General

Indian Crypto currency Regulation Is ready, Official confirms

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

(Bitcoin News, June 03, 2019)


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

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

(Indian Express, June 03, 2019)


Harman Expanding Automotive Electronics Business in India

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

(Business Standard, June 05, 2019)


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

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

(BS, June 06, 2019)


Made-in-India tag for Flipkart brands

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

(ET, June 10, 2019)


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

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

(DNA, June 09, 2019)


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

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

(BusinessLine, June 11, 2019)


Racing towards sustainable solutions

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

(The Hindu, June 11, 2019)


Commerce Minister reviews Free trade pacts

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

(BusinessLine, June 12, 2019)


1.2 GW hybrid tender gets only two bidders yet again

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

(PV Magazine, May 21, 2019)


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

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

(PV Magazine, May 21, 2019)


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

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

(ET, May 25, 2019)


India, Japan, Sri Lanka move to counter China

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

(ET, May 27, 2019)


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

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

(Orissadiary.com, May 16, 2019)


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

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

(LiveMint,May 16, 2019)


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

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

(ET, May 17, 2019)


Flash Electronics files patent case against Royal Enfield in US court

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

(LiveMint, May 20, 2019)


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

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

(Indian Express, May 20, 2019)


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

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

(BS, May 21, 2019)


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

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

(ET, May 21, 2019)


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

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

(ET, May 24, 2019)


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

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

(Hindu BusinessLine, May 24, 2019)


Smaller rivals may gain in India at Huawei’s cost

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

(ET, May 25, 2019)


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

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

(Maoneycontrol.com, May 25, 2019)


Strategy in the works to woo companies looking to exit China

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

(ET, May 25, 2019)


Cybercrimes, Cyber Laws in India & Electronic Evidence

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

(Morug Express, May 25, 2019)


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

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

(Today, May 25, 2019)


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

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

(NDTV, May 28, 2019)


New Town plan to recycle e-waste

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

(The Teleraph, May 29, 2019)


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

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

(Indian Express, May 07, 2019)


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

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

ET, May 06, 2019)


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

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

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

(ET, May 07, 2019)


IEA warning against stagnation of renewables

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

(PV Magazine, May 08, 2019)


Rooftop solar needs greater push to reach 2022 target: IEEFA

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

(PV Magazine, May 08, 2019)


New factory-focused solar tender reportedly in the offing

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

(PV Magazine, May 08, 2019)


India has overly restrictive market barriers

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

(The Hindu, May 07, 2019)


IIT-B researchers develop ‘Made in India’ microprocessor

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

(The Hindu, May 09, 2019)


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

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

(Technuter, May 10, 2019)


Govt. reworking strategic sale procedure for CPSEs

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

(Livemint, May 12, 2019)


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

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

(Businesswire India, May 13, 2019)


Opportunities in the Indian Defence Market, 2019 - ResearchAndMarkets.com

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

(Yahoofinance, Apr 29, 2019)


Army invokes emergency powers for missile deal

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

(Defence News, Apr 30, 2019)


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

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

(Defence News, Apr 30, 2019)


GRSE to build eight ASWSWCs for Indian Navy

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

(Defence News, Apr 30, 2019)


Revolt plans 3 all-electric bikes for India

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

(Autocar India, April 15, 2019)


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

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

(Business Today, Apr 16, 2019)


Recycling of e-waste in India and its potential

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

(Down to Earth, April 17, 2019)


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

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

(ET, April 19 2019)


Mobile phones, consumer electronics lift Reliance Retail

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

(ET, April 20, 2019)


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

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

(ET, April 22, 2019)


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

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

(CIOL, April 23, 2019)


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

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

(Moneycontrol Contributor, April 24, 2019)


LG launches Best Shop in Warangal

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

(Telangana Today, April 25, 2019)


South Korea advances industrial ties with India and US

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

(Jane’s 360, April 26, 2019)


Quikr acquires Zefo for Rs 200 crore in offline push

Quikr, the e-classifieds and transactions marketplace, has acquired online pre-owned goods seller startup Zefo in a Rs  200-crore, stock-and-cash deal as it looks to ramp up the business in the segment. The deal comes as the Bengaluru-based company, valued at $1.6 billion, is looking at an aggressive offline expansion with plans to open 200-300 franchisee stores across the country over six-nine months. “In the last 18 months, we have found the right way to grow this category — a mix of pure consumer-to-consumer and where we also sell products which we have a possession of. It is a high-margin space and we have been seeing 100% year-on-year growth,” said Quikr founder and CEO Pranay Chulet. Some of the major segments in the refurbished category for Quikr include smartphones, electronics and furniture — already accounting for about 15% of revenues. Quikr said that the pre-owned products market in India is expected to reach $12-15 billion by 2020. The refurbished goods are sold under the Quikr Bazaar vertical and with quality control under Quikr Assured label, with Zefo its first acquisition in the space.

(TNN, April 26, 2019)


Finance Ministry starts consultation with investors to launch global ETF

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

(LiveMint, Apr 28, 2019)


Huawei set to launch P30 series in India next week

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

(HansIndia, Apr 02, 2019)


Mendy LED Smart TV launched under Make in India

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

(FreePress Journal, Apr 03, 2019)


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

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

(ET, Apr 05, 2019)


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

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

(FirstPost, Apr 02, 2019)


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

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

(Mercom India, Apr 03, 2019)


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

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

(Military Aerospace, Apr 01, 2019)


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

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

(ET, Apr 03, 2019)


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

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

(Down to Earth, Apr 05, 2019)


LG Electronics wants govt. to incentivise local TV manufacturing

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

(BS, Mar 07, 2019)


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

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

(ET, Mar 02, 2019) 


INDIA’S EXPANDING STRATEGIC RELATIONS WITH RUSSIA AND FRANCE

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

(Indian Defence News, Mar 08, 2019)


