IT

Xiaomi's key smartphone component supplier Holitech Technology to start making in India from next year

ooks like Xiaomi's Supplier Investment Summit which was organised in April this year to help non-local component suppliers to start making locally is bearing fruit. One of its key component suppliers, Holitech Technology, on Monday announced that it will start component manufacturing in India by Q1 2019. Holitech Technology has signed an MoU with the state of Andhra Pradesh and will start local manufacturing in the city of Tirupati for Xiaomi.

Holitech Technology announced that it would be investing nearly $200 million over three years in India and would be the first manufacturer in the country to manufacture Compact Camera Modules (CCM), Thin Film Transistor (TFT), Capacitive Touch Screen module (CTP), Flexible Printed Circuits (FPC), and fingerprint sensor locally. The local manufacturing also aims to generate 6,000 jobs in three years.

(India Today, Aug 07, 2018)


Hyundai plans to introduce full range of electric vehicles in India

South Korean auto major Hyundai Motor is planning to introduce its full range of electric vehicles in India as it tries to expand its product offerings to compete with market leader Maruti SuzukiNSE 0.43 % for a bigger share of the Indian roads.  Close on the heels of Maruti Suzuki announcing plans to manufacture electric vehicles by 2020, Hyundai has commissioned a study to explore manufacturing of such vehicles in India. This will be in addition to introducing the globally successful Kona SUV by importing CKD packs to India by the second half of 2019. YK Koo, MD of Hyundai Motor India, said the aim is to have a range of electric cars in India and cater to buyers in different price segments. The company is currently studying various aspects of battery manufacturing and sourcing parts from the local market “We will be adopting a top down approach for EVs in the country. 

(ET, Aug 13, 2018)


IT Ministry urges e-commerce players to set up data centres locally, at the earliest

With India tightening its data security regime, the government recently told e-commerce giants such as Amazon to set up their data centres in the country at the earliest. “I have emphasised in my meeting with top authorities of Amazon India that they must urgently explore the possibility of setting up their data centre in India,” Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister of Electronics and Information Technology and Law & Justice, told BusinessLine in an interview here. The meeting included Amit Agarwal, Global Senior Vice-President and Country Head of Amazon India. When contacted by BusinessLine, Amazon India declined to comment. Prasad said this initiative must be taken on a priority basis, as generation of data is integral to e-commerce operations. Therefore, safety, security and element of consent for transborder migration of data are equally important. “They (Amazon) are welcome to do business in India, as it offers them a good market. But India and Indians are equally concerned about their data,” Prasad said, adding that India is one of the largest markets for Amazon so it should not be reluctant to set up a server here.

(BusinessLine, Aug 13, 2018)


Big boost to Modi’s ‘Digital India’; e-payments surge over 8-fold in 5 years to 2,070 crore

In a big boost to government’s ‘Digital India’ initiative, e- payment transactions recorded a significant jump to 2070.98 crore in 2017-18, Minister of State for Information Technology (IT) said in a reply to a question in Lok Sabha yesterday. In 2013-14, 220 crore e-transactions were recorded. The central government is working with different stakeholders namely smart cities, banks, payment service providers and state to further promote the cashless payments, the minister also said in response to another question. A target of 3,013 crore digital payments transactions has been set by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology in 2018-19. The ministry uses a performance scorecard and a bank ranking system to monitor and also evaluate the performance of the lenders.

(FE, Aug 09, 2018)


India heading for digital boom: Ravi Shankar Prasad

Union Minister for Electronics and IT Ravi Shankar Prasad predicted a digital boom in India and said the country is becoming a hub of electronics manufacturing in the world.  Inaugurating the state-of-the-art Electronics and IT Enclave of Software Technology Parks of India (STPI), Bhubaneswar here on Saturday, Prasad said from mobile manufacturing to automobile and medical electronics to solar power, everything is now being manufactured in the country.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had wished to create an India of 3 ITs - India’s Talents plus Information Technology can be India Tomorrow. “Digital India means empowering ordinary people with the power of technology to reform, transform and develop India. It will bridge the digital divide between the haves and have-nots and bring digital inclusion based on technology which is low cost and development oriented,” he said.  

The STPI ELITE that was inaugurated is the biggest in Eastern India. It will promote innovation, entrepreneurship and incubation besides digitally empowering people and creating more employment in Odisha.The Government has been promoting electronic manufacturing in a big way. He said from just two mobile manufacturing units in the country till 2014, the country now has 120 mobile factories in India, employing nearly five lakh people in the last four years.

(Indian Express, Aug 05, 2018)


Foreign portfolio investors are reducing exposure to Indian IT

Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) are cutting their exposure to Indian IT companies, with WiproNSE 0.80 % seeing a higher fall in their holdings, followed by InfosysNSE 1.17 %, as the sector continues to adjust to the disruption caused by digital technologies.   Infosys’ foreign portfolio investors have continued to sell their shares in the company, even as asset manager Franklin Templeton joined ranks with some of the IT company’s largest investors in raising its stake.  Foreign portfolio holdings at the Bengaluru headquartered company dropped 37 basis points sequentially to 34.82 per cent. Cross-town rival Wipro, whose turnaround has been a work-in progress for years, saw an even greater fall in foreign portfolio holdings. Foreign investors hold 8.72 per cent of the company, down from 9.27 per cent at the end of March. 
(ET, July 16, 2018)


BHIM needs Mbappé speed to improve track record

While usage of the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) as a digital payment mode is rising, the government-owned UPI app BHIM, or Bharat Interface for Money, is not keeping pace, ceding ground to non-stateplayers. According to the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), which runs the BHIM app, its share was at the lowest since inception in terms of UPI transactions by value at 15% of the total in June. NPCI figures show Rs 6,261 crore was transferred through the BHIM app out of Rs 41,000 crore through UPI. From around 42% of UPI transactions in September 2017, the share fell to 18% in April this year followed by 17% in May and 15% in June. The slide has been fastest since the end of 2017, when Paytm and Google Tez joined UPI. Such third-party applications as Phone-Pe, Paytm and Tez have captured a greater share of UPI transactions. 
(ET, July 16, 2018)


Good news for local cyber security product makers Modi government to prefer domestic firms

The government has mandated giving preference to locally produced cyber security products in all public procurement where intellectual property rights are owned by companies or start-ups incorporated in India. The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) said in an order that it “hereby notifies that Cyber Security being a strategic sector, preference shall be provided by all procuring entities to domestically manufactured/produced Cyber Security Products”.  The notification, issued earlier this month, is based on Public Procurement (Preference to Make in India) Order 2017 which aims at enhancing income and employment in the country. According to the order, the preference will be granted to a company which is incorporated and registered in India or startup firms that meet the definition as prescribed by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), provided the revenue from the product and intellectual property (IP) licensing accrues to the firm in India.

