Telangana Assembly Election 2023 - Telangana Secretariat

Telangana Assembly Election 2023

A new political landscape

Karnataka Congress victory orchestrated by KPCC President DK Shivakumar and chief minister Siddaramaiah has given a big boost to Telangana Congress and to the INC high command. it will only be apt to say that the last assembly election win of INC on 13th May 2023 has changed a few things to the political landscape of south Indian politics and that is – rise in the moral of INC voters and politicians. This changed landscape would impact the results of the scheduled Telangana assembly election in November.

The sum-total of all the assembly wins at Karnataka has fueled the aspirations of politicians at Telangana and the result is unprecedented rise of INC in the state. The Telangana assembly election which was mostly a battle between BRS-BJP a few months back is a fierce battle among BRS-INC-BJP now.

The last Telangana assembly election K Chandrashekar Rao (KCR) had opted for early assembly election to prevent Telangana assembly election colliding with general election. KCR wanted to have assembly election before the parliamentary election to assure a massive win. He was confident of coming back to power and wanted to assure the size of the vote share in assembly election. The astute politician and campaign manage KCR also knew that BJP and Modi will play its Nationalism and Hindutva cards in Telangana which will make it difficult for him to manage the massive win. He was comfortable with the fact that INC may not get the sizable vote share to challenge the massive win.

It has also evident to the voters of the state that the emotions of a father-politician in KCR is playing strong and the cunning leader of past has taken back seat. This change in the strong personal brand KCR has not gone well with the voters. Having said, the state has witnessed rise of a young, vibrant and urban leader in form of KTR in last five years. It is difficult to say the how the rise of KTR has gone down with Harish Rao and how he would play his cards in the future. But it is important to understand that the future of BRS is also the function of Harish Rao’s political play. This changed dynamics has created a new political landscape, which is fragile and up for grab by the two national parties.

In 2023. anti-incumbency is haunting KCR’s chances to present a massive win. In the last election he escaped anti-incumbency due to INC’s illogical alliance with TDP. Moreover, he also played the best bet by and going for early polls. The current chief minister, KCR is confident that he would come back as the chief minister of the state but not sure of the size of the vote share, and the magnanimity of the win.

The 2023 Telangana assembly election the current chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR) is facing a three-cornered contest from the INC and the BJP. This election is different, fierce, and too close to predict.

Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) still going strong.

Since the formation of Telangana State in 2014, people of Telangana have given clear mandate to KCR in both assembly elections.  In 2018 KCR was the most popular leader of the state, Harish Rao was the strongest leader in the suburban and rural Telangana, and KTR was emerging as an intelligent urban leader.

In 2018, the voters of the Telangana were in safe hands with the BRS leadership but the combined popularity of the three top leaders was not the only reason of the landslide victory. A weak opposition was the other – in the last election there were just a few big names in the opposition cadre struggling to gain the momentum.  In 2018, a meek opposition was the catalyst that worked in KCR’s favor but now the scenario is different, and we are witnessing the rise of two national parties in the state.

In last few years, the voters of Telangana have experienced the governance of chief minister KCR and shadow chief minister Kalvakuntla Taraka Rama Rao (KTR) (KTR is known as shadow chief minister) and they are happy with the governance model of father and son. But, the local BRS leaders have profusely expressed displeasure over the rise of one family governance in the state and concentration of power in hands of father and son. In addition, the original party leaders – one who have been with KCR since formation of the party, are also not happy with the influx of leaders form INC. Moreover, the KCR’s ambition to entry into the national politics, leaving Telangana chief ministers chair to his son KTR is finding a few takers in the state politics. Worst, this has created an image that KCR is no longer interested in state and wants to focus on the national politics. The ambition to entry into the national politics has progressively changing the strong regional focused brand that KCR had created over years and may move a sizable share of swing voters from BRS to INC.

Rise of BJP in the State

In parliamentary election BRS faced setback, when BJP made inroads in Telangana by winning 4 seats out of 13 seats. The fear of KCR that Modi will play Nationalism and Hindutva cards and that will change the political dynamics came true when K Kavitha, daughter of KCR, lost Nizamabad seat against BJP candidate.

