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

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

(BS, May 10, 2021)

Karlsruher Institute for Technology: Printed Circuits Protect Sensors

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

(India EducationDiary, May 04, 2021)

L&T Technology Services reappoints Narayanan Kumar as Independent Director

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

(IIFL Securities, May 04, 2021)

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

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

(Analytics India Magazine, May 04,, 2021)

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

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

(India Education Diary, May 04, 2021)

Electric Vehicles: Race Against Time

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

(Businessworld, May 03, 2021)

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

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

(ET, Mar 14, 2021)

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

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

(LiveMint, Mar 14, 2021)

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

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

(The India Express, Mar 08, 2021)

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

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

(India TV, Mar 04, 2021)

Amid farmers’ protests, govt plans to scale up Kisan e-mart

The Central government is planning to scale up the digital online platform, Kisan e-mart that allows farmers to directly sell their produce to private buyers, even as the impasse over the three new agricultural laws continues. According to people familiar with the matter, the pilot, which is currently active in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Haryana, will now be extended to Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tripura, Gujarat and Telangana. The Kisan e-mart is a partnership between Agri10x and the Common Services Centre (CSC) scheme, which operates under the Digital India project of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology. Nearly 375,000 CSCs are functional at the panchayat-level across India. Farmers are allowed to register at the CSC and after their KYC is completed, they can sell produce online without the hassle of having to transport it.  According to Pankaj Ghode, CEO of Agri10x, nearly 500,000 farmers are registered on the portal, which provides them access to 5,000 buyers. The buyers include major grocery retailers such as Big Basket, Reliance Fresh, Ninja Kart, Venky’s and Haldiram’s. The online platform provides direct access to buyers, doing away with mandis. This has been a major point of contention for the farmers under the new farm laws. Farmers have been demanding a repeal of the laws as they say the legislations will hurt their livelihoods. While the government has agreed to set up a committee to look into the law, it has stayed firm on not repealing them despite several rounds of talks with the farmers. “The buyers offer the farmers their prices and they can choose who to sell the produce to,” said an official on the condition of anonymity. “The farmer gets a chance to assess which is a better and fairer price.”

(HT, Jan 11, 2021)

E-commerce: Trends to watch out for in 2021

: With the second-largest internet user base, India has emerged as one of the most prominent markets globally. Being stuck at home because of the pandemic further triggered the desire to make life and work easier at home, which resulted in a significant increase in shopper spends. People who would otherwise go out to buy groceries and medicines at the pharmacy, turned to e-commerce platforms to get essentials delivered at their doorsteps. 2020 accelerated the e-commerce industry by a decade, revolutionizing the way brands operate, run, and grow their businesses, as well as how consumers choose to shop and pay. As per Nielsen India’s E-commerce Consumer Panel (E-Analytics Solution), there was a double digit increase in average spend of online shoppers for electronics and accessories (39%), mobile and accessories (12%), and fashion, including apparel, footwear, and accessories (10%) after the pandemic. Appliances (e.g.TV, WM, refrigerators, etc.) also saw notable shopper spending increase at 9%. This growth trajectory of e-commerce platforms in India testifies how customers are increasingly recognizing the importance of comfort shopping within closed doors, and after seeing their businesses take a plunge in the first three months of the lockdown, more and more sellers are also coming online.

(Business Insider, Jan 06, 2021)

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

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

(ET Now, Dec 23, 2020)

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

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

(Times Now, Dec 23, 2020)

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

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

(Tech Observer, Dec 23, 2020)

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

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

(BW Smartcities, Dec 21, 2020)

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

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

(Mondaq, Nov 23, 2020)

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

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

(Indian Express, Nov 20, 2020)

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

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

(E-Govt, Nov 20, 2020)

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

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

(E&T dated Nov 20, 2020)

A New Framework for a Secure Digital India

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

(ORF, Nov 10, 2020)

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

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

(PV Magazine, Nov 05, 2020)

Microsoft to drive public sector on digital path: India head

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

(The Rahnuma Daily, Nov 03, 2020)

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

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

(Et, Oct 28, 2020)

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

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

(The Print, Oct 23, 2020)

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

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

(Electronics, Oct 23, 2020)

HCL, IBM expand alliance to help organizations with digital transformation

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

(ET, Oct 02, 2020)

Government Reining in Digital News Media?

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

(Newsclick, Oct 18, 2020)

Centre’s tie up with private tech players strengthens Digital India vision

MoS MeitY Sanjay Dhotre : Digital Technology Sabha witnesses participation of eminent speakers across the country and abroad in the midst of Covid-19 pandemic. The luminaries included Minister of State for IT, Secretary MeitY, DG, NIC and IT Secretaries of different states among others emphasise on the need of proactive use of modern tech tools to roll out services uninterruptedly, despite severe challenges thrown by the global pandemic. Sanjay Dhotre, Union Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology has said the Centre’s collaboration with major private technology players has further strengthened the vision of Digital India and it has placed India in a better position globally. Dhotre was addressing the audience in the recently concluded Digital Technology Sabha 2020, themed around, ‘Covid-19 and its aftermath: The future of e-governance and way forward’ held from August 25 to 28, 2020. He said that the core vision of Digital India is divided into three broad aspects – digital infrastructure, governance and services on demand. He informed that after the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for Atmanirbhar Bharat or self reliant India, the manufacturing of N95 Mask, ventilators and vaccines initiatives has gone up.

(Express Computer, Sep 28, 2020)

GM-Nikola partnership will create a formidable challenge for Tesla

If you want something done right, do it yourself. If you are an old-school manufacturer and want credit from investors for innovation, make sure someone else’s name is attached. General Motors Co. on Tuesday announced a strategic partnership with Nikola Corp. that will give it a $2 billion equity stake in the electric-vehicle startup. Rather than pay cash for the ownership foothold, GM is paying in services: It will be the exclusive supplier of fuel cells for Nikola’s Class 7/8 trucks outside of Europe, provide access to its battery technology and take on the manufacturing and engineering work for Nikola’s Badger electric-pickup model. GM expects more than $4 billion in benefits from the tie-up, between the equity stake and additional payments for manufacturing and parts work.  GM’s backing provides a much-needed dose of credibility for Nikola, whose shares added a more than 30% gain on Tuesday to a high-flying streak that belied a lack of meaningful revenue thus far. The partnership will save the company an estimated $5 billion in manufacturing and engineering expenses; basically, it no longer needs to literally reinvent the wheel. But Nikola’s brand and buzz also provide valuable credibility for GM’s electric vehicle aspirations. Arguably, the 112-year-old titan from Detroit is the one who needed this partnership more.

(ET, Sep 09, 2020)

IT Ministry seeks bids from cos to help recycle, refurbish end-of-life lithium-ion batteries, PCBs

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has floated an expression of interest (EoI) to invite companies that can assist in recycling and refurbishing of end-of-life lithium-ion batteries as well as printed circuit boards (PCBs), according to documents seen by The Indian Express. The project, to be executed by the Centre for Materials for Electronics Technology (C-MET), will also aim at extraction of precious metals such as cobalt, nickel, lithium, copper, aluminium, gold, and platinum from such end-of-life lithium-ion batteries or PCBs, according to the documents. “Another objective of the project is to encourage establishment of start-ups to collaborate/partner C-MET by getting trained in different aspects of the process involved in E-waste management and to commence their own industries in the relevant areas, after they become strong enough to commence their own facilities,” the EoI document said.  The aim of the project is to contain the import of raw materials used for the manufacturing of lithium-ion batteries and PCB, as well as contain the e-waste generated by electronic gadgets using these components.

(The Indian Express, Sep 07, 2020)

Asus aims to capture 5% of commercial PC market in a year from launch

Taiwanese electronics brand Asus which is set to debut in India’s commercial PC market this month, is aiming to capture 5% market share within a year of launch and is looking to invest aggressively in product development, marketing, retail and back-end service infrastructure.  Asus’s business head for smartphones in India Dinesh Sharma, who has been appointed to lead the commercial PC operations as well, told ET, that the company is looking at hiring in big numbers to expand the newly formed vertical. “We will be launching a range of products, notebooks, desktops, all in ones and mobile workstations for micro businesses, SMBs and large enterprise customers, between the 8th-25th of this month and investing heavily to expand the vertical,” Sharma said.  Asus will also offer value-added services for enterprises such as warranty extension, accidental damage protection, hard disk retention service, and priority service, he said. “We are actually number one in the consumer PC segment in most of the countries….Southeast Asia, Europe, Canada. We are in the top three across the world and now in India also in the last quarter, which is Q2 2020, we become the top three brands in the consumer PC with more than 16% market share,” Sharma said.  Asus’s Sharma added that after achieving this milestone in the consumer PC market, the brand now wants to foray into the commercial PC business, which also happens to be the right time given that demand for electronics is soaring due to the pandem.

(ET, Sep 01, 2020)

New electronic skin can react to pain like human skin

Researchers, including one of Indian-origin, have developed electronic artificial skin that reacts to pain just like real skin, opening the way to better prosthetics, smarter robotics and non-invasive alternatives to skin grafts. The prototype device developed by a team at RMIT University in Australia can electronically replicate the way human skin senses pain, the study published in the journal Advanced Intelligent Systems, reported. The device mimics the body's near-instant feedback response and can react to painful sensations with the same lighting speed that nerve signals travel to the brain.  According to the researchers, the pain-sensing prototype was a significant advance towards next-generation biomedical technologies and intelligent robotics. Skin is our body's largest sensory organ, with complex features designed to send rapid-fire warning signals when anything hurts, they said. “We’re sensing things all the time through the skin but our pain response only kicks in at a certain point, like when we touch something too hot or too sharp,” said study author Madhu Bhaskaran from RMIT University.  “No electronic technologies have been able to realistically mimic that very human feeling of pain — until now. Our artificial skin reacts instantly when pressure, heat or cold reach a painful threshold,” Bhaskaran explained. The pressure sensor prototype combines stretchable electronics and long-term memory cells, the heat sensor brings together temperature-reactive coatings and memory, while the pain sensor integrates all three technologies. According to the team, the memory cells in each prototype were responsible for triggering a response when the pressure, heat or pain reached a set threshold.

(Tribune, Sep 01, 2020)

Adoption and implementation of ambitious National Digital Health Mission (NDHM), a rough road ahead

The ambitious National Digital Health Mission (NDHM) launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Independence Day has a rough road ahead in terms of adoption and implementation. India a country with already weary health infrastructure and resource shortages, covid-19 pandemic is further exhausting its healthcare system. The NDHM comprises six key building blocks or digital systems namely, HealthID, DigiDoctor, Health Facility Registry, Personal Health Records, e-Pharmacy and Telemedicine. The complete technology-based initiative having a potential to be a game changer, are expected to face hurdles in rural India with low internet penetration and little digital health resources. However, India has majorly pushed telemedicine services during covid-19 pandemic, the country has been facing major problems in running the services in rural India for long. Telemedicine involves the use of telecom and information technology to provide healthcare from a distance which is impeded in rural India due to absence of infrastructure, Internet connectivity and lack of sufficient medical personnel. “Digital literacy and accessibility of digital records is a particular concern in rural areas. Digital literacy is another challenge and government will need to train and equip healthcare workers in digital technology," said Vikram Thaploo, CEO, Apollo telehealth. According to a senior health ministry official, for effective telemedicine services, the minimum Internet speed required for consultation with a patient through a computer is 2 Mbps, which is not available in most of the villages. With 159 Internet service providers in India, broadband penetration in the country is less than 2%, according to the government.

