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Cabinet Approves $1.3 Billion Outlay For 'India AI Mission'

The Union Cabinet on Thursday approved the 'India AI mission' with an outlay of Rs 10,371.92 crore for a period of five years, to give a further push for Artificial Intelligence in India. The announcement was made by Union Minister Piyush Goyal at a cabinet briefing, where he reiterated the need to have a robust environment for promoting the tech in the country.

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"The IndiaAI mission will establish a comprehensive ecosystem catalyzing AI innovation through strategic programs and partnerships across the public and private sectors. By democratizing computing access, improving data quality, developing indigenous AI capabilities, attracting top AI talent, enabling industry collaboration, providing startup risk capital, ensuring socially impactful AI projects and bolstering ethical AI, it will drive responsible, inclusive growth of India's AI ecosystem," the government said in a release.

All set to be implemented by the ‘IndiaAI’ Independent Business Division (IBD) under Digital India Corporation (DIC), this mission is set to have eight components including IndiaAI Compute Capacity, IndiaAI Innovation Centre, a dataset platform among others. The government also plans to generate highly skilled employment opportunities with this mission.

As part of building a mega computing facility, the government aims to add AI compute infrastructure of 10,000 or more Graphics Processing Units (GPUs), built through public-private partnership. "Further, an AI marketplace will be designed to offer AI as a service and pre-trained models to AI innovators. It will act as a one-stop solution for resources critical for AI innovation," the government said.

Moreover, the innovation centres will undertake the development and deployment of indigenous Large Multimodal Models (LMMs) and domain-specific foundational models in critical sectors.

As for education in AI, the government plans to roll out IndiaAI FutureSkills, which is conceptualized to mitigate barriers to entry into AI programs and will increase AI courses in undergraduate, masters-level, and Ph.D. programs. Under the mission, the government will also set up Data and AI Labs in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities across India.


Seems the cost for buying compute time on the cloud is going to get a lot cheaper for Indian AI startups.
 

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India, Europe's EFTA bloc sign $100 billion Free Trade deal

India has pledged to drop tariffs on industrial products from countries including Norway and Switzerland for $100 billion in investment over 15 years. India's economy is likely to be a major focus in upcoming elections.

India-EFTA-Close-to-Finalizing-a-Free-Trade-Agreement.jpg

India and the four members states of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) on Sunday signed an economic pact worth over $100 billion (€91.4 billion). The EFTA's members are Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, none of which are in the European Union. The agreement must be ratified by all five signatories before it can come into effect. Switzerland plans to do so by 2025.

What do we know about the India-EFTA deal?​


Under the deal, India will lift most import tariffs on industrial products from the EFTA in exchange for investment of $100 billion over 15 years, Indian Trade Minister Piyush Goyal said. The agreement was signed after 21 rounds of negotiations over 15 years.

"It is a modern trade agreement, fair, equitable and win-win for all five countries," Goyal said.

Switzerland's government said that New Delhi will lift or partially remove customs duties on 95.3% of industrial imports from Switzerland either immediately or over time. In a separate statement, Oslo said it had achieved near-zero import taxes on most Norwegian goods. "Norwegian companies exporting to India today meet high import taxes of up to 40% on certain goods," Norwegian Industry Minister Jan Christian Vestre said.

"With the new deal, we have secured nil import taxes on nearly every Norwegian good," he said.

Agreement comes as Modi campaigns on economic credentials​


The announcement comes as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi campaigns for re-election in general elections in May. His campaign has emphasized high GDP growth over the last quarter and his government's plans to turn India into a developed country. Modi is aiming to achieve annual exports of $1 trillion by 2030. In recent years, India has signed trade agreements with Australia and the United Arab Emirates.

India is the EFTA bloc's fifth-largest trading partner after the European Union, the United States, the United Kingdom and China. New Delhi's Trade Ministry estimated two-way trade with the group amounted to $25 billion in 2023.


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Also, it seems the Tory Govt in UK is worried that India may be holding out for a possibly better FTA deal under a Labour govt post UK's general election later this year:


There has been quite a bit of unusual outreach from the Labour shadow cabinet to India recently. Let's see what gives. One thing's for clear: India isn't in a hurry to seal the UK FTA - it's the Brits (especially Tories) that desperately need a trade deal with a major economy outside Europe post Brexit.

@Nilgiri
 

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"Frank Huang, chairman of Taiwan's Powerchip Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation (PSMC), revealed in an interview with the Economic Times that the Dholera facility will begin operations with 28 nanometer chips, with plans for future advancements to 22 nm."


In a few years, we should be in a position to replace most server-grade hardware with locally-manufactured CPUs, NAND-Flash & DRAM in all strategic/sensitive applications.
 

