Convergence Plus
Tuesday, January 19, 2021
Oppo suspends Noida factory operations, to screen 3,000 employees for coronavirus

Airtel, Vodafone Idea, Tata Tele likely to pay AGR dues on Monday: DoT source Chinese handset maker Oppo on Sunday suspended operations at its Noida factory till the time it completes screening of all 3,000 employees at the plant.

The company had resumed the operations on Friday after it got permission from the UP government for it with around 30 per cent of employees.

The company has sent the sample of all employees who have to join work for coronavirus testing.

“As an organisation that places the safety of all employees and citizens at the forefront, we have suspended all operations at our manufacturing facility in Greater Noida and initiated the COVID 19 testing for over 3,000 employees, for which results are awaited,” Oppo said in a late-night statement on Sunday.

Oppo said it would only allow employees with negative test results to resume office following all safety protocols.

“We are undertaking stringent measures to keep the employees safe and disinfecting the premises,” the statement said. (Source: The Hindu Businessline)

Government makes education accessible with PM eVIDYA; to launch dedicated TV channels

HealthifyMe Radio, community radio and CBSE podcast 'Shiksha Vani' will be widely used to make education more accessible. Special TV channels will be started for the students of the country. Under this proposal, one dedicated TV channel per class from class 1 to class 12 will be started for students to study online.

This has been launched under a comprehensive initiative called Pradhan Mantri e-VIDYA. Union Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank said on Sunday, "On behalf of the students, parents and teachers of the country, I thank Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, for launching Pradhan Mantri e-VIDYA which is a comprehensive e-learning platform."

Nishank said in a tweet, "Radio, community radio and CBSE podcast 'Shiksha Vani' will be widely used to make education more accessible."

He said, "Special e-content for visually impaired and hearing-impaired children, developed on a digitally accessible information system and learning material for disabled children in sign language has been made available on the NIOS website and YouTube." (Source: Economic Times)

Anritsu Achieves 3GPP Approval for World’s First 5G New Radio Standalone Mode Carrier Aggregation Test

Pre-Bookings open for Samsung Galaxy S20, S20+, and S20 UltraAnritsu Corporation is pleased to announce that it has achieved approval for the world’s first 5G New Radio (NR) Standalone (SA) test for Carrier Aggregation. The tests are based on 3GPP TS 38.523 and was approved by 3GPP RAN5 working group in Frequency Range 1 (FR1).

Anritsu has subsequently also achieved 3GPP approval for Carrier Aggregation testing for NR Non-Standalone (NSA) in Frequency Range 1. All these test are available on Anritsu’s 5G NR Mobile Device Test Platform ME7834NR.

The ME7834NR is registered with both the Global Certification Forum (GCF) and PCS Type Certification Review Board (PTCRB) as Test Platform (TP) 251.

Paytm temporarily adjusts employee leaves for smoother ops

Sony India Feels the Heat from Chinese Cos, Cuts Over 120 Jobs Paytm said this move will not only have a positive impact on the balance-sheet but will also help the company ensure that it continues with its growth drive.

Digital payments major Paytm on Saturday said it has requested all its employees to contribute some of their leaves to ensure that its operations run smoothly as the government eases restrictions through parts of the country under lockdown 4.0.

Under the new rules, employees will be able to contribute their Privilege Leave (PL) accumulated up to 35 days and all currently accumulated Casual Leave (CL).

Paytm said this move will not only have a positive impact on the balance-sheet but will also help the company ensure that it continues with its growth drive.

"Ensuring that our employees are safeguarded from the current global crisis is of utmost importance to us," Rohit Thakur, Chief Human Resources Officer, Paytm said in a statement.

"We believe that this is the right step to effectively accommodate the short term impact and the long term interests of our company and all employees," Thakur said.

This decision, Paytm said, was taken after due discussions and it was agreed that in the post-COVID world it would be important to have all hands on deck so that the company can go on supporting citizens who will rely even more on the digital economy and payments.

This is a temporary measure as employees would be again entitled to collect PL and CL going forward, Paytm added.

The company believes that this move will help the company keep its costs under check without adversely affecting employee morale.

Amid widespread layoffs across industries due to the COVID-19 induced economic downturn, these cost-saving measures are designed to ensure that Paytm's workforce is cushioned from the current crisis, the company said. (Source: Economic Times)

Lockdown 4.0: E-commerce firms Flipkart, Amazon may finally resume full operations nationally

Telcos Estimate AGR Dues at Half the DoT DemandET had reported that Flipkart and Amazon had been able to recover only 20% of their sales a week after the May 4 order that allowed them to resume business in green and orange zones.

