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Make In India Events 2015        

Dronacharya Group of Institutions, Greater Noida


Department of Computer Science & Engineering


CSI- Panel Discussion on ‘Make In India’


India International Centre, New Delhi


February 16th, 2015


A panel discussion on ‘Make in India’ was organized by Computer Society of India, Delhi Chapter on 16th February, 2015 at the India International Centre, Maxmuller Marg, New Delhi. The Chief Guest on this panel discussion was Dr. Ajay Kumar, IAS, Joint Secretary & Director General, NIC. Amongst the other eminent dignitaries present to grace this occasion were Mr. HR Mohan (President CSI), Mr. SD Sharma, (Chairman Delhi Chapter CSI), Mr. Anuj Agarwal (Chairman Noida Chapter CSI), Mr. Yudhishter Sharma (Vice Chairman CSI), Mr. VK Gupta(Secretary CSI) and Dr. AK Bansal (Treasurer CSI).


Amongst the panelists were Prof. DP Aggarwal (Ex Chairman UPSC) and Dr. Ajay Kumar. Prof. Divyanshu Sinha, HOD(CSE) represented Dronacharya Group of Institutions, Greater Noida in this event along with 40 other participants.


Make in India is an international marketing strategy, conceptualized by the Prime Minister of India, Sh. Narendra Modi on 25th September, 2014 to attract investments from businesses around the world, and in the process, strengthen India's manufacturing sector. The campaign's purpose is to enhance job creation, boost the national economy, convert India to a self-reliant country and to give the Indian economy global recognition. The campaign is under control of the Central Government of India.


Dr. Ajay Kumar reiterated the fact that in order to become a manufacturing nation, India has to quickly move beyond rhetoric to create a clear strategy and favorable policy environment for manufacturing to take off. A close dialogue and partnership between government and the private sector is critical. India must become a manufacturing powerhouse in order to gainfully employ its demographic dividend; there is no choice here. He said that India has many natural advantages including a big labor pool and a large domestic market. In addition, with China’s competitive advantage in manufacturing eroding, India has the opportunity to take some share of global manufacturing away from China. All that needs to be done is to improve the ease of doing business in India which depends on several factors —stop tax terrorism, improve infrastructure, reform labor laws, invest in skills development, make it easier to acquire land, implement Goods and Services Tax (GST) and fast track approvals.


According to him in order to become a manufacturing powerhouse, India needs a manufacturing strategy, otherwise known as industrial policy. The idea of an industrial policy is out of vogue these days. It is seen as ineffective at best and even retrograde, running contrary to the idea of free trade. Japan, Korea, China, Germany have all prospered by having a clear industrial policy and vigorously implementing it. There is a successful precedent even in India; our success in IT services was not an accident. It was the result of clear-eyed policies driven by the Department of Electronics, which included reducing import tariffs on hardware and software to zero, setting up software technology parks with tax incentives, and improving connectivity. Policy has always mattered and when it comes to manufacturing competitiveness, India must have a clear industrial policy that spells out priority sectors and how we will build competitive advantage in a way that is consistent with our obligations to the World Trade Organization (WTO).


Adding to this Prof. DP Agarwal stressed on the nurturing of Entrepreneurship amongst the youth of today to make India a Manufacturing Superpower. He stressed on the fact that India’s industrial policy must recognize where we have important competitive advantages. On the other hand, we are good at making complex things which require skilled labor and frugal engineering. Despite all its shortcomings, India remains a very competitive manufacturing location for sophisticated things such as construction machinery, cars and automotive components and diesel engines. It is no accident that companies such as JCB, Cummins, Deere, Volvo, Hyundai and Ford are using India as a major export hub.


Prof. Agarwal also suggested that Strategy is all about making choices. Here, five priority industries come to mind. Defence, because we are the world’s leading arms importer. Localising what we buy as a condition for all defence deals along with a willingness to allow majority foreign ownership can turbocharge our local defence industry. The second critical industry is electronics hardware. India imports $45 billion of mobile phones, computers and communications hardware; by 2020, this is projected to grow to $300 billion and exceed our oil import bill. This is unsustainable. There is a need to create policy incentives to create a local electronic hardware manufacturing ecosystem. Since most component suppliers, Original Equipment Manufacturers and Original Design Manufacturers are Chinese, this will necessarily imply incentivising Chinese companies to establish factories in India. The size of Indian domestic market should make this possible. Concerns about security are misplaced; all our personal computers, cellphones and a lot of switches and routers are already made in China, so we are conceding nothing. The third industry is construction. India will invest a trillion dollars over the coming years in improving infrastructure. There is a need to create incentives that not only spur investment in manufacturing materials such as cement and steel but also construction equipment, locomotives, power generation equipment and so on. Everything we install should be made in India. The fourth is health care. India’s generic pharmaceutical industry is world class. We must not concede on intellectual property rights that neutralise our advantage. India is also exceedingly good at frugal innovation in medical devices such as low cost X-ray and ECG machines. India has a real shot at being a world leader in innovation and manufacturing in this space. Finally, agro-industries. India is one of the largest agricultural nations. A third of what we grow just rots and spoils. Investing in agro-industries such as food processing and establishing a reliable cold chain would make a huge difference in terms of rural employment and food security. If we had to pick just five industries where we want to bootstrap a strong competitive advantage it would be these. In other industries, whether it be textiles, toys, or automotive, we need to ensure that we do not disadvantage local manufacturing.


The discussion concluded with the felicitation of all the panelists and the Chief Guest Dr. Ajay Kumar.








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