IESA WINWire Feb 28 - Mar 06, 2015
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Rail Budget 2015: Top 10 Tech Initiatives
Source: CXO Today; February 28, 2015

http://www.cxotoday.com/story/rail-budget-2015-top-10-tech-initiatives/

The Railway Budget 2015 focused on investment, modernization of trains as well as transparency in railway systems. The key themes of the Budget were in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s initiatives of ‘Digital India’ and ‘Make In India.’ Presented by Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu , the Budget throws light on the extensive use of IT systems in everything from innovation center to the development of Apps for passengers and provision for Wi-Fi on rail premises………….

The thrust on technology initiatives in the railway budget in order to bring transparency and efficiency in the system, can also open up a slew of opportunities for IT and digital companies in India, according to industry experts.

According to Ashok Chandak, Chairman, IESA, “We believe the steps outlined in the Rail Budget will motivate to the electronics industry and bring cheers to the travellers through technology integration. The budget will also boost entrepreneurship in the electronics with the ministry focusing on new-age technologies through the Council to ensure enhanced passenger safety and security, customer service and trade management.

Good But Not Great: Infotech Industry Take On Indian Government Budget 2015
Source: Indiatechonline; February 28, 2015

http://www.indiatechonline.com/it-happened-in-india.php?id=1728

We bring you below extracts ( in no particular order) from the first reactions to the Indian Union Budget presented earlier today by the Finance Minister in Delhi. These are all the opinions we received till 6 pm. We will update later tonight.

We lead with IT industry organizations and analysts; followed by individual enterprises.

Pankaj Mohindroo, National President of Indian Cellular Association, noted the Excise Duty differential of 11% on domestically manufactured mobile phones over imported phones. The step up in the differential from 5% in the pre-budget dispensation to the current 11% is designed to create the necessary pull for investments from India and abroad into the industry and will realize the “Make in India”.

Ashok Chandak, Chairman IESA: We commend the central government focus to introduce GST, along with empowering states with 62% transfers of country’s total receivables and partner states in the nation’s growth process. There have been some incremental measures to address the disability of ESDM sector like Establishment of National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) with an attempt to push infrastructure projects, enhancing fund availability in MSME sector which will boost SME manufacturing,

Industry welcomes the technology-enabled, traveller-centric Railway Budget 2015
Source: Techradar; February 28, 2015

http://www.in.techradar.com/news/Industry-welcomes-the-technology-enabled-traveller-centric-Railway-Budget-2015/articleshow/46383711.cms

India Electronics and Semiconductor Association (IESA) welcomes the Indian Railway Budget 2015. IESA has always envisioned electronics to transform India as a nation, however, Railway Budget 2015 has made it evident that the Government has keen focus on providing safety, convenience, comfort and information. We believe the steps outlined by the Hon'ble Railway Minister will motivate to the electronics industry and bring cheers to the travellers through technology integration. The budget will also boost entrepreneurship in the electronics with the ministry focusing on new-age technologies through 'Kayakalp' to ensure enhanced passenger safety and security, customer service and trade management. We also foresee this railway budget to motivate "Design-led electronics manufacturing" in India, with innovations and technology leading the growth of Indian Railways.

Imported Mobiles, Tablets to Cost Dear As Excise Duty Goes Up To Benefit Domestic Producers
Source: IBN Live; March 1, 2015

http://ibnlive.in.com/news/imported-mobiles-tablets-to-cost-dear-as-excise-duty-goes-up-to-benefit-domestic-producers/531364-11.html

In a move to boost local manufacturing of mobile phones and tablets, the government increased duty benefits for domestic producers of these electronic items.

Excise duty structure for mobiles handsets, including cellular phones, is being changed to 1 per cent without CENVAT credit or 12.5 per cent with CENVAT credit, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said while presenting the Budget in Parliament. Earlier the duty structure for mobiles was 6 per cent with CENVAT credit.

For tablet computers, the duty structure is "2 per cent without CENVAT credit or 12.5 per cent with CENVAT credit." "Manufacturer or producer of final product is allowed to take CENVAT credit. This would encourage local manufacturing rather than import," IESA Chairman Ashok Chandak told PTI. Local manufacturer can claim duty benefits on VAT paid on purchase of various input materials. The increase in CENVAT credit will give benefit to domestic manufacturers against those importing such items. The minister also announced to exempt "parts, components and accessories, falling under any Chapter, for use in the manufacture of tablet computers and their subparts for use in manufacture of parts, components and accessories, " from "BCD (basic custom duty), CVD and SAD.

