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India needs to take rapid strides to boost electronics manufacturing in the country.
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The issue that we have sought to highlight this month is the compelling challenge before the nation in the electronics sector. This being the age of information technology, the entire world is moving towards knowledge-based systems powered by IT and electronics.

As highlighted in Mega Trends, the McKinsey Global Institute’s latest report, Disruptive technologies: Advances that will transform life, business, and the global economy, has brought to our notice the 12 technologies that will drive the world by the end of 2020. The report tells us that robotics will function in an advanced stage, doing tasks "once thought too delicate or uneconomical to automate".  Next-generation genomics with rapidly advancing computational and analytic capabilities will improve health diagnostics and treatments, enhance agricultural performance and help create high-value substances such as ethanol and biodiesel from ordinary organisms, such as E. coli bacteria.

Advanced energy storage technology could make electric vehicles cost competitive and bring electricity to remote areas of developing countries, while the Internet will influence the economy to the tune of $1.7 trillion GDP.

Essentially, every sector of our lives will be driven by software and electronics. Cloud technology will witness greater reach and expansion while we will see the widespread availability of autonomous and near-autonomous vehicles and the popularity of technologies such as 3D printing.

All of this will require not just software but also hardware and this is where the area of concern arises for India.

The Briefing section points out that while India has achieved significant success in the software and IT services sector, electronics manufacturing in the country has been lagging behind. This needs to be rectified on an urgent basis as backwardness in electronics manufacturing could have serious implications on national security.

Projections suggest that by 2020 India’s electronics import bill could rise to $400 billion surpassing the nation’s oil import bill. Consequently, India would become dependent on other countries for the supply of electronics components which could compromise our national interest.

Indian scientists such as Prof. Govind Swarup have strongly argued for the introduction of attractive policies for foreign direct investment in the electronics sector.

Fortunately, the government has been moving in this direction and taking the necessary steps. However, what is needed is a far more aggressive strategy to bring about the desired change.

Do go through the articles presented in various sections and send us your feedback.

With best wishes,
Abhay Vaidya

Editor, Change for Better


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