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Crisis management plan imperative to counter cybercrime threats in India: ASSOCHAM-PwC study
Dec 30,2016

Considering that Indian cyberspace is vulnerable to cyber crime, the country must formulate a crisis management plan to tackle cyber attacks, cyber terrorism and cyber espionage attempts, noted a recent ASSOCHAM-PwC joint study.

n++It is imperative for law enforcement agencies to have a system which will have a collaborative framework for receiving video feeds on a need basis from closed-circuit television (CCTV) surveillance systems and subsystems,n++ highlighted an ASSOCHAM-PwC joint study titled Safe cities: Collaborative monitoring - For the community, by the community.

Leveraging the capabilities of a good video management system (VMS), when clubbed with video analytics, will also allow efficient access to these external camera feeds at the command and control centre.

n++Collaborative monitoring of video feeds not only facilitates greater coverage of video surveillance within the city but also serves as deterrence for crimes and assists law enforcement agencies in controlling incident escalation, crime detection and its investigation,n++ said the study.

Collaborative monitoring is a unique tool, wherein the security and law enforcement agency takes advantage of the extensive network of surveillance cameras deployed by communities across the city as well as the cameras of other private and government establishments on a need basis.

It is an extremely prudent enabler for police department, as while they strengthen their bond with the communities, they can use any information or footage gathered from these security cameras to support investigation and the prosecution of criminals.

The advantage provided by leveraging the extensive network of external cameras ensures enhanced crime monitoring through a cost-effective, widespread and scalable model.

However, while implementing the collaborative monitoring framework there is a need to carefully manage certain risks like conflict with existing laws and regulatory proposals, lack of awareness within communities, funding related issues, privacy and anonymity related issues and others to garner maximum fruits out of such initiatives.

Showcasing the examples of the impact of collaborative surveillance, the study highlighted that crime graph in Hyderabad came down by 14 per cent in 2015 compared to that in previous year. While UK based Scotland Yard security agency used CCTV footage as evidence in 95 per cent of murder cases.

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After Demonetization, Steps Taken by Government to Ensure That no Hardship is Faced by the Tourists
Dec 29,2016

After demonetization, the Government has taken a number of steps to ensure that no hardship is faced by the tourists and the industry is not affected. Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) smoothly transitioned to cashless mode of payment by simplifying process of e G tickets. Government efforts have paid dividend as there has been a notable growth in the comparative figures of Foreign Tourists Arrival (FTA), Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEEs) and online sale of e G tickets after demonetization. The figures for the same are as follows: ParticularsNovember, 2015November, 2016Growth in PercentageFTA8.16 Lakh8.91 Lakh9.3%FEE11,431 Crore14,474 Crore14.4%

It can thus be observed that demonization did not have any impact on the Foreign Tourist Arrival and Foreign Exchange Earnings which have shown robust growth over the comparative period last year. It may also be noted that the number of e-tickets sold during 09-11-2016 to 08-12-2016 increase to 28,176 from 2807 during 09-10-2016 to 08-11-2016 with corresponding amount being Rs. 181.49 lakh and Rs. 3.10 lakh respectively. It can therefore be seen that sale of eGtickets and earnings from have increased significantly by 10 and 58 times respectively as people are buying tickets for ASI monuments online through cashless payments.

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Take digital era to in flights; ASSOCHAM seeks PM nod
Dec 29,2016

In an era of digital push, the ASSOCHAM has approached the Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi and other concerned senior ministers to permit satellite -based In Flight Connectivity (IFC) in the aircraft flying over the Indian air space, both for the domestic and foreign airlines.

n++IFC promises to substantially improve safety of airlines as it enables flight tracking in respect of aircraft in near real time reporting latitude, longitude, altitude, true heading and ground speed; Streaming of flight data recorder off the aircraft in real time; and Facilitating real time intervention for safety and security based on flight data monitoring,n++ the chamber said in a similar letter to the Prime Minister, Home Minister Mr Rajnath Singh, Civil Aviation Minister Mr Ashok Gajapati Raju and the Communication Minister Mr Manoj Sinha.

