The Indian Government is formulating a plan to improve its manufacturing output from the current level of 16% to 25% of GDP. The project places advanced manufacturing at the center of this goal. The ‘National Policy for Advanced Manufacturing’ is designed to advance India’s position as global competitor in terms of manufacturing. The policy also evaluates the threat that ‘smart manufacturing’ could pose through loss of jobs. The outcome could be significant, given that India is the 6th largest global manufacture according to data published by the UN.

Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion Secretary Ramesh Abhishek explained the purpose of the new policy as to improve but also to be aware of potential problems:

There are a lot of concerns, lot of opportunities, there are also threats particularly on jobs so how to make our policies, how to tailor our industry, how to get ready for this in a manner that the transition is seamless and our people are skilled enough, may be to relocate to other areas.

Students try out 3Dexter's 3D printer

Students try out 3Dexter’s 3D printer as part of an education initiative. Photo via 3Dexter.

Innovation through education

India is focused on engaging with additive manufacturing as part of a plan to stay competitive. Recently, we have also seen the technology used to improve education. Large companies are even pushing this trend with automotive company Mahindra Group donating 3D printers to a local school.

Mahindra are a dominant figure in the automotive industry in India. Image via Mahindra.

Mahindra are a dominant figure in the automotive industry in India. Image via Mahindra.

Industry 4.0

As with any plan for the future of manufacturing, industry 4.0 was of course also on the agenda. In the announcement it was explained that the policy is part of India’s plans for the introduction of Industry 4.0 and the Department of Heavy Industry Secretary Girish Shankar spoke about importance of this plan,

The National Policy for Advanced Manufacturing which essentially is how to increase technological depth so that we become globally competitive and are not left behind,

Is Industry 4.0 and advanced manufacturing one of the most important applications of 3D printing? You can make your nomination for the enterprises and people involved in this area by following this link to the 1st Annual 3D Printing Industry Awards.

Featured image of General Electric’s advanced manufacturing facility in Pune, India. Photo by Farhad Bomanjee.

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