INDIA SIGNS PACT WITH RUSSIA ON CHAKRA-3 ATTACK SUBMARINE

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

(Indian Defence News, Mar 08, 2019)


INDIA'S DEFENCE PSUS RECORD PICK UP IN SALES

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

(Indian Defence News, Mar 08, 2019)


INDIAN ARMY TO GET ‘MADE IN INDIA’ ARTILLERY BOOST WITH 3 INDIGENOUS GUNS

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

(Indian Defence News, Mar 08, 2019)


India Leases Mothballed Russian Nuclear Submarine For $3 Billion

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

(DefenceQWorld.net, Mar 08, 2019)


Green Companies continue to bid aggressively for solar projects

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

(ET, Mar 02, 2019)


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

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

(BusinessWire India, Mar 01, 2019)


India needs to increase its scientific output: Prof Anurag Kumar

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

(Deccan Chronicle, Mar 09, 2019)


Bharat Electronics launches SWAGAT – Automatic Fare Collection Gating System

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

(BusinessLIne, Mar 05, 2019)


Chinese invasion of Indian Industry

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

(Hindu BusinessLine, Mar 05, 2019)


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

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

(IndiaTV, Mar 05, 2019)


Electric vehicles to get cheaper by up to Rs 2.5 lakh

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

(ET, Mar 02, 2019)


Centre for Good Governance wins Digital India Award

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

(Hans India, Feb 27, 2019)


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

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

(Businessworld, Feb 27, 2019)


India may gain from trade war

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

(Daily Excelsior.com, Feb 25, 2019)


Rafael wins $30m Indian Air Force communications deal

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

(Globes, Feb 24, 2019)


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

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

(BS, Feb 20, 2019)


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

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

(ET, Feb 20, 2019)


Hyundai Electronics enters India with consumer durables

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

(Siasat Daily, Jan 25, 2019)


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

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

(ET, Jan 18, 2019)


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

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

(BS, Jan 30, 2019)


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

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

(Your Story, Jan 28, 2019)


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

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

(The National, Jan 28, 2019)


E-waste is not waste, but treasure

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

(DownToEarth, Jan 25, 2019)


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

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

(Business Insider, Jan 17, 2019)


Harley-Davidson, Panasonic Team Up on LiveWire Electric Motorcycle

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

(PC News, Jan 08, 2019)


DEFENCE PSUS WORKFORCE SHRUNK BY NEARLY 25% IN 5 YEARS

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

(Indian Defence News, Jan 11, 2019)


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

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

(India Today, Jan 02, 2019)


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

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

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

(YourStory.com, Jan 07, 2019)


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

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

(Electronics B2B, Jan 03, 2019)


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

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

(ET, Jan 02, 2019)


Venture capital industry moving towards maturity: Bain-IVCA report

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

(BusinessLine, Dec 11, 2018)


Epayment Company Benow smells opportunity in PoS business

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

(ET, Dec 06, 2018)


Why India will supersede China – Part 1

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

(Asia Times, Dec 05, 2018)


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

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

(ET, Dec 05, 2018)


60 Chinese companies exhibit in 1st edition of IEAE 2018

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

(BS, Dec 04, 2018)  


Hyderabad stares at e-waste scare

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

(Deccan Chronicle, Nov 13, 2018)


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

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

(FE, Nov 10, 2018)


Data bill stays, not anti-trade: Govt

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

(DNA, Nov 04, 2018)


US withdraws duty benefits on Indian exports worth $75 million

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

(ET, Nov 02, 2018)


India postpones levying retaliatory tariffs on US goods to December 17

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

(ET, Nov 01, 2018)


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

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

(ASUS India, Sep 26, 2018)


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

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

(Chronicle India, Sep 22, 2018)


Samsung India bets big on system air-conditioner business

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

(PTI, Sep 21, 2018)


How India can become the manufacturing capital of the world

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

(ET, Sep 22, 2018)


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

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

(ET, Sep 10, 2018)


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

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

(FE, Sep 10, 2018)


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

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

(ET, Sep 09, 2018)


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

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

(Business Insider India, Sep 03, 2018)


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

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

(NDTV, Aug 13, 2018)


Defence ministry approves procurement of next generation offshore patrol vessels

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

(ET, Aug 13, 2018)


Foundation stone of permanent campus of NIELIT in Sikkim laid

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

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

 (NorthEastnow, Aug 12, 2018)


US-China trade war: What should we do

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

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

(Indian Express, Aug 13, 2018)


Patriotic tunes but no bedlam for Ikea's Indian debut

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

(ET, Aug 09, 2018)


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

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

(India Briefing, Aug 08, 2018)


Messe Muenchen India to hold trade for electronic industry

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

(ET, Aug 07, 2018)


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

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

(Chronicle India, Aug 04, 2018)


History of e-governance in India

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

(State Times, Aug 03, 2018)


India raises trade deficit issue with China at WTO

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


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

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

(Your Story, July 15, 2018)


Electronics import bill is a growing concern for Indian policy makers

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

(The National, July 15, 2018)


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

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

(Chronicle India, July 14, 2018)


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

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

(Stock Analysis, July 14, 2018)


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

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

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

(ET, July 11, 2018)


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

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

(BS, July 11, 2018)


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

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

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

(The Guardian, July 09, 2018)


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

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

 (Business Tactics, June 15, 2018)


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

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

(ET, June 15, 2018)


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

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

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

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

(ET, June 11, 2018)


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

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

(ET, June 27, 2018)


Panasonic finally breaks even in India

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

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

(ET, June 22, 2018)


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

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

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

(The Honest Analytics, June 22, 2018)


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

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

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


Black Pepper Spices up the Arm Approved Design Partner Program

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

(Design & Reuse, June 18, 2018)


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

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

(Gadgets, June 16, 2018)


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

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

(Indian Express, June 15, 2018)


India’s BEL opens Vietnam office to boost exports

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

(Jane’s 360, June 14, 2018)


India: The Cross-Border E-Commerce Conundrum

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

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

(Mondaq, June 11, 2018)


