Technology for MSMEs: MSME technology centres, under the MSME Ministry, have started manufacturing critical parts of a Covid-19 testing machine called Real Time Quantitative Micro PCR System that can give results in less than one hour. The centres based in Bhubaneswar, Jamshedpur and Kolkata are engaged in parts manufacturing for the machine developed at Andhra Pradesh Medtech Zone (AMTZ) based in Vishakhapatnam. The zone, under the state government, is dedicated to medical device manufacturing. The compact machine, which can be easily carried anywhere, will bring down the testing time from a minimum of 24 hours as of now. Currently, there are 18 technology centres, earlier known as tool rooms, to provide tools, trained personnel and consultancy services in tooling and related areas, upgradation of technologies in processes and products to MSMEs.
“The teams of the Technology Centers are working in 2/3 shifts to supply components for 600 Testing machines. 150 Testing Machine components have already been supplied to AMTZ,” MSME Ministry said in a statement. The technology centers provide practical skill development training to over 2 lakh youth and industry workforce annually, it added.
MSME Ministry in a tweet last month had said that technology centres in Hyderabad, Bhubaneswar, and Jamshedpur will make components for 650 Corona testing kits wherein each kit would consist of 20 hardware components. Currently, the technology centres are also based in cities such as Agra, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Guwahati, Indore, Mumbai etc. The government has been looking to increase the number of such centres to 153 across the country. MSME Secretary Arun Kumar Panda had informed last September at a technology adoption workshop for MSMEs that 153 centres would include “15 tool rooms that are under construction and 120 new such rooms that have been approved by the government.”
Meanwhile, the government is likely to come out with a financial package for MSMEs to tide over liquidity and cash flow problems. MSME Minister Nitin Gadkari in a webinar earlier this month had said that “we have sent recommendations for a relief package to the Finance Minister and Prime Minister and I hope it will be announced soon. We will try to give relief to the extent possible.”