New Delhi’s big plan to become a chip powerhouse
Semiconductor chips are tiny pieces of computer hardware that play a vital role in everything from mobile phones to militaries.
They are also central to Delhi’s plan to turn India into a global technology powerhouse.
Delhi has invested billions of dollars in subsidies and infrastructure projects to create a domestic chip-manufacturing industry. The government also offers incentives to foreign companies that set up chip-making facilities in India. But so far, the country has failed to produce a single world-class chipmaker.
Despite the challenges, Delhi is pressing ahead with its plans.
The government is investing $6 billion in a new National Semiconductor Laboratory, which is due to open in 2021.
Cutting edge tech
The lab will be equipped with cutting-edge facilities for developing and testing chips.
Delhi is also working on a $770 million semiconductor Fab Park, which will provide cleanroom space and other infrastructure for chipmakers.
The first phase of the park is due to open in 2021, with the second phase expected to be completed by 2025.
The government is also subsidizing the construction of new chip-making facilities by Indian companies.
In 2018, it committed $1.6 billion to help Hindustan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation build a new factory near Chennai. The facility is expected to be operational by 2022.
Delhi’s ambitious plans have yet to bear fruit, but the government is committed to creating a world-class semiconductor industry in India.
With billions of dollars of investment and a host of incentive programs, it may only be a matter of time before the country produces its first world-class chipmaker.
“TikTok represents two national risks to Australians”: should you delete the app?
Democracies continue to ban popular video-sharing app TikTok over national security concerns
Australia recently banned TikTok from all federal government owned devices over security concerns.
Canberra is the latest in a string of U.S.-backed allies to take action against the popular video-sharing app.
The ban centres around concerns China could use the app to trace users’ data, and undermine democratic values.
Senator James Paterson is the Australian Shadow Minister for Home Affairs and Cyber Security, who said TikTok poses a risk to Australians.
“They can get access to awful amount of information on your phone.
“Because it’s beholden to the Chinese Communist Party, there’s no guarantee it won’t fall into their hands,” he said.
Senator Paterson said there are “six or seven million Australians who use the app.”
Cyber attacks are on the rise, so what is being done to combat them?
Australia experienced two of its worst cyber attacks on record last year, as the world braces for cyber warfare to rise
Ukraine has suffered a threefold growth in cyber-attacks over the past year.
Viktor Zhora is leading Ukraine’s State Service of Special Communications and Information Protection agency, who said cyber attacks are occurring at the same time as missile strikes at the hands of Russia.
Mr Zhora said in some cases, the cyber-attacks are “supportive to kinetic effects”.
On the other side of the planet, Russian hackers were responsible for Australia’s Medibank scandal.
“This is a crime that has the potential to impact on millions of Australians and damage a significant Australian business,” said Reece Kershaw, who is the Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police.
Australian Shadow Minister for Home Affairs and Cyber Security is James Paterson, who said Australia can learn from cyber warfare in Ukraine.
“Ukraine is a lesson for the world.
“They are fighting a hybrid war, one on the ground and one online. If there is to be future conflict including in our own region, in the Indo-Pacific, it’s highly likely that the first shots in that war will occur cyber domain not in the physical world,” Senator Paterson said.
Amazon employees walk out to protest office policies
Staff at warehousing giant Amazon have walked off the job to protest the company’s return-to-office program
Over 1,900 Amazon employees pledged to protest globally over proposed changes to the company’s climate policy, layoffs and a return-to-office mandate.
The activist group behind the rally is known as Amazon Employees for Climate Justice (AECJ), who are seeking a greater voice for employees.
“Our goal is to change Amazon’s cost/benefit analysis on making harmful, unilateral decisions that are having an outsized impact on people of color, women, LGBTQ people, people with disabilities, and other vulnerable people,” organisers said.
Over 100 people gathered at the heart of Amazon’s Seattle headquarters on Wednesday. The company said it had not witnessed any other demonstrations.
AECJ said the walkout comes after Amazon made moves “in the wrong direction”.
The company recently has recently overturned a desire to make all Amazon shipments net zero for carbon emissions by 2030.
The company maintains a pledge on climate change.
Amazon spokesperson Brad Glasser told Reuters the company is pursuing a strategy to cut carbon emissions.
“For companies like ours who consume a lot of power, and have very substantial transportation, packaging, and physical building assets, it’ll take time to accomplish.”
AECJ protesters also sought support for the 27,000 staff, who had lost their jobs in recent months —around 9 per cent of Amazon’s global workforce.
The company has also mandated a return-to-office program.
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