DRDO director-general and scientific adviser to the defence minister Avinash Chander (right), former director-general VK Saraswat and RCI director G Satheesh Reddy arriving at the Defence & Aero Supply India-2014 expo at Hotel Novotel, near the international airport, at Shamshabad on Friday. | A SURESH KUMAR
15th November 2014 By Express News Service
HYDERABAD: Recognising Hyderabad as a potential hub for growth and development of aerospace industry, experts called for creating a conducive environment with better infrastructure, and skill development among youth to enhance the industry in the state, during a session titled ‘Changes, implications and opportunity’ on the concluding day of the Defence & Aerosupply India 2014 here on Friday.
‘’Hyderabad continues to be a hub for aerospace activity and there is a vast industrial potential in the city,” said Avinash Chander, scientific advisor to defence minister and director general of Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO).
Pointing out the Union government’s initiatives such as ‘Make in India’ campaign to enhance the sector across the country, Chander said, “We need to have an R&D base in the industry and must invest more in R&D. We are also encouraging new start-ups and anyone who comes with an innovative idea will be encouraged and supported by the government.”
Chander also urged private players in the industry to be more pro-active instead of waiting for an order to develop the industry. “There is a need for the industry to look beyond order and they can develop new equipment which are on par with world class standards. The industry has to take these initiatives rather than waiting for an order,” he advised.
Calling for creating more government-owned infrastructure in the private industry, Chander said that major DRDO labs are being set up in various parts in and around the city, such as Nagarjuna Sagar, Shamirpet and Dundigal. “We are also looking at new models to fund new projects. We are considering a model which will cover 80 per cent funding,” he added. Special chief secretary to the government and commissioner for industrial promotion & mines, government of Telangana, K Pradeep Chandra laid out the state government’s initiatives to enable the aerospace sector during the hour-long discussion.
‘’We are trying to create a business-friendly environment and are willing to partner with anybody, from private sector to educational institutions to develop any sector, including aerospace,” Pradeep Chandra stated.
Pointing out that the Telangana government had done an extensive land survey, he said, “Around 2.5 to 3 lakh acres of land has been identified for the aerospace industry. We have also purchased bulk water so that water supply will be available to each of the industries. In addition, to this `1000 crore for industrial infrastructure development has been allotted in the budget.”
SGK Kishore, chief executive officer, GMR Hyderabad International Airport had earlier pointed out that the Telangana government must focus on south of Hyderabad for enabling the aerospace sector as it consists of Hyderabad airport, Aerospace Park in Adibatla, proposed ITIR, RCI and other establishments. However, Pradeep Chandra shared a different view. “We are looking to develop at least one cluster in north or north-west of Hyderabad,” Chandra added.
The three-day conference, organised by Kenes Exhibition - an Israel-based company, in association with government of Telangana, witnessed around 200 participants. There were several expert technical sessions and panel discussions during the event. IT minister KT Rama Rao was conspicuous by his absence.
Job Opportunities in Aerospace Industry
Laying emphasis on the importance of education to employment, UB Desai, director, Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad, felt there was a need to create awareness about potential jobs in the aerospace industry among the youth.
Revealing interesting data, he showed that according to International Labour Organisation, 75 million young people are unemployed. Across nine countries only 43 per cent employers agreed that they could not find skilled entry level workers. Researches have estimated that by 2020, there will be a shortfall of 85 million high and middle skilled workers. Desai also revealed that 39 per cent of employers feel shortage of skill is the reason for lack of entry level vacancies.
“Youth do not feel that there are job opportunities in aerospace industry. There is a need for an awareness campaign in all colleges to educate the youth about the opportunities and potential of this industry,” said Desai. He also pointed out that only 10 per cent of Indians receive skill training compared to 96 per cent in South Korea and 80 per cent in Japan. India also has the least productive workforce at just 10 per cent, with China marginally better at 17 per cent.
Desai urged Telangana government to establish skill development centres in every industry.