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Indian bonds are set to be added to global indexes. Here’s why it could be a gamechanger​

PUBLISHED TUE, MAR 26 202412:10 AM EDTUPDATED TUE, MAR 26 20241:04 AM EDT
Shreyashi Sanyal@IN/SHREYASHI-SANYAL-7B10941B

The decision to include Indian government bonds in two prominent global indexes recently is being viewed as a shot in the arm for the rapidly growing country and is expected to bring in billions of inflows. India’s bonds will be added to the JPMorgan Government Bond Index-Emerging Markets (GBI-EM) in June, the Wall Street lender announced in September.

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The JPMorgan inclusion is reportedly India’s first ever inclusion in a global bond index. Earlier this month, Bloomberg Index Services’ followed suit, announcing it will be adding Indian government bonds to its Emerging Market Local Currency Government Index from Jan. 31, 2025. Such inclusions, analysts noted, could lead to billions of dollars worth of inflows into India’s rupee-denominated government debt. As demand rises, bond yields fall, supporting the local currency.

Deepak Agrawal, Chief investment Officer of debt at Kotak Mutual Fund, told CNBC he expects the inclusions to generate “stable flows of around $25 [billion] to $30 billion” over the next 12 to 18 months following the rebalancing period starting in June 2024. “Overall we see this as a move in the right direction,” Agrawal added.

Goldman Sachs said it expects India’s bond markets to see inflows “upwards of $40 billion from the time of announcement to the end of the scale-in period, or around $2 billion per month.” JPMorgan has said the inclusion of Indian bonds will be staggered over 10 months, starting from a 1% in June to a maximum 10% weightage in its index in April next year.

Big bump to growth​

JPMorgan’s inclusion of Indian bonds has been hailed as a “milestone event” by Invest India, the government’s national investment promotion agency. “The inclusion will help India realize the goal of a $5 trillion economy by 2030,” the agency said, adding it will help Asia’s third largest economy integrate with the global economy. It will also help India raise more funds, meet growing borrowing costs and grow the investor base for government securities.

“As a consequence of these stable long-term global investments, Indian banks, the largest investors of government securities, will be able to lend more domestically, leading to infrastructure creation and employment generation,” Invest India said. India’s sovereign bond market was valued at $1.2 trillion as of October and is broadly dominated by domestic institutional investors, according to Invest India.

Does this make it easier to invest in India?​

India is quickly becoming one of the world’s fastest growing economies and its government has taken steps this year to boost the economy further, especially with plans on increasing its spending on infrastructure. But layers of protectionism, including certain import restrictions, have highlighted difficulties in doing business in India.

“Index inclusion itself doesn’t make investing [in India] easier,” Kenneth Akintewe, head of Asian sovereign debt at investment firm Abrdn, told CNBC. But Akintewe said that adding Indian bonds to global indexes encourage a much broader set of investors to invest in the country, “which frankly they should have been doing anyway given how strongly the market has performed.”

“However, the reforms that have led to index inclusion, namely the establishing of the fully accessible route (FAR) component of the government bond market, with FAR securities growing as a proportion of the market and these being index eligible, does make investing easier.”
Under the fully accessible route, eligible investors can put money in specified government securities without ceiling limits, paving the way for foreign investors to access Indian bond markets.

Akintewe predicted the additions to such indexes could approximately bring in a “passive flow of $30 billion.” JP Morgan’s bond index inclusion could facilitate about $24 billion in passive inflows between June 2024 and March 2025, Fitch Ratings said in a September note. “Flows could be greater if other indexes also move to include Indian government securities,” the note added.

“This could serve to lower funding costs slightly, and support further development of domestic capital markets, but direct positive effects on India’s credit profile will be marginal in the near term,” the ratings agency said.

Bonds vs. stocks​

Fueled by broad optimism, India’s stock markets hit record highs multiple times this year, with the Nifty 50 index clocking its eighth straight year of gains in 2023.
Monthly inflows into India’s domestic equity funds rose to a 23-month high of $3.2 billion in February, based on data from the Association of Mutual Funds in India, Goldman Sachs said. India also saw foreign inflows of $2.2 billion in the week ending March 15, according to the investment bank.

DBS senior economist Radhika Rao said local currency sovereign bonds were also poised for gains on strong foreign inflows.

The biggest buyers of India’s government debt have so far been institutional investors such as banks, mutual funds and insurance firms — but including Indian government bonds in global indexes means the country will now be able to expand its fundraising avenues.

“It diversifies India’s funding sources, relieves pressure on domestic investors to have to absorb supply, drives funding costs lower, aiding the fiscal position, eliminates the need to have to issues U.S. dollar sovereign debt and encourages further capital market development,”
Abrdn’s Akintewe said.

— CNBC’s Clement Tan contributed to this story.

 

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Yes - it was pretty evident for a while for those following the news.

Just waiting for the official announcement.

Considering that the Giga Mexico seems to have been put on the back burner, it's possible this would become only the 3rd place outside the US to host a Gigafactory after Shanghai & Berlin.

It's possible this would also be the sole manufacturing base for the upcoming sub-$30k Tesla model. Huge opportunity to be tapped both for increasing the competition in local EV market + exports.
 

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This is HUGE!

