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Cisco India earmarks Rs 63.5 crore to provide financial support to staff amid Covid-19 crisis Telecom

US-based networking solutions provider Cisco is making a "one-off payment" of about Rs 63.5 crore towards supporting staff in India during the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. A Cisco India employee shared a post on LinkedIn saying the company is providing a 'crisis financial assistance' under which employees in the country are being given Rs 50,000 each. The company is also offering additional paid leaves for volunteering work, vaccination cost coverage, and salary advances to support its staff in the country, the post said. When contacted, Cisco - in an emailed statement said - the company continues to explore new ways to expand the resources available to its employees and their families.

(ET, May 12, 2021)


The RFI seeks responses from helicopter OEMs, authorized leasing firms, third party financiers or government-sponsored agencies for 24 helicopters with ground support equipment, all maintenance support including performance-based logistics, and training of aircrew and maintainers. The lease will be guided by chapter IX of the latest Defence Acquisition Procedure. The period of initial lease is five years, extendable by another five years, with an option to buy back the airframes at residual value. This is the first time the Indian navy has resorted to leasing helicopters.

(Indian Defence News, May 12, 2021)


Hanwha Defence has told Janes it plans to offer its K21-105 Light Tank to meet a new requirement within the Indian Army. If selected for the programme Hanwha Defence plans to build the platform in India through its existing partnership with local firm Larsen & Toubro (L&T). The plan is aligned with a request for information (RFI) issued by the Indian Army in April in support of its programme to acquire, through several phases, 350 locally manufactured light tanks for deployment in assorted terrain. According to the RFI, the tanks will be procured through the ‘Make in India’ category of the Ministry of Defence’s (MoD’s) Defence Acquisition Procedure 2020 (DAP 2020).

(Defense News, May 12, 2021)

Godrej Consumer sees Q4 net profit jump 59 per cent General

FMCG major Godrej Consumer Products Ltd (GCPL) on Tuesday reported a massive 59.13 per cent increase in its consolidated net profit for the  fourth quarter of FY21 as net sales witnessed substantial growth. The company recorded a net profit of Rs 365.84 crore  compared to Rs 229.90 crore in the corresponding quarter of the previous year.  The company, whose board also appointed HUL’s former executive director Sudhir Sitapati as the managing director and CEO, recorded a 26.87 per cent increase in its net sales during January-March 2021 at Rs 2,705.69 crore, up from Rs 2,132.69 crore last year.  GCPL Chairperson and Managing Director Nisaba Godrej said, “We delivered a third consecutive quarter of double-digit sales growth. Consolidated sales grew 27 per cent and Ebitda grew by 21 per cent.” 

(Indian Express, May 12, 2021)

PLI for Telecom Equipments- DoT to start inviting applications for telecom PLI scheme shortly; Huawei, ZTE shut out: CNBC-Awaaz Policy

The Department of Telecommunications has finalised the guidelines for the telecom manufacturing PLI scheme worth Rs 12,200 crore and is likely to issue them in 1-2 days, news channel CNBC-Awaaz reported citing sources familiar with the matter. The DoT will shortly start inviting applications from interested companies, the news channel added and said the window for application will be open for one month, till June 15. However, Chinese gear vendors like Huawei and ZTE have been shut out from the scheme.

(ET, May 11, 2021)

Tech giants join call for funding U.S. chip production General

Some of the world's biggest chip buyers, including Apple Inc, Microsoft Corp and Alphabet Inc's Google, are joining top chip-makers such as Intel Corp to create a new lobbying group to press for government chip manufacturing subsidies. The newly formed Semiconductors in America Coalition, which also includes Amazon.com's Amazon Web Services, said Tuesday it has asked U.S. lawmakers to provide funding for the CHIPS for America Act, for which President Joe Biden has asked Congress to provide $50 billion.

(ET, May 11, 2021)

5 electronics startups providing jobs in rural India General

With the government’s flagship initiative Digital Bharat, inculcating technology in everyday life from digital payments to communication, deep tech has become the new talk of the town. India has the third largest space for start-up ecosystems in the world, these start-ups are enabling technology in the lives of people. Making the lives of people easy with technology creating opportunities and employment, start-ups are not only thriving in tier 3 and 4 markets but impacting the lives of rural people and customers. Connecting rural India with advanced solutions and services addressing grassroots level challenges, these start-ups are emerging as innovative and accelerating programmes for the digital India campaign.

(India Today, May 11, 2021)

AI analog chip startup Mythic raises $70 Million Telecom

Mythic, a startup making artificial intelligence chips for use in gadgets such as smart home devices or security cameras, on Tuesday said it raised $70 million in its latest round of funding. The Redwood City, California-based chip maker started in 2012, uses analog technology for its chips rather than digital. Digital chips store and process data in 1s and 0s, while analog chips can process wave forms such as speech or video and are used to digitize speech and video into 1s and 0s. "What it really does is allows us to get essentially GPU levels of performance - those big book sized cards burning one hundred watts and costing $4,000 dollars," said Mike Henry, co-founder and CEO of Mythic.

(ET, May 11, 2021)

Twitter donates $15 mn to 3 different NGOs for COVID-19 relief in India Telecom

Microblogging giant Twitter has donated USD 15 million to help address the COVID-19 crisis in India which is battling the unprecedented second wave of the deadly pandemic. Twitter CEO Jack Patrick Dorsey on Monday tweeted that the amount has been donated to three non-governmental organisations - Care, Aid India and Sewa International USA. While CARE has been given USD 10 million, Aid India and Sewa International USA have received USD 2.5 million each. "Sewa International is a Hindu faith-based, humanitarian, non-profit service organisation.

(ET, May 11, 2021)

Telecom secretary puts on hold 5G trial spectrum allotment to Saankhya Labs, IISc Bengaluru Telecom

Telecom secretaryAnshu Prakash has put on hold the recent allocation of 5G trial spectrum to homegrown semiconductor chipset maker Saankhya Labs and IISc Bengaluru. The development has brought to the fore divergent views of two key wings of the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) on the experimental 5G airwaves allocation process. Government and industry insiders said the allocations have been held in abeyance as Saankhya and IISc apparently did not follow the mandated process of seeking such experimental 5G spectrum. Instead of directly applying online to the mandated Wireless Planning & Coordination (WPC) wing, they chose to involve DoT’s Standards, R&D & Innovation (SRI) division in the applications process, a person with direct knowledge said.

