Tuesday, January 31, 2023


J'khand couple quit corporate jobs, turn model farmers, pioneer app-based irrigation

A couple hailing from Jharkhand's Hazaribag district, who left their corporate jobs and turned to farming, have become model farmers scripting an inspiring success story for others.The couple- Vinod Kumar used to be a bank manager, while his wife Radhika worked in a multinational corporate company- in Pune.Institutions like NABARD and IFFCO Kisan are impressed by their success. These organizations have selected them for the pilot project of Automated Irrigation System in Jharkhand. They have become the only farmers in the state, who can irrigate the crops grown in their fields even while sitting far away through the mobile app.

Mahanadi Coalfields sets up eco-park over closed underground mine in Odisha

Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL), a subsidiary of Coal India Limited (MCL) as part of its green initiative, has developed an eco-park and a museum over a closed underground mine.

Apple AR headset may feature health & wellness experiences

Apple will reportedly bring health and wellness experiences in its upcoming augmented reality (AR)- mixed reality (MR) headset, media reports said.

PhonePe raises $350 mn at $12 billion valuation

Fintech platform PhonePe on Thursday said it has raised $350 million in funding from General Atlantic, a leading global growth equity firm, at a pre-money valuation of $12 billion.

PVR books PAT of Rs 12.93 crore for Q3

Multiplex cinema major PVR Ltd on Thursday said it closed the third quarter of FY23 with a net profit of Rs 12.93 crore.

Samsung eyes 75% sales from 5G smartphones in India this year

Samsung India on Thursday said it will have a 5G-first strategy in India to consolidate its smartphone leadership in the country, eyeing to capture 75 per cent sales from its 5G device portfolio this year.

iPhone 15 Pro Max may feature folding lens camera

Apple's upcoming smartphone, iPhone 15 Pro Max, will reportedly feature a periscope folding zoom camera, although it will only be included in the top-end iPhone model.

Apple gave $320 bn to developers on App Store since 2008

Apple has given a massive $320 billion to the developers for selling their digital goods and services since the launch of its App Store in 2008, the tech giant has announced.There are now more than 900 million paid subscriptions across Apple services like Music, TV+, gaming and more.

RBI Deputy Governor Michael Patra reappointed for one year

The Centre on Monday reappointed Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Deputy Governor Michael Debabrata Patra for a period of one year with effect from January 15.The decision was taken by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet.

Vistara flight to Bhubaneswar returns to Delhi after technical snag

A Vistara flight to Bhubaneswar returned to Delhi airport on Monday following a technical snag.As per aviation regulator DGCA, Vistara's A320 aircraft operating flight UK-781 from Delhi to Bhubaneswar was involved in an air turnback due to a hydraulic system issue. The plane made a priority landing at the Delhi airport, an official said, adding that a probe will be initiated.

'Make in India' TV shipments grow 33% to reach 5 mn units

The India TV market grew exponentially in the festive season last year and 'Make in India' TV shipments grew 33 per cent (on-quarter) in the July-September period to reach 5 million units, a report showed on Tuesday.Dixon led the 'Make in India' TV shipments, followed by Radiant.

BMW recalls over 14K electric cars over crash risk

Automaker BMW has recalled over 14,000 electric vehicles for a software malfunction that may lead to a loss of power and an increased risk of a crash.The recall covers certain iX SUVs and i4 and i7 sedans produced between October 14, 2021, and October 28, 2022.The software issue relates to the high voltage battery electronic control unit, according to BMW.

China to top global equity market performance in 2023: Morgan Stanley

Morgan Stanley has raised price targets and expects China to top global equity market performance in 2023. "We see an earlier and stronger growth recovery from 1Q23 amid faster reopening, stronger housing support and tech regulatory easing, lifting 2023 GDP to 5.7 per cent and 12m USDCNY to 6.65. China is set to top global equity market performance in 2023, in our view, with structural improvement on ERP and ROE. Raise price targets and reiterate OW," Morgan Stanley said.

Telecom Sector Skill Council to place over 1.25 lakh youth with focus on 5G

With the 5G rollout, India needs a ready-skilled workforce and the Telecom Sector Skill Council (TSSC) on Tuesday announced to get over 1.25 lakh candidates placed across the industry through its placement initiatives and training labs.The Council also said it will establish at least 50 new training labs and centres of excellence (CoEs) across India for various telecom job roles.

