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

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

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

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

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

(The Indian Awaaz, Mar 12, 2018)

Apple supplier Wistron to invest Rs 682 crore to set up new manufacturing facility Telecom

Wistron, the Taiwanese contract manufacturer that makes iPhones for Apple in India, is set to invest Rs 682 crore on expanding operations, having got approval to acquire additional land near Bengaluru, a senior Karnataka minister said. 

“The industries department had cleared Wistron’s proposal for about 43 acres in the state… they will invest about $100 million,” RV Deshpande, Karnataka’s minister of large, medium industries and infrastructure, told ET. The minister said earlier the company plans to make Apple smartphones in the new facility. 

(ET, Mar 14, 2018)

Telcos should focus on improving services instead of fighting: Manoj Sinha Telecom

Telecom minister Manoj Sinha has asked India’s top carriers to focus on improving services instead of fighting among themselves, especially now that the government has cleared measures for immediate relief, which should drive investments. 

“The most important thing for the telcos to do now is to give good services to consumers,” the minister told ET. He was responding to a question about the bitter fight between Bharti AirtelBSE 0.19 %, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular on one side and Reliance Jio Infocomm on the other on issues including the need for financial relief. 

(ET, Mar 09, 2018)

Government approves relief package for telecom sector Telecom

The government on Wednesday cleared a relief package for the debt-ridden telecom sector, giving more time to operators to pay for the spectrum bought in auctions.
It has also relaxed the spectrum holding limit for the telecom operators, according to an official spokesperson.

The package was cleared by the Cabinet today based on the recommendations of the Inter- 

 Ministerial Group (IMG) on the telecom sector.

(TOI, Mar 07, 2018)

Our focus is to bring exclusive and innovative products to India: Mani Kant Jain, Yerha.com Telecom

India is the fastest-growing e-commerce market and is expected to reach US$ 188 billion by 2025. The growth of the online segment can be attributed to our increasing dependency on smartphones for professional networking and personal requirements, easy availability of cost effective handsets, easy and interest free finance options for high cost handset purchase, low cost data and online availability of leading brands across tier 2 and 3 locations. It is estimated that the number of consumers who purchase online will cross 100 million by this year compared to 69 million users making online purchase in 2016.

(Newsbarons, Mar 10, 2018)

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

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

 (FE, Mar 12, 2018)

A look inside the electronic voting machine IT

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

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

(The Hindu, Mar 10, 2018)

Internet economy to surge to $500 billion by 2022 IT

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

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

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

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

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

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

(ANI, Mar 13, 2018)

The curious case of rising electronic imports General

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

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

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

(ANI, Mar 13, 2018)

Ministry of Defence project to add tech muscle to arms procurement General

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

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

(ET, Mar 12, 2018)

Import duty hike impact: Assembly firms to have an edge over makers Policy

Increasing import duty hikes on electronic goods has left the sector in limbo. The surge in rates in recent months, once in December last year and another in the Union Budget in February has put pressure on vendors, and traders fear it may affect margins. And with no new proposals on the cards to set up component manufacturing units, Chinese firms assembling locally in the country are expected to be at an advantage against their Indian counterparts

Since last December, import duty on electronic goods, including cellphones, smart watches and wearables, have gone up to 20 per cent from 10 per cent. For key components such as printed circuit board assembly (PCBA) for handsets and LCD, LED and OLED panels for televisions, the rate has been hiked to 15 per cent from almost zero.

(BS, Mar 12, 2018)

Handset makers may invest Rs 6,000 crore for more local inputs Telecom

India could see investments of up to $900 million (about Rs 6,000 crore) in the next two years from leading handset makers and global contract manufacturers that are seeking to increase the local content in their instruments by assembling printed circuit boards (PCBs) in the country. 
Industry insiders say that Chinese handset makers such as Vivo, Oppo and OnePlus, besides Indian players including Micromax and Lava, have earmarked higher investments to take advantage of the recently imposed duties on some components and the expected levy on imports of PCBs, which make up 50% of the cost of making a mobile phone. Further investments are also planned by contract manufacturers such as Foxconn and Dixon. 

(ET, Feb 20, 2018)

Import duty may be imposed on mobile phone gear from April 1 Telecom

The government  is likely to impose basic customs duty on mobile phone components such as populated printed circuit boards (PCBs), camera modules and connectors from April 1, according to senior officials.  These products are currently imported without any levy.

Imported mobile handsets such as the latest iPhones have become costlier after the February 1 budget raised customs duty on the devices to 20% from 125%.  Domestic handset makers had expected the imposition of duty on components too in the budget.  Whether that will also lead to an increase in the price of phones will depend on manufacturers absorbing the levy or passing it on to consumers, experts said.

