Ministry of MSME


The Design Clinics Scheme represents a National Manufacturing Competitiveness Programme initiative as part of their projected 10 schemes, to offer design expertise to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises. In 2005, the Government of India announced the formulation of the National Competitiveness Programme to support and equip Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to adjust to the competitive pressure caused by liberalisation and moderation of tariff rates. Para 59 of the Budget Speech of 2005 reiterated its endeavour. to launch an effective instrument to help SMEs strengthen their operations and sharpen competition. The scheme was christened "Manufacturing Competitiveness Programme".

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The National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council (NMCC) in consultation with Industry was delegated responsibility for creating structure, content and implementation of the Design Clinics Scheme. Under this, the Project Monitoring and Advisory Committee (PMAC) proposed that the Chairmanship of the Additional Secretary and Development Commissioner for implementation of the Design Clinics Scheme lead the deliberations. The PMAC became responsible for approving proposals for Seminars, Design Panels, Consultants, Institutions and sanctioning of Projects for individual MSME groups, students and others who met the criteria.

Globally, the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector has been recognised as the critical catalyst propelling growth. Several countries have established an SME Development Agency as the nodal point of coordination for overseeing all government interventions with respect to development in the MSME sector.The significance of this segment arises from their contribution to over 45% of industrial production and to approximately 40% of the total exports quantum. Furthermore, the post liberalisation era has ushered fresh opportunities and challenges for MSMEs, where global competition is intense, with the emergence of efficient international supply chains.

There are roughly 13 million MSMEs in India, employing nearly 31 million people. The MSME segment therein emerged as the single largest contributor in terms of employment generation in the manufacturing sector. Clearly, MSMEs are a critical link in the value chain, in almost all leading industry sectors like automotives, garments, textiles, leather, drugs and pharmaceuticals.

Recognising the strength of MSMEs, the Government of India introduced several policies to augment business and promote growth amongst MSMEs over the last few decades. For instance the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Act, 2006 came into force on October 2, 2006 and The Office of Development Commissioner established MSME as the nodal development agency. Both, to support efficient functioning of MSMEs to transform into effective vehicles for transition in to a new business environment. Adaption to fresh standards in technology, quality and pricing are intrinsic, with a symbiotic relationship between large corporations and relatively smaller-sized suppliers. This allows MSMEs to evolve as an integral part of the value chain and record significant progress.

The domestic market is no longer insulated and competitive pressures of a free market economy have penetrated industrial echelons. In the earlier protected economy inefficient MSMEs in the manufacturing sector recorded profits. However, with the opening up of the economy, they have effectively matched global benchmarks of excellence to remain competitive and profitable. The Design Clinics Scheme is poised to secure the future of MSMEs by empowering them to overcome the challenges of the liberalised world and enhance their competitiveness, by helping them find their place in the sun with the insignia, “Designed in India and Made for the World”.

On December 7th, 2005, the Chairman of NMCC led stakeholders to conceptualise and finalise components of their proposed programme. The National Manufacturing Competitiveness Programme (NMCP), accepted NMCC’s proposal and the Government announced its implementation in the Budget 2006-07, para 68, where the National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council (NMCC), finalised a five-year National Manufacturing Programme. Ten schemes were drawn up, including schemes for promotion of ICT, Mini Tool Room, Design Clinics and Marketing support for SMEs. Implementation, it was decided would be in the PPP model and financial instruments were tied up the following year. .”

In the past, the Small Scale Sector units existed in a relatively sheltered environment. where several goods were reserved for receiving special fiscal incentives and support programmes were drawn up to ensure survival of the small skill Industries. In the post-reform era, 1991 onwards, the status of the Manufacturing Sector as a whole and for the Small Industries underwent a dramatic change, when tariffs on imports were reduced substantially.

Today, India is gradually integrating with world economy; new trade blocs are forming and many countries, including India, are entering into Preferential Trade Agreements, Free Trade Agreements or Comprehensive Economic Agreements to improve trade in areas of comparative advantage. In this process the Indian economy is opening up and there is an urgent need for the Industry to reorient by taking steps like cost cutting to propel rapid evolution for supporting survival and growth.