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Mega Electronic System Design and Manufacturing Cluster in Assam Soon: IT Minister
Source: The New Indian Express; July 31, 2017

http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2017/jul/31/mega-electronic-system-design-and-manufacturing-cluster-in-assam-soon-it-minister-1635917.html

The Centre today announced setting up a 220-acre mega electronic systems design and manufacturing cluster in Assam.

According to an official release, Union Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad announced a slew of measures to be introduced within the next few months in the State to boost digital expansion in Assam. During a discussion with Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Prasad advocated a mega vision for inclusion of the Northeast in digital movement of the country and informed that the IT Ministry is in the process of launching 'North East Digital Vision - 2022'.

A roadmap for this vision will be prepared by the Central Ministry in consultation with the state governments and other stakeholders, the Union Minister said.

Stating that the Northeast is a priority, Prasad said: "The Ministry of Electronics & IT, Government of India, will set up a comprehensive mega Electronic Systems Design & Manufacturing cluster as one stop destination for IT and manufacturing industries investing in Assam.

This cluster would be set up in Guwahati at a sprawling campus spanning around 200 acres, for which land would be provided by the Assam Government.

"The Union Minister requested the state government to submit a structured proposal to Government of India in this regard," the statement said. Besides, the Union IT Ministry will lend its support in making the State Data Centre functional within next four months, the minister informed.

‘It’s time for India to enter new cycle of developing defence equipment’
Source: Defence Aviation Post; July 31, 2017

https://defenceaviationpost.com/time-india-enter-new-cycle-developing-defence-equipment/

Lt General J P Singh (retd), former deputy chief of Army and consultant DRDO, thinks that it is time for India to get into another cycle of designing, developing and manufacturing defence equipment in the country. Though he agrees that some components and technologies have to be imported as of now, slowly these can also be replaced with indigenous developments in the defence sector.

While speaking at the round-table conference on ‘Reforms in Defence Procurement- Opportunities for the Northern Region’ moderated by Lt General K J Singh (Retd), former army commander, Western Command, Lt General J P Singh said, any equipment has roughly a cycle of around 30 to 40 years and India has already reached the completion of this cycle for artillery. Currently, India is completing this cycle for tanks, and combat vehicles. The cycle for helicopters had been completed 10 years back.

“There is a particular cyclic acquisition which takes place. Every army, even the most advanced army, cannot afford to have all equipment which is state-of-art. What we require is 30% state-of-art equipment, 40% matured equipment and 30% functional equipment which are going towards obsolescence.

In the time to come, as technology goes up, more innovations come in and at a particular time, what is state-of art actually steps down to the matured technology, the matured technology comes down to those reaching obsolescence level spectrum and then you start pushing out the equipment.

Two New Chinese Smartphone Makers Are Set To Enter Indian Market
Source: Business Today; July 31, 2017

http://www.businesstoday.in/technology/news/two-new-chinese-smartphone-makers-are-set-to-enter-indian-market/story/257425.html

The Chinese dragon is set to tighten its grip on the fast-growing Indian mobile phone market with two new smartphone brands, Comio and Infinix , set to make their debut in the coming days.

Comio from China's Topwise Communications will launch a smartphone on August 18, while the first smartphones from Hong Kong-based Infinix are being teased on Flipkart. As the influx of Chinese brands together captured a dominant 51 per cent of the Indian smartphone market, the share of Indian brands has more than halved to around 15 per cent over a year-and-a half, according to data from Counterpoint and ICD.

Chinese phone maker Xiaomi has the second largest pie of the market share in April-June quarter of 2017 with 15.5 per cent. Others in the top five bracket are Vivo with 12.7 per cent, Oppo with 9.6 per cent and Lenovo with 6.8 per cent, according to Counterpoint Research.

Chinese brand Gionee, which has been trying to break into the top five league, claimed they have amassed a 1.25 crore base over five years. "In India, we operate, make and sell products in the price band of Rs 8,000- Rs 25,000, a segment that is experiencing maximum growth over the years," said Gionee India director (business intelligence & planning) Alok Shrivastava. He claimed their recently launched A1 Plus clocked 74,682 pre-orders worth Rs 150 crore in 10 days. The brand owns nearly six per cent of the market share, he added.