(ET, Feb 13, 2018)

Startups find innovative ways to make new joinees feel at home IT

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)

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

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

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

(ET, Feb 19, 2018)

State-owned fuel pumps to top up digital payments companies General

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

(ET, Feb 19, 2018)

Industry 4.0 can transform Indian Manufacturing General

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

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

(ET, Feb 13, 2018)

Policy certainty needed to boost upstream investments: Vedanta Policy

The government must be disruptive in its fiscal incentives and offer policy certainty to attract investment in the upstream sector to meet its ambition of cutting oil import by a tenth, the chief executive of Vedanta’s Oil and Gas business has said.

Vedanta has submitted 13 applications for exploration licenses and may bid for more in the first auction  for exploration licenses and may bid for more in the first auction under the new licensing policy, which is under way, Sudhir Mathur, CEO of Vedanta’s Oil and Gas unit, told ET in an interview.  But for the licencing rounds to succeed, the government must offer contacts for longer 30-year horizon so that companies can plan investments with certainty, and clearly defined, fiscal terms that can’t be overridden by new policy measures, he said.

(ET, Feb 13, 2018)

Talks on with DIPP to secure legal status for angel groups Policy

The country’s top angel networks are in active consultations with the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) on giving formal recognition to angel groups. “The DIPP is very receptive to the idea of giving legal recognition to angel groups and is looking at finding ways to resolve the issue,” said a person closely aware of the developments. 

As per industry insiders, there are two suggested ways to certify or give a legal structure to angel networks which channel a large number of angel deals. One of them is the ‘angel fund’ structure wherein angel networks would be recognised by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) with their members continuing to invest in individual capacities as angel investors. 
(ET, Feb 19, 2018)

TV makers may review plans to Make in India General

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

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

(ET, Feb 07, 2018)

Trai slams RCom for refusing to refund consumers’ balance Telecom

Telecom regulatory Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) slammed Reliance Communications for “usurping” un-spent pre-paid balances and security deposit of its mobile customers after operations were shut down, calling it “unethical, immoral and unjustified”.

(BS, Feb 07, 2018)

Budget Impact: iPhones costlier by up to Rs.3, 200 Telecom

Apple raised the prices of all its mobile phones, except the iPhone SE, for the second time in two months, after the government increased basic customs duty (BCD), a move which increases pressure on the company to expand local manufacturing to local manufacturing to better compete and grow share in the world’s fastest growing market.

(ET, Feb 06, 2018)

DoT to float draft telecom policy in a week Telecom

The Department of Telecom (DoT) is likely to float draft of the National Telecom Policy (NTP) 2018 within a week for public comments, an official source said.

The draft (of the NTP 2018) is very likely to be issued within a week,” the source said.

The NTP 2018 is expected to present a growth road map  of the Indian telecom sector, which is reeling under a severe financial  stress, for a period of next five years.

(BS, Feb 05, 2018)

IPhone sales dip by 9% in India Telecom

Apple iPhone sales in India dipped in the October-December quarter.

According to Counterpoint Research, iPhone sales declined by 9 per cent in volume terms and 7 per cent in volume terms and 7 per cent by revenues during the quarter compared to the corresponding quarter last year.

The average selling price of an iPhone, however, went up in India in the quarter because of the launch of its most expensive iPhone X in November.

(BusinessLine, Feb 03, 2018)

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

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

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

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

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

(BusinessLine, Feb 07, 2018)

Hero Electric eyes capacity expansion General

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

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

(ET, Feb 06, 2018)

Eicher launches first Electric Bus General

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

(ET, Feb 06, 2018)

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

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

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

(ET, Feb 06, 2018)

Electric buses will take over half the world fleet by 2025 General

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

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

(BS, Feb 05, 2018)

Imports will not decline with Customs duty hike : Experts General

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

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

(BS, Feb 03, 2018)

New industrial policy to promote “Ease of Doing Business” at district level Policy

The New Industrial Policy will focus on reducing regulations and promoting ease of doing business at the district level, Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu has said.

Interacting with members of industry body CII the Miister said India will become a $5 trillion economy within the next 7-8 years and the manufacturing sector is expected to contribute $1 trillion to it.

(BusinessLine, Feb 07, 2018)

Higher duty on toys won’t cut reliance on Chinese imports Policy

Increasing import duty on toys and artificial jewellery will do little to cut the country’s dependence on Chinese imports in these sectors, according to domestic players, who say the government should instead raise the local industry’s ability to compete better.

