he Indian Govt. has recently announced the Rs. 10,000 crore Electronic Development Fund targeted at the semiconductor industry. It will provide risk capital to companies developing new technologies in electronics, nano-electronics and information technology.
The Centre will contribute ₹2,200 crore, while the balance will be brought in by private entities. Canbank Venture Capital Fund, a subsidiary of state-run lender Canara Bank, has been appointed the implementation agency for EDF. The Department of Electronics and Information Technology will be the anchor investor.
To start with, the Centre announced the allotment of funds to four VC firms — Karnataka Semiconductor Venture Capital Fund, Exfinity Technology Fund, Forum Synergies EDF Digital India Fund, and Endiya Seed Capital Corporation Fund. (Source: The Hindu Business Line, dated 15 February 2016.)
What this means for businesses already present in this sector is uncertain. Is this a sign of hope for the future? That remains to be seen. It is high time that India competed on an even field with the international ‘Goliaths’ and we eagerly await further announcements regarding ease in IP protection, imports and exports. Rather than boiling the ocean, it is better to develop further what has already been achieved by others abroad. For this, we need better and more affordable access to information to technology being used elsewhere.
But this new development of easier access to funds is indeed a boon for legal access to technology to enable better electronic manufacturing practices in the country.