Manufacturing India: An Unique Achievement

In last few days at least two events reported in media tell some thing great about Indian manufacturing.

The Indian navy launched its first indigenous aircraft carrier on Aug 12 at Kochi, making the country only the fifth in the world with capability to build such vessels.

Only the US, Russia, Britain and France have capacity to design and build aircraft carriers of 40,000 tonnes and heavier. It has been designed by Indian Navy’s design organisation and built by Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL). The construction has used high-strength steel developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation and Steel Authority of India Ltd.

Dimensionally, it is about 260 metre in length and 60 m in breadth and capable of attaining speeds over 28 knots (56 km per hour). The carrier will be able to accommodate about 25 aircrafts with a crew of about 1,450, and power generation capacity of 24 MW.

Interestingly, on the indigenisation levels, the aircraft carrier is 80 to 90 percent in the float category (fabrication) and 50 to 60 percent in the move category (propulsion and related machinery). The carrier’s production commenced in 2006 and its keel was laid in 2009.

Bhilai Steel Plant and other plants of the Steel Authority of India (SAIL) — at Rourkela, Durgapur and Bokaro — have manufactured 26,000 tonnes of high-grade “warship steel”.

However, it will undergo extensive trials till 2016 before being inducted into the Navy by 2018 end. Fighter aircraft–Mig-29K, Light Combat Aircraft and Kamov-31 helicopters–will deployed on board the carrier which will also carry an array of other weapons

This is certainly an example of great prowess of Indian manufacturing sector and skills of the workforce including engineers.

The second story relates to the miniaturisation of nuclear power plant for indigenously built nuclear submarine INS Arihant, that reached criticality, that is, became capable of fully powering the vessel. As reported, “India’s private sector helped out the $2.9-billion project in significant ways. The hull for the vessel was built by L&T’s Hazira shipbuilding facility, Tata Power built the control systems for the submarine, while the systems for the steam turbine integrated with the reactor are supplied by Walchandnagar Industries, reported DNA newspaper in 2009.”

Though the public sector units have achieved through the above two examples a huge mileage in manufacturing, but a lot is to be done to be as competitive as the advanced nations. India must develop, design and manufacture more of the high technologies products and sell them as a global player.

There are miles and miles to go, and for that big private companies must also join the R&D as well as manufacturing race of the country.

As we all know, the manufacturing in India still remains neglected and
in marked contrast to the great majority of emerging nations, the share of manufacturing in GDP has stagnated at around 15-17 per cent for decades in India. Perhaps, the PSUs in manufacturing such as BHEL, BMEL, BEL must be encouraged to go global, but on its own strength of R&D, and business practices.

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1 Response to Manufacturing India: An Unique Achievement

  1. Nice Post. Its really a excellent article. My partner and i noticed all of your important points. Thanks

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