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

(Indian Defence News, May 12, 2021)


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

(Defense News, May 12, 2021)

Godrej Consumer sees Q4 net profit jump 59 per cent

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

(Indian Express, May 12, 2021)

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

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

(ET, May 11, 2021)

5 electronics startups providing jobs in rural India

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

(India Today, May 11, 2021)

Netweb’s ‘Make in India’ compliant Tyrone servers

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

(Express Computer, May 10, 2021)

Amazon pauses annual Prime Day sale in India due to COVID-19 Inc has paused its annual Prime Day sale in India, a company spokeswoman said on Friday, as the country battles a severe second wave of coronavirus infections that has left thousands dead. In the past week, India has reported 1.5 million new infections and record daily death tolls as its hospitals run out of beds and medical oxygen. Amazon, Google and several Indian firms have jumped in to help the world's second biggest population battle coronavirus by pitching in with everything from airlifts of medical equipment and funding pledges to making medical oxygen. The event, offered only to members by Amazon, is typically held in July to boost sales. The discounts are a key way Amazon markets Prime, a fast-shipping and media-streaming service that incentivizes subscribers to do more shopping on Amazon.

(ET, May 08, 2021)

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

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

(FE, May 06, 2021)

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

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

(ET, May 05, 2021)

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

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

(Defense News, May 04, 2021)

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

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

(Mint, May 03, 2021)

Solar 101: Attaching your PV system to your roof

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

(PV Magazine, May 03, 2021)

KPI Global secures 12.5 MW captive solar project

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

(PV Magazine, May 03, 2021)

Gautam Solar doubles capacity with new production line

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

(PV Magazine, May 03, 2021)

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

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

(ET, Apr  23, 2021)

Optiemus buys out Wistron stake in manufacturing JV

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

(ET, Apr 15, 2021)

Two-thirds of urban Indians plan to increase online shopping

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

(ET, Apr 14, 2021)

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

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

(BusinessLine, Mar 14, 2021)

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

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

(Outlook, Mar 14, 2021)

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

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

(ET, Mar 11, 2021)

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

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

(FE, Mar 09, 2021)

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

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

(, Mar 08, 2021)

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

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

(ET, Mar 08, 2021)

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

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

(INC42, Mar 04, 2021)

Silver accounts for 10% of PV module costs

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

(PV Magazine, Mar 04, 2021)

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

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

(ET, Mar 04, 2021)

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

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

(ET, Mar 02, 2021)

Huawei aims to make electric cars later this year

Chinese tech giant Huawei is planning to make electric cars under its own brand, and some models may even be launched before the end of this year. According to GSM Arena, Richard Yu, head of Huawei's consumer business group, who was in charge of the company's amazing rise in the smartphone world, is said to shift his focus to EVs, which will target the mass-market segment. Huawei is in talks with state-owned Changan Automobile and other automakers to use their car plants to make its electric vehicles (EVs), according to two of the people familiar with the matter. Huawei is also in discussions with Beijing-backed BAIC Group's Blue Park New Energy Technology to manufacture its EVs. In addition, another Chinese tech company Xiaomi is also planning to build its own car and is considering it as a strategic decision, but specific details and the path it aims to take are yet to be determined As far as project leadership is concerned, Xiaomi's current CEO, Lei Jun, will be directly heading it. Back in 2013, Lei Jun had visited the US twice to meet with Tesla CEO Elon Musk and now it seems that its interest on the field has grown.

(ET, Feb 28, 2021)

Indian government clears $6.5 billion deal for homemade Tejas fighter jets

India cleared the country’s largest-ever indigenous defense deal worth $6.5 billion for the purchase of 83 LCA MK1A Tejas light combat aircraft. The deal was approved by the government’s apex security body, the Cabinet Committee on Security, which is chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The deal will see state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited manufacture 73 LCA MK1A Tejas fighter versions and 10 trainers versions, the Ministry of Defence said. “This deal will be a game-changer for self-reliance in Indian defence manufacturing. It would act as a catalyst for transforming the domestic aerospace ecosystem. The LCA-Tejas is going to be the backbone of the IAF fighter fleet in the years to come,” Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said. “Under the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan, India is continuously growing in its power to indigenously design, develop and manufacture advanced cutting edge technologies and systems in the defence sector,” the MoD said in a statement. “About 500 Indian companies including MSMEs in the design and manufacturing sectors will be working with HAL in this procurement. The programme would act as a catalyst for transforming the Indian aerospace manufacturing ecosystem into a vibrant self-sustaining ecosystem.”

(Defence News, Jan 15, 2021)

5 consumer hardware VCs share their 2021 investment strategies

Consumer hardware has always been a tough market to crack, but the COVID-19 crisis made it even harder. TechCrunch surveyed five key investors who touch different aspects of the consumer electronics industry, based on our TechCrunch List of top VCs recommended by founders, along with other sources. We asked these investors the same six questions, and each provided similar thoughts, but different approaches:

  1. Hans Tung, managing partner, GGV Capital
  2. Dayna Grayson, co-founder and general partner, Construct Capital
  3. Cyril Ebersweiler, general partner, SOSV
  4. Bilal Zuberi, partner, Lux Capital
  5. Rob Coneybeer, managing director, Shasta Ventures

Despite the pandemic, each identified bright spots in the consumer electronic world. One thing is clear, investors are generally bullish on at-home fitness startups. Multiple respondents cited Peloton, Tonal and Mirror as recent highlights in consumer electronics.  Said Shasta Venture’s Rob Coneybeer, “With all due respect to my friends at Nest (where Shasta was a Series A investor), Tonal is the most exciting consumer connected hardware company I’ve ever been involved with.” Besides asking about the trends and opportunities they’re pursuing in 2021, the investors we spoke to also identified other investors, founders and companies who are leaders in consumer hardware and shared how they’ve reshaped their investment strategies during the pandemic. Their responses have been edited for space and clarity.

( Jan 15, 2021)

Dixon Technologies to make Nokia mobile phones, Toshiba TVs in India: Report

Dixon Technologies has won a contract from Nokia to manufacture the latter’s mobile phones and smart TV, besides manufacturing contracts from Lloyd, Intex and Toshiba as well. Dixon will through its subsidiary Padget Electronics begin assembling phones for Nokia and Motorola parent HMD Global, at its Noida factory, The Economic Times reported. Further, smart TVs of Intex, Lloyd, Nokia and Toshiba will be manufactured at its Chittor factory, two sources told the paper. Financial details are not yet known. Moneycontrol could not independently verify the report. India’s second largest electronics manufacturer, began assembling LG smartphones at this factory in July 2020. The deals have put Dixon “well on track to become the first Indian electronics manufacturing services (EMS) player to compete with Chinese and Vietnamese giants,” one sources added. Notably, this is the first time that Japanese brand Toshiba will be manufacturing its TVs in India and another contract for the product has also been awarded to Videotex International, the report said. The companies did not respond to queries, it added.

(MoneyControl, Jan 14, 2021)

Tata puts post-pandemic bet on digital, electronics and health

Tata, whose operations span hotels, steel, airlines, electronic goods and technology services, will also place big bets on electric vehicles, renewable energy and battery storage, N Chandrasekaran, who is also known as Chandra, added. “When you look at trends for the future, definitely there are clear signs you can pick up. Anything that is digital, we’re making a big bet on,” Chandra told the Reuters Next conference. The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the adoption of technology, changing the way people live, work and consume as well as how companies operate, he added. Tata has already made public its intent to launch an umbrella app enabling access to all its consumer businesses, Chandra said, in a concept borrowed from China where apps such as Alipay allow everything from hotel bookings to e-commerce. Tata is also building an online business-to-business platform. The owner of British luxury brand Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) is placing big bets on electric vehicles as well as on battery storage and renewable energy for consumer and industrial use.“We are very serious about electric vehicles,” Chandra said, adding that Tata is investing in developing clean technology cars at home through Tata Motors and at JLR.

(Reuters, Jan 14, 2021)

Samsung, LG highlight food tech leveraging AI, IoT solutions at CES 2021

Samsung and LG are promoting their latest technologies on home cooking and meal services at the world's largest tech expo, industry officials said on Wednesday, as they highlight connected and personalised experiences amid the pandemic-induced stay-at-home trend. The two South Korean tech firms unveiled food tech services compatible with their home appliances leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) solutions at this year's all-digital Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2021. At its press event for CES 2021 on Monday, Samsung introduced SmartThings Cooking service that uses technologies from Whisk, a British food tech startup acquired by the South Korean tech titan in 2019, Yonhap reported.  Samsung said the service, which is scheduled to be launched in the first quarter of the year in the United States and South Korea, is designed to deliver a "seamless culinary journey" to people who search, plan, purchase and prepare for their meals. "An automatic Meal Planner powered by Whisk's Food AI recommends meals for the whole week, makes shopping lists with the ingredients you need, and connects to grocery retailers for one-stop shopping straight from the Family Hub refrigerator or your mobile screen," Samsung said. "Recipe instructions can be sent directly to synced Samsung cooking devices to minimize hassles and mistakes."

(ET, Jan 14, 2021)

Dixon Technologies rebounds 8% from day's low on stock split plan

Shares of Dixon Technologies (India) moved higher by 4 per cent to Rs 15,180, bouncing back 8 per cent from the day's low of Rs 14,090, on the BSE on Thursday after the consumer electronics company announced stock split plan. Dixon Technologies on Thursday said its board is scheduled to meet on February 2, to consider sub-division of equity shares of the company from Rs 10 paid-up to in such manner as may be determined by the board of directors. The board will also to consider and approve unaudited financial results of the Company for the quarter ended December 31, 2020, it said. Generally, a company plans to go for a stock split to make the shares more affordable for small retail investors and increase liquidity. In the past one year, the stock of Dixon Technologies has rallied 251 per cent as compared to an 18-per cent rise in the S&P BSE Sensex. In past six months, it surged 129 per cent, against 38 per cent gain in the benchmark index. The stock hit an all-time high of Rs 16,788 on January 8, 2021. Last week, Dixon announced that it has entered into an agreement with Imagine Marketing Private Limited (boAt) for manufacturing of Twin Wireless Speakers. The company shall be manufacturing the said products from its manufacturing facility located at Noida, Uttar Pradesh. boAt is the leader in the earwear segment. Their high quality audio devices are known for their style and efficiency.

(BS, Jan 14, 2021)

Manish Bhardwaj the man leading Foxsky Reveals the secret behind his success

COVID-19 has severely impacted businesses across the world. Many went into losses, and many were compelled to shut operations. However, there is one Indian business that did not suffer despite the pandemic. Foxsky, the Ghaziabad based company, owned, and operated by the Bharadwaj group, joined India’s largest e-commerce, Amazon, in February 2020, and since then there has been no looking back for them. Despite the pandemic, they have managed to grow, and they are still growing and making waves in the consumer electronics business. They are on the path to becoming a 100-crore brand. The brains behind this growth are Manish Bharadwaj and Sachin Bhardwaj, who serves as the Product Head of Foxsky. It was because of his vision and focus that Foxsky has grown to be a formidable force in the industry. He gives credit to his team and his family too who placed their trust in him and encouraged him to lead this brand. Manish Bharadwaj never believed in a conventional education system. He studied till class 12th and dropped out after his 1st-year college exam. He had the kind of business acumen no college could offer him; hence he did not pursue his studies further. He rejected the concept of school and college and proved to the world that you do not need a formal education to succeed. Life is the biggest teacher, and if you have learned to crack it, then you need no college or school.

(Forbes India, Jan 14, 2021)

Triton Electric brings N4 sedan to India at Rs 35 lakh; in talks with BEL for JV

The US-based electric vehicle manufacturer, Triton Electric Vehicle LLC, plans to launch its electric sedan Model N4 in India priced at INR 35 lakh. Meanwhile, the company is said to be in talks with Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) for a possible joint venture to produce batteries and electronics systems for energy storage units and EVs. The Triton electric sedan will be available in four variants: N4, N4-S, N4-R, and the high-performance limited edition N4-GT of which only 100 units will be produced, the company said in a press release. Headquartered in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, USA, Triton Electric has opened bookings for Model N4. It can be booked on the company website.  Model N4 is powered by a 75 kWh battery giving it a range of up to 696 km. Upgrades will be available for higher variants. It has a solar panel on the roof to charge the battery, limiting the need for conventional sources. This will help reduce charging cost, battery load, and increase the mileage of the electric sedan. The company claims that solar power can reduce 10% of the battery’s load by rerouting power from the solar panel to the battery using the distribution power unit. Himanshu B Patel, founder, and CEO of Triton Electric Vehicles said, “I want to thank all our critics and supporters on social media for their exponential support, participation, and constructive feedback. As we are heading to a new era of commitment to our environment, EVs are going to make a definite contribution to building a future-ready society.”

(ET, Jan 11, 2021)

Apollo Micro Systems sizzles after order win

Apollo Micro Systems jumped 11.07% to Rs 144 after the company said it bagged a supply order from Bharat Electronics worth Rs 49.86 crore. The company in an exchange filing on Saturday announced that it has bagged a Rs 49.86 crore order from Bharat Electronics, a Defence Public Sector Undertaking with a repeat order clause, for maximum of 120% of the units originally ordered. Apollo Micro Systems is an electronic, electro-mechanical, engineering designs, manufacturing and supplies company. The company designs, develops and sells high-performance, mission and time critical solutions to defence, space and home land security for Ministry of Defence, government controlled public sector undertakings and private sectors. On a consolidated basis, the company's net profit rose 25.3% to Rs 3.62 crore on a 16.5% rise in net sales to Rs 66.31 crore in Q3 December 2020 over Q3 December 2019.

(BS, Jan 11, 2021)

Hybrid renewable tariffs unlikely to match PV-specific

India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra) believes that wind-solar hybrid project tariffs are unlikely to match the levels seen in recent solar auctions (as low as INR1.99/kWh), at least for now. The ratings agency said while the competitive bidding guidelines address many of the issues in such projects, technical complexities related to grid integration and inclusion of floor capacity proportion of wind projects (at least 33% of the total contracted capacity) in the hybrid mix could weigh on the developers’ project economics and tariff assumptions. As a result, the upcoming solar-wind hybrid auctions may see cautious participation from independent power producers. On the contrary, individual renewable auctions (especially solar) are likely to garner higher interest due to developing comfort around photovoltaic technology, improvements in panel efficiency, lower volatility in the generation, increasing economies of scale, and decreasing operating costs, it added. The tariff-based competitive bidding guidelines for grid-connected solar-wind hybrid projects, laid out by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy during October 2020, provide must-run Status forhybrid projects and compensation at PPA tariff for any grid backdown. However, no generation compensation is applicable if backdown is on account of grid safety. This caveat keeps hybrid projects exposed to the risk of permanent loss of revenue due to grid curtailment on occasions, said India Ratings. 

(PV Magazine, Jan 11, 2021)

Cleantech Solar a big wheel in Asia’s C&I rooftop PV scene

Whether electric or petroleum powered, cars currently still need tyres, and Cleantech Solar, one of Asia’s largest C&I solar PV developers, is steering its second major tyre manufacturer in the region, Indonesia’s Elangperdana, towards renewable electricity use with a 4.5 MW system on the roof of its Java-based production facility situated near the Sentul International motor racing circuit. Elangperdana Tyre Industry produces high performance radial tyres for the Indonesian and international tyre markets, as well as radial and conventional tyres for light trucks and buses.  “This solar project will play an important role in reducing our carbon emissions,” said Dicky Mursalie, Managing Director of Elangperdana, in a statement which claims the installation will displace an annual 117,500 tonnes of CO2. Singapore-based Cleantech Solar, which was founded in 2014 by a group of former Barclays executives led by present Cleantech Chairman Raju Shukla, has more than 500 MW of commercial and industrial (C&I) solar projects in operation, construction or development across India, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and in Singapore itself. In 2016, it installed a 1.81 MWp system for Apollo Tyres in the Chennai industrial region of Oragadam, India, producing not only 2.5 million kilowatt hours of clean energy per year, but also providing shading and thereby lowering the temperature of the plant’s manufacturing unit.

(PV Magazine, Jan 11, 2021)

Rajasthan’s second-largest solar park to complete by March 2022

The Indian State of Rajasthan could have its 925 MW Nokh Solar Park in the Jaisalmer district operational by the end of the financial year 2021-22. The Nokh solar park will be the State’s second-largest after the 2250 MW Bhadla Solar Park in the Jodhpur district.The project is expected to complete by March 31, 2022 and will attract investment worth INR 3300 crore, Hindi news website Patrika quoted Subodh Agarwal, chairman and managing director, Rajasthan Renewable Energy Corporation Ltd (RRECL). The Nokh solar park will be spread over 1850 hectares land and have solar projects developed by the state-owned power producer NTPC. Rajasthan’s installed renewable energy capacity reached 9.6 GW at the end of FY 2019-20. This included 5.2 GW of solar. Also, during FY2019-20, it added more solar power capacity (1.7 GW) than any other Indian state—ahead of Karnataka (1.4 GW), the state with the highest installed solar capacity, and Tamil Nadu (1.3 GW), according to an Ieefa report. High solar radiation and wind speeds and an abundance of barren land make Rajasthan suitable for utility-scale solar parks.

(PV Magazine, Jan 11, 2021)

Ghatak Stealth Unmanned Combat Drone Programme Reaches New Milestone; DRDO Lab Hands Over Landing Gear

India’s highly secretive unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) programme, under which a technology demonstrator called stealth wing flying testbed or SWiFT is being developed, has reached a new milestone. Livefist has reported that the Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment, a Chennai-based lab of the Defence Research and Development Organisation, has handed over retractable landing gear systems for SWiFT. In a technology bulletin released in October 2020, the DRDO had said that it had completed the designing of the landing gear for the programme and the manufacturing of the airworthy components was under progress. SWiFT is a precursor to India’s stealthy UCAV Ghatak. “SWiFT UAV is a...scaled-down version of Ghatak UCAV The main intent of SWiFT UAV is to demonstrate and prove the stealth technology and high-speed landing technology in autonomous mode,” the DRDO has said. A model of this platform was recently seen in a video lecture published by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur, which is involved in the fundamental research and testing related to the stealth UCAV programme. It was most likely a “mockup or a sub-scale flying model” of the SWiFT.

(Swarajya, Jan 11, 2021)

Indian B2B e-commerce startup udaan raises $280 million, valuation jumps to over $3 billion

Indian B2B e-commerce platform udaan has raised $280 million. The additional financing was led by the startup’s existing investors Lightspeed, DST Global, GGV Capital, Altimeter, and Tencent, while two new investors Octahedron Capital and Moonstone Capital too participated. The latest round takes udaan’s overall funds raised to $1.15 billion. According to reports, the startup’s valuation has soared to $3.1 billion, from its last reported valuation of $2.8 billion in 2019. Udaan works as a marketplace for products across lifestyle, electronics, home and kitchen, staples, fruits and vegetables, FMCG, toys and general merchandise. Its clients are manufacturers and business owners like shopkeepers. The startup’s co-founder Amod Malviya said that COVID-19 accelerated the already fast digital-led evolution of India’s trade and retail industry, which has led to udaan’s growth.

(Business Insider, Jan 06, 2020)

$100 million! What floats this boAt?

Indian hardware makers have usually found it hard to raise capital. That’s mostly because India has been a weaker hardware ecosystem as compared to China. And a few attempts to change that in the past have ended up in failures. Moreover, India has been open to doing business with China. This means Chinese hardware companies could easily sell to India and out-compete local players. Those who have followed the smartphone business are familiar with the rise of Xiaomi and Chinese companies such as OnePlus, Oppo, and Vivo, and the fall of Indian brands like Micromax, Lava, and Karbonn. With the exception of Samsung, the top five selling brands in India now are Chinese. The pecking order was upset because of Xiaomi’s ability to price high-quality products affordably, market efficiently, and use China’s hardware making prowess to launch products in quick succession. The rise of online commerce and the shift to 4G telecom networks in India also gave Xiaomi and other Chinese companies a leg up. It caught Indian brands off guard. boAt started by selling charging cables. It has then moved upmarket into other devices such as smartwatches and speakers. In total, it sold goods worth over Rs 701 crore in the year ending March 2020. It is targeting Rs 1000 crore in revenue by 2024.

(Money Control, Jan 06, 2021)

Centum Electronics Limited Receives DRDO’s Prestigious Defence Technology Absorption Award

Bangalore-based Centum Electronics Limited, the leading Electronics Company, was awarded the prestigious Defence Technology Absorption Award by DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organization), India’s premier research and development organization for military and defence technology, at a ceremony hosted at the DRDO HQ recently. The award was handed over to Centum CMD, Mr. Apparao V Mallavarapu by Hon’ble Defence Minister Shri Rajnath Singh in recognition of Centum Electronics’ outstanding contribution towards the absorption of critical technology in defence space systems and pioneering the development of Space Grade Hardware of onboard Satellite based Electronic Warfare Payload for the Satellite Mission Kautilya. Mr. Apparao V Mallavarapu, Chairman and Managing Director said, “It is a great honour and privilege to receive this wonderful recognition from Mr. Rajnath Singh, Hon’ble Defence Minister of Government of India. It was the extraordinary teamwork and support we received from the Scientists and Engineers of DRDO that enabled us to deliver this State-of-the-Art System of National Importance. There have been many first-time technologies and processes developed by Centum Electronics that made realizing this Complex system possible. This is a very proud moment for all of us at Centum.”

(Businesswireindia, Jan 04, 2021)

Bharat Electronics to supply laser dazzlers to Indian Navy

India’s state-owned defence and aerospace firm Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) has received a contract to supply light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation dazzlers (laser dazzlers) for the Indian Navy. Under the contract, BEL will initially supply 20 Laser Dazzlers, which would be manufactured at the company’s Pune facility. The laser dazzler is used as a ‘non-lethal method’ for stopping suspicious vehicles, aircraft, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) from approaching secured areas. According to a statement released by the Ministry of Defence (MoD), the weapon has been ‘indigenously designed and developed’ for the first time for the military forces. Laser Dazzlers are also capable of ‘dazzle’, helping in the suppression of the person’s or optical sensor’s action with ‘disability glare in case of non-compliance to orders’. The weapon system is portable, shoulder operated, and is ruggedised for military use. The technology of the laser dazzler was developed by India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). This unique product will support India’s ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

(Naval Technology, Jan 04, 2021)

Lenovo expects 25-30% growth this fiscal, to begin manufacturing tablets in India

PC maker Lenovo expects to grow by 25-30 per cent in the current financial year due to increase in demand from education segment and large enterprises, a top company official said. However, the growth may decline in the next financial year, Lenovo India CEO and Managing Director Rahul Agarwal told , adding that the company has always grown in double digits and will continue to maintain the trend. Lenovo is also planning to start manufacturing tablets in India and expand laptop manufacturing by about 10 times. "It has been a roller coaster ride this year, but we will grow by 25-30 per cent for the full financial year if we remove the ELCOT deal. The ELCOT deal was 1.5 million PCs which has not happened this year," Agarwal said. "The consumer market is to be 4 million. It has been flat for the last 5 years. It is suddenly exploding because of learning from home and is growing by 40 per cent," he added. In 2019, Lenovo India had bagged an order from ELCOT, the nodal agency for procuring electronic hardware and software for Tamil Nadu government and its schemes, for providing over 1.5 million laptops to students in the state. Agarwal said B2B (business-to-business) demand is still muted and it may grow by 4-5 per cent for full year.

(ET, Jan 04, 2021)

Indian B2B e-commerce startup udaan raises $280 million, valuation jumps to over $3 billion

Indian B2B e-commerce platform udaan has raised $280 million. The additional financing was led by the startup’s existing investors Light speed, DST Global, GGV Capital, Altimeter, and Tencent, while two new investors Octahedron Capital and Moonstone Capital too participated. The latest round takes udaan’s overall funds raised to $1.15 billion. According to reports, the startup’s valuation has soared to $3.1 billion, from its last reported valuation of $2.8 billion in 2019. udaan works as a marketplace for products across lifestyle, electronics, home and kitchen, staples, fruits and vegetables, FMCG, toys and general merchandise. Its clients are manufacturers and business owners like shopkeepers. The startup’s co-founder Amod Malviya said that COVID-19 accelerated the already fast digital-led evolution of India’s trade and retail industry, which has led to udaan’s growth.  “udaan is at the forefront of this uniquely Indian eCommerce opportunity, emerging in the last 4 years as one of the largest eCommerce platforms in India, while taking an India-first mobile-first approach to e-commerce. This financing enables us to further our journey of taking eCommerce to the depth and breadth of the country, with udaan’s unique low-cost model for core middle India,” said Malviya.

(Business Insider, Jan 02, 2021)

Smaller startups are poised to drive social commerce in India

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)

Tech startups that helped reducing dependencies on Chinese imports

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)

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

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

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

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

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)

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

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.”


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

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

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 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)

Why India needs to push boundaries in electronic manufacturing

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)

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

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, Nov 21, 2020)

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

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

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)

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

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

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

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

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'

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

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

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

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)

Haier India’s #LightUpAHeart Digital Film

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

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

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

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

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

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)

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

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

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

  • 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


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.


Rooftop solar market in 2020

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

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)

PV powered desalination is “the most competitive design

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

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.


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

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)

Dixon Opening Third Handset Assembly Plant by January 2021: Report

Dixon Technologies will begin operations at its third handset assembly plant in India by January 2021. This plant will be the 11th manufacturing facility of Dixon Technologies. A report published in the Economic Times states that the plant will create more than 4000 jobs. Around 900 of these will be created within the first year of operations. The report quoted Sunil Vachani, chairman, Dixon Technologies, saying that the plant will increase Dixon Technology’s capacity to produce 80 million handsets in the first year. The company, at present, has capacity to build around 30 million handsets. Dixon’s fully-owned subsidy, Padget Electronics, was recently approved under the PLI scheme. The company may also in talks to Motorola to manufacture $1 billion of smartphones in India. The company, as per an interaction with CNN, had earlier said that it was looking at generating revenues of Rs 8,000 crore through mobile manufacturing. Dixon, for 2018-19 period, had reported a revenue figure of Rs 29,844 million. The company has ten manufacturing facilities. These are located in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Andhra Pradesh and are supported by three R&D centres (two are located in India and one in China). Sunil Vachani, executive chairman, in Dixon’s annual report for 2018-19 wrote, “Despite all the volatility presented by the market conditions, Dixon achieved remarkable results in FY 2019, boosting five per cent growth in revenue to Rs 2,99,008 lakhs.”, Oct 23, 2020)

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

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)

Bayesian algorithm to reduce LCOE of bifacial projects

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

: 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

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’

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

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

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

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. 

(, Oct 22, 2020)

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

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)

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

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

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, Oct 19, 2020)

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

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)

5G to act as a catalyst for India's digital growth: Amphenol's Joshy Paul

The US-based antenna company Amphenol said that the fifth generation or 5G rollouts in India would prove to be a catalyst for the country's digital growth, and it sees huge potential following partnerships with Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, and state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL). "5G to act as a catalyst for the digital growth, the introduction of new products and services, new streams of multiple value chains and greater efficiencies in productivity across industry verticals resulting in enhanced customer experience," Amphenol chief executive Joshy Paul told ET Telecom. Amphenol Antenna Solutions (AAS) is a division of Amphenol Corporation, an $8 billion revenue company listed at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). With the adjusted gross revenue (AGR) matter off the list, the multinational vendor feels that all telecom operators would focus on new offerings with bouquets to attract new and retain existing customers. "We believe the market will move towards 5G in a big way in the coming months," the top executive said, and added that there is a huge growth potential in the Indian market not being the second-biggest market after China, but with the focus being shifted to the south Asian country.

(ET, Sep 29, 2020)

Apple suppliers commit to $900 mn investment to build capacities in India

The Indian government’s production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme is bringing in big money into India as companies look to add local manufacturing capacities on the back of the scheme. According to a report by Reuters, three suppliers for Apple -- namely Foxconn, Wistron and Pegatron -- have committed $900 million in India over 5 years. The three manufacturers plan to invest Rs. 4,000 crore, Rs. 1,300 crore and Rs. 1,200 crore in the country, respectively, said the report. According to two industry executives, the investments are being made to add capacities and ramp up domestic production of mobile phones for Apple and other brands. Foxconn and Wistron already make smartphones for Apple, while Pegatron has recently set up a local entity in India to kick start its operations here, according to filings with the registrar of companies. Apple has been moving parts of its manufacturing operations to India through these firms. Foxconn currently makes the iPhone 11 in its Chennai factory, while Apple had confirmed earlier that the 2020 version of the iPhone SE is also made in India now.

(LiveMint, Sep 28, 2020)

Five cheapest products available on Apple online store in India

US-based electronics giant Apple launched its first exclusive online store in India on Wednesday (September 23). The online store, which Apple launched just days ahead of the festive season, offers a full range of products, support and premium experience to consumers across the country. Apple has joined hands with Blue Dart for logistics support and the latter will work as the company's on-ground fulfillment partner. The Apple India store, the 38th online store worldwide, would have specialists to lend expert advice and support to the Indian customers.  Priced at Rs 1,700, Apple's official 'USB-C to USB Adapter' is without doubt one of the cheapest products available on Apple's online store in India.  Apple's original lightning cable is also selling for Rs 1,700 on Apple's online store in India.  At Rs 900, this is the cheapest product available on Apple Online Store in India. Apple Watch's official straps selling for Rs 3,900 on Apple Online Store in India and though they are a little expensive but it is because of their high quality.

(Zee News, Sep 28, 2020)

PUBG ban not likely to be revoked anytime soon: Report

The ban on PUBG came as a big blow for PUBG Corporation, the creator of the title, and Tencent Games, the Chinese company behind its mobile version. Now, fans have been hoping that PUBG Corp's recent decision to dissociate from Tencent in India might reverse the ban, but a new report suggests that is not likely to be the case anytime soon. Earlier this month, India's Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology banned as many as 118 Chinese applications. The list included PUBG Mobile and its Lite version - two battle royale games with a ginormous player-base in India. The government said that the apps engaged in activities prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of India, defense of India, security of the state, and public order. In light of the ban in India, which attributed to nearly 24% of PUBG's all-time global downloads, Tencent suffered a major setback and lost nearly $34 billion in market value over two days. This was the second-biggest dip for the Chinese conglomerate since the Trump administration banned transactions with its WeChat messaging app - also over security concerns.

(NewsBytes, Sep 27, 2020)

We have an order book of Rs.54,500crore& they will be discharged in next 6-7 years : Narayan Prasad, CMD, Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders

Vice Admiral, Narayan Prasad, CMD, Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders and Sanjeev Singhal, Director (Finance) and Chief Financial Officer, talks about the upcoming IPO, current and expected order book, diversification of business among others during an exclusive interview with Swati Khandelwal, Zee Business. Edited Excerpts:Congratulations on your upcoming IPO. Please run us through the details of the IPO and what would you suggest to people who can be interested in this IPO? Also, talk about the size of the IPO, the state government wants to divest here and where the proceeds will be used? The offer summary is Initial Public Offer (IPO) of about 3 crores 59 lakhs shares of the face value of around Rs 10 per share including employee reservation of 3,45,517 equity shares. The net offer of 3 crores 25 lakh 3,500 equity shares which constitute 15% of the post-offer paid-up equity share capital. There is an OFS of around 3 crores 59 lakhs 9,017 equity shares of the face value Rs 10 per share. As I have said earlier, its price band has been decided between Rs 135 to Rs 145 per equity share of the face value of Rs 10 each. The QIB portion will stand around 50%, the Non-institutional Investors (NII) portion stands at 15% and the retail portion is 35%.

(Indian Defence News, Sep 27, 2020)

AtmaNirbhar Bharat: Why is DRDO’s latest laser-guided anti-tank missile more than special for Indian Army

The country is moving fast in defence sector under AtmaNirbhar Bharat Abhiyan. Under this, DRDO has now achieved great success by successfully testing the laser-guided anti-tank missile. The test was fired conducted from the MBT Arjun tank in Ahmednagar, Maharashtra. During this test, the anti-tank missile successfully destroyed the target at a distance of three kilometers. This anti-tank guided missile is precisely aimed at its target, guided by a laser.  According to DRDO it has been developed with multiple-platform launch capability and is currently being technically evaluated by firing from a gun mounted in MBT Arjun. The missile has been successfully tested at the Armored Corps Center and School in Ahmednagar. The tests conducted revealed that missiles fired from the MBT Arjun tank successfully destroyed the target for three kilometers. Regarding the various features of the missile, the DRDO stated that the explosive rear armor of the anti-tank guided missile employs a hot warhead to defeat protected armored vehicles. The missile has been developed with multi-platform launch capability and is currently undergoing a technical evaluation test from MBT Arjun’s gun.

(Defence Aviation Post, Sep 26, 2020)

Constant rule tweaks, corporate reluctance make India’s defence offset policy ineffective

India’s defence offset policy, introduced in 2005, has largely failed to achieve its objectives due to constant tweaks, as well as reluctance on the part of foreign defence manufacturers to take the additional cost burden of offsets, defence industry experts say. On September 23, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India said in a report that the objectives of India’s offset policy had remained largely unachieved more than a decade after its adoption. The CAG also slammed french aerospace firms Dassault Aviation and MBDA, the main contractors in the Rs 59,000 croreRafale deal for the Indian Air Force, and said they had not discharged 30 percent of their offset obligations, which was to transfer high-end technology to help India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) develop a jet engine for the LCA Tejas. “Till date the Vendor has not confirmed the transfer of this technology,” the CAG’s report, tabled in Parliament on Wednesday, said.

(Defence Aviation Post, Sep 25, 2020)

Fifteenth Finance Commission may suggest cess on direct taxes for defencefund

Be prepared to pay more tax next year. The Fifteenth Finance Commission (FFC) chaired by NK Singh may suggest a cess on direct taxes for a non-lapsable national defence fund.ET learns from multiple sources that the FFC, which is scheduled to submit by the end of October its report and recommendation on how union and state governments should share tax revenues for five years beginning 2021, is likely to suggest monetisation of land and sequestering a portion of import duties for the fund. Total land under the control of defenceorganisations is estimated to be over 1.75 million acres. ``The Commission is deliberating on its multiple TORs. Its recommendations would be contained [in] its final report. Any speculation or conclusion in this regard would be misleading,’’ an FFC spokesperson said responding to ET’s query on the fund. The government last year empowered the commission with an additional terms of reference (ToR) to enable it to make a specific suggestion on how to create the fund. Demanding the fund, the defence ministry had stressed on the need to increase focus on national security

(ET, Sep 25, 2020)

Smart Innovations: Going beyond merely making in India

In January this year, Samsung launched its new line of refrigerators—Curd Maestro—that customers can use to make curd at home. Given the fascination Indian homes have for everything curd, it is no surprise these refrigerators saw very strong demand pan-India. “Curd is an essential in Indian households. We launched the Curd Maestro refrigerator after extensive consumer research in India that has helped us address consumer pain points when it comes to making curd at home,” says Amitoj Singh, senior director and head, product innovation team at Samsung India.“We found the common pain point was setting the curd and getting the same consistency and taste. The younger generation did not have the time for the process of boiling then cooling the milk, adding a bit of curd, and then ensuring it is kept in the fridge once it is set. This refrigerator addresses all these pain points,” he explains.

(FE, Sep 24, 2020)

SHARP Announces World’s First 4K Ultra HD Windows Collaboration Display

SHARP Business Systems announced the launch of PN-CD701, the world’s first ‘Windows Collaboration Display’, which offers best in class environment for business meetings with better space utilization and more productive collaboration with minimal setup.Windows Collaboration Display – PN-CD701, is specially designed keeping in mind the office and remote working requirements of the large corporates. The next-generation interactive display enables better space utilization and more productive collaboration in meetings, boardrooms and training rooms which would totally revolutionize the way official conferences are conducted whether working from home or office space. The display comes with certification from Microsoft and Skype for businesses.  Announcing the launch, Shinji Minatogawa, Managing Director, SHARP Business Systems (India) Pvt. Ltd., said, “Sharp has always been renowned for its dedication to constantly developing innovative technologies to support the evolving needs of its customers. Our products not only offer improved technology and the latest features but also improve their quality of life. With the launch of the world’s first 4K Ultra HD ‘Windows Collaboration Display’,’ we have yet again delivered on this promise and offered our customers with the seamless all-in-one solution that allows them to work comfortably and efficiently from anywhere in the world.”

(ELE Times, Sep 24, 2020)

Reliance Retail is set to wage an online price war against its rivals, as festive season nears

Reliance Retail is set to kick off an online price war this festive season as ecommerce unit JioMart forays into fashion, smartphones and consumer electronics, expanding its presence beyond grocery, said people with knowledge of the matter. Pricing will be lower than Amazon and Walmart-owned Flipkart in most cases, they said. The deep discounting play will largely be on private and exclusive brands such as its own fashion labels, apart from electronic goods from BPL, Kelvinator, Sharp and others. Prices will be lower for mainstream electronic and smartphone brands too, they added. Companies like Apple and Samsung have said in the past that they do not control pricing on any channel as per Indian laws. Having just raised Rs 13,000 crore for its retail business, Reliance aims to launch these categories in most cities where it has a store presence by next month and run big festive online discounting sales similar to Flipkart's Big Billion Days and Amazon's Great Indian Festival sales from Navratri till Diwali - the biggest ecommerce business period of the year, said the people cited above. This spans the month between mid-October and mid-November.

(ET, Sep 23, 2020)

Electronics Industry in India: At the cusp of turning tide

In the electronics sector, the country is heavily dependent on Chinese suppliers. Electronic goods account for 32 per cent of our overall imports from China which meets 40 per cent of our total imports of electronic goods, which includes consumer electronics, industrial electronics, computer and IT hardware, mobile  phones, strategic electronics, light emitting diodes etc. Between April 2019 and February 2020, total imports of electronic goods stood at Rs 3.59 lakh crore. Out of this, imports from China stood at Rs 1.42 lakh crore or 40 per cent of total imports of such goods.We imported 98 per cent of parts used in electronic integrated circuits and micro assemblies from China. Similarly, our reliance on China was 93 per cent in colour TV sets and 90 per cent when it comes to imports of the subscriber-end equipment in the telecom industry.Although the overall mobile phone imports declined sharply in FY20, the share of China increased in total imports. Cell phone imports almost halved to Rs 6,313 crore in April-February of FY2019-20 from Rs 11,304 crore in the full year of FY2018-19 primarily because of the increase in domestic manufacturing and the hike in import duty on handsets.

(ELE Times, Sep 23, 2020)

Resumption of customs duty on open cells will put pressure on TV industry: CEAMA

The move to reimpose a 5% import duty on open cell panels, a key component used in the manufacturing of television sets, will add pressure on the TV industry and impact prices of TV sets sold in India, industry body Consumer Electronics and Appliances Manufacturers Association (CEAMA)said on Sunday. Open cell panels, that form nearly 65% of the total production cost of televisions, will attract 5% import duty from 1 October, Mint reported earlier today citing governement sources. The duty exemption on imports of open cell panels expiring at the end of this month will not be extended as the government pushes to expand domestic manufacturing, the report said.While government officials estimate that the impact of the duty could translate to Rs150-250 per television, manufacturers say end consumer prices could go by Rs400-1,200, depending on the size of the television set.  As part of 'Atmanirbhar Bharat' the government is keen to expand domestic production capacity for open cell panels as it seeks to curb imports. The year-long exemption given to open cell panels expires on 30 September, the Mint report said.Industry body Consumer Electronics and Appliances Manufacturers Association or CEAMA said the move will add pressure on the industry that is already struggling from covid-induced pressure on consumer demand.

(LiveMint, Sep 20, 2020)

Consumer electronics industry hopeful of robust sales this festive season

The appliances and consumer electronics industry is expecting double-digit growth in sales in the upcoming festive season, which will be further supported by absence of domestic helps and people working from home, according to industry body CEAMA. The consumer electronics and appliances sector, which has already started on a positive note with Onam in August, saw sales growth in last couple of months owing to pent-up demand, but there is another element playing a role of a key driver, i.e. consumers are looking for a substitute for domestic help amid health safety concerns due to COVID-19. This has already led to a higher demand for appliances such as washing machine, microwave, dishwasher, refrigerators, etc," the Consumer Electronics and Appliances Manufacturers Association (CEAMA) said. Though, the industry is "optimistic", the retailers are cautious as "scheme and promotions might not be as aggressive" like earlier in this year in the festive season, which roughly accounts up to 25 per cent of the total sales, as the brands are struggling with liquidity and other challenges.

(BS, Sep 20, 2020)

Minesweepers elusive, Indian Navy scouts underwater mine-disposal bots

The Indian Navy is looking to acquire 10 autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV) geared to detect and actively destroy underwater mines and similar threats. The requirement, published last month, is the latest iteration of a long standing — and so far fruitless — quest for long endurance surveillance AUVs. In this latest quest, the navy’s Special Operations & Diving Directorate has said it is looking for AUVs that are two-man portable, designed for surveillance, identification and explosive ordinance disposal (EOD) at harbour and at sea. The navy’s request for information (RFI) says it is looking for AUVs that upon identifying mines or underwater improvised explosive devices (IEDs), can then be remotely commanded to fire an explosive shaped charge to detonate and destroy the object. The control console for the AUV, as is standard for such products, needs to be deployable on a rigid inflatable boat, with a 3-km radius of operations. The threat to harbours has been pronounced for years, and amplified by the Indian Navy’s much larger — and ludicrously meandering — quest for minesweeper ships. A fruitless 15 year effort to acquire a desperately needed dozen mine countermeasure vessels (MCMVs) has hit wall after wall, with an exasperated Indian Navy down to its final pair of ships capable of clearing mines. Last heard, the navy had decided to loosen requirements to make way for a larger competition. While the EOD AUV is a far smaller procurement thrust, it is an unignorable reminder of the Indian Navy’s chronic lack of success in acquiring mine countermeasure assets.

(Indian Defence News, Sep 14, 2020)

DRDO plans national programme on directed energy weapons for battles of future

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is now planning a national programme on directed energy weapons (DEWs) like high-energy lasers and high-powered microwaves, which are increasingly being considered crucial around the world for the contactless conflicts of the future. The national programme will have short, medium and long-term goals, with the eventual aim being to develop different DEW variants of up to 100 kilowatt power, in collaboration with the domestic industry, sources said. The DRDO has been working on several DEW projects for long, ranging from ‘chemical oxygen iodine’ and ‘high-power fibre’ lasers to a secretive ‘Kali’ particle-beam weapon for ‘soft-kills’ against incoming missiles and aircraft. industry, sources said. But they are nowhere near becoming operational. The need for a focussed approach on DEWs has now gained urgency amid the ongoing military confrontation with China in eastern Ladakh. DRDO has so far developed two anti-drone DEW systems, which will now be productionised in large numbers with the help of the industry.

(ET, Sep 14, 2020

Bharat Electronics upbeat on defence business, seeks to ride government's self-reliance push

Bharat Electronics Limited NSE 4.40 % is upbeat about its business prospects in the defence sector seeking to ride on the government's thrust on self-reliance though it's facing the prospect of short-term adverse impact from COVID-19. In fact, the Bengaluru-based defence PSU was sitting on an order book of Rs 51,973 crore as on April one this year, according to company officials. defence contributed 82 per cent of sales revenue of BEL in 2019-20, up from 68 per cent in the previous fiscal. The remaining 18 per cent revenue came from the non- defence sector. BEL's Chairman and Managing Director M V Gowtama said the government's emphasis on 'Make in India' in the defence sector provides a great opportunity for the company to enhance indigenous efforts and to address the emerging opportunities.  The Navratna PSU under the Ministry of defence achieved a turnover of Rs 12,608 crore during 2019-20, a growth of 6.94 per cent compared to the previous financial year.  "BEL is targeting a healthy growth of 12-15 per cent during 2020-21", Gowtama said in a September seven letter to the shareholders. The real impact of the pandemic on the company is to be seen in the near future as the situation is evolving, he said, adding, however, that it has started taking mitigation measures to reduce the impact.

(ET, Sep 13, 2020)

Electronics manufacturing vision: Managing e-waste is critical

India is determined to become a leading manufacturing hub of electronics. In 2019, the National Policy on Electronics (NPE 2019) stated its intent to focus on manufacturing for both domestic and global markets. The NPE 2019 moved from regressive tariff impositions on imports to providing incentives to manufacturers. It is in the same spirit that the government recently notified three schemes, worth approximately Rs 50,000 crore, in order to position India as a global hub for electronics manufacturing. Developed economies have a voracious appetite for electronics, and if India starts exporting one of the highest-selling traded items, it will give India a lot of muscle in global trade. However, with great power also comes great responsibility.  An increase in electronics manufacturing is also going to lead to an increase in electronic waste. Electronic waste refers to electrical and electronic equipment, whole or in part discarded as waste by the consumer or bulk consumer, as well as rejects from the manufacturing, refurbishment and repair processes. India is currently the third-largest e-waste generator in the world, after China and the US. According to Global E-waste Monitor 2020, India generated 3.2 million ton of e-waste in 2019, out of which only 30,000 ton was collected and recycled. It is further estimated that in 2020, India will likely produce 5.2 million tons of e-waste annually. It is critical that India is perceived as an environmentally-responsible manufacturer. It would be detrimental for India to be treated like a backyard cheap labour factory that manufactures electronics but doesn’t clean up after itself. The good news is that the government and the industry are both committed to responsible e-waste management. India is the only country in Southern Asia with e-waste legislation.

(FE, Sept 10, 2020)

Reliance terms reports of stake sale to Amazon speculative

Reliance Industries NSE 0.66 % Ltd reportedly has offered a 40 per cent stake in its retail arm worth about USD 20 billion to, Inc, a report the company said was speculative.  Bloomberg News citing a source reported that "Amazon has held discussions about investing in the conglomerate's Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd unit and has expressed interest in negotiating a potential transaction". The report went on to say that Reliance was "willing to sell as much as a 40 per cent stake in the subsidiary to Amazon" and the deal size at USD 20 billion would be the biggest ever in India. While Amazon refused to comment, Reliance said, "In light of a high incidence of speculative media queries and incorrect and ex parte media articles relating to purported capital transactions into Reliance Industries or our group companies, we would like to reiterate that as a policy, we do not comment on media speculation and rumours and we cannot confirm or deny any transaction which may or may not be in the works."   "The company evaluates various opportunities on an ongoing basis, it said, adding that the company has "made and will continue to make necessary disclosures in compliance" with listing obligations and disclosure requirements.  "Vide this communication, we appeal to the media to carefully examine any such speculative information and safeguard themselves and their readers, many of whom are individual retail investors, from publishing/recycling unfounded and/or incorrect news," Reliance said.

