Siemens to manaufacture solar PV inverters in India

Dec 7, 2017 0

New Delhi– German manufacturing conglomerate Siemens’ Indian arm on Thursday announced plans to start making solar photovoltaic (PV) inverters in the country that will initially serve the domestic market.

The company said in a release that the Sinacon PV inverter will be manufactured at its Kalwa plant near Mumbai.

“Siemens India launched with Sinacon PV a new generation of photovoltaic central inverters with an output up to 5,000 kVA. The inverter is part of the Siemens’ new electrical Balance of Plant (eBoP) solution for PV power plant installations,” the release said.

“The state-of-the-art Sinacon PV inverter will be locally manufactured at Siemens’ Kalwa plant near Mumbai for the domestic market as well as for export into the region,” it added.

“Siemens aspires to contribute to this with local value addition in line with Make in India,” Siemens Executive Vice-President Harald Griem said in the statement.

A solar PV inverter converts the variable Direct Current output of a PV solar panel into a utility frequency Alternating Current that can be fed into a commercial electrical grid or used by a local, off-grid electrical network.

Siemens said the Sinacon PV inverter has an outdoor design for harsh environment with fluid cooling and can operate up to 60 degrees Celsius ambient temperature.

The company also plans to set up a local assembly of medium voltage inverter stations.

“The new inverters and inverter stations target large scale, ground-mounted solar PV power plants comprising Electrical Balance of Plant solution,” it said. (IANS)

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India’s largest makerspace to come up in Hyderabad next year

Dec 5, 2017 0

Hyderabad– India’s largest makerspace, a prototyping and design centre, will come up here next year and will have equipment worth over $20 million, Telangana’s Industry Minister K.T. Rama Rao announced here on Tuesday.

To be known as T-Works, the facility will come up over 250,00 square feet with many partners offering their software tools and equipment.

Modelled on the lines of makerspaces in other countries and customised to Indian needs, this will probably be the world’s second largest facility of its kind, he said.

Anybody with an idea can collaborate with other people at T-Works and convert his or her designs into working prototype.

“T-Works will be up and running around this time next year,” the Minister said, while addressing India Design Summit organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry, adding anybody could use freely available tools — software, test and measurement equipment — to build any product.

“T-Works will allow anyone young or old school student, graduate or retired professor, man or woman to collaborate with other intelligent individuals and converge their designs on paper or PC and convert it into working prototype,” said Rama Rao, son of Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao.

Open to all Indians, the facility will have CNC machines, cutting machines of all kinds, welding and carpentry tools, PCB assembly machines, and 3D printers of all ranges.

“This I believe is going to change the way we do business especially with respect to design and hardware space in India,” he said.

The Minister said T-Works will help in making products in domains like mechanical, electro mechanic, electronics and semiconductor spaces.

It will also help in making products in automobiles, IoT, avionics, drones, med devices, medical instruments, defence equipment, consumer electronics, telecom products, mobile devices, gadgets and sensors.

“T-Works will become one of cornerstones and essential hub in the wheel in heralding a new wave of entrepreneurs, makers, tinkerers and designers of all kinds, aesthetic, textile, fashion, lifestyle, mechanical and technological,” he added. (IANS)

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Infosys Foundation gives Rs 15.7 cr to Tata Institute for research work

Dec 4, 2017 0

Bengaluru– Global software major Infosys’s philanthropic arm, Infosys Foundationon Monday announced a combined grant of Rs 15.7 crore to fund research and mentoring activities of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research’s (TIFR) International Centre for Theoretical Sciences (ICTS).

As part of the agreement between the Foundation and ICTS, of the total grant, Rs 4 crore will be for the travel of 25 overseas students to India each year under the Infosys Foundation ICTS Visitor Fellowship for its programmes.

“About 20 of ICTS students will also travel abroad under the Infosys Foundation ICTS Excellence Grant,” said the Foundation in a statement here.

The city-based ICTS’s programmes enable physicists, astronomers, cosmologists, mathematicians, biologists, students and researchers from the world over to solve questions on nature and discover structures across sciences.

“The Centre also strives for unifying knowledge, in-house research by faculty in theoretical sciences, science outreach that harness young minds and connects students with public interested in the latest developments of scientific research,” said the statement.

The grants are for students to participate in academic activities abroad and forge partnerships with educational institutions the world over, it said.

About Rs 7.5 crore of grant is for organizing lecture series by Indian and overseas experts, to exchange ideas and explore research opportunities in science and mathematics.

The lectures would be known as the Infosys ICTS Chandrasekhar Ramanujan and Turing Lecture Series, said the Foundation.

