If the People’s Liberation Army of China leads a technology-driven attack on the Indian forces in high altitude terrain, what are India’s options? The PLA will rely more on Cyber and Electronic Warfare, and PGMs, rather than on an infantry-predominant close-combat attack from a position of disadvantage. In the near future, cyber, electronic, space and artificial intelligence domains of warfare will be exploited, in addition to the traditional domains of land, air and sea. With full-scale wars between nuclear weapon States being a passé, these new domains will be the primary means of use of force in the competitive conflict among nations. An article by a US think tank visualizes the future of war well. Published in February this year, the authors create a ‘modern’ battlefield of 2035, involving India on one side and China-Pakistan on the other in Jammu and Kashmir. But kinetic and electronic attacks by drone swarms are no longer a fantasy. Nearer home, there was a report in Pakistan media last week about cyber-attacks targeting Army personnel and government officials. It has been speculated that the May 2017 Sukhoi 30 crash in Arunachal Pradesh was caused by a cyber-attack from China. Our armed forces have been seized of the problem for the last two decades now, but not much has moved. In 2004, former Chief of Army Staff General S. Padmanabhan, soon after his retirement, wrote a fictional account The writing on the wall-India checkmates America 2017 a scenario of an India-Pakistan war wherein US acts in collusion with Pakistan, but is neutralized by an Indian cyber-attack. This optimism back then was due to a growing acknowledgement for India as a world leader in Information Technology. However, despite an early start, so far in real terms, we have only taken baby steps.
(The Print, Aug 20, 2020)
Top lifestyle and consumer electronics companies are offering some of the lowest discounts in recent years in the ongoing end-of-season sale period, both at stores and online. The companies expect the trend to continue in the festive season as well, as they are either low on stock or demand is reviving faster than supplies. Apparel retailers have limited stock, mostly what remained unsold since March when the country went into the lockdown. For smartphone and electronics firms, demand has outstripped supplies, especially in products priced below Rs 15,000, negating the need for big discounts. In categories such as television, the discounts are the lowest in at least five years, as a component shortage is affecting their production and supplies. "In this situation, people won't step out and shop even if there is a discount. The industry is seeing one of the lowest discounting periods at stores as well as online," said J Suresh, the chief executive at Arvind Fashions that sells brands such as Calvin Klein, Gap and US Polo Assn. "Festive season will have a few promotional offers, but not reduced price-tags," he said.
(ET, Aug 20, 2020)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ programme may have finally got a big push, with the government receiving proposals worth Rs 12 lakh crore from marquee global companies to start manufacturing under the PLI scheme. “… All the top mobile manufacturers and their contract manufacturers have applied in that (PLI) scheme, including five global champions and five national champions,” Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said. Global companies have collectively pledged to make mobile phones and components worth Rs 12 lakh crore in the coming five years, he added. Out of this, Rs 7 lakh crore worth of items will be exported from India. The move will not only push domestic manufacturing but will also provide 12 lakh direct and indirect jobs, Ravi Shankar Prasad, minister for IT and Communications, said. So far, Apple’s iPhone maker Foxconn and Wistron, global tech giants such as Samsung, and homegrown brands such as Micromax and Lava have applied under the PLI scheme, which aims to boost electronics manufacturing in India. On 1st April 2020, the government notified three schemes aimed at promotion of electronics. PLI or production-linked incentive scheme was one of them to boost large scale electronics manufacturing. Other two schemes for manufacturing of electronic components and semiconductors, and modified electronics manufacturing clusters (EMC 2.0) scheme. These schemes jointly offer incentives of around Rs 50,000 crore over the period of next five years.
(FE, Aug 19, 2020)
With the hopes to make the state the new global electronics hub post the coronavirus pandemic, the Uttar Pradesh government launched a new electronics manufacturing policy. “ With the new UP Electronics Manufacturing Policy 2020, UP will be able to position itself as the leading state ready to welcome global investors making India as an alternative investment destination in the post Covid-19 scenario. It has a goal of inviting investment of ₹40,000 crore in five years and four lakh direct employment,” read a statement released by the state government. The new policy also has a special focus on Purvanchal and Bundelkhand regions. “Addressing the regional imbalance, the new policy will provide special benefits to Purvanchal and Bundelkhand regions. Policy provides very attractive incentives over and above government of India incentives,” the statement further reads. In a bid to attract investors, the new policy has made the investors eligible for capital subsidy of 15% and additional capital subsidy of 10% on investment more than Rs 1,000 crore. “The investors will also get interest subsidy of 5% per annum on the loan obtained from scheduled banks/ financial institutions. The new policy will also provide stamp duty exemption, land subsidy, patent cost reimbursement, electricity duty exemption, incentive for EMC development and individual units,” the statement said. For the Bundelkhand and Purvanchal regions, the new policy has provided 50% land subsidy on prevailing sector rates to the investors. Incentives offered under the new policy will be up to 100% of the fixed capital investment (FCI) excluding PLI incentives offered by the Centre. The statement said the Uttar Pradesh Electronics Manufacturing Policy 201 had got tremendous success and had achieved the investment and employment generation targets in its third year itself.
(ET, Aug 19, 2020)
Covid-19 has changed the course of millions of Micro Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), which are under severe economic distress due to this unprecedented pandemic and the consequent prolonged lockdown. As such, the survival rate of most MSMEs in India is a big question mark. Against this backdrop, let us discuss how entrepreneurs in the MSME sector can see the light at the end of the tunnel. As per NSSO data, India has 63.4 million MSMEs providing employment to around 111 million people. So a majority of the MSMEs are of one man and/or one woman shows’. Out of these, 31 per cent are involved in manufacturing, 36 percent in trade and 33 percent in services. While 49 per cent of MSMEs are located in urban areas, 51 per cent are in rural India. It is well recognized that MSMEs significantly contribute to gross domestic product, jobs and exports of India. However, to maintain their competitive advantage, they have to upgrade themselves constantly to counter challenges of technological obsolescence, changes in customers’ demands/ expectations, market linkages, skilled manpower, government policy, etc. Access to finance is a major issue, hindering growth of these enterprises. To resolve this issue, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issued licenses to Small Finance Banks in 2015 with a view to channelizing finance to MSMEs and achieving 100 percent financial inclusion.
(Forbes India, Aug 18, 2020)
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)
Bharat Electronics Limited NSE -2.12 %, a Navratna PSU under the Ministry of Defence, on Friday announced the successful completion of manufacturing 30,000 numbers of ICU Ventilators in a 'record time' to help the Government of India in its efforts in combating the COVID-19 pandemic. Ministry of Health & Family Welfare placed an order for these 30,000 ICU Ventilators in April 2020 to meet the healthcare infrastructure requirements of the nation, seeing the rise in COVID cases, Bengaluru-headquartered BEL said in a statement. BEL has manufactured the ICU Ventilator, Model CV 200, based on licensing agreement with Skanray Technologies Private Ltd, Mysuru, and design support from DRDO. "The indigenization efforts of DRDO, BEL and Skanray in addressing the non-availability of critical components like highly complex medical grade miniature proportional valves, on/off solenoid valves, oxygen sensors and flow sensors was certainly a game changer as India can now boast of a capable and mature medical electronics ecosystem," the statement said. After receiving the order, based on its 'Agile Production System Capability', within two weeks BEL established the manufacturing line to produce 500 to 1,000 Ventilators per day, it said. Manufacturing of these ventilators was undertaken during severe lockdown period and BEL received immense support from various government agencies to resolve the supply chain disruptions.