The Indian toy industry is worth about Rs.9,500 crore.  Electric toys attract 18% GST against the earlier 12% value-added tax (VAT) while other toys attract 12% GST versus 5% VAT earlier.

(ET, Feb 06, 2018)

Four Telcos battle it out for 150mn Mobile Users looking to port numbers Telecom

India’s top four telecom services providers are vying to sign up more than 150 million mobile users who may be looking to port their numbers, thanks to a rapid consolidation that has seen reliance Communications and Tata Teleservices exiting the market, and Aircel shrinking operations.

Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India, Idea Cellular and Reliance Jio Infocomm are all coming up with new tariff plans in an effort to attract these customers, while also trying to keep their existing subscribers stick around.

(ET, Jan 08, 2018)

Tim Cook stumbles at his specialty, shipping Apple products on time Telecom

As Apple Inc.’s longtime chief operating officer, Tim Cook was known for ensuring that new products hit the market on schedule.

With Mr. Cook as CEO, though, Apple’s new gadgets are consistently late, prompting questions among analysts and other close observers about whether the technology giant is losing some of its competitive edge.

Of the three major new products since Mr. Cook became chief executive in 2011, both AirPods earbuds in 2016 and last year’s HomePod speaker missed Apple’s publicly projected shipping dates.  The Apple Watch, promised for early 2015, arrived late that April with lengthy wait times for delivery.  Apple also was delayed in supplying the Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard, two critical accessories for its iPad Pro.

(BS, Jan 08, 2018)

Trai targets $100-bn investment in communications sector Telecom

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has issued a consultation paper seeking views of stakeholders on a New Telecom Policy, which is slated to be announced by March this year.

 Besides, the new telecom policy aims at achieving 900 million broadband connections at a minimum download speed of 2 Mbps, develop 10 million public Wi-Fi hotspots in the country and catapult India into the top-50 nations in terms of network readiness.

(Domanb.com, Jan 04, 2018)

IT sector may see muted Q3 IT

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 IT

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

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

(Indian Express, Jan 06, 2018)

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

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

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

German multinational BASF eyeing e-vehicles segment IT

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

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

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

(Business Line, Jan 05, 2018)

Samsung forays into budget Tablet Market in India IT

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 IT

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: IT

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)

ISRO set to launch 31 satellites General

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

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

(Business Line, Jan 09, 2018)

Sops in the works for States that promote exports: Prabhu General

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

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

(Business Line, Jan 09, 2018)

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

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


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

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

(Indian Express, Jan 08, 2018)

NITI eyes use of Blockchain Technology General

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

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

(ET, Jan 04, 2018)

Investment In Electronic Manufacturing Grew By 27 Percent In 2017 General

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

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

(Communications Today, Jan 02, 2018)

 Imported equipment may attract 70% safeguard duty Policy

The Director General (Safeguards) has recommended imposing a 70% safeguard duty on imported solar cells, panels and modules for a minimum period of 200 days, likely dealing another blow for developers who bid for projects at progressively lower prices.

Responding to a complaint from domestic solar manufacturers, DG (Safeguards) Sandeep M Bhatnagar carried out a preliminary enquiry after which he agreed that “critical circumstances very much exist warranting the immediate imposition of safeguard measures.”

The Indian Solar Manufacturers Association had filed a petition on December 5, seeking the imposition of safeguard duty on imported solar equipment because their prospects were being hurt.

(ET, Jan 10, 2018)

Consumer durable players take the CKD route to beat higher import duties: Policy

The Centre may have doubled import duties on high-end televisions and microwaves to encourage domestic production of these goods but manufacturers are in no mood to make higher capital investments. Most players plan to bring in completely knocked down (CKD) components as these can be imported at zero duty.

MNCs like LG and Samsung and even domestic players like Mirc Electronics, Videocon, Intex and Godrej Appliances are not planning any additional capex as importing CKD kits from places like China and Taiwan will continue to be the norm for the industry. The ecosystem to support complete manufacturing of these durables in the country is yet to develop, say players.

“Unless the entire ecosystem develops for manufacturing components like glass, LED lights and diffusers for making panels for televisions, it is not possible to have ‘Made in India’ television sets. Companies, which were importing SKD (semi-knocked down) kits before import duties were doubled, will now have CKD kits for making television panels as they attract zero per cent import duty,’’ says Jayesh Parekh, Business Head - Consumer Durables, Intex.

