3. There is dearth of hardware accelerators supporting board design and FPGAs/EPLDs.
4. Governance/policy related challenges:
(i) Prototype ecosystem is yet to mature, leading to a lot of time wastage in customs and other processes.
(ii) Duty-free components are still being charged at 28 per cent GST.
5. While there is a steady supply of graduates in the market, there is still a significant gap between skill sets required by the industry and skill sets acquired by graduates through higher education institutes. Effective collaboration programmes between the industry and institutes can go a long way in developing more employable candidates for the industry.
The government of India is determined to resolve these issues by developing policies and frameworks that can catalyse growth in the design sector. Initiatives like Make in India and Digital India, and impetus to existing schemes like the modified special incentive package scheme (M-SIPS) and electronic development fund (EDF) will have a significant impact in driving this change.
The industry has responded positively to the government’s support. As many as 159 new ESDM units were established in 2015 itself. According to industry experts, while Make in India is an initiative in the right direction, the agenda could also include ‘Make for India’ with focus on Indian priorities.
Other supportive measures taken by the Indian government include:
1. 100 per cent FDI allowed in the electronics hardware manufacturing sector under automatic route
2. Duty relaxation and schemes such as EPCG, EHTP and SEZ to provide tax sops; duty exemption on equipment required for setting up semiconductor plants
3. National Policy on Electronics (2012) and setting up of National Electronics Mission