Digital India Campaign Gets A Push – Parliament To Go Paperless From Today

With the winter sessions starting today, Parliament has settled to go paperless. All the reports will be published on Parliament’s website.govtech-india

Lok Sabha Speaker Sumita Mahajan on Wednesday said that MPs have time till their training ends and thereafter they have to use digital devices provided by government.

“Parliament website has been redone and all the reports will be uploaded immediately after they are tabled in Parliament,”. Officials from the National Informatics Centre (NIC) have been working overtime to make this digitisation possible.[source]

As part of the process, online messaging system will also be made more effective so that paper slips can be completely avoided.

Rajasthan Govt Announces Startup Policy

State Government of Rajasthan has announced new initiatives in the ‘Rajasthan Startup Festival’ to strengthen and foster the startup ecosystem in the state.

The State Government aims to create 50 incubators and 500 startups. To encourage startups, the Government also plans to mobilize Rs 500 crores from Angel and Venture Capitals.

The key highlights are:

  1. The Science and Technology Department and the State Government in association with RIICO and Start-up Oasis, is planning to create Rajasthan Start-up Village and e-Platform.
  2. The Government of Rajasthan will provide Assistance for Startups at Idea/Prototype Stage, under which Rs. 10,000 per month will be provided to the startup as sustenance allowance for one year, post approval by the Committee and Nodal Institution.
  3. Incubator will provide support to the startups by providing mentoring services, access to their labs, facilities etc on a free-of-cost (FOC) basis.
  4. Will allow selected startups to get free access to state infrastructure like University/Libraries/ Govt. Laboratories etc
  5. Will provide Assistance for Startups at the Pilot Stage, under which marketing assistance of maximum Rs. 10 lacs will be provided to the startup to launch its product.
  6. The policy also provides for scope for financial assistance wherein the startup can source Venture Capital from Angel Investors/Venture Capital Funds.
  7. The policy provides for students/student teams who have been accepted to be given grace marks and attendance in educational institutions. Further, their project may also count towards their degree completion credits.
  8. Special incentives have been listed for educational institutions that promote entrepreneurship.
  9. Special incentives have also been listed for private players supporting the Incubation Centre. Incentives, including grants, have also been extended to angel investors.
  10. The policy also provides for routine Startup Festivals to be held in the State.
  11. The policy suggests the creation of a Startup Council to be setup with representatives from the industry to play an advisory role.

However, the focus areas of the startups should be Social and Cleantech which includes rural infrastructure, sanitation, renewable energy etc. Other areas are mobile and IT, IoT and disruptive ideas or technology in any sector.

Social Media And Ecommerce Services To Be Exempted From Government’s Encryption Policy

And while the Indian government is working on draconian encryption policy, the department of electronics has clarified that social media websites and applications will be exempted from the purview of the Encryption Policy.

The following categories of encryption products are being exempted from the purview of the draft national encryption policy:

1. The mass use encryption products, which are currently being used in web applications, social media sites, and social media applications such as Whatsapp,Facebook,Twitter etc.

2. SSL/TLS encryption products being used in Internet-banking and payment gateways as directed by the Reserve Bank of India

3. SSL/TLS encryption products being used for e-commerce and password based transactions.

[Image credit: shutterstock.com]

India Gov Looks To Make Its Portals Accessible To Differently-Abled People

The Indian government is planning to make as many as 6,000 of Central and State government websites accessible to differently-abled people.

Of these 6,000 websites, 50% will be made friendly for people with disabilities (PwDs) by July 2016 according to the Department of Social Justice.

ERNET, an autonomous scientific society under the administrative control of the Department of Information Technology, has been tasked with helping build government web portals that the specially abled can access easily.

The initiative is part of the Accessibility India Campaign which is looking to enhance public documents and websites to meet internationally recognised standards.

The center is planning to engage web auditors to enhance the features of government web portals and make sure they adhere to the disability standards of Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0.

