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Monte dei Paschi to launch share issue Dec. 19 | Reuters

Monte dei Paschi to launch share issue Dec. 19 | Reuters

Dec 18, 2016 19:02 IST


MILAN Troubled Italian bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena will offer new shares for sale between Monday and Thursday in a last ditch attempt to raise 5 billion euros ($5.2 billion) by the end of the year and avoid a state bailout.The European Central Bank has told Italy’s third-largest bank to raise capital this year and offload 28 billion euros in bad loans but finding investors has proved difficult amid political turmoil and this month’s change of government.Monte dei Paschi said on Sunday its share offer for institutional investors, which accounts for 65 percent of the total, would run until 1300 GMT on Thursday.The offer aimed at current shareholders and retail investors will end at 1300 GMT on Wednesday.Monte dei Paschi said in a document on its website that, if successful, the share issue could raise up to 3.2 billion euros.

The rest of the capital needed would come from a voluntary debt-to-equity conversion offer on the bank’s junior debt which has already raised around 1 billion euros. On Friday, the bank said it was reopening the conversion offer until Wednesday and extending it to retail investors owning 2.1 billion euros of its junior debt.Italy is ready to step in to rescue the country’s third-largest bank should the fundraising plan fail.

Under new rules Europe introduced in the wake of the financial crisis to shield taxpayers, investors in a failing lender must bear losses before public money can be tapped.A source familiar with the matter on Friday said Italy’s government would inject capital into Monte dei Paschi only after the forced conversion of 4.1 billion euros worth of subordinated bonds into shares.

The bank said in the offer document that its liquidity of 11 billion euros as of Dec. 14 could run out in the following 12 months due in part to its main depositor taking around 2 billion euros out of its current account.($1 = 0.9574 euros) (Reporting by Valentina Za; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

First Published On : Dec 18, 2016 19:02 IST

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Dr Raghunath Mashelkar elected as Fellow of the US National Academy of Inventors

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Noted scientist Dr Raghunath Mashelkar has been elected as Fellow of the US National Academy of Inventors (NIA). He is the first ever Indian working in India who is elected as Fellow of NAI.​ Till date, there have been only 724 NAI Fellows.Dr Mashelkar has been elected for his contributions for pioneering the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) and Innovation movement in India. Dr Mashelkar would be inducted as Fellow of NAI on April 6, 2017 in Boston. Dr. Senberg Paul, the NIA President sent a message to Mashelkar saying, “The​ NAI​ Fellows selection committee has chosen you for induction as you have demonstrated a highly prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society.”Speaking to DNA, Dr Mashelkar said that he was happy since it was an international recognition for his efforts to bring about patent literacy movement in India. He said it was important since it was the first time the honour had been given to an Indian working in India.

