business news

2o percent Twitter accounts fake, offer ‘can not move forward’ until there’s clarity: Musk

Washington [United States]: Tesla Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk on Tuesday claimed that he will wage his USD 44 billion take control of Twitter just if the microblogging giant is able to prove that less than 5 per cent of its users are robots.

” 20 pc fake/spam accounts, while 4 times what Twitter claims, could be more, greater. My deal was based upon Twitter’s SEC filings being precise. The other day, Twitter’s chief executive officer openly refused to reveal proof of 05  percent accounts.  This deal can not move forward until clarity is there,” Musk tweeted.

His tweet can be found in reaction to a Twitter customer that composed that the Billionaire business owner might be trying to find a better bargain as the previously quoted quantity of USD 44 billion seems expensive with 20 per cent individuals being phony or spam accounts.

This comes a day after Twitter CEO Parag Agarwal issued a series of tweets in the middle of the dispute surrounding the spam controversy between the firm and also Musk.

Agarwal on Monday emphasised that the business strongly incentivized to spot and also remove as much spam as we perhaps can, every single day.

The Twitter head stated the business puts on hold over half a million spam accounts each day, usually prior to any of you also see them on Twitter.

” The difficult obstacle is that many accounts which look fake ostensibly – are really actual people. As well as several of the spam accounts which are in fact the most harmful – and trigger the most damage to our individuals – can look absolutely genuine on the surface,” he added.

Twitter shares fell by 20 percent in very early trading hereafter news. (ANI).

Maharashtra, West Bengal, Jharkhand owe the most dues to Coal India Limited

New Delhi [India]:  State power generating companies of Maharashtra, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh owe the most amount of money to Coal India Limited, sources said.

The highest amount is owed by Maharashtra State Power Generation Company. Coal India Limited’s dues to Maharashtra State Power Generation Company stand at Rs 2,608.07 crore. Undisputed amount is Rs 2591.45 crore.
The second highest amount is owed by West Bengal Power Development Corporation Limited, which has dues of Rs 1066.40 crore. Undisputed amount is Rs 955.54 crore, the sources said.

In terms of the amount dues the third highest is Tenughat Vidyut Nigam Limited, a Government of Jharkhand undertaking. It owes Rs 1018.22 crore to Coal India Limited. Entire amount is undisputed.

The fourth highest amount is owed by Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation Limited (TANGEDCO) with dues of Rs 823.92 crore. Undisputed amount is Rs 704.94 crore.

Madhya Pradesh Power Generating Company owes Rs 531.42 crore, the fifth highest amount. The undisputed amount is Rs 480.54 crore.

The sixth highest amount is owed by Rajasthan Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam Limited with dues of Rs 429.47 crore. Undisputed amount owed is Rs 423.13 crore.

The sources said, although the dues pertain to the state power generating companies of Maharashtra, Rajasthan and West Bengal are very high, Coal India Limited never regulated supply to these gencos and made adequate supply as per the Sub-group plan and availability of rakes. (ANI)

 

Twitter confirms sale of company to Elon Musk for USD 44 billion

Washington [US]: Twitter on Monday (local time) confirmed the sale of the company to Tesla Chief Elon Musk for USD 44 billion.

Under the terms of the deal, shareholders will receive USD 54.20 in cash for each share of Twitter stock they own, matching Musk’s original offer and marking a 38 per cent premium over the stock price the day before Musk revealed his stake in the company, CNN reported.
It further reported that the deal caps off a whirlwind news cycle in which the Tesla and SpaceX CEO became one of Twitter’s largest shareholders, was offered and turned down a seat on its board and bid to buy the company — all in less than a month.

“Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated,” Musk said in a statement.

“I also want to make Twitter better than ever by enhancing the product with new features, making the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating the spam bots, and authenticating all humans. Twitter has tremendous potential – I look forward to working with the company and the community of users to unlock it,” he added.

The deal comes after Musk revealed last week he had lined up USD 46.5 billion in financing to acquire the company, an apparent turning point that forced Twitter’s board to seriously consider the deal. The board met Sunday to evaluate Musk’s offer.

Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal in a statement said “Twitter has a purpose and relevance that impacts the entire world. Deeply proud of our teams and inspired by the work that has never been more important.” (ANI)

Bandhan consortium to buy IDFC Mutual Fund for Rs 4,500 crore

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India]: A consortium consisting of Bandhan Financial Holdings Limited, GIC, and ChrysCapital is set to buy IDFC Asset Management Company and IDFC AMC Trustee Company for Rs 4,500 crore.

IDFC Limited said in a statement on Thursday that it has entered into a definitive agreement with the consortium for the deal.
The Bandhan consortium was selected through a highly competitive divestment process which witnessed strong participation from strategic players and financial investors. This is a highly tracked acquisition and will be the largest deal in the Indian asset management industry to date, it said.

“The agreement envisages continuity of the current management team and investment processes at IDFC AMC, helping unitholders benefit from consistency in the high-quality investment approach IDFC AMC is reputed for. This will be supplemented well by Bandhan’s brand as well as GIC’s and CC’s international network and experience which will aid IDFC AMC in further cementing its position in the asset management industry and propel further growth,” IDFC Limited said.

“The acquisition of IDFC AMC provides us with a scaled-up asset management platform, with a stellar management team and a pan India distribution network. IDFC AMC could benefit significantly from the Bandhan brand and continue strengthening its position in the asset management industry,” said Karni S Arha, Managing Director, Bandhan Financial Holdings Limited.

On the consortium partners, Arha said, “We are happy to partner with marquee investors such as GIC & ChrysCapital and are confident that this venture will enhance value for all the stakeholders of Bandhan and IDFC AMC.”

Established in 2000, IDFC AMC manages over Rs 1,15,000 crore of Asset Under Management (AUM) at the end of March 31, 2022 for over 1 million investor folios representing leading institutions, corporates, family offices and individual clients.

Reacting on the deal, Anil Singhvi, Chairman of IDFC Limited, said, “This transaction is a significant milestone in our plan of unlocking value and the consideration demonstrates strong position of IDFC AMC in the Indian Mutual Fund space.”

“We have achieved signing within 6 months of the Board’s decision to divest, which further demonstrates IDFC Board’s commitment to consummate the merger of IDFC Limited and IDFC Financial Holding Company with IDFC First Bank. The Bandhan consortium with its strong brand and resources will further strengthen the distribution of products and improving the overall experience for IDFC AMC’s investors and distributors,” Singhvi added. (ANI)

 

India Inc performance improves in second half of 2021-22

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India]:  India Inc performance based on credit ratings improved sharply in the second half of the financial year 2021-22 on the back of sustained improvement in demand, secular deleveraging by debt issuers, and proactive relief measures by the government, CRISIL Ratings said.

The CRISIL Ratings credit ratio 1 (upgrades to downgrades) increased to 5.04 times in the second half (H2) of fiscal 2022, compared with 2.96 times in the first half (H1), underscoring continuing improvement in the performance of India Inc.
In all, there were 569 upgrades and 113 downgrades in the second half (H2) of 2021-22.

The upgrade rate increased to 15.4 per cent in H2 from 12.5 per cent in H1, while the downgrade rate declined to 3.1 per cent from 4.2 per cent in the same period. The downgrade rate is less than half the 6.5 per cent average seen in the past ten-and-a-half-year period, CRISIL Ratings said.

The performance comes on the back of a sustained improvement in demand (that lifted the revenues of most sectors to their pre-pandemic levels), secular deleveraging by debt issuers (seen over the past few fiscals and through the pandemic), and proactive relief measures by the government (that cushioned the pandemic blow), it said.

CRISIL Ratings’ outlook on credit quality remains ‘positive’, with upgrades expected to outnumber downgrades in fiscal 2023, too. However, going forward, the credit ratio could moderate for two reasons: one, demand and profitability could soften if commodity prices remain high; and two, winding back of Covid-19 relief measures. Further, with offices reopening and business travel restarting, some of the cost savings of 2020-22 would be eliminated.

Demand recovery, nimbleness in managing supply chains, and a tight leash on costs have shored up the median operating profit growth of the upgraded companies by 41 per cent in the past two fiscals — more than double the rate for the portfolio. (ANI)

 

Stock markets witness volatile trading; Sensex down 140 points

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India]: After three days of rally, the Indian equities markets key indices witnessed volatile trading on Thursday on weak global cues.

The 30 stock S&P BSE Sensex was trading at 58,543.94 points at 12.11 pm, which is 140.05 points or 0.24 per cent lower from its previous day’s close at 58,683.99 points.
Earlier, the Sensex opened in the positive at 58,779.71 points and surged to a high of 58,890.92 points in the morning trade.

The Sensex is trading weak after three days of rally. The index had gained 740.34 points or 1.28 per cent on Wednesday.

The broader Nifty 50 of the National Stock Exchange was trading 19.95 points or 0.11 per cent down at 17,478.30 points against its previous day’s close at 17,498.25 points.

Earlier, the Nifty opened in the positive at 17,519.20 points and rose to a high of 17,559.80 points in the morning trade.

The Nifty had gained 172.95 points or 1 per cent on Wednesday.

The index heavyweight Reliance Industries slipped 1.23 per cent to Rs 2640. Wipro slipped 0.87 per cent to Rs 595.40. Infosys fell 0.83 per cent to Rs 1901.80. Bharti Airtel fell 0.77 per cent to Rs 743.60.

Mahindra & Mahindra 1.96 per cent higher at Rs 808.70; Asian Paints 1.13 per cent higher at Rs 3115; Bajaj Finance 0.97 per cent higher at Rs 7324.50; Axis Bank 0.97 per cent higher at Rs 757.45 and Hindustan Unilever 0.86 per cent higher at Rs 2032.75 were among the major Sensex gainers. (ANI)

PVR, INOX announce merger to ‘deliver unparalleled movie-going experience’

New Delhi [India]: Cinema brands PVR Limited and INOX Leisure Limited announced their merger on Sunday with a view to “delivering an unparalleled movie-going experience” to the audience.

The combined entity will be named PVR INOX Limited with the branding of existing screens to continue as PVR and INOX respectively. New cinemas opened post the merger will be branded as PVR INOX, said a press release by PVR and INOX.
“Post the merger, PVR Promoters will have a 10.62 per cent stake while INOX Promoters will have a 16.66 per cent stake in the combined entity,” said the release.

Upon obtaining all approvals, when the merger becomes effective, INOX will merge with PVR. Shareholders of INOX will receive shares of PVR in exchange for shares in INOX at the approved share exchange (“swap”) ratio.

Ajay Bijli would be appointed as the Managing Director and Sanjeev Kumar would be appointed as the Executive Director. Pavan Kumar Jain would be appointed as the Non- Executive Chairman of the Board. Siddharth Jain would be appointed as Non-Executive Non-Independent Director in the combined entity.

“With PVR currently operating 871 screens across 181 properties in 73 cities and INOX operating 675 screens across 160 properties in 72 cities, the combined entity will become the largest film exhibition company in India operating 1546 screens across 341 properties across 109 cities,” said the release.

Commenting on the announcement, Ajay Bijli, Chairman and Managing Director of PVR said that the partnership will put consumers at the centre of its vision.

“This is a momentous occasion that brings together two companies with significantly complementary strengths. The partnership of these two brands will put consumers at the centre of its vision and deliver an unparalleled movie-going experience to them. The film exhibition sector has been one of the worst impacted sectors on account of the pandemic and creating scale to achieve efficiencies is critical for the long term survival of the business and fight the onslaught of digital OTT platforms,” he said.

Siddharth Jain, Director, INOX Leisure Ltd called the merger of the cinema brands “historic” and said it is driven by passion.

“Coming together of two iconic cinema brands, which are driven by passion, is certainly the most historic moment in the Indian cinema exhibition industry. Both companies have set high service benchmarks in an endeavour to offer the best cinema experience in the world, to the most passionate moviegoers, and would continue to do so as a unified entity,” he said. (ANI)

 

Lok Sabha approves ‘crypto tax’ amendments

New Delhi [India]: Taxation of virtual digital assets (VDAs) or “crypto tax” proposed in the Union Budget 2022-23 is set to be implemented from April 1, as the Lok Sabha on Friday passed the Finance Bill, 2022.

The Lok Sabha also passed the amendments introduced in the Finance Bill, 2022 regarding clarification on taxation of virtual digital assets.
Section 115BBH of the Bill deals with tax on virtual digital assets. Clause (2)(b) prevents loss on the trading of crypto assets from being set off against income under “any other provision” of the IT Act.

As per the amendment, the word “other” is dropped. Under the amended law, loss from crypto assets cannot be set off against gains in crypto assets as well.

“The proposed 30 per cent tax irrespective of whether crypto-assets are capital assets or not will be detrimental to the investor growth that the industry has been seeing so far. This move will make day-traders incapable of saving on taxes even if they aren’t in the income tax brackets currently,” said Nischal Shetty, Founder and CEO of crypto exchange WazirX.

“Furthermore, not allowing investors to offset losses from one crypto trading pair by gains from another type will further deter crypto participation and throttle the industry growth,” he said.

Shetty said the new regulation would not provide desired results to the government.

“It can result in cascading participation on Indian exchanges that adhere to the KYC norms and lead to a rise in capital outflow to foreign exchanges or to the ones that aren’t KYC compliant. This is not conducive for the government or the crypto ecosystem of India,” he said. (ANI)

Project Kirana : Digital empowerment of women

Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India]: US Agency for International Development (USAID) and Mastercard have partnered to foster digital empowerment of women in India through an initiative called ‘Project Kirana’.

Project Kirana is a business development and digital financial literacy programme for women entrepreneurs that aims to increase revenue streams, expand financial inclusion, and enable the adoption of digital payments and other digital tools by women-owned-and-operated kirana shops.
The two-year programme, implemented by DAI and ACCESS Development Services, is working in select cities of Uttar Pradesh, according to a statement released by Mastercard.

Officials of USAID and Mastercard on Thursday made a joint visit to the shops covered under Project Kirana in Lucknow.

USAID Mission Director to India and Minister Counselor for International Development Veena Reddy and Executive Vice President, Sustainability and Founder and President Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth Shamina Singh visited small convenience stores operated by women entrepreneurs.

“It was enlightening to engage with women entrepreneurs in Lucknow today. Increasing the participation of women in the formal sector, especially the digital economy, is critical to the well-being of people and the growth of economies,” Reddy said.

“At USAID, advancing women’s digital financial capabilities is a key component of our work to increase equitable economic empowerment. Through this partnership, Mastercard and USAID are addressing the gender inequalities that limit the ability for women-owned businesses to grow and thrive,” she added.

Since Project Kirana’s launch in November 2020, more than 2,100 women have benefitted from the programme.

Together, USAID and Mastercard are supporting women participants to build financial and digital literacy skills on topics such as banking, digital payments, saving, credit and insurance; improving basic business management skills including inventory management, accounting, budget management and customer loyalty; and addressing cultural and gender norms as well as other barriers to women becoming successful kirana entrepreneurs.

The programme provides customised training on business and financial management, leadership development, digital payments, and access to financial services through digital tools, applications, video content, in-person training, and peer networking opportunities to reinforce learnings grounded in real-life experiences, the statement said.

Commenting on the project Shamina Singh said, “Project Kirana is an extension of Mastercard’s commitment to empower and enable micro and small businesses with technology, products, insights, and catalytic philanthropic funding. Small businesses owned or led by women consistently outperform peers.”

“Yet, they are at risk of being left behind in an increasingly digital economy without tools and training that meet their needs. We are proud to partner with USAID to develop capacity-building programmes that unleash women’s entrepreneurial spirit and their potential to be drivers of a digital, inclusive India,” Singh added. (ANI)

Telangana: Holi boosts demands in markets, cheers shopkeepers

Telangana [India]: With Holi round the corner, the festivities have gripped Hyderabad markets, boosting sales of herbal colours, balloons and water guns (pichkari).

Preparations for the festival of colours were seen in full swing throughout the country.
The local shopkeepers have seen a tremendous rise in sales ahead of Holi.

“With the business doing well this time, we hope to celebrate a mega Holi this year,” said a shopkeeper.

Marking the onset of the spring season, Holi is a festival of colours, symbolic of joy and victory of good over evil.

Holi celebrations for the last two years were under the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic. The recent relaxations of the COVID-19 guidelines cheered the shopkeepers as the demand soared. (ANI)

 

Interest rates on PF deposits cut to 4 decades low of 8.1 per cent

Guwahati (Assam) [India]- The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation’s (EPFO’s) top decision-making body the Central Board of Trustees on Saturday approved 8.1 per cent interest rate on provident fund (PF) deposits for the financial year 2021-22. This is the lowest interest rate on PF deposits in more than four decades.

In the last two financial years, 2020-21 and 2019-20, the interest rates on PF deposits stood at 8.5 per cent. The interest rate for 2021-22 will be the lowest since 1977-78 when it stood at 8 per cent.
The decision on the PF deposit rates for the current financial year was taken in the EPFO’s Central Board of Trustees meeting held here. The Central Board of Trustees is the apex decision-making body of the EPFO. It is a tripartite body involving the government, workers, and employers’ representatives. The Board is headed by the union labour minister.

The union finance ministry will now vet the interest rate recommended by the EPFO’s Central Board of Trustees and issue notification.

