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Musk's Starlink may get Indian government approval soon

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New Delhi, April 16 (IANS) Ahead of Elon Musk’s visit to India, the tech billionaire’s satellite-based internet service Starlink has reportedly received tentative approval from the Ministry of Communications.

According to reports, the approval procedure is currently on the desk of Communications Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, awaiting final clearance by the Home Ministry on some security issues.

The reports also mentioned that the commercial part has been examined on issues such as foreign investment and net worth, and the technical requirements have been examined in accordance with the licencing conditions.

Once Starlink gets approval from Vaishnaw, it will be issued a Global Mobile Personal Communication by Satellite (GMPCS) services license, which is required to provide satellite communication services in the country.

Musk had attempted to launch its satellite internet service in India before. The latest attempt was in November 2022 when Starlink applied for a GMPCS license. However, disagreements with the government over pre-orders without proper licensing led to the cancellation of planned satellite communication service trials in the country.

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The government in December last year passed The Telecommunications Bill 2023 which allows spectrum allocation for satellite-based services without the need to participate in auctions. The move favours companies such as OneWeb, Musk’s Starlink and Amazon’s Kuiper.

Last week, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX confirmed his visit to India to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi. During his visit, he is expected to make a number of big announcements, including the launch of Starlink and investments in the country between $2 billion to $3 billion.

–IANS

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We can become 'Viksit Bharat' even before 2047 with robust startup ecosystem: Hardeep Puri

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New Delhi, May 20 (IANS) Riding on the overall economic growth across the spectrum, especially in the vibrant startup and unicorn ecosystem, India can achieve the ‘Viksit Bharat’ status even before 2047, Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Monday.

Addressing startup/unicorn founders and innovators during the ‘Digital Bharat, Viksit Bharat’ event in the national capital, the Union Minister said that India is the only economy that is growing, even at the most conservative estimate, at over 7 per cent, to become the fourth and then the third-largest world economy sooner than expected.

“This will happen only because of the quality of the transformation which has been facilitated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government and its conducive policies,” he told the gathering.

Startups emerging from small cities, from less-privileged backgrounds, were not even conceivable 10 years ago, he noted.

“During the previous regimes, the only criteria required to become successful was connections. This is no more the case as innovation is now happening in small towns and cities,” Hardeep Singh Puri said.

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India is now home to more than 100 unicorns (with a valuation of $1 billion and above) and over 1.25 lakh startups.

“India is third in the number of unicorns and second in total number of startups and the first nation in creating new startups,” the Union Minister said.

–IANS

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No one will lecture India about 'WTO norms' anymore: Zoho's Vembu

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New Delhi, May 20 (IANS) Zoho Founder and CEO Sridhar Vembu on Monday said that no country will lecture India about World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) norms anymore after the US imposed hefty tariffs on Chinese electric vehicles (EVs).

In March, China started dispute settlement proceedings against the US at the WTO, accusing Washington of “discriminatory” EV subsidies.

Last week, US President Joe Biden unveiled plans to quadruple tariffs on Chinese EVs.

“The US has imposed big new tariffs on Chinese EVs. Trade frictions, particularly between the US and China, are escalating rapidly,” Vembu posted on social media platform X.

“At least, no one will lecture India about “WTO norms” anymore. More seriously, this is the inevitable outcome of decades of extreme monetary madness, which gave rise to exploding trade deficits and debt,” he elaborated.

The Biden move plans to hike tariffs this year on Chinese EVs from 25 per cent to 100 per cent and on lithium-ion EV batteries from 7.5 per cent to 25 per cent.

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“Conventional wisdom has been that ‘deficits don’t matter.’ We don’t have to balance any book, we can let trade imbalances go on forever. It is this flawed idea that is undermining global trade now,” said Vembu.

The Biden administration also plans to hike tariffs on solar cells from 25 per cent to 50 per cent, on certain steel and aluminum products from up to 7.5 per cent to 25 per cent.

–IANS

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GenAI emerges as key theme in firms’ discussions in Q1 this year: Report

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New Delhi, May 20 (IANS) Generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) has emerged as a key theme in companies’ discussions in the first quarter (Q1) of this year, a new report said on Monday.

According to the data analytics and consulting company GlobalData, S&P 500 companies in their Q1 2024 earnings call transcripts had discussions about GenAI adoption, products/solutions on offer, strategic partnerships, investments, and application areas.

