IESA WINWire May 21 - May 27, 2016
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Make in India: Nation to get its first indigenously-built supercomputer this year
Source: DNA India; May 22, 2016

India will get an indigenously- built supercomputer next year as part of the government's Rs 4,500-crore programme aimed at taking India into an elite league of nations who have made advancements in the field. The Centre for Development of Advanced Computing that built India's first supercomputer, Param, is handling the project, said Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary in the Ministry of Science and Technology. The government had in March last year approved the plan of the National Supercomputing Mission, under which 80 supercomputers will be built in the next seven years. "Some of them will be imported and the rest will be built be indigenously. The first one will come up by August 2017," he said. "We are working on how to control heat. The cost of power to run these supercomputers alone will be around Rs 1,000 crore," Sharma said. The new supercomputers will be kept in different institutes across the country. "A supercomputer can be used for various purposes like climate modeling, weather forecast, discoveries of drugs among others," Sharma said. Currently, countries like the US Japan, China and the European Union account for a major share of the top supercomputing machines in the world.

Rs 17,000-cr worth projects cleared for electronics manufacturing
Source: Business Standard; May 22, 2016

Government has cleared 69 projects envisaging investment of Rs 17,112 crore out of the Rs 1.2 lakh crore-worth proposals received under the electronics manufacturing scheme till date. "69 out of about 160 proposals under the MSIPS (Modified Special Incentive Package Scheme) have been cleared. Total investment committed in these projects is Rs 17,112 crore," IT and Electronics Secretary Aruna Sharma told PTI in an interview. Till date, proposals worth Rs 1.2 lakh crore were received by the government for electronic manufacturing. Sharma said projects worth about Rs 10,000 crore were rejected for benefits under the Modified Special Incentive Package Scheme (MSIPS). The scheme provides financial incentives to offset disability and attracts investments in the electronics hardware. It provides subsidy for investments in Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and 25 per cent in non-SEZs, is open to receive applications till July 26, 2020. The government launched MSIPS with a view to pushing the domestic manufacturing of electronic products to reduce dependence on imports and check forex outflows. Total import of electronics goods were valued at Rs 2.25 lakh crore in 2014-15 against Rs 1.95 lakh crore in the previous year.

Sharp rebound in India-made handsets eclipses Nokia blip
Source: The Indian Express; May 23, 2016

Cellphone handset manufacturing in India is on a sharp rebound, having more than overcome the blip suffered over 24 months ago from the halting of production at Nokia’s Chennai facility. Foxconn is redoubling efforts to push a proposal for a full-fledged handset manufacturing plant in India, for which Foxconn’s Head of Apple Project, Louis Woo had a meeting with Communications and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad a little over a fortnight ago. The Taiwanese vendor could join the list of equipment manufacturers that have forwarded proposals totaling about Rs 8,141.26 crore under a government flagship incentive scheme over the last two years. Of this, proposals cumulatively worth Rs3,047.13 crores have already been approved. Woo, Foxconn’s Apple project head, discussed the Taiwanese contract manufacturer’s India plans in his meeting with Prasad and raised concerns about delays in an earlier proposal for setting up a production facility in Maharashtra. “Apple is exploring the options (to manufacture their products) in India. Foxconn’s in-charge of Apple’s manufacturing operations had come to meet me. They’ve shown a great interest in our market because over 56 per cent of their sales is from India,” Prasad told The Indian Express in a recent interview.

Age of the digital dawns on Indian IT industry
Source: The Hindu; May 23, 2016

The Indian Information Technology (IT) services industry, which has been through a roller coaster ride since the 2008 financial crisis hit it hard, is transitioning to the digital age for growth given the strategic position in which technology companies are placed in the IT spectrum. Infosys, for example, which had been through a few troughs in the recent past, is on a turnaround under the leadership of Vishal Sikka, its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Managing Director (MD). With his strategy of ‘Renew and new,’ the bellwether is now focusing on digital technologies. Optimism seems to be high given the opportunities in digital technologies that IT companies are best placed to exploit. The ability to visualise uses for new digital technologies combined with execution capability is driving opportunities for the industry. “In the current digital business front, the sourcing model is changing. Clients are looking at IT services firms as partners with whom they can work and can do more co-discovery, co-sourcing and co-innovation,” said Partha Iyengar, Vice President, Gartner.

