier this week where the lowest winning tariff was Rs 2.55 per unit. “This is a Rajasthan specific tender, so everyone knows Rajasthan is going to buy the power. There is a PPA certainty,” said Vinay Rustagi, managing director of solar Consultancy Bridge to India. “In the previous auction, since it was an ISTS one, SECI has to finalise which states will buy the power and then you can end up with the lowly rated states,” he said. Since the state is identified beforehand here, there is more comfort on availability of land and transmission, and this has driven down the tariff, Rustagi added. 

(ET, Mar 02, 2019)

Tesla on a cost cutting drive moves $35K Model 3 to online stores for sale General

Tesla is shifting all of its sales from stores to the internet, saying the move is needed to cut costs so it can sell the mass-market Model 3 for a starting price of $35,000.  The Palo Alto, California, company announced the change Thursday and said it's now taking orders for the $35,000 car, which CEO Elon Musk has said is essential to Tesla's survival.  ``It's 2019,'' Musk told reporters. ``People want to buy online.''  Musk also backed off of earlier guidance that the company would be profitable in all future quarters. Because of the moves, it will lose money in the first quarter and ``likely'' be profitable in the second, he said.  The electric-car and solar-panel company will close many of its stores, but leave some open as galleries or ``information centers'' in high-traffic areas. Musk didn't give a number of stores that will be closed or employees who will be laid off. ``That isn't today's topic,'' he said.

(ET, Mar 02, 2019) 

IEW 2019 Closes on a High Note as Electronics Industry Bets High on IoT General

The much anticipated third and final day of India Electronics Week 2019 commenced with highly insightful seminars and workshops. In the last three days, participants of the expo came across some ground-breaking innovations, valuable insights from industry experts, hands-on technical know-how from workshops and the opportunity to connect with all kinds of industry players under one roof. The IoT was a key area of discussion throughout the event as exhibitors showcased how prolific and pervasive the technology has become today. The event also saw the coming together of manufacturing machinery creators who are bringing forth compact desktop machineries and rapid prototyping capabilities that will require substantially less upfront investment from businesses. This year IEW witnessed how the electronics industry is all set to gain the most from the IoT. Associations and enablers of the ESDM and IoT community came together to recognize and address the real-life challenges that need to be solved on priority in the ecosystem. Players from various solution and services background shared their thoughts on how each kind of business in playing a part in the IoT environment today.

(BusinessWire India, Mar 01, 2019)

We’re sending a message that we must be paid for services: Ericsson CEO Telecom

Ericsson’s successful legal action against Reliance Communications NSE -0.83 % (RCom) over unpaid bills showed the Swedish gear maker’s determination to ensure that service providers get what’s due to them. “We were sending a strong message that if we are providing services, we should get paid,” CEO Börje Ekholm said. “If we just fold over, it has implications for others that maybe we don’t need to pay these guys because they will not do anything anyway. We are satisfied that that Indian courts look at it this way as well.”  On February 20, India’s Supreme Court upheld a contempt petition filed by Ericsson against RCom chairman Anil Ambani for not paying the Swedish company, despite having the money to do so. The court threatened to send the businessman to jail for three months if he didn’t cough up what was owed in four weeks.  Ekholm however said it wasn’t time to break out the “champagne” as it hasn’t received the remaining. `453 crore from the Indian telco. He told ET that he had “never been through anything like it.” Ericsson has already got the Rs 118 crore that RCom had previously deposited with the top court. Since the amount to be paid has been calculated at Rs 571crore, along with interest, the amount due in four weeks is Rs 453 crore. RCom has said it will abide by the ruling. Its operational creditor Ericsson had filed three contempt pleas to press for its dues. 

(ET, Mar 01, 2019)

Indian Economy Based On Sound Fundamentals, Will Soon Reach $5 Trillion: PM Modi General

Ø  : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said the Indian economy is based on sound fundamentals and will in the near future double in size to $5 trillion, as he had sold the country as a "land of opportunities" to investors in South Korea. "No other large economy in the world is growing at over 7 per cent year after year," he said at the India-ROK Business Symposium here during his visit to the Republic of Korea. Over 600 Korean companies such as Hyundai, Samsung and LG Electronics are already invested in India and the Prime Minister said "we aspire to welcome many more."  "And, (car maker) Kia is soon to join this club," he added. To ease business visits, India since October last year is giving Korean nationals visa on arrival, he said. "The fundamentals of our economy are sound. We are well set to become a 5 trillion dollar economy in the near future," he said. Modi said hard policy decisions such as the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and opening up of more sectors has helped India jump 65 places on the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business ranking to the 77th position. "And, we are determined to move into the top 50 next year," he said. "We are one of the most open countries for foreign direct investment today. More than 90 per cent of our sectors are now on automatic route for approval. As a result of this and the confidence in India, we have received FDI worth over $250 billion over the past four years."  India, the world's sixth largest economy at $ 2.5 trillion, is changing from being agriculture-dominated to an economy led by industry and services and one that is globally inter-linked which rolls out red carpet instead of red tape, the Prime Minister said.

