Striking an optimistic note, President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday expressed confidence that the "deceleration" of economy will halt but said the 12th Plan target of 9 per cent growth can be achieved only with several enabling factors, particularly education.
He said the country has core competence in the engineering sector and a number of steps have been taken to pep up the industry besides improving the quality and expanse of education.
"I believe the underlying growth impetus remains strong due to continued rise in per capita incomes, expanding middle-class consumers and a young and energetic workforce. Of course, stronger efforts from all stakeholders can build on this trend, and enable us secure faster growth," he said inaugurating the first Engineers Conclave, 2013 here.
Referring to the slowdown, he said, "Though India's economic growth has declined in recent times, I am confident we will be able to bring the deceleration to a halt and revert to the high growth levels that we attained in the past."
Mukherjee, who previously served as the Finance Minister, noted that the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17) has envisaged a growth rate of 9 per cent per year and said "such scales of economic expansion need several enabling factors prominent among them being education."
Spelling out the measures that need to be taken to push the country on the path of growth, he said, "Innovation is a key managerial strategy for growth."
The President said emphasis must be laid on various dimensions of innovation, such as process innovation, product innovation, business model innovation and new technology innovation.
Underlining that strong capabilities in designing and building machine tools are particularly critical, he said the industry must develop close partnerships with universities and research institutions to take this aspiration forward.
Mukherjee highlighted that the contribution of manufacturing to total employment in India is about 11 per cent, which is lower than that of many emerging countries where the share of manufacturing in total employment is between 15 to 30 per cent.
The National Manufacturing Policy, 2011 has envisaged the creation of 100 million additional jobs in the manufacturing sector by 2025, he said, adding it is expected that share of manufacturing in GDP will increase to 25 per cent by 2022.
"To make Indian industry productive and competitive, we must enhance our capabilities on many fronts, primarily human skill, hardware technology, and knowledge base.... People should be at the heart of