The Centre should provide budgetary support for innovation and incentives to small and medium enterprises in order to ensure the success of the ‘Make in India’ campaign launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, according to K.R.A. Nair, former Executive Director-Development, Lucas TVS, Chennai.

Delivering the T.S. Santhanam Endowment Lecture organised by the School of Mechanical and Building Sciences of the VIT University at the VIT campus here on Tuesday, Mr. Nair said that any manufacturing programme without support for innovation will not create sustainable advantages. Given that India produced a million engineers every year, at least two lakh projects should emerge every year from them. But very little projects are forthcoming. This situation can be changed only by the coming together of industry and academia. Technical educational institutions should try to formulate industry-led projects, he said. The former TVS officials said that because of the heavy dependence on agriculture, the contribution of manufacturing to the national economy of India was low at 12 per cent compared to 25 per cent in developed countries.

“The idea behind the ‘Make in India’ campaign stems from the hope that higher investment in the manufacturing sector will create jobs”, he said.

Ananth Ramanujam, Director, Turbo Energy, Chennai said that the Make in India concept was a re-invention of the concept started by the TVS group 50 years ago with the setting up of many industries in the manufacturing sector. At that time, the country had a good supply of graduate engineers and the industry was able to develop capabilities across the board to ensure that the industry was world class two generations later.

The oft-heard complaint from the industry now is that the engineers produced by the colleges do not have the requisite skill set to `Make in India’. The answer lies in institutions such as the VIT. G. Viswanathan, VIT Chancellor recalled that the TVS group was a good example of an industrial group which considered industry as a service to society, and infused ethics and values into business.

T.S. Santhanam Endowment Lecture organised by School of Mechanical and Building Sciences