(Businessworld, Feb 27, 2019)

Centre for Good Governance wins Digital India Award General

Centre for Good Governance (CGG), Hyderabad won the “Platinum” Digital India Award 2018 under “Outstanding Digital Initiative by a Local Body" category at Digital India Awards for its "Citizen Centric Integrated Services to Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC)". The award was given by the Union Minister for Electronics & IT and Law & Justice, Dr. Ravi  Shankar Prasad at Indian Habitat Centre, New Delhi recently. CGG competed with 600 participating nominations and bagged this title.  The e Digital India Programme is a flagship programme of the Government of India with a vision to transform India into a digital society and knowledge economy. The e digital India vision provides intensified impetus for further momentum and progress of digital-governance and would promote inclusive growth that covers electronic services, products, devices, manufacturing and job opportunities.

(Hans India, Feb 27, 2019)

Xiaomi ShareSave E-Commerce Platform Launched In India To Enable Ordering Products From China Telecom

Xiaomi, the Chinese mobile and electronics manufacturing behemoth, has launched its own e-commerce platform ShareSave in India. It will feature as an app on the Google Playstore and enable Android users from India to order Chinese products that are currently not available in India and will have to be procured from outside. The social e-commerce platform will be the key element of this mobile app. The social e-commerce platform enables users to purchase apps in an instant or club with their friends and family to purchase the same and get discounts. While the ShareSave app is available on Android, the company is yet to disclose if it will release an iOS version or a web-based version of the app. Xiaomi posted about this new launch on its official blog. The idea of the platform is to enable its large Indian audience base to purchase its products as soon as they are launched in its home country China. Xiaomi has conveyed that ShareSave is a global initiative, but it has chosen India to be the launch market for the platform. In its blog post, Xiaomi said, “Xiaomi strongly believes in the power of communities and Mi Fans, and the social aspect of ShareSave is a perfect reflection of this. ShareSave allows for a place where Mi Fans connect, enjoy and share a unique #SharetoSave shopping experience. It also serves as a testing ground for key markets, allowing Xiaomi to learn more about the local demand for various types of product.”

(Versus, Jan 26, 2019)

National Electronics Policy 2019 to boost manufacturing drive exports Policy

Industry experts believe that the National Electronic Policy 2019, passed last week by the Union Cabinet, can provide an impetus to Make in India (MII) and its efforts to become a global hub for Electronic System Design and Manufacturing (ESDM), apart from making electronics sector more competitive. “The policy offers significant support for the electronics sector. It is export focussed and aims to take Indian electronic manufacturing to the next level. As a rising economy, and the world’s largest market for mobile phones, India sadly does not have a competitive electronics sector. This policy aims at ensuring Indian manufacturing in the electronics sector gets its rightful place,” Lloyd Mathias, senior technology executive and former Asia Marketing Head of HP, told BusinessLine. The last electronic policy was unveiled 2012. The new policy targets $400 billion turnover by 2025 from domestic manufacturing, setting up cluster for the entire value chain and employing over 1 crore people directly or otherwise to achieve a growth rate of 32 per cent.

(BusinessLine, Feb 26, 2019)

India may gain from trade war General

After Donald Trump took over the rein of governance in the US, it has started imposing higher import duty on imports coming from the rest of the world. Other countries have also followed the suit and are increasing import tariffs. In this manner, a trade war has started in the world. According to the recent report of the United Nations, India is among some select countries which are going to benefit greatly from the current trade war. The report says that although this trade war will lead to a significant reduction in global trade, India’s exports may grow by 3.5 percent. Although foreign trade remained almost free during the early period of history, i.e. the tariffs or other restrictions on imports coming from other countries were minimal. But later on Governments started imposing heavy import duties coming from other countries and sometimes it took the shape of competitive exercise. Basic idea of imposing tariffs on goods coming from other countries used to be protection of domestic industry from foreign competition. In the meantime, foreign trade theories propounded an understanding developed between economists that if all the nations of the world remove tariffs and non tariff barriers and walk on the path of free trade, then all the countries will benefit because people will get cheaper goods. Countries will achieve the efficiencies in production according to their comparative advantage. Though, there was no flaw in these theories per se, if followed honestly, however problem started when the theory was used by the benefit of a few against interests of many others. For instance, by using this argument of free trade, British Government was able to impose cheaper machine made goods, against the interests of our small artisans and industries. Our industry decayed and dependence on agriculture increased. Economists named it de-industrialization. We can say that the industrialization of India ended due to free trade. Under the pressure of nationalist leaders in the freedom struggle, the foreign Government was forced to impose tariff on goods coming from England, what was termed as discriminatory tariff, and that was the time when modern textile, sugar, cement and paper industries started getting established.

