Pune: Fast-changing automotive sector will need trained manpower – Dr Mahendra Nath Pandey

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Pune, 23rd January 2024: Fast changing automotive sector will need trained manpower, opined Dr Mahendra Nath Pandey, Minister for Heavy Industries, Government of India while he was addressing (virtually) the inaugural session of the 18th edition of the three-day flagship biennial event ‘Symposium on International Automotive Technology (SIAT) 2024’ organized by the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI). Starting today, SIAT 2024 is being held at the Pune International Exhibition and Convention Centre (PIECC) – Moshi, PCMC.

Dr Mahendra Nath Pandey; Minister of Heavy Industries graced the inaugural ceremony of SIAT 2024 with his virtual presence. Other dignitaries like Dr. Hanif Qureshi; Joint Secretary, Ministry of Heavy Industries, Government of India, Dr. N Saravanan; President of ARAI, Dr Reji Mathai; Director of ARAI, Dr David Schutt; CEO of SAE International, Dr V V Shinde; Convenor of SIAT 2024 and others were also present on the dais.

Pandey stated that the deliberations that take place during such symposiums will not only prove helpful for the Indian auto industry but will give some input to the auto sector from other countries. “While the auto industry grows in India with a phenomenal speed, our government is focusing on fuel efficiency, security, road safety, and reduction in carbon emission. The New Education Policy encourages skill development and so is our Ministry. The success of the 26,000 crore PLI scheme is evident now, where we are now able to develop and source almost 50% parts locally,” Pandey added.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Hanif Qureshi, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Heavy Industries, Government of India said, “While we are marching towards Prime Minster’s vision of making India a developed country by 2047, the Auto Industry will have a significant role to play. India has emerged as the automotive powerhouse and the world is looking at it. Currently, 7% of India’s GDP comes from the automotive sector and it is likely to grow substantially in the years to come. The growth potential of the Auto Industry is huge in India because only 8% of households have automobiles. Thus, we have a long way to go.”

Qureshi shared that the adoption of high technology would be the way forward for the Auto Industry to grow along with the focus on bringing down the cost, adding more features, reducing fuel costs, and achieving a great degree of customer satisfaction.

“Considering the futuristic needs of mobility in India, the testing and certification agencies are required to strengthen themselves. Especially, when we expect a sea change in vehicles on alternate fuels and electricity. The Electric Vehicle Industry is growing by a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of a massive 49%. In the financial year 2022-23, only 1% of the passenger cars sold were electric. The number of electric cars sold was just 48,000. Whereas there was a wide acceptability for electric two-wheelers and almost 7 lakh two-wheelers were sold in the financial year 2022-23. The country is likely to see a huge growth in India, which is currently the 4th largest auto market of the world,” informed Qureshi.

He also shared that, certain provisions made in the last budget have opened the door of new opportunities for the auto testing and certification agencies in India where foreign car makers can get their cars/vehicles in India for testing and validation without paying any duty.

A virtual inauguration of new facilities such as the Advanced NVH Development Center, Advanced Accelerated Sled Lab, Advanced Photometry Laboratory, Foundation Stone Laying of ADAS, Cylinder Testing and High Energy Impact Testing facilities at Mobility Research Center (MRC), Takwe took place on the first day of SIAT 2024 today. These facilities are being set up with an investment of approx. INR 146 crores and will provide developmental support to the Indian automotive industry.

The symposium witnesses a gathering of over 1500 automotive technocrats. Technical experts from 9 countries will present and discuss their research work in 48 technical sessions (8 parallel sessions). In addition, there will be 3 plenary sessions and a panel discussion on the theme of SIAT 2024.”

This edition of SIAT also features a Futuristic Technology Pavilion, a Medium Small Scale and Start-up Pavilion (MSSSP) along with a Live Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) demonstration area.

Highlights of SIAT 2024 and SIAT EXPO 2024:
1. New venue (Pune International Exhibition and Convention Centre (PIECC) – Moshi) with ample parking space
2. Largest participation, compared to previous editions of SIAT, in terms of delegates, technical papers, and stalls
3. A Futuristic Technology Pavilion
4. A Medium Small Scale and Start-up Pavilion (MSSSP)
5. Live ‘Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS)’ Demonstration Area
6. Plenary sessions on Sustainable Technologies for the Next Decade
7. Safe Mobility Solutions for Future Mobility