Companies & Sectors
Start-ups, Digital India dominated IT growth
The National Association of Software Services and Companies (Nasscom) had initiated an ambitious programme in 2013 to incubate about 10,000 domain-specific start-ups across the country by 2020 for rolling out software products, solutions and apps for individual and enterprise users in India and the world over
 
Even as disruptive technologies rolled out game-changing products and software majors vied for more outsourcing, the start-up revolution and the government's Digital India initiative dominated the Indian IT industry landscape in 2015.
 
The software services and product-driven industry have been on track this year to register again a double digit (12-14 percent) growth in fiscal 2015-16. But the surge in start-ups and the Digital India plan have redefined the rules of the game," industry body Nasscom president R. Chandrashekhar told IANS here.
 
If convergence of information and communication technologies (ICT) spawned new platforms for vendors to offer more products and cloud-based services, techno-geeks and young entrepreneurs joined the party by developing a host of applications (apps) for enterprises and diverse industry verticals.
 
The National Association of Software Services and Companies (Nasscom) had initiated an ambitious programme in 2013 to incubate about 10,000 domain-specific start-ups across the country by 2020 for rolling out software products, solutions and apps for individual and enterprise users in India and the world over.
 
With Bengaluru emerging again as the country's start-up capital, thanks to the ecosystem this tech hub had built over the years, the tech-savvy Karnataka government has declared a start-up policy and set up two warehouses in the city in partnership with Nasscom to promote and incubate hundreds of them.
 
"If the Digital India initiative takes off, the start-up ecosystem will thrive with over 100,000 new-age firms in the next 10 years, employing 3.5 million people and targeting a value of $500 billion," former Infosys director and Manipal Global Education Services chairman T.V. Mohandas Pai told IANS.
 
Though Pai believes that only 10 percent of the start-ups would succeed, indicating a very high failure rate, they will be a major source of job creation, investments and new apps.
 
"The government has a key role in facilitating growth of start-ups and in making them open, operate and shut down in case of failure, as many of them fail as elsewhere in the world," Chandrashekhar observed.
 
According to Nasscom, about 18,000 start-ups, with a combined valuation of $75 billion, employ around 300,000 across the country.
 
"The ecosystem has the potential to grow by 10-fold in the next 10 years, with the valuation going up to $500 billion," Pai noted.
 
"Digital India will not only benefit traditional and established players but also thousands of new-age firms, especially start-ups across the country, as the ambitious programme envisages a whopping Rs.4.5 lakh crore ($68 billion) investments over the next decade," Chandrashekhar asserted.
 
As ICT became pervasive, connecting devices and people, industry players have invested substantially during the year on developing new platforms and hiring more techies to serve their clients worldwide and in India.
 
"We also see a huge potential for our industry from the government's Make in India programme, as manufacturing of industrial, consumer and electronics goods will require ICT solutions to operate and deliver them," said Krishna Prasad, an independent software developer for vendors.
 
On the software services front, IT bellwethers Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Cognizant, Infosys, Wipro and HCL were able to grow their revenue by 5-10 percent year-on-year despite the global technology spend declining in 2015.
 
"We expect the industry to add $20 billion in FY 2016 to the overall revenues of $146 billion in FY 2015, as the industry's performance has been in line with the expectations we had set at our strategic review," Chandrashekhar said.
 
According to a Nasscom projection, IT exports will grow 12-14 percent to reach $110-112 billion and the domestic market by 15-17 percent to touch $55-57 billion by March 31, 2016.
 
Currency volatility, however, impacted the operating margins of exporting firms, including the global software majors.
 
"The export growth rate continues in double-digits as in 2014, though firms are under pressure to deliver more value in terms of business and transformation," Chandrashekhar affirmed.
 
On the outlook for the industry in 2016, the former telecom secretary-turned industry representative said the projection for 2016-17 would be revealed in February and the growth would be on track as in 2015.
 
Highlights:
 
* Start-ups and Digital India dominated IT industry landscape
 
* Software services and exports to post 12-14 percent growth
 
* Geeks develop new applications for internet users & verticals
 
* Nasscom to incubate 10,000 starts-ups by 2020
 
* Karnataka declares start-up policy, sets up two warehouses
 
* Digital India will trigger start-up boom and create jobs
 
* Start-ups are risk prone and many are bound to fail
 
* Digital India to benefit traditional and new-age companies
 
* IT bellwethers spur export growth despite cuts in tech spend
 
* Currency volatility impacts operating margins of export firms
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Express trains run late even as India goes for bullet trains
According to former railway minister Dinesh Trivedi of Trinamool Congress, unless a dedicated freight corridor is started, there wouldn't be enough money available to invest in running passenger trains on time
 
Even as India signed a Rs. 98,000-crore pact with Japan for a high-speed bullet train linking Mumbai and Ahmedabad, the on-time performance of the country's express trains remains a challenge, especially during winters.
 