(Daily Excelsior.com, Feb 25, 2019)

Rafael wins $30m Indian Air Force communications deal General

Israeli defense electronics company Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd.has handed its first order for production of hundreds of advanced communications systems, for the Indian Air Force, to its new ARC subsidiary in India. The order amounts to $30 million. The subsidiary will employ hundreds of workers in Hyderabad in southern India. The system is based on information that Rafael will transfer to India under an agreement signed with the Indian authorities in 2017. Rafael's innovative BNet communications systems, which are classified as software, were adapted to the operational requirements of the Indian Air Force. Rafael told "Globes" today that these systems will supplement the advanced radio capabilities of Indian warplanes, while substantially extending their activity, without being detected by the enemy's systems. In addition to production of these systems, the contract signed by Rafael also includes maintaining the systems and assistance given by Rafael to Indian Air Force personnel. The first production order by Rafael to its subsidiary was made in the framework of a festive event during the prestigious Euro-India defense exhibition in Bangalore in recent days. Rafael CEO Maj. Gen. (res.) Yoav Har-Even said that ARC's activity reflected the important ties between Rafael and India through other companies operating there.

(Globes, Feb 24, 2019)

BMC bags silver medal for digital initiative IT

The BrihanmumbaMunicipal Corporation (BMC) has been awarded the Central government’s silver medal for ‘Outstanding Digital Initiative by a Local Body’ in the Digital India Awards held on Friday. In another win, Washington’s Library of Congress has asked for a copy of the BMC’s coffee table book on Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar. The Digital India Awards 2018 were organised by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology at New Delhi’s India Habitat Centre.  The awards recognise initiatives of ministries, departments, institutions which have made significant contributions towards implementation of e-Governance and shown an innovative approach to achieve administrative efficiency and transparency, according to the website. The Outstanding Digital Initiative by Local Body award focuses on providing exemplary information quality and extent of services by assessing the service maturity level, service catalogue, transparency, cost effectiveness and efficiency enhancement in terms of service delivery. Entries are assessed on the level of convenience or empowerment provided to the citizen through the initiative. The BMC was awarded the second prize in this category. The award was handed over by Union Minister for Electronics and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad and received by Shashi Bala, Head of BMC’s Business Development Cell and Information Technology Director Arun Joglekar.

(The Hindu, Feb 23, 2019)

National Electronics Policy Unveiled: Targets Rs 26 Lakh Crore Make In India Revenue, 100 Crore Mobile Manufactures By 2025 Policy

The Union Cabinet on Tuesday (19 February) approved the National Electronics Policy 2019 which aims to achieve a turnover of Rs 2,600,000 crores ($400 billion) by 2025 via the domestic electronics manufacturing ecosystem. It envisages setting up a cluster of the entire value chain and generate over 1 crore directly or indirect jobs to achieve a growth rate of 32 per cent. The Policy aims to catapult India as a global hub for Electronics System Design and Manufacturing (ESDM) by incentivizing and building capabilities in the country for developing core components, including chipsets, and creating an environment for the industry to compete globally. Unveiling the new policy, Ravi Shankar Prasad, IT minister, said in a briefing "We aim to target Rs 26,00,000 crores ($400 billion) turnover by 2025 and are targeting a growth rate of 32 per cent from the current 26.7 per cent globally in five years. With the new policy, the electronic manufacturing sector alone will provide employment to about 1 crore people". By creating an enabling ecosystem for globally competitive ESDM sector and promotion of domestic manufacturing and export in the entire value-chain of ESDM, the policy sets an ambitious production target of 100 crore mobile handsets by 2025, valued at approximately Rs 1,300,000 crore .

(Swarajya, Feb 21, 2019)

India should become a data analytics hub: Ravi Shankar Prasad IT

Union Minister for Electronics & IT Ravi Shankar Prasad,said India should become a data analytics hub on the back of the huge amount of data that Indians are producing. “India has all the potential to become a centre of data analysis. The huge data 1.3 billion Indians are producing. It is a great opportunity,” said Prasad after releasing a report on India’s trillion dollar digital economy at the Nasscom event here. He said the report is not just about digital inclusion but also an opportunity to do business in India. The report stated that India can create up to $1 trillion of economic value from the digital economy in 2025, with half of the opportunity originating in new digital ecosystems that can spring up in diverse sectors of the economy. Currently, India’s digital economy generates about $200 billion of economic value annually largely from existing digital ecosystem comprising of information technology and business process management (IT-BPM), digital communication services (including telecom), e-commerce, domestic electronics manufacturing, digital payments, and direct subsidy transfers. The existing digital ecosystem could contribute up to $500 billion of economic value, but the potential economic value for India could be as much as double that amount — almost $1 trillion— if digital technologies are used to unlock productivity, savings, and efficiency across more diverse sectors such as agriculture, education, energy, financial services, government services, healthcare, logistics, manufacturing, trade, and transportation.  The report stated that India has the second-largest number of instant messaging service users worldwide, behind China, and the most social media users, and Aadhaar, India’s unique digital identity programme, covers more than 1.2 billion people, the largest system of its type globally.

(ET, Feb 21, 2019)

U.S.-China Trade War to Spark Manufacturing Spin-Off in India? General

Global electronics contract manufacturers are planning substantial investment in India with a total of around $1 billion over the next five years to expand their production facilities in India. Taiwan-based Wistron and Foxconn have applied to the government to invest around $700 million and $350 million respectively. This comes under an incentive package that can give these companies benefits of $140 million and $70 million respectively, according to a report in the Economic Times. Wistron is likely to begin manufacturing iPhone 8 in the country while Foxconn plans to support higher levels of manufacturing for existing clients such as Xiaomi and Nokia phones. And, these are just big ticket investments. There are several, particularly in the mobile space right from Samsung and Xiaomi to smaller and lesser known brands which have started on the investment road to manufacturing. Interestingly, there are currently 240 companies in India which are making electronic products and about half of them (127 companies) are manufacturing mobile phones with Noida and Greater Noida in northern India emerging as a mobile phone manufacturing hub, having 57 factories alone.