(ET, May 11, 2021)

Foxconn iPhone India output drops 50% amid COVID surge: Sources Telecom

Production of the Apple iPhone 12 at a Foxconn factory in India has slumped by more than 50% because workers infected with COVID-19 have had to leave their posts, two sources told Reuters. The Foxconn facility in the southern state of Tamil Nadu produces iPhones specifically for India, the world's No.2 smartphone market. Tamil Nadu is one of the worst hit states in the second coronavirus wave engulfing India. Officials imposed a full lockdown in the state from Monday, closing public transport and shuttering shops, to try slow surging infections.

(ET., May 11, 2021)

Netweb’s ‘Make in India’ compliant Tyrone servers General

Netweb Technologies launched the latest TYRONE servers at MAIT-ETMS 2021 in compliance with GOI’s Atmanirvar Bharat initiative for the complex computing needs of Indian companies. Manufacturers’ Association for Information Technology (MAIT), the apex industry body of the IT manufacturing companies in India, organised the third edition of the Electronics Manufacturing Summit (ETMS) from April 22, 2021 to April 23, 2021. A major attraction of this virtual summit was the launch of TYRONE family of servers by Netweb Technologies.

(Express Computer, May 10, 2021)

Temporary entry ban on Indians may impact Malaysia's electronics industry IT

As COVID-19 cases soared in India and its neighbouring countries, Malaysia last Wednesday (May 5) announced a temporary entry ban on citizens of Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal. It had earlier on April 28 stopped flights to and from India in an attempt to prevent a new COVID-19 variant from entering the country. The coastal state of Penang, which is the Electrical and Electronics (E & E) manufacturing hub of Malaysia, has expressed concerns that this will impact the state's manufacturers as it is dependent on skilled Indian software and information technology (IT) professionals.

(BS, May 10, 2021)

Amazon pauses annual Prime Day sale in India due to COVID-19 General

 Amazon.com Inc has paused its annual Prime Day sale in India, a company spokeswoman said on Friday, as the country battles a severe second wave of coronavirus infections that has left thousands dead. In the past week, India has reported 1.5 million new infections and record daily death tolls as its hospitals run out of beds and medical oxygen. Amazon, Google and several Indian firms have jumped in to help the world's second biggest population battle coronavirus by pitching in with everything from airlifts of medical equipment and funding pledges to making medical oxygen. The event, offered only to members by Amazon, is typically held in July to boost sales. The discounts are a key way Amazon markets Prime, a fast-shipping and media-streaming service that incentivizes subscribers to do more shopping on Amazon.

(ET, May 08, 2021)

India, Guatemala to deepen cooperation in space, defence and security; India-SICA Trade negotiations to start soon General

The two sides also discussed possible cooperation in -- Defence & Security, International Solar Alliance (ISA) as well as cooperation with CAABI and being part of OSA (Organization of American States).  India and South American nation Guatemala met virtually on Wednesday (May 5, 2021) for the second Foreign Office Consultations (FOC) where the focus was on deepening cooperation in sectors including Science and Technology, Agriculture, Space, energy, education, health and traditional medicine and tourism.

(FE, May 06, 2021)

U.S. Commerce Dept. pressing Taiwan to supply more chips to U.S. automakers General

The U.S. Commerce Department is pressing Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd and other Taiwanese firms to prioritize the needs of U.S. automakers to ease chip shortages in the near term, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said on Tuesday. Raimondo told a Council of the Americas event that longer term, increased investment was needed to produce more semiconductors in the United States and that other critical supply chains needed re-shoring, including to allied countries. 

(ET, May 05, 2021)

Electronics, handset cos slash production Telecom

Several electronics manufacturers including Lava International, Transsion Holdings, MCM Telecom Equipment, Videotex International and Veira Electronics are cutting production by up to 50%, as the raging second Covid-19 wave hits demand and due to a shortage of components and factory workers. Some component and device makers such as TMB Battery, Khy Electronics, Salcomp, Jabil, Sunwoda Electronics, JSP electronics, Hong Guang De Technology, Rashmi Rare Earth, Sahasra Electronics and VVDN have shut factories for 7-10 days or reduced shifts to curb the virus spread, several industry executives told ET. They have also prioritised arrangements for staff ’s health. 

(ET, May 05, 2021)

Aarogya Setu app to display vaccine status soon Telecom

The Aarogya Setucontact tracing app may soon become a tool to quickly access a person's vaccination status. The government is working on a feature where a blue tick will appear against their names once people take one dose of the vaccine. If they have taken both the doses, then two blue ticks will be displayed. The new functionality is expected to be rolled out in the next one or two weeks, government officials who are privy to the development told ET.

(ET, May 05, 2021)

France' STMicro sees no reason to take part in EU chip alliance Telecom

Franco-Italian chipmaker STMicroelectronics sees no reason to join a potential European Unionsemiconductors alliance, its chief executive said on Tuesday, as the European Commission is seeking to boost Europe's independence in microchips. CEO Jean-Marc Chery told BFM Business that the Commission's initiative is a positive development but added that his firm had no interest in taking part. Chery said he expects the chip shortage is not about to end. "The imbalance between demand and capacity is such that this will last at least a year," he said. STMicro produces a wide range of chips, from low-margin microcontrollers to more sophisticated sensors used in smartphones and autonomous vehicles.

(ET, May 05, 2021)

PLI for IT Hardware- Dell, Foxconn, 17 other firms apply under PLI scheme for IT Hardware Policy

As many as 19 companies have filed application under the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme for the IT Hardware, the union Telecom ministry said on Tuesday. As per the ministry, companies like, Dell, Lava, ICT (Wistron) and Rising Stars Hi-Tech (Foxconn) have applied under the PLI scheme. The other 14 companies that have filed applications under the category Domestic Companies which include Dixon, Infopower (JV of Sahasra and MiTAC), Bhagwati (Micromax), Syrma, Orbic, Neolync, Optiemus, Netweb, VVDN, Smile Electronics, Panache Digilife, HLBS, RDP Workstations and Coconics. Production Linked Incentive Scheme (PLI) for IT Hardware was notified on March 3, this year. The scheme proposes production linked incentives to boost domestic manufacturing and attract large investments in the value chain of these IT Hardware products.