(ET, Sep 10, 2020)

Mahindra Electric launches global electrification solution for light electric vehicles

Mahindra Electric Mobility Ltd, part of the USD 19.4 billion Mahindra Group, is proud to be one of the founding partners of the first ever World EV Day, to be held today. World EV Day is being hosted by Green.TV and is dedicated to raising awareness about global electric mobility. On this day, global leaders will gather together to highlight the benefits of electric mobility, and promote EVs on a global platform. The journey towards a future driven by e-mobility is well under way, according to Mahesh Babu, MD & CEO of Mahindra Electric Mobility, India. “Our goal with EVs is to revolutionize first and last mile transportation globally and take e-mobility to the masses. World EV Day is a great forum for us to discuss the next big ideas for the global markets and we take this opportunity to launch our MESMA 48 platform globally.”   Mahindra Electric’s robust MESMA 48 platform offers globally competitive quality and is cost effective. It is one of the company’s most utilized EV technology solution architecture. The platform is highly scalable and has till date powered over 11,000 EVs on Indian roads. It can electrify a range of vehicles including three wheelers, quadricycles and even compact cars.

(Auto Components India, Sep 09, 2020)

US sanctions on Huawei to hit Samsung, other chipmakers

Memory chipmakers, including Samsung Electronics, will feel the pinch of additional US sanctions on Chinese telecom giant Huawei Technologies that take effect next week, industry sources said on Wednesday. The new sanctions, which ban the supply of semiconductors made with US equipment, software and design to Huawei without prior approval from Washington, are set to become effective from next Tuesday, Yonhap news agency reported. It will hit the shipments of Samsung Electronics, the world’s top memory chip maker, SK hynix Inc. and most other global players will virtually stop shipments to the Chinese company next week, they said.  “I understand that Samsung Electronics will stop shipping chips to Huawei from next Tuesday, though there is a possibility of selling products after winning US approval,” an industry observer said.That is because US technologies are used in almost all sectors of chip production from design software to production equipment, according to the sources.Huawei is known as one of Samsung’s top five customers. SK hynix reportedly depends on Huawei for some 10 per cent of its sales. The envisioned American sanctions are widely expected to have a negative impact on Samsung Electronics and other industry players over the short term, but they would unlikely have a great impact in the long haul, industry watchers said. They further said Samsung Electronics could benefit from the US move, as it may come as an opportunity to widen its gap with Huawei in the smartphone market and play catch-up with the Chinese firm in the 5G sector.

(The Tribune, Sep 09, 2020)

India is emerging as a large scale electronics manufacturing center

You probably notice that maximum of the tech giants like Apple, Samsung, and all, those who have facilities in China are shifting to other countries day by day. Let you know, as per a recent report, Samsung is going to shut down its last China-based TV manufacturing facility by this November. In this case, most of the giants prefer India. On this topic, the Union Minister of India Mr. Ravi Shankar Prasad said, “India is emerging as a big manufacturing center and the global manufacture ecosystem is realising that they must have other places apart from China. I am glad to inform that Apple is shifting to India in a significant way, Samsung has already come and they further want to expand. I have been told that around eight factories of Apple have shifted to India from China.” He also added, “When we came to power in 2014, there were only two mobile factories in India, now its number has crossed 250. We launched Atmanirbhar Bharat with production linked incentive. We invited global companies to come to India and also Indian companies to match,” Mr. Prasad described that Atmanirbhar Bharat means not an isolated India, rather it means India to be a major economy of the world to support the global economy. “I announced this scheme in April, during the height of COVID and gave July 31 as the last date for filing applications. They have committed to make mobile phones and components worth Rs 12 lakh crores in 5 years of which Rs 7 lakh crores worth products will be exported. It will provide jobs to three lakh in India directly and nine lakh Indians indirectly,” – Ravi Shankar Prasad.

(Technosports, Sep 08, 2020)

Dixon Technologies hits record high, crosses Rs 10,000-crore in m-cap

Shares of Dixon Technologies continued their northward run, gaining 4 per cent on the BSE on Monday to hit a record high of Rs 8,935 on expectation of higher demand of consumer electronics. The company's market capitalisation crossed Rs 10,000 crore today after five straight day of gains. The stock surpassed its previous high of Rs 8,822, touched on August 28, 2020, on the BSE. With 10 per cent rally in the past week, the stock has rallied 208 per cent from its recent low of Rs 2,900, hit on March 24, 2020. Dixon is the largest electronic manufacturing services (EMS) player in India with a diversified product portfolio in various sub-segments of the electronics verticals. It is the largest Home-grown electronic manufacturer, providing design focused solutions in multiple business segments to customers across the globe. Indian EMS Market size was approx. $6 billion in FY20 and is expected to touch $40 billion by 2025 at a CAGR of 47 per cent from 2020 to 2025. “

(Business Standard, Sep 08, 2020)

India's electronic exports can rise 16 fold to $180 billion by 2025

With global supply chain for electronic goods witnessing a restructuring as companies look to reduce dependence on China, India's domestic electronic goods industry is staring at a potential windfall. Estimates by Electronics and Computer Software Export Promotion Council (ESC) suggest electronics exports from India may potentially hit $180 billion by 2025 from just $11.28 billion in 2019-20. To achieve that however, the industry believes it needs proper long term policy support from the government. ESC has submitted a charter to the government that proposes expanding the existing production linked incentive scheme beyond just mobile and smartphones to the entire electronic manufacturing sector. "We have created a roadmap for taking India's electronics exports, which includes mobile phones and accessories, components and other electronics and hardware items to $180 billion by 2025 to bring exports from the segment more or less at par with software exports," says Mr. Sandeep Narula, Chairman, ESC. "Bold decisions are needed to create an enabling ecosystem for the sector to strengthen its manufacturing base and exports." India's domestic production in the sector at $70 billion accounts for just 3.3 percent of the global electronics market estimated at $2.1 trillion giving it significant headroom for growth. The domestic industry however suffers from disabilities like higher taxation, cost of finance and power which make it uncompetitive against China, Taiwan, Korea, Vietnam or Japan.

(Business Today, Sep 02, 2020)

Amp Energy India appoints Azure Power’s CFO as director to fuel expansion plans

Amp Energy India, renewable energy company, on Tuesday said it has appointed Surendra Gupta as its director and chief financial officer (CFO) to lead their India expansion plans to serve both commercial and industrial, and utility customers. Gupta, who succeeds Shyam Sharma, was the CFO at Azure Power and has also worked with the Al Suwaidi Group, Samtel Colour, Fenner India, Birla Yamaha, HCL and Bharat Electronics previously. “He joins us at an important time when we are looking at major expansion across India in the renewable energy sector and will help steer the company for the next level of balanced, long-term growth. He was instrumental in creating a major utility-focused renewable independent power producer (IPP) which will be very complimentary for us as we create a balanced IPP,” said Pinaki Bhattacharyya, co-founder, managing director and chief executive officer, Amp Energy India. Gupta said that Amp is ready for its next level of growth and he would contribute to its growth. He is a chartered accountant and has experience in manufacturing, EPC contracting and renewable energy sectors in India and abroad.

(ET, Sep 02, 2020)

'We ain't leaving India': Chinese firms on 'Boycott China' call

Undeterred by adversity all around, companies with origins in China that have made steady inroads in India's domestic electronic goods market over the last decade remain committed to what they say is a lucrative and profitable market in India. In reached out to in the smartphone and consumer electronics sectors say they have neither put off their future investments in the country nor altered their product launches in any significant manner. This despite the fact that the Indian government is actively looking at ways to diminish the role of Chinese companies in Indian market. Additionally, the mood of the nation seems to have also turned against them with campaigns for a boycott of Chinese goods being run all over the country.  Consumer electronics firm TCL said it has already made investments to the tune of Rs 2,400 crore at its factory in Tirupati and is gearing up to launch a complete IOT package of smart products. "Our investments are to ensure we keep launching new products such as the recent Qled TV line up. We have witnessed a growth 3 times more than that of 2018," says Mike Chen, General Manager, TCL India. "We also launched a smart AC recently and going forward we want to bring products that gives you complete IOT package of smart living. We will be making an announcement soon."

(Business Today, Aug 31, 2020)

India’s electronic warfare units are archaic, but camouflage, concealment can blunt PLA

If the People’s Liberation Army of China leads a technology-driven attack on the Indian forces in high altitude terrain, what are India’s options? The PLA will rely more on Cyber and Electronic Warfare, and PGMs, rather than on an infantry-predominant close-combat attack from a position of disadvantage. In the near future, cyber, electronic, space and artificial intelligence domains of warfare will be exploited, in addition to the traditional domains of land, air and sea. With full-scale wars between nuclear weapon States being a passé, these new domains will be the primary means of use of force in the competitive conflict among nations. An article by a US think tank visualizes the future of war well. Published in February this year, the authors create a ‘modern’ battlefield of 2035, involving India on one side and China-Pakistan on the other in Jammu and Kashmir. But kinetic and electronic attacks by drone swarms are no longer a fantasy. Nearer home, there was a report in Pakistan media last week about cyber-attacks targeting Army personnel and government officials. It has been speculated that the May 2017 Sukhoi 30 crash in Arunachal Pradesh was caused by a cyber-attack from China. Our armed forces have been seized of the problem for the last two decades now, but not much has moved. In 2004, former Chief of Army Staff General S. Padmanabhan, soon after his retirement, wrote a fictional account The writing on the wall-India checkmates America 2017  a scenario of an India-Pakistan war wherein US acts in collusion with Pakistan, but is neutralized by an Indian cyber-attack. This optimism back then was due to a growing acknowledgement for India as a world leader in Information Technology. However, despite an early start, so far in real terms, we have only taken baby steps.

(The Print, Aug 20, 2020)

Electronics makers will not offer steep discounts this festive season

Top lifestyle and consumer electronics companies are offering some of the lowest discounts in recent years in the ongoing end-of-season sale period, both at stores and online. The companies expect the trend to continue in the festive season as well, as they are either low on stock or demand is reviving faster than supplies.   Apparel retailers have limited stock, mostly what remained unsold since March when the country went into the lockdown. For smartphone and electronics firms, demand has outstripped supplies, especially in products priced below Rs 15,000, negating the need for big discounts. In categories such as television, the discounts are the lowest in at least five years, as a component shortage is affecting their production and supplies. "In this situation, people won't step out and shop even if there is a discount. The industry is seeing one of the lowest discounting periods at stores as well as online," said J Suresh, the chief executive at Arvind Fashions that sells brands such as Calvin Klein, Gap and US Polo Assn. "Festive season will have a few promotional offers, but not reduced price-tags," he said. 

(ET, Aug 20, 2020)

5 global champions, top mobile cos apply to make in India; Rs 12 lakh cr proposals under PLI scheme

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ programme may have finally got a big push, with the government receiving proposals worth Rs 12 lakh crore from marquee global companies to start manufacturing under the PLI scheme. “… All the top mobile manufacturers and their contract manufacturers have applied in that (PLI) scheme, including five global champions and five national champions,” Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said. Global companies have collectively pledged to make mobile phones and components worth Rs 12 lakh crore in the coming five years, he added. Out of this, Rs 7 lakh crore worth of items will be exported from India. The move will not only push domestic manufacturing but will also provide 12 lakh direct and indirect jobs, Ravi Shankar Prasad, minister for IT and Communications, said. So far, Apple’s iPhone maker Foxconn and Wistron, global tech giants such as Samsung, and homegrown brands such as Micromax and Lava have applied under the PLI scheme, which aims to boost electronics manufacturing in India. On 1st April 2020, the government notified three schemes aimed at promotion of electronics. PLI or production-linked incentive scheme was one of them to boost large scale electronics manufacturing. Other two schemes for manufacturing of electronic components and semiconductors, and modified electronics manufacturing clusters (EMC 2.0) scheme. These schemes jointly offer incentives of around Rs 50,000 crore over the period of next five years.

(FE, Aug 19, 2020)

Finclusion to 'Swavalamban': The road ahead for MSMEs

Covid-19 has changed the course of millions of Micro Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), which are under severe economic distress due to this unprecedented pandemic and the consequent prolonged lockdown. As such, the survival rate of most MSMEs in India is a big question mark. Against this backdrop, let us discuss how entrepreneurs in the MSME sector can see the light at the end of the tunnel. As per NSSO data, India has 63.4 million MSMEs providing employment to around 111 million people. So a majority of the MSMEs are of one man and/or one woman shows’. Out of these, 31 per cent are involved in manufacturing, 36 percent in trade and 33 percent in services. While 49 per cent of MSMEs are located in urban areas, 51 per cent are in rural India. It is well recognized that MSMEs significantly contribute to gross domestic product, jobs and exports of India. However, to maintain their competitive advantage, they have to upgrade themselves constantly to counter challenges of technological obsolescence, changes in customers’ demands/ expectations, market linkages, skilled manpower, government policy, etc. Access to finance is a major issue, hindering growth of these enterprises. To resolve this issue, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issued licenses to Small Finance Banks in 2015 with a view to channelizing finance to MSMEs and achieving 100 percent financial inclusion.

(Forbes India, Aug 18, 2020)

Bharat Electronics Limited completes manufacturing milestone of 30,000 ventilators

Bharat Electronics Limited NSE -2.12 %, a Navratna PSU under the Ministry of Defence, on Friday announced the successful completion of manufacturing 30,000 numbers of ICU Ventilators in a 'record time' to help the Government of India in its efforts in combating the COVID-19 pandemic.  Ministry of Health & Family Welfare placed an order for these 30,000 ICU Ventilators in April 2020 to meet the healthcare infrastructure requirements of the nation, seeing the rise in COVID cases, Bengaluru-headquartered BEL said in a statement. BEL has manufactured the ICU Ventilator, Model CV 200, based on licensing agreement with Skanray Technologies Private Ltd, Mysuru, and design support from DRDO.  "The indigenization efforts of DRDO, BEL and Skanray in addressing the non-availability of critical components like highly complex medical grade miniature proportional valves, on/off solenoid valves, oxygen sensors and flow sensors was certainly a game changer as India can now boast of a capable and mature medical electronics ecosystem," the statement said. After receiving the order, based on its 'Agile Production System Capability', within two weeks BEL established the manufacturing line to produce 500 to 1,000 Ventilators per day, it said. Manufacturing of these ventilators was undertaken during severe lockdown period and BEL received immense support from various government agencies to resolve the supply chain disruptions.

(ET, Aug 14, 2020)

Rajnath launches online portal to promote indigenization in defence production

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh launched an online portal that provides information about defence equipment and items that can be taken up for indigenisation by private sector companies.  Moreover, the Defence Ministry said two memorandums of understandings (MoUs) were signed between Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and the defence public sector undertakings (DPSUs) in the presence of Singh on Friday, the concluding day of "Atmanirbhar week". Similarly, two MoUs were signed between private entities and the DPSUs on Friday. According to the ministry, the defence minister on Friday said, "Till sometime back, for our defence procurement, we have been looking towards the best technologies available in the world. But now our outlook has changed."  "We are thinking on how to manufacture latest equipment ourselves or through joint ventures or transfer-of-technology," he added, as per the ministry's statement. The aforementioned online portal that will promote indigenization of defence items' production is called "SRIJAN". The DPSUs, Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) and headquarters of the armed forces (SHQs) can display on SRIJAN those items that are being imported currently so that the Indian industry can design, develop and manufacture them domestically as per its capability, the ministry noted. It said the concerned DPSU or the OFB or the SHQ will interact with the Indian industry based on its requirement of the equipment and as per the guidelines.

(ET, Aug 14, 2020)

Insights on the semiconductor and next wave of opportunities

The COVID-19 crisis is unprecedented in our time. While the recession during the financial crisis from 2007 to 2008 was driven by stagnating consumer demand, the COVID-19 situation induced a shock to both global demand and supply, creating a dual challenge. This unique phenomenon makes it difficult to extrapolate from past crises to make predictions. We can expect demand to decline by 5 to 15 percent for the semiconductor industry as a whole this year compared to 2019 (Exhibit 1). Breaking down this projection by major end markets—PC or server, wireless communication, wired communication, consumer electronics, automotive, and industrial applications—shows that demand shifts vary greatly, with steep declines anticipated for some markets and gains expected in others. These differences can be explained by the diversity of underlying trends that affect demand for semiconductors, and the varying.    Like all business leaders, semiconductor executives are wondering how they can adapt to sudden changes in demand, as well as other uncertainties associated with COVID-19. They may find a path forward by following a framework that McKinsey created to assist companies on their journey to the next normal. It includes five stages: resolve, resilience, return, reimagine, and reform.

(, Aug 14, 2020)

Amara Raja forms JV with Blaze to manufacture IoT devices for global markets

Industrial battery manufacturer Amara Raja Group on Monday signed a Joint Venture agreement with Blaze to set up Amara Raja Blaze Technologies Pvt. Ltd (ARBT) to innovate, develop and manufacture IoT devices for the world market. The JV will be a full-Service Provider of "Concept-to-Product" and will set up a Center of Excellence (COE) focusing on product Innovation and world-class Manufacturing services for IoT based devices, Amara Raja said in a release. According to the company, The COE will help its global customers every step of the way from proof of concept to the prototyping and mass manufacturing of new products related to home/building Automation, intelligent lighting, enterprise automation, energy management, elderly care and wearable devices. ARBT's Faster and Better (FAB) Methodology ensures an unwavering focus on providing the highest quality of IoT devices at optimum costs. Commenting on the partnership, Jayadev Galla, Vice Chairman, Amara Raja Group said “We are happy to announce this strategic partnership with Blaze. Amara Raja has an immense belief in the Indian Electronics Manufacturing story and is committed to being a part of it. We will lend our expertise and capabilities in the manufacturing space and leverage Blaze’s design credentials to provide turnkey solutions that are both Made and Designed in India.” The JV will start delivering “Made in India” products to its customers as early as September 2020, Amara Raja informed.

India's e-commerce industry to be $99 billion in size by 2024; RIL to dominate online grocery space

India's e-commerce industry is likely to reach $99 billion in size while the online penetration of retail is expected to more than double to around 11 per cent by 2024 from 4.7 per cent in 2019, according to Goldman Sach's review of e-commerce markets globally. In a report titled 'Global Internet: e-commerce's steepening curve', the brokerage said that the e-commerce industry's growth rate in India, for each of the next four years, would outdo the same of developed countries like the US, the UK, Europe, Brazil, and China.   "We forecast India e-commerce will reach $99 billion by 2024, growing at a 27 per cent CAGR over 2019-24, with grocery and fashion/apparel likely to be the key drivers of incremental growth in our view," the report said. It further highlighted that online grocery will be the biggest growth driver for e-commerce in India. The segment is expected to progress gradually growing 20 times over five years to reach $29 billion in size (presently under $2 billion).

(Business Today, July 27, 2020)

India's e-commerce penetration will double to 11% by 2024: Goldman Sachs

India's e-commerce industry is expected to reach $99 billion in size when online commerce penetration will more than double to almost 11%.The growth rate for the industry in India, for each of the next four years, would surpass the same of established economies like the US, China, the UK, Europe and Brazil, according to Goldman Sachs's review of e-commerce markets globally. E-commerce is expected to register a growth of over 18% for the current year but estimates for 2021 and 2022 show a year-on-year growth rate of over 33% and 28% respectively. To compare, growth rates for the same period for the US are 17% and 19%, while it is nearly 11% for China in the next two years. To be sure, the market size base is bigger in both the US and China along with higher penetration of the total retail market.  The pandemic is accelerating both growth and penetration of e-commerce further in these markets, including in India. At a recent industry seminar, Prashant Prakash, partner at venture capital firm Accel, which was one of the early-backers of Flipkart, said it took a decade for India to see e-commerce penetration of around 3% and that it has quickly moved to 5%.

(HT, July 27, 2020)

China To India – It’s Time For Apple To ‘Make In India’

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Atmanirbar Bharat scheme and the idea of getting more global supply chains to India have received a big push recently. Apple’s biggest contract manufacturers globally, Foxconn and Wistron have applied for the government of India’s production linked incentive scheme or the PLI. The big news is that iPhone is moving from China to Chennai and it will now be manufactured at the Foxconn plant near Chennai. Not just iPhone 11 but Apple’s new offering- the iPhone Se, also known as iPhone sc 2 is also going to be manufactured in India. It brings us back to a report in the wall street journal that highlighted Apple’s problem with China and listed a number of factors but in the end, it said that even with all the problems in China, Apple cannot produce iPhone 11 in India because of the lack of skilled labor and lack of Infrastructure that’s available.

(Inventiva, July 26, 2020)

NTPC opens tender to acquire 1 GW of already-built solar projects

India’s largest power producer, NTPC, has opened a tender to acquire 1 GW of solar generation capacity from already-built projects. Project owners can bid to have their facilities acquired by the fossil fuel business with the tender document specifying: “The offered assets can be either a special-purpose vehicle wherein the applicant intends to offer their 100% equity for sale to NTPC, or it can be a standalone asset which the applicant intends to offer for possible acquisition by NTPC.” Solar plants should have a minimum, single-site generation capacity of 50 MW (AC) and should have been operational for at least a year by the time bids are submitted to the tender. The solar electricity generated by the facilities should have a maximum tariff of Rs5/kWh. The deadline for bids is on September 22.  NTPC aims to have renewables account for 32 GW of its generation portfolio – almost a quarter of its fleet – by 2032. The company has around 2,298 MW of renewables capacity under construction at present.

(PV Magazine, July 25, 2020)

Largest solar power plant of Navy commissioned in Kerala

The Indian Navy’s largest solar power plant has been commissioned at Ezhimala, in Kannur district of Kerala. Vice Admiral Anil Kumar Chawla launched plant operations via virtual conferencing. The solar plant has an estimated life of 25 years. All components have been indigenously developed, including 9180 highly efficient mono crystalline solar panels employing the latest technology.   The project was executed by Kerala State Electronics Development Corporation Ltd (KELTRON). “Despite heavy monsoons and restrictions due to Covid-19, all concerned agencies including Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) continued work on the project adhering to all guidelines/protocols against Covid-19 and executed the work in a time bound manner,” read a statement by the Ministry of Defense.  “The solar power plant project will help Naval Station Ezhimala reduce the carbon footprint and is one of the many initiatives undertaken by INA towards a clean and green environment. Surplus power generated will also feed the KSEB electricity grid.”

(PV Magazine, July 24, 2020)

Samsung Launches New Range of UHD Business TVs; Perfect for Small & Medium Businesses in India

Samsung, India’s most trusted consumer electronics and smartphone brand, has launched a new range of ultra-high definition Business Televisions in India for consumer facing businesses such as restaurants, retail stores, shopping complexes, salons, among others.The new range of Business TVs will help small and medium businesses redefine user experience through solution packed with innovative applications, dynamic content and visual experience. With the Business TVs, Samsung is bringing together its prowess in commercial signage displays and advanced TV technology.  Samsung Business TVs are engineered to operate for 16 hours a day and come with an on/off timer to automatically operate during set business hours. Backed by intutitive software, attractive content and no hidden costs, Samsung Business TVs come preloaded with over 100 free templates that allow business owners to create their own content. Some of the unique templates include vertical orientation, promotions that display cotent alongside TV programs, motion-embedded, seasonal sale and other pre-designed layouts providing business perfect visuals for different occasions.

(Samsung Newsroom India, July 24, 2020)

DPIIT-led panel to vet GeM vendors from neighboring countries, restrict Chinese suppliers

All vendors registered on the government e-Marketplace (GeM) will now have to furnish a certificate declaring their compliance with the new procurement norms that seek to restrict suppliers of Chinese origin. The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) will soon set up a committee to vet all applications from countries that India shares a border with for prior registration and security clearance. “Vendors and suppliers registered on GEMs will need to ensure they are in compliance with the new norms,” said an official.The move aimed at keeping Chinese companies out could hit sectors with heavy import content and dependence on supplies from China. Infrastructure sectors such as power sector — particularly solar, telecom, highways — are likely to get impacted at different levels as the new rules apply to supply of goods and services, work contracts as also public-private partnership projects, say officials and experts. If Indian companies are to benefit, the government will have to clarify that only Indian companies owned by Indians will be allowed to participate in government tenders, experts said. 

(ET, July 23, 2020)

Identified 20 sectors where India can become global supplier: Piyush Goyal

The government has so far identified 20 sectors where India can meet domestic demand as well as become a global supplier, Commerce and IndustryMinisterPiyush Goyal said on Thursday. He said industry body Ficci and other associations are working with the government in this regard. "We have identified first 12 sectors and now 8 more, so we have 20 sectors in which Ficci and other associations are very much part of our engagement, where we have identified sectors where India can not only meet own domestic needs but also become globally competitive and become global leader supplying to the world," he said in a Ficci webinar. These sectors include food processing, organic farming, agro chemicals, electronics, industrial machinery, furniture, leather, auto parts and textiles, among others. He also highlighted that despite having skilled carpenters and artisans, India continues to import furniture. "Can we not prepare India to become the factory of the world for furniture, can we not build to scale at competitive prices so that the world looks at India, to source from India," he added. Further talking about yoga, the minister said yoga holds huge potential for industry and young entrepreneurs as the world is excited about it. "But did India really grab the opportunity that the Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) opened up for India. Did we set up 100,000 yoga centres all over the world, did any entrepreneur amongst you or startups thought in terms of the possibilities that yoga offers by planning to train maybe 100,000 or 500,000 yoga teachers who would find an opportunity across the globe," Goyal noted.

(ET, July 23, 2020)

TVs, ACs self-reliance focus areas in electronics

The centre has identified television sets and ACs among the electronics it wants India to build self-reliance and boost export potential in, according to Commerce & Industry Minister Piyush Goyal. “Television is one of the areas identified by our ministry to focus on and see how we can get back. Televisions, air conditioners, closed circuit TVs — all of these equipment, where there’s no rocket science. And I know for a fact that digital lenses are made in India which are being (exported) even to the United States … But I don’t understand why we are still dependent on imported products for such very elementary stuff,” he said at a virtual interaction with the Electronics and Computer Software Export Promotion Council on Tuesday.

(The Indian Express, July 15, 2020)

DPIIT to soon approach cabinet for 74 PC FDI through auto route in Defence

sources : The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) would soon approach the Union Cabinet to seek approval for relaxing norms to allow up to 74 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) in defence manufacturing under the automatic route, with a view to attract overseas players in the sector, sources said. They said the DPIIT has discussed the matter with the defence ministry. The decision to permit up to 74 per cent FDI in the defence manufacturing through the automatic route was announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in May while announcing the fourth tranche of the Rs 20 lakh crore stimulus package for the Coronavirus-hit economy.  In July 2018, the government had relaxed foreign direct investment norms in the defence sector by allowing up to 49 per cent FDI under the automatic route. The move was aimed at boosting domestic industry as India imports about 70 per cent of its military hardware. According to the DPIIT data, India's defence industry has received FDI equity inflows of USD 9.52 million (Rs 56.88 Crore) during April 2000 and March 2020. 

(Indian Fence News, July 14, 2020)

Govt working to mapping land bank available for industry: Goyal

The government is working on creating a "genuine" single window clearance mechanism and mapping the entire land bank available for the industry and industrial development, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said on Tuesday. The minister also said that the government is looking at ways to promote manufacturing of electronic products like LED televisions, CCTVs and is "very keen" to have a semiconductor FAB plant in India. Besides, to capture  IT services exports data, the ministry is thinking of creating a framework by which it can capture that data. Goyal said that he has tasked the officers to look at some framework by which the ministry can capture data of IT services exports. "We are working in DPIIT (Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade) to create the framework of a genuine single window where you do not open doors behind that single window. We are also working on mapping the entire land bank available for industry and industrial development," he said while addressing industry representatives of electronics and software exports.

(Outlook, July 14, 2020)

Keep Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd out of Naval helicopter plan, private companies tell govt

The private sector wants the Centre to bar Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd NSE -4.09 % (HAL) from a ₹21,000 crore plan to manufacture naval utility helicopters (NUH), saying that the state-owned company has an undue advantage as it has access to government-funded infrastructure and the ability to cross-subsidise the bid through other nominated orders. The companies were responding to a question posed by the defence ministry in May on allowing HAL in the competition, which was reserved for the private sector as reported by ET. They said the monopoly of the state-owned enterprise needs to be broken and a level playing field is needed for all bidders. Four Indian companies – Bharat Forge NSE -0.07 %, Tata Aerospace and Defence, Mahindra Defence Systems and Adani Defence – are contending for the Make in India programme to manufacture 111 naval utility helicopters under the strategic partnership (SP) model in collaboration with a foreign technology provider.  As part of a re-evaluation in May, the defence ministry asked the contenders if the programme had export potential and raised the prospect of HAL being given a chance to be part of it.

(ET, July 14, 2020)

Post Covid support required for electric vehicles: FICCI

The Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) has suggested to the government a series of measures to enhance demand and investments in the electric vehicle (EV) sector despite the recent Covid-prompted disruptions. These suggestions have been submitted to government policy thinktank NITI Aayog, Department of Heavy Industry under Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, and other relevant authorities in the government. FICCI has recommended a two-year extension of the second phase of Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid) and Electric Vehicles (FAME II) scheme to 2025, along with short-term ‘Booster Incentives’ for 12 months under the scheme.  “This should be done within the overall existing budget allocation of Rs 10,000 crore for Fame II,” it said, adding “booster incentives will help create demand for EVs in the short run and continue the momentum.”

(PV Magazine, July 20, 2020)

India should double down on 15 import items: ASSOCHAM

India must double down on ramping up domestic capacity in at least 15 of its largest import items apart from petroleum and crude oil, including electronics, coal, iron-steel and non-ferrous metals and vegetable oils to effectively achieve the objective of ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat’ in the medium term of two to three years, according to a trade chamber analysis. The analysis by the Associated Chamber of Commerce and Industry in India (ASSOCHAM) shows electronics goods are the largest non-oil import items. Despite the country being under partial lockdown, India imported electronic goods worth $2.8 billion in May. Chamber secretary general Deepak Sood said the recent MEITY scheme of production-linked incentives and encouraging champions can be a game-changer if pursued vigorously. Both domestic and FDI should be encouraged in the endeavour, he said.  Other major items of large imports include: pharmaceuticals intermediates, textile yarn, made-up, fertilisers, wood and wood products, transport equipment, machine tools, electrical and non-electrical machinery. “The country is capable of becoming self-reliant in all these sectors in the next few years,” the ASSOCHAM paper said

(, July 07, 2020)

Battery holders market may see a big move: Bulgin, Harwin, RS Components

Latest Research Study on Battery Holders Market published by AMA, offers a detailed overview of the factors influencing the global business scope. Global Battery Holders Market research report shows the latest market insights with upcoming trends and breakdown of the products and services. The report provides key statistics on the market status, size, share, growth factors, Challenges and Current Scenario Analysis of the Global Battery Holders. This Report also covers the emerging player’s data, including: competitive situation, sales, revenue and global market share of top manufacturers are Bulgin (United Kingdom), Harwin (United Kingdom), RS Components (United Kingdom), Takachi Electronics Enclosure Co., Ltd. (United States), TE Connectivity (Switzerland), Keystone Electronics Corp. (United States), GS Yuasa (Japan), Eagle Plastic Devices (United States), Hammond (Canada), Mouser Electronics India PVT Ltd (India) and Ace Electronics (United States)

(Owned, July 07, 2020)

Samsung Electronics forecasts profits jump despite virus

Samsung Electronics forecast a 23-percent rise in second-quarter operating profit Tuesday, with strong demand for memory chips and displays overcoming the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on smart phone sales. The world's biggest smart phone and memory chip maker said in an earnings estimate that it expected operating profit to be 8.1 trillion won ($6.8 billion) for April-June, up from 6.6 trillion won in the same period last year. The prediction was far ahead of analyst forecasts of a single-digit decline. Lockdowns imposed around the world in the face of the coronavirus pandemic -- especially in Europe and the United States -- have boosted Samsung's chip business with data centres moving to stockpile DRAM chips to meet surging demand for online activities. "The earnings surprise seems to have stemmed from Samsung's memory chip sector," said Park Jin-suk of market observer Counterpoint, pointing to "increased demand for memory chips for PCs and a continuing rise in DRAM chip prices". Similarly TV sales, which have been on a long-term decline, were "moving upward as people spend more time at home", said James Kang, an analyst at market observer Euromonitor International Korea.

(ET, July 07, 2020)

We Are an Indian Company With No Foreign Investments: PMI

PMI Electro Mobility Solutions Private Limited (PMI), a zero-emission commercial vehicle manufacturer from India has been disconcerted of it being mistaken to be a Chinese company, despite being an Indian Company with a vision to promote “Make In India”. Envisioning to establish an electric vehicle manufacturing base in India, PMI is committed with a vision to be one of the largest commercial vehicle manufacturers in the new energy commercial vehicle space. To avail the advantage of developed technology, and to allow the industry to grow inorganically, PMI in 2017 entered into a technology assistance agreement, with Beiqi Foton Motors, China. (Foton). Foton already laid its footprints in India in 2008 through its Indian subsidiary Foton India through which in 2011 they entered into a MoU with Maharastra State Government to establish a manufacturing base in India, for commercial vehicles with a commitment to invest INR 1650 Crore in India of which already investment of around INR 600 Crores has been made. Thus, PMI and Foton India, both Indian Companies thereafter have entered into a Joint Venture and further incorporated a Joint Venture Company, with PMI being a majority shareholder, ensuring a completely Indian manufacturing unit to be established to manufacture new energy commercial vehicles, with technology support from Foton.

(Indian Web2, July 06, 2020)

The Hindu Explains | What will be the impact of Chinese apps ban?

The story so far: In the wake of the face-off with Chinese forces on the India-China border in Ladakh, and a violent clash on June 15 that left 20 Indian soldiers dead, the Indian government on June 29 banned 59 apps of Chinese origin, citing data security and national sovereignty concerns. These include popular ones such as TikTok, SHAREIt, UC Browser, CamScanner, Helo, Weibo, WeChat and Club Factory. The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology in a press release asserted that it had received “many complaints from various sources, including several reports about misuse of some mobile apps available on Android and iOS platforms for stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorised manner to servers which have locations outside India”. The Ministry said it had decided to block the 59 apps to safeguard the “sovereignty and integrity of India”, invoking powers under Section 69A of the Information Technology (IT) Act read with the relevant provisions of the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking of Access of Information by Public) Rules 2009.

(The Hindu, July 05, 2020)

Anti-China sentiment looms over Ritchie Street

With the anti-China sentiment running high after the border face-off issue along with calls to boycott Chinese products, Chennai's electronics grey market hub, Ritchie Street, is feeling the pinch already. Traders here, who have been depending on Chinese goods for decades, said that the anti-China sentiment is slowly seeping into southern States too. A trader said: “We had closed down businesses from June 19 and will be opening on Monday. Once the market is operational and consumers start coming, we will know the impact.”   “Anti-China sentiment is becoming very strong in northern markets and now it is slowly picking up in south too,” said R. Chandalia, secretary, Chennai Electronics and Infotech Traders Association, Ritchie Street. “Consumers are now ready to pay more and buy India made products,” he said.

(The Hindu, July 05, 2020)

LG sees 'window of opportunity' to come back into Indian smart phone market

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.  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.

(ET, July 05, 2020)

NHPC tenders EPC work for 50 MW floating solar project in Kerala

NHPC Limited, a state-owned hydropower producer that has diversified into the wind and solar power projects, has invited bids for engineering, procurement and construction of a 50 MW floating solar project in Kerala.  The project shall come up over a water body measuring 303 acres in West Kallada of Kollam District.   The completion period for the EPC work is 12 months from the award of contract. The successful bidder shall also provide comprehensive operation and maintenance for ten years from the project’s commissioning. The signing of PPA for the project with the Kerala State Electricity Board Ltd will be the responsibility of NHPC. To be eligible, the bidder should have completed EPC work for a solar project of at least 40 MW capacity or two solar projects of at least 25 MW capacity each or three solar projects of at least 20 MW capacity each during the last five years. Further, it should have successfully provided operation and maintenance support for a minimum of 20 MW solar projects for at least one year during the preceding five years. The bidder must have a minimum average annual turnover of Rs 415 crore in the preceding three years. Its net worth should be positive and not less than the amount of paid-up equity share capital in three out of the preceding five years. 

(PV Magazine, July 02, 2020)

Indian Railways tenders 1 GW ground-mount solar

The Railway Energy Management Company Ltd, a joint venture of Indian Railways and engineering consultancy Rites Ltd, has invited bids for setting up 1 GW ground-mount solar power plants on railway land along the railway tracks.    The projects shall be awarded through tariff-based competitive bidding followed by reverse auction. The Nodal Railway will sign a power purchase agreement (PPA) with the successful bidder for a period of 25 years.  The cumulative 1 GW capacity is distributed in various state-wise packages offered for award. The bidder shall apply for state-wise full MW solar capacity in packages; bidding for part capacity of any package is not allowed. The project capacity in state-wise packages can be set up at multiple locations in a single state. A single tariff is to be quoted by the bidder in its response for each package state wise irrespective of the number of projects and each project configuration. The developers’ scope of work includes design, build, finance, operation, long–term maintenance and transfer of assets for solar PV project and the supply of electricity to Railways under long-term fixed-rate PPA. Connectivity and long term access (LTA) up to the delivery point at the State Transmission Utility/Railway Transmission system/traction substation is also the responsibility of the solar power developer.

(PV Magazine, July 02, 2020)

95% appliances now made in India; dependence on China for components not to go down soon: CEAMA

Around 95 per cent of consumer electronics and appliances sold in India are produced locally, although dependence on China for components still ranges between 25-70 per cent which will be difficult to reduce overnight, according to industry body CEAMA.   Consumer Electronics and Appliances Manufacturers Association (CEAMA) said even before the call to boycott Chinese products, various companies had already started to look for alternative sources due to disruptions of supplies following the coronavirus-induced lockdown in China.   "We as an industry have done a lot of work (all brands) in creating capacity in the last two-three years by putting new plants to start manufacturing of finished products across categories. We are now in a very good position across all categories in the finished goods segment," CEAMA President Kamal Nandi told PTI.

(ET, June 29, 2020)

India to check power equipment from China for malware: R. K. Singh

Tightening import norms, India will check all power equipment bought from China for malware and Trojan horses that can be potentially used to trigger electricity grid failures to cripple economic activity in the country, Power Minister R. K. Singh said. India has in the recent days taken steps to impose stringent quality control measures and higher tariffs on goods from China as it looks to boost domestic manufacturing to cut reliance on imports. In an interview to PTI, Mr. Singh said his renewable energy ministry has proposed imposing customs duties on some solar power equipment starting August 1 as part of the country’s goal of becoming self-sufficient. “Power is a very sensitive and strategic sector for any country. Electricity runs all industries, communication systems and all databases including strategic ones and so we have to guard it against any sabotage by countries which are adversaries or possible adversaries,” he said. “We want to build a firewall.” More tariff barriers, rigorous testing of foreign equipment and prior permission requirements for imports from adversary countries are some of the focus areas of India’s proposed power sector overhaul, he said.

(The Hindu, June 28, 2020)

Chinese companies sold electronics worth Rs 1.4 lakh crore in India in 2019

Even as sentiments against the Chinese companies gathers heat across the country, the hold of the country on the Indian electronics market remains firm. Chinese companies recorded sales of nearly Rs 1.4 lakh crore in the Indian electronics market previous year. The nation controlled the fast-pacing categories of smartphones, televisions, laptops, and even smart bands and watches. This has been at the exchange of Indian brands such as Micromax, Lava, Intex and Karbonn, and MNCs from countries like South Korea (Samsung & LG) and Japan (Sony). In the year 2019, the Chinese well-known labels closed the year with a share of 71% in the revenue-intensive smartphones group, and this further increased to 81% in the first quarter (January-March) of this year, as per the numbers screened from Counterpoint research. In the meantime, while Chinese brands such as Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo and RealMe flourished, it was a biting reality for the homegrown Indian brands that closed 2019 with only 1.6% share, which further reduced to under 1% in the first quarter of 2020, Prachir Singh, a research analyst at Counterpoint, said. However, Apple is the only other non-Chinese brand that does business, but even its share remains marginal.

(The Indian Wire, June 25, 2020)

Want to Know If Your Product is Chinese? There’s an App For That

By now, I am sure you must have come across at least one video on social media of someone throwing their Chinese brand TV off the balcony or of people smashing their Chinese smartphones. This sentiment, albeit nonsensical, is being shared by many Indians as a response to the events that transpired at the India-China border, in Ladakh’s Galwan Valley. The anti-China sentiment has led to #Boycott China Products trending on social media and people have been looking for ways to spot Chinese products in the market. Sensing the opportunity, an app developer from Noida has launched a mobile application that can show you where a product originated. Yes, originated, not manufactured. There is a difference. The ‘Made in India’ app is available on the Google Play Store in the Tools section and has been published by The91Apps. The app allows you to scan the barcode or enter the barcode number of any product and it tells you where the product originated. It is a very basic application and only needs access to the phone camera to scan the code.

(The Quint, June 24, 2020)

Centre has no road map for self-reliance

On 11 June 2020, Prime Minister Narendra Modi exhorted the Kolkata-based Indian Chamber of Commerce to convert the pandemic-related economic crisis into an opportunity. For the PM to address the Kolkata-based industry lobby instead of other apex chambers of commerce to deliver this message to industries around the country was somewhat surprising. He perhaps chose Kolkata because of the impending state Assembly elections in early 2021. This was yet another speech without a road map in place. He talked about taking the Indian economy from “command-and-control” mode to “plug-and-play”. He exhorted the industry to take bold decisions and make bold investments going forward. He spoke of a self-reliant India in sectors like medical devices, defence, coal and minerals, edible oil, fertilisers, electronics, solar panels, batteries, chip manufacturing and aviation. The PM, before making such an exhortation, should have been and hopefully is aware of a possible economic pandemic. Any economy that has self-reliance as its goal must commit itself to make policy shifts and invest heavily in research and development (R&D). India’s gross national expenditure on R&D is 0.7% of GDP, lowest even among BRICS countries. Amongst developed economies, Israel spends 4.4%, Germany 3%, the US 2.8% and Canada 1.6% of their GDP on R&D.

(Indian Express, June 22, 2020)

STPI to go ahead with planned expansion to create demand, tap market opportunities

Official : Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) will not hit the pause button on its expansion blueprint, and work on new Centres of Excellence will proceed as planned to create demand and tap "possible opportunities" despite global uncertainties amid the COVID-19 crisis, a top official has said. Stating that STPI is not a "profit body", its Director General Omkar Rai said the organisation will move forward on its plans for 21 Centres of Excellence (CoEs) over the next one year or so, and that the number could even go as high as 28. "We have planned Centres of Excellence around upcoming technologies like artificial intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT), fintech, virtual reality/augmented reality, gaming, visual effect, healthtech, meditech, and around all of these we are creating CoEs in a collaborative manner with industry and academia," he said. The centres are being created with funding from respective state governments and the Ministry of Electronics and IT, backed by industry participation. As many as 12 such centres are already approved, of which about half are functional. Asked if the global uncertainties will force a rethink of its expansion plans, Rai told PTI, "Not at all. We are facilitators as far as infrastructure is concerned, we work on augmentation of infrastructure, and creation of possible opportunities. We don''t just work on demand, we create demand."

(Outlook, June 21, 2020)

The death of Indian soldiers in skirmish with China raises questions on trade, geopolitics & security

Earlier this week, India and China engaged in a deadly clash — the worst in 45 years. Casualties are being counted across India’s business landscape. India is summoning ammunition it can potentially use — trade barriers, import duties, order cancellations, bans and consumer boycotts. It has also started deploying some of them.  Indian Railways just cancelled the Rs 471 crore contract awarded to a Beijing firm. Restricting Chinese firms in government contracts and infrastructure projects is on the cards. State-owned telco BSNL has been instructed not to use gear from China’s Huawei for network upgrade. Measures like stringent quality norms and closer scrutiny of FTA (free trade agreements) misuse to curb Chinese imports are underway.  Union minister Nitin Gadkari, a big advocate of electric vehicles (EVs), is changing track. Import substitution and local manufacturing are his new buzzwords. At a webinar on EVs earlier this week, he said: “I feel it is time... I directly want to tell you… We should not depend on China.”

(ET, June 21, 2020)

Tamil Nadu signs 17 agreements for investments of over ₹15,100 crore

In the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Tamil Nadu government on Wednesday inked 17 Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) with companies from various countries, for investments to the tune of about ₹15,128 crore, which are expected to provide jobs for over 47,100 people. Representatives from these companies from Germany, Finland, Taiwan, France, South Korea, Japan, China, United States, Australia, England and the Netherlands exchanged signed agreements with Tamil Nadu officials, in the presence of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswamiat the Secretariat here. “I have formed a Special Investment Promotion Task Force as we fight COVID19. As a result, we have signed MOUs with 17 institutions that will bring 15128 Crores worth of investment and 47150 jobs in Tamilnadu. We will continuously work towards creating more job opportunities in TN,” Mr. Palaniswami tweeted. “We have the most skillful manpower with electricity and water in surplus and most importantly one of the top states in maintaining good law and order. I welcome all the investors to #InvestinTN We are committed to help you through the entire investment process,” he tweeted.  The investments are to be made in the manufacturing of heavy vehicles, electronics, footwear, energy and medical equipment sectors among others, an official release stated. The MoUs have been signed with: Daimler India Commercial Vehicles, Polymatech Electronics, Salcomp, Chung Jye Company Ltd & Aston Shoes Pvt Ltd, Lai Investment Manager Pvt Ltd, Mando Automotive India Pvt Ltd, Dinex, Chennai Power Generation Ltd, IGL India Transplantation Solutions Pvt Ltd, Vivid Solaire Energy Pvt Ltd, HDCI Data Centre Holdings Chennai LLP, ST Tele Media, Baettr, BYD India Pvt Ltd, TJR Precision Technology Company Ltd, Pillar Industries India Pvt Ltd and Lincoln Electric.

(The Hindu, May 28, 2020)

India pitches as alternative to MNCs rethinking sourcing plans

India is pitching itself as an alternative Business Continuity Plan destination as multinationals rethink their sourcing plans and re-organize supply chains. Invest India and JLL have prepared a report, "Great Places for Manufacturing in India-World Class Destinations for MultiNationals" as India moves to attract foreign investments in manufacturing with the buzz around reorientation of global supply chains. The report says that India stands at the pedestal of a new growth curve of rapid industrialisation. In the COVID-19 pandemic scenario, India has projected a more resilient and diversified economy to fight the crisis and projected as a major attractive destination. "As multinationals rethink their sourcing plans and re-organize supply chains, India is one of the most viable locations for Business Continuity Plans (BCP)," the report said. India, on account of its large domestic market and low cost production base, is well-positioned to host new investments in a range of sectors, the report said. It has listed sectors like textiles and apparels, electronics and consumer appliances, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, automobiles and components, capital goods, electrical machinery, footwear and leather products, chemicals and petrochemicals, food Processing, plastic products, telecom equipment.

