The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) is preparing to transfer Indian metallurgical technology to developing nations in a big way.
India possesses a wide range of processes used to transform primary iron, steel and nonferrous metals – rolling, forging, casting, extruding, and welding.
This has been the result of stiff import regulations during the past 20 years. Today, India exports about Rs 3,500 million worth of engineering goods, and imports are restricted mainly to sophisticated equipment using more advanced technology. Thus, when the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, the world body whose role is to assist in the dissemination of technological innovations, considered India, this function had to undergo a marked change.
UNIDO had earlier prepared a directory of metal transforming technology available in the advanced countries. Some 100 firms from 16 countries were listed. But, it was soon realised that such a directory, would not be that useful for India as it would be for Latin American countries, for whom it was initially prepared.
So, a directory on India is being prepared. It will be distributed among ESCAP (Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific) nations telling them what they can expect from India. Being a developing nation itself, UNIDO feels India will be better able to help them than the developed countries.
“It’s a million-dollar publicity service, given free,” says P.K. Sandell, General Manager of Bharatia Electric Steel Company, Faridabad. Mr Sandell has been designated by UNIDO as its local consultant for the project.
According to Mr Sandell, the committee will ask firms to document their technological know-how down to the last detail of material description and specification, spell out the sources of its availability and the nature of the technique.
If a firm has reputable business associates or is part of a larger group, it will be an added qualification. However, the lack of such would not be a negative factor, as the idea is “to get the small man in business” to export his technology, Mr Sandell says, firms already in the export business are ideal for exporting technology. Those holding patents could also make use of the UNIDO offer to sell their patents abroad.
Every technology when it gets transferred gets modified in the process, as it has to grow local roots in the business and technological climate of the new place. In this process it will be the ingenuity of the donor as well as the recipient which will come into play. According to Mr Sandell, the directory is just one step in the transfer of technology.