The interest rates on PF deposits have been reduced sharply in the last six years. In 2015-16 the interest rate on PF deposits stood at 8.8 per cent. It was lowered to 8.65 per cent in 2016-17 and further to 8.55 per cent in 2017-18. In 2018-19 it was increased to 8.65 per cent. However, in 2019-20 it was again lowered to 8.5 per cent. It was kept unchanged in 2020-21. (ANI)

 

Banks should not use public deposits to finance risky projects: Ex RBI Deputy Governor

New Delhi [India]: Projects with implementation risks should normally be financed by the capital markets and not by banks using public deposits, N S Vishwanathan, Former Deputy Governor, Reserve Bank of India, said on Thursday.

Speaking at an event organised by the industry body Assocham, Vishwanathan said India needs a very strong bond market that can fund projects and manage its risks.
“The fundamental risk management and providing liquidity needs to come from the bond market. IBC is one of the legal frameworks enabling the development of the bond market,” he said.

He pointed out that if the bond markets develop, the banks must brace up to a situation of higher disintermediation. “The biggest contributor for the net interest margin being higher is the high NPAs. Going forward, we are looking at the Indian banking system having NPAs of globally accepted standards,” he said.

Vishwanathan highlighted that credit culture in India is a function of many things. “The quality of credit in the bank, the post-credit follow-up and the legal system for recovery are some of the factors which determine it. If you don’t have all these things, you reduce the probability of default and bring down the loss given default,” he said. (ANI)

 

India among top 3 countries most affected by ransomware attacks

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India] (ANI/BusinessWire India): Industry-leading organization PCI Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) highlights the danger of ransomware threats and best practices to mitigate them in a recently issued bulletin, which can be viewed

here

.

Ransomware attacks have been front and centre in the news over the past year due to various high-profile breaches that have impacted businesses across the globe. These attacks have been part of a larger global increase in ransomware crime over the past year. In fact, it is estimated that ransomware attacks cost the world $20 billion and hit 37 per cent of all businesses and

organizations

in

2021 alone

.

The impact of this can be clearly seen in the Asia-Pacific region where India has been one of the country’s worst affected by ransomware crime. Last year, 49 per cent of companies in India suffered multiple ransomware attacks, while 76 per cent have experienced at least one, according to a recent

report

by US security firm Crowdstrike. This makes India among the top 3 most affected countries when it comes to ransomware and demonstrates that it is critical for Indian businesses to protect themselves against cybercrime.

Nitin Bhatnagar, Associate Director India, PCI Security Standards Council, on cybercrime in India said “As an industry-leading organization for payment security in India, we are issuing this bulletin to help educate those who work in payments and security about the presence and growing risk of ransomware attacks. Organizations in India need to be aware of these threats and need to make cybersecurity a top priority as the number of cyber-attacks is on the rise.”

A ransomware attack involves cyber criminals gaining access to your network, systems and data and then rendering parts of these unusable, and/or stealing some of the data you have stored. The cyber-actor then ‘ransoms’ the data back by requiring payment to provide a decryption key to allow for the recovery of the encrypted data and systems or to

guarantee sensitive data is not further exposed

. Ransomware attacks are often the result of a phishing attack, when a company employee clicks on a malicious link, or the exploitation of known vulnerabilities in outdated software.

When it comes to protecting payment card data, which is often the target of a cyber-attack, adherence to the PCI DSS is considered a best practice. It consists of steps that mirror industry-accepted security best practices and at a high level requires you to consider how to mitigate the impact of a cyber-attack.

Speaking on combatting the growing threat of ransomware attacks, Lt Gen. Dr Rajesh Pant, National Cybersecurity Coordinator, Prime Minister’s Office Government of India said, “The imminent threat of ransomware needs serious and immediate attention. We have seen a rise in the number of ransomware attacks over the last 2 years in India. Cybercrime is growing and evolving at a rapid pace which makes it crucial for us to be equipped with the right tools and information to tackle it. We are pleased to see global payment security standards body PCI SSC’s constant efforts to educate businesses and government organizations on the best practices to tackle such threats.”

Learn more about the threat of ransomware attacks and the many ways to better protect against in PCI SSC’s recently issued bulletin,

here

. It highlights best practices businesses can take to mitigate the threat of ransomware attacks, including how the PCI DSS can be helpful in preventing an attack and improving payment data security.

This story is provided by BusinessWire India. ANI will not be responsible in any way for the content of this article. (ANI/BusinessWire India)

 

Socomec India Launches New Website To Mark Its 100th Anniversary

Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India], March 9 (ANI/NewsVoir): Commemorating its 100 years of shared energy, Socomec, a leading Global specialist in LV power management solutions, announced today, the launch of its redesigned www.socomec.co.in website for India region.

A perfect combination of branding and user interface, the enhanced website exudes a fresh design, with intuitive navigation and well-crafted technical content that reflects the company’s vision of improvising upon its field of expertise across products and services that have evolved over a Century. With more than 1,500 documents including technical guides, white papers, catalogues and brochures made available under a single location, the new website is highly responsive with optimised accessibility through selectors and configurators that can be used across a plethora of handheld devices and different browsers.

The users can also preview the product references in 3D mode, which are downloadable in over 80 formats. This enhanced feature will not only help them choose a particular product solution, but also enable them to create their own product references that will suit their applications and projects.

Speaking on the launch of new website, Sushil Virmani, Managing Director, Socomec Innovative Power Solutions said, “We are elated to unveil our new company website to our customers, partners, and prospective visitors who are looking for information about our product and services as well as application-related contents on the power management subject matter. The redesign of our website not just enhances the user experience, but also ensures the overall experience with our brand as a whole.”

He further added, “Digital transformation is imperative to all businesses and improving seamless customer experience has become a mandate in today’s world. Socomec is no exception to this and the launch of our new website marks an exciting step towards this direction.”

Visit Socomec India New website www.socomec.co.in.
Socomec: When energy matter

Founded in 1922, Socomec is an independent, industrial group with a workforce of 3600 experts spread over 28 subsidiaries in the world. Our core business – the availability, control and safety of low voltage electrical networks serving our customers’ power performance.

 

Sensex rebounds 1165 points from day’s low; Tata Steel, Power Grid soar

                

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India]: Extreme volatility continued in the Indian stock markets on Monday with benchmark Sensex sliding over 1000 points and briefly trading in the positive amid the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict.

The 30 stock S&P BSE Sensex opened deep in the red at 55,329.46 points and slumped to a low of 54,833.50 points in the morning trade.
At around noon trade, the investors rushed to bargain buying. The Sensex was trading 59.46 points or 0.11 per cent higher at 55,917.98 points at 12.28 pm, against its previous session’s close at 55,858.52 points.

The Sensex rose to a high of 55,998.65 points at around noon, which is 1,165.15 points higher from the day’s low of 54,833.50 points touched in the early morning trade.

The broader Nifty 50 of the National Stock Exchange was trading 48.15 points or 0.29 per cent higher at 16,706.55 points against its previous session’s close at 16,658.40 points.

The Nifty 50 opened deep in the red at 16,481.60 points and slumped to a low of 16,356.30 points. The Nifty rose to a high of 16,720.95 points in the intra-day trade.

Tata Steel surged 5.48 per cent to Rs 1207.90. The scrip had also surged 6.54 per cent on Friday.

Power Grid Corporation 3.52 per cent higher at Rs 204.25; NTPC 2.07 per cent higher at Rs 133; Tech Mahindra 1.68 per cent higher at Rs 1412.80 and Reliance Industries 1.73 per cent higher at Rs 2323.45 were among the major Sensex gainers.

Dr Reddy’s Laboratories slumped 2.53 per cent to Rs 4074.75. Mahindra & Mahindra fell 2.07 per cent to Rs 790.95. HDFC Bank 1.99 per cent down at Rs 1426.65; Axis Bank 1.89 per cent down at Rs 743.80; Nestle India 1.66 per cent down at Rs 17413.25 and Maruti Suzuki 1.25 per cent down at Rs 8250.05 were among the major Sensex losers. (ANI)

South Korea: Samsung, LG, POSCO, Hyundai Motor closely eye Russia-Ukraine crisis

Seoul [South Korea]: As Russia has ordered operations in Ukraine, Korean companies have been also impacted. Korean companies have returned their expatriates from Ukraine, and are closely watching the situation.

According to the industry on the 22nd, Samsung Electronics, which operates a local unit in Ukraine, has ordered its expatriates and their families to move to Korea or nearby countries. Korean employees working at Samsung AI Research Center in Kiev also moved to other countries or returned to Korea.
LG Electronics and POSCO also have returned expatriates and their families to Korea first and temporarily relocated other Korean employees in Ukraine to Korea or nearby countries.

This is because the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has issued a Level 4 travel warning and banned the travel to all regions in Ukraine. Under the Level 4, Koreans and Korean companies should leave the country immediately.

However, considering that it is difficult to re-enter the local market after complete withdrawal, the companies are continuing to run their businesses in Ukraine. Local employees are currently working from home and communicating online. LG Electronics is also continuing its business with local employees.

POSCO International, which operates a grain terminal business in Ukraine, is also working as usual but has put the new projects on hold.

A business official said, “We will keep monitoring to decide whether to respond or not. As the U.S. and Europe are likely to impose sanctions on Russia, we are keeping a close eye on the situation.”

Airlines are also paying keen attention. Airlines are currently operating their flights on a route bypassing Ukrainian airspace, and considering suspending flights in accordance with the authorities’ guidelines.

Korean companies in Russia have not yet consider withdrawing but they also are concerned about impacts of Ukraine crisis. Supply disruptions of raw materials and local production delays are expected. As of last year, Russia is the 10th largest country in trade with Korea, accounting for about 1.6% of total exports and 2.8% of imports.

Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics, and Hyundai Motor, which have factories in Russia, are currently continuing the production at local plants. Samsung Electronics operates a TV plant in Kaluga near Moscow, Russia, and LG Electronics operates a TV and home appliance plant in Luza near Moscow. Hyundai Motor has production facilities in St. Petersburg.

The three companies said there is no problem with operation in Russia. However, if the Russia-Ukraine war breaks out, the demand is expected to rapidly decrease, having a serious impact on profits. In addition, there are concerns about worsening profitability and supply chain disruptions due to ruble weakness.

Currently, companies are keeping monitoring the situation. An official from the company said “There are limitations for corporate responses in this urgent situation. We continue to operate plants as usual.” (ANI/Global Economic)

China to impose sanctions on US firms for Taiwan arms deal

              

Beijing [China] (ANI): In retaliation to US arms sales to Taiwan, China has decided to impose sanctions on American defence companies Lockheed Martin and Raytheon Technologies.

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin said China would continue to take all necessary measures to protect its sovereignty.
The US earlier this month had approved a possible USD 100 million sales of equipment and services to Taiwan to “sustain” and “improve” the Patriot missile defence system used by the self-governing island.

The announcement drew a reaction from China and it advised the US against the arms deal. China had warned that it would take necessary actions to protect its sovereignty.

“China will take countermeasures against Raytheon and Lockheed Martin, which participated in a USD 100 million-worth sale of US arms to the island of Taiwan, a move that severely harmed China’s sovereignty and security interests,” Wang told a briefing on Monday, as quoted by the state media tabloid Global Times.

After the US approved the arms sales to Taiwan, Taipei thanked Washington for taking concrete actions to meet its security commitments stipulated in the Taiwan Relations Act and the Six Assurances.

“It not only demonstrates the significance the US government continues to place on Taiwan’s defence capabilities but also shows the rock-solid Taiwan-US partnership,” Taiwan News quoted Taiwan’s Presidential Office Spokesperson Xavier Chang as saying.

This is the second weapons sale since President Biden took office and the first arms deal this year. (ANI)

The book ‘I AM’ challenges the myths and breaks the stereotype around creativity

              

Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India] (ANI/PNN): The book ‘I AM’ is a first of its kind in the illustrated picture book category that defines the correct meaning of creativity.

Inspired by the core principle of design thinking, the book takes the reader through the journey of Empathy-Define-Ideate-Prototype-Test to demonstrate simple methods to solve complex problems.
Creativity isn’t always an in-born trait but a refined skill in the creation process. I AM an illustrated book for adults & children who believe in having a mindset that lets them find multiple solutions for the same problem.

I AM a happy book that emphasizes positivity. It is an emotional journey of a boy who is on his path of self-discovery. The story keeps the readers glued to the protagonist’s journey and how his brother encourages him to face the challenges and discover the essence of life. The book revolves around the myths about creativity and its stereotype. It’s an eye-opener for young adults, professionals, and parents who believe that creativity is synonymous with being artistic, whereas it is all about inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking the rules, making mistakes, and finding out solutions.

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This story is provided by PNN. ANI will not be responsible in any way for the content of this article. (ANI/PNN)

TCS slumps 2 per cent ahead of Rs 18,000 crore share buyback

            

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India] (ANI): The share price of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) fell around 2 per cent on Monday, which is the last day for retail investors to participate in the company’s Rs 18,000 crore share buyback plan.

TCS has set February 23, 2022, as the record date to identify investors who will be eligible to participate in the stock buyback plan. If a retail investor wishes to participate in the buyback offer, February 21 is the last opportunity to buy. In order to be eligible to participate in the share buyback, the stock should be in the investors’ Demat account on the record date.
Trading in TCS shares started on a positive note on Monday. However, the scrip slipped into the red in tandem with the benchmark indices.

At 15.04 pm at the BSE, TCS was trading at Rs 3,725, which is Rs 69.80 or 1.84 per cent down from its previous session’s close at Rs 3794.80. The share price of TCS slumped to a low of Rs 3705.80 in the intra-day.

On January 12, 2022, the board of directors of TCS approved a proposal to buy back up to 4 crore shares for an aggregate amount not exceeding Rs 18,000 crore.

The company plans to buy back shares from investors at Rs 4,500 per share which is at a premium of around 20 per cent to Monday’s price of Rs 3,725. (ANI)

Budget 2022-23 has growth revival as a priority, says Nirmala Sitharaman

               

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India] (ANI): The high capital expenditure proposed in the Union Budget 2022-23 will have a multiplier effect on the economy and will help in sustained recovery, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Monday.

“The budget has growth revival as a priority along with messages for sustainability as a priority and on predictable tax regimen,” Sitharaman said while addressing a post-budget interaction with industry.
She said the government’s decision to increase spending on infrastructure will help create long-term assets and have a sustainable impact on the economic recovery.

“A sustained recovery is what we would want,” said the Finance Minister adding the Union Budget 2022-23 seeks to lay a foundation for India’s growth for the next 25 years.

In the 2022-23 Union Budget presented on Parliament on February 1, 2022, Sitharaman proposed to increase the outlay for capital expenditure by 35.4 per cent from Rs 5.54 lakh crore in the current year to Rs 7.50 lakh crore in 2022-23.

The Finance Minister said the extensive use of technology helped India manage the COVID pandemic more effectively than most other countries. (ANI)

Choppy day at Dalal Street: Sensex closes 145 points down

             

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India](ANI): The Indian stock markets key indices, Sensex and Nifty, closed in the negative in a choppy day on Wednesday amid continued uncertainty over Russia-Ukraine tensions.

The 30 stock S&P BSE Sensex closed at 57,996.68 points, which is 145.37 points or 0.25 per cent down from its previous day’s close at 58,142.05 points.
The index witnessed a volatile session. The Sensex opened in the positive at 58,310.68 points and surged to a high of 58,569.22 points and slipped to a low of 57,780.28 points in the intra-day.

The Indian stock markets have witnessed extremely volatile trading this week. The Sensex soared 1736.21 points on Tuesday after losing 1747.08 points on Monday.

The broader Nifty 50 of the National Stock Exchange closed 30.25 points or 0.17 per cent down at 17,322.20 points against its previous day’s close at 17,352.45 points.

Earlier, the Nifty 50 opened in the positive at 17,408.45 points and rose to a high of 17,490.60 points and slipped to a low of 17,257.70 points in the intra-day.

There was selling pressure in banking stocks. State Bank of India slipped 1.58 per cent to Rs 516.35. ICICI Bank fell 1.39 per cent to Rs 765.35.

NTPC 1.63 per cent down at Rs 133.15; Ultra Tech Cement 1.56 per cent down at Rs 7177.30; Tata Steel 1.28 per cent down at Rs 1192.05; Bajaj Finserv 0.96 per cent down at Rs 16209; Bajaj Finance 0.91 per cent down at Rs 7072.90 and L&T 0.90 per cent down at Rs 1860.10 were among the major Sensex losers.

Only eight of the 30 scrips that are part of the Sensex close in the positive. Bharti Airtel rose 1.41 per cent to Rs 721.40. HDFC 1.29 per cent higher at Rs 2370; Mahindra & Mahindra 1.10 per cent higher at Rs 864; Dr Reddy’s Laboratories 1.04 per cent higher at Rs 4320.05 and Kotak Bank 0.93 per cent higher at Rs 1829.45 were among the major Sensex gainers. (Image -kshvid)

Jio Platforms, Europe-based SES form JV to deliver broadband services through satellite across India

              

New Delhi [India](ANI): Reliance’s Jio platforms and Europe-based content connectivity solutions provider-SES-have formed a joint venture to deliver the next generation of scalable and affordable broadband services in India, leveraging satellite technology.

According to an official statement, the joint venture will use a multi-orbit space network that is a combination of geostationary (GEO) and medium earth orbit (MEO) satellite constellations capable of delivering multi-gigabit links and capacity to enterprises, mobile backhaul and retail customers across the length and breadth of India and neighbouring regions.
Jio Platforms Limited JPL and SES will own 51 per cent and 49 per cent equity stake in the joint venture – Jio Space Technology Limited – respectively.