(ET, Feb 20, 2019)

India has potential to become $1 trillion digital economy by 2025: Report General

India can create up to $1 trillion of economic value from the digital economy in 2025, with half of the opportunity originating in new digital ecosystems, a recent study by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology and McKinsey & Co has found. The report, titled "India's Trillion-Dollar Digital Opportunity" was released in Mumbai by the Minister of Electronics and IT Ravi Shankar Prasad, at the ongoing Nasscom Technology and Leadership Forum. The study finds that India is among the top three global economies in terms of number of digital consumers. The report said India had 560 million internet subscriptions in 2018, up from 238.71 million in 2013, making it the second-largest internet subscriptions market in the world.  India also has the second-fastest growth rate of digital adoption in the comparison set, which considered 17 mature and emerging digital economies including Brazil, China, Indonesia, Russia, South Korea, Sweden, and the United States. India’s digital index score, measured on digital foundation, digital reach and digital value, moved from 17 in 2014 to 32 in 2017 (on a scale of 0 to 100), the second-fastest rise after Indonesia.

(BS, Feb 20, 2019)

EV Charging Stations In India: EVI Technologies To Install 20,000 Electric Vehicle Charging Location IT

Electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in India will soon grow in number by a good margin. EVI Technologies aims to set up 20,000 charging stations at key locations across the country, within the next one-and-a-half years. The company will invest Rs 100 crore in the project in a bid to promote electric mobility. EVI Technologies, incubated at the Electropreneur Park (funded by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology), has tied up with BSES Rajdhani Power Ltd to install 3000 EV charging stations in Delhi alone. The charging stations will require an investment of Rs 15,000-20,000 per head and BSES will charge a tariff of Rs 5 per unit of electric power. Rupesh Kumar, CEO of EVI Technologies shared, "We have a target to create a network of around 20,000 EV chargers in the next one and a half years. This will include home and public charging stations. It will be around Rs 100 crore. We are tying up with some finance partners, who are already providing finance for the leasing model. We are already in discussion with some of them."

(DriveSpark, Feb 18, 2019)

Foxconn awaiting Rs 1,000 crore GST refund Policy

Foxconn, the world’s largest contract manufacturer, has flagged its concerns to the government over delays in refunds of about Rs 1,000 crore under the goods and services tax regime, saying one of its key India units has been left cash-starved and this could hurt plans to deepen local production of electronics.  “An inverted duty structure has created working capital issues as some states are lingering on refund by months together and this is severely impacting companies like the Foxconn unit located in Andhra Pradesh, which is left without funds to pay vendors,” a person aware of the development told ET. Duty structure is considered inverted when components are taxed at a higher rate than the final product. In this case, while mobile handsets are subject to 12% GST, some components are taxed at 18%. Other contract manufacturers such as Wistron, which makes some iPhone models, Dixon and US-based Flex also face similar issues on refunds, totalling a combined Rs 2,500 crore, said Pankaj Mohindroo, president, Indian Cellular and Electronics Association of India (ICEA). 

(ET, Jan 30, 2019)

 Finance ministry says it will be 'interim' budget, rejects confusion Policy

Amid speculation over the shape of the Narendra Modi government’s last Budget before the Lok Sabha polls, the finance ministry on Wednesday clarified that it will be called ‘Interim Budget 2019-20’. “This Budget will be called Interim Budget 2019-20and, therefore, don't have any confusion on this issue,” a finance ministry spokesperson told reporters. The spokesperson’s statement referred to what the Budget speech and documents will officially be titled. The statement came a day after a workshop of Press Information Bureau officers where officers were reportedly told that the Budget will be titled ‘General Budget 2019-20’. This information was shared with some journalists and that led to some confusion. Even after the finance ministry's clarification, some PIB officers insisted that the official press releases pertaining to the Budget on February 1 will be titled 'General Budget 2019-20'.  There have been suppositions among markets and policy watchers that, as the government heads into Lok Sabha elections 2019 after losses in three state elections, the 2019-20 Budget could be more than just a vote-on-account.

(BS, Jan 30, 2019)

Interim Budget 2019: Electronics makers seek Rs. 1,000-crore seed fund General

With the 2019 interim budget round the corner, stakeholders in the electronics sector are expecting the government to create a seed fund of Rs 1,000 crore and abolish the angel tax that has hit start-ups hard. “The Government should create a seed fund of Rs 1,000 crore, which can be matched by industry and VCs (venture capitalists), to provide seed funding to build 1,000 start-ups in the ESDM (electronic system design & manufacturing) space. We have requested the government to create such a fund in the budget in our wish list submitted to the ministry,” said Rajesh Ram Mishra, president, India Electronics and Semiconductor Association (IESA), the trade body representing the ESDM industry. “We have also recommended to the government to abolish angel tax for ESDM start-ups," Mishra added. "Angel tax and the current policy of getting the start-up valuation done by a merchant banker are hitting ESDM start-ups very hard." According to IESA, start-ups in electronics and semiconductor space primarily depend on angel and self-funding, as very few VCs in India are investing in ESDM companies.

