BHUBANESWAR: Amid challenges, India is the only country where the metal sector is growing in double digits, opined experts at an event here on Wednesday. As the economy is growing fast, the country as well as Odisha, which has a significant share in the growth history, is poised for a sea-change in steel, aluminium and copper with a focus on decarbonisation. Speaking at the 77th annual technical meeting of the Indian Institute of Metals (IIM) and National Metallurgist Awards, chairman of JSW Group and IIM vice president Sajjan Jindal said India’s growth in the steel sector has been remarkable in recent times. “We have positioned ourselves as one of the world’s leading producers and consumers of steel. The steel sector has grown 15 per cent in the first six months of the fiscal which was never seen anywhere earlier. The aluminum and copper industry also saw a similar trend. The growth in the cement sector is around 20 per cent. However, metallurgy will play a great role in the growth of the nation,” he said. The Indian metal industry, Jindal said, is going through a transformative change. The country is in the midst of a digital revolution. The advent of AI, big data analytics and automation has revolutionised how the industry approaches metallurgical research, production and quality control. Digitalisation is an important tool for metallurgy. What Europe, US and Japan did in years, India can now do in months, he said. IIM president and managing director of Hindalco Industries Ltd Satish Pai said the Indian metal industry has made significant strides and established itself as a global force. India is one of the few countries in the world which is growing in double digits. Everyone who is in the business looks at India as a bright spot in terms of micro economic environment. “Odisha has played a significant role in the growth by becoming a hub in both ferrous and non-ferrous sectors. Whether it is steel or aluminium, the centre of technology and manufacturing in the country these days is in Odisha. The state’s resources and policies have made it the preferred destination for metal producers,” Pai said. The plenary session was inaugurated by chief secretary PK Jena who said Odisha is a revenue surplus state because of its vibrant mineral sector. The mining and metal sector possesses massive growth opportunities and potential to contribute to the state’s economy and nation-building. He stressed sustainable practices and technology in mineral exploration to lessen its influence on the environment. Principal secretary of Industries Hemant Sharma, SAIL chairman Amarendu Prakash and IIT Hyderabad director Prof BS Murty also spoke. Positive trend

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