‘Law, order and academia must collaborate to solve cases’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Dr Madan Mohan Oberoi an IPS officer, who currently works as the director of Cyber Innovation and Outreach with Interpol’s Global Complex for Innovation (IGCI) in Singapore is in India as part of the International Conference on Cyberlaw, Cybercrime and Cybersecurity. He recently spoke to DNA on the global trends in cybercrime, to concerns that need to be addressed while drafting policies on cybersecurity, and the fine balance required to maintain a balance between individual privacy and national security. Excerpts:What are the most prominent problems faced by India in cybersecurity which includes cyberterrorism?Enforcement agencies across the world face problems with interoperability — with different jurisdictions, laws and procedures. Working together is a huge challenge. There’s also the need for strengthening capacity. The problem is that even if one jurisdiction is willing to help but does not have the requisite capability, the investigation suffers. There is need to build minimum capability, because a single island of insufficient capacity can be misused by criminals. Cybersecurity is an area where information is scattered with different stakeholders and most of the information is with the private sector. So, law and order and academia must collaborate to put the pieces of the puzzle together. Providing a platform for investigations with global jurisdictions also remains a problem. Additionally, law enforcement must have resource support from academia, strategy support and a robust forensic support.Cybersecurity policies in India are at a nascent stage. What are the key concerns that need to be kept in mind?Cybersecurity concerns are similar to those of terrorism. You cannot afford to have a reactive approach, wherein one acts only after a crime or terrorist incident has occurred. What is needed is an intelligence-led proactive approach. In many countries, the problem with law enforcement agencies is that they are in a reactive mode. The need to get out and collect intelligence so that they are not dependent on another entity. You need to anticipate what crime will be committed, and then take proactive action. Otherwise, enforcement agencies will solve terrorist cases by busting modules through intelligenceWhat are the big threats currently in the global cybercrime scenario?Traditionally, there has always been an overemphasis on building defences in the area of cybersecurity. But safety comes with deterrents that come from successful prosecutions. When a criminal fears punishment, he will stop. Globally, in the area of cybersecurity, because of inherent problems, there have not been too many successful prosecutions. This needs to be corrected.Have there been any cybersecurity breaches emerging out of India that the Interpol has helped investigate recently?We are a global-coordination body and we help law enforcement agencies across 190 member countries on different requests providing them with information. We work on the principle that we will not carry out surveillance or monitor anything specifically. We have coordinated with Indian agencies on cybercrime issues routinely. The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) brought out a report in late 2015 that talked of the use of crypto currencies like bitcoins for syndicate crimes like money laundering and exchange among criminals. In that, they mentioned the potential for the usage of bitcoins for terrorism purposes.There’s always concern for privacy when dealing with surveillance cases. Where does one draw the line?That’s a serious concern globally. Governments must realise there needs to be a balance and that no right is absolute. Even the right to life is not absolute, because of the existence of death penalties. Under special circumstances, certain rights can be withdrawn. There needs to be a balance between individual privacy and national security, and to what level individual privacy can be breached to safeguard national security.

Mishra takes five as India maul New Zealand to win series | Reuters

Mishra takes five as India maul New Zealand to win series | Reuters

Updated: Oct 29, 2016 20:20 IST


Leg-spinner Amit Mishra picked up his second five-wicket haul in one-day internationals as India skittled New Zealand for 79 to win the final match by 190 runs in Visakhapatnam on Saturday for a 3-2 series victory.Half-centuries from opener Rohit Sharma and the in-form Virat Kohli took India to 269 for six in their 50 overs after captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni won the toss and opted to bat.Only three New Zealand batsmen could reach double figures with the visiting captain Kane Williamson top-scoring with 27 as his side were bundled out in just 23.1 overs for their lowest ODI score against India.Williamson’s dismissal to Axar Patel, who took two wickets for nine, triggered a collapse which saw New Zealand lose their last seven wickets for 16 runs with Mishra bagging five of them.The 33-year-old fooled the batsmen with his flight and sharp turn and also extracted some extra bounce on the surface during his six overs.

Mishra (5-18) was adjudged man of the match and also the player of the series for picking up 15 wickets in the five matches.Earlier, Rohit and Kohli gave India the momentum with a 79-run stand for the second wicket before the former was out on 70 in the 22nd over.

Kohli, who had already scored 85 not out and an unbeaten 154 in the series, kept India’s innings moving briskly with a 71-run stand with Dhoni but his dismissal for 65 triggered a mini-collapse for the hosts.Dhoni and Manish Pandey were also soon back in the pavilion and India were reduced from 190-2 to 220-5 in quick time.

Kedar Jadhav’s unbeaten 39 and Patel’s 24 gave India, who also blanked New Zealand 3-0 in the tests, the late surge with a sixth-wicket partnership of 46. (Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; editing by Clare Fallon)

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Brics Summit in Goa: From defence to food deals, India and Russia push ahead to reshape trade ties

The meeting between Russian president Vladimir Putin and Indian prime minister Narendra Modi is significant as it comes at a time when the bilateral relations between the countries are at an interesting juncture because of Russia’s perceived closeness to Pakistan.

Post the talks, to be held ahead of the Brics Summit in Goa, Putin and Modi are also expected to issue a joint statement to reflect their common approaches towards solving various global and regional issues.

Both sides will also approve a roadmap of measures timed to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Russia’s delegation will also be represented by Vice- Premier Dmitry Rogozin, the heads of the Industry and Trade, Energy and Economics Ministries, state civil nuclear power corporation Rosatom and others.

