Current Affairs August 2016 - Economic


News 1 - Oracle bought NetSuite for $9.3 Billion


Oracle has announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire NetSuite, the very first cloud company. The transaction is valued at $109.00 per share in cash, or approximately $9.3 billion.

The deal is designed to help Oracle gain market share in the fast-growing cloud computing business. Oracle and NetSuite both offer software applications that help companies automate back end and administrative operations from technology to human resources. Oracle has also acquired companies such as Textura and Opower to increase its competitiveness in the cloud market.

News 2 - MobiKwik to power e-cash payments on 'Food on Track' app


Mobile payments company MobiKwik and Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) have announced an exclusive partnership to power e-cash payments on IRCTC's e-catering app, Food on Track.

The app allows passengers to book and get food from their preferred restaurants, delivered right at their train coaches. MobiKwik is also powering payments for IRCTC Connect, which allows users to book train tickets instantly. Passengers can pre-order food at over 300+ stations from prominent food chains such as Dominos, Punjab Grill, KFC, IRCTC Food Plaza and others.

News 3 - NTPC commissions 50 MW NP Kunta Ultra Mega Solar Power Project Stage-I


NTPC Ltd has commissioned 50 MW (1X50 MW) capacity of NP Kunta Ultra Mega Solar Photovoltaic Power Project Stage-I at Anantapuramu on 29 July, 2016.

With this the installed capacity of NP Kunta Ultra Mega Solar Power Project Stage-I at Anantapuramu has become 250 MW and that of NTPC Group has become 47,228 MW. The company has set a target of adding 11,900 MW capacity during the current Plan period ending in 2016-17. NTPC aims to build generation capacity of 128 GW by 2032 with a lot more emphasis on renewable energy.

News 4 - Freecharge enters into partnership with PayUbiz


Freecharge has entered into a partnership with the leading payment gateway solution provider, PayUbiz, to further strengthen its merchant base and help consumers move from cash to digital payments. This integration allows Freecharge to tap PayUbiz’s more than 10,000 online merchants.

Freecharge will also be able to acquire new customers and gain wider acceptance across categories as a payment option. The Freecharge wallet is currently accepted at over 1,00,000 merchants in India.

News 5 - Country's infrastructure sector grows 5.2% in June

Infrastructure Sector

The country's infrastructure sector grew 5.2 per cent in June 2016-the fastest in two months-on the back of double-digit growth in the coal and cement sectors. The eight infrastructure sectors had expanded 3.1% in June last year, and 2.8% in May this year.

According to official data released, coal production surged 12% in June 2016, cement production increased 10.3%, fertilizer production rose 9.8%, and petroleum refinery production expanded 3.5% during the month. Electricity generation grew 8.1%, and steel output rose 2.4% in June. But natural gas output declined 4.5% and crude oil production fell 4.3% in June.

News 6 - Manufacturing sector grows at its fastest pace in four months

Manufacturing Sector

Manufacturing sector grew at its fastest pace in four months in July on surge in new orders. The Nikkei Markit India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) - a composite indicator of manufacturing performance - rose to 51.8 in July from 51.7 in June. A reading above 50 points denotes expansion.

Supported by greater demand from both domestic and external markets, new business orders rose at the fastest pace since March. The depreciation of rupee also supported Indian exporters as survey data pointed to the quickest rise in new business from abroad since January.

News 7 - FDI in Aviation Sector

Aviation Sector

The Government has allowed 100% Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) under automatic route in Brownfield Airport projects. This move would serve in further developing the domestic aviation infrastructure. Further, FDI limit for Scheduled Air Transport Service, Domestic Scheduled Passenger Airline and regional Air Transport Service has been raised from 49% to 100%, with FDI up to 49% permitted under automatic route and FDI beyond 49% through Government approval.

For NRI's, 100% FDI will continue to be allowed under automatic route. However, foreign airlines would continue to be allowed in scheduled and non-scheduled air transport services up to 49% of their paid up capital.

News 8 - Disinvestment target during Financial Year 2015-16


The budget estimate (BE) for disinvestment during the financial year 2015-16 was Rs. 69,500 crores comprising Rs. 41,000 crores from disinvestment of Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) and Rs. 28,500 crores from strategic disinvestment. Against this target, Government has realized Rs.23, 997crore (approx) from disinvestment of CPSEs during the year 2015-16.

The budget estimate (BE) for disinvestment during the financial year 2016-17 is Rs. 56,500 crores, comprising Rs. 36,000 crores as disinvestment receipts from CPSEs and Rs. 20,500 crores from strategic disinvestment.

