The government is working on a policy roadmap to create champions in the design of electronic systems and semiconductors in India and hopes to announce new initiatives in this regard from as early as next month, minister of state for electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrashekhar said.
His ministry is working hard to realise the agenda of having a semiconductor fabrication unit (fab) in India and it should materialise in the next 3-5 years, Chandrashekhar added.
“We have champions in the software space, we have champions on the internet and fintech and many other areas that are essentially software driven, but (not many) in the electronic systems design space, in the semiconductor design space…,” he said while speaking at the Global FinTech Festival (GFF) 2021 on Wednesday.
“As part of broadening and deepening our electronics manufacturing and electronics capabilities, we have a plan that was very quickly worked on after I joined the ministry on July 7, and you will be seeing this being rolled out in October,” Chandrashekhar added.
India does not want to be a country that only does the software piece, he said.
“We want to be capable providers, global leaders in the systems design part, and with some luck, semiconductor design. If the Prime Minister’s vision really plays out, we will soon have a fab in this country in the next three to five years,” he said.
The government has accelerated efforts to start chip manufacturing in the country and is reportedly in talks with Taiwan to bring a $7.5 billion fab unit to India soon.
He also said Indian IT firms need to seize the ‘Y2K-like’ moment that the post-Covid-19 world has thrown up and that they have to play a bigger role in upskilling talent at scale to take advantage of the opportunity, sparked by increased digitisation due to the pandemic.
“The world has dramatically changed, the rapid pace of digitisation has just gone through the roof, and therefore the demand for digitisation and talent is also going to commensurately go sky high…we must recognise that we are in the post-Covid-19 world, in almost a Y2K-like moment for the Indian tech space,” he said.
“We are at an unprecedented inflection point in terms of opportunities for growth. If we don’t make the move quickly, somebody else will take this breakfast and lunch,” Chandrashekhar added.
“…industry and industry associations have to step up, I think, and do a lot more, especially in this post-Covid era. We are 100% committed to putting our money into the budget for training and skilling, expanding the network…the industry needs to seize this opportunity and look at skilling as a big challenge for which they need to play a bigger role,” he said.
On the fintech segment, Chandrasekhar said the financial sector has “dramatically transformed to include fintech as a very critical, integral component of the financial economy.”
“It has expanded opportunities for entrepreneurship, innovation, and jobs. Without doubt, it is now receiving large doses of investment, both domestic and foreign; it has created entrepreneurship, unicorns, leading-edge, confident, ambitious entrepreneurs who are going out there and unambiguously leading the world in terms of the platforms and solutions that they are putting out there,” Chandrashekhar added. Business Journal