IT

Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology finalizes Data Protection Bill

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has finalized the much-anticipated Personal Data Protection Bill, Union IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Friday. The next required step is a Cabinet approval before the Bill goes to the Parliament. "We have finalized the data protection law. I will take it to the Cabinet. We have had 3-4 rounds of consultation," Prasad said while addressing the CII's National Council meeting.  Emphasizing on data security and the country's hold over its data, the Minister said: "India will uphold its data sovereignty. It will not be negotiable. India is a huge country producing a lot of data." Prasad acknowledged that "some degree of data movement was important in the digital world", but noted that it would be based upon reciprocity and understanding. The draft Personal Data Protection Bill, submitted to the government by the Justice B. N. Krishna Committee in July last year, sets out how the personal data of individuals should be processed by the government and private entities incorporated in India and abroad. Prasad said that along with data security, the focus should also be on data availability, utility, innovation and localization. He also emphasized on the need for data anonymity. Giving an analogy, Prasad, who also holds the telecom and law portfolios, said: "To have due research in a particular financial area, we must have objective data, but the occupant and owners of that data must be kept out of public gaze."

(India TV, June 14, 2019)


India has the potential to be a 1 trillion-dollar digital economy - Ravi Shankar Prasad

India needs a 'New Regulatory Framework' for the digital world, Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad 'Minister of Law and Justice', 'Communications' and 'Electronics and IT' said while addressing industry leaders at the second national council meeting of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). Elaborating further he informed that laws like the Indian IT law as well as the data protection law need to be upgraded. His ministry has finalized the data protection law which will soon be taken to the cabinet and parliament for approval.  Speaking on the importance of data, he said that many consider data as the 'new oil'. Emphasizing the importance of data security, he said India generates a lot of data and data sovereignty will not be negotiable. While some data mobility is important, we need to have reciprocity. We will keep data availability, utility, innovation, localization and security in sync'. The minister said that areas of data availability, data innovation, its security and utility are increasingly becoming important. Elaborating further he said areas as varied as child health and nutrition and financial services have high degree of data. Importance and utility. Outlining the government's stance, he said those who seek to indulge in data commerce need to follow the rules of the game set by the government.

(BS, June 15, 2019)


Japan’s Fuji Electric buys Chennai-based UPS maker Consul Neowatt

Tokyo-headquartered Fuji Electric is set to acquire power electronics manufacturer Consul Neowatt Power Solutions in a bid to expand its power electronics systems business in India. The firm has entered into agreement with Peepul Capital Fund III and individual shareholders for the transaction. Reports indicate the transaction happened at Rs 720 crore. Consul Neowatt Power Solutions (CNPS) is a manufacturer of uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems in India with its headquarters in Chennai. It was founded in 1981 and has about 810 employees. The firm supplies power electronic solutions to customers across industry verticals in manufacturing, healthcare, social infrastructure, and other segments requiring power quality solutions. The company acquired Pune-based Megatech in 2013 and merged with Neowatt in 2014. Post that, the company’s name was changed from Consul Consolidated to Consul Neowatt Power Solutions in 2014. Post the acquisition by Fuji Electric, the new company is to be named as Fuji Consul Neowatt Power Solutions in which 99.99% will be held by Fuji Electric while 0.01% will be held by Fuji Electric India.

(FE, June 21, 2019)


Only 50% of investments in IT sector realized

Only about 50% of the investments committed in the Information Technology (IT) sector during the first Global Investors Meet (GIM) in 2015 has come through. Against a signed commitment for investments for Rs.10,950 crore as on June 18, 2019, the IT sector managed to bring in only ₹5,455 crore, providing employment to over 71,769 people. According to data provided by Electronics Corporation of Tamil Nadu Ltd (ELCOT) in response to an RTI query filed by The Hindu, during the GIM in 2015, the State government signed 17 MoUs in the IT space.Of the 17 firms, nine companies, including Zoho Group, Cognizant Technology Solutions, HCL Corporation, DLF Infocity Developers, Microsoft Corporation (India) Pvt. Ltd, Intel Technology India Pvt. Ltd, have started work. The MoUs were supposed to generate over two lakh jobs in Tamil Nadu. A government official said the firms that commenced work pumped in 40-60% of the investments they had promised. “They are doing it in a phased manner,” he said. The MoU inked by Wipro Limited (Rs.600 crore) is under implementation. Ditto is the case with Horizon Properties Private Limited, a group company of Raheja Corpn Private Limited (Rs.400 crore), and W.S. Electric Ltd (RMZ) (Rs.1,062 crore).

