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India Appoints Expert Panel To Fuel Semiconductor Mission In A Bid To Support Local SMEs & Startups

India Appoints Expert Panel To Fuel Semiconductor Mission In A Bid To Support Local SMEs & Startups

The Advisory Committee will comprise senior officials, academicians, and industry experts.

The panel will provide specific inputs to develop the semiconductor ecosystem in the country

Partnership between the government, industry and academia to power India’s semiconductor mission: MoS Rajeev Chandrasekhar

With an eye on making India the semiconductor hub, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) today announced the formation of an expert panel for India’s semiconductor mission.

The advisory committee will comprise senior officials, academicians and industry experts. The panel will provide specific inputs to develop the ecosystem in the country and will suggest new means to give further impetus to the domain. 

This is part of the overarching ‘Semicon India’ programme approved by the Union Cabinet in December last year. To fulfil the objective, a dedicated India Semiconductor Mission (ISM) has been set up within the Digital India Corporation to drive strategies for developing the semiconductors in India.

The panel will focus on supporting startups and SMEs in the domain and fostering an ecosystem to support these smaller players.

The newly formed committee will also provide suggestions on a slew of issues, including building a resilient supply chain, promoting investments, financing mechanisms, global engagement, Research and Development, as well as IP-related matters. 

Speaking on the announcement, Minister of State (MoS) for Electronics and Information Technology, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, said that the partnership between the government, industry and academia would power the country’s semiconductor mission.

The panel will be headed by the Union Minister for MeitY while MoS will serve as the vice-Chairperson. The panel also includes other senior bureaucrats, including NITI Aayog member, Dr VK Saraswat, Principal Scientific Adviser to the Centre, HCL founder Ajai Chowdhry, and secretaries from different arms of the government. 

This is part of the overarching ‘Semicon India’ programme approved by the Union Cabinet in December last year. To fulfil the objective, a dedicated India Semiconductor Mission (ISM) has been set up within the Digital India Corporation to drive strategies for developing semiconductors in India.

The India Picture

This comes amid Centre’s renewed push to make India a semiconductor manufacturing hub. In December last year, the government approved the Semicon India programme, with an outlay of INR 76,000 Cr, to develop India’s semiconductors and display manufacturing ecosystem.

The initiative aims to provide financial support to companies investing in semiconductors, display manufacturing and the design ecosystem in the country. 

Under the scheme, many big names have submitted proposals to set up semiconductor fabrication plants in the country. These include Vedanta has signed a joint venture with Foxconn, Singapore-based IGSS Ventures and ISMC.

Vedanta and Elest have also submitted applications for manufacturing display fabs in India with a projected investment of $6.7 Bn.

Semiconductors are the backbone of electronic devices from computing to defence and from  transportation to clean energy. 

India is one of the leading centers for global semiconductor design companies with many global companies having set up design R&D centers in the country. This has been largely due to the talent pool available in the country and a high number of design patents registered in India.

While India has a big presence in the design segment, it falls flat when it comes to the manufacturing aspect. So far, the country has only a handful of semiconductor manufacturing facilities which include SCL Mohali; GAETEC Hyderabad and SITAR Bengaluru. 

In comparison, East Asia contributes almost 75% of global supply with companies like South Korea’s Samsung and SK Hynix, Taiwan’s TSMC and USA’s Intel leading the charge. 

On the other hand, the US accounts for 50% of global market share in terms of sales, which was pegged at $208 Bn in 2020. China comes in a distant second with a 9% market share valued at about $40 Bn in annual sales.