(FE, July 15, 2018)


IoT Software Market in Manufacturing | Industries | MarketResearchNest.com Global

MarketResearchNest.com adds “Global IoT Software Market Size, Status and Forecast 2025” new report to its research database. The report spread across 95 pages with multiple tables and figures in it.

This comprehensive IoT Software Market research report includes a brief on these trends that can help the businesses operating in the industry to understand the market and strategize for their business expansion accordingly. The research report analyses the market size, industry share, growth, key segments, CAGR and key drivers.

(Chronicle India, July 14, 2018)


WhatsApp rolls out new feature in bid to curb spread of rumours

Facebook Inc.’s WhatsApp messaging service on Tuesday rolled out a new feature that would clearly mark forwarded messages in a move aimed at curbing the spread of rumours on its platform.

“This extra context will help make one-on-one and group chats easier to follow. It also helps you determine if your friend or relative wrote the message they sent or if it originally came from someone else,” WhatsApp said in its blog.

“It’s important for people to know if a message they’ve received has been forwarded or not. Without this context, it’s not clear whether a message is new or a potential rumour shared by others. The extra information can help people decide if they should take action on the information they have received,” said a WhatsApp spokesperson.

(BS, July 11, 2018)


Cyber security, data privacy critical for growth of Digital India

As India continues to leapfrog into the digital revolution and brace the dream of Digital India that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has for the nation, it is also time to take into cognisance the threats that are surrounding us. One of the major challenge that India is currently facing are related to data security and addressing the privacy issues.

The need of the hour is to ensure growth of the digital economy while keeping personal data of citizens secure and protected. Data is being considered as the new oil and in the current economic climate all organisations are looking to exploit the information it holds as much as possible. While many organisations are looking at how they can make most of the data that they have, there are also concerns on how to protect their business data. With data breaches multiplying in frequency and scale, the importance of addressing cyber-security at the highest levels of corporate leadership cannot be understated.

(DNA, June 23, 2018)


Sandhar Technologies inks JV with Taiwan's Whetron Electronics for active safety systems

After becoming partners through a technical collaboration in April last year, India’s Sandhar Technologies signed a 50:50 JV with Taiwan's Whetron Electronics Company on June 21, with an ambition to supply safety related auto electronic components like rear parking sensors, cameras, lane departure warning, blind spot detection, and tyre pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) to the Indian vehicle OEMs. Sandhar, which had earlier planned to explore the opportunities of the technical collaboration, soon realised that to cater to the large volume requirements of the Indian market with the upcoming AIS 145 regulations from July 2019, and to bring down costs, it would be imperative to localise the technology and build a local establishment in India. Hence, the company pressed upon Whetron to strike a JV, so as to bring a transparency in technology transfer as well as allow for local development of new innovations, rather than importing everything from abroad. While all four-wheeler segments, including passenger cars and CVs will come under the purview of the  in talks for some of the products like USB chargers with leading OEMs in the country.

(Autocar Professional, June 22, 2018)


Big step forward! India to have own GPS-like satellite navigation system

India will soon have its own satellite navigation system on the lines of GPS by the US, GLONASS by Russia, European Union’s Galileo and China’s BNS, with the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) in the process of coming out with a tender to invite companies, including start-ups, to commercially manufacture NavIC chips. NavIC, or navigation with Indian constellation, developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro), allows navigation in the Indian Ocean region using Geosynchronous Orbit (GSO) satellite and Geostationary Orbit (GEO) satellite. “We are working on NavIC and will soon commercially launch it. Preparations are in full swing in my ministry,” minister for electronics and IT Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters when asked when would India have its own satellite navigation system.

(FE, June 19, 2018)


Urvashi Rautela launches electronics store Tech adda in Kolkata

The flagship store of Tech adda is located in Park Street, Kolkata. Tech adda is an electronics store that specialises in the latest gadgets and accessories. The store of the brand houses a corner of its kind called 'What's New', which displays the latest in gadgets and accessories. Speaking at the launching event, Urvashi said: "I am very much tech savy. I love technology and I think its not only me but the entire youth.  The current generation loves technology. Its something very handy and we all are addicted to our phones and gadgets." Tech adda Managing Director, Nandan Saha said: "We aspire to be the largest organised retail chain in mobiles and smart gadgets in India. "At Tech adda, you will get exceptional service along with a diverse range of products under one roof. We promise you value for money and a wholesome experience." Tarini Das, Business Head, Tech adda, said: While buying Tech related products nowadays, we need to check innumerable parameters. "At Tech adda we believe in giving ample choice with expert guidance which is unbiased to any brand."

(India Blooms, June 16, 2018)


Kerala gearing up to be the next electronics hardware destination

The arrival of Cerium Systems, a leading global design services company for Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) and embedded software, has spurred hopes of Kochi’s development as an international destination in hardware electronics. With Bengaluru, the IT hub of India, reaching the saturation point in development due to soaring life expenses and never ending traffic snarl ups, technology majors are eyeing tier II cities and Kochi stands a chance to cash in on the opportunity. It is the huge talent pool and Kerala’s track record as the safest, healthiest and most environment-friendly state that attracts industry majors to the state. The arrival of a major chip design company will attract more hardware giants to Kochi and what happened in Bengaluru 20 years ago will now happen in Kochi, feel industry experts.

Cerium Systems Co-founder and CEO Sudhakar  Palisetti shares with The New Indian Express his thoughts on Kochi’s chances to develop as the next electronics hardware destination.