The Russian and Indian leaders will take part in the ceremony of laying the foundation for the third and fourth power units of India’s Kudankulam nuclear power plant via a video conference, make statements for the media and hold a tete-a-tete lunch.

According to media reports, Russia and India are set to sign about 18 documents and have lined a slew of of deals, especially in the defence sector.

Here’s a low down on the business deals that are on the table and those signed:

File image of Vladimir Putin and Narendra Modi. PTI

File image of Vladimir Putin and Narendra Modi. PTI

Defence deals: Despite its move closer to Pakistan, Russia seems to be making attempt to clarify that its defence ties with India are not getting affected. Putin told IANS in an interview that Russia remains one of India’s leading suppliers of advanced weapons and defence technology as “India is Russia’s especially privileged strategic partner”.

“Our countries actively collaborate in the military technical field. Russia remains in the lead in terms of both direct supplies of most advanced weapons and military equipment and conducting joint researches with India, as well as producing goods for military purposes,” Putin told IANS/Sputnik in an exclusive interview ahead of his visit to India for the five-nations BRICS Summit in Goa this weekend.

“The construction of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile and the development of a new, fifth generation fighter aircraft are mong the successful joint projects,” Putin said.

He said many of the Russian projects in India not only have commercial importance but also play a significant social and economic role for the economies of the two countries.

“Russian companies see real prospects and high attractiveness of the Indian market,” Putin said.

The two important deals likely to be signed at a time when India-Pakistan tensions are running high are Kamov and S400 Triumf.

Kamov 226T: India and Russia are expected to sign a “complex agreement” for production of 200 Kamov 226T helicopters domestically under a nearly $1 billion deal.

This agreement is seen as the next big step in cooperation between Russia and India in the area of helicopter production and service.

According to Russian Helicopters, Ka-226T is a powerful, light multirole helicopter with “high safety standards”, “incredibly precise hovering ability” and “excellent manoeuvrability”. It has “eco-friendly features, efficiency, modern avionics and additional flight safety solutions – making this one of the best models in its class”.

These choppers will replace the country’s the aging Cheetah and Chetak fleet.

Apart from boosting the trade relations between India and Russia, the agreement is also seen as a boost for Modi’s Make in India programme.

S-400 ‘Triumf’: Both the countries will sign a multi-billion dollar deal for S-400 ‘Triumf’ long-range air defence missile systems on Saturday following talks between the nation heads.

“Following the results of the negotiations between our president and (Indian Prime Minister Narendra) Modi, an agreement will be signed on the delivery of S-400 Triumf anti aircraft missile systems to India, as well as some other documents,” a PTI report cited Russian presidential aide Yuri Ushakov as saying in Russian media.

S-400 ‘Triumf’ is the most modern air defence system, capable of firing three types of missiles, creating a layered defence, and simultaneously engaging 36 targets. It has the capability to destroy incoming hostile aircraft, missiles and even drones at ranges of up to 400 km.

The S-400, an upgraded version of the S-300, had previously only been available to the Russian defence forces. It is manufactured by Almaz-Antey and has been in service in Russia since 2007. India is interested in getting five systems these.

If India signs the deal, it would be the second customer of the prized missile system after China which had struck a $3 billion contract last year.

Project 11356: Russia also plans to sign an agreement to build Project 11356 frigates for the Indian Navy, says PTI. Project 11356 is a guided missile frigate and has Russian made sensors and weapon systems.

Earlier this month, Russian media had reported that India is set to acquire three Admiral Grigorovich-class frigates or Project 11356M from Russia, that were originally intended for the Russian Navy’s Black Sea Fleeet. These frigates are being built at Yantar Shipyard in Kaliningrad. The reports also said India was considering getting the hulls of these warships to India and complete the construction in India itself.

These Admiral Grigorovich class frigates are based on Talwar Class frgiates, which were also made by Russia for the Indian Navy during 2003-2013.

Food irradiation centres: Indian agriculture association Hindustan Agro Co-op Ltd and United Innovation Corp of Russia signed an agreement to set up a network of integrated irradiation centres for food products in India. United Innovation Corp is a subsidiary of state-run nuclear corporation Rosatom.

