The Make in India Week, held in Mumbai from February 14-18, 2016, has ended on a high note opening bright avenues for engineering students and giving PSUs a fillip to hire young minds. Many engineering graduates go abroad in search for better career opportunities because they feel there is not much incentive to work in India. Prof G.T. Thampi, Principal, Thadomal Shahani Engineering College, Mumbai, says, “Engineers at the beginners level are usually placed in consultancies through mass hiring, as India does not have much jobs to offer in core engineering. India is at the bottom of the pyramid where in breakthrough product designing happens in foreign countries and the execution and assembling is outsourced to India.” But through Make in India, many foreign companies like Boeing- a leader in aeronautics- have started setting up manufacturing units in India. Entry of foreign players like Boeing in the manufacturing sector, has infused a sense of competition among public sector undertakings (PSUs). Many PSUs like, Bharat Electronics, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), etc, participated at Make in India Week. Hopefully, this will help PSUs attract local talent pool and reverse the persistent brain drain in India.
Through the campaign, the government hopes to create 100 million new jobs by 2022 in the core engineering sector. However, this would require domestic value addition and technological depth. According to an article publishd by Reuters, the campaign has earned pledges of over 200 billion foreign investment. However, how much of these pledges translate into actual monetary inflows is yet to be seen. Manmohan Singh of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), one of the prominent players during the campaign, said, “We encourage young talent to take up defence related research. However, larger amount of funds are required to undertake risky research and lease heavy equipments. We have appealed to the government to allocate additional funds for such research, but that depends on the influx of foreign investment in the coming days.” DRDO also recruits engineers through an all-India Scientist Entry Test (SET). HAL, another major participant at the forum hires as many as 33,000 engineers of various capacities throughout the country. With more infusion of funds through the campaign, HAL hopes to double this number of employees in the next few years. Although, it may take several years for foreign investment to realise into worthy projects and product development. Current engineers looking forward to greater monetary support from the government to pursue breakthrough research projects may have a longer wait.
Another promise panned under the campaign is protection of intellectual property rights (IPR) of innovators and creators of breakthrough product ideas. The guarantee of IPRs is bound to attract domestic talent pool to invest their resources in Indian companies. With its focus on innovation and indigenisation, the Make in India campaign hopes to offer a world of opportunities for young engineers. PSUs will play an important role in bringing ‘making’ in India to fruition and allowing India to move up on the pyramid in terms of breakthrough research and manufacturing.