The ASSOCHAM letter said besides increased safety, the IFC would enable the passengers to stay connected and make use of several services. n++Aviation is facing a technological revolution. As aircraft becomes smart, fully connected machine, new services can be introduced to benefit the passenger experience, grow revenue for operators and improve safety. All this relies on stable and safe connectivity - from the cabin to the cockpit. IFC can in fact cover both cabin service provision to the passengers and cockpit safety and security services, such as flight trackingn++, it said.

Customer surveys clearly bring out that travellers expect to stay connected via their smart devices and laptops even while flying. Vast majority of them wants IFC and in fact choose an airline based on broadband availability. A number of airlines (72 airlines by the end of 2015) have already installed or announced plans to install passenger connectivity system on board and the number of connected commercial aircraft is increasing rapidly - thanks to the satellite high speed internet.

A large number of countries and airlines have already operationalised the in-flight connectivity. Even Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal have permitted IFC in planes over- flying their territory while India is yet to take any decision. n++As a result each time an aircraft equipped with IFC enters Indian air space, it is forced to switch off the service to the passengers till it passes the Indian skies, causing hardship to the passengersn++, the chamber letter signed by its Secretary General Mr D S Rawat said.

It said the IFC is imperative for businessmen or other individuals to stay connected but its absence in the Indian territory which consumes on an average two hours of a journey, disrupts the communication n++ Earlier India permits the IFC, the better both for the air passengers as also for Indias image as a progressive country. IFC also enables digital payment in the aircraft while in the air and eliminates the need of cash.

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Centre assistance of Rs.489 cr for improving water supply and sewerage networks in Delhi
Dec 28,2016

Ministry of Urban Development has approved the Annual Action Plan of Delhi for 2016-17 under Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) with a project investment of Rs.266 cr for improving water supply and sewerage networks. Similar Action Plan for 2015-16 of Delhi with an investment of Rs. 223 cr was approved earlier in January this year. With this, the total investment approved for Delhi under Atal Mission for improving basic urban infrastructure is Rs.489 cr.

The entire project costs of Rs.489 cr will be provided as central assistance to the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi under Atal Mission Guidelines. Of this, Rs.215 cr will be invested in improving water supply, Rs.254 cr for improving sewerage networks and septage management, Rs.8.00 cr for drainage networks and Rs.12 cr for developing open and green spaces.

Under the AMRUT Actin Plan approved for 2016-17 for Delhi; Delhi Jal Board will take up five water supply projects in East Municipal Corporation of Delhi area at a total cost of Rs.102 cr, one sewerage project in North MCD area at a cost of Rs.95 cr and another sewerage project in South MCD area at a cost of Rs.55 cr. in addition, South MCD will take up a storm water drainage project with an investment of Rs.8.00 cr, East MCD will take up one park development at a cost of Rs.4.00 cr while New Delhi Municipal Council will take up one park development at a cost of Rs. 2.70 cr.

Under AMRUT Action Plan approved for 2015-16, one water supply project is to be taken up at a cost of Rs.113 cr in South MCD area and a sewerage project with an investment of Rs.104 cr in North MCD area.

As per AMRUT Guidelines, a total allocation of central assistance of Rs.804 cr has been made for the mission period based on total urban population in the four municipal areas of NDMC and North, South and East MCDs.

Delhi Government is now required AMRUT Action Plan for the remaining three years in one go for advance approval. Ministry of Urban Development has already approved such three year plans for 14 States.

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Cabinet approves International Solar Alliance (ISA): Signing of the Framework Agreement
Dec 28,2016

The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has given its ex-post facto approval to the proposal of Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) for ratification of ISAs Framework Agreement by India. ISA was launched jointly by the Prime Minister of India and the President of France on 30th November, 2015 at Paris on the side-lines of the 21st CoP meeting of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

The ISA will strive to bring together more than 121 solar resource rich nations for coordinated research, low cost financing and rapid deployment. The foundation stone of the ISA Headquarters was laid at Gwal Pahari, Guragaon in Haryana. India has already committed the required support of operationalization of ISA. ISA will put India globally in a leadership role in climate and renewable energy issues. It will also give a platform to showcase its solar programmes.