(BS, Jan 30, 2019)

Spec-packed budget phone Samsung Galaxy M to hit India in Feb Telecom

Samsung Electronics Co will launch spec-packed budget smartphone series Galaxy M in India for the first time in the world in efforts to keep lead in the world’s fastest growing smartphone market against threatening Chinese competition. The Galaxy M series is the latest of the South Korean tech giant’s entry-level smartphone lineup specifically tailored for emerging markets. Galaxy M10 and M20 will go on sale in India from Feb. 5, according to the company. The Galaxy M10 is powered by the Exynos 7870 processor and comes in a 6.22-inch screen. The Galaxy M20 features a dual camera setup with 13 megapixel and 5 megapixel configuration. It is also backed by a 5,000 milliampere-hour (mAh) battery, larger than the high-end model Galaxy Note 9 with 4,000 mAh, as well as biometrics options including fingerprint scanner and facial unlocking.   Despite the high-spec and upgraded design compared to the current budget line Galaxy J series, the Galaxy M10 will be priced at 7,990 rupees ($112) - 8,990 rupees and Galaxy M20 at 10,990 rupees – 12,990 rupees. Budget phones dominate the Indian smartphone market, and those priced at around 10,000 rupees sell most. 

(Pulse, Jan 30, 2019)

Handset body demands a special package for Indian companies Telecom

India's top handset body has called on the government to create a special package to help revive local handset makers who have been pushed to the fringes of the market dominated by Chinese players besides Samsung on one hand, and Reliance Retail’s JioPhone on the other. "There is a compelling need for making a comprehensive strategic support framework for building large domestic companies to have the desired level of control on technology in the strategic areas," Pankaj Mohindroo, chairman at India Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA), said in a statement issued Monday. The special package would help Indian companies tap the $250-billion global opportunities in the entry-level smartphone segment, he said, adding that they will help create "champion" companies in India similar to what the US, China, and South Korea did with their domestic companies. 

(ET, Jan 29, 2019)

Handset body demands a special package for Indian companies Telecom

India's top handset body has called on the government to create a special package to help revive local handset makers who have been pushed to the fringes of the market dominated by Chinese players besides Samsung on one hand, and Reliance Retail’s Jio Phone on the other. "There is a compelling need for making a comprehensive strategic support framework for building large domestic companies to have the desired level of control on technology in the strategic areas," Pankaj Mohindroo, chairman at India Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA), said in a statement issued Monday. The special package would help Indian companies tap the $250-billion global opportunities in the entry-level smartphone segment, he said, adding that they will help create "champion" companies in India similar to what the US, China, and South Korea did with their domestic companies. 

(ET, Jan 29, 2019)

Will India's new FDI e-commerce policy save the brick-and-mortar retailers Policy

Concerned about the impact of online shopping on their business, brick-and-mortar retailers in India had long been lobbying the government to tighten rules on e-commerce giants in India. Traditional retailers like Prashant Redekar, who runs a mobile phone shop in Mumbai, are pleased that India plans to roll out a new foreign direct investment (FDI) e-commerce policy on Friday, which will place restrictions on discounting and exclusive tie-ups with brands. “We've definitely seen a decline in footfall because of online shopping,” says Mr Redekar. E-commerce marketplaces “are giving discounts that you won't get in the shops and some phones are only available online”. Many mobile phone shops have already closed down because they could not survive the intense competition from online retailers and he hopes the new regulations will help ensure that his business does not suffer the same fate. But foreign-owned e-commerce companies such as Amazon and Flipkart, which dominate the e-commerce sector in India, are understood to be highly concerned about the impact of the new regulations on their revenues and want New Delhi to postpone, or scrap the launch of the policy altogether. The new restrictions could reduce online sales by $46 billion (Dh168.8bn) by 2022, Reuters cited a draft analysis by PwC as estimating.

(The National, Jan 28, 2019)

Will India's new FDI e-commerce policy save the brick-and-mortar retailers General

Concerned about the impact of online shopping on their business, brick-and-mortar retailers in India had long been lobbying the government to tighten rules on e-commerce giants in India.Traditional retailers like Prashant Redekar, who runs a mobile phone shop in Mumbai, are pleased that India plans to roll out a new foreign direct investment (FDI) e-commerce policy on Friday, which will place restrictions on discounting and exclusive tie-ups with brands. “We've definitely seen a decline in footfall because of online shopping,” says Mr Redekar. E-commerce marketplaces “are giving discounts that you won't get in the shops and some phones are only available online”. Many mobile phone shops have already closed down because they could not survive the intense competition from online retailers and he hopes the new regulations will help ensure that his business does not suffer the same fate. But foreign-owned e-commerce companies such as Amazon and Flipkart, which dominate the e-commerce sector in India, are understood to be highly concerned about the impact of the new regulations on their revenues and want New Delhi to postpone, or scrap the launch of the policy altogether. The new restrictions could reduce online sales by $46 billion (Dh168.8bn) by 2022, Reuters cited a draft analysis by PwC as estimating. Under the new FDI policy, India plans to ban e-commerce firms including US-based Amazon and Flipkart, which is majority owned by US retail giant Walmart, barring them to sell products from companies in which they own equity. The rules also state that e-commerce firms will not be able to “directly or indirectly influence the sale price of goods or services”, and they will be banned from selling products exclusively on their websites.