Indian Intelligence Agencies Want To Build NSA-Like Capabilities

Indian intelligence agencies are looking to acquire sweeping interception capabilities that will allow them to keep tabs on a large number of people at once.

Government Spying

The revelation was made by Wikileaks who leaked thousands of communication emails between Hacking Team, an Italian company that provides surveillance tech, and countries such as India.

The acquisition of tech to target more than one mobile phone could help agencies sidestep the need to get the permission of the Union home minister before intercepting a call.

Many Indian agencies already possess the capability to target specific phone numbers, but sweeping interception capabilities are a whole different ballgame.

Further, the leak also points at Indian agencies asking for capabilities to keep tabs on devices used outside India.

An email also points out that an Indian client, possibly R&AW (Research and Analysis Wing), was surprised that Hacking Team’s tech didn’t support non-smartphones and was looking at interception methods that posed a high-risk of being spotted.

Image source: Wikipedia

Government Launches KhoyaPaya, A Portal To Help Find Missing Children

It is estimated that over 70,000 children go missing in India each year, and as a measure to combat that appalling statistic, the government has launched a portal dedicated to filing reports for missing/found children.

KhoyaPaya

KhoyaPaya, is an initiative by the Government of India to use technology to combat cases of missing children. The program is a perfect example of Modi’s much lauded Digital India scheme put to work for the betterment of the country.

The primary function of the portal is to allow citizens to report cases of missing/found children, while also providing users with statistics of the number of missing children cases being registered.

Further, parents will be able to upload images of their missing children which can be viewed in real time by watchers, in order to reduce the time it might take to spot the child.

KhoyaPaya is a great example of putting technology to work for the betterment of the country, a trend which the government hopes it can kick off to cull various other domestic issues we face.

Indian Government Announces Open Source Policy And It’s A Brilliant Step

The government has announced open source policy which is applicable to all Government organizations under the Central Governments and those State Governments.

Opensource logo
Opensource logo
Key highlights of government’s open source policy include:
– All future Requests for Proposals (RFPs) of eGovernance projects shall include a mandatory clause for considering Open Source Software (OSS) as a preferred option in comparison to Closed Source Software (CSS). Suppliers shall provide justification for exclusion of OSS in their response.

– Government Organizations shall ensure compliance with this requirement and decide by comparing both OSS and CSS options with respect to capability, strategic control, scalability,security, life time costs and support requirements.

–  GoI shall establish suitable support mechanism for the available OSS that includes Institutional Mechanism, Partnership with Industry, Academia and OSS Community.
NextBigWhat’s Take: We hope that this isn’t a lip-service and won’t lead to aggressive ‘under-the-table’ deals that often happen between government organizations and closed source software companies.

[Read the announcement]

69-Year Old Farmer Coaches K’Taka CM In Tech Use For Agriculture

A 69-year old agriculturalist from North Karnataka stunned Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah with his suggestions of using technology to boost transparency in agricultural claims, at a pre-budget meeting with members of the farming community.
B M HanasiB M Hanasi, the owner of a 7-acre plot in Shirol village, questioned the CM as to why the government wasn’t making use of Google Earth (to gather the coordinates) and WhatsApp (for communication) to accurately assessing the extent of crop damage in the state.
While other farmers 100 odd farmers demanded waiver of loans and desilting of tanks, Hanasi emphasised the use of technology to reduce corruption where officials were misleading farmers to smartly ‘pocket’ the crop damage compensation money.
“Sometimes, officials and agents take pictures of four or five farmers in the same crop-damaged field by making them stand in different corners. Even if you have not grown the damaged crop, they will project that you have grown it and lost it due to a calamity. The money pocketed through fraudulent claims is huge,” Hanasi explained.
Further he stressed on the lack of efficiency in farmers receiving compensation, which currently is sent to the insurance company, which in turn sends it to the deputy commissioner, making it a lengthy procedure.
Hanasi said the latitude and longitude coordinates on Google Earth can help the government accurately map the survey number of fields, while officials equipped with data enabled devices can send photos of the crop to their officials via WhatsApp.
When quizzed about how Hanasi had grown so tech savvy, he attributed his learnings to students he met on the bus from his village to Hubli or Dharwad. They’d use their smartphones to explore their current location and route, while also sharing photos with each other on WhatsApp.
Having engaged in conversations with them as to how the technology worked, he’d experiment using his son’s smartphone at home, and eventually learned to locate places based on their latitude and longitude using Google Maps.
[Article/Image source: Bangalore Mirror]