(ET, Aug 14, 2020)
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh launched an online portal that provides information about defence equipment and items that can be taken up for indigenisation by private sector companies. Moreover, the Defence Ministry said two memorandums of understandings (MoUs) were signed between Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and the defence public sector undertakings (DPSUs) in the presence of Singh on Friday, the concluding day of "Atmanirbhar week". Similarly, two MoUs were signed between private entities and the DPSUs on Friday. According to the ministry, the defence minister on Friday said, "Till sometime back, for our defence procurement, we have been looking towards the best technologies available in the world. But now our outlook has changed." "We are thinking on how to manufacture latest equipment ourselves or through joint ventures or transfer-of-technology," he added, as per the ministry's statement. The aforementioned online portal that will promote indigenization of defence items' production is called "SRIJAN". The DPSUs, Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) and headquarters of the armed forces (SHQs) can display on SRIJAN those items that are being imported currently so that the Indian industry can design, develop and manufacture them domestically as per its capability, the ministry noted. It said the concerned DPSU or the OFB or the SHQ will interact with the Indian industry based on its requirement of the equipment and as per the guidelines.
(ET, Aug 14, 2020)
The COVID-19 crisis is unprecedented in our time. While the recession during the financial crisis from 2007 to 2008 was driven by stagnating consumer demand, the COVID-19 situation induced a shock to both global demand and supply, creating a dual challenge. This unique phenomenon makes it difficult to extrapolate from past crises to make predictions. We can expect demand to decline by 5 to 15 percent for the semiconductor industry as a whole this year compared to 2019 (Exhibit 1). Breaking down this projection by major end markets—PC or server, wireless communication, wired communication, consumer electronics, automotive, and industrial applications—shows that demand shifts vary greatly, with steep declines anticipated for some markets and gains expected in others. These differences can be explained by the diversity of underlying trends that affect demand for semiconductors, and the varying. Like all business leaders, semiconductor executives are wondering how they can adapt to sudden changes in demand, as well as other uncertainties associated with COVID-19. They may find a path forward by following a framework that McKinsey created to assist companies on their journey to the next normal. It includes five stages: resolve, resilience, return, reimagine, and reform.
(Eletimes.com, Aug 14, 2020)
“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)
Industrial battery manufacturer Amara Raja Group on Monday signed a Joint Venture agreement with Blaze to set up Amara Raja Blaze Technologies Pvt. Ltd (ARBT) to innovate, develop and manufacture IoT devices for the world market. The JV will be a full-Service Provider of "Concept-to-Product" and will set up a Center of Excellence (COE) focusing on product Innovation and world-class Manufacturing services for IoT based devices, Amara Raja said in a release. According to the company, The COE will help its global customers every step of the way from proof of concept to the prototyping and mass manufacturing of new products related to home/building Automation, intelligent lighting, enterprise automation, energy management, elderly care and wearable devices. ARBT's Faster and Better (FAB) Methodology ensures an unwavering focus on providing the highest quality of IoT devices at optimum costs. Commenting on the partnership, Jayadev Galla, Vice Chairman, Amara Raja Group said “We are happy to announce this strategic partnership with Blaze. Amara Raja has an immense belief in the Indian Electronics Manufacturing story and is committed to being a part of it. We will lend our expertise and capabilities in the manufacturing space and leverage Blaze’s design credentials to provide turnkey solutions that are both Made and Designed in India.” The JV will start delivering “Made in India” products to its customers as early as September 2020, Amara Raja informed.
India's e-commerce industry is likely to reach $99 billion in size while the online penetration of retail is expected to more than double to around 11 per cent by 2024 from 4.7 per cent in 2019, according to Goldman Sach's review of e-commerce markets globally. In a report titled 'Global Internet: e-commerce's steepening curve', the brokerage said that the e-commerce industry's growth rate in India, for each of the next four years, would outdo the same of developed countries like the US, the UK, Europe, Brazil, and China. "We forecast India e-commerce will reach $99 billion by 2024, growing at a 27 per cent CAGR over 2019-24, with grocery and fashion/apparel likely to be the key drivers of incremental growth in our view," the report said. It further highlighted that online grocery will be the biggest growth driver for e-commerce in India. The segment is expected to progress gradually growing 20 times over five years to reach $29 billion in size (presently under $2 billion).
(Business Today, July 27, 2020)
India's e-commerce industry is expected to reach $99 billion in size when online commerce penetration will more than double to almost 11%.The growth rate for the industry in India, for each of the next four years, would surpass the same of established economies like the US, China, the UK, Europe and Brazil, according to Goldman Sachs's review of e-commerce markets globally. E-commerce is expected to register a growth of over 18% for the current year but estimates for 2021 and 2022 show a year-on-year growth rate of over 33% and 28% respectively. To compare, growth rates for the same period for the US are 17% and 19%, while it is nearly 11% for China in the next two years. To be sure, the market size base is bigger in both the US and China along with higher penetration of the total retail market. The pandemic is accelerating both growth and penetration of e-commerce further in these markets, including in India. At a recent industry seminar, Prashant Prakash, partner at venture capital firm Accel, which was one of the early-backers of Flipkart, said it took a decade for India to see e-commerce penetration of around 3% and that it has quickly moved to 5%.
(HT, July 27, 2020)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Atmanirbar Bharat scheme and the idea of getting more global supply chains to India have received a big push recently. Apple’s biggest contract manufacturers globally, Foxconn and Wistron have applied for the government of India’s production linked incentive scheme or the PLI. The big news is that iPhone is moving from China to Chennai and it will now be manufactured at the Foxconn plant near Chennai. Not just iPhone 11 but Apple’s new offering- the iPhone Se, also known as iPhone sc 2 is also going to be manufactured in India. It brings us back to a report in the wall street journal that highlighted Apple’s problem with China and listed a number of factors but in the end, it said that even with all the problems in China, Apple cannot produce iPhone 11 in India because of the lack of skilled labor and lack of Infrastructure that’s available.
(Inventiva, July 26, 2020)
Commerce and Industry Minister PiyushGoyal on Friday said that Apple has started manufacturing its highest-selling model iPhone 11 in India which is a significant boost to the Make in India initiative.In a tweet, the minister said: "Significant boost to Make in India! Apple has started manufacturing iPhone 11 in India, bringing a top-of-the-line model for the first time in the country". Retail sources told IANS on Friday that there are few 'Assembled in India' units that have reached their stores. According to them, lockdown delayed the assembled iPhone 11 units to reach the market but now, there has been an increase in the supply. However, there is no price cut and the MRP on locally assembled iPhone 11s remains the same as earlier, they added. Currently, iPhone XR and iPhone 11 are being assembled by Foxconn at its Chennai manufacturing plant while iPhone 7 is being assembled by Wistron in Bengaluru. Original iPhone SE and iPhone 6s were assembled by Wistron but those were discontinued in 2019.Apple is also reportedly planning to assemble its new iPhone SE in India. The iPhone maker has already asked one of its suppliers in China to start shipping components for the iPhone SE 2020 to its manufacturing partner Wistron in India, reports Apple Insider.
(ET, July 26, 2020)
India’s largest power producer, NTPC, has opened a tender to acquire 1 GW of solar generation capacity from already-built projects. Project owners can bid to have their facilities acquired by the fossil fuel business with the tender document specifying: “The offered assets can be either a special-purpose vehicle wherein the applicant intends to offer their 100% equity for sale to NTPC, or it can be a standalone asset which the applicant intends to offer for possible acquisition by NTPC.” Solar plants should have a minimum, single-site generation capacity of 50 MW (AC) and should have been operational for at least a year by the time bids are submitted to the tender. The solar electricity generated by the facilities should have a maximum tariff of Rs5/kWh. The deadline for bids is on September 22. NTPC aims to have renewables account for 32 GW of its generation portfolio – almost a quarter of its fleet – by 2032. The company has around 2,298 MW of renewables capacity under construction at present.
