Kalam's word of caution on 'Make in India'

New Delhi, Oct 18: Late President A P J Abdul Kalam was a tad cautious about 'Make in India' campaign saying though it's "quite ambitious", it has to be ensured that India does not become the low-cost, low-value assembly line of the world.

On Digital India, he felt it has the potential to activate the knowledge connectivity needed in villages and remote areas and "we need to bridge the gaps of lower level of literacy, language and customised content, though".These views are expressed in the soon-to-be published "Advantage India: From Challenge to Opportunity", one of the last books written by Kalam along with his aide Srijan Pal Singh.


The book, published by HarperCollins India, also has his unfinished speech of July 27 at IIM-Shillong where he collapsed only to breathe his last hours later.

The NDA government launched 'Make in India' in September last year. The programme aims at promoting India as an important investment destination and a global hub for manufacturing, design and innovation.

"Well, let us be clear on this. 'Make in India' is quite ambitious. But we need such high aspirations... I agree with the infrastructure concern. "India has seen an unbalanced infra growth -variations are rampant across states and sectors. For instance, while the telecom and Internet sectors have made remarkable progress, many villages still are not connected with roads and power. Physical infrastructure cannot be ignored for manufacturing growth," he wrote.

He had a piece of advice: "We need to ensure that we do not become the low-cost, low-value assembly line of the world. If we go on that path, the growth will come at a great price and pain to the people."

His suggestion was that we need to do original research to design, develop and manufacture in India by using the ideas of the youth, the wisdom of the ages and the vibrancy of a democracy.


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