Bharat Bytes: Demand for tech talent; Google’s dual billing; ONDC launch; unlicensed fintech

Bharat Bytes is Computerworld India’s regular round-up of news from the world of IT.

bharat bytes blog logo

India to witness massive demand for tech talent

Digital transformation across telecom, engineering, and healthcare sectors has made software, big-tech, and data professionals’ roles the most in-demand in the market. Together, the sectors are expected to add 12 million jobs by the 2025-26 financial year, 8 million of them in engineering, according to a TeamLease report.

These sectors are likely to be the first to adopt Industry 4.0 technologies, accelerated by the pandemic, the report said.

Employers prefer hiring a mix of core domain and technological skills. However, skills in AI and machine learning top the list, looked for by one-in-eight employers. The country is witnessing a 60% surge in hiring for data scientists as compared to the 2021-22 financial year. The automotive industry is hiring nearly 50% more IT, data science, and data engineering professionals today compared to pre-Covid levels.  

The report also highlights that the telecom, engineering, and healthcare sectors together comprise a $1.5 trillion in market size and employ about 42 million people currently, accounting for approximately 8.7% of India’s entire workforce.

Google devises a dual billing system for app developers

Google will soon allow developers of apps delivered through its Play Store to accept payments either through the store or another billing system.

The company is facing investigation by the Competition Commission of India, the statutory body responsible for enforcing India’s 2002 Competition Act, for alleged manipulative practices in its payment services. The accusation is that Google is rerouting purchases and in-app transactions via its own billing system and charging a mandatory commission on each sale.

Google is also said to have unfairly privileged its app over those of competitors on the Play Store, Android OS, and Android-based smartphones by skewing search results and rigging featured app lists in favour of Google Pay.

Developers have to give Google a 15% cut of their first $1 million in sales through the store, and 30% thereafter. It’s likely that other payment processors would charge less. However, it is still not clear if the apps will have to pay Google a fee for payments made through a third-party billing system.

The dual payment system is not new: It is already functioning in South Korea to comply with local government laws. Spotify, a music streaming app, has expressed interest in the new system.

ONDC to launch in April in five cities

Open Network Digital Commerce (ONDC), a shared infrastructure for e-commerce built along the same lines as the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) for mobile payments, is set to launch in April. Ten companies, including Phone Pe, Dunzo, Good Box and Paytm, have integrated with it. Service will initially be available in Bengaluru, Delhi, Bhopal, Coimbatore, and Shillong. The government is also planning a massive expansion of the network in the next three to four months.

ONDC is an initiative by the Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. It was formed in December 2021 with the aim of creating an open public digital infrastructure to transform the digital commerce ecosystem in the country, which is currently dominated by big players such as Amazon and Flipkart.

SIDBI, the apex regulatory body for licensing and regulation of MSM enterprise finance companies, recently bought a 7.84 % stake in ONDC for 10 crores. PNB, SBI, Kotak Mahindra Bank, HDFC Bank, and Axis Bank too have acquired stakes in ONDC.

RBI received complaints against illegal digital lending apps

Fintech services such as digital lending apps have gained popularity during the past few years, especially after demonetization and the pandemic, so skilled developers may be considering a job with one. However, job applicants should verify that companies offering online lending have the necessary license to operate, as the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has been receiving complaints again a number of them that don’t.

A total of 2562 complaints against digital lending apps were received by Digital Lending Application – Sachet, a portal established by the RBI for registering complaints by the public, between January 2020 and March 2021.

Around 600 out of 1100 lending apps available were illegal, according to an RBI report released in November 2021 and recently cited in the Lok Sabha. This number would further increase as a user downloading a lending app cannot confirm the app’s legitimacy. Maharashtra tops the list, followed by Karnataka, Delhi, Haryana, and Telangana.

Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc.

It’s time to break the ChatGPT habit
Shop Tech Products at Amazon