(The Hindu, June 24, 2019)


Govt. plans Rs 15,000 cr investment for one lakh digital villages

The government plans to set the ball rolling for setting up 100,000 digital villages as early as next month. A proposal for Rs 15,000 crore has been prepared by CSC eGovernance Services India Ltd, which will be the nodal point for digital villages project. The main objective of digital villages (Digi Gaons) is to transform rural villages of India into smart villages through use of ICT applications, besides promotion of a self-sustainable service model for people residing in these areas. Also, a digital village will offer a one-stop service solution for rural people, through Common Service Centers (CSCs) run a by a village level entrepreneur, for services such as tele-education, telemedicine, financial services, internet connectivity and other G2C/B2C services which are easily accessible online at an affordable price. And not to mention, it will reduce the digital divide and enable rural citizens to avail all services as available to urban people.

(DNA, June 24, 2019)


Vedanta’s $10 billion LCD project may fall flat

The Vedanta Group’s $10 billion project to set up India’s first plant to make flat panel displays for televisions from scratch is likely to be scrapped after failing to obtain subsidies under the government’s Modified Special Incentive Package Scheme (M-SIPS), two senior executives said. The ministry of electronics and IT had turned down the application for subsidies because it didn’t meet conditions, they said. India currently imports TV display panels from China, Taiwan and South Korea, resulting in an estimated outflow of about $6 billion.  While the government is trying to promote localization of TV panel manufacturing under the Make in India initiative, this was the only project at an advanced sta-ge of implementation. Some other proposals for making such displays are said to be under evaluation.  TV manufacturers undertake some end-stage assembly of panels imported in the open-cell state.  Vedanta Group company Twin Star Display Technologies was expecting a 25% capital subsidy and reimbursements of duties and taxes under M-SIPS, said the executives, who were earlier attached to the project. These incentives once approved were to be available for 10 years but without them the financial viability of the country’s largest electronics manufacturing investment was called into question.

(ET, June 25, 2019)


Budget 2019: India’s Achilles heel? How Modi govt. can check rising imports of electronic goods

In his first term, Prime Minister Narendra Modi set an ambitious target of increasing the share of manufacturing sector in the country’s GDP to 25%. He also launched his flagship initiative Make in India in September 2014 with the aim to increase the share of manufacturing in the country’s GDP to 25% by 2022 when India completes 75 years of its independence. However, the share of manufacturing in India’s GDP continued to stuck in the range of 16-17% during his first tenure. Industry has high hopes from the first budget of Modi 2.0 government to revive the sagging manufacturing sector. Modi government had announced phased manufacturing programme (PMP) in the Union budget of 2015-16 to increase the manufacturing of mobile handsets and other components in the country. In 2018 budget, then finance minister Arun Jaitley extended the tax relief to companies with a turnover of less than Rs 250 crore. The corporate tax rate was cut from 30% to 25% on these companies and the same relief was extended to new manufacturing companies without any turnover limit. However, according to industry bodies, raising import duty on cheap foreign imports, particularly from cheap Chinese imports will be much more effective way in supporting the domestic manufacturing rather than lowering the income tax on the companies below a certain threshold of income.

  (FE, June 26, 2019)


MeitY expenditure under Digital India at Rs 3,328 cr in 2018-19

Ravi Shankar Prasad  : The electronics and IT ministry's expenditure under the Digital India programme more than doubled to over Rs 3,328 crore in FY2018-19 from the previous fiscal, Parliament was informed Thursday.  "The expenditure by Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) under Digital India programme was Rs 1,452.70 crore (FY2015-16), Rs 1,217.65 crore (FY2016-17), Rs 1,407.19 crore (FY2017-18) and Rs 3,328.57 crore (FY2018-19)," Electronics and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha. Digital India is an umbrella programme that covers multiple projects of various ministries and government departments. "Each project has its own budgetary requirement and accordingly, project-plan has been charted out by the implementing Ministry/departments and budget details are being maintained by concerned ministries/departments and states/union territories," the minister said. Prasad said under the Digital India programme, the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) has effectively utilised digital technologies to transform lives of people, while ensuring digital inclusion of all the segments.  He pointed out that 123 crore (as on June 24, 2019) residents have been provided with biometric-based digital identity as compared to 61 crore in 2013-14. 