KSIDC to Help Start-Ups Expand Business
Source: The Hindu; July 31, 2017

http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/ksidc-to-help-start-ups-expand-business/article19392277.ece

The Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC) is mulling over a proposal to connect with global and domestic venture capital and private equity firms to help nearly 50 Kerala-based start-ups that received seed funding expand their existing business. The idea is to identify prospective venture capital and private equity investors and connect them with the innovative start-up ventures supported by the corporation. Nearly 50 companies spread across 17 sectors had received financial assistance to the tune of ?10.67 crore from KSIDC since 2015. The proposal to partner with venture capital and private equity firms forms part of the plan to help start-up ventures scale up their operations and seek the next round of funding. “In a nutshell, the intention is to create an ecosystem that is simple and easier for the firms to connect with the entrepreneurs based in our State,” said KSIDC General Manager Anand Sarma. The break-up of the number of companies sector-wise and the funding it received from the KSIDC is as following: agriculture (1; ?20 lakh); artificial intelligence (2; ?50 lakh); e-commerce (6; ?1.14 crore); education (4; ?90 lakh); electronics (4; ?81.5 lakh); engineering (2; ?17 lakh); fintech (3; ?75 lakh); food processing (1; ?25 lakh); healthcare (4; ?1 crore); robotics and industrial automation (2; ?50 lakh); IT and ITES (13; ?2.7 crore); life sciences (2; ?50 lakh); logistics (1; ?25 lakh); media and entertainment (2; ?30 lakh); solar engineering (1; ?25 lakh); sports (1; ?25 lakh); and environmental (1; ?15 lakh).

Mega Electronic System Design & Manufacturing Cluster in Assam
Source: Northeast Today; July 31, 2017

https://www.northeasttoday.in/mega-electronic-system-design-manufacturing-cluster-in-assam/

The Centre on Sunday announced setting up a 220-acre mega electronic systems design and manufacturing cluster in Assam.

According to an official release, Union Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad announced a slew of measures to be introduced within the next few months in the State to boost digital expansion in Assam.

During a discussion with Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Prasad advocated a mega vision for inclusion of the Northeast in digital movement of the country and informed that the IT Ministry is in the process of launching ‘North East Digital Vision – 2022?.

A roadmap for this vision will be prepared by the Central Ministry in consultation with the state governments and other stakeholders, the Union Minister said.

Stating that the Northeast is a priority, Prasad said: “The Ministry of Electronics & IT, Government of India, will set up a comprehensive mega Electronic Systems Design & Manufacturing cluster as one stop destination for IT and manufacturing industries investing in Assam.

This cluster would be set up in Guwahati at a sprawling campus spanning around 200 acres, for which land would be provided by the Assam Government. “

The Union Minister requested the state government to submit a structured proposal to Government of India in this regard,” the statement said. Besides, the Union IT Ministry will lend its support in making the State Data Centre functional within next four months, the minister informed.

Niti Aayog’s Appraisal of the Twelfth Five Year Plan: Low Manufacturing Growth Holds Back Job Creation
Source: The Indian Express; August 1, 2017

http://indianexpress.com/article/business/economy/niti-aayogs-appraisal-of-the-twelfth-five-year-plan-low-manufacturing-growth-holds-back-job-creation/

Slow growth in manufacturing has been a key challenge for the Indian economy, as the sector’s growth rate has remained constant for the past 25 years, whereas countries such as Taiwan and China recorded more than double the rate of expansion in India, the Niti Aayog has said in a recent report. Higher focus on investment in capital- and skilled-labour-intensive sectors in the country meant that the movement of workers out of agriculture into industry and services has been especially slow for the past 65 years, the Aayog said in its appraisal of the Twelfth Five Year Plan (2012-2017).

“In Taiwan and South Korea in the 1960s and 1970s and in China in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s, manufacturing grew at rates approaching or exceeding 15 per cent, with labour-intensive manufactures growing rapidly,” it said. It lead to transformation of these economies from primarily agrarian and rural character to modern urban ones in around three decades.