(Mint, May 04, 2021)

India’s Telecom Firms Avoid Chinese Suppliers for 5G Operations Policy

India’s wireless carriers have avoided partnering with Chinese telecom players for 5G services, the fallout of a bloody border standoff between the neighbors, as they start trial operations in the South Asian nation. Bharti Airtel Ltd., Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd., Vodafone Idea Ltd. and state-run Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd. have tied up with equipment makers Ericsson AB, Nokia Oyj, Samsung Electronics Co. and state-run Centre for Development of Telematics, the telecom department said in a statement on Tuesday. Reliance Jio will also conduct trials using its own technology. The trial duration will be for six months, including a two-month period for procurement and setting up of equipment.

(Bloomberg, May 04, 2021)

Karlsruher Institute for Technology: Printed Circuits Protect Sensors IT

Electronic sensors can benefit many industrial applications, such as automotive engineering. But they have to be protected from attacks and falsifications. The new joint project “sensIC”aims to integrate printed electronics and silicon components directly into products in order to secure sensors. At the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), researchers are developing a central component for this: printed safety circuits with special hardware-based functions, so-called Physical Unclonable Functions (PUFs). The Federal Ministry of Research is funding sensIC with a total of 2.9 million euros.

(India EducationDiary, May 04, 2021)

L&T Technology Services reappoints Narayanan Kumar as Independent Director IT

L&T Technology Services Ltd has informed that the Board has re-appointed Narayanan Kumar as the Independent Director of the Company for a further period of three years and seven months with effect from 15th July 2021 up to and including 14th January, 2025. N Kumar is Vice Chairman of The Sanmar Group, a multinational US $ 1 billion conglomerate headquartered in Chennai, India with manufacturing facilities in India, Mexico and Egypt. The Group is engaged in key business sectors - Chemicals (including Speciality Chemicals), Engineering (Products and Steel Castings) and Shipping. N Kumar is the Honorary Consul General of Greece in Chennai.

(IIFL Securities, May 04, 2021)

COVID-19 Has Uncovered A Digital Divide Between Companies: Sudheesh Narayanan, Knowledge Lens IT

Knowledge Lens is a digital acceleration product company that leverages artificial intelligence, industrial IoT, and big data analytics to offer business insights to its customers. This Bangalore-based technology firm has helped 3,000 customers worldwide, including Fortune 500 companies, by implementing next-gen enterprise and manufacturing data lakes, AI-powered intelligent apps, industry 4.0 solutions and sustainability cloud.  Analytics India Magazine caught up with Sudheesh Narayanan, Founder & CEO, Knowledge Lens, to know more about its innovative solutions and its recent partnerships. In this interview, Narayanan also shares his insights on the massive digital revolution in this post-pandemic era and how industrial IoT participates. that had already invested in digital transformation models pre-COVID and those that did not.  

(Analytics India Magazine, May 04,, 2021)

Indo British’ Electric Mobility Brand GoZero Mobility Welcomes The Enhanced Trade Partnership (ETP) IT

Gozero Mobility, a British performance electric bicycle and active wear maker, is in high spirits as the UK Finalises GBP 1 Billion worth Trade Deals with India, creating over 6,500 jobs in Britain. The five key areas it will focus on are the people-to-people relationship, trade and prosperity, defence and security, climate action and healthcare. The UK companies clinching export deals with India include Morningside Pharmaceuticals with an R&D pact, Kloudpad with a data centres deal, BP in a partnership with Infosys and GoZero Mobility with an e-bicycles deal. The manufacturer has its headquarters in Birmingham and manufacturing base in Kolkata, India. The India team currently has 22 employees, some of which have been hired from elite B-schools in India..

(India Education Diary, May 04, 2021)

Chipmaker TSMC eyeing expansion of planned Arizona plant: Sources Telecom

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC) is planning to build several more chipmaking factories in the U.S. state of Arizona beyond the one currently planned, three people familiar with the matter told Reuters. TSMC, the world's largest contract chipmaker, announced in May 2020 it would build a $12 billion factory in Arizona, an apparent win by the Trump administration in its push to wrestle global tech supply chains back from China. TSMC is setting up a 12-inch wafer fabrication plant in Phoenix, and the facility is expected to start volume production in 2024, Taiwan's investment commission of the ministry of economic affairs, which approved the investment, said in December.        

(ET, May 04, 2021)

German chipmaker Infineon raises revenue, margin guidance on chip boom Telecom

German chipmaker Infineon raised its guidance on Tuesday for revenue and margins in the current fiscal year, saying that demand was greatly exceeding supply and it continued to invest in additional capacity. Munich-based Infineon, the leading semiconductor supplier to the car industry, lifted its revenue forecast for the year to Sept. 30 to a midpoint of 11 billion euros ($13.2 billion) from 10.8 billion. It now expects a profit margin of 18%, up from an earlier view of 17.8%. "The semiconductor market is booming," Chief Executive Reinhard Ploss said, adding that demand greatly exceeded supply in most areas. "Infineon's manufacturing facilities are running at full speed and we continue to invest in additional capacity."

(ET, May 04, 2021)

Samsung, Vivo pledge funds for Covid fight Telecom

Electronics major Samsung and smartphone brand Vivo have pledged to contribute Rs 37 crore and Rs 10 crore for the fight against Covid. Samsung said it has pledged USD 5 million (Rs 37 crore) out of which USD 3 million will be donated to the states of Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu while USD 2 million will be provided for medical supplies, including 100 Oxygen Concentrators, 3,000 Oxygen Cylinders and one million LDS syringes. LDS or Low Dead Space syringes minimize the amount of drug left in the device after injection, optimizing vaccine usage. Existing products have a large amount of the vaccine remaining in the syringe after use..

