Global Natural Resources Conclave Day 1: Make in India won't succeed if we don't have makers in India, says Rajiv Pratap Rudy

At the Global Natural Resources Conclave organised by Network 18 in New Delhi's Taj Palace Hotel, Union Minister of State Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Rajiv Pratap Rudy, explained how India is moving from Har haath ko rozgaar to har rozgaar ko haath by empowering India's 400 million strong workforce with adequate skill. He was one of the speakers in the ministerial dialogue on 'Leveraging natural resources to harness India's growth story'.

Rudy said when he sees the subject of skills at the centre point of the nation's consciousness, he understands why a ministry dedicated to skills was set up by Prime Minister Modi.

"I come from Bihar, formerly attached to Jharkhand. The latter has the largest presence and maximum variety of mineral wealth concentrated in a small geographical location - right from uranium to bauxite to iron ore. The country's oldest industrial establishment was Tatanagar in Jamshedpur and one of the first vehicle plants was set up there; trucks were being manufactured. For the last 21 years, Bihar and Jharkhand (with a combined population of a 100 million) did not produce a single heavy weight vehicle driver," Rudy said, pointing out the lag between creating an infrastructure and training people to work within that infrastructure.

He cited the instance of India hiring skilled labour from Peru, which is 17,000 km from here. "Mines of Hindustan Zinc in Udaipur and Jaipur called for long haul drill operators. The Embassy in Peru asked us why they were being made to issue so many visas? The reason was that people were coming all the way here to train us in using heavy-weight trucks."

Rajyavardhan Rathore, MoS, Information and Broadcasting

Rajyavardhan Rathore, MoS, Information and Broadcasting

The government is re-looking at the skill sector as an ecosystem, Rudy said. Instead of leaving everything to engineering, ITIs and polytechnics are being developed to seal the missing link. By leveraging economic resources with human capital for a high rate of growth, India's mission to skill 400 million by 2022 is taking shape, he said.

Speaking in the same panel was Col. Rajyavardhan Rathore (Retd), Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting, who emphasised the need to incentivise exploration, bring in technology, PSUs, private companies, and to build capacities and demand centres so that the slogan abki baar, vikaas lagatar can turn into a catchphrase. Prakash Javdekar, Union Minister for Human Resource Development, elaborated on the government's efforts towards taking India towards sustainable energy usage.

"India is the only country that is charging on coal production and taxing coal production, putting a carbon tax of nearly Rs 400 per tonne. Now, we have Rs 54,000 crore collected through sale of coal utilising for clean energy," noted Javdekar. He then spoke about the LED revolution under which all producers were brought together on one platform and a billion bulbs were ordered by the government. Through this, the price of a 7 watt bulb fell from Rs 350 to 150 to 100 to 75-80 and last month, he said, it touched Rs 38. The other measures he highlighted was the mixing of five percent ethanol in petrol.

Grand emphasis is also being laid on tapping into the energy of the sun. "We started solar power with Rs 19 per unit and the latest prices are Rs 3.60 paisa per unit." Maintaining great enthusiasm, as he switched from the government's efforts in various sectors, Javdekar spoke about the installation of CCTV cameras and bar coded receipts to better the surveillance in order to help fight sand mining mafias.

Criss-crossing the length and breadth of the country are railway tracks. Suresh Prabhu, Union Minister for Railways, was also present at the first of its kind conclave bringing policy and industry voices together on the subject of natural resources. Debunking a certain perception about mining, Prabhu said the view that 'mining will change land use and cause greenhouse gas emission and hence there shouldn't be any mining' should take into the account that even agriculture changes land use and if there is no mining, then tracks cannot be laid and engines and coaches cannot be powered. "What we should instead be focussing on is the method to use natural resources and minimise impact on greenhouse gases," he said, stressing on the need to create a potential for economic prosperity throughout the year.

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Updated Date: Apr 06, 2017 09:07:57 IST

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