Background

The Agreement was opened for signature on the sidelines of 22nd CoP meeting at Marrakesh, Morocco. The Agreement invokes the Paris Declaration on ISA and encapsulates the vision of the prospective member nations. UNDP and World Bank have already announced their partnership with the ISA. Till now, 25 nations have signed the Framework Agreement.

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Cabinet approves need-based sale of surplus land of four Pharmaceutical PSUs
Dec 28,2016

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the sale of surplus land of Hindustan Antibiotics (HAL), Indian Drugs & Pharmaceuticals (IDPL), Rajasthan Drugs & Pharmaceuticals (RDPL) and Bengal Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals (BCPL), as would be required, to meet their outstanding liabilities. In this way, the national assets would be utilized in the best national interest.

The sale would be through open competitive bidding to government agencies and the outstanding liabilities will be met from the sale proceeds. Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) / Voluntary Separation Scheme (VSS) will also be implemented in these Public Sector Undertakings.

The remaining part of the land will be managed in accordance with the guidelines of the Department of Investment & Public Assets Management (DIPAM) and Department of Public Enterprises (DPE).

After meeting the liabilities, steps will be taken to close IDPL and RDPL. The option of strategic sale will be explored for HAL and BCPL. The Department of Pharmaceuticals, the administrative department for these undertakings, will take time bound follow-up action.

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Nearly 1.2 Million People to Benefit from All-Weather Roads under US$ 235 Million Bihar Rural Roads Project, India
Dec 28,2016

The World Bank has approved a US$ 235 million credit for the Bihar Rural Roads Project to improve and effectively manage the states rural road network.

The project will support the construction of about 2,500 km of rural roads under the Mukhiya Mantri Gram Sampark Yojana (MMGSY). The roads will be constructed using cost-effective designs and will incorporate engineering measures that ensure road safety. The project will also suggest better contract management practices to avoid time and cost over-runs. This will gradually help transform the Rural Works Department (RWD) into a modern and high-performing road agency capable of building and maintaining its road assets on a sound technical and financial footing.

This project will provide all-weather road access to some 1.2 million people, most of whom belong to the poor and vulnerable sections of society (30 percent of the people who are to benefit live below the poverty line and about 48 percent of them are women). The project will generate direct employment of about 20 million person days for local laborers through a rural road construction and maintenance program. The Government of Bihar has made road connectivity to each habitation among its top seven priorities. In addition, its aim is to bring all parts of the state within five hours of travel time from the capital city of Patna. While Bihar has constructed about 60,000 km of rural roads in the last decade, nearly 49 percent of its people still lack access to an all-weather road.

Catalyzing connectivity and enhancing mobility is a critical plank for transforming rural India,n++ said Junaid Ahmad, World Bank Country Director in India. By investing in Bihars rural roads, this project is in fact tapping into the vast potential of the states agriculture and agro-based industries - a sector critical for higher non-farm employment opportunities and increases in rural wages.

An important aspect of the project will be the use of climate resilient and cost-effective engineering designs using local materials and industrial by-products. The project will also use the alluvial sand that accumulates on large tracts of arable land after floods. This is expected to save more than 25 percent in construction costs for rural roads, said Ashok Kumar, Highways Engineer and World Banks Task Team Leader for the project. The state Rural Works Department will also undertake a climate vulnerability assessment of the existing rural road network, with a focus on floods, and incorporate suitable remedial measures in its road design, construction, and maintenance program.

The RWD will prepare a road safety action plan for rural roads. Road safety engineering measures such as improved lane markings, protection structures, and road signs will be provided for. The project will also undertake simple road safety audits during the design and construction stage as well as consult with local communities to identify their requirements for any road safety enhancements.

In addition to providing all-weather roads, the project will help the Rural Works Department to preserve and upgrade existing road assets and strengthen its institutional effectiveness. This will facilitate inclusive growth, economic development and access to markets for rural Bihar, added Ashok Kumar.

The credit is from the International Development Association (IDA) - the World Banks concessionary lending arm - with a maturity of 25 years, including a 5-year grace period.

