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ELCINA EMS Task Force Report Launched by Mr. Ajay Sawhney, Secretary, MeitY Policy

ELCINA constituted a Task Force to study the EMS Sector and come up with a Research Report providing details of the status and prospects of this ESDM segment. The task force had representation from MeitY & Invest India. The EMS Task Force commenced deliberations in July 2020 and concluded the same in November, coming up with valuable details such as the sector’s current size, growth potential, exports and policies which impact its progress.

Globally, EMS sector was valued at US$ 832 Bn in 2019 and estimated to grow to US$ 1055 Bn by 2025. The Task Force report predicts that the Indian EMS industry will gallop from US$ 23.5 Bn in 2019-20 to US$ 152 Bn by 2025. This effectively means that it has the potential to grow from <3% of the global industry to about 14% within 5 years. The global EMS industry has grown very quickly during last 15-20 years as it has expanded the scope of its activities for the Electronic Systems Design & Manufacturing (ESDM) sector. From a small share of 10-15% in the ESDM industry, EMS now straddles in excess of 40-45% of its value. In addition to PCBA and pure assembly services, EMS has now expanded to include research & development, supply chain management, global distribution, logistics, customer support and even warranty repairs. There has been a complete transformation of the role of EMS in the ESDM industry globally.

Secretary Ministry of Electronics & IT, Government of India, Mr Ajay Sawhney, while releasing the Report, reinforced the need to manufacture PCB assemblies within the country and reduce import dependence. He said that there was plenty of opportunity for utilising the existing Schemes of NPE 2019 and additional Schemes which were being promoted for other sectors, such as medical electronics, defence and aerospace which had created huge demand for electronics. Mr Sawhney mentioned that there was a huge opportunity in products such as Servers, Laptops, Tablets etc and encouraged industry to take up these high value and large volume products. He also informed that government was keen to support expansion of the components eco-system in the country and certain follow up schemes were in the works to enable participation by more domestic companies including the Medium and Small enterprises.

Printed Circuit Board Assemblies are at the core of every electronic device. And constitute anywhere from 40-50% of the BOM of the device. To develop India as an electronics manufacturing hub, it is crucial that we expand the manufacturing ecosystem for EMS and PCBA’s in India.

Key Findings of EMS Task Force Report on Market & Industry Analysis of EMS Sector of ESDM Industry

Ø  Currently EMS Industry (Contract Manufacturing Services) are valued 832 Bn $ and are projected to grow 1055 Bn by 2025.

Ø  Current estimate of EMS Industry in India is USD 23.5 Bn only which is <3% of global mfg.  EMS Industry has an estimated 700 Firms with about 600 Indian and 100 Multinational Companies.

Ø  China exported US$ 685 Bn of electronics to the world during 2019-20. There is huge export potential for India EMS sector and govt has set a target of US$ 100 Bn exports of mobiles alone by 2025. This is driven by the PLI Scheme and targets about 25% of the global mobile market valued at US$ 415 Bn.

Ø  In Non-Mobile segment, China exported electronics worth USD 50Bn to India friendly countries. Government support of 5% will empower Indian EMS sector to capture 30-40% of this, which is USD 15-20 Bn.

Ø  Domestic electronics manufacturing is estimated at USD 75 Bn of which 39 Bn constitutes EMS value.  This is divided into 23.5 Bn domestic Mfg. and USD 15.5 Bn PCBS/Sub-Assembly imports.

Ø  Further USD 53.5 Bn is finished Electronic Goods imports of which USD 17 Bn is EMS value. Thus total EMS opportunity loss is US$ 32.5 Bn (15.5 +17).

Ø  We estimate that EMS production can grow realistically from USD 23.5 Bn today to USD 152 Bn by 2025 at CAGR of 45%.  This will meet 75% of the countries EMS requirement of US$ 203 Bn by 2025 against a total estimated market of 400 Bn.

Ø  The Industry is broadly categorized into HVLM (High Volume Low Mix) which are the large global MNCs and few large Indian Firms and the other category is HMLV (High Mix Low Volume) largely constituted by the Indian EMS Companies catering to lower volume industrial/professional sector products.

Ø  HVLM & HMLV have very different characteristics with respect to volume, risk, automation, supply chain, costs etc.

 

Note: The detailed report is available with ELCINA secretariat, please contact at ashish@elcina.com.


Prices of TV and appliances likely to go up by around 10% from January General

"We expect the increase in commodity prices to impact our product pricing in near future. I anticipate the prices to go up by 6-7 per cent in January itself and may go up to 10-11 per cent towards end of FY Q1," said Panasonic India President & CEO Manish Sharma.New Delhi: Prices for LED TV and appliances such as refrigerator, washing machines are expected to go up by around 10 per cent from January next year on account of rise in costs of key input materials like copper, aluminium and steel and increase in ocean and air freights charges. Besides, prices of TV panels (Opencell) have also gone up by over two-folds due to short supply by the global vendors, while cost of plastic has also gone up due to rise in crude oil prices, said manufacturers. Terming it as imminent and unavoidable, manufacturers such as LG, Panasonic and Thomson are going to increase the prices from January, however, Sony is still reviewing the situation and is yet to take a call on this.

(ET, Dec 27, 2020)


Need for a comprehensive review of defence offset policy Policy

The recent review report of the CAG on defence offsets highlights the inability of the ministry of defence (MoD) to leverage its huge buying power to enable the domestic defence industry to acquire cutting edge technologies, which are so critical for achieving self-reliance. It also points to the fact that the costs the country has had to incur in making offsets a part of high-value defence contracts have given the country poor returns. The defence offset policy seeks to leverage capital acquisitions to develop the Indian defence industry. Offsets are applicable when the estimated cost of acquisition is Rs 2,000 crore or more (Rs 300 crore till 2015). It requires foreign and Indian vendors of certain category to buy components from Indian manufacturers or invest in Indian enterprises in the form of equity or transfer of technology (ToT) or equipment, provide equipment or ToT to government institutions or establishments or to DRDO to the extent of 30% of the estimated contract value. Offsets have to be discharged annually during the contract period with extension up to two years. The CAG found that out of the offsets worth Rs 19,223 crore due for discharge by 2018, only 59% (Rs 11,396 crore) had been discharged, leaving a large gap of 41%.

(ET, Dec 26, 2020)


Dixon Tech to set up factory in south for ICT hardware General

The home-grown electronics manufacturing services (EMS) player, which already produces smart TVs, LED lighting, washing machines and mobile phones, has zeroed in on a factory down south as part of the expansion plan. Dixon Technologies, India’s second-largest contract manufacturer for consumer electronics, is foraying into information & communications technology (ICT) hardware, including laptops, desktops, tablets and servers, and is set to open a factory in south India for it, a top executive said. The home-grown electronics manufacturing services (EMS) player, which already produces smart TVs, LED lighting, washing machines and mobile phones, has zeroed in on a factory down south as part of the expansion plan. “We are keenly awaiting the guidelines of the recently announced PLI (production-linked incentive) scheme for ICT hardware, which will decide our investment and output plans,” Sunil Vachani, chairman of Dixon, told ET. He said Dixon is in talks with leading global and domestic laptop, desktop and tablet brands to shift their production to India once the PLI scheme kicks off. “Now that India has achieved scale and self-dependence for assembly of mobile phone handsets, the next target is ICT hardware.”

(ET, Dec 24, 2020)


Nokia air conditioners launched at a starting price of Rs 30,999, to be available via Flipkart General

“The air conditioners are designed, engineered, and manufactured entirely in India and are uniquely tailored to ensure longevity and durability, especially with its blue-fin anti-corrosive technology,” the company says.Nokia has launched air conditioners in India marking the company’s entry into the home appliances segment in the country. The new range of Nokia branded ACs comes with a starting price of Rs 30,999 and will be available via e-commerce site Flipkart. Those interested can buy the newly launched Nokia branded ACs from December 29. “The air conditioners are designed, engineered, and manufactured entirely in India and are uniquely tailored to ensure longevity and durability, especially with its blue-fin anti-corrosive technology,” the company says. Nokia ACs come equipped with smart technology and interoperability that can monitor climatic conditions. Nokia says that the ACs can also eliminate impurities from the air indoors, and are energy efficient as well. Nokia air conditioners come with features. These include an adjustable inverter mode, environment-friendly R-32 refrigerant, intelligent motion sensors and wi-fi connected Smart climate control.

(ET, Dec 24, 2020)


Smaller startups are poised to drive social commerce in India General

When Sonakshi Nathani saw her father struggle with WhatsApp orders for his grocery store in Raipur in Chhattisgarh, she decided to come to his rescue. The young software developer founded a startup and launched an app, Bikayi, to help sellers like him increase their business. “I saw his WhatsApp chats and noted his requirements to shape the product where merchants can showcase their products," she said. Barely one-and-a-half years old, Bikayi suffered a brief lull in the initial days of the lockdown but has been growing 100% thereafter, onboarding a range of merchants from electronics retailers to apparel makers to grocery stores, mostly from tier-3 and tier-4 towns. As a WhatsApp integrated commerce platform, Bikayi facilitates sellers in creating their online stores and even helps them manage their businesses. The company, which raised $2 million as a part of its seed round from a clutch of international investors, claims it has more than 200,000 merchants on board doing daily transactions worth more than ₹2 crore on the platform. India is witnessing the rise of many more social commerce startups and KIKO TV is another one that recently pivoted from being a short-format video-sharing app to a commerce platform. Its founder Shivam Varshney, however, is targeting tier-1 sellers and buyers for now as its main offering is live-streaming and assisted shopping. “High internet speed in these regions and presentable selling skills of sellers in tier-1 towns is the twin logic behind preferring this demographic at present," he said. The social commerce opportunity was much bigger than short videos in terms of a clear market size, Varshney said.

(Mint, Dec 23, 2020)


Electronics retailers may have lost out on 10-12% sales growth due to supply chain issues in 2020 IT

While on one hand demand surged for electronics this year owing to the new normal of working and studying from home, on the other hand, supply chain issues affected stock availability. With a sudden steep surge in demand in the past few months, manufacturers faced a shortage in the supply of critical components. This was because the demand surge was a global phenomenon and raw material and component manufacturers struggled to bridge the gap. Additionally, border tensions between India and China caused shipments to be held up longer at docks for stringent checks that were put in place. Mitesh Mody, President of the All India Electronics Association (West Zone) said, "Instead of four to eight weeks, goods are reaching Indian ports after almost 16 weeks. That is a gap of over 12 weeks. This has resulted in a shortage of goods like LED TV panels. It has led to lesser production and the availability of a few models of reputed brands has been hit." Sales growth of entry-level laptops, TV sets and smartphones were impacted the most as demand jumped but stocks were scarce. Lack of components and products also drove up prices, pushing customers to defer purchases in a few cases.

(ET Now, Dec 23, 2020)


Digital India Summit 2020: Tete-e-tete with Ravi Shankar Prasad IT

At the backdrop of Digital India Summit 2020, Times Network engaged in a fireside chat with Ravi Shankar Prasad to understand how technology has enabled the governments to fight against COVID-19 On Digital India Summit 2020, Ravi Shankar Prasad - Minister of Law & Justice, Electronics & Information Technology & Communications talks about how technology has enabled the governments to fight against COVID-19, and how Digital India has become a mass movement with digitisation happening in manufacturing, services, delivery and various other sectors.  This fireside chat delved into key learnings from the exercise, and lasting impressions that will shape the government's policy going forward.

(Times Now, Dec 23, 2020)


Digital India Awards 2020: Haryana wins e-gov award for Antyodaya Saral project IT

Haryana government’s e-governance project — Antyodaya Saral — won the Digital India Awards 2020 under the category — Excellence in Digital Governance — State/UT. The award is scheduled to be conferred on December 30 by President Ram Nath Kovind. Antyodaya Saral is government to citizen focused public service delivery online platform that can be used to apply for over 549 schemes and services of the state government. Currently, services from 40 departments, boards and corporations are being provided with the help of Common Service Centre (CSC) and 117 Antyodaya Saral Kendras. According to officials, Antyodaya Saral portal — saralharyana.gov.in — receives more than 5.5 lakh applications every month. Besides, citizens are sent more than 20 lakh proactive SMSes per month informing them about the status of their applications. A citizen can also find the status of application via the online portal, similar to how they would track the status of an e-commerce order. This project had also bagged ‘Gold Award’ in the category of ‘Excellence in providing Citizen-centric Delivery’ at the 23rd National Awards ceremony for e-Governance in February 2020.

(Tech Observer, Dec 23, 2020)


Batteries and hydrogen to make residential off-grid PV technically feasible General

Scientists at the Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT) in Finland have found that residential off-grid PV solutions are technically feasible in northern climates only if coupled simultaneously with short-term battery storage and seasonal hydrogen storage, and if the household’s peak consumption is not too high. In the paper Technical feasibility evaluation of a solar PV based off-grid domestic energy system with battery and hydrogen energy storage in northern climates, published in Solar Energy, the research team simulated a model for a similar approach in an existing single-family house in Finland with a 21 kW rooftop array and a ground source 6 kW heat pump for heating that is incorporated in the electricity consumption. Data on hourly average power data for PV electricity generation and electricity consumption were collected for three years from January 2017 to December 2019. “The capacity of the PV system is sized to the point where further improvement in self-sufficiency by increasing PV peak power is no longer feasible,” they further explained, adding that the home’s self-sufficiency was found to be 36.81%, which is in line with values of all northern European countries. The average annual surplus PV power was estimated at around 200%.

