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'We are involving industry in improving skills'

Murali Gopalan amp N. Ramakrishnan | Updated on March 18, 2013 Published on March 18, 2013

Maheshwar Sahu, Principal Secretary, Industries and Mines Department, Gujarat

Maheshwar Sahu, Principal Secretary, Industries and Mines Department, Gujarat, has a major task on hand. Gujarat aims to become the next automobile hub. The Chief Minister wants half the expansion in the country’s automobile capacity to come from the State. By getting a clutch of investments, Gujarat announced its arrival on the automobile scene in a big way. In this recent interview, Sahu talks of Gujarat’s drive in the automobile industry. Edited excerpts from the interview:

On the special focus on automobiles

The backward integration required in the automobile sector is one of the highest. One mother plant will bring hundreds of ancillary units. The automobile industry has the highest multiplier effect. Skilled manpower availability at the supervisory level will not be a constraint. Good quality jobs and availability of the ecosystem which can promote this industry prompted us to look into this.

On land availability

We have not faced land acquisition problems in a big way. That is because our government looks at land acquisition in a perspective that farmers are partners in progress. They get good money for their land. You take land that is not fertile. Basically no forcible acquisition. We are now changing our strategy and are shifting towards a policy of land aggregation, where development planning and town planning become the tools to enhance the value of the land.

On improving skills

We have assessed that we will need about 2.5 lakh people a year after three years or so. We are setting skill upgradation centres in a PPP mode through professional agencies, industries being partners in that. Maruti, GM, Toyota and Bosch are participating in this. We have identified some institutions that will design the curriculum. IIT-Bombay oversees everything. In one of the special investment regions, where Maruti is building a plant, we are making provision for 10-12 universities of international standards.

Also read: The auto wars

Published on March 18, 2013
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