Weekly News Updates-India Mar 22 to Mar 28 , 2023

Mission Bharat 6G launched; Pixxel bags US contract for hyperspectral imaging; ISRO launches 36 OneWeb satellites; New Drones & EV Cluster off to a promising start; Angel tax likely to be a blow to startups; Local phone manufacturers fail to achieve PLI targets

Mission Bharat 6G: PM Modi launches testbed

Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled India’s 6G initiative, which aims to concentrate efforts on building next-generation technologies in India. As a part of this initiative, a 6G testbed project has been introduced to enable research on novel network technologies.

According to the vision document, 6G will provide ultra-low latency at rates of up to 1 terabit per second. This is 1,000 times faster than 5G’s top speed.

A group of Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), including Guwahati and Madras, are developing the new 6G testbed together.

Bharat 6G Mission: PM Modi launches India’s 6G project, official testbed (business-standard.com)

Pixxel, a space startup in Bengaluru bags US contract for hyperspectral imaging

The National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) of the United States has awarded a five-year contract to Bengaluru-based space startup Pixxel for the supply of technical hyperspectral imagery. Six study contracts for commercial hyperspectral imaging were also given by the Virginia-based NRO to five more companies, namely BlackSky Technology, HyperSat, Orbital Sidekick, Planet, and Xplore.

According to a representative, Pixxel will use its future constellations and now in orbit pathfinder systems to analyze, simulate, and evaluate data in order to deliver technical hyperspectral imagery (HSI) remote sensing capabilities.

Bengaluru-based space startup Pixxel bags US contract for hyperspectral imagery | Deccan Herald

ISRO launches 36 OneWeb satellites in orbit

The largest payload rocket of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), LVM3, which was carrying 36 OneWeb satellites, launched on March 26 from the second launch pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre SDSC-SHAR, Sriharikota. The 643-tonne vehicle is 43.5 meters tall.

In accordance with a commercial agreemnet with NewSpace India Limited (NSIL), Network Access Associates Limited (a OneWeb Group company) is carrying out its second mission to launch 72 satellites into Low-Earth orbits. On October 23, 2022, the LVM3-M2/OneWeb India-1 mission launched the first set of 36 satellites.

A total of 36 OneWeb Gen-1 satellites weighing roughly 5,805 kg would be launched on this mission by LVM3 into a 450 km circular orbit with an inclination of 87.4 degrees. This is LVM3’s sixth flight. The Chandrayaan-2 mission was one of five consecutively successful missions for the LVM3.

ISRO puts 36 OneWeb satellites in orbit – The Hindu

New Drones & EV Cluster is off to a promising start at Belagavi

 KDEM and industry partners unveiled the DRoEV 2023, a plan to promote Belagavi as the go-to industrial cluster and position it as a hub for drones and electric cars on a global scale. Two areas have reportedly been chosen within 30 miles of Belagavi to create the drones and electric vehicle cluster on roughly 250 acres of land, according to KDEM sources.

Under the Karnataka Digital Economy Plan (KDEM), the state government unveiled the new Drones and EV Cluster on Friday in Belagavi. On the first day alone, 16 firms submitted letters of interest (LOIs) to invest Rs 400 crore and create almost 12,000 new jobs. Nine of these companies are based in Belagavi, while the remaining ones are from various other regions of the state.

New Drones & Ev Cluster Off To A Grand Beginning In B’gavi, Auto News, ET Auto (indiatimes.com)

Angel tax coming into effect from April 1, 2024 likely to be a blow to startups

Angel tax has undergone revisions by the Indian government, which might have a significant effect on the startup ecosystem in India.

The Finance Bill 2023 from the Center was presented to Lok Sabha on Thursday. Regardless of a person’s residency status, it is applicable to split application money/premium received from any individual.

The measure, which modifies section 56(2)(viib) of the Income Tax Act, further states that it indicates the angel tax may also be assessed on obtaining excess share application money or premium from non-resident investors. The suggested modifications will come into effect beginning with the financial year 2023-2024, which corresponds to the assessment year 2024-2025.

Blow to startups as angel tax to come into effect from April 1, 2024 (entrackr.com)

Local phone manufacturers fail to achieve PLI targets

Majority of domestic handset companies are unlikely to fulfil the incremental production and sales targets under the production-linked incentive (PLI) plan in FY23, despite the fact that big global smartphone manufacturers like Apple and Samsung have been doing so.

Only two of the five local companies chosen for the PLI scheme—UTL Neolyncs, the company that makes the JioPhone and Padget Electronics, owned by Dixon—were able to meet the goals in FY22.  Lava International, Bhagwati (Micromax), and local contract manufacturer Optiemus have so far failed to meet the targets for all the three years.

The PLI scheme for smartphones has different targets for global and Indian players. The incremental sales targets for local companies are 500 crores in the first year, 1000 crores in the second, 2000 crores in the third, 3 500 crores in the fourth, and 5000 crores in the fifth. Also, the invoice value of the phones produced by Indian manufacturers should be less than ‘15,000.

Local handset makers struggle to meet PLI targets | The Financial Express