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Over 7 in 10 large Indian firms set clear sustainability goals: Report

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Over 7 in 10 large Indian firms set clear sustainability goals: Report

Mumbai, July 10 (IANS) More than seven in 10 (75 per cent) of large Indian companies have set clear sustainability goals, with 84 per cent voluntarily sharing their targets, as environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategy become paramount in the corporate sector, a report showed on Wednesday.

About 61.3 per cent of manufacturing companies expect to see measurable outcomes from their ESG initiatives in the medium to long term in the country, with 13.3 per cent anticipating results in the very near term (zero-1 years), according to the report by research company IMA India and Uniqus Consultech.

Large companies in India revealed that their ESG strategies are fully integrated into their organisational strategies while small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have some road to cover, the findings showed.

Ethical responsibility and corporate citizenship are primary drivers of ESG adoption, as cited by 85 per cent of respondents while more than half of them said they are leveraging or exploring ‘Green Finance’ and technology for their ESG efforts but have not made progress yet.

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“Companies are not only recognising the ethical and regulatory imperatives but are also seeing the financial benefits of sustainable practices,” said Suraj Saigal, Research Director, IMA India.

The fact that a majority of companies have embedded ESG into their core strategies and are taking concrete steps towards sustainability is a testament to the growing importance of ESG in India.

“We are optimistic about the growth in ESG consciousness and action in India, especially with new technologies poised to be a game changer in driving positive trends across industries,” added Jamil Khatri, Co-Founder and CEO of Uniqus Consultech.

India has introduced new ESG reporting requirements for the top 1,000 listed companies in the country by market capitalisation.

According to markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), the disclosure must be made through the Business Responsibility and Sustainability Report (BRSR).

–IANS

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IT company Netweb clocks over 203 pc PAT growth in Q1 FY25

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IT company Netweb clocks over 203 pc PAT growth in Q1 FY25

IT company Netweb clocks over 203 pc PAT growth in Q1 FY25

New Delhi, July 20 (IANS) Netweb Technologies, a high-end computing solutions (HCS) provider, on Saturday, reported 203.4 per cent rise (year-on-year) in profit after tax (PAT) at Rs 15.4 crore in the first quarter of FY25.

Total income grew by 154.4 per cent YoY to Rs 153.1 crore in the April-June quarter.

“We are pleased that India’s flagship end-to-end high-end computing server, storage and switch manufacturing facility in Faridabad was inaugurated on May 10, marking a significant milestone in the ‘Make in India’ initiative,” said Sanjay Lodha, Chairman and Managing Director, Netweb.

AI systems emerged as a pivotal growth pillar, contributing significantly to the company’s operating revenue, with its share increasing to 14.6 per cent in the April-June quarter, marking a growth of 146 per cent YoY.

“India is rapidly emerging as a leader in AI adoption, with businesses increasingly leveraging AI to drive innovation and operational efficiency,” said Lodha.

In June, Netweb announced the launch of a range of servers from its Faridabad-based manufacturing facility.

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The facility will manufacture high-end computing systems based on the latest chips from Netweb’s technology partners such as Intel, Nvidia and AMD.

–IANS

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Indian startups secured over $200 million in funding this week

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Indian startups secured over 0 million in funding this week

Indian startups secured over $200 million in funding this week

New Delhi, July 20 (IANS) The Indian startup ecosystem saw more than $200 million in funding this week in 25 deals — a significant surge from nearly $116.26 million last week.

Seed funding by homegrown startups grew by 17 per cent this week to $9.78 million from last week’s $8.33 million.

Fintech unicorn slice secured $30 million in debt from Neo Asset Management’s Credit Opportunities Fund.

Community-led mobility app Namma Yatri raised $11 million (about Rs 92 crore) in a pre-Series A funding round led by Blume Ventures and Antler, with participation from Google and other investors.

Electric Vehicle (EV) company BluSmart raised $24 million (about Rs 200 crore) in its pre-Series B round. The new funding will help BluSmart expand its operations and build charging infrastructure and assets in key cities.

Fast fashion brand Newme raised $18 million in its Series A round led by Accel with participation from existing investors, including Fireside Ventures and AUM Ventures.

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Lenskart founders Peyush Bansal, Neha Bansal, Amit Choudhary, and Sumeet Kapahi invested almost $20 million (about Rs 160 crore) in the omnichannel eyewear retailer.

Meanwhile, Google last week said it is working with the MeitY ‘Startup Hub’ to train 10,000 startups in artificial intelligence (AI), as the tech giant expanded access to its AI models and introduced new language tools for the developers in the country.

According to a new report, over 77 per cent of Indian startups now invest in advanced technologies such as AI, machine learning (ML), internet of things (IoT), and blockchain.

Another significant finding is the emergence of Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities as innovation hubs, where 40 per cent of tech startups originate, leveraging local talent and cost advantages, according to a report by SAP India, in collaboration with Dun & Bradstreet.

–IANS

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Union Budget: Time to further modernise agri sector with corporate investments

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Union Budget: Time to further modernise agri sector with corporate investments

Union Budget: Time to further modernise agri sector with corporate investments

New Delhi, July 20 (IANS) There is a further need to modernise agriculture and the private sector, especially in new research, post-harvest infrastructure and exports, industry experts said on Saturday.

