TEMA has appointed Ajay Shankar, former secretary of government of India, as the chairman of TEMA Council on Industrial Policy.
Shankar has retired as secretary of Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP). He also served the National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council (NMCC) as member secretary for three years. He was the chairman of the National Productivity Council and of the Quality Council of India and gave greater momentum to their activities. He initiated the setting up of Invest India.
TEMA has taken many initiatives for supporting the industrial development of India since 1990 and is promoting Make in India and Digital Economy policies of the government. There is a need for a coherent industrial policy to speed up domestic manufacturing, especially in the Telecom, ICT sector. With leadership of Shankar, TEMA intends to take this forward.
Commenting on the development, Ravi Sharma, chairman, TEMA, said “With the new focus of AatmNirbhar Bharat and government’s priority for Make in India, the country urgently needs a new industrial manufacturing policy for the technology sector. With the encouraging policy, India will not only save the foreign exchange of imports but would also generate widespread employment opportunities. National Security and Make in India go hand in hand. TEMA is confident that the technology manufacturing sector will get a progressive and encouraging industrial policy from the government under the leadership of Ajay Shankar.”
Meanwhile, Shankar said, “I am happy to lead TEMA Council of Industrial Policy and we shall suggest a good strategy for taking India to the next level in technology equipment manufacturing. India needs to craft a strategy on how to reverse the lockdown-induced severe industrial slowdown. We need new policy instruments that steer market forces to deliver desired outcomes of creating jobs and achieving self-reliance in our open market economy. Understanding global as well as our own experiences would be of help in designing the right approaches.”
Further, Sandeep Aggarwal, vice chairman, TEMA, said “India needs to gear up for implementable domestic manufacturing policies. TEMA will be benefited by rich experience of Shri Ajay Shankar in formulating a manufacturing policy for Telecom, ICT sector.”
Shankar played a crucial role in putting together the stimulus packages at the time of the global economic crisis of 2008 which enabled the Indian economy to recover in a short time and again grow at over 8 per cent. The plan for the ambitious Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor Project was developed under his stewardship. The FDI policy was further liberalized and rationalized. During his tenure in NMCC he provided useful inputs to the government for National Skill Mission, facilitating start-ups, reforming labour laws and reducing the regulatory burden on enterprises.
Prior to this, Shankar served as joint secretary and then additional secretary in the ministry of power, CEO Greater NOIDA Industrial Development Authority, Secretary to Lt. Governor of Delhi for about five years and also principal adviser in the Planning Commission.
Shankar has been a public policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Centre in Washington D.C. USA. He has a Masters in Political Science from Allahabad University and a Masters in Economics from Georgetown University, Washington D.C.