(PV Magazine, July 25, 2020)
A handful of companies dominate the global digital economy today. While these organisations were nimble enough to extract value from data, others realized its importance much later. Exclusive access to voluminous data and strong network effects give a significant advantage to established players, and act as entry barriers for newer organizations — something the government is acutely aware of. In the next few years, India is projected to be one of the top consumer markets in the world, and can be expected to generate unprecedented volumes of data. The country’s total mobile data traffic would be about 264 exabytes per year by 2025, according to the latest Ericsson Mobility Report. Between 2019 and 2025, the compound annual growth rate of data traffic is expected to be 21 per cent. In this context, the entity that controls data will dominate the data economy. It is for this reason that the Indian government intends to regulate all aspects of data — personal or non-personal. The Government of India had expressed the importance of data for India’s economic growth in the Draft National e-Commerce Policy in 2019 — an aspect cemented in the Committee’s report. The Report recommends a data sharing framework in order to create a level playing field and encourage competition. The Committee has laid the foundation to do so by introducing different categories of NPD.
(The Print, July 24, 2020)
Yes, dirt cheap electric scooters have been rolling out in the Chinese market for quite some time now and this time Xiaomi has done it yet again! The electronics major has introduced a new electric scooter by the name Ninebot C30 and the same was priced at even lesser than aOnePlus Nord smartphone that has been launched in India recently. In order to be precise, the Xiaomi Ninebot C30 electric scooter was priced at an introductory figure of 2,000 yuan that translates to close to Rs 21,000 as per the Indian currency keeping in mind the current exchange rates. However, since the time of the launch of this electric scooter, the prices have been raised to 3,599 yuan or close to Rs 38,000. Needless to say, the solid price point will certainly work in the Chinese market and hence, should attract a lot of customers. Now, coming to the specifications and performance figures of the Xiaomi Ninebot electric scooter. The EV can reach a top speed of 25 kmph and the owner doesn’t require a license to ride it. When it comes to range, the electric scooter can cover a total of 35 km on a single full charge.
(FE, July 24, 2020)
The Indian Navy’s largest solar power plant has been commissioned at Ezhimala, in Kannur district of Kerala. Vice Admiral Anil Kumar Chawla launched plant operations via virtual conferencing. The solar plant has an estimated life of 25 years. All components have been indigenously developed, including 9180 highly efficient mono crystalline solar panels employing the latest technology. The project was executed by Kerala State Electronics Development Corporation Ltd (KELTRON). “Despite heavy monsoons and restrictions due to Covid-19, all concerned agencies including Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) continued work on the project adhering to all guidelines/protocols against Covid-19 and executed the work in a time bound manner,” read a statement by the Ministry of Defense. “The solar power plant project will help Naval Station Ezhimala reduce the carbon footprint and is one of the many initiatives undertaken by INA towards a clean and green environment. Surplus power generated will also feed the KSEB electricity grid.”
(PV Magazine, July 24, 2020)
Samsung, India’s most trusted consumer electronics and smartphone brand, has launched a new range of ultra-high definition Business Televisions in India for consumer facing businesses such as restaurants, retail stores, shopping complexes, salons, among others.The new range of Business TVs will help small and medium businesses redefine user experience through solution packed with innovative applications, dynamic content and visual experience. With the Business TVs, Samsung is bringing together its prowess in commercial signage displays and advanced TV technology. Samsung Business TVs are engineered to operate for 16 hours a day and come with an on/off timer to automatically operate during set business hours. Backed by intutitive software, attractive content and no hidden costs, Samsung Business TVs come preloaded with over 100 free templates that allow business owners to create their own content. Some of the unique templates include vertical orientation, promotions that display cotent alongside TV programs, motion-embedded, seasonal sale and other pre-designed layouts providing business perfect visuals for different occasions.
(Samsung Newsroom India, July 24, 2020)
All vendors registered on the government e-Marketplace (GeM) will now have to furnish a certificate declaring their compliance with the new procurement norms that seek to restrict suppliers of Chinese origin. The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) will soon set up a committee to vet all applications from countries that India shares a border with for prior registration and security clearance. “Vendors and suppliers registered on GEMs will need to ensure they are in compliance with the new norms,” said an official.The move aimed at keeping Chinese companies out could hit sectors with heavy import content and dependence on supplies from China. Infrastructure sectors such as power sector — particularly solar, telecom, highways — are likely to get impacted at different levels as the new rules apply to supply of goods and services, work contracts as also public-private partnership projects, say officials and experts. If Indian companies are to benefit, the government will have to clarify that only Indian companies owned by Indians will be allowed to participate in government tenders, experts said.
(ET, July 23, 2020)
The government has so far identified 20 sectors where India can meet domestic demand as well as become a global supplier, Commerce and IndustryMinisterPiyush Goyal said on Thursday. He said industry body Ficci and other associations are working with the government in this regard. "We have identified first 12 sectors and now 8 more, so we have 20 sectors in which Ficci and other associations are very much part of our engagement, where we have identified sectors where India can not only meet own domestic needs but also become globally competitive and become global leader supplying to the world," he said in a Ficci webinar. These sectors include food processing, organic farming, agro chemicals, electronics, industrial machinery, furniture, leather, auto parts and textiles, among others. He also highlighted that despite having skilled carpenters and artisans, India continues to import furniture. "Can we not prepare India to become the factory of the world for furniture, can we not build to scale at competitive prices so that the world looks at India, to source from India," he added. Further talking about yoga, the minister said yoga holds huge potential for industry and young entrepreneurs as the world is excited about it. "But did India really grab the opportunity that the Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) opened up for India. Did we set up 100,000 yoga centres all over the world, did any entrepreneur amongst you or startups thought in terms of the possibilities that yoga offers by planning to train maybe 100,000 or 500,000 yoga teachers who would find an opportunity across the globe," Goyal noted.
(ET, July 23, 2020)
Chinese handset makers who command around 70 per cent of the market share in India are projecting themselves as Indian brands and selling made-in-India products to ward off any possible backlash on their sales after the Galwan violence. Korean brand Samsung, which is a major competitor, stands to gain if consumers switch their choice on nationalistic grounds. There have been protests by the people in various parts of the country after the face-off at Galwan valley in eastern Ladakh in which 20 Indian Army personnel were killed by the PLA of China on June 15. The strategy is likely to be replicated by many handset makers of all major Chinese brands who have their own manufacturing lines in India or outsource from third party vendor in India. The localization level is already at least 60-70 per cent for several handset makers, market observers said. We have decided to highlight Made-in-India in our packaging more prominently now onwards, a Tecno Mobile official told on Thursday. Realmes India CEO Madhav Seth, CEO in a YouTube series said I can proudly say that Realme is an Indian startup, which is now a global multinational company". Realme is one of the brand controlled by BBK Electronics of China. It has other brands like Techno, Transsion, Oppo, Vivo and OnePlus. There has been no visible change among the consumers for Chinese products - either for mobile or any other white goods.
(ET, June 18, 2020)
The centre has identified television sets and ACs among the electronics it wants India to build self-reliance and boost export potential in, according to Commerce & Industry Minister Piyush Goyal. “Television is one of the areas identified by our ministry to focus on and see how we can get back. Televisions, air conditioners, closed circuit TVs — all of these equipment, where there’s no rocket science. And I know for a fact that digital lenses are made in India which are being (exported) even to the United States … But I don’t understand why we are still dependent on imported products for such very elementary stuff,” he said at a virtual interaction with the Electronics and Computer Software Export Promotion Council on Tuesday.
(The Indian Express, July 15, 2020)
sources : The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) would soon approach the Union Cabinet to seek approval for relaxing norms to allow up to 74 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) in defence manufacturing under the automatic route, with a view to attract overseas players in the sector, sources said. They said the DPIIT has discussed the matter with the defence ministry. The decision to permit up to 74 per cent FDI in the defence manufacturing through the automatic route was announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in May while announcing the fourth tranche of the Rs 20 lakh crore stimulus package for the Coronavirus-hit economy. In July 2018, the government had relaxed foreign direct investment norms in the defence sector by allowing up to 49 per cent FDI under the automatic route. The move was aimed at boosting domestic industry as India imports about 70 per cent of its military hardware. According to the DPIIT data, India's defence industry has received FDI equity inflows of USD 9.52 million (Rs 56.88 Crore) during April 2000 and March 2020.
