Weekly News Updates- May 29 – Jun 4

Taiwan and India strengthen their partnership to promote semiconductor development; India asked to rethink competition law by US lobby group; AI and data protection at the top of tech's wish list for the next govt; Few consumer companies lining up their IPOs amid booming stock market; Ministries disagree on whether to include IT gear to the list of public procurement; Indian army collaborates with IOCL to receive its first hydrogen bus

Taiwan and India strengthen their partnership to promote semiconductor development

Benefiting from strong government support and emerging applications, the Indian semiconductor market is projected to exceed $55 billion by 2026, with domestic electronics production output expected to surpass $300 billion by 2030, according to PwC. In light of these projections, a forum was held to unveil the Indian government’s strategy to become a semiconductor powerhouse. The event, which included the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and the India Semiconductor Mission (ISM), focused on the prospects, opportunities, and current market conditions of the Indian semiconductor market. The forum also aimed to deepen bilateral cooperation between Taiwan and India in the semiconductor and electronic technology sectors. Manharsinh Laxmanbhai Yadav, Director General of ITA, emphasized the economic complementarities between India and Taiwan, highlighting the potential for innovation and talent from Indian design houses to be realized through Taiwan’s fabrication and manufacturing capabilities.

Key speakers at the forum outlined India’s strategic initiatives to nurture the semiconductor industry’s growth, including policy support, financial incentives, technology R&D, and talent development programs. S. Krishnan, Secretary of MeitY, emphasized India’s commitment to creating a resilient, diversified, and trusted semiconductor supply chain. Ajit Manocha, President and CEO of SEMI, and Terry Tsao, SEMI Global Chief Marketing Officer and SEMI Taiwan President, underscored India’s readiness to become a significant player in the global semiconductor market. The forum concluded with a call for enhanced collaboration between India and Taiwan, aiming to build win-win partnerships and drive mutual prosperity in the semiconductor industry. This event marks a new chapter in the cooperation between the two nations, positioning India as a pivotal force in the global semiconductor landscape.



India asked to rethink competition law by US lobby group representing tech giants Google, Amazon and Apple

A U.S. lobby group representing tech giants Google, Amazon, and Apple has urged India to reconsider its proposed EU-like competition law, arguing that regulations against data use and preferential treatment of partners could raise user costs. In a letter to India’s Corporate Affairs Ministry, the U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC), part of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, highlighted concerns that the new “Digital Competition Bill” would impose significant obligations on large digital firms, including those with a global turnover of over $30 billion and at least 10 million local users. The bill, similar to the EU’s Digital Markets Act 2022, aims to prevent companies from exploiting non-public user data and promoting their own services over rivals. The USIBC warned that such measures could lead to reduced investment in India, higher prices for digital services, and a limited range of services.

India’s “Digital Competition Bill” was proposed in response to the increasing market power of a few large digital companies. The government panel behind the bill argues that it is necessary to complement existing regulations, which it claims are “time-consuming” to enforce. The bill proposes penalties of up to 10% of a company’s annual global turnover for violations. The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has been investigating big tech firms for years, including fining Google $161 million in 2022 for restricting users from removing its pre-installed apps and allowing downloads without its app store. Amazon and Apple are also under investigation for alleged antitrust violations. While a group of 40 Indian startups supports the new law to address monopolistic practices and create a level playing field, the Indian government will review feedback on the proposal before seeking parliamentary approval.



AI and data protection at the top of tech’s wish list for the next government

Technology policy experts emphasize that notifying the Digital Personal Data Protection (DPDP) Rules should be a top priority for the new government to enforce the DPDP Act, which has been in suspended animation for the last nine months due to the lack of subordinate rules. The Digital India Bill (DIB), which will replace the Information Technology Act of 2000 and address issues like intermediary liability, fake news, and deep fake content, also requires urgent attention. Regulating AI is essential, especially after the EU approved the world’s first AI governance law. Rahul Matthan of Trilegal and Avimukt Dar of IndusLaw stress the importance of notifying the DPDP rules within the first 100 days. Aparajita Bharti of The Quantum Hub Consulting and Nehaa Chaudhari of Ikigai Law highlight the need for thorough consultation on the rules and adequate preparation time for businesses. Ashish Aggarwal of Nasscom and Dhruv Garg, a tech policy advisor, underscore the importance of clear communication on the DIB and cautious AI regulation to ensure domestic growth.

A new study by Randstad India reveals that 31% of employees in India have faced age-related bias or discrimination at work. The pharma, healthcare, life sciences, and BPO/IT-enabled services sectors report the highest instances of ageism, with 43% of respondents affected. This is followed by the construction, infrastructure, and real estate sectors, where 41% reported ageism. The study, covering nearly 1,000 respondents, shows that 40% have either experienced or witnessed ageism at work, although many were unaware of the term ‘ageism’. Viswanath PS, MD & CEO of Randstad India, notes that overcoming ageism requires a conscious effort to challenge stereotypes and foster an inclusive culture that values both experience and fresh perspectives, ultimately driving collaboration, innovation, and growth.