A shortage of dedicated tracks for goods and passenger trains in the country, withering infrastructure and inbuilt inefficiencies in the railways are leading to regular delays of its express trains, including its most prestigious ones. The winter fog does not help. Experts say that unless more money is pumped to improve tracks, lighting systems and signalling infrastructure, running trains on time, even during good weather, would be difficult.
 
According to former railway minister Dinesh Trivedi of Trinamool Congress, unless a dedicated freight corridor is started, there wouldn't be enough money available to invest in running passenger trains on time.
 
"Our railway is in a financial crisis and the operating ratio (company's operating expenses as a percentage of revenue) is 110 percent. We don't have enough money to even replace the old assets like the tracks, signals or locomotives," Trivedi told IANS.
 
He said he was not against bullet trains, but the railways were falling short of Rs 25,000 crore every year. "Had I been the minister I would have given more money to the dedicated freight corridor. This would have helped the economy. The bullet trains will only help the Japanese economy," Trivedi said.
 
A quick survey by IANS showed that express trains were running late between 14 minutes and seven hours. The Mumbai-Central-New Delhi Rajdhani Express was late by 15 minutes on December 20, by 20 minutes on December 21 and by 25 minutes on December 22, while the Karnataka Express (Bengaluru City to New Delhi) was late by 2:25 hours on December 20, 2:30 hours on December 21 and 2:41 hours on December 22.
 
Among the other trains, the Saraighat Express (Guwahati to Howrah) was 14 minutes late on December 20, 14 minutes late on December 21 and 40 minutes late on December 22. The Lucknow Swarna Shatabdi Express (New Delhi to Lucknow) was late by 1:03 hours on December 21, by one hour on December 22, 15 minutes on December 23 and 55 minutes on December 24. 
 
The Garib Rath running from Saharsa to Amritsar was late by 6:40 hours on December 20 and by 25 minutes on December 21. The Kerala Express (Trivandrum to New Delhi) was late by 2:05 hours on December 20, by 1:05 hours on December 21 and by 1:45 hours on December 22. Even Duronto Express (Sealdah to New Delhi), which doesn't stop at any of the stations, was late by 1:28 hours on December 21 and by 3:10 hours on December 23.
 
The Tatanagar-Jammu Tawi Express was also late by 3:00 hours on both December 20 and 21 and it was late by 7:00 hours on December 22.
 
Several trains were also cancelled due to fog.
 
The Minister of State in the Ministry of Railways, Manoj Sinha, in reply to a question in the Lok Sabha on December 2 stated that the punctuality of mail/express trains has reduced from 83 percent in 2013-2014 to 78 percent in 2015-16 (up to October 2015). In 2014-15 the punctuality was 79 percent.
 
The various factors highlighted by the minister for late running of trains included line capacity constraints on account of increasing passenger and freight traffic, adverse weather conditions, intermittent natural calamities, heavy road traffic at level crossing gates, multi-faceted law and order problems, including public agitations and bandh calls in the left-wing extremism affected areas, miscreant activities such as theft of railway assets and mid-section runover cases involving cattle and humans.
 
Other experts say that two initiatives -- improving existing railway infrastructure and setting up bullet trains -- can happen simultaneously. Former railway board chairman Arunendra Kumar said that for the bullet train project, a dedicated high-speed standard track would be laid and the existing tracks would not be used.
 
"Japan will fund 82 percent of the bullet train project. India's investment will be minimal with an interest of just one percent," he told IANS, adding that there was no contradiction in moving on two fronts.
 
The railways were also in the process of laying new tracks across the country, Kumar said, adding that new high-beam lights were being installed to avoid delays due to fog. "When there is heavy fog, though, no light can penetrate it. In such cases, the trains have to wait or go slow till the fog clears. Risks cannot be taken in such situations," he said.
 
Former railway board member Rajendra Choudhary said the percentage of trains running late was small, as India had the second largest rail service in the world in terms of number of trains. He said efforts were on to renew tracks and upgrade equipment so that delays due to fog could be avoided. He said this was being done in phases.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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COMMENTS

Subramani P K

1 year ago

Most of our trains run late mainly because of inefficiency. Detention of trains at various stations beyond permissible time, to attend to passenger complaints, unmanned level crossings, signal failures and poor maintenance of track and resultant caution orders, poor maintenance of compartments & so on add to the delays. If the administration can be tightened up to work efficiently delays can be minimized if not totally eliminated. Shelling of bullet train project as acceptance of our in efficiency to improve our system of working it will be disastrous for our development as the whole world is moving towards total technology up-gradation to ensure efficiency at all walks of life & we will be left behind as under developed for ever. Let us learn lessons from countries like China who were worse than us & now where they are.