NITI Aayog has called for a paradigm shift in India’s agriculture approach, emphasising the need for a facilitating regulatory environment to enable private and corporate investments in new technologies, infrastructure, and producer linkages.

“This is crucial as public sector R&D is constrained, leading to a widening gap with global innovations. Investments in post-harvest infrastructure and private sector participation in exports can boost farmer incomes and integrate them with global markets,” said Amit Vatsyayan, Leader GPS-Agriculture, Livelihood, Social and Skills, EY India.

The private sector can play a pivotal role in this, along with delivering knowledge, skills, and services to help farmers manage risks and increase productivity.

However, a balanced approach is needed, combining modern technology with targeted government schemes to ensure inclusive and sustainable growth, said Vatsyayan.

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Experts said that given the increasing threat to crops because of adverse weather conditions arising from climate change, one looks forward to a robust rise in the R&D outlays so that both private and government institutes are motivated to develop climate-resistant crop varieties.

“The crop rotation system should also be incentivised, whereby more farmers are encouraged to adopt this strategy,” said SK Chaudhary, Founder Director, Safex Chemicals Ltd.

The GST rate of 18 per cent on plant protection chemicals can also be lowered to 12 per cent at the least, although a minimal rate of 5 per cent would be more beneficial for the agri sector and consumers at large as it will reduce the cost of growing crops, he mentioned.

Overall, modernising India’s agriculture will require a multi-pronged strategy — one that harnesses the strengths of the private sector in areas like research, infrastructure, and exports, while also leveraging digital solutions and government support to drive inclusive and sustainable growth in the sector, said experts.

ALSO READ:  India's first all-in-one payment device launched

–IANS

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Predicting space storms can now be possible: Study

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Predicting space storms can now be possible: Study

Predicting space storms can now be possible: Study

New Delhi, July 20 (IANS) Recent advancements in space weather forecasting may soon enable scientists to predict the speed and arrival time of coronal mass ejections (CMEs), commonly known as space storms, according to a study led by an Indian-origin researcher.

CMEs are bursts of gas and magnetic fields spewed into space from the solar atmosphere.

It typically takes several days to arrive at Earth and results in a shock wave causing a geomagnetic storm that may disrupt Earth’s magnetosphere, compressing it on the day side and extending the night-side magnetic tail.

The team of Aberystwyth University in the UK has discovered that by analysing specific solar regions called ‘Active Regions,’ they can forecast CMEs more precisely – even before it has fully erupted from the Sun.

These regions have strong magnetic fields where CMEs originate.

They will present these findings at the Royal Astronomical Society’s National Astronomy Meeting in Hull, UK.

By monitoring changes before, during, and after eruptions, they identified the critical height at which the magnetic field becomes unstable, leading to a CME.

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“By measuring how the strength of the magnetic field decreases with height, we can determine this critical height,” said lead researcher, Harshita Gandhi, a solar physicist at Aberystwyth.

Using the data, they combined it with a geometric model to track CME speed in three dimensions, essential for precise predictions.

“Our findings reveal a strong relationship between the critical height at CME onset and the true CME speed. This insight allows us to predict the CME’s speed and, consequently, its arrival time on Earth, even before the CME has fully erupted,” Gandhi said.

CMEs can trigger geomagnetic storms, causing aurorae and potentially disrupting satellites, power grids, and communication networks.

Accurate CME speed predictions provide crucial advance warnings, aiding in better preparation and protection of vital systems.

“Understanding and using the critical height in our forecasts improves our ability to warn about incoming CMEs, helping to protect the technology that our modern lives depend on,” Gandhi said.

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–IANS

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100 crore new jobs to be created globally in 20 years, India to have 25 pc share

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100 crore new jobs to be created globally in 20 years, India to have
 25 pc share

100 crore new jobs to be created globally in 20 years, India to have
 25 pc share

New Delhi, July 20 (IANS) The world is likely to see a huge addition of 100 crore new workers in the global economy in the next 20 years and India will have at least 25 per cent share of it, Ved Mani Tiwari, CEO of National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), has said.

Delivering a keynote highlighting India’s opportunity to become a talent nation at a FICCI event in the national capital, he said the country is poised to be the talent capital of the world, with a burgeoning young population.

As many as 12.5 crore jobs were created during the fiscal years of 2014-24, marking a four-fold jump from the 2004-2014 period, which saw the creation of about 2.9 crore jobs.

Dr Buddha Chandrashekhar, Chief Coordinating Officer, AICTE, emphasised the role of academia in translating knowledge into practical applications, advocating for a comprehensive skill survey to identify skill gaps and align education accordingly.

Mayank Kumar, Chair, FICCI New Education Providers Sub-Committee and Co-Founder and MD of upGrad, outlined the government’s visionary initiatives, such as the SIDH (Skill India Digital Hub) platform and Skill Loan Scheme, designed to accelerate skilling and catapult India’s workforce onto the global stage.

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The event saw participation from over 200 leaders in the edtech space, including CEOs, CXOs, CTOs, vice-chancellors, deans and academicians.

The conclave deliberated on shaping the future of education in the digital age.

The Union Budget next week will focus on job creation, supporting consumption via higher allocation for the rural economy, welfare schemes and agriculture with higher allocations for schemes like PMAY and MNREGA.

–IANS

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