(The National, Jan 28, 2019)

Music and millennials how boAt tripled its revenues in a year and now sells 4 products every minute General

This Delhi-based startup forced the likes of JBL to cut prices in India. And now it's on the road to become a Rs 500-crore consumer electronics company by 2024.boAt began life as a consumer electronics startup in 2016 with the sole aim of bringing affordable, durable, and more importantly, ‘fashionable’ audio products and accessories to millennials. Today, having completed two years of selling earphones, headphones, speakers, travel chargers and premium rugged cables, it has clocked more than Rs 100 crore in domestic sales alone. From just two founders, it has grown to a 25-member team, opened offices in Delhi and Mumbai, signed up celebrity brand ambassadors, and created a community of over 800,000 ‘boAtheads’. Now, what are ‘boatheads’? Urban Dictionary says the term was an insult used to describe members of Singapore’s notorious gaming clan - The Merry Boat Heads. But India’s boAt seems to have turned that reference on its ‘head’ by making it sound like an aspirational term for its millennial buyers. So, anyone who owns a boAt product is anointed a ‘boAthead’ and made a part of the clan.

(Your Story, Jan 28, 2019)

Pegatron planning expansion outside of China as Apple looks to make flagship iPhones in India Telecom

Following Foxconn’s decision to expand its reach beyond China, Apple’s other contract manufacturer now plans to do the same. The Financial Times reports this morning that Pegatron will build production capacity in three new countries: India, Indonesia, and Vietnam.  Currently, Pegatron accounts for about 30 percent of Apple’s assembly orders. The company thus far has relied almost entirely on China, but it now intends to change that with its expansion to Indonesia, Vietnam, and India. Regarding the expansion beyond China, Pegatron president SJ Liao said the company will announce more details soon. The rate of expansion, however, will depend on the ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China, he added. Pegatron made no mention of Apple in its announcement, but it is hard to ignore the connection between Pegatron and Foxconn’s plans, and reports suggesting high-end iPhone assembly will soon commence in India. Further, the Chinese smartphone and consumer electronics markets have slowed recently, causing companies to focus on other large markets like India

(9T05 Mac, Jan 27, 2019)

UP CM Yogi Adityanath kick-starts electronics production cluster in Greater Noida IT

Tegna Electronics Pvt Ltd, an SPV of Taiwan Electrical and Electronics Manufacturers' Association in association with Chinese mobile player Oppo will set up a greenfield electronics manufacturing cluster in Greater Noida at an investment of Rs 3,500 crore in next 5-10 years. The project is expected to be completed over 18 months and around 2 lakh product units will be produced daily. It is expected to create 25,000-30,000 jobs. The foundation stone was laid on Friday in Greater Noida by Minister of IT and Electronics Ravi Shankar Prasad and UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.   The state had attracted investment commitments of over Rs 4 lakh crore during the UP Investors Summit held last year, UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said. Uttar Pradesh's enabling policies, investor-friendly environment and better connectivity have positioned the state as an ideal investment destination, particularly for electronics manufacturing. "UP has transformed itself in recent years, offering a compelling proposition for investors. India is taking great strides in mobile and mobile component manufacturing and over 50 per cent of that work is happening in UP," he said. Our government had a strong focus on mega infrastructure projects such as Bundelkhand Defence Corridor and the Jewar international airport project, he said.

(DNA, Jan 26, 2019)

Budget 2019: ELCINA's key suggestions for Finance Minister for electronics sector Policy

To get their expectations fulfilled in upcoming interim Budget 2019, the Electronic Industries Association of India (ELCINA) recommended high focus on promoting investments in electronic component manufacturing and investment promotion in high value added manufacturing segments such as components (PIEMEC Group), PCB’s, ATMP in semiconductors and EMS. ELCINA said “MSMEs must have a specific mention in this budget as they are not getting benefits under current MSME Act definition which defines a very low Investment Limit of only up to Rs 10 Cr for Medium Scale enterprises.” It suggested 100% exemption of direct tax on export profits for first 5 years followed by 50% exemption for the next 5 years and 6% interest subvention as currently available for the garments industry @3%.  Further to kick start the export of electronics from the country, and also attract large domestic and foreign investments in the sector, it recommended support for export via 200% deduction of trade fair expenses to grow this industry and focus on exports, this support from government is crucial, especially for MSME’s. ELCINA in its pre-budget recommendation said “We are recommending 200% as the total expenses for a trade fair are about double of the amount paid to the organizers for space and construction.” In its pre-budget proposal, ELCINA recommended that Value Added Manufacturing Scheme (VAMS) should be announced in line with MSIPS for high value addition segments such as Components, PCBs & ATMP by providing direct investment subsidy.

