New Delhi, April 28 (IANS) Digitisation is the future of the manufacturing market and India needs to embrace this change if it wants to grow rapidly, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said on Friday.
At the Confederation of Indian Industry’s Annual Session, Kant said while it took 150 years for Britain to double its per capita income, China did it in just 12 years “on the back of manufacturing”.
“My view is that if India wants to grow rapidly – and create jobs rapidly – it can’t be done without the manufacturing sector.”
Kant said manufacturing itself was going through a huge process of digitisation and India needed to embrace this change.
“Manufacturing companies would become digital companies in future… And India has a huge advantage because we have trained manpower. We set up our IITs (Indian Institutes of Technology) early and our IT (Information Technology) sector has done very well,” he said.
“We can achieve this quantum technological jump far more rapidly than any other country.”
Kant also stressed on the need to boost India’s exports and said no country since the World War II made it big solely based on the domestic market.
“Be it Japan, Korea or China, they all made it big on the back of exports by penetrating the global market,” he said.
And to penetrate the global market, India needs to improve its process of standardisation so it matches the global standards, the NITI CEO added.
NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Arvind Panagariya said India’s share in global trade was a mere 1.7 per cent and there is a need to significantly improve that.
On concerns of the rise in protectionism world over, he expressed hope that the global markets would remain open.
“But regardless of what happens outside, the global trade pie is very large and India’s share in it very small. So it is important for India to increase its share in the pie even if the pie shrinks (due to protectionism and other factors),” he said.
He said India made more progress in the last 15 years than it did in 50 years before that.
“In the next 15 years, the progress we can achieve would eclipse that of the 70 years,” he added.
On concerns of job losses in the labour market due to technological advances and digitisation, Panagariya said India still had a 15-year window for that to happen.
Kant said there won’t be any loss of jobs but emergence of new kinds of jobs.
“And India needs to train itself for those new higher-skill jobs, which would be higher-paid as well,” he said.
The two-day Annual Session of the CII on the theme “Future of Globalisation: Can India lead?” would conclude on Saturday.