Govt’s MSME technology centres swing into action against Covid-19; to make masks, ventilators, more

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Updated: April 8, 2020 6:48:34 PM

Technology for MSMEs: The decision comes nearly a week after the ministry urged MSMEs in manufacturing or supply of medical and related equipment to register as a supplier on the government’s e-commerce portal GeM.

mask, sanitizers, sanitisers, gloves, pharmaceuticals, textiles, chemicalsRecently Chinese multinational company Fosun had donated 5,000 masks.

Technology for MSMEs: 18 technology centres for MSMEs, earlier known as tool rooms or technology development centres, across the country will manufacture masks, sanitizers, ventilators etc., the MSME ministry tweeted recently as it joined the fight against the deadly Coronavirus attack. The existing tool rooms are scattered across cities including Agra, Ahmedabad, Bhubaneswar, Chennai, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Indore, Mumbai, Kolkata etc. Currently, tool rooms provide tools, trained personnel and consultancy services in tooling and related areas, upgradation of technologies in processes and products to MSMEs.

The ministry in another tweet on Wednesday said that technology centres in Hyderabad, Bhubaneswar, and Jamshedpur will manufacture components for 650 Corona testing kits wherein each kit consists of 20 hardware components. “First set of parts will be ready by Wednesday at Bhubaneswar. Once approved, the production will start at various technology centres,” the ministry said. According to media reports, India is looking to get ventilators and masks from China as improving local production will take time. Recently Chinese multinational company Fosun had donated 5,000 masks.

Also read: Small businesses struggle to survive amid Covid-19; may tap into working capital loans to sustain ahead

The development comes nearly a week after the ministry urged MSMEs in manufacturing or supply of medical and related equipment to register as a supplier on the government’s e-commerce portal GeM. In a notification, it detailed the list of 39 medical supplies such as ventilators, N95 masks, disposable thermometers, alcohol-based hand sanitizer, protective gowns etc. and also listed 61 auxiliary items such as soap, chairs, tables, bedsheets, computers, extension boards etc. manufactured or supplied by MSMEs to list on GeM.

From 18, the ministry has been looking to ramp up the number of technology centres to 153 across the country. MSME Secretary Arun Kumar Panda had informed last September at a technology adoption workshop among MSMEs that 153 centres would include “15 tool rooms that are under construction and 120 new such rooms that have been approved by the government.” These centres will train around eight lakh youth in different skills.

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