The MeitY released the draft data centre policy which said that the government will provide “infrastructure status” for the data centre sector, at par with Railways, Roadways, and Power. The status will help the sector avail long-term credit at easier terms and will give a boost to the investments. The policy will simplify clearances for setting up data centres and declare it as an Essential Service, which means continuity of services even during times of calamities.
The government said that it has developed the contract tracing app Aarogya Setu in collaboration with private sector. Earlier, CIC issued a show-cause notice to MEITY, NIC and NeGD for withholding information and providing an evasive reply to a RTI application on Aarogya Setu. In its response, the Centre said the Aarogya Setu was developed in record 21 days in lockdown and was appreciated by WHO. The app has 16.23 cr downloads.
Google is deferring the enforcement of its new Play Store billing policy in India (only) to April 22, earlier going live on Sept 21. This news comes at a time when Indian startups including Paytm, Razorpay, Dream11, ShareChat raised concerns over the 30% Play Store commission on payments. More than 50 Indian executives held a meeting with MeitY on Saturday. Google said it is setting up listening sessions with Indian startups to understand their concerns deeply.
The Software and Technology Parks of India (STPI) plans to set up 25 centres of excellence across the country in different tech areas. The govt is planning to support 1500 startups through these CoEs and has created a budget of Rs 400 crore. MeitY is working to create a tech startup ecosystem to promote the development of in-house software products. So far, STPI has created 14 labs across domains like fintech, autonomous, AI, IoT, blockchain, aggrotech etc.
In a move to encourage the use of homegrown technology, the Ministry of Electronics and IT on Tuesday launched a contest with Rs 4.3 cr budget. Entitled ‘Swadeshi Microprocessor Challenge – Innovate Solutions for AtmaNirbhar Bharat’, the contest demands start-ups and students to develop projects using microprocessors developed by IIT (SHAKTI 32 bit) and CDAC (VEGA 64 bit). This is the third contest withing this fiscal year and will culminate in June 2021.
Students in IIT-Bombay, after 18 months, have developed India’s first multifrequency signal receiver chip – Dhruva – for commercial uses. It can be integrated into smartphones and can receive and clean up signals from NAVIC, India’s self-made GPS system. It can locate all routes within the country irrespective of weather conditions. Dhruva project was funded by MeitY, with SAMEER as the nodal agency. ISRO’s Space Application Centre also contributed to research.