Breakout Session Day 2

Towards a Sustainable and Circular IT & Electronics Industry

29 October 2020 | 11:45 – 13:15 IST

Supported by:


The world has been rapidly digitizing. Industry 4.0, IoT, smart manufacturing, real time communications, etc. are different aspects of this phenomenon. The Covid-19 pandemic has shown that it is absolutely essential to adopt digitization across processes – and therefore the reliance on both IT products and services is likely to remain high, as we recover better. The situation in India is not different. IT and electronics is one of the few sectors that is likely to be less affected, in spite of the usual supply and demand side challenges brought about by the pandemic and the subsequent lockdown.

In early August 2020, the Indian Electronics & IT Minister shared proposals submitted by 20-plus leading companies in the sector to boost production in India to the tune of Rs 11.5 lakh Crores (roughly US$ 150 bn) over the next 5 years. These proposals pertain largely to the mobile devices and components segment. This is estimated to add 12 lakh (1.2 million) jobs in the country as well[1]. Given the current situation of the economy and the job market, this is great news.

The National Policy on Electronics 2019, highlights the importance for R&D and innovations especially with the aim to – ‘set up a framework for incorporating principles of sustainability and environmentally sound management of electronic goods throughout their life cycle, across all sub-sectors of electronics, from the design, production to end-of-life disposal[2]. India, facing a slump in its GDP (which can harm its growth ambitions), must transform quickly to build resilient systems that can function amidst disruptions like pandemics and natural disasters. A robust and sustainable IT and electronics systems (hardware) will remain critical in achieving this.

Circular economy can show the way in building sustainable IT & ES systems. A lifecycle approach must be applied in all planning and designing of IT & electronics frameworks and services. 5G is on the cusp of being rolled out; end-to-end servicing, collection, and recycling of metals and other materials must be embedded in the contracts. At the consumer level, more awareness is required along with the necessary “circular set-up” such as drop-off points for e-waste, repair and reuse services, etc. At the manufacturers’ level, material standards and SOPs are needed to provide guidance on closed-loop principles such as design for de-assembly, mental/component recycling, and sustainable sourcing of raw materials.

This session will bring together relevant key sectoral stakeholders to discuss and identify key elements to develop the framework for incorporating principles of sustainability and environmentally sound management of electronic goods, as envisaged in the National Policy on Electronics, 2019.



Session Objectives:

  • To identify key priorities to evolve a sustainable and circular IT & electronics sector as envisaged in the NPE, 2019
  • To highlight opportunities for creating sustainable and circular IT & electronics systems, using technology and collaboration (material loops, product lifetime extension, product quality, etc.)
  • To identify barriers and discuss probable means to overcome them
  • To leverage international good practices and approaches that are relevant for India – and build partnerships



Green Electronics Council (GEC)


Chief Executive Officer
Manufacturers' Association of Information Technology (MAIT)


Director & Scientist F
Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India


Karo Sambhav


Director and Head, PAD Division
Quality Council of India


Associate Director
Toxics Link

Beverley kennedy