(Indian Fence News, July 14, 2020)
The government is working on creating a "genuine" single window clearance mechanism and mapping the entire land bank available for the industry and industrial development, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said on Tuesday. The minister also said that the government is looking at ways to promote manufacturing of electronic products like LED televisions, CCTVs and is "very keen" to have a semiconductor FAB plant in India. Besides, to capture IT services exports data, the ministry is thinking of creating a framework by which it can capture that data. Goyal said that he has tasked the officers to look at some framework by which the ministry can capture data of IT services exports. "We are working in DPIIT (Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade) to create the framework of a genuine single window where you do not open doors behind that single window. We are also working on mapping the entire land bank available for industry and industrial development," he said while addressing industry representatives of electronics and software exports.
(Outlook, July 14, 2020)
The private sector wants the Centre to bar Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd NSE -4.09 % (HAL) from a ₹21,000 crore plan to manufacture naval utility helicopters (NUH), saying that the state-owned company has an undue advantage as it has access to government-funded infrastructure and the ability to cross-subsidise the bid through other nominated orders. The companies were responding to a question posed by the defence ministry in May on allowing HAL in the competition, which was reserved for the private sector as reported by ET. They said the monopoly of the state-owned enterprise needs to be broken and a level playing field is needed for all bidders. Four Indian companies – Bharat Forge NSE -0.07 %, Tata Aerospace and Defence, Mahindra Defence Systems and Adani Defence – are contending for the Make in India programme to manufacture 111 naval utility helicopters under the strategic partnership (SP) model in collaboration with a foreign technology provider. As part of a re-evaluation in May, the defence ministry asked the contenders if the programme had export potential and raised the prospect of HAL being given a chance to be part of it.
(ET, July 14, 2020)
India plans to impose tariffs on imports of lithium-ion cells for as long as a decade and offer incentives to boost local manufacturing as part of a broader effort to scale down trade ties with China, two people aware of the developments said. Tensions along the India-China border have prompted India to use its fast-growing market as a lever to pressure Beijing to back off. India’s plans involve imposing tariff and non-tariff barriers to check Chinese imports. The idea is to avoid repeating what happened with solar equipment manufacturing, where China leveraged its first-mover advantage to capture the market.
Lithium cells are the building blocks of rechargeable batteries for electric vehicles (EVs), laptops and mobile phones. Lithium-based batteries also cater to the consumer electronics industry and power grids, given the intermittent nature of electricity from clean energy sources such as solar and wind. “The Indian government has taken note of China’s dominance in this space and there are geopolitical reasons as well behind devising such an incentive scheme for lithium cells," said one of the people cited above requesting anonymity.
The government plans to offer incentives such as 100% tax deduction of capital expenditure in the first year of operation under Section 35 AD, concessional financing options by giving companies deemed infrastructure status and waiver of minimum alternative tax. There may also be an output-linked cash subsidy based on kilowatt hours (KWh) of cells sold. The ministry of heavy industry has been working on this proposal along with federal policy think-tank NITI Aayog.
“Till March, the ministries and NITI Aayog were working on the proposal. The covid-19 pandemic though can delay introduction of the scheme," said the second person cited above, also seeking anonymity.
The Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) has suggested to the government a series of measures to enhance demand and investments in the electric vehicle (EV) sector despite the recent Covid-prompted disruptions. These suggestions have been submitted to government policy thinktank NITI Aayog, Department of Heavy Industry under Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, and other relevant authorities in the government. FICCI has recommended a two-year extension of the second phase of Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid) and Electric Vehicles (FAME II) scheme to 2025, along with short-term ‘Booster Incentives’ for 12 months under the scheme. “This should be done within the overall existing budget allocation of Rs 10,000 crore for Fame II,” it said, adding “booster incentives will help create demand for EVs in the short run and continue the momentum.”
(PV Magazine, July 20, 2020)
India must double down on ramping up domestic capacity in at least 15 of its largest import items apart from petroleum and crude oil, including electronics, coal, iron-steel and non-ferrous metals and vegetable oils to effectively achieve the objective of ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat’ in the medium term of two to three years, according to a trade chamber analysis. The analysis by the Associated Chamber of Commerce and Industry in India (ASSOCHAM) shows electronics goods are the largest non-oil import items. Despite the country being under partial lockdown, India imported electronic goods worth $2.8 billion in May. Chamber secretary general Deepak Sood said the recent MEITY scheme of production-linked incentives and encouraging champions can be a game-changer if pursued vigorously. Both domestic and FDI should be encouraged in the endeavour, he said. Other major items of large imports include: pharmaceuticals intermediates, textile yarn, made-up, fertilisers, wood and wood products, transport equipment, machine tools, electrical and non-electrical machinery. “The country is capable of becoming self-reliant in all these sectors in the next few years,” the ASSOCHAM paper said
(Fibre2fashion.com, July 07, 2020)
Latest Research Study on Battery Holders Market published by AMA, offers a detailed overview of the factors influencing the global business scope. Global Battery Holders Market research report shows the latest market insights with upcoming trends and breakdown of the products and services. The report provides key statistics on the market status, size, share, growth factors, Challenges and Current Scenario Analysis of the Global Battery Holders. This Report also covers the emerging player’s data, including: competitive situation, sales, revenue and global market share of top manufacturers are Bulgin (United Kingdom), Harwin (United Kingdom), RS Components (United Kingdom), Takachi Electronics Enclosure Co., Ltd. (United States), TE Connectivity (Switzerland), Keystone Electronics Corp. (United States), GS Yuasa (Japan), Eagle Plastic Devices (United States), Hammond (Canada), Mouser Electronics India PVT Ltd (India) and Ace Electronics (United States)
(Owned, July 07, 2020)
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)
Samsung Electronics forecast a 23-percent rise in second-quarter operating profit Tuesday, with strong demand for memory chips and displays overcoming the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on smart phone sales. The world's biggest smart phone and memory chip maker said in an earnings estimate that it expected operating profit to be 8.1 trillion won ($6.8 billion) for April-June, up from 6.6 trillion won in the same period last year. The prediction was far ahead of analyst forecasts of a single-digit decline. Lockdowns imposed around the world in the face of the coronavirus pandemic -- especially in Europe and the United States -- have boosted Samsung's chip business with data centres moving to stockpile DRAM chips to meet surging demand for online activities. "The earnings surprise seems to have stemmed from Samsung's memory chip sector," said Park Jin-suk of market observer Counterpoint, pointing to "increased demand for memory chips for PCs and a continuing rise in DRAM chip prices". Similarly TV sales, which have been on a long-term decline, were "moving upward as people spend more time at home", said James Kang, an analyst at market observer Euromonitor International Korea.
(ET, July 07, 2020)
PMI Electro Mobility Solutions Private Limited (PMI), a zero-emission commercial vehicle manufacturer from India has been disconcerted of it being mistaken to be a Chinese company, despite being an Indian Company with a vision to promote “Make In India”. Envisioning to establish an electric vehicle manufacturing base in India, PMI is committed with a vision to be one of the largest commercial vehicle manufacturers in the new energy commercial vehicle space. To avail the advantage of developed technology, and to allow the industry to grow inorganically, PMI in 2017 entered into a technology assistance agreement, with Beiqi Foton Motors, China. (Foton). Foton already laid its footprints in India in 2008 through its Indian subsidiary Foton India through which in 2011 they entered into a MoU with Maharastra State Government to establish a manufacturing base in India, for commercial vehicles with a commitment to invest INR 1650 Crore in India of which already investment of around INR 600 Crores has been made. Thus, PMI and Foton India, both Indian Companies thereafter have entered into a Joint Venture and further incorporated a Joint Venture Company, with PMI being a majority shareholder, ensuring a completely Indian manufacturing unit to be established to manufacture new energy commercial vehicles, with technology support from Foton.
(Indian Web2, July 06, 2020)
The story so far: In the wake of the face-off with Chinese forces on the India-China border in Ladakh, and a violent clash on June 15 that left 20 Indian soldiers dead, the Indian government on June 29 banned 59 apps of Chinese origin, citing data security and national sovereignty concerns. These include popular ones such as TikTok, SHAREIt, UC Browser, CamScanner, Helo, Weibo, WeChat and Club Factory. The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology in a press release asserted that it had received “many complaints from various sources, including several reports about misuse of some mobile apps available on Android and iOS platforms for stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorised manner to servers which have locations outside India”. The Ministry said it had decided to block the 59 apps to safeguard the “sovereignty and integrity of India”, invoking powers under Section 69A of the Information Technology (IT) Act read with the relevant provisions of the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking of Access of Information by Public) Rules 2009.
(The Hindu, July 05, 2020)
With the anti-China sentiment running high after the border face-off issue along with calls to boycott Chinese products, Chennai's electronics grey market hub, Ritchie Street, is feeling the pinch already. Traders here, who have been depending on Chinese goods for decades, said that the anti-China sentiment is slowly seeping into southern States too. A trader said: “We had closed down businesses from June 19 and will be opening on Monday. Once the market is operational and consumers start coming, we will know the impact.” “Anti-China sentiment is becoming very strong in northern markets and now it is slowly picking up in south too,” said R. Chandalia, secretary, Chennai Electronics and Infotech Traders Association, Ritchie Street. “Consumers are now ready to pay more and buy India made products,” he said.
(The Hindu, July 05, 2020)
South Korean electronics major LG is planning to use the “window of opportunity” provided by the anti-China mood in India currently to stage a comeback in smartphones, targeting the sub-Rs 15,000 segment to claw back its way back in an industry now dominated by brands from across the Great Wall. The company is seeking to scale up local manufacturing by 15 times until Diwali and expand distribution. In an interview with ET, Advait Vaidya, business head - mobile communications at LG Electronics, said the brand has seen 10 times increased sales of smartphones in the past two months due to the anti-China sentiment. “The short-term window of opportunity is big enough for us to enter the space and achieve scale,” he said. Diverging from its global portfolio, this year, LG is building an ‘India specific and India first’ product portfolio to cater to unique consumer demands here, Vaidya said. “So, this year, starting August, we will be launching six phones across all segments - starting from the sub-Rs 10,000 category up to the flagship segment. We are ramping up distribution across channels, online and offline,” he said. The company is also targeting corporate sales and foraying into the tablet market by year end.
(ET. July 05, 2020)
South Korean electronics major LG is planning to use the “window of opportunity” provided by the anti-China mood in India currently to stage a comeback in smartphones, targeting the sub-Rs 15,000 segment to claw back its way back in an industry now dominated by brands from across the Great Wall. The company is seeking to scale up local manufacturing by 15 times until Diwali and expand distribution. In an interview with ET, Advait Vaidya, business head - mobile communications at LG Electronics, said the brand has seen 10 times increased sales of smartphones in the past two months due to the anti-China sentiment. In an interview with ET, Advait Vaidya, business head - mobile communications at LG Electronics, said the brand has seen 10 times increased sales of smartphones in the past two months due to the anti-China sentiment. “The short-term window of opportunity is big enough for us to enter the space and achieve scale,” he said. Diverging from its global portfolio, this year, LG is building an ‘India specific and India first’ product portfolio to cater to unique consumer demands here, Vaidya said.
(ET, July 05, 2020)
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)
NHPC Limited, a state-owned hydropower producer that has diversified into the wind and solar power projects, has invited bids for engineering, procurement and construction of a 50 MW floating solar project in Kerala. The project shall come up over a water body measuring 303 acres in West Kallada of Kollam District. The completion period for the EPC work is 12 months from the award of contract. The successful bidder shall also provide comprehensive operation and maintenance for ten years from the project’s commissioning. The signing of PPA for the project with the Kerala State Electricity Board Ltd will be the responsibility of NHPC. To be eligible, the bidder should have completed EPC work for a solar project of at least 40 MW capacity or two solar projects of at least 25 MW capacity each or three solar projects of at least 20 MW capacity each during the last five years. Further, it should have successfully provided operation and maintenance support for a minimum of 20 MW solar projects for at least one year during the preceding five years. The bidder must have a minimum average annual turnover of Rs 415 crore in the preceding three years. Its net worth should be positive and not less than the amount of paid-up equity share capital in three out of the preceding five years.
(PV Magazine, July 02, 2020)
The Railway Energy Management Company Ltd, a joint venture of Indian Railways and engineering consultancy Rites Ltd, has invited bids for setting up 1 GW ground-mount solar power plants on railway land along the railway tracks. The projects shall be awarded through tariff-based competitive bidding followed by reverse auction. The Nodal Railway will sign a power purchase agreement (PPA) with the successful bidder for a period of 25 years. The cumulative 1 GW capacity is distributed in various state-wise packages offered for award. The bidder shall apply for state-wise full MW solar capacity in packages; bidding for part capacity of any package is not allowed. The project capacity in state-wise packages can be set up at multiple locations in a single state. A single tariff is to be quoted by the bidder in its response for each package state wise irrespective of the number of projects and each project configuration. The developers’ scope of work includes design, build, finance, operation, long–term maintenance and transfer of assets for solar PV project and the supply of electricity to Railways under long-term fixed-rate PPA. Connectivity and long term access (LTA) up to the delivery point at the State Transmission Utility/Railway Transmission system/traction substation is also the responsibility of the solar power developer.
(PV Magazine, July 02, 2020)
Around 95 per cent of consumer electronics and appliances sold in India are produced locally, although dependence on China for components still ranges between 25-70 per cent which will be difficult to reduce overnight, according to industry body CEAMA. Consumer Electronics and Appliances Manufacturers Association (CEAMA) said even before the call to boycott Chinese products, various companies had already started to look for alternative sources due to disruptions of supplies following the coronavirus-induced lockdown in China. "We as an industry have done a lot of work (all brands) in creating capacity in the last two-three years by putting new plants to start manufacturing of finished products across categories. We are now in a very good position across all categories in the finished goods segment," CEAMA President Kamal Nandi told PTI.
(ET, June 29, 2020)
Tightening import norms, India will check all power equipment bought from China for malware and Trojan horses that can be potentially used to trigger electricity grid failures to cripple economic activity in the country, Power Minister R. K. Singh said. India has in the recent days taken steps to impose stringent quality control measures and higher tariffs on goods from China as it looks to boost domestic manufacturing to cut reliance on imports. In an interview to PTI, Mr. Singh said his renewable energy ministry has proposed imposing customs duties on some solar power equipment starting August 1 as part of the country’s goal of becoming self-sufficient. “Power is a very sensitive and strategic sector for any country. Electricity runs all industries, communication systems and all databases including strategic ones and so we have to guard it against any sabotage by countries which are adversaries or possible adversaries,” he said. “We want to build a firewall.” More tariff barriers, rigorous testing of foreign equipment and prior permission requirements for imports from adversary countries are some of the focus areas of India’s proposed power sector overhaul, he said.
(The Hindu, June 28, 2020)
India is set to become a major production hub for exporting mobile phones going by the way global major Apple has reacted to the government’s Rs 41,000-crore production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme, applications for which were invited from beginning this month. Sources said that both Foxconn and Wistron, the global contract manufacturers for Apple have applied for the scheme. Among the local players, Lava, Dixon Technologies, and Karbonn have applied so far. South Korean major, Samsung and Flextronics are also expected to submit their applications shortly. Firms can apply till July 31 and by early August, the selected companies will be announced. Initially, five global and five local companies will be selected to avail of the scheme. Both Foxconn and Wistron are already present in India, with the former’s factory in Chennai and the latter’s in Bangalore. While Foxconn makes phones for Apple as well as several other firms also, Wistron makes exclusively for Apple. Foxconn’s Indian plant’s turnover in FY19 was around Rs 35,000 crore.
(FE, June 25, 2020)
Even as sentiments against the Chinese companies gathers heat across the country, the hold of the country on the Indian electronics market remains firm. Chinese companies recorded sales of nearly Rs 1.4 lakh crore in the Indian electronics market previous year. The nation controlled the fast-pacing categories of smartphones, televisions, laptops, and even smart bands and watches. This has been at the exchange of Indian brands such as Micromax, Lava, Intex and Karbonn, and MNCs from countries like South Korea (Samsung & LG) and Japan (Sony). In the year 2019, the Chinese well-known labels closed the year with a share of 71% in the revenue-intensive smartphones group, and this further increased to 81% in the first quarter (January-March) of this year, as per the numbers screened from Counterpoint research. In the meantime, while Chinese brands such as Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo and RealMe flourished, it was a biting reality for the homegrown Indian brands that closed 2019 with only 1.6% share, which further reduced to under 1% in the first quarter of 2020, Prachir Singh, a research analyst at Counterpoint, said. However, Apple is the only other non-Chinese brand that does business, but even its share remains marginal.
(The Indian Wire, June 25, 2020)
By now, I am sure you must have come across at least one video on social media of someone throwing their Chinese brand TV off the balcony or of people smashing their Chinese smartphones. This sentiment, albeit nonsensical, is being shared by many Indians as a response to the events that transpired at the India-China border, in Ladakh’s Galwan Valley. The anti-China sentiment has led to #Boycott China Products trending on social media and people have been looking for ways to spot Chinese products in the market. Sensing the opportunity, an app developer from Noida has launched a mobile application that can show you where a product originated. Yes, originated, not manufactured. There is a difference. The ‘Made in India’ app is available on the Google Play Store in the Tools section and has been published by The91Apps. The app allows you to scan the barcode or enter the barcode number of any product and it tells you where the product originated. It is a very basic application and only needs access to the phone camera to scan the code.
(The Quint, June 24, 2020)
On 11 June 2020, Prime Minister Narendra Modi exhorted the Kolkata-based Indian Chamber of Commerce to convert the pandemic-related economic crisis into an opportunity. For the PM to address the Kolkata-based industry lobby instead of other apex chambers of commerce to deliver this message to industries around the country was somewhat surprising. He perhaps chose Kolkata because of the impending state Assembly elections in early 2021. This was yet another speech without a road map in place. He talked about taking the Indian economy from “command-and-control” mode to “plug-and-play”. He exhorted the industry to take bold decisions and make bold investments going forward. He spoke of a self-reliant India in sectors like medical devices, defence, coal and minerals, edible oil, fertilisers, electronics, solar panels, batteries, chip manufacturing and aviation. The PM, before making such an exhortation, should have been and hopefully is aware of a possible economic pandemic. Any economy that has self-reliance as its goal must commit itself to make policy shifts and invest heavily in research and development (R&D). India’s gross national expenditure on R&D is 0.7% of GDP, lowest even among BRICS countries. Amongst developed economies, Israel spends 4.4%, Germany 3%, the US 2.8% and Canada 1.6% of their GDP on R&D.
(Indian Express, June 22, 2020)
Official : Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) will not hit the pause button on its expansion blueprint, and work on new Centres of Excellence will proceed as planned to create demand and tap "possible opportunities" despite global uncertainties amid the COVID-19 crisis, a top official has said. Stating that STPI is not a "profit body", its Director General Omkar Rai said the organisation will move forward on its plans for 21 Centres of Excellence (CoEs) over the next one year or so, and that the number could even go as high as 28. "We have planned Centres of Excellence around upcoming technologies like artificial intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT), fintech, virtual reality/augmented reality, gaming, visual effect, healthtech, meditech, and around all of these we are creating CoEs in a collaborative manner with industry and academia," he said. The centres are being created with funding from respective state governments and the Ministry of Electronics and IT, backed by industry participation. As many as 12 such centres are already approved, of which about half are functional. Asked if the global uncertainties will force a rethink of its expansion plans, Rai told PTI, "Not at all. We are facilitators as far as infrastructure is concerned, we work on augmentation of infrastructure, and creation of possible opportunities. We don''t just work on demand, we create demand."
(Outlook, June 21, 2020)
Earlier this week, India and China engaged in a deadly clash — the worst in 45 years. Casualties are being counted across India’s business landscape. India is summoning ammunition it can potentially use — trade barriers, import duties, order cancellations, bans and consumer boycotts. It has also started deploying some of them. Indian Railways just cancelled the Rs 471 crore contract awarded to a Beijing firm. Restricting Chinese firms in government contracts and infrastructure projects is on the cards. State-owned telco BSNL has been instructed not to use gear from China’s Huawei for network upgrade. Measures like stringent quality norms and closer scrutiny of FTA (free trade agreements) misuse to curb Chinese imports are underway. Union minister Nitin Gadkari, a big advocate of electric vehicles (EVs), is changing track. Import substitution and local manufacturing are his new buzzwords. At a webinar on EVs earlier this week, he said: “I feel it is time... I directly want to tell you… We should not depend on China.”
(ET, June 21, 2020)
Ministry of Electronics & IT has officially launched the three key schemes under National Policy for Electronics to encourage electronics manufacturing in the country. These schemes were earlier approved by the Union cabinet and their Notifications were already under public domain. Now Ministry has come up with the Guidelines, Application forms & Names of Nodal officers for the effective implementation of these schemes. The consolidated budget outlay of the budget of these schemes is approx. INR 48000 Crores.
Please download the details form below link.
1. CBIC has decided to expeditiously process all pending Customs refund and drawback claims in order to provide immediate relief to the business entities, especially MSMEs, in these difficult times. This decision has been announced vide Press Note dated 8th April, 2020 and the benefits will be available till 30th April 2020. Members may download the relevant Press Note from HERE.
2. Ministry of Shipping, Govt. of India in its Order dated 21st April 2020 has provided waivers regarding various payment as chargeable by Ports. These payments may be Lease rentals, License Fee, Detention charges, Demurrage Charges etc. The Order has facilitated the industry through various other provisions, complete information may be referred from HERE.
3. CBIC has earlier issued Public Notice Nos. 21/2020 dt. 25th March 2020, 22/2020 dt. 28th March 2020 and 23/2020 dt. 30th March 2020 wherein certain relaxations were announced to the industry which were applicable till 14.04.2020. These relaxations are regarding Payment of Demurrage Charges, Late Filing of Bill of Entries, Bonds submission at Customs. Now in view of the extension of lockdown period, these relaxations are extended up to 19.04.2020. For further information, Members may download the relevant Customs Circular from HERE.
EPFO has issue a circular dated 15th April 2020, the circular states that: The due date for payment of contributions and administrative charges which was due for the month of March 2020 has been extended from
15th April 2020 to 15th May 2020
. For further information, Members may download the relevant EPFO Circular from
In the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Tamil Nadu government on Wednesday inked 17 Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) with companies from various countries, for investments to the tune of about ₹15,128 crore, which are expected to provide jobs for over 47,100 people. Representatives from these companies from Germany, Finland, Taiwan, France, South Korea, Japan, China, United States, Australia, England and the Netherlands exchanged signed agreements with Tamil Nadu officials, in the presence of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswamiat the Secretariat here. “I have formed a Special Investment Promotion Task Force as we fight COVID19. As a result, we have signed MOUs with 17 institutions that will bring 15128 Crores worth of investment and 47150 jobs in Tamilnadu. We will continuously work towards creating more job opportunities in TN,” Mr. Palaniswami tweeted. “We have the most skillful manpower with electricity and water in surplus and most importantly one of the top states in maintaining good law and order. I welcome all the investors to #InvestinTN We are committed to help you through the entire investment process,” he tweeted. The investments are to be made in the manufacturing of heavy vehicles, electronics, footwear, energy and medical equipment sectors among others, an official release stated. The MoUs have been signed with: Daimler India Commercial Vehicles, Polymatech Electronics, Salcomp, Chung Jye Company Ltd & Aston Shoes Pvt Ltd, Lai Investment Manager Pvt Ltd, Mando Automotive India Pvt Ltd, Dinex, Chennai Power Generation Ltd, IGL India Transplantation Solutions Pvt Ltd, Vivid Solaire Energy Pvt Ltd, HDCI Data Centre Holdings Chennai LLP, ST Tele Media, Baettr, BYD India Pvt Ltd, TJR Precision Technology Company Ltd, Pillar Industries India Pvt Ltd and Lincoln Electric.
(The Hindu, May 28, 2020)
India is pitching itself as an alternative Business Continuity Plan destination as multinationals rethink their sourcing plans and re-organize supply chains. Invest India and JLL have prepared a report, "Great Places for Manufacturing in India-World Class Destinations for MultiNationals" as India moves to attract foreign investments in manufacturing with the buzz around reorientation of global supply chains. The report says that India stands at the pedestal of a new growth curve of rapid industrialisation. In the COVID-19 pandemic scenario, India has projected a more resilient and diversified economy to fight the crisis and projected as a major attractive destination. "As multinationals rethink their sourcing plans and re-organize supply chains, India is one of the most viable locations for Business Continuity Plans (BCP)," the report said. India, on account of its large domestic market and low cost production base, is well-positioned to host new investments in a range of sectors, the report said. It has listed sectors like textiles and apparels, electronics and consumer appliances, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, automobiles and components, capital goods, electrical machinery, footwear and leather products, chemicals and petrochemicals, food Processing, plastic products, telecom equipment.
(Outlook, May 28, 2020)
Even as the debate over the usage of Aarogya Setu is yet to settle, a group of researchers have advocated mass installation of a single contact-tracing mobile phone application to strengthen India''s battle against COVID-19. In a study published online in the Indian Journal of Medical Research (IJMR), conducted in the first week of April and updated on May 3, as many as 346 potential COVID-19 apps including Aarogya Setu to deal with this crisis were identified. While there were differences in state-specific information in the apps developed by states, the system architecture and many of the functionalities, including self-testing, quarantine monitoring and contact tracing, were common between these apps, researchers found. "The current technological plurality in the absence of robust data exchange mechanisms and Centre-state coordination, can be detrimental for technology-assisted contact tracing in a heterogeneous country like India, especially once the lockdown ends and free movement of people starts," the study stated. "Overcoming this challenge requires Union and state governments to ensure mass installation of a single contact-tracing app collaboratively," it highlighted, but stressed on the need for "necessary but least intrusive" measures for disease surveillance.
(Outlook, May 28, 2020)
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)
Strengthening its online to offline (O2O) strategy to push sales amid the coronavirus pandemic, Samsung has expanded its partnership with Benow to sell its consumer electronics. The South Korean electronics initially partnered with the digital payments platform to sell its Galaxy smartphones -- Benow digital platform allows consumers to buy online from neighbourhood stores. Now, besides smartphones, customers would be able to buy Samsung products like televisions, refrigerators, air conditioners, etc. "The current O2O model that we rolled out last month has been truly successful. We are now extending O2O to new platforms with our partnership with Benow," Samsung India Senior Vice President, Consumer Electronics Business Raju Pullan said. "It will allow local retailers sell Samsung consumer electronics products online and go completely contactless, without making any upfront investment. Consumers, on the other hand, will be able to buy Samsung consumer electronics products online, from the safety and comfort of their homes, and make payments online through the method of their choice cash on delivery, credit card, debit card, easy EMI, etc - without any contact," he added.
(BS, May 28, 2020)
Bharti Airtel Thursday entered into a partnership with NODWIN to accelerate the growth of e-sports in India. Bharti Airtel has launched a first-of-its-kind Airtel India Esports Tour and introduced a national ranking and awarding system for Indian esports players which will take into account the players’ year-long performance across various tournaments to create a points table for all participants. “Airtel India Esports Tour will initially cover all NODWIN tournaments across gaming titles of PUBG Mobile, CS:GO, Clash of Clans, FIFA, etc,” it said in a statement. Airtel added the coverage will extend to NODWIN tournaments such as the India Premiership by NODWIN, Dreamhack India, The Northeast Cup, KO Fight Nights, and PAN Fest and will also cover NODWIN operated tournaments such as the PUBG Mobile Pro League in India. Once the annual tour has been concluded, a leaderboard across games will be presented to recognize and reward the winner at an awards show. The telco added the coverage will be broadcast on its digital platforms. The telco said that NODWIN would initially seed the e-sports tour but will aspire to be a platform where tournaments will carry equal significance, independent of the organiser. “Gaming is the next frontier of entertainment and it gives us great pleasure to announce our partnership with NODWIN to unlock the potential of e-sports in India,” Adarsh Nair, Chief Product Officer, Bharti Airtel said.
(ET, May 28, 2020)
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)
The Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DoT) is developing a “secure” video conferencing platform, which can be used by government officials, judiciary and public. The move by C-DoT is aimed to reduce India’s dependence on overseas platforms like Zoom, Microsoft and Google to carry out the day-to-day business operations through video conferencing. It will also incorporate all features offered by the video conferencing giant. According to an Economic Times report, the platform is “almost ready” for deployment. A source, close to the matter, also highlighted that to prevent any sort of cyber-snooping, the platform will be hosted on the government of India server for the use of government and judiciary. For public use, the video conferencing platform would launch a separate version. The platform will also have a “waiting room” feature, where people wanting to join the online meeting will be in line before they are approved by the moderator. The solution is in the lines with other indigenous solutions offered by the Indian government — contact trace app Aarogya Setu and instant messaging app Government Instant Messaging Service (GIMS). A senior official told ET that the government is looking to offer two versions of the GIMS app, of which one will be used by the public and the other by senior officials to conduct high-level government communications. The government is developing such solutions to keep its information protected from cyberattacks and other digital threats.
(Inc 42, May 19, 2020)
As the coronavirus menace makes lives difficult and miserable for millions of ordinary people around the world, the US and China are involved in an ugly spat, over who is responsible for the carnage that threatens the welfare, well-being and lives of millions across the world. President Trump has made it abundantly clear that the Chinese are responsible for creating the virus, though nobody appears clear whether it was the creation of a research project in Wuhan on bats, which went horribly wrong, or the creation of the unhygienic conditions in Huanan Seafood Market in Wuhan. The seafood market reportedly sells a variety of meat products, including bats, foxes, frogs, pigs, porcupines, snakes and turtles. China denies any role in triggering the Covind-19 tragedy, which could well be true. But it faces continuing criticism from angry populations across the world, including from irate Africans, whose people faced racist attacks after the crisis broke. But the worst manifestations of hypocrisy have come from sanctimonious countries in the Islamic world, including Iran and Pakistan. Both have remained silent as Muslims continue to be ruthlessly persecuted just across their borders, in China’s Xinjiang Province. The Trump Administration, in turn, cannot absolve itself of responsibility for initially underestimating the seriousness of the issues and then playing crass and polarizing electoral politics, with the safety, security and lives, of its own citizens.
