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Rajeev Chandrasekhar Reviews Plans for Upgrading OSATs, Fabs, and SCL

PoliticsRajeev Chandrasekhar Reviews Plans for Upgrading OSATs, Fabs, and SCL
India’s semiconductor industry is on the cusp of significant development, and Rajeev Chandrasekhar shares insight into the plans for upgrading OSATs, fabs, and the Semi-Conductor Laboratory (SCL). In a recent discussion, he addresses key issues and developments in the industry, shedding light on proposals, modernization processes, funding allocations, and the future of electronics manufacturing in India.

Challenges in Approvals for Chip Projects

There has been speculation about the India Semiconductor Mission (ISM) not providing approvals for chip projects in certain states. However, Rajeev Chandrasekhar clarifies that the government’s mission is not limited to creating semiconductor capability in specific regions. He emphasizes the presence of electronics factories in various states, including Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Uttar Pradesh. Chandrasekhar also highlights the role of the ‘technology financial advisory group’ (TFAG) in identifying credible proposals and ensuring the prudent allocation of public funds for semiconductor projects.

Proposals Evaluation and Expression of Interest

Addressing the status of proposals, Chandrasekhar mentions the evaluation of a significant number of proposals, encompassing compound fabs, compound OSATs, silicon OSATs, and silicon fabs. Additionally, an expression of interest for modernizing the Semi-Conductor Laboratory (SCL) in Mohali has garnered considerable attention. These initiatives are currently under the purview of the ISM TFAG, reflecting the industry’s momentum towards advancement and expansion.

Strategic Direction for SCL Modernization

Rajeev Chandrasekhar delineates the strategic vision for the modernization of the Semi-Conductor Laboratory (SCL). He emphasizes the potential for SCL to evolve into a commercial-grade, limited-volume production hub, coupled with its role as a research and development (R&D) center. The focus on developing complex chips and devices aligns with the broader objective of establishing an ecosystem for semiconductor R&D in India. Chandrasekhar underscores the significance of enhancing SCL’s capabilities to remain competitive and relevant in the industry.

Allocating Funds for Advancement

The modernization of SCL necessitates substantial funding, with Chandrasekhar highlighting the existing allocation of over ₹10,000 crore ($1 billion) for this purpose. While acknowledging the significant financial requirements, he expresses confidence in the current budget allocation, signaling a practical and strategic approach towards resource management.

Accelerating Electronics Manufacturing and Supply Chain

The conversation shifts towards the imperative of building a robust component supply chain for local electronics manufacturing in India. Chandrasekhar draws parallels with global value chains (GVCs), emphasizing the need for concerted efforts to foster a competitive and sustainable ecosystem. As India approaches a tipping point in scale, size, and volume, the momentum for local suppliers to establish a presence in the industry is gaining traction, signifying a crucial phase of development.

Perspective on Export-Oriented Manufacturing

Amid discussions on the Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme for electronics manufacturing, Chandrasekhar articulates the dual focus on domestic supplies and exports. He underscores the export-oriented approach, highlighting the target of achieving $300 billion in electronics manufacturing by 2026, with nearly 40% earmarked for exports. This strategic direction underscores India’s ambition to emerge as a significant player in the global electronics market.
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Toward Indigenous AI Computing

Rajeev Chandrasekhar outlines a dual-pronged strategy for fostering indigenous AI computing capacity in both the public and private sectors. The initiatives encompass the development of AI compute services in the public domain, along with a proposal for substantial GPU capacity in the private sector, facilitated through a public-private partnership (PPP). This strategic focus aligns with India’s vision for harnessing AI capabilities and technological innovation.

Global Collaboration on AI Regulation

The discussion delves into the global perspective on AI regulation, citing the consensus among nations at the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (GPAI) Delhi event. Chandrasekhar underscores India’s leadership role in advocating for safe and collaborative approaches to AI regulation. The forthcoming Global Forum on the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence event in Slovenia and the proposed AI Safety Summit in South Korea underscore India’s proactive engagement in shaping the regulatory framework for AI.