(LiveMint, Aug 16, 2020)

India targets 47 more Chinese Apps after banning TikTok, 58 others in June

“This second digital strike by our Government on China is a great move yet again as all these 47 apps were operating as clones of the 59 Chinese apps barred from using earlier. The ban would safeguard Indian users’ data and protect the country against the potential threat these apps pose to our national security. Moreover, this initiative will further open up opportunities for more Indian apps to take up the limelight and onboard users to provide them with their services. Homegrown apps already witnessed a significant increase in downloads and user signups on their platforms after the Government's ban announcement last month. We hope Indians will continue choosing apps which are made in India, for India,” Piyush, CEO and Founder of Rooters Sports Technology app said. "Indian data integrity needs to be protected (similar to territorial integrity) and the government has taken this important step in interest to protect national data. This ban will boost creativity and acceptability for Indian apps and products, and developers are to take complete advantage of this situation. The current national resistance towards non-Indian products will help Indian brands with a platform to replace them with a better quality product, competing with strong International brands on a global stage," says Sonit Jain, CEO of GajShield Infotech.

(Tech2, July  28, 2020)

India ‘important digital power’, won’t compromise on data sovereignty: Ravi Shankar Prasad

Prasad, who handles the electronics, information technology and communications portfolios, said India needs to grow into a data refining centre for the world and also go deeper on the software front by creating products of its own.   Union IT and Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Tuesday said India is an “important digital power” and will not compromise on its data sovereignty. Speaking at the launch of a Rs 1,100-crore data centre built by Hiranandani Group company Yotta, Prasad also said that he aspires India to be a centre for data refining, which will include data cleaning and data research as well while keeping in mind concerns on privacy. The comments from the minister come days after the country blocked 59 Chinese apps on concerns around “sovereignty and security”. A day after that, Prasad had termed the move as a “digital strike” and added that the apps were banned to protect data of citizens. 

(FE, July 07, 2020)

After TikTok Ban, PM Modi Launches Indian App Innovation Challenge

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday, 4 July, launched the ‘Atmanirbhar Innovation Challenge’, calling out India’s tech innovators to create an Atmanirbhar App Ecosystem. This comes a week after India banned 59 Chinese mobile applications like TikTok, SHAREit, and others amid the anti-China sentiment due to tension on the India-China border.  Today, when the entire nation is working towards creating an Atmanirbhar Bharat, it is a good opportunity to give direction to their efforts, momentum to their hard-work and mentorship to their talent to evolve Apps which can satisfy our market as well as compete with the world.” Modi wrote on LinkedIn. The Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology will be regulated along with Atal Innovation Mission.

(The Quint, July 04, 2020)

ETAutoSTVC: Three-step customer-friendly alternative to bring e-motorcycles in India

India has unique mobility needs. Unlike China, which runs electric mopeds, the people in India carry huge amounts of weight on their motorcycles, said Wicher Kist, CEO, Saietta as part of the first-ever Simulation & Testing Virtual Congress, organised by ETAuto on Wednesday. Considering that majority of the motorcycles purchased in India are in the range of 110cc, we need to find a solution to create a dielectric motorcycle with enough power that can meet the customer's needs of boosting its ability to lift, he stated. “Motorcycles lesser than 110cc will not work for India because of the prevalent road conditions, while the bigger ones will be too expensive,” Kist explained while adding that this fact alone makes India an interesting market segment to go electric. Being the largest motorcycle selling country in the world, India sells over 20 million motorcycles alone. These are light, affordable and take less space, however they are run on petrol which is a substantial polluter.

(ET, May 28, 2020)

Dutch e-scooter developer Etergo-es to India

Less than a year after Etergo announced it would be manufacturing its electric scooters in Emmen, the Amsterdam-based company has found a new home. The EV manufacturer will now reside within India’s ride-hailing company Ola. With backing from Softbank, Ola purchased Etergo, for an undisclosed amount, as it looks to expand its portfolio to include locally produced electric vehicles.   According to Ola, the company will start EV production this year with the launch of its first electric scooter penned for 2021. “The company aims to build a suite of electric and smart urban mobility solutions in India and around the world,” says Bhavish Aggarwal, founder and chairman. “The future of mobility is electric, and the post-COVID world presents an opportunity for us to accelerate the adoption of electric mobility globally.”

(Bits & Chips, May 27, 2020)

Samsung's chip production up 57% in Q1 2020

Samsung Electronics' chip production in the first quarter of the year increased 57.4 per cent from a year earlier despite the spread of the novel coronavirus, the company's quarterly business report showed. Samsung, the world's largest memory chip maker, produced 277.4 billion units of semiconductors in the January-March period, up from 176.2 billion units a year earlier, according to the report. Its chip factory operation rate was 100 per cent. Industry insiders said Samsung's increased production was aimed at meeting rising demand for server chips as the coronavirus pandemic boosted non-face-to-face activities. In contrast, Samsung's mobile phone and display production plunged in the first quarter, the report showed, due to factory shutdowns from the virus outbreak. Samsung produced 58.7 million handsets and 1.45 million units of display products in the first three months of 2020, down 34.4 percent and 35.5 percent from a year earlier, respectively. The operation rate for Samsung's mobile manufacturing business was only 73.3 percent in the first quarter, according to the report, down 16.2 percentage points from a year earlier, reports Yonhup news agency.

(ET, May 18, 2020)

India’s EV Component Market to Grow at 22.1% CAGR till 2030

India is presently witnessing a rapid rise in the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs). Additionally, a decline is being seen in the price of various components, which is making EVs more affordable for people. Both these factors are projected to propel the Indian electric vehicle component market at a 22.1% CAGR during 2020–2030 (forecast period); the market generated $536.1 million in revenue in 2019. The cost of the various components that go into manufacturing an electrically powered automobile is continuously reducing, as a result of economies of scale. For instance, the battery price is expected to fall by more than 30% between 2018 and 2025, thus making electric vehicles (EVs) more affordable. During the same period, a 24%, 23%, 60%, 9% 6.5%, 8.6%, 8.5%, and 21% drop is predicted in the prices of motors, controllers, electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE), thermal management systems, power distribution modules (PDMs), vehicle interface control modules (VCIMs), high-voltage cables, and DC–DC converters, respectively. During the forecast period(2020-2030), the passenger car category is predicted to witness the fastest growth in the Indian electric vehicle component market, as numerous transport companies, as well as the government, are taking initiatives to increase the number of electric cars in shared mobility fleets.

(EET India, May 18, 2020)

No-cost EMIs on electric cycles coming soon: Go Zero to focus on online sales

Electric bicycles will be in great demand. Post Covid-19 (if at all there is a phase), almost everyone has predicted that electric mobility will witness a rise. Not only this, but those who have their offices really close to their homes will also prefer taking electric cycles. Go Zero, a UK-based company entered the Indian cycling scene a couple of years ago. Express Drives had a conversation with Ankit Kumar, CEO of Go Zero Mobility. We asked him various questions, the one about coronavirus affecting business, cycle deliveries and the works. Here is an excerpt of the discussion. We have kept our focus on “Make Fit” approach and all our campaigns are around becoming an aid for consumers to adopt a healthy and sustainable lifestyle. We aim to focus on the same through online retailing and offline channel sales. We are preparing grounds to enable prime delivery in order to fulfill the orders within 1-2 days in specific territories.

(FE, May 11, 2020)

How India can replace China as a global manufacturing hub post-COVID including auto sector

In 2010, China overtook the US to emerge as the world’s largest manufacturing sector. However, the rise of China as the world’s factory began way back in the 1980s initially as a producer of low-end products which gradually rose to become a manufacturing hub of everything under the sun – from drugs to electronic gadgets. According to estimates of the UN Statistics Division, China accounted for 28 percent of global manufacturing output in 2018[1]. Yet, the Coronavirus epidemic is beginning to change this in many ways. The supply shock created by a Chinese shutdown has prompted global firms to look for new manufacturing centres as a part of a risk hedging strategy for the future. Several industries have realized the drawbacks of being excessively dependent on manufacturing on a single country and are looking to expand the geographic spread of their facilities. This presents a moment of opportunity for India which can reap rich dividends by creating a manufacturing-friendly environment and offering lucrative deals to global players for setting up units in India. Reports have indicated that a large number of companies have already initiated talks with Indian authorities seeking to pursue production plans in this country in sectors such as electronics, medical devices and textiles, among others[2]. India needs to capitalize on this opportunity and present itself as a viable alternative manufacturing destination.

(FE, May 07, 2020)

IT Hardware Company expect to resume partial production this week, 100% next month

Electronics manufacturers expect to resume partial production this week and full capacity by end of next month if there is no change in guidelines from the government, according to senior company officials. The central and some state governments have issued notification to allow manufacturing of IT hardware, including mobile phones, and even allowing movement of staff with some restriction from May 4. Most of the companies, who did not wish to be named, were waiting for order from local authorities in Uttar Pradesh before making announcement on starting manufacturing. Uttar Pradesh accounts for more than 60 per cent of total mobile phones produced in the country. According to industry sources, if companies located in Greater Noida, which falls in red zone, get permission to resume manufacturing then most of the mobile phone companies, including Vivo, Oppo and others, will be able to start operations at 30-40 per cent of their capacity by the end of next week. "Home Ministry order has been very clear on movement of goods..

(Outlook, May 03, 2020)

Suzuki’s new e-scooter to launch in India

Suzuki Motorcycle India might introduce an all-new e-scooter on the market soon. Focused on ease of use and cost-effectiveness, patent images of the made-in-India e-scooter have been leaked online. Various reports state that it would be launched by mid-2021 but the present state of affairs brought about by COVID-19 might affect this proposed timeline. Rumours regarding the e-scooter have been circulating on the internet for about a year but this is the first time anyone has received an idea of its basic design. At least in its patent format, the internals is as simple as they can get. By employing tubular and square-section components for the chassis, input costs can be cut down by a good extent. Furthermore, a simpler design is analogous to shorter production times. Suzuki apparently plans to launch it in potential markets across Europe and Asia. From the looks of it, Suzuki’s upcoming e-scooter seems perfect for both personal and fleet use (such as smart mobility services).

