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Task force to boost steel R&D to help India produce 300 MT

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To promote the research and development in the steel sector in the country, The government has constituted a task force for preparing a blueprint in a bid to help India treble its production capacity to 300 million tonnes (MT)

steelNew Delhi: To promote the research and development in the steel sector in the country, The government has constituted a task force for preparing a blueprint in a bid to help India treble its production capacity to 300 million tonnes (MT).

The seven-member task force is headed by former Director, Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research, Baldev Raj. Members, who are drawn from various public and private sector steel units, have been mandated to submit the blue print to the government by February 15.

It has been felt necessary to evolve an institutional mechanism to spearhead all research & development (R&D) in iron and steel of national importance, revitalizing the existing centres, the Steel Ministry said in a recent communiqué to top officials of SAIL, Tata Steel, JSW and MECON.

“India is poised to become the second largest steel producer in the world and is projected to achieve a capacity of 300 MTPA by the middle of next decade. However, the research and development base for actual technology development is inadequate” Joint Secretary UP Singh said in the letter.

The letter also lays stress on the need for augmenting human resource and R&D infrastructure through focused projects and programs while lamenting that the “steel industry is dependent on imported knowhow/design and engineering equipment.”

The members of the task force include former Managing Director, SAIL, Sanak Mishra, former Deputy MD, Tata Steel, T Mukherjee, CMD, MECON AK Tyagi, Chiefs R&D and Scientific Services, Tata Steel and JSW Steel Sanjay Chandra and K Maruti Ram and Director, Technical, SAIL SS Mohanty.

Earlier, in a brain-storming meeting in the Ministry of Steel last month, an “urgent need was felt to pursue goal oriented research in the Iron & Steel sector.”

With regard to funding for the R&D Mission/Centre, it was decided that there may be a corpus with one-time contribution from government and industry, in addition to annual stream of income in the form of a charge per ton of steel production.

Last year, a high-level meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had decided to give a push towards creating domestic manufacturing capabilities in advanced materials, alloys and composites and has announced to treble steel production capacity to 300 MT by 2025. The crude capacity for steel production is 96 MT per annum at present.

Last week, Steel Minister Beni Prasad Verma said “a roadmap for achieving the target of 300 MT of steel production is under preparation” and asked the public as well as private sector steel players to come forward to take necessary steps for achieving the target.

PTI

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