News 9 - Union Government plans to roll out GST from 1st April, 2017


The Union Government is planning to roll-out the goods and services tax (GST) by 1st April, 2017. The government has to get the Bill ratified by at least 16 States in the next one month, then set up a GST council and table the central GST and integrated GST laws in the winter session.

The Finance Ministry is eyeing the Winter Session of Parliament to see through all three pieces of legislation connected with the Goods and Services Tax (GST) — Central GST, State GST, and Inter-State GST.

News 10 - Union Government fixes an inflation target of 4% for five years

Inflation Target

The Union Government has notified a consumer inflation target of 4% with a range of plus/minus 2 % for the next five years under the monetary policy framework agreement with the Reserve Bank of India. The government will soon set-up Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) to adhere to the target till March 31, 2021.

Several central banks across the globe have adopted the practice of inflation targeting to contain prices using interest rates. They generally target the consumer price inflation.

News 11 - India to impose anti-dumping duty on imports of certain cold-rolled steel products

Anti-Dumping Duty

India will impose anti-dumping duty on imports of certain cold-rolled steel products from four countries - China, Japan, Korea and Ukraine. The DGAD has also recommended anti-dumping duties on hot-rolled flat products from six countries including China, Japan and Korea.

Directorate General of Anti-Dumping and Allied Duties (DGAD), under the Commerce Ministry, in its preliminary findings, has found that 'coldrolled flat products of alloy or non-alloy steel' has been exported to India from these countries at below-normal value.

News 12 - Zydus acquires derma brand Melgain from Issar Pharma


Zydus Group has acquired Melgain brand from Issar Pharma, a Hyderabad based company, for an undisclosed amount to strengthen its dermatological portfolio. The brand would be marketed in India by Liva Healthcare, a specialty division of the group catering to the dermatological segment.

The dermatology market, valued at Rs 6,000 crore, is currently growing at about 14%. Melgain is used for the treatment of Vitiligo, a chronic skin condition characterised by portions of the skin losing their pigment.

News 13 - Vodafone signs multi-million-dollar IT deal with IBM for 5 years


Vodafone India Ltd renewed a multi-milliondollar agreement with International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) for another five years to manage information technology (IT) services support for its infrastructure and applications. IBM will support Vodafone India’s IT environment transition into IBM hybrid cloud.

This agreement builds on the existing eight year relationship between the two organisations. The companies did not disclose the financial terms of the deal. However, research firm Greyhound Research put the value in the range of $750-$850 million and expected to cross $1 billion by 2023.

News 14 - Apple Buys a Machine-Learning Startup for a Reported $200 Million


Apple has bought a machine-learning startup called Turi for an undisclosed amount. However, technology news website GeekWire pegged the purchase price at $200 million.

Turi specialises in enabling developers to imbue software applications with artificial intelligence, so the apps learn to think more the way people do. Apple has been stepping up its artificial intelligence efforts to compete against rival services from Amazon, Google and Microsoft. Apple last year bought another AI-related company called Perceptio and a British firm called VocalIQ.

News 15 - HDFC Life to Merge Max Life


The board of HDFC approved the merger of Max Life and Max Financial Services with its insurance arm HDFC Standard Life Insurance Company in an all-stock deal to create India's top private life insurer valued at nearly $10 billion (around Rs 65,000 crore).

The total premium of the merged entity is expected to be nearly Rs 26,000 crore and assets under management will top Rs 1 lakh crore. The companies expect the merger to be completed within 12 months.

News 16 - State-run MSTC joins hands with Mahindra INTERTRADE


State-run MSTC has entered into a partnership with Mahindra Intertrade, a part of Mahindra Group, to set-up country's first integrated auto recycling facility. The facility will have the first-of-its-kind Greenfield auto shredding and recycling capability to dispose of end of live vehicles.

Currently, the partners have shortlisted Gujarat and Maharashtra as plausible locations for the first integrated facility. The government’s vehicle scrap policy will be implemented from April 2017.

News 17 - Job portal Monster acquired for USD 429 million by Randstad Holdings


Popular job portal, Monster Worldwide, will be acquired by Randstad Holding for a total purchase price of around $429 million in cash. Randstad Holding is an Amsterdam-based human resource services provider.

Randstad is bidding $3.40 in cash per Monster share, a 23% premium to Monster's closing price on 8th of August. The bid follows Randstad's $100 million purchase of US startup RiseSmart in the US in September 2015. Randstad was advised on the deal by Wells Fargo and Jones Day acted as legal adviser.