(ET, May 04, 2021)

Singapore cyber protection firm Acronis receives $250 mln investment for global expansion, including in India Telecom

Singapore's cyber protection company Acronis has received USD 250 million investment from Luxembourg-headquartered CVC Capital Partners, supporting its global expansion including the setting up of a cloud data centre and acquisition of companies in India. The USD 250 million investment has put the company's value over USD 2.5 billion, up from USD 1 billion in 2019, Rustom Hiramaneck, General Manager for South Asia at Acronis International Pte Ltd, said on Tuesday, announcing the CVC Capital investment. "India is a top-tier country for us this year and a part of the Asia Pacific and Japan which are one of our fastest growing markets. We have big plans for the adoption of cyber protection vision in India in the next few years," he said.

(ET, May 04, 2021)

India Getting P-8s In New Deal That Includes Local Investment General

A new State Department-approved deal to sell six more P-8 submarine-hunting aircraft to India comes with the provision that 30% of the acquisition cost be spent in the Indian aerospace sector, an offset in keeping with the government’s push to bolster industrial capacity at home. The “Make in India” program, promoted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has pulled in production on F-16s, P-8s, helicopters and missiles in recent years, as US companies compete hard to win billions in new contracts with a nation seen by Washington as a critical ally in containing China.

(Defense News, May 04, 2021)

Growth could be positive, strong through next year: Revathi Advaithi, CEO, Flex General

Flex, one of world’s largest contract manufacturers, has a strong business pipeline in India—the company runs three manufacturing sites around Chennai and employs 18,000 people. Revathi Advaithi, CEO, Flex, thinks India does bring a lot to the table when it comes to make in India. However, there is still some distance to cover before India can become a manufacturing exports hub. It has been an interesting 12 months. But when you see the economic and financial waves, like in 2008, I would say that the pandemic from an economic perspective wasn’t as bad for companies like us. Many critical areas of manufacturing had to keep running. The recovery has been much stronger than what we would have expected. The US GDP is supposed to be strong. The recovery has been driven by pent-up demand in many areas.

(Mint, May 03, 2021)

Electric Vehicles: Race Against Time IT

It's literally a race against time for adoption of electric vehicles (EV) in India. Despite the imperatives of cutting carbon emissions and reducing India’s dependence on crude oil 82.8 per cent of which needs to be imported, we have remained abysmally short of the stated adoption goals since our home-grown EV industry took its first steps 4-5 years ago. Against a three-year target (2019-2022) to sell one million electric two-wheelers (E2W), we have so far only managed to sell 1.4 lakh units. By 2030, the Indian government wants to see at least 7 out of 10 commercial cars and 8 out of 10 twowheelers/ three-wheelers to be electric. In the passenger car segment, the stated target is to see that 3 out of 10 cars sold are electric. In the bus segment, 4 out of 10 buses should be running on electricity.

(Businessworld, May 03, 2021)

Solar 101: Attaching your PV system to your roof General

A solar racking system’s strength is determined in part by the metal racking, but it also depends on the roof’s underlying structure. Rafters and any supporting structures must be strong enough to withstand your region’s maximum wind and snow loads. In our first article of our Solar 101 series, (Is my roof ready for solar?) we discussed the age of our roof and how it affects the finances involved in a solar installation. Now, we’ll consider the roof’s physical characteristics. After all, the roofing material type and its underlying structure, as well the various angles of its faces and layout, will affect many aspects of the installation.

(PV Magazine, May 03, 2021)

KPI Global secures 12.5 MW captive solar project General

Gujarat-based solar developer KPI Global has received a letter of intent from Anupam Rasayan India to execute a 12.5 MW solar project under captive power producer category. Gujarat-based KPI Global today announced it had secured an order to execute a 12.5 MW solar project under the captive power producer category. The developer received a letter of intent for the project from Surat-based Anupam Rasayan India, a company engaged in the custom synthesis and manufacturing of specialty chemicals in India. The entire capital expenditure of INR 43 crore will be funded from Anupam Rasayan’s recently concluded IPO proceeds.

(PV Magazine, May 03, 2021)

Gautam Solar doubles capacity with new production line General

Gautam Mohanka, managing director of New Delhi-headquartered Gautam Solar, told pv magazine its Haridwar module factory, now scaled up to 250 MW, is producing panels with a power output of up to 400 W, using mono PERC and polycrystalline cells. New Delhi manufacturer Gautam Solar has started panel production from a new manufacturing line at its Haridwar factory in Uttarakhand. The INR200 crore group has more than doubled its annual solar panel manufacturing capacity, from 120 MW to 250 MW, at Haridwar—a boost that makes it the third-largest solar manufacturer in North India. Speaking to pv magazine, managing director Gautam Mohanka said the bigger capacity at the Haridwar plant has already become operational.

(PV Magazine, May 03, 2021)

INNOVATION: IIIT-H develops unique charging solution for electric bikes General

Researchers at the International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad (IIIT-H) have designed a unique charging solution for e-scooters. Dr. Aftab Hussain, who heads the Processes, Architecture and Technologies Research in IoT (PATRIoT) division at IIIT-H and his team has designed a complete end-to-end charging solution from the electronic hardware components that are sturdy and safe enough for outdoor deployments to the software that contains an appropriate processor to control all input and output devices of the system.

(ET, Apr  23, 2021)

Include low bitrate satellite services in licensing framework: SIA-India to Trai Telecom

SIA-India said the existing licensing framework should include low bitrate satellite services, and terminal-by-terminal fees should be relaxed, especially in the case of Internet of Things (IoT) to ensure success in the country. “Individual terminal-by-terminal fees should be avoided when dealing with a number of ubiquitous user terminals with similar technical and operational characteristics (in other words, a “blanket license” approach would be more suitable),” Anil Prakash – Director-General, SIA-India said, in response to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (Trai) consultation paper on ‘licensing framework for satellite-based connectivity for low bit-rate applications’.