(RushLane, May 03, 2020)

After Zoom, research finds Microsoft Teams vulnerable to cyber attacks

After reports of Zoom meetings being hacked into, researchers have now found Microsoft Teams, the video conferencing platform of Microsoft, vulnerable to cyber attacks. Cyber criminals are turning their sights on video conferencing tools as the next major way to target unsuspecting users and enterprises. As more and more business is conducted from remote locations, attackers are focusing on exploiting key technologies, like Zoom and Microsoft Teams, that companies and their employees depend on to stay connected. “We found that by leveraging a subdomain takeover vulnerability in Microsoft Teams, attackers could have used a malicious GIF (Graphic Interchange Format) to scrape user’s data and ultimately take over an organization’s entire roster of Teams accounts," CyberArk Labs said in a blog post. CyberArk worked with Microsoft Security Research Center after finding the account takeover vulnerability and a fix was quickly issued.Since users wouldn’t have to share it, rather just view the GIF to be impacted, vulnerabilities like these have the ability to spread automatically. This vulnerability would have affected every user who uses the Teams desktop or web browser version.

(LiveMint, Apr 28, 2020)

IT sector revenue growth may hit decadal low due to COVID-19: Crisil

an impact on profitability owing to narrowing of margins due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a report said on Friday. The companies will lose out on new deals, which will compromise future revenues, and also face reverses on the existing ones, which may be renegotiated as their overseas clients face difficulties due to the lockdowns, domestic rating agency Crisil said in the report. The $97 billion IT sector is one of the largest service exporters and helps the economy also by supporting over 40 lakh jobs if the IT-enabled services are also included.Major companies including Infosys and Wipro have earlier this month discontinued the practice of giving yearly guidances, while TCS hinted at pain during the first two quarters of the year.  "Typically, new deals get finalised between March and May, but this time around, most clients will focus on mitigating emerging business risks and defer discretionary IT spend, while letting existing contracts continue," Crisil's senior director Anuj Sethi said. Crisil said that revenue growth for the industry will decline to a decadal low of 0-2%.

(LiveMint, Apr 28, 2020)

Lockdown: Cyber security demands grow amid shortage of skilled professionals

The growing wave of cyber-attacks targeting individuals and organisations during lockdown has led to an increase in demand for skilled cyber security professionals. Before the covid-19 outbreak, cyber security demands were 10% of the total IT requirements. During lockdown they have gone up to 15%. Once the lockdown lifts, it is expected to go up to 20%, according to TeamLease Services, India’s leading staffing company. Persistence market research also suggests that cyber security market is poised to grow exponentially, fuelled largely by remote working requirements during the pandemic. “In such a scenario, cyber security assumes a rather more critical role. It is widely expected that during and after the pandemic, the demand for cyber security professionals would go up as the attack surface would immensely widen and organizations would need to further beef up their cyber security posture," said Rama Vedashree, chief executive, Data Security Council of India. Cyber criminals have unleashed a wave of ransomware and phishing attacks targeting organisations and individuals. The shortage of skilled professionals in cyber security has exacerbated the problem. “Even before the pandemic there was big gap in supply and demand. We were finding it difficult to fulfil the requirements. On an average 13% of our demands were related to cyber security and we were able to fulfil only 7% of them," rues Sunil C, head- specialized staffing, TeamLease Digital.

(LiveMint, Apr 28, 2020)

IT companies likely to see weakest revenue growth in a decade

Information technology (IT) companies may see their weakest revenue growth in a decade as clients cut down discretionary spending and demand slows down across sectors. The current uncertainty and a possibly bleak outlook are evident as both Infosys Ltd and Wipro Ltd have refrained from providing revenue growth guidance for FY21 and the June quarter, citing lack of visibility due to the impact of covid-19. Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp. has also withdrawn its full-year revenue growth guidance of 2-4% in constant currency terms. According to rating agency Crisil, revenue pressure in the IT services industry will intensify in 2020-21 due to the impact of covid-19, “crimping growth to a decadal low of 0-2%, surpassing even the earlier low of ~4% registered in fiscal 2018." This is as per its analysis of 15 large IT firms, accounting for almost 70% of the IT service sector’s revenues. 

(Live Mint, Apr 27, 2020)

EV sales jump 20% in FY20; electric scooters sold most in India

Sale of electric vehicles in India grew by 20 per cent at 156,000 units in fiscal 2020 led largely by two-wheelers that form bulk of the nascent industry. Electric two-wheelers sales stood at 152,000 units during the fiscal registering a 20.7 per cent growth over last year. Electric cars accounted for 3,400 units a marginal decline from 3600 units of last year while bus sales were 600 units against 400 units in 2018-19. Sale of electric vehicles in India grew by 20 per cent at 156,000 units in fiscal 2020 led largely by two-wheelers that form bulk of the nascent industry. Electric two-wheelers sales stood at 152,000 units during the fiscal registering a 20.7 per cent growth over last year. Electric cars accounted for 3,400 units a marginal decline from 3600 units of last year while bus sales were 600 units against 400 units in 2018-19. These figures do not include e-rickshaws that largely form the unorganised part of the sector. Industry body Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicle estimated the number of e-rickshaw sales during the year at around 90,000 units. The corresponding figures of the e-ricks sold in the previous year have not been documented, it said.

(Business Today, Apr 20, 2020)

Flipkart Big Shopping Days: Check out deals on smart TVs, smartwatches, gaming laptops, DSLRs and more

Flipkart Big Shopping Days sale, the four day sale on smartphones and other electronics, is now live. The sale is being held from March 19 to March 22 and customers can avail 10 percent instant discount using SBI card. While there are great deals on smartphones, those looking for electronics can avail attractive offers as well. We have already detailed top smartphone deals, now let’s look at deals on electronics and appliances. One of the top deals during the sale is on HP Pavilion 15 gaming laptop powered by AMD Ryzen CPU. The laptop is getting 22 percent discount and is available for Rs 44,990. The laptop features a 15.6-inch display, 8GB of RAM, 1TB HDD as well as 128GB SSD storage. It has 3GB of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 graphics and runs Windows 10 Home.  During the Flipkart Big Shopping Days, Thomson is offering huge discount on its 32-inch TVs. The 32-inch Thomson R9 is available for Rs 7,499 while the B9 Pro is available for Rs 9,499. The B9 Pro features an HD Ready screen and a 20W speaker output. Thomson claims to be using Samsung panel with 60Hz refresh rate. The 32-inch model comes with two USB port and two HDMI ports. It runs My wall interface and have a one year warranty.

(BGR India, Mar 19, 2020)

Can India’s Current Engineering, Tech Courses Cope With EV Skills Demand?

Around the beginning of the previous decade, China has a big problem on its hands. Pollution was rising alarmingly, and greenhouse gas emissions were skyrocketing. So China leveraged its existing industries and skills to forge a lead in electric vehicles. It started with the electrification of two-wheelers, then sorted supply chain problems for electrical components and parts, adopted two-year pilots for five cities (Shanghai, Changchun, Shenzhen, Hangzhou and Hefei) and invested nearly US$4.5 Bn for restructuring the auto industry and improving manufacturing capabilities. These efforts were backed by skill development in the EV sector through edtech as well as traditional engineering courses, which helped China push adoption of electric passenger and commercial vehicles faster than most other countries. With its manufacturing prowess, China was able to make itself as a central hub for the entire EV industry, which employed 1.6 Mn people until last year. India is taking a big leaf out of the Chinese playbook with the EV industry’s cautious yet focussed approach as well as the huge push from the government side. While the current focus of the government and industry has been towards charging infrastructure, battery and cell development, policy creation, incentives and financing, the one thing the EV industry in India is missing is skill development.

(INC42, Mar 18, 2020)

Corona Virus may further dwindle Chinese electronics goods import to India

China's share in the import of electronics and IT hardware goods to India have slid below 40% of the total share for the second consecutive fiscal despite clocking over 55% between 2015-16 and 2017-18 and the Covid-19 outbreak in the neighbouring country country could further dwindle due to disruption in the supply chain. These concerns have been shared by Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) with Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology with the former saying that the impact would depend on the "severity and persistence" of Covid 19 Covid-19 or coronavirus. The panel has suggested that the high  on Chinese import in the sector is still too high and the government should look at broad-basing sources. Reports suggest that the worst in China -- where the epicenter of Covid-19, Wuhan, is located -- is over in terms of the spread of virus even as World Health Organization (WHO) has declared it a pandemic due to its spread across the globe. The Parliamentary panel headed by senior Congress MP Shashi Tharoor had asked the Ministry whether the Covid-19 outbreak in China could affect the availability of electronics goods in India and what steps were taken to prevent any possible scarcity of electronics goods in India owing to the manufacturing slowdown in China.

DHNS, Mar 14, (2020)

Ultraviolette Automotive On Busting The ‘Slow And Boring’ Myth Around Electric Bikes

India is home to an estimated 60 Mn micro, small and medium enterprises or MSMEs, and the sector has been called the backbone of the Indian economy, thanks to its cumulative contribution to the GDP. Yet, when it comes to credit access, only 10%-12% of MSME players bank on organised sources of credit, leaving the rest to fend for themselves in the wild world of unorganised lending.  This is an opportunity that Indian MSME lending players in the digital domain are eyeing for a long time now. Players like Aye Finance, LenDenClub, NeoGrowth, InCred Finance, Capital Float among others are using their tech-enabled platform to solve the ever-growing credit gap for MSMEs, and small and medium businesses. Together, these platforms have lent billions of dollars in loans to lakhs of MSMEs so far, but the SME lending market is far from saturated, as startups are targeting niches within the sector. Another player growing rapidly in this segment is U Gro.   Mumbai-based U Gro Capital (formerly known as Chokhani Securities) is a BSE-listed, technology-focused, small business lending platform. Founded by Shachindra Nath in July 2018, U Gro is looking to address the capital needs of small businesses by providing customised loan solutions, which it claims is a $300 Bn market that is yet to be fully tapped by lending players.

(Inc 42, Mar 12, 2020)

Private Cars must be part of EV Policy push

Deepak Rajagopal/Amol Phadke When it comes to electric vehicles (EVs), we face two choices. One is to view them as still costly for India, and so we must wait and watch while our cities choke and we cede the competitive edge, as we did with electronics, which is India’s second-largest and fastest growing category of imports. The alternative is to see EVs as an opportunity to pursue a new green industrial policy that can reinvigorate the auto sector, reduce dependence on imports and the cost of mobility, and above all, make our cities more liveable. The good news is that both the ₹10,000-crore Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric vehicles Phase-II (FAME-II) scheme, adopted last year, as well as the minimal GST on EVs are aligned with the latter view. The FAME-II was also spot on in prioritising EVs for public buses and two- and three-wheelers ahead of private cars, as the former offer better socio-economic returns on public investment. Having said that, one cannot ignore private cars, for their stock is set to grow and they contribute significantly greater person-kilometre pollution relative to buses and two- and three-wheelers. Recognising the burden of additional subsidies, the rest of the discussion lays out the case for a strong binding mandate on automakers requiring that zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) — including hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (FCV) — comprise, say, at least 20 per cent of the annual car sales well before the end of the decade.