First of India’s 70 new supercomputers to be ready by August 2017
Source: Mint; May 23, 2016

The first of the 70 supercomputers to be built in India to aid research will be ready by August 2017, a government official said. The government is also finalising the sites to house these supercomputers. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs had approved the launch of the National Supercomputing Mission in March last year at an estimated cost of Rs.4,500 crore over a period of seven years. The mission aimed to enable India to leapfrog to the league of world-class computing power nations, is being implemented jointly by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY). Eleven Indian machines are in the list of the world’s 500 most powerful supercomputers as of November 2015. The first supercomputer is under development at Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), which was responsible for developing India’s first supercomputer ‘Param’. “There are two major challenges in supercomputer revolution if supercomputers are to replace the common desktop computers. One is heat and power management as these supercomputers guzzle a lot of energy. Another is that we need to generate human resources to operate these supercomputers in the future,” said Ashutosh Sharma, secretary in the ministry of science and technology.

‘Centre aims to create jobs through entrepreneurial encouragement’
Source: The Hindu Business line; May 24, 2016

As the Narendra Modi government completes two years in office, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman sits down with Bloomberg TV India for an exclusive conversation. Before we discuss some of the specifics of you own remit, I just want to get a sense from you how India’s perception and position have been impacted. How would you categorise the situation? The impression about India as almost a failing economy has been corrected. We are now respected; we have been able to occupy the high table on many of the international spheres with a sense of pride. Corruption-free governance has been provided. And the clearheaded leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is spearheading most of the government projects. Above all, there is inclusive economic leadership: where the government is working for those who have never been covered under many of the schemes, those who have never seen banks, those who never had insurance given to them, those who never had money coming into their accounts directly without going into the hands of dealers. These are not small developments. Such is the decision making of this government in the last two years. For all those who are asking... “Where are the big- ticket reforms?” This the biggest ticket you can talk of. That kind of an achievement for a country like India is very significant and I would think it is historic.

LG eyes component base in India
Source: Business Standard; May 24, 2016

Korean chaebol LG Electronics is looking at building a local component base for its business in the country, even as the central government urges foreign-based entities to begin manufacturing under the Make in India programme. LG has identified mobile phones and kitchen appliances for local manufacturing. Additionally, India is a strategic market for LG, which it is keen to develop as a regional hub for exports.Implying it will have to build a local component base here, they said. Kim Ki Wan, managing director of LG India, told this newspaper: “We were asked by the PM and other ministers to make in India and we are studying the market to see how we can build a component base.” LG's recently launched K7 and K10 smartphones will be made at Greater Noida.Kitchen appliances such as water purifiers are being produced locally since February at its plant in Pune, says Wan.The plan is to add more products to the Make in India list, which will require a viable component base, executives said.

IESA to host DEFTRONICS 2016 in partnership with NASSCOM in Bengaluru, Aug 4 & 5, 2016
Source: Electronicsmaker; May 24, 2016

India Electronics and Semiconductor Association (IESA), the premier trade body representing the Indian Electronics System Design and Manufacturing (ESDM) industry along with NASSCOM will be hosting DEFTRONICS 2016, the third edition of the annual Aerospace, Defence & Internal security focused event. This year’s theme is Building India’s Strategic Electronics ecosystem for greater self-reliance and global relevance – Defence, Aerospace and Internal Security sectors and the event will be held between Aug 4 & 5, 2016 at The Ritz Carlton, Bengaluru.

In continuing with its efforts to grow the Electronics System Design & Manufacturing (ESDM) industry, IESA with NASSCOM has come together under the DEFTRONICS umbrella to provide fillip to the Aerospace & Defence sectors. The Indian Aerospace & Defence Industry is one of the most lucrative industries and a booming market with an ocean of opportunities for Engineering Design and manufacturing companies. India’s current requirements on defence are largely catered to by imports. The Global OEM and Indian companies alike are keen to leverage the opportunity of defence contracts, which reflects the success of initiatives like “Make in India”.