News 18 - Banned Ponzi schemes not under regulatory purview of SEBI


The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) denied any regulatory purview over ponzi schemes and clarified that only the state governments concerned can control them. The ponzi schemes are banned under Chit Fund and Money Circulation (Banning) Act 1978.

This announcement was made after the apex court had asked government and SEBI about measures undertaken by them to check the menace of ponzi schemes while hearing a PIL filed by NGO ‘Humanity Salt Lake’ alleging inaction on the part of the government in regulating chit funds (Ponzi schemes) which has resulted in multiple scams across country.

News 19 - Direct tax collection goes up by 24 % during April to July


Direct tax collection has gone up by 24 per cent to 1.59 lakh crore rupees during the April to July period of the current financial year. Finance Ministry in a release said, the collection up to July indicates that 18.82 per cent of the Annual Budget target of direct taxes has been achieved in the first four months of the current fiscal.

Personal income tax collection grew 31.4 per cent while corporate taxes registered an increase of 11.65 per cent.

News 20 - Centre Allocated Rs. 675.86 crore for Agricultural Marketing Infrastructure in 2015-16

Agricultural Marketing Infrastructure

About 37371 Godown Projects Sanctioned for Renovation/ Construction under Agricultural Marketing Infrastructure (AMI) Scheme up to 30th June 2016. The Government is implementing capital investment subsidy subscheme “Agricultural Marketing Infrastructure (AMI)” of Integrated Scheme for Agricultural Marketing (ISAM) scheme.

Under this scheme, capital investment subsidy @ 25% of the capital cost for general category beneficiary and @33.33% for special category beneficiary is provided for construction/creation of scientific godowns and other marketing infrastructure in the country.

However, the assistance for renovation is restricted to storage infrastructure projects of cooperatives only.

News 21 - Indirect tax collections up 30% to Rs 2.71 lakh crores till July 2016

Indirect Tax Collections

The Centre's revenue collection has shown an impressive growth in April-July period of this fiscal, with total direct and indirect tax rising to Rs 4.3 lakh crore. Indirect Tax collections rose by 29.9 per cent during the first four months of the current fiscal to about Rs 2.71 lakh crore. Direct tax revenue rose nearly 24.01 per cent to Rs 1.59 lakh crore in April-July.

The government hopes to collect 8.47 lakh crore from Direct Taxes and Rs 7.79 lakh crore from Indirect Taxes, which includes customs, excise and service tax, in current financial year. Personal income tax collection grew 31.47 per cent while corporate taxes registered an increase of 11.65 per cent.

News 22 - IKEA lays foundation for its first store in India at Hyderabad


Swedish furniture major IKEA has begun work on its first retail store in India at Hyderabad. The store will be developed with an investment of about Rs 700 crore with a built-up space of about 4 lakh sq. ft. The first store is expected to be ready by mid-2017.

IKEA aims to set up 25 stores by 2025. The company had earlier indicated at an investment outlay of Rs 10,500 crore.

News 23 - Intel buys Artificial Intelligence startup, Nervana Systems, run by Indian-origin entrepreneur


Intel Corp has acquired a startup, Nervana Systems, run by an Indian-origin Enterpreneur and former Qualcomm researcher Naveen Rao for an undisclosed amount. However, the software giant is expected to have paid more than $400 million to buy Nervana.

The acquisition gives Intel a definitive head start towards advanced data analytics, computer vision, natural language processing and machine learning. Nervana will help develop Intel's artificial intelligence portfolio and enhance the deep learning performance of Intel Xeon and Intel Xeon Phi processors.

News 24 - Handicraft exports see over 8% increase in 2015-16


India’s handicraft exports have increased by more than 8% during the last fiscal touching nearly 31 thousand crore rupees. The exports of handicrafts have shown an increase of 8.46 per cent in rupees’ term in 2015-16 as compared to previous year.

A proposal for creation of e-marketing platform under marketing support and service scheme has also been received from export promotion council for handicrafts. This platform will facilitate buyers and sellers to procure and sell as well as to promote products categories both in domestic as well as international markets online.

News 25 - Retail inflation at 2-year high, hits 6.07% in July

Retail Inflation

Retail inflation rose to nearly 2 years high of 6.07% in July 2016, as prices of food items climbed ahead of the festival season.

Retail inflation, measured by the Consumer Price Index, had stood at 5.77% in June 2016, and 3.69% in July 2015.

