Startup India Initiative: Stringent Eligibility Norms

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events and/ or publicly available information. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.

Akanksha Shrivastava, MBA 2016-18, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur

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Startup India Initiative launched by the government last year which intended to build a strong ecosystem for nurturing innovation and Startups in the country leading to sustainable economic growth and generate large scale employment opportunities. Under this initiative, a startup can do self-registration through a mobile app, get exempted from environment and labour laws inspections, get their patents examined fast at 80% reduction in the patent registration fee, also the most attractive benefit is getting income tax exemption for 3 years. Another added advantage of having tax breaks is that it increases the attractiveness of a company for investors.

For a startup to avail these benefits it has to fulfill eligibility criteria such as being a private limited partnership or firm, and should not be more than 5 years of age with turnover not exceeding Rs. 25 Crore. Startups have to qualify as innovative for which they have to furnish letters of recommendation from government-approved startup incubators or furnish patents granted by the Indian Patent and Trademark Office. Therefore a startup with an undifferentiated product or service or one that is not a significant improvement over existing ones in the market will not qualify.

According to research firm Tracxn, only 522 out of about 1425 companies that sought certification under Startup India Initiative have been approved. Most of the rejections were because the companies were unable to secure certifications declaring them to be innovative businesses. Some companies are not able to find the incubator that specialises in the technology they are working in to get the certification. Such issues should be addressed immediately by the government and it should work towards making eligibility criteria more flexible without compromising on the authenticity as the sole motive of this initiative is to help in fostering the growth of startups and allowing them to focus on their core business without worrying about regulatory burden.

 

Impact of Donald Trump’s decision to ban Muslim countries

 

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events and/ or publicly available information. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.

Devan Goyal, MBA 2016-18, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur


The case of Muslim ban by Donald Trump bars citizens of seven Muslim majority countries for entering the US for the period of 90 days. It also suspends the United States refugee system for a period of 120 days. According to MR Trump his decision will help keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the US. The countries which are effected are Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, Yemen and Iraq.

I believe that the decision taken by trump will benefit less to US than it will raise harms to the innocent people. There are many people those who will be effected. For ex people who were out of US are not given permission to enter US. Their whole life style stays impacted. Moreover IT industries will also be impacted as employees who are sent for onsite works will have to return back. There is US Syrian refugee program that gave accommodation to 12486 Syrians in 2016. They have reduced the cap on the total number of refugees
from 1, 10,000 to 50,000.

Also it has violated many laws that includes giving preference to Christian refugees over Muslim refugees. The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 says there should be ban of discrimination against immigrants on the basis of national origin. Mr Trump is violating this act also. It also violates the first amendment on freedom of religion.

So at last to pen off, I think the decision taken by Donald Trump seems to have lot of sufferings. The benefit out of it is not visible as of now. It will ultimately disturb the relations of US with the other countries.

 

Idea-Vodafone Merger

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events and/ or publicly available information. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.

  • Srishti Ranjan, MBA 2016-18, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur

 

While Reliance Jio’s entry in the Indian telecom sector proved quite a challenge for the big companies in this sector, a possible merger between Vodafone and Idea Cellular may change the telecom scenario altogether. Though the companies did not divulge much details, but both issued statements confirming that their businesses will be merged in a cashless deal. The basic premise of the merger is said to be based on equal rights between Aditya Birla Group and Vodafone in the combined entity.

The merger if materialized will not only knock off Bharti Airtel from its top position in the telecom sector but may also lead to altogether new pricing strategies in the industry. While the merger will mean some relief in financial aspect for Vodafone, Idea will benefit geographically especially in cities where Vodafone already has a good presence. It will enable them to provide a tough competition to Reliance Jio Infocomm and Bharti Airtel. Bharti Airtel currently has 33% market share with around 266 million users, which, if the merger occurs, will be countered by Vodafone-Idea combined user base of 390 million (roughly 43% of the market share). The decision is being taken when already the telecom sector is undergoing a huge price war reinvigorated by the cut throat prices introduced by Reliance Jio. It will be interesting to watch as to how the merger if finalized is practically implemented and what the combined Vodafone-Idea entity is named as.

