Booming and Bubbling India-XXX

I enjoyed writing this series every week. However, as the charm of everything fades, I feel like discontinuing the series with this last entry, though I feel bad about. I had some great expectations from the trio PM, FM, and CM in the UPA government. But the affectivity of many of the projects is almost insignificant to be felt when we move around. However, there are still many things that come to our knowledge through many reports that are just exhilarating and we must enjoy them with hope for better tomorrow for India.

India has been offering the highest salary hikes for last few years. Indian salaries are expected to rise by an average 15.2 percent in 2008 after rising 15.1 percent last year, according to an annual survey conducted by global human resource company Hewitt Associates. As Indian companies prepare to close financial year 2008 with 36% net profits, a 15-25% increase in salaries seems to be a fair deal. Is it not great going for those employed in organized sectors?

Transformation in India is more successful than China. India is placed at 25 in terms of development, just behind Singapore, Brazil and South Africa, says The Transformation Index, a study of market economics and democracy in 125 transformation states by published on Monday in Berlin by the independent German Bertelsmann Foundation. India is also ranked 19 in an evaluation of the management performance of its political decision-makers, with an improvement of 13 rankings on the previous comparative investigation conducted 2 years ago.

Indian Tech Industry is looking at 33% Growth. The Indian Tech industry will contribute 5.5% of India’s gross domestic product in 2008, up from 1.2% in 1998 The Indian tech industry is expected to generate around US$64 billion in revenues in 2008–a 33 percent growth–while also having a significant impact on the country’s economy. Services and software exports are expected to contribute around US$41 billion with the domestic market generating more than US$23 billion. The Indian tech industry is aiming to hit total revenues for software and services of US$75 billion by 2010.

India’s domestic information communication technology (ICT) market is estimated to grow at a five-year compound annual growth rate of 20.3%, to reach $24.3 billion (around Rs 96,228 crore) by 2011, as chief information officers continue to build and consolidate their basic IT infrastructure and small and medium businesses increase their use of technology, according to research firm Gartner Inc. In 2006, the domestic market was at $9.6 billion (Rs 37, 964 crore). Against the average world growth in information technology spending of 3.3%, Indian firms have budgeted increases of around 13% for tech services.

The Indian product engineering offshoring market is expected to witness a growth of 23 per cent (compounded annual growth rate) by 2012 from the existing $9.35 billion as large captive centres of global corporations continue to expand their activities, according to Zinnov, an offshoring advisory firm.

20 biotech parks are in various stages of development and conceptualization-highlighting a biotech gold rush. Almost all state governments are today thinking of knowledge parks. Karnataka has 183 of the 340 biotech companies in the country. Mobile revolution is helping rural India. Thousands of people from rural areas across 12 states are likely to get their social security pension and wages paid under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) scheme with the help of mobiles over the coming few months.

Tata’s dream car ‘Nano’ has been called ‘An Ingenious Coup’. Ralph Kinney Bennett, a longtime car buff, classic Cadillac collector, and for many years a senior magazine editor, hails the new four-door compact sedan as “the next Model T Ford or Volkswagen Beetle.” Writing in the January/February issue of The American, a magazine for U.S. business and opinion leaders published by the American Enterprise Institute, Bennett says, “…the people at Tata know something that others seem to have forgotten. They have proven adept at learning not just the needs but the hopes and desires of their customer base.”

Cashing in on the low cost of skilled labour, a clutch of Auto component manufacturers and tyre makers like Maini Precision Products, MRF Tyres, Pune-based Minda NTS, and Sundram Fasteners are taking the first tentative steps to supply components for aircraft manufacturers. Last week, US aircraft manufacturer Boeing signed an agreement with Tata Automobile Limited (TAL) Manufacturing Solutions, a wholly-owned Tata Motors subsidiary, for manufacturing structural components for Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner airplane programme.

US-based Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation today announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding with Tata Advanced Systems to manufacture S-92 helicopter cabins in India. Sikorsky is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corporation, and Tata Advanced Systems is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tata Industries.

Grassroots innovations will help AAM Adaami. Scientists at Delhi’s National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD)- Dr V K Saxena, Dr T G Thomas and NICD director Dr Shiv Lal, have developed a “Mosquito Proof Cooler” (MPC) with several advantages. Unlike conventional coolers that require continuous cleaning to check for mosquito larvae, MPC needs a clean-up only once in three months. Moreover, it is compact and does not have a single hole for vectors to get through unlike conventional coolers with three detachable sides.