(Indian Express, June 13, 2018)


Ministry of Electronics and IT to avail benefit of e-Hospital for easy access to health facilities

The Ministry of Electronics and IT, Govt.of India has complemented and selected Regional Institute of Medical Sciences, Imphal along with All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi for interaction with the Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad with persons availing benefits of e-Hospital for easy access of health facilities.

This is in recognition of successful implementation of e-Hospital and automation activities in the institute. The interaction program is tentatively scheduled on 14th June, 2018 from 2 to 4 pm and the same will be telecast live by Doordarshan National.  The Online Registration System (ORS) facility of OPD patients is available at the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences Hospital (RIMS Hospital), Imphal.

(E-pao.net, June 07, 2018)


Ministry of Electronics and IT to avail benefit of e-Hospital for easy access to health facilities

The Ministry of Electronics and IT, Govt.of India has complemented and selected Regional Institute of Medical Sciences, Imphal along with All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi for interaction with the Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad with persons availing benefits of e-Hospital for easy access of health facilities.

This is in recognition of successful implementation of e-Hospital and automation activities in the institute. The interaction program is tentatively scheduled on 14th June, 2018 from 2 to 4 pm and the same will be telecast live by Doordarshan National.  The Online Registration System (ORS) facility of OPD patients is available at the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences Hospital (RIMS Hospital), Imphal.

(E-pao.net, June 07, 2018)


Delta Electronics installs DC fast-charger for EVs in Mumbai

The charging station was launched by Dr Harsh Vardhan, union minister for science and technology and earth sciences, government of India and  Devendra Fadnavis, chief minister of Maharashtra.

Akshaye Barbuddhe, business head, EV Charging Solutions business, Delta Electronics India said “Our entire suite of solutions in EV Charging including the Bharat Chargers will complement the Indian e-mobility initiative providing a reliable technology."

"The DC fast charger station has the capacity of 15 kW and is based on the Bharat EV specifications standard. Our comprehensive portfolio of energy efficient advanced EV charging stations will offer solutions to all kind of e-buses, e-cars and commercial electric-vehicle (EV), including the newly launched e-cars such as Tata Tigor and Mahindra Verito. Once fully charged the car battery is able to sustain up to 100 to 120km. The chargers are ARAI certified and is designed and manufactured locally,” added Barbuddhe.

(Autocar Pro News Desk, Jun 07, 2018)


Microsoft agrees to buy coding site GitHub for $7.5B

Microsoft Corp. said it reached an agreement to buy GitHub Inc., the code repository company popular with many software developers, for $7.5 billion in stock. The deal will add to Microsoft’s operating income in its fiscal year 2020, the company said in a statement Monday. Microsoft expects the deal to close by the end of 2018. The shares were up 0.6 percent to $101.38 at 9:55 a.m. in New York.

The acquisition provides a way forward for San Francisco-based GitHub, which has been trying for nine months to find a new chief executive officer and has yet to make a profit from its popular service that allows coders to share and collaborate on their work. It also helps Microsoft, which is increasingly relying on open-source software, to add programming tools and tie up with a company that has become a key part of the way Microsoft writes its own software.

(Information Management, June 04, 2018)


Hero Electronix acquires IoT venture Zenatix

Hero Electronix, the electronics venture of the Hero Group, has acquired a majority stake in enterprise-focused IoT (internet-of-things) solutions company Zenatix. Gurugram-based Zenatix has a proprietary IoT stack that includes hardware, software and machine learning platform that analyses data from connected devices to deliver energy savings, predictive maintenance and consumer analytics. Zenatix had previously raised $1.5 million from a clutch of investors including Blume Ventures, Pi Ventures, Snapdeal founders Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal, and Google India MD Rajan Anandan. The acquisition provides an exit to all these investors.

The venture was co-founded by three IITtians, Amarjeet Singh, Rahul Bhalla and Vishal Bansal, in 2013. Its WattMan solution delivers automated and intelligent controls thereby plugging energy and revenue leakages through a centralized single touch point. It counts Vodafone and Domino's as customers and is targeting 100,000 deployments in three years across retail, banking, F&B and hospitality sectors. It analyses over 10 million data points every hour, data that is collected from ACs, ATMs, and milk booths deployed across 1,500 sites, to deliver value in areas such as predictive maintenance and consumer experience analytics.

(TOI, May 29, 2018)


Ravi Shankar Prasad "Digital India has become a mass movement in 4 years"

Having completed four years in power, digital delivery of services and employment generation through the common service centre scheme are the biggest achievements of the National Democratic Alliance government, Minister of Electronics and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad told Indian EXpress in an interview. Prasad said that digital health and literacy are areas where work needs to be accelerated. Digital India has become a mass movement touching the life of common and poor people. Four years down the line, common service centre movement has become big. From 23,000 common service centres in 2014, there are 2.91 lakh now. Apart from providing digital delivery of services, they have also created employment for 10 lakh people and have created entrepreneurship.

(Indian Express, May 28, 2018)


Digital India comes of age: Under the Modi government it is giving rise to employment, entrepreneurship and empowerment

After coming to power, Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave the vision of Digital India as an important programme to transform India through the power of technology and bridge the digital divide. Other programmes like Start-up India, Stand-up India and Skill India were designed to become an important adjunct to this larger narrative. Four years down the line, empirical evidence suggests that Digital India is not only creating empowerment but also generating employment opportunities and promoting entrepreneurship. Laying down of 2,74,246 km of optic fibre connecting 1.15 lakh gram panchayats under BharatNet, in comparison to a mere 358 km under the previous government, speaks volumes about the speed with which we have created digital infrastructure.

(TOI, May 24, 2018)


Digital India: India to have 700 digital villages by the year-end

The network of Common Service Centres (CSCs), which act as access points for delivery of various electronic services to villages in India, are set to be expanded to 2.50 lakh gram panchayats by the year end. According to minister for electronics and information technology Ravi Shankar Prasad, the CSC movement has transformed into a movement of change bringing services such as banking, pension distribution, digital literacy and telemedicine to rural and remote villages through electronic infrastructure. The CSC project is providing sustainable digital access to rural communities and giving necessary impetus for upliftment of the rural community, he said.