Union Budget 2015: Indian Entrepreneurs Speak Up

The Union Budget 2015 that was announced on Saturday by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has largely been mooted as a positive one by the entrepreneur community in India (with few misses). The government’s support to boost the IT and ITeS sectors in the country, along with a massive fund of SMEs and laying the groundwork for GST do paint a good picture of what’s to be expected.
budget-entrepreneurs
Further, the highlights of Budget2015 have got to be the government’s initiative to restrict flow of black money in the realty sector, push for cash-less payments and increase in funding towards healthcare.
While it is still to be seen how well the government can implement its new schemes, there is a great deal of positivity when it comes to the agenda of ‘funding the unfunded’ and promoting ease of doing business in India.
Here are a few thoughts from members of India’s entrepreneur community over the latest Budget:
“This has truly been a break-through budget for the PE / VC industry. Tax pass-through for all Category I and Category II funds, and the ability to blend foreign capital in AIFs, will provide significantly greater access to funds for Indian PE / VC industry.  This could propel the Indian PE / VC industry from making annual deployment of USD 8-9 Bn to a trajectory of making 3x the current annual deployment (USD 25 – 30 Bn) in the next 3 years. Unlisted companies, who face the most scarcity of Capital, are the primary recipients of VC/PE equity.
Two budget measures that will greatly accelerate the availability of debt capital to unlisted mid-sized companies are: (1) enabling NBFCs (mid-sized) with SARFAESI Act and (2) MSME refinancing mechanism through the Mudra Bank. The first measure gives greater protection to the lending NBFCS, and hence enhances their ability to lend particularly at the growth stages of companies.
These changes come at a time, when India is superbly poised for sustained, high GDP growth.  These measure will create a very enabling environment for entrepreneurship and growth, providing ubiquitous equity and debt capital for all capable entrepreneurs – from a push-cart  to Flipkart!” – Gopal Srinivasan, Member of Chennai Angels


“Some of good initiatives include abolition of the wealth tax and increase of domestic transfer price from 5 to 20 crore. Additionally, the government’s proposal to decrease corporate tax from 30% to 25% and removing the various exemptions which contribute to multiple tax disputes are some good steps in the direction of making tax administration simple. Increase in service tax is a step towards GST and serves as an indicator of the possible rate of GST which could be a 100 basis points. Creating extensive awareness on social security schemes and making citizens to participate actively is a great initiative. Setting up exchange of trade receivables for MSMEs is remarkable.” – M P Vijay Kumar, Chief Financial Officer, Sify Technologies


“In continuation of the PM Jan Dhan Yojana, we believe that this is an additional positive push to promote cash-less transactions and usage of digital money. The digitization of money at lower level and the JAM trinity (Jandhan, AADHAR and Mobile Access)  will redefine and transform the economy to cashless. This will help in further alignment of the mobile wallets, cash in and cash outs and overall the mobile technology.” – Pramod Saxena, Founder & MD, Oxigen Services


“Allocation of INR 70,000 crores to Infrastructure sector, tax-free bonds for projects in rail road and irrigation, revitalising the PPP model for infrastructure development – are just some of the inclusions which will help growth of infrastructure and thereby the realty industry in the country. As seen in the past infrastructure projects have proven to be seeds for the growing realty industry in India as they direct housing and commercial developments towards them.
Another highlight was the government’s commitment towards controlling flow of black money in the country especially in property dealings and promoting cashless transactions. The flow of funds via electronic transactions will have a high impact on the realty industry and would bring the much needed transparency in our industry. 
We believe that an increase in the buying capacity of home buyers will help recover the realty industry in India. Even though the industry was expecting some additional tax exemptions for common man, saving of up to INR 4,44,200 in a financial year will definitely motive property buyers.” – Ganesh Vasudevan, CEO Indiaproperty.com