Inverted Duty Disruption Offending the Domestic Electronic Ecosystem
Source: Ele Times; March 1, 2015

http://www.eletimes.com/top-stories/inverted-duty-disruption-offending-the-domestic-electronic-ecosystem/

Electronics industry players want the government to eye the decade old inconsistency of inverted duty structure that has dissolved domestic manufacturing base and is still hampering its development.

Due to the inverted duty structure imports of finished goods are encouraged and the import of semi-manufactured goods and components are discouraged which can be used for manufacturing completed products in the country, said Ashok Chandak, Chairman of Indian Electronics & Semiconductor Association. While ITA allowed import of finished product duty free, domestic manufacturers paid taxes on importing components used for making a complete unit which makes indigenous production of electronic products expensive hitting the hardware production in India. Chandak said although the government addressed some of the issues related inverted duty structure in last budget, the same is offset by high finance cost and infrastructural woes. ”Problem of inverted duty is always prevailing due to the fact that India has always been a signatory to number of of Free Trade agreements with different countries.

Desi Tablets Get a Boost
Source: The Times of India; March 2, 2015

http://epaperbeta.timesofindia.com/Article.aspx?eid=31810&articlexml=Desi-tablets-get-a-boost-02032015009038

The budget has provided some push to do mestic manufacturing of electronic products.

More of the tablets that you get in future will likely be manufactured in India. The government has reduced the effective duty on domestically manufactured tablets from 12% to 2%, but the countervailing duty when the same is imported remains at 12.5%. “Local manufacturing of tablets has become very attractive, “said Anwar Shirpurwala, executive director, Manufacturers' Association for IT (MAIT).

This was previously done for mobile phones. But PCs still do not enjoy this differential duty. “If it had been implemented for PCs, the manufacturing facilities of Dell, Lenovo, HP and Acer in India would have been better utilized, “said Shirpurwala.

The India Electronics and Semiconductor Association (IESA) said the rationalization of SAD and duty benefits on products like LED TVs, mobile handsets, tablets, and LED lighting would help toward the local manufacturing of these products.

“This budget will lay a foundation for the electronics and technology industry to drive manufacturing and innovation from India, “said Ashok Chandak, chairman, IESA. But he regretted that there was no “major stimulus for quick impact to bring down the electronics import bill in the near term. “

'Budget Fails to Boost Electronics Sector'
Source: Business Standard; March 2, 2015

http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ians/budget-fails-to-boost-electronics-sector-115030200624_1.html

Dashing hopes of the electronics sector, which was betting on the new government to spur its growth, the budget for fiscal 2015-16 had failed to live up to its expectations, a top trade representative said Monday.

"The budget has no significant steps to boost our sector. Though it is growth-oriented and people-centric, it does not address our critical demands to boost manufacturing for reducing imports and contribute to the Make in India initiative," India Electronics and Semiconductor Association (IESA) president Ashok Chandak told IANS here.

As a trade body representing the electronic system design and manufacturing (ESDM) industry across the country, the Association had petitioned the government to grant deemed export status for ITA (Information Technology Agreement) products and set up an Electronics Commission, among other things.

Being a member of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and signatory to the ITA, India has to lower all taxes and tariffs on IT products to zero over a period of time.

IBM Eyes $40 Billion in Cloud, Big Data, Security Revenues By 2018
Source: Firstpost; March 2, 2015

http://www.firstpost.com/business/ibm-eyes-40-billion-cloud-big-data-security-revenues-2018-2130847.html

International Business Machines Corp, which ruled computing in the age of the mainframe, is targeting $40 billion in annual revenue from the cloud, big data, security and other growth areas by 2018.

The aggressive target, set by IBM executives at the company's annual investor meeting in New York on Thursday, is the latest step for the technology giant towards emerging, high-margin businesses, and away from its previous strongholds in hardware and servers. The $40 billion will come from areas which IBM calls its "strategic imperatives," namely cloud, analytics, mobile, social and security software. That would represent about 44 percent of $90 billion in total revenue that analysts expect from IBM in 2018. Those businesses generated $25 billion in revenue for IBM last year, or 27 percent of its total $93 billion in sales. The company said it would shift $4 billion in spending to its "strategic imperatives" this year. Revenue at IBM has gradually shrunk over the past three years as it sold off its unprofitable units in businesses such as low-end servers, semiconductors and cash registers.