(BusinessLine, Mar 11, 2020)

India welcomes high skilled electronics manufacturing : FM

The the Centre has planned a very large canvas for electronics manufacturing, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said at a recent post-Budget meet here with industrialists, scholars and journalists. Responding to a query from BusinessLine, she said: “We are supportive of companies starting high-skilled component manufacturing in the country.” Currently, while companies conduct large-scale manufacturing of smartphones and electronic devices in the country, most of it is assembly-oriented, and not focussed on core components and R&D. The Budget has proposed a new scheme to promote the manufacturing of smartphones, electronic devices and semiconductors.However, the implementation of the scheme will hinge on how companies are incentivised to begin manufacturing in the country. Industrialists and economists voiced their concerns about the Budget to Sitharaman and the panel of secretaries. Expressing the worries of high networth individuals over the burden of dividend distribution tax shifting to investors, Motilal Oswal, MD of Motilal Oswal Financial Services, said ‘high-level’ shareholders could pay tax at the rate of 43 per cent under the new regime, which was worrisome.

(BusinessLine, Feb 11, 2020)

Delta Electronics India Displays State-Of-The-Art EV Charging Solutions to Strengthen the EV Ecosystem in India

Business Wire India Delta Electronics India, a leading Power and Energy management company, displayed diversified cutting-edge technology with a portfolio of energy-efficient EV Charging Solutions at Auto Expo 2020, one of the world’s premier auto shows. Speaking on the occasion Mr. Niranjan S Nayak, Business Head, Delta Electronics India said, "India is gearing up rapidly for the adoption of electric vehicles and Delta, being an enabler and catalyst in India''s EV evolution, is priming to strengthen the EV Charging Infrastructure. As a leading player we are uniquely positioned to offer complete end-to-end solutions with both on-board and off-board chargers. Our energy-efficient, compact, and extremely robust solutions for onboard chargers (DC-DC Converters & Powertrain) give us a distinctive advantage because of our global expertise. We have been partnering with major automobile giants in India for EV Charging Solutions and constantly focusing on developing EV Charging Infrastructure to support GOI''s ‘E-Mobility Mission.’ We are establishing our new plant in Krishnagiri for domestic production as well as for export along with our new R&D center in Bengaluru that is a testimony of our commitment for GOI “Make in India” initiative. This reinforces the company''s contribution to facilitate investment, foster innovation, enhance skills development and build best in the class manufacturing infrastructure units in the country with a vision of Powering Green India." Mr. Akshaye Barbuddhe, Business Head, EV Charging Solutions, Delta Electronics India remarked,

(Outlook, Feb 07, 2020)

RailTel signs MoU with BEL for cooperation in cloud services, IoT , e-governance

RailTel Corporation of India Ltd has signed a memorandum of understanding with defence PSU Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) for cooperation in the field of cloud services, IoT , e-governance, smart cities, networks for defence projects, mission critical communication systems for domestic and international markets, according to a statement from the telecom service provider on Thursday. The MoU was signed in the presence of BEL CMD M V Gowtama and Puneet Chawla CMD, RailTel. BEL, a Navaratna PSU under the Ministry of Defense, is a multi-product, multi-technology company with nine manufacturing units across the country and primarily manufactures advanced electronic products for the Indian Armed Forces. The MoU was signed at the DefExpo which is underway in Lucknow. PTI ASG ASG SMN SMN

(Outlook, Feb 06, 2020)

There is Not a Lot for the EV Sector in Budget 2020

Budget 2020 has failed to meet the expectations of the electric vehicle (EV) segment of the country. The segment’s stakeholders were expecting more measures from the government to promote electric mobility in cities. Despite the government’s constant stress on a cleaner and greener environment, the Union Budget had very little to put smiles on the faces of EV enthusiasts, and not many incentives were announced to drive the demand of EVs. As per the Union Budget announcement, imported EVs are going to get costlier with the government increasing the customs duty on various kinds of such vehicles as the government pushes for local production. The government has allocated ₹6.93 billion (~$96.8 million) for the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid) and Electric Vehicles in India (FAME-India) program for the financial year 2020-21. To promote easy adoption of EVs, the government has increased the number of EVs to be supported for the fiscal year 2020-21 through demand incentives for electric buses to 5,000 as compared to 1,650 announced in the last budget. The demand incentives for electric four-wheelers has been increased to 3,000 as compared to 1,650 in the previous budget. Demand incentives on electric three-wheelers has been decreased to 15,000 from 16,500, and demand incentives on electric two-wheelers has been increased to 40,000 from 33,000.

(Mercom India, Feb 05, 2020)

Mahindra outlines its electric mobility roadmap

In the past decade, electric mobility has emerged as a major trend in the automotive industry, with great strides being made in terms of practicality and affordability. Mahindra, a company that has been the bellwether of electric vehicles in India, plans to accelerate its efforts in this space in the months ahead. The company recently outlined its electric mobility roadmap, including its upcoming products and technologies. Contrary to some of the other OEMs in the industry, the home-grown automaker intends to direct its concerted efforts more towards the fleet segment, rather than private buyers. Commenting on the company’s strategy, Dr Pawan Goenka, managing director, Mahindra & Mahindra, said, "Our focus is on shared mobility and not on personal mobility. And that is the priority that the Government of India has also given because that is how you will get the maximum bang from the buck in use of electric vehicles in India in terms of the impact on the environment and the impact on oil imports."

(Auto Car, Jan 11, 2020)

Digital India gets a boost

To promote digital payments, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday said no MDR charges will be applicable on transactions through homegrown RuPay and UPI platforms beginning January 1, 2020. The department of revenue will soon notify RuPay and UPI as the prescribed mode of payment for digital transactions without any Merchant Discount Rate (MDR), she said after meeting CEOs of public sector banks here. Accordingly, all companies with a turnover of Rs 50 crore or more will be mandated by the revenue department to provide the facility of payment through RuPay Debit card and UPI QR code to their customers, she said. MDR is the cost paid by a merchant to a bank for accepting payment from their customers via digital means. The merchant discount rate is expressed in percentage of the transaction amount. “I’m happy to say that the announcement which was made in the budget will see the notification coming on January 1, 2020... those modes which are getting notified will not have charges under the MDR being levied on them,” she said. Indigenously developed digital payment medium such as RuPay and BHIM UPI will now have an edge over the payment gateway promoted by foreign companies. She said banks will also start a campaign to popularise RuPay Debit card and UPI.

(The Telegraph, Dec 29, 2019)

Mahindra Two Wheelers set to reveal its first electric scooter in Q1, CY2020

Mahindra & Mahindra is learnt to be at an advanced stage of showcasing and/or launching its first electric scooter, which is understood to be based on the Mahindra Gusto scooter platform.It may be recollected that in April 2017, Autocar Professional had reported that a Gusto-based e-scooter was under development. The now-discontinued Gusto 110cc and 125cc scooter models were the most successful Mahindra models on two wheels, compared to the Duro and Rodeo. According to sources familiar with the latest developments on the new project, Mahindra's electric scooter will be revealed before Auto Expo 2020, which opens in early February. The e-scooter, for which ARAI certification is believed to have been received, is expected to be retailed at an estimated price of around Rs 80,000 in Delhi (including FAME 2 and state government subsidies). Considering that Mahindra owns two electric-scooter manufacturing companies (Mahindrda Genze in the USA and Peugeot Motocycles in France), it was a matter of time before the company, which is the forerunner of electric mobility in India, entered the e-mobility field on two wheels. The upcoming Mahindra e-scooter, which is learnt to have inputs from Mahindra Genze, is powered by a 3Kw motor and is expected to have a range of around 80 kilometres on a single charge, along with a top speed of around 55-60kph. Little else on the eco-friendly Mahindra two-wheeler is known at this stage.

(AutoCar, Dec 28, 2019)

By 2030, India will have over 90 million people skilled in AI, block chain, cyber security: NASSCOM

India will become the largest workforce in the world by 2030 with over 90 million people up skilling themselves in futuristic technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Block chain, Cyber security among others, according to a report by NASSCOM. Indian IT industry body said that with technology giants investing over INR 10 billion per year to address the reskilling/ up skilling requirements of their employees given the magnitude of the challenges, more people are expected to be a part of the industry. The Indian government had announced an initiative called ‘Future Skills’ last year in Hyderabad to reskill the IT industry workforce in emerging technologies and job roles prompting the Ministry of Electronics and IT and NASSCOM to also help reskill/ up skill over 200,000 IT employees leveraging the Future Skills platform. The Future Skills platform currently offers reskilling/ up skilling in 10 emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Cyber Security, Block chain, etc. across 70 new job roles and 155 new skills. Union Minister for Electronics and IT Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad today approved the expansion of the Future Skills initiative to industry professionals across different segments, higher education students and government officials, with the goal to train 400,000 professionals in next three years. This expanded digital platform would be called Future Skills PRIME (Programme for Reskilling/ Up  skilling of IT Manpower for Employability). “In the digital world trained workforce will become India’s biggest competitive advantage. The Government is committed to working with the IT Industry and NASSCOM to create India Digital Talent Stack that will propel India into a leadership position in the digital world,” Prasad said. Debjani Ghosh, President, NASSCOM, said, “It is phenomenal to see the Government taking on such a huge initiative and recognizing the imperative of skilling in our industry today. The common objective we share is to showcase India as the global hub for talent development in emerging technologies as well as globally recognized process structures. I am confident that such an initiative will significantly contribute to building a future-ready workforce and accelerate the technology sector in achieving its skilling targets for the country.”

(IBS Intelligence, Dec 24, 2019)

Govt. sets aside Rs 426 cr to reskill 4 lakh IT staffers in emerging tech

The government has expanded a programme to reskill the IT industry workforce in emerging technologies, with a target to train 4,00,000 professionals in the next three years. The government has earmarked Rs 426 crore for the programme. Union Minister for Electronics and IT Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Wednesday that, in a digital world, a trained workforce will become India’s biggest competitive advantage, and that the government was committed to working with the IT Industry and industry group Nasscom to create India Digital Talent Stack. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the Future Skills Initiative in 2018. Since then, the Ministry of Electronics and IT and Nasscom have worked with the IT industry to reskill and up skill over 2,00,000 IT employees, leveraging the Future Skills platform. The platform currently offers skilling in 10 emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, cyber security and blockchain across 70 new job roles and 155 new skills. By 2030, India will have more than 90 million people joining the workforce due to its existing demographic dividend, according to a government statement.  Indian IT giants have been investing over Rs 1,000 crore every year to address the reskilling/upskilling requirements of their employees, given the magnitude of the challenges, it added. “The common objective we share is to showcase India as the global hub for talent development in emerging technologies as well as globally recognised process structures,” said Debjani Ghosh, president, Nasscom.