(FE, May 24, 2018)


Facebook received over 22K data requests from Indian govt. in 2017

Facebook received more than 22,000 requests from the Indian government for data in 2017, the second highest globally after the US, the social networking giant said. The company in its Transparency Report said it had received 9,853 total requests in January-June 2017, followed by 12,171 requests in the latter half of the year. This is about 62 per cent higher than 2016 when the Indian government made 13,613 such requests. According to the half-yearly report, Facebook — which is the second largest user base for the social networking giant — received 12,171 requests from Indian government agencies for 17,262 users/accounts in the second half of 2017. It had produced some data in 53 per cent of the requests made.

(BusinessLine, May 17, 2018)


Electronics Giant LG launches Enterprise Blockchain platform, Monachian

LG, popular worldwide for their consumer electronics is launching an Enterprise Blockchain platform called Monachain which can be used in multiple offline and online sectors.

Monachain was developed by the Blockchain department in LG’s IT subsidiary CNS. Their initial focus is to use Blockchain for common problems like logistics, supply chain management and digital authentication.

(Crypto News, May 14, 2018)


Why data security must be government’s top priority for Modi’s ‘Digital India’ to become reality

According to the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, India witnessed more than 27,000 cyber security threats in the first six months of 2017.

According to the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, India witnessed more than 27,000 cyber security threats in the first six months of 2017. The number presents a strong case for data security and the need for records management in government institutions. Further, with the increasing internet penetration and emphasis on the Digital India initiative, securely managing government records has become the need of the hour. Records Management is an important initiative undertaken by any organisation. In order to effectively manage government records, a robust Records Management System (RMS) is the key.

(FE, May 14, 2018)


Apple will have to come to India sooner or later: MeitY officials

US tech giant Apple Inc has to come to India for manufacturing, sooner or later, as it will not like to miss the growth in India, sources at the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) said.

Various sources at the Ministry said the company cannot ignore the fact that others like Samsung and Xiaomi are doing well in India, and that India will not give in to its ‘extra’ demands for setting up manufacturing here.

“Their demands are different from others and without their assuring jobs or benefit for Indians, how can we tweak policy for them? If they create jobs for, for instance, one lakh Indians or invest in land here, then may be we can think of something,” a top official at MeitY told BusinessLine.

(BusinessLine, May 07, 2018)


Telecom Commission approves Wi-Fi services on flights in India

Air travellers in India will soon get in-flight internet access, with the Telecom Commission, the highest decision-making body at the telecom department, approving the proposal on Tuesday.

“We will now have to create a separate category of licensees called in-flight connectivity provider. These will provide internet as well as voice services within Indian territorial airspace... in both domestic and international flights,” telecom secretary Aruna Sundararajan told reporters.

The telecom department will now start the process of framing license terms for in-flight connectivity (IFC) providers and then invite applications, she said, adding that this process could take three months. IFC providers will be required to pay an annual license fee of Re1 initially.

(LiveMint, May 01, 2018)


India, Japan keen to bolster cooperation in cyber security, start-ups

Electronics and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad today met Japan's Minister of Economy Trade and Industry Hiroshige Seko and discussed wide ranging issues including creation of start-up hub, cooperation in the field of cyber security and exchange of IT professionals.

"There is a great convergence between the two countries... The minister has expressed a keen desire to work more into the field of cyber security. As he rightly puts it, Japan is the centre of hardware and India is the center of software...how can we work together more and more," Prasad said after the meeting. During the talks, Prasad called for a mutually complimentary relationship between two countries leveraging the hardware potential of Japan and India's digital prowess.

(PTI, May 01, 2018)


US-based i-Life Digital Partners with Flipkart to Enter the Indian Electronics Market

US-based i-Life Digital Technology, today announced signing an exclusive partnership with Flipkart, India’s largest e-commerce platform, to enter the Indian electronics market. I-Life has started accepting pre-orders of its top-selling “ZED” range of budget-smart products for Indian consumers in its maiden sale and will start delivering from May 3 onwards. The company is targeting first-time buyers and consumers in tier 1&2 cities by leveraging Flipkart’s country-wide network.

The “ZED” series includes: ZED Book 2-in-1 Detachable Laptop (in gold and grey), ZED Air laptop (in silver and grey) and ZED Air Pro (silver) ultra-slim notebook (the slimmest notebook in its category). These products, according to IDC, ruled the top spot in the entry-level notebook and tablet category last year in the META region. All the products are attractively priced in the INR 10,000 -15,000 range.

(BW Online Bureau, Apr 23, 2018)


Broadcasters push for bundled ad sales as more viewers go digital

With the rapid rise in video consumption over digital platforms, broadcasters are pushing for bundled advertising sales for television and digital to unlock greater value. For IPL 2018, Star India is offering bundled advertising spots across Star Sports and Hotstar at Rs 10 lakh per 10 seconds compared with just Rs 5.85 lakh to Rs 6.5 lakh for a 10-second TV spot last year on Sony. 
The response has so far been mixed. While some advertisers like Vivo and Coca Cola have opted for the bundled deals, others have chosen either TV or digital. But the concept has definitely created a buzz in the market. Most media experts agree that with falling data prices and increasing smartphone penetration, bundling is definitely a trend to watch for.                 

(ET, Apr 23, 2018)


Indian Intelligence Services monitoring Russia's war on Telegram

Indian intelligence services are "closely following" the progress of Russia's ongoing effort to shut encrypted messaging giant Telegram, a senior government official has told Business Standard. The move comes amid mounting concerns in India over the use of encrypted messaging services by criminal organizations and terrorists -but also about illegal surveillance by the government.

Last week, Russia's top court granted a request by the country's federal security service, the FSB, to block Telegram after it declined to decrypt messages sent by an individual involved in the St Petersburg metro bombing on April 3, 2017. Sixteen people were killed, including the perpetrator, and another 64 people were injured in the jihadist attack.

(BS, Apr 21, 2018)


Pact between India, Sri Lanka for co-operation in IT, electronics

The Cabinet was on Wednesday informed about a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between India and Sri Lanka for promoting co-operation in Information Technology (IT) and Electronics field. The pact was signed on January 15, 2018 during the visit of Minister of Electronics and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad to Sri Lanka.