For the uninitiated, irradiation is a technology that helps safely preserve food for longer period of time. India incurs a loss of Rs 2.5 lakh crore in food items like fruits, vegetables, meat, cereals, pulses and floriculture due to lack of cold storage facilities or storage constraints, according to a report in IANS. The agreement is an attempt to address this issue.

The centres will be managed by an India-Russia joint venture (JV) where Hindustan Agro will have the majority 51 percent stakeholding. The irradiation centre at Rahuri in Maharashtra, run by Hindustan Agro farmers cooperative with with the help of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, will be be upgraded under this agreement.

According to Denis Cherednichenko, CEO, United Innovation, it is a landmark agreement and signals a move beyond the existing Russo-Indian cooperation on building nuclear power plants like Rosatom’s Kudankulam project in Tamil Nadu.

Under the around 25 such integrated infrastructure irradiation centres will be set up in India. Each plant will have grading, processing, packaging, cold storage and export facility. The plan is to set up these plants each with 35,000 tonne to 40,000 tonne capacity per annum in a period of around 5 years.

Railways boost: Minister of State for Railways Rajen Gohain has held discussions with the Russian Railways authorities for collaborating on a dedicated high-speed freight corridor, an IANS report said quoting railway officials.

A senior railway official told IANS that the minister held discussions with the Russian officials and also discussed issues like modernisation of existing rail corridors, train traffic and transportation, training and knowledge sharing and rolling stock modernisation.

The discussions come at a time when the railways minister is taking steps to introduce high-speed trains such Talgo. The government has also secured soft loans for setting up the first bullet train between Mumbai and Ahmedabad as part of Modi’s Diamond Qaudrilateral project.

With inputs from PTI and IANS

Pujara, Ashwin lead India to series sweep | Reuters

Pujara, Ashwin lead India to series sweep | Reuters

Updated: Oct 11, 2016 17:36 IST


INDORE, India Cheteshwar Pujara struck his eighth test century and off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin engineered another spectacular batting collapse to help India crush New Zealand by 321 runs in the third test and complete a 3-0 series sweep on Tuesday.Ashwin, who claimed 6-81 in the first innings, resumed his role as New Zealand’s wrecker-in-chief, claiming 7-59 as the tourists, chasing 475 for an improbable win, were dismissed for 153 to lose inside four days.After Umesh Yadav dismissed Tom Latham to earn an early breakthrough, Ashwin spun a web around the batsmen as New Zealand lost nine wickets in the final session.Ashwin dismissed captain Kane Williamson (27) for the second time in the match, ended Ross Taylor’s breezy 32 and sent back Luke Ronchi to rip out the Kiwi top order before returning to blow away the tail.Fittingly, Ashwin caught Trent Boult off his own bowling to end New Zealand’s innings with career-best bowling figures.The spinner finished the series with 27 wickets and was the obvious choice for the man-of-the-match and man-of-the-series awards.

“Could not have asked for anything better,” India captain Virat Kohli said at the presentation ceremony.”The bowlers have responded beautifully in the series every time we’ve been under a bit of pressure. Every time the Kiwis had a partnership, someone put his hands up and brought those breakthroughs for us.”Earlier, Gautam Gambhir struck 50 on his test return and Pujara scored 101 not out as India declared their second innings on 216 for three around an hour before tea.

Resuming on 18-0, the hosts lost opener Murali Vijay cheaply but Gambhir, who had retired hurt with an injured shoulder on Monday, returned to score fluently.Gambhir hit six boundaries before completing his 22nd test fifty off 54 balls but was dismissed when he drove off-spinner Jeetan Patel to Guptill at cover.

