You have been talking seriously about Electric Vehicles (EVs) and India moving towards EVs in the next ten years. Can you tell us what ground is being laid for it?
Electric Mobility is bound to happen. It’s not that we have to really put in the efforts, because everybody is pointing at the way Electric Mobility will be growing in the world and India is not an insulated country. We are part of the global economy. So when everybody says and the projections are there that by 2030 or 2040, more than 50 percent vehicle production would be that of Electric Vehicles, India will have EVs too. Now the question is: How do we handle this kind of a situation — this massive disruption that is going to take place? We must have policies which take care of this disruption. And the way we handle it in the name of the country and in the name of the economy will pave the way for the transition.
In the last few decades we haven’t handled the situation very well. It is just that in the last eight to ten years that we have been imbibing technology. So how easily or seamlessly will this feasibility happen?
It won’t be correct to say that nothing has moved in the country. The Indian automobile sector has made tremendous progress. We are contributing a lot to the national GDP – a large chunk of the components and even the original cars are being exported from India. Yes, there is a scope to do better. We could have done better and I am sure that we will be doing much better with policy formulations and pro-active approach of the government. I am sure that the shift from internal combustion engine to the Electric Mobility — the electric vehicles — will be smoother. And, it will be more in the interest of the growth of the automobile sector, the smart cities and smart mobility. This is the way in which the citizens of India would like to move.
So, we have done well in terms of the automobile sector and it is for us to take the decision to do much better. It’s not the question of only the government taking the action but all the stakeholders have to work on it – the industry, the manufacturers, the battery people, the component industry, the power supply providers, the distribution companies of the state governments, and many more stakeholders. So, it is an integrated effort and I am sure the steps will turn out to be extremely positive and there will be a positive movement in the right direction.
People are looking towards NITI Aayog and the role it will play in this sector…
NITI Aayog is primarily a think tank which provides the integration, the coordination among various ministries. The change in the role of NITI Aayog over the Planning Commission is that we provide pro-active steps to the ministries. It is much more challenging and much more active now-a-days.
There is a requirement for integration in the automobile sector. The industry, the transport ministry, the commerce ministry, the state ministry, the state governments, the distribution companies of the states and other bodies need to be integrated. That is where the role of NITI Aayog comes in to the picture.
How important do you think the integrated international expos like TrafficInfraTech and ParkingInfraTech are?
It is a well-organized exhibition which is showcasing the technologies and the Indian companies who are in this area. Certainly it is bound to grow with time. I must say that it is a great initiative. It is in a very infancy stage – it is just its sixth year. I wish it all the success and I look forward to it becoming much bigger and much stronger in the times to come.