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Cabinet approves Road Connectivity Project for Left Wing Extremism Affected Areas
Dec 28,2016

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has approved a Centrally Sponsored Scheme namely Road Connectivity Project for Left Wing Extremism (LWE) Affected Areas to improve the rural road connectivity in the worst LWE affected districts from security angle.

The project will be implemented as a vertical under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) to provide connectivity with necessary culverts and cross-drainage structures in 44 worst affected LWE districts and adjoining districts, critical from security and communication point of view. The roads will be operable throughout the year irrespective of all weather conditions.

Under the project, construction/upgradation of 5,411.81 km road and 126 bridges/Cross Drainage works will be taken up at an estimated cost of Rs.11,724.53 crore in the above district. The fund sharing pattern of LWE road project will be same as that of PMGSY i.e. in the ratio of 60:40 between the Centre and States for all States except for eight North Eastern and three Himalayan States (Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh & Uttarakhand) for which it is 90:10. Ministry of Finance will have to allocate to Ministry of Rural Development Rs.7,034.72 crore for this project during the period of implementation 2016-17 to 2019-20.

Ministry of Rural Development will be the sponsoring Ministry as well as the implementing Ministry of this project. The likely duration of implementation of the project is four years from 2016-17 to 2019-20.

The Road Connectivity Project for LWE Affected Areas is envisaged in LWE States including the 35 worst affected LWE districts which account for 90% of total LWE violence in the country and 9 adjoining districts critical from security angle as per the inputs and lists of roads / districts provided by the Ministry of Home Affairs. The roads taken up under the scheme would include Other District Roads (ODRs), Village Roads (VRs) and upgradation of the existing Major District Roads (MDRs) that are critical from the security point of view. Bridges up to a span of 100 meters, critical from security angle would also be funded on these roads.

The PMGSY guideline does not permit construction/upgradation of MDRs. However, keeping special circumstances of LWE areas in view, MDRs would be taken up under the scheme as a special dispensation. The National Highways and the State Highways would be excluded from this project. The roads to be constructed under the scheme have been identified by the Ministry of Home Affairs in close consultation with the State Governments and the security agencies, by following a process of extensive consultation.

Background:

Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) was launched on 25th December, 2000 as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme with the objective to provide all-weather road connectivity to all eligible unconnected habitations in rural areas of the country. The programme envisages connecting all eligible unconnected habitations with a population of 500 persons and above (as per 2001 Census) in plain areas and 250 persons and above (as per 2001 Census) in Special Category States namely Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tripura, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir and Uttarakhand, Tribal (Schedule-V) areas, the Desert Areas (as identified in Desert Development Programme) and in Select Tribal and Backward Districts (as identified by the Ministry of Home Affairs/Planning Commission). For most intensive Integrated Action Plan (IAP) blocks as identified by Ministry of Home Affairs the unconnected habitations with population of100 and above (as per 2001 Census) are eligible to be covered under PMGSY.

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Cabinet approves Road Connectivity Project for Left Wing Extremism Affected Areas
Dec 28,2016

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has approved a Centrally Sponsored Scheme namely Road Connectivity Project for Left Wing Extremism (LWE) Affected Areas to improve the rural road connectivity in the worst LWE affected districts from security angle.

The project will be implemented as a vertical under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) to provide connectivity with necessary culverts and cross-drainage structures in 44 worst affected LWE districts and adjoining districts, critical from security and communication point of view. The roads will be operable throughout the year irrespective of all weather conditions.

Under the project, construction/upgradation of 5,411.81 km road and 126 bridges/Cross Drainage works will be taken up at an estimated cost of Rs.11,724.53 crore in the above district. The fund sharing pattern of LWE road project will be same as that of PMGSY i.e. in the ratio of 60:40 between the Centre and States for all States except for eight North Eastern and three Himalayan States (Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh & Uttarakhand) for which it is 90:10. Ministry of Finance will have to allocate to Ministry of Rural Development Rs.7,034.72 crore for this project during the period of implementation 2016-17 to 2019-20.

Ministry of Rural Development will be the sponsoring Ministry as well as the implementing Ministry of this project. The likely duration of implementation of the project is four years from 2016-17 to 2019-20.