“This welcome move by the FM will provide a boost to electronic payment transactions, Online and also at POS. A similar approach helped Korea to move to almost 60% cashless transactions in retail. This will help the GDP by almost 0.5%-1% over the next few years.” – Amrish Rau, MD, Citrus Pay


“Recognizing the lack of credit facilities as dominant challenge in the sector, allocation of Rs. 20,000 crore for Mudra Bank For SMEs will play a vital role by enabling the SMEs to gain access to basic things such as raw materials and other necessary resources important to run their business. Also, the allocation of Rs. 1,000 crore for technology startups showcases government’s trust in young technology businesses.
Various other measures like GST, Public Procurement Policy, Investment in infrastructure, introduction of  internationally competitive Direct Taxes, sharp slash on few indirect taxes, and simplification of tax regime and few more measure announced will certainly result in ease of doing business. With government’s focus on making the youth of India job creators and not job seekers, skill development of youth and special focus on self-employment will have very positive impact on our socio-economic scenario and if implemented in right manner this will have a long term impact.” – R. Narayan, Founder and CEO, Power2SME


The setting up of a 1000 cr start up fund created through SETU entrepreneurial innovative fund is a welcome initiative. While the initiative is commendable, the effective implementation of the same needs to be ensured to make the fund a success. Consolidating startup approvals through ebiz portal by including state approvals would certainly bring down the complexities in setting up business. With more and more states participating in this initiative, this portal would eventually act as a single place window for obtaining regulatory approvals and licenses. If implemented, this would be the single most important development to improve the ease of doing business in India. – Divakar Vijayasarthy, Founder, MeetUrPro


“This is a very bold and forward looking budget. I am glad finance minister has attempted to help country’s SME’s and bring unbanked on banking platform. Schemes like funding unfunded, special fund for startup are good initiatives. I hope this government implements these great initiatives and bring double-digit growth dream back to reality.” – Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Founder – Paytm


“The financial allocation of Rs 1000 cr under the SETU – Self Employment & Talent Utilization program will drastically help boost the start-up ecosystem in India. The additional focus towards the strengthening of the IT infrastructure, the backbone of the Indian start up industry will accelerate the industry growth.” – Shashank ND, Founder & CEO, Practo


“While overall it seems to be pro-development but a lot more could have been done specially to boost the already booming start-up environment in the country. What will be interesting to see over the next couple of years is how well are initiatives like the incubation cell and nayi manzil executed. We have seen in the past that governments have been good at announcing schemes but have hardly been able to execute them well.” – Rohit Chadda, MD and Co-Founder – foodpanda


“A brilliant, well thought budget for all sections of society and businesses. Measures targeted on black money are very bold and long due. My top picks from the budget – electrification of 20,000 villages, digital India initiative to connect villages with technology, introduction of new IITs, IIMs and other premier institutes of higher learning,  ensuring a senior secondary school within 5 KMs reach for every child, 1000 Crores budget for promoting technology startups, reduction of tax for royalty fees on technology services, initiatives like Nayi Manzil & Pradhanmantri Vidya Laxmi Scheme to promote education & skill development in India, Reduction of corporate tax by 5% over 4 years.
However, execution and enforcement plan for influx of larger funds in schemes like MNREGA will be interesting to read. As expected, increase in service tax to make way for GST will be hard of Indian pockets. We were expecting a reduction in ROI for Education loans, however, some of it is taken care of with Pradhanmatri Vidya Laxmi Scheme.” – Ashutosh Modi, Executive Director, EntrancePrime.com


