With the objective of encouraging the semiconductor industry in India, Union Minister for Communications and IT Ravishankar Prasad on Thursday laid the foundation stone for the new incubation facility and semiconductor measurement analysis and reliability test (SMART) lab in Bengaluru with a total investment of Rs 74.4 crore.
Speaking at the function, Prasad lauded the pioneering role of Bengaluru in the IT and Electronic System Design and Manufacturing (ESDM) sphere, which can be used to bring in social change along with the Digital India Campaign.
“India is at the cusp of dramatic social change where smartphone is bringing in revolution in the connectivity sphere. Here we should make use of our IT prowess to make the Digital India campaign a reality,” he said.
Based on India’s three Ds (democracy, demography, and demand) and three S’ (scale, speed, and skill), the Modi-led government conceived the Digital India Campaign to reduce the digital divide between the digital haves and have nots.
The minister also said there is a critical need for infrastructure rollout as part of the Digital India Campaign and it will help the country achieve 20 per cent growth in its GDP. “As part of this game plan, we have already done the spectrum allocation and the rollout of the national optical fibre network (NOFN) has been made into a mission mode with the support of BSNL and RailTel. We do hope to connect India’s 6 lakh odd villages by the end of 2016,” he said.
On the ESDM sector, he said the government has already cleared projects worth Rs 6,000 crore out of the around Rs 20,000 crore worth of proposals before the government.
“We have already allocated Rs 10,000 crore as part of the Innovation Fund for research and development (R&D) of IT and ESDM sectors. Our government is ready to give support of Rs 25 crore for each 50 acres developed by any ESDM entity in the country,” he said.
The SMART facility, to be set up at the premises of Tessolve Semiconductor with a total project cost of Rs 14 crore, will provide the entire range of equipment for testing of chips, measurement of parameters, reliability tests, and failure analysis of semiconductor chips. The facility is a joint venture of STPI and the government of Karnataka.
“The lab will enable semiconductor companies to test their chips locally which reduces the product design cycle and operational costs radically,” said STPI Director-General Omkar Rai. The incubation centre of STPI will have 1.25 lakh square feet of space and will be created at a total project cost of Rs 60.40 crore. The building will also host a datacentre and a finishing school.