The Road Connectivity Project for LWE Affected Areas is envisaged in LWE States including the 35 worst affected LWE districts which account for 90% of total LWE violence in the country and 9 adjoining districts critical from security angle as per the inputs and lists of roads / districts provided by the Ministry of Home Affairs. The roads taken up under the scheme would include Other District Roads (ODRs), Village Roads (VRs) and upgradation of the existing Major District Roads (MDRs) that are critical from the security point of view. Bridges up to a span of 100 meters, critical from security angle would also be funded on these roads.

The PMGSY guideline does not permit construction/upgradation of MDRs. However, keeping special circumstances of LWE areas in view, MDRs would be taken up under the scheme as a special dispensation. The National Highways and the State Highways would be excluded from this project. The roads to be constructed under the scheme have been identified by the Ministry of Home Affairs in close consultation with the State Governments and the security agencies, by following a process of extensive consultation.

Background:

Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) was launched on 25th December, 2000 as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme with the objective to provide all-weather road connectivity to all eligible unconnected habitations in rural areas of the country. The programme envisages connecting all eligible unconnected habitations with a population of 500 persons and above (as per 2001 Census) in plain areas and 250 persons and above (as per 2001 Census) in Special Category States namely Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tripura, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir and Uttarakhand, Tribal (Schedule-V) areas, the Desert Areas (as identified in Desert Development Programme) and in Select Tribal and Backward Districts (as identified by the Ministry of Home Affairs/Planning Commission). For most intensive Integrated Action Plan (IAP) blocks as identified by Ministry of Home Affairs the unconnected habitations with population of100 and above (as per 2001 Census) are eligible to be covered under PMGSY.

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It is vital to eliminate convenience charge by the banks, says TRAI Chairman RS Sharma
Dec 28,2016

n++Cost, Convenience, and Confidence are crucial factors for a successful Digital Payment System implementation in India,n++ said Shri R. S. Sharma, Chairman, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) during a seminar on n++Demonetization to Digital Remonetizationn++ held at FICCI, Federation House.

FICCI organised an ICT policy dialogue with the agenda to discuss the challenges and opportunities that lie before the ICT sector, government and the regulators following the demonetization move. During his address Shri R. S. Sharma highlighted the pillars of Digital India and mentioned the need of an effective Digital Infrastructure, and how availability and affordability of digital solutions formulates the base of Digital Remonetization. The TRAI chairman highlighted how JAM Trinity creates a robust system within India, which further creates a digital inclusion with 1.1 billion Aadhar users across India.

Shri R. S. Sharma recommended that, in order to create a well operational and sustainable digital and cashless economy, it is vital to eliminate convenience charge by the banks. He firmly suggested that interoperatable or interlinked digital wallets can additionally support the digital payment systems of India. Among other number of recommendations by TRAI chairman, Shri Sharma also mentioned that the implementation of Bharatnet will be faster and effective with PPP model, and further combined with Digital Cable Television System, India will reach a new level of digital connectivity.

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Centre launches IVRS platform to address the problem of call drops
Dec 28,2016

Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has been taking various initiatives to address the problem of call drops faced by subscribers in mobile networks. The Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) have installed more than 1,30,000 additional BTSs (Base Transceiver Stations) across the country during the period from June 2016 to October 2016 and further plan to install more than 1,50,000 additional BTSs across the country up to 31st March 2017.

In order to obtain direct feedback from subscribers and use that feedback to solve the problem of call drops, DoT has launched an Integrated Voice Response System (IVRS) system in Delhi, Mumbai, Punjab, UP, Uttarakhand, Maharashtra and Goa on 23rd December 2016. The IVRS system will be extended to the entire country very soon.

Subscribers will receive an IVRS call from the short code 1955. They will be asked a few questions on the subject of call drops such as- n++Are they facing call drops in their area or not? They can also send a toll-free SMS to the same short code 1955, containing the location of city/town/village, where they might be facing the problem of frequent call drops. The feedback of the subscribers will be shared with the Telecom Service Providers so that they can take corrective steps in the identified areas, to improve the mobile network for addressing the problem of call drops.