“While we continue to expand our fibre-based connectivity and FTTH business and invest in 5G, this new joint venture with SES will further accelerate the growth of multigigabit broadband. With additional coverage and capacity offered by satellite communications services, Jio will be able to connect the remotest towns and villages, enterprises, government establishments, and consumers to the new Digital India,” said Akash Ambani, Director of Jio.

The joint venture will leverage SES-12, SES’s high-throughput GEO satellite serving India, and O3b mPOWER, SES’s next-generation MEO constellation, to extend and complement Jio’s terrestrial network, increasing access to digital services and applications. Jio will offer managed services and gateway infrastructure operations services to the joint venture.

“This joint venture with JPL is a great example of how SES can complement even the most extensive terrestrial networks to deliver high-quality connectivity, and positively affect the lives of hundreds of millions of people. We look forward to this joint venture whereby we can play a role in promoting digital inclusion in India,” said Steve Collar, Chief Executive Officer of SES.

As part of the investment plan, the joint venture will develop extensive gateway infrastructure in India to provide services within the country.

Jio, as an anchor customer of the joint venture, has entered into a multi-year capacity purchase agreement, based on certain milestones along with gateways and equipment purchases with a total contract value of circa USD 100 million. (ANI)

Rahul Bajaj – the man who put average Indian on two motorised wheels, passes away

             

Pune (Maharashtra) [India] (ANI): Rahul Bajaj, the man who made brand Bajaj a household name through scooter models like Chetak and Priya and the ubiquitous Bajaj three-wheeler auto, passed away at 83 on Saturday, nearly a year after stepping down as the non-executive chairman of Bajaj Auto.

A Padma Bhushan-awardee Rahul Bajaj was one of the longest-serving chairmen in corporate India. He breathed his last at Ruby Hall Hospital in Pune.
“Rahul Bajaj died today at 2.30 pm. He died due to heart and lungs problems. He was admitted for past one month in Ruby hall hospital in Pune,” Dr Parvej Grant, chairman of Ruby Hall hospital told ANI.

Rahul Bajaj

“It is with deep sorrow that I inform you about the passing away of Shri Rahul Bajaj, husband of the late Rupa Bajaj and father of Rajiv/Deepa, Sanjiv/Shefali and Sunaina/Manish. He passed away on the afternoon of 12th February, 2022 in the presence of his closest family members,” Bajaj Group said in a statement.

Rahul Bajaj stepped down as non-executive chairman of Bajaj Auto in April 2021, ceding the position to his cousin Niraj Bajaj.

He had stepped down from the executive role of Bajaj Group companies before his election to the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of parliament, 2006. He served as a member of Rajya Sabha from 2006 to 2010.

Rahul Bajaj’s younger son Sanjiv Bajaj has taken over as chairman of both the group’s finance companies – Bajaj Finance and Bajaj Finserv. His elder son Rajiv Bajaj is Managing Director of Bajaj Auto.

Born on June 10, 1938, Rahul Bajaj took over as Chief Executive Officer of Bajaj Auto in 1968 and was appointed as Managing Director of the company in 1972. He stepped down from that position in 2005.

Bajaj also served as president or chairman of several industry bodies. He served as president of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) twice – from 1979 to 1980 and again from 1999 to 2000.

He served as Chairman of the erstwhile Indian Airlines from 1986 to 1989. He also served as president of the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM).

“Rahul Bajaj strode across the Indian industrial landscape like a colossus. He was among the few stars who created the Indian automotive industry. He was a pioneer who established a culture of quality and technology,” said Venu Srinivasan, Chairman, TVS Motor.

Rahul Bajaj held a Bachelors degree in economics, a law degree from Mumbai University and an MBA from Harvard.

Expressing his condolences Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram said, “Rahul Bajaj was the one who put average Indians on two motorised wheels. In his passing away, we have lost a far-sighted and outspoken business leader. My sincere condolences to his family and numerous members of the Bajaj family and Bajaj group of business.”

“Rahul Bajaj was the captain and voice of Indian Industry. He was the doyen of manufacturing and truly the pillar of the auto industry. As Secretary, DIPP interacted with him on several occasions. Admired him for being always frank and fearless. India has lost a Gr8 nation builder,” Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said in a tweet.

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari also paid his tributes.

“My heartfelt tributes to Rahul Bajajji, a successful entrepreneur, philanthropist and former chairman of Bajaj. I had a personal relationship with Padma Bhushan awardee Rahulji for many years. Rahul ji, who has led the Bajaj Group for the last five decades, has been instrumental in the industry. May God rest the departed soul and give strength to the family members. Om Shanti,” he said in a tweet.

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan also condoled the demise of Bajaj.

“The demise of Rahul Bajaj the Chairman emeritus of the Bajaj Group is a loss to India’s business community. My condolences to the bereaved family and the group,” Chouhan said in a tweet.

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) President Sharad Pawar also expressed his condolences over Rahul Bajaj’s death.

“I am deeply shocked to learn about the sad demise of Padma Bhushan Shri Rahul Bajaj! The grandson of eminent freedom fighter Jamnalal Bajaj brought transformation in society especially in poor and middle-class people with his two-wheel technology – a Bajaj Bike!” Pawar tweeted.

“The affordable vehicle increased mobility, eased struggle for getting means of livelihood and became the tool of socio-economic change! We Indians are deeply indebted for his immense contribution to the industry,” he said in another tweet.

“I am grieved with a passing away of my very close friend. India has lost an industrialist, a philanthropist and a lighthouse for young entrepreneurs! Hamara Bajaj,” he said.

Former union minister Praful Patel said that Rahul Bajaj is credited with making the brand Bajaj a household name.

“Saddened by the passing away of renowned industrialist and one of the longest-serving chairman in corporate India, Padma Bhushan Rahul Bajajji. He is credited with making the brand Bajaj a household name. My heartfelt condolences to his family members,” Patel tweeted.

“Deeply saddened to hear about the demise of Padma Bhushan Rahul Bajaj. He was among the foremost Business Leaders our nation has seen, and an inspiration to all. We will miss him dearly and his wise counsel,” tweeted Nationalist Congress Party MP Supriya Sule. (image -instagram)

CCI imposes penalty on 7 entities for bid rigging in SBI tender

             

New Delhi [India],(ANI): The Competition Commission of India (CCI) on Friday said it has imposed financial penalties on seven entities for indulging in an anti-competitive agreement for the supply of signages for branches, offices, and ATMs of State Bank of India (SBI).

“This matter was initiated suo motu by CCI on the basis of a complaint received in 2018 alleging bid-rigging and cartelisation in the tender floated by SBI Infra Management Solutions Pvt. Ltd. The investigation inter alia found e-mails exchanged between the parties which formed the basis for manipulation of the bidding process,” CCI said in a statement.
Based on a cumulative assessment of the evidence collected, CCI found that there was an agreement amongst the parties which resulted in geographical market allocation as well as bid-rigging in the above-mentioned tender of SBI.

Accordingly, all the parties were held to be guilty of contravention of the provisions of Section 3 of the Competition Act, 2002 (the Act), which prohibits anti-competitive agreements including cartels. Further, nine individuals of these parties were also held liable for the anti-competitive conduct of their respective entities, in terms of the provisions of Section 48 of the Act, the CCI said.

Amongst the seven entities that have been penalised, one was a lesser penalty applicant before CCI.

Considering that one party has filed a lesser penalty application besides cooperating during an investigation as well as inquiry process and that most of the parties are MSMEs – some of which even acknowledged their conduct during the inquiry, CCI took a lenient view and decided to impose a penalty upon the parties @ 1 per cent of their respective average turnover.

The individuals found guilty under Section 48 of the Act were also imposed a penalty @1 per cent of their respective average incomes.

Further, considering the stage at which the lesser penalty applicant approached the CCI and in light of the co-operation extended by it thereafter, CCI granted a reduction in penalty by 90 per cent to it and its individuals. Apart from the above, CCI also directed the parties and their respective officials to cease and desist from indulging in anti-competitive conduct. (ANI)

Eminent Global Leaders to participate in VLSID 2022 between Feb 26-March 2, 2022

             

Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India] (ANI/NewsVoir): The 35th International Conference of VLSI Design and the 21st International Conference on Embedded Systems (VLSID 2022), the annual conference of global repute is scheduled between 26th February and 2nd March 2022.

The theme for the conference is “Silicon Catalyzing Computing, Communication and Cognitive Convergence”. Staying true to its legacy of shedding light on technology innovation and world-class research in the areas of Semiconductors, VLSI and Embedded Systems. This leading Global conference brings together key stakeholders of the ecosystem – Industry, Academia, Researchers, Innovators, and regulators in the space of Semiconductors and Electronics.
This platform of Global visionaries and leaders will together discuss and envision the latest advancements in Silicon driving AI/ML, 5G, IoT, Edge computing, Data Centers, Quantum Computing, EV, Compound Semiconductors etc. to unleash the potential of these technologies and set a direction along with a roadmap of Semiconductors in India. This 5 days’ conference will feature 2 days of tutorials and 3 days of the conference

The VLSID Annual Conference has been an eagerly awaited event in Electronics and Semiconductor industry for the past 34 years. With several leading experts in the committee, the technology conference aims at providing an excellent platform to several industrial and scientific researchers via thought-provoking sessions, unique knowledge-sharing and engaging discussions on innovations and achievements related to VLSI Design, Automation, Test and Embedded Systems

Talking about the conference, Dr. Satya Gupta, President, VLSI Society of India says, “The Indian Semiconductor and VLSI ecosystem is critical for empowering the USD 1 Trillion Digital economy and will play a key enabler role for India’s Semiconductor Vision. All stakeholders including Industry, Government and Academia need to come together to create a vibrant design-led manufacturing of semiconductor products leveraging the progressive policies of the government and pave the way for “Real” Self-Reliance in Electronics & Semiconductors. VLSI Design conference has been providing a great platform for last 35 years for both Global & Indian Semiconductor technology ecosystem and this year’s conference will continue to provide the leadership with the focus on technologies like AI/ML, 5G, Edge, IoT, EV and many others.”

The five-day conference will present 14 eminent global visionary leaders as keynote speakers. The curated list of speakers consist of some of the eminent industry veterans including Dr. Nick McKeown (SVP & GM, Intel), Dr. Suk Hwan Lim (EVP, Samsung), Joe Sawicki (EVP, Siemens), Dr. Philip Wong (Stanford), Ken Wiseman (VP, Qualcomm), Sanjive Agarwala (Corporate VP & GM ,Cadence), Daisy Chittilapalli (President – Cisco India & SAARC), Shankar Krishnamoorthy (GM, Synopsys), Prof. Jason Cong (UCLA), Prof. Andrew B Khang (UCSD), Prof. Ramgopal Rao (IIT Delhi), Prof. Subhasis Chaudhuri ( IIT Bombay), Sonam Wangchuk (HIAL).

“Silicon is increasingly becoming a pivot in digital arena. Silicon and Electronics solutions for the societal and engineering challenges is of utmost priority, especially now that we are all trying to build back after the COVID setback. Through this conference, we leverage our domain knowledge and expertise to handhold all budding and promising talented professionals, and connect them with industry veterans who will further support them in identifying opportunities, challenges, new markets and their overall journey of transforming the sector,” Anil Kempanna, General Chair, International VLSI & Embedded Systems Conference 2022 and VP & GM – IOTG, Intel.

The symposium will also showcase over 30 chosen exhibitors who will be displaying their latest products and 53 Scientific paper from over 300 Submissions globally, focused on rapid advances in Computing, Connectivity, Storage and Sensors which have resulted in path-breaking developments in the areas such as AI/ML, 5G, Compound Semiconductors, EV, Cloud & Edge computing and more unique solutions in new technology domains as well.

“With the world increasingly becoming more connected, we see tremendous opportunities to emphasise the potential of the VLSI & Embedded Systems community. VLSID 2022 will continue to provide an encouraging platform by acknowledging achievers and propel unique opportunities to the next level, by bringing together community experts, leaders and all key stakeholders under one umbrella,” said Lakshmi Narayana Kethamreddy, General Chair, International VLSI & Embedded Systems Conference 2022 and VP & Head – Foundry BU, Samsung Semiconductors India R&D Centre.

The VLSID conference attracts more than 2,000 Global Attendees and more than 300 different organizations (Both Industry and Academia) participate in this biggest conference in the Electronics & Semiconductors domain.

35th International VLSI Design & 21st Embedded Systems conference is a Premier Global conference with legacy of over three and half decades. This Global Annual technical conference that focusses on latest advancements in VLSI and Embedded Systems, is attended by over 2000 engineers, students & faculty, industry, academia, researchers, bureaucrats and government bodies.

This year’s Conference Theme is Silicon catalyzing computing, Communication & Cognitive Convergence. Silicon and Electronics today are the vital forces for all aspects of technology, Industry and human life – enabling rapid advances in Computing, Connectivity, Storage and Sensors which have resulted in path-breaking developments in the areas such as AI/ML, 5G, Compound Semiconductors, EV, Cloud & Edge computing and more.

The future is starting to witness a “Confluence” of these technologies with Silicon continuing to be the fulcrum harnessing the power of each in a way that was unimagined so far. VLSID 2022 conference brings a unique opportunity to time travel the future of technologies and explore the role of Silicon in decades to come.

This story is provided by NewsVoir. ANI will not be responsible in any way for the content of this article. (ANI/NewsVoir)(Image -Instagram)

Cryptocurrencies

Digital Rupee will open up new opportunities for Fintech sector, says PM Modi

             

New Delhi [India]: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said the digital Rupee will open up new opportunities for the Fintech sector and will give a big boost to the digital economy.

“There is also a lot of discussion about Central Bank Digital Currency in today’s newspapers. This will give a big boost to the digital economy. This digital rupee, which is our physical currency now, will have a digital form and it will be controlled by RBI. It can be exchanged with physical currency. Digital Rupee will open up new opportunities for the Fintech sector,” said PM Modi while addressing BJP workers and leaders on Budget 2022.
The Prime Minister said that people who have Sukanya Samriddhi accounts and PPF accounts in the post office will be able to transfer instalments online directly from their bank account.

“Those who have Sukanya Samriddhi account and PPF account in the post office, also do not need to go to the post office to deposit their instalments. Now they will be able to transfer online directly from their bank account,” he said.

He further added that the online fund transfer facility will be available in post office accounts like banks.

“Now mobile banking, internet banking, ATM and online fund transfer facility will be available in post office accounts like banks. At present, there are more than 1.5 lakh post offices in the country, most of which are in villages,” he added.

The Prime Minister said that very soon optical fiber connectivity will be completed to all the villages.

“Today cheap and fast internet has become the identity of India. Very soon optical fiber connectivity will be completed to all the villages. 5G service is going to give a different dimension to ease of living and ease of doing business in India,” he said.

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman tabled Union Budget 2022-23 on Tuesday.

Sitharaman announced in her budget speech that income from digital asset transfers will be taxed at a rate of 30 per cent.

The move is being seen as ‘crypto tax’ and gifts received in the form of cryptocurrencies are likely to be taxed at the same rate. Cryptocurrency gifts would also be taxed at the receiver’s end.

The Finance Minister also announced that the Reserve Bank of India will issue a Digital Rupee in the next financial year.

In order to regulate the digital assets market, the government had proposed to introduce the Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021 in the Winter Session of Parliament. However, the Bill was not tabled with the government deciding to have more consultations.

Sitharaman said Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) will give a big boost to the digital economy.

The minister said the digital currency will also lead to a more efficient and cheaper currency management system and it will use blockchain and other technologies. (ANI)

Sitharaman to present Union Budget 2022-23 in paperless format

               

New Delhi [India]: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present the Budget 2022-23 in a paperless format just like last year.

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman was seen carrying a tablet kept inside a red coloured cover with a golden coloured national emblem embossed on it instead of the briefcase or ‘bahi khata’.
In a historic move, the Union Budget 2021 was presented in a digital format for the first time to promote the Government of India’s (GoI) Digital India flagship programme. This is being seen as an attempt to go green and also to minimise physical contact amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sitharaman in 2019, ditched the longstanding tradition of carrying a briefcase and went ‘Swadeshi’ to replaced the briefcase with the traditional ‘bahi khata’ saying that the Modi-government was not a ‘suitcase-carrying government.’

Sitharaman was accompanied by MoS Finance Pankaj Chaudhary and Bhagwat Karad and other officials from her ministry, Sitharaman is scheduled to meet President Ram Nath Kovind before presenting the budget at 11 am today.

The Central government last year launched the ‘Union Budget Mobile App’ to enable the Members of Parliament (MPs) and common people to access Budget documents digitally. The Union Budget 2022 -23 would also be made available on the mobile app after the Budget is presented on February 1 in Parliament.

The App facilitates complete access to 14 Union Budget documents, including the Annual Financial Statement (commonly known as Budget), Demand for Grants (DG) and Financial Bill as prescribed by the Constitution.

The word ‘Budget’ originates from the French word Bougette, meaning leather briefcase. The tradition of carrying the Budget briefcase was a copy of the ‘Gladstone box’, used in the British Budget.

In 1860, the then British budget chief William E Gladstone used a red suitcase with Queen’s monogram embossed in gold to carry his documents, which came to be known as the ‘Gladstone Box’.

In 1947, India’s first Finance Minister RK Shanmukham Chetty carried a leather portfolio to present the first Budget.

Before Nirmala Sitharaman, a long standing tradition in connection with the Budget presentation was broken during the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government with the then Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha presenting the Budget at 11 am instead of the traditional time of 5 pm.

In the first, this year, there was no customary ‘halwa ceremony’ amid COVID-19 curbs. (ANI-image -instagram)

Sensex, Nifty likely to remain volatile in the run-up to Budget

               

By Gyanendra Kumar Keshri

Mumbai [India]: As the countdown to the Union Budget 2022-23 has begun, the Indian equities market is likely to remain volatile in the week beginning Monday.
Market participants will try to envisage the reforms and measures that could be announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the budget to be presented on February 1 and make speculative trading decisions.

The Indian stock markets have historically been volatile with negative bias in the fortnight preceding the presentation of the union budget.

Bears were in full control of the Dalal Street during the week ended January 21. Snapping four-week of winning run the benchmark indices – Sensex and Nifty – slumped around three-and-a-half per cent during the week. The key indices sustained heavy losses for the four out of the five trading sessions of the week.

The benchmark Sensex lost 2,185.85 points and the Nifty slumped 638.6 points or 3.5 per cent during the week ended January 21.

The Indian stock markets witnessed heavy selling during the week on negative cues from the global markets amid speculations that the US Federal Reserves would hike policy rates sooner than expected.

Major indices across the world witnessed heavy losses during the week. Nasdaq Composite Index lost 7.6 per cent during the week. S&P 500 lost 5.7 per cent.

The rate hike speculation led to increase in bond yields. The US as well as Indian bond yields rose to two years high. India’s 10-year government bond yield rose to 6.68 per cent and the US 10-year treasury yield climbed to 1.90 per cent.

Foreign institutional investors sold heavily during the week. Investors are withdrawing money from equities and investing in debt.

A sharp increase in crude oil prices, rising concerns over inflation and restrictions imposed across the country to contain the spread of new variant of COVID-19 have also spooked investors’ sentiments in the markets. Crude oil price surged to $89 per barrel, the highest level in seven years.

The Union Budget 2022-23 will be presented ahead of the assembly elections in five states. Uttar Pradesh assembly election is seen crucially important. There are strong speculations that the government will come out with populist budget to win hearts of the voters.

Apart from the speculative trading ahead of the budget there are several other developments that are likely to keep the markets volatile in the coming days.

The US Federal Reserve’s meeting is scheduled on Tuesday and Wednesday. The Fed action will have huge impact on the markets globally. While the Fed has already given indication for increasing the policy rates, investors await clues from this week’s meeting on by how much the rates will be increased and when it will start.

There are also major earnings reports expected during the week. India’s most valuable company Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) announced its third quarter results on Friday. The report was made public after closing of the stock market trading on Friday. The company has reported a robust 38 per cent jump in its third quarter net profit. It will be interesting to see how the markets react to RIL’s third quarter number.

ICICI Bank announced its third quarter results on Saturday. The private sector lender net profit rose by 25 per cent to Rs 6,194 crore during the quarter ended December 31, 2021. Direction in the scrips like Reliance Industries and ICICI Bank would have big impact on the market on Monday. (image -instagram)

Indian stocks tumble for 3rd straight day; Sensex dips 634 points, Nifty down 1.01 per cent

               

Mumbai [India]: The Indian equities markets key indices tumbled for the third straight day on Thursday dragged by heavy selling pressure in IT, financial and energy stocks.

The benchmark Sensex has lost 1,844 points in the last three sessions, while Nifty 50 has slumped 552 points. Negative global cues and a sharp rise in crude oil prices in the international markets have dampened investors’ sentiments.
The 30 stock S&P BSE Sensex of the Bombay Stock Exchange closed at 59,464.62 points, which is 634.20 points or 1.06 per cent down from its previous day’s close at 60,098.82 points.

The Sensex started the Thursday trade marginally down at 60,045.48 points, which also remained the highest level for the day. The index tumbled to a low of 59,068.31 points in the intra-day.

The index has closed sharply down for the third straight day. The Sensex had lost 656 points and 554 points in the previous two sessions, respectively.

The broader Nifty 50 of the National Stock Exchange closed at 17,757 points, which is 1.01 per cent or 181.40 points down from its previous day’s close at 17,938.40 points.

The Nifty slumped to a low of 17,648.45 points in the intra-day trade. The Nifty has lost 552 points in the last three sessions.

IT stocks witnessed heavy selling pressure for the third straight day. Infosys tumbled 2.33 per cent to Rs 1824.15. TCS slumped 2.25 per cent to Rs 3827.85. HCL Technologies dipped 1.97 per cent to Rs 1175.55.

Bajaj Finserv tumbled 4.57 per cent to Rs 17260.30. Sun Pharma 2.20 per cent down at Rs 819.65; Hindustan Unilever 2.13 per cent down at Rs 2261.60; Dr Reddy’s Laboratories 1.92 per cent down at Rs 4599.35; HDFC 1.90 per cent down at Rs 2568.85 and Reliance Industries 1.69 per cent down at Rs 2478.80 were among the major Sensex losers.

Only seven of the 30 scrips that are part of the Sensex close in the positive. Power Grid Corporation surged 4.86 per cent to Rs 214.60.

Bharti Airtel 1.60 per cent higher at Rs 715.30; Asian Paints 0.81 per cent higher at Rs 3307.70; Maruti Suzuki 0.35 per cent higher at Rs 8036.35 and UltraTech Cement 0.28 per cent higher at Rs 7452.60 were among the major Sensex gainers. (ANI/Image – BSE)

Indian stock markets slump for 3rd straight day; Sensex down 516 points

             

Mumbai [India]: The Indian equities markets key indices tumbled for the third straight day on Thursday dragged by heavy selling pressure in IT, financial and energy stocks.

The 30 stock S&P BSE Sensex of the Bombay Stock Exchange was trading at 59,582.20 points at 11.12 am, which is 516.62 points or 0.86 per cent lower from its previous day’s close at 60,098.82 points.
The benchmark Sensex is trading deep in the red for the third consecutive session. The Sensex had lost 656 points and 554 points in the previous two trading sessions, respectively.

The Sensex started the Thursday trade marginally down at 60,045.48 points, which also remains the highest level for the day. The index slumped to a low of 59,565.94 points.

The broader Nifty 50 of the National Stock Exchange was trading at 17,839.30 points, which is 0.55 per cent or 99.10 points down from its previous day’s close at 17,938.40 points.

The Nifty slumped to a low of 17,817.65 points in the morning trade after opening in the positive at 17,921.00 points.

IT stocks witnessed heavy selling pressure for the third straight day. Infosys tumbled 1.94 per cent to Rs 1831.50. HCL Technologies slumped 1.70 per cent to Rs 1178.75. TCS fell 1.09 per cent to Rs 3873.

Other major Sensex losers included: HDFC 2.03 per cent down at Rs 2565.50; Bajaj Finserv 1.77 per cent down at Rs 17767; Reliance Industries 1.67 per cent down at Rs 2479.35; Dr Reddy Laboratories 1.19 per cent down at Rs 4633.40 and Sun Pharma 1.10 per cent down at Rs 828.80.

Only 11 of the 30 scrips that are part of the Sensex were trading in the positive. Power Grid Corporation surged 3.47 per cent to Rs 211.75. UltraTech Cement 1.23 per cent higher at Rs 7518.65; Tata Steel 1.16 per cent higher at Rs 1222.80; Maruti Suzuki 1.09 per cent higher at Rs 8095.70 and Bharti Airtel 0.76 per cent higher at Rs 709.40 were among the major Sensex gainers. (Image – ani)

US judge rejects Facebook’s request to dismiss antitrust complaint

              

Washington [US]: In a blow to Facebook, US federal judge on Tuesday ruled that US antitrust officials can continue their case to break up Meta, Facebook’s parent company.

The decision allows federal prosecutors to try to prove their allegations that Meta has illegally abused a monopoly in the marketplace for social media — and that its subsidiaries Instagram and WhatsApp should be spun off, reported CNN.
The social media giant had argued the complaint should be dismissed.

District Judge James Boasberg previously threw out the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) complaint last June. At the time, Boasberg said agency prosecutors had not done enough to show that Facebook held a monopoly in social networking. But he left the door open for the FTC to resubmit its complaint with changes.

In August, the FTC refiled its complaint with the backing of its new chair, the vocal tech industry critic Lina Khan. Facebook again called for Boasberg to quash the suit, but in Tuesday’s opinion, the judge said the FTC’s “significant additions and revisions” from its earlier filing met the threshold for the case to continue, reported CNN.

The FTC didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. In a statement, Meta said it was confident “the evidence will reveal the fundamental weakness of the [FTC’s] claims.” The company also pointed out that Boasberg described the FTC’s job ahead as a “tall task.”

The case gives Khan a chance to make her mark in her first turn as a federal regulator. Khan played a key role in kick-starting the current wave of antitrust scrutiny of Big Tech platforms with a 2017 paper in the Yale Law Journal highlighting the dominance of Amazon.

Khan also helped lead a 16-month congressional investigation of Big Tech while working for the House antitrust subcommittee, a probe that produced a landmark report in 2020 finding that Amazon, Apple, Google and Meta enjoy monopoly power, reported CNN.

Meta had called for Boasberg to throw out the FTC suit on the grounds that Khan should not have been able to vote to approve the new complaint, given her past criticism of Big Tech companies.

Last July, company officials wrote to the FTC seeking Khan’s recusal from all matters related to the social media giant, but that did not deter Khan from voting in August to continue the litigation.

On Tuesday, Boasberg sided with the FTC on that issue, saying Khan’s vote saw her “acting in a prosecutorial capacity, as opposed to in a judicial role.”

But, as in his decision to toss out the original FTC complaint, Boasberg on Tuesday again rejected one of the US government’s central claims that Facebook had anti-competitively controlled how third parties could access the company’s data, reported CNN.

The lawsuit’s continuance signals further unwelcome scrutiny for Meta that could potentially end with some of the company’s most valuable assets spun off. (ANI- Image Unsplash)

Sensex down by 491 points

             

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India]: Benchmark indices opened in red on Thursday amid weak global cues.

At 9.15 am, BSE Sensex was down by 491.40 points or 0.82 per cent, while NSE Nifty was down by 156.80 or 0.87 per cent.
The negative trading in stock markets after the US Fed Reserve has signalled raise interest rates, prompting investors to withdraw money from emerging markets. (ANI)

Retail Tech Startup ‘The New Shop’ signs a landmark partnership with the Adani Airports for upcoming Airports

               

New Delhi [India]: The New Shop, India’s smartest 24-hour convenience store chain, has successfully opened its 41st store at Lucknow’s Chaudhary Charan Singh International Airport.

This transit retail store is also the brand’s first airport flagship store, which was inaugurated by Suresh Chandra Hota IAP, Chief Airport Officer, Adani Lucknow International Airport Ltd, on December 07, 2021.
Hota graced the occasion to show his support towards the young startup and said, “In our effort to provide excellent customer experience, we had been looking for something unique. The New Shop, which is an endeavor towards Aatma Nirbhar Bharat, is an inspiration for self-reliance with its attractive offerings at competitive prices. I am sure it will not only enhance customer experience but also help inspire our customers to support the ‘Make in India’ movement.” The New Shop will soon be opening stores at other Adani airports as well.

With the most diverse mix of products, the transit store in Lucknow is suitable for both Indian and international consumers. The New Shop is a purely homegrown brand, which renders it as the poster child of the ‘Make in India’ campaign, it takes pride in advocating other homegrown brands, much like itself. Domestic & stylish brands such as boAt, epigamia and WOW Skin Science, are a common sight at every The New Shop store.

Anshuman Bharadwaj, Head of Commercial at Adani Lucknow International Airport Ltd. stated, “TNS is creating an ecosystem that will allow Indian companies to be highly competitive on the global stage. A home-grown, retail tech startup, that is not only neck and neck with its international competitors but one that also supports the bigger goal at hand, by including other indigenous brands at all their stores and creating employment opportunities, made The New Shop a clear choice to be brought on board at the Lucknow Airport. We’re looking forward to great things coming out of this collaboration.”

The New Shop is the brainchild of Founders Aastha Almast, Charak Almast, and Mani Dev Gyawali, who started out this journey in 2019, after successfully having created a global consumer products sourcing and private labeling business Productx Ventures. When asked about the inspiration behind The New Shop, Aastha says, “We wanted to be the first Indian-bred, 24-hour convenience store within every Indian’s walking distance along with providing instant hyperlocal doorstep deliveries. We are deeply humbled and grateful to be partnering with Adani Airports, and to be working collectively towards our common mission of contributing to India’s growth story, by standardising retail offerings at all mass transit hubs across India. We are committed to providing an augmented retail experience and convenience to all citizens of the country.”

With an in-built real time cloud based inventory management system, an e-commerce-like POS for quick checkouts and heavily streamlined backend tech and data support, The New Shop has managed to reduce pilferage to 0.8% – an unheard of figure, in the Indian Retail industry, alongside managing completely up to date inventory lists, to minimise wastage. The New Shop is now among the first few companies to be soon reaching a negative working capital and already has the industry’s best Gross Margins in the Retail sector.

The New Shop started operations from Delhi NCR, at major transit hubs such as railway stations (Anand Vihar Railway station), and highways. It has since seen unprecedented growth, by capturing important strategic locations across the capital, and has over 40 stores within NCR. With a majority of stores in residential areas, The New Shop aims to have an exponential expansion by 2025 with over 1,000+ stores. The New Shop has begun operations in 5 cities – Delhi NCR, Indore, Lucknow, Ahmedabad and most recently, Bangalore.

With solid expansion plans in place, The New Shop intends to become a household name, and conquer the otherwise unexplored convenience retail space in India.

As their initial investor, the original Shark from Shark Tank, Kevin Harrington puts it, “In the USA, there is 1 convenience store for every 2,000 people. When I came to India, I was surprised that there is no pan India 7Eleven counterpart, considering India has the youngest population in the world.” With only 9% penetration in this space, The New Shop will soon become the one-stop solution and a market leader in the space. The New Shop’s aggressive expansion is a result of its rapidly forming real estate partnerships with highway authorities, airports, railway stations, metro stations and fuel stations across various cities in India. This is in line with their vision statement to standardize the supply of quality and affordable convenience retail items to all the citizens of India.

The New Shop believes that an omni-channel delivery strategy is the future of convenience retail space; it has thus partnered with Zomato, Shadowfax, Wefast and other hyperlocal delivery services, to ensure that everyday essentials reach consumers within 30 minutes or less.

To that end, The New Shop will also be launching a mobile application and its own delivery fleet, to make ordering daily essentials, groceries, hot food, live cafe items prepared in real time at the stores, and beverages, only a few taps away, available 24/7. By offering such quick convenience at affordable prices, The New Shop aims to transform the overall Indian consumer experience and quite literally spoil consumers for choice.

This story is provided by PRNewswire. ANI will not be responsible in any way for the content of this article. (ANI/PRNewswire)

Bidding farewell to 2021: An ode to the year gone by

               

Gurgaon (Haryana) [India]: As we bid Adieu to 2021, there is undoubtedly a lot to reminisce about. It has indeed been a year full of challenges, a chance to reflect and reimagine goals. Businesses over the last year have adopted to the new normal and designed their strategies enabling them to finally take a breath of fresh air.

Each industry dealt with its own set of hurdles. From tech to fashion to immigration and beyond, here is what some leaders from across industries have to say about the year gone by and what they expect from 2022:
Sanjay Chatrath, Managing Partner, Incuspaze (Enterprise Managed Workspace Provider)

“While there have been enough assumptions about how offices and work will pan out in the upcoming year, especially with the Omicron threat coming in, it is best to patiently watch the demand trajectory and then decentralize offices into flexible workspaces. There is a huge demand for co-working spaces that have been witnessed in the last few months, which will essentially roll over in the next year. 2022 will be about flexibility and wellbeing along with business expansion. Flexible workspaces will help companies achieve their 2022 plans in a cost-effective, efficient, and hassle-free manner. The upcoming year, I hope, will be the evidence of the beginning of satellite and flexible workspace for years to come.”

Nishchal Dua, Director of Marketing, Airmeet (Near to Real Virtual Events Platform)

“With a multi-fold increase in revenue, we gave big events to organisations such as the United Nations Association in Canada, Walmart, Johnson & Johnson, Shell a virtual home amidst the pandemic. We continued to invest in advanced technology and our brainchild subscription model ‘Social Webinar’ that gets you closer to your audience; and features such as Integrations dashboard, a new Social Lounge UI to help add more context to every table conversation, ticketing, etc. The large-scale webinars use-case segment captured the largest revenue share this year and is expected to maintain its dominance over the next seven years. With uncertainty in the air as new variants are discovered, and with so many still unvaccinated, online and hybrid remain the best solution for many meetings and events around the globe. This means that virtual events will be in demand, and the best ones will be those that increase their engagement value.”

Eric Wei, Senior Sales Director, ViewSonic – Asia Pacific (Global provider of Visual Solutions)

“In 2021, ViewSonic observed a significant growth across segments. From the IFP series to home entertainment projectors to gaming and professional monitors, we introduced new products and upgraded existing ones across every category. As a result, we saw significant demand for our products, resulting in three times the growth in terms of turnover. The rising demand of hybrid / online mode of teaching, helped us to maintain our position as the No. 1 IFP brand with a 47 per cent market share since 2020. Similarly, our projector segment witnessed a market share of 63 per cent for LED. In quarters 2 and 3, we secured our place in the top three DLP Projector Providers and ranked No. 1 in the LED Projector segment respectively. We also became the fastest growing PC monitor brand in India, adding more to our achievements. Observing the current growth and demand of our products and solutions, we will upgrade and introduce new products and solutions to meet the needs of our end-users.”

