India’s rendezvous with industrialisation started after the country attained its independence, when its first Industrial Policy Resolution of 1948 (IPR 1948) was adopted. India started its tryst with industrialisation with handicaps and the IPR 1948 was a catch up policy. It was developed by looking through the rearview mirror of industrialisation. As a consequence, the country missed benefitting from the rapid advances taking place in electronics and computers that triggered the third industrial era. IPR 1948 and its subsequent revisions served only their primary purpose of building basic industries.
The dawn of the fourth era of industrialistion (Industry 4.0), presents India an opportunity to catch up with industrialised countries, for which the country needs to become future ready. The recent announcement by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry about the formulation of Industrial Policy – 2017, which will make India a centre of industrial excellence, is timely and very welcome.
According to press information released by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) has initiated the process of formulating the Industrial Policy – 2017. It aims to make India a manufacturing hub and envisions the industry to adopt advanced manufacturing technologies.
The new policy, which was to release in October 2017, will be evolved through consultations with all stakeholders. To frame the new Policy, DIPP is inviting feedback. In this regard, it has released a discussion paper, which describes the framework as “A Future Ready Industrial Policy.” It states that developing “a globally competitive Indian industry equipped with skill and scale and technology” as the overall objective of the initiative.
The policy proposes to evolve measures to overcome present constraints and to empower the country’s industrial ecosystem. This will let it gain global competitiveness. Addressing other objectives, such as, those related to innovation and improving technology linkages, requires mindset changes among the captains of the Indian industry. They must act as thought leaders to emerge as global players.
The new policy initiative has to be conceived with vision and implemented well. The Industrial Policy – 2017 initiative’s success will spur India’s economic growth. Similar policy programs, such as, the Smart Manufacturing Leadership Coalition of the US and Industry 4.0 by Germany have been making tremendous progress. These initiatives are involved with industry organisations. It is necessary for the captains of India’s industry and technology supplier companies to become stakeholders to this initiative. India needs a robust manufacturing industry that will contribute at least 25 per cent to its GDP. The Industrial Policy – 2017 under development holds the key to India’s manufacturing industry to make its contribution to the country’s future economic prosperity and, thereby, succeed.
This is a guest editorial feature by Rajabahadur V Arcot, Independent Industry Analyst, Columnist & Automation Consultant