(ET, Dec 19, 2019)

Budget wish list: Electronics and tech industry urges FM to raise MEIS rate

The electronics and technology industry is batting for reinstating the Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS) rate from the current 2 per cent to boost electronics exports from India. Industry bodies and companies discussed the issue with Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday, at a meeting held to understand their budget expectations. "Our main ask from the government is to restore MEIS. It is a very important incentive scheme for global value chains," said Pankaj Mohindroo, India Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA) chairman. Hardware industry body MAIT's Chief Executive Officer George Paul, who was also present at the meeting with the FM, said, "Exports by the electronics industry will be highly dampened and have a negative impact on investments in this sector. Electronics exports will be hit hardest without MEIS. Reinstating the MEIS is the need of the hour for continued exports." Introduced in 2015 under the Foreign Trade Policy, the mega MEIS was created out of a merger of five existing reward schemes. It incentivizes merchandise exports of more than 8,000 items now and is the biggest of its kind. Exporters earn duty credits at fixed rates of 2 per cent, 3 per cent, and 5 per cent, depending upon the product and country. According to ICEA earlier this year, handset exports in the current fiscal have crossed Rs 7,000 crore after total exports of Rs 11,200 crore in 2018-19. The current directive by Ministry of Commerce to reduce the MEIS from 4 per cent to 2 per cent is not in sync with the goals set in the National Policy for Electronics, 2019, to export 100 million handsets worth $110 billion every year by 2025...The mobile handset manufacturing industry has been interacting with the government on this issue and was awaiting an increase in the export incentive to 8 per cent to make India globally competitive and become a manufacturing hub," the Internet and Mobile Association of India said in a statement on Monday. As per IAMAI research, India today stands at a cost disability of 8-10 per cent compared to Vietnam and 18-20 per cent against China in electronics manufacturing. The disabilities arise out of multiple factors like higher cost of money, cost of land, corporate tax structure, lack of value chain infrastructure to name a few.

(BS, Dec 17, 2019)

MG partners with Exicom to recycle ZS EV batteries

MG Motor India – which is all set to launch its first electric vehicle, the ZS EV SUV – is partnering with Exicom Tele-Systems for second-life use of ZS EV batteries. Under the partnership, Exicom plans to re-deploy MG ZS EV batteries at the end of their useful life in the car and put them through a controlled process of evaluation, disassembly and repackaging to design custom battery packs for non-automotive applications. The new partnership with Exicom is aimed at dispelling reservations around the disposal of used EV batteries. The automaker says the reuse of discarded EV battery packs will reduce the dependence on the limited resources. These battery packs can be used in a host of non-automotive applications such as home inverters, commercial and industrial UPS, and renewable energy storage. Speaking on the partnership, Rajeev Chaba, president and MD, MG Motor India, said, “Over the past few months, we have worked towards creating the right ecosystem for our customers, ahead of the launch of the ZS EV, including charging infrastructure and busting common myths around EVs. Another question which people have is ‘what happens to the EV battery after the product lifecycle ends. Our latest partnership focuses on second-life applications for used EV battery packs, to ensure environment-friendly battery disposal, which will only serve to bolster the country’s progress towards this critical objective.” Anant Nahata, MD, Exicom Tele-Systems said, “We are extremely delighted to associate with MG which is focused on harnessing the EV ecosystem in India. Making electric mobility mainstream is one of the biggest challenges and opportunities we face. E-mobility also represents an important opportunity to overhaul our energy infrastructure and make necessary investments in renewables and new grid technologies.”

(Autocar, Nov 26, 2019)

Government tells Lok Sabha about Pegasus attack

He Centre, on Wednesday, in a written reply in the Lok Sabha said it has taken note of reports that emerged in October of a spyware/malware called Pegasus’ having affected some WhatsApp users globally. The Ministry of Electronics and Information Broadcasting said that 121 WhatsApp users had been impacted in India. The ministry was replying to a question raised by AIMIM MPs Asaduddin Owaisi and Imtiaz Jaleel". According to WhatsApp, this spyware was developed by an Israel-based company NSO Group and that it had developed and used Pegasus spyware in an attempt to reach mobile phones of a possible number of 1400 users globally that includes 121 users from India," the ministry informed the Lower House of the Parliament. The Centre dismissed allegations that government agencies were behind the snooping. "Some statements have appeared, based on reports in media, regarding this. These attempts to malign the Government of India for the reported breach are completely misleading. The government is committed to protecting the fundamental rights of citizens, including the right to privacy," the written reply read.

(India Today, Nov 20, 2019)

MG Motor and Fortum install first EV fast charging station in Gurugram: Fourth in Delhi NCR

Morris Garages (MG) Motor India in partnership with Fortum Charge & Drive India have unveiled the first 50 kW DC charging station at MG’s flagship dealership in Gurugram. The Finland based company has announced that the station is now operational for public use, an announcement which comes ahead of the launch of MG’s second model introduction, and its first electric model launch in India – the MG ZS EV. The launch of the ZS EV is scheduled to take place in December 2019. As a part of the tie-up with Fortum, MG has installed four 50 kW DC fast charging public stations in Delhi NCR, located in South Delhi, West Delhi, Noida and Gurugram. Six stations have already been installed at MG dealers in Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Ahmedabad. The locations of the charging stations can be found by registering with Fortum Charge & Drive India through its Mobile App.

(FE, Nov 19, 2019)

Bengaluru’s tech prowess to drive India’s $1 trillion digital economy: experts

Bengaluru’s technological prowess will play a crucial role in making India achieve $1 trillion in digital economy, experts said at the ongoing Bengaluru Tech Summit.The digital economy growth target is in the backdrop of a February report from the ministry of electronics & information technology and McKinsey which stated that India can create over $1 trillion of economic value from the digital economy in 2025, with half the opportunity originating in new digital ecosystems. “In terms of technology, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and data analytics should be mapped with every sector to solve day-to-day problems like water pollution and air pollution," Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, CMD, Biocon Ltd said. Given that human capital is the most important catalyst in driving the digital economy, Shaw said that Biocon is creating a globally competitive biotech talent in India through the Biocon Academy which leverages the industry experience of Biocon and subject expertise of international education partners.

(LiveMint, Nov 18, 2019)

DC-MSME to engage CPSEs for establishing 20 Technology Centres across India

The Office of Development Commissioner, Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises wants to rope in a Public Sector Enterprises (CPSE) for establishment of technology centers across India. DC MSME is planning to establish as many as 20 TCs across India at an approximate cost of Rs 3600 crores. In this context, Office of Development Commissioner (MSME), Ministry of MSME, Government of India intends to engage the services of a CPSE as Project Management Consultant (PMC) for planning, design & monitoring of civil infrastructure, procurement of machines, contract management and providing implementation & monitoring support in establishment of 20 Technology Centres across India.  Currently there are 18 operational Technology Centres. 10 are for the tooling industry and 8 are for other industries such as ESDM (electronics system design and manufacturing), glass, footwear, and fragrance and flavour and sports. The Ministry of MSME established 18 Technology Centres (TCs) earlier known as Tool Rooms (10 Nos) and Technology Development Centres (8 Nos) spread across the country. TCs’ primary focus is to support industries particularly MSMEs in the country through - Access to advanced manufacturing technologies; Skilling manpower by offering opportunities for technical skill development to the youth at varying levels ranging from school dropouts to graduate engineers and Providing technical and business advisory support to MSME entrepreneurs. (KNN Bureau).

(KNN, Nov 05, 2019)

Software Technology Parks of India to create around 15,000 direct jobs

Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) is aiming to create around 15,000 direct jobs through North East BPO Promotion Scheme (NEBPS). STPI is an organization under the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY), Government of India. A budget of Rs 50 crore has been allocated to incentivize the establishment of 5000 seats in respect of BPO/ITES operations in the region.  This scheme aims at creating an ecosystem in the North East that will unleash development in the region. It will provide a platform to the youth of North East and curtail the migration from the region. Further, the scheme would facilitate investment and attract industry players to explore the opportunities in the area. Dr. Omkar Rai, Director General, Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) said, “Considering the geographical location of the northeastern states, the provision of employment for the youth of the region would boost the economy and propel them towards the mainstream. The government is trying to infuse development in the region. The scheme would have a domino impact as it will create an enabling environment through the creation of an ecosystem, provide jobs and bring investment in the area.

(ET, Nov 04, 2019)

How MeitY startup Summit sparked New Energy for India Innovators

Ravi Shankar Prasad, Union Minister for Electronics and Information Technology, initiated the MeitY Startup India Summit this week. The event brought together many industry leaders, government officials, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists under one roof to discuss how regulators can boost the startup ecosystem in the country.  During the inauguration, Prasad said that the Digital India programme is finding worldwide reverberation. He added that the “digital hunger” across the country should be tapped, and instructed the officials to digitally map entrepreneurs and innovators in rural India.  “Innovation ought to be utilised to change rural India and make roads for those in small towns and Tier II and Tier III urban areas,” said Prasad during the event. He likewise propelled a software products library which will go about as a single-window point to examine Indian software product database. The Minister said that Digital India ought to turn into a reference point for inclusion, healthcare training and entrepreneurship. Here are the other key takeaways from Startup India: Talking about how utilizing innovations like artificial intelligence would catalyze the financial development of India, Union Minister Prasad unveiled the MeitY Startup Hub (MSH). The hub is viewed as a stage forward towards uniting key partners and new businesses under one rooftop. Further, they will work with specialists to catch feasible procedures to bring the focal point of funding and government around their methods and systems. The platform will use and bring startup mediation program to the software technology parks of India (STPI). They are intended to advance business enterprise and make a supporting system for STPI CoEs in technologies, including digital payments and fintech, blockchain, IoT, artificial intelligence, etc.

(Analytics India, Oct 23, 2019)

Electronic goods shine even as global slowdown hits demand, exports soar

Even as slowdown takes a toll on global demand and domestic production, electronic goods have given a reason to cheer for India. Beating the 6.57 per cent contraction in the overall merchandise exports in September, exports of electronic goods have substantially outperformed. The electronic goods exports grew with the highest pace of 33.1 per cent on-year in September, according to the Department of Commerce. The momentum of electronic goods exports from India is not new now as it is exponentially surging since FY18. The electronics industry is among the largest and fastest-growing manufacturing industries globally, with production estimated at $ 2.9 trillion in 2018, says RBI. In the past two years, the exports of equipment with electronic integrated circuits and micro assemblies have grown at 94.9 per cent in FY18 and 162.5 per cent in FY19. The Narendra Modi-led government has been consistently rolling out measures to boost the production of electronic goods including mobile handsets under the flagship schemes such as ‘Make in India’ and ‘Digital India’.