The win of four parliamentary seats paved the way for BJP growth in Telangana. The mood of the voters is shifting towards BJP was witnessed once again, in 2020 Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation election, when party won 48 seats. The most popular party BRS with 56 seats couldn’t win majority in municipal election and that forced KCR to join hands with AIMIM in GHMC. Though BJP had a few wins, but it will only be apt to say that the voters of Telangana are still standing tall with KCR but repeating 2018 victory will not be an easy task as in the last five years opposition has gain momentum and has nurtured their leaders.

The largest political party – BJP, though won seats in parliamentary and GHMC elections but failed to build party in the rural Telangana. The party still lacks strong local leadership and have a very poor rural presence. Moreover, the BJP local leadership lack on-ground presence and are heavily dependent on central leadership. Worst, local party leadership is unwilling to actively participate in election campaigning. It will only be apt to say that BJP has failed to set narrative for the Telangana elections and lost its ground over last few months.

The BJP which was seen as the key challenger to BRS in the Telangana assembly election is now positioned as the third largest party after INC and it is also believed that many BJP leaders may jump ship to INC or BRS post-election results.

Definite Fall and Probable Rise of INC

In 2018, Nalamada Uttam Kumar Reddy failed to manage the party and organize the INC cadre. We also witnessed that post 2018 poll debacle the party suffered a huge setback as INC MLAs bypassing anti-defection law and joined BRS government. This movement of INC leaders joining BRS government created an impression that INC is not interested in the state politics. It also changed perception of voters and key political leaders that INC as a political party has lost ground in the state further pushed disgruntled INC leaders to joined BJP.

After a grand victory of INC Karnataka in last assembly election INC Telangana adopted Karnataka model of politicking and started to focus on guaranteed schemes. Moreover, the political strategist Sunil Kanugolu is helping Revanth Reddy to gain the voters trust and bring the party back in the Telangana political landscape. It is also believed that Karnataka DCM DK Shivakumar is helping him in resource mobilization.

Historically INC has good presence in rural Telangana and that may work in its favor. But the party lacks strong local Muslim and backward leaders who can put tough a fight to BRS and AIMIM.

The probable mandate

As I understand, BRS may come back to power for straight third term with simple majority, INC may get 30+ seats, and BJP and AIMIM may bag 7 to 8 seats each. But a hung assembly scenario where both BRS and INC getting 40+ seats and fall short of majority can not be ignored.

work from home era

Get set for the work from home era

Many IT and ITeS organisations had been practising work from home (WFH) even before the pandemic set in. It was a part of their work culture, but for many others, it’s a new phenomenon. WFH was not a practical option for those in manufacturing, hospitality, performing arts, heavy industries and the government sector. The culture of these organisations had always been work from office. Fixed working hours and managing the productivity of the hours spent in the office were the norm. In the current Covid environment, even those who never accepted the idea of WFH have embraced it for their greater good.

After six months, the economy, globally, is unlocking and employees have started to go-to-office. However, the phenomenon of going-to-office is a function of the comfort of an organisation and the guidelines that the local government has issued.

Digital Transformation
As of now, most of the companies, irrespective of the organisation’s DNA and work culture, are scared of returning to the traditional way of working. They understand the responsibility and risks posed by Covid.

The organisations that have their employees working from home have taken all possible measures to prevent further spread of the virus and data privacy issues while taking care of the comfort of employees working from home. Most of the companies have also brought in digital tools for efficient management of the workforce and ensured that everyone is performing their tasks, thereby bringing in efficiency in operations.

Going forward, companies would progressively look after protection of data, better employee-employer communications, streamlining operation process, controlling the quality of production, and mental and physical health of employees. Most importantly, they would invest in improving data security, IT hardware and software infrastructure. This situation also warrants an organisation-wide digital transformation. We are likely to witness an exponential rise in digital transformation offerings.

Many Benefits
During the lockdown, we saw that the IT and ITeS industry transitioned to the WFH model smoothly providing business continuity to clients without lowering quality or productivity, surprising industry leaders and customers alike. A key reason was strict adherence to quality processes and availability of communication bandwidth from homes. This forced experiment of WFH has been a sizable success and has thrown open a new debate – why can’t we continue with WFH?

