IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw on Thursday urged states to look seriously at huge opportunities in the electronics manufacturing space, where India has proven its mettle as a “key trusted partner” to the world.
He also said having special zones in industrial corridors for electronics manufacturing would bring rich benefits, including massive job creation in the sector.
The minister cited India’s success in electronics manufacturing, citing an example of how iPhone production lines are boosting employment, and urging states to act quickly to address the “great opportunities” emerging in the sector. , to seize.
At the first meeting of the Apex Monitoring Authority for the National Industrial Corridor Development Programme, Vaishnaw, who is also the Minister of Communications, suggested forming a working group between the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Telecom Department.
According to him, such a working group will help to address crucial aspects such as fiber optic channels and space for 5G telecom towers in a “scientific and methodical way” to ensure robust connectivity in these industrial zones or nodes.
“We have a great opportunity as India is seen as a very important trusted partner and the success of electronics manufacturing over the past eight years has been watched and experienced by the world…from practically nowhere we have reached a USD 76 billion industry in the electronics manufacturing today, and this has double-digit growth,” he said.
Vaishnaw also urged state governments to look seriously at the opportunities ahead, saying, “If we can have dedicated hubs in these industrial corridors for electronics manufacturing, that will be a great opportunity too.” The resulting benefits would be not just in terms of production scale, but even job creation.
“It is very labour-intensive. One line of iPhone normally employs about 5,000 people. That’s a huge number… So even if we can shift 10-15 lines in the next few years, we’re going to have a huge job generation in this industry,” he said.
He urged key ministers and ministers of several states to look “seriously” at all opportunities in electronics manufacturing, both from a manufacturing and employment perspective.
The minister noted that fiber connectivity will be an important part of the whole planning, and advised that laying roadside pipes in these zones would eliminate the need for unnecessary digging at a later stage.
“So I request, where we build roads in the industrial zones or in the interchanges, provide pipelines along the roads, and we can have coordination between the Ministry of Telecoms and the Ministry of Trade and Industry,” he said. So wherever the roads are built, the pipes can be built in advance so that fiber connectivity doesn’t have to be dug further when the projects are finally brought to a logical conclusion, he said.
According to him, the arrival of 5G would necessitate the need for more telecom towers, almost 7-8 times that of 4G.
“Please give more space for telecom towers. Perhaps if we can have a working group of the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Telecom Department so that points of fiber optic cable and telecom towers can be addressed in a more scientific and methodical way,” he said.
The minister also claimed that data centers, especially edge computing data centers, will play a crucial role in the future production for ‘Industry 4.0’.
“So I request, also plan for data centers, as for any other infrastructure. Keep enough space and double or triple redundant power connections for the data centers,” said Vaishnaw.
The meeting was attended by the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, the Trade and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal, the Vice-President of NITI Aayog, Suman Bery, the chief ministers of various states including Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Karnataka, in addition to the ministers of state industry and senior officials.