(FE, Oct 17, 2019)

Electric vehicle market in India: Evolution, challenges and solutions

The global automotive industry is on the verge of disruption. Four technology-driven trends — electrification, shared mobility, connectivity, and autonomous driving—are leading the automotive industry to this disruption. These trends will shift markets and revenue pools, change mobility behaviour and build new avenues for competition and cooperation. The Indian automotive industry has started to experience these effects of the global disruption. Out of the four emerging trends, Electrification is of importance and might significantly impact auto OEMs and auto component manufacturers. India has big plans for the emerging Electric Vehicles and its technologies in the country. It has announced (and later modified some) ultimatums for the next decade. India has great expectations of achieving a high level of penetration in e-mobility by 2030. The reason is not very surprising; the alarming levels of pollution indices which keep on rising and the colossal dollars the country must pay for annual crude oil imports. In December 2017, New Delhi was in a state of red alert and came close to Beijing in terms of pollution toxicity, such are the pollution indices in India. If India successfully manages to achieve this target by 2030, it could save about 1 Giga Tonne of emissions.

(Express Drives, Oct 17, 2019)

MG Motor India partners’ eChargeBays to set home charging infrastructure for Electric Vehicles

MG Motor India on Wednesday said it has partnered with eChargeBays, a Delhi-based start-up, for setting up home charging infrastructure for electric vehicles (EVs). The partnership comes ahead of the company’s launch of the its electric SUV, MG ZS EV, in December 2019. As part of the partnership, MG will send experts to identify the best way in which MG ZS EV buyers can install an EV charger at home, the company said in a statement. Commenting on the collaboration, MG Motor India President & Managing Director Rajeev Chaba said, “our latest association is aimed at supporting the government’s EV vision by providing a viable residential EV charging infrastructure.” It also highlights MG’s commitment towards going the extra mile and delivering a convenient ownership experience for its EV customers, he added. MG’s partnership with eChargeBays is the latest in a series of alliances with EV charging players aimed at creating a robust charging infrastructure in the country. The company has already partnered with Fortum and Delta Electronics India for the fast charging and slow charging segments, respectively. Rajesh Singh, Founder & CEO, eChargeBays, said most prospective EV buyers are hesitant on account of the limited charging infrastructure available.

(Press Trust of India, Oct 16, 2019)

Emflux One, India’s first electric superbike, on the track to be launched in 2020

Emflux Motors caught everyone's attention at the 2018 Auto Expo. The EV start-up based out Bangalore made a big announcement that they were making India's first electric superbike and it will be in the market in 2019. The Emflux One, the concept showcased, promised a lot in terms of design as well as specs. After all, 200kmph, 200km range and 0-100kmph in 3s were specs unheard of in the Indian EV space. Not only this, the 71hp/84Nm from a liquid-cooled induction motor along with a 169kg kerb weight was enough to get all of us salivating. The price tag though stayed a bit steep and at Rs 6 lakh for an EV in 2018, know what I mean. Fast forward to the present and we got in touch with Emflux Motors to see what has changed and if the new EV favourable rules will work for them or not. First things first. The most important question is when is the Emflux One going to be launched. The company says that they are progressing well in terms of all the technologies developed in-house, unfortunately, lack of investment is making things a bit slow for us. The launch of the motorcycle should be by the end of 2020 and will be in phases, however the Emflux One will be available for limited numbers to create a brand image in the market. There is another mid-performance motorcycle, the Emflux Model Two, that is being designed for higher volume manufacturing and sales. The latter may take a bit longer and can be expected by 2021.

(FE, Aug 16, 2019)

Make-in-India: Need a brand-new policy to curb imports

If Prime minister Narendra Modi doesn’t take corrective action fast, his plan to reduce import-dependence in electronics—mobile phones, in particular—will go the way of the oil sector where, despite the ambitious targets to raise self-sufficiency, this has fallen in the last five years. Indeed, in a business-as-usual scenario, mobile phones alone could become India’s second-largest imports in another 5-6 years. The problem is the phased-manufacturing-program (PMP) Modi came up with to push domestic manufacturing simply didn’t work. PMP put an import duty on mobile phones, but reduced this to zero on various components to push domestic value addition; so, in the first phase, import duties were zero on chargers/adapters and then this was extended to battery packs and then headphones etc. Yet, domestic value addition is just 15-18% and, in fact, the 2019 phase of PMP had to be put on hold as the domestic industry wasn’t ready.  A possible reason for low value addition, according to Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) is that, in response to higher import duties, Chinese component-makers lowered prices so as to keep the post-import-duty component price the same; since Chinese phone firms in India have captured most of the market, the margins they sacrifice on components exported to India are made up by the margins on the phones they sell here.

(FE, Aug 12, 2019)

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

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

(ET, June 27, 2019)

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

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

  (FE, June 26, 2019)

Vedanta’s $10 billion LCD project may fall flat

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

(ET, June 25, 2019)

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

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

(DNA, June 24, 2019)

Only 50% of investments in IT sector realized

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

(The Hindu, June 24, 2019)

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

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

(FE, June 21, 2019)

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

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

(BS, June 15, 2019)

Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology finalizes Data Protection Bill

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

(India TV, June 14, 2019)

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

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

(TOI, June 13, 2019)

Made-in-India tag for Flipkart brands

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

  (ET, June 10, 2019)

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

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

(LiveMint, June 10, 2019)

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

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

(BS, June 05, 2019)

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

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

(BusinessLine, May 28, 2019)

Hardware-based Security - Trusted Partner for Connected World

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

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

(BS, May 22, 2019)

Finance Commission meets Ministry of Electronics and IT

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

(SME Times, May 21, 2019)

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

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

(Inc 42, May 16, 2019)

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

Tech giant Amazon is strengthening its data centre business in India by reinforcing Amazon Data Services India (ADSI) with an INR 1,380 Cr ($198.2 Mn) investment, according to documents seen by business intelligence platform Amazon’s investment in its data centre services comes at a time when the Indian government has been taking a tough stand on data localisation and urging international companies to move their data centres to India. Incorporated in India in 2016, Amazon Data Services provides data storage, data protection solutions and operations that pertain to computer hardware and software that deal with data storage. According to an ET report, this deal wills not only help the company strengthen its data centre infrastructure in the country but it will also help it compete against the growing popularity of Alibaba Cloud in the Asia-Pacific region including India. Prior to this, Amazon had invested about $214 Mn (INR 1,381 Cr) in its data services unit, Amazon Data Services India in 2016.

(Inc 4, May 08, 2019)

State focuses of alternative electronics hubs

The state government is laying emphasis on developing alternative hubs for the manufacture of electronic equipment, ranging from mobiles, drones, solar and other components. "We have developed three Electronic Manufacturing Clusters (EMCs) at Naihati, Falta and Sonarpur. The lands for all these EMCs are ready for allotment. Apart from mobile manufacturing, we are welcoming solar, drones, robotics and LCD TVs in these clusters as well," a senior official of the state Information Technology & Electronics department said.  Additional Chief Secretary of IT&E Debashis Sen recently visited the EMC at Naihati situated on 70 acres of land and took stock of the services on offer. "The facilities in this park have been developed by WEBEL. A site office will come up soon. We are expecting a lot of electronic units here as the place has its locational advantage. It is an hour-long drive from the city and is very close to the industrial park of West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation," the official added.

(Millennium Post, Apr 22, 2019)

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

Ø  Samsung India has launched its new SpaceMax™ Series Side-by-Side Refrigerator lineup that will be available in two-door and three-door options. Samsung is the market leader in the Side-by-Side Refrigerator category with over 50% market share. The new refrigerator lineup comes with unique features. SpaceMax™ technology lets you store more food without increasing external dimensions or compromising on energy efficiency. The refrigerator also has a sleek and seamless counter-depth design that will fit perfectly with the dimensions of the consumers’ existing appliances and cabinetry to create a harmonious kitchen interior and comes with an all-around cooling system that makes sure food is fresh wherever it is stored in the fridge. “Samsung continues to bring delight to the consumers through innovative technology solutions in the refrigerator space. Being an industry leader, we are excited to bring the all-new SpaceMax™ Series Side-by-Side refrigerators that are designed to change the way consumers store food. These refrigerators are highly energy efficient and durable, ensuring longer-lasting performance,” said Saurav Katyal, Director, Consumer Electronics Business, Samsung India.

(Samsung Newsroom India, Apr 22, 2019)

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

Social media, content, and gaming apps are grappling for a way to deal with heightened regulatory scrutiny as Indian courts step in to stem the flood of so-called objectionable content on these platforms, in one of the world’s fastest growing internet markets. Content companies such as Facebook, Google-owned YouTube as well as Chinese apps such as TikTok and Bigo Live are expected to face even more regulatory scrutiny in the future. TikTok and Bigo Live have been accused of allowing sexually explicit content to be beamed on their platform. TikTok was banned earlier this week and is currently not available for download on Apple's App Store or Google Play Store. RBI's draft framework to enable regulatory sandbox (RS) for fintech innovation has been well-received by a majority of fintech players, even as some have suggested a few tweaks in order to make it even more comprehensive. The regulators should also have opened the sandbox for established companies as well and not just startups since it would have widened the scope of innovations, said Mandar Agashe, founder of Pune-based Sarvatra Technology. He said a lot of fintech companies would have benefited from these findings./Fintech firms also raised concerns on the restrictions of not letting crypto and initial coin offering (ICO) startups to participate in the regulatory sandbox, claiming that RBI's stand against crypto currency technology is "not well informed.

(ET, Apr 20, 2019)

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

India's largest retailer Reliance Retail's mobile phones and consumer electronics have boosted the retail business and crossed the $5-billion revenue mark in March 2019 augmenting its market presence. The retail giant credited its growth to having the largest network of stores and having attained the first mover advantage in many cities. Reportedly, new brand introductions in cellphones and air care equipments (air conditioners, air purifiers and air coolers) such as Lloyd and Godrej helped the retailer outgrow market rates across key categories. According to the company's investor presentation made to analysts, "Sales in these two categories - which account for about a third of the total- through Reliance Digital and Reliance Jio stores more than doubled to Rs 39,170 crore in FY19 from Rs 15,154 crore in FY18". As per tracker Counterpoint Research, Jio Phone has made Reliance the largest brand in the category of feature phones and the overall cellphone market, as of 2018. The sales of Jio Phone has contributed to the revenue generation of the retailer, The Economic Times quoted an industry executive as saying.

(Business Today, April 20, 2019)

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

Consumer electronic major Panasonic India is aiming to garner around 20 per cent market share in the full-frame mirror less camera segment with sale of around Rs 100 crore within a year, a top company official said. The company, which forayed into the full-frame mirror less camera segment Monday, extending its portfolio of imaging business, expects rising demand for better image quality from business segments such as wedding, advertising, fashion to help it capture the market share.  "The potential of the DSLR market is around Rs 2,000 crore in our country in which the full-frame camera range is around 25 per cent, which is roughly around Rs 500 crore to 600 crore," Panasonic India President and CEO Manish Sharma told. He further added: "Utilising this, we are expecting a revenue of around Rs 100 crore with 20 per cent market share in the full-frame mirror less camera market within the first year."  A mirror less camera does not require a reflex mirror, unlike DSLR (digital single-lens reflex) cameras. A full-frame mirror less camera uses digital sensor of large 35 mm format, as by high-end DSLR cameras.

