IndUS Business Journal

Cloud shift to affect over $1 trillion in IT spending by 2020

Jul 22, 2016 0

Mumbai– More than $1 trillion in IT spending will be directly or indirectly affected by the shift to Cloud in the next five years — making Cloud computing one of the most disruptive forces of IT spending since early days of the digital age, market research firm Gartner said on Friday.

“Cloud-first strategies are the foundation for staying relevant in a fast-paced world,” said Ed Anderson, Research Vice President at Gartner.

Ed Anderson

Ed Anderson

“The market for cloud services has grown to such an extent that it is now a notable percentage of total IT spending, helping to create a new generation of start-ups and ‘born in the cloud’ providers,” he added.

IT spending is steadily shifting from traditional IT offerings to Cloud services.

The aggregate amount of cloud shift in 2016 is estimated to reach $111 billion — increasing to $216 billion in 2020, Gartner said.

“Cloud shift is not just about Cloud. As organisations pursue new IT architecture and operating philosophy, they become prepared for new opportunities in digital business, including next-generation IT solutions such as the Internet of Things (IoT),” Anderson said.

“Furthermore, organisations embracing dynamic, cloud-based operating models position themselves better for cost optimization and increased competitiveness,” he added. (IANS)

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Rise of fiscal frauds are sore point for foreign investors in India

Jul 22, 2016 0

New Delhi–A rise in financial frauds has become one of the sore points for foreign investors and needs to checked by a global standard regulatory framework coupled with the companies’ in-house mechanisms, a study has said.

“With the increased prevalence of fraud and the negative consequences associated with it, there is a strong argument that companies should invest resources and time to tackle it,” a paper authored jointly by Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) and global consultancy firm Grant Thornton said.

“Cases of financial fraud have risen in India over the last few years and have become one of the main factors deterring foreign companies from investing in India,” it said.

Sunil Kanoria

Sunil Kanoria

As the Indian economy is growing, increasing corporate frauds will prove to be disastrous for India, the paper said.

Noting companies’ inability to perform an effective fraud risk assessment, the paper said, “As technology is advancing, fraudsters are able to find ways to use it and perpetrate a fraud. Tech-savvy fraudsters are using technology in a variety of ways to commit fraud.”

“Devious ingenuity of the human brain is now leveraging technology to indulge in more sophisticated methods of crimes which are very much capable of creating systemic instability,” Assocham President Sunil Kanoria was quoted as saying.

“Putting restrictions on what your employees have access to will limit the potential of misappropriation of assets but if an employee has access to all aspects of an organisation, the potential for fraud is significantly increased,” the paper said.

Vidya Rajarao, Partner, Grant Thornton India, said the initiative to stop frauds must come from the senior management.

“The responsibility of preventing, detecting and investigating corporate and financial frauds rests squarely on board of directors. The top management should define their anti-fraud strategy, establish appropriate fraud mitigation steps and train their employees to combat financial and corporate frauds,” Rajarao said.

It is not to suggest as if there are no financial frauds taking place in rest of the world, said the paper that enumerated several big-time scandals that have hit the international headlines.

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Kochi among India’s 100 best start-up incubators

Jul 22, 2016 0

Kochi– The Kochi Startup Village has been ranked top among the 100 best startup incubators in India by the India edition of Entrepreneur Magazine.

The Entrepreneur Magazine survey report, that came out on Friday, assessed the incubators on the basis of several criteria, including the number of graduating startups, their success in raising funds and funding-equity and the duration of the programme.

Since 2012, Startup Village has supported nearly 590 physical and virtual incubatees in Kochi and 200 in Vizag.

Kris Gopalakrishnan

Kris Gopalakrishnan

“It is a great honour for Startup Village to be named the country’s best incubator just as it gears up for even bigger challenges in its search for a billion dollar campus startup,” said Kris Gopalakrishnan, Infosys co-founder and chief mentor of Startup Village.

