Indian Government flagship programmes

Make in India

The Make in India initiative was launched globally in September 2014 as part of the Government of India’s renewed focus on invigorating the country’s manufacturing sector, and focusing on job creation and skill enhancement in 25 sectors of the Indian economy. The initiative aims to raise quality standards and minimise the impact on the environment, as well as attract capital and technological investment in India.

The 25 sectors are:

  • automobiles

  • automobile components

  • aviation

  • biotechnology

  • chemicals

  • construction

  • defence manufacturing

  • electrical machinery

  • electronic systems

  • food processing

  • information technology and business process management

  • leather

  • media and entertainment

  • mining

  • oil and gas

  • pharmaceuticals

  • ports and shipping

  • railways

  • renewable energy

  • roads and highways

  • space and astronomy

  • textiles and garments

  • thermal power

  • tourism and hospitality

  • wellness

Before the initiative was launched, foreign equity caps in these sectors were relaxed and the validity of licences was increased to three years. With the exception of space, defence and news media, 100% FDI is now permitted in all of the above sectors.

Since its launch, the Government of India has taken several reform initiatives to create an enabling environment that has provided a push to manufacturing, design, innovation and entrepreneurship. The Prime Minister has given further impetus to India’s growth with several innovative initiatives such as ‘Digital India’, ‘100 Smart Cities’ and ‘Skill India’, and six industrial corridors are being developed across various regions of the country. Industrial Cities will also develop along these corridors.

For more information on Make in India, see:


Ease of Doing Business

The Government of India has taken on board a series of measures to radically improve its ‘Ease of Doing Business’ ranking. With an objective to make the regulatory environment easier and simpler for business to flourish, the Government has effectively used technology to converge and integrate different departments. 14 services are now integrated within a new ‘eBiz portal’, which will function as a single window portal for obtaining clearances from various government agencies.

In February 2017, the Government of India appointed the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the National Productivity Council to research actual users and get their feedback on various reform measures, in a move to try to improve India's ranking on the Ease of Doing Business Index. India currently ranks 130th out of 190 countries in the World Bank's 2016 Ease of Doing Business Index.

For more information, see the World Bank’s 2016-17 Ease of Doing Business ranking at:, and:


Digital India

The Digital India programme is a flagship programme of the Government of India with a vision to transform India into a digitally-empowered society and knowledge economy.

Digital India was launched by the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi in July 2015 with the objective of connecting rural areas with high-speed internet networks and improving digital literacy. The vision of Digital India is inclusive growth in areas of electronic services, products, manufacturing and job opportunities, and is centred on three key areas:

  • digital infrastructure as a utility to every citizen

  • governance & services on-demand

  • digital empowerment of citizens

The Indian Government hopes to achieve growth on multiple fronts with the Digital India initiative. Specifically, they are targeting the following nine 'Pillars of Digital India':

  • broadband highway

  • universal access to Internet

  • public internet access programme

  • e-Governance – reforming government through technology

  • e-Kranti – electronic delivery of services

  • information for all

  • electronics manufacturing

  • IT for jobs

  • early harvest programmes

For more information on the Digital India initiative, see:


100 Smart Cities

The 100 Smart Cities initiative is an urban renewal and retrofitting programme by the Government of India, with a mission to develop 100 cities across the country, making them citizen-friendly and sustainable. The Union Ministry of Urban Development is responsible for implementing the mission in collaboration with the state governments of the respective cities.

The objective is to promote cities that provide core infrastructure and give a decent quality of life to its citizens, a clean and sustainable environment and application of ‘Smart’ Solutions. The focus is on sustainable and inclusive development and the idea is to look at compact areas, and create a replicable model which will act like a beacon to other aspiring cities.

The 100 Smart Cities mission of the government is a bold, new initiative. It is meant to set examples that can be replicated both within and outside the Smart City, catalysing the creation of similar Smart Cities in various regions and parts of the country.

Accordingly, the purpose of the 100 Smart Cities mission is to drive economic growth and improve the quality of life of people by enabling local area development and harnessing technology, especially technology that leads to Smart outcomes. Area-based development will transform existing areas (retrofit and redevelop), including slums, into better-planned ones, thereby improving liveability of the whole City.

New greenfield areas will be developed around cities in order to accommodate the expanding population in urban areas. Application of Smart Solutions will enable cities to use technology, information and data to improve infrastructure and services. Comprehensive development in this way will improve quality of life, create employment and enhance incomes for all, especially the poor and the disadvantaged, leading to inclusive cities.

As of June 2017, 90 cities have been selected for upgrade as part of the 100 Smart Cities initiative. As part of the five-year programme, all Indian states and Union territories are participating (except West Bengal) by nominating at-least one city for the Smart City challenge. Financial aid is to be given by the central and state government between 2017 and 2022.

For more information on the Indian 100 Smart Cities initiative, see:


Skill India

The National Skill Development initiative ‘Skill India’, was launched in July 2015 on the occasion of World Youth Skills Day. The programme has been developed to create convergence across sectors and states in terms of skill training activities.

The vision of ‘Skill India’ is to not only consolidate and coordinate skilling efforts, but also expedite decision making across sectors to achieve skilling quickly and to agreed standards.  It will be implemented through a streamlined process led by the Indian Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE). Key institutional mechanisms for achieving the objectives have been divided into three tiers, which consist of a Governing Council for policy guidance, a Steering Committee and a Mission Directorate (along with an Executive Committee) as the executive arm.

Seven sub-missions have been proposed initially to act as building blocks for achieving overall objectives of the programme:

  • institutional training

  • infrastructure

  • convergence

  • trainers

  • overseas employment

  • sustainable livelihoods

  • leveraging public infrastructure

For more information on Skill India see:


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