“It is good to see a big step from Modi government towards boosting startups. IT indicates very clearly Indian government wants to build healthy environment for startups while is prevailing in US and Singapore.
If we are look at this allocation in details there is lack of clarity how these funds will be allocated, what is the duration for this will be available , what is the procedure to get the funds and what kind of startups are eligible and what is the slab of funding.” – Diwakar Chittora, CEO, Intellipaat.com


“The budget allocation for startups should be used to promote startups in Tier 2 cities and beyond. This can lead to significant generation of quality employment at par with city counterparts for youngsters in these regions. Areas to be focused should be technology, commerce and education/training.” – Sanjoe Jose, CEO, Talview.com


“The increased healthcare budget allocation is step in the right direction but the amount is still far too less to build an effective and credible public healthcare system in India. The good news is that healthcare has started to get the due attention.

The increase in tax exemption limit for health insurance  will have significant impact on the penetration of health insurance in the country. This would help corporates to offer a wider range of health packages, and would go further to reduce out-of-pocket health spending.” – Amit Bansal, CEO, HealpingDoc.com


“This time, the Finance Minister has given special attention to the IT and ITes sector. The announcement of Rs 1000 crore for promotion of start-ups is a highly positive move. We feel that the new government has presented a progressive budget, which will help in creating an investor-friendly environment and attract more foreign and domestic investment in the IT sector.” – Raju Vanapala, Founder and CEO, LearnSocial.com


“It is an overall mixed feeling, my expectation on service tax waiver for product startups has not been met, I am tad disappointed here, but the budget looks promising though because there are takeaways for every section of the society, right from super rich to poor.
Corporate tax deduction has revived the positive sentiments in the industry, efforts to cut down red tapism for growing the ease of doing business will create lot of job opportunities. Hike on service tax was a little shocker, which was balanced with introduction of GST from April 2016.” – Sangeeta Banerjee, Director, ApartmentADDA
[Image credits: Shutterstock]

Entrepreneurs: Starting Up In India Gets Much Easier; Govt Launches eBiz Portal [GovTech]

Indian government has announced the launch of eBiz.gov.in, an online portal that aims at bettering the ease of doing business in India. The portal is a hub for business interactions with the government.
ebiz
The portal currently offers access to 11 government services and will scale up to reach 26 services accessible 24×7 on the website.
The services available currently on the portal include four from the corporate affairs ministry – name availability, director identification number, certificate of incorporation and commencement of business, two from CBDT – issue of PAN and of tax deduction account number , two from RBI – advanced foreign remittance and foreign collaboration general permission route, one from EPFO – employer registration, Petroleum, one from Explosives Safety Organization – issue of explosive license, and one from DGFT- importer exporter code license.
The services can be used only after registering on the website through a two step process. The first step is to register as an individual to receive the login credentials while the second step is to register the business to avail eBiz services.
eBiz is integrated with an electronic payment gateway. Users can make payment towards the services online using net banking facilities or offline payment, after generating challan on eBiz portal, from any ‘Central Bank of India’ branch. Also the status of the applications can be viewed online on the website.
The service has been developed by Infosys in partnership with the Indian Government and is conceptualized with support from the National Institute of Smart Government.
World Bank Data had put India 142nd among 189 countries in terms of ease of doing business. The NaMo government has been in constant efforts to put India at a better position on the list with the Make In India campaign and the various initiatives and regulatory reforms introduced over the past few months.
wb data
The G2B eBiz portal aims to ease the various procedures involved under setting up a business in India. According World Bank Data last year, India had some of the worst rankings on the list with 184th in the category of “Dealing with Construction Permits,” and 186th in “Enforcing Contracts.” Parameters measured in Mumbai also indicate that it required 13 procedures to start a business, and it took 30 days to accomplish this, compared to an average of 4.8 procedures and 9.2 days in advanced economies.
The complete data on India’s Ease of doing business can be found here.
NaMo’s Digital India is also connecting the lengths and breadths of the country with internet connectivity. Combined with simple steps and facilities to ease setting up business through the eBiz portal, there is hope that India would jump a few ranks higher up on the next Ease of Doing Business report. NaMo government’s vision is to bring India among the top 50 countries in regard to ease of doing business.