(BusinessLine, May 19, 2020)
India may miss the electronics and software exports forecast of $155 billion for 2020-21 as several sectors, including airline, hospitality and banking, in traditionally strong markets like the US and Europe have been severely hit by the covid-19 pandemic, Electronics and Computer Software Export Promotion Council (ESC) has said. “Keeping in mind the demand and supply disruptions caused by covid-19 both in India and in the main export markets, uncertainty related to the impact of the virus and how long the virus will be with us, we are carefully looking at the target set to reflect ground level situation," Sandeep Narula, Chairman, ESC said in the statement. Though Indian information and communication technology (ICT) companies have managed to keep operations running by encouraging employees to work remotely, exports will be adversely affected resulting in short-term losses. However, Narula feels, the sector is likely to bounce back in the long run as many global companies plan to move out of China, and India may emerge as an alternative destination. Narula said government support will be key to the revival of the ICT sector. The financial package announced by the prime minister and the special accommodation given to the MSME sector by the finance minister under the sectoral package will benefit small and mid -size companies in the ICT sector.
(LiveMint, May 18, 2020)
Retailers with annual revenue of less than Rs 100 crore, comprising more than 80% of India’s overall organised retailers, have urged the government to classify them as MSME (micro, small and medium enterprises) so that they can also take advantage of the Covid-19 stimulus packages. Last week, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman spelled out a raft of measures to help the ailing MSMEs, including collateral-free loans up to Rs 3 lakh crore backed by government guarantee, repayment of dues within next 45 days and change in definition of these businesses. MSME borrowers with up to Rs 25 crore outstanding and Rs 100 crore turnovers will be eligible for the emergency credit line to their businesses under the package with loans having a four-year tenor with moratorium of 12 months on the principal repayment. However, retailers with around Rs 100 crore of revenue will not be able to avail themselves of the loans as they are not classified as MSMEs. Many retailers across the country, from optical chains to large franchisee operators of global brands and standalone local business with less than Rs 100 crore of sales, have said they should also stand to benefit from the stimulus packages for the medium sized enterprises. “MSME has a very vague definition and they have to be either a manufacturer or into other services and they say retailers are not part of services,” said Akshay Jain, managing partner at Greenways, which operates four saree outlets. “We are into services and retail is a service.”
(ET, May 18, 2020)
E-commerce companies such as Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal, as well as vertical etailers including Lenskart, Nykaa, and Firstcry, are expected to resume full operations from Monday after the central government removed all restrictions on online retail as part of its plan for Lockdown 4.0. These platforms were so far restricted to selling non-essential goods like smartphones and electronics in government designated green and orange zones, while being allowed to sell essential items such as food and grocery nationally. But in its latest guidelines, the Ministry of Home Affairs said that all activities, except those specifically prohibited, will be now be opened up. However, states would still take the final call on allowing businesses to function based on their local needs and situations, the guidelines added. Online sales will continue to be restricted in containment zones across the country, where only essential activities will be permitted, as per the latest MHA directives.
(ET, May 18, 2020)
Oppo, the BBK Electronics-owned Chinese electronics manufacturer, on Monday confirmed that six workers at its smart phone plant in Greater Noida has tested positive for Covid-19. While the affected workers have been sent to necessary medical facilities, Oppo has shut its factory premises down and instructed 3,000 employees to undergo coronavirus testing. Operations will be resumed only after the facility is fully sanitised and the workers that are currently under testing return test negative for Covid-19, a company official confirmed to News18. An Oppo India spokesperson said about the matter, "Oppo had obtained permission from the state authorities to resume production earlier this month, following the MHA directive. As an organisation that places the safety of all our employees and citizens at the forefront, we have suspended all operations at our manufacturing facility in Greater Noida and initiated Covid-19 testing for 3,000+ employees, for which results are awaited. (We) will only allow employees with negative test results to resume office following all safety protocols. We are undertaking stringent measures to keep the employees safe and disinfecting the premises."
(News 18, May 18, 2020)
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 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)
Following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s May 12 call to go ‘vocal for local’ through Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan (Self-Reliant India Mission), finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a slew of measures on May 16 specific to defence production and procurement. These measures, in tandem with other policy initiatives of the past six years, have the potential to promote self-reliance and transform India into a major defence manufacturing hub. Despite its large defence R&D base and significant production capacities, India remains one of the world’s largest arms importers. Lack of clarity in policy has encouraged this dependence. The FM’s announcement of a ban on import of certain items, to be notified in consultation with the Department of Military Affairs (DMA) headed by the chief of defence staff (CDS), and indigenous manufacturing of spares that have been hitherto imported for domestic production, are expected to provide the necessary direction.
(ET, May 18, 2020)
Shares of Bharat Electronics traded 3.25 per cent down in Monday's trade at 11:16AM (IST). Around 1,015,640 shares changed hands on the counter. The stock opened at Rs 71.0 and touched an intraday high and low of Rs 71.5 and Rs 65.2, respectively, in the session so far. Shares of the company of Bharat Electronics Ltd. quoted a 52-week high of Rs 122.15 and a 52-week low of Rs 56.1. Total market cap of the Bharat Electronics Ltd. stood at Rs 16203.34 crore at the time of writing this report. (ET, May 18, 2020)
Shares of Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) and other defence-linked companies rallied up to 10 per cent in Monday’s trade after the government announced plans to push its Make in India initiative. By 9.53 am, shares of Hindustan Aeronautics traded 5.35 per cent higher at Rs 551.50. HAL is the maker of Tejas LCA (light combat aircraft). Shares of Bharat Dynamics advanced 3.09 per cent to Rs 247 and Bharat Electronics (BEL) added 2 per cent to Rs 69.10. BEL is the maker of Akash Missile System. State-run BEML also added 2.14 per cent to Rs 611. BEML is the maker of Tatra-based high mobility trucks for defence use. L&T (down 3.54 per cent) and Bharat ForgeNSE 1.87 % ( down 2.86 per cent), which were seen as key beneficiaries of these announcements, fell 3 per cent each in a weak market. Phillip Capital said L&T, BEL and Bharat Forge would be key beneficiaries of the increase in FDI limit in defence manufacturing under the automatic route to 74 per cent from 49 per cent. Morgan Stanley said BEL is the best way to play India’s defense indigenisation theme.
(ET, May 18, 2020)
South Korean automobile manufacturer Hyundai Motor Company today entered into a partnership with US ride-hailing giant Uber to produce electric air taxis. Hyundai also unveiled a new full-scale concept PAV (personal air vehicle), developed jointly with Uber, at the ongoing Consumer Electronics Show 2020. Hyundai is the first automotive company to join the Uber Elevate initiative. Under the partnership, Hyundai will produce and deploy the air vehicles and Uber will provide airspace support services, connections to ground transportation and customer interfaces through an aerial rideshare network. The two entities are also collaborating on infrastructure concepts to support their take-off and landing. The concept PAV -- S-A1 -- is an eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) aircraft designed for aerial ridesharing purposes. The S-A1 will seat five people, including the pilot, and have a cruising speed of 290 kmph, with a flying trip up to 100 km. The cruising altitude of the air vehicle will be around 1,000-2,000 feet above the ground. Being a completely electric air vehicle, the S-A1 will utilise distributed electric propulsion, powering multiple rotors and propellers around the airframe to increase safety by decreasing any single point of failure. During peak hours, it will require about five
(India Today, Jan 07, 2020)
Here, we take a look at some of the most advanced military technology that New Delhi has, in recent years, loosened its purse strings to acquire. India inked a deal with the United States worth $750 million in November 2016 for the procurement of 145 ultra-light howitzers (M777), to be manufactured by BAE Systems. India had struck a deal worth $3.1 billion in 2015 for the procurement of 22 Boeing AH-64E Apache Longbow attack helicopters along with 15 Chinook heavy-lift choppers. In early 2019, India entered into a contract with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) worth $93 million for the provision of Naval MSRAMs, including maintenance services
On Wednesday, the first batch of Dassault Rafale aircraft completed their 7,000km journey across the world to their new home in the Indian sub-continent, marking a new era of modernisation in the IAF's history. The induction of the five Rafale jets, and the 31 more to arrive in the next few years, is part of a larger drive toward military modernisation that India has embarked upon.
(IDN, July 31, 2020)