Food inflation rose to 8.35% in July, from 7.79% in June. Retail inflation in vegetables was 14.06%, and in pulses 27.53% in July.

News 26 - Manipal Technologies Ltd (MTL) acquired CrossFraud


Manipal Technologies Ltd (MTL) has acquired CrossFraud from the Bengaluru-based Saraansh Software Solutions Pvt. Ltd for an undisclosed amount. MTL is a secure print solution organization whereas CrossFraud is an advanced fraud detection and anti-money laundering solution.

The acquisition comes with four international patents in risk and fraud detection area. Also, CrossFraud is already implemented in two banks in Thailand and six banks in India. The acquisition will help MTL accelerate its business growth.

News 27 - Forex reserve at record high of USD 365.82 billion


India's foreign exchange reserves surged by USD 73.2 million to touch a life-time high of USD 365.82 billion in the week ended 12th August. Foreign currency assets, a major part of the overall reserves, increased by USD 81.6 million to USD 340.36 billion.

Gold reserves remained unchanged at USD 21.58 billion in the week. India's special drawing rights with the International Monetary Fund, however, were down by USD 3.2 million to USD 1.49 billion, while the country's reserve position dipped by USD 5.2 million to USD 2.39 billion.

News 28 - Microsoft acquires gaming startup Beam


Microsoft has acquired Seattle-based interactive live-streaming platform for gamers, Beam for an undisclosed amount. Beam was launched by 18-year-old Matt Salsamendi just 8 months ago. Beam lets gamerscrowdsource control of the game so viewers can engage with players in real time.

Post-acquisition, Beam will become part of Microsoft's Xbox team. The move will support Microsoft's growth strategy around Xbox Live, one of the world's most popular social gaming platform.

News 29 - Unilever Plc signed agreement to acquire Swedish firm Blueair


Unilever Plc has acquired Blueair for an undisclosed amount. Launched in 1996 in Stockholm, Blueair is the world’s leading supplier of innovative mobile indoor air purification technologies and solutions.

Blueair had a turnover of US$106m in 2015 and is a leading player in markets like China, US, Japan, South Korea and India. This significant venture in air purification will further complement Unilever's existing water purification business. The founder of Blueair is Bengt Rittri.

News 30 - Reliance Brands inks pact with Scotch & Soda

Scotch and Soda

Reliance Brands announced a long-term master franchise agreement with Amsterdam based fashion brand Scotch & Soda. Reliance Brands is a part of Reliance Industries.

As a part of the agreement, Reliance Brands will set up Scotch & Soda stores in all major cities in India by 2017 through all channels of sale such as ecommerce, travel commerce, and leading multibrand department stores. Currently, Scotch & Soda has over 160 stores globally.

News 31 - Govt slaps Rs 2,500 crore penalty on Reliance Industries


The government has slapped an additional penalty of US $380 million (around Rs 2,500 crore) on Reliance Industries and its partners for producing less than targeted natural gas from eastern offshore KG-D6 fields.

The total penalty for missing the target in five fiscal years beginning April 1, 2010, now stands at a total of US $ 2.76 billion. BP Plc of the UK and Canada's Niko Resources are the partners of RIL.

News 32 - M&A deals worth $4 billion announced in July

M and A

Merger and acquisition deals worth 4 billion were announced in July taking the year-to-date deal tally to $ 19.87 billion. It was an effect of a significant surge in domestic and inbound deal activity.

According to assurance, tax and advisory firm, Grant Thornton's latest Dealtracker report, there were 44 M&A deals in July 2016, compared to 43 in July 2015, worth 2.1 billion dollars. So far in 2016 (January-July) there were 301 M&A deals worth $ 19,875 million, while in the corresponding period last year there were 319 such deals worth $ 16,216 million.

News 33 - Wholesale inflation rises to 3.55% in July

Wholesale Inflation

Wholesale inflation rose to a 23-month high of 3.55% in July 2016, as vegetables, pulses and sugar became costlier. Wholesale price-based inflation had stood at 1.62% in June 2016, and at minus 4% in July 2015. Wholesale inflation for May has been revised upwards to 1.24%, from the earlier estimate of 0.79%.

Wholesale inflation in vegetables surged to 28.05% in July, and in pulses to 35.76%. Overall food inflation stood at 11.82% in July. However, a deflationary trend continued in some items, like onions, at minus 36.29%, and petrol, at minus 10.3%. Inflation in manufactured articles was 1.83% in July.

