Panel Discussion on India’s Industrial Policy and Performance


The Institute in collaboration with the Council for Social Development (CSD) and India International Centre (IIC) organised a Panel Discussion on “India’s Industrial Policy and Performance” on May 12, 2022. The discussion was based on Dr Nitya Nanda’s book titled India’s Industrial Policy and Performance: Growth, Competition and Competitiveness, published by Routledge India. The discussion was moderated by Prof Nagesh Kumar, Director, ISID. Dr Rajiv Kumar, former Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog was the chief guest. The distinguished panellists for the discussion were Prof Muchkund Dubey, President, CSD; Prof Deepak Nayyar, Professor Emiretus, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU); and, Prof R Nagaraj, Visiting Professor, Centre for Developing Studies (CDS). In his opening remarks, Prof Kumar discussed the importance of manufacturing in generating economic growth and employment. In this context, he argued that the focus of the government to rejuvenate manufacturing through the Make-in-India initiative is a welcome step. Dr Nitya discussed various facets of industrial policy in India. By drawing from the experiences of other industrialising countries, especially from the East-Asian region, Dr Nitya reiterated the importance of active State support in promoting industrialisation. He argued that a sustainable industrial policy requires a comprehensive blend of technology policy, economic policy, and social policy by the State. Prof Dubey initiated the panel discussion where he critically elaborated on the history of industrial policy in India. While acknowledging the growing interconnected world order, Prof Dubey emphasised the need to have an integrated approach where industrial policy should be based on domestic demand-oriented rather than blanket export-oriented. Prof Nayyar argued that India’s dismal state of industrial progress was the result of poor implementation of Industrial policy, which eventually accentuated post-1991. Prof Nayyar attributed State’s active and coordinating industry policy choices to the success story of pharmaceuticals, automobiles, and the information technology industries. Prof Nagaraj critically reviewed the core ideas disseminated by Dr Nitya in his book. Dr Rajiv Kumar emphasised the role of industrial policy in creating internationally competitive manufacturing and the need to augment private investment in R&D for product innovation to compete successfully in the world market.