Samsung to launch ‘Make in India’ tablet on 25 May
Source: Firstpost; May 24, 2016

A new tablet from Samsung will be announced tomorrow in New Delhi as the company has sent out invites confirming a product launch on Wednesday, 25 May. The invite itself doesn’t mention the tablet, but there have been rumours of the company working on a 7-inch tablet for the masses. Some sources also say that the tablet will be manufactured in India complying with the ‘Make in India’ initiative. Samsung has been aggressive towards the Digital India program and if the leaked specifications are true, this tablet could definitely be targeted in the budget segment. The unconfirmed features that are making the rounds include a 7-inch 1280×800 display, a 1.3GHz quad-core processor, 1.5GB of RAM, 8GB of expandable storage, a 5MP camera at the back, a 4,000mAh battery and Android 5.1. Rumours also say that it could be the Galaxy Tab A 7.0 (2016). The tablet market has declined massively because of smartphones getting larger and the popularity of hybrids, and well to be honest, tablets haven’t even come close to replacing laptops and using them as a phone just makes you look silly. Even Apple has been struggling to maintain its sales of the iPad and trying every bit of innovation to keep it running.

Lenovo plans new plant as existing one's tax sop ends
Source: The Times of India; May 25, 2016

Lenovo, the world's largest PC maker and fifth-largest smartphone maker, plans to set up a new factory in India in an attempt to accelerate its business on higher growth. The Chinese electronics giant will manufacture PCs as well as Lenovo and Motorola-branded smartphones. It also has a plan for exports. "The existing facility at Puducherry, which we had got as part of acquisition of IBM's personal computer business, has lost fiscal incentive and we have decided to set up a new factory. We are in talks with various state governments for the new investment," a top company source told TOI.

The existing PC facility at Puducherry has an annual capacity of 1.5 million units, but the company has decided "to move out" (to close it down eventually after the plan for the new factory takes final shape) as the tax holiday provided for the investment in the Union territory has ended. "There is not much benefit in staying there," the source said.

"Talks are on with various state governments and those on the radar are Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat. We have also received interest from governments of Chhattisgarh and UP," the source said.

India wants Chinese investors to participate in 'Make in India': Pranab Mukherjee
Source: DNA; May 25, 2016

India has promised a conducive environment for Chinese investors and urged them to participate in 'Make in India' and other flagship programmes of the government to boost bilateral trade. "We will facilitate your efforts to make your investments in India profitable. We must take advantage of the opportunities that abound in the growth of both our economies," said President Pranab Mukherjee addressing a meeting of the India-China Business Forum here on the second day of his four-day visit to China. The President noted that the bilateral trade between India and China has grown steadily since the turn of this century from $2.91 billion in 2000 to $71 billion last year. Guangdon province boasts of a $one trillion economy with high manufacturing and other industries along with being a powerful export house of China. It has sister province relationship with Gujarat and Maharashtra. A pilot smart city cooperation project has been announced between Shenzhen and the Gujarat International Finance Tec-City in Gujarat last year.

Guangdon province boasts of a $one trillion economy with high manufacturing and other industries along with being a powerful export house of China. It has sister province relationship with Gujarat and Maharashtra.

Smart Cities list increased: Lucknow tops; Warangal, Dharamshala follow
Source: The New Indian Express; May 25, 2016

The government on Tuesday announced that 13 more cities will be eligible for priority funding under the Smart City mission. The mission took off earlier this year with names of 20 cities being announced for funding in the first round of the inter-city competition. The total proposed investment for the 33 cities, through Union and state governments as well as private funding, comes to Rs 80,789 crore. While Lucknow has got the highest score, the other cities in the order of their ratings include Warangal, Dharamshala, Chandigarh, Raipur, New Town Kolkata, Bhagalpur, Panaji, Port Blair, Imphal, Ranchi, Agartala and Faridabad. These 13 are among the 98 cities that were selected for the Rs 48,000-crore mission last year. Releasing the list on Tuesday, Union minister Venkaiah Naidu said: “Smart City mission is running ahead of schedule. As per the initial plan, 40 cities were to be selected for funding during this financial year by July-August; of this we have already selected 33,” he said. Naidu added that cities from 23 states and Union territories were given ample support to address the deficiencies in their Smart City Plans that they had prepared for the first round of competition following which the best 13 were chosen.

