Make in India is one of the flagship programs of the Government of India which intends to boost the domestic manufacturing industry and attract foreign investors to invest in India.
The late 19th century saw the British East India company forcing Indian farmers being forced to grow cotton and indigo for export to Britain. What followed was the import finished products, mainly clothes from Britain for sale in India, So despite being a leading producer of cotton , the Indian markets faced a shortage of the availability of cotton as most of it was exported to Britain.
This not only caused the prices of cotton to rise up exponentially and artificially but also drained the Indian revenue of cotton and money.
The concept of indigenous production and not import has existed since the early 1900s in India during the British Rule. The ‘Swadeshi’ movement started in 1905 could be termed as a relatively close cousin to today’s ‘Make in India’ policy.
Manufacturing currently contributes approximately 16% to the national gross domestic product (GDP) and the target is to take it to 25%.
Make in India focuses on 25 sectors of the economy – Automobiles, Automobile components, Aviation, Biotechnology, Chemicals, Construction, Defense manufacturing, Electrical machinery, Electronic systems, Food Processing, IT and BPM, Leather, Media and entertainment, Mining, Oil and gas, Pharmaceuticals, Ports and shipping, Railways, Renewable energy, Roads and highways, Space, Textiles and garments, Thermal power, Tourism and hospitality, and Wellness.
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The need for Make in India
The need for make in India can be understood through the following rather comical instance. The great Indian scientist and visionary and also our former President, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam in his book, ‘Ignited Minds’ had mentioned one incident in which he was working with a team of scientists in 1970 (while in ISRO), a need arose for beryllium diaphragms which were to be used in gyroscopes, and various other sensors for the satellite’s navigation system.
However these diaphragms were not available in India, so a procurement team was formed in order to purchase the diaphragms from the international market. A deal was finalized with a New York based manufacturer. Three months later, the deal could not be substantiated because the US State Department would not allow the sale of beryllium diaphragms because they are used by US military.
Immediately, alternatives were searched for, and an astonishing fact came to surface. India was ironically having one of the largest deposits of beryllium. India used to export the ores to Japan where they were processed into ores and sheets, and was exported to the US Company who refused it to us!
Immediately the export of beryllium was stopped.
This is the same with other walks of our country too. India is poor as a nation in spite of its enormous wealth and biodiversity. We have all the raw materials, only an initiative to make the proper use of the materials will ensure the future of this nation as a powerful economy as par not only with China but also with the Occident.
- Make in India may be India’s answer to the unemployment puzzle especially for the skilled workers forming the low income group.
- India will become self-dependent on those routes which are being imported from other countries.
- Reduction in imports will improve India’s Forex reserves.
- It will reduce the cost of items that we previously had to import from outside the country.
- One of the first steps to becoming a world superpower is to have completely indigenous military manufacturing systems. India today has an enormously sizeable infantry. With self-dependency in military hardware, we can become truly invincible. As of today, India is one of the largest importers of arms in the world.
- It will improve Indian economy and will give small Indian companies boosts that are directly/indirectly part of the manufacturing process.
- Once India is self-sufficient, it can then start export of the surplus resources will help generate revenue thus improving the Indian economy.
- It will promote skill development.
- FDI inflow has already improved to about 40% and is ever rising.
- It aims at taking India’s GDP to 25% by the year 2022 which is rejected to create approximately 100 million jobs.
- Contract-manufacturing giant Foxconn has announced plans to spend $5 billion on factories and research in India.
- The world’s largest automobiles manufacturer General Motors, has announced that it will invest a handsome $1 bn in India despite the fact that they are exiting the retail business in India very soon. This has been achieved only after the announcement of the Make in India campaign.
- IKEA, a Swedish furniture company, has decided to manufacture more than 30% of its products within India.
- Swedish premium car manufacturer, Volvo, has started assembling its cars in India itself and therefore, customers will not have to pay the hefty import taxes on these cars.
- Apple is also rumored to start their entire manufacturing business in India.
- Ashok Leyland has recently unveiled its Circuit-series electric busses.These will be the first ever electric cars designed and manufactured wholly in India.
- The Coca Cola Company has invested Rs.750 crores for setting up more bottling plants in India.
Government initiatives to promote ‘Make in India’ campaign
- The government has done away with the 12.5% excise duty and 4% special additional duty on manufacturing Point of Sales (PoS) machines to boost cashless and self-dependent India.
- The Uttar Pradesh Government has struck deals worth Rs.5000 crores for help setting up of mobile manufacturing units.
- To facilitate electronics manufacturing in the country, the government has invested US$ 10 billion in two semiconductor plants.
The government is constantly engaged in promulgating newer and newer schemes to make this ‘Make in India’ campaign a towering success.
India, today, as an economy is still in its infancy with only 70 years post-independence. Its potential is tremendous and there is no dearth of smart individuals here who are constantly employed in turning the vision of ‘Make in India’ campaign into a concrete reality.
With proper efforts, it will not just be a data table of numbers and figures, profit and loss margins, but will also positively impact the lives of the people that dwell in this great country called INDIA.