(Outlook, May 28, 2020)

Researchers recommend mass installation of single contact-tracing app to boost COVID-19 fight

Even as the debate over the usage of Aarogya Setu is yet to settle, a group of researchers have advocated mass installation of a single contact-tracing mobile phone application to strengthen India''s battle against COVID-19. In a study published online in the Indian Journal of Medical Research (IJMR), conducted in the first week of April and updated on May 3, as many as 346 potential COVID-19 apps including Aarogya Setu to deal with this crisis were identified. While there were differences in state-specific information in the apps developed by states, the system architecture and many of the functionalities, including self-testing, quarantine monitoring and contact tracing, were common between these apps, researchers found.  "The current technological plurality in the absence of robust data exchange mechanisms and Centre-state coordination, can be detrimental for technology-assisted contact tracing in a heterogeneous country like India, especially once the lockdown ends and free movement of people starts," the study stated. "Overcoming this challenge requires Union and state governments to ensure mass installation of a single contact-tracing app collaboratively," it highlighted, but stressed on the need for "necessary but least intrusive" measures for disease surveillance.

(Outlook, May 28, 2020)

Indian Govt To Develop Video Conferencing Tool To Take On Zoom

The Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DoT) is developing a “secure” video conferencing platform, which can be used by government officials, judiciary and public. The move by C-DoT is aimed to reduce India’s dependence on overseas platforms like Zoom, Microsoft and Google to carry out the day-to-day business operations through video conferencing. It will also incorporate all features offered by the video conferencing giant. According to an Economic Times report, the platform is “almost ready” for deployment. A source, close to the matter, also highlighted that to prevent any sort of cyber-snooping, the platform will be hosted on the government of India server for the use of government and judiciary. For public use, the video conferencing platform would launch a separate version. The platform will also have a “waiting room” feature, where people wanting to join the online meeting will be in line before they are approved by the moderator. The solution is in the lines with other indigenous solutions offered by the Indian government — contact trace app Aarogya Setu and instant messaging app Government Instant Messaging Service (GIMS).  A senior official told ET that the government is looking to offer two versions of the GIMS app, of which one will be used by the public and the other by senior officials to conduct high-level government communications. The government is developing such solutions to keep its information protected from cyberattacks and other digital threats.

(Inc 42, May 19, 2020)

India should strengthen ties with Taiwan

As the coronavirus menace makes lives difficult and miserable for millions of ordinary people around the world, the US and China are involved in an ugly spat, over who is responsible for the carnage that threatens the welfare, well-being and lives of millions across the world. President Trump has made it abundantly clear that the Chinese are responsible for creating the virus, though nobody appears clear whether it was the creation of a research project in Wuhan on bats, which went horribly wrong, or the creation of the unhygienic conditions in Huanan Seafood Market in Wuhan. The seafood market reportedly sells a variety of meat products, including bats, foxes, frogs, pigs, porcupines, snakes and turtles. China denies any role in triggering the Covind-19 tragedy, which could well be true. But it faces continuing criticism from angry populations across the world, including from irate Africans, whose people faced racist attacks after the crisis broke. But the worst manifestations of hypocrisy have come from sanctimonious countries in the Islamic world, including Iran and Pakistan. Both have remained silent as Muslims continue to be ruthlessly persecuted just across their borders, in China’s Xinjiang Province. The Trump Administration, in turn, cannot absolve itself of responsibility for initially underestimating the seriousness of the issues and then playing crass and polarizing electoral politics, with the safety, security and lives, of its own citizens.

(BusinessLine, May 19, 2020)

Covid-19: India’s electronics and software exports may take a short-term hit

India may miss the electronics and software exports forecast of $155 billion for 2020-21 as several sectors, including airline, hospitality and banking, in traditionally strong markets like the US and Europe have been severely hit by the covid-19 pandemic, Electronics and Computer Software Export Promotion Council (ESC) has said. “Keeping in mind the demand and supply disruptions caused by covid-19 both in India and in the main export markets, uncertainty related to the impact of the virus and how long the virus will be with us, we are carefully looking at the target set to reflect ground level situation," Sandeep Narula, Chairman, ESC said in the statement. Though Indian information and communication technology (ICT) companies have managed to keep operations running by encouraging employees to work remotely, exports will be adversely affected resulting in short-term losses. However, Narula feels, the sector is likely to bounce back in the long run as many global companies plan to move out of China, and India may emerge as an alternative destination. Narula said government support will be key to the revival of the ICT sector. The financial package announced by the prime minister and the special accommodation given to the MSME sector by the finance minister under the sectoral package will benefit small and mid -size companies in the ICT sector.

(LiveMint, May 18, 2020)

Retailers with less than Rs 100 cr turnover wants MSME tag

Retailers with annual revenue of less than Rs 100 crore, comprising more than 80% of India’s overall organised retailers, have urged the government to classify them as MSME (micro, small and medium enterprises) so that they can also take advantage of the Covid-19 stimulus packages. Last week, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman spelled out a raft of measures to help the ailing MSMEs, including collateral-free loans up to Rs 3 lakh crore backed by government guarantee, repayment of dues within next 45 days and change in definition of these businesses. MSME borrowers with up to Rs 25 crore outstanding and Rs 100 crore turnovers will be eligible for the emergency credit line to their businesses under the package with loans having a four-year tenor with moratorium of 12 months on the principal repayment. However, retailers with around Rs 100 crore of revenue will not be able to avail themselves of the loans as they are not classified as MSMEs. Many retailers across the country, from optical chains to large franchisee operators of global brands and standalone local business with less than Rs 100 crore of sales, have said they should also stand to benefit from the stimulus packages for the medium sized enterprises. “MSME has a very vague definition and they have to be either a manufacturer or into other services and they say retailers are not part of services,” said Akshay Jain, managing partner at Greenways, which operates four saree outlets. “We are into services and retail is a service.”

(ET, May 18, 2020)

Lockdown 4.0: E-commerce firms Flipkart, Amazon may finally resume full operations nationally

E-commerce companies such as Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal, as well as vertical etailers including Lenskart, Nykaa, and Firstcry, are expected to resume full operations from Monday after the central government removed all restrictions on online retail as part of its plan for Lockdown 4.0. These platforms were so far restricted to selling non-essential goods like smartphones and electronics in government designated green and orange zones, while being allowed to sell essential items such as food and grocery nationally. But in its latest guidelines, the Ministry of Home Affairs said that all activities, except those specifically prohibited, will be now be opened up. However, states would still take the final call on allowing businesses to function based on their local needs and situations, the guidelines added. Online sales will continue to be restricted in containment zones across the country, where only essential activities will be permitted, as per the latest MHA directives.

(ET, May 18, 2020)

Oppo Shuts Greater Noida Factory After 6 Test Covid-19 Positive, 3,000 Under Testing

Oppo, the BBK Electronics-owned Chinese electronics manufacturer, on Monday confirmed that six workers at its smart phone plant in Greater Noida has tested positive for Covid-19. While the affected workers have been sent to necessary medical facilities, Oppo has shut its factory premises down and instructed 3,000 employees to undergo coronavirus testing. Operations will be resumed only after the facility is fully sanitised and the workers that are currently under testing return test negative for Covid-19, a company official confirmed to News18.  An Oppo India spokesperson said about the matter, "Oppo had obtained permission from the state authorities to resume production earlier this month, following the MHA directive. As an organisation that places the safety of all our employees and citizens at the forefront, we have suspended all operations at our manufacturing facility in Greater Noida and initiated Covid-19 testing for 3,000+ employees, for which results are awaited. (We) will only allow employees with negative test results to resume office following all safety protocols. We are undertaking stringent measures to keep the employees safe and disinfecting the premises."

(News 18, May 18, 2020)

Modi's mission self-reliance can go a long way in making India a major hub for defence manufacturing

Following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s May 12 call to go ‘vocal for local’ through Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan (Self-Reliant India Mission), finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a slew of measures on May 16 specific to defence production and procurement. These measures, in tandem with other policy initiatives of the past six years, have the potential to promote self-reliance and transform India into a major defence manufacturing hub. Despite its large defence R&D base and significant production capacities, India remains one of the world’s largest arms importers. Lack of clarity in policy has encouraged this dependence. The FM’s announcement of a ban on import of certain items, to be notified in consultation with the Department of Military Affairs (DMA) headed by the chief of defence staff (CDS), and indigenous manufacturing of spares that have been hitherto imported for domestic production, are expected to provide the necessary direction.

                                                                                                                           (ET, May 18, 2020)


Trending stocks: Bharat Electronics shares down over 3%

Shares of Bharat Electronics traded 3.25 per cent down in Monday's trade at 11:16AM (IST). Around 1,015,640 shares changed hands on the counter. The stock opened at Rs 71.0 and touched an intraday high and low of Rs 71.5 and Rs 65.2, respectively, in the session so far. Shares of the company of Bharat Electronics Ltd. quoted a 52-week high of Rs 122.15 and a 52-week low of Rs 56.1. Total market cap of the Bharat Electronics Ltd. stood at Rs 16203.34 crore at the time of writing this report.                                                                                                   (ET, May 18, 2020)


Stimulus impact: HAL, BEL, other defence-linked stocks rally up to 5%

Shares of Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) and other defence-linked companies rallied up to 10 per cent in Monday’s trade after the government announced plans to push its Make in India initiative. By 9.53 am, shares of Hindustan Aeronautics traded 5.35 per cent higher at Rs 551.50. HAL is the maker of Tejas LCA (light combat aircraft). Shares of Bharat Dynamics advanced 3.09 per cent to Rs 247 and Bharat Electronics (BEL) added 2 per cent to Rs 69.10.  BEL is the maker of Akash Missile System. State-run BEML also added 2.14 per cent to Rs 611. BEML is the maker of Tatra-based high mobility trucks for defence use. L&T (down 3.54 per cent) and Bharat ForgeNSE 1.87 % ( down 2.86 per cent), which were seen as key beneficiaries of these announcements, fell 3 per cent each in a weak market. Phillip Capital said L&T, BEL and Bharat Forge would be key beneficiaries of the increase in FDI limit in defence manufacturing under the automatic route to 74 per cent from 49 per cent. Morgan Stanley said BEL is the best way to play India’s defense indigenisation theme. 

(ET, May 18, 2020)


The entire country is currently battling the Corona virus. NITI Aayog member and former Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) chief V K Saraswat said on Monday that the DRDO must “revive work on a bio (logical)-defence program”. Speaking at a video conference on National Technology Day, Saraswat called on the DRDO to provide “more focus” on its six laboratories that work on life sciences. Dr. V.K. In his address, Saraswat congratulated DRDO for its outstanding work during the first 45 days of the fight against COVID-19. He said that in this fight, the country has strengthened the infrastructure of science and technology. They advised DRDO to pay more attention to the biological lab. They said the bio-defence program should be restarted. He emphasised the development of more robotic devices in which DRDO specialises.  Rajnath Singh, on the other hand, said that DRDO has developed more than 50 products in the last 3-4 months through its continuous efforts to contribute to the fight against COVID-19. These include bio suits, sanitiser dispensers, PPE kits etc. 

(Indian Defence News, May 12, 2020)


The move was aimed at protecting domestic manufacturers from a flood of these Chinese goods once the current duty-protection regime ends, the report said. Vitamin E, solar cells, USB drives and steel are among the goods on which duty may be extended. In the case of Sodium-Citrate, another import from China, the Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR) last week recommended an extension of the anti-dumping duty. The duty protection period on the product ends May 19.Duties on the 25 goods end at different times during this year. The DGTR, which comes under the commerce ministry, conducts investigations into complaints filed by the domestic industry, alleging dumping of goods. Anti-dumping duties are tariffs levied by a government on certain imported items, which it believes are priced below fair-market value. This is done to ensure that companies do not undercut local businesses by flooding domestic markets with cheaply priced goods.

(Indian defence News, May 12, 2020)

Big opportunity for India

One of the key fallouts of the Covid-19 crisis is that several big investors across multiple sectors are having a rethink over their presence in China, with some even thinking of exiting the country and looking to relocate elsewhere. India has a major opportunity waiting to be tapped. The dependence on China is something that every manufacturing company is definitely reviewing and revisiting. For instance, Japan and South and Korea have already given enough indications about the possibility of their companies moving away from China. Textiles, electronics, pharmaceuticals and life sciences are among the sectors that could throw up big opportunities. Keeping this trend in view, Telangana Information Technology Minister KT Rama Rao has made the right pitch to attract investments into the State, which has an ideal ecosystem for these industries to flourish. This is the result of a string of pro-active industrial policies undertaken by the State government to attract big players. Post-pandemic, several global companies would be keen to reduce their dependence on China for supply chains and manufacturing and look to diversify their operations. If India can capitalise on this opportunity, the ‘Make in India’ programme can see a big acceleration. Already, countries like Vietnam are offering a compelling alternative to China in terms of electronics manufacturing. It remains to be seen how quickly India’s policymakers can move to address some of the issues that the companies face when they set up operations in India.

(Telengana Today, May 12, 2020)

Companies welcome government’s PLI-scheme, but work still to be done

The Indian government’s new production linked incentive (PLI) scheme for mobile manufacturers has been well received by the industry, but there’s work left to be done. The scheme is meant to encourage companies to export products from the country and ramp up manufacturing here. The companies have reacted “very positively" and the scheme could help meet the targets set in the National Policy on Electronics 2019 (NPE 2019).  All major companies are already in India, producing 97% of India’s domestic requirement. Only the component base has to come to India, which is not necessarily about shifting but of setting up additional capacities. This is the most appropriate time for setting up capacities in India. At the moment, the industry mostly gets semi knocked down (SKD) units of phones into the country and assembles them here, claiming duty benefits. However, the new PLI-scheme is amongst the first steps by the government that will allow completely knocked down (CKD) units to be brought here, spurring the growth of component manufacturing for mobile phones.

(LiveMint, May 11, 2020)

Vizag gas leak: LG Polymers' India journey is riddled with controversy

LG Polymers India, the company that owns and operates the chemical plant in Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh) from where poisonous gas leaked on Thursday killing several locals, is no stranger to controversies. Set up in December 1996, weeks before Korean major LG Electronics entered India, the plant has been at the centre of legal battles since its association with the $23 billion LGChem. Originally set up as Hindustan Polymers in 1961, the manufacturing unit landed up in liquor major UB Group’s McDowell’s lap in 1978. As South Korea’s LG Group geared up to establish its footprint in India’s consumer durables space in the mid-1990, it acquired the plant under a share transfer deal against its Rs 100 crore investment in the plant. Acquiring the polymer business was crucial for LG. The brand that became the leading consumer appliances player in the country had to keep costs in check and protect its technology. A lack of adequately skilled workforce at the time forced new entrants like LG to keep all key component manufacturing in-house.

(BS, May 08, 2020)

Costly labour to burn hole in India Inc books

India Inc and hundreds of small and medium businesses across the country are grappling with surging labour costs as workforce shortage intensifies and wages are increased to keep migrants from leaving for villages. Business leaders and corporate executives told ET that the problem is already evident in sectors such as construction, consumer goods and ecommerce, and may hit the major manufacturing sectors once these resume full-scale operations after the lockdown ends. Wages for ecommerce delivery and warehouse staff have increased 50-100% so far, and though the situation has normalised, there has been no across-the-board improvement, said executives. Flipkart and Amazon are shouldering wage increases of 75-100% while Grofers said it was paying 25-50% more. “Depending on location and function, payouts are 25-50% higher than pre-Covid days,” Grofers CEO Albinder Dhindsa said. He said that while the availability of workers has improved, the e-grocer is continuing to pay hazard pay (hardship allowance) and higher wages.

(ET, May 08, 2020)

Economic recovery could take one year for India Inc

Despite lifting the national lockdown in phases, Indian companies expect the economic recovery to take about a year because of the lasting impact on businesses, a survey of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) showed. The survey found that 44.7% of respondents expect companies to take six to 12 months for a recovery. The Indian government recently relaxed curbs to allow businesses to resume gradually across the country. The government had announced a total of 733 zones in the country, divided into red, orange and green, based on the number of infections in an area and the doubling rates of the disease. Red zones are the worst affected and around 130 fall in this category, followed by 284 orange zones that are less affected and 319 green zones, which are nearly disease-free. “Aggressive measures are required to ensure that an industrial district moves from red to orange and green within 21 days," said Chandrajit Banerjee, director general, CII, adding that the cost of preventive measures, such as repeated sanitization or testing, and providing protective gear to ease towards infection-free zones, will be less than the cost of shutting down business for a long period in certain high-performing districts.

(LiveMint, May 03, 2020)

E-comm cos geared up for shipping non-essentials but sales may be hit as large mkts in red zone

E-commerce companies are geared up to start shipping non-essential items to customers in orange and green zones from Monday, but sales could be impacted as metros and many large cities are in red zones. Various cities like Bengaluru, Ahmedabad and Pune have been classified under red zones. According to industry executives, e-commerce companies like Amazon India and Walmart-backed Flipkart have been engaging closely with sellers to help them prepare for starting shipment of non-essential products as the third phase of lockdown comes into effect. On Friday, the home ministry had announced a two-week extension of lockdown but said there would be certain relaxations for orange and green zones. Under the latest rules, e-commerce activities in red zones, which cover large cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Pune and Hyderabad are permitted only for essential goods during the third phase of lockdown that ends on May 17. A senior industry executive, who did not wish to be named, said states including Karnataka, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh have also notified their guidelines for online commerce platforms that are similar to those issued by the Centre. The executive said e-commerce companies that follow the marketplace model (like Amazon India, Flipkart and Snapdeal) could face some challenge as many of their sellers are either located or have their warehouses in red zones.

(India TV, May 03, 2020

Lockdown 3.0: Amazon, Flipkart to deliver mobile phones, electronic items in orange, green zones from May 4

Online e-commerce platforms like Amazon and Flipkart will be able to deliver items such as mobile phones and other electronic items as the nation enters the third phase of lockdown from May 4, reported But, the delivery of items will be applicable for people residing in green and orange zones. In red zones, e-commerce can only deliver essential supplies. The government on Friday extended the lockdown for two more weeks till May 17 to combat COVID-19 across the country. As of now, the e-commerce is only allowed to deliver essential items in the lockdown period but after new guidelines from the centre, customers would be able to order some non-essential items like cellphones, electronic items in orange (fewer cases of COVID-19), and green zones (no cases). The government of India has classified districts across India in red, orange, green and containment zones. Millions of small and medium businesses and traders will now be able to jump start their businesses and livelihoods across their workforce," said an Amazon spokesperson as quoted by Most of the metropolitan cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, and Chennai have been declared red zones. This means e-commerce companies cannot get back to normal in cities that drive maximum traffic.

(Jagran English, May 03, 2020)

Ministry of Electronics & IT lists start-ups for securing Work from Home environment

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India along with DSCI (Data Security Council of India) and National Centre of Excellence for Cyber Security Technology Development and Entrepreneurship has officially announced the list of Indian Start-ups for securing Work from Home Environment. The list includes:  WiJungle is an Indian cyber security company that develops and markets a unified network security gateway to organizations across 25+ countries worldwide. The company serves government and private giants across industry verticals like hospitality, healthcare, education, retail, défense, and transportation, among others. The platform helps in network data leak prevention along with malware protection, cloud sandboxing & zero-day protection. Additionally, it lets users impose granular access control to network resources. It also provides users VPN: SSL & IPsec, Hub& spokes, multi-layer auth, and split tunneling features for a more secure connection, the company mentioned in its official release.

(Business Line, May 02, 2020)

Amazon business hit most in India over ban on delivery of non-essential goods

E-commerce giant Amazon said that among all its global operations, its businesses in India have been the most severely impacted. There has been a drastic cut in Amazon’s offerings in India, where the e-tailer is currently selling only groceries, due to the government advisory prohibiting online marketplaces from selling non-essential goods. “I think the biggest impact internationally has been in India where, of course, similar to all companies in the country, we are now only delivering essential goods such as grocery. "So that has cut back a lot on our offerings and we will further expand when the Indian government announces that we are allowed to resume operations. Hence, we are in a bit of a holding pattern except for grocery in India,” Brian T Olsavsky, senior vice-president and chief financial officer, Amazon, told investors during an earnings call.  According to Forrester Research, online retail sales in India stood at $35 billion in 2019, with non-essential categories including consumer electronics, fashion, smart phones and large appliances comprising a chunk of the sales..The share of groceries in the overall online retail in India during 2019 stood at just $2 billion. With the government permitting the brick-and-mortar stores to sell non-essential goods in selected areas, sources said that stakeholders in India’s e-commerce industry have approached the authorities seeking permission for sale of goods other than groceries.

(The Indian Express, May 02, 2020)

India’s gross expenditure in R&D tripled in last 10 years

India’s gross expenditure in R&D has tripled between 2008 & 2018 driven mainly by Govt sector and scientific publications have risen placing the country internationally among the top few. This is as per the R&D Statistics and Indicators 2019-20 based on the national S&T survey 2018 brought out by the National Science and Technology Management Information (NSTMIS), Department of Science and Technology (DST). “The report on R&D indicators for the nation is an extraordinarily important document for the evidence-based policymaking and planning in higher education, R&D activities and support, intellectual property, and industrial competitiveness. While it is heartening to see substantial progress in the basic indicators of R&D strengths such as the global leadership in the number of scientific publications, there are also areas of concern that need strengthening,” said Prof Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary,DST.

(India CSR, May 01, 2020)

Govt launches e-retail chain for rural India

The government has launched a village-level online retail chain to facilitate the supply of essentials through outlets that are taking orders online and offline and carrying out home deliveries.  Under the initiative, the government’s digital Seva portal Common Service Centers Scheme (CSCs), which reaches over 60 crore people through its around 3.8 lakh outlets, is leading the effort and private individuals under the guidance of the ministry of electronics and IT will run the outlets.  “These are like Amazon and Flipkart, but for the rural folk. We started with the initiative about three weeks ago and have already onboarded about 2,000 CSC centers that are catering to nearly 12,000 villages,” a TOI report quoted CSC CEO Dinesh Tyagi as saying. While the customer’s order supplies online through an app provided to village-level entrepreneurs (VLEs), the VLEs can also take offline orders and will ensure delivery of the goods within a period of a few hours to at most a day. 

(Entrackr, Apr 29, 2020)

Industry seeks 6% production linked incentive for electronics manufacturing

The Manufacturers Association of Information Technology (MAIT) has sought a 6% production linked incentive (PLI) for all electronics categories to “attract the migrating ships of manufacturing leaving China to India’s shores". The industry body made the recommendation in a meeting with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) on Wednesday. The body asked for the electronics sector to be categorised as a priority sector, with a “Central National Policy, including land clearances, labour laws, taxation, licenses, incentives" to be put in place. It believes this will give India the ability to be as agile as countries like China and Vietnam with respect to manufacturing of products. The government had come up with a ₹41,000 crore PLI scheme for domestic manufacturing of mobile phones on April 1. But it seems the industry wants this to be extended to all kinds of manufacturing. The government’s current scheme does involve 4-6% incentive on incremental sales of goods manufactured in India, according to reports.

(LiveMint, Apr 29, 2020)

Distrust against China could work to India’s advantage: Ravi Shankar Prasad

The general distrust against China following the COVID-19 outbreak could be an opportunity for India’s state governments to try and attract investments into the electronics manufacturing sectors, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said Monday. In his conference with state IT ministers, Prasad said that states should be “proactive” when such as opportunity comes, as there will “anger against China”. “That opportunity for India is going to come. We have already announced many incentives and I would like that the states play a crucial role by attracting such investments,” Prasad added. Though electronic products from any country would be subject to security audit, the same would be more intense for Chinese products, the Electronics and IT Minister said. “We are not against any country … we are only pro-India. We are committed to India and will take measures to create opportunities for India. As regards security initiative are concerned … any product coming from any country, particularly China, we expect proper security audit and verification.”

(The Indian Express, Apr 29, 2020)

IT gadgets should also be dubbed ‘essentials’ as 1000s now work from home’

Ever since the lockdown was announced, demand for IT and electronics goods has grown due to scores of employees working from home. However, with Ritchie Street, the hub of electronic gadgets closed, techies and traders have urged the government to include them in the essential sector as well. Several IT employees have been posting in online social platforms seeking help to get their mobile phones and laptops fixed.“I wanted to buy an internet router for a wi-fi connection at home for my laptop but haven’t been able to get one,” said T Praveen, who works for an IT company in the city. He further added that as companies have made thousands work from home, IT gadgets and the stores that sell them should also be classified as ‘essentials’. 

(Indian Express, April 27, 2020)

Blue-collar workforce at startups takes a big hit as business volumes fall

Several startups over the past few weeks have laid off their contractual workforce after business volumes were impacted, mostly due to logistics and operational restrictions placed by the lockdown due to covid-19. The current covid-19 crisis has impacted close to 60% of the total contractual staff workforce in India, across segments of telecom, retail, real estate, electronics manufacturing, and hospitality, said experts. This has put major stress on India’s blue-collar economy which has been left without any employment. Among startups, food tech unicorn Swiggy laid off nearly 500 people, mostly contractual cloud kitchen staff, and B2B commerce firm Udaan laid off over 2000 contractual workers on Friday among others. Others such as Meesho, Oyo, Bounce and VOGO have also furloughed or let go of their staff go, as business continues to be impacted. Due to a slowdown in business activity, pressure has mounted on staffing firms which receive revenues from firms for assisting and providing contractual staff. “We should remember that if employers don’t survive, there are not going to be jobs after the lockdown. It is important to note that capital doesn’t pay salaries, but customers do (via sales revenues). Even without usual revenues, many companies have decided to pay the current month's salaries, even for those contract workers who are getting laid off, considering rationalization," said Rituparna Chakraborty, co-founder and executive vice-president, TeamLease, a human resource and staffing services provider.

(LiveMint, Apr 26, 2020)

India’s renewable energy subsidies fell 35% in three years

India’s renewable energy subsidies fell 35% from FY17 to FY19, while its oil and gas subsidies increased by 65%–according to a new study  by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) and the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW). The report finds subsidies to renewable energy went from a high of Rs 15,313 crore in FY2017 to Rs 9,930 crore in FY2019. At the same time, government subsidies for oil and gas went up from Rs 40,762 crore in FY2017 to Rs 67,679 crore in FY2019. How the government tackles the COVID-19 crisis and economic recovery will be crucial to determining future trends in the energy sector, experts said in the report.  The study emphasises that the health and economic crisis caused by Covid-19 will influence subsidy expenditure. The crash in world oil prices and the government’s economic stimulus packages will be key factors shaping the energy sector in the upcoming months. “Rising oil prices and initiatives to promote clean cooking were the main drivers of growing support to fossil fuels since FY2017,” said study co-author Vibhuti Garg of IISD.

(PV Magazine, Apr 24, 2020)

NTPC 23 MW solar project: Bidding extended for inverter-transformer package

The bidding deadline for supply of the inverter-transformer package for NTPC’s 23 MW Solapur project in Maharashtra has been extended by a month.The revised deadline—originally set for April 29—is now May 29. The scope of work includes design, engineering, manufacturing, supply, type testing, and supervision of installation and commissioning of the inverter-transformer package. The converter-duty inverter-transformer must have minimum cumulative capacity of 23 MVA—having high voltage capacity of 11 kV with individual size as per specification—and must be capable of operating in continuous mode at 50 degrees centigrade temperature.  To be eligible, the bidder should  have  designed, manufactured and supplied grid-connected inverter-transformers of 11 kV or higher voltage class for cumulative capacity of 18 MVA or above, out of which at least one such supply order, for a single plant, should be of 5 MVA or above capacity. The reference plant for which solar inverter transformers of 5 MVA or above capacity (consisting of one or more) were supplied, must have been in successful operation for at least six months prior to the date of techno-commercial bid opening.

(PV Magazine, Apr 24, 2020)

Global supergrid vs. regional supergrids

The techno-economic benefits of a globally interconnected world would be lower than those provided by interconnections at the national and subnational level. This is the main conclusion of On the Techno-economic Benefits of a Global Energy Interconnection, a new paper published by a group of researchers that includes Christian Breyer, professor of solar economy at Finland’s Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT). According to the study, a globally interconnected grid could offer a levelized cost of electricity of €52.50/MWh, which is 4% lower than what could be expected with an isolated global energy system. Moreover, a similar energy system would require 4% less installed capacity than a conventional one. Solar and wind, of course, would play a central role in a globally interconnected world. “The achieved cost level of about €20-25/MWh and €25-30/MWh for solar PV and wind energy, respectively, at very good sites, brings both technologies to the forefront as a major source of energy in the 21st century,” the researchers said. However, they believe that techno-economic analysis alone may not be sufficient to assess the advantages and disadvantages of both options. They argued that a more holistic approach will be necessary

(PV Magazine, Apr 24, 2020)

Covid-19: Electronics sector may have to rewire ops after curbs end

Electronics companies have a steep road ahead even after the covid-19 related lockdown comes to an end. Factories may struggle to ramp up production with daily wage labourers and workers migrating back to their villages because of the lack of income during the lockdown. “Even in China, it took them two to three weeks to return to normal operations," said Arjun Bajaj, director of Videotex International Pvt. Ltd, a television manufacturer. Companies will take at least 15-20 days to get things back up to speed, he said. Many in the industry are worried about the possibility of labour shortage once things open up, according to Bajaj.  Workers and daily wage labourers in cities recently set out for their hometowns in droves with factories and other businesses coming to a halt. The government eventually barred them from crossing borders, but many had left town before the borders were sealed. Worker migration isn’t an “acute challenge" for the industry, but it will take “about four weeks for 80% normalcy to be achieved" once work resumes, according to Pankaj Mohindroo, chairman of the Indian Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA).

(ET, Apr 08, 2020)

The lion must roar

At the start of the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, several Indian companies were extremely concerned as factories began to shut down across swathes of China’s industrial heartland and Indian imports from Chinese companies were growing at a fast pace. Indian imports included not just smartphones or consumer electronics, as most suspect, but everything — from toys to batteries and even fuel-injectors, needed to meet the new stricter BS-VI emission norms for vehicles. Then, of course, there was the worry surrounding the pharmaceutical industry as most of the Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs), required for key drugs, came from China. Indian drug-makers import around 70 per cent of their total bulk drug requirements from China. As supply chains broke, Indian companies began to worry. So even those firms, which until now made ‘Make in India’ a huge success with their export-orientation, were left dependent on Chinese parts, ones that might be small in size and value but were critical. The aftermath of the pandemic will force large economies across the world to realise the fact that while such dependence is a result of a globalised world, so much reliance on China may not be a good thing. Ergo, the US asking India for supply of hydroxychloroquine instead of China is a result of just that. Can Indian policy-makers and diplomats leverage India’s position as a reliable and democratic nation to promote ‘Make in India’ once the world recovers from the pandemic? One certainly hopes so.

(The Pioneer, Apr 08, 2020)

Retailers and e-commerce firms hire more, expand home delivery for business after lockdown

India’s leading retailers, e-commerce firms and restaurants said they are bracing up for a surge in home deliveries and online sales for next six months since consumers are unlikely to step out of their homes for shopping in fear of catching the Covid-19 virus. This includes fresh hiring of delivery personnel, training existing store staff for e-commerce business and building more warehouses. Walmart-owned Flipkart is undertaking fresh hiring of 4,000 people, SpencerNSE -0.87 %'s Retail 1,000, two senior industry executives said. Reliance Retail and Arvind Fashion are building their processes for a surge in e-commerce and phone orders, and training manpower for that.  Mobile phone retail body, All India Mobile Retailers Association (AIMRA) has asked all the 1.5 lakh cellphone stores across India to be ready for post Covid-19 lockdown by grooming manpower for home demonstration and sales of smartphones, its president Arvinder Khurana said. Consumer electronics retailers like Vijay Sales, Kohinoor and Great Eastern Retail too are preparing accordingly which includes creating e-commerce portals, retraining existing staff, video-call demonstrations and phone booking.

(ET, Apr 07, 2020)

Samsung Electronics Beats First-Quarter Estimates, Braces for Bigger Blow From Coronavirus

Samsung Electronics Co Ltd said on Tuesday its first-quarter operating profit likely managed to rise slightly from a slump a year earlier, as solid chip sales helped cushion the blow from the coronavirus pandemic on smartphones and TVs. The global leader in semiconductors is benefiting from higher demand for chips from laptop makers and data centres amid the coronavirus-driven shift to working from home.  But at the same time the South Korean tech giant is also expecting a bigger hit to its mobile and consumer electronics sales in the current quarter as the novel coronavirus sweeps through Europe and the United States - key markets for its premium smart phones and TVs. Samsung said operating profit was expected to be 6.4 trillion won ($5.2 billion) in the quarter ended March, compared with 6.2 trillion won a year ago and the 6.2 trillion won estimate from analysts according to Refinitiv Smart Estimate. Revenue likely rose 5% to 55 trillion won from a year ago, in line with the 55.6 trillion won estimate.Samsung Electronics shares were up 1.6% in morning trade, compared to a 1.3% rise of the broader market.

(The New York Times, Apr 06, 2020)

Will depend, says Centre on Covid-19 impact on electronics goods availability

A parliamentary panel has expressed concern on the possible implication of the coronavirus outbreak on import of electronic goods in India, which is heavily reliant on China for our supply.  In its report, the standing committee on information technology headed by Shashi Tharoor has noted that India had reserves for just a few weeks and the ministry should quickly carry out a comprehensive evaluation and work on a contingency plan to mitigate any adverse effect. The ministry of IT, asked if the manufacturing shutdown in China due to the coronavirus outbreak would affect availability of electronics goods, said the impact will depend on the severity and persistence of coronavirus. The ministry also said India is dependent on China for about 37% of its requirements, most of it goes into manufacture of sub-assemblies and final products. “At present, it has been ascertained from the industry associations and major manufacturing companies that sufficient inventory is available for the next few weeks. Steps are being taken to explore sources of import of such components from other countries,” said the ministry.

(HT, Mar 19, 2020)

Coronavirus: The pandemic outbreak on Indian electronics market

The repercussions of the pandemic caused by Coronavirus, now known as COVID-19,   are more than what it was thought in the initial stages. The virus has spread to more than 150 countries and number of persons afflicted is increasing so also the casualties. Almost all developed nations including US and countries in the European Union are on high alert. India taking the stringent precautionary actions to minimise its consequences by spreading the viruses across the country. Cutting across geographies, now there is a commitment to deal with such crisis situations coming from various sections be they countries, multilateral organizations, businesses, non-governmental organizations etc. That heightened awareness can be leveraged to evolve a basic protocol of the do’s and don’ts for the all manufacturer and services sector, which can spell out, among many things, what is expected of a responsible houses in the event of an epidemic, pandemic or a natural disaster. India sources a wide range of raw materials, components and related goods from China, which mainly go to industry segments like electronic and automobiles including electronic goods, automobiles, pharmaceuticals, chemicals etc.

(ELE Times, Mar 18, 2020)

Firms get serious about social distancing to halt virus spread

Employers across the country are finding new ways to implement social distancing measures at the workplace. These include reducing the number of employees coming to work, asking employees to work from home wherever possible, cordoning off common access areas within offices, restricting the entry of visitors, and using video conferencing facilities. With regard to factory workers, companies said they were following basic precautions such as sanitization and giving leave to employees who show any symptoms of the disease. The local arm of Japanese electronics company Panasonic has cordoned off public spaces, such as gyms and crèches, at its offices across India. It is also encouraging its office-based employees to work from home to reduce the number of people at its offices. It has advised against unnecessary travel and encouraged employees to attend meetings online. The company has 13,000 employees in India, including the staff at its plants.

(LiveMint, 18 Mar 2020)

Tumbling rupee to push up prices of electronic goods

Prices of television, refrigerator and washing machine are set to go up due to steep depreciation of the rupee against the dollar, two senior industry executives said. Smartphone makers such as Xiaomi, Vivo and OnePlus plan to absorb the exchange rate impact as of now, with the industry fearing a slide in sales since prices are all set to go up due to increase in goods and services tax on smartphones to 18% from 12%. But they will factor the exchange rate in the pricing of future launches the executives said. A Xiaomi India spokesperson said the rupee depreciating against the dollar is impacting the company. “We are continuously tracking the exchange rate trend and will take a call based on where it stabilises,” the person said. The development comes just about a month after several consumer electronics and home appliances brands increased prices due to higher logistic and component sourcing cost from coronavirus-hit China. LG and Panasonic NSE 0.98 % will increase prices of their products by 2-4% while several other brands are likely to pass on the impact of rupee depreciation to consumers from next month. The rupee on Friday touched a record low of ₹74.50 against the dollar. Panasonic India CEO Manish Sharma said the company is increasing AC prices by 2-3% from next week, while other products will be hiked from next month due to the exchange rate.

(ET, Mar 16, 2020)

Samsung launches ‘Funbelievable’ series of TVs, price starts at Rs 12,990

South Korean tech giant, Samsung, has launched its new Funbelievable series of smart and non-smart TVs in India. The new TV line-up brings two different options --32-inch and 43-inch Smart TV variants. The company claims the TVs come packed with features that will change the way consumers experience entertainment. However, the most interesting thing about TVs is their price point which is sure to be of concern to other smart TV makers in the country. The company has announced that the TV line-up will start retail at Rs 12,999. With the new TVs, Samsung not only promises superior craftsmanship that its competitors, but also features that are well above the price point it have been launched at. Talking about the specifics, the company hasn’t revealed too much detail about the specifications of the TVs, but it has revealed that the TV features such a dedicated Personal Computer Mode, Content Guide, Music System, Internet browsing capabilities and more. At Samsung, meaningful innovations and a customer-centric approach are a part of our DNA.

(India Today, Mar 13, 2020)

Covid-19 outbreak: Supply in parts, delays in full

Supplies of parts for cars, smartphones, televisions and home appliances and some finished electronic items may be further delayed by a few days after the government ordered screening of all cargo vessels coming from the 12 worst-affected Covid-19 countries outside Indian ports to ensure that members of the crew were not infected with the virus. A March 9 note by the Port Health Organisation (PHO) said that cargo vessels coming from China, Thailand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Iran, Nepal and Italy "will be screened and declared 'suspect' or 'healthy' by the PHO." ET has reviewed the PHO notice. The note said healthy vessel will be given health clearance for port operations and suspected vessel will be cleared by PHO as per the ministry of health and family welfare guidelines for Covid-19. Industry executives said this may further delay the shipping time to factory gates in India by 3-5 days, depending on the time taken for assessment of the cargo vessel by Indian authorities, leading to further production loss. Suspected vessels will be quarantined for at least 14 days as per the protocol for Covid-19 treatment, they said.

(ET, Mar 12, 2020)

After-hours with the boss: Manish Sharma

With a career spanning more than two decades, Manish Sharma has worked with several electronics companies, including LG Hotline, Samsung India and Haier India, holding positions in many departments, from operations to business development. In his current role, Sharma, 48, an engineering graduate, is overseeing the development of Panasonic in India and South Asia. He also serves as the executive officer of Panasonic Corp. and is the co-chair of FICCI Electronics & White Goods Manufacturing Committee. Antiques never fail to get my attention. They are a reflection of heritage and values that have been passed down for generations, building priceless memories. On a personal level, rediscovering and reinventing myself to stay relevant. I have been thinking about how can I future-proof my firm and my team and give talented individuals the opportunities I got, which got me where I am today. I try to practice “proactive collaboration" in my professional and personal life. This not only helps you learn different perspectives but also teaches a lot about teamwork. For me, three attributes that people should possess that are critical for the success of an organization are ambition, humility and resilience.

(LiveMint, Mar 12, 2020)

IIT Mumbai makes glasses substrates for 5G devices, consumer electronics

Ø  Researchers in IIT Bombay have achieved a breakthrough in making glass substrates that have significant advantages over the conventional silicon substrates in applications such as 5G devices. Substrates are the base on which a thin film of a material (like Silicon oxide) is coated on which circuits are etched. Typically, substrates have been made of Silicon, for many advantages — it doesn’t expand much on heating, making it easy to coat stuff on it. However, the micro electromechanical systems (MEMS) industry has been toying with other material for substrates — and glass has been high up on the list. Glass substrates (technically, fused silica, which is a pure form of glass without any metallic impurities) are much cheaper — one estimate has it that it is 80 per cent cheaper than Silicon substrates. But nothing in the world comes without a flipside. Glass is brittle and for technical reasons, not so easy to fabricate. Professor Pradeep Dixit of IIT Bombay and his team have used additive manufacturing technology (aka 3D printing) to address this problem. In a research project supported by a ₹1.45-crore grant from the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, under the government of India’s IMPRINT initiative (which stands for Impact Research Innovation and Technology), Prof Dixit have developed a low-cost technique for manufacturing fused silica and other non-conducting hard materials using ‘electrochemical discharge machining method’.

(BusinessLine, Mar 12, 2020)

In a major boost to electronic giants, SEZs clear local sourcing test

In a major boost to consumer electronic giants like Apple and Xiaomi, the government has relaxed the local sourcing norms. Issuing a clarification, the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) on Wednesday said, foreign retailers can now meet their local sourcing requirements by buying goods produced in units based in Special Economic Zones (SEZs). While 100 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) is allowed in single-brand retail, if the foreign investment exceeds 51 per cent, the 30 per cent mandatory local sourcing norm kicks in. “As regards, sourcing of goods from units located in SEZs in India, it may be clarified that sourcing of goods from such units would qualify as sourcing from India for the purpose of 30 per cent mandatory sourcing from India for proposals involving FDI beyond 51 per cent, subject to SEZ Act, 2005,” DPIIT said in the clarification. This is seen as a move to further entice original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), especially for the mobile phone industry. Taiwanese OEMs such as Wistron and Foxconn, who supply to tech giant Apple are expected to benefit. Electronics major Apple that is willing to set up its flagship Apple Stores here, has long been struggling to meet the local sourcing norms. With its key manufacturing partners – Foxconn & Wistron – having their India facilities located in SEZs, the relaxation will boost its fortunes. Currently, it procures iPhone XR from Foxconn’s Tamil Nadu plant, while Wistron assembles iPhone 7 from Bengaluru

(Business Standard, Feb 27, 2020)

Govt plans ‘RAISE 2020’ AI Summit in April, consults Intel, AWS, IBM, CII, FICCI; Startup challenge opens

The Government of India (GoI) has announced the event ‘RAISE 2020 – Responsible AI for Social Empowerment’ to be held from on 11 & 12 April in New Delhi. RAISE 2020 is India’s first artificial intelligence (AI) summit to be organized by the Government in partnership with industry & academia, and will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The summit will be a global meeting of minds to exchange ideas and charter a course to use AI for social empowerment, inclusion and transformation in key areas like healthcare, agriculture, education and smart mobility amongst other sectors. Ahead of the summit, MeitY organized a consultation with industry representatives to bring in synergies within India’s artificial intelligence landscape.  The consultation was chaired by Ajay Prakash Sawhney, Secretary, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), and other members of the Ministry, along with Abhishek Singh, President and CEO, National e-Governance Division (NeGD) from the Government. Apart from the Government, Industry associations including FICCI, CII, ASSOCHAM & NASSCOM and corporates, viz. Intel, AWS, KPMG, IBM, Oracle and AI startups, amongst others, participated in the consultation. Speaking on the occasion, Ajay Prakash Sawhney, Secretary, MeitY, said, “We are extremely delighted to announce the first-of-its-kind, two-day summit ‘Responsible AI for Social Empowerment 2020’. In our opinion, a data-rich environment like India has the potential to be the world’s leading AI laboratory which can eventually transform lives globally. AI technology is a powerful tool that can be used to create a positive impact in the Indian context, further becoming the AI destination for the world.”

(Indus Dictum, Feb 26, 2020)

Coronavirus takes a toll on Indian businesses -- pharma, electronics and other industries stare at uncertainty

In a move to dispel the fear and uncertainty among India's industry representatives, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced last week, that the Centre was working toward devising contingency measures to counteract the effect that the COVID-19 global outbreak could have on the Indian economy. The finance minister was addressing a meeting that included representatives from the textiles, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, electronics, information technology hardware, paint, fertilizer, telecom, mobile manufacturing, oil, shipping, tourism, medical and solar industries among others.  The Indian economy is already ailing, as it contends with a swelling fiscal deficit, rising inflation, a slump in demand, and poor wage growth that has already seen international rating agencies and bodies like Moody's and the International Monetary Fund, revise their growth projections for the country in the coming year. However, India's reliance on Chinese raw material and intermediate goods imports makes it hugely vulnerable to severe supply disruptions if China is unable to contain the Coronavirus, and kickstart its manufacturing sectors. 

(Times Now, Feb 26, 2020)

U.S. firm Hughes fears Indian closure, bank disruptions over unpaid fees – letter

U.S. satellite broadband provider Hughes Network Systems may have to shut its Indian operations due to unpaid levies owed to the government, which could put thousands of banking services at risk, a company letter seen by Reuters showed. India's Supreme Court late last year ordered a number of telecom companies, including Hughes and larger firms like Vodafone, to pay billions of dollars owed to the government. Hughes' India unit provides services to defence, education and banking sectors in the country and told India's telecoms minister in a letter dated Feb. 20 that it faces bankruptcy as it can't pay the 6 billion rupees ($84 million) it owes.  The closure of the company could disrupt connectivity at more than 70,000 banking locations and many critical satellite networks in the Indian navy, army and railways, Hughes' India President Partho Banerjee said in the letter, which was seen by Reuters. "We are facing a huge demand ... which by no means is serviceable by us and is in fact pushing our company towards bankruptcy & closure," Banerjee wrote in the letter.

(ET, Feb 24, 2020)

Electronics industry fears supply disruptions, production cuts, price rise due to Coronavirus

With the Coronavirus in China showing no sign of abating, and parts of the country being stranded under quarantine, India’s electronics industry is fearing supply disruptions, production curtailment, as well as a negative impact on prices, revenue, product launches and local manufacturing. If the situation prolongs, the industry is bound to take a hit by March, said experts. The Indian electronics industry, which relies heavily on China ― the world’s second-largest economy ― for components, sub-assemblies and even full products, is gripped with a sense of foreboding about the impact of the novel coronavirus. Companies and industry bodies that BusinessLine spoke to said that alternate countries for these supplies or any other solution seems unlikely to transpire. They said they are assessing the situation and mulling what can be done.

