Weekly News Updates-India May 3 to May 9

India's exports to reach $900 billion in the coming year; Campus-wide Wi-SUN FAN 1.1 network for Smart City Apps launched; India's rating remains at "BBB-" from Fitch; India renews call for chipmakers; Government’s support of startups in India; Government likely to expand the PLI scheme for IT hardware

Exporters predict India’s exports to reach $900 billion in 2023–2024

According to reports, India’s exports of goods and services could reach $900 billion in the current financial year, up from $770 billion in the previous year. This indicates that India is remaining resilient despite global challenges.

According to Ajay Sahai, director general of the Federation of Indian Export Organizations (FIEO), merchandise exports might increase to between $495 billion and $500 billion in the year ending March 2024, while services exports could reach $400 billion.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has set an export goal of $2 trillion by 2030 and is providing incentives to encourage the sale of goods including electronics, engineering, pharmaceuticals, and other items.

India’s exports likely to touch $900 billion in 2023-2024, exporters say | Reuters

Campus-wide Wi-SUN FAN 1.1 network for Smart City Apps by IIIT Hyderabad and Silicon Labs launched

A campus-wide Wi-SUN backbone Mesh network has been deployed at IIITH Living Lab by Silicon Labs, a Nasdaq-listed company that provides secure, intelligent wireless solutions.

The Field Area Network (FAN) 1.1 specification is supported by the network as a follow-up to the September 2022 launch of the FAN 1.0 network.

In order to facilitate the study and development of solutions for the Internet of Things (IoT) and smart cities, the Mesh aids in the establishment of a reliable, reachable communication network.

The Wi-SUN (Wireless Smart Ubiquitous Network) network utilises the unlicensed band with no additional network infrastructure, allowing sensors to connect to the cloud with ease.

Devices can connect with one another in a mesh network using Wi-SUN. Each device can serve as a relay and transmit data to other devices in the network rather than depending on a central hub to do so. As there is no single point of failure, this contributes to the creation of a more robust and stable network.

IIIT-Hyderabad, Silicon Labs upgrade campus-wide Wi-SUN network – The Hindu BusinessLine

India’s rating remains at “BBB-” from Fitch, with a stable outlook

Fitch, a global rating agency, confirmed India’s sovereign rating at “BBB” (the lowest investment grade), noting that the country’s weak public finances, particularly its massive budget deficit and government debt, outweigh the benefits of its strong economic growth potential.

The rating, company confirmed that India’s Long-Term Foreign-Currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR), is ‘BBB-‘ with a stable outlook. This is the lowest investment grade rating by Fitch.

Also of the lowest investment grade are India’s sovereign ratings from the other two top international rating organizations, Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s. India has a BBB- rating from Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s rating stands at Baa3. All three agencies have solid outlooks.

Fitch retain India’s sovereign rating at ‘BBB-‘; flags deficits, govt debt | Deccan Herald

India renews call for chipmakers as Anil Agarwal’s $19 billion plan drags

Due to the slow progress of projects already announced, including Anil Agarwal’s $19 billion proposal, India is increasing its efforts to attract potential chipmakers to the nation.

Reports say that New Delhi intends to restart the application process for the $10 billion incentives and assistance intended to promote domestic chipmaking. They cited the elimination of a previous 45-day deadline for submission as another benefit of keeping the process open-ended. That comes after a first effort launched last year only managed to attract three applicants, all of whom have made just minimal progress so far.

The administration of Prime Minister Narendra Modi initially granted businesses just 45 days, starting on January 1, 2022, to apply for financial backing in order to launch a domestic chip sector. The state promised to cover up to half of the cost of constructing a chip manufacturing facility. However, the short application period resulted in a small number of applicants, including a group that includes Tower Semiconductor Ltd. and a collaboration between Agarwal’s Vedanta Resources Ltd. and Taiwan’s Hon Hai Precision Industry Co.

india: India renews call for chipmakers as Anil Agarwal’s efforts drag – The Economic Times (indiatimes.com)

Government’s support of startups in India 

India has one of the most active communities of entrepreneurs, investors, and inventors in the world, making it the third-largest and one of the most promising startup ecosystems for job development. According to The India Unicorns and Exits Tech Report 2022, the nation is home to 115 unicorns with a combined valuation of more than USD 350 billion.

Through a variety of policies and programs aimed at stimulating innovation, entrepreneurship, and technology adoption, the Union and state governments in India have recently made bold efforts to create an enabling environment for startups. The state governments have implemented a number of measures to promote entrepreneurs, ranging from funding and mentorship to regulatory reforms and incubation support.

The Startup India project, run by the Union government, aims to encourage and assist entrepreneurship in India. The Startup India Hub acts as a single point of contact for startups seeking information on government programs and policies. 

Other government initiatives include the Startup India Seed Fund and Fund of Funds for Startups (FFS) schemes, which offer seed investment to qualified startups. In addition to this, the Standup India scheme, which offers loans to women business owners, as well as the Atal Innovation Mission, which encourages innovation and entrepreneurship among college and high school students have also been initiated.

How state governments are supporting startups in India, Government News, ET Government (indiatimes.com)

Government might expand the PLI scheme for IT hardware

The government will soon release a revised production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme for IT hardware that is likely to propose more than doubling the incentive structure and the financial outlay to 17,000 crore. The government wants multinational IT companies like Dell, HP, Apple, and Samsung to expand manufacturing in India.

The PLI scheme for IT hardware, which covers laptops, tablets, all-in-one PCs, servers, and ultra-small form factor (USFF) desktops, is expected to have an outlay of $17,000 crore in its new version (PLI 2.0), compared to the current scheme’s $7,350 crore. Compared to the 2.2% offered over five years, the average incentive over six years will be roughly 5.3%.

The revised package extends the duration of the scheme to eight years beginning on April 1. However, candidates may opt for April 1, 2024 or even April 1, 2025 as the start date. The scheme will be in effect for six years.

How state governments are supporting startups in India, Government News, ET Government (indiatimes.com)

Foxconn buys 300-acre site in Bengaluru

Foxconn, a Taiwanese multinational corporation that makes iPhones, has purchased 300 acres in Devanahalli, close to Bengaluru Airport in an effort to diversify its production away from China, the company announced in a filing to the London Stock Exchange on Tuesday.

According to the records, the business with its headquarters in Tucheng is offering Rs 300 crore through its Indian subsidiary, Foxconn Hon Hai Technology India Mega Development, for the 1,214,058 square meter site in the Information Technology Investment Region (ITIR). The land is in the process of being transferred to Foxconn by KIADB after the project was authorized by the company’s high-level committee. Foxconn will be given the land, which is currently in the process of being allocated, once KIADB buys it from the farmers.

Basavaraj S. Bommai, the chief minister of Karnataka, and Rajeev Chandrasekhar, the minister of state for entrepreneurship, electronics, and technology, said earlier in March that Apple would “soon” build iPhones at a new plant in the region, generating roughly one lakh employment. Foxconn agreed to invest Rs 8,000 crore in a mobile manufacturing facility as part of a massive memorandum of understanding the Karnataka government inked with the company. This investment will increase domestic output.

Foxconn buys 300-acre site in Bengaluru, Telecom News, ET Telecom (indiatimes.com)