India, Indonesia discuss intensifying trade, maritime cooperation

Jan 25, 2018 0

New Delhi– Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday held a bilateral meeting with Indonesia President Joko Widodo here on the sidelines of the India-Asean Commemorative Summit and discussed cooperation in the areas of trade, defence and maritime cooperation.

“Neighbours bound by culture and history,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.

Kumar said that Modi and Widodo “discussed intensifying ties in trade and investment, defence and maritime cooperation”.

Indonesia is the largest trading partner of India in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) regional bloc.

Bilateral trade between the two countries has increased from $4.3 billion in 2005-06 to $17 billion in 2016-17.

The Asean comprises Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Thursday’s meeting was held on the margins of the Commemorative Summit to mark 25 years of the India-Asean Dialogue Partnership.

Indonesia’s capital Jakarta houses the Asean secretariat.

Earlier in the day, Modi also held bilateral meetings with Thailand Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, Singapore Prime Minister Lee and Sultan of Brunei Hassanal Bolkiah.

On Friday, Widodo will be among all the 10 heads of state or government of the Asean nations who participated in the Summit to attend this year’s Republic Day celebrations collectively as guests of honour, an unprecedented first. (IANS)

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India, Philippines sign investment facilitation agreement

Jan 24, 2018 0

New Delhi– India and the Philippines on Wednesday signed an investment facilitation agreement following a bilateral meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte here.

The two leaders discussed trade and investment, defence and security, education, and people-to-people cooperation, according to External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar.

“An agreement to facilitate investment was signed,” Kumar tweeted.

India-Philippines bilateral trade stood at nearly $2 billion in 2016-17. In 2016-17, India’s exports amounted to $1.487 billion and imports totaled $494 million.

Modi visited the Philippines in November last year to attend the Asean-India Summit. It was the first prime ministerial visit from India to that southeast Asian nation in 36 years since the visit of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1981.

Duterte arrived here earlier on Wednesday to attend the Commemorative Summit to mark 25 years of the India-Asean Dialogue Partnership to be held on Thursday.

Heads of state and government of all 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) regional bloc will be attending the Summit.

The Asean comprises Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Under its Act East Policy, New Delhi is pushing to boost its relationship via connectivity, commerce and culture with this regional bloc.

Prior to his meeting with Duterte on Wednesday, Modi held bilateral meetings with Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

On Friday, Duterte will be among all 10 Asean heads of state and government who will attend this year’s Republic Day celebrations as guests of honour, something unprecedented, since the leader of only one foreign country has attended the event as the chief guest all these years. (IANS)

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HPE-owned Aruba eyes double-digit growth in India in 2018

Jan 23, 2018 0

By Nishant Arora 

New Delhi– (IANS) With mobility on the rise amid enterprises aspiring to create modern, connected workplaces, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE)-owned wireless networking major Aruba is looking for double-digit growth in India, top company executives have reiterated.

Aruba saw its business growing rapidly last year — with over 67 per cent growth — and India has become one of its fastest-growing markets.

The company, acquired by HPE in 2015 for $3 billion, is today the leading provider of next-generation network access solutions for the mobile enterprise.

“Mobility is one factor that is on the rise in India, with more and more devices being connected. Aruba is targeting double-digit growth in the country in 2018. We are seeing more and more customers using our wireless networks that come with valuable insights for businesses to drive growth,” Steve Wood, Vice President, Asia Pacific, Aruba, told IANS.

When it comes to R&D, core research is under way at Aruba’s Bengaluru facility.

“We are living in an era where sensors are everywhere — be it home appliances, IoT devices or consumer devices — and we need to help those units connect to the edge of the network. At Aruba, we are focused towards achieving that ‘intelligent edge’ for sectors like education, health care, hospitality, retail and manufacturing,” Wood emphasised.

Aruba has just bagged a big contract with an Indian bank with 5,000 branches to provide it with secure wireless networking solutions.

“It is still in the implementation stage so I can’t reveal the name of the bank now. Last year, the government business was 48 per cent of our revenue stream in the country,” Santanu Ghose, Country Manager, HPE Aruba, told IANS.

“Small and Medium Business (SMB) is the fasted-growing market segment for us. We have been receiving almost 30 new customers every quarter. We had nearly 130 new customers in 2017,” Ghose added.

Aruba’s distributors and their partners — as well as its own partners — are helping the company reach more enterprises with its wireless offerings. It is also leveraging HPE partner framework to reach more businesses.

“Wireless network adoption is happening very fast in the country. Rural Internet penetration, which is 17 per cent at the moment, needs to go up to 50 per cent with Wi-Fi and end-point connectivity. We have the strength to help the stakeholders achieve that,” Ghose added.