(BusinessLine, Feb 13, 2020)

Consumer durables’ sales growth in 2019 best since demonetization

Sales growth of refrigerators, ACs and washing machines in 2019 was the best since demonetisation, signalling a revival in discretionary purchases and kindling hopes that the economy is on the mend. Volume sales in the overall consumer electronics and major domestic appliances market grew 9% year-on-year in 2019 against 1% in 2018 and 4% in 2017, as per data released by GfK India. Industry executives attributed the revival largely to pentup demand. Panasonic India CEO Manish Sharma said green shoots of consumption revival are visible now, with growth improving quarter-on-quarter. “Products such as ACs, refrigerators, washing machines and smartphones have become necessities,” he said. Brian Bade, CEO at India’s largest smartphone and electronics retailer Reliance Digital, said there is improvement in consumer sentiment. “Average billing size has gone up, as has same-store growth,” he said. Smartphone sales growth in 2019 took a marginal beating over 2018, but it was still better than 2016 and 2017, GfK data showed. Industry executives attributed this to lack of compelling product innovation in smartphones. At the same time, television sales in 2019 declined 2% due to a shift towards audio-visual consumption over smartphones.

(ET, Feb 13, 2020)

How the outbreak of Coronavirus will hit the global business hard

The outbreak of the novel coronavirus in China is causing a global alarm. So far, the death toll in China has risen to 909 and almost 40,185 people have been declared affected (which may not be the true number). Coronavirus cases have been detected in other countries, including in India. The consequences of the outbreak for China’s economy, its authoritarian leadership, the global economy and for India deserve examination. Given China’s massive global economic footprint, the millions of Chinese that travel abroad for business or as tourists and its reverse, the numerous Chinese students in the West, the thousands of foreign companies operating in China, and the sizeable expatriate population in the country, the impact of the epidemic is beginning to be felt, without a crisis point being reached as yet. The Chinese economy has been hit, with reports about massive closure of outlets of Starbucks, McDonald’s, KFC, Pizza Hut, Ikea stores, Uniqlo shops, Disneyland parks and cinemas affecting consumption. With several countries suspending flights to China (including Air India) and from China, cancelling e-visas for the Chinese by India, six of eight airlines in Africa stopping flights, Russia closing its border in the east and only Aeroflot allowed to fly to China, with domestic travel groups in China prohibited, the travel industry has taken a blow.

(Daily, Feb 11, 2020)

India’s lithium-ion battery imports increase fourfold in two years

The number of lithium-ion batteries imported by India quadrupled to 713 million in the last fiscal year, from 175 million in 2016-17. In terms of value, imports more than tripled to $1.23 billion (Rs8,777 crore) in 2018-19 from $384 million two years earlier. During the first eight months of this fiscal year – from April to the end of November – lithium battery imports touched 450 million units, worth $929 million, according to science and technology minister Harsh Vardhan, in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha. The minister said the 175 million lithium battery imports recorded in 2016-17 rose to 313 million the following fiscal year, with the latter figure worth $727 million.China, Hong Kong and Vietnam were the leading sources of imports. China exported $773 million worth of lithium-ion batteries to India in the last fiscal year, according to Ministry of Commerce figures, with Hong Kong and Vietnam shipping $267 million and $114 million worth of product, respectively.

(PV Magazine, Feb 10, 2020)

Adjudication: Windlab to bear costs of delays at Kennedy solar-wind-battery park

ASX-listed renewables developer Windlab will be the sole party to bear the costs of delays at the Kennedy Energy Park, Australia’s first project on a major grid to combine wind, solar and battery technologies. Under an adjudication decision that is likely to raise concerns among other projects plagued by grid delays, the EPC contractor – a joint venture between Danish Vestas Wind Systems and U.S. Quanta Services – is not requested to pay any delay liquidated damages and indemnity costs. Pursuant to the adjudication determination under Queensland Building Industry Fairness, Windlab will have to pay the contractor $949,740 in milestone payments previously withheld, and a further $6.6 million in variation claims and delay costs. The adjudicator has also reversed Kennedy’s previously invoiced liquidated damaged and indemnity costs to the EPC contractor and denied payment of $19,615,375 of the EPC contractor’s claims. “Such a determination is not a final determination of the parties’ rights but rather an interim payment decision and is currently under review for enforceability,” Windlab said in a statement to the ASX. Namely, the adjudication is the initial phase of the dispute resolution under the Queensland laws which were established for contractors to enforce outstanding payments.

(PV Magazine, Feb 08, 2020

Solar racking innovations on the show floor at Intersolar San Diego

Vertical racking by Next2Sun: In order to install bifacial solar modules vertically, thicker metal posts are sunk into the ground, with framing that holds the modules above ground. This racking scheme is meant to be installed in between rows of crops, or as a fencing structure. The company claims bifacial modules make the production values acceptable, and in places with a high albedo (or during snow events), production becomes respectable. A new type of floating solar: Sun Rise E&T Corporation brought these flexible HDPE (high-density polyethylene) pipes from its fish farm experience into the floating solar industry.The modules are deployed in sub-sections of two rows of eight to allow for flexibility. The tubes can be deployed on land once they are filled up with water or sand. The company’s website suggests that it has installed 84 MW in Asia utilizing this racking product.

(PV Magazine, Feb 07, 2020)

Decoding the Adani-Total solar deal

Partnership with French major Total will boost Adani’s balance sheet and provide the confidence to carry out its contracted pipeline which remains strong with around 500 MW of solar PV under construction in India and about 200 MW operational and in pipeline in Australia, according to Wood Mackenzie analysts. The investment comes at a time when access to capital has become difficult for renewable independent power producers (IPPs) amid issues like payment delays from utilities and power purchase agreement renegotiation.  Decoding the Adani-Total deal, Woodmac analyst Rishab Shrestha said: “In India, payment delays from utilities to renewable IPPs and renegotiation of tariffs have worsened and made access to capital difficult. Domestic capital now comes at a premium. Adani sells more than 500 MW of solar power to TANGEDCO [Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation Limited]. The utility has had a history of delay and discounted payments and poses a risk.

PV Magazine, Feb 07, 2020)

Coronavirus concerns: India Inc in a cold sweat as lockdown in China continues

The coronavirus outbreak is giving industry the jitters, especially sectors dependent on Chinese imports such as consumer electronics, automobiles and pharmaceuticals. Seafood and spices exports are also vulnerable as Beijing absorbs a big chunk of the $10-billion these shipments bring in every year.  Industry officials say trade has already been affected and unless Chinese supplies bounce back quickly, it would lead to scarcity and higher prices in a few weeks. Looking for alternatives to China is time-consuming and costly. Prices of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) for antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs have skyrocketed, and mobile handsets and consumer electronics could be next. Paracetamol prices have increased from Rs 260-360 per kg. Nimesulide has more than doubled to Rs 1,100 from Rs 450. Azithromycin, used for bacterial infections, and montelukast, for treatment of respiratory infections, have shot up by about 30%. “As of now we are OK,” said Kedar Upadhye, global CFO at Cipla Ltd.

(ET, Feb 06, 2020)

Generate lands more than $1 billion for renewable infrastructure

Generate has landed more than $1 billion in new funding to grow its fleet of renewable infrastructure projects. New investors include Australian Super, QIC, Railways Pension and AP2 of Sweden, according to a release. Richard Kauffman, former New York state energy chief and current chairman of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, has been named chair of the board, and Lynn Jurich, CEO of Sunrun, has joined the board, along with Australian Super’s Derek Chu and QIC’s Ross Israel. Generate builds, owns, operates, and finances sustainable infrastructure for industry and municipalities, working with more than 25 development partners to serve hundreds of companies, schools, cities and non-profits throughout North America. Founded in 2014, Generate has built more than $1 billion in sustainable infrastructure assets across the energy, waste, water and transport markets using battery storage; solar; energy efficiency; electric vehicles; fuel cells; wastewater treatment; distributed desalination; and organic waste management.

(PV Magazine, Feb 05, 2020)

Italian PV panels sent for recycling were instead smuggled to Syria and Africa

Italy’s Carabinieri Command for the Protection of the Environment has seized a €4 million waste treatment plant near Catania, in Sicily, on suspicion panels sent there for recycling were smuggled on to African and Middle Eastern markets. The Ministry of the Environment has announced thousands of panels sent for recycling from solar plants in Italy were instead re-badged with false labels and exported to new markets. The racket was uncovered by the carabinieri’s Operation BlackSun. “About 60 tons of solar panels were also found on which investigations will be conducted to verify the regularity of the storage, treatment and recovery operations,” the ministry added.  The owner of the recycling plant, whose name was not released, was arrested on January 23 on an arrest warrant issued by the investigating magistrate of the Perugia court on charges of being one of the main perpetrators of a criminal association aimed at illicit cross-border trafficking of waste, money laundering, counterfeiting, alteration or use of trademarks and other illegal conduct, the Italian government said. The carabinieri said counterfeited panels were smuggled to Senegal, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Morocco, Mauritania, Turkey and even Syria.

(PV Magazine, Feb 05, 2020)

Government Might Infuse Rs. 45,000 Crore To Electronics Manufacturing: Report

The government has been taking many steps to make India a manufacturing hub for smartphone makers. Now, it has been reported that the centre is reportedly planning to invest Rs. 45,000 crore, so that smartphone maker like Samsung, Apple, Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo can set up their supply chains in India. In fact, a note has already been floated in all ministries, reports Economic Times. The report reveals that the government has divided the amount into two parts and Rs. 41,000 crore will be given to those companies who are based on a bonus scheme. Whereas, Rs. 4,000 crore to those who have reimbursement scheme. "The government expects the PLI scheme to generate over two lakh jobs, exports of over Rs. 5 lakh crore and direct tax revenue of close to Rs. 5,000 crore, over a period of five years," the official was quoted by the newspaper.It is worth mentioning that the government is also trying that the upcoming policy should be under WTO norms. The main reason behind this investment is to attract Foxconn, Huawei, Vivo, Oppo, and Samsung so that they can make a huge investment in the country. 

(Gizbot, Feb 04, 2020)

Coronavirus outbreak: Auto expo, travel sector impacted

The deadly coronavirus has cast a shadow on India''s flagship motor show Auto Expo, while other sectors including travel and electronics manufacturing are keeping a close watch to avoid any possible impact of it on their businesses. Automobile industry body Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) on Tuesday said all Chinese companies participating at the expo have confirmed that their exhibit area would be manned by their Indian employees.  In addition, auto component makers body ACMA said Chinese participants at the components show of Auto Expo are unable to travel to India due to the outbreak of coronavirus in China, even as around 30 companies from there have confirmed that their stand would be managed by their Indian counterparts in their absence.  Meanwhile, restrictions on travel between China and India has impacted bookings and the travel industry is cautiously watching the situation, players said on Tuesday. India on Sunday announced temporary suspension of e-visa facility for Chinese Travelers and foreigners residing in the neighbouring country and issued a fresh advisory saying anyone with travel history to China since January 15 can be quarantined.  “With travel to mainland China and even Hong Kong severely restricted for days, the travel bookings had taken a massive hit,” MakeMyTrip co-founder and CEO Rajesh Magow said.  With the mobile industry importing an estimated Rs 95,000 crore worth of components annually, a portion of which comes from China, handset manufacturers are waiting to see if the shuttered factories of suppliers reopen next week.

(Outlook, Feb 04, 2020)

In a smarter India, idiot box suffers a jolt

Television sales saw its worst ever performance in India in 2019 as the number of units sold fell in comparison to last for the first time. As per estimates by leading brands, TV sales declined over 4% last year compared to 2018. Industry executives said consumers shifted to consuming content on their smartphones and postponed upgrade of their existing television sets in urban and semi-urban areas with the popularity of over-thetop (OTT) services like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hotstar. In rural India, poor sentiments largely impacted demand, much like most other consumer goods. This fall in television sales has irked the ministry of electronics and information technology (MeitY), which wants to make India a production hub for televisions and the steep drop in sales suggests domestic volumes will not justify it, three industry executives said. “Ministry officials have recently flagged the issue during consultation with industry,” one of them said.  As per industry body Consumer Electronics and Appliances Manufacturers Association estimates, television unit sales dipped by 7% in April-September 2019 from the year ago, while industry estimates put the October-December decline at a sharp 9-10%. 

(ET, Jan 13, 2020)

Samsung’s premium focus could mean exit for many employees

Samsung, India’s biggest consumer electronics company by sales, appears to have had enough of price wars with its rivals from China. The South Korean major has seen its bottom-line trimmed lately as a fallout of the trans-peninsular rivalry, and is moving away from entry-level smartphones and televisions that have a pronounced Chinese flavour in India. An outcome of this shift in strategy is manpower redeployment, something a company spokesperson described as “realignment of resources.”  But three top trade sources said about 600 roles could disappear in sales support functions such as sales planning, market hygiene and order punching at shops, with the core sales team taking over such tasks that are often repetitive in structure.  But three top trade sources said about 600 roles could disappear in sales support functions such as sales planning, market hygiene and order punching at shops, with the core sales team taking over such tasks that are often repetitive in structure.

(ET, Jan 10, 2020)

India's lack of electronics manufacturing ecosystem is hurting Isro's space plans

India’s space agency planned to build as well as launch 17 homegrown satellites in 2019. It, however, managed to deliver only about half due to a shortage of electronics parts. The absence of a robust homegrown electronics ecosystem is hurting the ambitious targets set by the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro), which has lined up more than 60 missions over the next five years.  These include building new generation communication and earth observation satellites, heavier rockets, return missions to the moon and Mars, and its first human space flight endeavour. Each of these spacecraft and rockets needs electronic components and systems, mostly imported. Over half of the electronics components on a large satellite and nearly a tenth for a rocket are imported as they need to meet stringent standards. These components should be reliable, radiation hardened and work through the mission life of a satellite, which could be as many as 15 years.  The need, therefore, for such components is only going to increase as the space agency becomes more aggressive in pursuing cutting-edge missions.

(ET, Jan 10, 2020)

Indian firms seek line of credit for telecom carriers to procure locally-made gear

The domestic telecom equipment makers and suppliers have urged the Narendra Modi-led government to allow line of credit or soft loan to incumbent telecom operators that could encourage them to purchase locally-made network products. “There is a need to allow a domestic line of credit to telecom service providers so that electronics in networks up to 75% should be purchased within India,” Sandeep Agarwal, Chairman— Telecom Committee of the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI) told ETT. Early this week, the representatives of the domestic trade groups such as Telecom Equipment Promotion Council (TEPC), Telecom Equipment Manufacturers’ Association (TEMA) besides the PHD Chamber submitted the proposal to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to press their demand. “Foreign countries provide a line of credit to their manufacturers for supply of telecom equipment to India on liberal terms. Indian manufacturers find it difficult to counter this and that only promoted imports by operators, a Delhi-based group told DoT officials. “A domestic line of credit should be allowed by the Finance Ministry. A dollar saved is a dollar earned.

(ET, Jan 10, 2020)

Dixon's LED TVs capacity will be increased to 44 lakhs from 36 lakhs: Atul B Lall, MD

Our agreement with Samsung for manufacturing LED TVs is a milestone for our company and will not hurt the relations with other brands for whom we are manufacturing", says Atul B Lall, Managing Director, Dixon Technologies (India) Limited. During an interview with Swati Khandelwal, Zee Business, Mr Lall said, “Government's steps has helped India to start its journey as the mobile manufacturing hub”. Edited Excerpts: Dixon Tech, which has been manufacturing LED televisions for Panasonic and Xioami, has signed a contract with South Korean electronics company Samsung. Let us know about it?  Customer acquisition is an important business activity at Dixon and the recently signed agreement with Samsung is a significant milestone for us. It is a continuous activity and we keep talking with numerous customers. It is difficult to name them but we are working with significant brands. We always try to serve them, our customers, with full capability and bring cost reductions and provide new products to cement our relationship with them. Thus, the company has achieved significant mileage and it is also important for every stakeholder. 


(Zee Business, Jan 10, 2020)

Ravi Shankar Prasad inaugurates works on laying of submarine cables between Chennai, Andaman Nicobar Islands

Union Minister for Communications, Electronics and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad has said that the Union Government will ensure participation of the common people as  stakeholders in the digital transformation that is sweeping across the country. He was speaking after inauguration of the works on laying of submarine cables from Chennai to Andaman Nicobar Islands in Chennai today. Mr Ravi Shankar Prasad said, the Central Government has transferred funds worth eight lakh crore rupees under various heads to beneficiaries through the Direct Benefit Transfer system. He said, the DBT has helped the Centre to save about 1.40 lakh crore rupees by plugging the routes of pilferage.  The Minister said, banking services will be delivered at the footsteps of the people even at far-flung areas using the vast network of Post Offices in the country combined with Information Technology.

(All India Radio, Jan 09, 2020)

Here is why Mukesh Ambani is excited about offline-to-online commerce

In August 2019, during the company’s 42nd Annual General Meeting, Mukesh Ambani, Chairman of Reliance Industries (RIL), talked about a ‘new commerce’ venture that aims to "completely transform the unorganised retail market, which accounts for 90 percent of India's retail industry". He said that Reliance’s platform will modernise even the smallest neighbourhood kirana shop to become a “future-ready digitised store".  JioMart explores the offline-to-online (O2O) model, which creates a system to entice consumers within a digital environment to make purchases of goods or services either from physical businesses or in an online setup. But, why is the man behind Jio so excited about this market? At the time, Ambani had said that “new commerce” is a massive new business opportunity worth $700 billion. Mukesh Ambani said, “The three crore merchants and kirana shop owners, who generate direct and indirect livelihoods for over 20 crore people, form the backbone of India's commerce ecosystem. These highly energetic and self-motivated entrepreneurs have suffered in recent years because of their inability to invest in technology and infrastructure.” In fact, it is not only RIL that is eyeing India’s O2O opportunity, but several startups are also bullish about this space. Despite competition from the likes of RIL, Amazon, Flipkart and others, a breed of startups have found their own niche in this space. So much so that experts are saying that it is the time for ‘Bharat’ commerce. We take a look at how 2020 looks like for retailers and startups in this space.

(Your Story, Jan 08, 2020)

Samsung India’s two top executives resign amid growing competition

Two senior executives of Korean Giant Samsung’s India wing have put in their papers down according to the reports. Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Ranjivjit Singh who was in charge of mobile phone marketing and Sukesh Jain, Senior Vice President, Enterprise Business have resigned on Monday as per a report in The Economic Times. Singh’s responsibilities will now be managed by Aditya Babbar who will handle the mobile phone marketing. Jain’s role in the company has been taken over by Senior Director Akash Saxenaa.  The resignations come even as the company is planning its biggest tech event in February where it is said to unveil its flagships for 2020 including the all new Galaxy S11/20 series.  Samsung India had already been facing tough competition from Chinese electronics brand Guangzhou Bu Bu Gao Electronics (BBK), which holds a giant market share in Indian electronics under its four different brands including Vivo, OPPO, OnePlus and Realme.  According to a report published by the International Data Corporation (IDC) back in December, BBK gained 40 per cent market share compared to its previous 20 per cent market share. While the Korean tech giant Samsung’s share in the Indian market was estimated to be 19.1 per cent losing its hold over one of its prime smart phone markets. 

(BusinessLine, Jan 07, 2020)

Hyundai, Uber join hands to develop electric air taxis

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)

Months before Mukesh Ambani’s e-commerce entry, Amazon makes ‘enviable’ tie-up with Kishore Biyani

Customers who have so far been swearing by Big Bazaar to buy their groceries, fashion, footwear, and other items would now be able to get it online. Kishore Biyani-led Future Group companies Future Retail — the retail arm and Future Consumer — the FMCG vertical have tied up with Amazon India. This would enable Future Retail to sell goods including groceries, general merchandise, beauty products, fashion, footwear, jewellery, watches, luggage across India. Similarly, Future Consumer brands including Tasty Treat for snacks, fabric care brand Voom, Dreamery for dairy, dry fruits label Karmiq, etc would be sold on Amazon. Big Bazaar products are also available as of now on Vijay Shekhar Sharma’s Paytm Mall. The deal with Future Group is likely to boost Amazon’s play in the Indian e-commerce market that is expected to grow to $188-billion in size by 2025 from $39 billion in 2017, according to Statista. Amazon and Flipkart are currently the largest online retailers in India with Snapdeal at a distant third even as it has shifted its focus to value-conscious buyers in India in 2017. “This creates an enviable collaboration bringing together the best of consumer insights and geographical reach from the online and offline world,” Amazon said in a statement. Future Group’s partnership with Amazon also comes probably months before the impending launch of Mukhesh Ambani’s Reliance into the e-commerce fray, thanks to Jio around 350 million customers and a network of nearly 11,000 retail stores. Reliance e-commerce foray is expected this year.

(FE, Jan 06, 2020)

IAS crunch reason for Rajeev posting

The Bengal government did not seek the Centre’s approval before posting former Calcutta police commissioner Rajeev Kumar as the information technology and electronics principal secretary on the ground that it was facing a dearth of IAS officers, multiple officials claimed. Kumar, who is facing a CBI probe in connection with the Saradha scam, was given the posting on Thursday. A state government should seek the approval of the department of personnel and training, under the Centre, before assigning a non-IAS officer to a post reserved for the IAS. “The state had repeatedly urged the Centre to increase the sanctioned strength of IAS officers in Bengal. But the requests fell on deaf ears. This is the reason why the state was forced to place an IPS officer in a post meant for an IAS officer. If the Centre seeks a clarification, the state will cite the shortage of IAS officers here,” said a senior bureaucrat. Nabanna sources said that the Bengal government had urged the Centre earlier this year to enhance the IAS cadre strength to 400 during an allotment review meeting in Delhi that was held after five years. The Bengal government had cited development projects for the request.

(The Telegraph, Dec 30, 2019)

Budget 2020: What India’s EV Industry Wants Nirmala Sitharaman To Address

With a slew of initiatives be it the launch of Phase 2 of FAME scheme, the country-wide prohibition of single-use plastics, or India’s announcement of increasing the renewables from 175 GW to 450 GW at the recent UN Climate Action Summit, India has undoubtedly listed the going green among its priority tasks. Its commitment to adopting electric vehicles will be on display during the Union Budget 2020 as the EV industry awaits policy decisions that will impact the future of mobility in India. In fact, during the Union Budget 2019 in July, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced lowering the GST on EVs from 12% to 5%, which already had a big impact on the industry. She had stated, In conjugation with the Phase 2 of FAME scheme, Sitharaman had also announced another scheme which aimed to set up mega-manufacturing plants in sunrise and advanced technology areas such as semiconductor fabrication,  solar photovoltaic cells, lithium-ion storage batteries etc. Under the scheme, the manufacturers will also be liable to receive tax exemptions. Meanwhile, Phase 2 of FAME scheme with a total outlay of INR 10K Cr, over a period of three years,  was commenced on April 1, 2019. Phase 1 of FAME was launched on 1st April 2015, with a total fund of INR 895 Cr and ended on March 31, 2019. However, in an independent evaluation report, it was observed that while the relatively increased awareness, is in itself a notable achievement, the overall outcomes of key parameters of fuel-saving and CO2 reduction are significantly below the target for FAME and that it did not help encourage manufacturers to produce EVs.

(Inc42, Dec 27, 2019)

Israel keen to support growth of Indian semi-conductor industry

With a growing demand in electronics and manufacturing in India and limited domestic manufacturing, semiconductor chips will soon become a significant import item for India. A local semiconductor manufacturing industry can support the development and manufacturing of sensors required for India specific Internet of Things (IoT) products, especially in the domains of agriculture, healthcare, smart cities, safety and waste management. The report estimates establishing such an industry would witness a pay back of 6.3X in terms of economic impact; 4X in employment and help develop a high-tech ecosystem in the country. An Indian semiconductor fabrication facility can offset semiconductor imports of US$ 8 billion over the projection period and have a further multiplier impact of US$ 15 billion on the Indian economy. An Indian semiconductor fabrication facility would enable India to join a handful of nations with such capacity. This was among key items on the agenda of Indo-Israeli forum held in Tel Aviv last week. In fact Ambassador Ron Malka, Ambassador of Israel to India, and Ambassador Sanjeev Singla, Ambassador of India to Israel, officially released a report on “Feasibility Study of Semiconductor Fabrication Facility in India” during the 12th India Israel Forum in Tel Aviv. 

(ET, Dec 27, 2019)

Government plans higher duty sops to lure phone companies to Make in India

The government is considering a proposal to sweeten export incentive scheme for smartphone manufacturers such as Apple, Samsung, Huawei, Vivo and Oppo by offering 6% duty credit scrips, replacing the current 4% scrip, two people aware of the development said. The government has set an ambitious target to increase smartphone exports from the country to $110 billion by 2025 from $3 billion now. Duty credit scrip is a certificate with certain monetary value that can be utilized for payment of customs duty. “The industry had sought up to 8% (duty credit slip) but the government is considering a 6% replacement for the MEIS (Merchandise Exports from India Scheme),” a senior government official told ET. Another person said the government is also working on tightening the eligibility criteria to ensure the new scheme is offered only to those targeted manufacturers who develop their supply chain and ecosystem in India and make the country an export hub. The criterion being deliberated on include employment generated, investment made, average selling price of phones, and production, the person said. “Since it (the new scheme) has to be WTO (World Trade Organisation) compliant, the policy cannot directly provide subsidy for exports and that criterion is being narrowed down.”

(ET, Dec 24, 2019)

Bhubaneswar Electropreneur park to incubate 50 start-ups in five years

The Electropreneur park in Bhubaneswar would incubate 50 start-ups in five years with thrust on verticals like energy, process control & industrial automation and education. The ecosystem is also envisaged to support innovation in electronics system design & manufacturing (ESDM) pertaining to agriculture, disaster management, healthcare and Smart City applications. Jitendra Chaddah, chairman, Indian Electronics & Semiconductor Association (IESA) said, "The consumption of electronics in India is growing at a rapid pace. The market is estimated to touch $400 billion in the next four to five years. The Electropreneur Park in Bhubaneswar can play a very critical role in meeting the demand-supply gap”. The Electropreneur park in Bhubaneswar being set up by the Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) in collaboration with the department of electronics & IT, Odisha government is the first ESDM incubation centre in eastern India. It is also the second Electropreneur Park in the country after the one set up within Delhi University. International Institute for Information Technology (IIIT) is the knowledge & academic partner whereas IESA has been designated the implementation partner for industry connect, mentoring support and outreach.

(BS, Dec 23, 2019)

Making Delhi A Solar City

With an average 50 KW solar power plant, one can save up to 72 tonnes of CO2 emissions entering the atmosphere, which is equivalent to planting 1500 trees. Solar power is not only environment-friendly but one of the very few secure investment options available in today’s declining economy to get an assured return. Installing solar not only reduces electricity bills but if you produce more electricity than your own consumption, that completely turns the table and you move from being a standard energy consumer to an energy producer. On top of all these financial and economic benefits, solar gives consumers an opportunity to contribute towards national development, feeling pride as they do their bit to ensure India meets its global and internal clean energy commitments, helping cities and states meet their climate change, air pollution and energy security targets. Currently, Delhites are witnessing the worst environmental disaster and air pollution of our time. The obvious solution lies in joint city and regional actions. Air pollution is not only a winter problem and not solely caused by crop residue burning but by increasing electricity demand, and the burning of coal in neighboring states’ thermal power plants. Citizens definitely need to accelerate their demands and hold governments accountable for their actions on a number of air pollution sources. We need their solutions, and a quicker response, by accelerating solar rooftop adoption to leave a clean and breathable environment for future generations. We must all join hands to stop Delhi from becoming a city of masks and work to create a solar city that guides other cities and nations towards a sustainable and climate resilient future for all.

(PV Magazine, Nov 29, 2019)

Samsung India to hire over 1,200 engineering graduates for R&D

Samsung on Wednesday said it will hire around 1,200 engineering graduates this year from India's premier institutions, such as IITs, NITs and IISc, for its research and development (R&D) centres in the country. The company plans to hire engineers for its R&D centres in Bengaluru, Noida and Delhi, and these employees will work on domains such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, deep learning, image processing, cloud, internet of things, recognition systems, data analysis, OnDevice AI, mobile communications, networks, and user interface and user experience. Samsung will hire students from multiple streams including computer science, electronics and communications, electrical engineering, mathematics and computing, instrumentation and information technology, the company said in a statement. "This year, we plan to hire over 1,200 engineers and have already extended 340 PPOs (pre-placement offers) to engineers at IITs and other top institutions," Samsung India Head (Human Resources) Sameer Wadhawan said. PPOs are made in advance and the student joins the company after the completion of his or her course. Samsung, which had previously announced that it will hire 2,500 engineers by 2020, has already on boarded 1,000 engineers each in 2017 and 2018.

(ET, Nov 27, 2019)

India Puts Cartosat-3 into Orbit; Touches 310 Foreign Satellite Launch Mark

On Wednesday, November 27, India successfully placed into orbit its own earth observation satellite Cartosat-3 and 13 American nano satellites in textbook style. In the process, India crossed the milestone of putting into orbit 300 foreign satellites. By putting the 13 American nano satellites into orbit, India till date has launched a total of 310 foreign satellites for a fee. "Extremely happy to declare PSLV-C47 precisely injected Cartosat-3 and 13 customer satellites in their desired orbit. Cartosat-3 is India's highest resolution civilian spacecraft that ISRO has built so far," ISRO Chairman K. Sivan said. He said ISRO has planned 13 missions during this fiscal -- six launch vehicle missions and 7 satellite missions before March 2020. At about 9.28 a.m. the rocket Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle-XL (PSLV-XL) standing around 44.4 metres tall and weighing about 320 ton with a one-way ticket hurtled itself towards the skies ferrying Cartosat-3. Sharing the ride with Cartosat-3 were 13 nano satellites from the USA for an undisclosed fee to be paid to NewSpace India Ltd -- the new commercial arm of ISRO. With the fierce orange flame at its tail further brightening up the morning skies, the rocket slowly gathered speed and went up and up, enthralling the people at the rocket port while the rocket's engine noise like a rolling thunder added to the thrill. About 17 minutes into the flight, the rocket ejected Cartosat-3 into an orbit of 509 km at an inclination of 97.5 degrees.

(TOI, Nov 27, 2019)

Indian Railways eyes 500 MW rooftop solar by 2021-22

Indian Railways—the nation’s largest electricity consumer, with 2.4% of total consumption, and the third largest high-speed diesel user, with 2.6 billion liters consumed annually—plans to install 500 MW rooftop solar plants by 2021-22. Of the targeted capacity, so far 95.67 MW has already been put up on various Railway buildings, including 835 Railway stations, while 248.46 MW capacity is under various stages of execution. This information was shared by Minister of Railways and Commerce & Industry, Piyush Goyal, recently in Lok Sabha. In terms of zone-wise installation, South Western Railway leads with 132 numbers of stations provided with solar panels, followed by East Central Railway (105) and North Western Railway (104). “Solar panels will be installed in other stations depending upon site availability and feasibility,” shared Goyal. “Tenders for 248.46 MW capacity have been awarded by Railway Energy Management Company Limited and are under different stages of execution. This will cover the rooftops of Railway station platforms shelters and various other Railway buildings,” he added. Of the 248.46 MW upcoming capacity, South Central Railway will account for the maximum at 33.14 MW, followed by South Eastern Railway (24.94 MW) and Northern Railway (23.63 MW).

(PV Magazine, Nov 21, 2019)

DVC tenders 50 MW grid-connected solar in Jharkhand

State-run power producer Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) has invited bids to set up 50 MWp (AC) of grid-connected solar plant capacity in Jharkhand—a state that is lagging woefully in the transition to renewable energy with around 38 MW of solar generation capacity towards its 2020 target of 2.65 GW. The plant—to be developed in design-build-operate-transfer mode—shall come up at the power producer’s Panchet project in Dhanbad district. It must be designed for annual capacity utilization factor of minimum 19%. DVC shall sign a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with the selected developer, which must commission the plant within 12 months of signing the PPA. Bidders are required to quote a fixed levellised tariff for the entire PPA period. The project along with all its assets shall be transferred to DVC after completion of the entire PPA period. However, if any need arises to dismantle the project after 25 years, DVC will charge Rs 0.02/ KWh of power generated on monthly basis as security deposit.

(PV Magazine, Nov 21, 2019)

Samsung may switch on TV production in India

Samsung India is bringing back television production to India after a year with the government scrapping import duty on the biggest component open cell panel, or displays, said people with knowledge of the matter. The South Korean electronics company is about to sign a deal with homegrown contract manufacturer Dixon Technologies to manufacture television sets up to 55 inches in screen size, they said. These account for more than 85% of the Indian market. The company is evaluating options with other contract manufacturers to further expand local TV production in India, they added. Samsung, the largest television brand in India, is also evaluating whether it can restart the television line in its Chennai plant that was shut in October last year after the government imposed duty on open cell television panels. The company had then started importing finished television sets from its plant in Vietnam through the free trade agreement (FTA) route. In September, the Centre had scrapped the 5% import duty on open cell panels. The display accounts for almost 65-70% of the production cost of LED televisions. There are currently no domestic manufacturers of television panels even though the government has been trying to push local production of this component.

(ET, Nov 20, 2019)

India appeals against WTO panel's ruling on export promotion measures

India on Tuesday appealed against a World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute settlement panel's ruling that had recommended withdrawal of its key export subsidy schemes, including the one for special economic zones in the next 90-180 days. India filed an appeal before the organization’s Appellate Body. On October 31, the WTO had ruled that export subsidy programmes-Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS), Export Oriented Units Scheme and sector specific schemes, including Electronics Hardware Technology Parks Scheme and Bio-Technology Parks Scheme; Export Promotion Capital Goods Scheme; and Duty-Free Imports for Exporters Scheme- violated provisions of the trade body’s norms.  Appeals cannot re-open factual findings made by the panel but when a decision is challenged by an appeal by the member-country concerned, it cannot come into effect. Each appeal is heard by three members of an Appellate Body comprising persons of recognised authority and unaffiliated with any government. Generally, the Appellate Body has up to three months to conclude its report. 

(ET, Nov 19, 2019)

Gujarat solar capacity just shy of 2.7 GW

Confirmation of the rapid rise of Gujarati solar has come with the news the state now boasts 2.69 GW of solar capacity – 405 MW of it rooftop PV. The figure has been published on the website of the Gujarat Energy Development Agency, which revealed 169 MW of ground mounted generation capacity and 78.4 MW of grid connected rooftop solar was added from April to October. The latest figures illustrate startling progress from the 170 kW of rooftop PV that was all the solar capacity recorded in the state in 2008-09. Gujarat saw strong solar figures in September, when 25 MW of ground-mounted capacity and 5.3 MW of rooftop PV came online, before dipping last month to just 303 kW of new ground mounted installations and 2,464 kW of rooftops. May was the most productive month for new ground-mounted solar capacity in the current fiscal year, with 52.82 MW coming online. New rooftop arrays topped out in April, when 19.425 MW of generation capacity was added. Diving into the figures for the last two fiscal years shows capacity from new larger installations more than doubling between 2017-18 (264 MW of new projects) and the last full year (620 MW). Over the same period, rooftop capacity additions showed much slower growth, from 117 MW in 2017-18 to 172 MW last year. Gujarat chief secretary JN Singh said this week the state is aiming for 30 GW of renewables capacity by 2022. Starting from a base of 2.7 GW of solar and 7.2 GW of wind, that marks a 6 GW raising of the stakes since January, when the state announced an intent to invest Rs1 lakh crore over three years to add 10 GW of solar and 5 GW of wind generation.

(PV Magazine, Nov 06, 2019)

Samsung says to shut down U.S. CPU research division

Samsung Electronics Co Ltd 005930.KS said on Tuesday it will shut down a CPU research division at one of its U.S. facilities, a move that analysts said dimmed prospects for the tech giant's Exynos-branded mobile chips. Exynos mobile processor chips are considered a hallmark of the South Korean firm's attempts to reduce its reliance on memory chips and increase sales of logic chips that are used to power mobile devices and autonomous vehicles. But the proprietary chips, which are found in Samsung's flagship Galaxy series smartphones and compete against Qualcomm Inc's QCOM.O marquee mobile processors, have struggled to find external customers. The decision to shut down the division, which will make some 300 jobs redundant, point to challenges Samsung faces in promoting Exynos chips, analysts said. "(Exynos) chips are not really used anywhere else and continue to lose ground in the mobile processor market, raising concerns about the company's competitiveness," said Park Sung-soon, an analyst at Cape Investment & Securities.

(Nasdaq, Nov 05, 2019)

Away From China, Flex Commits $500 Mn Investment for India

The US-based electrical and electronics component manufacturer Flex on Monday (November 4) announced that it is planning to expand its business from China to other geographies, including India. According to the TOI report, the company has made up its mind to invest about $500 Mn (over INR 3500 Cr) to increase its manufacturing capabilities in India, and also increasing its exports from India to other markets. In the report, a Flex senior exec said the company’s president Richard Hopkins met with a group of Indian ministers including communications and IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Thursday last week and discussed the opportunities for the company, to shift its production out of China. The decision comes at a time when the China-US trade war continues to affect US-based companies in China, and vice versa. The move taken by Flex is no surprise. And, this trade war, in a way, is attracting global manufacturers to look at countries like India, Malaysia and Vietnam and others, to further expand their business. Additionally, a lot of experts believe that India has to take a quick decision and come up with a policy to compete with Vietnam and Malaysia in a bid to position itself as a global manufacturing hub. However, during their last meeting with the ministry, in October, Flex had stated it would leave India for Malaysia and requested the government to come up with suitable incentives to attract electronics component manufacturers.

(Inc 4, Nov 04, 2019)

Kalyon Enerji finds Chinese partner for 500 MW module fab in Turkey:

Turkish solar company Kalyon Enerji has reportedly secured the backing of the Chinese government to help it construct a 500 MW solar module factory. Eren Engur, CEO and founder of Turkish consultancy Icarus Energy, told pv magazine Kalyon has signed a co-operation agreement with Chinese state-owned military surveillance contractor China Electronics Technology Group Corporation. The Chinese entity operates in the solar sector through its CETC Solar Energy Holdings Co Ltd unit. The planned factory will be near Ankara and is expected to begin manufacturing activities in April. Last month, the Turkish government announced it would contribute a “super incentive” of TRL1.99 billion ($333 million) towards the project. The factory construction contract was linked to a 1 GW generation capacity solar project tendered through the YEKA renewables procurement scheme and the fab was originally planned near the city of Konya, in southwestern Turkey.

(PVR Magazine, Oct 29, 2019)

Electronics industry faces slower revenue growth: CRISIL SME tracker

The electronics industry is expected to see revenue growth decline to 15 per cent during the current fiscal year, from 19 per cent in fiscal year 2019, mainly due to slower growth in mobile phone manufacturing and consumer electronics, which together account for 54 per cent of its revenue. Small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which account for nearly a third of the industry’s revenue, with a varying share in different segments, are expected to be hit hard. These units have a huge presence in the assembly of mobile phone components and provide customised offerings in other segments. These are typically clustered around electronics hubs such as Bengaluru and Delhi-NCR, which account for more than 20 per cent of the industry’s total output.  Growth in mobile phone manufacturing is expected to moderate, as players have little incentive to move up the value chain, while growth in consumer electronics is expected to be in single digits due to a demand slowdown. Government policies in the sector have either been suspended or closed. For instance, the Phased Manufacturing Programme, which aided development of the mobile segment with a roadmap for in-house manufacturing of mobile components by imposing higher basic custom duties, remained suspended as of February 1, 2019. The programme had helped SMEs move up the value chain in the past. Other policies, such as the Modified Special Incentive Package Scheme and the Electronic Manufacturing Clusters Scheme, which provided capital subsidies and tax incentives, too, have stopped receiving applications. CRISIL Research believes the lack of such policy incentives will limit domestic value addition in the industry, which is characterized by short product lifecycles and high levels of obsolescence, and needs continuous investment in technology and process upgrades, as well as in research and development, to remain competitive.

(BS, Oct 28, 2019)

Wish to become an entrepreneur in India? Snapdeal co-founder Kunal Bahl says the best time is now

“There is no better time to be an entrepreneur in India (than now),” thinks Snapdeal co-founder Kunal Bahl. He voiced this thought at this year’s MeitY Startup Summit, which is an initiative by the Ministry of Electronics and Information. “I started my company more than ten years ago. And in the last 10 years, I have seen the tectonic plates of entrepreneurship change almost every year or two,” Bahl said. He attributes these rapid changes in the startup ecosystem to four key reasons.  - The explosion of data because of 4G: A number of businesses that he had seen or entrepreneurs he had met pursuing those businesses pre-2016 were not seeing traction despite their best efforts. “Entrepreneurs were working very hard but it was just not showing any progress. The same entrepreneurs, same business models has started working in the past two - three years. That goes to show the compounding effects of connectivity,” Bahl said.  Payments: “It has significantly increased the access to various types of software products and services for consumers across the country because now payments have become cheaper,” he said. Availability of capital: The fact that aspiring entrepreneurs can raise large amounts of money in lieu of a small amount of equity is helping. It’s helping to fuel the ecosystem. And lastly, the talent is focused on building businesses like never before. “Doing a startup is the preferred.

(ET, Oct 23, 2019)

Will another Committee bring clarity to India’s AI strategy

India is travelling toward a path where both the private and public divisions are unified in their duty to advance and upscale artificial intelligence. In the past, we have seen that the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), and the NITI Aayog have separately framed national strategy reports on AI. Different calls taken by different legislative units have prompted confounding policies, bringing about an undeniable peril of confusing execution on the part of the government. To remedy the situation, the government has created yet another committee.  As indicated by a media report, the four-member panel, framed in October 2019, will be led by the principal scientific advisor to the union government- K Vijay Raghavan, alongside secretary in the department of science and technology, CEO of NITI Aayog and secretary of MeitY. The committee will work on removing any duplication of tasks between MeitY and NITI Aayog in the field of artificial intelligence policy. Specific roles will be specified to expedite the execution of the AI policy. 

(Analytics India, Oct 23, 2019)

2019 Taiwan-India Industrial Collaboration Summit held in Taipei on October 17

The 2019 Taiwan-India Industrial Collaboration Summit was held in Taipei, Taiwan on the 17th October. Minister Shen from Ministry of Economic Affair stated there are 55 electronics industries in Taiwan, gradually forming a Taiwanese electronic supply chain settlement in central and southern India. India has become a Taiwanese business layout. Important stronghold. The Industrial Bureau pointed out that the government is assisting Taiwanese manufacturers to enter the Indian water market. In the future, India will become an emerging electronics manufacturing base. The strategy will cooperate with India to train talents in the electronics industry. The Taiwan-India Industry Chain Summit Forum has more than 250 Taiwanese officials and academic representatives. Minister Shen also stated that in 2018, Taiwanese businessmen invested 360 million U.S. dollars in India, setting a record high, while the bilateral trade volume between Taiwan and India grew year by year. At present, there are 55 Taiwanese electronics industries, which are located in the south-central India and become the Taiwanese electronics supply chain. The products include mobile phones, Netcom equipment, industrial computers, etc. The Taiwan electronics industry will be an important boost to the "Made in India" policy. Under the impact of the US trade war, the global electronic supply chain began to shift. India has become a new manufacturing base for electronic parts supply chain, including important Taiwanese companies such as Wistron, Hon Hai and Zhengyi. In recent years, it has strengthened its ability to produce electronic products in India. In southern India, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and other places, Taiwan's electronics industry corridors have formed, and more than 20 Taiwanese electronics or automobile-related industries have entered.

(Asia One, Oct 23, 2019)

China's Honor to enter India's smart TV market; to take on Xiaomi

Chinese handset maker Honor will foray into India’s smart TV market in the first quarter of 2020 and will launch competitive products to take on the likes of Xiaomi, Lenovo-Motorola and TCL.Charles Peng, Honor India President told ET that the company will price its products competitively for the Indian market, and will also launch a slew of smart devices like speakers. “We are going to partner with leading e-commerce players for our TV.”  At the ongoing India Mobile Congress 2019, Huawei’s sub-brand Honor unveiled its flagship TV, called 'Honor Vision' smart screen, which is equipped with a 55-inch 4K HDR display with 94 per cent screen-to-body ratio. It is also the world's first smart screen to carry Huawei's self-developed Harmony OS. A number of traditional handset players like One Plus and Motorola-Lenovo recently entered India's TV market in an attempt to gain a foothold amid competition from older brands such as Samsung, LG and Sony Market leader Xiaomi has taken the pole position in the online smart TV segment within a few quarters of its entry.

(ET Oct 15, 2019)

New resolution professional of Videocon seeks EoIs for 13 companies under IBC

The newly-appointed resolution professional (RP) for the Videocon group has sought expressions of interest (EoI) for 13 group companies undergoing resolution using the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), according to a document seeking bids. This comes after the Mumbai bench of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) on 8 August approved consolidation of the separate resolution processes and approved the change of RP on 25 September. The committee of creditors (CoC) led by State Bank of India (SBI) voted with a majority of 93.5% to appoint Abhijit Guhathakurta as the new RP, replacing Mahendra Khandelwal. “Pursuant to the provisions of the IBC and the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (Insolvency Resolution Process for Corporate Persons) Regulations, 2016, as amended and the NCLT Order, interested and eligible prospective resolution applicants are invited to submit expression of interest for submission of resolution plan for the consolidated corporate debtors," the document said.   Among the twenty lenders to these companies are Allahabad Bank, IDBI Bank, Indian Overseas Bank, Jammu & Kashmir Bank, Bank of Maharashtra, Bank of Baroda, United Bank of India and Canara Bank. Prior to the consolidation, claims of financial creditors of Videocon Industries stood at ₹59,451.87 crore, as on 12 November, 2018 and has not been updated since. State Bank of India’s (SBI) claims were at ₹11,175.25 crore, IDBI Bank ( ₹9,561.67 crore), Central Bank of India ( ₹5,066.77 crore). Claims of financial creditors Videocon Telecommunication Ltd, another group entity, was at ₹26,673.81 crore, with SBI being the largest claimant at ₹4,605.15 crore, as on 12 November, 2018.

(LIveMint, Oct 14, 2019)

RCEP members to sort out issues hindering trade agreement by Oct 22

A ten-day work programme has been prepared by the 16-nation RCEP grouping, which is negotiating a mega free trade agreement, to sort out pending 14 issues by October 22 that are hindering the conclusion of talks, sources said. These 14 points, which are yet to be resolved, were shared on October 12 during the ninth ministerial meet in Bangkok.  Among these points, six are specific to India and that includes data related matters under e-commerce; auto trigger concept which can be used to stop sudden surge in imports; change in base year from 2014 to 2019; and tariff differential under which India has to limit the number of goods over which it would offer different duty rates to the member countries. The other issues include ratchet mechanism, under which a nation cannot go back on the commitments made under the agreement. The RCEP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership) agreement is being negotiated among 10 ASEAN members (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam) and their six trade partners -- Australia, China, India, Japan, Korea and New Zealand.