The ‘Egalitarian Budget’- Industry Veterans Harps On the Union Budget-15
Source: ELE Times; March 3, 2015

http://www.eletimes.com/top-stories/the-egalitarian-budget-industry-veterans-harps-on-the-union-budget-15/

Investors’ reckon that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will vigorously framework economic policies and resurrect the stumbling tax framework but further it might need purview on the deliveries from the FM. On Saturday, Mr. Modi’s government extols greater spending to upgrade infrastructure and said it would improvise and add economic beneficiaries to the social-welfare programs but the economic toppings might not been equally addressed. ……

IESA sees the Union Budget 2015 as balanced and growth oriented; no significant steps for boosting electronics sector; reacting to the Union Budget 2015, India Electronics and Semiconductor Association (IESA) appreciated the government’s intent on Making India manufacturing hub through various initiatives including ease of doing business. The Union Budget 2015 will accelerate growth, Investments, Manufacturing footprint and job creations in general and pass the benefits to the people.

“Measures such as encouraging start-ups, addressing disabilities partially, skill development, funds with states, duty benefits for some products etc. will have incremental positive impact on the ESDM sector. This budget will lay a foundation for the electronics and technology industry to drive manufacturing and innovation from India however it lacks any major stimulus for quick impact to bring down the electronics Import bill in near term,” pronounces Ashok Chandak, Chairman IESA.

Chipmaker NXP to Buy Freescale to Create $40 B Firm
Source: The Times of India; March 3, 2015

http://epaperbeta.timesofindia.com/Article.aspx?eid=31815&
articlexml=Chipmaker-NXP-to-Buy-Freescale-to-Create-40-03032015009029

Chip-maker NXP Semiconductors has agreed to buy smaller peer Freescale Semiconductor and merge operations in a deal valuing the combined company at over $40 billion.

The deal, announced by the pair late on Sunday, will make the business the industry leader within the auto and industrial semiconductor markets.

The transaction is the clearest sign yet that semiconductor companies are regaining the confidence required to pursue big mergers and acquisitions at a time when their major clients, such as mobile phone manufacturers, seek to consolidate suppliers. Freescale has chips in consumer products like Amazon’s Kindle e-reader. The deal is the fourth semiconductor sector M&A deal this year, and the biggest of these by far.Last month, Avago Technologies said it would buy wireless networking company Emulex for more than $600 million, while MaxLinear said it would buy Entropic Communications for $287 million. In January, Lattice Semiconductor said it would buy Silicon Image for $600 million.

“Financially, this deal make sense. By being bigger you limit the impact of the product cycles and volatile end markets,” said RBC analyst Doug Freedman. Freescale shareholders will receive $6.25 in cash and 0.3521 of an NXP share for a Freescale share. The purchase price puts Freescale’s value at $11.8 billion, with a total enterprise value of $16.7 billion, including debt.

Budget 2015 Hits It Industry, Fails to Address Key Issues: NASSCOM
Source: In.com; March 3, 2015

http://www.in.com/news/business/budget-2015-hits-it-industry-fails-to-address-key-issues-nasscom-53128292-in-1.html

NASSCOM welcomed the Union Budget 2015 terming it as 'comprehensive' and appreciated the governments focus on start-ups and technology. R Chandrashekhar, president, NASSCOM, said, Our wishlist for Budget 2015 included three key priorities policy bottlenecks including ease of business, procurement challenges and nurturing start-ups. Budget 2015 does cover some part of these priorities. However, some concerns remain and we would urge the government to address these issues on priority."NASSCOM budget suggestions which have been considered include:-- Government procurement reforms: Proposal for a Public Procurement Dispute Resolution Bill with a purpose to address contractual disputes related to Government Projects. This will give a fillip to Industry’s participation in domestic contracts.-- Nurturing start-ups: Setting-up of initiatives like Self-Employment Talent Utilisation (SETU),a Techno-financial and incubation scheme, and the Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) will help promote innovation across the industry. We await the details of the facilitative announcements for start-ups and hope to speedy implementation of the Rs 1,000 crore fund.