(KNN India, Jan 25, 2019)

E-waste is not waste, but treasure General

Is electronic and electrical waste (e-waste) actually waste? It may be difficult to accept this when one considers the fact that it consists of rare metals like gold, silver, cobalt, platinum, rare earth metals like neodymium, and high qualities of aluminum and tin. In fact, there is 100 times more gold in a tonne of smart phones than in a tonne of gold ore itself! All these precious metals are virtually being thrown away, thanks to poor recycling techniques and capacity of the e-waste, globally. It’s a double whammy as poor recycling standards mean that 80 per cent of the e-waste lands in landfills globally, leading to loss of these precious metals. The UN-World Economic Forum report on e-waste titled, ‘A new circular vision for electronics’, said, “It’s uncommon to throw away gold, silver or platinum jewellery, but that is not true about electronic and electrical goods containing the same precious metals; up to 7 per cent of the world’s gold may currently be contained in e-waste.”It notes that the waste stream has already reached 48.5 million tonnes (MT) in 2018, and the figure is expected to double if nothing changes. Moreover, only 20 per cent of global e-waste is recycled.

(DownToEarth, Jan 25, 2019)

E-comm talks : India must stand Firm IT

Despite the freezing weather at Davos, recent developments in this Swiss town have turned the heat on India. In a show of strength, on the last day of the annual World Economic Forum meeting, nearly 70 countries, including China, issued a joint statement confirming their intention to commence WTO negotiations on trade-related aspects of electronic commerce. Speaking at the same platform a day earlier, Shinzo Abe, Japan’s Prime Minister, announced that he would “set in train a new track for looking at data governance — call it the Osaka Track — under the roof of the WTO”. What are the implications of these developments for India, one of the largest economies that chose to stay away from the joint statement on electronic commerce? At the outset, it is important to understand what the oligarchs of the digital world are seeking through the WTO negotiations on digital economy and e-commerce. First, they want to have access to free and unrestricted flow of data — the raw material that fuels their business. Their principal targets are large developing countries, such as China, India, Indonesia, Nigeria and South Africa, which generate large volumes of digital data.

(BusinessLine, Jan 25, 2019)

Smartphone makers seek export incentives to grow India production Telecom

Smartphone makers in India are calling for export credits on devices and tariff cuts on machinery imports as part of measures they say will make Asia's third-biggest economy a global smartphone manufacturing hub. The Indian Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA), whose members include some of the industry's biggest names including Apple Inc, made the proposals in a 174-page document reviewed by Reuters and submitted to the government ahead of its annual budget announcement next week. "As the country is nearing to achieve saturation point... without an export take off manufacturing growth cannot be sustained and accelerated," the ICEA said in the document. The ICEA confirmed it submitted the document. The finance and technology ministries did not respond to requests for comment.  The government's 'Make in India' campaign beginning 2014 and gradual tax increases on imports of mobile phone components have spurred the creation of more than 260 manufacturing unit .

(ET, Jan 25, 2019)

Hyundai Electronics enters India with consumer durables General

South Korea-based Hyundai Electronics has ventured into the Indian consumer durables market with electronic products and home appliances. “Hyundai Corporation has ventured into the Indian market with a wide range of products ranging from electronics and home appliances, like smart LEDs, air conditioners, washing machines and refrigerators,” it said. Commenting on the development, Akshay Dhoot, CEO, Hyundai Electronics, said: “India is one of the key emerging markets with a burgeoning consumer durable segment and with Hyundai’s entry, we are committed to give Indian consumers an exposure to smart goods technology and product diversification methodologies, manufacturing cutting-edge goods.” 

(Siasat Daily, Jan 25, 2019)

New duties on imported electronic components may be postponed Policy

The government may put on hold its recent notification advancing the date of levying duties on imported electronic components under a Make In India plan after handset makers with domestic manufacturing and assembling facilities protested that these levies would increase the cost of locally manufactured mobile phones, making it cheaper to import them and effectively killing some 100-odd plants already set up for assembly.  “We are seriously considering the proposal made by industry associations and device makers, and will soon announce our decision to address the problem,” a senior government official, who didn’t wish to be identified, told ET.  The government advanced the timetable of its Phased Manufacturing Programme (PMP) earlier this month. Beginning February 1, import of LCD (display panel) assembly, vibrator motor and touch panel were scheduled to attract 12.5% countervailing duty (CVD) on imports and excise duty of 1% without input tax credit. The government says it is bringing forward the date by only two months from April 1 to February 1 to coincide with the Budget. But some in the industry had earlier inferred that they could start manufacturing these components locally any time before March 31, 2020, and hence had planned their investments accordingly.

(ET, Jan 23, 2019)

A Boost For Fabless Chip Design in India IT

There was a lot of excitement when the National Policy on Electronics was announced in 2012. However, in the six years that it has been in existence, it has not proven to be very effective in its aim of stemming the outflow of foreign exchange for electronics. Back in 2012 it was widely opined that India’s foreign exchange bill for electronics would exceed its bill for oil by 2020. India’s electronics import bill has doubled in five years to $57 billion. However, thanks to the depreciating Rupee, the oil import bill is expected to touch $125 billion in this financial year (ending in March 2019) - so maybe the two are still a ways away from being neck-and-neck. But that's cold comfort. Statistics gleaned from several articles published in 2018 say that nearly 50% of the total amount of electronic products sold in India are imported. If you take the percentage of electronics components imported, it is even higher – up to 80%, according to online news reports. And India’s appetite for electronics products seems insatiable.