An official release said that the Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been “apprised of a MoU between India and Sri Lanka for promoting co-operation in the field of Information Technology and Electronics”.

(Indian Express, Mar 14, 2018)


Make In India’ delivery patchy: Here’s why rethinking is needed

Make-in-India is one of the key cornerstones of the current government to raise growth rates and create employment. It has been almost four years since the initiative was launched, with much hope and fanfare. The government has, since then, initiated several useful steps and reforms to actualise it. The most recent upgrade in credit rating and the 30-odd point jump in the Ease of Doing Business rankings will get us some mileage. However, it is clear that the delivery of Make-in-India is rather patchy. Several reasons have been advanced for its lack lustre show, including highly overvalued currency, unfavourable ASEAN-India Free Trade Area, tight and unyielding monetary policies, very high real interest rates, high logistics costs, etc. All of them have a degree of truth. But it has to be recognised that beyond all these, an entrepreneur or corporate will invest only if they get remunerative prices and returns are competitive to what the other sectors yield. This last aspect has not been addressed at all by the government or inflation conscience keepers. Had this single factor been corrected, Make-in-India would have had a far better report card to show.

 (FE, Mar 12, 2018)


A look inside the electronic voting machine

Unlike voting machines in some countries which are connected to a network, Indian EVMs are standalone. Tampering an EVM through the hardware port or through a Wi-Fi connection is not possible as there is no frequency receiver or wireless decoder in the EVM machine. 

 This would mean that the institutional safeguards to protect the EVM (sealing and      hardware checks, among others) are breached to fit a device within the EVM and to manipulate it from outside. In M3 machines, this is also technologically ruled out, as they shut down in the event of tampering.

(The Hindu, Mar 10, 2018)


Internet economy to surge to $500 billion by 2022

Mobile penetration in India is now passed   As phones get ‘smarter’ and more ‘affordable’, the next big development in the telecom sector is the increasing usage of mobile data. Betting big on India’s growing mobile data consumption, Aruna Sundararajan, Chairman, Telecom Commission, and Secretary, Department of Telecommunications, asserts that the current situation will facilitate a surge in the country’s internet and mobile economy applications, which is emerging as a key economic driver. There is a large volume of money transactions happening through online platforms, and this is expected to accelerate, especially with the commencement of 4G and 5G services, she adds. She was in Kochi to launch Funds Genie app, an online mutual fund investment platform, developed by Geojit Financial Services. Excerpts:

BusinessLine, Mar 10, 2018


Startups find innovative ways to make new joinees feel at home

A software professional who recently joined consumer lending startup MoneyTap as a senior Android developer was taken aback when asked to recount the most embarrassing incident from his life at an all-hands meeting during his first week at work. He told them about the time when as a newly married man, he had to introduce his wife to a friend and realized her name had just slipped his mind. 

(ET, Feb 20, 2018)


Auto Cos charged up, to unveil 50 electric and hybrid vehicles

Nearly 50 electric and hybrid vehicles will be unveiled at Auto Expo 2018 that starts in Greater Noida this week; in what will be an affirmation of automakers’ commitment to India’s ambitious goal on electric mobility.

Most of these vehicles will be working models that are two or three years away from making their way on to the road, unlike in other auto shows where electric vehicles are seen largely in concept forms.  These products will also be relevant to India, with a majority of them positioned in the affordable segment.

ET, Feb 05, 2018


IT sector may see muted Q3

Third-quarter results at Indian Information Technology  companies are expected to be a muted affair as seasonal slowness is exacerbated by low demand in the sector’s largest business verticals – banking and retail.

The banking and financial services sector – which accounts for the largest chunk of India IT revenues – has seen slow growth for nearly a year now as the largest lenders held back their spending or moved aprts of it in-house.  Retail, the second-largest vertical, has seen a slew of bankruptcies amid a struggle to compete with ecommerce giants like Amazon and Flipkart.

(ET, Jan 08, 2018)


Visakhapatnam soon to have Centre of Excellence for Internet of Things

The Port City will soon have a Centre of Excellence for Internet of Things (IoT) that would boost the start-up ecosystem in a huge way, said B Krishna Murthy, senior director in the Union Ministry of Electronics and IT on Friday. Speaking on the sidelines of the IMPACT-2018, a two-day national workshop on IoT organised by the Computer Society of India and Visakhapatnam Steel Plant that began here on Friday, he said a Centre of Excellence for IoT has already been set up in Bengaluru and such centres would come up in Vizag, Gandhi Nagar and Gurgaon in the next phase. 

The first Centre of Excellence (CoE), initiated by the Nasscom in association with the Union Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY),  was launched in Bengaluru in 2016, under PPP mode. After the Centre was successful in making several start-ups to set up their own firms, the government has proposed the similar centres in Vizag, Gandhi Nagar and Gurgaon. 

(Indian Express, Jan 06, 2018)


Domestic IT spend to grow 11.6% to Rs 2.33L cr in 2018: Report

India's domestic IT spending is estimated to grow at 11.6 per cent to Rs.2,33,273 crore this year, helped by government's push for digital services, a report by Coeus Age Consulting said. 
The domestic spending in 2017 grew at a slower pace of 10.3 per cent as against the forecast of 12.9 per cent growth, impacted by demonetization and GST rollout. 

"The India IT spend witnessed a lower than expected growth in 2017. This was due to the temporary disruption caused by the structural changes undertaken in the form of demonetisation and GST roll out," Coeus Age Consulting founder and CEO Kapil Dev Singh said. 
(ET, Jan 05, 2018)


German multinational BASF eyeing e-vehicles segment

In a bid to find new revenue streams, German multinational BASF is eyeing the growing electric vehicles (EVs) segment. BASF makes chemicals required in batteries for EVs and the company could make fresh investments in the country, if the segment sees traction in the coming years.

Fresh investment will depend on other companies setting up local units for manufacturing such batteries, said Raman Ramachandran, Chairman and Managing Director, BASF, during a meeting with BusinessLine’s editorial in Mumbai.

Ramachandran said that this new opportunity is being considered as the materials used for making EVs batteries is an area of focused R&D for the company.

(Business Line, Jan 05, 2018)


Samsung forays into budget Tablet Market in India

As tablet shipments continue to slump in India, Samsung India on Thursday said the company will launch affordable products this year, predicting the tablet industry is set to make a strong comeback.

