MATERIALS, ENGINEERING & THE INDUSTRY
The use and development of Materials has constituted a major occurrence in the history of mankind. Material and its Engineering is at the heart of many technological innovations and developments with examples of revolutionary changes brought on by the discovery of new Materials and their new uses.
Over the years, Materials have moved from only traditional Materials (Metals) to a wide range that encompasses Composites, Ceramics, Engineered Plastics, Speciality Chemicals, Nano, Electronic, Bio Materials Etc.
Technological advancements in sectors like Defence, Railways, Aerospace, Energy, Roads & Highways, etc. have been possible because of innovation in Materials with better properties to perform in extreme conditions.
With the major research areas in Material Science growing around Nano Science, Solar Cells, Fuel Cells, Polymerisation etc., the world is entering into a distinctly new age of Advanced Materials.
INDUSTRY IN INDIA
From the iron pillar near Qutub Minar in Delhi to the foundries of Bastar, where the tribals sculpted figurines from smelted iron and brass hundreds of years ago, metallurgy and materials sciences have had a long tradition in India.
According to a recent report by Thomson Reuters, India occupies the 6th position in research output in material sciences and is one of the leading countries for these studies in the Asia Pacific region.
The engineering sector in India is of strategic importance to the economy owing to its intense integration with other industry segments. The sector also attracts immense interest from foreign players as it enjoys a comparative advantage in terms of manufacturing costs, technology and innovation, as also the sector has been de-licensed and enjoys 100% FDI.
The above, coupled with favourable regulatory policies and growth in the manufacturing sector has enabled several foreign players to invest in India.
The FDI inflows into India’s mechanical and engineering industries during April 2000 to December 2018, stood around USD 3.56 billion, as per data released by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT).
In the Union Budget 2018-19, the Government allocated USD 92.22 billion for the infrastructure sector (including Transport and Energy) and the allocation in the defence sector was raised to USD 45.57 billion. In addition, Make in India policy is being carefully pursued to achieve greater self-sufficiency in the area of defence equipment including aircrafts, sub-marines etc.
India’s engineering R&D market is expected to increase from USD 28 billion in the year 2018 to USD 42 billion by the year 2022.
ROLE OF MSME
MSMEs play a significant role in the economic growth of the country owing to their contribution to production, exports and employment.
The Indian Government has recently launched the “MSME Support and Outreach Programme” to integrate the MSMEs into the global value chain. Under this programme, one out of the 12 key announcements made, is the mandatory procurement from MSMEs by Central Public Sector Enterprises raised from 20% to 25%.
MET event will serve as an excellent opportunity for the MSMEs to showcase their manufacturing capabilities and services to their counterparts from India and overseas.
It will also serve as a unique platform for the manufacturers to source raw materials, components, sub-assemblies and finished products from the MSMEs.