‘Make in India – Telecom’ Puts Emphasis on Indigenous Manufacturing


Reiterating the fact that India needs to put greater focus towards local manufacturing, Rakesh Garg, Secretary, Department of Telecom emphasized on the need for frequent exchange of views among manufacturers, service providers, operators, industry and the R&D institutes to find out the shortcomings and ways to address the problems faced.

Speaking at the “Make in India-Telecom” conclave, he said that there is no dearth of talent in India but still we are hugely dependent on imports, especially in electronics and telecom.

He said research is being done in India, but IPRs are with other countries. Then we are buying the very same products at higher costs from those countries. He said that there is a great need to make a mechanism to interact with the industry before developing technology or a solution rather than post development. He appreciated C-DOT’s role in connecting Gram Panchayats with broadband under the NOFN.

Revisiting the history of Indian telecom sector, Rita Teotia, Special Secretary, DoT, said that India was keeping pace till the eighties, but slipped once the wireless era began. This necessitated in massive imports and decline in manufacturing. And, now in the changed scenario, telecom is no longer a luxury.

Telecom services have become a lifeline. Therefore security is a key factor. To address this issue, indigenous manufacturing is an important tool. She said the Conclave is very timely and opportune because in the building blocks for “Make in India” R&D is the first block. Referring to the Prime Minister’s slogan “Zero Defect, Zero Effect” given during his Independence Day speech, Smt. Teotia said that we should develop and manufacture setting high standards with ‘zero defect` so that they are not rejected and without adversely affecting the environment making it `zero effect`.

A. K. Bhargav, Member- Technology, DoT said that this conclave would prove beneficial in bringing to the fore all the requirements, expectations and impediments of the telecom sector. While appreciating the C-DOT R&D in the recent past, he emphasized the need of aggressive marketing of its products.
Vipin Tyagi, Executive Director, C-DOT said that Make in India is of special relevance for organizations like C-DOT who are dedicatedly involved in indigenous R&D. He said that Digital India and Make in India are inseparable and cannot survive without one-another. He explained the objectives of the conclave and presented C-DOT product profile. The panel discussion focused mainly on the need to revive the telecom manufacturing in the country in line with the needs of operators and other users of telecom solutions. The future research roadmap of C-DOT was also discussed with the industry to assure that it would continue to bring indigenous telecom products as per the requirements of the nation.

As the forex outflow on the account of Electronic imports is increasing day by day, it is of paramount importance to further indigenous technologies and take them to manufacturers. This will not only save huge forex for the country, but would also develop an eco space of manufacturers, vendors, application developers in the country. Recent initiatives by the Government like Preferential Market Access have reinvigorated Indian telecom fraternity and it is expected that deliberations in ‘Make in India – Telecom’ conclave would pave the way for close co-operation among indigenous technology developers, manufacturers, academia, and policy makers of the country.

Generation Network (NGN) solution addresses the needs of the changing telecom scenario and enables a smooth transition from Plain Old Telephone System (POTS) to NGN based Voice-over-IP (VoIP). ‘GyanSetu’ is an internet based real-time ICT system designed by C-DOT, primarily to provide various e-services to the under privileged rural population of India.

2.5 Lakh Gram Panchayats to be connected by NOFN

In a separate announcement, the Minister for Communication & IT has said that INR 6000 crore worth projects were approved in his ministry under the ‘Make in India’ programme out of proposals worth INR 20000 crore that were received.

As a part of Digital India programme 2.5 lakh Gram Panchayats are to be connected by National Optic Fibre Network in next three (3) years through seven (7) lakh kilometers of Optic Fiber Cable. There is digital divide at present skewed towards Metro cities. Digital India programme will try to bridge this gap, the minister added. Digital India programme is expected to generate five (5) crore direct and indirect employment. He also said that, Digital equality will come only when a most backward Schedule Caste becomes digitally literate and operates a Common Service Center.

He added that, the digital empowerment will make a rural artisan to sell their products like madhubani paintings through e commerce sites. Government plans to create a digital locker for storing degree certificates, BPL certificates, etc. India is at present 2nd largest smartphone consumer in the world 2nd only to US. He said that, lots of these electronic goods are imported. To address this Make in India programme is launched, he added.