(, April 16, 2019

Qualcomm and Apple Drop All Litigation Worldwide

Qualcomm and Apple have announced an agreement to dismiss all ongoing litigations, including with Apple's contract manufacturers, between the two companies worldwide.  The deal would result in a massive cash windfall for Qualcomm and put Apple on a faster path to 5G for iPhones.  The companies have reached a global patent license agreement and a chipset supply agreement, Apple said in a statement on late Tuesday.  "The settlement includes a payment from Apple to Qualcomm. The companies also have reached a six-year license agreement, effective as of April 1, 2019, including a two-year option to extend, and a multi-year chipset supply agreement," said the Cupertino-based iPhone maker. The Apple-Qualcomm agreement was reached after chip-maker Intel decided to exit the 5G smartphone modem business and complete an assessment of the opportunities for 4G and 5G modems in PCs, Internet of Things devices and other data-centric devices. 

(ET, April 18, 2019)

Government Bodies float tenders for 500 EV charging stations

Government bodies like Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), Rajasthan Electronics and Instruments Limited (REIL) and National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) has floated tender for over 500 electric vehicle charging stations in the last two months. The announcements came just after the government notified Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles (FAME-II) scheme in India on February 29. The scheme proposed for establishment of 2,700 charging station in metros, other million-plus cities and smart cities. Delhi-based government body EESL has invited bid to set-up 200 fast chargers in Delhi and Andhra Pradesh. The bidder will have to give three years of on-site warranty and annual maintenance contract. Moreover, it will be also responsible for the finding location, supply and installation.  Similarly, a public sector enterprise, Rajasthan Electronics and Instruments Limited (REIL), had floated a tender to put 270 electric vehicle charging points across various locations in the country. Out of the 270 chargers, 70 normal AC chargers, 170 DC fast chargers, and 30 DC fast chargers will be installed in cities like Ranchi, Bengaluru, Goa, Shimla, Hyderabad, Agra as well as on the Delhi-Jaipur-Agra and Mumbai-Pune highways. The bidder will have to undertake the annual maintenance services for a period of five years. 

(ET, Apr 03, 2019)

India launches first electronic intelligence-gathering satellite

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has launched the first electronic reconnaissance satellite developed by the state-run Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to detect enemy radar and gather communications intelligence. Launched on 1 April from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota aboard the indigenously designed Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle-C45 (PSLV-C45), the 436 kg Electro-Magnetic Intelligence Satellite (EMISAT) was placed into a 748 km sun-synchronous polar orbit about 17 minutes after lift-off, officials said. The ISRO’s Telemetry Tracking and Command Network in Bangalore is expected to bring the satellite to its final operational configuration, according to the Indian government’s Press Information Bureau (PIB). Official sources told Jane’s on 2 April that EMISAT’s payload was designed by the DRDO’s Defence Electronics Research Laboratory in Hyderabad as part of Project Kautilya, while the ISRO built the satellite’s body. The entire development project was completed in eight years and is modelled on Satellite with ARgos and ALtiKa (SARAL): a co-operative altimetry technology venture for oceanographic studies between the ISRO and France’s National Centre for Space Studies (CNES). Industry sources said the EMISAT is a derivative of the ISRO’s Indian Mini Satellite-2 (IMS-2) series of electronic intelligence satellites, which has a maximum launch weight of 450 kg and a payload of no more than 200 kg.

(HS Jane's 360, Apr 02, 2019 )

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

Finally, the writing's on the wall. The Union Cabinet, under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has come forward with a planned electric vehicle (EV) strategy. The government is planning to set up a National Mission on Transformative Mobility and Battery Storage to bring clean and connected technologies that can usher in an era of shared and sustainable EV infrastructure in the country. Apart from this, the government, which aims to have the country EV-ready by 2024, has introduced the Phased Manufacturing Programme (PMP) to set up integrated battery Giga plants in India to supply batteries for electric vehicles. According to a startup in the EV infrastructure space: “The government wants to localise EV production, and stop being dependent on global markets for battery packs and modules.” The government plans to have battery module and pack assembly plants ready by 2019-20, and an integrated cell manufacturing plant by 2021-22. These plants will be set up to export modules to countries that have EV programmes in the future.Reports suggest that there are several ministries getting together for this mission, which will be chaired by the CEO of NITI Aayog, and secretaries from the energy, transport and international trade departments. There will be a total of eight ministries getting together for this project.According to the India Electronics and Semiconductor Association (IESA), the market for energy storage would be 300 GWh by 2018-25. Electric vehicle companies such as Magenta, Strom, Sun Mobility, Ather, Tork, and Ultraviolette are going to benefit from this as they are betting big on Lithium Ion batteries.

(Yours Story Mar 08, 2019)

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

The new software products policy is aimed at developing Facebooks and Googles from India with government backing through funding, procurement and creating intellectual property rights, information and technology minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said. Speaking to ET’s Anandita Singh Mankotia and Romit Guha, Prasad said the National Policy on Electronics will boost local manufacturing not just for India but also for the export market, with the focus on designing in India. Edited excerpts: India is known for its software services. We want it to become a big hub for products. We are going to nurture 10,000 startups in technology products, out of which 1,000 will be in tier-2 and tier-3 towns. We intend to have direct employment for 3.5 million people by 2025. We wish to build a cluster base which will have the value chain, everything from incubation to marketing to software product development. Most interesting is up-scaling of 10 lakh IT professionals. One lakh schools and colleges students and 10,000 professionals for software products. We aim to create Googles and Facebooks from India. 

(ET, Mar 07, 2019)

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

If paying for different purchases in different mediums stresses you out, the ‘One Nation, One Card’ might just be the good news you were waiting for. Citizens can use the inter-operable transport card to pay for their bus travel, toll taxes, parking charges, retail shopping and even withdraw money. Speaking to the Hindustan Times, Durga Shanker Mishra, the secretary to the Ministry of Urban Affairs, said, “It is a matter of pride that this card, based on National Common Mobility Card (NCMC) standards is compliant with the ‘Make in India’ initiative. The gate and reader prototype has been made by government-owned Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL). All Debit/Credit Cards will be NCMC compliant.”   The One Nation One Card is India’s first indigenously developed payment ecosystem. The initiative is supported by the Automatic Fare Collection Gate called ‘Swaagat’ and an open Loop Automatic Fare Collection System called ‘Sweekar.’ Both Swaagat and Sweekar have been developed in India. The One Nation One Card can be compared to a RuPay debit/credit card issued by your bank. Along with a swipe-to-pay option, the transport ecosystem card will also be contactless, allowing quick payment options like your metro smart card.

(The Better India, Mar 06, 2019)

BMC bags silver medal for digital initiative

The BrihanmumbaMunicipal Corporation (BMC) has been awarded the Central government’s silver medal for ‘Outstanding Digital Initiative by a Local Body’ in the Digital India Awards held on Friday. In another win, Washington’s Library of Congress has asked for a copy of the BMC’s coffee table book on Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar. The Digital India Awards 2018 were organised by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology at New Delhi’s India Habitat Centre.  The awards recognise initiatives of ministries, departments, institutions which have made significant contributions towards implementation of e-Governance and shown an innovative approach to achieve administrative efficiency and transparency, according to the website. The Outstanding Digital Initiative by Local Body award focuses on providing exemplary information quality and extent of services by assessing the service maturity level, service catalogue, transparency, cost effectiveness and efficiency enhancement in terms of service delivery. Entries are assessed on the level of convenience or empowerment provided to the citizen through the initiative. The BMC was awarded the second prize in this category. The award was handed over by Union Minister for Electronics and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad and received by Shashi Bala, Head of BMC’s Business Development Cell and Information Technology Director Arun Joglekar.

(The Hindu, Feb 23, 2019)

India should become a data analytics hub: Ravi Shankar Prasad

Union Minister for Electronics & IT Ravi Shankar Prasad,said India should become a data analytics hub on the back of the huge amount of data that Indians are producing. “India has all the potential to become a centre of data analysis. The huge data 1.3 billion Indians are producing. It is a great opportunity,” said Prasad after releasing a report on India’s trillion dollar digital economy at the Nasscom event here. He said the report is not just about digital inclusion but also an opportunity to do business in India. The report stated that India can create up to $1 trillion of economic value from the digital economy in 2025, with half of the opportunity originating in new digital ecosystems that can spring up in diverse sectors of the economy. Currently, India’s digital economy generates about $200 billion of economic value annually largely from existing digital ecosystem comprising of information technology and business process management (IT-BPM), digital communication services (including telecom), e-commerce, domestic electronics manufacturing, digital payments, and direct subsidy transfers. The existing digital ecosystem could contribute up to $500 billion of economic value, but the potential economic value for India could be as much as double that amount — almost $1 trillion— if digital technologies are used to unlock productivity, savings, and efficiency across more diverse sectors such as agriculture, education, energy, financial services, government services, healthcare, logistics, manufacturing, trade, and transportation.  The report stated that India has the second-largest number of instant messaging service users worldwide, behind China, and the most social media users, and Aadhaar, India’s unique digital identity programme, covers more than 1.2 billion people, the largest system of its type globally.

(ET, Feb 21, 2019)

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

Electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in India will soon grow in number by a good margin. EVI Technologies aims to set up 20,000 charging stations at key locations across the country, within the next one-and-a-half years. The company will invest Rs 100 crore in the project in a bid to promote electric mobility. EVI Technologies, incubated at the Electropreneur Park (funded by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology), has tied up with BSES Rajdhani Power Ltd to install 3000 EV charging stations in Delhi alone. The charging stations will require an investment of Rs 15,000-20,000 per head and BSES will charge a tariff of Rs 5 per unit of electric power. Rupesh Kumar, CEO of EVI Technologies shared, "We have a target to create a network of around 20,000 EV chargers in the next one and a half years. This will include home and public charging stations. It will be around Rs 100 crore. We are tying up with some finance partners, who are already providing finance for the leasing model. We are already in discussion with some of them."

(DriveSpark, Feb 18, 2019)

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

Tegna Electronics Pvt Ltd, an SPV of Taiwan Electrical and Electronics Manufacturers' Association in association with Chinese mobile player Oppo will set up a greenfield electronics manufacturing cluster in Greater Noida at an investment of Rs 3,500 crore in next 5-10 years. The project is expected to be completed over 18 months and around 2 lakh product units will be produced daily. It is expected to create 25,000-30,000 jobs. The foundation stone was laid on Friday in Greater Noida by Minister of IT and Electronics Ravi Shankar Prasad and UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.   The state had attracted investment commitments of over Rs 4 lakh crore during the UP Investors Summit held last year, UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said. Uttar Pradesh's enabling policies, investor-friendly environment and better connectivity have positioned the state as an ideal investment destination, particularly for electronics manufacturing. "UP has transformed itself in recent years, offering a compelling proposition for investors. India is taking great strides in mobile and mobile component manufacturing and over 50 per cent of that work is happening in UP," he said. Our government had a strong focus on mega infrastructure projects such as Bundelkhand Defence Corridor and the Jewar international airport project, he said.