The group that is promoting the idea of WFH is also propagating the idea of work from small towns. They count the benefits in the form of improved recruitment and retention equity, reduced infrastructure expenses, reduced transport, real estate and operating costs. They argue that the IT and ITeS industry has adopted delivery processes that are designed for quality output from its inception. Moreover, the argument is based on the fact that the IT and ITeS industry is designed to do remote consulting, operations and development.

Telecom giant AT&T, between 2000 and 2005, tripled its team of WFH or work from remote (WFR) location workers. This helped AT&T save $180 million — $30 million in real estate costs and $150 million in increased productivity, apart from improving retention rates.

work from home era

Biggest Challenge
Experts believe small towns are better equipped to handle the business continuity programme. The group that is promoting the idea of WFR are exploring how organisations can take care of regulatory requirements. Experts are evaluating the issues of data protection, management of GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) issues and other cyber theft challenges.

The biggest challenge of WFH option is data protection. It is believed that when employees work from home, it is harder for employers to supervise the handling of confidential information and data. Organisation and industry bodies should consider reviewing contracts of employment to ensure they have robust confidential information clauses, and that the employee is adhering to the clauses.

It isn’t reasonable to say everyone who has an internet connection, Zoom, or a Microsoft Teams account is good for remote work. Using only employer-approved devices for office work, only employer-approved video-conferencing facilities, accessing internet on a secure device, using secured wi-fi networks, restriction to open or download only secure sites, prohibition on downloading or saving of employer’s confidential information on personal devices, restricting access to confidential information, providing access to information to only those who work on data to perform their duties, etc, should be seriously considered.

The other challenge companies may face is performance evaluation and employee behaviour during work hours. Employers must make it clear through their policies what is a suitable and acceptable behaviour when working from home. Moreover, it is also important to evaluate the social impact angle of WFH. It is observed that WFH has enabled some individuals to change their working practices for the better, but in most cases, daily routines have gone for a toss. The working hours too got longer. It is critical for the HR to understand that an employee’s health and safety are the prime responsibility of an organisation, irrespective of WFH or office.

Promising Returns
WFH is here to stay but its final shape will evolve with time. Several major companies, including Twitter, Facebook and TCS, have already announced a temporary or permanent shift to WFH, heralding the beginning of a new era in work culture.

This shift was desired and much needed for we’d have certainly faced the reality of WFH in the next decade. The pandemic has only accelerated the process. Organisations will now have to accept the WFH environment, realign their work culture, update process and technology, and rethink structuring their workforce.

Organisations need to come up with the process that manages the data protection requirements. To protect confidential information, employers should review their confidentiality policies and implement new technologies and statutory measures that specifically deal with WFH. WFH may result in more value in terms of equitable distribution of wealth, better inclusivity, improved diversity, more women employees, reduction in migration to metros, etc. The returns of WFH on the social equity front in very promising.

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Industry 4.0 and Digital Transformation

Industry 4.0 and Digital Transformation

Industry 4.0 is a huge deviation from the traditional manufacturing setup. It is the total integration of manufacturing systems, production processes, digital communications technologies and automated machines. It effectively uses expertise of IT systems, internet of things (IoT), adaptive manufacturing systems and other new age technologies.  As I understand, Industry 4.0 revolutionizes the manufacturing ecosystem, bringing greater agility through improved data analyses and digitized processes.

Samsung has taken the role of digital transformation with Industry 4.0 very seriously. For example, the surface inspection systems for digital TV production by Samsung reduces human operator intervention in the production line, increases throughput and reduces errors in the product inspection. System operation supports capturing TV surface image from high-resolution camera devices. This helps Samsung not only improve the quality of production but also reduces the human intervention in production.

 The Industry 4.0 team of Samsung has also developed a post-processing system for an image captured by the camera to make it amenable to automatic detection. The IIoT machines at Samsung uses automatic surface defect detection algorithm to distinguish a real defect from a false one on the digital TV. These were two of many such initiatives undertaken by Samsung to lead the benefits of digital transformation with Industry 4.0.

The integration of digital transformation with Industry 4.0 is not just a technical process, it is the sumtotal of internal integration which includes technology, cultural integration, resource optimization, financial inclusion, and services integration, and external integration which includes political, economic, social, legal, and many other external environmental issues.