The latest accolade for Startup Village comes on the heels of the National Award for Technology Business Incubator from the government in 2015.

“The PPP model of Startup Village gives its tremendous ability to create deeper impact and it has been changing the whole culture of student entrepreneurship across the nation,” said H.K. Mittal, head of the National S&T Entrepreneurship Development Board.

Last week, Startup Village launched into its second phase with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan launching the online platform SV.CO that aims to provide a fully digital incubation framework to five million students in 3,500 engineering colleges across the country.

“SV.CO is the next big iteration of Startup Village, to give a world class student startup ecosystem to around five million engineering students in India, who will build the future of our nation. Our success in first phase was due to the support from public and private sector partners” said Startup Village chairman Sanjay Vijayakumar.

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India introduces new processes to fast track allotment of account and tax numbers for companies and individuals

Jul 22, 2016 0

New Delhi– The government here on Friday said it has introduced new application processes to fast-track allotment of Permanent Account Number (PAN) and Tax deduction Account Number (TAN) for individual and company applicants.

“For fast tracking the allotment of PAN and TAN to company applicants, Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) based application procedure has been introduced on the portals of PAN service providers NSDL eGov and UTIITSL,” Finance Ministry said in a statement.

Under the new process PAN and TAN will be allotted within one day after completion of valid on-line application.

“Similarly, a new Aadhaar e-signature-based application process for individual PAN applicants has been made available on the portals of PAN service provider NSDL eGov,” the statement said.

Introduction of Aadhaar based e-signature not only ensures paperless-hassle-free PAN application process but also seeding of Aadhaar in PAN which will curb the problem of duplication of PAN to a great extent.

The links for the above applications are available on the homepage of the income tax website. (IANS)

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Indian higher education policy should draw foreigners, NIT bill passed

Jul 21, 2016 0

New Delhi–The country’s higher education policy should be directed towards ensuring quality education for all, greater incentives for research and also be made attractive to bring in more foreign students, HRD minister Prakash Javadekar said here on Thursday.

“We must attract foreign students…..to be a part of the whole global culture is education by itself,” Javadekar said in his reply to a four-hour long debate in the Lok Sabha on the National Institutes of Technology, Science Education and Research (Amendment) Bill, 2016.

Prakash Javadekar (Photo courtesy: Hindu)

Prakash Javadekar (Photo courtesy: Hindu)

The bill, which seeks to establish the National Institute of Technology (NIT) in Andhra Pradesh as an institute of national importance, was later passed by the house.

Laying emphasis on research and innovation, he sought to make it clear that “mere compilation” should not be considered a Phd.

“The Narendra Modi government is committed to ensure Sabko Shiksha aur Acchi Shiksha (Education for all and Quality Education),” Javadekar said.

Stressing on the role of research, he said several schemes are being evolved to promote research especially among technological institutes.

A separate funding of Rs 1000 crore will be made for this, he said adding under this “customized research” of industries will be encouraged wherein academicians from NITs and IITs and other such technological institutes will be involved.

“We will encourage more incubation centres and under which even after graduation NIT and IIT pass outs and graduates can also be allowed to visit their institutes and take part in research,” Javadekar said.

He said the government is keen to provide up to Rs 20,000 crore for upgradation of all kinds of infrastructure.

“I have already mandated that 40 per cent of that money should be invested in improving the research infrastructure. It is not about roads, buildings and staff quarters; it is basically about improving the research infrastructure,” Javadekar emphasized.

Stating that education should be “beyond politics”, the HRD Minister said: “We should all resolve to work unitedly to improve education.”

Earlier, Congress member Shashi Tharoor said instead of increasing the number of national institutes, the government should focus on improving its quality and pump more funds.

He said there is a problem in higher education system and added that often Tata and Infosys appoint candidates from engineering colleges and again put them for training.

Visakhapatnam MP Kambhampati Haribabu (BJP) rejected Tharoor’s views and said the government has not taken the decision to start NIT, Andhra Pradesh in haste.

