Weekly News Updates-India July 5 to July 11

Digital Personal Data Bill receives Cabinet approval; Microchip to invest in India's chip industry; Foxconn abandons the $19.5 billion Vedanta chip project; Lowest half-yearly funding in 4 years for Indian startups; Centre launches the Standards Coordination Portal; India soon to become the 4th country to land a spacecraft on moon; GST at 28% on the total cost of online gaming; HAL opens regional office in Kuala Lumpur; Super flexible semiconductors developed by IISc scientists

Digital Personal Data Bill receives Cabinet approval

The Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, 2022 was passed by the Union Cabinet on Wednesday, July 5. The law is most likely to be submitted during the Parliament’s Monsoon Session, which begins on July 20. In India, both online and offline data would be governed by the same laws.

However, this bill only permits the processing of personal data with an individual’s consent. There are specific circumstances in which the government may want information for reasons of law and order and national security.

In November 2022, a draft of the Data Protection Bill was initially created. After going through numerous rounds of public consultations, a second draft of the bill was prepared.


Microchip, the latest firm to invest in India’s chip industry

As geopolitical concerns continue to have an impact on the semiconductor industry, Microchip recently announced a $300 million investment into chip R&D activities in India. This is just the most recent of numerous attempts by semiconductor companies to invest in and locate facilities in the country.

Microchip, an organization based in Chandler, Arizona, will use the investment to expand its current operations in India, which it referred to as “one of the world’s fastest-growing semiconductor industry hubs.”

Microchip stated plans to upgrade its current facilities in Bangalore and Chennai as well as a project to create a new R&D facility in Hyderabad.


Foxconn abandons the $19.5 billion Vedanta chip project, targets India’s chip initiative

A day after the Taiwanese company and Vedanta ended their $19.5 billion joint venture to produce chips, Foxconn declared that it will submit an application for incentives under India’s plan for semiconductor manufacture.

Foxconn also intends to apply separately to establish a semiconductor manufacturing facility in India. The company is actively looking for the best partners and seeking input from a variety of stakeholders, both in India and internationally.

Foxconn withdrew from the joint venture with the Indian metals-to-oil conglomerate on Monday, hindering Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s plans for India to become a global chip manufacturing hub.

The largest manufacturer of contract electronics in the world announced on Tuesday that it was preparing an application for India’s $10 billion Modified Program for Semiconductors and Display Fab Ecosystem, which offers incentives of up to 50% of capital expenditures for projects manufacturing semiconductors and displays.


Lowest half-yearly funding in 4 years for Indian startups

In the first half of 2023 (January to June), Indian startups raised $3.8 billion, a significant 36% decrease from the fundraising in the first half of 2022. According to a research analysis by PwC India, this is also the lowest six-month funding in the previous four years. Furthermore, the most funded industries in H12023 remained Fintech, SAAS, and D2C.

According to PwC data, Indian entrepreneurs raised $3.8 billion across 298 agreements in H1 2023, down from $5.9 billion in the same period the previous year.

As per PWC’s report, In spite of difficult funding market conditions, investors have shown strong support for their portfolio companies over the past several quarters by increasing their stakes in businesses that showed signs of positive growth.


Centre launches the Standards Coordination Portal to promote participation in international operations
中央政府啟動電信標準協調平台 促進與國際標準接軌

The Standards Coordination Portal was introduced on Friday by K Rajaraman, secretary of the Department of Telecommunications (DoT). The new platform, created by the Telecommunication Engineering Centre (TEC) in collaboration with the Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DoT) and the Telecommunications Standards Development Society, India (TSDSI), aims to increase India’s participation in international standardization efforts.

According to the Ministry of Communications, the portal aims to increase India’s participation in international standardization processes by bringing together professionals from a variety of sectors, including industry, academia, research institutes, and government.

It was further stated that the portal would act as a focal point for information exchange and the encouragement of teamwork in the standardization of telecom and related ICT fields.


India soon to become the 4th country to land a spacecraft on moon

According to Dr. Jitendra Singh, the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Science and Technology, Chandrayaan-3, which is set to be launched from Sriharikota on July 14th, will make India the fourth nation to land a spacecraft on the moon’s surface.

Chandrayaan-3, according to Singh, is a follow-up mission of Chandrayaan-2 and aims to demonstrate India’s competence in soft landing and roving on the lunar surface. The perfect execution of the challenging mission profile was necessary for the spacecraft to enter the orbit of the moon. After Chandrayaan-3 has successfully touched down on the moon’s surface, the six-wheeled rover will emerge and spend the next 14 days doing tasks there. We will be able to obtain photographs, thanks to the rover’s many cameras.


GST at 28% on the total cost of online gaming, a setback for Indian players

On Tuesday, the 50th GST Council came to an end in New Delhi. The complete value of gaming, horse racing, and casinos is subject to a 28% GST tax, which is a disadvantage for online gaming enterprises.

The council members also exempted imports of important pharmaceutical products like the cancer medication dinutuximab and food for special medical purposes (FSMP) from the GST.  The Council has met 49 times prior to this, and its judgments have significantly impacted India’s implementation of the GST.


HAL opens regional office in Kuala Lumpur

In order to promote close defense industrial cooperation between India and Malaysia, Defense Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday opened Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL)’s Regional Office in Kuala Lumpur, according to a news release from the Ministry of Defense.

This Regional Office would make it easier for Malaysia and India to work closely together on defense projects. According to the press release, it would also act as a portal for other Indian Defense PSUs and as a center for HAL’s interactions with the larger South-East Asian region.

The second-largest population of people of Indian origin and the NRI community are both concentrated in Malaysia.


Super flexible semiconductors developed by IISc scientists for usage in curved screens and foldable phones

Researchers at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc)’s Department of Materials Engineering have created a super flexible, composite semiconductor material that may be used in wearable electronics, next-generation flexible or curved displays, and foldable phones.

Amorphous silicon and amorphous oxides, which are both rigid and strain-intolerant, are the traditional semiconductor materials used in display units for semiconductor devices like transistors, the fundamental components of most electronic circuits.

Adding polymers to oxide semiconductors may make them more flexible, but there is a limit to how much can be added without affecting the semiconductor’s performance, according to IISc.