(Design Reuse, Jan 23, 2019)

Samsung, LG rejig top deck to take on online brands, rivals General

Korean consumer electronics firms Samsung and LG have rejigged their senior management teams in India even as they look to defend their turf against increased competition in smartphones and televisions from newer entrants and online-focused brands.  Samsung India has created separate heads to handle the online business for smartphones and consumer electronics as it looks to significantly increase its online presence, particularly in the smartphone segment.  The company has created separate heads to handle the online business for smartphones and consumer electronics. Corporate vice president Asim Warsi has been made the online head for smartphones while consumer electronics head Raju Pullan has been given additional responsibility to handle online business for televisions and home appliances.  Warsi was earlier head of mobile phone marketing and entire online sales team.  “Samsung wants to gain leadership in online sales to beat Xiaomi,” a senior industry executive told ET, adding that the company would launch models for Amazon and Flipkart across products. Samsung has also replaced the expat chiefs for the overall mobile phone and consumer electronics businesses in India. JB Park is now the head of the mobile phone business, while Moon Goo Chin will be handling the consumer electronics business.

(ET, Jan 18, 2019)

Indians are buying less gold and electronics and that's helping the economy General

In December 2018, India’s imports recorded a year-on-year decline for the first time since September 2016, according to official estimates released from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. Overall imports in the month fell marginally to $41 billion from $41.9 billion in December 2017 and $43.1 billion in November 2018.  The reduction in the country’s import bill is good for a developing economy like India, which is dependent on imports for some necessary items like oil. The recent/steady weakening of the rupee had made these imports even costlier. Despite falling on a monthly basis since November 2018, oil imports showed a year-on-year increase of 4% to $10.3 billion. However, as the cost of essential imports like oil rose, Indians’ demand for discretionary items like gold, jewellery, and electronics fell.  India’s gold imports have been declining for a while now. They fell by 24% year-on-year to $2.6 billion in December 2018, capping an overall decline of 7% to $24.8 billion in the April-December period.  While this can be attributed to a number of factors, the most prominent one is high domestic prices (following the depreciation of the rupee) which has caused rural demand to plummet. As people in rural areas like smallholder farmers lack access to formal banking channels, they usually invest in gold. 

(Business Insider, Jan 17, 2019)

This software startup is the first in India to jump onto shopping deals space IT

It is not usual for a hardcore business-to-business software-as-a-service (SaaS) startup in India to enter into something very typical of business-to-consumer (B2C) space – deals and coupons for online shopping. However, Capillary Technologies, among the most prominent enterprise startups in India that provides cloud-based Omni channel customer engagement to retailers and brands, has made the first move. The startup recently launched its deals and coupons shopping app called Deal Hunt across more than 20 categories including fashion, beauty, food, health, travel, and electronics. “We are the first SaaS company to venture into the deals space,” Capillary Technologies’ director of e-commerce Soumajit Bhowmik told FE Online in an interview. The app has an AI-powered back end that curate and showcase offer that are most relevant for users. Majority of the brands that Capillary works with are from the B2C segment that helped it to understand how the B2C market works. “After having helped brands strengthen customer loyalty, Deal Hunt is an effort to help brands acquire new customers. At the same time, the end customers also benefit from the exclusive offers that Capillary brings to the table, said Bhowmik. Capillary has partnered with 400+ brands for the app including Walmart, McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, KFC, Puma, Samsung, Unilever etc., that are already its customers. Apart from these brands, it is looking at new tie-ups as well.

(FE, Jan 17, 2019)

Electronics import duty working in India’s favour! Dec trade deficit falls to 10-month low, thanks to this IT

Import of electronics -- India’s second highest value import item -- shrank 5% in December, helping bring overall import bill down by 2.4% on-year in the month. This, in turn, coupled by an uptick of 0.4% in exports, led to India’s trade deficit in December falling to a 10-month low of $13 billion. In November 2018, India’s trade deficit was at $17 billion.  The government levy of import duty on electronic items seems to be working, with India’s trade deficit in December 2018 falling to a 10-month low, thanks to a contraction in the import of electronic goods. A decline in import of electronic goods indicates the “positive impact of the high import duty imposed by the government”, research and brokerage firm Anand Rathi said in a note .Import of electronics — India’s second highest value import item — shrank 5% in December, helping bring overall import bill down by 2.4% on-year in the month. This, in turn, coupled by an uptick of 0.4% in exports, led to India’s trade deficit in December falling to a 10-month low of $13 billion. In November 2018, India’s trade deficit was at $17 billion. The narrowing trade deficit was also mainly due to a fall in import of crude oil, whose share in India’s total imports fell from 32% in October 2018 to 26% in December 2018. Crude oil is India’s highest value import item.

(FE, Jan 17, 2019)