(BS, Oct 14, 2019)

Bosch’s battery tech prevents electric shocks in the event of a crash

With more and more electric cars on the road, many drivers are increasingly uncertain about what they should or should not do in the event of a collision. Electric motors also present rescue crews with new challenges. In fact, like any other vehicle, electric vehicles are equipped with safety features for such events. For example, Bosch says its semiconductors help prevent the risk of electric shock after an accident. Specially designed microchips deactivate the vehicle’s power circuits in a fraction of a second. This enables rescue crews to set to work immediately and ensures that first responders and the vehicle’s occupants remain safe. “Our semiconductor technology plays a vital role in the safety of hybrid and electric vehicles,” says Jens Fabrowsky, member of the executive management of Bosch’s Automotive Electronics division. Bosch supplies vehicle manufacturers with semiconductor chips for incorporation in special systems that safely disconnect the battery in the event of a collision. “Faced with the growing number of electric vehicles that could potentially be involved in collisions, such systems are absolutely essential if we are to fulfil our mission of helping and rescuing victims of road accidents as rapidly and safely as possible,” adds Karl-Heinz Knorr, vice-president of the German Firefighters Association (DFV). For a lot of people, damaged cables as the result of an accident are a cause for concern: the current from the battery could leak into the metal bodywork of a hybrid or all-electric car. After all, these batteries are designed to deliver a voltage of 400 to 800 volts. But they can rest assured, says Bosch, whose semiconductor chips ensure that the high-voltage battery is automatically disconnected, so that nobody at the scene of the accident – vehicle occupants, rescue crews, first responders – comes into contact with current-carrying components.

(Autocar, Oct 13, 2019)

India Proposes Data Localisation at RCEP Citing Security Reasons

Amid the ongoing negotiations of the proposed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) trade agreement, India has proposed to locate computing facilities inside the country for security and protect national interests.  According to a media report, India said that only where it is a matter of legitimate public policy objective or necessary for protecting “security interests or national interests,” the participating countries may prevent the cross-border transfer of most pieces of information by electronic means, including personal information. In the financial services chapter of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) agreement in Vietnam, India agreed that financial services companies will be allowed to move and store data of Indians abroad last month. Yet on Friday, India came up with the new proposal to locate computing facilities inside the country on the ASEAN Package. While New Delhi supported data localisation, 14 members of the 16-country RCEP, including ASEAN, opposed data localisation. India’s proposal for data localisation is crucial as one of the April 2018 notifications of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) mandated system providers to ensure that the entire data relating to payment systems operated by them are stored in a system only in India. Furthermore, RBI clarified that a copy of domestic data can be stored abroad in the case of cross-border transactions.  In yesterday’s proposal, India also said, “no party shall have recourse to dispute settlement for any matter relating to electronic commerce arising under any of the chapters/ any provision in this agreement”.

(Inc 4, Oct 12, 2019)

Philips eyes over 50% growth in India audio biz next year

Consumer electronics major Philips on Friday said it expects to see its audio business in India grow by over 50 per cent next year as it expands its portfolio and brings in more 'Made for India' products. Last year, Taiwan-based TPV Technology had received the rights for Philips' TV range as well as audio products for the Indian market that includes aspects like manufacturing, marketing and sales. "While we are resolving a lot of the old issues but at the same time in the last six months, we have managed to expand our retail presence and our audio products are present in almost 30,000-35,000 outlets...We expect to grow by more than 50 per cent within the audio segment next year," Arun Menon, Country Business Head Philips Television and Audio, TPV Technology said. This will be driven by categories like earphones, headphones, sound bars and wireless in general, he said adding that the company is looking at growth rates of 25-26 per cent this year. Menon noted that the audio market in the country is dominated by unbranded products. He estimated that while the market opportunity is well over USD 1 billion in size, around 30 per cent of this is branded players. "About 3 years ago, audio products were all about home audio like sound bars and that category was also almost stagnant. However, with increase in mobility, there has been a strong shift towards earphones, headphones and wireless products," he explained.

(ET, Oct 11, 2019)

India Could Establish Itself As A Leader For The Region In Energy Storage

US energy storage major AES Corporation recently installed India's first grid scale energy storage unit with Tata Power. Andres Gluski, President and CEO of this Fortune 500 company, talks to Business Today's Anilesh S. Mahajan about the global energy storage market and how India - with its ambitious solar energy and electric vehicle plans - can gain from the latest trends.  The time for the energy storage technology has come. The price is a critical part of this equation across the world. In the last five years, it has come down by about 70 per cent and, with this, we are already seeing the market taking off. Globally, five years ago, a total of 200 MW energy storage (grid connected) was installed. Last year, the figure reached 4 GW. This is a factor of 20. Some markets are much more advanced and some are laggards, but there is no dispute that this technology is fundamental to the grid of the future.

BT- 06-09-2019

No slowdown in B2B segment; govt orders have revived: LG

Korean consumer electronics major LG Electronics said there is no slowdown in institutional sales in India and the stalled government projects during the election have revived boosting prospects for its business-to-business (B2B) sales in the country. LG Electronics India senior director (B2B) R. Zutshi said there is not much slowdown in B2B orders and government purchases, which had slowed down between March to June due to general election, has started to pick up now. “Retail and corporate sectors are digitising and new workspaces are getting created where there is huge scope for B2B products,” he said. Zutshi said areas like flexible office space and airport modernisation will boost B2B business since LG is a major supplier for such projects and also has a memorandum of understanding with the Airports Authority of India. “We have a healthy order book,” he said.  LG India, which has a dominating market share in home appliances such as refrigerators and washing machines and is the second largest brand in television, is now targeting 30% growth in the B2B business in India this calendar y .. 

(ET, Aug 28, 2019)

West Bengal could get 1.7 GW of solar but coal will reign for at least 30 years

A state minister on Saturday revealed West Bengal could be in line for 1.7 GW of new solar generation capacity under two project proposals. Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay, minister-in-charge of the state’s Department of Power and Non-conventional Energy Sources, made the announcement at the tenth Energy Enclave event, organized by the Confederation of Indian Industries in Kolkata. “West Bengal has received [a] proposal from a private investor for an 800 MW solar power project with an investment of Rs3,000 crore,” said Chattopadhyay, adding: “The state is also collaborating with Japan for a 900 MW renewable power project.” The minister also hinted at a policy of mandating compulsory electric vehicle charging stations at shopping malls and housing complexes. Elsewhere at the event, NS Nigam, secretary of transport and managing director of the West Bengal Transport Corporation said: “Keeping in mind affordability and [the] mobility of commuters, the government is in the process of introducing a total of 80 electric buses in Kolkata, of which 40 have been launched and 20 more would be done in the next months to come.”  he roll out of green energy corridors and planning of an improved electricity transmission network are under way, Prakash Mhaske, chairman of the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) told the event, which had as its theme ‘Unwinding [the] power sector: Achieving quality with digitization, technology, reliability and efficiency’. However, in a sobering special address, NTPC chairman and managing director Gurdeep Singh said coal use “cannot be wished away” in the next three decades and the challenge would be to keep the highly polluting fossil fuel “clean”. Singh said artificial intelligence and digitization could help towards that ambition, presumably thus prolonging the burning of coal for 30 years.

(PV Magazine, Aug 26, 2019)

Jharkhand reissues 2 MW canal solar tender after six-month interval

After attracting only one bidder for a 2 MW, grid-connected canal solar project auction that closed in February, the Jharkhand Renewable Energy Development Agency (JREDA) has reissued the tender. The estimated Rs15.06 crore contract will include design, engineering, procurement, supply, construction and commissioning of the project on the canal at Sikidiri village, as well as operations and maintenance for a decade. No maximum price has been set for the energy generated by the project and the successful developer will have six months to complete installation. Interested developers have until September 11 to register bids. JREDA said the second attempt to attract bidders had been delayed by national elections in April and May. The state agency was last week forced to extend a deadline for bidders to manage installation of 11,000 solar street lights. The deadline for that tender – for the supply, installation, testing and commissioning of the lights as well as a five-year maintenance contract – was put back from last Monday until September 4.

(PV Magazine, Aug 26, 2019)

North Korea launches short-range missiles again, complicating US attempts for talks

North Korea fired what appear to be two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea off its east coast on Saturday, the South Korean military said, the latest in a series of launches in recent weeks. A U.S. official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the two missiles North Korea had fired appeared to be similar to launches in recent weeks. Saturday’s launch, the seventh by North Korea since U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met at the inter-Korean border in June, have complicated attempts to restart talks between U.S. and North Korean negotiators over the future of Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programmes. The two leaders agreed to restart working-level negotiations in June, but since then the United States has so far been unsuccessful in attempts to get talks going. U.S. envoy on North Korea Stephen Biegun was in Seoul this week to discuss ways to get negotiations back on track.

(FE, Aug 24, 2019)

Pakistan continues to remain on the Enhanced blacklist of FATF

Ahead of the October meeting, in a major setback, Pakistan has failed to meet the standards set by Asia Pacific Group (APG) of Financial Action Task Force (FATF), and has to remain on the grey list. The APG which is which is a global watchdog for terror funding and money laundering has now put the neighboring country in the Enhanced Expedited Follow Up List (Blacklist) as it was unable to comply with the standards set by the body. In a seven-hour meeting spread over two days in Canberra, Australia, out of the 40 compliance parameters of terror financing and money laundering, Pakistan was non-compliant on just 32. The APG has firmly put Pakistan in the dock. It has adjudged Pakistan being non-compliant on 32 of the 40 compliance parameters and 10 out of the 11 effectiveness parameters. On 11 effectiveness parameters of terror financing and money laundering, Pakistan was adjudged as low on 10. The official said despite its efforts, Pakistan could not convince the 41-member plenary to upgrade it on any parameter. According to officials, with the October meeting just a month later, Pakistan which has been letting terrorists use its soil for terror attacks has to now focus on FATF’s 27 point action plan if it was to get off the blacklist. “The listing of Pakistan by the Asia Pacific group in the FATF will tantamount to vindication that Pakistan has definitely involved in money laundering and terror financing activities and could lead to them being blacklisted by the FATF in its October meeting in Paris. Instead of fighting and controlling terrorists Pakistan has only taken proforma action against major terrorists through fake FIRs but this will eventually hurt them irreparably. It has failed on almost all parameters. This could endanger the IMF bailout package,” says Ambassador Anil Trigunayat.

FE, Aug 23, 2019)

Cerebra undertakes 15,00,000 KGs of EPR commitment of SAMSUNG as it's EPR client for the FY 2019-20

Cerebra Integrated Technologies Limited is pleased to announce that it has undertook part of SAMSUNG India Electronics Limited's (SEIL) EPR commitment for the current fiscal year (FY 2019-20) as its major client as a Producer Responsibility Organization (PRO). Cerebra has undertaken a commitment of collecting and recycling Consumer Electrical & Electronics Waste (CEEW - TVs, Refrigerators and Washing Machines) target of 15,00,000 KGs after obtaining its recycling licence capacity enhancement to 20,000 MTs/Annum from Karnataka State Pollution Control Board for Cerebra's E Waste recycling facility at Narsapura. Cerebra has been entrusted by Samsung this fiscal year with a higher task of 15000 metric tons and creating awareness amongst consumers for giving the end of life products for recycling. Cerebra will collect end of life Samsung products back from the consumer to recycle at Cerebra's recycling plant at Narasapura, Kolar District near Bangalore. Cerebra Integrated Technologies Limited has geared up by having dedicated PRO collection centers as approved by Samsung (SEIL) in Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad regions. These offices will serve as dedicated collection centres for mainly Samsung (SEIL). With the existing network of channel partners in South India, Cerebra is geared to complete the collection target of 15000 tons within the stipulated time.

(Equity Bulls, Aug 17, 2019)

Vikram Sarabhai founder of ISRO 100th Birthday: All you need to know

Vikram Sarabhai was a great scientist and institutional builder who had established several institutions in various fields. One of his greatest achievements is the establishment of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). In 1947, he came back to India from Cambridge and persuaded the charitable trust that is controlled by his family and friends near his home in Ahmedabad. He established Physical Research Laboratory (PRL) in Ahmedabad on 11 November, 1947 which was the first laboratory of independent India. He came to India when India got its independence and so, he felt the need for better scientific facilities. For this, he established The Physical Research Laboratory (PRL) in Ahmedabad in November 1947.  The founding director of PRL is K.R Ramanathan, an atmospheric scientist. Under his guidance the institute became the leading organisation of cosmic rays and space sciences. He is the founding director of Indian institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabad. In 1961, with the help of businessman Kasturbhai Lalbhai he set up an institute of learning. He played a crucial role in establishing the Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology University (CEPT University) in Ahmedabad in 1962. University offers courses for undergraduate and postgraduate programs in subjects like architecture, planning and technology. He established the Nehru Foundation for Development in 1965 which focus on the current problems of society and individual development.

(Jagran, Aug 12, 2019)

Govt steps to safeguard e-shoppers may hit cos

The department of consumer affairs is proposing a slew of measures to protect the interest of online shoppers, which may have an impact on operations of e-commerce players across e-tail, online travel and food delivery. The proposals include disclosing terms of contract between the merchant and the marketplace and details of the merchant like contacta, to make them accountable for delivery of fake goods. E-commerce entities are also not allowed to influence prices. The notification comes even as government is considering the draft e-commerce policy, which is expected to be implemented next year, while this policy could take shape sooner. The department of consumer affairs has issued a notification and is open for consultation until September 16. “These rules can be implemented under the Consumer Protection Act 1986 or the new Consumer Protection Bill pending in the Rajya Sabha, independent of the e-commerce policy and can be fine-tuned once the e-commerce policy is finalized as the enforcement of the policy anyway will lie with the respective domain ministries,” said  Sachin Taparia of Local Circles. While several proposals in the notification like protection of consumer data and influencing prices are a repeat from draft e-commerce policy, there are some new measures being proposed as well. These include disclosure of non-commercial terms regarding refund, warranty and delivery between an e-commerce platform and merchant to “enable consumers to make informed decisions”. E-commerce platforms will also have a secondary liability if they have vouched for authenticity of goods and give refunds within 14 days, besides providing contact details of ‘Grievance Officer’

(ET, Aug 06, 2019)

Companies cut down production and imports of TV sets by 20%

Consumer electronics companies in India including Sony, Panasonic and BPL have cut down on their local production or imports of television sets by as much as 20% ahead of the big shopping season, as slow sales in recent months have caused a pile up of inventory. These companies have slowed production since June-July as television sales remained flat with even the cricket World Cup failing to boost demand, three senior industry executives said. The companies are saddled with stocks that they had built up expecting strong sales during the ICC World Cup that ended on July 14, the executives said. While the industry hopes demand for TVs to improve in the festive period starting next month, it is also closely tracking sales of home appliances like washing machine. Washing machine sales, which usually peak during monsoon, were dull last month. If sales don’t revive in August, the segment too would likely see production cuts, the executives said. “The demand for TV continues to be sluggish. July was another slow month post weak demand during the World Cup. We have cut TV production by 10-15%,” said Panasonic India chief executive Manish Sharma.

(ET, Aug 06, 2019)

Govt steps to safeguard e-shoppers may hit cos

The department of consumer affairs is proposing a slew of measures to protect the interest of online shoppers, which may have an impact on operations of e-commerce players across e-tail, online travel and food delivery. The proposals include disclosing terms of contract between the merchant and the marketplace and details of the merchant like contacta, to make them accountable for delivery of fake goods. E-commerce entities are also not allowed to influence prices. The notification comes even as government is considering the draft e-commerce policy, which is expected to be implemented next year, while this policy could take shape sooner. The department of consumer affairs has issued a notification and is open for consultation until September 16. “These rules can be implemented under the Consumer Protection Act 1986 or the new Consumer Protection Bill pending in the Rajya Sabha, independent of the e-commerce policy and can be fine-tuned once the e-commerce policy is finalized as the enforcement of the policy anyway will lie with the respective domain ministries,” said  Sachin Taparia of Local Circles. While several proposals in the notification like protection of consumer data and influencing prices are a repeat from draft e-commerce policy, there are some new measures being proposed as well. These include disclosure of non-commercial terms regarding refund, warranty and delivery between an e-commerce platform and merchant to “enable consumers to make informed decisions”. E-commerce platforms will also have a secondary liability if they have vouched for authenticity of goods and give refunds within 14 days, besides providing contact details of ‘Grievance Officer’

(ET, Aug 06, 2019)

Indian customers against use of technology to track buying patterns: Verint survey

As many as 77 per cent of Indian consumers in a recent survey believe that organisations collect too much data about them and 74 per cent were against the use of technology tools to assess their buying patterns. A survey conducted by Verint Systems across 18 countries and 34,000 consumers highlighted how an 'always on' era has led to explosion of unstructured data from digital channels of customer engagement. In India, more than 2000 consumers who have access to a digital platform took part in the research to reveal their assessment on issues like how customers perceive data privacy, their readiness to accept data breach, and use of technology to analyse customers' buying patterns, a Verint statement said. As per the findings, nearly 77 per cent of the Indian respondents agreed that organisations collect too much data about them and 74 per cent of the Indian respondents said it is "creepy" to use technology to analyse their buying patterns and preferences, the statement noted.  "Out of the 18 surveyed countries, Indian customers take lead as 73 per cent of the respondents voted in favour of actively avoiding brands that use technology to analyse and track their buying/engagement patterns," it added. 

(ET, Aug 05, 2019)

Paytm Payment Gateway has launched bulk payment facilities

Paytm Payment Gateway which is owned by One97 Communications has launched bulk payments facilities for its merchant partners, using which they can send payments to multiple bank accounts at one go thereby catering to payment requirements for vendors, employees, suppliers, partners and others. This is part of the Noida headquartered company’s plans to expand its scope of operations for partner businesses. The solution will be enabled with modules such as beneficiary management, validation services and bulk disbursement among others, said the company in a note. The company will provide a payment gateway dashboard from where merchants can transfer funds across various destinations like bank accounts, UPI and wallets. “There is a large number of regular payments made by businesses (both B2B and B2C) such as salaries, reimbursements, incentives, instant refunds, prize money for winning games, vendor payments, meal benefits and others,” said Puneet Jain, vice president, Paytm Payment Gateway.

(ET, Aug 05, 2019)

Metro Cash & Carry partner’s ePay Later to digitise kirana stores

Wholesale retailer Metro Cash & Carry on Monday announced partnership with fintech startup ePayLater to help kirana shops digitise their business using smartphones. As part of its next phase of kirana digitisation program, Metro in association with ePayLater has co-created a mobile application 'Digital Shop' to digitise kirana shops' business operation instantly without any additional investment, a joint statement said. Through this app, kirana shop owners can digitally track their daily and monthly sales, manage inventory, place orders with Metro and also pay digitally, it added. "The Digital Shop initiative is aligned with Government of India's impetus to digitize small retailers and shopkeepers, and aim to help facilitate a more level-playing field for these small and independent businesses for their continued success," Metro Cash & Carry India MD & CEO Arvind Mediratta said. The app will also provide analytics to kirana owners such as inventory consumption patterns and the fast and slow-moving products that will optimise kirana's product mix and eventually help in improving their revenues and margins, the statement said. Metro Cash & Carry entered the Indian market in 2003 and currently operates 27 wholesale distribution centres. Globally, it operates in 26 countries with over 760 wholesale markets and employs about 105,000 people. 

(ET, Aug 05, 2019)

Indian customers against use of technology to track buying patterns - Verint survey

As many as 77 per cent of Indian consumers in a recent survey believe that organisations collect too much data about them and 74 per cent were against the use of technology tools to assess their buying patterns. A survey conducted by Verint Systems across 18 countries and 34,000 consumers highlighted how an 'always on' era has led to explosion of unstructured data from digital channels of customer engagement. In India, more than 2000 consumers who have access to a digital platform took part in the research to reveal their assessment on issues like how customers perceive data privacy, their readiness to accept data breach, and use of technology to analyse customers' buying patterns, a Verint statement said. As per the findings, nearly 77 per cent of the Indian respondents agreed that organisations collect too much data about them and 74 per cent of the Indian respondents said it is "creepy" to use technology to analyse their buying patterns and preferences, the statement noted.  "Out of the 18 surveyed countries, Indian customers take lead as 73 per cent of the respondents voted in favour of actively avoiding brands that use technology to analyse and track their buying/engagement patterns," it added. 

(ET, Aug 05, 2019)

Not Just Rafales: The Blockbuster Acquisitions That Are Driving India’s Military Modernisation

Here, we take a look at some of the most advanced military technology that New Delhi has, in recent years, loosened its purse strings to acquire. India inked a deal with the United States worth $750 million in November 2016 for the procurement of 145 ultra-light howitzers (M777), to be manufactured by BAE Systems. India had struck a deal worth $3.1 billion in 2015 for the procurement of 22 Boeing AH-64E Apache Longbow attack helicopters along with 15 Chinook heavy-lift choppers. In early 2019, India entered into a contract with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) worth $93 million for the provision of Naval MSRAMs, including maintenance services

On Wednesday, the first batch of Dassault Rafale aircraft completed their 7,000km journey across the world to their new home in the Indian sub-continent, marking a new era of modernisation in the IAF's history. The induction of the five Rafale jets, and the 31 more to arrive in the next few years, is part of a larger drive toward military modernisation that India has embarked upon. 

(IDN, July 31, 2020)

Hewlett Packard Enterprise to invest $500 million for India growth

Hewlett Packard Enterprises (HPE) will invest $500 million in India over the next five years to grow its operations and begin manufacturing in the country. HPE said it would begin building a high-tech extension to its campus in Mahadevapura, in Bengaluru, that will be able to house more than 10,000 employees as well as state-ofthe-art R&D facilities.  “India is one of the largest and fastest-growing economies in the world, and our investments will further develop the country as a critical market for HPE’s global business, as well as benefit our customers, partners, employees and the citizens of India,” said Antonio Neri, president and CEO of HPE and a member of the US-India CEO Forum. The company said it would start manufacturing Aruba’s portfolio of mobility and IoT solutions in India before year-end. In the budget, the government said it was looking to boost electronics manufacturing and said it would launch a scheme to invite global companies to set up mega manufacturing plants.  “It is great assurance that a global giant like Hewlett Packard Enterprise is making big investments in India, both in manufacturing as well as research and development,” said Ravi Shankar Prasad, minister for communication, electronics & IT. “It shows the rising confidence of global investors in India's growing electronics manufacturing sector and success of Digital India.” 

(ET, July 25, 2019)

E-waste Recycling 101: Where to Donate Your Old Electronics, Phones in India

Managing plastic waste has become a critical part of our discourse on waste management, and that’s a positive thing. However, e-waste must also enter that critical conversation as it contains heavy metals and other toxic chemicals like mercury, lead, and sulphur that pose a real danger to our environment. According to the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India, the country is expected to produce 3.3 million tonnes of e-waste containing toxic metals and chemicals by the end of 2018.

(The Better India, June 25, 2019)

India plans to offer incentives to companies moving from China

India is weighing offering incentives to attract companies moving out of China amid its trade war with the US, a person familiar with the development said. Financial incentives such as preferential tax rates and the tax holiday provided by Vietnam to lure companies are among measures being considered, the person said, asking not to be identified as the discussion is still private. Industries identified for incentives include electronics, consumer appliances, electric vehicles, footwear and toys, according to a trade ministry document seen by Bloomberg. Economies, including Vietnam and Malaysia, have benefited from businesses trying to sidestep tariffs, while India has largely missed out on any investment gains. The trade ministry’s effort is part of a larger plan to cut reliance on imports, while boosting exports, and needs Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s approval. The trade ministry didn’t immediately respond to an email and a call seeking comment. Other measures include setting up affordable industrial zones across India’s coastline and giving preference to local manufacturers in government procurement as an incentive to win over companies looking for an alternative production base, according to the trade ministry document circulated to stakeholders.

(Livemint, June 25, 2019)

MSMEs file 668 plaints against BSNL to recover dues

As many as 668 complaints have been filed by the micro, small and medium businesses (MSME) against the state-controlled Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), a highest for any Central public sector enterprise, to recover their outstanding, following government’s non-clearance of Rs 3,300 credit to the telco. Of the 668 grievances, only one has been resolved so far while 27 of them have been rejected, according to the MSME Samadhaan, a delayed payment monitoring system maintained by the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.  The state-owned operator, which is seeing squeezed cash flow over the last few months on the back of non-availability of competitive fourth-generation or 4Gservices and stalled government-funded programs have so far not received sanction for Rs 3,300 crore worth loan from the government. In addition, BSNL had sought Rs 2,400 crore as interest on the Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) spectrum and Rs 2,300 crore as excess sum taken by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) towards pension contribution from 2007 onwards which has also been dragged despite the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) intervention.

(ET, June 24, 2019)

Sony India expects up to 15 pc sales growth this year

Consumer electronics major SonyIndia is eyeing sales growth of 10-15 per cent this fiscal, snapping two years of de-growth, led by its premium TV range, audio products and cameras, a top company official said. Sony India expects contribution from segments such as audio products and digital imaging to rise. The company's revenue at present is mainly led by the TV category.  "I am expecting a growth of 10 to 15 per cent this year considering all the categories. If we are able to deliver that, then we would be in a very good spot," Sony India Managing Director Sunil Nayyar told in an interview.  According to him, there is a "positivity in the market" being seen after a long time. Presently, Sony India gets around 65 per cent revenue from the TV segment, 15 per cent from audio, 10 per cent from camera and rest 10 per cent from other verticals.  "Two years back, contribution of TV was 80 per cent," he said, adding, "We are making a shift and balanced portfolio in the country, which is profitable and driving the growth of the industry." The company is quite encouraged by the sales of its premium range of TV panels and headphones (both normal and wireless) and digital imaging products.  In the TV market, Sony India is now focusing on the premium segment, which brings higher margins.  Asked whether Sony TV sales in the mass market have been impacted due to aggressive pricing and competition from new entrants, Nayyar said, "Yes, they came and the price was driven down. It definitely impacted us (in 32-inch segment)." 

(ET, June 24, 2019)

Continental Displays Futuristic Mobility Technologies And We Ride Their Electric Scooter

Continental Automotive India showcased its technologies through an event held in Bangalore today. The event named Tech Tatva held at Continental's campus at Electronic City in Bangalore was a combined effort made by all the departments and subsidiaries of the German brand to showcase all the futuristic technologies they have been working on. The exhibition was an internal exhibition and did not involve outsiders. Continental is one of the world's leading automotive component suppliers. Continental's reach among the masses is to the extent that almost all cars out on the road would have at least one component manufactured by Continental. The German marque is essentially focused on the development and supply of electrical components and software systems as well. Major automotive brands across the world rely on Continental for their reliable ECUs, turbochargers, fuel-injection systems, electronic hardware, automotive computing systems, etc. At Tech Tatva, Continental displayed all of their technology currently being used in the market as well as those that are yet to be launched. This meant, the best automotive technologies for internal combustion engine as well as for electric vehicles were under one roof.

(, June 23, 2019)

Sony India expects up to 15% sales growth this year

Consumer electronics major Sony India is eyeing sales growth of 10-15% this fiscal, snapping two years of de-growth, led by its premium TV range, audio products and cameras, a top company official said. Sony India expects contribution from segments such as audio products and digital imaging to rise. The company's revenue at present is mainly led by the TV category. "I am expecting a growth of 10-15% this year considering all the categories. If we are able to deliver that, then we would be in a very good spot," Sony India Managing Director Sunil Nayyar told PTI in an interview. According to him, there is a "positivity in the market" being seen after a long time. Presently, Sony India gets around 65% revenue from the TV segment, 15% from audio, 10% from camera and rest 10% from other verticals. "Two years back, contribution of TV was 80%," he said, adding, "We are making a shift and balanced portfolio in the country, which is profitable and driving the growth of the industry." The company is quite encouraged by the sales of its premium range of TV panels and headphones (both normal and wireless) and digital imaging products. In the TV market, Sony India is now focusing on the premium segment, which brings higher margins. Asked whether Sony TV sales in the mass market have been impacted due to aggressive pricing and competition from new entrants, Nayyar said, "Yes, they came and the price was driven down. It definitely impacted us (in 32-inch segment)."

(Livemint, June 23, 2019)

India and Australia could strike first lithium deal

India and Australia are joining forces in a deal which could see Australian lithium used in the first Indian refinery to produce battery-grade material for electric cars. Neometals, an Australian company with an interest in the Mount Marion lithium mine near Kalgoorlie in Western Australia, has partnered with New Delhi’s Manikaran Power to fund a feasibility study into developing India’s first lithium refinery. The study could take 18-24 months and is expected to make an investment decision in first half of 2021. Australia has lithium reserves of an estimated 2.7 million tonnes, mostly in the state of Western Australia, near state capital Perth. Thus far, most of the nation’s lithium projects have been with Chinese and American partners and the proposed tie-up could lead to the first lithium deal between an Australian and Indian company. If the lithium project study results in a 50:50 joint venture, the Australian company would provide its skills in mining and early-stage processing of lithium ore with its Indian partner taking the lead in financing at least half the capital cost as well as securing regulatory approvals. “Neometals and Manikaran hold a common belief in the future demand for lithium driven by the electrification of transport and storage of renewable energy,” said Chris Reed, CEO of Neometals, in an announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange yesterday. “Given India’s growth projections for electric vehicle and lithium battery manufacturing capacity, this opportunity to partner in India’s first domestic lithium development and potentially realize value from downstream processing [of] our off take option from Mount Marion is compelling. Manikaran has significant on-the-ground presence and commercial standing in India to assist with site location, regulations, access to finance, utilities and reagents, and is part of a group of companies with broad competencies that enhance their value proposition as partners.”

(PV Magazine, June 21, 2019)

Longi to spend $349m on new 5 GW module fab in Taizhou

Chinese solar manufacturer Longi Solar is set to splash another RMB2.4 billion (Rs.2,432 crore) on expanding its mono silicon module production capacity, this time in the Chinese city of Taizhou. The Shanghai-listed solar giant revealed plans to expand its annual production capacity for high efficiency modules with a new factory, warehouse and ancillary facilities to extend its existing base in the city district of Hailing. In an update to the Shanghai exchange on Saturday, Longi admitted: “The above investment in the project may cause pressure on the company’s cash flow” but the mono giant pledged to arrange all necessary funding. Longi Green Energy Technology Co Ltd said the new facilities would “gradually start production in 2020” and, more specifically, no later than six months from now and added full production would be in place no later than two years from now. The stock market update revealed Longi signed a deal a week ago with the people’s government of the district of Hailing under which the solar manufacturer would fund the new fab and own the production equipment while leasing the buildings from the local authority for 20 years before having the option of purchasing the structures or renewing the lease.

(PV Magazine, June 21, 2019)

Railway Energy tenders 140 MW hybrid project capacities

Ministry of Railways joint venture the Railway Energy Management Company has invited bids to develop 140 MW of solar-wind hybrid generation projects. Energy generated by the project capacity, which would be connected to either the inter or intrastate transmission system, will be sold for a maximum tariff of Rs2.70/kWh. The projects that make up the capacity target can be developed anywhere in India although the energy generated will be purchased by the railway zones of Gujarat (Western Railways), Karnataka (Southwestern Railways) and Madhya Pradesh (Western Central Railways), which will enter power purchase agreements with successful bidders. The hybrid project capacity breaks down as 18 MW of solar and 52 MW of wind for Madhya Pradesh, 14 MW of solar and 41 MW of wind for Gujarat plus 3 MW of solar and 12 MW of wind for Karnataka.  The Railway Energy Management Company said bidders would have to compete for the entire capacity of a zone and may also bid for all the capacity on offer, with a bid submission deadline of July 23.Last month, under the auspices of the Indian Railway Solar Mission, Northern Railways invited bids for 133 rooftop solar systems with a capacity no larger than 10 kW and a further 677 five-kilowatt rooftop arrays for a total tender capacity of 4,715 kW.

(PV Magazine, June 21, 2019)

Five ways to safely dispose of your electronic waste

Rapid advances in technology mean electronic devices become obsolete very quickly, often within 2 years. Rising income levels and the relative affordability of electronics allow more and more people to purchase electronic goods. Disposing of obsolete devices is a challenge because they contain lead, beryllium, brominated flame retardants, mercury, cadmium, and other deadly chemicals. When e-waste is disposed of in landfills, these chemicals can seep into the ground contaminating water used to supply homes and much else. In India, approximately 2 million tons of e-waste is generated annually of which nearly 82% comprises of personal devices such as mobile phones, tablets, laptops, desktops, and screens. Globally India is the 5th largest producer of e-waste. Annually only 1.5% of e-waste generated in India is recycled- the unorganized sector is a major culprit behind improper disposal of e-waste. If e-waste is simply stored it doesn't pose any hazard, however, when it is improperly handled and disposed of the chemicals it contains pose a serious hazard. Not only does improper handling of e-waste allow dangerous chemicals to seep into the soil and groundwater, but it also leads to wastage of base metals which can be reused. Thankfully, there are steps people can take to dispose of e-waste in an environmentally friendly manner.

(Business Today, June 20, 2019)

Adani Renewable bags 600 MW wind-solar hybrid project

The Adani Renewable Energy Park (Gujarat) unit of Adani Green Energy Limited, has bagged 600 MW of wind-solar hybrid project capacity auctioned by the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI). Adani will supply electricity for Rs2.69/kWh for 25 years under a power purchase agreement and the project capacity is expected to be commissioned by 2022. “Adani Renewable Energy Park (Gujarat) Ltd (AREPGL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Adani Green Energy, had won bids for setting up 600 MW ISTS [inter-state transmission system] connected wind-solar hybrid power projects in a tender issued by SECI,” the company said yesterday in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange. With the project, Adani’s portfolio of renewable generation capacity in India stands at 5.16 GW with 2.02 GW of operational projects and 3.14 GW in its development pipeline. Last month, Adani’s Gujarat unit won the bid for setting up a 250 MW wind power project auctioned by SECI while Adani Green Energy (UP) commissioned a 50 MW solar project in Uttar Pradesh. Headquartered in Ahmedabad, parent Adani Group has operational solar capacity of 1.2 GW with 810 MW under implementation. Besides PV plants in Punjab, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu, the company has also set up a 1.2 GW solar cell and module manufacturing unit in Mundra, Gujarat. The company aims to install 10 GW of renewable generation capacity by 2022.

(PV Magazine, June 20, 2019)

750 MW Rajasthan tender attracts low bids of Rs 2.5/kWh

The latest 750 MW solar auction for Rajasthan saw state-owned power generator NTPC, Mahindra Susten, Hero Future Energies and Azure Power making lowest bids of Rs2.5/kWh each. The four developers bid for a cumulative capacity of 710 MW in the reverse auction conducted by Solar Energy Corporation of India. Hero Future Energies bid for 250 MW, Mahindra Susten 200 MW, NTPC 160 MW and Azure Power Maple 100 MW at tariffs of Rs2.5/kWh each, reported PTI. The previous 750 MW solar auction in the state attracted the lowest bid of Rs2.48/kWh from Acme Solar, the developer which equaled the nation’s record low tariff of Rs2.44 in July last year. That benchmark had been set in May 2017, in a SECI auction for capacity at the Bhadla Solar Park. Rajasthan has an installed solar capacity of approximately 3 GW and a development pipeline of around 1.5 GW. The Ministry of New & Renewable Energy has estimated the state has the potential to host 142 GW of solar capacity, the highest level in India. The low levels of tariffs stem from Rajasthan’s potential for solar power generation. Highest irradiation in the country and easy availability of wasteland make the state the ideal place for setting up solar projects.

(PV Magazine, June 20, 2019)

Auto cos look to pare EV HR costs by reskilling

Automobile sales may be falling, but the demand for skilled professionals in the electric vehicles (EV) sector is rising. The likes of Tata Motors NSE 0.09 %, Maruti Suzuki NSE -0.27 %, Mahindra & Mahindra and Continental India are feeling the pinch. These companies — gearing up to meet demand for EVs — are building a talent pool by aggressively reskilling existing workforce and by training fresh graduates.  Only 30,000 EV experts are currently employed across companies in the sector, with recruitment and staffing firms Xpheno and Team Lease Services pegging the shortage at about 40%. “Many parallel projects that have kicked off at the same time have placed a sudden demand on this niche talent pool, leading to some unmet demand for good talent in the EV space,” said Shailesh Chandra, president, electric mobility business and corporate strategy, Tata Motors.  The EV industry needs people with know-how from multiple disciplines including power electronics, mechanical, electro-chemistry and embedded software. “EV research and development being a technology of interdisciplinary sciences, there is a pertinent challenge to acquire talent in the domains,” said Rajeshwar Tripathi, chief people officer, Mahindra & Mahindra. 

(ET, June 15, 2019)

Commerce Minister reviews Free trade pacts

Commerce & Industry Minister Piyush Goyal has reviewed India’s free trade agreements (FTAs) with partner countries such as Japan, South Korea, Sri Lanka and the 10-member ASEAN to identify problem areas for the Indian industry and the opportunities they could offer.  “The Minister reviewed in details the impact of the existing FTAs on the Indian industry and the extent to which the partner countries had gained from it. The idea was to explore if there are ways in which concerns of the Indian industry could be addressed and what should negotiators look out for in future pacts,” a government official told BusinessLine. While the BJP-led government did not sign any new FTA in its first stint in the last five years, Indian industry has been complaining about the ones signed in the past as they gave access to products from competing countries to Indian markets at preferential interest rates. Indian exporters, on the other hand, have not been able to utilise the FTAs well because of lack of awareness, complicated rules of origin requirements and other technical issues.

(BusinessLine, June 12, 2019)

Racing towards sustainable solutions

Artemis, an assembled-in-Mumbai electric racing car, that can attain speeds from 0 to 100 kmph in four seconds flat, was unveiled by students of K.J. Somaiya College of Engineering on Monday. Created by a group of 60 engineering students, who are a part of the Orion Racing India (ORI) team, Artemis, will represent India at the Formula Race Car Student Competition to be held at Hockenheimring, Germany from August 5 to 11. The race is hosting 120 teams from across the world this year and aims at challenging team members to go the extra step by building, manufacturing and considering the economic aspects of the automotive industry.  Of the total five teams from India, ORI and D.J. Sanghvi College of Engineering are the only two from Mumbai. The latter is participating in the combustion engine category. Others include, IIT-Delhi with its electric racing car, Shrimati Kashibai Navalur College of Engineering, Pune, IIT-Madras and Vellore Institute of Technology for the combustible engine power racing cars. Team Orion has been representing Mumbai and has won several competitions nationwide and globally since 2006 with their combustion engine cars. Artemis, an electrical single-seater vehicle can go up to 35 kms in a single charge. The team, comprising of engineering students from different streams, manufactured the entire electrical vehicle from scratch to go the eco-friendly way over the last 15 months.

(The Hindu, June 11, 2019)

Asus targets 15-20% slice of consumer-notebook pie

Taiwan-based gadget-maker Asus is targeting 15-20 per cent market share in the overall consumer notebook segment by the end of this calendar year. The company on Tuesday added two models to its affordable Vivo Book laptops, one of which was launched in partnership with Flipkart. “In terms of overall consumer notebooks’ share, we are at 11.9 per cent in India as per Microsoft data,” said Leon Yu, Regional Head, India and South Asia, Asus. Laptops from the Vivo Book series broadly fall under the ‘thin and light’ segment.’ “In thin and light, we are the number one brand in India. Currently, we are at around 25 per cent (market share) in the segment. Our target is to reach 40 per cent by end of 2019,” Yu said. These figures are for across the thin and light segment, spanning budget laptops to premium models. “Earlier, thin and light was considered a very premium segment. Last year, we were the first brand to introduce thin and light under Rs. 30,000,” Yu added .Adarsh K Menon, Vice-President- electronics, private labels, and furniture at Flipkart, said that the e-commerce company has worked closely with Asus for the new Vivo Book. “Because we sit on such a treasure trove of real-time customer information and preferences, we are able to work with partners like Asus and share that information with them and participate in the product design process,” Menon said.

(BusinessLine, June 11, 2019)

India is in 'satyug' under Modi government: Vedanta Chairman

Anil Agarwal, the scrap metal dealer turned billionaire metals tycoon, says Prime Minister Narendra Modi should tap underground resources, grant autonomy to public sector firms and banks and extend up to Rs 2 lakh loan to all Aadhaar card holders to eradicate poverty and create jobs. India, he says, is in 'satyug' under the Modi government where coteries have been demolished and only performance recognized.  In an interview to PTI, the ebullient billionaire said district collectors should be made business development managers to develop tourism and industry while monuments, forts and beaches should be made autonomous to generate revenue and employment.  "Indian story is the story of the famous movie 'Mother India' where the farmer would grow 100 quintals of food grain but 80 quintals would be taken away by the moneylender. The same is the case with India where we spend 50% of our revenues on imports. Then there are interest payments (on debt), leaving almost nothing," he said.

(DNA, June 09, 2019)

Harman sees India emerging as one of its top 5 markets in a decade

Harman, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Samsung Electronics, sees India emerging as its top five markets globally over the next decade, said Dinesh C Paliwal, the company’s president and chief executive. The company is bullish on its next phase of growth and is expanding beyond car audio and infotainment to connected car solutions. One of the world’s largest manufacturers of car audio, infotainment systems and connected car solutions, the company is working closely with global carmakers in India as well as home-grown automakers. Harman plans to supply advanced telematic solutions and futuristic cloud -based technologies for upcoming models. “We are now growing into a big family of telematic solutions, cyber solutions and cloud platform,” Paliwal told Business Standard, adding that he sees electronic content per car going up substantially even as car volumes may not grow at a brisk pace in India and outside owing to the structural changes. Harman, the owner of JBL and Harman Kardon brands, among others, counts BMW, Harley Davidson and Daimler as its key customers for its connected car technologies.

(BS, June 06, 2019)

Harman Expanding Automotive Electronics Business in India

Harman International Industries, a subsidiary of Samsung Electronics, held a ceremony on June 3 (local time) to celebrate the expansion of an auto parts manufacturing facility at its factory in Chakan of India with the attendance of local government officials. Founded in 2014, the plant produces a variety of solutions for connected cars including automotive infotainment devices. Harman will invest about 60 billion won to expand the plant’s production lines from the current two to six by 2021.  Harman plans to increase the production volume of digital convenience units (DCUs) and telematics control units (TCUs), which were jointly developed with Samsung Electronics, 12-fold from the current 20,000 units a year in three years. The company is also planning to double the number of employees that currently stands at about 800 during the period.  "This expansion will enable us to offer customized electronic car parts solutions to global automakers including Suzuki, Daimler, Volkswagen, Tata and Fiat Chrysler," the company said. Samsung Electronics has been aggressively expanding its Indian business. Samsung Display signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to build a mobile phone display manufacturing plant by April next year. It will soon fix the scale of its investment. Samsung SDI is also brooding over the size of its investment to build a smartphone battery manufacturing plant.

(Business Standard, June 05, 2019)

On Piyush Goyal table: Key challenges in foreign trade, disputes in WTOWHILE

WTOWHILE the decision by the United States to end preferential trade status for India from June 5 calls for urgent attention, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal’s larger challenge will be to address the reverses faced by India during the last 12 months on both bilateral and multilateral fronts over alleged protectionism.  On May 14, Japan complained to the WTO against import duties imposed by India over the last 24 months on a wide range of electronic products such as mobile phones and components, and integrated circuits. Soon afterward, China and Thailand expressed interest in joining consultations in the case filed by Japan. Singapore, Canada, and Chinese Taipei are learnt to have sought to join, too. Much of this played out when the general elections were under way in India, and the new government is learnt to be taking stock of the widening impact of these trade challenges. In early April, the European Union, which oversees trade policy for the 28-member bloc, had separately launched a WTO dispute against India over import duties levied on electronic products.

(Indian Express, June 03, 2019)

Indian Crypto currency Regulation Is ready, Official confirms

After more than one year of analysis and deliberation, the report containing the recommended regulatory framework for crypto currency in India is now ready to be submitted to the finance minister, according to local media. The new finance secretary, former Secretary of the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) Subhash Chandra Garg, reportedly confirmed its readiness at an event hosted by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India on Thursday. “On the crypto currency regulation, Garg said the report is ready,” PTI reported, further quoting the finance secretary as saying.  Garg heads an inter-ministerial committee instituted to study all aspects of crypto currency and draft the country’s crypto regulation. Included on the committee are representatives from the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the Securities and Exchange Board of India, and the Central Board of Direct Taxes. This draft regulation was supposed to be ready in July last year. “We are fairly close to developing a kind of template which we think might be in the best interest of our country. We have prepared a draft which we intend to discuss with the committee members in the first week of July [2018],” Garg  explained in an interview at the time. However, no crypto regulation has been announced and the Ministry of Finance told Lok Sabha in December last year that “the department is pursuing the matter with due caution,” noting that “It is difficult to state a specific timeline to come up with clear recommendations.” The government subsequently shared with the Supreme Court in February that the report containing the recommendations for India’s crypto regulation is in the final stages of deliberation.

(Bitcoin News, June 03, 2019)

New Town plan to recycle e-waste

The New Town Kolkata Development Authority (NKDA) will up cycle e-waste collected from the township and Sector V and make them fit for reuse in an attempt to prevent accumulation of hazardous materials at dumping sites. “Old smartphones, personal computers and other electronic gadgets will be collected from residents and offices. These will be repaired and restored so they can be used once more,” an NKDA official said. “The ones that cannot be repaired will be used to make various household items, including decorative pieces. ”The repaired and refurbished items will be put on display at the NKDA corner for up cycled goods at Eco Park, in New Town, in order to encourage people not to throw away their electronic gadgets with other household waste. People can buy them at a fraction of the market rates from the counter.  Metro had on May 19 reported about the counter that has been set up near Eco Park’s gate No. 4 to encourage people to segregate household waste and dispose them in a scientific manner. Debashis Sen, the NKDA chairman and additional chief secretary of information technology, electronics and e-governance, said the move would not only benefit the environment but would also provide an opportunity to the people to buy cellphones and computers at affordable rates.