The environmental engineering department of IIT Kanpur has developed a toilet that will re-use the water that goes into flushing, rather than discharging it along with the excreta. This will be possible by not allowing water and solid waste to mix. So recycling water will be easy.

Infosys Technologies develops cutting-edge consumer technology in retail and telecom space. One such technology for the retail space is Smart Visual Merchandising (SVM) based on radio frequency or RFID tags. It has already been deployed on mounted display panels at a retail fashion clothing store inside the Infosys campus in Bangalore.

Students from IIM Ahmedabad (IIMA) are using management studies to fight global poverty. Thirty students here have chosen to change the way Indian companies look at corporate social responsibility with research in enterprise solutions to poverty (ESP).

Verma’s experiments at IIT Kanpur show how a molecule-turned-rogue may cause iron rust to deposit in the brain and lead to incurable neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Several studies had earlier hinted that iron deposits in the brain might lead to some forms of these two ailments. Verma’s research provides the first clues how that might happen, though his findings are yet to be confirmed through studies on real brain tissues.

Using radio frequency identification (RFID), wireless, mobile phone and information technology, India’s IT giants are looking to gain sizable ground in a fast emerging market for front-end retail technologies.

Indian scientists have identified and manipulated a gene in rice plants that can dramatically alter the flowering time of rice, a feat that may lead to fast-maturing and high-yielding plants.

Recently, a new variety of maize was commercially released from Vivekanand Parvatiya Krishi Anushandhan Sansthan (VPKAS), Almora that uses a safe marker assisted breeding (MAB). It will help creating crops with more nutritive value and better pest resistance minus the side effects of GM crops.

Engine blocks and heads manufacturer Ennore Foundries, part of the Hinduja Group,with an ongoing Rs 350-crore capacity expansion aims to become one of the top global players with a total capacity of about 2.35-lakh tonne a year, besides having a significant presence in the export market by 2010-11.

SEForge, an associate company of the wind power major Suzlon Energy, has set up a ductile iron casting foundry at Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu. Considered to be the world’s largest in the ductile iron castings, the foundry will have an annual capacity of 120,000 tonne of specialised ductile iron castings. The company has also set up a 70,000-tonne forging plant at Vadodara in Gujarat, considered to be most modern in this category, said SEForge Ltd executive director Hugo L Schippmann.

ArcelorMittal, the world’s top steelmaker, will invest $20 billion over the next 10 years to build two steel plants in India and is in talks for iron ore mines, a senior official said on Thursday. The plants will each have a capacity to produce 12 million tonnes of steel and will be located in Jharkhand and Orissa.

India plans to provide one computer for every two school-going children to share, and for teachers to take classes beyond the blackboard, in the country’s answer to the internationally mooted ‘one-laptop-per-child’ proposal. The country is preparing for its biggest expansion in the use of Information and Communication in Technology (ICT) and planning to build Internet-enabled computer labs in 1,00,000 schools over the coming five years.

India’s Civil Aviation Ministry has set a target of having 500 operational airports in the next 12 years, according to a report by Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA). Presently, India has only 80 fully functional airports equipped to handle scheduled commercial, charter and defence services.

Mundra Port & Special Economic Zone Ltd’s new car export terminal is expected to be ready by the first quarter of 2009. The company has already signed up with India’s top carmaker Maruti Suzuki India Ltd for the 250,000-units-a-year terminal. An additional 400,000 units will further raise the car handling capacity by 2010. Thee oldman of Maruti Suzuki must be fully satisfied now.

The Indian economy has grown at an average of 7% in the current decade, with per capita income rising 78% to Rs29,642 by 2006-07 in this period, based on a survey that covered 63,016 households, spread over 1,976 villages and 340 towns in 24 states and Union territories.

According to the survey, “How India earns, spends and saves,” about 214 million people, or 20.8 per cent of India’s population, are poor. In contrast, according to the two sets of poverty estimates provided by the NSS using consumption expenditure data, the country’s poverty level is 27.5 per cent according to the 30-day data and 21.8 per cent on the basis of the 365-day data.

And even today headlines such as ‘India can be a leader in innovation’, and US crisis will not affect India keep on appearing providing a hope for sustainability of India’s growth story.

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