Mark Davies, Global Chairman, Davies & Associates, LLC (Immigration Law Firm)

“As an immigration law firm that assists Indian business owners with moving to the USA, it has been an unusual year. People reassessed their lives during the pandemic and so demand for relocating overseas is sky high, but the US border remained closed to Indians until November, which has made it tricky for people to physically move. We helped many Indian clients file the paperwork for their visa in 2021 which puts them in a good position in the visa queue. The immigration industry was hopeful that the election of Joe Biden and the arrival of COVID vaccines would make 2021 a more positive year than 2020. While there were some positive notes, for example, the reopening of the H-1B and L-1 Visa routes, the COVID-19 pandemic continued to have an adverse impact on global mobility.

The US border remained shut until November 2021, and the United States consulates across India did not resume full operations. We are excited that the five US consulates across India intend to resume normal operations in 2022, but of course much depends upon the course of the Covid pandemic. The EB-5 Regional Center Program, for which Indians are one of the largest applicant groups, is expected to return potentially as early as February pending Congressional reauthorization. We also expect to see continued growth in the number of Indians seeking a US E-2 Visa via the Grenada CBI route – this two-step process to owning a business in the United States has become popular in part because the E-2 Visa is less affected by political pressures in Washington.”

Manthan Dhameliya, Owner Kreeva (Indian Ethnic Wear Store for Women)

“2021 was the year of growth and expansion for Kreeva. Increasing its footprint in the market, the brand expanded its customer base beyond key metros and entered tier two and three cities as well. Furthermore, the growth margins locked in 4x returns as compared to the last year. With approximately 25 crores as revenue, the brand also successfully launched a range of festive and wedding collections adding glamour to its existing apparel range.

While the fashion e-commerce industry underwent a series of rapid changes in terms of customer behaviors and purchasing patterns owing to the global COVID 19 pandemic, the coming year looks positive in terms of witnessing development and growth on multichannel marketing. Consumers started preferring personalized outfits to match their style resulting in many brands offering customization for their range of products in 2021. Further to this transition, 2022 will see Augmented Reality taking a center stage in the e-commerce industry. E-commerce brands /retailers will be looking to provide an interactive shopping experience to all the users with the help of AI and AR, therefore, creating awareness, building loyalty, and converting users into paying customers.”

Vidhu Nautiyal, Co-founder & Chief Revenue Officer, CloudConnect Communications Pvt. Ltd. (Full-service cloud-based platform)

“Starting the year on a positive note, CloudConnect locked in more than 100-plus enterprise to its customer base. The expansion was also supported by upgradation and optimisation of brand’s network infrastructure. This year witnessed a significant shift towards digital platforms/technology owing to the global Coivd-19 pandemic. Businesses (small and medium) specifically transitioned towards the adaptation of solutions that provides free to work from any part of the country as well as was reliable and advanced in nature to meet the work/consumer demands. Taking a step further in this direction, VoIP Enabled Cloud Communication was one of the most sorts after solutions to manage calls without compromising on quality and cost.

Furthermore, the year 2022, we will have significant developments in the technology sector as the shift towards advanced and effective business models/services is and will be the need of the hour. Owing to the same demand, Artificial Intelligence and Text-to-speech will be the one to look forward.”

Sanjay Jain, Director, Elanpro India (A Commercial Refrigeration Company)

“Despite several ups and downs in the first few months of the year, we saw a tremendous increase in our business compared to the previous year. We conceived, designed, created and produced products that can satisfy the needs of our end users. Being into a commercial refrigerator market and catering to numerous sectors ranging from retail to pharma, we curated our products in most of our segments to meet the industry requirements. We developed portable Vaccine Freezers, introduced new items in our retail divisions, such as the Frost-free upright freezer and Pastry Display. Expanding our business, we also reached new heights this year by investing in two new businesses – we invested in Icold Refrigeration Pvt. Ltd., a company that specializes in cold storage and we acquired Thingif(y), a software solution provider that aids in product temperature monitoring.

In 2022, Make in India, a government project will become increasingly important, encouraging enterprises to focus on manufacturing in India. As a result, we are focusing on moving in this route as well. As we approach 2022, we envision a promising year that will help us in recuperating from the recent ramifications and enabling us to flourish in a new way.”

This story is provided by NewsVoir. ANI will not be responsible in any way for the content of this article. (ANI/NewsVoir)

Income Tax Dept conducts raids on foreign mobile manufacturing firms’ premises across India

               

New Delhi [India]: The Income Tax Department said on Friday it has conducted raids on various premises of some foreign-controlled mobile communication and mobile handset manufacturing companies and their associated persons.

The raids have been conducted on various premises in the states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Assam, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Bihar, Rajasthan and Delhi NCR.
“The search action has revealed that two major companies have made remittance in the nature of royalty, to and on behalf of its group companies located abroad, which aggregates to more than Rs.5500 crore. The claim of such expenses does not seem to be appropriate in light of the facts and evidence gathered during the search action,” said the Finance Ministry in a statement.

The search operation has also brought out the modus operandi of purchase of the components for manufacturing mobile handsets. It is gathered that both these companies had not complied with the regulatory mandate prescribed under the Income-tax Act, 1961 for disclosure of transactions with associated enterprises. Such lapse makes them liable for penal action under the Income-tax Act, 1961, the quantum of which could be in the range of more than Rs.1000 crore, it said.

The search has brought to fore another modus operandi whereby foreign funds have been introduced in the books of the Indian company but it transpires that the source from which such funds have been received are of doubtful nature, purportedly with no creditworthiness of the lender. The quantum of such borrowings is about Rs.5000 crore, on which interest expenses have also been claimed.

Evidence with regard to the inflation of expenses, payments on behalf of the associated enterprises, etc. have also been noticed which led to the reduction of taxable profits of the Indian mobile handset manufacturing company. Such an amount could be in excess of Rs.1400 crore.

It is further found that one of the companies utilised the services of another entity located in India but did not comply with the provisions of tax deduction at the source introduced w.e.f. April 1, 2020. The quantum of liability of TDS on this account could be around Rs.300 crore.

In the case of another company covered in the search action, it has been detected that the control of the affairs of the company was substantively managed from a neighbouring country. The Indian directors of the said company admitted that they had no role in the management of the company and lent their names for directorship for namesake purposes. Evidence has been gathered on an attempt to transfer the entire reserves of the company to the tune of Rs.42 crore out of India, without payment of due taxes.

Survey action in the case of certain Fintech and software services companies has revealed that a number of such companies have been created for the purposes of inflating expenses and siphoning out of funds. For this purpose, such companies have made payments for unrelated business purposes and also utilized the bills issued by a Tamil Nadu-based non-existent business concern. The quantum of such out-flow is found to be around Rs.50 crore, the Finance Ministry said. (ANI)

Equity indices open flat; IndusInd, Reliance major gainers

                

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India]: Indian equity markets on Wednesday opened flat with BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty trading in negative.

At 9.16 am, the Sensex was down 136.33 points or 0.24 per cent at 57761.15 and Nifty was down by 0.23 per cent at 17193.80.
However, the market picked up within a few minutes and started trading in green.

At 9.25 am, the Sensex was up by 21.03 points or 0.04 per cent 57924.79.

IndusInd Bank, Dr Reddy, Reliance are major gainers on BSE Sensex while Asian Paints, Kotak Bank, TCS were major losers.

Sensex up by 324 points

           

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India]: The Indian benchmark indices opened in green on Tuesday with Nifty breaching 17,100 amid positive global cues.

The 30-shares BSE Sensex was up by 324.39 points or 0.56 per cent at 57744.63 at 9.31 am.
Similarly, 50-scrip NSE Nifty was at 17181.20, up by 94.90 points or 0.63 per cent.

ONGC, IndusInd Bank, HDFC, L&T and Infosys were among gainers on Nifty.

CAG report flags Rs.4780 crore losses to Central Public Sector Enterprises

New Delhi [India]: Comptroller and Auditor General of India (C&AG) has flagged 42 issues in Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) which have financial implication of Rs.4,779.99 crore.

The Commercial Compliance Audit Report on CPSEs presented in Parliament on Tuesday flagged issues related to 32 CPSEs functioning under 10 different Ministries/Departments.
As per the CAG report, Indian Oil Corporation Limited suffered a loss of Rs.196.95 crore due to a violation of tax provisions in Andhra Pradesh.

“Indian Oil Corporation Limited collected Rs.262.60 crore of Turnover Tax from consumers in Andhra Pradesh in violation of legal provisions of Andhra Pradesh General Sales Tax Act, 1957 and afterwards settled the legal case with Government of Telangana by making payment of Rs.65.65 crore (25 per cent) against total imposed penalty of Rs.262.60 crore, thus resulting in undue enrichment to Indian Oil Corporation Limited by Rs.196.95 crore,” CAG said in a statement.

The auditor noted that Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC) suffered loss due to flaring of High-Pressure gas. During the period of 2012-13 to 2019-20, high-pressure gas valuing Rs.816.08 crore was flared in Mumbai High field due to non-availability of standby process gas compressors, power shut down and frequent tripping of process gas compressors.

CAG has rapped ONGC for providing undue benefit extended to private parties by awarding work in violation of CVC guidelines. “ONGC Videsh Limited awarded the work of auditing of its oil and gas reserves valuing Rs.10.60 crore to the private parties on nomination basis disregarding Central Vigilance Commission guidelines, thereby, extending undue benefit to the private parties.”

It rapped NHPC for not levying penalty of Rs.11.61 crore for “generation of power lower than the minimum generation guaranteed in the contract agreement resulting in undue benefit to the contractor.”

New India Assurance Company Limited’s failure to obtain stop loss reinsurance cover resulted in loss of Rs.16.56 crore.

The company also failed to ascertain the Incurred Claims Ratio of the expiring policy while underwriting Livestock Insurance under National Livestock Mission for the year 2016-17 implemented in Telangana State which, resulted in low fixation of premium and subsequent loss of Rs.10.31 crore due to high claim ratio.

MSTC Limited imprudent financing resulted in non-recovery of dues of Rs.220.84 crore.

India United Textile Mill Limited (IUTML) suffered loss on account of extending undue benefit in fabric trading business to the group companies of strategic partner.

Airports Authority of India Limited (AAI) suffered revenue loss due to inadequate assessment of electricity load.

Air India Limited suffered loss in form of payment of penalty. Air India made penalty payment of Rs.43.85 crore to M/s Boeing due to persistent delays in return of removed component during the period July 2016 to December 2019. (ANI)

Vedanta Foundation partners with Delhi Police to skill youth for a promising future

New Delhi [India]: Vedanta Foundation, a philanthropic arm of the Vedanta Resources Limited, collaborated with the Delhi Police to provide placement-linked skill training to more than 6000 street children and marginalised youth.

The training centres, also called the Rojgaar centers, will be established in Delhi’s Malviya Nagar, Saket, and Greater Kailash.
With this, Vedanta now has more than 250 Rojgaar centres across India. In August, the Foundation had opened 100 Rojgaar centers located in the nooks and corners of India. According to Vedanta Foundation, the intent behind this initiative is to skill students and unemployed youth from the economically weaker sections and link them to job opportunities.

For the next milestone of the initiative, Vedanta Foundation has joined hands with the Delhi Police to reach out to street children who are exposed to petty theft and crime and wean them away from their dismal predicament.

According to Delhi Police, this collaboration comes under the aegis of flagship community initiative of Delhi Police ‘Yuva’. The initiative will be called Yuva 2.0 and the young boys and girls will be trained in the hospitality and retail sectors by the training partner Primero.

Appreciating the endeavour, Delhi Police Commissioner, Rakesh Asthana, said: “Although Delhi Police is accountable for controlling crime and maintaining law and order for a peaceful society but through community policing initiatives like YUVA, Delhi Police aims to contain first-time criminals so that they may be motivated to mend their mistakes and help society in nation-building.”

Speaking on the initiative, Surajit Roy, CEO, Vedanta Foundation, said: “In Vedanta Foundation, we are looking at putting in place different models for industry-linked skill training programmes that ensures placement or entrepreneurship opportunities to the youth from lower strata of our society. In this context, we found an excellent opportunity to partner with the Delhi Police to train 6000 beneficiaries under Rojgaar and Yuva 2.0.”

This story is provided by ATK. ANI will not be responsible in any way for the content of this article. (ANI/ATK)

Amidst continued Covid fears – Alliance Group prepays Rs.140 crores of loan to ADIA and KOTAK Realty Fund

Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India]: While March of 2020 brought bad news with the pandemic hitting the world and businesses being affected badly.

All the banks worldwide stopped eliciting new loans proposals and even stopped disbursements of loans already approved due to the market uncertainties.
However, even during such uncertain times, there were brands like Alliance Group which the banks were willing to trust and disburse loans based on their past experience and the repayment history that the group had displayed in the past.

In Mar 2020, ADIA (Abu Dhabi Investment Authority) and Kotak Realty Fund disbursed Rs.115 Crores to Alliance Galleria Residences project with a 4 year repayment period.

While the situation of COVID has not completely gone from the market and the fears of a 3rd wave still being there, Alliance Group through innovative sales strategies and marketing has managed to sell and generate funds to pre-pay the entire loan of Rs.115 Crores along with interest of Rs 25 Crores totalling to a total repayment of Rs.140 Crores in just 19 months instead of the 48 months period given by ADIA & Kotak Real Estate Fund. This is a new benchmark set in the Real Estate Sector.

Commenting on the achievement, Manoj Namburu, Chairman and Managing Director of Alliance Group, said, “We are extremely happy and proud to announce that the company has achieved a major milestone by prepaying the entire loan amount within just 40% of the repayment timeline. Despite all banks freezing disbursements owing to pandemic from January 2020, ADIA & Kotak had disbursed such huge funds to Alliance Group which truly shows the confidence that the investors have in our brand.

The company managed to maintain its unblemished record by paying EMIs even amid the pandemic as the loan amount was classified under Alternative Investment Funds from abroad which is not part of the RBI guidelines and the loan moratoriums. This truly validates the financial discipline and the stability of the company.

The increasing interest, trust that homebuyers had in the brand and on the project along with the hard work of the team in completing the project on time helped the company prepay the entire loan amount in such a short time span and thereby making Alliance Galleria Residence a debt free project. With this achievement we will continue to maintain our recognition and work hard to create more such milestones, “added Manoj.

Alliance Galleria Residences is a premium apartment community that stands tall on the 200ft Radial road. Constructed with modern features, impeccable design and best-in-class amenities, the property stands a new landmark in the region. Alliance Galleria Residences is part of the 42 million sq. ft of developments that Alliance Group is currently developing.

This story is provided by BusinessWire India. ANI will not be responsible in any way for the content of this article. (ANI/BusinessWire India)

Over 10.03 crore disbursed between 2018-2021 for promoting defence start-ups

New Delhi [India]: The Ministry of Defence on Friday said that it has disbursed over 10.30 crore between 2018 and 2021 under the Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) scheme for promoting start-ups in the field of defence sector.

According to the ministry, till date, iDEX has launched five rounds of Defence India Startup Challenges (DISCs), and three rounds of Open Challenge (OC), receiving more than 2000 applications from innovators. iDEX has been able to fund projects in many technological areas under DISCs and OC through the Support for Prototype and Research Kickstart (SPARK) framework, which entails provisioning of grants up to Rs 1.50 crore to the startups, said the ministry.

It further stated that the Partner Incubators (PIs) bridge the gap between the requirements of startups and the technological expertise required to develop the product. iDEX also features as a procurement avenue under the Defence Acquisition Procedure-2020.

The Government has approved a scheme worth Rs 498.78 crore to scale up iDEX in the next five years. 60 contracts for developing innovative prototypes have been signed under iDEX, said the ministry.

The establishment of iDEX is aimed at the creation of an ecosystem to foster innovation and technology development in Defence and Aerospace by engaging Industries including MSMEs, start-ups, individual innovators, R&D institutes, and academia and providing them grants/funding and other support to carry out R&D development which has good potential for future adoption for Indian defence and aerospace needs.

Accordingly, as per the feature incorporated in the Defence Acquisition Procedure, the prototypes that have been successfully developed through the iDEX framework find the route for procurement by the concerned Services. In line with the above, the Indian Navy has already placed a Supply Order on one iDEX Winner. The Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs) are also mandated to follow similar procurement procedures for iDEX cases. (ANI)

RBI’s monetary policy has steps for more inclusive, affordable banking, says PNB MD

New Delhi [India]: The measures announced in RBI’s bi-monthly monetary policy including bringing feature phone users into the mainstream digital payments and enabling small value transactions through wallet are steps towards a more conducive, affordable and inclusive banking, CH. S. S. Mallikarjuna Rao, MD and CEO, Punjab National Bank has said.

“As expected, the benchmark rates were kept unchanged with accommodative stance. The economic outlook sounded more optimistic as the major indicators such as agriculture and allied activities, spending on travel and tourism, GST receipts and air passenger traffic indicated a more robust and broad-based recovery,” he said in a statement on Wednesday.
Rao said the persistently high core inflation however remained a key figure determining the path of policy.

“The liquidity measures such as fortnight guidance on 14-day VRRR auctions and re-establish it as the main liquidity management operation, banks were given with one more option to pre-pay outstanding funds availed through TLTRO 1.0 and 2.0 scheme are a welcome and calibrated steps towards liquidity normalization,” he said.