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

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

(BS, June 06, 2018)


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

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

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

Exclusive Reportage, June 03, 2018)


Fridge, AC to cost more from next month

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

(ET, May 30, 2018)


Lack of land title means no payment for solar producers

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

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

(ET, May 30, 2018)


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

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

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

(ET, May 29, 2018)


WTO dispute on export schemes: India to engage with US

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

(ET, May 30, 2018)


CAIT files petition in CCI against Walmart-Flipkart deal

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

(ET, May 29, 2018)


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

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

(India Today, May 27, 2018)


India Test Fires Second BrahMos Supersonic Missile in 24 Hours

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

(The Diplomat, May 24, 2018)


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

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

(BS, May 23, 2018)


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

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

(Entrepreneur, May 23, 2018)


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

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

(ET, May 30, 2018)


HAL keen to supply Navy with light utility helicopters

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

(ET, May 19, 2018)


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

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

(DynaPower, May 17, 2018)


Universal Robots Expects India Biz to Grow Over 100pc

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

(News18, May 17, 2018)


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

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

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

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

(Indian Express, May 14, 2018)


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

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

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

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

(ET, May 15, 2018)


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

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

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

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

(Manufacturing Global, May 14, 2018)


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

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

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

Infineon, May 11, 2018)


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

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

(ElectronicsB2B.com, May 10, 2018)


Nokia acquires US-based IoT startup SpaceTime Insight

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

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

(BGR India, May 07, 2018)


PUSHING MAKE IN INDIA TO DEVELOP DEFENCE: MIN

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

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

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

(The Pioneer, May 09, 2018)


Govt. recommends green registration plates for electric vehicles

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

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

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

(HT, May 04, 2018)


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

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

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

(VC Circle, Apr 30, 2018)


Samsung eyes 40% share of Indian microwave market in 2018

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

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

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

(ET, Apr 23, 2018)


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

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

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

(BusinessLine, Apr 25, 2018)


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

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

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

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

(BS, Apr 17, 2018)


Electronics exporter Syrma sets up domestic production unit

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

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

(ET, Apr 26, 2018)


Electronics giant Philips posts 27% drop in Q1 profits

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

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

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

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

(PTI, Apr 23, 2018)


India, Finland settle Nokia tax row

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

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

(ET, Apr 20, 2018)


Prabhu promises exporters to take up GST refund issue

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

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

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

(ET, Apr 19, 2018)


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

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

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

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

(ET, Mar 24, 2018)


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

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

 (ET, Mar 23, 2018)


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

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

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

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

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

(Business Line, Mar 21, 2018)


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

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

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

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

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

(The Indian Awaaz, Mar 12, 2018)


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

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

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

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

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

(ANI, Mar 13, 2018)


The curious case of rising electronic imports

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

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

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

(ANI, Mar 13, 2018)


Ministry of Defence project to add tech muscle to arms procurement

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


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

(ET, Mar 12, 2018)


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

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

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

(ET, Feb 19, 2018)


State-owned fuel pumps to top up digital payments companies

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

(ET, Feb 19, 2018)


Industry 4.0 can transform Indian Manufacturing

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

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

(ET, Feb 13, 2018)


TV makers may review plans to Make in India

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

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

(ET, Feb 07, 2018)


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

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

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

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

(BS, Feb 07, 2018)


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

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

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

(BusinessLine, Feb 07, 2018)


Hero Electric eyes capacity expansion

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

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

(ET, Feb 06, 2018)


Eicher launches first Electric Bus

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

(ET, Feb 06, 2018)


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

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

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

(ET, Feb 06, 2018)


Electric buses will take over half the world fleet by 2025

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

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

(BS, Feb 05, 2018)


Imports will not decline with Customs duty hike : Experts

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

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

(BS, Feb 03, 2018)


ISRO set to launch 31 satellites

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

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

(Business Line, Jan 09, 2018)


Sops in the works for States that promote exports: Prabhu

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

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

(Business Line, Jan 09, 2018)


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

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

 

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

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

(Indian Express, Jan 08, 2018)


NITI eyes use of Blockchain Technology

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

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

(ET, Jan 04, 2018)


Investment In Electronic Manufacturing Grew By 27 Percent In 2017

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

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

(Communications Today, Jan 02, 2018)


Metal printing used to make flexible, stretchable electronics

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Indian Express, Dec 26, 2017)


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

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

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

(ET, Dec 21, 2017)


Plan budget better, panel asks defence ministry

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

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

(Indian Express, Dec 21, 2017)


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

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

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

(Indian Express, Dec 21, 2017)


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

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

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

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

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

(ET, Dec 21, 2017)


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

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

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

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

(Indian Express, Dec 20, 2017)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NFR sets LED lights target

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


India’s largest markerspace to come up in Hyderabad

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

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

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

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

“T-Works will allow anyone young or old school student, graduate or retired professor, man or woman to collaborate with other intelligent individuals and converge their designs on paper or PC and convert it into working prototype,” said Rama Rao, son of Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao.

Open to all Indians, the facility will have CNC machines, cutting machines of all kinds, welding and carpentry tools, PCB assembly machines, and 3D printers of all ranges.

“This I believe is going to change the way we do business especially with respect to design and hardware space in India,” he said.

The Minister said T-Works will help in making products in domains like mechanical, electro mechanic, electronics and semiconductor spaces. It will also help in making products in automobiles, IoT, avionics, drones, med devices, medical instruments, defence equipment, consumer electronics, telecom products, mobile devices, gadgets and sensors.

“T-Works will become one of cornerstones and essential hub in the wheel in heralding a new wave of entrepreneurs, makers, tinkerers and designers of all kinds, aesthetic, textile, fashion, lifestyle, mechanical and technological,” he added.

Source: http://www.electronicsb2b.com


Washable, printed circuits for smart clothes developed

Scientists have successfully printed washable and stretchable electronic circuits into fabric, paving the way for smart textiles and wearable electronics.