Patel removed Kohli (17) lbw for the second time in the match but Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane (23 not out) added 58 quick runs before India declared.”It was important that we get a big total in the first innings but it was not to be,” Williamson said.”Credit to India, obviously they’re the number one in the world now. A fantastic effort and well-deserved.” (Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; Editing by Ed Osmond)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Post-Brexit PM Theresa May expected to visit India in early November

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>British Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to visit India early next month, according to highly-placed sources involved in finalising the details of her first trip to the country as premier. May’s visit is likely to coincide with the India-UK Tech Summit in New Delhi between November 7 and 9, they said.The summit is being organised by India’s Department of Science and Technology and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and has Jo Johnson, UK minister for Universities, Science, Research & Innovation, as a confirmed keynote speaker from the UK end.The bilateral summit was among the major announcements made during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the UK in November 2015. The India-UK partnership has since moved into a new era, with Britain voting to leave the European Union (EU) in a referendum in June and leading to the resignation of then Prime Minister David Cameron.May, 60, as the post-Brexit leader of the country, has often mentioned India among the priority countries for a free trade agreement to boost the UK’s ties outside the EU. “Countries including Canada, China, India, Mexico, Singapore and South Korea have already told us they would welcome talks on future free trade agreements. And we have already agreed to start scoping discussions on trade agreements with Australia and New Zealand,” she told the Conservative party conference earlier this week.Therefore, trade is expected to feature high on the agenda during her India visit, when she is expected to hold bilateral talks with Modi and other senior ministers.

Modi came up with ‘Mission Innovation’ when world leaders were trying to name clean energy initiative

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>When world leaders were trying to settle upon a name for the global initiative to accelerate clean energy innovation, it was Prime Minister Narendra Modi who came up with the catchy moniker of ‘Mission Innovation’, the US Energy Secretary has said.”With regard to Prime Minister Modi, yes, it was very interesting. The ‘Mission Innovation’ goal of doubling energy R&D globally was being discussed.””At that time we had a name for it that only one of those technical people in the Cabinet could love. When Prime Minister Modi heard about it, he just immediately zeroed in: let’s call it Mission Innovation. And so was it done,” US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said in an interview at the Washington Ideas Forum Hosted by the Atlantic and the Aspen Institute last week.Under Mission Innovation, India has announced ambitious plans for deployment of 175 GW renewable energy capacity by 2022 which includes 100 GW of solar, 60 GW wind, 10 GW from Biomass and 5 GW from small hydro power.India has also embarked on a mission of construction of 100 Smart Cities which includes a blueprint with adequate provision for use of renewables and energy efficient technology.Other members of Mission Innovation are Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Denmark, European Union, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico. Norway, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and the United States.Under this, each of the 20 participating countries and the European Union seek to double its governmental and/or state-directed clean energy research and development investment over five years.

RBI eases stressed asset restructuring rules for banks | Reuters

MUMBAI The Reserve Bank of India on Monday relaxed guidelines for restructuring of large stressed assets by lenders in a move that would allow the banks to more effectively manage bad loans on their books.

India’s banks are saddled with about $120 billion in stressed loans, or 11.5 percent of the total, and RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan has set a deadline of March 2017 to clean up the bqad loans on bank balance sheets.

(Reporting by Suvashree Dey Choudhury; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

SWIFT says second bank hit by malware attack | Reuters

SWIFT, the global financial messaging network that banks use to move billions of dollars every day, warned on Thursday of a second malware attack similar to the one that led to February’s $81 million cyberheist at the Bangladesh central bank.

The second case targeted a commercial bank, SWIFT spokeswoman Natasha de Teran said, without naming it.

SWIFT said in a statement that the attackers exhibited a “deep and sophisticated knowledge of specific operational controls” at targeted banks and may have been aided by “malicious insiders or cyber attacks, or a combination of both.”

The organisation, a Belgian co-operative owned by member banks, said that forensic experts believe the second case showed that the Bangladesh heist “was not a single occurrence, but part of a wider and highly adaptive campaign targeting banks.”

News of a second case comes as law enforcement authorities in Bangladesh and elsewhere investigate the February cyber theft from the Bangladesh central bank account at the New York Federal Reserve Bank. SWIFT has acknowledged that that scheme involved altering SWIFT software to hide evidence of fraudulent transfers, but that its core messaging system was not harmed.

SWIFT had previously acknowledged that the Bangladesh Bank attack was not an isolated incident but one of a number of recent criminal schemes aimed at its messaging platform, which is used by 11,000 financial institutions globally.

It said that its messaging system was not compromised with the second case, which involved targeting a PDF reader used by the bank to check its statement messages.