Russia eyes Haryana for opportunities in aerospace
Source: The Hindu; May 25, 2016

Looking for investment opportunities in Haryana, Russia on Tuesday showed keen interest in areas like aerospace as the State government mentioned about plans to set up an aviation hub in Hisar, about 150 kms from Delhi’s International Airport. The interest was shown by visiting Minister of Government of Moscow Sergey Cheremin when he met Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and Finance Minister Captain Abhimanyu here to discuss various investment opportunities in the State. The Russian delegation showed keen interest in mutual cooperation with Haryana in areas of aerospace and semi-conductor chip manufacturing, Mr Cheremin said. Haryana assured all support and cooperation for further strengthening business ties with Russia. While welcoming the Russian delegation, Mr Abhimanyu said defence and aerospace sectors have been prominently highlighted in the State’s new Industrial Policy, offering special incentives in case production takes place in Haryana. He said the State government has plans to set up an aviation hub over an area of 3,000 acres in Hisar. This would be taken up by the government as an alternative airport. The Minister said that engineering skills of Russia are well recognised in India and hoped that there would be more joint ventures. Hard-selling Haryana as an investment opportunity, he said the State has a locational advantage as it surrounds national capital Delhi from three sides. Apart from this, 57 per cent of the State’s area falls in National Capital Region.

Domestic electronics makers welcome new domestic sourcing norms for power sector
Source: Business Standard; May 25, 2016

The Indian Electrical & Electronics Manufacturers' Association (IEEMA), which is the representative body for the sector welcomed the new domestic procurement norm issued by the Central Electricity Authority (CEA). The norms announced last week prescribe, "Any equipment or material for government-funded power projects will have to be procured locally through domestic competitive bidding." The decision also emphasised, if any international competitive bidding is necessary then the quoted price has to be in India Rupees only.

"This decision will go a long way to address the underutilization of existing manufacturing facilities of domestic electrical equipment manufacturers. The decision will also address the concern of large scale penetration of foreign equipment in the sensitive power sector," said IEEMA President, Babu Babel. IEEMA said since foreign manufacturers will be required to establish manufacturing facility in India within a specific timeframe and ensure transfer of technology under a Phased Manufacturing Program, this will pave way for the domestic manufacturing sector.

Wi-Fi hotspots on the cards at 4,000 railway stations
Source: The Economic Times; May 25, 2016

RailTel, the communications arm of Indian Railways, and the telecom department are mulling ways to deploy Wi-Fi hotspots at some 4,000 semi-urban and rural railway stations at an estimated cost of around Rs 400 crore. The proposed initiative is aimed to give a big boost to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ambitious 'Digital India' programme, with a deeper push into rural areas that haven't been covered by telecom infrastructure so far. "We have proposed a rural Wi-Fi plan at a cost of about Rs 400 crore," RailTel Chairman RK Bahuguna told ET. "Now, we are in active discussions with the telecom department to convert at least 4,000 rural railway stations into high-speed Internet zones to offer citizen-centric services."

The state-run company is seeking DoT's approval to fund this programme through a Universal Service Obligation (USO) fund. The corpus was created in 2003 to support projects for communications and technology access to people in rural and remote areas at affordable prices.

"This (proposal) can ideally serve rural connectivity as vicinity inhabitants in villages across 8-10 km could be covered. Infrastructure at wayside railway stations can be utilized and it can host functions of a common service centre (CSC)," the RailTel top executive added.

‘Apple did not justify enough to get exemption from mandatory local sourcing’
Source: The Indian Express; May 26, 2016

Apple Inc’s plan to set up wholly-owned retail stores in India has hit a roadblock as the company could not adequately substantiate the reasons for seeking a relaxation under the mandatory local sourcing applicable for foreign direct investment in single-brand retail. The Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB), which comes under the Ministry of Finance, has approved the company’s proposal but sans the exemption, a government official told The Indian Express. “There was not enough material on record to justify providing Apple the relaxation for local sourcing norms. They (Apple) had to provide enough material on record to justify the relaxation, which they couldn’t,” the official said.

The official added: “There are many companies involved in producing smartphones and tablets, which may ask for similar approval, but that cannot be done. iPad might have been termed cutting edge 7-8 years ago, but the same can’t be said now.”

Other companies such as Chinese smartphone makers Xiaomi and LeEco have also sought exemption from the local sourcing norms. A special three-member panel has been appointed within the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion to consider these proposals, and had recommended that Apple be exempted from the sourcing guidelines.

Compiled by IESA Research

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