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India Key Industry

The iron and steel industry in India is over 122 years old. However, a concerted effort to increase the steel output was made only in the early years of planning. Three integrated steel plants were set up at Bhilai, Durgapur and Rourkela. Later two more steel plants, at Bokaro and Vishakhapatnam, were set up. Private sector plants, of which the Tata Iron and Steel Company (TISCO) is the biggest, have been allowed to raise their capacity. TISCO and a large number of mini steel plants in the country contribute about 40 per cent of the steel production in the country. The Government has given a push to sponge iron plants to meet the secondary sector's requirement of steel scrap.

Engineering and Machine Tools
Among the Third-World countries, India is a major exporter of heavy and light engineering goods, producing a wide range of items. The bulk of capital goods required for power projects, fertilizer, cement, steel and petrochemical plants and mining equipment are made in India. The country also makes construction machinery, equipment for irrigation projects, diesel engines, tractors, transport vehicles, cotton textile and sugar mill machinery. The engineering industry has shown its capacity to manufacture large-size plants and equipment for various sectors like power, fertilizer, and cement. Lately, air pollution control equipments are also being made in the country. The heavy electrical industry meets the entire domestic demand.

The electronics industry in India has made rapid strides in recent years. The country produces electronics items worth over Rs. 200 billion annually. The Software Technology Park scheme for attracting investments has proved successful. The relative low cost of production in India makes items made in India competitive in the world market.

Some of the major items manufactured in India are computers, communication equipment, broadcasting and strategic electronics, television sets, microwave ovens, and washing machines.

The compound growth of the computer industry has been 50 per cent during the last five years. With the availability of trained technical manpower, computers have been identified as a major thrust area. Special emphasis has been given to software export. The Indian software industry has developed skill and expertise in areas like design and implementation of management information and decision support systems, banking, insurance and financial applications, artificial intelligence and fifth generation systems.

Recognition for the Indian computer software industry has been global. Indian software enterprises have completed projects for reputed international organisations in 43 countries.

Textiles, the largest industry in the country employing about 20 million people, account for one-third of India's total exports. During 2000-01, textile exports were estimated at Rs. 49,831 crore, which is more than the export during 1999-2000.which was Rs. 40,178 crore. In recent years, several controls have been removed and in October 1996, a new Long-Term Quota policy was announced to boost exports.

Public Sector
TThe public sector contributed to the initial development of infrastructure and diversification of industrial base. It is now being exposed to competition. Part equity of some units is being disinvested. But many core and strategic areas, important for economy and self-reliance, will remain in the public sector.

Indian Economy