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India to evaluate Foxconn, Vedanta proposals for chip units, IT Minister

The Centre will wait for separate proposals from Taiwan’s Foxconn and Indian conglomerate Vedanta to set up semiconductor plants in the country and evaluate them accordingly, Minister of State for Electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar said here on Tuesday.

Early this month, Foxconn pulled out of a semiconductor joint venture with billionaire Anil Agarwal-promoted Vedanta. The Taiwanese electronics manufacturing giant said it was working to apply separately for setting up a semiconductor unit in India.

“There were two private partners who submitted a joint venture proposal (to set up a semiconductor unit in India). They now believe they will submit their proposals separately. So we will wait for their proposals and evaluate them accordingly,” Chandrasekhar said when asked about the development.

At the inaugural ceremony of the 6-day exhibition on cutting-edge technologies related to semiconductors being organised as part of ‘Semicon India 2023’, Chandrasekhar said what the country has achieved in the last 15 months in the semiconductor sector was not achieved in the last 70 years.

The exhibition was inaugurated by Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel.

“When different countries progressed a lot in the field of semiconductors, our country has either been unsuccessful or ignored to tap into this opportunity. Different governments either ignored or remained unsuccessful in different ways regarding this sector,” he told reporters.

“It is the first time such a successful effort has been made. We have progressed so much in the last 15 months that was not seen in the last 70 years,” he said.

The Union minister of state said that Gujarat is “leapfrogging” every other state in terms of building the semiconductor ecosystem, with the big investment of Micron – a US chipmaker – coming to the state.

In accordance with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision, Chandrasekhar said, his ministry launched the first road show of future design in Gandhinagar some eight months before Semicon India 2023.

“This vision of the ecosystem contains design innovation, research, talent, packaging and fabs, and we are trying to catalyse the world of (semiconductor) ecosystem.

“I am happy that the Gujarat government working in partnership with the Government of India is today leapfrogging every other state in terms of building the semiconductor ecosystem with the big investment that has been announced by Micron in Gujarat,” he said.

He said the exhibition offers an opportunity for students, youth, and all those associated with technology to visit, learn and grow their awareness.

The semiconductor and electronics sector will play “a very important role” in the next decade which PM Modi has called India’s decade, he said.

In the last 5- 6 years, he said, enrolment in electronics engineering was dropping but there has been a change in the trend.

“I want to happily report that not only in Gujarat but across the country, for the first time after many years, enrolment in electronics engineering, interest in hardware and startups in hardware and semiconductor base is on the rise, and this is a good thing for India and Gujarat which is becoming the epicentre for semiconductor in India,” he said.

The 6-day exhibition, which was inaugurated by Gujarat CM Patel, aims to educate visitors about the intricate manufacturing processes of semiconductors and the remarkable strides achieved in this dynamic field, as per a government release.

During PM Modi’s recent visit to the US, America’s President Joe Biden announced the establishment of a state-of-the-art semiconductor assembly, testing, marking, and packaging (ATMP) facility by Micron Technology Inc. in India.

Later, the Gujarat government signed a memorandum of undertaking (MoU) worth Rs 22,500 crore with US chipmaker Micron to establish an ATMP facility at Sanand in the state.

Modi will inaugurate Semicon India 2023 on July 28.

Companies such as Foxconn, Micron, AMD, IBM, Marvell, Vedanta, LAM Research, NXP Semiconductors, STMicroelectronics, Grantwood Technologies, Infineon Technologies, Applied Materials, and other prominent players in the sector will participate in the event, the government said. PTI

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