Reference : http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/markets/stocks/news/vodafone-confirms-merger-talks-with-idea-cellular-5-key-takeaways/articleshow/56870115.cms

Volatile Democracy

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events and/ or publicly available information. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.

Rishita Pramanik, MBA 2016-18, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur

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I fail to understand the world these days! At least the democracies. Few months back there was a quote “flaring” the online space. It said, “Countries are in a race to prove themselves idiots. Currently Britain has the lead but America has a  Trump card.” And by all means, it seems that people of USA have played this card.

I do not judge anyone, especially if it’s neither in my right, nor my interest to do so. It was in the right and interest of USA citizens and they gave a judgement which I totally respect. However why is it that these same people who gave their chosen one a marginal victory are now upset if he has disbarred certain people to enter USA albeit having valid VISAs. Surprisingly its similar to what the British did after the Brexit vote!

As per a report, poll found that 41% of American voters disagreed with the recent Muslim ban policy while another 10% were in a dilemma. Four US states are planning to sue the POTUS and there are already talks of his impeachment in the media. I do not intend to argue if this decision is for the good of America or otherwise. What I’m trying to say is that Mr. President had made his intentions crystal clear while he was the president elect nominee then why is the country shocked and surprised at what he has done. He has merely taken his first step towards fulfilling the promises which have made him sit where he currently sits.

And if the people really are feeling resent towards him now, then it’s a question mark on the face of democracy as a system. Election is the base on which democracy stands and if the people send their wit away to graze as they cast their vote, then, well…the Muslim ban seems like the least of all worries!

Possible Roadblocks to Vodafone-Idea Merger

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events and/ or publicly available information. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.

Vinay Agrawal, MBA 2016-18, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur


Vodafone India, India’s second largest telecom company is in talk with Idea, India’s third largest telecom company for a possible merger. If this merger happens then the combined entity will become the largest telecom company in India leaving behind the number one Bharti Airtel. This move comes due to the entry of Reliance Jio in the market. Jio is offering free voice and data services which are affecting other players. Bharti Airtel reported a 55% fall in its third quarter and Vodafone India is finding it difficult to increase the market share.

This consolidation move by Vodafone India to merge with Idea is a good move. But for the merger to take place, both the companies have to pass various hurdles. Firstly, India M&A (Merger and Acquisition) rules require the merged entity to hold up to 25% of total assigned spectrum and up to 50% in a specific band. This will pose a problem for them as the combined entity will have more than 50% spectrum in five circles namely Maharashtra, Gujarat, Kerala, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh (West).Secondly, India M&A rules entail a merged entity’s combined customer market share(CMS) and revenue market share(RMS) does not exceed 50%. In this case, also the combined entity is crossing the limit for CMS in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Kerala, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh (West) and RMS in – Mumbai, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Kerala, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh (West).Thirdly, Vodafone-Idea merger will lead them to a 53% ownership of Indus towers and Bharti Airtel to 42%.This will raise the issue of control which may compel the merged entity to sell its Indus tower holdings. Lastly, both the company has to be very clear whether they are doing this merger just to counteract Jio or there will be long-term goals and objectives of merged entity. Otherwise, it will be difficult for both of them to continue their operations.

References

http://gadgets.ndtv.com/telecom/features/vodafone-idea-merger-is-full-of-opportunities-and-challenges-1654551

 

To Americans, A return gift by President Trump…

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events and/ or publicly available information. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.

