Updated March 2nd, 2024 at 16:08 IST

IT Minister’s Semiconductor Masterclass - How is India faring in the Semicon race?

Minister for Electronics and Information Technology Ashwini Vaishnaw took the conventional classroom approach to explain India’s semiconductor ecosystem

Reported by: Business Desk
Ashwini Vaishnaw | Image:PTI
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Semicon Masterclass: Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw turned teacher for explaining India’s semiconductor ecosystem.

In a viral video which is four minutes long, Vaishnaw can be seen explaining the development of India’s silicon chip ecosystem on the whiteboard in his office during a media interaction. The cabinet this week approved 3 more semiconductor units.

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A still from the media briefing by Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw | Source: ANI

Emphasising on developing talent at the baseline of Made in India silicon chips - from manufacturing units or fab (short for fabrication) to ATMP (assembly, testing, marking and packaging), the bureaucrat-turned-politician explained the government’s approach.

“The second big thing which we are doing is R&D (Research and Development). The way we have structured this is, the most expensive or difficult (to procure) tools supplied by (companies) Cadence, Synopsys, and Siemens,” he said, adding that these are expensive tools costing Rs 10 to 15 crore for one license.

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India is in works to set up its own semiconductor manufacturing unit, with American semiconductor major Micron being the first to invest in India by setting up a unit in Gujarat, adding to its existing team in Bengaluru and Hyderabad. Announced in July last year on the sidelines of the Semicon India 2023 event in Gandhinagar, the project will create 5,000 direct and 15,000 indirect jobs in the coming years.

On Thursday, the government greenlighted Tata Electronics' proposal to build a semiconductor fabrication facility in Dholera in collaboration with Taiwan’s Powerchip Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation (PSMC). The unit is proposed to be set up at a cumulative investment of Rs 1.26 lakh crore.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also lauded the move on Friday, saying the upcoming semiconductor units will further bolster India’s “transformative journey” towards technological self-reliance. 

The three units approved by the government for boosting the domestic manufacturing of semiconductors, will make chips for sectors including defence, automobiles and telecommunications.

The construction for the units will commence within the next 100 days, Vaishnaw told reporters after the cabinet meeting.

An Indian civil servant-turned-entrepreneur, the Union Minister was elected as a Member of Parliament on 28 June 2019 from Odisha in Rajya Sabha after he joined the Bhartiya Janata Party the same year.

Born in Jodhpur, the 54-year-old minister is a gold medalist in Electronics and Telecommunications from the University of Jodhpur. He went on to study Industrial Management at IIT Kanpur, proceeding to pursue M. Tech in 1994. 

Known as one of the most qualified ministers in the Union Cabinet, Vaishnaw pursued Master of Business Administration (MBA) at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, USA where he focused on courses in finance and strategy.

Interestingly, Vaishnaw has served as the Head of Urban Infrastructure Strategy in Siemens. Learning the ropes as the Managing Director of GE Transportation for South Asia in his first role, he also set up four auto component units for Suzuki, Honda, and Hero.

(With agency inputs)


 

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Published March 2nd, 2024 at 16:08 IST