Here’s your Chance To Play The Cop, Thanks To Bangalore Police [GovTech]

Here is Bangalore police empowering every citizen of the city in a unique way – a chance to be a traffic cop! The PUBLIC EYE initiative which was launched a few months ago allows users to upload traffic violation images from around the city on to the BTIS website or through the Public Eye app.
The initiative works in two simple steps:

  1. Click a picture of the violation that you witness.
  2. Upload it on the BTIS website or through the app.
BTIS Public Eye Website Form
BTIS Public Eye Website Form
BTIS Public Eye App
BTIS Public Eye App
User details are kept confidential. The initiative is not a complete fool proof system, however it is a simple yet powerful one taken by The Bangalore Traffic Police. The mobile app as well as the website also provides the feature to track the proceedings of a complaint filed.
This step of merging technology to maintain the law and empower the citizens is a tremendous move towards people’s engagement in law enforcement.  Bangalore police department is highly active on social media pages like Facebook and twitter. Bangalore police commissioner’s twitter account has high engagement and is quick in dispensing information and responding to queries.
Such instances of police using social media and messaging services have been witnessed in other parts of the country as well. For instance, Delhi police launched Himmat App for women’s safety, Lookup had brought Bangalore police onboard to connect people with the police, Kanpur police launched SOS app, UP Police used twitter to connect with people & Whatsapp to catch criminals.

Govt Launches Digital Locker – No More Carrying Physical Documents [GovTech]

Moving ahead with the visionary Digital India Scheme, the Indian government has launched the beta version of digital locker system. The system allows users to store all their documents like certificates, identity proofs etc in digital format on the locker. The locker can be accessed through UID Aadhar Number allotted to every individual.
digital locker
The digital locker has been launched to end the hassle of carrying all the documents necessary for most government related as well as personal purposes across the country. The documents on the locker are accessible to the user from anywhere upon logging in to the system. The service aims at reducing the use of physical documents.
The three key stakeholders in the digital locker system are the Issuer who is an entity issuing e-documents to individuals in a standard format and making them electronically available e.g. CBSE, Registrar Office, Income Tax department, etc., the requester who is an entity requesting secure access to a particular e-document stored in the repository (e.g. University, Passport Office, Regional Transport Office, etc.) and the resident who is an individual who uses the Digital Locker service based on Aadhaar and OTP (One Time Password) authentication.
The collection of documents on the locker is called a repository which are uploaded by issuers in a standard format. The files can be shared by the user through a secure online mechanism for requesters to access e-documents from various repositories in real-time using e-Document URI (Uniform Resource Indicator) which is a link to the e-Document uploaded by an issuer in a repository.
Storage space in the cloud locker is provided by National Informatics Centre (NIC) and the software for this is developed by the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC).  Digital Locker will provide every user with 10 MB of data storage space. The service is available only in Beta version as of now and the full version of the project will be made available only by end of this year.
The government has also asked the users to provide their input on the services through the mygov.in website which has been designed to engage users with the government.
Further details on the digital locker system is available here.

Why “Make in India” Vs “Make for India” Is The Wrong Debate

[Guest article by Raghunandan G., CEO of TaxiForSure]
When the Narendra Modi led BJP rode to power in an unprecedented electoral victory, it was largely on the back of the twin promises of “development” and “minimum governance”. Following government formation, the “Make in India” became a catch phrase to capture the imagination of investors and global manufacturers.