"2017 was a de-growth year for the tablet industry as a whole but we, as a brand, performed well over 2016 by registering near double-digit growth by market value," Vishal Kaul, Director, Mobile Business, Samsung India, told IANS here.

Bullish on its performance in 2017, the South Korean tech giant on Thursday forayed into the budget tablet market with the launch of Galaxy Tab A 7.0 at Rs 9,500 that sports rounded edges and a "non-slip" pattern.

(The Pioneer, Jan 04, 2018)


Shock and awe: India has a date with electric vehicles

In hindsight, 2017 may well turn out to be the watershed year for the Indian electric vehicles (EV) industry. After New Delhi said it would replace its entire fleet with the electric powertrain by 2030, about a dozen car makers have kicked off their EV plans. 

It started with the Niti Aayog policy document on EVs, which defined a 15-year roadmap to attain complete electrification. Shared mobility providers such as Ola, Uber, and Zoom then began tapping into the EV portfolio of Mahindra, and New Delhi followed up by ordering 10,000 vehicles to upgrade the fleet at some of its agencies. Finally, the Bharat Stage Protocol for Charging was formed to build the framework for future charging stations. 
(ET, Jan 03, 2018)


Noida, Yamuna expressway declared electronics manufacturing zone:

The Yogi Adityanath government has released its ‘Uttar Pradesh electronics manufacturing policy’ under which Noida, Greater Noida and the Yamuna Expressway region has been declared as an electronics manufacturing zone.

“To develop the state as the hub of electronics manufacturing, a new policy has been released under which the units set up in this zone will be eligible for claiming necessary benefits,” deputy chief minister Dinesh Sharma, who holds the IT and electronics portfolios said.

(Live Mint, Jan 01, 2018)


Digital, IoT Empowering Banking Industry

With the BFSI sector going through a transition in adopting the latest technologies and focusing on technological innovation, internet banking has emerged as the biggest focus area in the ‘Digital Transformation’ agenda of banks. Today, India’s banking, financial services and insurance landscape is witnessing deployment of technology-intensive solutions to increase revenue, enhance customer experience, optimize cost structure and manage enterprise risk. However, there is a wide variation in the technology, compliance issues and implementation capabilities across different players in this landscape. an interaction with CXOTodayVinod Ganesan, Director - Sales at Hitachi Vantara explains how technology enablers like cloud, IoT and virtualization are empowering the BFSI sector to digitally transform into successful enterprise.  

(CXOtoday.com, Dec 20, 2017)


Sony aims to expand image sensor use in robotics, self-driving cars

Sony has achieved higher profits for its image sensor business, as the company looks to shift from consumer electronics to being a supplier for robotics and self-driving cars.

Sony Corp is poised to report its highest-ever profit this year on strong sales of image sensors after years of losing ground in consumer electronics and hopes to develop the technology for use in robotics and self-driving cars as competition heats up. The results will mark a significant turnaround for the conglomerate, once famed for leading the world in consumer gadgets such as its Walkman music player, but now finding a new focus on image sensors and gaming.

Sony forecasts that operating profit in the year through March will more than double to 630 billion yen ($5.6 billion) compared with the year earlier and expects the chips division, most of which is made up of the image sensors business, to be the conglomerate’s biggest growth driver. Executives say a technological breakthrough in image sensors and seachange in the company’s thinking are behind the success. The breakthrough, creating a sensor that captures more light to produce sharper images, coincided with soaring consumer demand for better smartphone cameras for sharing photos on social media.

(Indian Express, Dec 20, 2017)


NASSCOM signs deal with China's top internet hub

India's IT industry association NASSCOM today signed an agreement with China's top internet hub to co-develop a collaborative technology platform which is expected to provide a major opening for Indian IT-SMEs. 

The National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) and Dalian Municipal People's Government signed a joint investment agreement in Dalian to co-develop a collaborative technology platform called the Sino-Indian Digital Collaboration Plaza (SIDCOP).
Top Indian IT firms have big presence in China servicing multinationals and the IT corridor at Dalian will provide a gateway to the Indian IT-SMEs, Gagan Sabharwal, Senior Director, NASSCOM who signed the MOU told PTI from Dalian. 

(ET, Dec 20, 2017)


IT Min to form industry groups for new manufacturing policy

 The IT ministry is constituting industry-specific groups in areas such as mobiles, automotive electronics and consumer electronics that will offer inputs for the new electronics manufacturing policy in the works.

A senior official of the Ministry of Electronics and IT said 6-7 such specialised groups will be set up over the next 1-2 days to look at the manufacturing push in each of these areas.

While domestic manufacturing has caught on in a big way in segments like mobile handsets and consumer electronics, the new policy will focus on driving value addition in each of these areas, said the official who did not wish to be named.

(TOI, Nov 09, 2017)


IT firms tap start-ups for digital tech

Big India IT firms such as Wipro, Infosys and HCL Technologies are stepping up their acquisition and investment in start-ups to bridge digital technology gap.

Automation and cloud are the most sought-after areas for Indian IT services firms to invest and acquire, global research firm CB Insights said in a recent report.  Cyber security, Internet of Things and data management are other areas where these firms showed interest.

(BS, Nov 12, 2017)


Toshiba, Tech Mahindra partner to build smart factories

Toshiba Digital Solutions and Tech Mahindra today announced a strategic partnership to work in the area of a smart factory.

This partnership aims to leverage strengths of both sides and offer a one stop solution for manufacturer customers with the latest IoT technologies and system integration capabilities from both sides, a company statement said.

"Toshiba Digital Solutions is known for their leadership across various industrial segments, domain expertise and special manufacturing processing knowledge. This coupled with Tech Mahindra’s system integration, consulting and expertise across IoT and Factory of the Future? ensure that we are able to bring the best of breed solution for the customers," Karthikeyan Natarajan, Senior VP and Global Head, Integrated Engineering Solutions at Tech Mahindra said.