(ET, Apr 23, 2021)

MeitY launches new initiatives to increase IPv6 adoption in India Telecom

Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) launched three new initiatives--IP Guru, NIXI Academy, and NIXI-IP-Index to help Indian entities migrate and adopt Internet Protocol version IPv6. These initiatives were launched by Ajay Prakash Sawhney, Secretary, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology on Friday. The IP Guru group will hire an agency that will work with end customers to provide them with the necessary technical support to adopt IPv6. This expert group will additionally guide all such Indian entities and help in increasing IPv6 adoption.

(ET, Apr  16, 2021)

Optiemus buys out Wistron stake in manufacturing JV General

Wistron Corporation has exited the joint venture with Optiemus Infracom, which has acquired Wistron’s 19.91% shareholding in subsidiary Optiemus Electronics Limited. The unit will now become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Optiemus Infracom. “Optiemus Infracom Limited, leading telecommunications enterprise today announced the completion of the acquisition of 27,60,000 Equity shares (19.91% of the total share capital) of Optiemus Electronics Limited, Subsidiary and Joint Venture Company, by way of transfer from Wistron Corporation,” it said in an exchange filing on Thursday. 

(ET, Apr 15, 2021)

Two-thirds of urban Indians plan to increase online shopping General

New Delhi, YouGov's latest research reveals that two-thirds of urban Indians (67 per cent) plan to increase the use of online shopping or delivery services once the pandemic is over. YouGov's new report offers an overview of changing consumer attitudes and behaviours in 17 global markets. Four out of five urban Indian consumers claim their regular shopping habits have changed during the pandemic. Consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables increased among urban Indians but intake of junk food decreased during this time. India ranks among the top countries that pledges to prioritise sustainability and support local businesses once the pandemic has ended.

(ET, Apr 14, 2021)

Paytm inspired Harvard team creating similar app for Americans Telecom

The success of Vijay Shekhar Sharma-run digital payments leader Paytm in India has reached the US, and a team from Harvard Business School, led by a US Army veteran, is currently working on a similar app for a wider launch later this spring. Called Flash Cash, the QR code-based digital payments platform aims to create a "Paytm-like service to provide better value to merchants and a better experience for customers" in the US. According to CEO Chuck Nadd, a US Army veteran, who flew Black Hawk helicopters and coordinated military operations worldwide, felt that QR codes had not yet been widely adopted as a payment solution in the American market.

(ET, Apr 05, 2021)

PLI Scheme: India Invites Applications for Second Round of Large-Scale Electronics Manufacturing Policy

The government has started inviting applications for the second round of large-scale electronics manufacturing under the production-linked incentive scheme with focus on some electronic components like motherboards, semiconductor devices, among others. Application window for the scheme will remain open till March 31 which may be further extended, according to guidelines issued by the Ministry of Electronics and IT. “The second round of the PLI scheme is open for accepting applications,” an official memorandum dated March 11 said. “The tenure of the second round of PLI scheme is for four years and the incentive shall be applicable from April 1, 2021.” The first round of the scheme was open for receiving applications till July 31 which attracted participation from global majors like Apple’s contract manufacturers Foxconn, Wistron and Pegatron; Samsung; local players Lava, Optiemus, Dixon etc.—committing investment of over Rs 11,000 crore. While the first round targeted mobile manufacturing with incentives for 20 companies, the second round has expanded the window for up to 30 eligible companies. 

(BloomberQuint, Mar 14, 2021)

India's draft e-commerce policy calls for equal treatment of sellers Policy

India will require e-commerce firms to treat sellers equally on their platforms and ensure transparency, according to a draft policy seen by Reuters on Saturday that follows criticism against business practices of big online companies. India has been deliberating a new e-commerce policy for months amid complaints from brick-and-mortar retailers who allege online giants like Amazon and Walmart's Flipkart flout federal regulations. The companies have denied the allegations. A Reuters special report last month revealed that Amazon has for years given preferential treatment to a small group of sellers on its India platform and used them to circumvent the country's foreign investment rules. The latest draft of the policy document says operators should be impartial in their dealings with sellers. "E-commerce operators must ensure equal treatment of all sellers/vendors registered on their platforms and not adopt algorithms which result in prioritizing select vendors/sellers," it says. A spokesman for the commerce ministry declined to comment. The policy will apply to Amazon and Flipkart - two top e-commerce players in India - as well as domestic players like Reliance Industries, which has plans to expand its JioMart online platform. All three firms did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

(ET, Mar 14, 2021)

OLX has recorded an increase of 35 per cent in demand from buyers in the year 2020 over 2019 General

Classifies platform OLX has witnessed high demand for pre-owned goods throughout 2020, despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the company has said. According to an official release by OLX, “a comparison of buyers and sellers data on the platform for 2020 versus 2019 reveals a strong growth trajectory of buyers throughout all quarters in the year over the previous one.” The demand for used goods on the platform has outpaced the demand for new goods, driven primarily by consumers in non-metro markets. It has also witnessed an increase in listings by sellers from non-metros in the second half of 2020 especially for goods such as laptops, fridges and air conditioners. OLX has recorded an increase of 35 per cent in demand from buyers in the year 2020 over 2019. Demand for electronics and appliances, mobile phones, accessories and furniture has also remained steady throughout the year, as per OLX.  “Demand for technology gadgets and electronics - laptops, mobiles phones, tablets and televisions saw a spike during 2020, even during the first few months when the lockdown was announced owing to home entertainment and online education requirements,” it said. Each of these products witnessed a growth in demand by nearly 100 per cent in the non-metros, in Q2, 2020. In metro cities, there was high consumer demand for Tablets at 98 per cent.

(BusinessLine, Mar 14, 2021)

India’s move to deter digital monopolies may hit Amazon, Walmart IT

e-tIndia’s draft e-commerce rules to prevent creation of “digital monopolies” and aid local startups may raise costs and stymie expansion plans at companies such as Amazon.com Inc. and Walmart Inc.  The draft rules seek to prescribe a code of conduct for online retailers and define cross-border flow of user data, according to a note titled Draft Ecommerce Policy, a copy of which was seen by Bloomberg News. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government --beset by complaints from its traditional vote base of small retailers -- has been framing rules to reduce the dominance of Amazon and Walmart-owned Flipkart in India’s estimated $1 trillion overall retail market. The latest proposals build on laws that curb the two U.S. companies from offering deep discounts, deter exclusive arrangements with preferred sellers and investing in merchants offering products on their websites. The new comprehensive e-commerce policy will address growth and aim to “reduce prevalent market distortions,” the note said. The nine-page document formed the basis of a discussion by officials of various ministries at a meeting on Saturday called by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade in India’s Ministry of Commerce & Industry. The draft proposals seek to ensure algorithms created by e-retailers do not discriminate against sellers.

