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"Go green, go digital and upskill workers – three-pronged strategy for Indian industry to make itself competitive in the global supply chain" – Amitabh Kant
Aug 12, 2021

“The world is confronted by the twin crises – the COVID19 pandemic and the severe impact of climate change,” said Shri Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog in his opening remarks at the Plenary Session: “India's Development Transition and Climate Change” on the second day of the CII Annual Meeting held virtually.

According to Mr Kant the twin crisis is also an opportunity for industry to become sustainable and competitive and to transition to ‘green measures’ that can plug into the climate goals of India. In order to be able to accomplish this, organizations have to “restructure, resize and redesign”. CII’s role, according to him, is to prepare and guide its membership to adapt to the new environment. He said that the pandemic has presented the industry with an opportunity to be globally competitive by developing quality products and becoming a part of global supply chains.

To that effect, the Indian Industry has to adopt a three-pronged approach of “Go Green, Go Digital and Skill-your-Workers,” according to Mr Kant. Developing digital reliance requires digital transformation of manufacturing, intelligent network of machines, and processes with IT and communication technology.” He emphasized on the need for deploying Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data and Analytics, Augmented Reality, Robotics, Cyber Security, Machine-to-Machine communication in order for manufacturing processes to create astute digital factories of tomorrow.

“We are in the midst of a new transition for a growth pathway defined by Climate Change,” said the CEO who has been at the helm of NITI Aayog’s initiatives to define and deploy India’s climate change goals. Speaking on the Sixth Assessment Report released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Mr Amitabh Kant said, “India ranks among the top 10 countries in the Climate Change Performance Index. Our practices have been considered as compliant to UNFCC, Kyoto Protocol and Paris Agreement. A panel of 14 countries have said that India is the only G20 country with 1.5-degree Celsius compliance. But we need the support of the industry to translate policy into action.”

He highlighted the areas where India needs to focus on, its current industrial profile being considered as cost-effective, medium quality products with islands of excellence, lack of high value, cutting-edge product leading to low exports, decent value-added growth but low job growth, low green manufacturing practices and high cost of power and logistics and high cost of capital. Green industries will be the industries of the future as the world is moving away from old high-carbon energy.

India’s strategy for growth is to focus on developing Green Hydrogen that can be made available at competitive rates which will, according to him, make other forms of energy redundant especially in heavy carbon-guzzling industries like steel, transportation etc. India actively is looking to invest in R&D in developing Green Hydrogen.

In the next 5 years, he said, solar prices could come down to INR 1 per unit making India’s green products cheaper. This can be achieved through low cost of capital made available to investors.

In addition, Mr Amitabh Kant also highlighted the need for new ways of planning for urbanization by mandatorily redesigning and reinstating water recycling and harvesting mechanism to mitigate the impending water crisis.

Mr Dhruv M Sawhney, Past President, CII and Chairman & Managing Director, Triveni Turbine Ltd highlighted Mr Amitabh Kant’s extraordinary leadership and mentorship he gives to CII in driving its direction in Climate Change through the three Centers of Excellence working on this – the Center of Excellence in Sustainable Development, the Green Business Council and the Water Institute. “We are going to be in a scenario of unpredictability of extreme heat, marine heat waves, tropical cyclones, droughts, floods. In cities there may be a combination of factors. CII will play an active role under the guidance and mentorship of NITI Aayog in tackling the Global Climate Change crisis.”

12 August 2021

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