MakeInIndia
MakeInIndia
This slogan was soon contested by none other than Raghuram Rajan, the man who saw the future, when he predicted an imminent melt down of the global financial system much before the Lehman Brothers collapse. He has questioned the wisdom of the “Make in India” approach and suggested that a “Make for India” could be a better alternative.
My view is that the “Make in India” versus the “Make for India” debate is irrelevant, or even incorrect.
Both “Make in India” and “Make for India” are outcomes– outcomes that generally bode well for India. When I was at school, my dad never told me if I should be a lawyer or a doctor. He ensured that he inculcated the right climate at home where I could easily figure out for myself what I loved to do, along with the freedom to pursue it. The climate was crucial. The outcome wasn’t. I chose to be neither a lawyer nor a doctor. Both “Make in India” and “Make for India” need an underlying climate that is crucial for success. Without the right climate, neither is going to succeed. With the right climate, it does not matter which succeeds. It may actually be a third alternative which is neither Made in India nor Made for India.
Creating the right climate

  • The number one climate change imperative is moving India up the “ease of doing business” list from number 134 to being in the top 100 within 6 months and being in the top 50 in 12 months.

This is not easy – therefore insufficient attention is paid to this. Take the telecom spectrum and coal block allocations. As a fallout of corruption charges and subsequent investigations, all allocations were cancelled. No one thought what it would do to businesses that had invested based on these allocations, and the impact it would have on countless people whose lives depended on these businesses. The government bravely resorted to the ordnance route to address the coal block allocation issue, but that is just not sufficient to put either industry or investors at ease. Cyrus Mistry was vocal in his support for the Make in India initiative, but when it came to the Tata Motors owned JLR setting up a plant, it chose Changshu in China over India. Therefore, the sooner the government injects confidence through changes in climate, the sooner will such decisions swing in India’s favor. When this happens, it does not matter whether a Tata Motors could potentially use the factory in India to produce cars for the world market or for the Indian market.

  • Two of the biggest obstacles in the rapid industrialization of India in the last couple of decades have been land acquisition and environmental clearances. It will be helpful to see some concrete indications that there is change of both mindset and will in pushing through the necessary changes.
  • In the last two decades, India’s growth has been despite a lack of public infrastructure like power and transport. Gaps in public policy were partially filled up by enterprising companies, and by an effective public-private-partnership – in the last 30 years India’s PPP market is the world’s biggest. Infrastructure has been the dominant area of PPP. Healthcare and education have also seen moderate success. In the last 5 years, the share of private universities has gone up from 10% to 42%. However, after the initial euphoria, there have been some setbacks to the PPP model – Overbidding, faulty pricing mechanisms and delayed clearances have led to investor losses. Financing and the absence of a liquid corporate bond market has also been a problem. But there is hope that these can be overcome. If power, water and other infrastructure is made available to industry it does not matter whether these inputs are used to make in India or make for India. Let the global marketplace and the entrepreneurs decide on a case by case basis.
  • The average Indian is 17 years younger than the average Japanese and 14 years younger than the average American This demographic advantage gave us an edge when the global services industry was growing. India managed to get the lion’s share of the services that the developed world decided to outsource. India’s youth bulge is both a promise and a peril. To accommodate the 300million people that will join India’s workforce between 2010 and 2040, each year India needs to create,roughly 10m jobs and a new city like Bangalore along with the commensurate real estate space and investment in infrastructure. This workforce couldn’t care less if they were employed making in India or making for India! They just need to be gainfully employed. Without the required labor reforms, industry would rather not take the risk of employing this workforce.

TO SUMMARIZE:
There is hope.
Most countries in the world, including China, are rapidly aging while India will continue to remain young and youthful for the next twenty years and more. An aging world cannot do without a young India. We need to quickly create a climate where this youth power is harnessed effectively. I feel very confident that if there is one government that could make this happen, it is this government, under the leadership of the current prime minister.
Recommended Read: Why Government Should Focus on “Sell In India