Debasish Acharya, MBA 2016-18, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur
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Background

High-Skilled Integrity and Fairness Act of 2017 will significantly impact Indian companies such as Infosys, TCS, and Wipro, in addition to US tech giants like Apple, Facebook and Google. Initially, idea behind H1B visa was aimed at supplementing the US workforce with high-skilled workers for doing those jobs for which Americans did not possess required skills. Over time, there have been many quibblings about many companies replacing American workers with foreign counterparts, as the latter can be hired at lower salaries using H1B visas with the same skillsets. Few cases were also evident of Americans being forced to train H1B holders to do their own jobs and gradually they were fired.

The new H1B visa reform bill aims at increasing the minimum salary for visa holders to $130,000, more than double the current minimum. This implies companies would either have to pay a higher costs for employing highly-skilled foreign citizens or hire the Americans. It would also remove the ‘per country’ cap for employment-based immigrant visas. A gap in demand and supply for talent for smaller companies, which cannot afford the highly skilled workforce, may be created by these visa reforms.

Opinion

Seventy years of independence and the state is such changes take place in the US and there is a tremendous impact on us. Do we think more about foreigners while formulating policies for our own. Certainly not, so why are the hues and cry if someone else does that? We call ourselves as a developing nation, but we like to serve it better staying abroad. Ranking fourth globally in brain drain, we have given ourselves a reason to worry. We fail to recognize our potential, numerous justifications will follow but somewhere in the search of an affluent lifestyle, we have lost our own identity. Let us start believing in ourselves, there will be few road-blocks but somewhere down the line we will not be worried in future.

Reference:

http://www.insidermonkey.com/blog/11-countries-with-highest-brain-drain-366967/?singlepage=1

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/h-1b-visa-reform-bill-introduced-in-us-house-of-representatives/articleshow/56888616.cms

 

Why Trump is good

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events and/ or publicly available information. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.

T R Srinath, MBA 2016-18, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur

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A new bill introduced by Democratic Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren proposing changes in the H-1B visa programme seeks to raise the minimum salary under the scheme to $1,30,000 from the current $60,000. The legislation, if passed, could hit Indian and American IT companies which use H-1B visas to hire foreign skilled workers, including Indians.

Even 8th standard social studies textbooks talk about the menace of brain drain. We’ve been taught that brain drain is bad and that the flight of skilled and educated Indians to foreign countries is something that causes harm to the country. Even though they might bring in a little forex, the loss of fine human capital does irreparable harm to the nation’s economy.

That being said, we must welcome this bold move of the Trump government. Nowadays, settling in the US is the only dream of many youngsters. Fantasized by the standard of living in the developed countries, these youngsters dream of settling there. Isn’t that a form of escapism? If your home is dirty, will you abandon it and settle in your neighbour’s house? Or, would you clean it up and live there peacefully? The brave will prefer the latter.

Despite enjoying highly subsidized education at premier institutes like the IITs and IIMs, the talented youth ends up being of little value to the nation’s development. It’s an investment gone waste. If this new policy of Trump can help India retain its skilled workforce in its own land, we can definitely turn India into a place better than the US!

Milky Way being pushed at 20 lakh km/hr by an unknown force

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events and/ or publicly available information. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.

Priyank Begani, MBA 2016-18, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur


As per the scientists, Milky Way is being pushed through space by cosmic dead zone. It is known that our galaxy is being pulled through space, but cosmologists suspected it was being pushed as well.The constellation is loacated on the farthest side  of Lacerta, the Lizard, the vast patch of nothingness appears to have a striking dearth of galaxies compared to the rest of its cosmic neighbourhood.

The Shapely attracter being the attracting obstacle, pulling the Wilky Way galaxy, but research showed the pushing force by a Dipole repeller. A 3D map of the nesrest galaxies show a steady flow of galaxies towards the Shapley attractor and away from another region of space almost directly behind the Milky Way on the same axis. The movement of Milky Way depend on the gravitational attraction attraction of the galaxies around. With increased distance from Wilky Way, the attracting force diminishes and at regions devoid of galaxies, give rise to repelling force

So from the studies done at Imperial College London even shows that with increased voids in space, lack of galaxies at a particular direction, leads to a pushing force ,with an attracting force from the distant and closely spaced galaxies around Milky Way.