(ET, Mar 14, 2021)

Bengal e-commerce start-up plans to help small electronics retailers IT

Magitronix EComm, a startup firm, is focusing on buyers in small towns for its online marketplace and helping neighbourhood electronics shop owners who are not able to get access to the network of big e- commerce players, a company official said on Sunday.The startup firm from West Bengal has also received approval from the department for promotion of industry and internal trade (DPIIT) of the commerce ministry and will start transactions through its portal 'Ononya.com', he said. "We do not have any warehousing facility. Neighbourhood electronics shops will act as sellers. This is a startup with no funding from outside till now," Magitronix CEO Indrajit Ghosh said.The offline sales of electronics shops across the country have been hit due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Citing a recent study released by IT body Nasscom and retail consultancy firm Technopak Advisors, he said, "The emergence of 'online offline' (O O) market is seen as a rising collaboration of digitally enabled retail stores." He said a report of FIS also suggested the business of India's digital marketplaces will touch USD 111 billion by 2024. Nabendu Ray, former head of retail at Samsung India, has joined the startup as a director, Ghosh said.  West Bengal's home and IT departments former secretary GD Gautama is also a member of the advisory board, he said, adding Aditi Olemann, who was associated with Tata group and is now a successful startup entrepreneur in the technology space, has joined the firm.

(LiveMint, Mar 14, 2021)

AC makers set to hike prices to offset rising input costs; expect high double-digit growth this year General

Leading AC manufacturers are betting on high double-digit growth this year even as they are firming up plans to increase prices of residential air conditioners by 5 to 8 per cent before the crucial summer season starts. Leading players such as - Voltas, Daikin, LG, Panasonic, Haier, Blue Star and Samsung - are expecting a high double-digit growth, as they are betting on pent-up demand, sweltering summer and continuance of work from home, which will create demand for additional cooling products. This season, several makers have introduced health and hygiene features in their range of ACs, claiming to protect their customers from the virus amid the pandemic. They are also providing no-cost EMI, cashback and easy accessibility to boost sales. Daikin Airconditioning is going to increase the prices by 3 to 5 per cent this month as prices of metals and compressor, which are largely imported, have gone up. "It will have some impact on the sales but the pent-up demand is there and summers would be hot this year. We are expecting that even if there is some price increase, demand would be there," Daikin Airconditioning India MD & CEO Kanwal Jeet Jawa told PTI. Panasonic, which is having "robust sales" across regions, primarily helped by the pent-up demand from last year, is also going for a price increase and expects a high double-digit growth this season.

(Outlook, Mar 14, 2021)

TV prices to go up from April as open-cell panels get costlier in global markets General

Prices of LED TVs are set to rise further from April as the cost of open-cell panels has gone up in the global markets by up to 35 per cent in the past one month. Brands including Panasonic  NSE 0.98 %, Haier and Thomson are considering to increase prices from April this year, while some like LG have already raised prices due to hike in prices of open-cell. Panasonic India and South Asia President and CEO Manish Sharma said, " . "Panel prices are rising continuously and so are the prices of TVs. It is likely that TV prices may increase further by April." When being asked about the quantum on increase, he said, "Seeing current trends, it might go up 5-7 per cent more by April." Expressing similarly, Haier Appliances India President Eric Braganza said there is no other way than to increase the prices. "The prices of open-cell have gone up tremendously and the trends are that it would keep on increasing," said Braganza adding that "if that continues, we would have to continuously increase prices". 

(ET, Mar 11, 2021)

Will the DRDO make AIP ready by 2023 to be fitted on Kalvari Class submarines? General

The Fuel Cell based Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) System of the Defence Research and Development Organisation has cleared another level of testing on Tuesday (March 9, 2021). An official statement issued by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has stated that land-based prototype has crossed another milestone in user specific tests on March 8, 2021. According to the statement, the system being developed by Naval Materials Research Laboratory (NMRL) of DRDO, as per the user requirements, was operated in endurance mode and max power mode. As has been reported earlier the AIP is considered critical for the Kalvari class submarines, as it makes the diesel electric submarine more lethal as they can remain submerged for longer duration. And, according to DRDO the Fuel cell-based AIP has merits in performance compared to other technologies. It uses hydrogen and oxygen to generate electricity and has almost no moving parts (this helps in making them quieter) and produces minimal waste. “Compared to the AIP systems being used by other navies internationally, the fuel cell-based AIP of NMRL is unique as the hydrogen is generated onboard. This technology has been developed with the support of industry partners including L&T and Thermax,” says the official statement. In October 2019, as has been reported earlier, the DRDO had announced a major breakthrough in the fuel cell-based AIP system for Indian Naval Submarines after crossing several milestones in technology maturity.

(FE, Mar 09, 2021)

India to launch more Aadhar like Public Digital Platforms shortly – Secretary, MeitY General

Mr. Ajay Prakash Sawhney, Secretary, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), Government of India, while addressing the inaugural session of IndiaSoft-2021 International Exhibition and Conferences, organized by Electronics and Computer Software Export Promotion Council (ESC) yesterday late evening said that the public digital platforms being developed by India for healthcare, education, agriculture, matching jobs with skills, logistics etc would be launched soon. The public digital platforms in these avenues would add to India’s digital backbone and are being developed by a pool of experts and will open up a lot of opportunities for the private sector for developing tools and devices that can help citizens to access such platforms and to carry out their innovative pursuits; Mr Sawhney said, adding that countries, all over the world, could take advantage of these innovative products. IndiaSoft 2021, which is being held digitally this year, will have country specific buyer-seller meets and conferences to promote Indian products and solutions mostly from the MSME and startup sectors. There will be B2B meets focusing on North America, Europe, Africa, Japan, South Korea, Latin America and the Middle East.