Digital transformation with industry 4.0 has efficiently bridged the gap between physical and digital worlds. A few forward-thinking companies have done amazing things using the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and data analysis. They hook up with others with whom they can create new ecosystems of value. Here, it is important to talk of how Nokia and BSNL have collaborated for Industry 4.0 and have transformed traditional wired factory networks to wireless networks leading to improved equipment mobility for enhanced flexibility of manufacturing infrastructure.

BSNL was one of the early adoptions of IIoT applications in industry. This exercise has improved productivity and operational efficiency of the telecom operator, but it failed to cash in the momentum. As I understand, BSNL could not manage to transform the softer side of the transformation. It failed to integrate the key internal and external transformation elements. It could not improve on the services for the benefit of consumer.

Business success today requires a customer centric digital transformation strategy. It starts with prioritizing a superior and relevant customer experience and aligning the organization, processes, employees and technology to empower it.

In this ever-changing consumer centric economy, the needs of the customers keep on changing. It is responsibility of the management to script the digital transformation journey to match the pace of the change. All leading companies are re-imagining customer experience with a strong focus on digital.

The successful managers of our times are fully aware that digital is not just about being technology-led but also about recreating new experiences and service models for transforming their business. They understand that digital transformation helps organization shortened  time  to  market  to  develop; produce  and  market  new  products  and services; increased  customization  to  satisfy  individual  consumer  demands; manage higher product individualization; offer higher flexibility  with  faster  and  more  versatile  production  processes; offer expertise to produce smaller lot quantities with high quality and a cost-effective way. Managers at Rockwell Automation were one of the first few who understood the benefit of integration of digital transformation with Industry 4.0. The impact of Rockwell Automation’s digital transformation has been very encouraging. It has helped Rockwell Automation in increasing delivery from 82 to 90 per cent, reduced its lead times by fifty per cent, increased productivity by five per cent and reduced capex by thirty per cent.

The integration of digital transformation with Industry 4.0 in the manufacturing setup produces both short- and long-term benefits. It offers – transparency, manufacturing agility, improved productivity, improved efficiency, staffing flexibility, reduced costs, reduced training time and expense, improved quality, end-to-end manufacturing, as some of the key benefits. The effective integration of digital transformation with Industry 4.0 also helps organization in the decentralized decision-making process; pave the way for lean organization structure; help build base for the technology innovations; help develop innovation capability and culture; provide opportunities to increasing mechanization and automation, digitalization and networking, decentralized production and supply.

Organizations who have already embarked on the road to digital transformation are making impressive advances. They are shifting organizations’ goal, changing how people work and deploying technology to achieve value.

As I understand planning a customer journey blueprint, organizational cultural changes and the right operating model are often the most challenging elements to tackle in the journey of digital transformation. The path of digital transformation is not an easy journey. It demands organizations to define the digital landscape; establishing connection with customers; understand what customers’ feel about their brands; explore what customer expectations are; building momentum amongst management to lead the transformation journey; enable collaboration with partners; educate employee about the change; reengineer the organization culture; enable sense of digital accountability, among many other challenges.

The initial deployments of digital transformation with Industry 4.0 have offered us benefits in term of reduced costs and improved efficiencies. The next wave of digital transformation with Industry 4.0 calls for significant business value in terms of delivery efficiencies, new revenue streams, customer experiences, etc. However, in order to reap the benefits and potential, it’s not enough to understand what one can do with these technologies.

India: A Lucrative Cyber Security Market

India: A Lucrative Cyber Security Market

Cyber-attacks have become a regular phenomenon globally and India is no exception to it. We are experiencing new threats every day with a potential cost to the economy that cannot be fathomed. It’s not surprising that organizations are taking cybersecurity seriously, with a large portion of their budget going into implementing measures to fight cyber-attacks. Progressively, cybersecurity is becoming an important strategic issue in almost every organizations executive board room discussions. Organizations are planning to spend more on cybersecurity, devoting increasing resources to improving their defences and working harder to embed security-by-design. This also gets reflected in the cyber security market size. NASSCOM, Data Security Council of India & PwC Report, India’s cybersecurity market for products and services will grow up to $35 billion by 2025 creating 1 million + jobs in security domain with a robust ecosystem of 1000 security start-ups. This is yet another opportunity for the established IT players and start-ups to make maximum out of it.