The circuits were made with cheap, safe and environmentally friendly inks, and printed using conventional inkjet printing techniques.

Researchers from the University of Cambridge in the UK showed how graphene - a two-dimensional form of carbon - can be directly printed onto fabric to produce integrated electronic circuits which are comfortable to wear and can survive up to 20 cycles in a typical washing machine.

(India Today, Nov 13, 2017)


Bharat-22 ETF to open for investment: All you need to know

ETF is essentially a security that tracks an index, commodity or a basket of assets. However, the ETF trades happen on an exchange in form of tradable stock. ETF investments are usually cheaper than fund investments and since majority ETFs track to a specific index, there are lower operating expenses as seen comparatively in actively invested mutual funds. ETFs also have no minimum amounts for investment or sales loads. This is unlike in mutual funds which generally have both. Also, ETFs sometime improve rate of return. Though, do note that there is no guarantee of returns given in the ETF.

Bharat-22 ETF will invest in blue chip stocks including Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSE), Specified Undertakings of the Unit Trust of India (SUUTI) and some PSU banks.

(Indian Express, Nov 14, 2017)


FTSE rises as sterling's decline boosts exporters

British shares rose, outperforming European benchmarks, as exporters benefited when the pound fell amid reports of a rebellion among Conservative MPs against the leadership of Prime Minister Theresa May.

Export-oriented companies drove the FTSE 100 up 0.2 percent by 0820 GMT, but bank stocks suffered as sterling dropped.

Sterling weakened after the Times newspaper reported on Sunday that 40 Conservative lawmakers had agreed to sign a letter of no confidence in May - just short of the 48 needed to force a leadership vote.

(TOI, Nov 13, 2017)


India saw lower greenhouse emissions in 2017 because of demonetization and GST? 

Due to demonetization and GST, India is likely to see just  2 pct rise in greenhouse gases emissions in 2017 unlike an average 6 per cent annual, as per 2017 Global Carbon Budget report. The report attributes the decline in greenhouse emission to rapid progress made in the installation of solar energy in India. However, it also says that substantially lower growth rate could be attributed to a slowdown in economy as well.  “Although India’s installed solar capacity almost doubled in 2016 to 12 GW (gigawatts), the reduction in this year’s growth is attributable to many factors, including reduced exports, a declining share of industrial and agricultural production in GDP, reduced consumer demand, and both a sudden fall in money circulation attributable to demonetization late in 2016 and a goods and services tax introduced in 2017,” the report published in Environmental Research Letters says.

(FE, Nov 13, 2017)


Digitization of India’s economy is the success story of demonetization

On the first year anniversary of demonetization, it’s important to ask if it accomplished its stated objectives. While it appears that the objectives of rooting out black money as announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 8, 2016, has not been realised, given that almost all of the Rs 15 lakh-crore of high value notes in circulation were returned, is there credible evidence that another goal, which was articulated in the weeks following the announcement, has been achieved?

Unfortunately, much of the analysis has been simplistic and misleadingly compares two data points before and after demonetisation. For the past year, I’ve been developing and updating a statistical model calibrated to Reserve Bank of India data, which tracks the evolution of digital payments with data going back to 2011 and right up to the latest available, August 2017.

(HT, Nov 12, 2017)


GST Amendments: Impact on Indian Economy

The GST Council on Friday delivered a major overhaul of the GST design and rate structure. The broad thrust of the decisions was to improve lagging compliance and reduce the tax burden on smaller businesses. Some of the key decisions taken in the meeting are discussed below

As a transitional provision, businesses were required to file a summary return every month in form GSTR3B and pay taxes based on self-assessment. It was expected that this form will be used until December following which the full-fledged GST process of invoice matching will be up and running. However, the filing of detailed returns and invoice matching has run into problems. Consequently, the GST Council has decided to continue with the process of filing summary returns until March. The late fee for the delayed filing of GSTR3B where there is no tax liability has been reduced by 90% to Rs 20 per day.

(India Online, Nov 13, 2017)


Crompton Greaves out of Kenstar race

Homegrown private equity group Everstone will enter in exclusive talks with the promoters of home appliances brand Kenstar to acquire it after Advent International and Temasek-backed Crompton GreavesBSE -2.75 % pulled out of the race, said two people with direct knowledge of the deal. 

Last month, ET had reported how Crompton Greaves and Everstone were the only two contenders left to acquire the VideoconBSE 4.95 % Group Company that is being valued at around Rs 1,350-1,400 crore. While Crompton Greaves had bid at Rs 1,400 crore, Everstone Capital has offered Rs 1,300 crore for the company. 

(ET, Nov 15, 2017)


CBDT chairman to head Paradise Papers probe

Hours after the Paradise Papers leak of financial documents, pointing at possible illegal offshore dealings, the government swung into action and re-constituted a multi-agency panel led by the chairman of the income tax (I-T) department to carry out a probe into it.

The Central Board of direct Taxes (CBDT) has alerted its teams across the country to carry out investigations based on the returns filed by individuals on the list.

“We will match the information in the Paradise Papers to ascertain cases of tax evasion,” said CBDT Chairman Sushil Chandra, who will also head the multi-agency panel.  Besides I-T department officials, the panel comprises representatives of the Enforcement Directorate, the Reserve Bank of India, and the Financial Intelligence Unit.

(BS, Nov 07, 2017)


E-tailers’ global warehouses may come under tax net

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

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

(BS, Oct 31, 2017)


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

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

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

(ET, Oct 14, 2017)


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

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

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

(BS, Oct 13, 2017)


TCS net falls 2%, but beats estimates

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

(BS, Oct 13, 2017)


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

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

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

(Business Line, Oct 13, 2017)


GE Optimistic of Opportunities from Govt's Infrastructure Thrust

US conglomerate General Electric (GE) has doubled its Indian business in the past three years and is optimistic about opportunities from the government's infrastructure thrust and support from the global management team, which will soon be led by its former India CEO John Flannery.

