Monday, February 16, 2015



The theme of this year’s Productivity Week being celebrated all over India from 12-18th feb 2015 is –“ Make in India: Zero Defect, Zero Effect. The National Productivity Council has issued directives to all government departments and state owned companies to implement this new initiative. NPS has also initiated setting up of Productivity Improvement Committees and has chalked out the formula plan for the year 2015.

Theme Genesis:
Let us introspect on the origin of this phrase, how it was coined, what it implies and what is its correlation with the idea of productivity. At a time when the industries are growing at a rapid pace with more and more technological improvements, its corresponding side effect is the adverse impact it is causing on our environment each day. Our newly elected Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi ji in his maiden speech at the Ramlila Grounds on independence day 2014, called out the following message to Indians and to people abroad:  “I say this to all the people, Come, make in India, Sell abroad but manufacture in India. We have the desired skill, we have the talent, we have what it takes to be a manufacturer’s hub, Come, Make in India and develop Brand India. While he talked about interesting phenomenons of ABCD: being avoid, bypass, confuse and delay and ROAD: responsibility, ownership, accountability and discipline, defining the behaviours of government officials and what is expected out of them, he then coined this new phrase which seems like the newest feather in his cap. With this new concept, he emphasized on following two essentials:

·        Zero Defect: The products which are manufactured in India must have a zero defect, ie they must be internationally accepted and not be rejected in the world market.
·        Secondly, Zero Effect: The goods so produces must have a zero adverse impact on our environment and natural resources.
This implies that not only there must exist manufacturing excellence and efficiency for our products to be at par with the international standards, but also the fact that sustainable development and protection of environment must be our top most priority and concern. He did not stop here. In the recent meet of industrialists and government officials held in Dec 2014, our PM further highlighted this new idea and challenge and stated that the aim is to make India a globally recognized exporter: a nation which imports less and exports more. The objective is to reduce our thrust on importing from other countries, encourage domestic production, have increased investment in the manufacturing sector, prevent brain drain by giving employment to the youth in the said sector, improve skill set of the youth for working in such industries by giving them training, and focus on using make in India products as much as possible. At present, our manufacturing sector contributes a meager 17% to the nation’s GDP. This figure needs to be increased by developing world class infrastructure for our industries to thrive and grow. However, this idea is not merely restricted to the notion of make in India. The longer term mission is to create BRAND INDIA, put our nation on the global platform, whereby our economy is at a much more competitive edge than its competitors.

Now comes the second thought; why such a theme has been chosen by the NPC. What is the synthesis between the two concepts? Let us understand what is the meaning of the term productivity? In simplest economic terms, it is the measure of efficiency of a person, machine or factory. It is the output per unit of inputs used in the process of production. Productivity in its literal sense means the state of being productive. The 5 M’s of Economy: man, machine, materials, money and minerals being the inputs in this case which produce the desired outputs. But, in a more coherent sense, productivity means and implies a state of being able to generate, create or bring forth goods and services in an economy. It is true that productivity is the key to prosperity. And for the prosperity or growth of a nation, it requires continuous development + sustainability. We all by now have heard of the term sustainable development: development which does not hamper or degrade the environment and is sustainable for our future generations to come.
In these times of liberalization, privatization and globalization where each sector of our economy is booming rapidly, there is bound to be some adverse effect on our environment and on our natural resources.
Hence, our aim is prosperity through productivity, efficiency which can only be achieved by following the mantra of Zero Defect and Zero Effect. For productivity, what is imperative is economically viable production and also which does not degrade our natural resources. Any kind of development aims at improving the standard of living of its people and that can only be achieved if the environment one stays in is protected. There must be a balancing of resources in a way that each part of the nation is focused on equally, be it the east or the west. Hence, the idea of zero defect and zero effect goes hand in hand. It is also essential to understand that only by bringing about an improvement in the means of production while protecting our nature and heritage can we ensure productivity and growth in its true sense.
In this regard, another related term is Competitiveness. What does it imply? As the name suggests, it means an innate ability/competency of an economy, a nation to succeed from others, outperform them. It talks of a concept whereby an economy is able to adapt itself to rapidly changing environment and situations and sustain itself and its people in the longer run.
For our nation to achieve this competitive edge, we shall have to strive to make productivity a golden rule and follow the theme of zero defect and zero effect in letter and in spirit. Not only a change in laws is required, but also a change in the existing processes, suggesting alternate economically viable solutions and their implementation as well. Moreover, this will have to become not just an individual but a mass people’s movement and productivity shall have to become a national priority permeating every sector of our economy, business, society and individual as well.

Having discussed the above, one key requirement to achieve our goal is: changing people’s mindsets. We, as individuals have to align ourselves with the nation’s overall goals and have to be prepared at every level to adapt at the changing circumstances. We will have to constantly innovate, evaluate, re-innovate and re-evaluate our thoughts actions and our processes. As IPCC Chief Mr RK Pachauri puts it, “both development and environment protection can go hand in hand if one follows the right approach.”
Talking about right approach, there is a famous saying, doing the right thing is as important as doing the THING RIGHT. As easy as it may sound, its repercussions are unfathomable.

It is perhaps in this context that the NPC has chosen Make in India: Zero Defect, Zero Effect as its theme for the National Productivity Week 2015.


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