With the Make in India campaign beginning to make a positive impact on the manufacturing sector and the economy as a whole, it is time for universities and industry to come closer and work in unison and make the initiative the most powerful tool for driving economic growth and spawning social prosperity, said President Pranab Mukherjee here on Monday.
In presence of a large assembly of heads of industries, academic luminaries, policy makers at the Industry-Academia Innovation Platform, a day-long conference organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology Shibpur (IIEST), the President said Make in India is a drive designed to facilitate investment, foster innovation, sharpen skills, protect intellectual property, and build best-in-class manufacturing infrastructure in India.
“Make in India envisions raising the contribution of the manufacturing sector to 25 per cent of the GDP and in the process, creating 100 million new jobs in the country. It also aspires to slot India into active global value chains by making manufacturing globally competitive,” said Mukherjee.
“In 2015-16, manufacturing grew at 9.3 per cent, up from 5.5 per cent last year. This reflects the impact of Make in India campaign. The sector employs 12 per cent of the Indian workforce. For each 1 per cent increase in manufacturing growth, 20-30 million additional jobs can be created, directly and indirectly,” Mukherjee commented.
The Hon’ble President also heaped praise on IIEST Shibpur, an institute of national importance with 160 years of grand heritage and CII, the apex industry body with 120 years of glorious history, for joining hands to work towards building a knowledgeable society and enabling Make in India.
Partha Chatterjee, state education minister, detailed what the West Bengal Government is doing to ensure that academia is in sync with the requirements of the industry. “The State Council of Higher Education has decided to undertake an effort at the nodal level to update and revise the curriculum of all subjects, especially science, in consultation with universities and then send it back to them for further necessary actions to adopt the same,” Chatterjee said, adding that a committee of eminent academics is being set up to oversee the task of this curriculum revision in a time-bound manner.
In his address, the CII President, Naushad Forbes, said the pillars of India’s strength are human capital and research; market sophistication and knowledge & technology output. “Our biggest strength is our human resource and the more we sharpen it, the more we invest on it, the more we are going to benefit in the long run,” Forbes observed.