GE, operating in India for more than a century, made rapid strides post 2010 after John Flannery took charge of the company's businesses in India and reversed its sluggish performance.

“When he was here, the business for GE grew sharply in India; and even after he moved on, our business has continued to grow. All the foundation that he set up, clearly yielded phenomenal results. For example in the last three years, the business has further doubled. It's been good,“ GE's President and CEO for South Asia Banmali Agrawala told ET.

(ET, June 15, 2017)


Scanning the New Rates for Printers

A distinction between printers and multifunctional printers, which have copying machines, scanners rolled into one, by making an exception for the latter in the 18% category in Goods and Services Tax has peeved the IT industry that has again knocked the doors of the government.

The last GST Council meeting on June 11 had decided to place printers in the 18% slab following representations from the industry after confusion over whether they would be in 28% slab or 18%.

(ET, June 16, 2017)


Tesla wants to Run on Sops here, at Least at the Start

Tesla's CEO Elon Musk said on Thursday that the electric carmaker has reached out to New Delhi seeking temporary relief on import curbs and penalties until a local factory is built, enhancing the probability of the company's imminent entry into the country.

Senior government officials in the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) and the Ministry of Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises told ETthat they have not received any communication from Tesla yet, but will examine the possibilities of extending any concessions once a formal proposal arrives. 

(ET, June 16, 2017)


Tejas Networks' IPO Subscribed 1.9 Times at Close

Optical network equipment manufacturer Tejas Networks' initial public offering to raise `776 crore ended on Friday with the issue subscribed 1.9 times.

The issue got bids for 3.2 crore shares against total issue size of 1.7 crore excluding the portion given to anchor investors.

(ET, June 17, 2017)


E-Vehicles Project FAME Moved to Niti Aayog

The cabinet secretariat has shifted the electric vehicles programme to Niti Ayog from the department of heavy industries as most ministries wanted to have a say in the high-profile mission.

The moving of FAME or Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid & Electric Vehicles programme to government's premier think tank will help synchronise efforts of the different departments of the government to move towards an all-electric fleet by 2030, a government official said.

“Most ministries were interested in anchoring the programme and were acting in silos,“ said the official. The shifting of the programme to Niti Ayog will expedite the move, the person added.

(ET, June 20, 2017)


Lockheed Martin Teams Up With Tata to Make F-16 Fighters in India

The defence arm of the Tata Group has signed an agreement with American firm Lockheed Martin to produce and export new generation F-16 fighter aircraft, potentially kick-starting a mega `Make in India' project days ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's first meeting with US President Donald Trump.

The deal, signed at the Paris Air Show, is subject to the condition that the F-16 Block 70 fighter jet emerges as the winner of an Indian Air Force competition to procure more than 100 single-engine fighters.

The Tata Advanced Systems Limited-Lockheed Martin combine will compete with Sweden's Saab, which will offer its Gripen fighter aircraft for the requirement.

Lockheed Martin will move its only operational line producing the F-16s from Texas to India if it wins the contract, as per exclusive details of the agreement available with ET. The American company also sees a $15 billion export potential for the jet to other customers in the region.

(ET, June 20, 2017)


Green Energy may Renew Job Hopes & Create 3L Jobs in 5 Yrs.

India's rapidly growing renewable energy sector will generate a significant number of new jobs apart from giving the country cleaner environment, a new study has forecast.

Around 300,000 such jobs in this sector will be created in the next five years, according to a study done by Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) and Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). The eventual job potential of the sector, according to the study, is 34,600 in wind power, 58,600 in ground mounted solar projects and 238,000 in rooftop solar projects.

Solar and wind energy employed more than 21,000 people in India in 2016-2017, and this is expected to more than double this year with 25,000 more jobs, it said.

Interestingly, setting up rooftop solar projects provides far more jobs than similar projects on the ground. The study estimated that installing 1MW of rooftop solar would create 25 jobs, while on ground each MW would require only three people. “The focus has been on ground mounted solar and the push to reduce tariffs although it is the rooftop sector which generates more jobs. So, the government will have to decide where it wants to focus,“ said Kanika Chawla, senior programme lead at CEEW.

The government has set a rooftop target of 40 GW by 2022 but so far less than 2 GW has been achieved.

(ET, June 21, 2017)


Mahindra Aerospace to Soon Launch 10-Seater Aircraft

In a boost to the Modi government's regional connectivity scheme (RCS), Mahindra Aerospace will soon start the process to launch a 10-seater aircraft in India.

“Our aircraft AIRVAN 10, a 10seat Single Engine Turbine aircraft, has received approvals from the Australian and US civil aviation authorities. We will soon apply to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for approvals, which will pave our way for the launch of the aircraft in India,“ SP Shukla, chairman, Mahindra Aerospace, and Group President-Aerospace & Defence, Mahindra Group told ET.

The Rolls-Royce M250 powered AIRVAN 10 follows in the footsteps of the piston engine 8-seat AIRVAN 8, and the Turbo charged version of this aircraft, which now operate in 29 countries and have achieved high service times with the excellent reliability and low maintenance costs, the company said.

(ET, June 21, 2017)


Niti Aayog approves Rs. 18,000-crore project to increase speed of trains

The ambitious Rs.18,000-crore project for increasing train speeds on the Delhi-Mumbai and DelhiHowrah rail corridors has received Niti Aayog's approval, paving the way for the plan being put up for Cabinet clearance.

The mega project is meant to bring about a paradigm shift in rail operations enabling trains to run at 160 km per hour on the busiest routes on the Indian railway network. Aiming at reducing travel time between the three metropolises, the project envisages fencing off the entire 3,000 km on both routes, upgradation of signalling system, elimination of all level crossings and installing train protection warning system (TPWS), among other works to make trains run at an increased speed of 160 kmh.

