Modi: India should have started chip mission 30 years ago
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi has admitted that successive governments overlooked the need to cultivate a domestic semiconductor industry.
In an exclusive interview with India Today, Modi lamented the negligence of his predecessors in seizing the opportunity to play a more central role in the chip space. His administration is, like those of the EU, Japan and the US, now actively supporting domestic and overseas firms with tax breaks and subsidies.
He said: “It is unfortunate that for 30 years, people in power were merely running governments, not the nation. The semiconductor mission is something we should have started 30 years back. We are already late. India has all the prerequisites to achieve success in the field of semiconductors. For this, we are focused on the right mix of policies, incentives and skilling.”
Modi's government launched several schemes to boost India’s status as a global semiconductor manufacturing hub. Initiatives such as the Semicon India Programme have attracted major companies like US chipmaker Micron Technology and Taiwanese electronics giant Foxconn into the country.
Indeed, just weeks ago, Foxconn said in security filings that it will invest more than USD 1.5 billion in an Indian construction project to fulfill the operational needs of its biggest customer: Apple. The investment was made via Foxconn's local subsidiary, Hon Hai Technology India Mega Development.
In the interview, Modi also stressed that India wants to be a pioneer in the field of AI. “We will be working on our own computing power in large indigenous language models, keeping in mind the diversity of Indian languages and our needs,” he said.