News 34 - China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation launches operations in India


China’s biggest high-speed train and railway equipment maker, China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation (CRRC), announced that its first joint venture in India has started operations in Haryana.

The joint venture, CRRC Pioneer (India) Electric Company, is expected to manufacture and repair locomotive engines. It has been set up in the Bavo Industrial sector in Haryana. It will also provide technology support to India’s rail system, and supply electric transmission systems to oil drilling, wind power generation and mining equipment making in India. Total investment is $63.4 million and CRRC holds 51% of the share.

News 35 - NLC Ltd to add 6,820 MW of power


NLC Ltd is planning to add over 6,821 megawatt (Mw) of power, with an investment of over Rs 27,740 crore. NLC Ltd is presently operating with a total installed capacity of 3,240 MW.

Projects for addition of around 6,821 MW includes 1,500 MW of coal-based power plants and 3960 MW of Sirkali Thermal Power Project in Sirkali Tamil Nadu. NLC Ltd, earlier known as Neyveli Lignite Corporation is Navaratna company which comes under the Ministry of Coal.

News 36 - TitanX acquired by Tata AutoComp Systems Ltd


Tata AutoComp Systems Ltd, a leading autocomponent supplier, declared plans to acquire TitanX, a leading global engine cooling supplier to the global commercial vehicle industry for an unspecified amount. The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of 2016.

TitanX is currently owned by EQT Opportunity and Fouriertransform. TitanX supplies to Volvo Trucks, Scania, Daimler and Iveco. It has manufacturing plants in Sweden, USA, Mexico, Brazil and China. It has sales of approximately $ 200 million.

News 37 - Minda Corporation Ltd enters into joint venture with Chinese firm for auto components

Minda Corporation Ltd

Auto component manufacturer Spark Minda group flagship firm, Minda Corporation Ltd enters into a joint venture with China's Shandong Beiqi Hai Hua Automobile Parts Co (SBHAP) and form Minda China Plastic Solutions Ltd, which is going to be a 50:50 joint venture.

The total investment of the joint venture will be $1.25 million (around Rs 8.35 crore). The total registered capital of the joint venture would be USD 0.5 million.

News 38 - BSNL and Microsoft India join hands for effective connectivity and telecom solutions

BSNL and Microsoft

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Microsoft India to offer telecom and IT solutions for big businesses promoting the demand for IT and cloud services.

The partnership will serve government to government, government to consumer, government to business, and business to business segments. Microsoft won the bid for a request for proposal invited by BSNL from companies that have command over this area, strategic business alliances with popular companies.

News 39 - GAIL partners with Bloom Energy for fuel cell power generation


GAIL (India) Li mited and Silicon Valley-based Bloom Energy signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to deploy revolutionary natural gas-based fuel cell technology to generate electricity. The state-of-the-art solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology of Bloom Energy Servers convert fuel into electricity using Natural Gas as the base fuel to generate reliable and resilient electricity.

GAIL’s subsidiary at Bengaluru is already supplying Natural Gas for energizing a multiMW Bloom Energy project for a large global technology company at the Technology Park in Bangalore.

News 40 - Govt approves seven FDI proposals to tune of Rs 290 cr

FDI Proposals

The government has approved seven Foreign Direct Investment, FDI proposals to the tune of 290 crore rupees. According to the Finance Ministry, the decision was taken on the basis of recommendation of Foreign Investment Promotion Board, FIPB. It includes 267 core rupees FDI proposal of Tikona Digital Networks to increase foreign equity to 76.73%.

An application to increase foreign investment in Idea Cellular Infrastructure Services Ltd (ICISL) to up to 67.5% was deferred by the panel.

News 41 - Reliance Cement becomes subsidiary of Birla Corporation Limited

Reliance Cement

Birla Corporation Limited has completed acquisition of the entire cement business of Anil Ambani-led Reliance Infrastructure by acquiring 100% equity shares of Reliance Cement Company Private Limited (RCCPL).

In February 2016, Birla Corporation signed a definitive Share Purchase Agreement with Reliance Infrastructure Limited for acquisition of its entire cement business for an enterprise value of Rs. 4,800 crore. The acquisition takes BCL’s annual capacity from 10 million tons (MT) to 15.5 million tons.

News 42 - Pfizer enters into definitive merger agreement with Medivation


The US-headquartered pharma major Pfizer Inc will acquire Medivation Inc, a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing small molecules for oncology. The definitive merger agreement has been priced at $81.50 a share in cash for a total enterprise value of approximately $14 billion.