(ET, June 27, 2019)


Mahindra Electric in talks with global players to supply electric vehicle powertrains

Mahindra Electric is in talks with global automotive manufacturers to supply electric vehicle powertrains, according to a top company official. The company, a part of the Mahindra Group, will start supplies of such electric vehicle parts to group firm Ssangyong Motor, by early 2021. "Mahindra is investing on aggregates (for electric vehicles) which is the battery packs, motor transmission and power electronics. It is an industry at a very nascent stage, we have already said we will be happy to supply those parts to anybody, any original equipment manufacturer (OEM) in India or abroad," Mahindra Electric CEO Mahesh Babu said. The group has announced Rs 1,000 crore investment in the next three years, increasing the capacity to over 70,000 units per annum from the current 15,000 units. Moreover, it is also setting up a state-of-the-art global R&D centre at Bangaluru for battery, motors, power electronics with investments of up to Rs 400 crore, he said, adding it would be operational in the next 18-20 months.

(BS, June 05, 2019)


Two-wheeler makers term EV switchover by 2025 as ‘impractical

After industry bodies CII and SIAM reacted to the anticipated government plan of ensuring faster adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) by suggesting 100% EVs for sale of three-wheelers by 2023 and two-wheelers below 150 cc by 2025, vehicle manufacturers such as TVS Motor Company and Bajaj Auto have now termed the plan as 'unrealistic' and 'impractical'.  TVS Motor and Bajaj Auto are both planning to launch electric two-wheelers later in FY20. In an official statement, Venu Srinivasan, Chairman, TVS Motor Company said: “Automakers are supportive of the overall goal of introducing EVs and easing consumers into electric mobility. As a result we have been doing serious development work to ensure we can offer a mass market EV product that delivers on safety and high performance. This is necessary to co-opt consumers into making a switch, so it’s driven by consumer willingness and, therefore, adopted easily and widely. The supporting infrastructure for charging also needs to be as robust as conventional fuel options."

(LiveMint, June 10, 2019)


Made-in-India tag for Flipkart brands

Walmart-owned Flipkart has moved a substantial proportion of its manufacturing and sourcing for inhouse brands from China and Malaysia to India over the past year, helping to cut costs and comply with the government’s Make in India initiative. That’s helped Flipkart reduce prices of private label products sold across 300 categories on its platform.  “About two years back, almost 100% of our electronics came from China,” said Adarsh Menon, head of private label business at Flipkart. “Today, that number would be less than 50%. When we launched our furniture brand, the entire range was sourced from Malaysia — now that’s down to less than 50%.”  Flipkart’s private brands include MarQ, Perfect Homes, Billion and Smart-Buy, which contribute about 8% to the company’s overall sales, sources said. According to Menon, much of the electronics and consumer durables, textiles, most high-end Android TVs, air conditioners, washing machines and smaller appliances are now being sourced from India. As much as 50-60% accessories also get sourced from India. This comes as the Indian government has been able to convince global electronics manufacturers.

  (ET, June 10, 2019)


Dream or nightmare? Why India should postpone its electric vehicle plans for ten years

Most discussions on electric vehicles (EVs) focus on benefits and sidestep serious questions. For example, do we know if a faster adoption of EVs would be in India’s interest? Is the currently used EV technology robust enough? Will EVs make us dependent on China? Answers are straightforward. We just need to look at the most critical part of an EV – the battery. What the internal combustion engine is to a patrol car, the battery is to EV. Currently, all EVs use lithium-ion batteries (LIBs). It is the limitations of LIBs that will prevent widespread adoption of EVs. LIBs are expensive and do not support long-distance travel. Worse, raw materials needed to make LIBs are in short supply. Let us understand the seriousness of the issue. The battery used in a typical EV is a massive 500 kg pack consisting of hundreds of large lithium-ion cells that use metals like lithium, cobalt, nickel and manganese. Each metal serves a useful purpose. For example, lithium generates a flow of electrons and helps charge the battery. Cobalt prevents battery overheating. The problem is the world does not have enough of lithium or cobalt reserves needed to replace current automobiles with EVs.