“Measures such as RBI approval not required by banks prior infusing capital in overseas branches and subsidiaries, initiation on streamlining of charges in the digital payment system, bringing feature phone users into the mainstream digital payments, enabling small value transactions through wallet, enhancing the transaction limit for payments through UPI for Retail Direct Scheme and IPO applications are all steps towards a more conducive, affordable and inclusive banking,” he added. (ANI)

Union Budget should create enabling environment to sustain growth, says CII

New Delhi [India]: Sharing its recommendations for the forthcoming Union Budget 2022-23, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has strongly urged the Centre to continue its investment focus and enhance capital expenditure in areas such as infrastructure to promote growth in the economy at a time when the consumption demand has not picked up adequately.

“While the economy is showing strong signs of recovery, this would be the right time to focus on future challenges such as developing a competitive manufacturing sector and climate change,” TV Narendran, President, CII, said.

According to a press release, he lauded the positive interventions made by the government during the last few months such as the creation of the Development Finance Institutions (DFI), the new public procurement guidelines and the commitment towards high public expenditure to kick-start the virtuous cycle of investment.

He urged the Centre to consider replacing bank guarantees with surety bonds and to also develop the municipal bond market so that urban local bodies can raise funds for investing in infrastructure.

The CII also sought clarification on the tax treatment for the Hybrid Annuity Model (HAM) of construction contracts.

“CII has strongly advocated the promotion of manufacturing as one of the priorities to provide a fillip to the economy. Given the high cost of doing business, the effective rate of tax is still high. For example, in mining, the tax rates in India are highest in the world; when all the levies imposed by the Central, State and local governments, are accounted for. This should be addressed in the forthcoming Budget,” the release said.

Pointing towards the procedural complexities and the large number of permissions that are required for the implementation of projects resulting in time and cost overruns, the CII said that there is a need to address the problem. “Projects should be allowed to proceed based on self-certification followed by audits. This would help avoid project delays,” it said.

Given the fact that the future of manufacturing depends on technology advancement, the CII suggested setting up of a technology fund on a PPP basis with matching contributions from the private and public sectors. This would be more effective than the exemption provided on research and development expenses, “which did not yield any significant results”.

CII also stressed on the necessity of policy reforms for boosting employment and sustainability, to address the imperatives of development. On employment, the CII has suggested incentivizing employment-intensive sectors such as tourism.

On sustainability, the CII recommended a policy framework for transitioning towards decarbonization-wherein high taxation could be considered for high carbon products and vice versa.

“Industry should be incentivised to transition to low carbon products; production of renewable energy products should be rewarded and for hydrogen should be developed as an alternative fuel, companies should be provided with investment allowance for investing in installing electrolysers,” the CII said.

To help the Indian industry become globally competitive, the CII has suggested that all export products should be covered under the Remission of Duties and Taxes on Exported Products (RoDTEP) scheme and the RoDTEP rates should be reviewed and enhanced and should be commensurate with the actual embedded/ unrefunded taxes and duties.

“RoDTEP benefits should also be provided to the SEZs,” they said.

The anomaly between tax rate on dividend income needs to be addressed, the CII said and added that the tax rates on dividends for residents should be brought down to maintain parity with non-resident investors.

“The start-ups have emerged as a conduit for entrepreneurship and innovation. To attract domestic investments into start-ups, the government should consider reducing the percentage of Long-Term capital gains from 20 per cent to 10 per cent and abolish the surcharge on investments made into start-ups by investment vehicles,” it said.

“Similarly, the process of issuing income tax refunds to start-ups should be accelerated. Further, relaxing the tax on capital gains arising on exit would be a key move in attracting funds into the Start-Up sector, according to CII,” it added.

According to CII, the new dispute resolution scheme (“DRS”) introduced in the Finance Act 2021 for resolving specified disputes in relation to specified Taxpayers in a faceless manner involving dynamic jurisdiction should be made available to a broader category of taxpayers.

CII has also advocated ensuring a stable and predictable tax regime to help attract private investments, both domestic and foreign. (ANI)

Hyundai collaborates with Universal Music India, launches Hyundai Spotlight

Gurgaon (Haryana) [India]: Hyundai Motor India Limited (HMIL), the country’s first smart mobility solutions provider and the largest exporter since inception, today announced the launch of ‘Hyundai Spotlight’ in collaboration with Universal Music India (UMI).

Hyundai Spotlight is a platform for budding artists across India to showcase their talent to the nation. This collaboration is set forth for release of first song ‘Dhoonde Sitaare’ featuring renowned singers Aastha Gill & King. This platform will be featuring 6 original songs in its first year with multiple surround content programmed to represent different regions and languages across India. Hyundai Spotlight aims at helping emerging talents with the best Artists and Repertoire advice with international video production quality and promotions by leveraging UMI’s partner relations and their efforts.
Commenting on the launch of Hyundai Spotlight, Tarun Garg, Director (Sales, Marketing and Service) said, “A one-of-a-kind enabler platform, Hyundai Spotlight intends to discover, incubate and promote emerging musical talent in India, reaffirming our brand thought ‘Beyond Mobility’. With our new collaboration with Universal Music India, we are confident that ‘Hyundai Spotlight’ will enable and motivate many young artists to come forward and showcase their talent.”

Elated about this partnership with Hyundai, Devraj Sanyal, MD & CEO of UMG, India & South Asia, said, “At Universal Music, it’s our continued endeavor to let talent blossom. No matter where you’re from or how established you are, which is quite often the basic requirement for any artist to get a deal. Being an artist first label, it’s our duty to give everyone that privilege purely on meritocracy. We have created Spotlight in partnership with our friends at Hyundai India, who are known to innovate and go where few marketers dare to. So, this is going to be a safe and pure place for singers, singer-songwriters, producers or composers to come and show us how good they are, and if they truly deserve to be discovered, we will in the most mainstream way possible.”

Tapping into the power of music, Hyundai Spotlight is based on the insight that younger generations want authenticity from the brands they associate with; Through this music initiative, Hyundai aims to directly connect with millennials, who have become the largest car buying demographic in India. The purpose is to provide a platform for the enablement of young talent in the country. Hyundai Spotlight reinforces the company’s brand thought ‘Beyond Mobility’ that aims to shape the future of Hyundai Motor India.

Hyundai Spotlight launched with ‘Dhoondein Sitaare’, an exciting collaboration between Aastha Gill & King is a feel-happy song that talks about breaking the daily monotony and taking time to explore life and all the beautiful things around. This catchy song very well defines the current generation, which is always up and ready for new adventures and exploring life as it comes.

Excited about the launch of ‘Dhoondein Sitaare’ as the first song of Hyundai Spotlight, Aastha Gill and King stated, “We are really thrilled to be an integral part of the launch of Hyundai Spotlight as this an amazing platform that will enable new and upcoming music talents. There is immense talent tucked away in our country and this property can act as a stepping stone for budding artists into the music industry. Dhoondein Sitaare is a fun song that talks about keeping our hearts young and always ready for adventures along with our loved ones. The entire process of making this song was super fun and I hope the audiences enjoy it too.”

This story is provided by BusinessWire India. ANI will not be responsible in any way for the content of this article. (ANI/BusinessWire India)

Morning Slide: Sensex down by 502 points

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], November 23 (ANI): Equity indices opened in red on Tuesday with Sensex down by 502.92 points and Nifty down by 134.70 points.

The 30-scrip BSE Sensex was down by 502.92 points or 0.86 per cent at 57962.97 at 9.15 am.
Similarly, 50-scrip NSE Nifty was trading at 17281.80 at 9.15 am, down by 134.70 points or 0.77 per cent.

On the Sensex, the sectors which are trading high are metal and basic material, while realty and finance are trading low. (ANI)

Della Leaders Club-Business Platform Launches Kolkata Global Chapter

Founded by Jimmy Mistry- DLC is a global community of Entrepreneurs, Professionals and Young Leaders that brings people together to positively impact the world.

Kolkata.– Della Leaders Club is the World’s 1st Business Platform for every passionate leader. According to Founder Jimmy Mistry “Within 12 months since the inception of DLC, we’ve selected 2250 Honorary Committee Members comprising of men and women of eminence who believe in helping others through their individual domain expertise. Through its 26 Global Committees and 15 Chapters, DLC will focus on knowledge exchange, lifestyle guidance and social responsibility while building a support ecosystem for leaders globally. We believe DLC will be the catalyst to transform our members from “A Life of Success to a Life of Significance.” The virtual launch of the Kolkata Chapter on 21st October was well attended by our eminent Honorary Committee Members (HCMs) with Harsh Vardhan Patodia, National President, CREDAI as the Guest of Honour.

“DLC is poised to set up 120 Chapters over 5 years and 8 phases. Kolkata was chosen as an integral part of the metro cities in India and the 15 Chapters in the first phase are- New York, London, Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore, Bangkok, Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kolkata, Pune, Ahmedabad and Indore plus our Global Chapter. We have at least 4 HCMs from each of our 26 domain Committees in each Chapter, including Kolkata. We already have several eminent HCMs from Kolkata, but the City of Joy has some of the best talents in Art & Culture and we hope that the knowledge sharing from them will be amongst the best in its domain,” added Jimmy.

We plan for our members to be immersed in a culture of excellence, with unparalleled business expertise at your fingertips, and the sharpest minds in every field just a click away. Enjoy access to members-only global summits, curated local events and exclusive experiences from the world’s biggest brands, for complete personal and professional growth.

DLC Social Impact is a global movement striving to make the world a better place. We map and connect the collective power of DLC Members with NGOs and NPOs to save the planet and empower those facing adversity. 54 causes, 2 encompassing themes. The DLC Social Impact Communities are committed to touch human lives or heal the planet. Fully funded through membership subscriptions, DLC holds zero monetary interest in making a social impact. DLC does not recognize financial currency. Neither your bank balance nor your balance sheet matters. DLC evaluates humans based on the number of human lives they have touched positively; and worked towards a just and sustainable planet.

The objectives of setting up our Kolkata Chapter are similar to our existing and future Chapters. ‘To take our members from a journey of success to a journey of significance. To help them build a future-fit organization and drive social impact’

Equity indices open in green, Sensex up by 158 points

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India]: Equity indices opened in green on Thursday with Sensex up by 158.53 points and Nifty up by 38.60 points.

The 30-scrip BSE Sensex was up by 0.26 per cent at 60166.86 at 9.25 am.
Similarly, 50-scrip NSE Nifty was trading at 17937.30 at 9.25 am, up by 38.60 points or 0.22 per cent.

On the Sensex, the sectors which were trading high with maximum gain are realty sector at 1.07 and consumer durables sector at 0.63. (ANI)

Direct flights to promote Vietnam-US cooperation

Hanoi [Vietnam]: Deputy Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Pham Thu Hang said operating direct flights between Vietnam and the US will promote cooperation in economics, trade, tourism, education, and people-to-people exchanges.

She made the comment at a virtual Ministry press conference on Thursday which also touched upon Vietnam Airlines’ plan to conduct its first regular commercial flights to the US starting late this month, after 20 years of preparation.
Hang said Vietnam Airlines recently received approval from the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) for its aviation transport safety plan, paving the way for the airline to be licensed to operate regular flights between the two countries.

According to Hang, Vietnamese agencies are coordinating final procedures to authorize the plan and will assist other airlines that wish to operate direct flights to the US. (ANI/VOVWORLD)

HFC Bajaj Housing Finance Limited extends validity for the ‘Rs.1,999* plus GST processing fee’ festive offer till 15 November 2021

Pune (Maharashtra) [India]: Bajaj Housing Finance Limited, a 100 percent subsidiary of Bajaj Finance Limited, extends its festive offer, under which salaried and professional applicants who apply through the lender’s website pay only Rs.1,999* + GST as processing fee on their home loan.

Only loans disbursed till 31 December 2021 are eligible
The last date to apply for a home loan to be eligible for this offer was 30 October 2021, and it is now revised to 15 November 2021

Interest Rate and New Online Application

Recently, Bajaj Housing Finance also reduced its home loan interest rates to 6.70 percent* p.a. for salaried and professional applicants. Eligible applicants with the right income, financial, credit, and employment profiles can avail of this interest rate by applying either online or offline.

For those interested to apply, the HFC offers a number of application modes, both online and offline. The lender recently launched its new application form, Online Home Loan. Here, applicants only need to answer as few as 8 questions in 3 steps to get a tailored home loan offer in under 10 minutes.

Applicants can also choose to avail of a Digital Sanction Letter by paying a nominal fee or Rs.1,999* + GST. What’s more, one also gets to know their CIBIL score while filling the form.

Features of the Bajaj Housing Finance Home Loan

Contact-free application process for online applications allows you coordinate via call or mail and submit your documents online, with the option of opting for doorstep document pick-up

Industry-first external benchmark linked home loans allow applicants to link their home loans to an external benchmark, such as the RBI repo rate

Competitive interest rates, starting at 6.70 percent* for salaried and professional applicants, with home loan EMI amounts as low as Rs. 645/Lakh*

Minimal documentation and quick processing, with disbursal in as little as 48 hours* from approval and document verification

Sizeable loan amount of Rs. 5 Cr*, or even higher, basis eligibility

The facility to transfer an existing home to 6.70 percent, with the option to avail of a top-up loan of Rs.1 Cr, or even higher, basis eligibility

Flexible repayment options tailored to your needs, with the option of choosing a tenor of up to 30 years

Zero part-prepayment and foreclosure charges for individuals with floating interest rate home loans

Make payments and download statements online with the lender’s online Customer Portal

5,000+ approved projects, which offer the most favourable borrowing terms

This story is provided by NewsVoir. ANI will not be responsible in any way for the content of this article. (ANI/NewsVoir)

India’s leading motivational speaker, Sajan Shah ventures into the field of Public relations

New Delhi [India]: India’s renowned motivational speaker, Sajan Shah is all set to venture into the Public Relations and social media marketing field with the launch of his new platform.

The latter has decided to launch a new platform that will dedicatedly manage the corporate communication and Public relations of various prominent brands across the world. The decision has been taken in response to an industry he considered inefficient and cost prohibitive for most startups and small businesses.
Filling the gaping hole for businesses that were previously unable to afford public relations, his new venture will focus on connecting brands with the media in an efficient and cost effective way.

“The platform will be focused towards building strong and long-term relationships with brands to effectively manage their online reputation and enhance their visibility. Witnessing the rising demand for public relations and online reputation management, we have come up with this unique platform that will serve as a strong base to bridge the gap between media publications and brands, says Sajan Shah, while speaking about his new platform.

“The platform will additionally create a strong market network while bringing transparency and efficiency to a space which has historically been very opaque”, he further added.

Highlights of the platform include managing the overall brand’s image, delivering key narratives among consumers, crisis communication and building a strong special media presence of its clients. Thus, helping to simplify the PR process on both ends for brands and editors. The platform additionally envisions building the next-generation digital platform that will automate and streamline workflow between businesses, publicists and journalists.

Transforming lives of millions, Sajan Shah has earlier worked with some of the renowned personalities belonging to different fields. These people include Venkaiah Naidu (Vice-President of India), Piyush Goyal (Union Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs), Vijay Rupani (Former Gujarat CM), Baba Ramdev (Yoga Guru), Dalai Lama (Spiritual Guru), and Roger Federer (Tennis Player). Sajan is also the Youth Peace Ambassador and even a TEDx Speaker and addressed National Seminar on “World Peace Conclave” in the presence of Dalai Lama, Baba Ramdev, Acharya Dr. Lokesh Muni, and Acharya Kulchandra Suri.

Establishing a strong connection with his audiences across, he aims at revolutionizing the sector with his impactful skills and in-depth industry knowledge. The newly launched platform will likely play a crucial role in transforming the overall image of the brand by enhancing its visibility and garnering a strong consumer base across.

This story is provided by ATK. ANI will not be responsible in any way for the content of this article. (ANI/ATK)

Samsung chief convicted, fined for illegal anesthetic medication use

Seoul [South Korea]: De-facto Chairman of Samsung Group, Lee Jae-yong on Tuesday was convicted and fined USD 60,055 for illegally using anesthetic medication propofol numerous times for years, reported Yonhap News Agency.

According to the news agency, the Seoul Central District Court convicted Lee of violating Narcotics Control Act and ordered to seize an additional USD 14,587.27.
As per Yonhap, the fine charged and seizure ordered are the same as what was demanded for Lee by the prosecutors.

Yonhap reported that Lee was indicted on charges of consumption of propofol for non-medical treatments in Southern Seoul during January 2015 and May 2020 for as many as 41 occasions. (ANI)

Not seeking to pressure countries to choose between working with US or China: Blinken

Washington [United States of America]: The Biden administration is not seeking to pressure countries to decide whether to do business with the United States or China and it is not looking to contain the latter, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said.

“We’re not asking countries to choose between the United States and China nor, as I’ve said repeatedly, do we seek to contain China or hold it back,” Blinken said during a press conference on Tuesday. “What we do seek to do is uphold the highest possible standards as we’re engaged around the world.”
Blinken emphasised that trade and investment with China are important for all countries and usually beneficial.

However, Blinken said that in the case of China there is no division between the private enterprise and the state so countries should take precautions before investing in that country. (ANI/Sputnik)

After Air India, govt to disinvest BPCL, float LIC IPO by last quarter of FY22

Following the successful completion of the disinvestment of Air India, the government expects to carry out the divestment of BPCL in the current financial year. The government will also come up with Initial Public offerings (IPO) of Life Insurance Company (LIC) during the last quarter of this financial year.