Within SMBs, Aruba is looking at micro-verticals like health care, mobile campuses and co-working offices.

“Wireless is becoming an infrastructure. Co-working offices and mobile campuses are triggering innovations beyond the concrete walls. New design campuses are coming up. Going wireless today is the key,” Ghose told IANS, adding that small-scale manufacturing firms are also coming back into life.

When it comes to connecting governments and enterprises to the edge of the network, a secure, robust and agile wireless network is the need of the hour.

To address this, the company recently launched “Aruba 360 Secure Fabric” — a security framework that provides 360 degrees of analytics-driven attack detection and response to help organisations reduce risk in the changing threat landscape.

“To prevent attacks, we have integrated User and Entity Behavioural Analytics (UEBA) into our central security piece called ‘Clearpass’. This is now called ‘Aruba IntroSpect’ that will introspect behavioural anomalies — be it a person or a device — to gauge possible threats and mitigate those,” Ghose informed.

Aruba is also innovating in UEBA by expanding the “Aruba IntroSpect” product family, enabling businesses to easily and rapidly scale machine-learned behaviour detection from small projects to full enterprise deployments.

The “Aruba 360 Secure Fabric” offers security and IT teams an integrated way to quickly detect and respond to advanced cyber attacks — from pre-authorisation to post-authorisation across multi-vendor infrastructures, supporting enterprises of all sizes.

“At the centre of our security are Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) which are integrated into our security network for a seamless, wireless connectivity,” Ghose said.

According to Ghose, they haven’t seen any known impact so far after the news of two security flaws in Intel and other chips shocked the tech world recently.

“We have not seen any known impact as of now. We also use chips other than Intel but there has been no impact on our operations,” Ghose noted. (IANS)

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LAVA’s ‘Design in India’ initiative a key milestone: Minister

Jan 23, 2018 0

New Delhi– The government has put in place policies and structures to make India a global hub of electronics manufacturing and LAVA’s “Design in India” initiative is a key milestone in that direction, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said here on Tuesday.

“We started with a mission of making India a big hub of mobile phone manufacturing. I’m happy to say that earlier there were only two factories and now we have 113 manufacturing plants in the country and ‘Design in India’ is a key milestone in that direction,” the Union Minister of Electronics and Information Technology told the media.

“The initiative also aims at creating local employment opportunities”, he said while adding that 225 million mobile phones were manufactured in India last year.

Under its “Design in India” initiative, domestic smartphone manufacturer LAVA also launched its first mobile phone that is completely designed and manufactured in the country.

LAVA aims to launch the first ‘Designed in India’ smartphone by October, and the entire range of mobiles by 2021.

Union Minister of State for Communications Manoj Sinha said that the government aims to create 100 million jobs by 2022.

“Initiatives like ‘Make in India’ and ‘Design in India’ will play a vital role in creating jobs for a young and large country like ours,” Sinha added.

In 2016, LAVA set up its design centre in Noida. The design team received training in industrial, mechanical, hardware and software design for over a year in China.

“‘Design in India’ is a critical step towards building the mobile components and parts ecosystem in the country. Over the last six years, LAVA has built its capability and expertise in mobile design which led to ‘Design in India,” said Hari Om Rai, Chairman and Managing Director, LAVA International.

Priced at Rs 1,499, the “PRIME X” mobile phone has a battery stand-by time of 17 days. The phone also comes with a two-year replacement warranty. (IANS)

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Dassault Systemes to open ‘3DEXPERIENCE’ centre in Andhra

Jan 22, 2018 0

New Delhi– Global 3D experience major Dassault Systemes on Monday announced a partnership with the Andhra Pradesh State Skill Development Corp (APSSDC) to set up a “3DEXPERIENCE” centre to prepare industry-ready students.

The centre will enhance the employability skills of the engineering and polytechnic (diploma) on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform for the fields of aerospace and defence, automotive and ship building.

“The centre has been set up as a step to foster innovation and help instil the start-up and research culture in the state as well act as a catalyst of growth by making world-class skilled professionals available to key growth sectors for the state and the country,” said Samson Khaou, Managing Director, India, Dassault Systemes.

The aerospace and defence industry in India is one of the fastest growing markets in the world with a significant push to indigenous manufacturing.

As part of experiential learning, the “3DEXPERIENCE” platform would be made available to the students either on premise or on Cloud so that they have first-hand knowledge of operating on the platform.

The centre will also provide tele-operated learning facility, whereever needed, to facilitate remote learning as well.

“Once fully functional, we will offer over 85 courses in aerospace and defence engineering, automotive technologies and marine infrastructure,” said K. Sambasiva Rao, Managing Director and CEO, APSSDC.