(India Today, Nov 13, 2017)


Trai asks RCom to ease way for exiting users

The telecom regulator has directed Reliance Communications to smoothen the process for subscribers wanting to move out of the carrier's network in 17 circles where its voice services are being shut down from December 1. It has asked the Anil Ambani-owned carrier to immediately issue unique porting codes ­ required to move to other carriers through mobile number portability (MNP) ­ to its subscribers in these circles and keep them active till the end of December to facilitate their exit.

(ET, Nov 04, 2017)


Bharti Telecom Increases Stake in Airtel to 50.1%

Bharti Telecom has increased its shareholding in Bharti Airtel to 50.10% by acquiring over 184.7 million shares from Indian Continent Investment. Bharti Telecom is promoter of Bharti Airtel. “the company has received a communication dated November 3 from Bharti Telecom, the promoter of the company it has acquired 184,710,183 equity shares of the company from ICIL,” Bharti Airtel said in a BSE filing.

(ET, Nov 04, 2017)


Telcos seek delicensing of services in new policy to take on communication apps

Phone companies are said to have urged the government to radically reform the licensing regime in the new telecom policy to allow them to offer all services so that they can compete on a level playing field with data-based call-service providers such as WhatsApp, Skype and Viber.

The current regime of licences is restrictive and outmoded because phone companies cannot offer a host of services even if technology allows them to do so in a data-centric industry, company officials said at a recent meeting with senior officials from the Department of Telecommunications.

(ET, Nov 06, 2017)


On eve of 2G judgment, telecom sector looks to 5G

Special CBI judge O P Saini has asked all accused in the 2G spectrum case to be present in court when he will declare the date for his judgment.  The case, at one stage, competed for attention with the coal scam.  It is, however, unlikely to grab attention now, as the telecom industry is way more interested in 5G, even as the most tumultuous year for it draws to  a close.

A key element of how 5G pans out would be the revenue model the telecom ministry offers the industry.

Lack of investment to seize the 4G ecosystem is a major concern for industry players now.  It is this gap that has been exploited by R Jio after entering the market in September last year.

(BS, Nov 07, 2017)


Cyber-criminal gang took over, used Indian servers: Kaspersky

IT security software maker Kaspersky Lab has detected some servers in India that were used by notorious cyber-criminal gang Lazarus, which is believed to be behind large-scale cyber-attacks across the world including the recent WannaCry ransom ware.

While researching the latest activities of the infamous cybercriminal group, Kaspersky uncovered a number of compromised servers being used as part of the threat actor’s global command-and-control infrastructure, the software company said.

(Business Line, Oct 25 2017)


Hexagon developing solutions for Indian smart cities

Hexagon AB, a global provider of information technology solutions, is integrating various technologies to come out with customized solution for Indian smart cities, the company's India head said.

The Swedish company is working on the major initiative where all its businesses are coming together to develop strong solutions on smart city.

Pramod Kaushik, President, Hexagon India, said they had already developed technologies which can find out what is below the ground, above the ground and in the air.

Hexagon's ground-penetrating radars can find what is under the ground at 30 to 40 metres, thus helping in locating the position of electric, fibre optic cable, water, sewerage and other lines and for coming out with the best solution.

(BS, Oct 13, 2017)


Apple’s €850-mn data centre gets approval from Ireland

Ireland gave the green light for tech giant Apple to build an €850-million ($1.0-billion) data centre, following a battle with conservationists who were seeking to preserve a forest.

High Court judge Paul McDermott dismissed the appeals bought  by three campaigners, who were concerned about the environmental impact of the project, which is to occupy nearly 166,000 square meters in County Galway, west Ireland.

(BS, Oct 13, 2017)


IT-BPM industry set to touch $350 billion by 2025

IT-BPM industry is set to touch $350 billion by 2025 from the present $153 billion with creation of huge employment opportunities, according to Nasscom executive council member Keshav Murugesh. “India's IT and BPM industry created 1,70,000 new jobs in the last one year and 6,00,000 jobs in last three years, and opportunity for the future is really bright. There is resounding confidence that this $153 billion industry is well on its way to reach $350 billion by 2025,“ Murugesh, Nasscom executive council member and group CEO, WNS Global Services, said at the Nasscom C Summit. R Chandrashekhar, president, Nasscom; Raman Roy, chairman, Nasscom; Dr Ganesh Natarajan, programme chair, Nasscom C Summit, besides Murugesh and other members rang the bell at Nasdaq.

 

(ET, June 06, 2017)


Apple, Amazon Join Foxconn for Toshiba Chip Business Bid

Apple and Amazon.com will join Foxconn's bid for Toshiba Corp's semiconductor business, the Nikkei business daily quoted Foxconn chairman Terry Gou as saying.

The two US technology giants plan to “chip in funds“, Gou said in an interview, according to the newspaper. It was not immediately clearified whether this would take the form of a direct investment in the semiconductor unit or would be financing for the deal.

Taiwan's Foxconn, formally known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd, has also partnered with its Japanese unit Sharp Corp in its bid.

“Foxconn can confirm that we have submitted a bid for Toshiba's chip business with a number of strategic partners,“ the Taiwanese firm said in a statement to Reuters. It said it would discuss details “at the appropriate time“.

(ET, June 06, 2017)


Digital India to be Run Like Corporate Entity : IT minister says govt has roped in McKinsey to prepare road map for digital economy.

With the aim to “corporatize“its Digital India project, the government is looking at creating a Digital India Corporation.

Union minister for electronics and IT Ravi Shankar Prasad said the idea is to have a professional way to implement the programme. “It will be professionally managed with a corporate architecture,“ he said on Tuesday at a press conference to list achievements of his ministry after three years of the Modi government.

Prasad also said the government has appointed consultancy firm McKinsey to prepare the road map for the digital economy for the next few years. Government think-tank Niti Aayog will also prepare an e-readiness index of the states. “The digital economy in the country will become a one trillion [dollar] economy in the next five to seven years,“ Prasad said.

Since the government announced demonetization, the volume of digital payments through mobile wallets has increased by 104% to 44.3 lakh, by 8803% under the unified payment interface to 3.31 lakh and by 309% under the Aadhaar Enabled Payment System to 1.58 lakh as of May 17 this year.