(ET, June 21, 2017)


EESL to Raise $100m via Green Bonds

State-owned Energy Efficiency Services (EESL) plans to raise $100 million (about Rs.640 crore) by selling `green' and `masala' bonds on the London Stock Exchange (LSE), a top executive said.

Proceeds from the issue will be used to part-finance the company's massive Rs.6,000-crore capital expenditure plan for the current fiscal. “We are planning to raise Rs.4,800 crore by way of loans, which will come from bilateral loans, bonds and grants from institutions like the World Bank, while the rest would be met through internal accruals,“ Saurabh Kumar, managing director of EESL, told a news conference. EESL, a joint venture of NTPC, Power Finance Corp, Rural Electrification Corp and Power Grid Corp, was set up the power ministry to facilitate implementation of energy efficiency projects.

The proceeds from a green bond are tied to environmentally-focused initiative

(ET, June 22, 2017)


Thales Floats JV with Rel Defence to make Radars, Warfare Sensors

French defence electronics manufacturer Thales has announced that it is floating a joint venture company with Reliance Defence with shareholding of 49% and 51% respectively to set up an Indian supply chain for radars and electronic warfare sensors at a facility in Nagpur.

Industry executives told ET that Thales, a leading supplier to Dassault Aviation, maker of Rafale fighter aircraft, has to spend nearly $1billion (about Rs.6,451crore) in Indian defence production sector as part of its offset commitments for the deal signed last year to supply 36 Rafale jets to Indian Air Force.

(ET, June 22, 2017)


Toshiba Picks Bain-Japan Group as Preferred Chip Unit Buyers

Toshiba Corp has chosen a consortium of Bain Capital and Japanese government investors as the preferred bidder for its chip business, aiming to seal a deal worth some $18 billion by next week as it scrambles for funds to cover massive losses.

But prospects for a clean early resolution to the sale of the world's No. 2 producer of NAND flash chips remain unclear as Western Digital, Toshiba's chips business partner, has launched legal action to prevent a deal without its consent.

(ET, June 22, 2017)


GST will Spur Demand for PCs, Says HP

HP India said it expects demand for computers in India to pick up after the roll out of the new GST tax regime from next month, driven by small and medium businesses.

With tax slab set at 18% under GST, pricing of notebooks will not be impacted for buyers as the prevailing rates are about the same.

“However, we do expect GST to help tech companies as small and medium businesses will adopt more PCs and that is a big opportunity for players like us,“ he said. According to research firm IDC, the PC market in India grew by 8.5% to 2.16 million units in the January-March 2017 quarter from the year-ago period.

(ET, June 22, 2017)


PM's US Visit: Officials race against time to seal F-16 deal

Officials are working overtime to complete negotiations on moving the assembly line for the F-16 fighter jet to India to enable Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Donald Trump to jointly make an announcement on the deal.

The announcement, if it comes when Modi meets Trump on June 26 at the White House, would be a good example of India's designation by the Obama Administration as a “major defence partner,“ especially if the deal is studded with significant transfers of technology .

It would show that “Make in India“ and “ America First“ can meet somewhere in the middle. 

(ET, June 23, 2017)


Indian Tech Startups get a space in Google's Sand Hill

Technology giant Google is deepening its engagements with startups in India and is working with a bunch of “highgrowth“ ventures as part of a global programme to mentor and deepen its technical engagement with the potential winners of tomorrow.

Over the past year, Google has been working with Indian startups like social networking site ShareChat, food delivery apps Swiggy and FreshMenu as well as utility applications UrbanClap and HealthifyMe, as a part of its global “Sand Hill“ programme, according to a top company executive.

(ET, June 06, 2017)


PM reviews GST rollout preparations

Prime Minister Narendra Modi reviewed the preparations for the rollout of the goods and services tax (GST) regime from July 1 and said it will be “a turning point“ in the country's economy.

Describing it as an “unprecedented“ moment in the country's history, he said the creation of the one-nation, one-market and one-tax system would greatly benefit the common man.

He took stock of various elements involved in the rollout and directed the officials that maximum attention be paid to cyber-security in IT systems linked to the GST, the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said in a statement.

(ET, June 06, 2017)


India's heaviest Rocket launches GSAT-19 Satellite

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Monday made a flawless launch of its Geostationary Launch Vehicle Mark III, doubling the capabilities of its most powerful launch vehicle.

The launch gave India the capability to put four-tonne communication satellites into orbit from Sriharikota. It also flight-tested with success the country's first fully indigenous cryogenic engine.

The passenger was GSAT-19, a 3,136-kg communication satellite with high throughput, which uses several new technologies for the first time, including an indigenous lithium-ion battery.

The launch vehicle has been designed to carry future human passengers, if the Indian government takes a decision to put humans into space. “It is a historic day,“ said ISRO chairman Kiran Kumar after the launch.

(ET, June 06, 2017)


NEC Corp to invest $10M in Analytics

Japanese technology firm NEC Corporation is investing $10 million to set up an analytics centre in Noida to strengthen its presence in the big data analytics market, with a special focus on telecom, manufacturing and BFSI verticals in India as well as the rest of the world.

The company is targeting more than $100 million in revenue from its Centre of Excellence for Analytics Platform & Solutions within three years.

With this launch, the company aims to be among the top three players in India's big data and analytics market, which is expected to grow eight times to $16 billion by 2020. The new centre will act as a one-stop shop for both customers and partners in telecom, retail, BFSI and manufacturing sectors.

It will initially focus on markets including India, Japan, Singapore, Philippines and Hong Kong, and then gradually expand services throughout APAC and other regions.

(ET, June 07, 2017)


Indian Aviation Sector to Get $25-B Investment by 2027

India, the third largest domestic air travel market, is estimated to see an investment of $25 billion in the next decade in the airports sector, a demand for 935 more planes and traffic growth of 13%, Morgan Stanley said.

Through the UDAN scheme to bring small cities and towns to the air transport network, the government is taking the right step to increase connectivity and also boost utilisation of airports, thereby helping those become more profitable, Morgan Stanley said in a report on Indian aviation.