“Dassault Systemes will bring in their experience and industry knowledge of working across diversified verticals and play a significant role in providing real and virtual demonstrations of modern-day engineering and manufacturing,” he added.

The “3DEXPERIENCE” platform helps businesses design and test in a simulated production environment so that they can efficiently plan, produce and manage resources. (IANS)

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How many proposals made at Bengal business summit fructify?

Jan 19, 2018 0

By Bappaditya Chatterjee

Kolkata–  Against the backdrop of only half of the about Rs 8 lakh crore (over $125 billion) investments proposed in the past three editions of Bengal Global Business Summit reaching the “process” stage, the just concluded fourth edition has seen a Rs 15,000 crore drop in proposals from last year.

Experts and economists say the challenge for the state now is to translate higher proportions of these proposals into Industrial Entrepreneur Memorandums (IEMs) filed with the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) of the central government and also move into the implementation stage.

According to the state government, the 2015 and 2016 summits had fetched investment proposals of Rs 2.43 lakh crore and over Rs 2.5 lakh crore, respectively. The third edition netted proposals of over Rs 2.35 lakh crore.

This year, the summit has received proposals of about Rs 219,925 crore, the lowest since the government kicked off the process of branding the state.

Describing the latest edition as the “top of the top” business summit, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said: “Even last year, of what we discussed, 50 per cent of the businesses (proposals) are in process… Earlier also, the situation was like this.”

Expressing satisfaction, West Bengal Finance and Commerce and Industries Minister Amit Mitra, a former Secretary General of industry lobby FICCI, said the state had done well to draw investments given the low gross capital formation in the country and slower Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth.

Industry doyens like L.N. Mittal, Mukesh Ambani and Sajjan Jindal and other majors praised Banerjee’s leadership and the state government for creating a friendly climate and an enabling policy infrastructure.

However, the chink in the armour remains the realisation of these business announcements.

The state’s opposition parties — the Congress, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) — have demanded a White Paper from the government on the number of proposals the state had received in the earlier summits and those that had fructified.

“The signing of memorandum of understanding in a business summit, like this, will gain more relevance if these pacts are translated into filing in the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) of central government. A general trend suggests that only about 10-15 per cent of the total proposals coming from these summits are filed with DIPP. Though, there are some exceptions, the trend is applicable to almost all the states and West Bengal is no exception,” economist and Professor of Jadavpur University Ajitava Raychaudhuri told IANS.

Investments proposed at a particular summit do not necessarily have to be filed in the same year and the IEMs filed may include earlier proposals.

Union Commerce Ministry data suggests that out of 2,279 IEMs filed during the year 2016-17, 406 were for Gujarat, 376 for Maharashtra and 322 for Karnataka. However, in terms of proposed investments, Karnataka led with Rs 171,347 crore followed by Gujarat (Rs 73,559 crore) and Maharashtra Rs 38,188 crore.

In 2016-17, West Bengal bagged 63 IEMs worth Rs 4,690 crore.

“In terms of implementation of the Industrial Entrepreneur Memorandums, the picture is even worse. Again, the trend suggests that only about 10-15 per cent of IEMs filed are being reported as implemented. This is an all-India phenomenon and includes West Bengal. So, the challenge for the state is to improve the proportion of filings and implementations,” Raychaudhuri added.

Do these summits have any relevance? Given the “dull” investment scenario in India, several states have been competing to net industries and investments and organising such business summits is becoming necessary to be in the competition, Raychaudhuri said.

“It wouldn’t be correct to see West Bengal in isolation. The world economy, as well as India’s, is going through a sluggish trend. Unless and until the country’s economy is steadied, investors will continue to be cautious,” economist and former Professor of Presidency University Debnarayan Sarkar said.

Echoing Raychaudhuri, Sarkar told IANS: “There is a marked difference between IEMs filed and investments proposed in summits. But West Bengal has a better translating rate than leading states. For example, in 2016, proposed investment of IEMs filed was about Rs 56,000 crore in Gujarat while IEMs implemented were worth about Rs 8,200 crore. In contrast, West Bengal saw about Rs 5,204 crore of proposed investments in 2016 and implementation was Rs 3,400 crore.”

However, the flip side of the summit was absence of central ministers, which could be a direct off-shoot of Banerjee’s constant anti-Narendra Modi stance.

Usually, central ministers attract industry honchos and public sector entities tend to announce projects that swell the investment kitty. But unlike the previous editions, no major business announcements surfaced from central PSUs this time.