Minister of Communications Shri Manoj Sinha said that n++the platform is a channel to capture direct feedback from the consumers and this voice of the customer can be used to improve the services that are being offered to themn++. He said, initially the government will use the platform for call drops and will extend this to capture consumer feedback in other areas as well in the future.

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Number of airports to be doubled to 150 : Jayant Sinha
Dec 28,2016

n++Aviation sector is the sunrise sector of growth and going through profound changesn++, remarked Mr. Jayant Sinha, Minister of State for Civil Aviation, while addressing the 89th Annual General Meeting of FICCI.

The aviation sector has dramatic headroom for growth with 150 million passenger trips a year as compared to China with 450 million passenger trips and USA at 800 million passenger trips a year. The total revenue of airlines is Rs 1.4 lakh crore and is growing at a rate of 20%. He added that as of today 9 crore passenger travel domestically and 5 crore internationally.

He emphasized that the government is committed to safety and security and will launch the unified command of CISF in the entire aviation system.

The minister specified that there are three priorities for the government. The first is better, delightful and digital experience through AirSewa, which serves as an integrated collaborative platform. Adopting the Kaizen principle, the Ministry will bring continuous improvement in the areas of airport facilities, decrease in immigration lines, customer services etc. Second, under the Regional Connectivity Scheme, the government is working for expansion of aviation map from 75 to 150 airports in the country. Recently the airports of Kanpur and Bhatinda have become operational under the scheme.

Going ahead, he said that government is working to build airport capacity by expanding existing terminals, building new terminals and developing greenfield airports. The Minister said that Rs 2.5-3 lakh crore investment is required for airports excluding the land acquisition cost. He added that government is a developing regulatory framework for the aviation sector to make it asset class attractive.

Asked about the performance of Air India, the Minister said that all operating factors including load factor, cabin crew are looking positive. However, a clear strategy is to be defined to make it financially robust.

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Smart cities mission can aid in promoting the theatre, dance and crafts industry: FICCI - EY report
Dec 28,2016

The Smart Cities mission provides a significant opportunity to promote creative industries in India, notes an FICCI-EY report titled n++Creative arts in Indian++. Launched at the Smart cities, Art Cities, the report covers the opportunities provided by the Indian performing arts industry.

Creative clusters in Smart Cities, which are unique to the character, resources and the local community can serve as a focal point to brand a citys unique cultural identity and embrace its historic significance.

The report also includes a survey with eminent personalities in the industry to understand the challenges faced by the sector. Inadequate infrastructure has emerged as the top most challenge, with obtaining sponsorships and onerous regulations governing the sector completing the top three.

It also highlights the regulatory support the industry expects from the government, with easing out of permissions, rationalisation of entertainment tax and availability of credit emerging as the top three.

The report also highlights three key recommendations for the sustained success of the Indian theatre, dance and crafts industry:

- Form an association/ body of India theatre/ dance and craft practitioners that exclusively worked for the upliftment and promotion of the sector

- Involve the private sector to invest in the creative arts of the country by adequately incentivising them through tax incentives

- Develop creative clusters showcasing the regions local culture within Smart Cities to attract tourists and residents

This first ever report on the performing arts and handicrafts industry in India focuses on the current size of the industry, funding mechanisms, key opportunities and challenges faced by the industry, along with best practices followed in other countries and how they drive and fund creative arts.

This report is a result of over 30 interviews conducted by FICCI and EY of eminent theatre, dance and craft personalities to understand their perspective of the industry and its growth opportunities/ aspects, key challenges faced, support needed from the Government, and other best practices adopted.

Drawing on both secondary research and primary data collected through interviews, the report aims to provide recommendations to the Government on how the current status of the industry can be enhanced through adequate investment and funding measures.

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India targeting 3.5% of global trade by 2020 : Nirmala Sitharaman
Dec 28,2016

The country is targeting to achieve a share of 3.5% of the global trade by 2020 and there is a need to explore new markets for traditional industries and encourage new industries to penetrate the global markets, said, Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry (Independent Charge). She was addressing the delegates at the 89th Annual General Meeting of FICCI.

