Apple's Boost To Jobs, Indian Oil's EV Bet And More Weekend News You Can't Miss

Indian Oil Corp and Panasonic Form Joint Venture for Lithium-ion Cells

India’s leading refiner, Indian Oil Corp (IOC), has partnered with Panasonic Energy to create a joint venture aimed at producing lithium-ion cells in India.

The move is in response to the increasing local demand for these cells, which are crucial for electric vehicles (EVs) and energy storage.

This agreement builds upon the initial understanding between the two companies reached in January. With India striving to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2070, the adoption of EVs is expected to surge, reaching over 10 million units annually by 2030, as per the annual Economic Survey projections.

New Electric Mobility Promotion Scheme in India

A new scheme, the Electric Mobility Promotion Scheme 2024 (EMPS 2024), with a budget of ₹500 crore, will be implemented in India from April 1 to July 31.

This scheme, introduced by the Ministry of Heavy Industries, aims to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) across the country. Under EMPS 2024, subsidies of up to ₹10,000 per two-wheeler and Rs 25,000 per small three-wheeler (e-rickshaw and e-carts) will be provided.

Additionally, large three-wheelers will receive up to ₹50,000 in support. The scheme targets the adoption of 3,72,215 EVs and encourages the use of advanced battery technology to qualify for incentives.

It aligns with the government’s Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative, promoting domestic manufacturing and employment generation in the EV sector.

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Apple’s Impact on Job Creation in India

Since the inception of the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme for smartphones in August 2021, the Apple ecosystem has emerged as the largest blue-collar job creator in India.

With over 150,000 direct employees, primarily in the 19-24 age group, and an estimated 300,000 indirect jobs, Apple’s presence has significantly contributed to employment generation.

The company’s manufacturing operations in India have witnessed substantial growth, with its contract manufacturers – Foxconn, Wistron and Pegatron – employing over 77,000 individuals directly. In addition to manufacturing, Apple’s expansion in India includes the development of a robust supplier ecosystem, creating over 70,000 new direct jobs.

These initiatives not only support India’s economy but also align with Apple’s commitment to sustainability and local manufacturing.

Karnataka Minister Criticises Kerala’s Investment Appeal

Karnataka’s Industries Minister MB Patil criticised Kerala’s plea to Bengaluru-based IT companies to invest in the state, citing water abundance and facilities.

Patil deemed such actions detrimental to India’s federal structure, particularly amid water scarcity issues faced by both states. He urged for a balanced approach among states and cautioned against exploiting another state’s challenges for gain.

While acknowledging Kerala’s right to attract investments, Patil emphasised the need for fair competition without resorting to opportunistic tactics. He highlighted Karnataka’s industry-friendly policies and questioned the effectiveness of Kerala’s rivers alone in fostering industrial growth.

Patil assured Bengaluru industries of government efforts to address water scarcity and emphasised the INDIA alliance partnership between Karnataka and Kerala despite differences on this matter.

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