(Business Line, Jan 03, 2018)

Metal printing used to make flexible, stretchable electronics General

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Indian Express, Dec 26, 2017)

List of Electronic items on which GST reduced from 28% to 18% Policy

List of Electronic items on which GST reduced from 28% to 18% (As announced on 10th November 2017)


Government to hold talks on new electronics policy Policy

In order to strengthen the ongoing momentum in domestic production of electronic goods, the government is looking at drafting a new electronics manufacturing policy and as a first step, a consultation with the industry and other stakeholders is slotted for the last week of September. 

According to a senior official of the ministry of electronics and IT (MEITY), work has already started on new draft. 

The idea is that we have reached a certain level of momentum, now how do we take off from there,” Ajay Kumar, additional secretary, MEITY told ET. One of the big focus areas of the current government has been to develop India not only as a domestic manufacturing hub but also as a large-scale export destination. 

Kumar added that due to continuous efforts of the last few years, India has already taken a lead in the areas such as mobile manufacturing, automotive, LED and consumer appliances. 

(ET Sep 17, 2017)


TRAI suggests norms for app-based calls Telecom

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India proposed that internet telephony calls originating from international out roamers should be routed through the gateway of licenced International Long Distance Operators (ILDOs).  It said international termination charges should be paid to the terminating access service provider.  The recommendations are meant for service providers holding valid telecom licences and exclude calls made from mobile apps such as Whatsapp, Viber and Google Duo.

(Business Line, Oct 25, 2017)

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

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)

E-tailers’ global warehouses may come under tax net General

Warehouses of e-commerce companies based in countries such as Australia, Japan, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and Russia may not be exempted from paying the  income tax in India once the multilateral instrument (MLI) to prevent  base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) comes into force.

BEPS refers to the reporting framework mooted by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and signed by over 100 countries, including India to prevent exploiting gaps and mismatches in tax rules to shift profits by multinational companies (MNCs) artificially to low-tax regimes.

(BS, Oct 31, 2017)

Hexagon developing solutions for Indian smart cities IT

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)

Lessons from Doklam: Defence ministry okays big infra enhancement along Chinese border General

With an aim to further strengthen the defence infrastructure along its frontier with China, India is focusing on the central sector of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) by planning to connect its primary passes and valleys. This sector is less developed in terms of border infrastructure as compared to the LAC’s western and eastern sectors and in some areas it takes four days by foot for soldiers to reach forward defence locations. 

It also has two disputed areas, including one, which has witnessed regular Chinese incursions in the past, therefore necessitating the setting up of adequate border roads to ensure quick mobilisation of troops and supplies. 

(ET, Oct 14, 2017)

Telecom exposure of Tata group stands at Rs.47,000 crore Telecom

After its exit from  the consumer mobile business, the Tata group, which had invested Rs.47,208 crore In  in the past 15 years through equity and debt, would now have two businesses – enterprise business and retail fixed-line and broadband business.  Besides, it would have a 32 per cent stake  in Viom Networks.

Going by the announcement, Bharti Airtel would not take any debt liability of Tata Teleservices (TTSL) and Tata Teleservices Maharashtra (TTML), except for a small spectrum payout liability.

(BS, Oct 13, 2017)

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

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)

Amazon to team up with Apple, Google for Alexa voice assistant General

Amazon is willing to team up with competitions Apple and Alphabet’s Google if it would help improve customers’ experience with its Alexa voice-activated virtual assistant, an executive working on the platform said.

The online retailer, which is already working with Microsoft on productivity features for Alexa such as calendar interactions, will put the user first in pursuit of any other partnerships, said Toni Reid, Amazon’s vice president of Alexa and Echo devices, who has been on the team since 2014.

(BS, Oct 13, 2017)

TCS net falls 2%, but beats estimates General

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) said its second-quarter profits dropped 2.16 per cent per-on-year to Rs.6,446 crore, while revenue grew 4.3 per cent to Rs.30,541 crore.  The revenue performance  was in line with Street expectations, and was helped by improved business  from clients but profits were  ahead of analysts’ estimates aided by better margins and other income.

(BS, Oct 13, 2017)

Cyient profit rises 15% to Rs.111 crore in Q2 General

Cyient Ltd., formerly Infotech Enterprises, has posted revenues of Rs.965.40 crore in the second quarter ended September 30,  2017, as against Rs.913.60 crore in the same quarter last year, showing a growth of 5.7 per cent.

The Hyderabad firm, which provides engineering services, registered a net profit of Rs.111.40 crore as against Rs.97.3 crore in the comparable quarter, a growth of 14.60 percent.

(Business Line, Oct 13, 2017)