The lecture series will include Chandrasekhar lectures in physical science; Ramanujan lectures in mathematical sciences and Alan Turing lectures in computer science, engineering and biology.

Another Rs 3.35 crore grant is for about 200 students, faculty and post-doctoral students to support the 12th Kavil Asian Winter School (KAWS) on Strings, Particles and Cosmology 2018.

To be held here January 8-18, KAWS 2018 will bring together theorists from Japan,AChina and India to discuss about the latest developments in particle physics.

The grant will also be used for travel of speakers and participants from India to Strings 2018, an annual conference on string theory of particle physics, to be held at Japan’s Okinawa.

About Rs 85 lakh will be for the Homi Bhabha Chair Professorship to support research and mentoring. As part of the agreement between the Infosys Foundation and TIFR, the Chair would be called the Infosys Homi Bhabha Chair Professor. The current chair holder is Professor Spenta Wadia, the founding director of ICTS. (IANS)

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Paypal-owned Canadian firm leaked 1.6 mn customers’ records

Dec 4, 2017 0

New York– Global digital payments platform Paypal has identified a potential compromise of personally identifiable information for approximately 1.6 million customers on TIO Networks — a Canadian payments platform owned by Paypal.

“The PayPal platform is not impacted in any way, as the TIO systems are completely separate from the PayPal network, and PayPal’s customers’ data remains secure,” TIO Networks said in a statement.

PayPal paid $233 million in cash to acquire TIO Networks in July this year.

On November 10, PayPal suspended TIO’s operations after it discovered security vulnerabilities in the firm’s platform.

“The operations of TIO Networks were suspended to protect customer data as part of an ongoing investigation of security vulnerabilities of the TIO platform,” the company said on Monday.

The ongoing investigation uncovered evidence of unauthorised access to TIO’s network, including locations that stored personal information of some of TIO’s customers and customers of TIO billers.

The company was yet to contact all customers, billers and retailers affected by the leak.

“Individuals who are affected will be contacted directly and receive instructions to sign up for monitoring,” the company added.

“We will continue to communicate important updates to customers,” TIO added.

Paypal has 218 million active account holders,

Available in more than 200 markets around the world, the PayPal platform, including Braintree, Venmo and Xoom, enables consumers and merchants to receive money in more than 100 currencies. (IANS)

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Rural demand, new launches push November auto sales higher

Dec 1, 2017 0

New Delhi/Chennai– Robust rural demand along with new offerings led automobile manufacturers to report healthy sales figures for November.

Passenger car major Maruti Suzuki India’s total sales rose 14.1 per cent to 154,600 units, from 135,550 units sold during the corresponding month of 2016.

“This (total sales) includes 145,300 units in the domestic market and 9,300 units of exports. The company had sold a total of 135,550 units in November 2016,” the auto major said in a statement.

Maruti Suzuki’s November domestic sales edged higher by 15 per cent to 145,300 units from 126,325 units.

Exports inched-up by 0.8 per cent, with 9,300 units that were shipped out during last month, up from 9,225 units sold abroad in November 2016.

Similarly, Hyundai Motor India too reported a healthy growth in its domestic sales.

The company’s November domestic sales rose by 10 per cent to 44,008 units from an off-take of 40,016 reported in the corresponding month of 2016.

Commenting on the November performance, HMIL Director for Sales and Marketing Rakesh Srivastava said: “Hyundai volume of 44,008 units is a growth of 10 per cent with strong performance of the newly launched bestseller Next Gen Verna along with Grand i10, Elite i20 and Creta.

“Due to strong pull of festive demand on the strength of buoyant rural markets, we hope to build on this positive momentum with a cumulative retail sales of 200,000 units for the period September to December 2017.”

Other major manufacturer, Tata Motors’ domestic sales for November rose exponentially on the back of new product offerings.

The company’s November domestic passenger and commercial vehicle sales rose by 58 per cent to 52,464 units.

However, the company’s exports during the month under review declined by 12 per cent to 4,927 units shipped out due to a drop in volume in key commercial vehicles’ international markets such as Nepal and Sri Lanka.

On the same page, Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) total sales rose by 18 per cent to 38,570 units last month up from 32,564 units sold during November 2016.

The company’s domestic sales increased by 21 per cent to 36,039 vehicles during November 2017, as against 29,869 vehicles sold during November 2016.

Conversely, exports for November 2017 stood at 2,531 vehicles, a de-growth of six per cent.

M&M also logged a growth of 13 per cent in the three wheeler segment last month selling 4,455 units as against 3,953 units sold during corresponding period in 2016.