 

 

 

 

Trump’s refugee ban- Facts vs News

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events and/ or publicly available information. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.

Sanjeevi kumar Uppu, MBA 2016-18, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur

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So, what actually Trump did? Did he seriously implement his promised Muslim ban? No. He signed an executive order dominated mainly by refugee restrictions and temporary provisions that are aimed directly at limiting immigration from jihadist conflicted areas.

Let’s analyze the key provisions and get some insights about this.

First, the order temporarily halts refugee admissions for 120 days to improve the immigration process and then caps refugee admissions at 50,000 per year. In 2002, the United States admitted only 27,131 refugees. It admitted fewer than 50,000 in 2003, 2006, and 2007. As for President Obama, his refugee camp from 2013 to 2015 was a mere 70,000, and in 2011 and 2012 he admitted barely more than 50,000 refugees himself. The bottom line is that Trump is improving security screening and intends to admit refugees at close to the average rate of the 15 years before Obama’s dramatic expansion in 2016.

Second, the order imposes a temporary, 90-day ban on people entering the U.S. from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen. These are countries either torn apart by jihadist violence or under the control of hostile, jihadist governments.
To the extent this ban applies to new immigrant and non-immigrant entry, this temporary halt is wise. We know that terrorists are trying to infiltrate the ranks of refugees and other visitors. We know that immigrants from Somalia have launched jihadist attacks at home and have sought to leave the U.S. to join ISIS. The terrible recent track record of completed and attempted terror attacks by Muslim immigrants, it’s clear that Trump’s current approach is inadequate to control the threat. A short-term ban on entry from problematic countries combined with a systematic review of our security procedures is both reasonable and prudent.

However, there are reports that the ban is being applied even to green-card holders. The plain language of the order doesn’t apply to legal permanent residents of the U.S., and green-card holders have been through round after round of vetting and security checks. If the Trump administration continues to apply the order to legal permanent residents, it should indeed be condemned.

 

Jai Hind..!!

 

Is Indian IT Sector prepared to fade its addiction for H-1B visas?

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events and/ or publicly available information. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.

Vivek Kumar Jha, MBA 2016-18, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur

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Having worked with an IT giant for around 2 years, one fact that became quite evident to me was the affection or rather an infatuation of IT employees with the word “Onsite deployment”. I have seen people going to any length to get an opportunity for Onsite experience, especially for the USA, as it seemed to be one of the most viable options to save considerable money (considering the value of Indian Rupee against US Dollars) in a short span of time. But, with the latest news of “Donald Trump overhauling the rules for H-1B visas” coming into the picture, it seems clouds are starting to gather around dreams of many.

H-1B visa falls into a non-immigrant category where the employer applies for H-1B visa petition with the US Immigration Department. It allows a person to work up to a maximum of 6 years in the US. Indian IT sector has always secured the top positions for application of H-1Bs, Infosys leading the herd by miles. The $150-Billion technology sector relies on projects from the USA to get more than 50% of its revenue. This clearly suggests the kind of effect IT firms can have if the changes are done. While several changes have been proposed, the major ones talk about increasing minimum wage for H-1B visa holders to $130,000 (almost double of the current requirement), setting 20% of total H-1B visas allocation aside to start-ups with less than 50 employees and wanting firms to try harder to get local employees for the same role.

Clearly, the idea is to restrict inflows from other countries and retain those jobs for the residents. Companies like Infosys and Tech Mahindra has already pointed out that they are working in the direction to reduce dependencies on the H-1B visas by preferring local workers. Undoubtedly, these companies will be ready when the moment comes, but what intrigues me is how those “Die-Hard US Onsite lovers” of IT companies are going to prepare themselves as their aspiration to gain those big bucks stands still!

References: