Innovation to hold the key to India’s future growth: Piyush Goyal


New Delhi: With industry 4.0 fast making its presence felt across sectors, innovation and adoption of latest technologies hold the key for India’s future growth, Piyush Goyal, Minister of Commerce and Industry, Government of India, has said.

“Unlike the old days, when the rise of industries used to be dictated by technological development, today, technology is deciding the fate of the industries. Newer technological paradigms like industry 4.0 – with artificial intelligence, data analytics, IoT, nanotechnology, 5G, robotics quantum computing are today determining how industries will evolve,” Goel said.

Stressing that “future power” will lie in leveraging these new-age technological developments for sustainable growth; he added that the government is making efforts to accelerate the pace of technological adoption across industries.

“As more and more technology(ies) come in, machines become smarter, industries start evolving and adopting these technologies, we will be in a better position to engage with the rest of the world on free and fair terms and gain the competitive edge, given the huge advantage that India has to offer to the rest of world,” he added.

Citing data, Goel said that the number of rural internet users has surpassed the urban internet usage and this development would be a “game-changer” in terms of promoting technology, engaging the whole country with innovation and in bridging the digital divide.

The minister was speaking at a roundtable organized by UNIDO India on “Making industry 4.0 work for self-reliant India”.

Talking about the findings of the UNIDO’s report titled “Industrializing in the Digital Age, UNIDO Industrial Development Report 2020”, René Van Berkel, UNIDO Representative India, said that so far only a few countries, and therein only a few firms, are creating and adopting Advanced Digital Production (ADP) technologies at scale.

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“Globally, UNIDO found that 10 counties are leading the development and application of ADP technologies, including Germany, Japan, Republic of Korea, UK and USA. India is the only lower middle-income country that made it to the group of followers in production – a group that also includes Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Italy, Singapore and Spain,” Berkel said.

The UNIDO report, observing that 88% of all Indian firms belonging to the ‘digital leaders group’ are in the manufacturing sector, classified 16% of the country’s firms as highly innovative. It also noted that Cobots are increasingly adopted in manufacturing firms in advanced and emerging economies.

According to the UNIDO representative, different generations of digital and physical technologies coexist in India and other developing countries, creating ‘technological islands’ where a few firms with advanced technologies are surrounded by a majority of firms operating at lower technological levels.

“Leading firms are hampered by this gap because they have trouble linking backwards and nurturing benefits from their supply chains. To utilize ADP technologies, developing countries must nurture industrial capabilities and foster industrial collaboration with knowledge-based institutions such as academia and technical institutions,” he added.

On the occasion, Deepak Bagla, Chairman and Managing Director Invest India said that he sees a leapfrogging from Industry 2.0 to industry 4.0 or 5.0 of Indian businesses. The shift, according to him, is going to happen due to the businesses’ mindset to adapt and adopt, and being focussed on optimization and maximization of resources.

The other panellists who spoke on various facets of industry 4.0 included Anup Wadhwa, Director, IIT-D AIA Foundation for Smart Manufacturing, Sanjay Chadha, Additional Secretary, Department of Commerce, Sukriti Likhi, Joint Secretary, Department of Heavy Industry and Sumita Dawra, Joint Secretary, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade.

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