Underlining the need to reduce imports in the Electronic System and Design and Manufacturing (EDSM) ecosystem in Defence and Aerospace, Karnataka, Minister of IT, BT and S&T, S R Patil, said that encouraging domestic production is the government’s main goal as it is vital for the growth of the industry as well as the country.
Speaking at the ‘Deftronics’ conference, here on Tuesday, organised by India Electronics and Semiconductor Association (IESA), Patil said, “This sector has enormous potential in terms of employment and revenue, but it still it remains largely untapped. India spent roughly $30 billion on import of electronic products last year, and that number is sure to increase rapidly if we do not encourage domestic production”
The minister acknowledged that the industry faces issues in the form of restrictive rules that stagnate production, however, he said that the state government is keen to leverage a better position in this industry and build on the EDSM policy announced last year in the state.
“The Electronic System and Design and Manufacturing industry is sure to flourish in Defence with the raise in FDI limit to 49 per cent, and our government is ready to listen and provide all the support necessary.” he added.
On the future of the EDSM ecosystem in relation to Defence, Tata Group, CTO, Gopichand Katragadda said, “The number of graduates eligible for the field is rapidly increasing. This is a tremendous opportunity for Defence Research & Development Organisation to tap the potential we have. The issue is the lack of a formal training programme to channel this potential to results.”
He went on to say that the country needs to improve the quality of maintenance repair and overhaul (MRO) services offered.
“Ninety per cent of the MRO services required by industries in the country are outsourced to other countries. This can and should change in the coming years as long as we tap the country’s manpower potential efficiently,” he said.
Katragadda also called for improvements in research and development facilities.“The only way this industry will grow is with massive investment in research and development. Research and development in the country is still much below required standards and organisations and the government need to increase the importance given to this area,” he said.
“We have achieved real succes only when we have surplus of energy. As of now only a few states have achieved this,” he added
On the importance of collaboration between countries, Consulate-General of Israel in Bangalore, Consul-Genera, Menahem Kanafai said, “The only way for the sector to grow is through collaborations. India has begun to collaborate with various countries including Israel but the number of partnerships need to increase for real progress.”