Government Plans To Set Up Departments For Regulation On eCommerce

eCommWith the many number of cases being filed and investigated against eCommerce firms in India, the government now wants separate entities to look into each aspect of eCommerce to prevent such fraudulent practices. Keeping in mind the many processes involved in eCommerce, the department of consumer affairs has moved a note for the consideration of the committee of secretaries (CoS) to seek approval for allocation of certain jurisdictions to separate entities.
Keeping in mind the many processes involved in eCommerce, the department of consumer affairs has moved a note for the consideration of the committee of secretaries (CoS) to seek approval for allocation of certain jurisdictions to separate entities.
The proposed departments and their jurisdictions are as follows:

Department Concerned Jurisdiction
Department Of Revenue Taxation
Reserve Bank Of India Banking And Foreign Exchange
Department Of Consumer Affairs Consumer Protection
Commerce And Industry Ministry Foreign investment and trade policy
Ministry Of IT And Telecom Data Protection, Cyber Security, Issues Related To Server Registration And Websites
Corporate Affairs Ministry Competition Policy Related Matters
Finance, Corporate And Home Ministries Criminal Frauds
Statistics Department To Build A Database On The eCommerce Sector
Information And Broadcasting Ministry Advertising Norms And Related Matters

 The many cases where eCommerce firms were under the government’s investigation are:
eCommerce Firms Penalized By Kerala State Government For INR 54 Crores
IT Department Puts A Penalty of INR 23.51 Crores On Flipkart [Many Bogus Vendors Listed]
ED To Issue INR 1000 Crores Penalty to Flipkart For BillionDay Sales Violation
ED Probe ends with bad news for Flipkart
Karnataka Government Bans Amazon From Selling Any Product From Bangalore Warehouse
[Source]

 

India Post To Begin With eCommerce Soon

India Post which had earlier tied up with eCommerce portals Snapdeal and ShopClues for logistics and cash on delivery services in rural India is now about to start its own eCommerce website much like eBay and amazon. This major step by India post is a part of its modernization strategy and will roll out in another 6 months.India Post LOGO
The website would act like a marketplace for sellers and buyers but will not be open for everyone to sell their products. The emphasis seems to be more on regional specialties that can be sold across the country. As a part of this initiative India Post is tying up with authorities like Spices Board, Tea Board, or cashew Board to ensure trading of quality items only.
India post is also working on ramping up its logistical division for better delivery. With a connectivity network that spans across the country, logistics should be the last of concerns that should bother India Post. The increasing consumption of internet coupled with the high smartphone penetration across the country has paved way for India Post to come up with this initiative.
The overall budget for the project is set at INR 5000 Crores.
Also read:  India Post’s e-commerce Entry is a BIG deal. Here’s why

Digital India : Government Is Planning Free WiFi In 2500 Cities [GovTech]

DINaMo’s visionary Digital India campaign has seen many new initiatives being implemented under its umbrella since the day it was introduced. The campaign aims at building India into an economy that would center on internet services to connect the rural and urban India with eGovernance initiatives.
The latest initiative on the campaign is to launch free WiFi services in 2500 cities at speeds that would match 4G connections through government run BSNL. The allocated budget to the project is estimated at INR 7000 Crores.
The free service would be only for a limited period after which the user would have to pay nominal charges for browsing the internet. The service is expected to roll out in the 2015- 2016 fiscal year. The service also aims at upping BSNL’s credibility in the market, which has been suffering huge loses over the years. The service aims at using optical fiber networks to provide connectivity by setting up 50k to 65k WiFi hotspots across cities like Kolkata, Chennai, Lucknow, Dehradun, Hyderabad, Varanasi, Bhopal, Jaipur, Patna, Indore, Chandigarh and Ludhiana etc.
BSNL has not seen much growth due to stiff competition from private players and reducing usage of landline across the country. But with a vast connectivity network and leveraging the landline customer base, BSNL is looking at improving its subscription base with Data connectivity services.
Going with the Digital India campaign, the government had earlier started with National Optical Fiber Network (NOFN) to provide high speed wired network connectivity to 2.5 lakh Indian villages. The first in the service was rolled out in Idukki, Kerala.
[Source]