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India must take lead in clean mobility, need for crypto regulation: NITI CEO

According to NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant, India must lead in emerging industries such as battery storage, clean mobility, green hydrogen, artificial intelligence (AI), and semi-conductors since they will move the globe ahead.

The NITI Aayog CEO, speaking at the Defence Estates Day Lecture, 2021, advocated for accessing development in sunrise industries, similar to what nations like Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and China did when they grew at a rapid rate for several decades.

Kant underlined the need of going all-in on sustainable mobility, using the American electric vehicle maker Tesla as an example.

He indicated that Tesla’s (market) valuation is about US $2.5-3 trillion, which is comparable to India’s GDP. Furthermore, the value of one firm that solely makes electric vehicles is greater than the combined value of 11 automotive companies such as General Motors, Ford, Toyota, and Honda.

“There are sunrise areas of growth and there will be disruptions in these sectors,” he noted.

“The world is at the cusp of huge mobility revolution which will be shared, connected and zero-emission. This revolution would be driven by huge number of technological evolutions in the areas of mobility,” said the NITI CEO.

Semiconductors and display production units, he added, are another area with significant development potential. Kant stated that India’s domestic output of electronic goods has expanded at a CAGR of 18% or more over the previous five years, and India’s share of the global electronics industry has quadrupled in that period.

“Today, every modern Indian has at least 2-3 connected devices — smartphones, laptops, smart TVs, smartwatches. But we have become an importer of all these products simply because we don’t have strength in semi-conductor,” he said.

“Therefore, India needs to become a Champion in these areas. It’s important that there is the critical realization that as demand grows in India, we must start manufacturing some of these,” he added.

With recent technological upheaval, the top official remarked that battery storage presents a significant possibility for the country’s long-term prosperity.

While the NITI CEO refused to comment on the planned regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies, he did say that the policies should be pro-innovation.

“There are two issues. One is crypto as a currency and crypto as an asset class, etc. All this is subject to great discussion in the government right now and we are all party to that very huge amount of inputs that have been given for policymaking. And it is going before the Cabinet so it will not be appropriate for me to comment at this stage,” he said.

“Technology is always ahead of regulation. It will be very important that regulation must keep pace with technology and there must be a pro-innovation bias. If we don’t have a pro-innovation bias in a regulatory framework then it will be very difficult for India to move ahead,” he further said.




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