By Chellammal Subramaniam
The National Democratic Alliance government announced its first major programme “Make in India” in September 2014, with a goal of promoting and attracting investment in India in manufacturing design and innovation. The success of the initiative will depend on the working of the ministries of Government of India. This article mainly focuses on four ministries which will have a strong impact on the success of Make in India.
Ministry of Commerce and Industry – Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP):
The major role of this Ministry is to administer and promote India’s international trade by instigating and regulating trade and commercial policies and other provisions thereof. As per the annual report 2015-16 of the ministry, India is the 19th largest exporter and 12th largest importer of merchandise trade in the world. India has been doing very well in services, with the sector contributing about 57% to GDP, 28.1% to employment and 25% to trade. The Ministry, through MII aims to augment the service sector in order to improve the competitiveness of manufactured goods in international trade. The role of service sector in the process of production cannot be underrated. For a fruitful result in cost effectiveness, it is essential to have efficient transportation, distribution, finance, telecommunications and other services. By improving the service sector, the whole supply chain would improve. Therefore, this sector plays a significant role under the MII campaign.
Keeping the objective of ‘Ease of Doing Business’ in mind, the ministry has created an Investor Facilitation Cell, ‘Invest India’ to guide and assist investors during the entire life-cycle of their business. Apart from this, 14 central government services including, industrial licence, employer registration, tax collection and deduction account number, permanent account number, importer-exporter code, etc. have been integrated under a single online window called ‘eBiz portal’. This project under the ‘Digital India’ program visualizes setting up a government-to-business portal to serve as a one-stop shop for delivery of services to the investors and addresses the needs of business and industry. Several other norms of industrial licensing and industrial entrepreneur memorandum have been simplified to alleviate business activities.
Ministry of Human Resource and Development:
Despite the fact that MHRD is not directly included in the MII sectors, its incidental involvement is through its goal to build a capable human resource for the success of policy implementation. In the long run, it is required that the nation building process ensures that the human resource is trained to upgrade their skills according to changing times. In this regard, the education sector has to be given considerable attention especially in the higher education stream – as students from this segment are the ones who will be joining the workforce in the immediate future. Therefore the initiatives taken by the MHRD in the recent periods will show how much the government is prepared to earnestly implement the objectives of MII.
In order to promote science and technology, Research and Development and IT among students, the MHRD launched the Rashtriya Avishkar Abhiyan on 9th July, 2015. This scheme is directed towards enhancing learning among school going students by setting up model labs. Another initiative to develop R&D in the country is the ‘IMPRINT INDIA’ scheme, announced in November 2015. It is a joint initiative by IIT and IISc to develop a path for research to solve major challenges in engineering and technology domains relevant to India. Health care technology, energy security, environment/climate change and other sectors fall under its purvey, as they have been identified as divisions that could substantially impact the living standards of the rural areas.
In order to provide Indian students an exposure to academic curricula of foreign universities, the GIAN – Global Initiative for Academics Network was launched to attract best foreign academicians to Indian universities. As a part of the Digital India Campaign, the Ministry of HRD has launched ‘e-pathshala’ which is a single point depository of e-resources containing, NCERT text-books and various other learning resources for students. The one major step taken by the MHRD which will prove fruitful in MII program is the focus on promoting Start-ups among students. Under this proposal, 37 new start-up zones would be set covering all the IITs, NITs and some IIITs/Central Universities. These would foster start-ups by scaffolding them till they reach the stage of commercialization. Additionally, an initiative as part of the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana is being launched to encourage technical institutions to provide technical skills through part-time courses to unemployed youth. This is expected to provide skilled personnel required to make MII campaign a success.
Ministry of Labour and Employment:
Ministry of Labour & Employment has launched new initiatives in tune with the Prime Minister’s approach of ‘Reform to Transform’. The priority areas are employment generation, job security, and social security to the workforce of the country, as well as bringing transparency and accountability in enforcement of Labour Laws. Efforts are also made to promote industrial activity, enhancing employability through ‘Skill India’ and encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship through ‘Start up India’. One major proposal made by the ministry in this regard was the launch of the Unified Web Portal ‘Shram Suvidha’ in October, 2014 to bring transparency and accountability in enforcement of labour laws and ease complexity of compliance. The Ministry is also digitalizing its sub-organisations,by shifting from e-governance to m-governance through the introduction of mobile applications. The ministry has also implemented the National Career Service (NCS) Project for transforming and strengthening the public employment services in the country with an aim to bring job seekers, employers and trainers on a common platform with efficient use of information technology. NCS provides services like job matching, career counselling, internship and skill development courses, and aims to establish 100 Model Career Centres in collaboration with the States.
Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship:
The MII program aims to boost up the manufacturing sector and thereby, increasing the employment rate in the economy. To do this, the government needs to tackle the barrier of skill mismatch in the country. Our country’s demographic dividend is very favourable, with a large proportion of people forming a part of the workforce; however there is a dearth of skilled labour. The Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship have been taking steps to fill this gap. The first and foremost step that the government took in shaping the skills landscape was the creation of a separate Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE) which in the last one year has invested heavily on restructuring and re-energising the skill ecosystem in the country. The government began by launching the ‘Skill India’ program under which it has released the ‘Skill India Portal’ – where self-paced courses for students and professionals are provided for them to hone and develop their skills and understanding. The PMKY- Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana is the flagship program of this ministry and one important plan under this is the Skill Certification Scheme which will enable a large number of Indian youth to take up industry-relevant skill training that will help them in securing a better livelihood. Individuals with prior learning experience or skills will also be assessed and certified under Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). Under this Scheme, Training and Assessment fees are completely funded by the Government.
The new proposals of these Ministries thus play a key role in the accomplishment of Make in India. It can be seen that the undertakings by these ministries are coordinated in such a fashion, that all of them prove to be working simultaneously – showing how adequately prepared the government is for welcoming this new positive change in the economy.\
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