India beefs up electronics manufacturing
The NPE-2011 intends to run up the country's electronics systems and design manufacturing (ESDM) industry including nanoelectronics to establish a strong and sustainable manufacturing base for local and international markets. It also details the proposal to set up about 200 electronic manufacturing clusters (EMCs) and provides assistance for constructing greenfield EMCs and upgrading of brownfield EMCs.
The draft announced by Sibal examines several issues such as the creation of a National Electronics Mission that covers the setting up of wafer fabrication facilities, VLSI incubation centres and the development of a so-called 'India microprocessor.'
The steps also include attractive financial incentives for indigenous manufacturing, giving locally manufactured electronic systems a boost by preferential treatment in purchases, creating a fund for promoting electronics manufacturing, and paying special attention to automotive and industrial electronics.
Another key purpose of the policy is to enhance post-graduate education and to produce more than 2,500 doctor's degrees annually by 2020. "For this we need tie-ups with universities and educational institutions like IITs and IIScs to promote such kind of a thing," the minister added.
The hope is to grow production in India from about $20 billion in 2009 to a large but unspecified target that includes growing chip design in India to $55 billion and growing tech exports to $80 billion. India's current chip design export revenue is about $7.5 billion. "The final policy on electronics is expected by December. We expect to receive comments on the draft by November," Sibal stated.
"The draft NPE-2011 represents perhaps the most significant step for the electronics industry and specifically ESDM industry in India in the past many years," noted Satya Gupta, vice chair, India Semiconductor Association (ISA). "ISA whole heartedly welcomes and supports the provisions of the NPE-2011 and also the proposed change of name of the Department of IT to the Department of Electronics and IT. We believe that this enhanced focus will usher a new era for electronics industry to fuel future growth of India."
"Measures like the electronic product development fund, the focus on talent development and the preferential market access to local products could act as the key catalysts to spurring innovation and the growth of world class companies in this sector," added P.V.G. Menon, president of ISA.
- Kariyatil Krishnadas
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