Make-in-India: My Outlooks

Make-in-India: Here is a story of a traditional manufacturing hub. Munger district, along Ganga’s banks in Bihar, has a formidable reputation for being a hub for illegal gun making. Gun making in Munger is about 200-year old. As believed, ‘the British established this industry in this region during the first Anglo-Afghan war. During the first world war, these gunsmiths came into prominence for developing the cartridge gun. After 1947, the government prompted these gunsmiths to set up cooperative factories. However, due to government apathy in arms purchase and policy hassles, most of these factories quickly shut down.’ The people in gun making are already trained and can manufacture even sophisticated guns such AK-47 or better. Today, all these enterprises do illegal manufacturing and business. Manohar Parrikar, the IITian Defence Minister is smart and proactive. Can this talent in manufacturing be used to get into a respectable business enterprises through some innovative schemes? Can some influential technocrat missionary suggest ways and means to integrate these manufacturing talents to create an arms manufacturing hub of the country to produce world class arms with some technical input and meagre investment in some machine tools and testing equipment? Can some one put the suggestion to the effective decision maker?

Wrote a letter to Indian Express today-
Make-in-India: L&T must answer some questions. As reported in Indian Express, “the bronze parts of the Statue of Unity for the memorial to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, coming up in Gujarat will be made in a foundry in China. Larsen & Toubro (L&T) got the contract from the Gujarat government for the Rs 3,000-crore project. It has sub-leased the “bronze cladding” of the statue to TQ Art Foundry, part of the Jiangxi Toqine Company in Nanchang. Hundreds of Chinese workers are also expected to arrive in Narmada to “assist” L&T in the concrete construction of the statue core. The Gujarat government expresses it helplessness over where the contractor company gets the material from.” L&T is the largest engineering fabricator in India. L&T has been suggesting time and again to put higher taxes on the Chinese imports to make Indian manufacture competitive. L&T must let the people of India know why it had to go to China for getting the prestigious statue made? Is it the lack of the facility in India for this one-off order that it mostly undertakes? Why could not it find the alternate way of making it with inputs from other Indian experts? Can we take pride in such a memorial? How will a tourist react, may be a foreigner, when the guide will tell that it was built by the Chinese? It is shameful for country that has an unique iron pillar in Delhi, a large number of highly polished Ashokan pillars, and Bahubali statue in Sravanbelgola. The executors of the pride project could have waited to make it Indian.


Make-in-Bihar and Nitish: The biggest contribution of Nitish Kumar is his Mukhyamantri Cycle Yojana (chief minister’s bicycle programme. Was it his idea or that of some other minister, may be Sushil Modi, his Deputy in the cabinet. Since 2006-07, the state has recorded around 70 lakh beneficiaries to get cycles. And it laid to setting up of the cycle manufacturing companies its plants in Bihar, around Patna. However, only in the last two years, several prominent cycle manufacturing companies – Hero Cycles, Avon Cycles and TI Cycles have tiptoed to Bihar after coming of Modi’s government. Hero Cycles has invested Rs 55 crore to set up a modern plant in Bihta and employed over 250 people .Avon Cycles has a plant in Hajipur Industrial Estate. Interesting, the plant location has also because the eastern region-Bengal, Bihar, Odisha and Assam – comprises around 45 per cent of the country’s bicycle market of around Rs 9,500 crore. I wish Bihar to become the hub for cycle manufacturers. At present, Ludhiana is the country’s cycle manufacturing hub. Interestingly, over 60 per cent of the people working in Ludhiana are migrants from Bihar. Will the gain of the jobs for Biharis may be loss of jobs for the already employed migrants? However, many opine that Nitish Kumar may ride to victory with the support of the beneficiaries with his gifts of cycle on which the government has spent more than Rs 1,500 crore. I still think Nitish Kumar would have done more for the handicrafts such as Madhubani arts or Bhagalpur tussar. It had a huge potential of employment with aggressive push from the government push. While merchandise exports have been in negative territory for the 10th month in a row, some odd sectors have weathered the crisis, reports Banikinkar Pattanayak in New Delhi. Interestingly, Indian Handicrafts has outdone the global competition. Even unlike other merchandise exports, the exports of handicrafts from India are in boom. In rupee terms, handicraft exports almost tripled to Rs 18,639 crore in the five years through 2014-15. Nitish would have focused on what does not require huge resources for creating employments. I hope the new government will focus on creating more and more rural employment.

Make-in-India: Will it happen and happen in right way? As reported extensively, ‘the chairman of the world’s biggest airplane manufacturer, Boeing James McNerney has said that it could ‘make in India’ a state of the art fighter plane. “India will get technology that can be used elsewhere in manufacturing.” Boeing plans to assemble either its Chinook heavy-lift helicopters or Apache attack choppers in India. “Large sections of the Chinook fuselage are already manufactured in India and discussions are ongoing with the Indian partners to make Apache parts.” Currently, the beams of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner which can be called the spine of the aircraft are also being made in a Nagpur facility. Chairman during this India visit further said, “We can play at the centre of ‘Make-in-India’ keeping in line with Boeing’s global product strategy. We want design and make in India for India and the world. India is now better poised to make investments for us.” It must not only be the India’s market but other parameters such as talent and skill availability aspects for setting up manufacturing plants, ease of doing business, infrastructure, vendors for components and competitiveness, must encourage companies like Boeing, Airbus, or Lockheed to own its Asia facilities in India.Interestingly, NDTV for the first time had a programme on Make-in-India.

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