(Orissadiary.com, Mar 08, 2021)

Twitter India Looks For Law Enforcement Liaison As Govt. Clears Air On IT Rules Policy

Minister of electronics and information technology Ravi Shankar Prasad has clarified that the Indian government does not intend to interfere in the activities of social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and others. This at a time when Twitter India has put out a job posting looking for an executive to liaison with law enforcement agencies, or a law enforcement (LE) outreach manager. The IT minister’s statement comes in the backdrop of India’s latest IT (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules of 2021, which states due diligence, grievance redressal and self-regulation for news portals, social media and over-the-top (OTT) platforms.The government will soon constitute an inter-departmental committee (IDC) consisting of representatives from various ministries, to look into complaints regarding the online content of these digital media intermediaries.  The minister referred to these guidelines as a “soft-touch oversight mechanism” to prevent “abuse” and misuse” of digital intermediaries and social media platforms. The union minister, in an interview with ET, said that the government would not want to look at the content or seek decryption of messages, but only to trace the origin of a message that caused serious criminal offences. He was referring to the traceability clause that mandates messaging platforms to report to the government within 72 hours on the origin of messages that lead to offences that are serious in nature. Prasad added that the government will follow due legal procedures and seek the court’s orders or law enforcement agency’s permission before submitting such requests.

(INC42, Mar 08, 2021)

India must to develop technology to indigenously manufacture electronic materials: MoS IT

Sanjay Dhotre, MoS for Education, Communications, Electronics and IT Monday said that materials are the backbone of the manufacturing sector in the country and that India’s electronics manufacturing has grown from Rs 1.90 lakh crore to Rs 5.33 lakh crore in recent years. He was delivering the inaugural address organised at an event to mark the 30th foundation day of city-headquartered Centre for Materials for Electronics Technology (C-MET), which operates under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY). ” In 2014 – 2015, the manufacturing of mobile phones was worth about Rs 6 crore which in 2019 – 2020, grew to Rs 33 crore. From contributing approximately 1.3 per cent in 2012, the share of mobile phone manufacturing has increased to 3.6 per cent during 2019 – 2020. This growth has opened employability for thousands,” said Dhotre. “With the Centre pushing for being Aatmanirbhar in all sectors, the country needs to be greatly involved in materials technology, ” said Vijay Bhatkar, Vice Chancellor, Nalanda University. ” In the past, India had not done significant research on electronics hardware, which is entirely dependent upon materials technology,” said Bhatkar, who led India’s supercomputer programme in the 1990s. NITI Ayog member VK Saraswat too stressed on the urgent requirement for developing technology to develop materials within India and cut imports.

(The India Express, Mar 08, 2021)

Panasonic to buy software firm Blue Yonder for $6.5 billion: Report General

Panasonic Corp will buy U.S. software firm Blue Yonder for 700 billion yen ($6.45 billion), the Nikkei reported on Monday, saying it was the Japanese electronics firm's biggest acquisition since 2011. While Panasonic bought 20% stakes of Blue Yonder in 2020, it is now in the final stage to acquire the rest from shareholders including Blackstone Group Inc, the Nikkei said, citing unnamed sources. The move comes as the Japanese company aims to expand hardware that combines software, sensors and other devices to help companies improve operational efficiencies, Nikkei said.

(ET, Mar 08, 2021)

SC Gives Relief To Google, Facebook, Other Tech Giants Over Royalty Taxes General

Big tech companies Google, Facebook and Amazon could start claiming hundreds of crores in refunds from the Indian government, as a Supreme Court ruling on Tuesday clarified that payments made by local users for the purchase of software from non-resident sellers or distributors cannot be taxed as royalty. India charges a 10% royalty tax, but the SC ruling means a non-resident foreign software seller without a permanent establishment in India would not have to deduct the royalty tax at the source. Instead, sellers such as the tech giants and other software providers would have to pay the 2% equalization levy, which was introduced in the Finance Act, 2020.  With the relief, multinational companies such as IBM, Hewlett Packard and Samsung Electronics, which import software for sale in India, could even lower their prices for the end-user, as their tax liability will now reduce.  The SC ruling came after an examination of around 86 appeals and counter appeals by various software firms as well as India’s Commissioner of Income Tax. Software companies have been deducting the royalty tax at source for years or have been in litigation for the same. 

(INC42, Mar 04, 2021)

Addverb Technologies inaugurates Robots manufacturing facility 'Bot-Valley' in Noida IT

Addverb Technologies, one of India’s biggest Automation and Robotics companies, has launched its Rs 75 crore manufacturing facility in Noida. The company said that the facility has a capacity to manufacture more than 50,000 robots of varied types in a year, and is equipped with best-in-class electronics and mechanical machines. "We have entered a nascent paradigm shift (industry 4.0) where technology will help Addverb meet the growing needs and demand of the present business ecosystem. Robotics holds huge potential in streamlining the processes across industries right from retail to healthcare and from warehousing to supply chain," said Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog, who inaugurated the Addverb facility. Spread over 2.5 acres of land, this new manufacturing unit is equipped with the best-in-class electronics and mechanical machines and has a capacity to manufacture more than 50,000 Robots of varied types in a year. This one-in-a-kind manufacturing hub will employ 450 workforces and provide equality and empowerment to both men and women. 

(India TV, Mar 04, 2021)

Used-phone seller Cashify raises $15 million from Olympus Capital Telecom

Cashify, a re-commerce marketplace that sells and buys used smartphones and other electronic gadgets, has raised $15 million from Olympus Capital Asia. Olympus Capital will make the investment through Asia Environmental Partners (AEP), its clean energy and sustainability platform.  “We are looking forward to accelerating our investment in the electronics reuse and recycling sector and thereby enabling OEMs and consumers to materially reduce their carbon footprint," said Mandeep Manocha, founder and CEO of Cashify. Founded in 2015 by Manocha, Nakul Kumar, and Amit Sethi, Cashify is an online platform to sell used mobile phones for instant cash and offers free home-pickups. The start-up plans to use these funds to expand its footprint in India, through offline retail expansion. “We plan to grow our offline stores from 60 to 150 over the next one and one-and-a-half years, as people like to touch and feel the phone before buying," said Manocha, adding that the pandemic has boosted demand for second-hand smartphones and laptops because of online learning and work from home.  From selling 80,000 devices per month in September 2020, Cashify today sells more than 125,000 devices a month and is looking at achieving profitability in the next 6 months.

