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Government Amends Definition of Start-Ups

The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), which is the nodal body for Start-up India, has amended the definition of a start-up. As per the new definition, an entity will be considered as a Start-Up if its turn over is less than Rs 25 crore and has not completed seven years from the date of its incorporation/registration. In the definition, the change is with respect to the time period which is currently five years. The new definition has increased it to 7 years taking into the consideration the long gestation period involved in establishing start-ups.

Other Salient Amendments

The scope of definition of start-up will also be widened to include scalability of business model with potential of employment generation or wealth creation. 

An entity that has completed 7 years from the date of its incorporation or if its turnover exceeds Rs 25 crore, it will cease to be a start-up.

The process of recognition of an entity as a start-up will be through an online application made over the mobile app/portal set up by the DIPP.

For the Start-Ups in the biotechnology sector, they will be considered as start-ups for a period of up to 10 years from the date of incorporation/registration.

Start-ups will not require a letter of recommendation from an incubator or an industry association to get tax benefits under the Start-up India action plan. However, the entities should obtain a certificate of an eligible business from an inter- ministerial board of certification as constituted by the DIPP to claim tax benefits.

An entity will be deemed as a start-up if it is working towards innovation, development or improvement of products/processes/services, or if it is a scalable business model with potential for employment generation or wealth creation.

Significance

The new definition and amendments will help to ease of starting new business and will promote the start-up ecosystem. The tweak in the definition will also help the entities to avail government sponsored venture funding and tax and other benefits. It will create more jobs and promote entrepreneurship under the Start-up India scheme.

Start-up India was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 16 January 2016 to promote innovation and enhance economic growth and employment opportunities.

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Google’s Rajan Anandan Appointed Chairman of IAMAI

Google’s vice-president for South East Asia and India, Rajan Anandan has been appointed as the new chairman of Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI). Rajan will succeed  FreeCharge’s co-founder and chief executive officer Kunal Shah.

The other new office bearers of the IAMAI will be MakeMyTrip chairman & Group CEO Deep Kalra who will be the vice-chairman. He succeeds Saavn co-founder and president Vinodh Bhat.  Facebook’s managing director (India & South Asia), Umang Bedi will be the new treasurer of IAMAI. Subho Ray will continue to be the president of IAMAI.

The tenure of the office bearers of the new council will be for two years.

Challenges

The new council has to work towards improving the internet connectivity especially in rural areas. It is estimated that in a population of 906 million, only 156 million are using the internet in rural areas. IAMAI has to take steps to reach to the potential 750 million users living in rural heartlands.

Another area which needs the focus of the committee is the promotion of local language content. The Indian languages accounts for only 0.1% of the content on the worldwide web. It is estimated that enabling Indian language content will help to achieve a growth of 39% in the current user base of India.

IAMAI

IAMAI is a not-for-profit industry body registered under the Societies Act, 1986. It was founded in 2004. Its aim is to improve and expand the value added services pertaining to mobiles and several online services. It is the only existing specialized body that represents the interests of online and mobile value added services

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PM Inaugurates Country’s Longest Bridge in Assam and Names it Bhupen Hazarika Bridge

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated India’s longest river bridge – the Dhola-Sadia Bridge in Assam. He has also renamed the bridge as Bhupen Hazarika Bridge. The construction of the bridge began in 2011. The cost of the project is about Rs 2056 crores.

Salient Features

Dhola-Sadia Bridge is a three lane bridge stretching 9.15 kilometre built over river Lohit, which is a tributary of the Brahmaputra river. The bridge was built by Navayuga Engineering Co. Ltd. The Dhola-Sadiya bridge is 3.55 km longer than the Bandra–Worli Sea Link in Mumbai which is the longest bridge in the country as of now.

The bridge will connect Sadia, which is 540 Km from Guwahati and Dhola, situated 300 Km from Itanagar. The bridge has been designed to withstand the weight of 60-tonne battle tanks. This will be the only bridge in the region that will be strong enough to withstand the travel of tanks to Tinsukia, a place from where Indian troops usually enter Arunachal.

Significance

Road connectivity between Dhola to Sadia will boost overall economic development of the areas north of Brahmaputra in upper Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. The bridge fills a huge connectivity gap that existed in the north east region. Till now, the only means existed to cross this location was a ferry travel which was not possible during floods. The construction of the bridge will reduce the distance from Rupai on NH- 37 in Assam to Meka-Roing on NH-52 in Arunachal Pradesh by 165 Km. This reduction in travel time is expected to result in saving of petrol and diesel worth 10 lakh rupees per day. Travel time between Assam and Arunachal Pradesh will also get reduced by up to four hours.

The bridge will cater to the strategic requirements in border areas and will facilitate troop mobilization much more quickly in Arunachal Pradesh, the state which is claimed in its entirety by China.

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