(The Teleraph, May 29, 2019)

Zero Complaints Came Up After Lok Sabha Polls, Claims Expert Behind EVMs

Even as the world marvels at how India conducts its elections, a humble contributor to its success is a robust yet low-cost innovation - the Electronic Voting Machine or EVM - which empowers its 900-million Indian electorate. This mind-boggling number is nearly double the entire population of the USA, the world's oldest democracy. There is no doubt one unqualified winner of the elections, highly vilified but a winner no doubt that stands head and shoulders higher than even Prime Minister Narendra Modi! This candidate spoke in a baritone but polled a record 613 million votes and got one hundred percent success, beating the National Democratic Alliance by a whopping nearly fifty percent higher strike rate. You guessed it right, it is the humble Electronic Voting Machine or EVM. According to data released by the Election Commission of India, as many as 61.3 crore voters exercised their franchise in the 2019 polls -the highest till date in any election conducted across the world. The EVM was belittled by almost all opposition parties for some reason or another and highest court of the country kept hearing petitions against the indigenously made machines even as polling was ongoing. But, in the end, the over 1.12 million EVMs performed marvellously, and post-elections, not even a single complaint has been registered against them. Proven well beyond doubt to be tamper-proof and hack-resistant, even the worst losers in the 2019 polls have not blamed this tool.

(NDTV, May 28, 2019)

India, Japan, Sri Lanka move to counter China

India has decided to join hands with Japan and Sri Lanka to expand the port in Colombo as part of efforts to balance Chinese inroads into the neighborhood. This marks one of the government’s first foreign policy moves following its reelection. Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena’s proposed trip to India for Narendra Modi’s inauguration this week is seen as a boost in this regard with the three countries planning to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in the near future, ET has learnt. The trilateral project’s goals are to increase Colombo port’s container volume and increase transportation in and around South Asia, according to persons aware of the matter. The deal comes as China has been using its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) projects to increase its influence in the region. India and Japan are also eyeing joint development of the Trincomalee port in eastern Sri Lanka. India along with Japan aspires to pursue a Free and Open Pacific Ocean and Indian Ocean strategy. The trilateral project’s goals are to increase Colombo port’s container volume and increase transportation in and around South Asia, according to persons aware of the matter. The deal comes as China has been using its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) projects to increase its influence in the region. India and Japan are also eyeing joint development of the Trincomalee port in eastern Sri Lanka. India along with Japan aspires to pursue a Free and Open Pacific Ocean and Indian Ocean strategy.  

(ET, May 27, 2019)

Finance Ministry starts consultation with investors to launch global ETF

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

(LiveMint, Apr 28, 2019)

FICCI chief: India should cut interest rates to help exporters take advantage of US-China trade war

India should cut interest rates further and adopt consistent policies for the export of agricultural produce to enable Indian exporters to take advantage of the current US-China trade war, industry body Ficci's President Sandip Somany said Saturday. Currently on a business trip to China, Somany also said the NDA government in its second term should focus on getting big ticket investments from China, specially in the capital goods sector, and motivate Chinese machinery manufacturers to set up plants in India. The bruising US-China trade war, under which both countries have slapped billions of dollars’ worth of tariffs on each other's exports, offers a big opportunity for some category of Indian exports to make a dent in both the US and Chinese markets, Somany told PTI here. Somany, who is the vice chairman and managing director of HSIL Limited, the second largest glass manufacturer India, also met the Indian Ambassador to China Vikram Misri and the Secretary of China's Boao Forum for Asia, Li Baodong. If the US-China trade war continues, it offers good opportunities for Indian exports in certain areas, he said

(Today, May 25, 2019)

Cybercrimes, Cyber Laws in India & Electronic Evidence

A one-way awareness and training programme on ‘Cybercrimes, Cyber Laws in India & Electronic Evidence’ was held at NEILIT, Meriema, Kohima on May 24.  Organized under the aegis of the Nagaland State Legal Services Authority (NSLSA) in collaboration with Alliance Law Office, New Delhi and National Institute of Electronics & Information Technology, Nagaland, the training was conducted with resource persons from Supreme Court judges and cyber lawyers, New Delhi- Advocate Manish Manocha, Supreme Court of India and Advocate Meena Bhandari, Supreme Court  Reema Bhandari, opening the training session remarked that the cyber space which is like an open book need to be taken cognizance of as internet and technology is “spinning at a very high speed, while the wheels of justice against cybercrimes is seen to be lacking far behind the evolution and by the time laws or policies are implemented, it will become outdated.” She therefore called for reactive and proactive approach towards this. 

(Morug Express, May 25, 2019)

Strategy in the works to woo companies looking to exit China

India has prepared a strategy to gain market access in China for its farm and pharmaceutical exports and attract foreign companies looking to shift out their manufacturing bases from there in the wake of the trade war between the US and China.  The commerce department’s strategy paper, aimed at reducing India’s trade deficit with its neighbour, proposes a detailed sector-wise strategy for import substitution in electronics, telecom, electrical equipment and pharmaceuticals, which form the bulk of the country’s purchases from China. India’s trade deficit with China stood at a record $63.04 billion in FY18. The strategy paper, prepared by the department, was submitted to commerce and   industry minister Suresh Prabhu.   After taking charge as minister in September 2017, Prabhu has personally guided strategies to reduce the trade deficit with China. The core of the idea was increasing exports to China and reducing imports by substituting inbound shipments with local manufacturing. 

(ET, May 25, 2019)

This week in Auto: Hyundai Venue debuts in India; Car launches become Friday movie releases of the week

In 2008, the world waited with bated breath to catch a glimpse of Ratan Tata's Rs 1 lakh car - the Nano. Tata's brainchild had cast a spell not only on car enthusiasts but also rival carmakers. No one knew what the car looked like and excitement was such that Tata Motors did not need to advertise the mini car. This, however, was a decade ago. The excitement around Nano that happened then, has now become a weekly affair, with car launches happening like Friday movie releases. These days, companies face cut-throat competition and never-ending marketing cycles. Today's weekly wrap dwells on this point further with several examples. Here is a list of the important headlines in the auto space this week: The Gixxer SF 250 sealed Suzuki's entry into the quarter-litre space. While not their first bike in this engine class, the earlier outing - Inazuma was naked, where the SF 250 is a fully faired sports bike. The bike takes on a new design language in India. The overall theme is sharp with the large headline flowing in nicely with the rest of the fairing. That itself is fairly proportionate to the rest of the bike. It features a split seat set up with low clip-on handlebars and an even lower windscreen.

(, May 25, 2019)

Smaller rivals may gain in India at Huawei’s cost

Huawei’s expected troubles due to US sanctions could open a window of opportunity for rival debutants Realme and Oppo to get a toehold in India’s premium smartphone market, analysts said.  Oppo is making a second attempt at cracking the premium smartphone segment — those costing over Rs 30,000 — with the launch of its new premium series Reno. Realme will enter the space towards the latter part of the year.  Market experts say Huawei may be forced to pull out devices with Android readying to snap ties with the Chinese smartphone maker. Oppo and Realme could well exploit the gap and growing competition in the segment dominated by Samsung, OnePlus and Apple so far. The premium smartphone segment itself is expected to almost double by Decemberend to 10% of the overall market, said Counterpoint Research. 

(ET, May 25, 2019)

Defence modernization: Government priority needs to be on Make in India

A comprehensive defeat of the Congress has established that its ‘Rafale scam’ charge did not stick and was a non-issue as far as the electorate was concerned. However, the vigour with which it was raised over the past year had a strong impact on the bureaucracy, whic cautious note when it came to taking calls on modernisation and promotion of the Make in India policy. The decisive mandate the BJP has got again now needs to free up the private industry phobia that the Rafale scam allegations triggered. The Make in India in defence initiative, which the BJP has mentioned prominently in its manifesto for 2019, needs to be anchored firmly around the private sector. A good foundation is in place—initially driven by former defence minister Manohar Parrikar—with the strategic partnership model as well as well-defined policies on treating Indian companies first for all defence and strategic requirements. What has been missing are the work orders that will truly kick-start the sector and drive jobs.  

(ET, May 25, 2019)

Amber Enterprises India Ltd - Financial Results for the quarter and year ended 31 March 2019

This has reference to our letter dated 15 May 2019, regarding captioned subject. The Board, at its meeting held over 24 May 2019, approved audited (standalone + consolidated) financial statements of Company and its subsidiaries as per INDAS for quarter & year ended 31 March 2019. We are enclosing audited financial statements (standalone and consolidated) for quarter & year ended 31 March 2019 and auditors report with unmodified opinion on financial statements.  Additionally, the Board also considered and approved to discontinue the operations of its wholly owned subsidiary i.e. Appserve Appliance Private Limited, as there are no major developments and activities done in preceding financial year 2018 -19. Further, as per SEBI (LODR) (Amendment) Regulations, 2018 dated 9 May 2018, we wish to inform that IL JIN Electronics (India) Private Limited (IL JIN) has become a material subsidiary of Amber Enterprises India Limited.

(Hindu BusinessLine, May 24, 2019)

Enhance exports, cut import dependence from China for balance trade: Commerce Ministry's strategy paper

A commerce ministry's strategy paper has outlined steps like pushing exports, cutting import dependence and attracting foreign firms which are looking at shifting manufacturing bases from China with a view to reduce trade imbalance with the neighboring country.  The strategy paper, prepared by the ministry, was submitted to Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu.  Steps taken by Prabhu has already resulted in narrowing trade deficit (difference between imports and exports) with China to USD 53.56 billion in 2018-19 from USD 63 billion in the previous financial year.  To push export to China, the paper suggested suitable export incentives.  "Efforts would be made to support exporters by pursuing tariff reduction through RCEP (proposed mega trade agreement) and by providing suitable export incentives to adequately substitute the existing MEIS (Merchandise Exports from India Scheme) scheme," it said.  It said the ministry needs to vigorously pursue for greater market access for agriculture and dairy products, and pharmaceuticals.  The paper said Indian pharmaceutical firms face regulatory hurdles such as prolonged and unpredictable timelines for drug registration, demand for submission of detailed clinical trial data and requirement for revealing the drug formulation process at the time of filing for registration. 

(ET, May 24, 2019)

EVMs are absolutely fool proof: Delhi's Chief Electoral Officer

Amid a slew of allegations by the opposition about the reliability of EVMs, Delhi's Chief Electoral Officer Ranbir Singh has said that the machines are "absolutely fool-proof" and fulfills all "transparency and administrative protocols".  Singh said the EVM is "robust by design" and there is no way the machine can be tampered with.  "There is no way that the machine can be tampered with, manipulated or hacked into because it does not have connectivity with the outside world. It does not have internet, wi-fi or Bluetooth connectivity. This means you cannot access the mind of the machine. It has a onetime programmable chip," Singh told PTI.   The Aam Aadmi Party Monday asked the Election Commission to provide additional security at a counting centre in South Delhi, alleging that political opponents plan to manipulate EVMs ahead of the announcement of poll results on May 23.  The letter by AAP's South Delhi candidate and spokesperson Raghav Chadha said that "he has strong reasons to believe that the political adversaries will attempt to open the strong rooms and manipulate or replace the machines as a handful of such incidents have been seen in the past".  Singh said the machines are manufactured by Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL) and Bharat Electronics Limited NSE 1.29 % (BEL), which are the PSUs with highest security protocols and are programmed there.

(ET, May 21, 2019)

Enter The Dragon: China's SAIC to cause disruption in Indian automobile industry

After conquering the country's smartphone and electronics devices market, China Inc. has set its sight on India's lucrative automobile sector, where one of its largest manufacturers SAIC will compete for space. Even though, Chinese firms have been present in India's auto sector, their presence till now was only concentrated in areas of public transport and commercial vehicles. However, SAIC Motor Corporation, which had revenue of USD 129 billion in 2018, intends to change all that.  Accordingly, the automobile manufacturer which is one of China's largest carmakers and ranked 41st in the Fortune 500 list of companies will enter the Indian market by June through its fully-owned British subsidiary MG (Morris Garages) Motors India. It will offer, India's first internet-enabled Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) Hector priced at Rs 15-20 lakh. Overall, the company aims to launch four vehicles during the next 18 months.

(BS, May 21, 2019)

SECI tenders 2 MW solar project for army posts in Jammu & Kashmir

Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has invited bids for development of 2 MW solar PV power projects—1 MW each for Siachen and Partapur army posts—in Leh region of Jammu & Kashmir. The projects are to be developed on ‘build, own operate’ basis.  Project selection would be technology agnostic, which means crystalline silicon, thin film or CPV technology—with or without trackers—can be used.  At Siachen base camp, the project shall be connected to the existing 11 KV distribution network already set up by Indian Army.  The project at Partapur base camp shall be interconnected with another 11 KV distribution network, which comes under the developer’s scope of work.For both the projects, the Indian Army shall enter into power purchase agreement separately for a period of 25 years. Commissioning period is 18 months from the effective date of the PPA. The projects would be awarded through reverse auction. Bidders must quote a single tariff for the projects applied for, which shall be applicable for the PPA period. The bids must be accompanied with bank guarantee of Rs 700,000 for Siachen project and Rs 900,000 for Partapur project. On selection, the developers are required to submit performance bank guarantee of Rs 20 lakh per MW within 21 days of the issuance of Letter of Award or before signing of the PPA, whichever is earlier.

(PV Magazine, May 21, 2019)

1.2 GW hybrid tender gets only two bidders yet again

The latest tranche of Solar Energy Corporation of India’s wind-solar hybrid tender for 1.2 GW has prompted response from only two bidders. Adani Green Energy (600 MW) and ReNew Power (300 MW) made techno-commercial bids for a combined capacity of 900 MW, leaving the tender undersubscribed by 300 MW. The tender had stipulated ceiling tariff of Rs 2.70/kWh and capacity utilization factor of 30%, which were deemed unviable for most of the developers—reported daily newspaper and website Economic Times while sharing the details. Terming the ceiling tariff of Rs 2.70 as too tight, Vinay Rustagi, managing director of renewable energy Consultancy Bridge To India told ET: “In most recent auctions, the winning wind bids were around Rs 2.80 plus per unit and solar bids at Rs 2.55. So Rs 2.70 per unit is a tight tariff because most of the capacity in these hybrid projects will be wind based.” In wind projects the CUF is usually 35% at the best sites and for solar it is about 21%. The high level of CUF specified in the hybrid tender—at 30%—meant most of the capacity will have to be wind based, Rustagi added.

(PV Magazine, May 21, 2019)

India sets tone in Geneva as COP meetings adopt amendments to restrict e-waste dumping on developing countries

The potential “dumping” of e-waste in India under the guise of reuse and repair, along with including the entry of mixed, contaminated plastic waste in the Prior Informed Consent (PIC) category were the two issues where India intervened at the triple COP (Conference of the Parties) meetings which ended earlier this month. The meetings involved conferences of the parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions and were held in Geneva between April 29 and May 10 on the theme ‘Clean Planet, Healthy People: Sound Management of Chemicals and Waste’. Over 180 countries participated in the meetings. A delegation of officials from the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MOEFCC), agriculture, chemicals, and electronics and information technology participated in the meeting. “Among the major decisions was on the trans boundary movement of e-waste. Waste from developed countries is sent to    developing countries under the guise of reuse and repair. There is no accountability on the exporting country to take these back,” a senior MOEFCC official said.

(Indian Express, May 20, 2019)

Flash Electronics files patent case against Royal Enfield in US court

Flash Electronics India Ltd, a New Delhi Based automobile component manufacturer, has filed a law suit against country’s largest premium motorcycle manufacturer, Royal Enfield, in the US regarding a patent infringement of a component known as regulator-rectifier. Flash will subsequently file similar law suits against the motorcycle manufacturer in the Europe and Asia-Pacific, including India. A regulator-rectifier is a component that efficiently converts the AC (Alternating Current) voltage produced in motorcycle engines into DC (Direct Current) voltage to charge batteries, power headlights, light up instrument panel, thus driving the motorcycle’s electrical systems. Flash Electronics was granted patent for the device by authorities in the US and in European countries like Germany, France, Italy, UK, Spain and others.

(LiveMint, May 20, 2019)

India’s second biggest fund house busy lapping up stocks that are down 45-72%

ICICI Prudential Asset Management, the country’s second-largest money manager by assets, was busy all through April lapping up beaten down stocks, when the BSE benchmark Sensex advanced around 1 per cent.  The fund house increased exposure to select stocks such as Vodafone Idea, Lakshmi Vilas Bank NSE 4.94 %, Avanti Feeds, Bharat Electronics NSE 8.59 % and NBCC that have plunged 45-72 per cent since January 2018.  S Naren, ED and CIO, ICICI Prudential AMC said, “The market currently is fairly priced. The strategy in such market condition is to adopt a stock-specific approach. There are several pockets of opportunities across sectors and market capitalisations, where scrips are available at attractive valuations.”  Power, auto ancillaries, metal and telecom looks attractive to Naren.  Vodafone Idea recently concluded a Rs 25,000 crore rights issue, which was oversubscribed nearly 1.08 times. Ace Mutual Fund data base showed ICICI Prudential was holding 46 crore Vodafone Idea shares as of April 30 against 8.77 crore a month earlier, hinting that the fund house subscribed to the rights issue. 

(ET, May 17, 2019)

India to benefit from US-China trade war, say experts

The ongoing trade war between the US and Chinawill help India tap export opportunities in both the countries in areas such as garments, agriculture, automobile and machinery, according to trade experts. Professor at Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT) Rakesh Mohan Joshi said the US has broadly targeted intermediate components from China, particularly machinery and electronics, whereas China is targeting American automotive and agricultural products including Soybean.  "These areas offer huge opportunities for India. Strong opportunity is unfolding for India in apparel and readymade garments as after China, India is the only country in the world to match the scale of operations and integrate its supply chain for global customers," Joshi said. He added that India needs to make use of this opportunity to significantly enhance its exports especially in information and communications technology (ICT) and the automotive sector. "To effectively harness the emerging opportunities, India needs a carefully crafted strategy and its meticulous implementation at the grass-roots level," he said.

(LiveMint,May 16, 2019)

Amazon Global Selling Program Targets $5 Billion in E-commerce Exports from India

With more than 50,000 Indian MSMEs as part of Amazon Global Selling, which was launched in India in 2015, the program has already exceeded $1 Billion in exports so far from India. At the launch of the second edition of Amazon Exports Digest, Amazon today announced that its Global Selling program has now achieved the significant milestone of crossing $1 billion in e-commerce exports sales from India in just three years since its launch in the country! Launched with just a few hundred sellers in May 2015, more than 50,000 Indian exporters are now part of the Amazon Global Selling program, selling over 140M ‘Made in India’ products to Amazon customers across the globe through its marketplaces worldwide such as,, etc. “Six years ago, we started operating in India with a vision to enable every motivated Indian seller to reach customers across India and every country in the world. Amazon launched the Global Selling program in India four years ago, aligning with this vision. The program has scaled up extensively since then and has reached a cumulative $1 billion annualized from India. This program is helping government’s vision on exports, encouraging ‘Made in India’ products go global and enabling over 50,000 Indian MSMEs to reach the doorstep of 300MM+ global customers without leaving their homes. Over the next five years ‘India to Global’ has the potential to become huge and Amazon is confident that the Global Selling program will hit the $5 billion mark by 2023 fueling the growth of lakhs of Indian manufacturers, exporters and small enterprises.” said Amit Agarwal, Senior Vice President and Country Head, Amazon India.

(, May 16, 2019)

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

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

(Businesswire India, May 13, 2019)

Govt. reworking strategic sale procedure for CPSEs

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

(Livemint, May 12, 2019)

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

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

(Technuter, May 10, 2019)

IIT-B researchers develop ‘Made in India’ microprocessor

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

(The Hindu, May 09, 2019)

New factory-focused solar tender reportedly in the offing

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

(PV Magazine, May 08, 2019)

Rooftop solar needs greater push to reach 2022 target: IEEFA

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

(PV Magazine, May 08, 2019)

IEA warning against stagnation of renewables

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

(PV Magazine, May 08, 2019)

India has overly restrictive market barriers

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

(The Hindu, May 07, 2019)

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

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

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

(ET, May 07, 2019)

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

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

(Indian Express, May 07, 2019)

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

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

ET, May 06, 2019)

GRSE to build eight ASWSWCs for Indian Navy

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

(Defence News, Apr 30, 2019)

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

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

(Defence News, Apr 30, 2019)

Army invokes emergency powers for missile deal

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

(Defence News, Apr 30, 2019)

Opportunities in the Indian Defence Market, 2019 -

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

(Yahoofinance, Apr 29, 2019)

South Korea advances industrial ties with India and US

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

(Jane’s 360, April 26, 2019)

LG launches Best Shop in Warangal

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

(Telangana Today, April 25, 2019)

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

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

(Moneycontrol Contributor, April 24, 2019)

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

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

(CIOL, April 23, 2019)

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

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

(ET, April 22, 2019)

Mobile phones, consumer electronics lift Reliance Retail

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

(ET, April 20, 2019)

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

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

(ET, April 19 2019)

Recycling of e-waste in India and its potential

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

(Down to Earth, April 17, 2019)

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

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

(Business Today, Apr 16, 2019)

Revolt plans 3 all-electric bikes for India

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

(Autocar India, April 15, 2019)

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

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

(Down to Earth, Apr 05, 2019)

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

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

(ET, Apr 05, 2019)

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

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

(ET, Apr 03, 2019)

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

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

(Mercom India, Apr 03, 2019)

Mendy LED Smart TV launched under Make in India

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

(FreePress Journal, Apr 03, 2019)

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

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

(FirstPost, Apr 02, 2019)

Huawei set to launch P30 series in India next week

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

(HansIndia, Apr 02, 2019)

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

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

(Military Aerospace, Apr 01, 2019)

India needs to increase its scientific output: Prof Anurag Kumar

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

(Deccan Chronicle, Mar 09, 2019)

India Leases Mothballed Russian Nuclear Submarine For $3 Billion

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

(, Mar 08, 2019)


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

(Indian Defence News, Mar 08, 2019)


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

(Indian Defence News, Mar 08, 2019)


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

(Indian Defence News, Mar 08, 2019)


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

(Indian Defence News, Mar 08, 2019)

LG Electronics wants govt. to incentivise local TV manufacturing

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

(BS, Mar 07, 2019)

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

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

(IndiaTV, Mar 05, 2019)

Chinese invasion of Indian Industry

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

(Hindu BusinessLine, Mar 05, 2019)

Bharat Electronics launches SWAGAT – Automatic Fare Collection Gating System

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

(BusinessLIne, Mar 05, 2019)

Electric vehicles to get cheaper by up to Rs 2.5 lakh

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

(ET, Mar 02, 2019)

Green Companies continue to bid aggressively for solar projects

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

(ET, Mar 02, 2019)

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

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

(ET, Mar 02, 2019) 

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

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

(BusinessWire India, Mar 01, 2019)

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

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

(Businessworld, Feb 27, 2019)

Centre for Good Governance wins Digital India Award

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

(Hans India, Feb 27, 2019)

India may gain from trade war

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

(Daily, Feb 25, 2019)

Rafael wins $30m Indian Air Force communications deal

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

(Globes, Feb 24, 2019)

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

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

(ET, Feb 20, 2019)

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

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

(BS, Feb 20, 2019)

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

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

(BS, Jan 30, 2019)

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

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

(The National, Jan 28, 2019)

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

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

(Your Story, Jan 28, 2019)

E-waste is not waste, but treasure

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

(DownToEarth, Jan 25, 2019)

Hyundai Electronics enters India with consumer durables

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

(Siasat Daily, Jan 25, 2019)

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

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

(ET, Jan 18, 2019)

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

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

(Business Insider, Jan 17, 2019)


The number employees on the rolls of defence PSUs as of March 2018 shrunk nearly by a quarter compared to the number they employed as of 2013, with hiring at all companies failing to match the attrition rate, including superannuation, consistently. There are nine defence PSUs in India: Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL); Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL); Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL); BEML Ltd; Mishra Dhatu Nigam Ltd (MIDHANI); Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd (MDL); Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd (GRSE); Goa Shipyard Ltd (GSL) and Hindustan Shipyard Ltd (HSL). Analysis of data from the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) shows that the PSUs together employed 60,260 personnel in 2018, which is 17,522 fewer than the 77,782 employed in 2013. This is a 23% decrease, even as the number of contract and daily wage employees remained either flat or dipped. C Srikumar, general secretary, the All India Defence Employees’ Federation, which has more than 4 lakh employees from defence establishments, including these PSUs, alleges that the Centre has been systematically killing the public sector. “They are deliberately not refilling positions, are revising sanctioned strength of establishments and pushing private industries into the business even in areas where they do not have the required ability. Multiple representations have been made to the Centre and we will continue fighting this,” he said. Experts, however, attribute a variety of reasons for the reduced staff such as increased outsourcing, decreasing orders and revenue, hiring freeze and better opportunities in the private sector. Officials from multiple PSUs said that outsourcing has increased, especially in the four non-shipping related companies.

(Indian Defence News, Jan 11, 2019)

Harley-Davidson, Panasonic Team Up on LiveWire Electric Motorcycle

The electric bike was built in partnership with Panasonic Automotive and runs its OneConnect services platform, which is integrated with the Harley Davidson app for Android and iOS. The bike has built-in GPS and LTE connectivity with up to 4G LTE speeds, as well as a 4.3-inch liquid crystal touch-screen display built into the dashboard with integrated navigation and music. The H-D Connect app will be free for the first year, after which Harley-Davidson said there's an undisclosed subscription fee. The app lets riders check their battery charge level and available range, remotely check the motorcycle's location and status, and get alerts if the bike is bumped or moved. It can also search for nearby charging stations. Harley will collect vehicle usage data "to improve overall quality," but privacy-conscious riders can opt out of the service. The LiveWire bike itself goes from zero to 60mph in under 3.5 seconds, and has a high-voltage battery with an estimated range of 110 miles per charge. Riders can charge with the onboard Level 1 charger and power cord to connect to any standard household outlet and get a full charge overnight, or charge up faster at any public Level 3 DC Fast Charge station.

(PC News, Jan 08, 2019)

After a successful first cohort, Shell announces second batch of E4 startups

The second edition of Shell India's cohort for its E4 programme has eight companies, including two Tech30 startups Mobycy and AutoVRse.  To strengthen its position as a partner to energy sector entrepreneurs, Shell announced its second Indian cohort for the E4 (Energizing and Enabling Energy Entrepreneurs) Programme for 2019.

After careful examination and evaluation, eight startups have been selected for incubation at the Shell Technology Centre Bangalore (STCB), including two of YourStory's Tech30 startups. The finalist startups have strong differentiators in terms of product offerings and business models.

(, Jan 07, 2019)

Govt. Cancels Permit Granted To HSMC Tech For Setting Up Semiconductor Plant

In a recent report PTI stated that with this, the government is left with no proposal to set up any manufacturing plant for electronic chips, which are known as the heart of modern devices and considered to be of strategic importance in cyberspace. Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology S S Ahluwalia, said in Lok Sabha that the government, on the recommendation of the empowered committee (EC) constituted for the purpose of setting up of Semiconductor Wafer Fabrication (FAB) manufacturing facilities in the country, cancelled the LoI issued to the consortium led by HSMC Technologies India Pvt Ltd on April 20, 2018. He said the consortium could not submit the requisite documents as per the LoI, despite being provided extension of time on multiple occasions.

(Electronics B2B, Jan 03, 2019)

Govt releases Rs 1 cr till Nov out of Rs 44 cr earmarked for NCCC for FY 19

An amount of Rs 44 crore was earmarked for National Cyber Coordination Centre (NCCC) for 2018-19, of which Rs 1 crore has been released till November, Parliament was informed Wednesday. NCCC was set up to generate near real-time macroscopic view of cyber security threats in the country. The Centre is a multi-stakeholder body and is implemented by Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) at the electronics and IT ministry, Union Minister S S Ahluwalia said in a written reply to Lok Sabha.  He added that NCCC will provide a structured system and facilitate coordination among different agencies by sharing with them the meta-data from cyberspace for taking action to mitigate cyber security threats.  Project NCCC was approved in April 2015 with an outlay of Rs 770 crore for a period of five years, Ahluwalia said adding that phase I of NCCC was made operational in July 2017. The next phase is to set up a full-fledged Centre. 

(ET, Jan 02, 2019)

Xiaomi Mi TV India price slashed after new GST rates come into effect, here are the new prices

he new prices of the Mi TVs are already in effect. The price drop of some of Mi TVs come into effect after the India Government reduced the GST on TVs from 28 per cent to 18 per cent. Xiaomi India started the year 2019 by reducing the price of three Mi TVs including -- Mi LED Smart TV 4A (32-inch) Mi LED TV 4C PRO (32-inch) and Mi LED TV 4A Pro (49-inch). Overall, Xiaomi has slashed the prices of these Mi TVs by up to Rs 2,000. Following are the new prices: Mi LED Smart TV 4A 32-inch: Now available for Rs 12,499 (The price of the Mi LED Smart TV 4A 32-inch has been reduced by Rs 1500. It was previously priced Rs 13,999).  Mi LED TV 4C PRO 32-inch: Now available for Rs 13,999 (The price of the Mi LED TV 4C PRO 32-inch has been reduced by Rs 2000. It was previously priced Rs 15,999). Mi LED TV 4A PRO 49-inch:Now available for Rs 30,999 (The price of the Mi LED TV 4A PRO 49-inch has been reduced by Rs 1000. It was previously priced Rs 31,999) Availability:All three Mi TVs are available with new reduced prices with immediate effect starting Dec 1 across all sales platforms, Xiaomi India has announced.

(India Today, Jan 02, 2019)

Venture capital industry moving towards maturity: Bain-IVCA report

The Indian venture capital industry is showing signs of maturity with the focus turning towards quality of deals clinched rather than mere quantity, a new report says. The report titled “Perspectives on the Indian VC Ecosystem, 2018” has been jointly prepared by Bain & Company and the Indian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (IVCA).  A key finding of the report is that the overall fund-raising environment is robust with $10 billion worth of India-focussed funds having been raised since 2014. This momentum is expected to become stronger in the future with multiple global Limited Partners viewing India as an attractive VC investment destination. It also highlighted that venture capital deal value grew five-fold in the last 10 years. Sanjay Nath, co-chair, VC Council and Executive Council Member at IVCA, and Managing Partner, Blume Ventures, said: “Data from the report point to one thing — that these are the best times to ‘on-shore the offshore pools of capital in India’, based on the mature startup ecosystem, increasing exits and regulatory support by the government”. Arpan Sheth, Partner, Bain & Company, and an author of the report, said: “The Indian VC industry is maturing, and you can find proof of funds going after fewer, but better-quality deals after building their initial portfolio.”  

(BusinessLine, Dec 11, 2018)

Epayment Company Benow smells opportunity in PoS business

Mumbai-based digital payments startup Benow which acquires merchants for QR code-based transactions is all set to move into the hardware point-of-sales business sensing stronger opportunity in the card payments space.  The company, founded by founders of Mastek, is looking to finalise a $5-million fundraising plan within the next two months to fuel its ambitions in the retail digital payments space. “Smartphone-based digital payments for street-corner shops is growing slower than expected, hence we are adding point of sales to our offering for our merchant partners, which will let them accept card payments as well,” said Sudhakar Ram, chief executive officer, Be now.  Sudhakar Ram said with one lakh on boarded merchants for their QR code UPI-based payment solution, the target is to push this number to 13 lakh in the next five years.     

(ET, Dec 06, 2018)

Data localization clause may hurt trade pacts between European Union and India, says Ralf Sauer

Even as India’s efforts to frame a comprehensive data protection bill is being appreciated, officials of the European Union are concerned over the element of data localization that is expected in the legislation which is currently at the draft stage. In an interview to ET, a top EU official, who is currently visiting India, signalled that it could not just hurt businesses operating in the country but also the trade pacts being negotiated by the two countries.  Ralf Sauer, deputy head of unit – International Data Flows and Protection (Directorate – General for Justice and Consumers), European commission, said that the data protection bill and the clauses over data localization were discussed during meetings with the ministry of external affairs and ministry of electronics and IT over the last two days. “Of course, it is a question of concern from a trade perspective. It means that foreign operators might have to duplicate infrastructure to be able to hold a copy in India, it creates additional cost and it’s not just India which is the case but it is the tendency in number of countries in this region to think about data localization, which will fragment operations of global players and make a habit to track the data and make it harder to compete. And it goes against the general philosophy of internet of seamless flow of data.”     

(ET, Dec 05, 2018)

Why India will supersede China – Part 1

For much of recorded history, India and China were the most influential civilizations in the world, partly due to the size of their populations and geography. Cultural and political reasons explain why China has outpaced India economically in the past 40 years. But China’s place in the sun will be short-lived. A report from the OECD predicts China’s share of global output will peak in 2030. India now outpaces China in economic growth. Indications are that the land of Rama and Shiva will become the shining star in the post-industrial era, and not for strictly economic reasons.  Demographics will play an important role in the development of China and India in the coming decades. China is aging more rapidly than almost any country in history. Its dependency ratio of retirees/workers could rise to 44% by 2050. This will have a serious impact on taxable income, entitlement programs and healthcare. China’s attempts “to become rich before it becomes gray” partly explains its enormous investment in robotics, biotech and artificial intelligence (including “AI-DNA”) to address looming problems with labor shortages, elderly care, and healthcare costs.   

(Asia Times, Dec 05, 2018)

60 Chinese companies exhibit in 1st edition of IEAE 2018

So here we are, after so much of excitement and waiting out of patience, the 1st edition of India International Electronics & Smart Appliances Exhibition 2018 (IEAE), will raise the curtains on 5th December which would be an exciting event for manufacturers, suppliers, buyers and sellers in TV, electronics, mobile phones, household items and electric decorative items. The event will inaugurate in the presence of Prof. N.K. Goyal President, CMAI association of India, Mr. R. K. Pathak (TSDSI), Mr. Anil Prakash (ITU), Mr. Vimal Wakhlu, Former Chairman & MD TCIL Govt. of India, Mr. Alok Gupta, Founder & Director Uninstal System Pvt. Ltd. and President of PCAIT, Champakraj Gurjar, President of FAIITA and Mr. Lius Yu Feng, Vice President of China Electronic Chamber of Commerce (CECC).  The three day-long event will give room to more than 60 companies from China, to showcase and feature their new products which would act as an eye candy for the buyers throughout the wide range of Electronics and smart home Appliances and supported by CMAI association, PHD Chambers, Indo-African Chamber of Commerce, Indo-Arab Chamber of Commerce & Industries, National Apex Chamber, FAIITA, PCAIT, GECC and THEISTIC.  

(BS, Dec 04, 2018)  

Hyderabad stares at e-waste scare

The city stares at a major disaster as most of the 32 lakh metric tonnes of e-waste that it generates annually is not being disposed of properly. The civic body too is not equipped  to handle it. While industries contribute 70 per cent of e-waste, households contribute almost 15 per cent and the rest comes from discarded or ‘end of life’ electrical and electronic equipment.   The GHMC has not even held discussions to dispose of e-waste which will be a major contributor to garbage with the rapidly increasing use of technology. Indicating the seriousness of the situation, a Delhi-based company collected a metric tonne of e-waste in seven days. The waste was collected by Cerebra Green through its ‘India Clean-up Week’ conducted in association with Manufacturers Association of Information and Technology (MAIT), the ministry of electronics and information technology (MeitY), the ministry of environment, forests and climate change (MOEFCC) and Digital India. It recovered 11 metric tonnes of e-waste across seven cities, including one metric tonne in Hyderabad in seven days.

(Deccan Chronicle, Nov 13, 2018)

We intend to make India hub for exports to South Asia, West Asia, Africa: Manish Sharma, President & CEO, Panasonic India and South Asia

Japanese consumer electronics major Panasonic has invested Rs 450 crore in expanding its manufacturing facilities in India in the last three years under the ‘Make in India’ programme and intends to make the country an export hub for South Asia, West Asia and Africa. The company’s president & CEO for India and South Asia Manish Sharma in an interview with FE’s Rishi Ranjan Kala said the focus in India is on reaching more small towns with the company working on expanding its exclusive stores to 300 by 2018-end Over the last three years our manufacturing focus has seen a significant strategic uptake with investments of Rs 450 crore. This change has been brought about by the positive policy ecosystem in the country, which is now significantly focusing on domestic manufacturing and the global corporation’s strategic intent on establishing India as an export hub for its ISAMEA (India, South Asia, Middle East and Africa) region. In April this year, we started manufacturing refrigerators at our Technopark facility in Jhajjar, and now 95% of all our consumer products are locally manufactured. Further, we are looking at expanding our manufacturing focus towards B2B segment as well, wherein we will start producing security cameras and video door phones.

(FE, Nov 10, 2018)

Data bill stays, not anti-trade: Govt

Undeterred by lobbying against mandatory data localisation for all global companies operating in India, the Ministry of Information Technology (IT) and Electronics plans to go ahead with the norms as announced in the draft version of the Data Protection Bill.The Centre reiterated its stand following a report that the US digital industry's lobbying body, Internet Association (IA), is trying to influence the US trade representative to classify the data law as an anti-trade barrier.Official sources also said that it is incorrect for a US business lobby to look at the proposed law in this manner. The purpose of the new law is to make Internet transactions more robust and transparent. As the volume of such transactions increases in India, it will be important to prevent fraud and secure the privacy of user data.

(DNA, Nov 04, 2018)

US withdraws duty benefits on Indian exports worth $75 million

Indian exports of certain musical instruments, leather, textiles, dairy, chemicals and processed fruits and vegetables to the US will no longer enjoy duty-free access, with the Trump administration withdrawing such concessions effective November 1. The annual exports of these items to the US is estimated at about $75 million.  “…in 2017 certain beneficiary developing countries exported eligible articles in quantities exceeding the applicable competitive-need limitations. I hereby terminate the duty-free treatment for such articles from such beneficiary developing countries,” US President Donald Trump said in a presidential directive dated October 30.  Other countries that have had duty concessions withdrawn by the US include Thailand, Argentina, Pakistan, Turkey, the Philippines, Brazil, Suriname, Belize, Ecuador, Falkland Islands, Kazakhstan, Egypt and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

(ET, Nov 02, 2018)

India postpones levying retaliatory tariffs on US goods to December 17

India has deferred imposing higher duties worth $235 million on 29 American goods to December 17. The retaliatory tariffs were scheduled to come into effect November 2 and have been postponed for the third time.  “…the central government, being satisfied that it is necessary in the public interest so to do,” the government said in a notification on Thursday.  In June, India decided to impose higher tariffs on these American imports from August 4, in retaliation to the March 9 decision of US President Donald Trump to impose heavy tariffs on imported steel and aluminum items.  The government later delayed the levies to September 18 and then again until November 2.  With the new tariffs, the import duty on walnut would be hiked to 120% from 30% while that on chickpeas, Bengal gram (chana) and masur dal would become 70% from 30% now. Similarly, the levy on lentils will be hiked to 40% from 30%.  

(ET, Nov 01, 2018)

Indian electronics users more ambitious now, influx of demand from tier II, III cities’ says Arnold Su

One of the largest markets globally, the electronics industry in India is expected to grow at a CAGR of 24.4 per cent between 2012 and 2020. In the next four years alone, the market in India is expected to reach $400 bn. Tapping into this huge market, ASUS India PC & ROG Head, Arnold Su, in a conversation with Indian Retailer, shares how the ecommerce marketplace is helping electronics market, why ASUS is becoming popular in tier II and tier III cities and what’s their go-to expansion strategies.

(ASUS India, Sep 26, 2018)

How India can become the manufacturing capital of the world

Over the last two decades, China has been the hardware base of the world, while India has been the software base. With the new Samsung factory coming in, will India turn the tide and become the world’s hardware capital?  The South Korean giant’s mobile phone factory at Noida will be the largest in the world, and close to 30% of the handsets made there will be exported. What does this signify for India? Can India overtake China in manufacturing supremacy? What should the government do to maintain the momentum? The coming of the Samsung factory might do to electronics manufacturing what Maruti did to the auto industry in the 1990s. When Maruti came in collaboration with Suzuki, the industry suddenly saw disruption. Suzuki brought scientific manufacturing techniques. And, the auto manufacturing industry here went on an upward trajectory. 

(ET, Sep 22, 2018)

Polysilicon for Electronics Market Key Players, Industry Overview, Supply and Consumption Demand Analysis to 2022

Polysilicon for Electronics Market report consists of market overview and dynamics, strategic company developments, historic and forecast revenue by product phase, major key organizations, and international alternate angle. The report examines micro and macro-monetary factors governing the general growth of the Polysilicon for Electronics market and makes projections of the general market by the give up of the forecast period.The report comprises market key vendor’s discussion based on the company’s summary, Profiles, financial analysis, market revenue, and opportunities by top geographical regions. The report covers the present scenario and the growth prospects of the global Polysilicon for Electronics market for 2017-2022. To calculate the market size, the report includes the major application segments and their share in the global Polysilicon for Electronics market.

(Chronicle India, Sep 22, 2018)

Samsung India bets big on system air-conditioner business

Electronics major Samsung India is expecting further growth in the system AC HVAC (heating, ventilation and air-conditioning) business over the next two-three years, director (system AC) of the company Vipin Agrawal said here Friday. The company has several products under the portfolio, including air-conditioners equipped with wind-free technology, largest capacity VRF (variable refrigerant flow) outdoor unit with 30HP, 14HP side-discharge VRF outdoor unit and slim 1-way cassette. "The market size for these products is about $200 million. We are the fastest growing brands in the industry," Agrawal told reporters. To a query, he said, "The company is growing three to four times more than the industry. The industry is growing at about 10-15 percent".

(PTI, Sep 21, 2018)

FY 19 growth to be slower than expected; here’s why

With bond yields spiking and the rupee losing more value every day, India’s macroeconomics is fast deteriorating. The timing is really unfortunate because there are signs of an incipient recovery in the economy; consumption, for instance, has been in fairly good nick. But with loan rates having moved up by 15-20 basis points over the past month—State Bank of India’s marginal cost of funds-based lending rate (MCLR) is now a not-so-low 8.45%—it is hard to see how companies are going to be convinced to borrow much more. Indeed, with much of the government’s borrowings scheduled for the second half of the year, rates are going to rise faster than one could have imagined even three months back. The average yield on corporate bond—across maturities—rose to a near two-and-half-year high of 9.1% in August. Had banks been armed with a little more capital, and had there been less fear of further delinquencies, they might have been willing to keep loan rates a little lower. But liquidity isn’t as abundant as it should be, going by how the corporate bond markets actually saw negative net issuances in the June quarter, while net flows into equity mutual fund schemes have now decelerated for nearly nine months in a row. The rate of growth of bank deposits has averaged 8% y-o-y in FY19 so far, and there is not much of a base effect since, in no fortnight after August, 2017, has the growth been in double digits.

(FE, Sep 10, 2018)

TVs get a 'Make in India' twist, start local production at component stage

Make in India just got a shot in the arm from electronics manufacturing. In the past few weeks, brands such as Xiaomi, TCL, Skyworth, BPL and Thomson — which until recently were importing televisions for sale in the country — have started local production at the component stage, three senior industry executives said.  Even top brands like Sony and LG are now expanding production of televisions in India at the parts stage — as opposed to just assembling imported modules — after the government changed the duty structure earlier this year to make local manufacturing cheaper by 5-7%. The shift includes premium OLED and 4K models that cost a few lakh rupees. The companies are now locally assembling the TV panel itself as well as manufacturing printed circuit boards (PCB) and moulds. 

(ET, Sep 10, 2018)

Centre sets up panel of secretaries into look e-commerce issues

With concerns being raised on some proposals of the draft e-commerce policy, the government has set up a group of secretaries to look into the issues, according to an official. The group will be chaired by the secretary in the department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP).  The other members of the group include secretaries of the ministry of electronics and information technology and department of commerce Representatives of Niti Aayog and department of economic affairs are also members of the group.  "The group would look into all the issues of e-commerce sector," the official said. The first meeting of the group is likely to be held this week. 

(ET, Sep 09, 2018)

India overtakes China to become the world’s fastest growing economy in Q1 2018

While the International Monetary Fund may have revised its estimates for India’s growth this year, the Central Statistics Office (CSO) announced that the Indian economy grew by 8.2% between the months of April to June. This puts India at the helm as the world’s fasting growing economy beating China’s top spot., which witnessed a growth of 6.7%.  The Finance Minister tweeted that the reforms put in place by government as well as the fiscal prudence shown by the regulators that are allowing the economy to grow even in the midst of global turmoil. That being said, overtaking China might have a lot to do with the ongoing trade war between the Asian nation and the United States.

(Business Insider India, Sep 03, 2018)

US-China trade war: What should we do

Trade is War’ has become a live metaphor for contemporary world politics in the wake of coercive attempts by the US and China to restrict the flow of goods and services. The US has imposed additional duties on Chinese products while Beijing has responded by raising duties on American imports. The US says trade with China is highly tilted in the latter’s favour, as Beijing makes use of American technology and floods the US market with its products while restricting its own market to American businesses. As a result, the two economic superpowers are indulging in a tariff war where each player wants to extract the best deal for itself. And both the economic giants say the reasons for the trade wars are their domestic economy and local jobs.

Technology has become a key battleground. The Qualcomm and NXP Semiconductor deal fell apart as Chinese regulators let the deadline for approvals pass. One of the biggest mergers of the semiconductor sector in particular and electronics industry in general is the latest casualty of this trade war. Not many are mincing words in saying the deal is a direct casualty of the trade war between the two nations. Even as they improve their ties with the European countries, the trade relations between these nations deteriorates.

(Indian Express, Aug 13, 2018)

Defence ministry approves procurement of next generation offshore patrol vessels

The defence ministry today approved a long-pending proposal to procure six indigenously manufactured next generation offshore patrol vessels (NGOPVs) for the Navy at a cost of Rs 4,941 crore, officials said.  The go ahead for the project was given by the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), the ministry's highest decision making body on procurement.  The meeting of the DAC was chaired by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.  The DAC accorded approval for the procurement of six indigenously designed and manufactured offshore patrol vessels at an approximate cost of Rs 4,941 crore, the officials said.  The NGOPVs will be built in Indian shipyards and will be fitted with state-of-the-art sensor suite with increased endurance, they said. 

(ET, Aug 13, 2018)

Defence Ministry Yet To Decide On Venue For Next Aero India Show

The Defence Ministry has received requests from a number of states including Gujarat, Rajasthan, Odisha, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh to host the next Aero India, amid reports that the mega aerospace event is being moved out of its traditional venue of Bengaluru. Official sources said the Defence Ministry is examining the requests from various states and yet to take a call on the venue for the next edition of the event. "The ministry has received requests to host the event from Gujarat, Rajasthan, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and several other states," said a source. There have been reports that the biennial event - considered the largest aerospace exhibition in Asia - may be organised at the Bakshi Ka Talab air force base in Lucknow in October. Aero India has traditionally been organised at Indian Air Force's Yelahanka air base on the outskirts of Bengaluru.

(NDTV, Aug 13, 2018)

Foundation stone of permanent campus of NIELIT in Sikkim laid

Union Minister for Electronics& Information Technology and Law & Justice Ravi Shankar Prasad remotely laid the foundation stone of a permanent campus of the National Institute of Electronics & Information Technology (NIELIT) at Benthang in Pakyong, East Sikkim from Guwahati on Saturday. The function was also attended by the Minister for Health Care, Human Services and Family Welfare Arjun Kumar Ghatani, who represented the state of Sikkim in One Digital North East Summit. The state government has allotted 8.54 acres of land for setting up of the National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology NIELIT in the state. The Union Minister also laid foundation stone for setting up of NIELIT at Shillong in Meghalaya, Guwahati in Assam and Lunglei in Mizoram on the occasion.

On the occasion, the Digital North East: Vision 2022 was officially released by the Union Minister in presence of the Chief Minister of Assam Sarbananda Sonowal, Chief Minister of Tripura Biplab Kumar Deb, Chief Minister of Meghalaya Conrad K Sangma, Deputy Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh Chowna Mein, PHE Minister Nagaland Jacob Zhimomi, IT Minister Meghalaya Hamletson Dohling, Secretary Department of Telecommunication, Secretary DoNER, officials from the government of India and NE states.

 (NorthEastnow, Aug 12, 2018)

History of e-governance in India

E-governance is usually defined as distribution of government services and information to the public using electronic means. The means used for the distribution of information are often referred to as Information Technology or ‘IT’ in short forms. Use of IT in the government facilities is an efficient, speedy and transparent process for distributing information to the public and other agencies, and for performing government administration activities. The term governance may be termed as the process by which society navigates itself. In the process of e-governance the interactions between the State, Private Enterprise and Civil Society are being increasingly acclimatised and revised through the influence of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), constituting the phenomenon of e-governance. We can look the other way but the reality is that the time is changing and so are the means of communication and governance. There are many instances which have advocated loudly such developments; the use of the Internet by Civil Society, NGOs and professional associations to mobilise opinion and influence decision-making process that affect them; the increasing electronic delivery of government and commercial service and information; the electronic publication of draft legislation and statements of direction for public feedback; on the infrastructure side, the liberalisation of telecommunication markets and trends towards web-enabled mobile telephony and digital television are facilitating this evolution.

(State Times, Aug 03, 2018)

Patriotic tunes but no bedlam for Ikea's Indian debut

Ikea's first Indian outlet opened on Thursday, with more than 200 eager shoppers queueing in the underground car park to escape the heat as a military band played a crowd-pleasing medley inside. 
The store in the southern city of Hyderabad is the first of 25 outlets the Swedish furniture giant hopes to open by 2025 across the country of 1.25 billion people. 
"I've come all the way from Bangalore (575 kilometres, 357 miles away). I am excited to see what's there," garment factory employee Krishna Mohan Dixit, 39, who began lining up 90 minutes before the 10 am opening, told AFP. 

(ET, Aug 09, 2018)

India, South Korea Trade and Investment Ties: Focus on CEPA, Make in India

South Korean President Moon Jae-in undertook a four-day visit to India in early July, keen to improve bilateral economic and business ties between Seoul and New Delhi. High on the visiting leader’s agenda was renewing South Korean interest in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s flagship ‘Make in India‘ campaign. Moon and Modi were both present as Samsung, the South Korean multinational conglomerate, used the visit to launch its largest global mobile factory in Delhi’s National Capital Region. After formal talks, the focus was on finding ways to ease bilateral investment challenges, deepen economic ties, and upgrade the current Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA).  India and South Korea also aim to increase trade and investment to US$50 billion by 2030 – from the current US$20 billion.

(India Briefing, Aug 08, 2018)

Messe Muenchen India to hold trade for electronic industry

Messe Muenchen India will organise electronica India and productronica India next month to unlock the increasing market opportunity for electronics industry in India. The trade fair, which will focus on technological trends in automotive electronics, mobile manufacturing, technology for printed circuit board (PCB) manufacturing, is expected to see 470 companies representing 18 countries.  The three-day event at Bangalore International Exhibition Centre, between September 26 and 28, will debut many companies this year such as Littelfuse Far East Pte Ltd, Murata Manufacturing Company, Hanwha Precision Machinery (Samsung), Mahindra CIE Automotive, Mouser Electronics India, ROHM Semiconductor India and TTM Technologies in addition to the regular participants.

(ET, Aug 07, 2018)

Printed Electronics Market 2017: Industry Revenue Status and Outlook (2022)

Printed Electronics Market Report gives fundamental data identified with the general market and value estimate over a five-year time frame, from 2017 to 2022. In this bit, the masters have offered key figures which identifies with the creation and utilization gauge for the real areas that the market is classify into, generation conjecture by sort, and utilization estimate by application. Printed Electronics Market report shows the detail examination of the parent advertise in view of driving players, present, past and current data which will fill in as a gainful guide for all the Printed Electronics business contenders.

(Chronicle India, Aug 04, 2018)

India raises trade deficit issue with China at WTO

India has flagged concerns of its large trade deficit with China, visa restrictions for Indian professionals and the challenges faced in exporting IT services, meat, rice and medicines to Beijing at the World Trade Organization (WTO). Trade is skewed in favour of China at a trade surplus of $63 billion. Bilateral trade was $89.6 billion in 2017-18.  “This large and growing deficit is difficult for India to sustain, and serious efforts need to be made to remedy the situation,” India said in its submission to WTO, commenting on China’s trade policy, which EThas seen. Citing complex requirements for participating in contracts of Chinese state-owned enterprises (SOE) and issues related to qualification requirements, licensing and taxation, Delhi has sought transparency in export of agriculture products including bovine meat and providing services such as IT. “Indian professionals are facing visas restrictions like permits being granted only for a year,” it said. 
(ET, July 16, 2018)

Electronics import bill is a growing concern for Indian policy makers

Rising disposable incomes mean that India's demand for electronics is soaring, but the country needs to manufacture more goods within the country to reduce import costs and boost the economy, analysts say. “While the government is taking steps to boost electronics production, one needs to see how quickly it ramps up - else given its size, which is now close to the oil deficit, it may be emerging as the ‘new oil’ for India,” says Kapil Gupta, an economist at Edelweiss, a financial services firm headquartered in Mumbai. Manufacturing of electronic good in India is still relatively low and imports of electronic items are a burden on the country's trade deficit. A study by lobby group Assocham reveals that India would need to import $300 billion of electronic products, including televisions and smartphones, by 2020 to meet demand, which is growing at a rate of more than 40 per cent a year.

(The National, July 15, 2018)

Great things are going to happen in Goa: Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad

The Goa IT Day held in Panjim over the weekend has shown the State, famous for its tourism industry, in a new light: as the next IT destination of India. Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad, Union Minister for Electronics, IT, Law and Justice, was in Panjim to launch Goa's IT Policy and Schemes along with Goa Chief Minister Shri Manohar Parrikar and Shri Rohan Khaunte, Minister for IT, Revenue, Law & Employment. The Union Minister spoke to the audience about Goa’s potential future beyond tourism and hospitality. He also pledged support for their initiatives. Praising the Goa government’s IT policy and calling it extraordinary and well-thought-out, Shri Prasad promised that the Central government will help make Goa a centre for IT initiatives. He also assured that Goa would have an NIELIT (National Institute of Electronics & Information Technology) centre soon for super digital scaling. “Just give us the land; we will take care of the rest,” he told the State government dignitaries at the dais.

(Your Story, July 15, 2018)

Automotive Cockpit Electronics Market Share, Growth, Trend Analysis And Forecast From 2017-2022; Consumption Capacity By Volume And Production Value

The Automotive Cockpit Electronics Market Research Report is a highly diligent Report on competitive landscape analysis, prime manufacturers, marketing strategies analysis, Market Effect Factor Analysis and Consumer Needs by major regions, types, applications in United States market considering the past, current and future state of the Automotive Cockpit Electronics industry. The report provides a thorough overview of the Automotive Cockpit Electronics market including definitions, classifications, applications and chain structure.

(Stock Analysis, July 14, 2018)

Global Small Electric Motors Market 2018 Ind. Production, Supply, Sales & Demand Market Research Report

Worldwide Small Electric Motors Market 2018 Production, Supply, Sales, and Demand on Small Electric Motors Market Research Report is in-depth research report on Small Electric Motors. From two aspects: production and sales, the “Global Small Electric Motors Market 2018” report provides detailed information of production, supply, sales, demand, price, cost, income and revenue on Small Electric Motors in the US, EU, China, Japan and rest of the world. In terms of production: the “Global Small Electric Motors Market 2018” report gives ex-factory price, cost, production value, and gross margin etc. of different types of Small Electric Motors produced in different regions and different manufacturers. In terms of sales:- the “Global Small Electric Motors Market 2018” report gives sales volume, sales price, cost, sales income, and profit margin etc. of Small Electric Motors used in different fields, sold in different regions and by different companies related to Small Electric Motors.

(Chronicle India, July 14, 2018)

57% Indian cos have privacy team, rest work with little oversight: Deloitte

As the European data protection laws kicked in on May 25, a large number of Indian firms have been caught off guard as they scramble to ensure compliance to strict provisions of the regulations termed General Data Protection Regime (GDPR), a study by Deloitte and Data Security Council of India found.

(BS, July 11, 2018)

Andhra Pradesh tops the list in ease of doing business among all states and UTs

Second year in a row, Andhra Pradesh outperformed 28 other states and seven union territories (UTs) to be the best in India to do business in, showed rankings released by the government.

The third edition of the annual ranking of all states and UTs under the Business Reform Action Plan (BRAP) conducted by the industry department and the World Bank showed Telangana and Haryana in second and third spots, while Meghalaya stood last at 36th position. 
The ranking is based on 372 action points or reforms undertaken to ease regulation and systems in construction permit, labour regulation, environmental registration, access to information, land availability, and single window system. It is aimed at triggering competition among states to attract investments and improve business climate. 

(ET, July 11, 2018)

India's unofficial recycling bin: the city where electronics go to die

rom the road one could see locals washing the ash from burned e-waste and using sieves to recover fragments of metal. Women and children broke apart and segregated the printed circuit board components, prying open the object and separating the gold, silver and copper-plated components.

Locals in Moradabad in western Uttar Pradesh described [to us] the process of recycling this hazardous material. Once the basic dismantling and separation were achieved, different methods of extraction followed: typically burning, grinding, washing and bathing in acid. The city of Moradabad, home to 900,000 people, was once celebrated as the brass capital of India. Now it is notorious as a centre for e-waste processing, an industry built on the declining fortunes of its famed brassware sector.

(The Guardian, July 09, 2018)

IIT Khargpur along with TU Munich set up a research center on Intelligent transportation system

IIT Kharagpur and the Technical University of Munich from Germany have entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for setting up an Indo-German Collaborative Research Center on Intelligent Transportation Systems. The Center will be located at IIT Kharagpur with the possibility of a similar center being replicated in Germany in the future. The goal of this Center will be to bring together Indian and German researchers, as well as industry partners from the two countries to work on various topics in the domain of transportation. These include next-generation cars where most of the innovation is in electronics and software, to environmentally friendly green transportation options and seamless connectivity between various modes of transportation. 

(ET, June 27, 2018)

Global Silicone in Electrical and Electronics Market 2018: Industry Outlook and Trend Analysis

This statistical surveying analysis report on the Global Silicone in Electrical and Electronics Market 2018 to 2023 is a complete study of the industry sectors, up-to-date outlines, business development, drivers, and restraints. It provides market predictions for the upcoming years. It contains an analysis recently developments in modernization, Porter’s five forces analysis and progressive aspects of elected business rivals. The Silicone in Electrical and Electronics report, what is more, articulates a study of small and full-scale factors indicated for the new and established competitors within the market beside an authorized worth chain investigation.

This report presents a 360-Degree Overview of the competitive state of affairs of the Silicone in Electrical and Electronics Industry. The report additional comes to the size and valuation of the Worldwide market within the coming back forecast period. The Silicone in Electrical and Electronics report also presents an intensive quantitative and qualitative knowledge leading the projected result of those factors on market’s future growth possibilities.

(The Honest Analytics, June 22, 2018)

Panasonic finally breaks even in India

 Panasonic IndiaNSE 6.63 %, the flagship company of Japanese electronics maker Panasonic in the country, broke even in 2016-17, posting Rs 72.2 crore net profit as per its latest regulatory filings with the Registrar of Companies (RoC). 

The company’s consumer electronics, home appliances and automotive businesses turned profitable in the fiscal, leading to overall profitability in its ninth year of operation after making a re-entry into the Indian market.  Panasonic India had recorded net loss of Rs 42 crore in the previous year.  In FY17, its total income grew 14.4% year on year to Rs 5,589.9 crore, driven by television and white goods business that contributed Rs 4,997.1 crore. 

(ET, June 22, 2018)

L&T opposes plan to give submarine project to Mazagon Dock

With the government considering a proposal to move a Rs 60,000-crore project to build submarines to the public sector on a nomination basis, India’s top shipbuilder Larsen and Toubro has sought the Niti Aayog’s intervention, asking that it be reserved for the private industry as per the original plans. 

The mega 'Make in India' project — named P75I — is for the construction of six conventional submarines with advanced abilities to stay underwater for extended periods with Air Independent Propulsion (AIP). The project was picked up as the biggest under an ambitious strategic partnership policy in 2016 to promote private sector involvement in defence. 
(ET, June 20, 2018)

Black Pepper Spices up the Arm Approved Design Partner Program

One of the key features of the Arm ecosystem is its open and collaborative nature, and that’s no more evident than in its bank of Approved Design Partners. They bring an additional layer of design expertise and capabilities to SoCs from Arm silicon partners, enabling them with more opportunities to bring custom chips to a vast variety of markets.  Ensuring a global spread of design partners, especially around the world’s biggest tech hubs, has always been a priority for us and the addition of India’s Black Pepper is an important milestone on that journey. We now have a trusted design services partner in Bangalore able to support regional APAC licensees within or closer to their respective time zones. India is a hotbed for technology potential, with the government predicting the semiconductor component market alone will be worth more than $30 billion by 2025.

(Design & Reuse, June 18, 2018)

TRAI, BEREC Sign Memorandum on Preserving, Promoting Net Neutrality Rules

Telecom regulators from India and the European Union (EU) met this week to announce their common understanding of the "building blocks of net neutrality rules", and their intention to collaborate on regulations. Representatives of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) and the Body of European Regulators for Electronics Communication (BEREC) on Thursday in Sopat, Poland signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to "advocate for effective electronics communications regulation." The two also released a "Joint Statement for the Open Internet", that defined the heretofore mentioned building blocks.  The MoU was said to show the willingness of both sides to develop regular exchanges regarding the implementation and preservation of net neutrality rules. The regulators said they intend to "promote competitive markets, technological innovation, and value for consumers."

(Gadgets, June 16, 2018)

India’s first lithium-ion cell manufacturing plant to come up in Andhra

In line with the government’s “Make in India” initiative, Munoth Industries, promoted by Chennai-based Munoth group, announced here on Wednesday the setting up of India’s first lithium-ion cell manufacturing plant in Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh, for the mobile industry. The plant will be set up with an outlay of Rs 799 crore in three phases, Munoth Industries said, adding that the plant will provide employment opportunities to 1,700 people. The first phase of th “The setting up of India’s first lithium-ion cell manufacturing plant for mobile industry will improve competitiveness. It will create more value addition to the country and eventually it will drive down the pricing,” Pankaj Mohindroo, National President, Indian Cellular Association (ICA) told IANS.e project will be operational by March 2019 and the second and third phases by 2022, the company added. 

(Indian Express, June 15, 2018)

Samsung aims for 10 per cent increase in TV market share:

India’s biggest television brand Samsung expects a 10% increase in its local market share by the festival season, harnessing demand for premium and larger sets and its expanding geographic footprint to outflank competition in a crowded industry.   The FIFA World Cup, followed by the pre-Diwali shopping, should help the South Korean electronics giant enhance its share from 30% to 33% before India’s busy shopping season kicks off in October, senior vice president for consumer electronics Raju Pullan said. 

(ET, June 15, 2018)

Consumer Electronic Accessories Market Overview – Key Futuristic Trends and Competitive Landscape 2023

HTF MI comprehensive and detailed 122-page research study on Global Consumer Electronic Accessories provides a significantly expanded scope with deeply analyzed conclusions and content that includes an industry relevant database of major existing Consumer Electronic Accessories manufacturers/players in each region, analysis of 11 leading national markets, important regions [North America, United States, Canada, Mexico, Asia-Pacific, China, India, Japan, South Korea, Australia, Indonesia, Singapore, Rest of Asia-Pacific, Europe, Germany, France, UK, Italy, Spain, Russia, Rest of Europe, Central & South America, Brazil, Argentina, Rest of South America, Middle East & Africa, Saudi Arabia, Turkey & Rest of Middle East & Africa], a description of major geopolitical trends, analysis of the influencing factors and regulatory policies leading to the volatile dynamics.

 (Business Tactics, June 15, 2018)

India’s BEL opens Vietnam office to boost exports

India’s state-owned Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) has opened a representative office in Hanoi, Vietnam, to pursue exports in the country and the wider Southeast Asia region. The office was opened on 13 June by India’s Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who is visiting Vietnam to take part in the fourth annual defence industry meeting between the two countries. BEL said the new office – its first in international markets – will enable it to “address export business opportunities and to provide product support and services to users in the region”. BEL added that the new office is in line with efforts to expand its international profile and to “give a thrust to exports worldwide, especially in Southeast Asia”.

(Jane’s 360, June 14, 2018)

India: The Cross-Border E-Commerce Conundrum

Several e-commerce ventures around the world have expressed their interest in exploring the Indian market. It is relatively easier for existing cross-border e-commerce businesses to explore means to cater to Indian clientele without necessarily having to establish a physical presence in India in the form of brick and mortar stores, warehouses or offices. Cross-border retail e-commerce websites, for the most part, would simply need to ensure suitable tie-ups with logistics partners with capabilities for executing deliveries in India, and could otherwise continue to use their existing infrastructure to display their catalogue and service orders from customers who are physically located in, or require that their orders be delivered to, India.

However, this is not without several notable drawbacks. Cross-border retail e-commerce merchants face certain constraints in addition to those experienced by their Indian peers, for instance, increased shipping and import costs, longer lead times between placement of orders and corresponding deliveries, no 'cash on delivery' payment option, and a more complex returns and repairs process. Nevertheless, there is no doubt that the presence of cross-border e-commerce websites provide Indian consumers access to a wider range and variety of products as well as a cost effective way for foreign retailers looking to test the waters before committing to a more full-fledged investment in the Indian market.

(Mondaq, June 11, 2018)

Xiaomi & Dixon Tech join hands for Make-in-India 'Mi' TV launch in August, to make 55K sets every month

India’s biggest smartphone maker Xiaomi has partnered homegrown consumer electronics contract manufacturer Dixon Technologies to make about 55,000 television sets locally every month, two senior industry executives told ET.

Xiaomi’s deal with Dixon will likely ensure an August launch for the Make-in-India ‘Mi’ brand of televisions, the local production of which should begin next month at Dixon’s new Tirupati plant. The Chinese firm will make the 32- and 43-inch sets through this arrangement which may later be expanded to newer models, the executives said.

Xiaomi’s deal with Taiwanese contract manufacturer Foxconn to further expand TV production locally is also in the offing, as ET reported last month, since the Chinese company wants to ensure local output for more than 90% of the television sets it sells in India. Foxconn is likely to manufacture the 55-inch and above models at its Chennai facility that also produces sets for Sony.

(ET, June 11, 2018)

Govt. unable to crack GST e-wallet code as export refunds remain unpaid

Even as exporters and the government continue to argue over the amount of unpaid refunds under the goods and services tax (GST) regime, the much-awaited e-wallet mechanism remains a non-starter. Traders had supported the e-wallet mechanism to battle the liquidity crunch that had set in after the GST was introduced. Subsequently, a decision to adopt it was taken at the 22nd GST Council meet on October 6 last year, with an initial deadline for April 1. However, after the deadline was missed, the government extended the roll-out by six months. Earlier this year, Business Standard was the first to point out that little progress would derail the April 1 deadline. More than two months later, despite multiple meetings between top officials of the Ministries of Commerce and Finance, the progress was slow, sources said.

(BS, June 06, 2018)

 Automotive Electronics Control Unit Management Market Report 2017: Business Segmentation By Revenue And Market Structure Forecast 2022

Automotive Electronics Control Unit Management Market report provides complete evaluation for those who are looking for Business expand in various regions, manufacturers, New entrants in the industry, Professional organisation/solutions providers, Government bodies, financial speculators and private value firms.

Reports presents an in-depth assessment of the Automotive Electronics Control Unit Management including enabling technologies, key trends, market drivers, challenges, standardization, regulatory landscape, opportunities, future roadmap, value chain, ecosystem player profiles and strategies. The report also presents forecasts for Automotive Electronics Control Unit Management investments from 2017 till 2022

Exclusive Reportage, June 03, 2018)

New Zealand electronics firm Rakon to buy out Bengaluru’s Centum in JV

Bengaluru-based Centum Electronics Ltd has agreed to sell its entire 51% stake in a joint venture with Rakon Ltd to the New Zealand electronics maker. The company will sell the stake in Centum Rakon India Pvt. Ltd for $5.5 million (Rs 36.5 crore), it said in a stock-exchange disclosure. Centum Rakon makes frequency-control products for telecom infrastructure. After the acquisition, Rakon’s holding in Centum Rakon will go up to 100%.

According to the agreement, Centum Electronics will receive 75% of the deal amount immediately and the remaining 25% over a period of 18 months from the signing date. The deal is likely to be closed.

(VC Circle, Apr 30, 2018)

RCom unit to pay Rs. 232 cr to settle with minority investors, shares spike

Reliance Communications' tower arm has reached a settlement with minority investors including HSBC Daisy Investments, a big step towards clearing the way for the sale of the telco's towers and fibre assets to Reliance Jio. The move pushed up RCom's scrip 6.21% on the Bombay Stock Exchange to Rs 16.25.  According to sources, the Anil Ambani owned company has agreed to pay Rs 232 crore to the minority investors for settling the issue.

(ET, May 30, 2018)

WTO dispute on export schemes: India to engage with US

India today said it will engage with the US to explain its position on export schemes following America's decision to drag India into the WTO against programmes to incentivize shipments, a top official said. America yesterday challenged India's export subsidy programmes such as Merchandise Exports from India Scheme in the World Trade Organization (WTO), saying these initiatives harm the US companies by creating an uneven playing field.

(ET, May 30, 2018)

Lack of land title means no payment for solar producers

Solar energy developers have protested to the ministry of new and renewable energy against the Karnataka government for delaying clearance of land acquisition and using that as a reason to deny them payments for power supplied.

The developers are not being paid because they haven’t received clear titles to the land they acquired for the projects, the National Solar Energy Federation of India wrote to the ministry. ET has seen a copy of the letter. The developers won contracts for 920 MW.

(ET, May 30, 2018)

Fridge, AC to cost more from next month

Prices of refrigerators, air-conditioners and washing machines are set to go up 3-5% starting November, as white goods makers plan to pass on higher input costs.  However, consumers will mostly feel the impact only from December, as retailers are saddled with unsold inventory from Diwali which they will first clear before sourcing fresh stock at higher prices, three senior industry executives said. Input cost has gone up by 30-50% since the last price hike, which the industry effected in January.  The price of steel has since increased by 40% and that of copper by 50%. A crucial chemical called MDI, which is used to make foams mostly for refrigerators, is facing a global shortage and its price has doubled.

(ET, May 30, 2018)

CAIT files petition in CCI against Walmart-Flipkart deal

Traders body CAIT today said it has approached the Competition Commission of India (CCINSE 0.00 %) against the Walmart-Flipkart deal, stating that it will create unfair competition and an uneven level playing field for domestic players. The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) said the deal would deny market access to non-preferred sellers and impact small traders on offline platform.  The confederation has "filed its objection petition in CCI against the Walmart-Flipkart deal," it said in a statement.

(ET, May 29, 2018)

SoftBank, IL&FS team up to power 20 GW solar parks

The SoftBank Group is tying up with infrastructure conglomerate IL&FS to develop more than 20 gigawatts of solar capacity in India by 2025 to support Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious renewable energy road map for the country.

This comes less than two mgjonths after the Japanese group teamed up with China’s GCL System Integration Technology for a $930 million (Rs 6,350 crore) India solar power venture.

(ET, May 29, 2018)

EC will need 24 lakh EVMs in case of simultaneous polls in 2019

If simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and state assemblies are held in 2019, the Election Commission (EC) will require nearly 24 lakh EVMs, double the number required to hold only the Parliamentary polls. During their discussion with the Law Commission on May 16 on the issue of holding simultaneous polls, the EC officials had said they would need around Rs 4,500 crore to buy nearly 12 lakh additional electronic voting machines (EVMs) and an equal number voter-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) machines. The estimate was based on the current cost to procure the devices, sources privy to the deliberations told PTI. In case simultaneous polls are held, two separate sets of EVMs and VVPAT machines will have to be placed in separate compartments for those contesting the Lok Sabha polls and the Assembly elections respectively.

(India Today, May 27, 2018)

India Test Fires Second BrahMos Supersonic Missile in 24 Hours

For the second time in just over 24 hours, the Indian Ministry of Defense’s (MoD) research arm, the Defense Research Development Organization (DRDO), and the Indian Army have test fired a supersonic BrahMos cruise missile. The latest test occurred on May 22 and was fired from an autonomous mobile launcher, the Indian Ministry of Defense (MoD) said in a statement. The launch took place at 11:45 a.m. local time at a test range in Balasore district in the eastern Indian state of Odisha and “fulfilled its objectives,” the MoD said. The launch tested new locally designed components of the BrahMos developed for some of the missile’s subsystems to extend its service life from 10 to 15 years.

(The Diplomat, May 24, 2018)

The Significance of E-Waste Management In the backdrop of Current IT Boom

The IT, IT enabled services (ITeS) and electronics has been one of the fastest-growing industries in India, both in terms of production and exports. The Indian electronics products demand worldwide is expected to grow at a CAGR of 41% during 2017-20, and expected to reach US$ 400 billion by 2020. According to NASSCOM, exports in the IT-BPM sector is set to grow at 7-8% while domestic market is set to grow at 10-11% adding 130,000-150,000 jobs by FY2018. Additionally, India being the second largest mobile phone producer in the world after China, annual production of mobile phones in the country has increased from 3 million units in 2014 to 11 million units in 2017, according to data shared by Indian Cellular Association (ICA).

(Entrepreneur, May 23, 2018)

Cabinet apprised of the MoU between India and Angola for promoting bilateral cooperation in the field of Electronics and Information Technology

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has been apprised of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) the between India and Angola for promoting bilateral cooperation in the field of Electronics and Information Technology. .The MoU intends to promote closer cooperation in the areas of e-Governance, HRD for IT education, Information Security, Electronics Hardware manufacturing, IT embedded Software industry, Telemedicine etc. Background: The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has been mandated to promote international cooperation in the emerging and frontier areas of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) under bilateral and regional framework of cooperation. MeitY has entered into MoUs/Agreements with counterpart organizations/ agencies of various countries to promote close cooperation and exchange of information in the area of ICT. To further enhance cooperation with various countries, particularly in view of the new initiatives taken by Government of India like "Digital India", "Make in India" etc., there is an increased need for exploring business opportunities in the technology sector which are of interest.

(BS, May 23, 2018)

HAL keen to supply Navy with light utility helicopters

Putting its hat in the ring for a naval requirement of light utility helicopters, state-owned aircraft manufacturer Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has asked the defence ministry to consider its indigenous chopper as well, against just looking at international companies like Airbus and Bell for replacements.  Sources have told ET that the state-owned company has informed the defence ministry about the progress in its light utility helicopter (LUH) programme that undertook its first flight in September 2016 and is planned for production starting this year.

(ET, May 19, 2018)

Universal Robots Expects India Biz to Grow Over 100pc

Denmark-based Universal Robots expects its business in India to grow over 100 per cent with adoption of its robots in sectors like apparel, finance and electronics, the company said. "Universal Robots has been shipping to India since last 5-6 years. We opened our office here three years ago. Automobile and automotive component makers have been early adopters of our robots. Now electronics, apparel and finance are opening up. We expect our business to grow over 100 per cent year-on-year," Universal Robots General Manager for South Asia Pradeep David said.

(News18, May 17, 2018)

Dynapower and Raychem RPG Announce Technology Transfer & Licensing Agreement to Bring Dynapower Energy Storage Technology to India and Neighboring SAARC Countries

Dynapower and Raychem RPG are pleased to announce they have executed a technology transfer and licensing agreement to bring Dynapower’s energy storage inverter technology to India and neighboring SAARC countries. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently hailed energy storage of solar energy in India as, “[the] next big technological revolution.”  “Dynapower is proud to work alongside Raychem RPG to help realize this revolution,” said Peter Pollak, Dynapower CEO. “For over 50 years we have deployed our power electronics around the world and pioneered the development of energy storage inverters, including the first UL-1741 listed smart inverter. We are excited to bring our technology and know-how to India as well as the SAARC countries as part of the agreement.”

(DynaPower, May 17, 2018)

Walmart-Flipkart deal shows both Indian e-commerce’s coming of age & repetition of history

Walmart’s acquisition of Flipkart demonstrates both Indian e-commerce’s coming of age and a repetition of history.

US giants will spend billions in India because they see huge opportunities, and this will produce a short-term boon for Indian consumers.

When the dust settles, though, prices will rise and consumer choices will become more limited than they had been. Foreign companies will mine data and manipulate consumer preferences. They will have once again colonised India’s retail industry.

(ET, May 15, 2018)

The defence and electronics sectors are driving India’s manufacturing industry

The Digital India scheme introduced by the government in a bid to advanced technology across the nation has seen the rise of electronics manufacturing.

As part of the scheme, India has announced the target of net zero imports in the country by 2020. India’s budget has levied a 10% import duty of several components of smartphones to discourage imports, including print circuit boards (PCBs).

The Chinese electronics manufacturer has recently opened smartphone facilities in the country and has now started producing PCBs in India along with Samsung.

(Manufacturing Global, May 14, 2018)

East Delhi complex first to get rooftop solar plant, will generate electricity at Rs 2.50 per unit

Milan Vihar Apartments in east Delhi’s IP Extension became the first group housing society in the capital to get its own rooftop solar power plants. Inaugurated by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, the 140 kWp plant will generate electricity at Rs 2.50 per unit for 1,600 residents living in approximately 400 flats.

Kejriwal said the panels were set up under the RESCO (Renewable Energy Service Company) model, in which the cost of the installation — Rs 77 lakh in this case —is borne by a private company. “Under the agreement, the company sets up the plant and generates electricity at Rs 4.66 per unit for 25 years. The Delhi government will provide a Rs 2 subsidy — which means people will pay Rs 2.66. The Central government will pay 30% of the capital cost,” he said.

According to officials, the Delhi government, Indraprastha Power Generation Co. Ltd and Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy Management Centre (EEREM) have signed an agreement under which electricity has to be provided at the same rate for 25 years.

(Indian Express, May 14, 2018)

Infineon launches new Development Center for automotive electronics and artificial intelligence in Dresden

Infineon is setting up a new Development Center at its Dresden location. The company is planning to create around 100 additional new jobs in the first phase. The new Development Center is expected to employ a total of around 250 people in the medium term. One focus of it will be to develop new products and solutions for automotive and power electronics, as well as artificial intelligence. It is scheduled to be launched in the course of the 2018 calendar year.

In Dresden, the Infineon Group already has one of its largest and most cutting-edge locations for developing wafer technologies and manufacturing processes, as well as a highly automated production plant. 2,200 employees carry out research into and develop technologies for microcontrollers, sensors and power semiconductors and make chips there – including for the automotive industry. System integration is gaining in importance to enable complex interaction between semiconductors in more and more technically sophisticated cars. Modeling complex systems and developing highly integrated products will be one of the new Development Center’s core tasks in addition to chip design.

Infineon, May 11, 2018)

India automotive industry to grow at 10% CAGR between 2018-2023: Research Cosmos

The Indian automotive manufacturing sector is expanding at a fast rate, which is making the country one of the fastest-growing automotive manufacturers in the world. With an annual production of nearly 4.5 million units in 2016, the country was the fifth-largest automobile manufacturer in the world, falling behind China, the United States, Japan, and Germany. The country’s automotive industry was the second-fastest growing among the top 10 vehicle manufacturers, with an annual growth rate of 7.9%, which was second only to China in 2016. The annual vehicle production in the country grew from 3.89 million units in 2012 to 4.49 million units during the same year. In addition to this, the country’s Automobile Mission Plan aims to lead India to be among the top three automobile manufacturers in the world by 2026. Incentives from the government, rising disposable income, lower auto financing interest rates, increasing FDI in the automotive sector, along with the country being ranked at 30th position in the global manufacturing index by the World Economic Forum, are the factors expected to drive the automotive industry in the country, registering a CAGR of over 10% over the forecast period.

(, May 10, 2018)


Highlighting the fact that a nation cannot be “truly” self-reliant until it is able to develop and manufacture its weapon systems, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said here on Tuesday the Government is promoting ‘Make in India’ projects to develop the Indian defence industry.

Making this point here while addressing the bi-annual Navy Commanders’ Conference, she said the Government is also promoting the medium and small scale enterprises in the ‘Make in India’ venture to gain access to world class technology. Appreciating the role of the Indian Navy in indigenization, she said its active role in engaging a wide range of research and development and production agencies is indicative of its commitment to self-reliance.

Towards this endeavour, the Combat Management System for the Indigenous Aircraft Carrier being developed with a private vendor (M/s Tata Power SEO) is a big step towards Strategic partnership between the defence ministry and industry.Programme ‘Samudrika,’ which will result in achieving 100 percent indigenisation of the electronic warfare fit onboard Indian warships is also reflective of Indian Navy’s continued effortstowards indigenisation, she said. The minister also noted that shipbuilding projects worth over Rs 32,000 crore were tendered and progressing towards contract conclusion. Projects worth Rs760 crore for construction of yard crafts are also being targeted for early conclusion through private and small shipyards, to bolster the ‘Make in India’ initiative and provide the necessary impetus to the Indian shipbuilding industry, Sitharaman said.

(The Pioneer, May 09, 2018)

Nokia acquires US-based IoT startup SpaceTime Insight

Nokia on Monday said it has acquired California-based startup SpaceTime Insight to expand its Internet of Things (IoT) portfolio and IoT analytics capabilities. SpaceTime Insight provides machine learning-powered analytics and IoT applications for some of the world’s largest transportation, energy and utilities organisations, including Entergy, FedEx, NextEra Energy, Singapore Power and Union Pacific Railroad. Besides the US, the company has offices in India, Canada, UK and Japan.

Designed specifically for asset-intensive industries, the machine learning models and other advanced analytics of SpaceTime Insight predict asset health with a high degree of accuracy and optimise related operations, thereby helping its customers cut cost and risk, while increasing operational efficiencies and reducing service outages. Without divulging the terms of the deal, Nokia said the acquisition will accelerate the development of the company’s IoT offerings to deliver high-value IoT applications and services to new and existing customers.

(BGR India, May 07, 2018)

Govt. recommends green registration plates for electric vehicles

The Union road transport and highways ministry has recommended green registration plates for electric vehicles (EVs) so as to identify them for preferential treatment, such as special parking or discounted tolls.

The ministry will soon issue a notification specifying the colour of the plates to be used by these vehicles, two senior government officials said on condition of anonymity. According to the ministry’s proposal, while the registration plates of private electric vehicles will have a green background with numbers and letters in white, those of commercial electric vehicles will have a green background with numbers and letters in yellow, the officials added.

Federal think tank Niti Aayog, which is framing the draft policy for EVs, had recommended green registration plates for such vehicles. It has also constituted a team comprising seven ministries such as power, road and heavy industries to frame guidelines to promote such vehicles.

(HT, May 04, 2018)

Electronics exporter Syrma sets up domestic production unit

San Jose and Chennai based Syrma Technology, an exporter of electronic products and solutions announced its foray into the domestic market with a $10 million investment in its fifth manufacturing unit in the Delhi-Mumbai corridor. The unit will service the opportunities in the Indian market and will focus on the Auto, Industrial, Aerospace & Defence and Healthcare sectors which the company already makes products for.

Syrma designs and manufactures RFID tags, Magnetic products, Printed Circuit Boards Assembly (PCBAs) and box builds for a range of applications. In addition to two units in the Madras Export Processing Zone (MEPZ), Chennai the company has two manufacturing units located in Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra.

(ET, Apr 26, 2018)

Solar cell imports: EU, Japan question safeguard duties recommended by India

The European Union and Japan have questioned the preliminary safeguard duties of 70 per cent on imported solar cells recommended by the Directorate General of Safeguards in India, adding to the on-going debate on the appropriateness of the duties.

“In a meeting of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Safeguards Committee on Monday, the EU and Japan criticized the conduct of the investigations and the initial findings leading to the proposed safeguard duties on solar cells in India. New Delhi, however, stated that it follows WTO rules and regulations on the imposition of safeguard measures,” a Geneva-based trade official told BusinessLine.

(BusinessLine, Apr 25, 2018)

Electronics giant Philips posts 27% drop in Q1 profits

Dutch electronics giant Philips today posted a 27 per cent drop in first quarter profits, hit partly by the costs of restructuring and some acquisitions as it evolves its portfolio.

Net income fell in the first three months to 94 million euros (USD 115 million) compared to 128 million euros over the same period in 2017, the company reported in a statement.

Best known for the manufacture of light bulbs, electrical appliances and television sets, the Amsterdam-based company has gradually pulled out of these activities in face of fierce competition from Asia.

It focuses now more on high-end medical and health technology, such as computer tomography and molecular imaging, as well as household appliances.

(PTI, Apr 23, 2018)

Samsung eyes 40% share of Indian microwave market in 2018

Consumer electronics major Samsung is aiming 40 per cent market share in the microwave segment in India by the end of this year on the back of more innovative range of products, a top company official has said.

In 2017, Samsung had 33 per cent market share in the segment by volume in the country and 35.5 per cent by value in 2017. In 2013, it had 22 per cent market share by volume and 23.5 per cent by value.

"We are looking to better our market position and we would be touching 37 per cent (market share) by the end of first half of 2018)... We would touch market share of 40 per cent by the end of this year as we launch more innovative products," Samsung India vice president consumer electronics business Rajeev Bhutani told

(ET, Apr 23, 2018)

Chinese companies keen to engage in India smart cities mission, initiatives:

A number of Chinese companies across various sectors have converged here in Hyderabad to take part in the Sm@rt Urbanization meet to explore the possibilities of working on projects in the upcoming smart cities projects in India.

The delegation headed by Shiyong Hong, Vice President, China Chamber of Commerce and Export Machinery and Electronics Products (CCCME), is seeking to facilitate interface between Chinese and Indian companies exploring the potential to work on upcoming projects.

The Smart Cities Council India, part of the global consortium of smart cities, is organizing the 5th Smart Cities Summit Sm@rt Urbanization at Hyderabad International Convention Centre to analyze the learnings and impact assessment.

Speaking at the conference being held here, Shiyong Hong, Vice President, China Chamber of Commerce and Export Machinery and Electronics Products (CCCME), said, “China and India are the two largest developing countries with same strategies and dreams. Chinese President and Indian Prime Minister have met each other more than 10 times in the last 3 years. We need to match our strategies and explore potential for mutual growth.”

(Business Line, Mar 21, 2018)

India, Finland settle Nokia tax row

India and Finland have reached an accord on the tax dispute with Nokia under the Mutual Agreement Procedure (MAP), clearing the way for the sale of the company’s Chennai plant, which has been idle for more than three years, officials said. This involves a payment of Rs.1,600 crore, a sum that was deposited with the government by Nokia in March. The resolution covers disputes pertaining to Nokia India as well as Nokia Corp., said the officials.

Soon after taking over in 2014, the Narendra Modi government had pledged to put in place a taxpayer friendly regime and take steps to reduce litigation. Nokia India had been issued a demand notice for Rs 2,500 crore in 2013, which underwent rectification to remove errors to Rs 1,600 crore. A Rs 10,000 crore tax raised on Nokia Corp. for the same transaction on the grounds that it had a permanent establishment in the country — a move regarded as overzealousness on the part of the department by some — was not found sustainable and has been dropped.

(ET, Apr 20, 2018)

Prabhu promises exporters to take up GST refund issue

Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu on Wednesday assured exporters of taking up the issue of Goods and Service Tax (GST) refund with the finance ministry and said he plans to call a ministerial meeting to discuss export related issues.

As exports dipped in March after a gap of four months, Prabhu sought a detailed action plan from exporters of all sectors in an interaction with them here.

“I have asked exporters to give me the details of the pending refund. GST refund is a major issue for exports. I will take it up with the finance ministry,” he said.

(ET, Apr 19, 2018)

India probes dumping of EVA sheets for solar modules by 5 nations

India has initiated a probe into the alleged dumping of EVA sheets used in solar cell industry, imported from China, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, South Korea and Thailand.

The investigation on imports of 'Ethylene Vinyl Acetate (EVA) sheets for solar modules' is carried out by the Directorate General of Antidumping and Allied Duties (DGAD), which is an arm of the commerce ministry.

In the probe, the directorate would determine the existence, degree and effect of the dumped products on the domestic industry.

(BS, Apr 17, 2018)

Apple, Google, IBM CEOs Head to China With Trade War Brewing

Leaders of Apple Inc., Google and other U.S. technology giants head to China this weekend to pursue a familiar goal: To do more business in the world’s most populous nation. The effort has had mixed results, at best, in the past.

With a trade war brewing between the world’s two largest economies, the goal has gotten loftier still.

Tim Cook, chief executive officer of Apple, Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, and Ginny Rometty, head of IBM, are scheduled to attend the China Development Forum, an annual gathering that helps Western corporations build relationships with the country’s government officials.

(ET, Mar 24, 2018)

BYD entry worries local auto companies but government happy with dipping prices

The entry of China’s giant e-vehicles company BYD in India by bagging large tenders for electric buses is worrying Indian auto majors but the Union government is weighing their concerns against the benefits of competition, which has led to a sharp fall in prices. 
Indian industry executives say the decision to allow a company the size of BYD to participate in the recent tenders goes against the government’s ‘Make in India’ mission and will create jobs in China instead of in India.

 (ET, Mar 23, 2018)

The curious case of rising electronic imports

Electronic items are weighing heavily on India’s trade deficit. Relentlessly rising imports of electronic items, especially mobile phones, at a time when crude oil prices are firmer, pose a risk to the country’s current account deficit (CAD).

In January 2017, India’s net electronic imports increased 12% compared to a year ago. The chart alongside shows the annualized electronic goods deficit touched $50 billion for April-December. That is as much as 30% higher on a year-on-year basis.

In fact, the magnitude of the impact this variable can have on overall trade deficit has risen over time. For perspective, “Electronic goods deficit is now very close to 9MFY18 annualised oil deficit of $64 billion,” pointed out Edelweiss Securities Ltd in a report on 28 February, adding that the category accounts for 25% of the trade deficit widening during the period.

(ANI, Mar 13, 2018)

Delta Electronics launches EV charging solutions to support the government's 2030 vision

In support of government's electric mobility drive, leading power and energy management company Delta Electronics India Pvt. Ltd. on Tuesday launched its complete range of energy efficient electric vehicle (EV) charging solutions in India.

The advanced EV charging solution offerings from Delta will enable the ecosystem to keep pace with the growing demands for a robust electric automobile infrastructure.

Exhibiting at Elecrama 2018, Delta showcased its diverse portfolio of EV solutions with DC Quick, AC Chargers and Site Management System.

These chargers can be conveniently installed in multiple applications such as parking spaces, highway service, as well as residential and commercial buildings.

(ANI, Mar 13, 2018)

Ministry of Defence project to add tech muscle to arms procurement

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has begun a project to build IT systems that would help streamline operations and take faster decisions as it looks to increase domestic production of arms and equipment for the armed forces.

So far, officials say, lack of a single-technology platform is among the reasons that has affected faster decision making in local procurement and has led India to depend hugely on imports. The technology platform is also being designed for planners in the military to get a single view of expertise of domestic manufacturers in arms and equipment, helping them shortlist vendors. The vendors have the provision to file certifications, products and licences to the defence ministry. 

(ET, Mar 12, 2018)

India has huge potential to become leader in solar energy sector: Vice President

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu has said that India has huge potential to become the leader in solar energy sector. Mr Naidu said this while addressing the inaugural session of ELECRAMA 2018, organized by the Indian Electrical and Electronics Manufacturing Association in Noida, Uttar Pradesh on Saturday.

He said, various initiatives taken by the government have improved India’s rank in World   Bank’s Ease of getting electricity Index from 99 to 26.

The Vice President said, electric vehicles and hybrid electric vehicles will be driving the automobile industry in the coming years.

He further said that the government had already unveiled the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan and set a target of 60 to 70 lakh units of Electric Vehicles and hybrid electric vehicles by 2020.

(The Indian Awaaz, Mar 12, 2018)

State-owned fuel pumps to top up digital payments companies

One of the major sectors where the government is promoting digital payments is fuel retailing and digital payment companies are targeting the state-owned fuel retailing agencies for rapid digitisation of fuel pumps, which can push up transaction numbers and also create consumer stickiness. From Fino Payments Bank to Paytm to payment entities like Mobikwik and PhonePe all are trying to bring in technology innovations in this space to ensure fast yet reliable digital payments at fuel outlets. 
“We need digital payments to be accomplished within less than 15 seconds for each consumer, which will ensure there is no queuing up and no problems for our customers,” said Sanjay Sinha, general manager, retail sales and loyalty at Indian Oil. “Any form of inconvenience will force them back to cash.” 

(ET, Feb 19, 2018)

EESL to float another global tender for 10,000 e-vehicles

State-run Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL) will soon float another global tender for 10,000 electric vehicles to be deployed across the country for government use, a senior executive has said. 

EESL, which is a joint venture of PSUs under the power ministry, will also sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the government of Andhra Pradesh this week to supply 10,000 electric vehicles. 

(ET, Feb 19, 2018)

Industry 4.0 can transform Indian Manufacturing

In recent years, Industry 4.0 has evolved rapidly from a distant, esoteric concept to something companies now believe is real and tangible.

Industry 4.0 is a collective term for the new technologies that are significantly changing the manufacturing landscape.  These technologies that are significantly changing the manufacturing landscape.  These technologies include 3D printing, sensors, advanced robotics, Internet of Thing (IoT), simulation, augmented reality, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Big Data ad Advanced Analytics.  The level of maturity across technologies as well as the stage of their cost evolution varies, and hence their applicability across industries in India is different.  Still, there is no doubt that these technologies can substantially improve cost, productivity, quality, and flexibility and employee satisfaction.