(PV Magazine, Dec 23, 2020)


Telangana plans solar-powered floating restaurants and boats on water bodies General

Telangana State Tourism Development Corporation Limited has invited bids for the supply and erection of solar-powered floating restaurants and boats at various water bodies (lakes, rivers and reservoirs) in Telangana State. The work scope includes design, engineering and preparation of drawings, manufacturing, supply, transportation, and erection of the solar-powered floating restaurants and boats. The floating restaurants should have sufficient Li-ion battery storage to power utility loads (air-conditioners, pantry equipment, ventilators, general lighting, etc) continuously for six hours on a single charge. The batteries shall be charged by solar power and AC current from the shore. Similarly, the boats (required in single and double decks) should have sufficient Li-ion battery power to operate the main motors at full load and other utility loads (ventilators, general lighting, etc) continuously for six hours on a single charge. The restaurants must be designed to have double decks. The main deck will have air-conditioned space and all setups, including tables, chairs, Sofas, pantry, etc. The upper deck should have open space with a guardrail/suitable guard on all the sides for passenger safety.

(PV Magazine, Dec 23, 2020)


Vikram Solar module factory gets a rooftop PV plant General

Module manufacturer and EPC contractor Vikram Solar hascommissioned a rooftop solar project at its manufacturing facility in Falta, West Bengal. The 919.73 kWp plant consists of 2,574 solar panels ranging from 325Wp to 400Wp and covers an area of 6,500 square meters.  Vikram Solar’s annual PV module production capacity stands at 1.2 GW.  The solar plant will generate 1,350.58 MWh of electricity per year and meet more than 27% of the entire manufacturing unit’s electricity consumption during regular daytime operation. It will help to avoid 1,645 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year. The plant uses 12 different types of modules, including SOMERA monocrystalline, half-cut and full-cut cell modules manufactured by Vikram Solar.  Speaking about the project, Saibaba Vutukuri, CEO, Vikram Solar, said, “This rooftop project was envisioned not only to cater to the captive energy requirements of our manufacturing unit but also to make it a green energy unit and enabling India’s transition to a low-carbon economy.” “The project showcases Vikram Solar’s multiple technologies in solar PV modules, inverter, and robotic cleaning systems driven by soiling sensors at a single location and will result in a total saving of about INR 98.8 lakh per annum on energy. These state-of-art technologies ensure better performance and higher energy yield. We hope that self-sustaining initiatives like this will inspire others to embrace the path to reducing carbon footprint,” he added.

(PV Magazine, Dec 23, 2020)


Tech startups that helped reducing dependencies on Chinese imports General

India will soon be able to manufacture lithium-ion batteries and will not be dependent on China for importing the key component used in electric vehicles as the government accords "top priority" to pushing e-mobility, Union Minister Anant Geete said. According to the latest figures of the Commerce of Ministry, India's imports from China decreased slightly in FY 2020 compared to FY 2019. In order to reduce the dependency on imports of battery components, India needs to achieve a similar level of performance at the battery pack level, apart from just manufacture the battery cells. Start-ups are assisting in India’s path towards ‘Atma Nirbharta’ reducing dependency on China. Aqueouss is one of the leading manufacturers and exporters of a wide array of best quality Li-Ion Battery and Life P04 Battery. Currently providing customized Lithium Battery pack solution in the market. They have been providing Lithium-ion and LiFePo4 Battery packs in the market for E-Vehicles, Solar Energy, Consumer Electronics and Railway and Defence Equipments. They are also working on developing some parts which are integral for the functioning of lithium batteries in-house in India to reduce our dependency on China. With the ambition of making India energy efficient a group of IIT engineers founded Inverted Energy in 2017. In just three years this ambition became India’s second largest Lithium battery companies. Today we are a team of engineers, scientists and energy researchers dedicated to disrupting the energy storage sector. Inverted Energy on Wednesday announced the opening of its lithium battery manufacturing facility here. The company has extended its journey towards Atmanirbhar Bharat and to create a flexible, cost-effective and optimized market space aiming to reduce dependency (for batteries) on China.

(India TV, Dec 21, 2020)


India through its public digital platform is driving a low-cost inclusive digitalization model IT

Dr Ajai Garg, Senior Director, MeitY : NASSCOM CoE-IoT & AI organized ‘Voice of Manufacturing Edition 6 – Digital Transformation in Manufacturing Value Chain’ to bring out the larger economic perspective of the manufacturing industry linked with Digital India Mission. The manufacturing leaders talked about digital maturity, viability, and ability to adopt digital offerings across their value chain bringing tangible impacts or return on investment (RoI). Deepak Bagla, MD & CEO, Invest India Org, delivered a keynote address on ‘Taking a leap into next normal in Industry & Innovation’.  “We are at an inflection point in history as we are growing and experiencing an unprecedented change in history. The pace and scale of the changes have been stupendous. Manufacturing is subset of everything around it. When lockdown was announced we didn’t have PPE suits and we were looking at other countries, but by July we were exporting PPEs and ventilators. Most profound impact of digitization has been on governance,” said Bagla. The first session of VoM 6 was on ‘Industry Economic Growth & Digital Vision’ which saw participation of Dr Ajai Garg, Senior Director, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY); MP Dubey, Joint Director, STPI (AP); Pranjal Sharma, economic analyst, author and advisor, World Economic Forum (WEF); Dr Shishir Shrotriya, Counsellor (Science & Technology), Embassy of India in Moscow; and Ravi Aggarwal, President, Automation Industry Association (AIA).

(BW Smartcities, Dec 21, 2020)


Samsung@25: How Samsung is powering Digital India IT

Samsung completed 25 years in India in December this year. It has now unveiled a new vision for further growth in India, driven by a refreshed local R&D strategy and new manufacturing initiatives. In the mid-1990s, just a few years after India liberalised its economy and embarked on an era of globalisation, a few Korean companies made their debut here. Daewoo, Hyundai, Samsung and LG Electronics set up shop in India. The India growth story had just started and consumer electronics and auto industries were expected to boom, thanks to rising disposable incomes. So when Samsung celebrated its 25th anniversary in India this month, it wasn’t just about remembering those early days, but also about how some brands successfully navigated the challenges in the Indian market. Samsung today is one of the largest consumer facing companies in India, and the number one smartphone and TV brand. When Samsung came to India, it was a little known brand. But so strongly did Samsung’s management believe in the India growth story that it not only decided to set up a manufacturing unit in Noida, it had the vision to set up R&D units in Bengaluru way back in 1996. The Indian economy was at $360 billion in 1995. In 2019, it became the world’s fifth largest economy at $2.94 trillion, surpassing the UK and France. According to RoC data, Samsung’s revenues grew from $6 million in 1996 to $10 billion in 2019. This is outstanding growth, and a shining example of an MNC doing all the right things to win over Indian consumers.

(FE, Dec 21, 2020)


What will FCA’s $150 mn Global Digital Hub have in store for India? IT

: India is slowly emerging as an epicentre for automotive engineering and research & development (R&D) centres. Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai, Honda motorcycles and a host of auto component makers like Bosch, Continental, ZF and Visteon have their centres in the country and the latest to join this club is Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA). The automaker, on December 16, announced its plan to invest $150 million (around INR 1,103 crore) to set up an all-inclusive ‘Global Digital Hub’ named FCA-ICT in Hyderabad. FCA has pitched this centre as a transformation and innovation hub with a vision to develop products for future mobility and sharpen efforts to enhance customer-centricity. The facility is the company’s largest Digital Hub outside of North America and EMEA. In a media interaction, Partha Datta, Karim Lalani and Mamatha Chamarthi share their plans for this global digital hub and how it will be catering to the Indian market. The core vision for this centre is to drive digital transformation and build FCA ICT India will be employing 1,000 people by the end of 2021.in-house capability, competencies and domain expertise for FCA. Karim Lalani, Director and Head of FCA ICT India highlighted, “The centre is expected to be able to own end-to-end capabilities. We have been relying on external providers in the past. Now we will be working to change that status from external to building internal capabilities required for FCA to be able to deliver to the customer-centric vision.”

(ET, Dec 21, 2020)


Vocal for local! Mivi launches its 1st Made in India Bluetooth speaker ROAM 2 - Top features, price and more General

Electronics brand, Mivi has launched its first Made in India product! ROAM 2 which is the upgraded version of ROAM 1.0 is the 1st Bluetooth speaker which is fully Made in India. This is the first product Mivi has been produced completely in India. The company was previously designing and developing the products in India and was getting the products manufactured from other countries. Now, the company has taken the fast strides into the manufacturing space by setting up its own unit at Hyderabad. "This also aligns with the Prime ministers’ Vocal for Local and Aatma Nirbhar initiatives. The launch of this plant marked the beginning of a new journey for Mivi- to imagine, design, engineer and build locally but also to compete at international standards," Mivi said in a statement. Midhula Devbhaktuni, Co-Founder, Mivi, shared “Within a short span of time Mivi has become a most sought out brand in the Audio technology space. The market response and the success of our products have propelled us to take the plunge into manufacturing space and we have set up fully integrated manufacturing unit in India and soon we will be making all the products completely in India. We are sure that this product will become even bigger and successful than its predecessor Roam 1.0 and will soon become the most sought-after Bluetooth speaker.”

(Business News, Dec 20, 2020)


India has potential to become a lead player in electronic manufacturing, says Ravi Shankar Prasad General

India instituted the largest COVID-19 induced lockdown in the world to battle the pandemic and flatten the curve. In several months of social distancing and isolation, people, businesses, and national and state governments have deployed technology to get an edge over the pandemic. To get an insight into how Indian authorities have leveraged technology to counter COVID-19, on this episode of the Digital India Summit we have Ravi Shankar Prasad, Union Minister of Law and Justice, Electronics and Information Technology and Communications. This fireside chat delves into key learning from the exercise and lasting impressions that will shape Government policy going forward.  Explaining how digital India has brought a change, Prasad said: "Yesterday, I got a very disturbing report of a farmer in Samastipur Bihar who was crashing all his cauliflower because he wasn't getting proper price at not even one rupee per kilo. I connected to my common service centres, which are the digital kiosk all over the country, nearly 4 lakh in number... They have developed a Market app whereby they connect the farmers to the market. They reached him and connected him to a Delhi market. They agreed to purchase, send their vehicle, collected all the cauliflowers, and gave him Rs 10 per Kg for 4,000 Kgs of cauliflowers. Rs. 40, 000 digitally paid, and the entire vegetable was sold in Allahabad."

(ET, Dec 20, 2020)


West Bengal e-governance project e-Abgari wins central govt. Digital India Award General

The West Bengal government’s e-governance project e-Abgari which focused on improving efficiency and transparency has won Union government instituted Digital India Awards for innovative steps in e-governance. eAbgari project is one of the strategic administrative reform initiative of West Bengal State Excise Directorate. The project leverages modern technology to enable seamless online communication among all excise officials across the state, all licensees, administrative departments & other stakeholders through workflow based systems hosted on state excise portal. So far about seven states have already adopted this model. “It gives me an immense pleasure to inform that ‘e-Abgari’ project of Excise Directorate, under the Finance Department, has been declared as WINNER of the prestigious DIGITAL INDIA AWARD-2020 for exemplary and innovative initiatives in the realm of Digital Governance,” West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee tweeted. “e-Abgari has been adjudged as a National Best Practice and 7 states have already adopted this model. Hon’ble President of India will be conferring this award to the West Bengal Team on 30th December,” she said in another tweet.

(Tech Observer, Dec 20, 2020)


Wistron admits to payment gaps after Workers damage Bengaluru Apple Factory General

After violence broke out at Apple’s contract manufacturer Wistron’s iPhone manufacturing facility near Bengaluru last week, the Taiwanese company has admitted to some of the allegations by the agitating workers. The violence at the factory is estimated to have cost the company $7 Mn. Workers had complained about being underpaid and not being paid for overtime hours at the Wistron facility. Videos of workers pelting stones at the factory quickly emerged on social media, with many parts of the unit seemingly set on fire. While nearly 7,000 people have been named in charges for the violence by the Karnataka police, now Wistron has admitted that it did have payment irregularities. Wistron said that it is restructuring its teams to ensure that such incidents do not happen again. “Since the unfortunate events at our Narasapura facility we have been investigating and have found that some workers were not paid correctly, or on time. We deeply regret this and apologize to all of our workers,” a Wistron spokesperson told ET.  Taking note of the mistakes, the company further said that the Narasapura facility was new and it is taking immediate action to correct this, including disciplinary action against any employees who may be involved. Wistron has already removed the company’s vice-president who was responsible for overseeing the business in India. “We are also enhancing our processes and restructuring our teams to ensure these issues cannot happen again,” Wistron told the publication.

(INC4, Dec 19, 2020)


Defence minister Rajnath Singh hands over 3 DRDO systems to chiefs of armed forces General

New Delhi: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh handed over three systems developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation to chiefs of the three armed forces on Friday, said an official statement. Singh handed over the Indian maritime situational awareness system (IMSAS) to Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh at an event here, the Defence Ministry's statement said. The IMSAS is a software system that provides global maritime situational picture, marine planning tools and analytical capabilities to the Indian Navy, the statement noted. The minister handed over the Astra Mk-1 missile system to Air Chief Marshal R K S Bhadauria, the statement said. This missile is the first indigenously developed beyond visual range (BVR) missile that can be launched from Sukhoi-30 and other fighter aircraft. Singh handed over the Border Surveillance System (BOSS), which is an all-weather electronic surveillance system, to Army Chief General M M Naravane at the event here.

(ET, 18 Dec, 2020)


Defence Ministry approves acquisition of military hardware worth Rs 28,000 crore General

New Delhi: The defence ministry has given its nod for the acquisition of weapon systems worth Rs 28,000 crore, including an indigenous programme to develop a large Airborne Early Warning and Control System (AWACS) and next generation offshore patrol vessels. The go ahead was given by the Rajnath Singh-led Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), with Rs 27,000 crore worth of systems to be developed indigenously. Source said that an order for Israeli origin suicide drones has also been taken ahead.

(ET, 17 Dec 2020)


Zuckerberg calls India very special country, looks to push WhatsApp payments services deeper Telecom

Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Tuesday said India is a very special and important country with a remarkable entrepreneurship culture, as he sought to push deeper the just-launched payments services that allow users to make payments over WhatsApp. Last month, Facebook-owned WhatsApp received approval from the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) for rolling out its payments services in India. In 2018, WhatsApp started testing its UPI-based payments services in India -- a global first -- with about a million users. "We just launched WhatsApp payments in India last month -- now you can send money to your friends and family through WhatsApp, as easily as sending a message. That was possible because of the UPI system that has been built in India," Zuckerberg said during a fireside chat with Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani. He said the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) makes it easy for anyone to instantly accept payments across different apps.

