Intel Capital to invest $20 million in 6 Indian companies

Investments are to come from Intel Capital’s $250 million India Technology Fund

Intel Capital, Intel's global investment organisation, plans to invest approximately US$20million, in six Indian companies. The investments are part of Intel Capital's ongoing efforts to support Indian technology innovation and entrepreneurship.

The six companies that Intel Capital plans to invest in are: Saankhya Labs Pvt. Ltd., a fabless semiconductor company; Testing Czars, a global independent test engineering and solutions provider for mobile applications; Financial Inclusion Network and Operations (FINO), a business and banking technology platform provider with an extensive services delivery channel; What's on India Pvt Ltd, India's premier electronic programming guide for television;  enStage, an electronic payment solutions and processing provider; DURON Energy Pvt Ltd, a pioneer in affordable solar power products designed for off-grid use in emerging markets.

Three investments - Saankhya Labs, Testing Czars, and FINO - have been completed. Intel Capital has signed investment agreements with What's on India, enStage and DURON Energy. Details of these six investments, including the amount to be invested in each company were not disclosed.

Funding for the investments announced by Intel Capital comes from the US$250 million Intel Capital India Technology Fund established in December 2005. This fund invests in Indian technology companies to stimulate local innovation and the continued growth of India's information technology industry.


Planning Commission may change affidavit on BPL, indicates govt

Minister of information and broadcasting Ambika Soni insisted that the affidavit submitted by the Plan panel before the Supreme Court is not a final document. "When we asked for information from the panel regarding it, we were told that it an initial document and not a final document," she said

New Delhi: The government today indicated that the Planning Commission could change its controversial affidavit on BPL (below poverty line), which had held that people earning more than Rs25 in rural areas and Rs32 in urban areas do not come under this category of the poor, reports PTI.

"These figures could undergo a change, who knows some other statistics may come up, which is acceptable to Planning Commission.

"There is concern among people. There is certain disquiet in the civil society and some sections. They believe the statistics are perhaps somewhat removed from the reality," minister of information and broadcasting Ambika Soni told reporters here.

Asked about the open letter written by two prominent social activists and NAC members-Aruna Roy and Harsh Mander-to Planning Commission chairperson Montek Singh Ahluwalia questioning the affidavit by the plan panel, Ms Soni said, "I too may have some questions on the figures that have been given.

Many people have questions on the affidavit."

Mr Mandar and Ms Roy have reportedly asked Mr Ahluwalia to withdraw the poverty line affidavit filed by the panel before the Supreme Court or resign.

Noting that Ms Roy and Mr Mandar are 'prominent' members of the civil society, Ms Soni said the government is waiting for the Planning Commission's final document.

Ms Soni insisted that the affidavit submitted by the Plan panel before the Supreme Court is not a final document.

"Planning Commission had given an affidavit. When we asked for information from the panel regarding it, we were told that it an initial document and not a final document," she said.


Indian pharma sector will struggle without govt support: IDMA

China and Brazil are also eyeing a share of the almost $30-$40 billion drugs that become off-patented in the next 3-4 years worldwide. Indian Drug Manufacturers' Association secretary general Daara Patel has sought government support to help the Indian pharma sector take on the competition

Hyderabad: Indian companies would struggle to grab opportunities that would arise when almost $30-$40 billion drugs become off-patented in the next 3-4 years worldwide without adequate support from the Centre, reports PTI quoting the Indian Drug Manufacturers' Association (IDMA).

IDMA secretary general Daara Patel said the industry may face fierce competition from China and Brazil as both nations are gearing up for a pie.

"Competition is very high and countries like Brazil and China in the fray. It's going to be an uphill task for us. But if we have proper infrastructure in place, work in unison and get proper support from the government I don't think we will lag behind," Mr Patel told reporters here.

Despite the fact that Chinese API (active pharma ingredient or bulk drugs) material is not as good as Indian APIs, other nations are tempted to buy them due to the price advantage.

"The government should support the industry in terms of providing better facilities for R&D. They must support the API industry, which is not happening. Today we are facing heat from China despite the fact that Chinese material is not as good as Indian ones in APIs," he explained.

IDMA submitted a paper to the Union government in which the pharma body requested that land should be provided to them at a cheaper price like China does, while interest rates and transaction cost should also be brought down.

The association also urged support from the government in setting up effluent treatment plants.

To a query on foreign direct investments (FDI), Mr Patel said 100% FDI in the sector should be allowed, but with riders.

"If we want funds, if we want to be seen in the global arena as fair competitors, if we do not want to be bothered by the WTO rules we should allow FDIs. But certain checks and balances have to be in place," he said.


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