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ST Team
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Govt announces semicon policy
The Central government has announced a host of incentives in its much-awaited semiconductor policy to buoy the semiconductor ecosystem in the country. As per the new policy, the government will bear 20 percent of the capital expenditure in the first 10 years if a unit is located inside SEZs and 25 percent in case of other units.
For semiconductor manufacturing (wafer fabs) plants, the threshold Net Present Value (NPV) of investments would be Rs 2,500 crore. The announcement is perceived as a partial victory for the high-tech manufacturing sector in India and is expected to attract investments of over $10 billion (Rs. 44,167 crores), besides generating employment. Assuming the projects have a 1:1 debt to equity ratio, the government is likely to restrict its participation to around 26 percent of the equity.

India to invest $220 bn in nanotech
Eminent scientist C.N Rao expressed that India is likely to invest $ 220 million (Rs. 971 crores) in the next two to three years on nano-technology. Rao who is also the chief scientific adviser to India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was speaking at the inauguration of the Amrita center for Nano-sciences (ACNS) at the Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences. This was the first nano-technology center for tissue engineering and stem cell research funded by the government of India.
India’s plans follow broader trends in the industry, and the present measures are seen as an effort to catch up with countries that already have a head start. While China has made the biggest inputs in nano-science, the U.S. comes third on the list, with India lagging way behind.

Indian IT forays into China
Enhancing the reach of the Indian IT industry, two Indian firms forayed into neighboring China in the past one month. While Satyam Computer Services announced that it would launch a Global Delivery Campus (GDC) in Nanjing, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) secured a major contract with the prestigious China Foreign Exchange Trade System under the Chinese central bank. Infosys too has assured an investment of $65 million (Rs. 287 crores) in the Communist nation by 2010.

With 2,500 seats, the Nanjing facility will be Satyam’s largest development center outside India. The TCS joint venture with China Foreign Exchange Trade System, on the other hand, will provide IT services and solutions to China’s domestic market as well as major markets particularly Japan as well as the rest of Asia-Pacific region, US, and Europe.

Shell to launch Bangalore facility
Chemicals major Shell will open the first technology center in the country in Bangalore by 2010. This will be the first R&D center for energy business in Asia, said Deepka Mukarji, Country Head Corporate and External affairs, Shell India. Currently located at a leased facility in the city, the 200-strong Shell Technology India team hopes to ramp up its strength to 1,000 in the next five years, said Bob Firth, President Shell Technology.
According to Firth the research and development campus will be spread over 40 acres. The application for land for the facility is already before the Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board (KIADB).

Microsoft launches Windows Vista
Almost six years after its last upgrade, Microsoft launched ‘Vista’, the new version Windows earlier this month. The 18 international language versions of the new operating system include Hindi, with 13 Indian language editions awaited within a year.
Over 3,000 engineers at the company’s India Development Center in Hyderabad had “significant involvement’’ in Vista’s development, particularly in
portions dealing with remote access, PC backup and file system utilities.
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