(ET, Dec 15, 2020)


Apple supplier Wistron puts India plant damage at up to $7 million Telecom

The ransacking of an iPhone manufacturing facility in India caused up to T$200 million ($7.12 million) in damage though production facilities were not as badly hit as reported, its Taiwan-based operator Wistron Corp said. Thousands of contract workers gathered on the grounds of the Wistron site on the outskirts of India's tech hub of Bengaluru on Saturday demanding unpaid wages and better working hours. As police arrived, the crowd turned violent and video from the scene showed people armed with rods and sticks smashing equipment and vandalizing cars. In a police report seen by Reuters, Wistron estimated damages worth $60 million. However, in a statement to the Taiwan Stock Exchange on Tuesday, the company said major production facilities and warehouses had not suffered as serious damage as reported by local media, and that it was initially estimating losses at T$100-200 million. The company is doing its utmost to get the plant back up and running, it said. Wistron shares fell around 2.5% in early Asia trade, underperforming Taiwan's broader stock market.

(ET, Dec 15, 2020)


RS Prasad meets Micron CEO; company to set up Centre of Excellence in India Telecom

US-based memory chipmakerMicron Technologies will set up a Centre of Excellence with the government of India. “Held a very meaningful discussion with CEO of Micron Technology Sanjay Mehrotra on further development of design, research and manufacturing of memory and storage systems,” Electronics and IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said in a tweet on Monday. “Micron is very positive about growing the electronics manufacturing industry in India and is considering increasing its presence in India. Micron has agreed to set up a Center of Excellence in memory and storage systems in India with Govt. of India,” he said.

(ET, Dec 14, 2020)


Huawei launches cloud-based CDN in India Telecom

Chinese telecoms gear maker Huawei Monday launched its cloud-based Content Delivery Network (CDN) solution in India for businesses. The gear vendor said that the CDN solution will enable businesses to serve users across industries such as Media & OTT, Banking & Financial Institutions; Education; E-Commerce; Online Travel & Hospitality; Healthcare; Online Gaming; Digital Marketing; and Government. The CDN, powered by Huawei’s Intelligent Hubble monitoring system, will enable businesses to deliver high-quality services with “near-zero outages” across data formats such as images, videos, AR/VR, amongst others, said Huawei. As per Huawei, it has deployed over 2,500 Acceleration Nodes globally with more than 100 Tbps bandwidth spanning across a network of over 74 Telcos across 130 countries, serving over 1 billion end-users. “We have launched the Cloud CDN services to empower Indian businesses to deliver the best user web-experience. Our operations and resources in India are backed by robust local talent and are designed to meet any customer requirements most suitable for local needs.

(ET, Dec 14, 2020)


IMC 2020: Mukesh Ambani calls for urgent steps for 5G, hints at 5G rollout in second half of 2021 Telecom

Reliance Industries (RIL) chairman Mukesh Ambani has called for "urgent policy steps" to ensure availability of 5G technology and affordable smartphones in India. Ambani said RIL unit Reliance Jio will also pioneer the 5G revolution in the second half of 2021 to ensure India maintains its lead in digital connectivity. "In order to maintain this lead, policy steps are needed to accelerate early rollout of 5G, and to make it affordable and available everywhere. I assure you that Jio will pioneer the 5G Revolution in India in the second half of 2021. It will be powered by indigenous-developed network, hardware and technology components," said Ambani said at the India Mobile Congress. RIL unit Reliance Jio is now the only Indian company which has claimed that it has grown its own 5G ecosystem and can become a vendor to global firms in the next generation of technology. These comments come at a time when spectrum for 5G is yet to be auctioned and has been categorised as expensive by all three major telcos-Airtel, Jio and Vodafone Idea. Ambani said that the advent of 5G will add to the "Atma Nirbhar Bharat" and will enable India to not just participate in the fourth industrial revolution but lead it from the front. The chairman said Jio with 20 startups under it has the capability to build " world class capabilities in artificial intelligence, cloud computing, big data and machine learning, Internet of Things, virtual reality, compelling homegrown solutions in education, healthcare" amongst other areas.

(ET, Dec 08, 2020)


The world watches as India tries a hard 30% cap to avoid tech's anti-trust troubles Telecom

From Washington to Beijing, governments are trying to strike the right balance between enabling technology innovation and preventing giants like Google and Facebook Inc. from suffocating rivals. Now India is experimenting with a framework for financial technology that’s certain to provide lessons worldwide — succeed or fail. The country’s unique approach is to decree limits on fintech competitors from the start: No single player can grab more than 30% of total payments transactions. Every company also has to use India’s open payments platform, guaranteeing interoperability so money can be transferred between any of more than 100 traditional banks and digital services like Google Pay — all without fees. That structure, unveiled in November, gave India’s regulators the confidence to approve a new payment service from WhatsApp, the Facebook unit’s initial effort to enable digital payments for more than a billion users worldwide.

(ET, Dec 02, 2020)


Production Linked Incentive Scheme: Unlocking untold possibilities Policy

The PLI scheme has been announced after intense stakeholder consultations. The scale of incentive for the entire scheme is over $26 billion, which can catalyse an enormous manufacturing output in the country. For instance, an incentive of ~$5 billion in electronics and mobile manufacturing will deliver an incremental production of over $140 billion in the next five years. To achieve the scale of the production envisaged under the PLI scheme, massive investments would be required in establishing factories, expanding additional facilities, on acquisition of plant and machinery, etc, which would result in a significant boost to employment opportunities in the country. This scheme can help increase the manufacturing sector’s share in the Indian GDP from the current level of 16% to much higher levels in the next five years. Moreover, this scheme would help India move towards becoming a higher-middle income economy, and the resultant economic spillover will create many employment opportunities.

Source: https://www.financialexpress.com/


India Will Need To Carefully China-Proof Telecom Sector Telecom

India has slowly but indeed started moving towards building an “Atmanirbhar Bharat” (self-reliant nation), following up a production-linked incentive scheme for making mobile phones and electronics earlier this year with similar programmes recently for 10 other critical sectors. Simultaneously, it has banned 43 more Chinese phone apps this week, following up on a similar action previously to bring the total number to more than 200.  Though a military standoff at the borders is yet to find a conclusion, India has been scrutinising imports of Chinese equipment into the country, Recently, the government has deliberately steered clear of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), known as the world's largest trade partner. This act could be the result of an apprehension of a flood of imports in specific sectors like telecom, where it is already facing massive penetration in hardware and software products.

Consequently, Indian companies have struggled to compete, unable to match the cost advantage that Chinese companies offer due to their sheer scale as well as government subsidies. Given the border tensions and recent Covid-induced supply disruptions, it is not surprising that India is keen to ensure that critical sectors like telecom shift away from Chinese influence, and build up local capability.   

Source: https://www.outlookindia.com/


Ericsson, Nokia want India to include their existing investments under PLI scheme Policy

Finland’s Nokia and Sweden’s Ericsson want India to include their existing manufacturing-related investments to the production-linked incentives (PLI) scheme, which has recently been announced for telecom and networking products. The scheme is expected to support and incentivize exports from India, similar to the PLI scheme for the mobile handset industry. European telecom gear vendors also want India to focus on bringing the component ecosystem under the new scheme, which aims to give sops of nearly Rs 12,200 crore. “The cost levels in India productions are little higher than higher than other countries so I really welcome this kind of a policy which is coming up to provide incentives for local manufacturers because that really helps the Indian economy,” Sanjay Malik, Senior VP & Head, India Market, Nokia told ET. Ericsson’s India head Nitin Bansal also shared Malik’s views and said that “investments that are already made should also be considered in some way under the PLI scheme.”

Both gear vendors have given commitment to their largest client, Bharti Airtel, that all 5G equipment will be locally manufactured for the Sunil Mittal-led telco. Both executives said that the scheme will give a strong boost to the country’s telecom equipment manufacturing industry. Ericsson and Nokia manufacture telecom gear in India through their respective facilities in Pune and Chennai. Both companies also export telecom equipment, including 5G gear to other countries.

Source: https://telecom.economictimes.indiatimes.com/


In Electronics, India Aims to Become a ‘Factory for the World’ General

China is losing its luster as a place for cheap, reliable manufacturing of high-technology goods. But what other country can match it in both price and scale? The answer might be India.

Despite a population of nearly 1.4 billion, including a well-educated and trained workforce, India hasn’t been viewed as a global hub for electronics manufacturing. Only recently has that perception begun to change. A fully built out technology manufacturing base requires three distinct capabilities: access to raw materials, product design, and final assembly. India currently doesn’t offer all three in equal measure, according to Bharat Kapoor, partner in the strategic operations practice of Kearney. The electronics “value chain” can be further broken into two stages: submodule production and final assembly. India is rapidly maturing in the latter, Kapoor says. Big contractor manufacturers such as Foxconn Technology Group and Megatron Asia Pacific Ltd. have either set up in India or announced plans to do so. “From that angle,” says Kapoor, “I don’t think there’s anything that can’t be made in India.”

The country is less advanced when it comes to building out an ecosystem of submodule producers, including wafer fabrication, which are essential to a complete manufacturing environment. The Indian government is undertaking extensive efforts in that area, Kapoor notes. Also lacking is a full range of easily accessible raw materials. Up to 80% of the value of a tech manufacturing supply chain lies in the production of “active” materials such as microprocessors, memory, ancillary chips, power management and CPUs. “None of that is manufactured in India,” Kapoor says. For such components, producers still must turn to Taiwan, China, South Korea, Europe and the U.S. A similar shortfall exists with “passive” raw materials, consisting of “nuts and bolts” such as resistors and capacitors, which Kapoor calls “poor cousins of active materials — but without them, you cannot make product.”

Source: https://www.supplychainbrain.com/


Dr.Somnath being considered for Chairmanship of ISRO: P Kunhikrishnan in race for in-space General

Two scientists from Kerala are likely to head two space research institutes in India. While VSSC director and Alappuzha native Dr S Somnath is being considered for the chairmanship of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Payyannur native P Kunhikrishnan is in the race for the chairmanship of the newly formed Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe). The appointment will be made by a three-member central cabinet committee chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. A decision will be made next month. Dr K. Sivan was appointed as the Chairman of ISRO for three years in 2018. His term will expire on January 15, 2021. Though Sivan had retired in 2017, his service was initially extended for two years and then for one year. The proposal to extend it for one more year may not be accepted as it will create a new norm. Moreover, S. Somnath was promoted to Level 17 in December 2019. At present, only Sivan and Somnath are in Level 17. Somnath will retire in July 2023. The plan is to extend the term by one year and make him chairman for three years, sources said. K Sivan nominated P Kunhikrishnan as the chairman of IN-SPACe during the video conference with the Prime Minister's Office on Thursday. IN-SPACe, which was founded in June, currently has no chairman. The post of Under-Secretary and International Co-operation Joint Secretary will be filled soon. The chairman will also be appointed in January.

(Indian DefenceNews, Nov 30, 2020)


Slight dip in e-comm sales contribution with stores opening up General

Tata-owned electronics and smartphone retail chain Croma has seen decline in sales contribution from its e-commerce platform after more of its stores opened up, said chief marketing officer Ritesh Ghosal. Ghosal said its e-commerce shop front Croma.com has grown from less than 3% of the chain sales to around 10% post lockdown. “So, chain business is growing at 20% odd since August, and online sales now contribute to 10% of the expanded volume. But it has come down a little as more of our stores have been allowed to open,” he said. He said when the Mumbal mall stores were allowed to open from August, the contribution of e-commerce has come down from a peak of 12% in end-July to 10% now. However, despite this digital transaction has surged as the preferred payment mode for consumers. “Some people are hesitant to step out of their homes and prefer to shop from home. Even among people who come to the store, some prefer to not handle cash and therefore use digital modes of payment. More people are preferring to pay via EMI (perhaps cash conservation is the motivation) and this by definition is digital,” said Ghosal. He also said probably consumers in the cash economy are hit harder by the pandemic and are not spending which is leading to a skew in digital payments. Payment by debit and credit card has grown rapidly over last year.

(ET, Nov 27, 2020)


Airtel CEO Vittal calls on government to keep 5G spectrum prices affordable Telecom

Bharti Airtel chief executive Gopal Vittal has called on the government to keep spectrum prices affordable to give telcos the financial headroom to invest meaningfully in 5G networks. He also underlined the need for strong collaboration between the government, private sector and academia to leverage the power of the next-gen fast broadband technology and building a vibrant 5G ecosystem, spanning devices, networks, apps and services. “One of the critical enablers for Digital India is affordable spectrum so that we can invest in building networks rather than spending money on just airwaves," Vittal said at a Ficci event Thursday. His comments come at a time when the government plans to hold a 4G airwaves sale in early-2021, which may be followed by a sale of 5G airwaves later next year. Vittal, in fact, had recently said the Sunil Mittal-led telco would give 5G airwaves a miss if auctioned at the reserve prices set by the sector regulator, that it feels are unaffordable. Fifth-generation wireless broadband technology, he said, is all about building the ecosystem, and for that to happen there is a need for very strong collaboration between academia, government and the private sector that not only includes telecom, but digital players, manufacturing players, banks and IT companies. 

(ET, Nov 27, 2020)


PM Modi tells foreign investors: Invest in India’s green energy; reveals $20 bn plan Policy

Prime Minister Narendra Modi  said that there are huge renewable energy deployment plans for the next decade, which are likely to generate business prospects of the order of around $20 billion per year. Inviting the global investors, developers, and businesses to join India’s renewable energy journey, PM Modi added that India has a very liberal foreign investment policy for renewables. The foreign investors can either invest on their own or they can collaborate with an Indian company, PM Modi further said. After the success of PLI in electronics manufacturing, the government has decided to give similar incentives to high-efficiency solar modules. The Prime Minister underlined that ensuring ‘Ease of doing business’ is the government’s utmost priority and the country has established dedicated Project Development Cells to facilitate investors.

Highlighting the achievements of India in the green energy sector, PM Modi said that in the last 6 years, India has travelled on an unparalleled journey and it is expanding our generation capacity and network to ensure every citizen of India has access to electricity to unlock his full potential. PM Modi added that in the earlier editions, Indian shared its plans for a journey from megawatts to gigawatts in renewable energy, and “One Sun, One World, One Grid” to leverage solar energy. In a short time, many of these plans are becoming a reality, PM Modi added while speaking at the inauguration of the virtual 3rd Global Renewable Energy Investment Meeting and Expo.

Source: https://www.financialexpress.com/


Why India needs to push boundaries in electronic manufacturing General

It is hard to imagine someone who doesn't own a mobile phone in India. Life without one seems impossible to comprehend in today's day and age. In fact, India has the second largest mobile subscriber base in the world. This is primarily due to availability of affordable phones, and low data charges. This growth led to a "robust rise in the import of telecom instruments, with its share in electronic goods imports registering a 10 percentage point increase between 2011-18," according to the Reserve Bank of India. The import of electronic import has surged recently and is now second in the import basket, after oil and before gold. As most of these electronic goods are imported from China, our domestic Electronic System Design and Manufacturing (ESDM) sector has not got the desired attention and is lacking in many areas. ESDM as a sector includes hardware components relating to a host of sectors, e.g., consumer electronics, information technology and medical electronics, among others. The mega industry's scope also encompasses critical industrial domains such as design-related activities such as product designing, chip designing, and very large-scale integration (VLSI).

(ET, Nov 24, 2020)


Samsung To Invest Rs 5,000 Crore to Expand Noida Smartphone Display Manufacturing Facility Telecom

According to a report by the Business Standard, Samsung will invest nearly Rs 5,000 crore in a smartphone display manufacturing facility in Noida. It added that the export-oriented unit (EOU) is expected to be ready by January-February 2021. It will attain commercial production by April 2021. The report added that UP industrial development minister Satish Mahana said that so far, the company has already invested about Rs 1,500 crore in the greenfield plant. He added that once the unit is operational, India would become only the third country in the world having Samsung’s smartphone display manufacturing facility. He also claimed that the plant was among the big projects, which had shifted to India post covid-19 outbreak in China. He added that the project is expected to create nearly 1,500 jobs. Samsung Display Noida was incorporated for the business of manufacturing, assembling, processing and sales of displays.

Source: https://www.electronicsb2b.com/


India: OTT Platforms And Digital News Media – New Regulator (And Perhaps A Legal Regime Overhaul) IT

The Central government has, with effect from 9 November 2020, brought under the jurisdiction and control of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB): (a) films and audio-visual programmes made available by online content providers; and (b) news and current affairs content on online platforms. This change in the regulatory landscape for Over-The-Top (OTT) platforms and digital media news aggregators have been introduced through the notification of the Government of India (Allocation of Business) Three Hundred and Fifty Seventh Amendment Rules, 2020 (Amendment Rules). The OTT content market in India has been constantly growing at a rapid pace. A recent report by Boston Consulting Group in November 2018 has projected the OTT content sector in India to reach USD 5 billion in size by 2023. With mounting popularity/viewership and the potential to permeate every nook and cranny in the country which vaunts a workable internet connectivity, OTT platforms have been in the crosshairs of the government for some time now with the government voicing concerns around unfiltered content and lack of regulation. In fact, news articles in October 2019 had indicated that the government will come out with a "negative" list of don'ts for OTT platforms and had also urged the industry players to form a self-regulatory body.

(Mondaq, Nov 23, 2020)


Lava begins manufacturing Nokia smartphones; in talks with telcos Telecom

Lava International is in advanced talks with one of the top Indian telcos to make co-branded smartphones, which will be subsidized by the operator, pulling the cost sharply down for the 4G device. It has already started making Nokia branded smartphones and is in talks with Motorola for similar tie-ups, people familiar with the matter said. “Lava has reached an advanced level of talks with one of the telcos. Phones will be co-branded but will be subsidized by the telco,” a person said, adding that the company is in talks with all three telecom operators for design and manufacturing of smartphones. Reliance Jio has been getting its devices – JioPhone series - made mainly by Flex, and plans to bring out low cost 4G devices in a tie up with Google. ET reported that Bharti Airtel is believed to be also talking to handset vendors to develop and sell low cost 4G smartphones under the carrier subsidy model. Airtel officially has said it is exploring its device options. “Lava also has plans to partner with companies that can share supply chains. It is already making smartphones for Nokia [HMD Global]. It is looking to combine forces on the supply chain front,” the person added. “Lava wants to work with important companies that are from outside of the ecosystem in India so that their supply chain can be combined."

(ET, Nov 23, 2020)


Online conference under chairmanship of Union IT Minister is organized to mark 3 Years of UMANG App General

To mark the occasion of 3 years of UMANG and 2000+ services milestone, an online conference is being organized under the chairmanship of Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad, the Union Minister for Electronics and Information Technology, Communications and Law & Justice on 23.11.2020 at 16.00 Hrs with the objective to take suggestions/feedback from about 20 partner departments. The key partners of UMANG are Employee Provident Fund Organization, Direct Benefit Transfer scheme departments, Employee State Insurance Corporation, Ministries of Health, Education, Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Staff Selection Commission (SSC). In coordination with Ministry of External Affairs, UMANG’s international version will be launched during the conference for select countries that include USA, UK, Canada, Australia, UAE, Netherlands, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand. It will help Indian international students, NRIs and Indian tourists abroad, to avail Government of India services, anytime. It will also help in taking India to the world through ‘Indian Culture’ services available on UMANG and create interest amongst foreign tourists to visit India. The UMANG mobile app (Unified Mobile Application for New-age Governance) is a Government of India all-in-one single, unified, secure, multi-channel, multi-lingual, multi-service mobile app. providing access to high impact services of various organizations of Centre and States.

(India Education Dairy.com, Nov 21, 2020)


Samsung Partners IIT-Jodhpur to Set Up Samsung AR-VR Innovation Lab Under its Digital Academy Initiative General

Samsung India today inaugurated the Samsung AR-VR Innovation Lab at IIT-Jodhpur, taking the total count of such labs under the Samsung Digital Academy initiative to seven, strengthening its commitment towards the government’s Skill India mission and also bolstering the Digital India initiative. The Samsung AR-VR Innovation Lab at IIT-Jodhpur will train students on new technologies such as Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality (AR/VR), helping them learn industry-relevant skills and making them job-ready. Samsung Digital Academy is Samsung’s corporate social initiative that aims to bridge the digital divide and proficiency gaps in the country by skilling students on cutting-edge technology. Courses at the lab would be run by Samsung engineers in conjunction with the faculty of IIT-Jodhpur and will be offered to B.Tech, M.Tech and PhD students by the Department Computer Science and Engineering at IIT-Jodhpur. A batch of 30-35 bachelor students would be trained per year and part of this lab would be used by research fellows to conduct their experiments. The Samsung AR-VR Innovation Lab at IIT-Jodhpur was virtually inaugurated by Shri Ajay Prakash Sawhney, Secretary, Electronics & Information Technology, Government of India and Dr. Mugdha Sinha, Secretary to Government, Art, Literature, Culture and Archaeology and Director General, Jawahar Kala Kendra, Rajasthan.

(Express Computer, Nov 20, 2020)


TERI partners Norway’s Greenstat for Centre of Excellence in hydrogen General

The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) and Greenstat Hydrogen India have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aimed at accelerating the deployment of hydrogen technologies in India. The MoU covers policy and research activities such as collaboration on establishing a Norwegian Centre of Excellence on Hydrogen in India and knowledge-sharing to support the development of hydrogen technologies in India. Greenstat Hydrogen is the India arm of Norwegian energy company Greenstat, which focuses on green hydrogen, solar, wind and zero-emission maritime solutions. Greenstat develops projects related to sustainable hydrogen production in Norway and aims at exploring international prospects. The partnership with Greenstat Hydrogen will build upon TERI’s existing research on hydrogen in India, which most recently published a policy brief titled ‘Make Hydrogen in India,’ with a more detailed report coming out in late 2020. Sturle Pedersen, chairman, Greenstat Hydrogen India, said, “Together with TERI, we are launching an initiative that will put India at the forefront of hydrogen globally. The Centre of Excellence on Hydrogen in India will be key to achieving India’s international climate commitments and accelerating the energy transition. This Centre of Excellence offers opportunities throughout the entire green hydrogen chain to fulfill the aspirations and our ambitions to reduce CO2 emissions and deliver more and cleaner energy.”

(PV Magazine, Nov 20, 2020)


Bengaluru Tech Summit: Karnataka eyes pole position in bio, digital economies IT

The Karnataka Government is aiming to achieve the top position in India’s bio-economy and digital economy. Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Thursday said one of the key goals of the state is to achieve 50 per cent market share of the national bio-economy (biotechnology economy) of $100 billion by 2025, and added that necessary steps have already been taken in this direction. Addressing the inauguration of the Bengaluru Tech Summit 2020, Yediyurappa assured of Karnataka playing a pivotal role in making India a $5 trillion economy and pointed out that the state already has the most progressive start-up ecosystem. He pointed out that four of the seven start-ups, which had become ‘start-up unicorns’ in India in 2020, were from Karnataka.  Speaking about the massive growth of biotechnology in the state, Biocon Ltd Chairperson and Managing Director Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw said Karnataka’s bio-economy was estimated to contribute $22.6 billion in 2019, accounting for 10.2 per cent of Karnataka’s GDP, while the national share of bio-economy is at $62.5 billion, or 2.3 per cent of India’s GDP.

(Indian Express, Nov 20, 2020)


Digital India led to more human-centric approach to development: PM Modi : With the Digital India initiative IT

India has witnessed a more human-centric approach to development, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi while addressing the Bengaluru Tech Summit on November 19. PM Modi inaugurated the Summit online through a video conference. Union Minister for Electronics & IT, Communications and Law & Justice, Ravi Shankar Prasad, along with Karnataka Chief Minister, BS Yeddiyurappa was also present at the occasion. The PM said, using technology on such a large scale has brought about several changes for the citizens and the benefits are clearly visible. The government has not only created a market for digital and technological solutions but also made it a key part of all schemes. His governance model is ‘technology first’ and through technology, human dignity has been enhanced like crores of farmers receiving monetary support in one click and successfully operating the world’s largest healthcare scheme, Ayushman Bharat, the PM added. Further, he emphasised that technology ensured India’s poor received proper & quick assistance even at the peak of the lockdown.

(E-Govt, Nov 20, 2020)


India is uniquely positioned in the information era, with local tech solutions that have the potential to go global IT

We live in an information era, where change is disruptive and ideas and solutions can traverse beyond defined boundaries. What gives India a vantage point is its young population. Young minds should be encouraged to innovate. “India is in a sweet spot as the time is right for tech solutions to be designed in India and deployed anywhere in the world,” said Prime Minister Narendra Modi while inaugurating the Bengaluru Tech Summit virtually. When we look at innovation in the information era, the Digital India Mission that began five years ago is a channel for new ideas to percolate to the masses. It is no longer viewed as a mere government initiative. “Digital India has evolved as a way of life, especially for the poor and marginalised people, besides facilitating smooth operations in government offices. Digital India has enabled a more human-centric approach towards development,” highlighted Modi. To substantiate, technology on large scale has brought several changes in the lives of the citizens. 

(E&T dated Nov 20, 2020)


Long-term assessment of PV panel degradation under hot, humid tropical climates General

Scientists at Hungary’s Szent István University and the Eindhoven University of Technology, in the Netherlands, have conducted a 12-year assessment of solar module degradation rates at an off-grid solar power generator located in Koforidua, in the Eastern Region of Ghana. The main goal of the research was to measure the levels of PV module degradation in hot, humid, tropical climates. The ground-mounted PV system is relying on 50 W solar panels from U.S. manufacturer Helios mounted at an angle of 15 degrees. “Each PV module is made of tempered front glass, ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) encapsulant, polymer back sheet and aluminum frame,” the researchers explained, adding that all the modules were electrically isolated from each other and investigated individually. The I-V and P-V characteristics of the modules were taken through an I-V curve plotter simultaneously with irradiation data and the temperature of panels. Temperature sensors were also attached to the back of the modules and thermography analysis was performed by infrared (IR) camera. “The IR images reveal PV modules affected by hotspot, inhomogeneity in cell temperature, open-circuited bypass diode, potential induced degradation, broken cells [and] heated bypass diodes and cables,” the academics specified.

(PV Magazine, Nov 20, 2020)


Bifacial PV modules no longer exempt from US Section 201 import tariffs General

The U.S. Section 201 tariff exemption for imported bifacial solar modules has been repealed, with panels now subject to a 20% penalty – the same tariff imposed on almost all imported crystalline silicon solar panels since 2018. Here is the U.S. Court of International Trade’s ruling. The tariff is scheduled to drop to 18% in February. But the Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA) is opposed to the tariffs. “We are asking President-elect Biden to remove those tariffs a year early,” SEIA CEO Abby Hopper said in a recent press briefing. Hopper added that signals from the Biden transition indicate an understanding of the impact of tariffs upon the industry. She noted that five solar companies started in the U.S. market and said that repealing the Section 201 tariff could cause U.S. facilities to fail. “It won’t come as a surprise to domestic manufacturing that those tariffs will end. It is not working,” she said.

(PV Magazine, Nov 20, 2020)


Sun Source Energy bags 4 MW floating solar+2 MW storage project in Andaman & Nicobar General

Noida-headquartered distributed solar energy company Sun Source Energy has announced that it has been awarded a grid-connected floating solar-plus-storage project in Andaman & Nicobarislands by the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI).  The project will have a solar power generation capacity of 4 MW (AC) and a battery energy storage system of 2MW/1 MWh. The project will be situated at the reservoir of Kalpong Hydroelectric Project (KHEP) Dam, built across Kalpong river in Diglipur district of North Andaman. Once commissioned, the project will reduce Andaman’s existing dependency on diesel for electricity while offsetting around 8112 tonnes of CO2 annually.  SunSource Energy will sign a power purchase agreement for 25 years with the Electricity Department, Andaman & Nicobar administration for this floating solar-plus-battery storage project.  Kushagra Nandan, President and Co-Founder, Sun Source Energy, said, “With renewable energy taking center-stage in all discussions about reduction of carbon footprint, Sun Source Energy is totally committed to supporting the government mission with its expertise in the solar segment.”  Adarsh Das, CEO and Co-Founder, SunSource Energy, added, “The fact that renewable power will transition into becoming the world’s cleanest and most economical fuel is a foregone conclusion. Sun Source Energy intends to play a leading role in this journey. This project win is yet another step in our nation’s climate change promise to the world as well as enabling our nation’s Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan (Self Reliant India Program).” 

(PV Magazine, Nov 20, 2020)


Best-ever festive sales help consumer electronics brand recoup lost sales General

Registering better than expected sales and growth this festive season, companies have finally started recouping from the economic turmoil of COVID-19. With the festive sales brining in some respite, the overall outlook for the remaining year isn't so bleak anymore. With over 13 million devices sold, Xiaomi India has registered the highest ever festive sales since it began its operations in the country. Xiaomi had introduced a wide selection of products and coupled it up with offers and initiatives like the Mi Smart Upgrade to meet our consumers' requirements. "The festive season is a significant period for us at Mi India from the sales perspective. Backed by our attractive offers and schemes, the response from our consumers and Mi fans continues to be great and we expect to end this year on a great note," says Raghu Reddy, Chief Business Officer, Xiaomi India. Overall, the company has seen a 15 - 20 per cent unprecedented growth over last year for the Diwali sales and serviced over 17,000 pin codes. In the wake of COVID-19 pandemic and reduced purchasing power, festive season sales have been very encouraging for consumer electronics segment. With consumers restricted at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an increased uptake in smartphones, televisions and audio devices. Echoing the sentiment, Madhav Seth, Vice President, Realme and CEO, Realme India and Europe says, "We have witnessed an increased demand and registered extensive sales during the festive period. While these helped revive sales, stocks of some products weren't enough to meet the high demand." Festive sales for Realme was 20 per cent more than what the company had anticipated. Yet it will take some time to make up for the losses incurred during the lockdown.

(Business Today, Nov 20, 2020)


'Nine Apple units shifted to India from China' General

Union IT and communications minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said Apple has come to India in a big way. At the inaugural session of the 23rd edition of the Bengaluru Tech Summit held virtually on Thursday, he said that even during the Covid period, “nine operating units, along with component makers, shifted from China to India”. The manufacturing world, he said, was looking at alternative destinations. “In view of the enormous success in accelerating mobile manufacturing, we came with the big idea of production-linked incentive (PLI),” he said. Prasad had said earlier that Samsung, Foxconn, Rising Star, Wistron and Pegatron were filing applications under the PLI scheme. In his inaugural address at the tech summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the pandemic has shown the power of technology and how seamlessly Indians have adapted to it. While lockdown and travel restrictions have kept people away from the workplace, the resilience of the technology sector was visible which ensured uninterrupted work from home. That high amount of technology adoption is there to stay. “Challenges bring out the best in people, perhaps it is relevant to India’s techies. When there is a demand in customers or deadlines, you would have noticed the best solution comes out,” he added.

(ET, Nov 20, 2020)


Indian Navy Signs Deal With Tata Power SED For Portable Diver Detection Sonar General

Tata Power Strategic Engineering Division will supply the Indian Navy with Portable Diver Detection Sonar or the PDDS, which will enhance its underwater surveillance capability. Fitted on ships, the PDDS detect and track underwater threats, and allow the Navy take preventive measure against possible damage to lives or property. The move is seen as a boost for the government's 'Make in India' initiative. The Indian Navy entered the contract with Tata Power SED under the 'Buy and Make' category, the according to the Defence Ministry. This deal is in line with the government's 'Make in India' initiative for the defence sector, which aims to boost indigenous procurement of defence supplies. The company in a statement said the order for the sonars is one of the largest in the world market. "This is the second contract to be signed by the Indian Navy under the 'Buy and Make (Indian)' category to boost government's defence indigenisation effort," the defence ministry said in a statement. Earlier this year, the Indian Navy signed a contract for the supply of Surface Surveillance Radar for warships. 

(NDTV, Nov 17, 2020)


Smart speakers shipment in India likely to cross 7.5 lakh units in 2020, Amazon Echo leads: Report General

Shipment of smart speakers in India is expected to cross 7.5 lakh units this year with consumers adopting smart technologies for their homes, according to a research report released by Techarc on Monday. Amazon Echo led the smart speaker market with 91 per cent share in July-September 2020. It was followed by Xiaomi with 7 per cent share and Google with 2 per cent share, the report said. As Indian homes go more for smart technologies, voice-controlled devices like a smart speaker have an increasingly important role to play, Techarc founder and chief analyst Faisal Kawoosa said in a statement. "Amazon has nurtured the ecosystem well by encouraging a wide choice of apps (skills) to be developed giving users a lot of engaging content for using the device which has made Echo devices very popular,” he added. According to the report, the trend of buying smart speakers with display is on the rise. "In the quarter July-September 2020, shipments of smart speakers with display rose by 87 per cent compared to the previous quarter," the report said. The average selling price of a smart speaker for January-September period was Rs 5,560 which is expected to go high as the proportion of display-enabled devices increases in the overall shipments. For July-September, the average selling price was Rs 6,100, the report said.

(ET, Nov 17, 2020)


Demand for air purifiers shoots up General

Demand for air purifiers is on fire in Delhi-NCR area and also in other top cities such as Bangalore and Mumbai as air quality deteriorates with the onset of winter. With cases of smog and pollution worsening across the impacted areas and spreading further, the sale of air purifiers has been going up, with instances of multiple devices across many homes. Work-from-home and stayat-home norms following the coronavirus outbreak has only intensified the demand for air purifiers. And, the demand is moving up across price points. While entry devices cost under Rs 10,000, the premium and high-technology ones sold by companies such as Dyson coming for over Rs 50,000 (top versions).  “At Panasonic, we have seen a 5X increase in the sale of our air purifiers, which also help inhibit viruses. We are seeing maximum demand from north India,” Suguru Takamatsu, head of consumers sales division at Panasonic India, said. Panasonic claims its devices enhance the quality of indoor air by filtering out bacteria, viruses, dust, mites, pollens, allergens, and harmful particles, including PM 2.5. Rajeev Bhutani, senior VP for consumer electronics at Samsung India, said the company has seen a 1.5X growth in sales in September-October this year. “Compared to previous years, when demand started towards the end of October, consumers this year have been more cautious because of the current situation, leading to sales of both air purifiers and additional filters picking up early, in September this year. This demand is being led by the top eight metro cities. Additionally, we have seen demand coming from corporates as well as medical establishments such as dentists, doctors and pathology labs,” Bhutani said.

(ET, Nov 17, 2020)


Expansion of PLI Scheme to Ten More Sectors Policy

The Union Cabinet has given its approval to introduce the Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme in 10 more sectors for enhancing India’s manufacturing capabilities and exports (Atmanirbhar Bharat). Earlier, the government had announced a production linked incentive or PLI scheme for medical devices, mobile phones and specified active pharmaceutical ingredients, with a proposed outlay of Rs. 51,311 crore.  PLI Scheme: A scheme that aims to give companies incentives on incremental sales from products manufactured in domestic units. The scheme invites foreign companies to set units in India, however, it also aims to encourage local companies to set up or expand existing manufacturing units.  Expansion of PLI Scheme to Ten More Sectors:    The ten sectors include food processing, telecom, electronics, textiles, specialty steel, automobiles and auto components, solar photo-voltaic modules and white goods such as air conditioners and LEDs.  The sectors had been identified on the basis of their potential to create jobs and make India self-reliant. The PLI scheme for these ten sectors will be operational for five years with a total estimated outlay of Rs 1.45 lakh crore. The PLI scheme will be implemented by the concerned ministries/departments.Savings from one PLI scheme of an approved sector can be utilized to fund another sector.The scheme for these sectors will be in addition to the PLI schemes for mobile phones and allied equipment manufacturing, pharmaceutical ingredients and medical devices. Several more pharmaceutical products have been brought under the aegis of the PLI scheme, including complex generics, anti-cancer and diabetic drugs, in-vitro diagnostic devices and special empty capsules.  Push to Digital Economy: India is expected to have a USD 1 trillion digital economy by 2025. Additionally, the Government's push for data localization, Internet of Things, projects such as Smart City and Digital India are expected to increase the demand for electronic products.  Increase Exports: The Indian pharmaceutical industry is the third largest in the world by volume and 14th largest in terms of value. It contributes 3.5% of the total drugs and medicines exported globally. India is the world's second largest steel producer in the world. It is a net exporter of finished steel. A PLI scheme in Specialty Steel will help in enhancing manufacturing capabilities for value added steel leading to increase in total exports. Specialty steel is made by adding various elements to iron, to achieve various properties, such as heat resistance, hardness, and corrosion resistance.  Secure Telecom Infrastructure: Telecom equipment forms a critical and strategic element of building a secured telecom infrastructure and India aspires to become a major original equipment manufacturer of telecom and networking products.  Doubling Farmers’ Income: The growth of the processed food industry leads to better price for farmers and reduces high levels of wastage.  

https://www.drishtiias.com/


Haier India’s #LightUpAHeart Digital Film General

Haier, the Home Appliances & Consumer Electronics brand today launched its new digital film #LightUpAHeart, that celebrates the life of office people who work closely together but have drifted apart this Diwali due to remote office and work from home setups. The digital film seeks to play a vital role in nurturing office relationships and rekindle Diwali festivities with colleagues who despite efforts are not able to meet and celebrate the festival of lights together this year. Every year offices are decked up for the festival of Diwali - from lit up buildings to colourful Rangolis on the floor. To lighten the mood, the entire office can be seen playing games and enjoying good food. People are seen having a cheerful time with their colleagues as they are dressed up in ethnic attires. However, this year Diwali is going to be a different affair for office goers. The global pandemic has had far-reaching implications on people who are working in isolation from their homes and remote places. Through its Diwali campaign, Haier wants to highlight how offices become a second home for office goers and how bonds transcend professional ties to become personal. Storyboard: 

(Business World, Nov 12, 2020)


A new government regulation could halt the streaming services dream run in India General

Digital streaming platforms have had a dream run in India. But that might soon change. The Indian government yesterday (Nov. 11) announced that all digital news, audio, and visual content platforms would now be under the information & broadcasting (I&B) ministry’s jurisdiction. So far, over-the-top (OTT) platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney+ Hostar were under the purview of India’s information technology and electronics ministry. This change may seem like a technicality but raises concerns over censorship in the name of content regulation. “The new notification will have a major impact on the OTT business in India, as prior to this content hosting platforms/intermediaries were not required to adhere to any certification standards or quotes, or come under the scrutiny of any government body,” said Kazim Rizvi, founding director of The Dialogue, a New Delhi-based public policy think tank. For now, though, the official government notification only grants the I&B ministry administrative jurisdiction over digital platforms. But observers worry that the change in jurisdiction could be an ominous sign of things to come.

(Quartz India, Nov 12, 2020)


Electronics design firm Syrma to merge with SGS Tekniks to create Rs 1,200-cr entity General

Syrma Technology and SGS Tekniks on Wednesday announced a merger agreement to further strengthen their design and manufacturing capabilities for global and domestic OEMs. The cash cum stock merger will see the creation of Syrma SGS Technologies with a combined turnover of over Rs.1000 crores, with 55% revenues coming from exports primarily to USA and Europe. The deal was supported through a Private Equity investment by GEF. "The current revenue of Syrma is over Rs 550 crore, post the merger we will have a combined revenue of Rs 1000 crore," said Sandeep Tandon, Managing Director, Syrma Technology. "We are projecting growth between 25% to 30% year-on-year  and by 2021 we aim to achieve Rs 1200 crore in revenue." Tandon said that with the Indian EMS market is growing at a CAGR of over 25%, there is an increase in opportunity to outsource manufacturing in consumer electronics, home appliance, mobile phones, and so on.  “Application areas such as medical electronics and defence electronics are seeing a surge leading to growth in the overall electronics sector. With Government recently announcing incentive schemes like PLI, Specs, and EMC 2.0, for developing the ecosystem, there is a bigger need for technological advancement in the EMS sector," Tandon said. Further, there is huge opportunity to add IoT to a wide range of products.

(ET, Nov 11, 2020)


Consumer electronics retailers have only grown in September, October: Retailers Association of India General

Consumer electronics and appliance retailers are the only ones who have grown sales in September and October over the same period last year, while retailers of other categories continue to report lower sales even though there is a month-on-month sequential recovery, says a latest survey by Retailers Association of India (RAI). The country’s apex retail trade body said sales of consumer electronics retailers went up by 2% in September and 8% in October as compared to same periods of last year. Consumer electronics companies like LG, Samsung, Sony, Lenovo and Apple have reported their best sales ever in October in India and a recovery of consumer demand in July-September with Indian households continuing to buy appliances like refrigerators, washing machines and dishwashers which helps them to automate daily chores and televisions for home entertainment. Sales of laptop, tablets and smartphones have been brisk too due to work and study from home. RAI reported that at an overall level, retailers said sales have declined by 31% year-on-year in October from a decline of 50% in July-September period and 78% decline April-June quarter. Kumar Rajagopalan, CEO at RAI, said the industry is beginning to see green shoots of recovery with a steady month-on-month improvement for businesses.