小編點評:科技專家強調,落實《數位個人數據保護規則》(Digital Personal Data Protection Rules)以及通過《數位印度法案》(Digital India Bill)解決中介責任和假新聞等問題的緊迫性。他們強調需要明確溝通和充分諮詢,以確保在新政府上任的前100天內有效實施。同時,蘭德斯塔德印度公司(Randstad India)的一項研究顯示,製藥、醫療保健和BPO/IT服務等行業存在嚴重的年齡歧視現象,強調培養包容性工作文化以促進合作和創新的重要性。

Few consumer companies lining up their IPOs amid booming stock market

A dozen consumer-facing companies are planning to launch their IPOs this year, aiming to capitalize on the strong growth potential in consumer sectors and the increasing aspirational demand from tier-2 and tier-3 cities. Among these companies are food delivery giant Swiggy, Baazar Style Retail Ltd., CG Foods (maker of Wai Wai noodles), financial service provider One Mobikwik Systems, and Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages, the bottling partner of Coca-Cola. These companies have either consulted bankers about a public listing or filed the draft red herring prospectus (DRHP) with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). The DRHP is a document filed with SEBI when a company intends to go public.

Packaged food maker Cremica Food is reportedly planning to raise Rs 500 crore through an IPO. Akshay Bector, managing director of Cremica Food, expressed optimism about the sector, noting a significant resurgence in the HORECA (hotels, restaurants, and catering) and branded foods segments post-COVID. Similarly, Indian spirits company Allied Blenders and Distillers Ltd. has received the final observation from SEBI to file for an IPO, aiming to raise Rs 1,500 crore, including a fresh issue of up to Rs 1,000 crore. Swiggy’s IPO is particularly noteworthy, with the company aiming to raise around $1 billion through its listing. The holding company of Swiggy has changed its name from “Swiggy Private Limited” to “Swiggy Limited,” indicating its transition to a publicly traded corporation. Executives remain optimistic about the potential for IPOs in India’s still unsaturated consumer market.


小編點評:多家公司,包括 Swiggy、Baazar Style Retail Ltd. 和 CG Foods,正準備今年進行首次公開募股(IPO),以利用消費領域的強勁增長和來自二線、三線城市的不斷增加的需求。隨著公司與銀行家進行諮詢或向印度證券交易委員會(SEBI)提交紅鯡魚招股說明書草案,這場 IPO 熱潮反映了對印度消費市場潛力的樂觀預期。

Ministries disagree on whether to include IT gear to the list of public procurement

A debate has reportedly emerged between the Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) regarding the classification of certain electronic items within the public procurement framework. According to a report in the Economic Times, the two ministries are divided over whether items such as storage consumables, printer cartridges, toners, and printer cables should be included in ‘Appendix A’ of the public procurement list.

This classification dispute is significant because ‘Appendix A’ items are subject to specific procurement guidelines and restrictions aimed at promoting domestic manufacturing and self-reliance. The disagreement highlights the broader challenge of balancing industrial promotion with the practical needs of public procurement.



Indian army collaborates with IOCL to receive its first hydrogen bus

Displaying a firm resolve towards finding green and sustainable transport solutions, the Indian Army has collaborated with Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) for demonstration trials of Hydrogen Fuel Cell Bus technology. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Indian Army and IOCL in the presence of General Manoj Pande, Chief of the Army Staff (COAS), and Mr. Shrikant Madhav Vaidya, Chairman of Indian Oil. During the event, one Hydrogen Fuel Cell Bus was received by the Indian Army, marking the start of this mutually beneficial partnership. The MoU emphasizes the commitment to fostering innovation and advancing sustainable transport solutions for the future. Hydrogen Fuel Cell technology, which converts Hydrogen gas into electricity through an electro-chemical process with water vapour as the only byproduct, ensures zero emissions. The Hydrogen Fuel Cell Bus, with a seating capacity of 37 passengers, promises an impressive mileage of 250-300 km on a full 30 kg onboard tank of Hydrogen fuel.

Notably, on 21st March 2023, the Indian Army became the first government entity to sign an MoU with National Thermal Power Corporation Renewable Energy Limited for the installation of Green Hydrogen-based Microgrid Power Plants along the Northern Borders. A pilot project is being set up at Chushul, where a 200 Kilowatt Green Hydrogen-based Microgrid will provide 24×7 clean electricity to troops deployed in inhospitable terrain and extreme climatic conditions. With a focus on innovation and environmental responsibility, the Hydrogen Fuel Cell Bus initiative between the Indian Army and IOCL represents a significant stride towards cleaner and greener transport solutions, paving the way for future advancements in sustainable transportation.


小編點評:印度陸軍與印度石油公司 (IOCL) 合作啟動氫燃料電池客車技術試驗,展示了他們對可持續交通解決方案的承諾。此次合作和諒解備忘錄(MoU)的簽署凸顯了在追求更清潔的交通選擇中,為創新和環境責任所做的努力。