E-commerce companies such as Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal, as well as vertical etailers including Lenskart, Nykaa, and Firstcry, are expected to resume full operations from Monday after the central government removed all restrictions on online retail as part of its plan for Lockdown 4.0.

These platforms were so far restricted to selling non-essential goods like smartphones and electronics in government designated green and orange zones, while being allowed to sell essential items such as food and grocery nationally.

But in its latest guidelines, the Ministry of Home Affairs said that all activities, except those specifically prohibited, will be now be opened up. However, states would still take the final call on allowing businesses to function based on their local needs and situations, the guidelines added. Online sales will continue to be restricted in containment zones across the country, where only essential activities will be permitted, as per the latest MHA directives.

“We are ready and equipped to now start serving customers all across India - in red, green and orange zones - by providing them access to the entire selection of millions of products,” said a Snapdeal spokesperson. “This is also the moment that will enable lakhs of medium and small online sellers to start rebuilding their businesses as they serve the needs of users in cities and towns across India.”

Cab-hailing services Uber and Ola are also not in the current list of prohibited activities as per the new guidelines releases on Sunday evening. Both ride-hailing apps have been shut for the last two months, barring some essential travel activities which constitute less than 2-3% of their overall business as usual numbers, according to analysts.

The move to reopen e-commerce will deliver a major boost to companies that were allowed to sell only essential goods since the lockdown was announced on March 24. Even the opening up for non-essential sales had seen low demand from areas outside of red zones.

ET had reported that Flipkart and Amazon had been able to recover only 20% of their sales a week after the May 4 order that allowed them to resume business in green and orange zones.

“We don’t expect states to restrict e-commerce activity in any way and we should start accepting orders from tomorrow (Monday),” said a senior executive of a leading e-commerce marketplace on the condition of anonymity. “Moreover, offline stores are open in most locations, so it shouldn’t be a problem for us (e-commerce) as well.” (Source: Economic Times)

CCI to probe into anti-trust allegations against WhatsApp Pay: Report

Telcos Estimate AGR Dues at Half the DoT DemandThe Competition Commission of India (CCI) is looking into anti-trust allegations against Facebook’s WhatsApp. The antitrust watchdog is looking into a complaint that the social media giant is abusing its dominant position by offering WhatsApp Pay, a payment service integrated with its messaging platform, Reuters reported.

According to the complaint filed in mid-March, the company is abusing its market position and its vast user base in the country to penetrate India’s booming digital payments market.

Its payment service will be competing against services such as GooglePay, PayTM and PhonePe in India.

The complaint comes at a crucial time for WhatsApp which is already battling with compliance issues to launch its payment service that it has been beta testing in the country since 2018.

WhatsApp on Wednesday told the Supreme Court that it will not go ahead with the launch of WhatsApp Pay without complying with Indian regulations according to media reports.

The company had made the statement in response to the hearing of a plea filed by Delhi-based think tank Good Governance Chambers stating that Facebook’s data privacy policies were non-compliant with the applicable laws and guidelines issued by the NPCI and Reserve Bank of India. The plea was seeking a ban on the payment service alleging compliance issues.

According to the RBI’s data localisation norms, foreign companies are required to store all transaction-related data and user data in servers located within the country while removing the data from all foreign servers within 24 hours. WhatsApp is yet to completely localise user data.

The company told the apex court that it will not launch its service till it is fully compliant with all Indians laws and regulations, the report said. (Source: The Hindu Business line)

Jio Platforms raises Rs 6,598.38 crore from General Atlantic

Telcos Estimate AGR Dues at Half the DoT DemandIn its fourth fund raising in less than a month, Jio Platforms, a subsidiary of Asia's richest man Mukesh Ambani-controlled Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), has raised Rs 6,598.38 crore from US PE major General Atlantic (GA).

The investment, which is GA’s largest in Asia, is in lieu of a 1.34 per cent stake, RIL said in a regulatory filing.

With this, Jio Platforms had raised Rs 67,194.75 crore from leading technology investors including Facebook, Silver Lake Partners, Vista Equity Partners and General Atlantic in less than four weeks. The investments by leading global growth investors to help enable Jio to scale its ecosystem towards building a digital society in India, it said in a regulatory filing.

This re-emphasises Jio’s continuing attraction among global investors for its deep understanding of the Indian markets, the rapid digitisation opportunity post-Covid and its capabilities to bring cutting-edge technologies and tools such as AI, Blockchain, AR/VR, Big Data into play for all Indians.

Diverse marquee investors are becoming long-term shareholders of JPL because of a unique set of technologies and platforms under one entity. There are no similar opportunities available anywhere else globally. And it is an endorsement of the quality of the management. (Source: The Hindu Businessline)

convergence plus