(ET, Nov 11, 2020)


Samsung launches 43-inch rotating TV ‘Sero’ in India General

Samsung on Wednesday expanded its lifestyle TV range in India with the launch of ‘Sero’ — the world’s first mobile optimised TV that rotates between horizontal and vertical orientations at the flick of a button. The ‘Sero’ will be available in 43-inch screen size with navy-blue bezel design. The lifestyle TV is priced at Rs 1,24,990 and will be available exclusively at Reliance Digital stores. “With consumers now using their TVs in different ways than ever before, including scrolling through social media, watching the latest viral videos or binge watching their favourite OTT shows, we wanted to redefine their content viewing experience by moving it to a bigger screen,” said Raju Pullan, Senior Vice President, Consumer Electronics Business, Samsung India. The ‘Sero’ — named for the Korean word for ‘vertical’ — is geared toward a younger social media generation with an interest in viewing experiences such as the ones found on their mobile devices. The TV uses AI to upscale content to 4K resolution, so users can stream content in spectacular detail, regardless of the source and comes with 60W front-firing speakers. It comes with Portrait Mode for consumers to choose from various stylish vertical backgrounds to enhance their home. The Ambient Mode+ on the TV allows users to display useful information or blend the TV into its surroundings, making the big blank screen a thing of the past.

(The Indian Express, Nov 11, 2020)


India PC market clocks 9.2% growth to 3.4 million units in September quarter: IDC General

E-learning and remote working needs have helped the Indian PC market log its biggest quarter in seven years with shipment rising 9.2 per cent year-on-year to 3.4 million units in July-September, as per research firm IDC. The shipment - which includes desktops, notebooks and workstations - stood at 3.1 million units in the third quarter of 2019. "(About) 3.4 million units (were) shipped during the quarter, as the demand for e-learning and remote working remained strong, resulting in Q3 2020 being the biggest quarter in the last seven years in India," IDC said on Tuesday. Although the commercial segment had very few government and education projects, the consumer segment recorded its biggest quarter ever with 2 million shipments, growing 41.7 per cent year-on-year and 167.2 per cent from the previous quarter, it added. The demand for notebooks remains much higher than the current supply, which is likely to lead to another strong quarter of shipments in October-December, it said. HP Inc retained the top position in the overall PC market with a share of 28.2 per cent in September 2020 quarter, followed by Lenovo (21.7 per cent), Dell Technologies (21.3 per cent), Acer Group (9.5 per cent) and Asus (7.5 per cent).

(ET, Nov 10, 2020)


A New Framework for a Secure Digital India IT

Across the globe, governments are putting national security considerations at the centerstage of their regulatory interventions. These regulations cover domains that in recent years have included non-traditional security concerns. In the area of investments, for example, many countries have modified their rules, two and a half decades since the establishment of the global trade order under the aegis of the World Trade Organization. Globally, foreign investments worth more than US$ 150 billion have either been blocked or withdrawn for national security reasons in the period from 2016 to September 2019. For instance, the president of the United States (US) prohibited the proposed takeover of chipmaker Qualcomm by Singapore-based Broadcom for national security reasons. More recently, such national-security compulsions have guided rule-making in the area of digitalisation. The Indian government, for example, has banned more than 150 China-origin applications due to security concerns. In the US, the president issued in August this year, two executive orders to restrict transactions by US users and entities with ByteDance and Tencent, both China-owned corporations, which own the popular social media platforms, TikTok and WeChat. Other notable instances of such actions include Russia’s barring of the use of LinkedIn in 2016 and the US’ ban on Russian security company, Kaspersky.[8]

(ORF, Nov 10, 2020)


The long read: India’s tender prices tumble, despite Discom delays General

The Indian solar market has proven attractive to international solar players in recent years. This interest, it seems, has continued despite of the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. “Even during a lockdown, India finalized [solar] bids worth 12 GW,” Power Minister RK Singh recently said. According to Sourya Choudhary, head of the utilities business at Amp Energy, international interest in the Indian market and highly competitive tender outcomes have been driven by a confluence of factors. “The sustained interest from domestic as well as global players is a result of … [the] immense market size of National Solar Mission [100 GW solar by 2022] along with defined timelines to achieve that, increased focus both domestically as well as globally to move into renewables, availability of lower-cost growth capital, and muted returns in other geographies offering better opportunity cost.” Shantanu Jaiswal, head of India research, and Rohit Gadre, an associate at BloombergNEF, said that new entrants have bid aggressively at recent auctions because they want to gain experience developing standalone solar projects in India. They aim to do this before the country shifts completely to more complex auctions that require the integration of solar with wind and or storage. They said that their analysis shows that by the late 2020s, solar paired with battery storage will have a lower levelized cost of energy (LCOE) than new-build coal.

(PV Magazine, Nov 10, 2020)


Taiwan team agrees to invest in YSR Electronics Manufacturing Cluster in Andhra Pradesh General

Taipei Economic and Cultural Centre (TECC), Chennai, Director General Ben Wang, leading a delegation of representatives of several Taiwanese firms, participated in the Taiwan-AP business roundtable held under the chairmanship of Industries Minister Mekapati Goutham Reddy here on Friday.  Taiwanese companies such as Foxlink, Greentech Industries, Apache Footwear, Intelligent SEZ, Foxconn, Applied Materials and PSA Walsin participated. Underscoring the need for close ties between India and Taiwan, the minister said that AP can play a key role in strengthening the relations.  The Industries Minister assured to set up a dedicated Taiwan Desk under the aegis of YSR AP ONE business enablement centre under the Industries department and nominate a special representative of AP in Taiwan to coordinate areas of mutual interest. Ben Wang agreed to extend support for the development of YSR Electronics Manufacturing Cluster at Kopparthy in Kadapa district.The roundtable also focussed on attracting electronic component manufacturers to AP, thereby enhancing value addition and deepening the industry ecosystem.  The minister mooted creation of a hi-tech hub for manufacturing bicycles and e-bikes catering for domestic as well as export markets. A joint statement by Ben Wang and Goutham Reddy identified five key areas of collaboration. Later in the day, Ben Wang called on Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy. During the meeting, areas of mutual collaboration were identified for the benefit of the State. 

(Indian Express, Nov 07, 2020)


Ather Energy Raises $35 Million In Series D Funding Led By Sachin Bansal General

  • Hero MotoCorp also invested $12 million
  • Ather Energy will open nine new markets – Pune, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Delhi, Coimbatore, Kochi, Kozhikode and Kolkata in the coming days, and install Ather Grid in these areas

Ather Energy said that it has raised an investment of $35 million in its latest round of Series D funding. This funding was led by Sachin Bansal’s $23 million. Hero MotoCorp also invested $12 million as a part of the Series D round in Ather Energy. The company said in a statement that this round of investment will allow Ather Energy to accelerate its expansion plans and speed up deliveries of Ather 450X.

It also said that Ather Energy will open nine new markets – Pune, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Delhi, Coimbatore, Kochi, Kozhikode and Kolkata in the coming days, and install Ather Grid in these areas. The statement added that the continued investment by the existing investors is a manifestation of confidence in the brand and the sector.

Bansal said that Ather Energy has set a new benchmark for intelligent electric bikes in the Indian automobile industry. Its new product line and expansion plans across the country will make EVs a part of the Indian landscape.

New manufacturing facility in Hosur

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Tarun Mehta, co-founder and CEO, Ather Energy, said that after the successful launch of our new product line, the company is looking forward to delivering the vehicles and seeing them across all cities. The pandemic has changed the landscape of personal transport and the company hopes that high-performance alternatives available people will choose electric vehicles for their daily commute.

The company also said that it is moving to a new manufacturing facility in Hosur, Tamil Nadu. It will be designed to produce up to one million vehicles a year.

In July, it had raised Rs 840 Million (Rs 84 Crore) from one of world’s largest two-wheeler maker Hero MotoCorp. The funding was raised during series C round.

According to a recent report by Report Linker, India electric vehicle ecosystem market will reach a value of $216.3 billion by 2030. The EV market is anticipated, as per the report, to grow at a robust CAGR of 43.13 per cent during the forecast period from 2019 to 2030. Additionally, installation of charging infrastructure is projected to grow at a CAGR of 42.38 per cent.

Source: https://www.electronicsb2b.com/


Google, Walmart hit by India's move to limit some digital payments players Telecom

Global tech giant Google on Friday criticised India's move to cap the share of transactions some companies within the country's digital payments space can account for, saying it would hinder the nation's burgeoning digital payments economy. Google's criticism came after India's flagship payments processor the National Payments Corp of India (NPCI) on Thursday said third-party payments apps, from Jan. 1, will not be allowed to process more than 30% of the total volume of transactions on state-backed United Payments Interface (UPI) framework, which facilitates seamless peer-to-peer money transfers. The move will likely stymie the growth of payments services offered by Facebook, Alphabet's Google and Walmart, while boosting the likes of Reliance's Jio Payments Bank and SoftBank-backed Paytm, which are armed with bank permits. More than 2.07 billion UPI transactions were processed in October, according to NPCI, with Walmart's PhonePe accounting for just over 40% of those transactions. Google Pay was a close second, with rivals like Paytm and dozens of others splitting the remaining 20% share.

(ET, Nov 07, 2020)


Rooftop solar market in 2020 General

Rooftop solar has been the fastest growing sub-sector in clean energy lately, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 47% between 2016 and 2019. As of December 31, 2019, total installations in India’s commercial and industrial (C&I) rooftop solar segment reached about 3,966 MW, as per a report by The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (Ieefa).  India has an ambitious target of achieving 40 GW of installed rooftop solar capacity by 2022. Currently, rooftop solar segment is lagging with total installations of 4.6 GW by the end of March 2020, which is way off the target of 40 GW by 2022.  With just 12% of the target achieved, the industry has been grappling with abolishment of net-metering policies across states. The Covid-19 pandemic added to the woes. The industry has suffered a significant setback in terms of project delays, shortage of labor, postponement of capex plans, uncertainty over import duty on panels, etc. 

(PV Magazine, Nov 06, 2020)


India's festive season drives up sales of Samsung's consumer electronics General

Samsung Electronics Copany is seeing a big surge in consumer appliance sales during India's festive season, a senior company executive said, helped by pent-up demand following a nationwide lockdown to battle the coronavirus pandemic. A slew of new launches across categories like televisions, refrigerators, and washing machines as well as financing schemes have buoyed sales, said Raju Pullan, senior vice president for consumer electronics at Samsung India. "We're seeing 32% growth (year-on-year) across televisions, refrigerators, washing machines and microwaves," Pullan told Reuters on Thursday. The demand uptick is good news for the Indian economy, which contracted by 23.9% in April-June during a stringent lockdown to slow the spread of the pandemic.  Indians typically make big-ticket purchases of everything from gold to cars and electronics during the country's festive season, which typically begins around October and lasts until the end of the year. While the value of overall sales last month was much higher in cities like Delhi and Mumbai, sales growth in smaller towns outpaced the bigger cities, Pullan said. Samsung also witnessed a shift in consumer behaviour with growing purchases of pricey, high-end televisions. "Consumers are spending more time at home, and are not able to venture out for entertainment," said Pullan. "That's leading to some quality purchases."

(Business Today, Nov 06, 2020)


Electric vehicle adoption in India will be led by three-wheelers IT

A joint research by KPMG and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) expects India to see a gradual, phased adoption of electric vehicles. The market penetration will be the fastest in the three-wheeler (3W) segment, followed by electric buses, two-wheelers and then passenger taxis. The report expects electric vehicles to account for 65-75% of new sales in the three-wheeler (3W) segment and 25-35% in two-wheeler (2W) in 2030. Intra-city transport buses will see 25-40% penetration. However, the adoption in passenger 4W segment will lag, with 10-15% penetration in personal cars and 20-30% in the commercial segment (electric vehicles for shared transport, including by taxi aggregators such as Ola and Uber). The growth of electric four-wheelers will be restricted by a limited number of products, high prices, insufficient battery promise, low performance, and an underdeveloped charging ecosystem. Mainstream players are likely to remain focused on internal combustion engine (ICE)-powered cars for the next few years, which will delay the adoption of electric cars.  Batteries account for around 50% of the EV cost. As the nation meets its Li-ion cell requirements mostly from China, government thinktank NITI Aayog is mulling a phased manufacturing programme to set up large-scale export-competitive integrated battery and cell manufacturing gigaplants in India.

(PV Magazine, Nov 05, 2020)


PV powered desalination is “the most competitive design General

Almost 97% of our planet’s water is found in oceans, yet desalinated saltwater accounts for only 1% of drinking water worldwide, according to the International Water Association. One reason for this has been the high energy requirements, and thus high cost, of desalination. But improved technologies, as well as the need for water in arid regions, have led to increasing development of both thermal and renewables powered desalination. One of the largest projects announced to date is the Chtouka Ait Baha, planned in the Souss Massa region of Morocco. The plant will have a daily capacity to produce 275,000 cubic meters of water, which could be extended to 400,000 before 2030. A group of scientists led by the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission took the specifications from the Chtouka Ait Baha project as the basis for a case study comparing available technologies for desalination. The study compared photovoltaics, concentrating solar power (CSP), and desalination powered by a (mainly fossil fuel) grid, with further analysis on the possibility of integrating energy storage as well.

(PV Magazine, Nov 05, 2020)


IoT: The Growth Engine For The Electronic Component Market General

In the past few years, the influence of the Internet of Things (IoT) has been felt in almost every sector. Now, its large scale impact is slowly being seen with countless benefits and opportunities across various industries such as smart homes, healthcare, power, agriculture, etc. The adoption of IoT in the industrial space is also increasing as connected devices provide more efficiency and convenience in manufacturing and industrial processes. The innovations in the manufacturing industry, and the advent of Industry 4.0, have also contributed to the growth of the IoT market.

According to Verified Market Research, the global Internet of Things market (IoT market) size was valued at US$ 212.1 billion in 2018 and is expected to witness a growth of 25.68 per cent from 2019 to 2026. By then, it is expected to reach a figure of US$ 1,319.08 billion. Cisco, the world’s largest manufacturer of data communications networking equipment, estimates that as many as 50 billion devices of all types, shapes and sizes will be wirelessly connected to the Internet by the end of 2020.

Source: https://www.electronicsb2b.com/


Microsoft to drive public sector on digital path: India head IT

Microsoft on Friday said it is committed to partnering with the public sector in India to enable a technology-led transformation and build a strong digital skilling ecosystem that empowers everyone to benefit from technology. Sharing its commitment to partner with the public sector ecosystem in the country, with the technology and tools required to accelerate digital success, the company said an inclusive economic recovery requires innovation and a disruptive pace. “The public sector has been using technology to not only rebound from the crisis, but also emerge at the forefront of digital transformation in India. Cloud and AI are playing a central role in reshaping education, health, public services, MSME and agriculture,” Anant Maheshwari, President, Microsoft India, said during the online ‘Digital Governance Cloud & AI Summit’. According to Ajay Sawhney, Secretary, Ministry of Electronics and IT, the last few months have highlighted the importance of digital systems. “The government is looking to create collaborative mechanisms with the private sector to participate in problem solving by using new technologies. We are excited about the potential of data analytics and AI technologies,” Sawhney said during the virtual event.

(The Rahnuma Daily, Nov 03, 2020)


Apple sets a new sales record in India: Tim Cook Telecom

Apple chief executive officer Tim Cook on Friday said the iPhone maker has set a new September quarter sales record in India due to strong response of its company-owned online store in the country. In its July-September earnings call, Cook said: “Geographically, we set September quarter records in the Americas, Europe and Rest of Asia Pacific. We also set a September quarter record in India, thanks in part to a very strong reception to this quarter’s launch of our online store in the country.” While Cook did not elaborate further, industry executives said strong sales of iPhones especially of the iPhone SE and 11 series, iPads and Mac computers further fueled sales in India as consumers preferred to buy Apple devices as India continues work and education from home due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

(ET, Oct 30, 2020)


Tata Group to invest Rs.5,000 cr to set up phone component plant for Apple Telecom

The Tata Group is investing ₹5,000 crore to set up a phone component manufacturing plant at the industrial complex in Hosur, Tamil Nadu. The new company, Tata Electronics, has been allotted 500 acres by TIDCO(Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation), and the bhoomi puja was performed on Tuesday. The investment will be scaled up depending on the level of sourcing from the facility and could even touch ₹8,000 crore. Neither the Tata Group nor the Tamil Nadu government confirm the development, but reliable sources said the unit will be manufacturing components for Apple, which is looking to diversify its sourcing base from China. Foxconn is already manufacturing handsets, including iPhone 11, for Apple at its facility in Sriperumbudur, outside Chennai. Titan Co Ltd’s precision engineering division, Titan Engineering and Automation Ltd (TEAL), will provide the expertise for this project. The new unit will have a staff strength of 18,000 by October 2021 and 90 per cent of it will be women. The Tata Group, it appears, is taking advantage of the productivity-linked incentive scheme that the Modi government has announced to deepen India’s electronics manufacturing base including achieving self-sufficiency in manufacturing of mobile handsets.

(BusinessLine, Oct 28, 2020)


Harley-Davidson unveils its 1st electric bicycle 'Serial 1’ IT

Harley-Davidson has unveiled its first-ever electric bicycle inspired by the brands very first motorcycle from 1903. The new business called 'Serial 1 Cycle Company' started as a project within the motorcycle manufacturer's product development center. "The formation of Serial 1 allows Harley-Davidson to play a key role in this mobility revolution while allowing Serial 1 to focus exclusively on the e-bicycle customer and deliver an unmatched riding experience rooted in freedom and adventure," Aaron Frank, Brand Director for Serial 1 Cycle Company, said in a statement on Tuesday. In terms of design, the bicycle will come with white tires, leather saddle, hand grips and sleek black frame. The company plans to bring its first line of electric bicycle products to market in spring 2021. The price of the electric bicycle is yet to be announced. According to the company, the global eBicycle market was estimated to be over $15 billion in 2019 and projected to grow at an annual rate of more than 6 per cent from 2020 to 2025. In addition, BMW is making electric bikes and motorcycles, Audi is manufacturing electric mountain bikes, Mercedes-Benz unveiled an electric scooter, Ford acquired e-scooter startup Spin, and Jeep recently unveiled a high-powered electric mountain bike.

(Et, Oct 28, 2020)


BECA : The deal that will make Indian missiles deadlier has finally been signed General

The Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geo-Spatial Cooperation or BECA, long in the making, has finally been signed by India and the US. The agreement will enable India to gain access to extremely accurate geo-spatial data. This is going to have major implications for a range of military aspects, such as giving Indian missiles a killer edge. Here are some key things about the agreement that what it will bring about. BECA is the last of the three basic pacts that America signs with close partners. The pact basically facilitates interoperability of forces and exchange of sensitive and classified information. The other two pacts enable sharing of military logistics and secure communications. The geospatial information that will be shared under BECA include nautical and aeronautical charts. Supplemented by highly accurate US satellites, this geospatial information can help in navigation and, more importantly, in targeting military assets.

(Indian Defence News, Oct 27, 2020)


Oppo, OnePlus, Realme aim larger IoT, smart TV play in India Telecom

BBK Electronics-owned smartphone makers Realme, Oppo and OnePlus are preparing to increase their focus on their respective connected devices businesses in India, especially the growing smart TV segment, which is currently led by Xiaomi. Oppo will soon enter new product categories such as smart TVs, having forayed into wearable space. It last week unveiled its broader IoT strategy in China under which it is focusing on personal entertainment, home appliances and fitness. Realme, which launched its smart TVs in the entry and affordable segment, is now planning to enter the mid and premium range with various sizes. OnePlus, on the other hand, is focusing heavily on the affordable segment for its smart TV business to drive volumes. “India is one of the key markets for us and we are constantly working towards introducing new affordable products which are essential for Indian consumers. We are accelerating into the era of the Internet of Things by actively expanding a richer IoT product portfolio,” an Oppo India spokesperson told ET. Oppo spokesperson said that the company is aiming to build a 360-degree ecosystem for various IoT enabled products in India.

(ET, Oct 27, 2020)


Sahasra to invest Rs 350 crore over 4 Years Telecom

Indian electronics parts maker Sahasra has earmarked an investment of Rs 350 crore over the next four years for assembling mobile phone memory chipsets, laptop hard drives and motherboards in India with two new manufacturing facilities coming up in Rajasthan and UP. The integrated circuit (IC) packaging plant for memory, which is being set up in Bhiwadi, Rajasthan will entail an investment of Rs 140 crore to produce 40 million ICs annually and is approved to receive incentives by the central government under the production-linked incentive scheme, Sahasra group managing director Amrit Manwani told ET exclusively. Until now this was the domain of US, Japan and Taiwan where fabs would make semiconductor wafers, which would be packaged by the packaging companies,” he said. “We are getting into the packaging business. Once we have this ecosystem in the country, the next step would be to set up a fab factory in India.” The company is aiming to scale up to 100 million IC units annually, Manwani said, and is already in dialogue with major handset manufacturers including Foxconn, Wistron, Lava, Dixon, Micromax and Reliance Jio for supplying memory.

(ET, Oct 26, 2020)


India’s 2020 Festive Season will generate $6.5 Billion in online sales General

Google’s Mobility Report indicates how disruptive the impact of Covid-19 and the ensuing lockdown was on population movement. Retail- and recreation-related mobility declined by 90% in metro areas for the month of April; the effect on tier I and tier II cities was slightly less severe, at 86% and 80%, respectively. This also meant that there were job losses, and the demand for nondiscretionary spending took a back seat. Fast-forward to September, and we notice a marked improvement, with mobility recovering by at least 40% for all cities, with tier 2 cities leading the charts. Of course, it is still quite far away from the level of movement before the pandemic, but it is undoubtedly better and points at slow resurgence in economic activities. While we are optimistic about the online channels doing well during this holiday season, some of it will come at the expense of offline retail.  The current crisis has transformed buying behavior, with general averseness to go out; consumers have latched on to online channels. The inhibitions of buying online are gone, and a transformation that would have taken two years has happened in five months. Indian economic contraction will be more severe than previously anticipated, with the latest forecast projecting a decline of 10.3% in GDP for 2020 compared to the forecasted decline of 4.5% released in June. We also expect an increase in share of purchase from tier 2 and 3 cities due to migration of

(Forbes, Oct 23, 2020)


India should remove Chinese firms Huawei, ZTE from 5G & other ICT networks, US official says IT

A official in the Donald Trump administration has sought to push India to remove Chinese firms Huawei and ZTE from India’s upcoming 5G trials and other Information and Communication Technology (ICT) networks as the US and India explore ways to improve commercial ties in the sector. “I would encourage the Government of India to review the risk to India’s communications networks to undertake appropriate measures to remove and exclude equipment from Huawei, ZTE, and other untrusted vendors from India’s 5G networks and broader ICT infrastructure,” said Greg Kalbaugh. He is the deputy undersecretary for policy at the International Trade Administration, an agency functioning under the US Department of Commerce.  Amid border tensions with Beijing, India is reportedly planning to shut out both Huawei and ZTE from the 5G trials. Speaking at an online event organised by the US India Business Council (USIBC), an advocacy group, Thursday Kalbaugh said vendors from China cannot be trusted since they must comply with their government. “As India, the United States and many other countries have already experienced, utilising technologies from untrusted vendors that are subject to the control of the government of China is an unacceptable risk,” he said.

(The Print, Oct 23, 2020)


Global Automated Test Equipment Market To Be Valued At $4.82 Billion By 2025: Research And Markets IT

The global automated test equipment market was valued at $1.1 billion in 2019 and is expected to be valued at $4.82 billion by 2025 as per a report by Research And Markets. It added that it will grow at a CAGR of 3.6 per cent. The growth of the automated test equipment industry is due to its escalating demand in electronic manufacturing sector for examining systems as well as electronic components for defects during production of components. It also helps in identification and testing of errors in integrated circuits, chip systems, and wafer testing. This, in turn, will boost the market trends over the coming years. The advent of next-gen devices will further spur the market expansion over the years to come. The report said that the thriving vehicle sector and commercialization of IoT activities will further boost the scope of the business over the forecast timeline. North American sub-continent will be the major regional revenue contributor towards the overall market during 2019-2025. The regional market growth is attributed to the slew of product applications in aerospace and defence sectors.

(Electronics B2B.com, Oct 23, 2020)


Bayesian algorithm to reduce LCOE of bifacial projects General

Researchers at Germany's Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) have developed an illumination model for the deployment of bifacial solar panels, which they claim can help to reduce the levelized cost of energy (LCOE) in large-scale PV projects. The proposed model is based on the Bayesian optimization method. The approach is based on Bayes' theorem, which is a simple mathematical formula that can be used to calculate conditional probabilities and update existing beliefs based on the arrival of new, relevant evidence.  The scientists said the model covers a range of parameters that influence the LCOE of bifacial plants, including PV components, land costs, the distance between modules, inclination angles, albedo, and weather conditions. The scientists applied the algorithm to calculate the annual power yield of four solar plants at three locations near Seattle (warm-temperate Mediterranean climate), Dallas (humid subtropical climate), in the Mojave Desert (hot desert climate), and Havana, Cuba (tropical climate). The scientists said the model covers a range of parameters that influence the LCOE of bifacial plants, including PV components, land costs, the distance between modules, inclination angles, albedo, and weather conditions. The scientists applied the algorithm to calculate the annual power yield of four solar plants at three locations near Seattle (warm-temperate Mediterranean climate), Dallas (humid subtropical climate), in the Mojave Desert (hot desert climate), and Havana, Cuba (tropical climate).

(PV Magazine, Oct 23, 2020)


Manufacturing a green solar bounce in India General

: India has set an ambitious target of reaching 450 GW of renewables capacity by 2030, most of which is expected to come from new solar deployment. The country now has the challenge of meeting its renewables target whilst aligning with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s goal to build a ‘Self-Reliant India’. This ambition is driving the government’s shift in procurement strategy to restrict imports and encourage domestic manufacturing. Some commentators have observed that going ‘cold turkey’ on imports is the best way to develop indigenous capabilities. In the wake of the Covid crisis, economies the world over are talking about ‘building back better’ and the ‘green bounce’; essentially, seeing the need to rebuild their economies as an opportunity to develop low-carbon power and zero-emission transport. As far as renewable energy is concerned, India has a domestic manufacturing capability for wind turbines, but it currently depends on imports for most of its solar equipment. There is an urgent need to grow solar capacity to boost access to clean energy, electrify transport and deliver wider benefits for society. In FY 2019-20, India imported INR 128 billion ($1.7 billion) of solar cells and modules, with nearly 80% coming from China. The question is, with no indigenous solar manufacturing to speak of, and with aspirations to become a giga-scale manufacturing centre, how can the country accelerate from zero to INR 128 billion? Going ‘cold turkey’ is probably not the answer, but manufacturing under license might be.

(PV Magazine, Oct 23, 2020)


Samsung Readies Retail Stores across 1,000 Cities for Hassle-free Festive Shopping Experience; Announces Exciting Finance Offers General

Samsung, India’s largest and most trusted consumer electronics brand, has prepared its neighborhood retail stores across 1,000 cities in India for the festive season, providing consumers a safe and hassle-free shopping experience as they venture out to buy Samsung televisions and other digital appliances. To make the festive purchase more convenient, Samsung is also bringing attractive never seen before financing offers to its retail stores. The new consumer financing offers include an industry first easy finance options under My Samsung My Combo scheme that will enable consumers to purchase multiple Samsung products under one single EMI and do away with the hassle of managing multiple EMIs. Consumers availing this finance scheme can purchase products with EMIs starting as low as – INR 1,790 for two products, INR 2,490 for three products and INR 3,390 for four products. To gear up its retail stores for the festive season, the Company has trained over 11,000 of its sales staff across the country on Samsung’s exciting new range of consumer electronics products that have been launched ahead of the festive season as well as the exciting new finance schemes on offer.

