Maharashtra is a very productive place for innovation and business: Dr. Ralf Heckner

Pune, 21 December 2022 : “Maharashtra is one of the most productive states for innovation and business and for achieving people to people relationships. About 60 out of 100 companies, which are investing in Switzerland, are from Maharashtra. Pune in particular is one of the cities in the state we are looking at for skill development, innovation, investment and digitization,” said Dr. Ralf Heckner, Ambassador of Switzerland to India and Bhutan.

He was speaking during a visit to the Skilling Centre for Underwater Domain Awareness (UDA) by the city-based Maritime Research Centre (MRC) and a Skilling Centre for Agriculture Technology set up at Indo Swiss Centre of Excellence (ISCE) in Koregaon Bhima.

Martin Maier, Consul General of Switzerland, Mukesh Malhotra, President, ISCE, Jayen Shah, MD and CEO, Fine Organics, Prakash Apte, Chairman, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Rajendra Jog, CEO, ISCEP and CEO of Syngenta Foundation, Lt Gen (Retd) D B Shekatkar, Chairman, Advisory Board, ISCEP (UDA), Vice Admiral DSP Varma (Retd) and Jayant Umranikar, former Director General of Police (DGP) Maharashtra and Dr (Cdr) Arnab Das, MRC Founder-Director were present on the occasion.

“There are about 330 Swiss companies in India of which only 2-3 are run by Swiss nationals, while the rest are run by Indians. This is what India has achieved in the last 75 years. A bilateral relation should be maintained between Switzerland and India. India can be a strategic partner and can work together with Switzerland for development of the digital wave,” said Heckner.

Considering the growing importance of the Underwater Domain in the current global circumstances, MRC had earlier signed a MoU with ISCE to start a Skilling Centre at the place to create human resources for the future.

Mukesh Malhotra said, “We want to impart the skills of tomorrow in the youth of today. We’ll be doing lots of things like Mechatronics, 3D Printing, AI, Machine Learning and Underwater studies, which is not done anywhere in the country, here at the centre. The training will be based on the Swiss standard, which is considered as the best in the world.”

Lt Gen (Retd) D B Shekatkar, said, “There’s a need for skill development in India. For example there are 31 types of welders required today for welding work in the ships and for that we have to import them from the USA, which is exorbitant. Such a skilling centre will also provide futuristic ideas to the youth over what they would want to do in 5-10 years.”

Dr (Cdr) Arnab Das said the UDA engagements and skilling workshops will begin in a month’s time at the centre.

“When we talk about this skilling centre there are already programs, which are part of Government of India like Make in India, Skilling India, Start-up India and Digital India. We just need to plug ourselves into these things. Here we will focus on 3 verticals including acoustic survey, AI and Robotics, Bio-science and Bio- Technology for creating ground technicians. UDA framework progressed by MRC can become an important catalyst for India’s role in the G20 and can significantly complement the SAGAR vision of the Prime Minister,” he said.