Narendra Doshi

1 year ago

It is interesting to get views from BOTH the ends. I think , as suggested, we should move on BOTH fronts, simultaneously. Hopefully, the separate freight becomes operational even before the bullet one.

PACL investors to take out morcha to SEBI next month to submit claims
Around one lakh investors are set to take out a morcha to SEBI office in Mumbai for handing out claims, says All India PACL (Pearls) Investors Association
 
All India PACL (Pearls) Investors Association (AIPIA) has decided to take out a massive morcha of around one lakh investors to market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and hand out claims of investors to the market regulator.
 
In a release, Vishwas Utagi, Convener of AIPIA, said, "We want SEBI to create an infrastructure in all the cities and districts in India to receive such claims or complaints with a view to refund the money of claimants and investors."
 
The Association is also requesting investors to submit filled forms for claims at its offices. Here is the address of its Mumbai office... 
All India PACL (Pearls) Investors Association 
C/O Maharashtra State Bank Employees Federation, 
Dadyseth House, 1st Floor, (Rear), Nanabhai Lane, 
Fort, Mumbai- 400 023
 
PACL (earlier Pearls) is a Delhi-based company, proclaiming itself as a real estate company which has collected huge money for the last 13 years from almost six crore people from all the states in India. "Out of six crore investors in the country more than one crore are from Maharashtra! What is shocking is that on one side, poor peasantry is committing suicide in Vidharbha and Marathwada and on other side, the situation is that poor and middle class people in this area have lost money in PACL. Their number is about five lakh in Marathwada alone," Mr Utagi added. 
 
On 15th December, the Association has organised a full day meeting of investors duped by PACL. During the meeting it was decided to ask SEBI to take control of all bank accounts, properties, assets of PACL and refund depositors' money. 
 
Earlier, SEBI, as part of its recovery proceedings, attached all bank and demat accounts, mutual fund portfolios of PACL and it eight directors and promoters. In a release, SEBI said, the recovery proceedings have been initiated for their failure to comply with its order issued on 22 August 2014 directing, PACL and its directors and promoters to wind up the schemes, and refund Rs49,100 crore to the investors within three months from the date of the order. This amount is excluding further interest and all costs, charges and expenses incurred in the recovery proceedings.
 
According to SEBI, the amount due to investors of PACL would be over Rs55,000 crore. This  includes promised returns, further interest, all costs, charges and expenses incurred in respect of all the proceedings taken for recovery of Rs49,100 crore from PACL. 
 
 The mobilisation of funds by PACL traces back prior to 1997. Upon receipt of a complaint, SEBI on 30 November 1999 and 10 December 1999 issued letters asking PACL to comply with the provisions of the collective investment scheme (CIS) Regulations. 
 
PACL challenged these letters before the High Court of Rajasthan in December 1999, claiming that its scheme does not fall under the definition of CIS as defined under the CIS Regulation and SEBI Act. PACL also challenged the constitutional validity of the CIS Regulations. 
 
The Rajasthan High Court on 28 November 2003, held that PACL's schemes were not CIS as defined under Section 11AA of the SEBI Act. The HC also quashed SEBI's letters issued to PACL. 
 
SEBI filed an appeal before the Supreme Court against the order of Rajasthan HC. The SC on 25 February 2013, while allowing the appeal upheld the constitutional validity of CIS Regulations, and directed SEBI to investigate the matter and take appropriate actions. 
 
After conducting an inquiry, SEBI on 22 August 2014, issued an order directing PACL, its promoters and directors to wind up all the existing CIS and refund the monies collected by the company to investors as per the terms of offer within a period of three months from the date of the Order. 
 
PACL filed an appeal before the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT), which was dismissed on 12 August 2015. The SAT directed PACL and its promoters-directors to refund the money within three months. Since the company and its promoters-directors failed to refund the money to the investors as per the directions of SEBI and SAT, the market regulator said it has initiated the recovery proceedings.
 

 

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COMMENTS

Faujdar Ojha

1 year ago

Sir/madam
I am a normal citizen and hence I was having a very little sum of money present at that time when I invested in PACL
On 3 August 2009 by the mean of agent. At that time when I invested in the bond I was thinking of some interest, but now I am not hoping so as the PACL is under CBI probe.
I was told that my bond is maturing in 2019 but right now I need my money urgently due to some family reasons and right now they are ignoring me.
I humbly request you to do something that they return my money with suitable interest.
Thanking you
Faujdar ojha, 9311452004

sarang

1 year ago

how to submit the claim

Rahul Singh

1 year ago

we can submit claim from only after maturity or without maturity also .

and also request you to share Client form formate

Sreepathid

1 year ago

when SEBI filed a case in supreme court?

Nilesh KAMERKAR

1 year ago

Morcha will come & go.

However, If you really want to curb Ponzi schemes, then apply mutual funds sales and distribution norms.

For e.g. Agents mobilisation commission must be restricted to 0.84% or less.



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