New Delhi [India], October 14 : Secretary of Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) Tuhin Kant Pandey said: “LIC IPO will be a very major event. We are preparing hard for it and hopefully, we will be able to bring it out in the last quarter of the year.” Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) is another company that is on the divestment list of the government. Pandey said that the government is expecting disinvestment of BPCL in the last quarter as well.
The DIPAM Secretary said, “Due diligence process of BPCL is on. It is a very large company. So a lot of work is going on in the due diligence there, and we hope to conclude it as well.”
Pandey said we have received financial bids for strategic divestment of Central Electronics Ltd (CEL) which can be the next company to be disinvested.
Pandey said “We have got the financial bid and the process now moves to the concluding stage. We do not know yet what are the offers or whether the offers would be good enough for us to disinvest. It is still sealed in the envelope. But, yes, the process has reached that stage of disinvestment.”
Highlighting the disinvestment target of the Central government, Pandey said, “We have a number of transactions which are ongoing. Strategic disinvestment has basically two parts. One is the first stage in which we invite the expression of interest and qualify people based on certain criteria, which are specified in the Expression of Interest. And after that the qualified bidders do in detail the due diligence on the companies through, you know, looking at the contracts, looking at the companies in greater detail, looking at their assets, and also the share purchase agreement which is a draft share purchase agreement which is given to them. Then the conditions are specified and final conditions are agreed upon, and thereupon everyone gets to see. Having seen the essence and seeing the data about the company, having done the due diligence and having agreed upon the final terms and conditions, we invite the bids in the RFP. After the bids are there, then we will determine the reserve price. And then we will open the bids to get it, and based on the highest bid we will choose the winning bidder. Thereafter the conditions will be satisfied and things will be closed. So this is the broad process. We have several transactions which are in an advanced stage, advanced stage of due diligence, and once the financial bids are obtained from them, thereafter we will move towards the concluding stage. So this is broadly it. We have got several transactions like Shipping Corporation of India, BEML, Nilanchal Ispat, Pawan Hans, Central Electronics. In fact, we have received their bid day before yesterday. So there, we hope that we would be able to close the transaction and transactions just carry on like a pipeline. And advanced stage… it can be done in April or May and June as well. So this is depending upon where the transaction is.”
The DIPAM secretary is confident of achieving the disinvestment target set by the Centre for 2021-22 fiscal of Rs 1.75 lakh crore.
Pandey said, “Our effort is to just carry on with the work and try to use the opportunities, whatever happens, and a lot depends upon the bidders. A lot depends upon the way they complete due diligence. There was an impact on us due to the second wave. We lost. You know, first quarter to leave. But now that things are back on track, we are confident that things will move forward. How much we will be able to do, only time will tell, but we are moving towards the closing of several transactions.”

Samsung announces Unpacked 2 event for October 20

Seoul [South Korea]: Samsung has just sent out invitations for an event it is holding online on October 20 at 7 am PT / 10 am ET.

As per The Verge, it’s called ‘Galaxy Unpacked Part 2’, which is possibly an indication that rather than all-new Galaxy phones, we may be seeing iterations on existing ones.
With Samsung’s announcement, we’ll now have an Apple event on Monday (where we are expecting new MacBook Pros), Google’s Pixel 6 launch on Tuesday, and now Samsung’s apparently smaller event on Wednesday.

In addition to the invite’s image, Samsung’s newsroom post announcing the event hints at some kind of personalization for Galaxy devices: “Our users are multifaceted and live life in so many colourful, interesting, and unique ways. As such, the technology they use every day should reflect their individuality. Join Galaxy Unpacked Part 2 on October 20 to see how Samsung is opening up new experiences for self-expression through technology.”

That could mean anything, but it does seem to hint at new colours of the Galaxy phones or maybe even a full-on customization option. With the Z Fold 2, Samsung offered customers the option to choose their own accent colour for the hinge, though that option went away on the Z Fold 3 (thus far, anyway).

Of course, no customisation program has come close to the original Moto X, which let people chose any number of different colour options and even materials for their phone — including bamboo. It seems unlikely that Samsung will be willing to go that far.

What seems even more unlikely is the Galaxy S21 FE, a lower-cost “fan edition” of the Galaxy S21 that’s been kicking around the rumour mill for a while now. It’s less likely mainly because the S21 FE is currently in a kind of limbo where it’s either been delayed or cancelled because of the chip shortage. Sammobile reported that Samsung is still considering a January launch for the S21 FE. (ANI)

Infosys records 19.4 pc year-on-year growth

New Delhi [India]: Infosys has recorded a strong performance in second quarter of the financial year 2021-22 with a 19.4 per cent increase in the year-on-year growth and sequential growth accelerating to 6.3 per cent in constant currency.

According to a statement from Infosys, the growth was broad-based across geographies and segments with the largest geography, North America growing at 23 per cent and the largest segment, Financial Services growing at 20.5 per cent, year-on-year in constant currency.
Large deal momentum continued with Total Contract Value (TCV) of USD 2.15 billion in Q2. The operating margin for the quarter was resilient at 23.6 per cent. The Board has announced interim dividend of Rs 15 per share for FY22.

“Our stellar performance and robust growth outlook continue to demonstrate our strategic focus and the strength of our digital offerings. As we witness a strong market opportunity with global enterprises rapidly accelerating their digital journeys, our sustained investments in expanding capabilities, including the differentiated cloud play, Infosys CobaltTM, has uniquely positioned us to continue serving our clients effectively, gain market share and emerge as the preferred cloud and digital transformation partner in the market,” said Salil Parekh, CEO and MD, Infosys.

“Given this continued momentum we have further increased our revenue growth guidance to 16.5 per cent to 17.5 per cent,” he further said.

“In order to harness the full potential of the market opportunity, we are expanding our college graduates hiring program to ~45,000 for the year. Simultaneously, we continue to strengthen employee value proposition including health and wellness measures, reskilling programs, appropriate compensation interventions and enhanced career growth opportunities,” said Pravin Rao, Chief Operating Officer.

He further added, “With over 86 per cent of Infoscions in India having received at least one dose of ‘vaccination’, we are now preparing to embrace the hybrid work model. We have equipped employees with the resources they need to be productive, cyber-secure, stay connected, and maintain a work-life balance. Our talent strategy also factors in expanded hiring pools that include new communities and work locations,” he added.

Nilanjan Roy, the Chief Financial Officer said, “Our operating margins for Q2 were resilient; the impact of enhanced employee value proposition initiatives was offset by strong operating parameters, cost optimization and operating leverage. We will continue to invest in our employees to remain a preferred employer-of-choice and seamlessly fulfil client demand.”

“Cash generation remained robust. We have executed the capital allocation policy with the successful closure of share buyback and step up in interim dividend to Rs 15 per share,” he added. (ANI)

Check your credit score online at No cost

New Delhi [India] : Nowadays, people need access to different types of loans for various requirements.
Having at least a couple of credit cards is also considered a standard norm to facilitate shopping and the purchase of goods that would otherwise be deferred. In such a scenario, it is important to ensure you have a good credit score since the easy availability of personal, consumer and other loans as well as access to credit cards is contingent on this. Today, credit scores can be checked for free online. Therefore, checking your credit score regularly may be necessary to ensure it always remains within healthy levels that allow you access to loans and cards.
Understanding the Credit Score Concept
You may have already received numerous emails and messages prompting you to check your credit score free online . While some readers could be aware of what credit scores are all about, a few may not understand the concept properly. It’s essential to be aware of your credit score because the terms and conditions of the loans you avail of will depend on this.
A healthy credit score ensures loans are available at more benign terms with lower interest rates, which will help save some of your money. An unhealthy score would mean your loan or credit card application is rejected or approved on not-so-favourable terms.
Before knowing how to check your credit score online, let’s understand the concept first. The credit score of borrowers ranges between 300 and 900. In India, there are four credit information companies or credit bureaus, TransUnion CIBIL, Experian, Equifax and CRIF High Mark, whose credit scores are popular with both borrowers and lenders. Furthermore, fintech credit providers like Clix Capital also provide individuals with their free credit scores.
The credit score tells banks or lenders about your creditworthiness as a borrower. Credits scores that are at least 750 or above are deemed to be good. This score is based on your credit history, which is contingent on making timely repayments, the amount and number of times you have borrowed, the type of loans you have availed to date and other relevant factors. Timely repayments concern EMIs on loans as well as credit card bills, among others.
The specific score is assigned to people based on their data mentioned in a Credit Information Report (CIR). For instance, Experian’s CIR has detailed information of consumers’ credit/loan history, including identity information, loans, credit cards, credit accounts, payments and recent enquiries. Experian updates its CIR every month, based on the consumer credit information it receives from its member banks and other institutions once a month.
This data also considers the number of requests you have made for different loans or applied for credit cards. Lenders may seek such information, including your credit score, before approving any loan or card. Such requests from lenders are termed “hard inquiries”. A higher number of hard inquiries can lower your credit score and the chances of your loan or card application being approved since you will be seen as a “credit-hungry” borrower with a greater risk of default.
Additionally, the percentage of credit limit utilised on the credit card affects your credit score. Clix advises its customers to only utilise around 30% to 40% of their credit card spending limit each month to keep the credit score high. Clix customers are also cautioned against having multiple credit cards or outstanding unsecured loans as these can impact their credit score.
Modalities to Check Credit Scores Free
Finally, we come to the question of how to check your credit score online , free. One of the popular ways is to visit the Experian website or that of another credit bureau and check your free credit report. You will need to enter the necessary details, such as your full name, email address and mobile number. Once this is done, you will receive an OTP on your mobile to verify your number. Thereafter, you can access your free Experian credit score and credit report.
Typically, more than 80% of all new loans will be offered to customers with a credit score above 750. Considering the importance of an individual’s credit report in availing financial products, the RBI has mandated that India’s four major credit information bureaus provide individuals with one free credit report once a year, on request.
For this, after visiting the specific credit bureau website, individuals may need to provide their date of birth, address, PAN or Aadhaar number and other identity proof. After this, you may either be able to download your credit report instantly or the report will be mailed to you within 24 hours. After you receive your credit report, check it carefully to ascertain all details are correct. This is necessary to safeguard against any fraud or identity theft. Moreover, in case there are errors, you can rectify them by informing your bank or the credit agency.
It is possible that after receiving the annual free credit report, you may need to check your credit score once again later in the same year. If so, you can then subscribe to a paid access plan from any of these credit bureaus. Or you could visit the Clix Capital website for your free credit score.
Remember, regularly monitoring your credit score will help you take corrective steps in case of any issue. Obtaining a loan on favourable terms will then make your life much easier in the years ahead.
Clix Capital Services Pvt. Ltd. is one of India’s leading digital lending NBFCs disrupting the lending space and empowering customers with fast and simple loans for all their personal and business needs. It offers a full spectrum of financing solutions across 5 business segments: Corporate Finance, Equipment Finance & Leasing, SME Finance, Consumer Finance, and Housing Finance. Clix has an AUM of 5,000 Crs across 3M+ customers and has a presence in 15-plus cities throughout the country.
The Company is co-founded by Pramod Bhasin, Founder of Genpact and former CEO of GE Capital India and Asia, and Anil Chawla, former CEO of GE Capital India and Asia’s Commercial Finance Business. Along with AION Capital Partners Ltd, Pramod and Anil jointly acquired the commercial lending and leasing business of GE Capital India in September 2016 and rechristened it Clix Capital.

Microsoft transforms Windows Subsystem for Linux into Windows 11 app

Washington [US]: American tech conglomerate Microsoft has transformed the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) into an app that people can simply download and install from the Microsoft Store on Windows 11.

According to The Verge, a preview version of the app is available right now; allowing Windows 11 users to install Windows Subsystem for Linux without having to head into add / remove programs and selecting WSL as an optional inbox component for Windows.
This separate app will now be serviced through the store, which means Microsoft can update WSL independently from Windows, allowing WSL users to “get the latest WSL updates and features faster, and without needing to modify your Windows version.”

While there are no new changes with this Store app version just yet, it does mean that future updates can appear without needing to wait for a bigger Windows release or update.

Microsoft enabled Linux GUI apps on Windows 10 for developers last year, and features like this will be available immediately in the Microsoft Store in the future. It appears that this Microsoft Store app for WSL will only work on Windows 11, though.

Microsoft didn’t mention Windows 10 in its blog post, suggesting that users will need to update to benefit from the Microsoft Store app. It’s good news for Windows 11 users though, especially those in enterprise environments where it often takes slightly longer to get the latest Windows versions.

Microsoft will still support the inbox version of WSL so you can run them side by side, and aims to move Windows 11 users over to the Microsoft Store version eventually.

“Our goals are to make WSL in the Microsoft Store the best way to install and use WSL, as you’ll be able to get the latest updates fastest through that route, and in the long term we’d like to move WSL users to use the store version,” explained Craig Loewen, a program manager for the Windows developer platform, as per The verge.(ANI)

‘We will strive to build world-class airline”

New Delhi [India]: After Tata Sons won the bid for acquiring national carrier Air India, the Group’s chairman N Chandrasekaran on Friday termed it as a “historic moment” and said the Group’s endeavour will be to build a world-class airline that makes every Indian proud.

“At the Tata group, we are delighted to be declared as the winner of the bid for Air India. This is a historic moment, and it will be a rare privilege for our Group to own and operate the country’s flag bearer airline. It will be our endeavour to build a world-class airline that makes every Indian proud. On this occasion, I would like to pay tribute to JRD Tata, pioneer of Indian aviation, whose memory we cherish,” Chandrasekaran said in a press statement.
Tata Sons won the bid for acquiring Air India for Rs 18,000 crore, the government said on Friday.

The transaction is expected to be completed by December 2021. (ANI)

Tata Sons wins bid to acquire Air India for Rs 18000 crore

New Delhi [India]: Talace Pvt Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tata Sons, has won the bid for acquiring Air India, marking the end of the process to privatise the national carrier with the government approving its disinvestment.

The CCEA-approved Air India Specific Alternative Mechanism (AISAM) approved the highest price bid of Talace Pvt Ltd for the sale of 100 per cent equity shareholding of the Government of India in Air India along with equity shareholding of Air India in AIXL and AISATS.
The winning bid is for Rs 18,000 crore as Enterprise Value (EV) consideration for AI (100 per cent shares of AI along with AI’s shareholding in AIXL and AISATS). The transaction does not include non-core assets including land and building, valued at Rs 14,718 crore, which are to be transferred to GoI’s Air India Asset Holding Limited (AIAHL).

AISAM included Home Minister Amit Shah, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Commerce and IndustryMinister Piyush Goyal and Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia.

Addressing a press conference, Tuhin Kant Pandey, Secretary, Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) said Talace was the highest bidder while Ajay Singh-led consortium had placed a bid of Rs 15,100 crore.

Pandey said that a reserve price of Rs 12,906 crore had been set before opening sealed financial bids to ensure complete independence between bidding and fixation of the reserve price. He informed that the transaction of the bid will be completed by December 2021.

He said that this deal will have to be approved by the Competition Commission of India (CCI).

Rajiv Bansal, Secretary, Civil Aviation assured that the winning bidder will retain all employees for the period of one year. In the second year, if anyone is not retained, VRS will be offered.

At present, Air India has a strength of 12,085 employees, out of which 8,084 are permanent employees and 4,001 are on a contract basis.

“Employees will be provided gratuity and provident fund benefits. Post-retirement medical benefits are to be provided,” Bansal said.

DIPAM Secretary said that there are eight logos under the Air India brand and they will go to the successful bidder and cannot be transferred to anyone else for five years. After five years, the logos can be transferred but to only Indian persons (legal persons), not to any foreign entity.

Explaining the debt position after disinvestment, Pandey said that the total debt as of August 31, 2021 is Rs 61,562 crore.

Debt to be taken over by the successful bidder is Rs 15,300 crore while the remaining debt of Rs 46,262 crore will go to AIAHL.

Pandey said that the government has put in Rs 54,584 crore as cash support and Rs 55,692 crore as guarantee support since 2009-10 and total government support is Rs 1,10,276 crore since 2009-10.

He said continuous losses borne by Air India have been funded largely by government-guaranteed debt and Air India is suffering a loss of Rs 20 crore per day.

Pandey said that the bid places no restriction on the successful bidder in going ahead with mergers and acquisitions. The restriction is that during the equity lock-in period, ownership has to remain with the successful bidder.

DIPAM Secretary said that non-core assets such as land and building, valued at Rs 14,718 crore are being transferred to AIAHL.

He said that after ensuring the technical qualification of bids for disinvestment of Air India, two financial bids were opened by the Inter-Ministerial Group in presence of bidders on September 29. Both bids were well above the reserve price and the H1 bid was approved on October 4, 2021.

An official release said that the process for disinvestment of Air India and its subsidiaries commenced in June 2017 with the ‘in-principle’ approval of Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA).

The first round did not elicit any Expression of Interest. The process was re-commenced on January 27, 2020 with the issue of Preliminary Information Memorandum (PIM) and request for Expressions of Interest (EOI).

The original construct as per the January 2020 PIM envisaged that a pre-determined, fixed amount of debt would be retained in AI (with balance to be transferred to Air India Asset Holding Limited (AIAHL).

It also envisaged sum of certain identified current and non-current liabilities (other than debt) to be retained in AI and AIXL would be equal to the sum of certain identified current and non-current assets of AI and AIXL (excess liabilities to be transferred to AIAHL).

The release said that timelines had to be extended on account of the situation arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.

In view of the excessive debt and other liabilities of Air India arising out of huge accumulated losses, the bidding construct was revised in October 2020 to Enterprise Value (EV) to allow prospective bidders an opportunity to resize the balance sheet and increase chances of receiving bids and competition.