(LiveMint, Mar 04, 2021)

Silver accounts for 10% of PV module costs General

Silver accounts for 10% of PV module costs: The share of silver in PV module costs has risen by around 5% in recent months to account for approximately 10% of the total, according to U.S.-based analyst Matt Watson. “With PV module costs in the neighborhood of $0.018-$0.019/watt and silver representing around 10% of the overall module cost structure, and module and cell prices still declining, finding a means to lower the silver cost component is going to become an increasingly difficult task,” Watson told pv magazine. “Over the past 20 years, silver has averaged an 8.31% year-on-year growth in prices, which is greater than the current rate of design thrifting. This means lowering that silver $/watt component is going to be very difficult.” Watson noted that silver is now sold at around $26 per ounce, but said that prices will continue to climb. “When you study the silver market, electronics demand, led by the Solar PV markets, all have increasingly larger forecast demand,” he said, noting that silver is becoming more of an industrial metal with each passing year. “The projected solar PV module silver cost per watt produced is leveling out going forward as a result of these silver price climbs.

(PV Magazine, Mar 04, 2021)

Wipro Consumer Care & Lighting India biz grows 14 per cent in Apr-Dec General

Wipro Consumer Care & Lighting (WCCL) on Thursday said it has seen about 14 per cent growth in its India business in the first nine months of the fiscal ending March, even during a pandemic-hit year, on the back of operational efficiencies and new product launches. The company, which also witnessed strong performance in international markets, also plans to introduce new products exclusively on e-commerce channels as it looks to tap into the increasing adoption of digital platforms in the country. "Our India business has done very well during the COVID times. We did get hit in Q4 of last year but starting Q1, followed by Q2 and Q3, we've done well, largely because our teams really moved fast in the initial week. We realised that distribution reaching the retail was key and we needed to get to the retail as fast as possible," Vineet Agrawal, CEO of Wipro Consumer Care & Lighting and Executive Director of Wipro Enterprises, said. Agrawal said the team worked closely to ensure that distributors and retail partners can be serviced well even during the lockdown, and also start a new factory in Hyderabad that started operations at the end of May last year. 

(ET, Mar 04, 2021)

India's electronics exports cross pre-Covid levels, touch record high of Rs 8806 crore in December General

India’s exports of electronics goods have not only recovered to pre-Covid levels but also touched an all-time high of Rs 8,806 crore in the month of December 2020, data released by commerce ministry last week showed. Of this, mobile phones remained the top contributor with exports worth Rs 3,061 crore - or roughly 35% of total electronics exports - which though is still to reach pre-Covid levels which were as high as Rs 3,254 crore. For 2020, however, electronics exports declined 4.32% to Rs 73,132 crore due to washout of production for 45 days during shutdown of factories. Import also continued to remain high at Rs 3.5 lakh crore as India mostly imports components required to assemble electronic goods which are then exported.  The National Policy on Electronics 2019 envisages total production of electronics in India to the tune of $400 billion by 2025. Close to $190 billion, or 48% of this is expected to come from mobile phones as per official figures. Further, the industry is estimating that 13% of this target production can be achieved from laptops, tablets or PCs and another 22% from industrial electronics. Although, handset production is steadily catching up to targeted levels with production in FY21 estimated to be Rs 2.14 lakh crore, laptops and PC segment is still lagging behind. For instance, among all electronics goods, laptops/tablets/PCs is the largest category of imported products valued at close to Rs 30,000 crore while exports are abysmally low at Rs 122 crore during calendar year 2020. 

(ET, Mar 02, 2021)

LG sees 'window of opportunity' to come back into Indian smartphone market Telecom

South Korean electronics major LG is planning to use the “window of opportunity” provided by the anti-China mood in India currently to stage a comeback in smartphones, targeting the sub-Rs 15,000 segment to claw back its way back in an industry now dominated by brands from across the Great Wall. The company is seeking to scale up local manufacturing by 15 times until Diwali and expand distribution.  In an interview with ET, Advait Vaidya, business head - mobile communications at LG Electronics, said the brand has seen 10 times increased sales of smartphones in the past two months due to the anti-China sentiment. “The short-term window of opportunity is big enough for us to enter the space and achieve scale,” he said. Diverging from its global portfolio, this year, LG is building an ‘India specific and India first’ product portfolio to cater to unique consumer demands here, Vaidya said. “So, this year, starting August, we will be launching six phones across all segments - starting from the sub-Rs 10,000 category up to the flagship segment. We are ramping up distribution across channels, online and offline,” he said. The company is also targeting corporate sales and foraying into the tablet market by year end.

(ET. July 05, 2020)

Hyundai, Uber join hands to develop electric air taxis General

South Korean automobile manufacturer Hyundai Motor Company today entered into a partnership with US ride-hailing giant Uber to produce electric air taxis. Hyundai also unveiled a new full-scale concept PAV (personal air vehicle), developed jointly with Uber, at the ongoing Consumer Electronics Show 2020. Hyundai is the first automotive company to join the Uber Elevate initiative. Under the partnership, Hyundai will produce and deploy the air vehicles and Uber will provide airspace support services, connections to ground transportation and customer interfaces through an aerial rideshare network. The two entities are also collaborating on infrastructure concepts to support their take-off and landing. The concept PAV -- S-A1 -- is an eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) aircraft designed for aerial ridesharing purposes. The S-A1 will seat five people, including the pilot, and have a cruising speed of 290 kmph, with a flying trip up to 100 km. The cruising altitude of the air vehicle will be around 1,000-2,000 feet above the ground. Being a completely electric air vehicle, the S-A1 will utilise distributed electric propulsion, powering multiple rotors and propellers around the airframe to increase safety by decreasing any single point of failure. During peak hours, it will require about five

(India Today, Jan 07, 2020)