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Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Tata Trusts have joined hands to set up the India Agritech Incubation Network (IAIN) and launch the ‘Social Alpha Quest for Agritech Innovations’. The IAIN is envisioned as a network of incubators across the country to promote innovations for smallholder farmers. The first hub for IAIN will be set up at IIT Kanpur’s Innovation and Incubation center, in collaboration with Social Alpha, Collectives for Integrated Livelihood Initiatives (CInI) and the Government of Uttar Pradesh. The objective is to empower small and marginal farmers towards increasing productivity and profitability.
The Social Alpha Quest is looking for innovators and entrepreneurs with transformative technologies that address a curated set of challenges faced by smallholder farmers. Up to 12 innovations will be selected to be a part of the first cohort of the IAIN and will receive incubation support in their lab to last mile journey for the next 12-24 months.
Innovative technology solutions, with a strong focus on affordability, accessibility, efficiency and user experience across the agriculture and allied value chain are invited to participate in the quest. This includes start-ups with focus on enhancing yield and productivity, better post-harvest loss management and value addition, improving market linkages and traceability, among others.
Applications are open now and until August 31, 2019. You can apply HERE
For more information on the curated problem statements please visit https://www.socialalpha.org/agritech-innovations/
For queries, write to us at email@example.com
The post Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Tata Trusts join hands to launch ‘Social Alpha Quest for Agritech Innovations’ to identify Agritech solutions that can impact small and marginal farmers appeared first on NASSCOM Community |The Official Community of Indian IT Industry.
The symbiotic relationship of Design and Engineering is truly dyadic. In development of many products and solutions, the duo’s role is so intertwined that I often collectively refer to it as ‘Designeering’.
I imagine that this zygote would serve as a powerful instrument to India’s technological prowess and economical progress. India’s entrepreneurial spirit, combined with technological innovation, should create meaningful solutions that transform everyday lives qualitatively.
Smart devices with variety of connection, cognition and interaction pave the way towards that mission. Numerous gadgets capture image pixels, record voice information, provide tactile feedback and even sense physiological activities. User-centric design and data-driven engineering offer significant efficiency and pertinent value-add to the end-users while they use these systems.
Today’s world is getting richly connected, ushering in growth of intelligent ecosystem. My firm belief is that India could benefit immensely by building as well as by being part of such ecosystem at multiple spheres of life. In the new world, each and every human being potentially could be at the center-of-the-universe.
I enthuse design and engineering community of India to study deeply this world-wide change. I encourage people with ‘designeering’ acumen to define optimal processes that bind people-to-technology and implement wisely for the benefit of Indian populace. As Indian talent transforms Indian lifescape, it should also contribute towards shaping tomorrow’s connected world.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. Aloknath De
Corporate Vice President, Samsung Electronics and CTO, Samsung R&D India
The post India Transforms: Power of ‘Designeering’ appeared first on NASSCOM Community |The Official Community of Indian IT Industry.
Are we ready for $100 Billion ER&D services from India by 2025?
The time is ripe for India to open the doors to EngineeringNXT. A slew of new age technologies is taking center stage, spelling the beginning of the Golden Era for Engineering R&D Organizations in the country.
According to a report by NASSCOM and consulting firm Zinnov, Indian Engineering and R&D (ER&D) services and products contributed US$36 Billion to revenue, overtaking those of BPM that stood at US$35 Billion (total revenue from the technology sector stood at US$177 Billion)1 in 2018-19.
This trend is part of the steady progress demonstrated by India. In the decade between 1995 and 2005, India started delivering low-end engineering, like CAD/CAE, embedded software testing and validation services as part of what can be considered as Wave 1 of ER&D services.
During the Wave 2 period between 2005 and 2015, India competed with global providers in the product development, software development and system engineering space. This period was marked by acquisitions that strengthened the ER&D sector.
Now, in the decade between 2016 and 2025 we are at the cusp of the most interesting era, or wave 3.0 of ER&D services, where the dominant EngineeringNXT trends in new tech is turning India into the new frontier of Software & digital engineering at scale. With proven IP protection to global clients, highest level of information security standards and large pool of engineering software & digital technology talent, India is poised to accelerate the growth to a CAGR of 18-20% and revenue up to US$ 80-100 Billion by 2025.
In fact, in seven of the Top 10 technologies, India has the largest number of engineers.
The signs of this change in the complexion of India’s IT industry are starting to show up in a variety of ways. Late last year, Intel set up its second design center in Bangalore with an investment of INR 1,100 Crore with an intent of focusing on new age technologies such as AI and 5G. This is Intel’s largest center outside the US2 and speaks for the confidence the chip maker has in the engineering talent available in India. Also, the Global India centers (GICs) developed about 4000+ Patents (Intellectual property) from the India centers leveraging the Intellectual arbitrage. These centers focus on software products, telecom products, medical devices, autonomous car software, avionics, etc.
The reason for this dramatic shift has a simple explanation that goes beyond the availability of the right talent. Take the case of automobiles. The auto manufacturing industry is shifting focus towards electric vehicles. This is making the accumulated manufacturing knowledge of internal combustion engines over the last 143 years redundant. The technology going into today’s autonomous vehicles and connected cars has been disaggregated in terms of hardware & software, as product engineering providers for the industry can be anywhere across the globe.
It’s clear that while China dominates the manufacturing and hardware side of electronics, India is going to dominate the software side. And the need for advanced software will continue to grow exponentially. While systems in aircraft run on 10 million lines of code, autonomous cars will run on 100 million lines of code. As the ever-prescient Marc Andreessen, co-author of Mosaic, the first widely used Web browser and co-founder of Netscape, said back in 2011 – “software is eating the world”3. And India is going to 3X the downstream impact of software and grow its revenues from EngineeringNXT to around US$100 Billion in the next few years.
The ecosystem to drive EngineeringNXT is rapidly falling in place. According to the NASSCOM-Zinnov report – The Indian Tech Start-up Ecosystem 2018, there were 1,200+ start-ups added in 2018 alone. The news on the start-up front is extremely encouraging—eight start-ups became Unicorns in 2018, the highest ever in a single calendar year. And the secret of this success? It is the rise of the multi-skilled Indian Engineering/Digital talent that is eclipsing the low-end work that India was once known for. EngineeringNXT is here – and it is changing the global perception of the Indian ER&D industry.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Global Head – Engineering, IOT and Enterprise Mobility, Tech Mahindra
Karthik has around 27 years of professional experience in Product Development, Globalization and digital transformation strategies. He has successfully implemented global engineering strategies for several Fortune 500 clients and has built global development centers across the regions. Karthik has been responsible for building market expansion strategies, partnerships, domain expertise and capabilities across the engineering industry verticals including Digital business transformation. Karthik is Co-Chair of Engineering Services Forum at NASSCOM. Karthik was recently recognized at World CSR Day as one of the 51 Most Impactful Smart Cities Leaders, an annual list that recognizes global leaders who are transformational agents for social change.
The post India and the Golden Era of EngineeringNXT appeared first on NASSCOM Community |The Official Community of Indian IT Industry.
The Government of Karnataka has notified the Karnataka Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Rules 2019 pertaining to Creche facilities. The Rules are applicable to commercial establishment with 50 or more employees in the State. They have come into effect from August 8th 2019.
Following are some of the key provisions of the Rules:
Copy of the Rules are enclosed for your kind reference.
The Ministry of Finance (Department of Revenue) has introduced digital KYC (know your customer) by amending the Prevention of Money-laundering (Maintenance of Records) Rules, 2005, it said in a gazette notification dated 19 August 2019. “digitial KYC means the capturing live photo of the client and officially valid document or the proof of possession of Aadhaar, where offline verification cannot be carried out, along with the latitude and longitude of the location where such live photo is being taken by an authorised officer of the reporting entity,” the notification said.
The move comes as a major relief for the fintech industry as no cost effective, scalable and customer friendly alternative digital KYC method was available to them, until now. Post the Supreme Court judgment on Aadhaar in September 2018, leveraging Aadhaar eKYC was no longer an option. In the absence of any alternate digital KYC, non-banking entities such as PPIs were forced to adopt the age-old, physical form of KYC. This process was expensive, time-consuming and operationally burdensome. The industry also resorted to the XML offline Aadhaar verification method as introduced by RBI for verification however as per the feedback received from industry, failure rate for such verification are as high as 57% making it an unviable method of digital KYC.
In June, NASSCOM had written to different government departments/ministries such as the Department of Revenue, UIDAI, NITI Aayog, Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MEITY) and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) with regard to certain challenges that the PPI industry is facing, pertaining to KYC verification process. We had requested the regulators to expedite approval of video KYC as a method for doing digital KYC; so that customers who do not want to use Aadhaar for doing KYC have a digital alternative as well.
Steps involved in the Digital KYC Process
13. On successful verification, the CAF shall be digitally signed by authorized representative of the reporting entity who will take a print of CAF, get signatures/thumb-impression of customer at appropriate place, then scan and upload the same in system. Original hard copy may be returned to the customer.
We are still reviewing the notification and getting industry feedback on this. We will update the blog accordingly. In case you have any inputs or suggestions pertaining to this specific issue, write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Justice K. S. Puttaswamy (Retd.) and Another vs Union Of India And Others. See: https://www.supremecourtofindia.nic.in/supremecourt/2012/35071/35071_2012_Judgement_26-Sep-2018.pdf
 Under PMLA, reporting entity means a banking company, financial institution, intermediary or a person carrying on a designated business or profession.
As the debate over environment-friendly power generation is getting stronger across the world, the myriad benefits of solar power are being widely discussed and rapidly implemented. Regions like Middle East, parts of East Asia and Europe are among the leaders now in deploying solar fields for harnessing clean energy. The global solar photovoltaic (PV) market is expected to witness a 25% growth this year, and 129GW worth new capacity will be installed. Asia Pacific appears to take up the largest share with 64% of installations this year. India is already among the top three biggest solar PV markets, behind China and USA.
With a total installed capacity of 8.3GW (as of 2018), India is ahead of European and Middle East nations, and will continue to be a key solar market in the future. A strategic and sustained push from the government through initiatives like National Solar Mission has led to an increase in the nation’s solar installation capacity and production quantities. By 2022, the country aims to install 100 GW.
Now, solar companies need to assess the importance of maintenance of assets for operational efficiency, reliability and productivity. Ideally, plants are designed to last atleast 25 years, and the efficiency of these plants depend heavily on Operations & Maintenance. With solar plants spread across thousands of acres of land in remote areas, monitoring solar assets to optimize operational efficiency and measuring reliability is an extremely labour and time-intensive activity.
Bangalore-based 14W Technologies are specialising in aerial thermographic inspection using advanced analytics, with the mission to help solar farms generate maximum results from installations and provide real-time updates on improving plant efficiency.
After initial prototyping and validation in March 2018 with a leading renewable energy producer company in India, 14W Technologies conceptualized the need for an AI-based image analytics software and a customized drone solution for digitalization in solar PV performance evaluation and improvements.
The solution, called AirProbe, assists solar PV developers, asset managers and operations heads to digitize their PV assets for performance assessments and provides actionable insights in yield improvements. Developing a hardware-based solution for each module or array was turning out to be expensive solution for Indian solar PV market.
That’s when the founders thought – Rather than installing thousands of sensors on ground, why not take a single sensor and move it around the entire plant using a drone?
Using AI-based analytics software and any third-party drone, the team can optimize performance and increase reliability of large-scale solar plants with reduction in time by 80% compared to present conventional methods. This has helped save costs of nearly 40%. The extensive database of drone data correlated to performance parameters of the asset, helped the team in zeroing down the root cause of under performance to the exact module and allowed them to suggest measures for energy generation improvements and preventive maintenance operations.
Within 15 months of operations, AirProbe has improved about 2.5% of energy generation for about 3 GW of PV assets worldwide providing additional generation to about 1.25 Lakh urban households every day.
Accelerating the PV plant installation at Bhadla Solar PV Park
India has some of the biggest solar parks located in Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh & Karnataka. The quantum of solar PV capacity installed has scaled up in gigawatts. Installation of large-scale utility power plants involves months to year-long project activities for operating at optimized performance for a period of 25 years. With a tight schedule for commissioning and with multiple parallel activities, project teams usually are hard-pressed for time to commission the project and derive performance metrics.
Moreover, the entire plant needs to be inspected to claim insurance on damaged modules In addition, ramping up generation to maximum capacity typically takes 1.5 months for a 100 MW plant.
AirProbe collaborated with the Bhadla Solar PV Park project team to devise a solution that can streamline different activities and field inspection for a 200MW+ PV plant. Having an eye in the sky and AI-based software helped the PV power plant stakeholders detect under performing modules, disconnected arrays, damaged modules and prioritize areas requiring grass cutting and cleaning. It could also detect subtle faults, which would have otherwise gone unnoticed had the plant operators resorted to conventional methods. Streamlining and prescribing activities to be undertaken helped the project manager prioritize activities to ramp up the generation and guarantee the maintenance teams and investors for the quality of installation. Additionally, detecting and replacing the cracked modules following a single aerial inspection helped increase the plant availability drastically.
AirProbe’s participation in project phase of this PV site reduced the time to stabilize by two months with an improvement of 3-4% in pin-pointing installation errors and inefficient PV modules. The developer for this project could gain Rs. 0.5 crores of financial growth during its stabilization period along with improved green energy generation.
Performance Improvements of Operational PV Assets
O&M of a large-scale solar plant gets complicated especially when the yield of the plant is low, and the root cause needs to be uncovered. With a plant’s operational life being 25 years, modules could get damaged during grass cutting, tilting or acts of nature like lightning and hailstorms. Further, the modules generally degrade with time and is important to pick out the modules degraded beyond the warranty limit in order to ensure optimisation of plant performance. However, the most difficult scenario is when a significant number of panels might be underperforming, and identifying these panels is a difficult and time-consuming job.
Potential Induced Degradation (PID) is one such phenomena causing this and is important to identify PID in early stages for it to be reversible – similar to cancer in humans. AirProbe helps in 100% inspection of the solar modules spread across hundreds of acres and can identify PID in early stages, thanks to our advanced image processing algorithms. One of the projects was affected by early stage PID and the team found that about 5% of modules had anomalies resulting in 7-8% of underperformance. Using traditional methods to identify all the affected modules takes months whereas with the AirProbe solution, it took just two days – one for data collection and another for automated analysis and reporting. The solution also helped the O&M head strategize the next list of activities in order to optimize plant performance along with getting a complete view of how the plant was functioning. This also helped in planning the reversal of PID at earlier stages, which would have otherwise led to 20%-40% decrease in power.
AirProbe was honoured with Nokia Start-up Innovation Award in November 2018 for its contribution towards optimising energy generation using digitalization for renewable energy assets.
This is part of our ongoing series Innovate2Transform, where we bring to you the leaders of the industry talk about the latest in innovation, technology and trends in their industry sectors.
If you want to contribute, write to email@example.com.
Voice technology is for everyone
Last week I booked a cab for myself. The moment I stepped in, the driver asked about the destination, which I told. After that he softly repeated the destination, but it was not to confirm from me. I noticed that he spoke into his smartphone, which understood his Indian English accent, and displayed the route for the destination on the screen. I was amazed to see this because as a millennial I still don’t use voice to converse with devices, but the driver who was in his early 50s was doing this effortlessly. Probably I am not the right user, but this is a perfect example that reflects how voice-technology is making in-roads and is being used by people who barely know how to operate a smartphone or any other smart device.
Voice technology could be disruptive for enterprises
Voice technology is here and it is disrupting how interactions with machines and devices are happening. While voice-based conversational solutions are still in a nascent stage, used primarily in direct-to-consumer environment, enterprise use cases are emerging fast. Soon one could expect voice assistants in meeting rooms, operations theatres and clinics, front desk and concierge services, integration with mobile apps, in-store shopping support, etc.
Voice-enabled virtual assistants are expected to create highest impact on Indian businesses after Machine Learning, disrupting finance and accounting function and IT/ITES sector the most. Enterprises’ focus on voice-based solutions is also evident by investment and acquisition spree to strengthen their voice capabilities to offer better customer service and augment customer experience.
Voice-technology has potential to deliver business value
Voice truly holds the potential to drive business value for enterprises. Voice-powered conversational AI could be the first line of contact for all customer interactions. It could enable enterprises to connect conversations to business systems to automate and address customer queries, perform analytics and take further action. Voice, when coupled with other digital solutions such as IoT, analytics, image recognition, etc., would be able to compile information and deliver actionable insights.
While adoption of voice technology in enterprises is inevitable and the use cases are emerging fast, there are still a few bottlenecks such as lack of clarity about right business cases and related tangible benefits, customer’s data privacy and confidentiality, need of human agent, etc. In addition, there are a few technical challenges related to voice-based solutions such as understanding limited utterances, inability to answer random questions, inability to understand different accents and dialects, etc., among others.
In order to overcome these challenges, there is need to sensitize enterprises about benefits and value addition of voice-based solutions and foster greater collaboration among ecosystem stakeholders.
The post Is Voice is the next conversational interface? appeared first on NASSCOM Community |The Official Community of Indian IT Industry.
Clients are increasingly seeking partners who can help them in their transformation journey. Datamatics offers a unique blend of core as well as digital technologies. While we have strong foothold in the IT Services and BPM space, we are aggressively investing in building our products portfolio in RPA, AI, and Advanced Analytics Space.
Rahul leads all strategic and corporate initiatives globally, leading to the long-term growth, profitability and industry leadership of the organization. He has over 28 years of professional experience and has held several progressively senior and leadership positions.
He has been the Chief Architect for re-positioning and transforming Datamatics from a service led organization to a solutions organization focused on enhancing business productivity through smart automation of data driven processes. Rahul is responsible for driving the company's strategic process of identifying, evaluating and integrating organic and inorganic business growth options, including mergers & acquisitions, partnerships and alliances. He has also been driving the company’s foray into new geographies, and the company’s digital growth strategy.
Recognizing his contribution, in the year 2014, he was presented with the ‘CEO of the Year Award’ for his exemplary leadership amongst organizations from across 41 Asian countries.
He is the Chairman of NASSCOM’s Regional Council as well as the Western Region of ESC (Electronics and Computer Software Export Promotion Council, Government of India’s largest Electronics and IT trade facilitation organization).
Rahul holds an MBA from Columbia University (USA) with a major in Business Strategy & Marketing and a minor in Mergers & Acquisition and Turnaround Management, and is on its Advisory Board for the India Business Initiative (NY). He is also on the Client Advisory Board of Citi Commercial Bank Asia (HK) and a Director at Safari Industries.
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