Among others Trinamool Congress member Sugata Bose, Biju Janata Dal’s Baijayant Panda, AIADMK’s M Thambidurai, Telugu Desam Party’s M Srinivasa Rao, SDF’s Prem Das Rai, RLSP’s Arun Kumar (RLSP), AIUDF’s Badruddin Ajmal, Congress’ Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury (Congress) and RSP’s N.K. Premachandran also spoke in the debate. (IANS)

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India earned Rs 230 crore through satellite launch services in FY16

Jul 21, 2016 0

New Delhi– India earned around Rs.230 crore last in fiscal through commercial launch satellite services, parliament was told on Thursday.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) through Antrix Corporation Ltd offers satellite launch capacity on a commercial basis, Union Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, Jitendra Singh, who also holds charge of the departments of Atomic Energy and Space, told the Rajya Sabha in a written reply.

satelite-launch“During the last year (2015-16), Antrix earned a revenue of approximately Rs 230 crore through commercial launch services, which is about 0.6 per cent of the global launch services market,” he said.

Citing published reports available in the public domain on the international satellite market, Singh said the average annual revenue over the last three years, is approximately $200 billion (Rs 13 lakh crore), which includes the launch services market (Rs 0.37 lakh crore), satellite manufacturing (Rs 1.07 lakh crore), ground equipment (Rs 3.85 lakh crore) and satellite services (Rs 8.17 lakh crore).

He said in order to meet the enhanced national requirements for launching satellites for earth observation, communication and navigation, ISRO is taking steps to increase the launch capacity.

Towards stepping up the launch capacity, ISRO is in the process of exploring the possibility of enhanced involvement of Indian industry.

Besides meeting the national demand, the industry can explore the opportunities for commercial launch services, he added. (IANS)

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India to launch satellite jointly developed with US in 2021

Jul 21, 2016 0

New Delhi– The Indian space agency and US NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory are jointly working on the development of Dual Frequency (L&S band) Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) Imaging Satellite named as NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR), slated to be completed and launched by 2021, parliament was told on Thursday.

Jitendra Singh

Jitendra Singh

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will be responsible for design and development of S-band SAR, Spacecraft Bus, data transmission system, spacecraft integration and testing, launch using heavy rocket geosynchronous satellite launch vehicle (GSLV) and on-orbit operations, Minister of State in the PMO Jitendra Singh, who also holds charge of the Space Department, told the Rajya Sabha in a written reply.

The NASA laboratory will be responsible for design and development of L-band SAR, 12m unfurlable antenna and its deployment elements, global positioning system (GPS) and data recorder.

The L and S band microwave data obtained from this satellite will be useful for variety of applications, which include natural resources mapping & monitoring; estimating agricultural biomass over full duration of crop cycle; assessing soil moisture; monitoring of floods and oil slicks; coastal erosion, coastline changes and variation of winds in coastal waters; assessment of mangroves; surface deformation studies and others.

ISRO and JPL/ NASA are working towards realisation of this mission by 2021 and both agencies have obtained necessary approvals from respective governments, he said.

The joint science observation plan has been documented with the participation of Indian and American scientists. The core science teams of India and US meet every six months to discuss various observation requirements and strategies of science observation. The technical teams of both the agencies are working towards building the necessary systems, Singh said.

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Working on merger with Vedanta: Cairn Indian

Jul 21, 2016 0

Mumbai– Oil and gas major Cairn India on Thursday said it is working to merge with its parent, London-listed Vedanta Resources at a time when key shareholder, the state-run Life Insurance Corporation (LIC), is yet to give its assent to the merger.

Navin Agarwal

Navin Agarwal

“Your company continues to work towards completion of merger with Vedanta,” Cairn India chairman Navin Agarwal told shareholders at the company’s 10th annual general meeting here.

“Your company will get access to Vedanta’s tier-one metal and mining assets, which are well-invested, low cost and have a long life,” he said.