(Reporting by Nathan Layne in Chicago and Jim Finkle New York; Editing by Sandra Maler)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Muslim leader in India under fire from activists for supporting FGM | Reuters

MUMBAI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – The leader of the only South Asian Muslim community known to practise female genital mutilation (FGM) came under criticism on Friday by campaigers who accused him of urging followers to continue the centuries-old custom.

Little is known about FGM in India, where it is carried out in great secrecy by the close-knit Dawoodi Bohra community, a Shi’ite Muslim sect thought to number over 1 million that considers the practice to be a religious obligation.

An audio clip of Syedna Muffadal Saifuddin’s speech at a mosque in Mumbai, has been authenticated by several members of the community. According to a transcript, he said: “The act must be done. It needs to be done discreetly when it is a woman, but it needs to be done.”

Calls and e-mails to a spokesman for the Syedna and the leader’s administrative office received no response.

“The speech is a huge disappointment for us,” said Masooma Ranalvi, who was cut as a seven-year-old and leads an online petition as part of the ‘Speak Out on FGM’ campaign, which has drawn almost 50,000 signatories, including Mia Farrow, who tweeted her support on Thursday.

“Ever since we began the campaign, there has been only silence from the clergy. But now that it’s out in the open, at least there’s no ambiguity about where they stand,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

A person described as a close friend of the Syedna family told the Times of India newspaper that the remarks were a “general comment” and that people were “interpreting it differently”.


FGM, which can cause serious physical and psychological problems, is more commonly linked to African countries which have led international efforts to end the practice.

India is not included on U.N. lists of countries affected by FGM. Campaigners estimate that up to three quarters of Bohra girls are cut.

Although it is not mentioned in the Koran, the Bohras consider ‘khatna’ – the removal of part of the clitoris – to be part of their religious duty, and debate on the subject has long been taboo.

But the practice among Indian Dawoodi Bohras hit the headlines in November when a court in Australia found two members of the diaspora community guilty of cutting two girls. A Bohra religious leader was convicted of being an accessory.

Since then, more than a dozen Bohra communities in Europe and the United States have passed resolutions against the practice.

“Why should girls in some parts of the world be spared from circumcision, while girls in other countries continue to be cut?” the non-profit group Sahiyo, which aims to end FGM in India, posted on its website on Friday.

“The strongest form of opposition to khatna is now coming from within the community.”

Campaigners will now focus on petitioning the government while still working with the community, said Ranalvi.

“There is hypocrisy in the clergy’s stance, so the government is the most important route open to us now,” she said. “We need them to step in to protect our girls.”

(Reporting by Rina Chandran, Editing by Ros Russell.; Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women’s rights, trafficking, corruption and climate change. Visit to see more stories.)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Andhra Pradesh launches 15 Mbps broadband Internet at Rs 149 per month, 100 Mbps at Rs 999

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Friday launched the first phase of Fiber Grid project to provide broadband connectivity at cheap rate.Andhra Pradesh government signed an MoU with Cisco company as part of the inauguration of India’s first statewide broadband project ‘AP Fiber-Net’ here.Naidu said that digital transformation was the most transformative means to ignite sustainable growth and improve society. His government’s aim was to provide internet connection to all households in the state as part of Digital India campaign, he said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Under the project, internet connections would be provided at cheap rate in districts of Visakhapatnam, Srikakulam and Vizianagaram by April. It will cover the rest of the state by end of July this year.Under the project, 15 Mbps broadband connection will be provided at Rs 149 per month to households and 100 Mbps connection for offices at Rs 999 per month.Electrical poles will be used to lay overhead fiber net cable instead of underground cable to save on the cost.Executive chairman of Cisco John T Chambers said Cisco will set up an Internet of Everything (IoE) Innovation Centre in Visakhapatnam to foster regional innovation and will enable partners and startups to build solutions around IoE and engage in rapid prototyping.

