Bengaluru: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday urged international investors to link their growth with India’s rapid rise, saying the country is becoming one of the most well-connected markets.
He emphasised the government’s efforts to increase women’s participation in every sector and also reiterated India’s push towards women-led development during its G20 Presidency.
Speaking after inaugurating Boeing’s new Global Engineering and Technology Centre near here, Modi talked about the government’s focus on investments to overcome the previous handicap of poor connectivity that was preventing India’s potential in performance.
The prime minister also launched the Boeing Sukanya Programme that the company said aims to support the entry of more girl children from across India into the country’s growing aviation sector. The programme will provide education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) to girls, and train women for aviation industry jobs.
Recalling his declaration from the Red Fort, ‘Yahi Samay hai, Sahi Samay Hai’, he said this is also the right time for Boeing and other international companies to link their growth with India’s rapid rise.
“Building a developed India in the next 25 years has now become the resolve of 140 crore Indians,” he asserted.
“In the past 9 years, we have lifted approximately 25 crore Indians out of poverty and these crores of Indians are now creating a neo-middle class,” he said, adding that upward mobility is a trend in every income group in India.
He said that the government is committed to creating new opportunities for women in the aerospace sector as well.
“Be it as fighter pilots or in civil aviation, India is leading the world in the number of women pilots,” the PM said, adding that 15 per cent of India’s pilots are women, which is three times the global average.
The Prime Minister said Bengaluru is a city that links aspirations to innovations and achievements, and India’s tech potential to global demands. “Boeing’s new technology campus is going to strengthen this belief.”
The prime minister said the new Boeing facility demonstrates India’s commitment to driving global tech, research and innovation, design and demand.
“This strengthens the ‘Make in India-Make for the World’ resolution,” Modi said.
“This campus reinforces the world’s trust in India’s talent,” he added.
The prime minister expressed hope that one day India will design aircraft of the future in this facility.
He said that India has become the world’s third largest aviation domestic market. In a decade, the number of domestic passengers has doubled, and schemes like UDAN have played a big role in this.
This number is going to increase further, leading to increased demand. This has resulted in India’s airlines placing new fleet orders and giving impetus to the global aviation sector.
He said India is becoming one of the most well-connected markets, adding that today India has about 150 operational airports, up from about 70 in 2014.
The PM also highlighted the rapid growth of the air cargo sector thanks to India’s increased airport capacity.
Modi stressed the need to build an aircraft manufacturing ecosystem in India as he highlighted the potential of India’s strong network of MSMEs, huge talent pool, and stable government in India.
“India’s policy approach to encourage ‘Make in India’ is a win-win situation for every investor,” he explained.
The state-of-the-art Boeing India Engineering and Technology Centre (BIETC) campus, built at a cost of Rs 1,600 crore and located in a 43-acre campus, is the aircraft maker’s largest such investment outside the US, the company said.
The campus at Hightech Defence and Aerospace Park in Devanahalli on the city’s outskirts will become a cornerstone for partnerships with the vibrant startups, private and government ecosystem in India, and will help develop next-generation products and services for the global aerospace and defence industry, Boeing said.
The Boeing Sukanya programme will provide opportunities for girls and women from across India to learn critical skills in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields and train for jobs in the aviation sector, a company statement said.
For young girls, the programme will create STEM Labs at 150 planned locations to help spark interest in STEM careers. It will also provide scholarships to women who are training to be pilots. Investments will support flight training curriculum, obtaining certifications, funding for simulator training, and career development programmes, Boeing said.
“We are honored and privileged to support Prime Minister Modi’s transformative vision for India, and we are grateful to have him dedicate the Boeing campus to foster aerospace innovation in the country,” said David L Calhoun, Boeing president and CEO.
Over the years, the statement said, Boeing India has grown its team in engineering and R&D talent to the largest number of employees in any country outside the United States, with more than 6,000 staff as of December 2023.
Karnataka Governor Thaawarchand Gehlot, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, Leader of the Opposition in Legislative Assembly R Ashoka, and Boeing Chief Operating Officer Stephanie Pope were among those present on the occasion.