Legislative Imperatives for AI and Cybersecurity

Chandrasekhar addresses the legislative trajectory for regulating AI through the Digital India Act, highlighting the need for comprehensive frameworks to ensure safety and trust in AI. He also emphasizes the existing legislation and cybersecurity directions while acknowledging the multi-jurisdictional challenges in addressing cybercrime. This underscores the need for cooperative and strategic measures to tackle cyber threats effectively. In conclusion, Rajeev Chandrasekhar’s insights underscore the dynamic landscape of India’s semiconductor industry, marked by ambitious initiatives, strategic partnerships, and a proactive stance on global collaboration and regulatory frameworks. As the industry continues to evolve, Chandrasekhar’s vision navigates the trajectory of technological advancement and indigenous innovation, positioning India as a key player in the global semiconductor arena. *Source: This article is based on the insights provided by Rajeev Chandrasekhar in a recent interview.

*The Growing Challenge of Cybercrime in India

The rise of cybercrimes in India is a serious concern that demands immediate attention. As the internet user base in the country is projected to reach a billion by 2026, the issue of cybercrimes has become a pressing matter that requires collaboration and swift response from state governments. Despite the escalating threat posed by cybercrimes, it has been observed that it does not receive the same level of attention as other traditional crimes such as murder, terrorism, or robbery. This discrepancy in the prioritization of cybercrimes is a structural problem that needs to be addressed to ensure the safety and security of the digital ecosystem.
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Challenges in Addressing Cybercrimes

One of the major hurdles in combating cybercrimes is the jurisdictional complexity that arises when the crime spans multiple states. When state governments do attempt to respond to cybercrimes, they often encounter the challenge of coordinating with other jurisdictions, which can significantly delay the investigative and prosecutorial processes. This structural issue is further compounded by the fact that law and order falls under the purview of the individual states, making it difficult for a centralized approach to effectively address cybercrimes.

Collaborative Solutions

To effectively combat cybercrimes in India, there is a crucial need for enhanced collaboration and coordination among state governments. Building awareness and strengthening the capabilities of state police departments to investigate and prosecute multi-jurisdictional cybercrimes is imperative. However, the current scenario presents a formidable obstacle, as many state police forces do not prioritize cybercrimes due to competing concerns and resource constraints. This lack of prioritization results in cybersecurity taking a back seat, further exacerbating the challenges associated with tackling cybercrimes.

The Role of Skill Development

While skill development plays a vital role in bolstering the capacity of law enforcement agencies to address cybercrimes, it is evident that the issue extends beyond skill enhancement. The low prioritization of cybercrimes by state police forces and the scarcity of resources present significant impediments to effectively tackling cyber threats. As a result, cybersecurity continues to remain a low priority for many state governments, thereby hindering the development of robust strategies to combat cybercrimes.

Empowering Cert-In

The question of whether Cert-In should be granted more authority in addressing cybercrimes raises important considerations. While Cert-In has made significant strides in expanding its capabilities, it still faces limitations in its jurisdiction. Although Cert-In can identify and provide guidance in the event of a breach, its role is restricted to issuing directives to corporates and states and does not extend to the investigation and prosecution of cybercrimes. Therefore, simply endowing Cert-In with additional powers may not be the singular solution to effectively combatting cybercrimes.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the rise of cybercrimes in India demands a multifaceted approach to address the current challenges. Enhancing collaboration between state governments, raising awareness, and bolstering the capabilities of law enforcement agencies are critical steps in mitigating the impact of cybercrimes. Furthermore, the elevation of cybersecurity as a priority at the state level and the allocation of adequate resources are essential to effectively combat the evolving threat landscape. As India continues its digital transformation, addressing cybercrimes will be pivotal in ensuring a secure and resilient digital infrastructure for the nation. This article is based on information provided by www.livemint.com.
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