(TOI, June 13, 2019)


Panasonic Forays into India’s EV Industry; Launches New EV Charging Service

Indian arm of the Japanese electronics company, Panasonic has announced its foray in the electric vehicles (EV) industry in India with the launch of its EV charging service, Nymbus on Wednesday (May 15).  The charging service is reportedly a combination of physical and virtual components. These components include charging stations, swap stations, on board charges, telematics systems along with cloud services, analytics, intuitive dashboard, and artificial intelligence to deliver a one-stop solution, according to Panasonic. Talking about the insight behind launching Nymbus, Atul Arya, Head Energy Systems Division, Panasonic India said, “In the (EV) ecosystem, we saw that three and two-wheeler mobility will be the biggest players in India.”  Panasonic has reportedly partnered with EV three wheeler manufacturing company SmartE and an electric scooter sharing service qQuick, for the first phase of its service deployment. Under this partnership, the Japanese company is said to deploy Nymbus on 150 SmartE’s electric three-wheelers and on 25 qQuick two-wheelers. These deployments will be carried out in Delhi NCR region. The company also reportedly plans to expand its Nymbus in Bangalore, Pune, Hyderabad, Chennai and Amaravati over the next three years and further to 25 more Indian cities in the next five years with a target of reaching approximately 1 Mn vehicles, according to Arya.“In the next three years, the addressable market for us (stationary storage such as batteries and mobility) will be about INR 5K Cr. Three years from now, we should be targeting revenue of INR 700 Cr out of this (the whole market),” Manish Sharma, president and CEO of Panasonic India told Mint.

(Inc 42, May 16, 2019)


Finance Commission meets Ministry of Electronics and IT

The Fifteenth Finance Commission headed by Chairman N.K. Singh on Tuesday held a meeting with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) on “Harnessing India’s Digital Opportunity”.  A detailed presentation on this was made by the Secretary, MeitY, Shri Ajay Prakash Sawhney. The Ministry held in its presentation that the world economy was getting increasingly digital, and it detailed the disruptive potential of digital technology which is accelerating transition   Elaborating on the digital profile of India, the Commission was briefed by Ministry that India was standing on the verge of a trillion dollar digital opportunity. It was stressed that large scale digital transformation is possible, however India can and must prepare for it. In its Memorandum to the Commission, MeitY has made some specific suggestions, such that the Digital India programme requires unprecedented IT capability for States/ UTs to achieve its objectives and transforms India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy. The continuation of the ICT infrastructure and capacity building schemes is vital for States/ UTs to build ICT capability towards the implementation of the ‘Digital India’ programme. It has asked for allocation of funds for these projects. As the National e-Governance Plan (NeGP) is not a Centrally Sponsored Scheme any more, the Ministry has asked for separate funds for the NeGP Scheme. It has proposed continuous Union support for funding under CSS the implementation of the core ICT infrastructure such as State Data Centres (SDC), State Wide Area Network (SWAN), State Service Delivery Gateway (SSDG), e-Districts etc.

(SME Times, May 21, 2019)


Hardware-based Security - Trusted Partner for Connected World

India Electronics and Semiconductor Association (IESA), the premier industry body for the Electronics System Design and Manufacturing (ESDM) industry in the country, and Rambus Chip Technology - a world leader of hardware security IPs - presents a technical seminar on 'Insights to Hardware Security - Threats and Solutions' in Bangalore, India on Thursday, May 23, 2019. The seminar aims to help technical and management personnel in automotive, defense, and other industries understand the serious threats presented by side-channel attacks and fault injection vulnerabilities. In addition to technical presentations, live and video demonstrations of hardware vulnerabilities will be shown including SPA and DPA attacks on hardware implementations of cryptographic algorithms, and a fault injection attack on the secure boot of an automotive instrument cluster. Solutions against these attacks, including DPA-resistant silicon cores and software libraries, secure embedded root-of-trust solutions, and key management and provisioning for embedded security will be presented.

Speaking about the Seminar, K. Krishna Moorthy, Corporate Vice President and Managing Director of Rambus India Design Center, said, "Rambus is a world leader in Hardware Security and provides trusted digital secure solutions. Side-channel attacks through power line leaks and other sources of system generated noise foot prints have weakened HW systems. Differential Power Analysis (DPA) patented by Rambus and associated hardening techniques innovated by Rambus today protects assets worldwide today. We also enable Root of Trust (RoT) Secure Cores Inside Processor Cores or SoC's. Hardware level security is of utmost importance in today's connected world. Secure Key provisioning dynamically is the associated technology Rambus pioneered to supplement is ROT Cores. The Seminar would share insights about the solutions available to keep your data protected at the hardware level." 

