The carnage witnessed across industries over the shortage of chips has spotlighted the need to establish a robust semiconductor ecosystem in India. Several sectors, including electronics, auto and medical technology, have been severely hit by the scarcity of chips that are manufactured mainly in East Asia. Against this backdrop, the Union Cabinet recently approved a ‘comprehensive programme for the development of a sustainable semiconductor and display ecosystem’. This programme emphasised that India intends to play a more prominent role in the hyper-globalised semiconductor supply chain.
Following up on that announcement, the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY) on December 21 notified four specific schemes to reduce India’s dependency on imports and build an ecosystem for the production of semiconductors. On December 30, MeitY released the guidelines for these schemes.
The defining feature of the programme is to support all the major stages of semiconductor production: design; specialised fabs for compound semiconductors, silicon photonics and sensors; Assembly, Testing, Marking and Packaging (ATMP) units; display fabs; and semiconductor fabs.