The merger will give a boost to Pfizer’s consolidation effort through a series of acquisitions. The addition of Medivation will strengthen Pfizer’s Innovative Health business and accelerate its pathway to a leadership position in oncology.

News 43 - Indian economy to grow 7.9% this fiscal: Goldman Sachs

Indian Economy

Global investment bank Goldman Sachs has expected the Indian economy to grow at 7.9% in the current fiscal driven by better monsoon, government pay hike, key reforms and FDI inflows. This compares to a GDP growth forecast of 7-7.5 per cent for 2016-17 in the government’s Economic Survey.

However, the bank warned that a faster pace of rate increases by the US Federal Reserve, concerns about Chinese growth and unpredictable capital flows constituted key risks to growth.

News 44 - DIPP to launch awareness campaign on IPR


Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, DIPP, will launch a nation-wide awareness campaign on Intellectual Property Rights (IPR). It will be taken forward by Cell for IPR Promotion and Management (CIPAM) in collaboration with the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks (CGPDTM) and Industry Associations.

DIPP Secretary Ramesh Abhishek flagged off the IPR awareness campaign to build on the initial momentum created by the pilot road shows conducted by CIPAM in New Delhi.

News 45 - Gems, jewelry exports up about 12% in April-July FY'17

Gems, Jewelry

Exports of gems and jewelry grew 11.7% to reach 11.4 billion dollars, during the first four months of the current fiscal, driven l argely by demand in India's major markets like the US. In April to July period of the last fiscal, exports from the sector were at 10.21 billion dollars.

The rise in April to July was mainly supported by cut and polished diamond exports. It rose to 7.25 billion dollars during the period from 6.89 billion dollars, a year ago. Gems and jewelry contribute about 14% to the country's overall exports.

News 46 - EPFO investments in ETFs to be raised beyond 5%


The Employees' Provident Fund Organization will raise proportion of its investments in exchange traded funds from the present 5% and a final decision on the quantum for current fiscal would be taken very soon.

SBI Mutual Fund and UTI Mutual Fund will manage the corpus of the retirement fund in ETFs. As on July 31, 2016, amount invested in ETF by Employees' Provident Fund Organization is Rs. 7,468 crore and the market value of this as on date is Rs. 8,372 crore, which shows a positive return of 12.10%.

News 47 - Bilateral trade of USA with India reaches USD 109 billion

USA with India

The bilateral trade of USA with India has reached USD 109 billion in 2015, up from USD 37 billion in 2005. In 201 5, US investment in India reached more than USD 28 billion and Indian investment in the United States reached more than USD 11 billion. US affiliates of Indian-owned firms now employ more than 52,000 workers in the US.

India’s rapidly growing economy and the government’s ambitious reform agenda, including Goods and Services Tax, passage of the recent national bankruptcy law, and liberalised foreign direct investment limits in key sectors, will further deepen economic activity in the years ahead.

News 48 - Carborundum Universal inaugurates R&D centre at Hosur


Murugappa Group firm Carborundum Universal (CUMI) inaugurated its Research and Development centre in its Industrial Ceramics Divis ion facility in Hosur, Tamil Nadu. It will help address CUMI’s aspirations to grow in wear-resistant and technical ceramics, including metallized ceramic range of products.

It is certified by the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR), Government of India. It will be a Centre of Excellence for research in Technical Ceramics for Industrial & Advanced applications.

News 49 - Amazon launched dedicated online Telugu book store


E-commerce portal announced the launch of a dedicated online Telugu book store. It has a range of over 10,000 titles to choose from. It offers a wide selection ranging from classics, literature, fiction, biographies, business and finance, self-help, cook books and children’s books.

Telugu will be the eighth dedicated language book store on Amazon India. Currently Amazon India caters to Hindi, Tamil, Kannada, Marathi, Malayalam, Gujarati and Bengali languages.

News 50 - Mahindra unveils DiGiSENSE platform to track vehicle information

Mahindra DiGiSENSE

Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd (M&M) has launched an App "Mahindra DiGiSENSE". Mahindra vehicle fitted with a communication control unit (CCU) monitors the vehicle's health, performance, location and usage, relays the information to the DigiSense server, from where it is passed on to the owner in the form of an SMS and app alert.

The vehicles with this facility will cost between Rs. 5,000 to Rs. 10,000. With this Mahindra has become the first OEM in India to integrate its product line-up onto a cloud-based technology platform.