In one recent attack, an Indian bank lost 944 million rupees (US$13.5m) after hackers installed malware on its ATM server that enabled them to make fraudulent withdrawals from cash machines.

If Indian IT players want to grow their business and the IT startups wants to establish themselves in the global market, cyber security offers them that opportunity.  NASSCOM, Data Security Council of India & PwC Report also suggest that India cybersecurity market is forecasted to grow at a CAGR of over 19% during 2018-2023. Growth in the market is expected to be driven by multiple driving force including – one, rising number of government initiatives towards digitizing; two, increasing awareness of business and individuals towards cyber security; three, rapid adaptation of security initiatives in healthcare, BFSI, education and other vital sectors; four, rapid adoption of Social, Mobile, Analytics, Cloud & IoT technologies by business, government, and individuals. The projection of the exponential growth projected by NASSCOM and other consulting organizations is based on the basic facts that Indian market comes with certain competitive advantages which makes it as a preferred destination. Some of the USP’s of the Indian market are– one, preferred destination of global SoCs; two, mature security practice of Indian IT services companies; three, security services operations set up by MNCs; four, preferred destination for security R&D; five, Existing GIC (Global In-house Centre) security operation centers; six, competitive IT product ecosystem, seven, existing network of 100 + Indian security companies; eight, availability of skill sets – 150,000 + experienced security professionals; trust factor that IT industry brings in to the global IT players.

As of now, India’s cyber security landscape is passing through transformational journey and it is too early to say that the joint effort of the government, regulators and industry are showing results, but the Indian cyber security industry is doing good and projected to do wonders.

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Cybersecurity Culture

Cybersecurity Culture

Cybersecurity should no longer be viewed as a function of information technology alone. The review of cyber security as a function should move under COO or CEO. It needs to form an integral part of culture and strategy of the organization. It should be reflected in every facet of the organization, right from the strategy to the behavior of an individual employee. We have also started to observe that the performance of any business on stock market is also dependent of their cyber security policies and practices.

An organization’s security culture is not something that grows in a positive way organically. One must invest in a security culture just when a security culture is sustainable, it transforms security from a one-time event into a lifecycle that generates security returns forever. A sustainable security culture has four defining features. First, it is deliberate and disruptive. The primary goal of a security culture is to foster change and better security, so it must be disruptive to the organization and deliberate with a set of actions to foster the change. Second, it is engaging and fun. People want to participate in a security culture that is enjoyable and challenging. Third, it is rewarding. For people to invest their time and effort, they need to understand what they will get in return. Fourh, it provides a return on investment. The reason anyone does security is to improve an offering and lower vulnerabilities; we must return a multiple of the effort invested.

It is an established fact that the computers do exactly what we tell them to do. The challenge is with the humans, as they need a framework to understand what is right thing and what is wrong for security. Making of cybersecurity culture includes following points – One, cybersecurity is the battle that can only be won by joining hands with other companies that are part of the ecosystem; Two, the journey of the cybersecurity culture must start with identifying and defining Internet governance in collaboration with governments and regulators; Three, the code of cybersecurity ethics can be created for each industry separately based on their needs; Four, the act of cyberattack transparency will build trust with everyone from suppliers to customers; Five, CEOs should be presenting cyber security as the DNA of the organization which is a part of their business model and value chain, including their leadership structure; Six, CEOs should acknowledge that cybersecurity is not an “add-on” feature, instead, it is an integral part of “security by design”.; Seven, organizations should start to bring CISO (Chief Information Security Officer) to the board, who will help organizations protect Cybersecurity Value Chain; Eight, CEOs are in a position to influence Internet service providers as a first action to make the Internet more secure and to invest in implementing better base Internet protocols; Nine, despite many organizations focusing on developing cybersecurity awareness, not all individuals understand their role in the organization’s security culture; Ten, cyber security awareness is about changing the view of individuals who have the opinion that only security department is responsible for cyber security; Eleven, lack of employee buy-in is one of the main reasons that it is difficult for organizations to instill proper cybersecurity culture in their workforce.

Organizations can work on the idea of setting up the cyber security community within the organization.  It should be seen as the backbone of sustainable security culture. Security community is achieved by understanding the different security interest levels within the organization and addressing their needs.