The report said the share of air travel in air and rail travel combined in India will grow to 15.2% by 2027 from 7.9% now. “India's domestic air passenger traffic reached 100 million in 2016, behind only that of the US (719 million) and China (436 million) and ahead of Japan (97 million). We forecast a 13% domestic air traffic compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) 2016-26, the highest such rate of any key region globally and higher than India's 11% CAGR 2011-16,“ said the report, shamred exclusively with ET.

(ET, June 07, 2017)


Forex Reserves Hit New High at $381Billion

Foreign exchange reserves rose $2.4 billion during the week ending June 2 to reach a new high of $381 billion, as foreign portfolio investors continued to pour funds into Indian stocks and bonds. In the previous week, the reserves had declined by $547 million to $378.763 billion.

While foreign currency assets comprising US dollars, euro, yen and pound among others rose $2.7 billion, the value of gold in reserves dipped by $353 million.

The US dollar ended higher against the rupee at 64.2425 per dollar but the pound sterling finished lower at `. 82.0709 at the Interbank Foreign Exchange (forex) market here


Protectionism will Hurt Global Economy, says FM

Increasing trade protectionism will hurt the global economy and welfare of people, finance minister Arun Jaitley has warned.

“Questions are raised today in certain quarters about the global compact, which we have developed over the years multilateralism driving the rule-based flow of goods and services -to deliver growth, development and poverty reduction for all and achievement of global public good.

“The attempt to change the discourse from opening up and focusing on competitive advantage to increased protectionism will only hurt the global economy and welfare of people,“ Jaitley said in his address to the World Bank Development Committee in Washington.

“We need to bond together and renew our compact to protect the World from falling into spiral of slow economic growth, rising inequality and irreversibly altered climate, conflict and fragility,“ said the finance minister.

“I would thus like to call upon this august gathering today to reaffirm our full commitment to the mandate of the Development Committee and to deliver Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and our own twin goals.“

Noting that there is no doubt that the developing world needs large and growing resources for achieving SDGs and the twin goals of our institutions, he said this necessity is the underlying argument of the billions to trillions discourse.

“All the developing countries also know that mobilization of larger domestic resources and creating conditions for better flow of investment finance from both domestic and international private sector would be necessary for achieving their development ambitions,“ he said.

At the same time, it would be necessary for the multilateral system, especially the World Bank Group, to be stronger than ever to play a meaningful and decisive role in translating this development agenda into reality, he asserted.

(ET, Apr 24, 2017)


New Businesses Get Off to a Quick Start

Half a day for reserving the firm's name, and a third for incorporating it -India's push toward enhancing the `ease of doing business' is showing quick and tangible results.

Policy initiatives by the corporate affairs ministry of appear to have made it easier to start a business in the country: In February , it took two days to incorporate a company , while the procedure took just about a day in March. As many as 26 rules have been automated, five procedures for starting a business clubbed into one, and as many rules deleted as part of the latest government programme to drive entrepreneurship.

The successful implementation of e-governance initiatives, such as the MCA21 portal and SPICe (Simplified Proforma for Incorporating Company Electronically) forms, has ensured the regi stration of about 98,000 companies in FY-17, translating into a 60% increase compared with businesses registered the year ago.

Popularised under the broader programme of `government process re-engineering', these initiatives have “...resulted in speed, greater transparency, uniformi ty, and eradication of discretion“, according to the ministry.

“The time taken for processing company incorporation applications reduced drastically (bet ween 5 and 15 working days in June 2014), to an average of 0.6 working days in March 2017,“ the ministry said in a note on its website. “Similarly, the processing time for name availability applications has been brought down significantly to an average of 0.4 days in March 2017.“


Boosting manufacturing sector

Key thrust of the 'Make in India' programme would be on cutting down in delays in manufacturing project clearance, developing adequate infrastructure and making it easier for companies to do business in India. The Make in India initiative was launched in the year September 2014 primarily with the goal of transforming the country into a global manufacturing hub.

The idea was to encourage both global as well as domestic companies to set up manufacturing units within India. The aim was to raise the contribution of the manufacturing sector to 25 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP) by the year 2025 from the current 16 per cent.

It is being led by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India. The initiative is expected to create 100 million new jobs in India by 2022.

As part of the 'Make in India' initiative, the government has released separate guidelines for 25 sectors and has also created a website allowing investors to seek clarifications on policy matters within 72 hours.The key sectors identified under the programme include automobiles, aviation, chemicals, IT & BPM, pharmaceuticals, construction, defence manufacturing, electrical machinery, food processing, textiles and garments, ports, leather, media and entertainment, wellness, mining, tourism and hospitality, railways, automobile components, renewable energy, biotechnology, space, thermal power, roads and highways and electronics systems.

Rakesh Mehta, chairman, Mehta Equities and Mehta Commodities explains that there are several other initiatives announced by the central government which would further boost manufacturing in the 'Make in India' programme. “The Housing for All initiative or the affordable housing programme by the central government would generate huge employment opportunities for at least 270 allied industries related to construction and housing,“ Mehta explains.

According to him, the size of the affordable housing industry could be anywhere around Rs 25000 crore at present. “This is expected to reach around Rs 5 lakh cror by the year 2022, when the programme would be fully implemented. So allied industries like cable manufacturing, fixtures, cement and other raw materials would generate huge business and employment,“ he adds.

Since the launch of the 'Make in India' programme in September 2014, FDI inflows of $77 billion including an equity inflows of $56 billion has been received for the period October 2014 to March 2016. This represents about a 44 per cent increase in FDI equity inflows over the same corresponding period.

Anil Agrawal, Managing Director, Comfort Securities adds that the initiative is a step in the right direction for making the country into a manufacturing hub.

“The central government has been making efforts to give the much needed infrastructure push.Reforms like the single-window clearance where the manufacturers can get all the approvals under a single roof should be given top priority,“ Agrawal informs.