“We expect our growth momentum to continue on the back of some recent refresh launches as well as the positivity of our product portfolio,” Rajan Wadhera, President, Automotive Sector was quoted as saying in the statement.

Passenger cars manufacturer Honda Cars India registered monthly domestic sales of 11,819 units in November 2017 against 8,029 units in the corresponding month last year.

Besides, Ford India’s combined domestic sales and exports in November reached 27,019 vehicles from 21,004 vehicles in the same month last year.

Two and three-wheeler manufacturer Bajaj Auto a rise of 21 per cent in total sales, including exports, for November 2017 to 326,458 units from 269,948 units sold during the corresponding month of 2016.

Bajaj Auto’s total domestic sales last month stood at 179,835 units — up 16 per cent, while the overall exports edged higher by 27 per cent to 146,623 units.

Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (HMSI) closed the month of November with stellar domestic sale which was up 44 per cent to 432,350 units.

Honda’s motorcycle sales grew by 56 per cent to 150,606 units, while scooter sales grew by 39 per cent to 281,744 units.

TVS Motor Company registered a sales growth of 12 per cent from 224,971 units sold in November 2016 to 251,965 units in the like month of 2017. (IANS)

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Coal India misses production target by 5% during Apr-Nov

Dec 1, 2017 0

Kolkata– Amid concerns from thermal power plants over inadequate supply of fuel, Coal India Ltd (CIL) on Friday reported that it has produced 329.30 million tonnes during the April to November period, missing its target by five per cent.

However, the miner achieved an 8.1 per cent growth in off-take to 367.98 mt during the first eight months of the current fiscal as compared to 340.32 mt in the same period last year.

Its off-take for November only stood at 50.67 mt, exceeding the target of 50.48 mt for the last month.

CIL, which has a target to produce 347.69 mt during the period, clocked a 1.8 per cent growth in production from 323.57 mt produced in the same period last year, its provisional data showed.

According to data, the miner produced 51.29 mt of coal in November only, missing the production target of 54.91 mt for the month by seven per cent.

Coal India Chairman Gopal Singh had said the company is “pushing hard” to meet the 600 mt production target for fiscal 2017-18 and the one billion tonne production mark for 2019-20.

During the April-November period, the miner missed the off-take target of 378.27 mt by three per cent.

The miner envisaged production of 908.10 million tonnes in 2019-20 with a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 12.98 per cent, with respect to 2014-15. (IANS)

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Coca-Cola India plans to be $2.5 bn FMCG by 2020

Nov 27, 2017 0

Bengaluru– Coca-Cola’s Indian arm on Monday announced plans to become a fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) giant worth $2.5 billion by 2020, the realisation of which would involve some restructuring.

To this end, the company aims to open one million new outlets by 2020, a Coca-Cola release said here. It currently distributes its products through two million outlets across 25 Indian states.

“Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages (HCCB) announced its plans to become a $2.5 billion FMCG company by 2020. Plans include manufacturing and selling a wide range of beverages — from premium to value — and modifications to its operating structure,” it said.

“The company is also apportioning more resources to its frontline and field — both financial and human.

“This includes setting up a Premium Division to service customer requirements around niche and premium beverages — smartwater, frozen fruit desserts, mixers and tonic water and amalgamating the existing Alternate Beverages Division with the mainstream distribution system,” it added.

Coca-Cola in India will now operate through seven zones, instead of the current five, and will also reorganise its corporate centre resources, it said.

“The company will have a leaner corporate office and a much strengthened sales and supply-chain organisation, thereby creating several hundred new jobs,” the release said.

“The reorganisation will however make a few existing jobs redundant. No additional details are available at this time, since this exercise is yet to begin,” it added.

“It was very clear from our research, conversations and market data that today we are not structured in a way that allows us to fully leverage our scale and market capabilities,” HCCB Chief Executive Christina Ruggiero said in the statement.

For the financial year 2016-17, HCCB posted a 11 per cent growth in revenues at Rs 9,472 crore. (IANS)

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Navy signs contract with Tata for portable sonars

Nov 16, 2017 0

New Delhi– The Indian Navy has signed a contract with Tata Power Strategic Engineering Division for supply of Portable Diver Detection Sonar (PDDS) under the ‘Buy and Make (Indian)’ category, an official said on Thursday.

The contract was signed on Wednesday under the ‘Buy and Make (Indian)’ category of the Defence Procurement Policy (DPP).

The PDDS would be manufactured by Tata Power SED in India at their facility at Bengaluru with Transfer of Technology from DSIT Israel.

