The last few years have seen an unprecedented rise in digital payment transactions via Payment Aggregators (“PA”), Payment Gateways (“PG”), and Unified Payments Interface (“UPI”), via third-party application providers (TPAPs), with PAs undergoing licensing by the Reserve Bank of India (“RBI”), under the March 17, 2020, RBI PA/PG Guidelines. Retail payments historically would flow via NEFT/ RTGS/ IMPS, etc. However, UPI has now become the preferred payment mode for online payments, constituting a significant volume of small ticket retail payments in India, which is mostly via PAs. The payment architecture, which was earlier ‘card network’ driven via entities licensed under the Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007 (as a ‘payment system operator’), is increasingly moving towards PA/PGs, including for digital asset exchanges, online shopping, check-out financing and digital lending (where significant changes have been implemented by the RBI recently, including via the September 2022 Digital Lending Guidelines).

Continue Reading FIG Paper (No. 18 – Series 1)- Technology/ Financial Services – Recent Law Enforcement Trends

The Cert-In Cyber Security Directions More Questions Than Answers

On April 28, 2022, the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (“CERT-In”) under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology issued extensive directions to service providers, intermediaries, companies, firms, and government organisations (collectively, “Entities”, and each an “Entity”) specifying various ‘cyber security directions’ that they are required to follow (“Directions”)[1].

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Fintech Department

In recent years, in line with global trends, India’s growth has been fuelled by technology and platform economy, with physical moving towards digital and ‘phygital’.

Continue Reading FIG Paper (No. 10: Series -1) RBI’s New FinTech Department: Industry Implications & Future

Digital Age Warfare

A. Introduction

In this digital age, it may not be out of place to say that data has replaced oil as the most valuable resource. The advancement of technology has led to the emergence of a new species of extortion, where ransom is sought in lieu of data, which is illegally assumed control over. This phenomenon is popularly known as a ransomware attack. A ransomware attack includes a malware that is introduced onto the host’s computer or mobile, thereby encrypting its data, with a subsequent demand for a ‘ransom’ for decryption of the same, to secure its release[i].

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ACC Battery Storage

With the intent of putting India on the map as a lead battery storage producer, the Department of Heavy Industries (“DHI”) had notified the Production-Linked Incentive, ‘National Program on Advanced Chemistry Cell (ACC) Battery Storage’ (“PLI-ACC Scheme”) in June, 2021.[1] The PLI-ACC Scheme has been developed to boost the Prime Minister’s vision of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ and is one of the thirteen schemes approved by the Union Government.[2] It aims to encourage domestic and foreign investors to invest in setting up giga-scale ACC manufacturing facilities in India.

Continue Reading Analysis of PLI ACC Scheme for ACC Battery Storage

Zooming into Sustainable Growth – An Analysis of the PLI Scheme for Automobiles and Auto Component Industry

Background

Ministry of Heavy Industries (“MHI”) notified the Product Linked Incentive (“PLI”) Scheme for Automobile and Auto Component Industry (“PLI Auto Scheme”) in September 23, 2021[1] with the intent of enhancing India’s manufacturing capabilities for advanced automotive products. The applicant company qualifying the eligibility criteria (inter alia, revenue and investment) provided in the PLI Auto Scheme can receive the benefits under the same. The scheme provides for financial incentives to boost domestic manufacturing and attract investments in automotive manufacturing value chain and its primary objectives include, inter alia, overcoming cost disabilities and building robust supply chain in areas of advanced automotive technology products.

Continue Reading Zooming into Sustainable Growth – An Analysis of the PLI Scheme for Automobiles and Auto Component Industry

Charging Up the EV Sector through Policy Reform

Government of India approach

As the world moves towards clean and eco-friendly mobility fuel alternatives, the Government of India (“GOI”) is playing its part by framing environmental-friendly policies & regulations and encouraging the use of electric vehicles (“EVs”) in the country. The National Electric Mobility Mission Plan, 2020 had launched the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles (“FAME Policy / Scheme”) in the year 2015. The FAME Policy was launched in two phases. FAME – I provided direct subsidies and grants for specific projects along with financial support for R&D, technology enhancement and public charging infrastructure. FAME-II, introduced in 2019 with a budgetary outlay of INR 10,000 crore, envisioned driving large-scale adoption of EVs, EV-related infrastructure and EV ecosystem development. Despite these efforts the EV market penetration currently stands at merely 3% of India’s total vehicle sales.[1]

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Indian EdTech beyond the first phase - A booster shot for long term growth

Part one of this blog-series[1] discussed how factors like Covid-19 pandemic and introduction of the National Education Policy 2020 (“NEP”) enabled expansion of the educational technology (“EdTech”) sector and how it has grown by leaps and bounds in less than a year. Considering the demographics of our country and the deep-rooted conventional educational culture, this blog seeks to look at the key challenges and opportunities for the EdTech sector.
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Indian Edtech in 2020: The Effective First Shot

The outbreak of Covid-19 brought an unprecedented opportunity for the educational technology (“EdTech”) sector in India. The traditional face-to-face interaction between a teacher and students suffered a setback and almost instantaneously, there was a paradigm shift to the unconventional mode of online learning. This change brought the spotlight on EdTech industry following which it received the requisite financial and policy impetus to thrive through the financial year (FY) 2020-2021. A massive inflow of investments, acquisitions and emergence of new start-ups in the previous fiscal bear testimony to EdTech sector’s meteoric growth.
Continue Reading Indian Edtech in 2020: The Effective First Shot