(Samsung Newsroom India, Oct 23, 2020)


Govt. warns Twitter over 'misrepresentation of India's map’ General

The government has shot off a stern letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, conveying its strong disapproval over misrepresentation of the Indian map. In a strongly-worded letter, Electronics & IT Ministry Secretary, Ajay Sawhney has warned the platform that such attempts not only bring disrepute to the company but also raises questions about its neutrality and fairness as an intermediary. A major controversy erupted after Twitter India showed Jammu and Kashmir as part of Peoples Republic of China in the timelines. A location tag of a live video posted on October 18 by national security analyst Nitin Gokhale showed the Leh’s Hall of Fame memorial in Jammu and Kashmir and as part of China. Gokhale posted screenshots of the same on Twitter while raising the issue "Tweeple pl put Hall of Fame Leh as your location for live broadcast and see what’s happening. It shows location as Jammu and Kashmir, Peoples Republic of China. I tested it again. Outrageous. Pl flood Twitter with complaints. GoI should take immediate action." The IT secretary, in his letter, has reminded Twitter that Leh is the headquarters of Union Territory of Ladakh and 'both Ladakh as well as Jammu and Kashmir are integral and inalienable parts of India', governed by the Constitution of India.

(LIveMint, Oct 22, 2020)


Rajnath unveils new version of DRDO”s procurement manual to engage pvt sector in defence R&D General

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday unveiled a new version of the procurement manual of the premier military research institute DRDO featuring simplified procedures for involvement of the private sector in various research and development projects. Defence ministry officials said the new version of the manual has been brought out to encourage participation of private industry, including start-ups and micro, small and medium enterprises in defence research in sync with the government”s ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ (self-reliant India) initiative. All deals, projects and research initiatives in DRDO are guided by the procurement manual. The government has already announced its vision to make India a global hub of defence manufacturing, and initiated a series of reform measures to encourage the domestic defence industry. “The procurement manual-2020 will facilitate faster execution of R&D projects/programmes. The modified features in the manual will go a long way to facilitate participation of industry in various R&D projects,” the defence ministry said.Some of the salient features of the new manual include increase of threshold limit for advance payment, placement of order on second lowest bidder (L2) in case lowest bidder L1 backs out and ”bid security declaration option” for depositing earnest money.

(Defence Aviation Post, Oct 22, 2020)


E-Tendering Portals Show Digitalization is the Future for India’s Solar Industry General

The ongoing COVID-19 crisis has accentuated the need to automate and digitalize practices and processes in the renewable energy sector. There is enormous potential for the industry to adopt smarter solutions to increase efficiency and decrease delays through and post-pandemic. Although alternatives already exist, the pace at which the industry is adopting them has remained slow. The Pandemic has revealed the flaws in the government processes, which is overly reliant on manual in-person processes and interactions. Whereas organizations adopting automation have fared better during the pandemic. For example, DISCOMs with robust online payment systems reported a better rate of payment collections after lockdown. The Bangalore Electricity Supply Company had told Mercom that about 61% of their bill collections came through online payment gateways like Electronic Service (ECS), debit or credit card, and net banking. The Tata Power Delhi Distribution, a power utility supplier, catering to seven million customers in the north and north-west Delhi, said it received over 90% of its bill payments in digital mode during the lockdown. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has asked all the State Electricity Regulatory Commissions amid the pandemic to allow the online listing of petitions and hear urgent matters through video conferencing after receiving a request from renewable energy developers.

(Mercom India, Oct 22, 2020)


JioMart Starts Selling Electronics With 60% Discount On Cameras, TV, Gaming Consoles & More General

After venturing into full-fledged ecommerce and fashion retail, JioMart has now launched electronics vertical, with upto 60% discount on various products such as camera, TVs and more. How will Jio fulfill these electronics orders? And which products are available on JioMart now? Keep reading to find out more! In a direct challenge to Flipkart and Amazon, JioMart has now launched their electronics vertical on their app. As per reports coming in, JioMart is offering up to 60% discount on the hottest selling electronics products such as gaming consoles, cameras, home appliances and more. Their website says, “India’s largest electronics store now on JioMart,” As of now, JioMart is offering these products under their electronics segment: Gaming consoles and accessories, Home appliances (Geysers, Irons, Air purifiers)Kitchen appliances (Juicers, food processors) Cameras, TV and audio accessories Sports and fitness, Shavers, hairdryers in personal care Smart lights and cameras under smart devices Power banks and chargers apart from other electronic accessories such as pen drives, memory cards, headsets, etc., As per the reports, Jio will fulfill all orders related to electronics via Reliance Digital, which is the consumer electronics brand under Reliance Retail. Earlier, when JioMart had started selling fashion products, then the orders were fulfilled by Reliance Trends. Now, it;s expected that Reliance will also start selling medicines since they have already acquired NetMeds, via Reliance Retail Ventures.It seems that Reliance’ JioMart is turning out into a superapp, slowly but gradually. We will keep you updated, as more details come in. 

(Trak.in, Oct 22, 2020)


Tree view Unveils Irresistible Festive Offers for its Smart TV Range in India General

The following press release comes to you under an arrangement with News Voir. PTI takes no editorial responsibility for the same.) Bangalore, Karnataka, India (NewsVoir) • Renowned Telungu Cinema actors Naga Chaitanya and Samantha Akkineni unveiled a host of offers for consumers looking to purchase smart TVs this festive season • Tree view TVs can be purchased at an EMI of just Rs. 1* • QThree Ventures will now be manufacturing TVs from its existing facility in Gujarat – ABAJ-Q Three Techpark Q Three Ventures, the exclusive license holder for Treeview TVs in India, today unveiled a host of festive offers for its line-up of Smart Android Full HD LED TVs completely made in India. The Smart Android Full HD LED TVs are available in screen sizes ranging from 32inch to 65inches, packed with a host of features such as Smart Apps (Facebook, YouTube Cast, Eshare, Miracast etc.). Telugu film stars Naga Chaitanya and Samantha Akkineni unveiled mega deals for consumers on Tree view’s wide range of Smart Android Full HD TV models. Adding joy to the festive season, these exciting offers across product categories come with strong discounts and assured gifts with every purchase.

(Outlook, Oct 22, 2020)


HCL, IBM expand alliance to help organizations with digital transformation IT

IT services major HCL Technologies on Thursday announced a new partnership with IBM to help clients accelerate their digital transformation by migrating enterprise mission-critical workloads to the IBM public cloud. In December 2018, HCL Technologies had announced acquisition of select IBM software products for USD 1.8 billion (over Rs 12,700 crore). The deal spanned products in areas including security, marketing and collaboration solutions, and represented a total addressable market of more than USD 50 billion. HCL Technologies, in a statement on Thursday, said the IBM Ecosystem Unit (IEU) at HCL will assist clients, including enterprises in regulated industries such as financial services, telecommunications, life sciences and healthcare and energy and utilities. The IEU will help enterprises develop digital and cloud-native solutions that will help advance their cloud journeys. These solutions will be built on the IBM public cloud using IBM Cloud Parks, containerized software running on Red Hat Open Shift, and Watson-powered advanced data and analytics, it added. HCL's IEU will offer a wide spectrum of services and solutions, leveraging IBM Cloud, data and analytics, artificial intelligence, machine learning capabilities and security to foster innovation for enterprises, the statement said.

(ET, Oct 02, 2020)


Making new strides in tech: LG launches world's first rollable TV at Rs 64 lakh General

Tech giant LG, via a post on its official website, announced the world's first rollable TV which is finally going on sale. The 65-inch LG Signature OLED R is now available at seven consumer electronics store throughout South Korea and will cost 100 million won, or more than $87,000 (approximately Rs 64 lakh).  The Signature OLED R is built around a flexible OLED panel that LG describes with characteristic restraint as “the most innovative development in television technology in decades.” Because of its flexible nature, it can retract partially or fully into its base, adapting to different aspect ratios or hiding the panel completely when not in use. Its name "R" contains the meaning of "revolutionary," "rollable" and "redefine the space," according to the home appliance maker. The 65-inch TV model named RX is highlighted by its screen that rises from a box and can be rolled up inside. Depending on how much the screen has rolled up inside the base, it provides three different viewing options for users to design interior space. While the full view option is for watching TV, the line view option exposes only a part of the screen and offers five different stylish modes: music, clock, frame, mood and ThinQ home dashboard to check conditions of other smart devices inside the house. 

(ET, Oct 20, 2020)


Growth in the SMT Sector can take India’s Electronics Industry to the Next Level General

The Indian electronics sector accounts for 2.5 per cent of the country’s GDP, and employs over 13 million people, directly and indirectly. It is one of the fastest growing industries in India and around the world. According to MeitY, this sector was expected to contribute US$ 400 billion by the end of 2020, though the outbreak of COVID-19 has impacted all sectors adversely. In order to boost the sector and attract FDI, government bodies are working on several export-oriented policies that will further reduce the complex taxation policies within the nation. Though the electronics industry has strengthened its roots, 80 per cent of components are still being imported from China and other countries, and we continue to lack sophisticated manufacturing facilities. As technology is advancing continuously and since demand has increased, the use of PCBs has increased considerably across the consumer electronics segment, covering smartphones, tablets, computers, liquid crystal displays (LCD) and LEDs. According to experts and electronics associations such as ELCINA, the market share of consumer electronics is much higher than industrial electronics and this is expected to spearhead the sector. Soldering and placement equipment is being increasingly used in the manufacture of various consumer electronics products, which in turn has escalated the demand for and application of surface mount technology (SMT) equipment. With the invention of smart and industrial electronic devices, the SMT cleaning market too has evolved because of greater demand for cleaning equipment required during the production process.

(Electronics B2B.com, Oct 19, 2020)


Micromax announces new sub-brand ‘in’ to realize vision of Aatmanirbhar Bharat Telecom

Making a comeback in the smartphone segment, Indian consumer electronics brand Micromax has unveiled a new sub-brand ‘in’ — riding on the Prime Minister’s call to realize an Atmanirbhar Bharat and close on the heels of the PLI approvals accorded by the Government of India. Highlighting its ‘Indian’ quotient, Rahul Sharma, Co-founder, Micromax, launched the ‘in’ brand over Twitter and the company’s other digital handles on Friday, October 16. With the ‘in’ brand of mobiles, the company wants to give a legit Indian option to consumers in the mobile phone industry. Micromax was a leading brand in the Indian mobile phone space until it lost the race to Chinese brands. The new avatar is inspired by the fun-filled, bold and aspirational Indian millennials, who are looking for performance-oriented products for their digital journey on the go and are set to drive India’s success story. Sharma said, “We are delighted to make a comeback in the India market with our sub-brand ‘in’. When you have the word India or ‘in’ on you, it gives a sense of responsibility, the weight of a billion hopes. But bigger than anything is the pride it gives. Our endeavour is to bring India on the global smartphones' map again with 'in' mobiles.”

(Best Media Info, Oct 19, 2020)


Chinese exporters may incur Rs 40k crore loss this Diwali season amid boycott call by local sellers General

Chinese companies exporting goods to India may suffer Rs 40,000 crore business loss this Diwali season as the Indian traders’ community is geared up to boycott the sale of goods from China. In a statement issued by traders’ body Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), National President B. C. Bhartia and Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal said that out of around Rs 70,000 crore businesses done in India every year during the Diwali season by traders, goods worth around Rs 40,000 crore were imported from China in the past years. “But because of the brutal massacre by China killing 20 Indian soldiers mercilessly, there is great anger and resentment towards China in the people of the country which has prompted the people not to buy Chinese goods.”  he traders are preparing themselves with sufficient stocks of goods, according to Bhartia and Khandelwal. Particularly mobile, electronics, electrical goods, toys, home furnishings, kitchen accessories, gift items, watches, readymade garments, footwear, cosmetics, beauty products, furniture, FMCG products, consumer durables, stationery, Diwali puja and decorative articles for the home, shop, and offices, etc. are likely to be sold in large quantities. The body has also urged small scale industries along with local artisans, and craftsmen through its state-level chapters to prepare goods related to Diwali. These sellers would be encouraged to sell their goods in the markets through trade organizations spread across India.

(FE, Oct 18, 2020)


Government Reining in Digital News Media? IT

Government Reining in Digital News Media? In October 16, the Department for Promotion of Industry & Internal Trade, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, issued a clarification to the note it had issued on September 18, 2019 “liberalising” the foreign direct investment (FDI) regime for digital news media entities by specifying that those “engaged in uploading/streaming of news and current affairs…have been permitted FDI up to 26% through the Government approval route.” The following categories of entities, registered or located in India, come within the purview of the FDI cap, according to the clarification issued by Nikhil Kumar Kanodia, Director (FDI), which is being reproduced verbatim below: digital media entity streaming/uploading news and current affairs on websites, apps (applications) or other platforms; news agency which gathers, writes and distributes/transmits news, directly or indirectly, to digital media entities and/or news aggregators; and news aggregator, being an entity which, using software or web application, aggregates news content from various sources, such as news websites, blogs, podcasts, video blogs, user submitted links, etc. in one location. 

(Newsclick, Oct 18, 2020)


'PLI along with the ban on import of AC with refrigerant to further aid domestic manufacturers' Policy

The government has banned import of air conditioners in order to boost domestic production. In a notification issued by the Director-General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) on Thursday, split system and others ACs with refrigerants have been moved from "free" to "prohibited" category. The notification states that only the import of air conditioners with refrigerants is prohibited. The government has banned import of air conditioners in order to boost domestic production. China and Thailand are the top exporters of air conditioners to India, as per government data. Together the two contribute over 90% of India’s imports of the good. Mr B Thiagarajan, the Managing Director of Bluestar joined ET Now to talk about the recent measures by the government. He said that these measure by itself does not have much impact on the company & industry but all the measures put together will give a boost to the industry.

Source: 

https://www.timesnownews.com/business-economy/companies/article/pli-along-with-the-ban-on-import-of-ac-with-refrigerant-to-further-aid-domestic-manufacturers-bluestar-md/668188


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)