Important Topics: Science & Techology For Make In India

Introduction sector contributed only 17% to India's GDP in 2013. So the government is trying to push for revival in this sector through 'Make in India' 2015 and 'start up India – 2016' which could usher a new lease of life in this sector.

Both these initiatives are laudable and these can become more meaningful if steps are taken to enhance the R & D & production capabilities of manufacturing sector for sustaining better production and competitiveness.

One can notice, that countries like China, South Korea and Taiwan have growing rapidly in their manufacturing sector by paying attention toword R & D (Research & Development) on innovation. Thus, making use of science technology and innovation (STI).

India's Position (A Comparison with China)

To revive the manufacturing by India firms, it is necessary to look at India's position with respect to China in economic, S&T, manufacturing and innovation indices to draw certain lessons:

    1996 2013
1. GDP share in world India 3.43% 5.77%
  China 6% 16%
2. Technology & Skill intensity of export India 7% 7%
  China 12% 26%
3. Competitive Industrial Performance (which benchmarks countries ability to produce & export manufactured goods) Ranks India 42  
  China 7  
4. Share of R & D in GDP (in last 2 decades) India < 1%  
  China 2%  

5. No. of R & D personnel per million remained more or less same for India but grown 2.5 times in same period for China.

6. Global competitiveness Index (which is defined through a set of institutions, policies and factors that determine the level of productivity condition of public institution & technical conditions) has gone drawn from 49 (2009-10) to 71 (2014-15) for India and China improved from 29 to 28 in same period.

MSME role in Make in India: STI perspective

  • MSMEs are second to agriculture in terms of GDP contribution and contribute 45 per cent of manufacturing and 40 per cent of exports.
  • However, there has been a decline in the share of MSMEs towards manufacturing and exports largely because of China’s emergence.
  • While China has been recognized as efficiency driven economy by theuction Global Competitiveness Report, India is still seen as a factor driven economy(factor of production being cheaper in India).
  • Revival of MSMEs is must in order to achieve success in Make in India programme.
  • A survey report has mentioned that small firms in India are basically “innovation shy” and they are complacent with survival in market rather than indulging in innovation for growth.

Lessons from China: The phenomenal rise of China within a short span of time is attributed to its strategic push on manufacturing. Share of China in world manufacturing was 23.2% followed by U.S with 17.2% in 2013. China has thus amassed significant capabilities in manufacturing as it has not only boosted investment in S & T but has also taken steps to build its National Innovation System (NIS).

1. To boost S & T capabilities and catch-up with the world, China took series of proactive initiatives in generating and augmenting its human resource by implementing a number of programmes and policies by university modernization.

2. Also the focus of Chinese universities was changed from education to research and to commercialization from 1980's. This helped its universities to setup their own enterprises to counter problems of technology markets.

3. For commercialization of research results, state council launched the TORCH programme which targeted commercialisation of research results from universities, research institutes and high tech industries.

Therefore to make its manufacturing competitive China took major policy initiatives such as targeted funding reforms, restricting of research institutes, consolidation of links among research academic and industry, commercialization by the creation of technology market, creation of S& T parks etc. Thus, we can conclude that to support and sustain manufacturing without strengthening the institutions related to science, technology and innovation is not possible. We have to target our entire innovation infrastructure including research institution, universities, S&T parks, support structures, fiscal and financial instruments, etc.


The globalization has brought in ample opportunities and challenges for India. As manufacturing holds the key towards development it stands on three important pillars:
1. Innovation competitiveness
2. Research & Development
3. Human Resources

Though India has progressed well in last 3 decades but there are issues with innovation competitiveness in the manufacturing sector. In order to promote competitive manufacturing, sustained initiative for introducing efficient production processes, improving product quality & introducing new products and improving technologies are required.

  • To make 'Make in India' successful, there is need to strengthen the manufacturing by production sector which is dominated Micro small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector.
  • Therefore, MSME sector requires a dependable innovation support system which can spark the dynamics of innovation in MSME sector by making innovation proactive and help India to contribute a share in manufacturing to 25% and job creation of 100 million by 2022.


"Indian manufacturing necessitates a shift from complacent manufacturing to vibrant competitive manufacturing". In the light of the statement, discuss how India can improve its manufacturing sector with help of S & T. Also, discuss the lessons which it can learn from China in order to revive its manufacturing sector.


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