Microsoft and Accenture on Tuesday announced to expand a joint initiative announced earlier this year to support startups that are focused on solving critical business challenges related to sustainability and skilling.
Initially focused on engaging startups with solutions in the areas of agriculture, education and healthcare, the hands-on programme provides technology support to help startups build scalable solutions and business models.
“Accelerated by the pandemic, social enterprises are reimagining how they can widen the reach and deepen that impact through technology. Our collaboration with Accenture will help startups scale their solutions quickly and drive meaningful and measurable impact,” said Lathika Pai, Country Head – Microsoft for Startups, MENA & SAARC.
Through the initiative, Microsoft Research India and Accenture Labs will help social enterprise startups test and validate proof-of-concepts, conduct design thinking sessions to help entrepreneurs re-envision the impact of their solutions, and provide support in exploring and using Microsoft technologies.
“By expanding the focus of our joint initiative to encompass startups that have innovative and disruptive solutions in these areas, we can help scale the impact to improve how people live and work,” said Sanjay Podder, managing director and Technology Innovation lead for ASIAM, Greater China and Japan at Accenture.
According to the companies, startups applying for the programme are required to have deployed their solutions and have early signs of impact.
The first cohort of startups in the programme focused on overcoming challenges in areas of food safety, livelihood, and education and were supported by Microsoft and Accenture with technology resources and mentoring to scale their solutions.
Among those were the Centre for Aquatic Livelihood Jaljeevika and Akshaya Patra Foundation.
India’s Nov exports rise over 26%, imports over 57%
India’s merchandise exports in November rose to $29.88 billion, higher by 26.49 per cent on a year-on-year basis, preliminary data showed on Wednesday.
Exports in November 2020 stood at $23.62 billion.
According to the data furnished by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, last month’s exports rose by 15.93 per cent over November 2019.
“Value of non-petroleum exports in November 2021 was $26.06 billion, registering a positive growth of 18.1 per cent over non-petroleum exports of $22.06 billion in November 2020 and a positive growth of 18.69 per cent over non-petroleum exports of $21.95 billion in November 2019.”
The value of non-petroleum and non-gems and jewellery exports rose to $23.66 billion, registering a positive growth of 22.16 per cent over November 2020.
As per the data, India’s merchandise imports last month increased by 57.18 per cent to $53.15 billion over $33.81 billion in November 2020 and 37.96 per cent over $38.52 billion reported for the corresponding month of 2019.
“Value of non-petroleum imports was $38.47 billion in November 2021 with a positive growth of 39.9 per cent over non-petroleum imports of $27.5 billion in November 2020 and a positive growth of 40.12 per cent over non-petroleum imports of $27.45 billion in November 2019.”
“Value of non-oil, non-GJ (gold, silver & Precious metals) imports was $32.02 billion in November 2021 with a positive growth of 41.53 per cent over non-oil and non-GJ imports of $22.63 billion in November 2020 and a positive growth of 42.72 per cent over non-oil and non-GJ imports of $22.44 billion in November 2019.”
Consequently, India’s trade deficit last month widened by 128.30 per cent YoY to $23.27 billion from $10.19 billion while it increased by 82.48 per cent when compared to $12.75 billion reported for November 2019.
Fuel prices remain static barring Delhi
Barring Delhi, the prices of diesel and petrol remained unchanged across major Indian cities on Thursday.
Accordingly, diesel and petrol prices in Delhi stood at Rs 86.67 per litre and Rs 95.41 per litre, respectively.
Notably, prices of petrol in Delhi had been static at Rs 103.97 per litre since the past one month.
Prices have fallen in Delhi as it reduced the value added tax on the fuel from 30 per cent to 19.40 per cent. This decision was taken during a Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday.
In the financial capital Mumbai, petrol and diesel prices remained unchanged at Rs 109.98 and Rs 94.14 respectively.
Prices also remained static in Kolkata at Rs 104.67 and Rs 89.79 respectively.
In Chennai too, the prices of the two auto fuels remained constant at Rs 101.40 and Rs 91.43 respectively.
Across the country as well, the prices largely remained unchanged on Thursday, but the retail rates varied depending on the level of local taxes.
Equity indices extend gains, Power Grid top gainer
The 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) extended gains from the previous session in early trade on Thursday.
At 9.30 a.m., the S&P BSE Sensex traded at 57,992 points, up 0.5 per cent.
It opened at 57,781 points from the previous close of 57,684 points.
Till now it touched a low of 57,680 points.
Besides, the broader 50-scrip Nifty at the National Stock Exchange (NSE) opened at 17,183 points after closing at 17,166 on Wednesday.
It traded at 17,264 points, up 0.6 per cent during the early-morning trade session.
Power Grid, Adani Green, BPCL, Mahindra and Mahindra, and IOCL were some of the top gainers during the early trade, the exchange data showed.
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