(BS, May 22, 2019)


Like mobiles, PCs made in India should meet local and global demand: Intel

In 2007, Intel shelved plans to set up a microchip manufacturing unit in India due to the country’s bureaucracy. But in 2019, it finds India a good place to manufacture, albeit not through a multi-billion semiconductor fab but by helping local companies boost electronics manufacturing. In a conversation with BusinessLine,  Prakash Mallya, Vice-President and Managing Director, Intel India, Sales and Marketing Group spoke about how Intel is trying to boost PC manufacturing in India and what the government could do to encourage local manufacturing. Excerpts: What we’ve done in the last two years is, we have gone through the manufacturing landscape and built supply chain ecosystem or match-made them with some of our global partners to ensure that they are going up the value chain of building a new product. Case in point is Coconics, which is a unique,public and private joint venture that are different entities and it is part of Government of Kerala’s initiative. It is private sector majority owned, and their objective is to build locally manufactured PCs. So this is a great example where we have asset and enabled the local ecosystem to serve the local market needs. I would agree that our policy needs to be conducive towards local manufacturing in a different manner in every sector. I feel that we need to make the factories that are manufacturing PCs or any of the other components in electronics, being not only efficient for the country but efficient globally, so that you can cater to the demand not only within the county but outside, and you can compete with best of the factories located in any part of the world.

(BusinessLine, May 28, 2019)


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

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)


Qualcomm and Apple Drop All Litigation Worldwide

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)


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

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)


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

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)


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

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


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

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)


State focuses of alternative electronics hubs

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)


India launches first electronic intelligence-gathering satellite

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 )


Government Bodies float tenders for 500 EV charging stations

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)


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

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)


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

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)


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

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)


BMC bags silver medal for digital initiative

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)


India should become a data analytics hub: Ravi Shankar Prasad

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)


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

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)


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

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)


E-comm talks : India must stand Firm

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)


A Boost For Fabless Chip Design in India

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)


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

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)


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

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)


India: Restrictions On E-Retailers - Government Tightens Norms

The Ministry of Commerce & Industry has, by way of the Press Note 2 (2018 Series) dated 26th December 2018 (Press Note), issued revised norms vis-à-vis foreign direct investment in e-commerce entities. While the Press Note continues to allow 100% foreign direct investment into e-commerce activities, it prescribes certain additional conditions with respect to e-commerce entities which are owned or controlled by a person resident outside India and conducting e-commerce business in India. The key additional conditions are summarized below: The e-commerce entity will not be permitted to exercise ownership and control over the inventory of goods purported to be sold. In this regard, it is pertinent to note that the inventory of a vendor will be deemed to be controlled by e-commerce marketplace entity if more than 25% of purchases of such vendor are from the marketplace entity or its group entities; An entity in which the e-commerce entity has equity participation or control over the inventory, will not be permitted to sell its products on the platform run by such marketplace entity; E-commerce entities providing marketplace will not directly or indirectly influence the sale price of goods or services and shall maintain level playing field. Services should be provided by e-commerce marketplace entity or other entities in which e-commerce marketplace entity has direct or indirect equity participation or common control, to vendors on the platform at arm's length and in a fair and non-discriminatory manner; E-commerce marketplace entity will not mandate any seller to sell any product exclusively on its platform only.

(Mondaq, Jan 03, 2019)


Over 33.5 lakh people trained in electronics, IT, ITeS in 4 years: Ahluwalia

Over 33.5 lakh people have been provided skill training in electronics, IT and IT-enabled services sectors between 2014-15 and 2017-18, Parliament was informed Wednesday. These people were provided training by the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) through Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojna (PMKVY), and two schemes being run by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), Minister of State for Electronics and IT S S Ahluwalia said in a written reply to Lok Sabha. He added that more than 5.41 lakh people were trained by MSDE and MeitY in 2014-15, 8.10 lakh in 2015-16, 9.51 lakh in 2016-17 and over 10.48 lakh people in 2017-18.  Of these, MSDE facilitated training for 16.34 lakh people, while MeitY provided skill training for the remaining 17.18 lakh people, he added. 

(ET, Jan 02, 2019)


Panasonic India slips back into red in FY18 Electronics

French company to provide Supercomputers worth Rs 4,500 crore  : For taking forward India’s Digital initiatives, India and France on Saturday inked a Rs 4,500 crore three year contract for getting supercomputers to be used for academic and research institutions across the country. The two countries also decided to launch projects together in Africa, particularly in the area of sustainable development in connection with the International Solar Alliance (ISA) and adopted Status of Progress for Implementation of Industrial Way Forward Agreement related to the Jaitapur Power Plant. Announcing this at the joint press meet at the end of talks with her French Counterpart French minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean Yves Le Drian, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj said that, “The work on the Jaitapur Power Plant will start as soon as possible. Both sides have made considerable progress in pursuance of the Industrial Way Forward Agreement in 2018 between NPCIL and EDF (Électricité de France, Nuclear electric power Generation Company).”  Earlier in the day, an agreement with France-based European Information Technology Corporation Atos by Centre for Development of Advanced Computing was inked for designing, building and installing the BullSequana – the supercomputer.  

(FE, Dec 15, 2018)  


Panasonic India slips back into red in FY18 Electronics

HP; Gearing up for growth: With the PC market in urban centres offering limited room for growth, HP India is looking for greener pastures. It is aiming for growth from the gaming sub-category as well as the relatively untapped tier III and IV markets, with an eye on millennial. The past year saw two big initiatives from HP. For the first time, the company became the principal sponsor of IPL team Royal Challengers Bangalore and also opened a 1,000-sq-ft marquee store in Gurugram. With retail expansion and marketing, the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) hopes to brace up for the headwind caused by the widespread adoption of smartphones, and also expand the total addressable market (TAM). The company, which commands close to two-thirds of the market in the consumer segment and has nearly 31% share in the PC segment, has based its India market strategy on three pillars — retail expansion, customer and partner experiences, and engagement with its TG.    

(FE, Dec 10, 2018)


Panasonic India slips back into red in FY18

Japan’s top electronics maker Panasonic NSE 6.63 % India lapsed back into losses in FY18, after clocking its maiden profit a year ago, with revenue too dipping last fiscal, as per latest regulatory disclosures. Panasonic’s flagship Indian entity, Panasonic India, reported net loss of Rs 131.8 crore in 2017-18, compared with a net profit of Rs. 72.2 crore in FY17, it reported to the Registrar of Companies (RoC). he company’s revenue too dipped marginally by 3% last fiscal to Rs 5409.2 crore from Rs 5589.9 crore in 2016-17. Panasonic India said the losses were due to “internal and external risk exposures”, without disclosing any further details. The company also said that it faced challenges last fiscal after it changed the business strategy for the smartphone business by taking over “entire sales channel creation and service operations on its own,” Panasonic India said in the filings. “…the management has taken a rigorous review of the mobility operation and steps are being taken in order to successfully sail through this tough situation.     

(ET, Dec 05, 2018)


Smart city mission 7 North East states sign MoU with Bharat Electronics Limited

Seven Northeastern states on Saturday signed separate Memorandum of Understandings (MoU) with the Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) to facilitate the development of cloud-based Integrated Command and Control Centre for implementation of Smart City Mission. The development took place in the presence of Union Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri and Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb. The MoU was signed after a two day review meeting on five flagship schemes of the Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs which include Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY), Atal Mission for Rejuvenation for Urban Transformation (AMRUT), Smart City Mission, Swacch Bharat Mission and the DAY-NULM held at Prajna Bhavan here since Friday.   

 (The Indian Express, Dec 01, 2018)


EV Motors India plans to install 6,500 charging parks

EV Motors India plans to use cooperation with DLF, Delta Electronics and ABB India to set up a brand name Plug Ngo, which will install more than 6,500 EV charging parks across India over the next five years. They will equip major cities in India with multiple charging parks each, and are calculating an investment sum of 200 million dollars for the venture. The launch, with the opening of the first Plug Ngo location, has already been made. In the next twelve months, the company plans to set up another 20 locations in the Delhi region, as well as other cities, including Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Kanpur, Kolkata, Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad, Amritsar, Bhubaneshwar, Cochin, Indore and Chennai. The company plans to provide charging options for all types of two- and three-wheelers, as well as personal vehicles and buses with type 2, CCS and CHAdeMO ports.    

(Electdrive.com, Dec 01, 2018)


JBL PartyBox 300, PartyBox 200 premium speakers launched in India

Samsung Electronics Co. and HARMAN International on Tuesday launched JBL PartyBox 200 and the JBL PartyBox 300 speakers for music enthusiasts in India. The JBL PartyBox 200 costs Rs 32,499 while the JBL PartyBox 300 is available for Rs 35,999 on www.JBL.com and retail channels, including 350 Samsung brand stores, the company said in a statement. The rechargeable battery on the PartyBox 300 can provide up to 18 hours of playtime. It can be powered up by plugging in to a 12V DC source or using the built-in 10,000mAh battery. “For even larger sound, connect two speakers to create an amplified listening experience. PartyBox has a USB input, allowing anyone to connect their playlist directly via a USB drive,” the company said.  Get live Stock Prices from BSE and NSE and latest NAV, portfolio of Mutual Funds, calculate your tax by Income Tax Calculator, know market’s Top Gainers, Top Losers & Best Equity Funds. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

(FE, Nov 13, 2018)


Intel to set up a tech development centre in Hyderabad

Tech giant Intel is setting up a technology development centre in Hyderabad.  A delegation led by Intel India chief Nivruti Roy met Telangana IT and Industries minister KT Rama Rao on Friday to convey the decision on setting up the centre in Hyderabad. The proposed centre is expected to create 1,500 jobs initially, which could go up to 5,000 over the next few years. In the meeting, Intel delegation and the Minister discussed about the Industrial policy of Telangana and the infrastructure available in the state "We are very happy that Intel decided to start a tech centre in Hyderabad", Rao said. The Intel India team has also explored opportunities for electronics and semiconductor manufacturing and the ecosystem's capabilities under the 'Make in India' programme. Rao may meet Intel's global leadership team to invite them to set up a manufacturing facility in Hyderabad, the release said.

(ET, Nov 10, 2018)


Bharat going digital for payments

More Indians from smaller towns and cities are paying digitally for goods and services, raising expectations of sustained growth for non-cash payments, even as Reserve Bank data indicates the sharp spike in transactions following the 2016 note ban has evened out this year. Payments company executives estimate that card transactions in towns with populations of up to 1 million have doubled in the two years since demonetisation. “Across cities like Udaipur, Aligarh and Hubli, merchants are open to adopting QR code for payments and they are platform-agnostic,” said Amrish Rau, CEO of PayU India. “This was never the case in my two decades of experience in the payments industry.” Immediately after demonetisation was announced on November 8, 2016, there was a spurt in digital payments.

(ET, Nov 09, 2018)


Samsung exhibits 5G Tech for Smart Agriculture in India

The South Korean multinational electronics company, Samsung Electronics on 30 October exhibited how its solutions can enable a range of 5G-powered business models and scenarios for smart agriculture, home broadband services as well as smart cities in India. It said that smart agriculture will be a key focus area when 5G services will be rolled out in India. The 5G use cases for smart agriculture will basically revolve around the sensors and devices on the field that can give information on nutrients, soil moisture, spoilage and other aspects of farming. Director, Networks for Samsung Electronics, Claudia Park said, "Making the world a better place for humans is our focus. We want to make people's life more efficient.” She mentioned that with multiple use cases across different fields, 5G is the new frontier.

(Krishijagran.com, Nov 01, 2018)


Villagers not logging on to digital India: Gujarat National Law University

It seems rural Gujarat is yet to understand the vision of the central government that is trying to make transactions digital. A study sponsored by the Gujarat government on understanding digital financial literacy in the state, a team of experts from Gujarat National Law University (GNLU) found that even when the government has been aggressive in pushing for the Indian economy to be cashless, the ground reality is stark difference. The study 'Digital Financial Literacy through Digital India: Study of its impact in the rural areas of three districts of Gujarat' conducted by professors Garima Goswami and Anu Mishra have found that there has not been any significant change in the mode of transaction. Even today, the majority of the transactions are conducted through offline mode and therefore there is a huge gap in what the government is aiming at and what the ground reality is.

(DNA, Sep 22, 2018)


Government eyes USD 240-billion electronics industry in Andhra Pradesh

Minister for IT, Electronics and Communication Nara Lokesh has said the State government aims to have electronic manufacturing industry worth $240 billion in Andhra Pradesh. He said the State government was taking steps for achieving the target by creating a robust ecosystem to invest in AP. Lokesh, on the first day of his six-day visit to China on Sunday, interacted with China Telugu Association members in Beijing, and pitched AP as the potential investment destination. “According to the projections, India will be a $480 billion market for electronic goods in the coming years. Our target is to manufacture at least half of the electronic products sold in India,” the minister observed. He also appealed to the Telugu diaspora to promote Andhra Pradesh as an investment destination to the companies they are working in. “You are the brand ambassadors of our State,” he said.

(Indian Express, Sep 17, 2018)


India, resource-rich Kazakhstan to put in place IT partnership

India and Central Asias biggest country Kazakhstan are hoping to launch an initiative this week to put in place a mechanism for Information Technology partnership.  Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan Askar Zhumagaliyev will arrive to India with an official visit, from September 20 to 21. 

During the visit, Askar Zhumagaliyev will hold a meeting with Minister of Electronics & Information Technology of India Ravi Shankar Prasad, management of leading state-owned and private IT companies and visit a number of technological facilities of India in Delhi and Bangalore. The two sides will discuss the possibility of further strengthening bilateral relations in the field of information technologies. 

(ET, Sep 17, 2018)


Imported electronics may get dearer

The consumer electronics industry fears the government’s move to restrict non-essential imports might lead to increase in custom duties on premium televisions and appliances, which would increase prices.  Senior industry executives said products such as side-by-side refrigerators, large front-load washing machines, microwave ovens, dish washers, cloth dryers, appliances in built-in kitchens, premium air-conditioners and large screen televisions are mostly imported, and likely to be taxed.

(ET, Sep 17, 2018)


Government eyes USD 240-billion electronics industry in Andhra Pradesh

Minister for IT, Electronics and Communication Nara Lokesh has said the State government aims to have electronic manufacturing industry worth $240 billion in Andhra Pradesh. He said the State government was taking steps for achieving the target by creating a robust ecosystem to invest in AP. Lokesh, on the first day of his six-day visit to China on Sunday, interacted with China Telugu Association members in Beijing, and pitched AP as the potential investment destination. “According to the projections, India will be a $480 billion market for electronic goods in the coming years. Our target is to manufacture at least half of the electronic products sold in India,” the minister observed.

(Indian Express, Sep 17, 2018)


Centre Of Software Technology Park Of India To Be Set Up In Haryana

The government of Haryana informs that decks have been cleared for the setting up of a centre of Software Technology Park of India (STPI) in Panchkula with the Haryana Government deciding to transfer land measuring  8049.71 square meters to STPI, Noida for the specific purpose of setting up of STPI of STPI centre at Panchkula. The land would be given free of cost/leasehold basis for 99 years at the rate of Re. one per year.  A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) will also be signed between HARTRON and STPI, Noida for this purpose. A decision to this effect was taken in the meeting of State Cabinet held under the Chairmanship of Chief Minister, Mr Manohar Lal here today. Panchkula has potential to attract IT due to proximity of Technical Institutions and Universities, the presence of software firms in Tricity, Chandigarh being made a smart city, good law and order scenario, healthy climate and high accessibility due to the proximity of the international airport, national highway and railways passing through Panchkula. 

(ProjectNewsin, Sep 05, 2018)


Electronics mfg in India to touch $104 billion

The India’s electronic product industry is one of the largest in the world and is expected to reach a turnover of $400 billion in 2022. Total production of electronics hardware goods in India is estimated to reach $104 billion by 2020, says Sameer Saxena, Director (Marketing)- Legrand (Group) India.  Legrand is a global specialist in electrical and digital building infrastructure. In India, it has been a leader in the protection business for over two decades, and leverage global knowledge to customize offerings locally, delivering end-to-end solutions across categories and sectors, from residential and commercial, to hospitality and industrial. Legrand has progressively developed product ranges for wiring devices, home automation, door entry, lighting management systems, cable management and structured cabling to add to their core offerings of circuit breakers and distribution boards. “The acquisition of established companies like Numeric and Valrack further strengthened Legrand’s promise of complete solutions, and makes them a preferred partner across segments,” Sameer Saxena, Director (Marketing) - Legrand (Group) India, tells Jayarama Emani

(Hans India, Sep 03, 2018)


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)