“India has not experienced similar growth in manufacturing. (India has) grown approximately at the same rate as the aggregate GDP (gross domestic product) with their share in the GDP remaining nearly constant over the last 25 years … From 1990-91 to 2013-14 at constant 2004-05 prices, although the share of agriculture in the GDP has declined steadily, that of manufacturing has remained unchanged with almost all the gain in the share going to services,” the Aayog said in its assessment report.

Andhra and Telangana to get electronic manufacturing clusters soon
Source: The New Indian Express; August 1, 2017

http://www.newindianexpress.com/business/2017/aug/01/andhra-and-telangana-to-get-electronic-manufacturing-clusters-soon-1636547.html

The Ministry of Electronics and Information and Technology (MeitY) on Monday approved a proposal to set up two electronics manufacturing clusters -- one each in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh -- at a cost of Rs 667 crore and Rs 340 crore, respectively. In his tweets, Ajay Kumar, additional secretary, MeitY stated that the Centre has given approval for 500-acre electronic manufacturing cluster to be set up by the Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation in Chittoor in Andhra Pradesh at a project cost of Rs 340 crore. A 600-acre electronic manufacturing cluster is to be set up by TSIIC in Hyderabad at a cost of cost Rs 667 crore. Reacting to the development, Telangana IT and industries minister K T Rama Rao tweeted, “Thanks Ajay Ji (Ajay Kumar) for the good news.”

The two centres are part of the 2013 Electronics Manufacturing Clusters (EMC) scheme to encourage local manufacturing of electronic components and to reduce dependence on the import of electronic components from countries such as China and South Korea. The EMCs scheme provides grant assistance for setting up of both greenfield and brownfield EMCs across the country.

The financial assistance under the scheme is in the form of grant-in-aid only. According to officials in MeitY, the process to set up a project is simple. An application can be made by a special purpose vehicle created for the purpose or by a chief promoter who may be a public-sector or private-sector entity.

1,700 Startups Will Compete For a Seat in Karnataka Govt. ELEVATE 100 Programme
Source: Inc42; August 1, 2017

https://inc42.com/buzz/karnataka-elevate-startups/

Karnataka Government has received 1,700 applications for its ELEVATE 100 initiative. Of these, the top 100 startups will be shortlisted to participate in the programme.

ELEVATE 100 aims at elevating fledgling startups to the level of commercial success. The programme currently focusses on a number of diverse sectors, including IT, electronic system design manufacturing, animation visual gaming & comics, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, life sciences, and more.

According to the government officials, the 1,700 applicants will be put through a rigorous selection process, with eminent industry representatives serving as the jury.

The jury, as per reports, has been nominated by regulatory bodies such as TiE, Deshpande Foundation, IESA, Nasscom, ABLE, and ABAI.

For the final evaluation, the startups will be required to make a pitch deck and present it before a panel of three judges. The jury will be evaluating their performance on the basis of a number of parameters, such as innovation, technology, revenue model, scalability, and exit strategy.

Following that, the startups will go through another round, in which they will be making a final pitch.Commenting on ELEVATE 100, Chief Minister of Karnataka, Siddaramaiah said, “This great initiative is aimed to help entrepreneurs and startups grow successfully on their own. We aim to extend our holistic support to them by offering mentorship and funding. Bengaluru has the most suitable environment for startups with innovative ideas and is considered one of the ‘most dynamic cities in the world.’

'Telecom sector received FDI worth over $9.79 billion from 2014-15'
Source: The Economic Times; August 2, 2017

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/company/corporate-trends/telecom-sector-received-fdi-worth-over-9-79-billion-from-2014-15/articleshow/59881493.cms

The country received foreign direct investment (FDI) of over USD 9.79 billion since 2014-15 in the telecom sector, Parliament was informed today.

As per the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), FDI equity inflows in telecom sector between financial years 2014-15 and 2016-17 and April-May 2017 totalled USD 9,790.40 million, Minister of State for Electronics and IT P P Chaudhary said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.

The FDI inflow in 2014-15 was USD 2,894.94 million, USD 1,324.40 million (2015-16), USD 5,563.69 million (2016-17) and USD 7.36 million (April-May 2017), he added.

The minister said the government is taking initiatives to promote manufacturing in the telecommunication sector in the country.

"Electronics and telecommunications manufacturing is one of the 25 focus sectors of the Make-in-India programme, which seeks to transform India into a global design and manufacturing hub," he said.

DI up to 100 per cent is allowed in manufacturing of telecom products under the automatic route, he added.

Revised semiconductor policy on anvil
Source: The Hindu; July 2, 2017

http://www.thehindu.com/business/Economy/revised-semiconductor-policy-on-anvil/article19409941.ece

With its earlier policies failing to attract electronic chip makers to invest in India, the government is now looking to rework policy to incentivise technology firms and investors to set up semiconductor wafer manufacturing units in the country.

In February 2014, the Union Cabinet had approved two proposals for setting up of semiconductor wafer fabrication units, or fabs, in the country.

While the Jaiprakash Associates-led consortium, including IBM and Israel’s Tower Semiconductor, had pulled out in March last year, things were not moving ahead for the consortium led by HSMC Technologies, according to sources. The two projects are worth more than ?63,000 crore.

“[The] Empowered Committee has decided to meet major electronics industry associations and apex chambers to seek their views on the way forward to set up semiconductor fabs in the country,” an IT Ministry official told The Hindu.

The Union Cabinet had authorised the Empowered Committee to take all the decisions to implement fab projects.

The official added the HSMC consortium was finding it difficult to raise funds for the facility and has hence approached the government to schedule “an investors’ meet wherein Ministry officers can participate and respond to the queries of the investors”.

However, the official added that the HSMC project was more or less ‘scrapped’. “However, we are still trying to see if anything can be done to put the project back or track. We might hold a meeting with investors this month.”

Govt Launches Scheme to Give Push to Startups
Source: Deccan Herald; August 2, 2017

http://www.deccanherald.com/content/625979/govt-launches-scheme-give-push.html

To encourage startups in Karnataka, the state government has launched 'ELEVATE 100' to take 100 innovative startups to the next level of success.

The initiative was launched on Tuesday by Information Technology Minister Priyank Kharge with the unveiling of its official website and logo.

The programme will provide 100 startups, registered in Karnataka, access to mentors, networking opportunities, incubation facilities and funds of Rs 400 crore.

The initiative by the Startup Cell of Karnataka Biotechnology and Information Technology Services (KBITS) has already received applications from 1,700 startups in the state.

The pitch sessions to select the final 100 startups will be held in Mangaluru, Mysuru, Hubballi and Kalaburagi.

The startups will be selected based on their social impact, team strength, business model, innovation and other criteria. The jury will consist of industry representatives from Nasscom, India Electronics & Semiconductor Association (IESA) and others.

For more details, visit www.elevate.bengaluruitbiz.com.

Kerala govt issues order to set up Hardware Mission, appoints special officer
Source: Times of India; August 2, 2017

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/thiruvananthapuram/kerala-govt-issues-order-to-set-up-hardware-mission-appoints-special-officer/articleshow/59887926.cms

In the run-up to make Kerala a Hardware and Electronics Manufacturing Hub and to set the ground to offer free internet to economically backward families, the state government has issued an order to set up the Hardware Mission. As per the government order (GO), ICFOSS director C Jayasankar Prasad is appointed as special officer with the mandate to set up the Hardware mission.

It may be recalled that the Finance Minister Thomas Isaac in the latest budget had announced that Hardware mission will be allotted Rs 1 crore and 12 hardware parks will be set up. He also indicated that the aim is to make Kerala a hardware and electronics manufacturing hub and to bridge the digital divide by offering free internet to 20 economically poor families. Now, this GO issued on Aug 1 is a prelude to that by leveraging the facilities required to make it a reality, industry officials indicate.

Initially, the Hardware Mission will function using the infrastructure and logistics of Technopark. The special officer shall carry out his duties effectively by sourcing the requisite logistical support for the Hardware Mission using the facility at Technopark. Till the hardware mission becomes fully functional, Technopark shall provide the office and other logistics facilities for the special officer to discharge his functions and carry out the activities of the Mission.

An additional authorisation of Rs 32 lakh in the above head of account in this regard has been moved.

Apple seeks tax breaks for suppliers to make iPhones in India, say sources
Source: The Hindu; August 2, 2017

http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technology/apple-seeks-tax-breaks-for-suppliers-to-make-iphones-in-india-says-sources/article19407588.ece

Apple Inc has asked the Indian government to extend tax breaks to its suppliers if India seeks to become a manufacturing hub for iPhones and its components.

Government officials say meeting this request would require a new policy that applies fairly to other device makers, too.

The U.S. tech giant has been in talks with Indian officials since May of last year, when CEO Tim Cook and Prime Minister Narendra Modi agreed to set up a production base in the country that goes beyond just assembling the devices, as it happens at the moment.

The two sides have been discussing a list of “prerequisites" that Apple submitted in October, including duty exemption on raw materials for manufacturing components and capital equipment for 15 years for it to make iPhones from scratch in India.

The company has told the government it would be bringing in a host of these ancillary units when it sets up operations to cater to India, one of the world's fastest growing smartphone markets, a top government official said.

“They want the same treatment to be given to the component manufacturers; the tax concessions, they want everything. But then some kind of policy will have to be evolved,” the official said.

Apple declined to comment. The demand could further delay Apple's plans to penetrate the Indian market, the world's third largest for smartphones behind the United States and China, but where it has only a two per cent share.

Domestic mobile manufacturing industry to touch Rs1.35 trillion by FY20: report
SSource: Livemint; August 3, 2017

http://www.livemint.com/Industry/8L7BDvh83Cx7bBqrD0aBOM/Domestic-mobile-manufacturing-industry-to-touch-Rs135-trill.html

India’s domestic mobile manufacturing industry is projected to touch Rs135,000 crore by FY2019-20, up from Rs94,000 crore in FY2016-17. Of this, the market size of domestic manufacturing of smartphones is expected to be Rs120,200 crore by FY2019-20, industry body Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) said in a report on Wednesday.

According to the report titled Indian Mobile Phone market: Emerging Opportunities for fulfilling India’s Digital Economy Dream, published jointly by IAMAI and Enixta Innovations, a start-up focusing on artificial intelligence, “In the backdrop of such strong growth potential for smartphone adoption, India is set to increase its domestic localisation rate from 6.1% in 2016 to 25.8% in 2019, which translates to Rs31,000 crore in value generated through local sourcing and assembly.”

The report also estimated that by 2020, about 96% of mobile phones to be sold in India will be locally manufactured. In 2016, two out of every three mobile phone sold in India were produced locally.

The projections come in the wake of Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd’s launch of JioPhone, which essentially is a feature phone but promises to disrupt the traditional handset market as it offers 4G services with the device. Other telecom companies such as Bharti Airtel are expected to follow suit wherein they will tie up with makers of feature phones to offer their services. Launching the report, Dr. Ajay Kumar, additional secretary in the ministry of electronics and IT (MeitY) said, “25% to 30% of the global economy will be actually determined by the digital economy.

IoT helps Telangana automate urban waste recycling operations
Source: Financial Express; August 3, 2017

http://www.financialexpress.com/industry/iot-helps-telangana-automate-urban-waste-recycling-operations/791725/

Digitising waste management processes is one of the priorities for any state government developmental programme. A first of its kind by any state government, the Telangana government has decided to formalise the waste management process in a move to automate urban recycling operations for smart cities. The state government, in association with waste management start-up called Banyan Nation, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to deploy technology across different municipalities and help in waste management.

Banyan Nation has developed a zero-waste platform to automate urban recycling operations as part of the Smart Cities Mission. Its first pilot project, currently in beta stage in Warangal district, deploys on-field bin sensors, GPS truck routers, landfill management toolkits and back-end visualisation and analytic engines to monitor and synchronise waste management. Driving the dual agenda of Swachh Bharat and Smart Cities,, Banyan Sustainable Waste Management (Banyan Nation) was incubated at T-Hub Foundation, Hyderabad. “We are positive about the viability and applicability of our product in Warangal and once we taste success, we are all set to replicate the same in other districts of Telangana,” says Mani Vajipey, co-founder and CEO, Banyan Nation. The start-up was recently announced as the winner of the Intel and DST Innovate for Digital India Challenge 2.0 for developing a zero-waste platform based on an Intel Edison board for Arduino, the Intel IoT analytics platform and the Intel powered Jan Unnati tablet to streamline and automate urban recycling operations.

Compiled by IESA Research

research@iesaonline.org

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