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Spark’s back on Indian electronics!!

September 21, 2013 Comments off

Well, well, well! Post the announcements by the Government of India last week of two 300mm fabs in India, there have been a spate of announcements again, this week! Here’s what they are!

Yesterday evening, the Indian Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved setting up of Information Technology Investment Region (ITIR) near Hyderabad.

The Phase I of this project will be from 2013 to 2018 and Phase II will be from 2018 to 2038. The Government of Andhra Pradesh has delineated an area of 202 sq. kms. for the proposed ITIR in three clusters/ agglomerations viz.:

(i) Cyberabad Development Area and its surroundings,
(ii) Hyderabad Airport Development area and Maheshwaram in the south of Hyderabad, and
(iii) Uppal and Pocharam areas in eastern Hyderabad. The ITIR will be implemented in two phases.

Next, the Government of India finalized the setting up of a ‘Ultra-Mega Green Solar Power Project’ in Rajasthan in the SSL (Sambhar Salts Ltd, a subsidiary of Hindustan Salts Ltd – a Central Public Sector Enterprise under the Department of Heavy Industry, Ministry of Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises) area close to Sambhar Lake, about 75 kms from Jaipur.

Further, India was recognized as ‘Authorizing Nation’ under the international Common Criteria Recognition Arrangement (CCRA) to test and certify electronics and IT products with respect to cyber security. India has become the 17th nation to earn this recognition.

Then again, the ‘HTML 5.0 Tour in India’ has now reached Hyderabad.

Also, India has offered to help Cuba develop its renewable energy resources. This has been conveyed to Marino Murillo, vice president of the Republic of Cuba at Havana, by Dr. Farooq Abdullah, Minister of New and Renewable Energy, during his trip to Cuba.

All of this is really brilliant stuff!

At least, I have never seen or heard about so much activity happening, especially in the electronics and solar PV sectors. One sincerely hopes that all of these initiatives will allow India to come to the forefront of the global electronics industry.

The spark seems to be coming back to the India electronics industry, after a very, very long wait! It is hoped that this stays on!!

NASSCOM announces top 10 start-ups to watch!

November 8, 2011 Comments off

On the eve of the NASSCOM Product Conclave 2011, to be held in Bangalore, on Nov. 9-10, 2011,  NASSCOM (National Association of Software and Services Companies) announced the list of the top 10 start-ups to watch. These top 10 start-ups are:

1. Pawaa Software — Pawaa
2. QuickoLabs — SearchEnabler
3. Persistent Systems Ltd — eMee
4. Imaginate — Imaginate
5. Srijan Technologies Pvt Ltd — DROWPS
6. Conwerge Web Services Pvt Ltd — Grupur.com
7. Semgel Technologies Pvt Ltd — Semgel
8. Openweb Labs Pvt Ltd — HirePlug, Getlive.me
9. Ozonetel Systems Pvt Ltd — KooKoo
10.  NRich Software Pvt Ltd — DiaSof.

element14 contracts me to cover EmTech India 2011!


Friends, it is my pleasure to inform all of you that element14 has contracted yours truly to cover the EmTech India 2011 show — to be held at the ITC Royal Gardenia on March 22-23. May I add that my entire coverage — around eight sessions and four interviews — will be available for everyone to access on element 14’s website, exclusively!

element14 is adding and seeding content and threads into the group created at http://www.element-14.com/community/groups/emtech-india-2011.

EmTech India 2011 starts on March 22, at 9am, with the inaugural session on India Innovates. This will be followed by several plenary sessions, the first being the Future of Energy, presented by Daniel G. Nocera.

This will be followed by a plenary on Next Generation Regenerative Medicine by Jeffrey M. Karp, Assistant Prof., Medicine and Health Sciences and Technology and Director, Laboratory for Advanced Biomaterials and Stem-Cell-Based Therapeutics, Harvard Medical School Brigham & Women’s Hospital.

There will be a panel discussion titled ‘Activating the Innovation Gene’, to be moderated by Prof D Balasubramaniam. Participants in the panel discussion include Dr Chetan Chitnis, principal leader, Malaria Group, ICGEB (malaria), Dr Udaykumar Ranga, Prof. JNCASR Bangalore (HIV), Dr Kumaravel Somasundaram, Associate Prof., IISc. (cancer stem cells), Dr Annapurni Rangarajan, Associate Prof., NCBS, TIFR (potential and cancer stem cells).

Post lunch, the sessions continue with a plenary on Location-Aware Wireless Networks by Moe Win, Associate Prof. of Aeronautics and Astronautics Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems, MIT, Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

This will be followed by a panel discussion on Global Communications & Collaborations — the Future of Mobile Technology (LTE/4G).  Day 1 concludes with the India TR35 awards ceremony.

Day 2 starts with with an EmTech 2011 Roundup on INDIA INNOVATES. This willl be followed by plenary sessions, with the first one on Ubiquitous Technologies by Kent Larson, director of the Changing Places research group at the MIT Media Lab.

This will be followed by a plenary on ‘Fueling the Future’, where biofuel/bio energy innovations shoud come up. Next, there will be a panel discussion on ‘Energy Mix of the Future’, where the panel will look at some of the emerging trends. The panelists include Prof. Ambuj Sagar, Prof. J Srinivasan and Dr Ajay Mathur.

Post lunch, day 2 will feature a plenary on the ‘Future of Computing,’ which will be followed by a panel discussion on the ‘Future of Search.’ The late afternoon will feature an R&D panel on ‘Lab to Market: Success is Not Final, Failure is Not Fatal.’ The concluding keynote will be on Enterprise 2.0 presented by Andrew McAfee.

There is a disclaimer, which advices patrons to please note that all times, topics, and speakers are subject to change. The organizers would also add several new parallel sessions including technology demonstrations.

Hope to see you there and stay tuned at the elenent14 website for my live posts! 😉

ST focuses on four key growth areas

February 11, 2011 Comments off

Carlo Bozotti, president and CEO, STMicroelectronics.

Carlo Bozotti, president and CEO, STMicroelectronics.

According to Carlo Bozotti, president and CEO of STMicroelectronics, there are four key growth areas for the company:
* Smart meters and energy saving.
* Smart consumer devices.
* Trust and data security.
* Healthcare and well being.

Bozotti was speaking at the STMicroelectronics’ media roundtable held this evening at the Greater Noida, India office.

Year 2010 goes down in ST’s history as a year of records. Both ACCI and IMS surpassed the $1 billion mark in quarterly revenue. Year 2010 was also a year of recovery — with ST achieving $1,3 billion revenue and a net operational cashflow of $961 million. ST also improved its net financial position to $1.7 billion.

In 2011, ST promises to expand and continue to grow its customer base. This year, ST predicts that the global semicon industry will grow 5-8 percent.

ST forsees its second major block of growth in manufacturing. It has aggressive ramp-up planned in application areas, such as:
* MEMS.
* Smart power automotive field.
* New platforms and solutions in smartphones and tablets.

Even ST-Ericsson, which was in restructuring mode, is now secure. This year, said Bozotti, it will be a year of transition from old, legacy products to new.

The last priority is to achieve 3D SoCs, complex MCUs and twin MEMS. Bozotti noted that the company plans to combine accelerometer and gyroscope in a single application. It will also add innovative solutions to smartphones and tablets.

As for R&D, Bozotti claimed that the company will remain committed. “We strongly commit to R&D in both good and bad times,” he noted. Read more…

Industry reactions on Union Budget 2010

February 26, 2010 Comments off

Presenting industry reactions on the union budget 2010, sent by friends in the Indian PR community.

Jaswinder Ahuja, Corporate Vice President & Managing Director, Cadence Design Systems (I) Pvt Ltd
The 2010-11 Union Budget announcements will find broad-based appeal due to the provisions for social reform and increased allocation for primary education, health and rural infrastructure. Raising the tax slabs should positively impact consumption and as a result the overall economy.

Although there haven’t been any significant incentives or reforms for the IT sector, the tax reforms for R&D expenditure is a good step towards encouraging innovation in India across sectors, as well as in our national research bodies. The proposal to simplify the current foreign direct investment (FDI) policy is also a positive step.

This budget reflects India’s increasing commitment to environment sustainability and the raging issue of climate change. The focus on clean energy investments – with the increased allocation towards renewable energy and the setting up of the ‘National Clean Energy Fund’ for funding research in clean technologies – is a welcome measure.

For the semiconductor and solar industry in India, the proposal to set up solar, small hydro and micro power projects in the Ladakh region of Jammu & Kashmir seems encouraging. Significant budgetary allocations towards the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) project is likely spur investments in smart card technology in India. Other steps that stand out for the semiconductor industry include the reduction of Central Excise duty on LED lighting and the CVD tax exemptions on all medical equipment.

The reform process and policy announcements by the government are no longer just an annual exercise but a continuous, evolving process and we expect that other measures will be announced through the year that are take into consideration, the recommendations put forth by the ISA (India Semiconductor Association).

Tiger Ramesh, CEO & MD, Vignani Solutions
We welcome the Finance Minister’s acknowledgment of LEDs as a highly energy-efficient source of lighting for outdoor, indoor and street lighting and applaud the government’s decision of lowering the Central Excise duty from 8 percent to 4 percent ,as this will accelerate adoption rates for LEDs by reducing the capital expenditure for the end-users. This encouragement of the LED industry is significant as we expect the market share of LEDs to rise to 15-30 percent of the overall lighting industry by 2014 from a current 2-3 percent market share. We are actually on the threshold of a revolution in the Rs 10,000 crore Indian lighting industry!

The launch of the National Clean Energy Fund is also as per our expectations as we have always requested government’s support for funding research and the support of innovative projects in clean energy technologies. These two steps can act as important catalysts for energizing the LED market in India as well as stimulating R&D in clean energy technologies in India.

MAIT
MAIT, the apex body representing India’s IT hardware, training and R&D services sectors, welcomed the thrust given in the Union Budget towards sustaining the national economic growth and making it inclusive. The industry body expressed satisfaction for the thrust given to infrastructure development, upliftment of the rural economy and significant outlay for promotion of the social sector, especially education and healthcare. Further, it also appreciated the focus in Budget on New and Renewable energy and announcement of proactive measures for environment conservation.

Congratulating the Union Finance Minister, Pranab Mukherjee, Vinnie Mehta, Executive Director, MAIT, said: “We are glad that the Hon’ble Finance Minister has unveiled the roadmap for GST with a definite date for implementation i.e. April, 2011. Unification of the rate on excise duty and the service tax has been a step in the right direction towards implementation of the GST. The rate of service tax as well as that of excise duty will now be 10 percent. This will also help mitigate the issue of CENVAT overflow for manufacture of IT products in the country.”

Elaborating on the outcome, he added: “Exemption of Special additional Duty (SAD) on pre-packaged goods for retail is also a welcome step as refunds for SAD were not forthcoming. However, to sustain hardware manufacturing in the country in the long run, it is critical that SAD on the input components be exempted as well.”

“It is heartening that the Hon’ble Finance Minister has recognised the strong potential of the electronics industry and its role in energy generation. In this regard, the announcement of concessional customs duty of 5 percent on machinery, equipment etc. for setting up photovoltaic and solar thermal power generating units is welcome”, added Mehta.

“Lastly, MAIT welcomes the setting up of the Technology Advisory Group under the chairmanship of Mr Nandan Nilekani for monitoring effective IT implementation in projects of National eminence. Timely completion of IT implementation in Government projects is not only critical to the growth and development of the country but also essential for delivering services to the citizens”, mentioned Mehta.

Some of the other noteworthy outcomes of the Union Budget 2010-11 are:
* Extension of weighted deduction on expenditure on in-house R&D from 150 percent to 200  percent.
* Exemption from basic customs duty, CVD and SAD on parts of battery chargers and hand-free headphones for the mobile phone industry until March 2011. This will enable backward integration in the sector. Read more…
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