(ET, Feb 13, 2018)

Govt. must direct all incentives at EVs: Tata Motors chief

Tata Motors has said that the government’s incentives must be directed towards electric vehicles (EVs) only, as the industry would have to develop technologies such as hybrids in order to meet the future regulatory requirements.

Speaking at a roundtable here, Guenter Butschek, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, said that there should be no distractions on India’s journey towards full EVs and it must be carried out with a ‘single-minded’ focus, and considering the limited budget of the government, incentives must be solely directed towards EVs.

(BusinessLine, Feb 07, 2018)

Centre looks at phased roll-out of e-way bill

The central government is looking at backup options to introduce the electronic way (e-way) bill in a phased manner. It was to be implemented from February 1, but the Centre had to defer it indefinitely as businesses faced disruptions after the portal crashed.

The bill, said sources, can now be introduced after safeguard options are installed for the portal’s smooth working.

In January, the Goods and Services Tax Council decided to advance the introduction of the bill from February 1 for interstate movement of goods valued above Rs 50,000 from the earlier April 1. It gave freedom to states to introduce the bill for intrastate movement of goods beyond 10 km by July 1. However, 13 states had volunteered to implement the bill for intrastate movement of goods from February 1 itself.

(BS, Feb 07, 2018)

TV makers may review plans to Make in India

Consumer electronics makers Samsung, LG, Sony and Panasonic are reviewing their 'Make in India' strategy for televisions — which may lead to scaling down of local assembling operations — following the government decision to tax imports of 'open cell' LED TV panels. 

These companies, among others, are now evaluating imports of finished LED TV panels from countries with whom India has free trade agreements (FTAs) with, such as the Asean bloc of Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand and South Korea, which will provide 7-8% cost benefit, two senior industry officials said. 

(ET, Feb 07, 2018)

No Angel Tax on startups with up to Rs.10 cr funding

Startups incorporated before 2016 that have got up to Rs.10 crore in angel funding won’t face the so-called angel tax, once changes in the regime are finalized by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) which will soon notify the amendment, a senior government official told ET. It will also set up a separate committee for the recognition of such startups so that they get the relief, he said.

“We have finalized the conditions which will resolve the issue of pre-2016 startups,” the official said.  Startups incorporated after 2016 and recognized under the Startup India policy are spared this tax.

(ET, Feb 06, 2018)

Eicher launches first Electric Bus

Eicher Trucks and Buses launched its first electric bus “Skyline Pro E”.  The buses are certified to ply on Indian roads and we are confident they will bring great value to commuters, city transportation corporations and other organisations in this ecosystem,” Vinod Aggarwal, MD, VE Commercial Vehicles said.

(ET, Feb 06, 2018)

Hero Electric eyes capacity expansion

Electric two-wheeler maker Hero Electric will invest Rs 700 crore in capacity expansion over the next three to four years as it expects demand for green mobility solutions to pick up soon. 

Naveen Munjal, company's managing director, said funds for capacity increase and setting up of new plants will be raised through debt and equity. Talks are on with strategic partners for equity as well as technical tieup, he said. 

(ET, Feb 06, 2018)

Electric buses will take over half the world fleet by 2025

Nearly half of the municipal buses on the road worldwide will be electric within seven years.  With China expected to dominate the global market as it aims to cut urban pollution and support domestic manufacturers.

The total number of electric buses in service is forecast to more than triple, from 386,000 last year to about 1.2 million in 2025, equal to about 47 per cent of the worldwide city bus fleet, according to a report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

(BS, Feb 05, 2018)

Imports will not decline with Customs duty hike : Experts

The government raised the basic customs duty on a range of products from consumer goods and automotive parts to fully and partly built vehicles and medical devices, among others.  The hike was to the tune of 5-10 per cent with an additional surcharge slapped on the basic customs duty, making goods costlier as a result.

But, while the move was aimed at providing a boost to the government’s Make in India plans, the question is: Will these measures actually aid local manufacturing?  Experts believe that they will not because the crucial component market required to aid local manufacturing remains weak.

(BS, Feb 03, 2018)

Sops in the works for States that promote exports: Prabhu

The Commerce and Industry Ministry nulls incentives for States that play a  proactive role in promoting exports as it will help boost economic growth, Union Minister Suresh Prabhu said.

He said he has sought the views of States on the issue which was discussed during the third meeting of Council for Trade Development and Promotion.

(Business Line, Jan 09, 2018)

ISRO set to launch 31 satellites

India will launch 31 satellites, including earth observation spacecraft Cartosat, on January 12, instead of its earlier tentative schedule on January 10, a space official said.

“The rocket launch to carry Cartosat and other satellites, including 28 from the US and five other countries, will take place on Jnauary 12 at 9:30am.”  Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Public Relations Director Devi Prasad Karnik told IANS here.

(Business Line, Jan 09, 2018)

Chhattisgarh signs agreement to lay 32,000 km optical fiber network in villages

The Chhattisgarh Government today signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Centre for the second phase of the Bharat Net project under which 5987 village panchayats will be connected through optical fiber network.


The MoU will pave the way for laying 32,466 kms of optical fiber cable in 5987 Gram Panchayats of the state at a cost of Rs 1624 crore, Chief Minister Raman Singh said.

Union Minister of State for Telecommunications Manoj Sinha, present during the signing, said that Chhattisgarh is the first state in the country to use the ultramodern "ring architecture technology" to connect village panchayats by optical fiber to ensure better connectivity.

(Indian Express, Jan 08, 2018)

NITI eyes use of Blockchain Technology

Niti Aayog, the government’s premier policymaking body, is exploring the use of blockchain technology in legally approved areas such  as education, health and agriculture.

The Aayog set up in place of the erstwhile Planning Commission three years ago, has tried to bring high-end technology to key social sectors while giving policy directions in energy sector  through its National Energy Policy or the electric vehicle mission.  It introduced and popularized the concept of Atal Tinkering Labs or incubation centres across several schools in the country to encourage innovation among students.  Besides it has been instrumental in laying out a roadmap for disinvestment in more than 74 PSUs, rolling out the digital movement for the country post demonetization in November last year and introducing big-ticket reforms in health and education system.                       

(ET, Jan 04, 2018)

Investment In Electronic Manufacturing Grew By 27 Percent In 2017

Digital India has made rapid progress in the year 2017. The Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY), as a key ministry under the Government of India and the enabler of Digital India program, has undertaken numerous revolutionary initiatives in the area of IT/ ITeS and electronic manufacturing that have put India on the global map and went on to become case studies for the reputed Universities across the globe. Having covered over 99 percent of the adult population of the country through the unique identity Aadhaar, the country is now looking at embracing the second phase of Digital India.

The year saw a 27 percent jump in the investment on electronic manufacturing where the total volume of investment reached 1.57 lakh crore in 2017 vis-à-vis 1.43 lakh crore in 2016; this was only 11,000 crore in 2014.  There has been almost 60 percent rise on the production of mobile phones to reach 17.5 crore units vis-s-vis 11 crore units last year, adding 4 lakh direct and indirect jobs in the sector; this was only 6 crore units in 2014-15. Digital transactions witnessed a growth of over 300 percent during this year.

(Communications Today, Jan 02, 2018)

Metal printing used to make flexible, stretchable electronics

Scientists have developed a technique for directly printing metal circuits, to create flexible, stretchable electronics.

The technique can use multiple metals and substrates and is compatible with existing manufacturing systems that employ direct printing technologies.

"Flexible electronics hold promise for use in many fields, but there are significant manufacturing costs involved - which pose a challenge in making them practical for commercial use," said Jingyan Dong, from North Carolina State University in the US.

"Our approach should reduce cost and offer an efficient means of producing circuits with high resolution, making them viable for integrating into commercial devices," Dong said.

The technique uses existing electro hydrodynamic printing technology, which is already used in many manufacturing processes that use functional inks.

However, instead of ink, researchers used molten metal alloys with melting points as low as 60 degrees Celsius.

(Indian Express, Dec 26, 2017)

Indian Navy deploys submarine, P8I aircraft for naval exercise with Oman

The Indian Navy deployed a submarine and the P8I long-range maritime aircraft for the first time for a bilateral naval exercise with the Omani navy. 

The 11th edition of the exercise, 'Naseem Al Bahr' or 'Sea Breeze', was held on December 17 off the coast of Oman.  The exercise is a biennial feature since 1993. 

The Indian Navy also deployed two naval ships - INS Trikand and INS Teg - for the exercise. The Indian ships entered Muscat on December 16 for the harbour phase. 

"Delegations from the Royal Navy of Oman embarked on the Indian Naval Ship Teg on December 18 for a briefing on basic anti-submarine warfare procedures," the Indian Navy said in a statement

(ET, Dec 21, 2017)

Bill amendment: Easier to acquire land for national security, defence

Lok Sabha passed Wednesday a bill to make it easier for the government to acquire immovable property for “national security and defence purpose” by changing the rules for payment of compensation. The Requisitioning and Acquisition of Immovable Property (Amendment) Bill 2017 amends the original 1952 Act to allow the Centre to reissue the acquisition notice in case the property’s owner wants to be given a hearing. As per the amendment, the compensation rates that will be payable will be fixed at the date of publication of the first notice in addition to an interest.

The amended bill is aimed at addressing cases where the property owner is able, after prolonged litigation, to get the acquisition notice quashed in the court so as to be given a hearing. “This may cause astronomical hike in the quantum of compensation because of the inevitable appreciation of the market value of the property between the original date of publication of notice of acquisition and the present date of publication of the same, pursuant to the orders of the courts,” the bill states.

(Indian Express, Dec 21, 2017)

Plan budget better, panel asks defence ministry

The panel also pointed out that from “2012-13 onwards, the ‘Capital’ component of the budgetary allocation has witnessed a persistent decrease in comparison to ‘Revenue’ component of the Budget”

The Parliamentary standing committee on defence has asked the defence ministry to “take concrete measures to    exercise prudent and effective budgetary planning” and once again “highlighted the negative effect of persistent trend of decreased allocation of funds as compared to the projected amount meant for Capital Expenditure for the (defence) Services”. It also pointed out that from “2012-13 onwards, the ‘Capital’ component of the budgetary allocation has witnessed a persistent decrease in comparison to ‘Revenue’ component of the Budget”.

(Indian Express, Dec 21, 2017)

Indian Navy deploys submarine, P8I aircraft for naval exercise with Oman

The Indian Navy deployed a submarine and the P8I long-range maritime aircraft for the first time for a bilateral naval exercise with the Omani navy. 

The 11th edition of the exercise, 'Naseem Al Bahr' or 'Sea Breeze', was held on December 17 off the coast of Oman. The exercise is a biennial feature since 1993.  The Indian Navy also deployed two naval ships - INS Trikand and INS Teg - for the exercise. The Indian ships entered Muscat on December 16 for the harbour phase. 

(ET, Dec 21, 2017)

Defence Ministry allows private sector to manufacture eight selected ammunition for Indian Army

ØThe move comes around six months after the government unveiled the ambitious strategic partnership model under which Indian private sector companies will be allowed to form joint ventures with foreign defence majors to build fighter aircraft, helicopters, submarines and main battle tanks in India.

The defence ministry on Wednesday announced that it has allowed private sector to manufacture eight selected ammunition for the Indian Army in a major reform initiative.

The ministry said the aim of the decision is to facilitate development of indigenous capacity, reduce import dependence and develop a robust supply of ammunition within the country. “With the long-term objective of building capacity within the industry as a robust alternative source of ammunition, the government has approved manufacturing of eight selected ammunition for Indian Army by Indian Industry,” the defence ministry said.

(Indian Express, Dec 20, 2017)

NFR sets LED lights target

According to The Telegraph, NFR chief public relations officer Pranav Jyoti Sharma on Wednesday said 100 per cent work on replacing conventional lights with LED lights have been completed in 101 stations and work was on to make rest of the stations fully LED-lit within the targeted period.

He said “It’s a huge initiative to provide energy-efficient lighting which will eventually greatly help in conservation of the environment. This will lead to an annual saving of Rs 67 lakh per year in the energy bill of the railway,”.

Of the 101 stations where LED lighting has been completed, 35 are in Katihar division, 14 in Alipurduar division, 30 in Rangiya division, 16 in Lumding division and six in Tinsukia division.

The railway ministry has taken up a mission to encourage the use of renewable energy in trains and stations across the country.

The Southern Railway has recently started a project to replace all their lights with LED. The lights in the trains are also being replaced with LED lights phase-wise.

In another initiative to harvest clean and green energy, the NFR has already commissioned several roof-top solar-powered plants over railway establishment.

“These plants are producing around 980KW of power for official use. We are going to have more such solar power plants gradually,” Sharma said.

The NFR had earlier started work to cover 887km in the Northeast as green corridors by fitting zero-discharge free bio-toilets in all trains by March.

Tata motors release the first batch of the electric variant of Tigor for EESL

The first batch was flagged off in the presence of Tata group chairman N Chandrasekaran, group patriarch Ratan Tata, and Tata Motors managing director and chief executive Guenter Butschek.

“As we work together to build the future of e- mobility, I am confident that our customers will respond very favourably to this electric model,” Chandrasekaran, who flagged off the first batch of the vehicles, reported PTI.

The government is planning to have only electric cars by 2030 in its efforts to reduce both oil imports as well reduce carbon emissions to a significant extent.

The third largest passenger car-maker had become the L1 bidder in amid stiff competition and won the bids for 10,000 e-cars floated by EESL in September as the other bidder, Mahindra’s, quoted Rs 2.3 lakh above the former’s and was initially out of the race.

But later it was given the option to match Tata Motors’ price and accordingly chose to sell 150 e-Veritos to EESL. Mahindra has already supplied some of them.

The EESL order first mandated supply to be completed on/before November 30 but was later postponed to December-end.

For phase 1, Tata Motors is required to deliver 250 Tigor EVs, for which it has received a letter of agreement. For an additional 100 cars, the agreement is expected to be issued shortly by EESL, the company said.

“With e-Tigor, we’ve begun our journey in boosting e- mobility and offering a full range of e-vehicles to customers. This tender has effectively paved the way for connecting our aspirations in the e-mobility space with the vision of government,” Butschek said.

The electric drive systems for the EESL order have been developed and supplied by Electra EV-a company established to develop and supply electric drive systems for the automotive sector, the release said.

“Tata Motors is committed to the government vision for electric vehicles by 2030 and will work in a collaborative manner to facilitate faster adoption of electric vehicles,” PTI reported.

India’s largest markerspace to come up in Hyderabad

To be known as T-Works, the facility will come up over 250,00 square feet with many partners offering their software tools and equipment.

Modelled on the lines of makerspaces in other countries and customised to Indian needs, this will probably be the world’s second largest facility of its kind, he said.

Anybody with an idea can collaborate with other people at T-Works and convert his or her designs into working prototype.

According to IANS, the Minister said, “T-Works will be up and running around this time next year,” while addressing India Design Summit organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry, adding anybody could use freely available tools — software, test and measurement equipment — to build any product.

“T-Works will allow anyone young or old school student, graduate or retired professor, man or woman to collaborate with other intelligent individuals and converge their designs on paper or PC and convert it into working prototype,” said Rama Rao, son of Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao.

Open to all Indians, the facility will have CNC machines, cutting machines of all kinds, welding and carpentry tools, PCB assembly machines, and 3D printers of all ranges.

“This I believe is going to change the way we do business especially with respect to design and hardware space in India,” he said.

The Minister said T-Works will help in making products in domains like mechanical, electro mechanic, electronics and semiconductor spaces. It will also help in making products in automobiles, IoT, avionics, drones, med devices, medical instruments, defence equipment, consumer electronics, telecom products, mobile devices, gadgets and sensors.

“T-Works will become one of cornerstones and essential hub in the wheel in heralding a new wave of entrepreneurs, makers, tinkerers and designers of all kinds, aesthetic, textile, fashion, lifestyle, mechanical and technological,” he added.


Crompton Greaves out of Kenstar race

Homegrown private equity group Everstone will enter in exclusive talks with the promoters of home appliances brand Kenstar to acquire it after Advent International and Temasek-backed Crompton GreavesBSE -2.75 % pulled out of the race, said two people with direct knowledge of the deal. 

Last month, ET had reported how Crompton Greaves and Everstone were the only two contenders left to acquire the VideoconBSE 4.95 % Group Company that is being valued at around Rs 1,350-1,400 crore. While Crompton Greaves had bid at Rs 1,400 crore, Everstone Capital has offered Rs 1,300 crore for the company. 

(ET, Nov 15, 2017)

Bharat-22 ETF to open for investment: All you need to know

ETF is essentially a security that tracks an index, commodity or a basket of assets. However, the ETF trades happen on an exchange in form of tradable stock. ETF investments are usually cheaper than fund investments and since majority ETFs track to a specific index, there are lower operating expenses as seen comparatively in actively invested mutual funds. ETFs also have no minimum amounts for investment or sales loads. This is unlike in mutual funds which generally have both. Also, ETFs sometime improve rate of return. Though, do note that there is no guarantee of returns given in the ETF.

Bharat-22 ETF will invest in blue chip stocks including Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSE), Specified Undertakings of the Unit Trust of India (SUUTI) and some PSU banks.

(Indian Express, Nov 14, 2017)

GST Amendments: Impact on Indian Economy

The GST Council on Friday delivered a major overhaul of the GST design and rate structure. The broad thrust of the decisions was to improve lagging compliance and reduce the tax burden on smaller businesses. Some of the key decisions taken in the meeting are discussed below

As a transitional provision, businesses were required to file a summary return every month in form GSTR3B and pay taxes based on self-assessment. It was expected that this form will be used until December following which the full-fledged GST process of invoice matching will be up and running. However, the filing of detailed returns and invoice matching has run into problems. Consequently, the GST Council has decided to continue with the process of filing summary returns until March. The late fee for the delayed filing of GSTR3B where there is no tax liability has been reduced by 90% to Rs 20 per day.

(India Online, Nov 13, 2017)

India saw lower greenhouse emissions in 2017 because of demonetization and GST? 

Due to demonetization and GST, India is likely to see just  2 pct rise in greenhouse gases emissions in 2017 unlike an average 6 per cent annual, as per 2017 Global Carbon Budget report. The report attributes the decline in greenhouse emission to rapid progress made in the installation of solar energy in India. However, it also says that substantially lower growth rate could be attributed to a slowdown in economy as well.  “Although India’s installed solar capacity almost doubled in 2016 to 12 GW (gigawatts), the reduction in this year’s growth is attributable to many factors, including reduced exports, a declining share of industrial and agricultural production in GDP, reduced consumer demand, and both a sudden fall in money circulation attributable to demonetization late in 2016 and a goods and services tax introduced in 2017,” the report published in Environmental Research Letters says.

(FE, Nov 13, 2017)

FTSE rises as sterling's decline boosts exporters

British shares rose, outperforming European benchmarks, as exporters benefited when the pound fell amid reports of a rebellion among Conservative MPs against the leadership of Prime Minister Theresa May.

Export-oriented companies drove the FTSE 100 up 0.2 percent by 0820 GMT, but bank stocks suffered as sterling dropped.

Sterling weakened after the Times newspaper reported on Sunday that 40 Conservative lawmakers had agreed to sign a letter of no confidence in May - just short of the 48 needed to force a leadership vote.

(TOI, Nov 13, 2017)

Washable, printed circuits for smart clothes developed

Scientists have successfully printed washable and stretchable electronic circuits into fabric, paving the way for smart textiles and wearable electronics.

The circuits were made with cheap, safe and environmentally friendly inks, and printed using conventional inkjet printing techniques.

Researchers from the University of Cambridge in the UK showed how graphene - a two-dimensional form of carbon - can be directly printed onto fabric to produce integrated electronic circuits which are comfortable to wear and can survive up to 20 cycles in a typical washing machine.

(India Today, Nov 13, 2017)

Digitization of India’s economy is the success story of demonetization

On the first year anniversary of demonetization, it’s important to ask if it accomplished its stated objectives. While it appears that the objectives of rooting out black money as announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 8, 2016, has not been realised, given that almost all of the Rs 15 lakh-crore of high value notes in circulation were returned, is there credible evidence that another goal, which was articulated in the weeks following the announcement, has been achieved?

Unfortunately, much of the analysis has been simplistic and misleadingly compares two data points before and after demonetisation. For the past year, I’ve been developing and updating a statistical model calibrated to Reserve Bank of India data, which tracks the evolution of digital payments with data going back to 2011 and right up to the latest available, August 2017.

(HT, Nov 12, 2017)

CBDT chairman to head Paradise Papers probe

Hours after the Paradise Papers leak of financial documents, pointing at possible illegal offshore dealings, the government swung into action and re-constituted a multi-agency panel led by the chairman of the income tax (I-T) department to carry out a probe into it.

The Central Board of direct Taxes (CBDT) has alerted its teams across the country to carry out investigations based on the returns filed by individuals on the list.

“We will match the information in the Paradise Papers to ascertain cases of tax evasion,” said CBDT Chairman Sushil Chandra, who will also head the multi-agency panel.  Besides I-T department officials, the panel comprises representatives of the Enforcement Directorate, the Reserve Bank of India, and the Financial Intelligence Unit.

(BS, Nov 07, 2017)

E-tailers’ global warehouses may come under tax net

Warehouses of e-commerce companies based in countries such as Australia, Japan, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and Russia may not be exempted from paying the  income tax in India once the multilateral instrument (MLI) to prevent  base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) comes into force.

BEPS refers to the reporting framework mooted by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and signed by over 100 countries, including India to prevent exploiting gaps and mismatches in tax rules to shift profits by multinational companies (MNCs) artificially to low-tax regimes.

(BS, Oct 31, 2017)

Lessons from Doklam: Defence ministry okays big infra enhancement along Chinese border

With an aim to further strengthen the defence infrastructure along its frontier with China, India is focusing on the central sector of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) by planning to connect its primary passes and valleys. This sector is less developed in terms of border infrastructure as compared to the LAC’s western and eastern sectors and in some areas it takes four days by foot for soldiers to reach forward defence locations. 

It also has two disputed areas, including one, which has witnessed regular Chinese incursions in the past, therefore necessitating the setting up of adequate border roads to ensure quick mobilisation of troops and supplies. 

(ET, Oct 14, 2017)

Cyient profit rises 15% to Rs.111 crore in Q2

Cyient Ltd., formerly Infotech Enterprises, has posted revenues of Rs.965.40 crore in the second quarter ended September 30,  2017, as against Rs.913.60 crore in the same quarter last year, showing a growth of 5.7 per cent.

The Hyderabad firm, which provides engineering services, registered a net profit of Rs.111.40 crore as against Rs.97.3 crore in the comparable quarter, a growth of 14.60 percent.

(Business Line, Oct 13, 2017)

TCS net falls 2%, but beats estimates

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) said its second-quarter profits dropped 2.16 per cent per-on-year to Rs.6,446 crore, while revenue grew 4.3 per cent to Rs.30,541 crore.  The revenue performance  was in line with Street expectations, and was helped by improved business  from clients but profits were  ahead of analysts’ estimates aided by better margins and other income.

(BS, Oct 13, 2017)

Amazon to team up with Apple, Google for Alexa voice assistant

Amazon is willing to team up with competitions Apple and Alphabet’s Google if it would help improve customers’ experience with its Alexa voice-activated virtual assistant, an executive working on the platform said.

The online retailer, which is already working with Microsoft on productivity features for Alexa such as calendar interactions, will put the user first in pursuit of any other partnerships, said Toni Reid, Amazon’s vice president of Alexa and Echo devices, who has been on the team since 2014.

(BS, Oct 13, 2017)

GE Optimistic of Opportunities from Govt's Infrastructure Thrust

US conglomerate General Electric (GE) has doubled its Indian business in the past three years and is optimistic about opportunities from the government's infrastructure thrust and support from the global management team, which will soon be led by its former India CEO John Flannery.

GE, operating in India for more than a century, made rapid strides post 2010 after John Flannery took charge of the company's businesses in India and reversed its sluggish performance.

“When he was here, the business for GE grew sharply in India; and even after he moved on, our business has continued to grow. All the foundation that he set up, clearly yielded phenomenal results. For example in the last three years, the business has further doubled. It's been good,“ GE's President and CEO for South Asia Banmali Agrawala told ET.

(ET, June 15, 2017)

Scanning the New Rates for Printers

A distinction between printers and multifunctional printers, which have copying machines, scanners rolled into one, by making an exception for the latter in the 18% category in Goods and Services Tax has peeved the IT industry that has again knocked the doors of the government.

The last GST Council meeting on June 11 had decided to place printers in the 18% slab following representations from the industry after confusion over whether they would be in 28% slab or 18%.

(ET, June 16, 2017)

Lockheed Martin Teams Up With Tata to Make F-16 Fighters in India

The defence arm of the Tata Group has signed an agreement with American firm Lockheed Martin to produce and export new generation F-16 fighter aircraft, potentially kick-starting a mega `Make in India' project days ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's first meeting with US President Donald Trump.

The deal, signed at the Paris Air Show, is subject to the condition that the F-16 Block 70 fighter jet emerges as the winner of an Indian Air Force competition to procure more than 100 single-engine fighters.

The Tata Advanced Systems Limited-Lockheed Martin combine will compete with Sweden's Saab, which will offer its Gripen fighter aircraft for the requirement.

Lockheed Martin will move its only operational line producing the F-16s from Texas to India if it wins the contract, as per exclusive details of the agreement available with ET. The American company also sees a $15 billion export potential for the jet to other customers in the region.

(ET, June 20, 2017)

E-Vehicles Project FAME Moved to Niti Aayog

The cabinet secretariat has shifted the electric vehicles programme to Niti Ayog from the department of heavy industries as most ministries wanted to have a say in the high-profile mission.

The moving of FAME or Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid & Electric Vehicles programme to government's premier think tank will help synchronise efforts of the different departments of the government to move towards an all-electric fleet by 2030, a government official said.

“Most ministries were interested in anchoring the programme and were acting in silos,“ said the official. The shifting of the programme to Niti Ayog will expedite the move, the person added.

(ET, June 20, 2017)

Tejas Networks' IPO Subscribed 1.9 Times at Close

Optical network equipment manufacturer Tejas Networks' initial public offering to raise `776 crore ended on Friday with the issue subscribed 1.9 times.

The issue got bids for 3.2 crore shares against total issue size of 1.7 crore excluding the portion given to anchor investors.

(ET, June 17, 2017)

Tesla wants to Run on Sops here, at Least at the Start

Tesla's CEO Elon Musk said on Thursday that the electric carmaker has reached out to New Delhi seeking temporary relief on import curbs and penalties until a local factory is built, enhancing the probability of the company's imminent entry into the country.

Senior government officials in the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) and the Ministry of Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises told ETthat they have not received any communication from Tesla yet, but will examine the possibilities of extending any concessions once a formal proposal arrives. 

(ET, June 16, 2017)

Green Energy may Renew Job Hopes & Create 3L Jobs in 5 Yrs.

India's rapidly growing renewable energy sector will generate a significant number of new jobs apart from giving the country cleaner environment, a new study has forecast.

Around 300,000 such jobs in this sector will be created in the next five years, according to a study done by Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) and Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). The eventual job potential of the sector, according to the study, is 34,600 in wind power, 58,600 in ground mounted solar projects and 238,000 in rooftop solar projects.

Solar and wind energy employed more than 21,000 people in India in 2016-2017, and this is expected to more than double this year with 25,000 more jobs, it said.

Interestingly, setting up rooftop solar projects provides far more jobs than similar projects on the ground. The study estimated that installing 1MW of rooftop solar would create 25 jobs, while on ground each MW would require only three people. “The focus has been on ground mounted solar and the push to reduce tariffs although it is the rooftop sector which generates more jobs. So, the government will have to decide where it wants to focus,“ said Kanika Chawla, senior programme lead at CEEW.

The government has set a rooftop target of 40 GW by 2022 but so far less than 2 GW has been achieved.

(ET, June 21, 2017)

EESL to Raise $100m via Green Bonds

State-owned Energy Efficiency Services (EESL) plans to raise $100 million (about Rs.640 crore) by selling `green' and `masala' bonds on the London Stock Exchange (LSE), a top executive said.

Proceeds from the issue will be used to part-finance the company's massive Rs.6,000-crore capital expenditure plan for the current fiscal. “We are planning to raise Rs.4,800 crore by way of loans, which will come from bilateral loans, bonds and grants from institutions like the World Bank, while the rest would be met through internal accruals,“ Saurabh Kumar, managing director of EESL, told a news conference. EESL, a joint venture of NTPC, Power Finance Corp, Rural Electrification Corp and Power Grid Corp, was set up the power ministry to facilitate implementation of energy efficiency projects.

The proceeds from a green bond are tied to environmentally-focused initiative

(ET, June 22, 2017)

Niti Aayog approves Rs. 18,000-crore project to increase speed of trains

The ambitious Rs.18,000-crore project for increasing train speeds on the Delhi-Mumbai and DelhiHowrah rail corridors has received Niti Aayog's approval, paving the way for the plan being put up for Cabinet clearance.

The mega project is meant to bring about a paradigm shift in rail operations enabling trains to run at 160 km per hour on the busiest routes on the Indian railway network. Aiming at reducing travel time between the three metropolises, the project envisages fencing off the entire 3,000 km on both routes, upgradation of signalling system, elimination of all level crossings and installing train protection warning system (TPWS), among other works to make trains run at an increased speed of 160 kmh.

(ET, June 21, 2017)

Mahindra Aerospace to Soon Launch 10-Seater Aircraft

In a boost to the Modi government's regional connectivity scheme (RCS), Mahindra Aerospace will soon start the process to launch a 10-seater aircraft in India.

“Our aircraft AIRVAN 10, a 10seat Single Engine Turbine aircraft, has received approvals from the Australian and US civil aviation authorities. We will soon apply to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for approvals, which will pave our way for the launch of the aircraft in India,“ SP Shukla, chairman, Mahindra Aerospace, and Group President-Aerospace & Defence, Mahindra Group told ET.

The Rolls-Royce M250 powered AIRVAN 10 follows in the footsteps of the piston engine 8-seat AIRVAN 8, and the Turbo charged version of this aircraft, which now operate in 29 countries and have achieved high service times with the excellent reliability and low maintenance costs, the company said.

(ET, June 21, 2017)

GST will Spur Demand for PCs, Says HP

HP India said it expects demand for computers in India to pick up after the roll out of the new GST tax regime from next month, driven by small and medium businesses.

With tax slab set at 18% under GST, pricing of notebooks will not be impacted for buyers as the prevailing rates are about the same.

“However, we do expect GST to help tech companies as small and medium businesses will adopt more PCs and that is a big opportunity for players like us,“ he said. According to research firm IDC, the PC market in India grew by 8.5% to 2.16 million units in the January-March 2017 quarter from the year-ago period.

(ET, June 22, 2017)

Toshiba Picks Bain-Japan Group as Preferred Chip Unit Buyers

Toshiba Corp has chosen a consortium of Bain Capital and Japanese government investors as the preferred bidder for its chip business, aiming to seal a deal worth some $18 billion by next week as it scrambles for funds to cover massive losses.

But prospects for a clean early resolution to the sale of the world's No. 2 producer of NAND flash chips remain unclear as Western Digital, Toshiba's chips business partner, has launched legal action to prevent a deal without its consent.

(ET, June 22, 2017)

Thales Floats JV with Rel Defence to make Radars, Warfare Sensors

French defence electronics manufacturer Thales has announced that it is floating a joint venture company with Reliance Defence with shareholding of 49% and 51% respectively to set up an Indian supply chain for radars and electronic warfare sensors at a facility in Nagpur.

Industry executives told ET that Thales, a leading supplier to Dassault Aviation, maker of Rafale fighter aircraft, has to spend nearly $1billion (about Rs.6,451crore) in Indian defence production sector as part of its offset commitments for the deal signed last year to supply 36 Rafale jets to Indian Air Force.

(ET, June 22, 2017)

PM's US Visit: Officials race against time to seal F-16 deal

Officials are working overtime to complete negotiations on moving the assembly line for the F-16 fighter jet to India to enable Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Donald Trump to jointly make an announcement on the deal.

The announcement, if it comes when Modi meets Trump on June 26 at the White House, would be a good example of India's designation by the Obama Administration as a “major defence partner,“ especially if the deal is studded with significant transfers of technology .

It would show that “Make in India“ and “ America First“ can meet somewhere in the middle. 

(ET, June 23, 2017)

Forex Reserves Hit New High at $381Billion

Foreign exchange reserves rose $2.4 billion during the week ending June 2 to reach a new high of $381 billion, as foreign portfolio investors continued to pour funds into Indian stocks and bonds. In the previous week, the reserves had declined by $547 million to $378.763 billion.

While foreign currency assets comprising US dollars, euro, yen and pound among others rose $2.7 billion, the value of gold in reserves dipped by $353 million.

The US dollar ended higher against the rupee at 64.2425 per dollar but the pound sterling finished lower at `. 82.0709 at the Interbank Foreign Exchange (forex) market here

Indian Aviation Sector to Get $25-B Investment by 2027

India, the third largest domestic air travel market, is estimated to see an investment of $25 billion in the next decade in the airports sector, a demand for 935 more planes and traffic growth of 13%, Morgan Stanley said.

Through the UDAN scheme to bring small cities and towns to the air transport network, the government is taking the right step to increase connectivity and also boost utilisation of airports, thereby helping those become more profitable, Morgan Stanley said in a report on Indian aviation.

The report said the share of air travel in air and rail travel combined in India will grow to 15.2% by 2027 from 7.9% now. “India's domestic air passenger traffic reached 100 million in 2016, behind only that of the US (719 million) and China (436 million) and ahead of Japan (97 million). We forecast a 13% domestic air traffic compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) 2016-26, the highest such rate of any key region globally and higher than India's 11% CAGR 2011-16,“ said the report, shamred exclusively with ET.

(ET, June 07, 2017)

NEC Corp to invest $10M in Analytics

Japanese technology firm NEC Corporation is investing $10 million to set up an analytics centre in Noida to strengthen its presence in the big data analytics market, with a special focus on telecom, manufacturing and BFSI verticals in India as well as the rest of the world.

The company is targeting more than $100 million in revenue from its Centre of Excellence for Analytics Platform & Solutions within three years.

With this launch, the company aims to be among the top three players in India's big data and analytics market, which is expected to grow eight times to $16 billion by 2020. The new centre will act as a one-stop shop for both customers and partners in telecom, retail, BFSI and manufacturing sectors.

It will initially focus on markets including India, Japan, Singapore, Philippines and Hong Kong, and then gradually expand services throughout APAC and other regions.

(ET, June 07, 2017)

India's heaviest Rocket launches GSAT-19 Satellite

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Monday made a flawless launch of its Geostationary Launch Vehicle Mark III, doubling the capabilities of its most powerful launch vehicle.

The launch gave India the capability to put four-tonne communication satellites into orbit from Sriharikota. It also flight-tested with success the country's first fully indigenous cryogenic engine.

The passenger was GSAT-19, a 3,136-kg communication satellite with high throughput, which uses several new technologies for the first time, including an indigenous lithium-ion battery.

The launch vehicle has been designed to carry future human passengers, if the Indian government takes a decision to put humans into space. “It is a historic day,“ said ISRO chairman Kiran Kumar after the launch.

(ET, June 06, 2017)

PM reviews GST rollout preparations

Prime Minister Narendra Modi reviewed the preparations for the rollout of the goods and services tax (GST) regime from July 1 and said it will be “a turning point“ in the country's economy.

Describing it as an “unprecedented“ moment in the country's history, he said the creation of the one-nation, one-market and one-tax system would greatly benefit the common man.

He took stock of various elements involved in the rollout and directed the officials that maximum attention be paid to cyber-security in IT systems linked to the GST, the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said in a statement.

(ET, June 06, 2017)

Indian Tech Startups get a space in Google's Sand Hill

Technology giant Google is deepening its engagements with startups in India and is working with a bunch of “highgrowth“ ventures as part of a global programme to mentor and deepen its technical engagement with the potential winners of tomorrow.

Over the past year, Google has been working with Indian startups like social networking site ShareChat, food delivery apps Swiggy and FreshMenu as well as utility applications UrbanClap and HealthifyMe, as a part of its global “Sand Hill“ programme, according to a top company executive.

(ET, June 06, 2017)

Focus to Grow Manufacturing: Kant

Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant on Friday said India needs to focus on identified sectors to grow its manufacturing.

“India has the potential to grow in as many as two dozen sectors. We need to focus on these sectors,“ Kant said at the CII annual session here. “India should not grow on the back of protectionism. Indian industry should be globally competitive.“

Kant has been a driving force behind the government's `Make in India' project. The idea is to increase the manufacturing sector's contribution to GDP to 25% from 16%.

According to Kant, manufacturing itself is undergoing digitisation, as a result of which all links in the manufacturing chain are not getting interlinked. “India needs to move away from labour arbitrage and upgrade to highly skilled jobs,“ he said.

According to Kant, Indian manufacturing needs global standards across sectors. “The Bureau of Indian Standards needs to be restructured to do standardisation that can match global standards,“ he said.

Reiterating that India needs to think bigger and step out, Kant said no country has made it big without penetrating global markets.

Kant is of the view that while automation and digitisation are here to stay, the country needs to bring about a change in the mindset of Indians right from the school level.

Urging industry and private players to take a lead in making manufacturing a success in India, Kant said “government is very inefficient and private sector must get itself out of the government“.

“We want energy and dynamism of private sector to drive manufacturing in India,“ Kant said, adding that the government is working towards redefining MSMEs. As per government estimates, only six states in the country across sectors are actually holding back Indi's growth.

ET, Apr 29, 2017)

New Businesses Get Off to a Quick Start

Half a day for reserving the firm's name, and a third for incorporating it -India's push toward enhancing the `ease of doing business' is showing quick and tangible results.

Policy initiatives by the corporate affairs ministry of appear to have made it easier to start a business in the country: In February , it took two days to incorporate a company , while the procedure took just about a day in March. As many as 26 rules have been automated, five procedures for starting a business clubbed into one, and as many rules deleted as part of the latest government programme to drive entrepreneurship.

The successful implementation of e-governance initiatives, such as the MCA21 portal and SPICe (Simplified Proforma for Incorporating Company Electronically) forms, has ensured the regi stration of about 98,000 companies in FY-17, translating into a 60% increase compared with businesses registered the year ago.

Popularised under the broader programme of `government process re-engineering', these initiatives have “...resulted in speed, greater transparency, uniformi ty, and eradication of discretion“, according to the ministry.

“The time taken for processing company incorporation applications reduced drastically (bet ween 5 and 15 working days in June 2014), to an average of 0.6 working days in March 2017,“ the ministry said in a note on its website. “Similarly, the processing time for name availability applications has been brought down significantly to an average of 0.4 days in March 2017.“

Boosting manufacturing sector

Key thrust of the 'Make in India' programme would be on cutting down in delays in manufacturing project clearance, developing adequate infrastructure and making it easier for companies to do business in India. The Make in India initiative was launched in the year September 2014 primarily with the goal of transforming the country into a global manufacturing hub.

The idea was to encourage both global as well as domestic companies to set up manufacturing units within India. The aim was to raise the contribution of the manufacturing sector to 25 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP) by the year 2025 from the current 16 per cent.

It is being led by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India. The initiative is expected to create 100 million new jobs in India by 2022.

As part of the 'Make in India' initiative, the government has released separate guidelines for 25 sectors and has also created a website allowing investors to seek clarifications on policy matters within 72 hours.The key sectors identified under the programme include automobiles, aviation, chemicals, IT & BPM, pharmaceuticals, construction, defence manufacturing, electrical machinery, food processing, textiles and garments, ports, leather, media and entertainment, wellness, mining, tourism and hospitality, railways, automobile components, renewable energy, biotechnology, space, thermal power, roads and highways and electronics systems.

Rakesh Mehta, chairman, Mehta Equities and Mehta Commodities explains that there are several other initiatives announced by the central government which would further boost manufacturing in the 'Make in India' programme. “The Housing for All initiative or the affordable housing programme by the central government would generate huge employment opportunities for at least 270 allied industries related to construction and housing,“ Mehta explains.

According to him, the size of the affordable housing industry could be anywhere around Rs 25000 crore at present. “This is expected to reach around Rs 5 lakh cror by the year 2022, when the programme would be fully implemented. So allied industries like cable manufacturing, fixtures, cement and other raw materials would generate huge business and employment,“ he adds.

Since the launch of the 'Make in India' programme in September 2014, FDI inflows of $77 billion including an equity inflows of $56 billion has been received for the period October 2014 to March 2016. This represents about a 44 per cent increase in FDI equity inflows over the same corresponding period.

Anil Agrawal, Managing Director, Comfort Securities adds that the initiative is a step in the right direction for making the country into a manufacturing hub.

“The central government has been making efforts to give the much needed infrastructure push.Reforms like the single-window clearance where the manufacturers can get all the approvals under a single roof should be given top priority,“ Agrawal informs.

He further explains that small and medium entrepreneurs have a major role to play in the scheme.“Indian manufacturing SME sector currently contributes about 15-16 per cent to the country's GDP, but has the potential to be a game changer for the economy,“ he says.

China has slightly more number of SMEs than India.Their SME contribute about 60 per cent to the nation's GDP. This simply showcases the huge amount of potential that SME sector has.

Chandrakant Salunkhe, president of the SME Chamber of India explains that nearly 60 per cent of e the SMEs in India fall in the unorganized sector.

“Once this untapped potential becomes the source for growth of these units, the size of Indian GDP can surpass that of developed nations,“ he informs. The sector also contributes around 40 per cent to exports from India.

The government of India has recognised the SMEs as the priority sector and has also initiated several programmes like the Public Procurement Policy, Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana, Digital India, Startup India, and Skill India.With these programmes its share can be expected to go up significantly in the next few years.

The announcement to implement GST Bill in 2017 is a landmark decision that will help solve long existing challenges prevalent in the current taxation system. For SMEs, GST bill will help eradicate indirect taxes, have more transparency of tax process, draw projections of production cost and gain easy access to new geographies for business expansion.

(ET, Apr 27, 2017)

Export-Reliant Cos may Take 4% Earnings Hit on Rising Re

A stronger rupee can help check inflation as it will pull down commodity prices, but export-reliant companies such as IT firms and drug makers are likely to take up to 4% hit on their earnings, industry insiders say.

The rupee has gained 5.6% against the US dollar since the beginning of the year, strengthening significantly after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) changed its policy stance on credit cost.

This is impacting companies that import less and export more including vehicle manufacturers, textile companies and metals firms, some of which are already looking to focus more on domestic market as the government seems comfortable with a stronger rupee.

“'That (the rupee appreciation) is something we need to watch out for... I think we want to keep in mind the trajectory of the rupee and see how we navigate,“ said MD Ranganath, chief financial officer at Infosys Technologies, the country's second-largest software exporter.

India's exports contribute 18% to India's gross domestic product (GDP). Out of the $435 billion exports, software exports contributes roughly $100 billion. 

(ET, Apr 27, 2017)

Protectionism will Hurt Global Economy, says FM

Increasing trade protectionism will hurt the global economy and welfare of people, finance minister Arun Jaitley has warned.

“Questions are raised today in certain quarters about the global compact, which we have developed over the years multilateralism driving the rule-based flow of goods and services -to deliver growth, development and poverty reduction for all and achievement of global public good.

“The attempt to change the discourse from opening up and focusing on competitive advantage to increased protectionism will only hurt the global economy and welfare of people,“ Jaitley said in his address to the World Bank Development Committee in Washington.

“We need to bond together and renew our compact to protect the World from falling into spiral of slow economic growth, rising inequality and irreversibly altered climate, conflict and fragility,“ said the finance minister.

“I would thus like to call upon this august gathering today to reaffirm our full commitment to the mandate of the Development Committee and to deliver Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and our own twin goals.“

Noting that there is no doubt that the developing world needs large and growing resources for achieving SDGs and the twin goals of our institutions, he said this necessity is the underlying argument of the billions to trillions discourse.

“All the developing countries also know that mobilization of larger domestic resources and creating conditions for better flow of investment finance from both domestic and international private sector would be necessary for achieving their development ambitions,“ he said.

At the same time, it would be necessary for the multilateral system, especially the World Bank Group, to be stronger than ever to play a meaningful and decisive role in translating this development agenda into reality, he asserted.

(ET, Apr 24, 2017)

Exports Increase by 27.6% in March, Imports up 45%

 India's merchandise exports increased at the fastest pace in almost six years in March led by an overall rise in shipments across sectors even as a steeper rise imports due to firmer commodity prices widened the trade deficit. 

Buoyed by petroleum, textiles, engineering goods and gems and jewellery, exports zoomed 27.59% in March to $29.2 billion but a 45.25% increase in imports on the back of higher gold imports led to a trade gap of $10.4 billion. 

This is the seventh consecutive month of rise in exports this year. Twenty-five out of 30 sectors showed an increase in exports led by iron ore. India's imports in March were $39.6 billion of which gold imports were $4.1 billion, up 329% year-on-year. Imports too rose at a six-year high. 

"In continuation with the double digit growth exhibited by exports during February 2017, exports during March 2017 have shown a significant growth...Overall the trade balance has im proved," commerce and industry ministry said in a statement. 

However, the robust monthly data failed to boost annual exports to the $300-billion mark. 

India exported goods worth $274.6 billion in 2016-17, 4.7% higher than $262.2 billion in FY16.Trade deficit in 2016-17 was $105.7 billion. 

"With these numbers, we expect exports to touch $325 billion this year. We have political stability, reforms are underway and measures on ease of doing business will start showing results," said Ajay Sahai, director general of the Federation of Indian Export Organisations. 
(ET, Apr 14, 2017)

Industry seeks to allay radiation fears

The telecom industry has dispelled fears that tower radiation causes health hazards and urged citizens not to panic as Indian emission norms are stricter than global standards. 

The Cellular Operators Association of India issued a statement a day after a media report said the Supreme Court had ordered Bharat Sanchar Nigam last month to deactivate an illegally installed tower in Gwalior within seven days, acting on a complaint by a man who claimed to be afflicted with cancer due to radiation exposure from the tower. 

The report relates to an interim -not final -order in only one of four cases that have been brought up in the apex court, said COAI. 

"The industry appeals to the citizens and the public to not panic and read the interim order in its entirety. There are four EMF (electromagnetic fields)-related cases which have been clubbed together. The interim Supreme Court order relates to only one of them, whereas cell towers included in the other cases were left untouched," said Rajan Mathews, director general of COAI. 

Eight high courts have found that radiation emanating from mobile towers is not hazardous for human health, he added. 
(ET, Apr 13, 2017)