‘Chip Taker To Chip Maker’, PM Modi Asserts Nation’s Tech Goals

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday, July 4 asserted India’s ambition to commute its status from a chip taker to a chip maker, during the inauguration ceremony of the Digital India Week-2022.

PM Modi declared the first of a cohort of 30 institutions to be supported under the Chips to Startup (C2S) programme, during the first day of the event.

C2S PROGRAMME

The objective of C2S Programme is to train 85,000 Specialized Manpower in the area of VLSI and Embedded System Design over the course of five years and leapfrog in the ESDM space. It also works as a catalyst for the development of Startups involved in fabless design.

The primary objectives associated to this initiative are:

  • Generating industry-ready manpower in System/ SoC design area for creating a vibrant fabless chip design ecosystem.
  • Promote industry-led R&D translational research and strengthen Industry-Academia collaboration, which is required to boost the start-up growth pattern in India.
  • The culture of developing reusable IP Cores and developing ASIC/SoC/Systems for societal/ strategic sectors.
  • Broaden the base of ASIC/ IC design in the Country by accommodating more academic institutions, and start-ups for the design of Ips/ ASICs/ Systems/ SoCs.
  • Protection of intellectual property generated etc. and to inculcate the culture of entrepreneurship among students and researchers by way of incubating startups.

Projects will be instigated under the programme in areas such as energy and healthcare, disaster management, safety and security, emerging technologies, as well as an intelligent transport system. The objective of the project is developing cost-effective solutions to societal issues. 

According to the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology, “The programme would be implemented at about 100 academic institutions/R&D organizations across the country.”

“Besides them, startups and MSMEs can also participate in the programme by submitting their proposals under Academia-Industry Collaborative Project, Grand Challenge/ /Hackathons/RFP for development of System/SoC/IP Core(s),” it added.

It’s significant that these are part of India’s Semiconductor Mission, that seeks to construct a robust semiconductor design ecosystem. 

DIGITAL INDIA

Modi stated during the event that India is leading the globe in the fourth industrial revolution, known as Industry 4.0, and warned that those nations that do not accept modern technologies will fall behind.

Additionally, he stated that due to the Digital India initiative, the government is now at citizens’ doorsteps and phones. According to him, more than 1.25 lakh Common Service Centers and Grameen Stores are now bringing e-commerce to rural India, and technology is also being used to offer property documentation for rural properties.

“We have transferred thousands of crores of rupees to the bank accounts of crores of women, farmers, labourers of the country at a single click, with the help of ‘One Nation. One Ration Card’, we have ensured free ration to more than 80 crore countrymen,” the PM added.

He also accentuated the fact that “we have run the world’s largest and most efficient Covid vaccination and Covid relief programme”.

“Through our Cowin platform, about 200 crore vaccine doses have been administered and certificates are given,” Modi added.

START-UP ECOSYSTEM

As per PM Modi, the government has opened up new areas, such as space, mapping, drones, gaming, and animation, which would broaden the future of digital technology for innovation. 

He also highlighted the fact that in the upcoming years of this decade, provisions like IN-SPACe (a single-window autonomous agency under the Department of Space that was launched to ensure greater private participation in India’s space activities) and a new drone policy will revitalise India’s technological potential.

INDIA’S TECH ENDEAVOUR

Modi applauded India’s fintech endeavour and said that it is truly a solution “by the people, of the people, for the people”, while adding that “there is scale, security and democratic values in our digital solutions”.

MINISTERS AT DIGITAL INDIA WEEK

However, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Union Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology, met UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson last week, accompanied by a team of Indian startups, unicorns, and innovators.

During the second day of Digital India Week, he talked about this meeting while stating that “seven UK ministers came to meet those 50 start-ups”.

“Everyone in that government wanted to meet them, understand the successes of these startups,” said the minister, while adding that “they admitted that they want to recreate those successes in the UK”.

“During a conversation, Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer said that India and UK are now neck-to-neck in innovation and start-ups but I had to politely tell him that maybe he had it in the memo but India is far ahead of UK and Europe in terms of the innovation ecosystem as represented by the 50 start-ups,” MoS Chandrasekhar stated on July 5.

He also said: “Digital India through the IT ministry and various programmes including GENESIS will not just support the growth, but will also engage with start-ups to be a bridge between Govt’s own tech requirement & the startup and innovation ecosystem.”

On the second day of Digital India Week, Minister of Railways, Communications, and Electronics & Information Technology Ashwini Vaishnaw was also present.

He also talked about the start-up India programme while citing PM Modi’s vision. The minister stated that despite initial doubts from opposition and others about this initiative, the change has happened and India currently has over 100 unicorns, as well as more than 70,000 start-ups.

According to Vaishnaw, to support and boost the start-up ecosystem, the government has consolidated all the different initiatives into one programme called the ‘GENESIS’.

“We would like GENESIS to become your gateway to different support systems which include mentors, funds, pitching partners and your gateway to various Government Programs,” he said, while addressing all industry experts attending the event on July 5.

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