India Market Watch: India’s Attractive Renewables Market, Emergency Response to WannaCry Ransomware Attack

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India second most attractive renewables market

A recent Ernst & Young (EY) report showcases India’s move up to the second spot in the ‘Renewable energy country attractiveness index’ 2017 from the third position held in the last two years. China tops the index and the US comes third.

The new standings reflect changing priorities in India and the US. While India is invested in improving its renewable energy capabilities, the US has rolled back its stand on climate change and revived its focus on the domestic coal industry.

Among areas of concern for the Indian renewables market are: the management of intermittent renewables when solar availability declines in the evening during peak usage, the cost and availability of energy storage technology, promotion of rooftop solar installations, and compliance with the Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO).

Capital infusion and ease of foreign investment and purchasing rules in the sector are also key to ensuring its economic stability.

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Huge job cuts anticipated in India’s IT industry

Seven of the biggest companies in the Indian IT sector plan to lay off 4.5 percent of their workforce in 2017. That translates to roughly 56,000 engineers, according to broad estimates.

The bleak forecast comes at a time when the Indian IT industry is undergoing a critical stage of transition. Newer technologies – automation, robotics, machine learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI), and the Internet of Things (IoT) – have dramatically changed job profiles and expertise required as well as reshaped the need for a much leaner workforce.

A concerted re-skilling effort will need to be addressed by the country’s education sector. The IT sector is a big contributor to India’s GDP, and the impending layoffs will have serious implications for the government’s job creation drive.

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Demonetization and the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) data

The latest Index of Industrial Production (IIP) series shows decline in manufacturing growth in India from December 2016 to March 2017, with the base year revised to 2011-12. Growth in manufacturing slowed down to its lowest levels as compared to the same time period in 2011-12.

Demonetization is largely responsible for this decline as 2016-17 overall registered a 1.9 percent rise in growth over the previous fiscal year. Thus, growth momentum from earlier months was derailed after November.

Since IIP data only covers the formal, organized sector, the real impact of demonetization on the larger informal manufacturing sector is yet to be fully captured.

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WannaCry ransomware attack exposes vulnerabilities for businesses

Friday’s WannaCry ransomware attack targeting the Microsoft Windows operating system infected more than 230,000 computers in 150 countries, with the software demanding ransom payments in the cryptocurrency ‘bitcoin’ in 28 languages. It is labelled as unprecedented in scale by the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol).

India has been the third worst hit nation by the ransomware attack with over 45,000 computers affected. Cyber security experts say the most vulnerable are organizations who do not have “security hygiene” in place. This is mostly in the case of remote branches of large corporates, telecom companies, and banks, as well as small and medium sized businesses.

In India, an advisory was issued through the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In). Overseeing the cyber security effort to patch systems is the National Informatics Centre (NIC) for all central and state government systems; Reserve Bank of India, National Payments Corporation of India, and Unique Identification Authority of India for protection of the digital payments ecosystem; the Department of Telecommunications to alert Internet service providers; and the Data Security Council of India and Centre for Development of Advanced Computing to safeguard the industry and private sector users in India.


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