According to official figures, 350 delegations from over 32 countries and over 4,000 delegates participated at the summit. (IANS)

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Infrastructure, land acquisition major challenges for MROs in India: Boeing

Jan 18, 2018 0

New Delhi– Global aerospace major Boeing on Thursday said that the “challenges for MRO” (maintenance, repair or overhaul) sector in India are infrastructure and land acquisition.

“The challenges for MRO are infrastructure, finding land, land acquisition, the higher duties on spare parties etc,” said Dinesh Keskar, Senior Vice President Asia Pacific and India Sales, Boeing at the ‘Aerospace and Defence MRO South Asia Summit 2018’.

“One out of every 20 aeroplanes sold worldwide is to India. That shows the magnanimity of the available opportunity in the country. The market is here, the growth is here and people (skilled workforce) are here. This opportunity in MRO should be tapped in time,” he said. (IANS)

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US firm enters India with smartphone security app

Jan 18, 2018 0

New Delhi– US-based technology firm Redmorph on Thursday forayed into the Indian market with its security solution for the Indian smartphone users.

Named “The Ultimate Privacy and Security Solution,” the app allows users to control and protect their privacy and security online and visualize the happening in the apps background, OS and websites in real time.

The product is equipped with algorithms to audit all system and user apps to determine and minimise risks. With behavioural and predictive analysis, it uses contextual logic to identify and block suspicious or malicious apps.

“Consumers are finding it difficult to make informed decisions, allowing apps multiple permissions to access data due to permission fatigue. This could lead to misuse of user data. At Redmorph, we are committed to helping people better protect their privacy online,” Abhay Edlabadkar, Founder and CEO of Redmorph, said in a statement.

The solution — priced at Rs 50 per month with 21 days trial and available on Google Play Store — monitors background behaviour and pro-actively prevents malicious apps from spying on banking, email, social and other critical apps.

Redmorph is a partner of Carnegie Mellon University’s CyLab Privacy and Security Institute in the US.(IANS)

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Delhi to host travel and tourism exchange event

Jan 17, 2018 0

New Delhi– The 25th edition of South Asian Travel and Tourism Exchange (SATTE 2018) will be held in the national capital from January 31 to February 2, an official said on Wednesday.

SATTE 2018 — designed to serve as a comprehensive platform for domestic and international buyers and professionals from across the travel, tourism and hospitality industry — could see several exciting partnerships and announcements, said UBM India — organiser of the event — in a press release.

Over 1,000 exhibitors and representatives from over 50 countries and 28 Indian states are likely to participate in the exhibition to be held at Pragati Maidan in Delhi.

Yogesh Mudras, the UBM India Managing Director, said: “SATTE is perfectly placed to provide a most comprehensive industry platform and will showcase the true potential of tourism for India and other countries, all under one roof.”

“The Indian tourism industry is the fastest growing among the G20 countries. Ease of access through online portals and hassle-free bookings and accessible pricing will play a pivotal role in ensuring that India’s travel sector grows to a US$48-billion market opportunity by 2020,” the release quoted Mudras as saying.

As per the release, industry discussions and sharing of new insights pertaining to the sector and industry best practices will be among the salient features of SATTE 2018.

“SATTE will host six panel discussions that will bring together stakeholders of the industry on a single platform, allowing exchange of ideas that will add value to Indian tourism at large,” it read. (IANS)

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Israel PM arrives in Mumbai

Jan 17, 2018 0

Mumbai– Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrived here from Ahmedabad on Wednesday on a two-day visit, officials said.

He was received at the airport by Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and senior officials.

On Thursday, Netanyahu will have a packed schedule. He will interact with the best of both the worlds Mumbai has to offer – business and glamour.

His official day will start with a power-breakfast with top Indian CEOs and head honchos plus attending a business forum of Israeli and Indian business persons.

This will be followed by a wreath-laying ceremony at Hotel Taj Mahal Palace opposite the Gateway of India and a visit to the Chabad House in Nariman House, in nearby Colaba – both in south Mumbai.

Both these places – the heritage hotel and the once non-descript Nariman House – were the targets of the 2008 Mumbai terror attack by 10 Pakistani gunmen who sneaked in from the Arabian Sea.

Netanyahu is expected to declare the Chabad House as a Living Memorial in which the orphaned toddler Moshe Holtzberg, now an 11-year-old boy, was saved by his Indian nanny Sandra Samuel from the terrorist mayhem.

However, his young parents Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and Rivka lost their lives along with seven others in the attack, after which little Moshe and Samuel were taken to Israel.

Later, he will attend a gathering with the members of the small but prosperous Jewish community living in different parts of Mumbai.

The evening is reserved for a gala glamour-filled engagement with Bollywood personalities, his final engagement before returning home on Friday morning. (IANS)

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