He further explains that small and medium entrepreneurs have a major role to play in the scheme.“Indian manufacturing SME sector currently contributes about 15-16 per cent to the country's GDP, but has the potential to be a game changer for the economy,“ he says.

China has slightly more number of SMEs than India.Their SME contribute about 60 per cent to the nation's GDP. This simply showcases the huge amount of potential that SME sector has.

Chandrakant Salunkhe, president of the SME Chamber of India explains that nearly 60 per cent of e the SMEs in India fall in the unorganized sector.

“Once this untapped potential becomes the source for growth of these units, the size of Indian GDP can surpass that of developed nations,“ he informs. The sector also contributes around 40 per cent to exports from India.

The government of India has recognised the SMEs as the priority sector and has also initiated several programmes like the Public Procurement Policy, Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana, Digital India, Startup India, and Skill India.With these programmes its share can be expected to go up significantly in the next few years.

The announcement to implement GST Bill in 2017 is a landmark decision that will help solve long existing challenges prevalent in the current taxation system. For SMEs, GST bill will help eradicate indirect taxes, have more transparency of tax process, draw projections of production cost and gain easy access to new geographies for business expansion.

(ET, Apr 27, 2017)


Export-Reliant Cos may Take 4% Earnings Hit on Rising Re

A stronger rupee can help check inflation as it will pull down commodity prices, but export-reliant companies such as IT firms and drug makers are likely to take up to 4% hit on their earnings, industry insiders say.

The rupee has gained 5.6% against the US dollar since the beginning of the year, strengthening significantly after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) changed its policy stance on credit cost.

This is impacting companies that import less and export more including vehicle manufacturers, textile companies and metals firms, some of which are already looking to focus more on domestic market as the government seems comfortable with a stronger rupee.

“'That (the rupee appreciation) is something we need to watch out for... I think we want to keep in mind the trajectory of the rupee and see how we navigate,“ said MD Ranganath, chief financial officer at Infosys Technologies, the country's second-largest software exporter.

India's exports contribute 18% to India's gross domestic product (GDP). Out of the $435 billion exports, software exports contributes roughly $100 billion. 

(ET, Apr 27, 2017)


Focus to Grow Manufacturing: Kant

Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant on Friday said India needs to focus on identified sectors to grow its manufacturing.

“India has the potential to grow in as many as two dozen sectors. We need to focus on these sectors,“ Kant said at the CII annual session here. “India should not grow on the back of protectionism. Indian industry should be globally competitive.“

Kant has been a driving force behind the government's `Make in India' project. The idea is to increase the manufacturing sector's contribution to GDP to 25% from 16%.

According to Kant, manufacturing itself is undergoing digitisation, as a result of which all links in the manufacturing chain are not getting interlinked. “India needs to move away from labour arbitrage and upgrade to highly skilled jobs,“ he said.

According to Kant, Indian manufacturing needs global standards across sectors. “The Bureau of Indian Standards needs to be restructured to do standardisation that can match global standards,“ he said.

Reiterating that India needs to think bigger and step out, Kant said no country has made it big without penetrating global markets.

Kant is of the view that while automation and digitisation are here to stay, the country needs to bring about a change in the mindset of Indians right from the school level.

Urging industry and private players to take a lead in making manufacturing a success in India, Kant said “government is very inefficient and private sector must get itself out of the government“.

“We want energy and dynamism of private sector to drive manufacturing in India,“ Kant said, adding that the government is working towards redefining MSMEs. As per government estimates, only six states in the country across sectors are actually holding back Indi's growth.

ET, Apr 29, 2017)


Industry seeks to allay radiation fears

The telecom industry has dispelled fears that tower radiation causes health hazards and urged citizens not to panic as Indian emission norms are stricter than global standards. 

The Cellular Operators Association of India issued a statement a day after a media report said the Supreme Court had ordered Bharat Sanchar Nigam last month to deactivate an illegally installed tower in Gwalior within seven days, acting on a complaint by a man who claimed to be afflicted with cancer due to radiation exposure from the tower. 

The report relates to an interim -not final -order in only one of four cases that have been brought up in the apex court, said COAI. 

"The industry appeals to the citizens and the public to not panic and read the interim order in its entirety. There are four EMF (electromagnetic fields)-related cases which have been clubbed together. The interim Supreme Court order relates to only one of them, whereas cell towers included in the other cases were left untouched," said Rajan Mathews, director general of COAI. 

Eight high courts have found that radiation emanating from mobile towers is not hazardous for human health, he added. 
(ET, Apr 13, 2017)


Exports Increase by 27.6% in March, Imports up 45%

 India's merchandise exports increased at the fastest pace in almost six years in March led by an overall rise in shipments across sectors even as a steeper rise imports due to firmer commodity prices widened the trade deficit. 

Buoyed by petroleum, textiles, engineering goods and gems and jewellery, exports zoomed 27.59% in March to $29.2 billion but a 45.25% increase in imports on the back of higher gold imports led to a trade gap of $10.4 billion. 

This is the seventh consecutive month of rise in exports this year. Twenty-five out of 30 sectors showed an increase in exports led by iron ore. India's imports in March were $39.6 billion of which gold imports were $4.1 billion, up 329% year-on-year. Imports too rose at a six-year high. 

"In continuation with the double digit growth exhibited by exports during February 2017, exports during March 2017 have shown a significant growth...Overall the trade balance has im proved," commerce and industry ministry said in a statement. 

However, the robust monthly data failed to boost annual exports to the $300-billion mark. 

India exported goods worth $274.6 billion in 2016-17, 4.7% higher than $262.2 billion in FY16.Trade deficit in 2016-17 was $105.7 billion. 

"With these numbers, we expect exports to touch $325 billion this year. We have political stability, reforms are underway and measures on ease of doing business will start showing results," said Ajay Sahai, director general of the Federation of Indian Export Organisations. 
(ET, Apr 14, 2017)