On news about layoffs in the IT sector, Prasad denied any downturn and said that in four to five years, 20-25 lakh jobs would be created in the sector. “I completely deny and refute that there is any downturn in the employment in the IT sector. It is robust. Once the digital economy is here, you will see how much it will progress“.

“In the last three years, almost six lakh people have been employed in our IT sector. In 2016-17, the number of people employed was around 1.7 lakh,“ he said.

Prasad said the government's thrust on a digital economy will also create a slew of new jobs. He said that in the last three years, the number of common service centers has increased to about 2.5 lakh which employ almost 10 lakh people and did business of around `1,800 crore out of which `600 crore came only from Aadhaar.

Talking about cyber security and the recent ransom ware attack, Prasad said about 200 locations were affected and all were standalone computers, since the government had taken proactive measures from March itself by getting the Microsoft patch being installed and by sending advisories.

(May 24, 2017, ET)


Apple may get duty relief but has to scale up manufacturing in India

India will allow Apple to import some components at zero duty in return for the iPhone maker agreeing to scale up local manufacturing in a phased manner over the coming years, said Aruna Sundararajan, secretary for the ministry of electronics and IT. 


The ministry is currently in discussions with Apple on its proposal to manufacture in India for which the Cupertino, US-based firm had sought a slew of concessions, including duty waiver for its component manufacturers for 15 years.

Speaking to ET, Sundararajan said the government is trying to reach a common ground with Apple so that the company can start full-fledged manufacturing here. She said the government agrees that some components required by Apple can’t be immediately manufactured in India and so it has made a list of products that can be imported duty free till they are ready to be produced locally. Apple also has submitted a list of components on which it is demanding duty exemptions for its suppliers. The government is trying to find a common ground keeping the interests of both sides in mind, she said. 


“They are saying that some of their components cannot be manufactured in India because that requires certain kind of manufacturing capability. Our roadmap for indigenisation also envisages only those products that can be (locally) manufactured. 

There are many products that we also admit that cannot be manufactured, so they can be imported duty free,” said Sundararajan, adding that Apple is also ready to manufacture some components locally through partners. “So, now we are trying to see that their roadmap for indigenisation and ours can be harmonised.” 


According to industry experts, Apple is asking for special concessions for its component manufacturers over and above what is already been offered by the Indian government. After the government announced incentives for domestic manufacturing, several companies set up local factories, but most of them are assembling phones here while largely importing components. 

Component manufacturers which have set shop in the country are largely catering to the low-end feature phones. 

The government recently notified the phased manufacturing programme under which it has set a timeline for locally manufacturing of mobile phone components. 

For instance, the programme covers mechanics, die cut parts, microphone and receiver, keypad and USB cable in the current financial year. It aims to promote local manufacturing of populated printed circuit boards, camera modules and connectors in 2018-19, and display assembly, touch panels, vibrator motor and ringer in 2019-20. 


Sundararajan said the government has defined different components that will be ready to be manufactured over the next three, five or seven years. “So Apple’s roadmap is slightly different (from ours) and we are looking at harmonizing it.” 

(May 24, 2017, ET)


Cortana has You Covered on Win installs

Microsoft recently modified its voice recognition feature to enable users to configure their PCs. Setting up a Windows machine has gradually been getting easier thanks to Microsoft's simplifications, latest in line being the Windows 10 Creators Update. Microsoft's digital voice recognition assistant Cortana will guide users through the setup process. Users can configure keyboard and setup an internet connection, just by conversing with Cortana. 
(ET, Apr 10, 2017)


Digital Drive : (India has become the second highest country in terms of mobile internet users and its internet economy is expected to achieve US$ 250 billion by 2020)

With about 391 mnusers, India has already become the second highest country in terms of mobile internet users.This is expected to grow rapidly to approximately 650 mn mobile internet users by 2020. At the same time, data consumption could potentially increase 10-14 times by 2020.The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), along with The Indus Entrepreneurs (TIE), released a report titled 'The $250 Billion Digital Volcano: Dormant No More' that describes this phenomenal digital adoption in the country. 

India's internet economy is expected to double to become US$250 bn by 2020. E-commerce and financial services are projected to lead this growth. For instance, share of digital payment transactions could more than double to go up to 30-40 per cent by 2020. 

"The focus on digital payments will revolutionise payment habits in India with digital payments becoming the new normal in 2017. As we become more digital, India will see new taxpayers and better transparency in incomes," states Bipin Preet Singh, Founder & CEO, MobiKwik. 

As the new digital paradigm emerges, adapting to change will become critical. For instance, the impact on jobs is expected to be transformational. New ways of working are expected to emerge with an increasingly flexible workforce optimising efficiency. 

"It is essential to understand the three forces that are now synergising to unlock internet consumption in India," says Nimisha Jain, a BCG partner and report co-author. "Firstly, 4G-enabled devices are expected to grow six times to 550 mn devices by 2020, constituting 70 per cent devices in use. Secondly, reliable high speed data is becoming both ubiquitous as well as mass affordable (data rates have reduced to less than one-third in just 4-5 months). Lastly, digital content is proliferating as well as improving in quality, thus driving consumption," she informs. 

Even for the SMEs, digitisation is a boon. "Emerging businesses across the country share a common need to control costs, boost performance to drive profitable growth. Some of the other technology adoption requirements of SMEs are accessibility to appropriate software information, readymade templatised solutions, and maintenance and management of the software," shares Priyadarshi Mohapatra, Vice President, Emerging Business, SAP India. 

Not just digitisation, artificial intelligence (AI), too, is going to play an important role, especially in the financial sector. "Indian banks are embracing digital solutions for interacting with customers; the next step is implementing the enabling power of AI, such as identifying consumer preferences and then reacting with insight and emotional intelligence," says Piyush Singh, managing director and head of Accenture Financial Services group in India. 

"In addition to gaining insights, banks could transform customer experience and improve operational efficiency. However, the challenge will be how quickly banks can implement these new technologies as banks continue to face legacy issues with their existing IT set up. This would require a C-suite-led impetus to embrace new technologies," he states. 

Increased technology adoption plays a key role in helping all businesses, be it the large enterprises, the SMEs or the startups, to deal with the challenges of economy, security and performance that loom over these businesses and open doors to the opportunities waiting to be explored. 
(ET, Apr 14, 2017)