“Companies are looking at GenAI tools for better productivity, increased sales, brand awareness, and an enhanced customer experience. They are investing, collaborating, and leveraging to make use of this new and emerging opportunity,” said Misa Singh, Business Fundamentals Analyst at GlobalData.

According to the report, companies are applying GenAI to help customers and increase productivity.

Biotech firm Thermo Fisher Scientific is leveraging GenAI as part of its PPI (Practical Process Improvement) business system toolkit to help customers, on the other hand, management services company Automatic Data Processing is using GenAI to proactively deliver actionable insights in plain language to enhance HR productivity, aid decision-making, and streamline day-to-day tasks for clients and their employees, the report mentioned.

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Moreover, the report showed that companies are also teaming up to improve their AI capabilities.

Cognizant Technology Solutions is collaborating with ServiceNow to enhance its Work NEXT modern workplace services solution with GenAI capabilities.

Cognizant also discussed its plan to invest approximately $1 billion in GenAI capabilities over the next three years.

–IANS

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Global cybercrime cost insreased 12x faster than total cybersecurity spending: Report

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New Delhi, May 20 (IANS) As organisations continue to spend billions of dollars on cybersecurity each year to prevent their businesses from losing sensitive data and important figures, a new report on Monday revealed that the global cybercrime cost has increased 12 times faster than total cybersecurity spending in the past six years.

According to data presented by Stocklytics.com, the total cybersecurity spending has grown by 78 per cent since 2018 and the cybercrime cost soared by 972 per cent in this period.

In 2018, companies and organisations globally spent $102.7 billion on cybersecurity measures. Two years later, this figure increased to more than $150 billion.

As per Statista, the annual spending on cybersecurity solutions and services is to hit $183 billion this year, or 78 per cent more than the figure reported six years back.

Cyber attacks, including ransomware, data breaches, cyber espionage, and phishing, will inflict damages totalling $9.2 trillion in 2024, $1.1 trillion more than last year and a shocking 972 per cent more than six years ago.

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“This cost includes stolen money, damage and destruction of data, lost productivity, theft of intellectual property, theft of personal or financial data, post-attack disruption to the ordinary course of business, restoration and deletion of hacked data and systems, and reputational harm,” the report mentioned.

Moreover, the report said that global cybersecurity spending is expected to hit $200 billion in 2025 — 50 times less than the annual cybercrime cost.

By 2028, cybercrime will cost businesses a shocking $13.8 trillion, or 49 per cent more than this year, the report noted.

–IANS

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TRAI move on new broadcasting policy to make India a global content hub: BIF

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New Delhi, May 20 (IANS) Broadband India Forum (BIF) on Monday commended the initiative by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to gather public input for the National Broadcasting Policy (NBP).

The BIF said an enabling policy framework can provide the much-needed fillip for the broadcasting sector to unlock its full potential and position India as a global leader in broadcasting.

“Coming on the footsteps of the recently announced Indian Telecommunications Act 2023, the proposed National Broadcast Policy could serve as a great enabler of reforms in the broadcasting sector and likely to give a big boost to the entire media and entertainment sector while making India a global content hub,” said T. V. Ramachandran, President of BIF.

In its submission, BIF has addressed four key areas, including bridging the viewership gap, tariff forbearance, OTTs are not broadcasting services and market-driven innovation for choice of direct-to-mobile (D2M) technology.

“Private DTH operators should be empowered to introduce innovative services akin to DD Free Dish to increase television penetration in rural and remote areas where Pay TV services might not be prevalent,” said the forum.

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It also advocated the need for permitting tariff forbearance like for telecom (where effectively only three operators available) so that private operators can optimise customer benefits and marketing strategies.

BIF stated that OTTs and broadcasting services are distinct from each other.

OTT is a sunrise sector with growth potential and is already contributing immensely to the growth of India’s digital economy.

According to a recent study by BIF, the economic value of the app economy estimated at the current rate of growth is expected to reach up to 12 per cent of India’s economy by 2030.

“Traditionally, OTT services have not been a part of the broadcasting ecosystem since they are functionally distinct from TV and radio broadcasting that involves a combination of carriage and content,” according to the submission by the BIF.

–IANS

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