Government has taken a series of policy initiatives and programmes in the field of information & Communication Technologies to implement the agenda of the Eleventh Plan i.e. Inclusive growth. Speaking at the inaugural session of ELCINA-EFY CEO Summit here today, Shri Ashwani Kumar, Minister of State for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences said, “ The challenge is to make our development inclusive, sustainable and enduring to create a leading global position in the area of Electronics & IT Hardware manufacturing.”
He informed that a Task Force constituted by the Department of Information Technology, Ministry of Communications & Information Technology has suggested several measures for rapid growth of the industry and has defined a roadmap for the industry in the medium and long term. Government has identified five major initiatives from this Report which include setting up of a National Electronic Mission (NEM), dedicate “Electronic Development Fund” and Semiconductor Wafer Fabs, create policies for preferential access to procurement of electronic goods and encourage manufacture of specific high priority electronic product lines in India by providing capital grant and creation of electronic manufacturing clusters.
The Minister said, “ the demand for electronic hardware is posed for an exponential growth on account of three aspects namely sustained GDP growth of 8%+ leading to growth in per capita income and consequently, spending on electronics, infrastructure creation by Government and implementation of flagship initiatives such as National e Governance Plan and a growing young population and increase in literacy.”
Looking at the long term development in this sector, Shri Ashwani Kumar said, “The electronics hardware sector has the potential to contribute about 20% to the GDP by 2010. It is time for us to create a conducive policy framework environment for the establishment of electronic manufacturing industry, covering the entire spectrum starting form components to sub assemblies and the most important element - integrated chips. It is expected that Electronic Hardware production in the country is projected to grow from US$20 billion in 2009 to US$ 100 billion by 2014 and US$400 billion by 2020 which includes exports of $4 billion in 2009 growing to $15 billion by 2014 and $80 billion by 2020.”
“Electronics has penetrated all facets of our economic and social life and it is hard to imagine a product or service without its share of electronics – both hardware and software. Manufacturing sectors which have been significantly impacted by electronics are the consumer electronics and appliances, IT, telecommunications, industrial automation, defense & aerospace, automotive and medical sectors. In defense and aerospace the role of electronics is most critical. Satellite-based communications, navigation, surveillance systems, radars, under-water electronics systems, disaster management, internal security, to name a few, are all based on complex electronic equipment. Besides semiconductor chip, there are hundreds of other electronic components ranging from a simple electronic cable or connector to complex chip components, power management systems, and optical components etc., which make this complex technology work, the Minister added. He said, “Hence, it is imperative that we develop and sustain hardware manufacturing activity in the country to meet our strategic and defense needs as also to ensure the competitive edge of our economy.”
Referring manufacturing as a profitable case, the Minister said, “The Telecom sector in India is growing at a phenomenal speed and a huge opportunity is presented by the mobile phone supply chain. The number of telephone subscribers in India was 764.76 million at the end of November 2010, with overall Tele-density reaching 64.34. While handset manufacturing has grown rapidly in India, (about 120 million sets) it is dependent heavily on imports with low value addition and lacks a value chain of components and parts. Around 90% of components/parts by value are imported. In comparison China manufactures 50% of the global output at 650 million sets and has a robust supply chain including semiconductors, processors , memory modules, chip components , LCD’s, camera modules etc. Clearly, we need to catch up. In addition to the above, there is also a need to nurture the establishment of electronics manufacturing clusters and developing them into centers of excellence, while encouraging new ones.”