Monday March 18, 2019
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Modi, Merkel seek to bolster bilateral ties

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NewsGram Staff Writer

Bengaluru: With Indian and German companies signing five agreements and automotive giant Bosch announcing Rs.650 crore investments in India on Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and German Chancellor Angela Merkel aimed at providing a new direction to bilateral ties by strengthening economic and business links.

Modi exhorted German industry to invest and ‘Make in India’ for a growing domestic market and huge export markets the world over, while Merkel exuded great confidence that ties would see a quantum leap.

Flagging the opportunities, ranging from building 50 million houses to setting up 100 smart cities, Modi said German investors and companies could also explore modernisation of the vast state-run railway network and stations to setting up of new railway corridors.

“Generation of 175 giga-watt of renewable energy to construction of transmission and distribution networks, national highways, bridges, and metro rails are among the investment opportunities beckoning the robust German industry,”  Modi said.

Digital India, Skill India and Startup campaigns were showcased to the high profile business delegation accompanying Merkel, who began a three-day official visit Sunday night.

Indian and German companies signed five agreements on smart mobile urban solutions, Software Defined Radios, development of solar projects, skills development in electrical semi conductors and collaboration in machine tools on Tuesday.

Earlier in the day, Bosch Ltd announced that Rs.650 crore would be invested in India for developing its innovation network when Modi and Merkel visited its establishment here.

At the Indo-German summit themed “Digitizing Tomorrow Together”, Modi assured global investors on the ease of doing business in India and addressed taxation concerns which many of them have.

Modi assured India would not resort to retrospective taxation, noting it had not levied minimum alternative tax (MAT) on foreign portfolio investors and deferred implementing the General Anti-Avoidance Rules (GAAR) by two more years.

He said they were hopeful of rolling out the Goods and Services Tax Bill from April 2016, and also announced a new bankruptcy code to hasten the pace of liquidation in stress cases.

“We are working on a new bankruptcy code and a company law tribunal will be set up to improve ease of doing business in India with a transparent and predictable tax regime,” Modi said

Stressing that the government had no business to be in business, he said the country was committed to protect Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) of all innovators and entrepreneurs.

In her address at the summit, Merkel said here country is interested in partnering with India in skill development, railways, infrastructure, energy, mobility and training.

“India needs highly skilled jobs and Germany needs highly skilled labour. In the framework of Skill India we need business links, science links and political links” she said.

Terming India as the silicon valley of Asia, she said 170 German companies are operating in Bengaluru and nearly 1,600 companies all over India, some of which are older than 100 years.

Merkel also highlighted that Indo-German bilateral trade reached up to 60 billion Euros and with a business volume of 10 billion Euros through German companies in India, Germany has become an important investor.

(With inputs from IANS)

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Is Internet Usage In India Calculated In A right Manner?

According to industry experts, the research methodology to derive the average number of Internet users would entail a large-format survey.

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According to Mohanty, Internet usage is calculated based on the number of people using Internet. Pixabay

If we look at government or independent research figures, Internet users in India are growing exponentially — currently hovering around 560 million and likely to cross 600 million by the end of the year.

According to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), India has amn Internet subscriber base of nearly 560 million, including 482 million broadband subscribers – which means 43 per cent overall Internet penetration.

The country has 366 million Internet subscribers in urban locations and 194 million in rural areas, says the latest TRAI report that came out in December.

The “ICUBETM 2018” report from market research firm Kantar IMRB said this week that the number of Internet users in the country will reach 627 million by the end of this year.

The numbers are overwhelming but when it comes to the methodology behind deriving the average number of Internet users, there appears some gap.

For example, if a person in a family has 2 mobile numbers and he or she uses multiple devices for Internet access, how is that accounted for?

According to industry experts, the research methodology to derive the average number of Internet users would entail a large-format survey.

“Such a survey would typically cover 50,000 to 1,00,000 households in India, spread across urban and rural India, and covering all socio-economic classes (SEC) segments,” says Satya Mohanty, Head-User Research Practice, CyberMedia Research (CMR).

According to Mohanty, Internet usage is calculated based on the number of people using Internet.

“Therefore, if in one household, there are three people using one device PC/smartphone, then it is calculated as three users instead of one user,” he told IANS.

internet
The numbers are overwhelming but when it comes to the methodology behind deriving the average number of Internet users, there appears some gap. Pixabay

The average number of users derived from the sample survey is extrapolated to the total number of households in India to find out total number of users.

“For example, consider that the survey findings point to the average number of Internet users per household being 2.5. And, in India, there is 250 million households. Replicating the average figure of 2.5 with the total number of households, we have 625 million Internet users in India,” Mohanty elaborated.

According to Kantar IMRB, their latest “ICUBETM 2018” report covered over 70,000 individuals, selected through a sampling process across over 400 urban areas and more than 1,500 rural locations.

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“As data costs plummeted, more Indians than ever before are experiencing broadband for the first time on mobile”. Pixabay

“ICUBE members are of users and not subscribers. Thus people carrying multiple phones will be counted as a single user,” Biswapriya Bhattacharjee, Executive Vice President, Kantar IMRB, told IANS.

Similarly, Bhattacharjee added, a person using his or her spouses/parents’ phone for Internet access will also be counted as an Internet user.

One thing, however, is clear: the data usage is growing thanks to Reliance Jio, along with the increasing number of smartphone and entry-level feature phone users.

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“Jio has been a transformative force in enabling digital inclusion, by connecting the unconnected. Since its foray, Jio has achieved a remarkable feat of covering 95 per cent of India’s population with aggressive 4G network roll-out aided by innovative pricing strategy,” Prabhu Ram, Head-Industry Intelligence Group, CMR, told IANS.

“As data costs plummeted, more Indians than ever before are experiencing broadband for the first time on mobile,” Ram added. (IANS)