“Induction of weapons and sensors under ‘Buy and Make (Indian)’ category, is one the numerous measures being taken by the Indian Navy to boost indigenisation for ensuring a self reliant Navy, in line with the Government of India’s ‘Make in India’ initiative,” an official statement of the Indian Navy said.

Induction of PDDS would further enhance Indian Navy’s Underwater Surveillance Capability in the field of Low Intensity Maritime Operations. Procurement of these sonars for utilisation onboard ships is being undertaken by the Indian Navy to augment countermeasures against asymmetric threats. (IANS)


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Modi government has mastered art of economic disasters: Congress

Nov 15, 2017 0

New Delhi– The Congress on Wednesday accused the Modi government of mastering the art of indulging in economic disasters owing to its faulty policies, leading to a fall in exports and expanding trade deficit, apart from rising prices.

“A disaster called the Modi government has struck the Indian economy for the last three and a half years. Be it demonetisation or a flawed Goods and Services Tax regime, the Modi government has struck one blow after another and hit India’s economy,” Congress Spokesperson R.P.N. Singh said.

“The most glaring aspect of ‘Modinomics’ is that it has diminished India’s strong trade fundamentals and left its image battered due to its faulty policies, which have led to miserably plunging exports and expanding trade deficit,” he added.

The Congress leader said: “If this was not enough, a fresh crisis is brewing as price rise raises its ugly head.”

He said India’s trade deficit was close to a three-year high. “Trade deficit, the gap between imports and exports, stood 25 per cent higher compared with last year at $14 billion, according to Commerce Ministry data.”

“The trade gap stood at $8.9 billion in September. This trade deficit is the widest since November 2014. The value of exports in October fell 1.1 per cent over last year to $23.1 billion. Due to the government’s ad-hoc and amateurish policies, exports have been on a downtrend since 2014,” he added.

Singh said due to the flawed GST, exports in labour-intensive sectors have been hit hard. “Twelve of the 30 major export groups registered a decline in October.”

Reeling out statistics, the Congress leader said the fall in exports included 39.2 per cent in readymade garments, 24.5 per cent in gems and jewellery, 9.8 per cent in leather and its products, 6.9 per cent in electronic goods and 27.53 per cent in fruits and vegetables.

“Wholesale inflation accelerated to 3.59 per cent in October, a six-month high, on the back of increasing prices. This was mostly driven by food and fuel prices,” said Singh.

“The food articles segment saw inflation at 4.3 per cent in October, climbing from 2.04 per cent the previous month. Price of electricity and fuel have risen at the highest point in three months,” he added.

Singh pointed out that cooking gas prices have increased by 26.53 per cent, diesel prices by 15.43 per cent and petrol by 12.87 per cent. (IANS)

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Eveready to sign pact with McLeod for packet tea business

Nov 10, 2017 0

Kolkata– Eveready Industries on Friday said it is set to enter into an agreement with tea producer McLeod Russel India to “operate and manage” Greendale India Ltd as a joint venture company to carry out the packet tea business.

Greendale India is currently a wholly-owned subsidiary of Eveready, which has for some time felt that its packet tea business was not receiving adequate attention and focus due to the its other priorities.

Towards this, a need was felt to rejuvenate this business – perhaps jointly with a strategic partner. Accordingly, the board of the company had authorised initiation of discussions with McLeod for participating in a joint venture as a strategic business partner for development of the packet tea business through a separate entity.

“At its meeting today, the board approved that the company enter into a share purchase cum shareholders agreement with McLeod to operate and manage Greendale India Ltd as a joint venture, with both the company (Eveready) and McLeod holding 50 per cent shares each of Greendale, to carry out the packet tea business,” a statement said.

Eveready and McLeod belong to the Williamson Magor Group and the strategic alliance is subject to all necessary approvals.

Both the companies would put Rs 20 crore each in Greendale in one or more tranches.

Eveready currently holds 50,000 equity shares in Greendale and initially it is proposed that McLeod will purchase 25,000 equity shares at par from the company.

“The board has also approved that the company enters into an asset transfer/assignment Agreement with Greendale for transfer of the relevant trademarks (valued at Rs 20 crore) and other identified assets, if any relating to the packet tea business, to Greendale,” the statement said.

It is envisaged that with this measure, both companies will bring their respective skills of marketing and distribution and tea plantation knowledge to develop the packet tea business to a higher level.

McLeod is the one of the world’s largest tea plantation company in the private sector and this would enable the tea planter to have direct access to the Rs 10,000 crore packet tea market.

On the other hand, Eveready is a consumer goods company with a large distribution reach. This alliance will enable it to upscale its FMCG operation. (IANS)

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