Mediatek Multi-Mode Wireless Charging Chipset Enters Mass Production
Source: EFY Times; March 3, 2015

http://www.efytimes.com/e1/fullnews.asp?edid=161673

MediaTek, today announced that its MT3188, the industry-first multi-mode wireless charging integrated circuit (IC), is now commercially available to customers. The reference design, which includes the power electronics, supervisory circuit, and resonator has already passed three certifications including the A4WP, WPC and PMA standards groups. The mass production of this chipset makes MediaTek the first semiconductor company in the world to make multi-mode wireless charging chipsets available in devices for billions of consumers worldwide. MT3188 is compatible with the A4WP resonant wireless charging standard as well as the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) and Power Matters Alliance (PMA) inductive wireless charging standards with no increase in cost over single mode resonant solutions. By supporting multi-mode wireless charging, the MT3188 offers handset manufacturers and other device makers the ability to seamlessly charge their products from any of the main stream chargers in the market, today.

Freescale and NXP Merge To Form 9th Biggest Semiconductor Company in The World
Source: EE Herald; March 3, 2015

http://www.eeherald.com/section/news/onws20150302002.html

The two leading analog and mixed signal semiconductor companies Freescale semiconductor and NXP Semiconductors agreed to merge their businesses to form a single company with an estimated annual revenue touching close to US$11-12 billion in 2015.

There are lot of overlapping products between these two companies. Both are the leading vendors of microcontroller chips. Both are strong in automotive semiconductor domain. There are also couple of analog mixed signal Ics both NXP and free scale offers. It's like Freescale going back to its past status of producing both discrete semiconductors and IC chips under the brand name of Motorola. Motorola's semiconductor business was spinned off into ON Semiconductor and Freescale long time back.

With NXP semiconductors having huge expertise in discrete semiconductor business, this merger news clearly tells a trend of going back to multi-domain expertise.

India cuts customs duty to 5% on electronics to encourage local industry
Source: Customs Today Newspaper; February 5, 2015

http://customstoday.com.pk/india-cuts-customs-duty-to-5-on-electronics-to-encourage-local-industry/

Indian government has reduced 5 percent customs duty on electronics items to encourage local industry production.

Electronics items include magnetrons, used in microwave ovens, refrigerator compressor parts, backlights for LEDs and display panels for OLEDs, will reduce assembling costs marginally.

“The impact of the customs duty reduction on magnetrons up to one kilowatt is not more than Rs 50-60 per unit. This is because the customs duty on this component was five per cent, which has been brought down to zero. While the move is welcome, it is unlikely to compel manufacturers to assemble here. That will take time and after a series of measures which involves duty cuts on other components that go into a microwave,” says Kamal Nandi, business head and executive vice-president, Godrej Appliances.

‘Make in India’: Samsung plans to set up third manufacturing plant in India to make electronic goods, smartphones
Source: Economic Times; March 5, 2015

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/tech/hardware/make-in-india-samsung-plans-to-set-up-third-manufacturing-plant-in-india-to-make-electronic-goods-smartphones/articleshow/46472312.cms

Samsung Electronics is considering setting up its third manufacturing plant in India, a move that would consolidate the South Korean company's hold on a key market and provide a big push to the government's 'Make in India' campaign. The company, among India's largest multinationals, is scouting for land in Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat for a new plant to make electronic goods, including smartphones, people familiar with the matter said.

A Samsung spokesperson confirmed the company's plans. "Samsung Electronics sees India as a very important market. Being a leading player in the consumer electronics and durables business and India's biggest television and smartphone manufacturer, we are committed to the idea of 'Make for India'," the spokesperson said.

ADCOM 2015 – Call for Tutorial Proposals
Source: ADCOM 2015,

http://accsindia.org/adcom-2015-call-for-tutorial-proposals/

ADCOM 2015 will be hosting a series of Tutorial Sessions (half-day). The Organizing Committee solicits proposals for tutorials for presentation at the conference. Topics of the proposed tutorials should be aligned with the topics in the call for papers for the main conference. Proposals must provide an in-depth survey of the chosen topic with the option of describing a particular piece of work in detail. A meaningful summary of open issues in the topic should be included.

Proposals for half-day tutorials should be submitted no later than 15 April 2015 containing the following information to adcom2015@accsindia.org

Title of tutorial, abstract, intended audience and specific goals and objectives of the tutorial.

Presenter’s name, biographical sketch, affiliation, address, email, phone, and fax

Compiled by IESA Research

research@iesaonline.org

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