New Delhi:Transfer of Technology (ToT) & Make in India are important pillars of the Indo-Japanese agreement on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad HSR (High-Speed Train) project. However, these concepts pose as much of a challenge as the projects themselves. Issues like ToT in what areas, to whom and how need to be addressed. To address which areas ToT will occur in, a detailed analysis of the components needs to be undertaken by Indian industries & entities involved.
- Considering that the high-speed project will be a technological jump for India, a suitable mechanism needs to be firmed up which can absorb the technology and expand the capabilities of Indian industry and human resources.
- To address issues related to whom Transfer of Technology will involve & how complicated this might be, it is worthwhile to see how other countries have handled similar conditions.
- China successfully expanded its High-Speed Train network by opening its market to foreign players who created large-scale joint venture with local Chinese enterprise.
- The govt. encouraged the absorption of technology through state-sponsored companies.
- It initiated an excellent engineer development programme for promoting HSR education.
- Lastly, it merged local rolling stock & rail equipment businesses to make them more competitive.
- It will be worthwhile for creating a new JV for the initial rolling stock production, between a key Japanese manufacturer and a Government of India entity.
- A commitment by the govt. to a High-Speed Train rolling stock joint venture will minimise risks for a foreign manufacturer, enable effective technology absorption and enhance the technological capabilities of the Indian Railways.
- Technology absorption will also require large-scale skill upgradation.
- As part of the high-speed train project, a high-speed training centre is already proposed. While the training centre will provide required skills to Indian employees, there is a need for undertaking an engineering development programme in Indian technical institutes.
- The growth of information technology companies is supported by a number of qualified IT engineers.
- The High-Speed Train project creates a unique opportunity in India for replicating the success of Maruti, in the rail sector.