Make in India- Some Views

India as it is significant player in manufacturing sector. If companies such as SKF and Sandvik manufacture and do its R &D in India, the country has certainly every talent to become a major manufacturing power of the world. India currently hosts more than 160 companies from Sweden, and 80 per cent of them invested as per their commitments in 2015. Majority of the Swedish companies are present in manufacturing, automotive, telecom, IT and retail. Swedish companies employ 1,60,000 people directly, and 1.1 million people indirectly. Swedish companies like ABB, Volvo, Ericsson, Sandvik, Scania, Astra Zeneca, Atlas Copco and SKF have invested in manufacturing and R&D in India. As part of the single-brand retail legislation, furniture company IKEA are among the first companies to have received approvals in India. Unfortunately, the big business families in India are shunning the sectors and switching to service sectors and that is a bad sign. Are the new generation in the families not ready to patronise the lucrative sector of manufacturing just to make money?

Under an agreement, HAL was to indigenise the Russian aircrafts it started manufacturing (assembling ) with obvious cost reduction with respect to the cost of imported ones. In phase I, when aircraft was directly imported from Russia, the average cost per fighter was Rs. 270.28 crore. In phase IV, when aircraft is manufactured by HAL from raw material, the cost is Rs. 417.85 crore. HAL takes 2-3 times more man-hours than those taken by Russians. In the case of the Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) project of HAL from 2001 to 2009, the Controller-General of Defence Accounts (CGDA) pointed out: “As against the envisaged indigenisation level of 50 per cent, about 90 per cent of the value of material used in each helicopter is procured from foreign suppliers.” During the production of the helicopter, despite gaining experience of making 90 of them, the labour hours remained almost double of what was prescribed by the consultant. The Shakti engine used in the helicopter “only has an indigenous name with hardly any self-reliance or technology control. Will Modi and his ministers be able to bring the change necessary? Will the projects of bullet train between Mumbai and Ahmedabad or the the two loco plants in Bihar get completed in time? For this to prove, the Indians must elect Modi again in 2019.

Modi has a blueprint for developing India which includes smart cities, Make in India, Digital India and various other flagship programmes. The Japanese have decided on industrial corridors and high speed trains, and the French are talking of nuclear energy and smart cities. The two countries- France and India signed a series of preliminary pacts on the development of Chandigarh, Nagpur and Puducherry as “smart cities”, besides another clutch of pacts on urban development, water, waste treatment and solar energy. The big push given to Modi’s Make in India programme with the Toulouse-based Airbus Group signing a pact with India’s Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd for the manufacture of helicopters.As part of the plan, the two companies plan to set up a final assembly line in India, develop tier-1 and tier-2 suppliers and undertake extensive transfer of technology to achieve 50% indigenous content.Over the last eight months, the group has stitched together at least four alliances with global engineering and technology firms to strengthen and expand its capabilities in the defence business as the Mahindra Group, like others including the Tata group and Larsen and Toubro Ltd, seeks to benefit from the government’s focus on encouraging local manufacture of defence equipment. At least three of the four alliances are in the aerospace sector.

Good news: Tejas – a single-seat, single-jet engine, highly agile multi-role light fighter developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) – captivated the audience at the Bahrain International air show with its display in the skies. The indigenously-developed Sarang demonstrated its capabilities in the skies with four helicopters mesmerizing the huge crowd gathered at the event. Tejas took flight for the first time at an international air show.

Perhaps the next 10 years will see India becoming a giant in manufacturing sector if the push given by the government in railways, defence, and electronics will show the result.

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