Maharashtra government will provide conducive atmosphere for innovation: Devendra Fadnavis

Assuring that the state government would provide a conducive atmosphere for innovation in the state, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Sunday said that the best of the talent in the country coupled with innovation can result in faster development.He was speaking at ‘Maharashtra Innovates: Next Step’ during the Make in India Week at the Bandra-Kurla Complex. Industries minister Subhash Desai, minister of state for finance Deepak Kesarkar, chief secretary Swadheen Kshatriya, joint chairman of the state innovation council Dr RA Mashelkar, National Innovation Foundation representative Anil Gupta, and member secretary of state innovation council Dr Rajendra Jagdale were present.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Fadnavis said the state government would provide an atmosphere comparable to the Silicon Valley and Singapore so that innovation flourishes. Expressing the need for creating an Indian Microsoft and Indian Google, Mashelkar said, “The term IT is information technology, but, for me, IT stands for Indian Talent. India has been a leader in innovations and research… There is a need to develop state-of-the-art technologies at affordable rates.”

India Starts Up to standing ovation; Modi wins over global CEOs

Start-Up India, for which the government was planning for months, left the big congregation of CEOs of top start-ups, venture capitalists, angel investors and budding entrepreneurs virtually awestruck when Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to unveil the scheme and announced a slew of measures that perhaps surpassed their own imagination.In fact, #StartUpIndia, #MakeINdiaWork and other related hashtags were topping the charts in the worldwide trending topics on Twitter.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The atmosphere got electrified and Vigyan Bhawan looked like a mini Madison Square when Modi announced a Rs 10,000-crore corpus fund for start-ups and a soon-to-be-brought faster exit route of 90 days.Modi did not stop there. Before the thunderous applause could cease, he went on and on, putting the congregation in disbelief.Some of the big announcements that followed were self-certification-based compliance, no inspection for the first three years, single point of contact, Start-Up India Hub, a mobile app to start a start-up in one day, 80% reduction in patent fee and relaxed norms of public procurement for start-ups.”The success of entrepreneurs depends on their ability to take risks. With a risk-taking capacity and the purpose of adventure, we can give something good to the world,” Modi said, giving the example of US transportation network company Uber, which, he said, has become Kuber (the god of wealth) due to its entrepreneurship.To spice up the mega event, several top-notch CEOs described the day as the arrival of the big moment for India. Calling it a Big Bang moment for India, SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son announced a colossal investment of $10 billion in India.Modi also announced a self-certification scheme with respect to nine labour and environment laws and said that there will be no inspection during the first three years.Also, a liberalised patent regime is being brought to help start-up businesses register patents, for which the fee will be slashed by 80%.Addressing the first conference of start-up entrepreneurs, Modi said that the action plan is to boost such ventures, which are seen as the key to employment-generation and wealth-creation.India, which has the third-largest number of start-ups globally, after the US and the UK, will also support the ventures by removing the criteria of experience and turnover for bagging government procurement contracts.To boost financing, Modi also announced that a 20% tax on capital gains, made on investments by entrepreneurs after selling own assets, as well as government-recognised venture capitalists, will be exempted.Attempting to stir up the youth and hit the start-up button, Modi said: “Many people have ideas. They think about it in the morning and ditch it by the evening. But some people get pulled into that idea. There is energy from within and there are dreams that you have dedicated yourself to….Start-ups are not formed only from entrepreneurial bents but also from the spirit of adventure and risk-taking.”To connect directly with the youth wanting to become start-up entrepreneurs, Modi also announced an app by his own name.”Solution to all problems has become an App. And I have benefited greatly from this. I also have the Narendra Modi App. Share your stories with me on the Narendra Modi Mobile App,” he said amid thunderous applause.Getting back at the Opposition in his unique way, Modi asked the youth to send messages to those holding up work in Parliament on Twitter and Facebook.Building up a nationIncome-Tax exemption for first three yearsLegal support and fast-tracking patent examination at lower costsCentral govt to bear entire fees for any number of patents, trademarks or designs.Providing funding system through an initial corpus of Rs 2,500 crore and a total corpus of Rs 10,000 crore over 4 yearsCredit guarantee fund for start-upsAtal Innovation Mission with self-employment and talent-utilisation programme. Seed funding to potentially successful and high-growth start-ups.14 start-up centres and technology business incubators all over the countrySeven new research parks