(DNA, Jan 26, 2019)

E-comm talks : India must stand Firm

Despite the freezing weather at Davos, recent developments in this Swiss town have turned the heat on India. In a show of strength, on the last day of the annual World Economic Forum meeting, nearly 70 countries, including China, issued a joint statement confirming their intention to commence WTO negotiations on trade-related aspects of electronic commerce. Speaking at the same platform a day earlier, Shinzo Abe, Japan’s Prime Minister, announced that he would “set in train a new track for looking at data governance — call it the Osaka Track — under the roof of the WTO”. What are the implications of these developments for India, one of the largest economies that chose to stay away from the joint statement on electronic commerce? At the outset, it is important to understand what the oligarchs of the digital world are seeking through the WTO negotiations on digital economy and e-commerce. First, they want to have access to free and unrestricted flow of data — the raw material that fuels their business. Their principal targets are large developing countries, such as China, India, Indonesia, Nigeria and South Africa, which generate large volumes of digital data.

(BusinessLine, Jan 25, 2019)

A Boost For Fabless Chip Design in India

There was a lot of excitement when the National Policy on Electronics was announced in 2012. However, in the six years that it has been in existence, it has not proven to be very effective in its aim of stemming the outflow of foreign exchange for electronics. Back in 2012 it was widely opined that India’s foreign exchange bill for electronics would exceed its bill for oil by 2020. India’s electronics import bill has doubled in five years to $57 billion. However, thanks to the depreciating Rupee, the oil import bill is expected to touch $125 billion in this financial year (ending in March 2019) - so maybe the two are still a ways away from being neck-and-neck. But that's cold comfort. Statistics gleaned from several articles published in 2018 say that nearly 50% of the total amount of electronic products sold in India are imported. If you take the percentage of electronics components imported, it is even higher – up to 80%, according to online news reports. And India’s appetite for electronics products seems insatiable.

(Design Reuse, Jan 23, 2019)

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

It is not usual for a hardcore business-to-business software-as-a-service (SaaS) startup in India to enter into something very typical of business-to-consumer (B2C) space – deals and coupons for online shopping. However, Capillary Technologies, among the most prominent enterprise startups in India that provides cloud-based Omni channel customer engagement to retailers and brands, has made the first move. The startup recently launched its deals and coupons shopping app called Deal Hunt across more than 20 categories including fashion, beauty, food, health, travel, and electronics. “We are the first SaaS company to venture into the deals space,” Capillary Technologies’ director of e-commerce Soumajit Bhowmik told FE Online in an interview. The app has an AI-powered back end that curate and showcase offer that are most relevant for users. Majority of the brands that Capillary works with are from the B2C segment that helped it to understand how the B2C market works. “After having helped brands strengthen customer loyalty, Deal Hunt is an effort to help brands acquire new customers. At the same time, the end customers also benefit from the exclusive offers that Capillary brings to the table, said Bhowmik. Capillary has partnered with 400+ brands for the app including Walmart, McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, KFC, Puma, Samsung, Unilever etc., that are already its customers. Apart from these brands, it is looking at new tie-ups as well.

(FE, Jan 17, 2019)

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

Import of electronics -- India’s second highest value import item -- shrank 5% in December, helping bring overall import bill down by 2.4% on-year in the month. This, in turn, coupled by an uptick of 0.4% in exports, led to India’s trade deficit in December falling to a 10-month low of $13 billion. In November 2018, India’s trade deficit was at $17 billion.  The government levy of import duty on electronic items seems to be working, with India’s trade deficit in December 2018 falling to a 10-month low, thanks to a contraction in the import of electronic goods. A decline in import of electronic goods indicates the “positive impact of the high import duty imposed by the government”, research and brokerage firm Anand Rathi said in a note .Import of electronics — India’s second highest value import item — shrank 5% in December, helping bring overall import bill down by 2.4% on-year in the month. This, in turn, coupled by an uptick of 0.4% in exports, led to India’s trade deficit in December falling to a 10-month low of $13 billion. In November 2018, India’s trade deficit was at $17 billion. The narrowing trade deficit was also mainly due to a fall in import of crude oil, whose share in India’s total imports fell from 32% in October 2018 to 26% in December 2018. Crude oil is India’s highest value import item.

(FE, Jan 17, 2019)

India: Restrictions On E-Retailers - Government Tightens Norms

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

(Mondaq, Jan 03, 2019)

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

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

(ET, Jan 02, 2019)

Panasonic India slips back into red in FY18 Electronics

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

(FE, Dec 15, 2018)  

Panasonic India slips back into red in FY18 Electronics

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

(FE, Dec 10, 2018)

Panasonic India slips back into red in FY18

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

(ET, Dec 05, 2018)

EV Motors India plans to install 6,500 charging parks

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

(, Dec 01, 2018)

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

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

 (The Indian Express, Dec 01, 2018)

JBL PartyBox 300, PartyBox 200 premium speakers launched in India

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

(FE, Nov 13, 2018)

Intel to set up a tech development centre in Hyderabad

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

(ET, Nov 10, 2018)

Bharat going digital for payments

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

(ET, Nov 09, 2018)

Samsung exhibits 5G Tech for Smart Agriculture in India

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

(, Nov 01, 2018)

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

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

(DNA, Sep 22, 2018)

Government eyes USD 240-billion electronics industry in Andhra Pradesh

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

(Indian Express, Sep 17, 2018)

Imported electronics may get dearer

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

(ET, Sep 17, 2018)

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

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

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

(ET, Sep 17, 2018)

Government eyes USD 240-billion electronics industry in Andhra Pradesh

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

(Indian Express, Sep 17, 2018)

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

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

(ProjectNewsin, Sep 05, 2018)

Electronics mfg in India to touch $104 billion

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

(Hans India, Sep 03, 2018)

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

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

(BusinessLine, Aug 13, 2018)

Hyundai plans to introduce full range of electric vehicles in India

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

(ET, Aug 13, 2018)

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

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

(FE, Aug 09, 2018)

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

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

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

(India Today, Aug 07, 2018)

India heading for digital boom: Ravi Shankar Prasad

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

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

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

(Indian Express, Aug 05, 2018)

BHIM needs Mbappé speed to improve track record

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

Foreign portfolio investors are reducing exposure to Indian IT

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

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

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

(FE, July 15, 2018)

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

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

(Chronicle India, July 14, 2018)

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

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

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

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

(BS, July 11, 2018)

Cyber security, data privacy critical for growth of Digital India

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

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

(DNA, June 23, 2018)

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

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

(Autocar Professional, June 22, 2018)

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

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

(FE, June 19, 2018)

Urvashi Rautela launches electronics store Tech adda in Kolkata

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

(India Blooms, June 16, 2018)

Kerala gearing up to be the next electronics hardware destination

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

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

(Indian Express, June 13, 2018)

Delta Electronics installs DC fast-charger for EVs in Mumbai

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

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

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

(Autocar Pro News Desk, Jun 07, 2018)

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

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

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

(, June 07, 2018)

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

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

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

(, June 07, 2018)

Microsoft agrees to buy coding site GitHub for $7.5B

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

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

(Information Management, June 04, 2018)

Hero Electronix acquires IoT venture Zenatix

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

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

(TOI, May 29, 2018)

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

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

(Indian Express, May 28, 2018)

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

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

(FE, May 24, 2018)

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

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

(TOI, May 24, 2018)

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

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

(BusinessLine, May 17, 2018)

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

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

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

(FE, May 14, 2018)

Electronics Giant LG launches Enterprise Blockchain platform, Monachian

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

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

(Crypto News, May 14, 2018)

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

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

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

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

(BusinessLine, May 07, 2018)

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

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

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

(PTI, May 01, 2018)

Telecom Commission approves Wi-Fi services on flights in India

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

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

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

(LiveMint, May 01, 2018)

Broadcasters push for bundled ad sales as more viewers go digital

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

(ET, Apr 23, 2018)

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

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

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

(BW Online Bureau, Apr 23, 2018)

Indian Intelligence Services monitoring Russia's war on Telegram

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

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

(BS, Apr 21, 2018)

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

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

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

(Indian Express, Mar 14, 2018)

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

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

 (FE, Mar 12, 2018)

Internet economy to surge to $500 billion by 2022

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

BusinessLine, Mar 10, 2018

A look inside the electronic voting machine

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

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

(The Hindu, Mar 10, 2018)

Startups find innovative ways to make new joinees feel at home

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

(ET, Feb 20, 2018)

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

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

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

ET, Feb 05, 2018

IT sector may see muted Q3

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

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

(ET, Jan 08, 2018)

Visakhapatnam soon to have Centre of Excellence for Internet of Things

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

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

(Indian Express, Jan 06, 2018)

German multinational BASF eyeing e-vehicles segment

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

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

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

(Business Line, Jan 05, 2018)

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

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

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

Samsung forays into budget Tablet Market in India

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

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

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

(The Pioneer, Jan 04, 2018)

Shock and awe: India has a date with electric vehicles

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

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

Noida, Yamuna expressway declared electronics manufacturing zone:

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

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

(Live Mint, Jan 01, 2018)

NASSCOM signs deal with China's top internet hub

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

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

(ET, Dec 20, 2017)

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

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

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

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

(Indian Express, Dec 20, 2017)

Digital, IoT Empowering Banking Industry

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

(, Dec 20, 2017)

Toshiba, Tech Mahindra partner to build smart factories

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

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

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

(India Today, Nov 13, 2017)

IT firms tap start-ups for digital tech

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

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

(BS, Nov 12, 2017)

IT Min to form industry groups for new manufacturing policy

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

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

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

(TOI, Nov 09, 2017)

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

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

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

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

(BS, Nov 07, 2017)

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

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

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

(ET, Nov 06, 2017)

Bharti Telecom Increases Stake in Airtel to 50.1%

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

(ET, Nov 04, 2017)

Trai asks RCom to ease way for exiting users

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

(ET, Nov 04, 2017)

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

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

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

(Business Line, Oct 25 2017)

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

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

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

(BS, Oct 13, 2017)

Hexagon developing solutions for Indian smart cities

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

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

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

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

(BS, Oct 13, 2017)

Apple, Amazon Join Foxconn for Toshiba Chip Business Bid

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

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

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

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

(ET, June 06, 2017)

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

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


(ET, June 06, 2017)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(May 24, 2017, ET)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(May 24, 2017, ET)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cortana has You Covered on Win installs

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