Weekly News Updates- March 20 – March 26

E-bus battery swap norms to initiate soon; India a symbol of hope for smaller, aspirational space nations; AWS collaborating with Indian startups; Hydrogen's role in clean energy transition discussed; Zepto, Meesho, and Pine Labs waiting their return to India; Govt unsatisfactory over HCL, Foxconn chip JV; US persuaded New Delhi to reverse its laptop laws

E-bus battery swap norms likely to initiate soon

The Centre is preparing to set universal standards for batteries in an effort to facilitate the process of battery switching, hence increasing the adoption of electric buses.

According to Economic Times, the guidelines would address the dimensions, weight, and battery capacity of e-buses to guarantee smooth interoperability.

Currently, e-bus manufacturers use unique batteries designed to match particular car models, which leads to different weights and capacities with little interoperability. The action is a component of the Center’s initiative to encourage the use of EVs. Although two-wheeler EV sales are increasing, the government has been promoting the use of EVs in public transportation.


Editor’s Note: The Indian government is poised to establish universal standards for e-bus batteries, aiming to streamline battery swapping and bolster the adoption of electric buses. These guidelines, addressing dimensions, weight, and capacity, aim to enhance interoperability among various e-bus models, aligning with broader efforts to promote electric vehicles in public transportation.

India is a symbol of hope for smaller, aspirational space nations: WEF official

According to a top World Economic Forum (WEF) official, the excitement around space in India is drawing talent from around the globe and encouraging them to launch businesses and support the sector’s expansion.

As the commercial space sector takes off in India, the Centre for Fourth Industrial Revolution (C4IR), a WEF platform, inaugurated the space technology programme last week with the goal of fostering international cooperation among diverse stakeholders.


AWS collaborating with Indian startups to address global issues

Amazon Web Services (AWS) collaborates with Indian startups to find long-term solutions to global issues. Startups that are looking for scalability, dependability, and agility make use of AWS’s robust cloud computing and infrastructure services. Technology is being used by AWS and Indian businesses to address global issues. These entrepreneurs are utilizing AWS to develop cutting-edge solutions that have the potential to transform industries and enhance lives in the domains of healthcare, education, environmental sustainability, and other areas.

Medical service delivery and management are being revolutionised by Indian businesses with the use of AWS. Another area of interest for Indian startups and AWS is environmental sustainability. To assist startups in expanding and growing, AWS Activate and AWS EdStart offer resources, technical assistance, and mentoring.

Editor’s Note: Amazon Web Services (AWS) is partnering with Indian startups to tackle global challenges, leveraging robust cloud computing services for scalability and agility. Through AWS, these startups are innovating across sectors like healthcare, education, and environmental sustainability, aiming to transform industries and improve lives worldwide.

Discussion on the significance of hydrogen’s role in clean energy transition held at Global Experts meet

Global experts gathered in New Delhi to talk about how important hydrogen is to the shift to renewable energy. The International Partnership for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells in the Economy (IPHE) held its 41st Steering Committee Meeting with the goal of promoting international cooperation and developing hydrogen technology.

Delegates from Austria, Chile, France, Japan, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Arab Emirates, the United States, Singapore, and South Korea attended the summit. Throughout the event, representatives provided updates on the hydrogen policies of their home nations, showcasing efforts in policymaking, infrastructure development, and research and development to support a strong hydrogen economy.

Talks focused on developing global partnerships to support funding, legislation, laws, and sustainable business models. They also looked at business strategies for the production, transportation, and storage of hydrogen.


Zepto, Meesho, and Pine Labs waiting their return to India

Startups are putting forth every attempt to return to India. This is in an effort to profit from the higher valuation given to technology-related ventures. As to an Economic Times report, Pine Labs, a payment platform, is attempting to combine its holding company situated in Singapore with its operations in India. It will be accomplished by a cross-border merger.

Pine Labs has filed its application with the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) and Singapore’s regulatory bodies, according to the company’s filings. The Economic Times goes on to say that Zepto, an online marketplace, is likewise going through a comparable procedure. Meesho, an online retailer, is also working to gather additional money in order to pay the additional taxes it will need to pay when it returns to India.

This coming home could be caused by factors like the general macroeconomic environment and the worldwide slowdown in venture capital. CrunchBase reports that worldwide start-up investments fell by 38% in 2023 from $462 billion in 2022. extra tax to be paid upon return to India.


Editor’s Note: Startups like Zepto, Meesho, and Pine Labs are striving to return to India, driven by the allure of higher valuations for tech ventures in the country. Pine Labs, for instance, is pursuing a cross-border merger to consolidate its Singapore-based holding company with its Indian operations, a move facilitated by applications filed with regulatory bodies in both nations. This return home reflects broader trends influenced by factors such as the macroeconomic environment and a global slowdown in venture capital, with startups worldwide experiencing a significant decline in investments, prompting strategic maneuvers to navigate tax implications and capitalize on opportunities in India.

Govt unsatisfactory over HCL, Foxconn chip JV, seeks details

tAccording to the reports, the government, which has requested that both companies submit further information on the project, is not entirely satisfied with the plan from Taiwan’s Foxconn Group and India’s HCL Group to jointly build a chip assembly facility in the country.

The $10 billion Indian Semiconductor Mission is presently reviewing the proposal for incentives.

HCL and Foxconn announced in January that they would be partnering to establish an OSAT facility in the nation. Reports at the time told ET that the unit might require a total investment of $100 million to $150 million.


Editor’s Note: The Indian government has expressed dissatisfaction with the joint venture proposal between Taiwan’s Foxconn Group and India’s HCL Group to build a chip assembly facility in the country, requesting further details from both companies. With the $10 billion Indian Semiconductor Mission currently reviewing the proposal for incentives, the partnership’s plans for establishing an OSAT facility in India with an estimated investment of $100 million to $150 million are under scrutiny.

US persuades New Delhi to reverse its laptop laws

After negotiating behind closed doors, India reversed its policy regarding laptop licensing. However, U.S. trade officials and government emails seen by Reuters indicate that Washington is still concerned about New Delhi’s compliance with WTO requirements and potential new regulations.

Fearing that the process would slow down sales, India implemented regulations in August requiring companies like Apple, Dell, and HP to obtain licenses for all shipments of imported laptops, tablets, personal computers, and servers.

The emails from the US government, which were acquired through an open records request, highlight the degree of concern that the Indian restrictions created in Washington and how the US pulled off a remarkable lobbying victory by convincing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s often unyielding government to change course.


Editor’s Note: India has reversed its policy requiring licenses for the import of laptops, tablets, personal computers, and servers following negotiations with the United States. Despite this reversal, concerns persist among U.S. trade officials regarding India’s compliance with WTO regulations and the potential for future regulatory measures, underscoring the delicate nature of international trade negotiations.