Under the proposed merger, a Cairn India shareholder will get one Vedanta equity share and 7.5 preference shares for every Cairn India share.

LIC, as the single largest domestic minority shareholder, owns 9.06 per cent in Cairn India and 3.9 per cent stake in Vedanta.

The Anil Agarwal-led natural resources firm Vedanta Ltd. received approvals last September from both the Bombay Stock Exchange and the NSE on the company’s proposal to merge with its hydrocarbons subsidiary Cairn India.

Merging Cairn India with itself would provide Vedanta access to the oil explorer’s cash and help reduce its debt burden. Vedanta took majority control of Cairn India for $8.67 billion in 2011 and holds 59.9 percent in the latter through its various units.

“We will continue to invest in our existing assets to increase production and maximize economic recovery. I remain confident that your company will play a pivotal role in India’s quest for energy security,” said Cairn India’s fiscal 2016 annual report quoting Navin Agarwal.

The company’s polymer flood projects at Mangala in Rajasthan continued to yield positive results and contributed an average of 14,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, during the year the report said.

Amid the low global oil price environment, Cairn India has focused on optimising costs, building talent and capabilities and keeping employees focussed on goals and priorities of the organisation, enabling the company to generate free cash flow over $637 million, it added.

Despite steep drop in crude oil prices, Cairn India adhered to its stated dividend policy with a pay-out amounts to 31.6 per cent of the company’s annual consolidated normalized net profit, the chairman said.

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ONGC Videsh raises $1 billion by US dollar bonds

Jul 21, 2016 0

New Delhi–State-run explorer ONGC’s overseas arm ONGC Videsh Ltd (ONGC) has raised $1 billion through a US dollar bonds issue to finance its acquisition of 15 per cent stake in Russia’s Vankor oil field, the company said in a stock exchange filing on Thursday.

The company raised $600 million through a 10-year bond at a coupon rate of 3.75 per cent and another $400 million through a 5.5-year maturity bond at an interest rate of 2.875 per cent, Director (Finance) S P Garg told reporters here.

“We will draw down the bonds sometime next week,” he said.

ONGC Videsh expects to use the proceeds of the proposed issue to refinance existing bridge loans incurred to acquire a 15 per cent stake in CJSC Vankorneft for $1.26 billion.

ONGC, Oil India, Indian Oil Corp and Bharat Petroleum will collectively own a 49.9 per cent stake in Rosneft’s Vankor field, and a 29.9 per cent stake in Rosneft’s Tass-Yuryakh field at a total cost of up to $5.4 billion.

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VC funding in Indian health IT sector reaches $3 billion in 2016

Jul 21, 2016 0

New Delhi– Venture capital funding in healthcare IT sector has reached $3 billion globally in the first half of 2016, says a report by global communications and consulting firm Mercom Capital Group.

Venture capital funding in the Health IT sector, including private equity and corporate venture capital, came in at $1.6 billion in 140 deals in the April-June quarter of 2016 compared to $1.4 billion in 146 deals in January-March quarter, 2016, Mercom Capital said in a statement on Thursday.

There were 12 Indian Healthcare IT companies that received VC funding during April-June, the report said.

“The big reason for the jump in VC funding was record fundraising by Chinese companies. This is the first time since 2010 that health IT companies in the US have been outraised by other countries,” said Raj Prabhu, CEO and Co-Founder of Mercom Capital Group.

VC Funding for US companies fell by almost 37 percent quarter-over-quarter (QoQ) and Chinese companies for the first time emerged as the top healthcare IT funding recipients, the report said.

Among the notable Indian transaction in the latest quarter, Gurgaon-based online price shopping and drug delivery company 1mg (previously HealthKartPlus) raised $16 million in funding from Maverick Capital Ventures, Sequoia India and Omidiyar Network, the statement added.

Bangalore-based developer of a health and fitness mobile app HealthifyMe raised $6 million in funding from IDG Ventures India, Inventus Capital and Blume Ventures.

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