Despite lower sales volume, vehicle makers to post higher profit, revenue

Even though vehicle makers would experience lower sales volume on a sequential basis in Q3FY23, they would nevertheless log higher revenue and profitability owing to the price hike, said Axis Securities in a research report. According to the report, the vehicle makers are expected to post de-growth of revenue and net profit on a sequential basis due to the reduction in wholesales sales in December 2022 post-festive season due to the normalization of channel inventories.

FPIs sold for 11 consecutive days to the tune of Rs 14,300 cr

FPIs have turned sustained sellers in the Indian market and sold for 11 consecutive days taking the cumulative selling to Rs 14,300 crore, says V.K. Vijayakumar, the Chief Investment Strategist at Geojit Financial Services."And, the money taken out is being invested in the underperformers of last year like China and Europe, which are doing well now. Clearly, FII money is chasing lower valuations by selling in overvalued markets like India," he added.

We want to push India's $1 trillion digital economy dream: Satya Nadella

As India embarks on its digital journey with full steam, Microsoft wishes to move in and provide every part of its tech stack to the country and its innovators, to help it become the $1 trillion digital economy as the country spends more on its tech sector, the company's Chairman and CEO Satya Nadella said here on Thursday.Nadella told that India's tax spend as a percentage of its GDP is becoming normalised when compared to the developed world, and is now among the top 10 countries.

Qualcomm unveils new SoC for vehicles

Qualcomm Technologies has unveiled a new System-on-Chip (SoC) to support digital cockpit and advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) at Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2023.The 'Snapdragon Ride Flex SoC' supports "mixed-criticality workloads, allowing for digital cockpit, ADAS and automated driving (AD) capabilities to be co-implemented on the same hardware," the company said in a statement.

Vimeo to lay off 11% of its workforce

Video sharing platform Vimeo has announced that it will be laying off 11 per cent of its workforce amid a decline in economic conditions.The announcement was made by Anjali Sud, CEO of Vimeo, in an online letter, noting that "those whose jobs are affected have received emails and invitations for meetings with their team leaders and HR".

Samsung introduces new affordable phone with 5000mAh battery

Samsung has introduced a new affordable smartphone which comes with a 5000mAh battery, at a price of Rs 9,499.The Galaxy F04 comes with a 16.55cm HD+ display and a glossy design, says the tech giant.It will be available in two colours -- Jade Purple and Opal Green in a 4GB+64GB storage variant.

Amazon secures $8 bn loan to safeguard against economic headwinds

E-commerce giant Amazon has secured $8 billion in Term Loan from DBS Bank, Mizuho Bank and others, that will be used for "general corporate purposes".In a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the company said that the loan will mature in 364 days (January 3, 2024), with an option to extend for another 364 days."Upon funding, proceeds of the Term Loan will be used for general corporate purposes," it said in the filing.

Nifty50 expected to touch 20,000 in CY2023: ICICI Securities

The Nifty50 index is expected to touch 20,000 points in 2023.Stagflation is the key risk to equities in CY23 wherein inflation picks up again post the waning of favourable base effects while growth decelerates, the report notes.In the report, ICICI Securities said: "Our Nifty50 target for CY23-end stands at 20,000 implying 11 per cent upside, which is sub-par considering the long-term expected return of at least 12 per cent from Indian equities."

BMW Group India sold 19,263 vehicles in 2022

High end cars and motorcycle maker BMW Group India closed 2022 selling 19,263 vehicles.According to a statement issued by BMW India, a total of 11,981 cars (BMW and MINI) and 7,282 motorcycles were sold last year in India.The BMW Group had logged 37 per cent growth in the sales of BMW cars as compared to the same period last year by delivering 11,268 units.

The Bahamas seizes $3.5 bn in FTX digital assets as ex-CEO faces trial

The government in The Bahamas has seized $3.5 billion in FTX digital assets, as its former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried faces a trial in the US.The country's Securities Commission took control of the assets soon after the crypto exchange filed for bankruptcy in the US in November, reports revealed late on Friday.

Fidelity slashes its Twitter stake value by 56% as Musk faces challenges

Top global investment firm Fidelity has slashed the value of its stake in Twitter by 56 per cent during the first month of Elon Musks ownership, as the micro-blogging platform navigates through a myriad of issues.Fidelity's Contrafund valued its Twitter shares at $53.47 million on October 31, just days after Musk's $44 billion acquisition deal was closed, reports .