@Nilgiri

Tata Electronics inks deal with Tesla for semiconductor chips ahead of Elon Musk India visit: Report​


US EV automaker Tesla has signed a strategic deal with Tata Electronics to acquire semiconductor chips for its worldwide operations, according to a report by The Economic Times. The reported deal, which was executed discreetly as per the report, shows Tesla is interested in building a supply chain in India that goes beyond local revenue generation.

This comes in the backdrop of the EV automaker's chief Elon Musk's reported visit to India, where he will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and is expected to announce potential Indian investments

Moneycontrol couldn't independently verify the report.

"Looking forward to meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in India!,"
Musk had said on April 10 in a post on X.

More:


Original report for those with subscription:


The 22-28nm fab being built by Tata will ensure India commands a sizeable market share in the medium-end (automotive, IoT etc.) of the semiconductor space across the world.
 

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++++


Peak XV Partners-backed fabless semiconductor startup Mindgrove Technologies said on Sunday that it launched what it claimed is India’s first commercial high-performance SoC (system on chip). Named Secure IoT, it is designed for IoT devices and will likely cost 30% less than other chips in similar segments.

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Billionaire Anil Agarwal-led Vedanta Ltd on Friday said it has acquired an additional 46.57% stake in Japanese display major AvanStrate Inc for $78.3 million through its wholly owned subsidiary, Cairn India Holdings Ltd.

AvanStrate produces glass substrates for Gen 4 to Gen 8 TFT LCD (thin-film-transistor liquid-crystal display) panels, which are primarily used in electronic devices such as televisions, laptops, smartphones, tablets, wearables, and other displays including automotive and medical equipment.
 

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Lam Research expanding Semiconductor Fabrication Equipment supply chain ecosystem in India

by Nidhi Singal for Business Today

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Fueling India’s ambition of creating a 360-degree ecosystem for semiconductor manufacturing, including the establishment of Semiconductor Wafer Fab Equipment (WEF) manufacturing, Lam Research is expanding its global semiconductor fabrication equipment supply chain to India. The US-headquartered Lam Research designs and builds products for semiconductor manufacturing.

Earlier, Business Today reported on the Ministry of Electronics and IT's pursuit of developing a downstream ecosystem—industries that utilize the output to manufacture finished products, including equipment manufacturing.

Ashwini Vaishnaw, Minister of Electronics & IT, had previously informed Business Today that having manufacturers of wafer fabrication equipment (WFE) is an integral part of the India Semiconductor Mission, and his ministry is open to introducing a scheme like SPECS or the Scheme for Promotion of Manufacturing of Electronic Components and Semiconductors.

Now, Lam Research is assessing capabilities across various supply chain segments and exploring India-based suppliers who can collaborate to fulfill the need for precision components, custom parts, high purity gas delivery systems, and other assemblies required for cutting-edge semiconductor wafer fabrication equipment. The company's "close to customer" strategy drives collaboration with thousands of suppliers worldwide, enhancing resilience against region-specific supply chain issues and preventing bottlenecks.

"We are proud to be expanding our supply chain in India," said Rangesh Raghavan, corporate vice president, and general manager at Lam Research India. "By enhancing Lam’s strong global supply infrastructure with capabilities from local suppliers, integrators, and other strategic providers, we aim to enhance the flexibility of our supply chain while further supporting the semiconductor ecosystem in India, where Lam has been a proud leader for more than two decades."

Previously, Danish Faruqui, CEO of Fab Economics, had informed Business Today that India’s proactive inclusion of Semiconductor WFE Manufacturing as part of India’s semiconductor decadal roadmap is not only existential for the domestic semiconductor ecosystem but also a masterstroke by India based on global geopolitics and geoeconomics of semiconductors.

He stated, "Many across the world have cited India’s foray into semiconductors as a copy approach to China and described it as 'China – 30 years back,' but with the recent announcement, India has taken a completely different approach from China and applied learnings from China’s cardinal mistake in setting up a domestic semiconductor ecosystem."

 

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Glad this project is on track.
The previous govt screwed up the state real bad. Their treasury is empty and in deep debt
 

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The previous govt screwed up the state real bad. Their treasury is empty and in deep debt
As Naidu is the kingmaker now he will get more funds from the modi government. Jagan should be thrown in jail for what he has done to this project and his mismanagement of their economy.
 

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As Naidu is the kingmaker now he will get more funds from the modi government. Jagan should be thrown in jail for what he has done to this project and his mismanagement of their economy.
Rumors that Jagan is planning to merge his party with Congress which'll make it harder to be put in jail. On a different note, Polavaram project should be AP govt's #1 priority
 

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Rumors that Jagan is planning to merge his party with Congress which'll make it harder to be put in jail. On a different note, Polavaram project should be AP govt's #1 priority
Unlikely that Naidu will get anything more than usual. ….. if BJP needs his support then he needs BJp support to stay in power. Amravati plan will materialize but with his own resources and some from the federal government.
 

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