In the context of increasing protectionism globally, she emphasized the importance of standards and accreditation for achieving the targeted share of global trade and also for preventing imports of sub-standard products in the country.

Sharing her Ministrys activities in the areas of standards, the Minister said that every year national and regional roadshows are organized to make the industry aware of the global standards and accreditation.

She also appreciated the role of service sector in exports and standardization. The share of service sector in Indias GDP has increased to 7.5% despite the severe challenges being faced by it.

R V Kanoria, Past President, FICCI, said that the world has become increasingly uncertain in the context of Brexit, referendum in Italy and other such events making it more challenging for India to bring in more investments and increasing trade.

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M-wallet retail spends may see fourfold jump in near term: Study
Dec 28,2016

Post-demonetisation, the average wallet spend for retail has witnessed a huge jump and is expected to increase from Rs 500-700 prior to Rs 2,000-10,000 in the near term, according to the just concluded joint study by ASSOCHAM and RNCOS.

n++The mobile wallet market in India has been greatly benefited by demonetisation and its share in the total mobile payment volume transactions is likely to rise from 20 per cent in FY16 to 57 per cent by FY22,n++ according to the study titled M-wallet: Scenario post-demonetisation, jointly conducted by ASSOCHAM and business consulting firm RNCOS.

n++The government has hinted of not remonetising all of the scrapped currency and aims to fill the gap by promoting digital/cashless payment mode, this is bound to further boost prospects for m-wallet sector in India,n++ said Mr D.S. Rawat along with Mr Shushmul Maheshwari, CEO & founder, RNCOS and Mr Babu Lal Jain, chairman of the ASSOCHAM National Council on Cyber & Network Security.

M-wallet transactions in India are likely to grow at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of over 160 per cent to rise from just over half a billion in FY16 to 260 billion by FY22 driven by growing usage of smartphones, robust mobile internet penetration, growth of e-commerce sector together with increasing disposable incomes.

While in value terms, the m-wallet transactions in India have grown about 20 times to reach Rs 206 billion in FY16 from Rs 10 billion in FY13, highlighted the study.

n++It is anticipated that market value of m-wallet transactions in India will grow at a CAGR of over 200 per cent to reach Rs 275 trillion by FY22 from Rs 206 billion in FY16,n++ it noted.

Thus, taking over traditional payment modes, the m-wallet market in India which was estimated at about Rs 1.5 billion in FY16 will grow at over 190 per cent to reach Rs 1,512 billion by FY22.

The study also highlighted that post demonetisation, the mobile payment transaction volume in India is likely to grow at a CAGR of over 130 per cent to reach 460 billion by FY22 from just about three billion in FY16, the study noted.

While mobile payment transactions in value terms are likely to cross Rs 2,200 trillion mark by FY22 from just over Rs 8 trillion in FY16 thereby clocking a CAGR of 150 per cent.

It also highlighted that share of mobile banking segment in mobile payment market is likely to register significant increase from eight per cent in FY14 to 56 per cent in FY17.

Issues & solutions:

The study however said that it is a challenge for the sector to bring copious number of shoppers preferring cash on delivery (COD) and other modes of payment on m-wallet platform. However, with the ease of payment along with other benefits offered by m-wallets, users preferring COD will switch to the m-payment platform in the coming years as it has a significant potential to grow, and expand its user base as we go ahead.

With a view to win customers trust, companies operating in the mobile-wallet sector should take measures like providing effective, completely secure, private and reliable services, 3-D or OTP (one time password) security options, data back-up system and others to spread awareness among people.

Crystal clear policies and a common regulatory body for all m-wallets (closed, semi-closed and others) are required to bring clarity in procedures and policies between m-wallet companies and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

n++A strong authentication mechanism must be put in place to bind the identity of the user to the authorization of the transaction thereby being extremely mindful of authentication and risk assessment,n++ suggested the ASSOCHAM-RNCOS joint study.

As the mobile payment space evolves, the stakeholders must create secure transactions that foster consumer trust, besides, m-wallet companies must provide a much more secure payment authentication process out to the masses.

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