Alibaba rejigs top brass after major server outage, CEO to look after Cloud arm

In a major reshuffle amid intense scrutiny by the Chinese government, Alibaba Group on Thursday unveiled key senior management changes, including Wu Zeming's rise to the company's Chief Technology Officer (CTO), as its Hong Kong servers suffered a serious outage that shut down many services in the region.Daniel Zhang, Chairman and CEO of Alibaba Group, will assume the role of acting President of Alibaba Cloud Intelligence and responsibility for the communication and collaboration platform DingTalk.In a separate move, Jeff Zhang will focus on his role as head of the Alibaba DAMO Academy and no longer serve as President of Alibaba Cloud Intelligence.He will continue to be responsible for Alibaba's proprietary chip development team T-Head and Internet of Things (IoT) initiatives, the company said in a statement.

Samsung to unveil new refrigerator with larger screen at CES 2023

Samsung Electronics on Thursday introduced a new 'Bespoke Refrigerator Family Hub Plus', equipped with a large touch screen, which it will unveil at CES 2023, the world's largest home appliance exhibition to be held in the US' Las Vegas from January 5.At 32 inches, it features a much larger display than the 21.5-inch screen found on previous generations of Samsung Family Hub refrigerators.The new Family Hub has been enhanced to allow users to enjoy the "Samsung TV Plus" service, which allows users to watch approximately 190 US TV channels and approximately 80 Korean TV channels for free in "PIP (Picture in Picture) mode", according to the company.

Jio True 5G services now available in Andhra Pradesh

Reliance Jio on Monday announced it has launched True 5G services in Andhra Pradesh.The 5G services were launched in Tirumala, Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada, and Guntur districts.State IT Minister Gudivada Amarnath said that 5G services will bring transformational benefits for the people."Apart from their existing investment of Rs 26,000 crore, additionally Jio has invested over Rs 6,500 crore for deploying 5G network in Andhra Pradesh and this shows their immense commitment towards our state's development," the minister said.By December 2023, Jio True 5G services will be made available in every town, taluka, mandalam and village of Andhra Pradesh, he added.

Credit offtake in elevated levels: CARE Ratings

The credit offtake in India remained at elevated levels of 17.5 per cent year-on-year (YoY), reporting robust growth for the fortnight ended December 2, said credit rating agency CARE Ratings.According to CARE Ratings report, the growth is driven by a low base, non-banking finance companies (NBFC), retail credit, higher working capital demand driven by inflation and improvement in capacity utilisation ratio, and rising demand for fresh capex.The benefit of a lower base is expected to ease in the next few fortnights, optically leading to lower growth rates, CARE Ratings said.With a large base, deposits saw a slower growth at 9.9 per cent y-o-y compared to credit growth of 17.5 per cent for the fortnight ended December 2.The credit offtake expanded by over 1,000 bps due to a low base, retail credit, inflation-led working capital requirement and MSMEs. It also increased sequentially by 1.2 per cent from the immediate fortnight (ended November 18), CARE Ratings said.

Google-backed Adda247 grants ESOPs worth Rs 150 cr to employees

 Google-backed government job preparation platform Adda247 on Monday said it has granted stock options worth Rs 150 crore under its employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) programme to its workers.The ESOP policy currently has a vesting period of four years and aims to reward exceptional talent while continuously valuing employees, the company said in a statement."The entire purpose of ESOP policy is also to give priority and importance to our employees. Eventually, we want to generate wealth for all our employees with the dream to create at least a hundred crorepatis from our employees prior to our IPO," said Anil Nagar, Founder & CEO, Adda247.Adda247 first launched its ESOP policy in 2016 and has rewarded around 10 per cent of its workforce across levels to date.

Hyderabad Metro Rail wins national award for its coffee table book

Hyderabad Metro Rail has won Public Relations Society of India's prestigious national award for its colourful pictorial coffee table book titled "Hyderabad Metro Rail. - A Pictorial Overview".About 2000 photographs have been used in the book.Kailash Vishwas Sarang, Minister of Medical Education, Government of Madhya Pradesh presented the award to Malladi Krishnanand, CPRO at the PRSIA National conference at Bhopal on Sunday.In the true spirit of the adage "a picture speaks thousand words," this 800 page coffee table book covers the entire gamut of Hyderabad Metro Rail events, right from the conceptual stage of the project to the current day operations, presented aesthetically.

Xiaomi may cut 15% of its workforce amid Covid lockdowns in China

Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi may lay off workers from multiple departments, as it aims to reduce 15 per cent of its workforce amid the rough global macroeconomic conditions and local Covid-19 lockdowns. 
Xiaomi had 35,314 employees as of September 30, with more than 32,000 in mainland China.The extent of the lay-offs is unknown and "Xiaomi declined to comment", according to the report that came out late on Monday.According to a report by Chinese media outlet Jiemian, Xiaomi will cut jobs in several units of its smartphone and internet services business.Gizmo China reported that some departments have seen layoffs of up to 75 per cent, while others have had around 40 per cent of their teams cut.China's social media platforms, including Weibo, Xiaohongshu and Maimai, have been flooded with posts about the reported Xiaomi job cuts.

Former FTX CEO Bankman-Fried agrees to be extradited to US

Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), former CEO and C0-founder of bankrupt crypto exchange FTX, have reportedly agreed to be extradited to the US.SBF was arrested from his penthouse in the Bahamas last week and has been officially charged by the US authorities with defrauding equity investors.A local lawyer in the Bahamas for Bankman-Fried said that against "the strongest possible legal advice," SBF is ready to voluntarily agree to extradition to the US.In the US, he is set to face a long list of criminal and civil charges covering fraud, money laundering, and more.If convicted, he faces 115 years in jail.According to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) complaint, since 2019, FTX raised more than $1.8 billion from equity investors, including approximately $1.1 billion from approximately 90 US-based investors.

Delhivery acquires Pune-based Algorhythm Tech to boost supply chain

 Fully-integrated logistics service provider Delhivery on Tuesday said it is acquiring Pune-based Algorhythm Tech for an undisclosed sum.Algorhythm Tech delivers planning and optimisation solutions for enterprise supply chain operations.The company said the transaction is expected to be completed by January 31 and post the acquisition, Algorhythm Tech will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Delhivery Ltd."Algorhythm Tech's supply chain management (SCM) software products will enhance our supply chain solutions offering with value-added services and also drive cost optimisation in service delivery," said Sandeep Kumar Barasia, Executive Director and Chief Business Officer, Delhivery.Founded in 2003 by Abhaya Borwankar, Ajit Singh, and Sandeep Pendurkar, Algorhythm offers end-to-end supply chain planning and execution products to clients across FMCG, pharma, steel, auto and telecom sectors, through its proprietary aceRhythm 3.0" platform.

OP Jindal Global University signs agreement with Aresty Institute of Executive Education at Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

 As O.P. Jindal Global University (JGU) completes 13 years since its founding, 100 JGU students will be selected to participate in an amazing certificate programme designed exclusively for the students of JGU in collaboration with the Aresty. Institute of Executive Education at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, USA.These full-time JGU students will be selected on merit from the 12 schools of JGU to study at the Wharton School in summer 2023.The partnership between India's world-class private university (ranked number one in India in the QS World University Rankings 2022, three times in a row) and Wharton Executive Education augurs well for promoting excellence in management education.The industry-relevant programme at Wharton will offer specially designed modules, including business model innovation and ecosystems, international banking and financial markets, entrepreneurship and technology innovation, global business strategy and mergers and acquisitions, strategy with analytics, and strategic leadership and influence. The course modules will be offered by Wharton faculty, who are world-leading scholars in their respective fields of business, finance, and entrepreneurship. JGU students will receive a certificate of completion from the Wharton School, upon successful completion of this programme.

Airtel 5G Plus goes live in Shimla

 Bharti Airtel on Monday announced the launch of its cutting-edge 5G services in Shimla.The Airtel 5G services are currently operational at Mall Road, Sanjoli, Dhalli, BhattaKufar, Ridge and Sanjoli Helipad Area and a few other select locations.Airtel said it will augment its network making its services available across the city in due course of time."Airtel customers can now experience ultrafast network and enjoy speeds upto 20-30 times faster than the current 4G speeds. We are in the process of lighting up the entire city which will allow customers to enjoy superfast access to High-definition video streaming, gaming, multiple chatting, instant uploading of photos and more," Pushpinder Singh Gujral, CEO, Upper North said in a statement.Airtel 5G Plus services will be available to customers in a phased manner as the company continues to construct its network and complete the roll out.

Reduction in oil import bill narrows down India's trade deficit in Nov

The reduction in oil import bill resulted in narrowing of India's trade deficit in Novermber as compared to October, said Prabhudas Lilladher Pvt Ltd.The trade deficit narrowed month-on-month (MoM) in November to $23.89 billion as against $27.58 billion in October, while up only 13 per cent year-on-year (YoY), said Amnish Aggarwal, Head-Research, Prabhudas Lilladher.According to Aggarwal, the dip was largely on account of decline in imports led by sequential decline in oil imports from $18.2 billion to $15.7 billion.On a YoY basis, imports grew by 5 per cent while exports remained flattish.India's exports exhibited a positive YoY growth in 15 out of 30 sectors in November and imports surged in 19 out of 30 sectors YoY.In the exports category, electronic goods (54.48 per cent), rice (19.16 per cent), ceramic products & glassware (22.64 per cent), fruits and vegetables (25.01 per cent), cereal preparations & miscellaneous processed (22.75 per cent), other cereals (53.78 per cent), oil seeds (38.83 per cent), oil meals (17.55 per cent), tobacco (101.02 per cent), and tea (27.03 per cent) recorded positive growth.

Spike in cesses, surcharges in Gross Tax revenue, 8.16 % in 2011-12 to 28.08% in 2021-22

Substantial rise in the share of cesses and surcharges in the country's gross tax revenue has been recorded over the years.The share of cesses and surcharges was 8.16 per cent of gross tax revenue in 2011-12 and 28.08 per cent of gross tax revenue in 2021-22, said the Ministry of Finance in a written reply in the Lok Sabha on Monday.The Ministry said that a major reason is the imposition of GST Compensation Cess, which is entirely used for payment of compensation to the states and flows to states as Grants-in-Aid, in their Receipts Budget. Resources from the other cesses are allocated to different schemes and programmes in the Union Budget, which are implemented by the states and other implementing agencies.States voice their views on the matter of levy of cesses and surcharges in various forums, including in Parliament. As per provisions laid under Article 270 of the Constitution of India: "All taxes and duties referred to in the Union List, except the duties and taxes, surcharge on taxes and duties and any cess levied for specific purposes under any law made by Parliament shall be levied and collected by the Government of India and shall be distributed between the Union and the states. The aforesaid Constitutional provision forms the basis for cess collection and utilisation for Union Government," said the Ministry in the reply.

YouTube creators contributed over Rs 10,000 cr to India's GDP in 2021

YouTube's creative ecosystem contributed over Rs 10,000 crore to the Indian GDP and supported more than 750,000 full-time equivalent jobs in the country in 2021, the Google-owned company said on Monday.The company also announced that Courses, a new product to bring a richer learning experience for viewers and a new way to monetise for creators, would begin rolling out in beta in 2023."We are delighted that YouTube's creative ecosystem continues to power India's creator economy, supporting new jobs and opportunities across the length and breadth of the country," said Ajay Vidyasagar, Director-South, SouthEast Asia and APAC Emerging Markets, YouTube.Today, billions of people consume the content powered by YouTube creators in India the world over, according to the findings of the latest Oxford Economics study by YouTube.This has helped creators unlock monetisation opportunities, allowing many to convert their passions into sustainable careers.

First G20 Finance and Central Bank Deputies meeting held in B'luru

 The first G20 Finance and Central Bank Deputies (FCBD) meeting held successfully in Karnataka's Bengaluru on December 13-14.The meeting marked the beginning of the G20 Finance Track under India's Presidency, the official release from the Union Finance Ministry stated on Wednesday.It saw a gathering of over 160 foreign delegates including Deputies from G20 member countries, invitee countries, and International Organisations.The meeting was conducted with the aim of seeking the views of G20 members on India's G20 Finance Track priorities for 2023 across various work streams.Physical presence of most G20 delegations, invitees and international organisations in Bengaluru demonstrates the global commitment to supporting India's G20 Presidency, particularly amidst the challenging global economic environment, the statement said.Reflecting the theme of "Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam" and "One Earth, One Family, One Future", the discussions focused on issues relating to the global economy and risks; strengthening Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs); managing global debt vulnerabilities; financing climate action and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); and building resilient, inclusive and sustainable cities of tomorrow.