Draft Digital India Act to open for public consultation soon; Concerns raised over impact of the Digital Competition bill

When India’s Information Technology Act came into being in October 2000, Facebook was four years away from its inception, the first iPhone wouldn’t be launched for the next seven years, and the Nasdaq was experiencing an unprecedented implosion of the dotcom bubble. Now, to replace the IT Act of 2000, the government is bringing the Digital India Act. This and more in today’s ETtech Morning Dispatch.

Also in this letter:
■ Amazon plans Prime Day sale next month
■ CVs of Byju’s employees flood the job market
■ Infosys signs $454 million deal with Danske Bank

Draft of Digital India Act to open for public consultation in next two weeks

draft of the Digital India Act_Bill_THUMB IMAGE_ETTECH_2

The draft Digital India Act (DIA), the much-awaited replacement of the 23-year-old Information Technology Act, 2000, will likely be opened for public consultation within the next two weeks, senior officials have told ET.

Fresh feedback: The draft, which was supposed to be released earlier this month, was held back for additional consultation with legal and industry experts. This delay was prompted by feedback received during the government’s outreach on the DIA, conducted March onwards in various cities including Bengaluru and Mumbai.

New-age crimes: As the nature of cybercrime has changed since the prevailing IT Act came into being, officials noted a need for the re-evaluation and updation of certain provisions. For example, there are no measures to deal with cyber-bullying. Hence, the draft bill will define new-age offences such as the possession and distribution of child pornography, improper and unauthorised digital use of government-issued identity cards, misinformation, etc.

digital india

No-go areas: The IT ministry may prescribe “no-go areas” for companies and internet intermediaries using artificial intelligence and machine learning in consumer-facing industries.

These would include practices that might potentially endanger users, like obtaining consent for data processing without the end-user fully understanding the repercussions. Companies would be required to disclose how their data is used and processed using proprietary algorithms.

Organisations write to MCA on concerns about Digital Competition bill

mpact of Digital Competition Bill

A total of 58 organisations and individuals representing different stakeholder communities from across the country have written to the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) to hold an “open consultative public engagement process” while drafting the Digital Competition bill, and take into consideration concerns around the impact of the bill on end-consumers and small businesses.

Driving the news: The Cyber Cafe Association of India (CCAOI), Internet Society Chapters of India, India Internet Foundation (IFF), and Consumer Unity & Trust Society (CUTS International), among others, have written to the Secretary, MCA, Dr Manoj Govil.


Concerns: “We are concerned that the proposed Digital Competition Act would impact a wide range of subjects, such as digital inclusivity, user experience, data protection, security, foreign investment, cost of doing digital business for MSMEs, indirect impact on cost for consumers, etc’’, the letter said. It added that the current discourse around this is led by only a few stakeholders, even though the proposed law directly and indirectly affects a much wider swathe of participants.

On ex ante laws: The signatories of the letter said that only two-three legal systems have adopted ex ante laws globally, and warned that if India also introduces ex ante laws then India may no longer be the “first market” for newer technologies, as an equivalent of the Digital Competition Act does not exist in most of the other jurisdictions.

Amazon looks to boost sales with Prime Day

Amazon is launching its Prime Day sale early-Amazon_preparing for sale_THUMB IMAGE_ETTECH

Amazon is planning to hold its flagship Prime Day sale event in India towards the end of July, people aware of the plans told ETtech.

Preparation underway:
Amazon executives have directed sellers and brands to stock up inventory for the sale. One of the sellers told ET that the company has started placing orders for Prime Day, and that sellers have also started keeping products in warehouses.

prime day

Why is Prime Day important? Prime Day, usually a mid-year, 48-hour sale, is a crucial event for the company to boost business before Diwali sales, which go on for a month. Walmart-owned Flipkart, also runs such an event around the same time to counter Amazon and cash in on consumers looking for deals. Unlike its other sale events, Prime Day is only for Prime subscribers.

Looking for an uptick: After a relatively weak January-March, industry executives are expecting an uptick in sales in the second quarter. “Q2 should be better given that the first quarter — which is usually slow — was slower than previous years. An event like Prime Day could lead to more transactions as it has its own marketing buzz, given that it’s a global event as well,” Satish Meena, a senior ecommerce analyst, said. Amazon counts its financial year from January to December.

CVs of Byju’s employees flood job market

looking out for opportunities in India_ while others are searching for roles_Jobs_vacancy_employment_recruitment

Amid layoffs and financial troubles at the beleaguered edtech Byju’s, almost half its employees are seeking jobs elsewhere but necessarily finding takers given the hiring slowdown, recruiters have told ET.

Saturation: According to data compiled by staffing firm Xpheno, there are currently more than 21,000 Byju’s employees in the job market. A month ago, the number of active job seekers from Byju’s was about 2,000-3,000.


Till March 2022, Byju’s had about 55,000 employees. The edtech company undertook multiple rounds of layoffs, including one in October last year, sacking 2,500 employees, and another one earlier this month, slashing almost 1,000 jobs, according to multiple media reports.

Hiring slowdown:
Edtech industry insiders confirmed there is a hiring slowdown in the sector over the last few quarters, partly due to a prolonged funding winter. Firms like LeverageEdu and Vedantu are only hiring if needed, executives from the two edtechs told ET.

Serial shocks: Last week, Byju’s saw the exit of representatives from key investors, as well as the resignation of its auditor, Deloitte. The exits couldn’t have come at a worse time for the Bengaluru-based edtech. Currently, Byju’s is negotiating with its lenders for its $1.2 billion term loan B, even as both sides have filed suits against each other.

byjus gfx

ET Ecommerce Index

We’ve launched three indices – ET Ecommerce, ET Ecommerce Profitable, and ET Ecommerce Non-Profitable – to track the performance of recently listed tech firms. Here’s how they’ve fared so far.

ET Ecommerce Tracker_Returns Comparison_26 June_2023_Graphic_ETTECH

Infosys wins $454 mn digital transformation deal from Danske Bank

Infosys announces digital Danske Bank_deals_M&A_THUMB IMAGE_ETTECH

Danish banking and financial services corporation Danske Bank has tapped Indian IT major Infosys to further its digital transformation objectives in a $454 million deal.

Infosys will take over the bank’s IT centre in Bengaluru for 13.6 Danish Krone (or Rs 16.3 crore), as part of the deal. This marks the first such acquisition of a global capability centre (GCC) since the Silicon Valley Bank crisis earlier this year.

The deal, which can be extended for three more years, will help Danske Bank better its customer experience and technology modernisation, according to a statement.

tcs deall

AI and cloud: In a release, Infosys chief executive Salil Parekh said, “Infosys will collaborate with Danske Bank to strengthen their core business with greater digital, cloud and data capabilities. This will help Danske Bank create more value for their customers using powerful advances in Al, including generative Al’’.

Quick recap: This is the latest in a string of such IT deals. Last month, Infosys won a $1.5 billion deal from global energy giant BP for a five-year period. ET reported last week that TCS had bagged a $1.9 billion deal from UK pension provider NEST to digitally transform its scheme administration.

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