The EV construct allowed the bidders to bid on the total consideration for equity and debt.

“As per both the original and revised construct, all non-core assets (land, buildings, etc.) are to be transferred to AIAHL and are therefore not a part of the transaction. It has been ensured that the interest of the employees and retired employees would be taken care of,” the release said.

It said the next step will be to issue the Letter of Intent (LoI) and then signing of Share Purchase Agreement after which, the conditions precedent would need to be satisfied by the successful bidder, the company and the Government.

The transaction is expected to be completed by December this year, the release said. (ANI)

ED arrests Unitech’s founder, others in money laundering case

New Delhi [India]: Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday arrested the founder of Unitech Ramesh Chandra, his daughter-in-law Preeti Chandra and wife of Sanjay Chandra under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002.

The ED also arrested Rajesh Malik of Carnoustie Management (India) Pvt.
They will be produced in court on October 5 for remand, said the ED.

Enforcement Directorate (ED) on September 30 attached 29 land parcels admeasuring 13,600 square meters having a book value of Rs 30.29 crore in relation to the investigation being conducted against Unitech Group.

The land parcels are situated in sectors 96-98 in Uttar Pradesh’s Noida. These land parcels were illegally allotted to Carnoustie Management (India) Pvt Ltd (CMPL) by Chandras of Unitech Group, the ED had said.

The investigation by ED revealed that Unitech Group had diverted Proceeds of Crime to the tune of Rs 347.95 Crore to Carnoustie Group and in turn, the entities of Carnoustie Group have purchased several immovable properties in India and abroad from these Proceeds of Crime. Total Proceeds of Crime detected by ED, in this case, is Rs 7638.43 crore.

Earlier, ED had carried out search operations on 41 locations in NCR and Mumbai on the premises of Shivalik Group, Trikar Group, Unitech Group & Carnoustie Group. After analysis of seized records followed by the disclosures of various persons, the above diversion and layering of POC has been unearthed. With this attachment, the total attachment, in this case, has reached to Rs 672.52 crore. (ANI)

China’s Evergrande suspends Hong Kong Stock Exchange trading

Beijing [China]: China’s second-largest property developer, Evergrande Group, is temporarily suspending trading in its shares on the Hong Kong stock exchange, local media said.

The China Evergrande Group trading will be suspended starting at 9 am (local time) on Monday, according to a statement released by the Hong Kong stock exchange. Trading of structured products related to the firm will also stop, China state media Global Times reported.
Last month, Evergrande said it was going to sell its shares in the Shengjing Bank for around USD 1.5 billion.

Evergrande, China’s second-biggest, is marred with debt it cannot pay back. The embattled developer owes a total of USD 368 billion in loans to banks, along with liabilities to contractors and suppliers. Experts believe that declining sales, a high-risk business model, and China’s clampdown to curb the boom in the Chinese housing market brought the company into crisis.

Earlier in June, Evergrande owed USD 304 billion. Since the beginning of this year, Evergrande’s shares, which are traded in Hong Kong, fell by 82 per cent.

Debts plaguing China’s top property giant Evergrande Group are a wake-up call for the country’s economy.

Emily Feng, writing in Washington based NPR said that the buyers of an estimated 1.4 million Evergrande units all over China are now uncertain whether the properties they paid for will ever be built.

Dozens of angry and worried investors picketed Evergrande’s headquarters in the southern city of Shenzhen for weeks. They had bought investment products from Evergrande that now look nearly worthless, as its Hong Kong-listed stock plummeted by nearly 90 per cent in value this year. (ANI)

Amazon, Disney collaborate to bring ‘Hey Disney’ custom voice assistant for Echo devices in 2022

Washington [US]: Amazon and Disney have announced a custom voice assistant called ‘Hey Disney’ that’s going to be available on Echo devices installed at Walt Disney resort locations, piggybacking on the skills of Alexa.

According to The Verge, ‘Hey Disney’ is ultimately used for customer service inquiries, helping Disney World or Disneyland visitors find answers to park-specific questions. Disney has said this new wake word will “make the Alexa experience more magical.”
There was no onstage demo of the assistant, but it seems like it’ll work as one might expect it to. By saying “Hey Disney,” a user can ask it questions like “what time does the park open?”, “where can I get Italian food?”, or use it to request more blankets for their resort room.

The ‘Hey Disney’ custom voice assistant is also available for people who aren’t staying in Disney parks. Amazon has said it can provide jokes, fun facts, and over 1,000 “magical interactions” presented by Disney characters.

According to The Verge, this skill will be launched in 2022, and a price hasn’t been shared yet. It’ll be complimentary for people staying at Disney parks, but users will need to pay to put it on their own Echo device. (ANI)

Tesla to outsource its self-driving chip to Samsung Electronics

Seoul [South Korea],(ANI/Global Economic): It is reported that Tesla has decided to outsource its self-driving chip manufacturing to Samsung Electronics.

According to the industry on the 24th, Samsung Electronics is reportedly likely to win orders for manufacturing of the HW 4.0, Tesla’s second-generation self-driving chip.
The HW4.0 is a semiconductor that will be installed in Tesla’s electric vehicles from the second quarter (April to June) of the next year. It is expected to be applied to improve Tesla’s self-driving functions.

In particular, the industry is paying attention in that this deal for manufacturing self-driving chips was made after competing with Taiwan’s TSMC, the No. 1 in global foundry market share.

It means that Samsung Electronics’ foundry division has received positive reviews in terms of chip design capabilities, technology, and cost-performance. It is reported that this self-driving chip will be produced in the 7nm (nanometer) process line in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province, instead of the latest production line of 5nmprocesses for stability.

This is not the first time that Samsung Electronics has produced Tesla’s self-driving chips. Previously, Tesla CEO Elon Musk publicly announced at an investors’ meeting in 2019 that Tesla has installed self-driving chips produced by Samsung Electronics to vehicles.

However, Samsung Electronics explained that the order contract has not been confirmed yet. It said that although some discussions may have been made for the contract, it has not been finalized.

An official from Samsung Electronics said, “At this stage, it is not time to confirm whether to win orders or not.” (ANI/Global Economic)

Twitter to add Topics to Spaces, but with a limited start

Washington [US]: Micro-blogging platform Twitter will now be bringing Topics to Spaces so that hosts can tag their Spaces with up to three relevant Topics.

According to The Verge, it’s a small addition to start: there are only 10 Topics to choose from, limited to English, for some people on the Android app. Twitter has said it will expand to iOS and add more Topics and languages soon.
The initial 10 Topics, Business and Finance, Music, Sports, Technology, Gaming, World News, Entertainment, Arts and Culture, Home and Family, and Careers, align with the ones that currently exist across Twitter, which people can choose to follow to get related content on their timelines.

Adding Topics to Spaces has brought it even closer to how Clubhouse works, with different topics to explore and clubs to join based around those topics.

One of the nicer things about Twitter is finding people who share your possible niche interests, so it makes sense to add at least some of its Topics to Spaces.

Twitter has been steadily updating Spaces since it started testing late last year. In recent months, it’s begun rolling out Ticketed Spaces and added more options for discoverability and moderation, as per The Verge. (ANI)

Equity indices flat, IT stocks surge

Equity frontline indices were largely flat during early hours on Tuesday with IT and realty stocks gaining ground despite weak global trends.

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], September 21 : At 10:15 am, the BSE S&P Sensex was down by 14 points or 0.02 per cent at 58,477 while the Nifty 50 lost by 2 points or 0.01 per cent to 17,395. Sectoral indices were mixed with Nifty realty advancing by 3.3 per cent and FMCG by 0.5 per cent. But Nifty auto fell by 0.9 per cent and metal by 0.5 per cent.
Among stocks, Godrej Properties jumped 6.5 per cent to Rs 106.35 per share while DLF Ltd gained 1.73 per cent.
Energy major ONGC rose by 3 per cent to Rs 132.50 per share and Coal India was up by 1.2 per cent. The other prominent gainers were HCL Technologies, Infosys, Reliance Industries, Hindustan Unilever and JSW Steel.
However, Maruti Suzuki, Tata Motors, Hero MotoCorp and Bajaj Auto traded with a negative bias.
Meanwhile, Asian markets were in the red from the expected collapse of debt-plagued Chinese property giant Evergrande.
Japan’s Nikkei was down 1.87 per cent while Hong Kong shares stemmed early losses but were still 0.32 per cent lower. South Korea’s Kospi was up by 0.33 per cent.

Sjain Ventures raises $0.5M in Pre-Series A Funding

New Delhi [India]: Sjain Ventures is a privately owned IT Services and product development business commenced in 2009. Sjain established its roots in a Tier II city; the company envisions a world with no digital divide and access to cutting-edge innovative technology for all segments of society for all their needs.

They have headquarters across 5 national and international bases and cover a clientele of 1,200 from more than 40 countries. By watching the company’s valuation: 18million dollars (135 crore rupees), the company received a tranche of investment as a neighbourhood of pre-series-A funding from investors: The Mumbai – Dubai based investor has made an investment of USD 500,000.
Recently, Sjain Ventures’ director Divya Jain revealed that they’re attracting investors from various countries for their upcoming project of product development which will include SaaS-based products in Education, Commerce, and other sectors. With this investment, Sjain is going to be heading forward within the direction of this project which can ensure a future that’s more technologically driven.

According to the estimates, IT spending globally is estimated to reach USD 5 trillion by the end of 2021. In India, it is estimated to reach USD 1 trillion, and the Indian software product industry is expected to reach USD 100 billion by 2025, keeping this growth in mind their main focus with product development will include:

(i) Education: The whole-sole focus of this would be on the education sector by shifting to SaaS-based products. SaaS LMS is the future of online learning solutions. Talking about the estimates, the Global Learning Management System (LMS) Market is supposed to grow from USD 9.464 Billion in 2019 to USD 29.901 Billion by 2025, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 21.13 per cent and the India learning management system market is estimated to progress with a CAGR of 20.58 per cent over the forecasting years.

SaaS Learning Management System enables e-learning solutions and cloud-based LMS in large to provide very high-quality user-friendly learning experiences with this Sjain is also taking a step towards introducing gamification and lecture box which will be blended in one platform to engage and motivate while providing a great learning experience to the learners.

(ii) Commerce: As per the reports, India’s e-commerce industry is estimated to clock USD 55 billion in sales during 2021 with the addition of 40 million new online shoppers, and the global commerce market is expected to reach USD 16,215.6 billion by 2027, at a CAGR of 22.9 per cent during the forecast period of 2020 to 2027. With this shift to digital platforms, businesses are increasingly adopting SaaS solutions. In the second phase, the company is planning for Fintech products and solutions.

Observing this, Sjain plans to focus on the development of the mobile app: Android and IOS both. This will deal with providing facilitated applications to the users and will run on the supplier’s or provider’s servers. Also, the SaaS-based E-commerce platform will be both single seller and multi-seller; offering the users services like marketing tools, payment gateways, shipping etc., to make the business processes more simple and streamlined.

This product will be beneficial to the E-commerce sectors: B2B, B2C and C2C. SaaS solutions are very fast and effective, and it is the most upcoming option in these tech-savvy and digital times.

With this Series-A funding, ensuring continued growth for Sjain, the company plans on achieving its milestones in product development, along with hiring new talent. During this project, they aim to supply their client firms with a robust digital platform to reinforce their data management.

The Company’s director Divya Jain quoted, “The corporate is concentrated on research and innovation of emerging technologies like AI/ML, IoT/AUTOMATION, Blockchain, Mobility, and Cloud, SAAS, which can end in new differentiated services, solutions and can help the customers towards rapid climb and journeys which will help them transform digitally”. They will not only be providing these services but also help their client with an in-depth analysis and upcoming benefits within the near future.

With the emergence of the latest path-breaking technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, Blockchain, Machine Learning, modern data science practices, cloud computing, and large data, and introduction and implementation of Microservices, Developer-Operations and automation; the future of the IT industry in India is quite bright. These services promote the creation of a next-generation workplace that thrives on the consistent collaboration between the enterprise systems and individuals.

This story is provided by SRV Media. ANI will not be responsible in any way for the content of this article. (ANI/SRV Media)

IndiGo bags 3 awards at Future of Contact Center Summit and Awards 2021

Bengaluru, Aug 19: India’s leading carrier, IndiGo, has been honoured with three awards at Future of Contact Center Summit and Awards 2021.
According to a statement issued here on Thursday said the airline won the awards for Contact Centre Unique Innovations & Transformation and Customer Experience Excellence in Aviation. Priyaah Sundaraam, Associate Vice President – Customer Relations, IndiGo was announced as the winner of the Disruption Management Leader Award, for a swift response to disruptions in business continuity and thinking out of the box to handle situations.
IndiGo has always been committed for being a leader in the global competitive environment, offering a hassle-free customer experience. Over the last year, the airline introduced various technology integrations including, Voice bot, Chat bot-Dottie, and AI-enabled WhatsApp service, which could successfully cater to handling huge volumes of interactions. Despite increased interaction volumes, the average service level was maintained above 96% with satisfaction score of 4.7 on a 5-star rating scale.
Mr. William Boulter, Chief Commercial Officer, IndiGo said, “We feel honoured to be recognised in three categories at the Future of Contact Center Summit and Awards 2021. This is a testimony of the fact that we believe every customer complaint is a golden opportunity to review process, product, and people. We are sensitive to our customers’ needs, and deftly implement learnings, to provide services in the most efficient manner. Innovation & digital transformation is core to us as they pave the path for progression. These awards are an acknowledgement of our team’s persistence and commitment to deliver an exemplary hassle-free service even during the most challenging times.”
Contact Center Summit and Awards 2021 recognized leaders on their journey towards a hyper-personalized contact center of the future.

Google’s Pixel 6 to roll out without charger

               

Washington [US], August 19: After the latest Apple’s iPhones and Samsung’s top flagships, American tech giant Google has officially revealed that it will ship its upcoming flagship smartphones, the Pixel 6 and the Pixel 6 Pro, without a charger in the box.

The Verge reported that the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, coming later this year, will have a completely new design, and will run on Tensor, Google’s first custom chip for smartphones.
Reports also suggest that Pixel 5a 5G, which launched yesterday, was possibly the last smartphone of Google that shipped with a charger.

According to The Verge, the reasoning behind the company’s decision is that most people already have a USB-C charger, meaning there is no need to include a new one with their phones. Also, not shipping millions of unneeded chargers with phones is good for the environment.

SBI marks 75 years of Independence with new offers for customers

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India]: State Bank of India (SBI) on Monday announced several offers, including a 100 per cent waiver on processing fees for car loan customers across all channels.

The customers can further enjoy the facility of up to 90 per cent on-road financing. SBI is offering a special interest concession of 25 bps for customers applying for a car loan via YONO and avail interest rate of 7.5 per cent per annum.

For gold loan customers, the bank is offering a reduction of 75bps in interest rates. Customers can now avail of gold loans at 7.5 per cent per annum. The bank has further waived off the processing fee for all the customers applying for a gold loan via YONO.

For its personal and pension loan customers, SBI has announced a 100 per cent waiver in processing fees across all channels.

The bank has also announced a special interest concession of 50 bps to Covid warriors that is frontline healthcare workers applying for personal loans.

For retail depositors, the bank has introduced platinum term deposits to mark 75 years of Independence. Customers can now get additional interest benefit up to 15 bps on term deposits for 75 days, 75 weeks, and 75 months tenors till September 14.

C S Setty, Managing Director for retail and digital banking, said these offerings will help customers to save more on their loans and at the same time add value to their festive celebrations.

“It is our constant endeavour at SBI to offer the best financing solutions to all our valued customers and help them fulfill their needs and requirements,” he said in a statement. (ANI)

Share Market: Sensex soars 873 points to new high, Nifty tops 16,130 mark

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India]: Equity benchmark indices scaled record new peaks on Tuesday with heavy buying in IT, FMCG and financial stocks.

Experts said fundamental support to the bulls has been coming from increasing GST collections, good corporate results and manufacturing sector gaining a boost amid easing of Covid-related restrictions.
The market capitalisation of BSE-listed companies jumped to a record high of Rs 240 lakh crore, according to reports.

At the closing bell, the BSE S&P Sensex was up by 873 points or 1.65 per cent at 53,823 while the Nifty 50 jumped by 246 points or 1.55 per cent to 16,131.

Except for Nifty metal which dipped marginally, all sectoral indices were in the positive terrain with Nifty financial service and FMCG gaining by 1.7 per cent each, auto by 1.5 per cent and IT by 1.2 per cent.

Among stocks, home loan lender HDFC advanced by 3.8 per cent to Rs 2,555 per share while Titan ticked up by 4 per cent to Rs 1,842.15.

IndusInd Bank surged by 3.5 per cent, Axis Bank by 2.3 per cent, State Bank of India by 2.5 per cent, Nestle India by 3.2 per cent, Bharti Airtel by 2.3 per cent and Tata Motors by 2.2 per cent.

However, metal stocks lost on profit booking with JSW Steel down by 0.8 per cent and Tata Steel 0.2 per cent. Bajaj Auto, UPL and NTPC too were in the red.

Meanwhile, Asian stocks slipped as the Delta coronavirus variant spread across key markets in the region and put Chinese authorities on high alert, rattling investor confidence.

Japan’s Nikkei was off 0.5 per cent as Covid-19 worries mounted. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 0.16 per cent as Tencent slumped on fear of online gaming crackdown.

But South Korean stocks ended 0.44 per cent higher on chipmakers boost and foreign buying.

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