INSDAG in 2012-13 – Sushim Banerjee, Director General, INSDAG

insdagThe year 2012-13 was an extremely challenging year for the global steel industry. With the falling trend in demand from the major consuming sectors like infrastructure, machine building, automobile, household appliances and other processing industries, the steel industry also passed through upward prices in iron ore, coking coal and scrap, resulting thereby a declining trend in profit margin. By the 4th quarter of the previous year the US economy started looking up followed by Japan and South Korea. However, the Euro crisis engulfed more number of countries in Europe and even Germany was finding it difficult to stay away from the recessionary trend. The onset of subdued demand and falling profit also invaded the Chinese market, which had a dampening impact on the recovery.

The economic scenario in India was not encouraging with GDP growth from an average level of 8.2% in 2005-06 – 2011-12 plummeted to only 5% in 2012-13 against the Chinese GDP growth of 7.8% and the World average growth of GDP at 3.1%. What was worrying for Indian Steel Industry was the diminishing growth rate of manufacturing sector at 1.3% that pulled down the industrial growth to 1.1% in 2012-13 against 2.9% growth in previous year. Steel consumption in the country grew by only 3.3% in 2012-13 with a crude steel production growth of 5.4%. Taking advantage of the demand growth in Indian Steel Market, albeit poor compared to previous year, finished steel imports went up at a staggering growth of 14.6% over the previous year and was all time high at 7.9 million tonne. India imported around 8.2 million tonne of melting scrap, which is also an all time record. Steel exports also went up by 14.5% in the year under review. The subdued growth syndrome in the steel sector can only be boosted up by a rise in investment as a % of GDP in the next year.

Amidst the above fiercely challenging scenario, INSDAG initiated a number of innovative activities to play a humble role in augmenting the consumption of steel in the country.

A number of technical projects were undertaken to showcase the advantages of use of steel in various applications. INSDAG developed a steel-concrete composite design for the Handloom House for Ministry of Textile at Janpath, New Delhi, which has since been inaugurated. INSDAG had also designed composite construction for Indira Paryavaran Bhawan for the Ministry of Environment and Forest. Being an active Member of B-5 Committee of IRC, INSDAG was thoroughly engaged in preparing the commentary of IRC 22 with worked out examples as well as for IRC 24, 2010. As a Member of BIS Committee in formulating Codes for EQR Rebars as well as EQR Structurals, INSDAG contributed to the final version of the relevant Codes which had since been published by BIS. Mention may also be made of the Life Cycle Cost Analysis for building, iron and steel making by conventional and alternative route, guidebook for crane girder design and multi-storied residential buildings with steel-concrete composite construction of G+3 and G+6. All these publications were reviewed by concerned experts in the field before the publications got printed and were circulated amongst the members. The Institute which has published a good number of publications in the past years felt that a time has come to update all these publications in view of the latest changes in the building techniques and fabrication methods. Accordingly, updation jobs for Life Cycle Cost Analysis and techno economic study for the use of reinforced cement-concrete roads in National Highways and Expressways were undertaken. Steel fabrication and Welding Guide, Guidebook on use of Stainless Steel for Construction Sector, Building Design using Hollow Section are some of the other study reports that were completed during the year.

Lighting of the Lamp by Mr Sushim Banerjee  Director General  INSDAG (LEFT) and Dr. S P Gon Chaudhuri  President NB I_

As rural sector has emerged as one of the critical areas of expanding the market for steel in the country, INSDAG, at the instance of Ministry of Steel has undertaken updation of a series of publications relating to the rural consumption of steel. The updation of publications on fabrication with steel, steel intensive rural house, steel structure in rural application (bridges & culverts, school buildings, meeting halls, health centres, etc) was undertaken. INSDAG also put considerable efforts in marketing these publications through book fairs, exhibitions, seminars and workshops among the prospective users.

The Institute has always been making great efforts in imparting training on steel-concrete composite designs, steel codes, profiles, application areas, etc. for the benefit of the engineers, college students, faculties and professionals. A number of training programmes were organized by INSDAG propagating the Limit State Method – IS 800, which were conducted in Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bangaluru and Mumbai covering around more than 260 professionals. I can mention with great pleasure that INSDAG had organised 10 numbers of specialized one-day programme on general steel construction for the engineers of Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA) covering around 230 numbers of their engineers upto the level of Chief Engineer. INSDAG also conducted the Awareness Programme on Steel and Steel Products Quality Control Order by the Ministry of Steel for the Secondary Sector at Mandi Govindgarh, Punjab and for RINL at Vizag and also for Tata Steel and SAIL officials at Jamshedpur and Kolkata. INSDAG contributed towards promotion of steel consumption in the rural area by organizing the Mason training programme of bar bending and steel fixing at Bhatar, West Bengal (for SAIL) and at other two locations for JSW Ispat. The basic training on fabrication was also conducted for Tata Steel at Haldia, Bhubaneswar and Rourkela and for JSW Ispat at Dehradun.

sushim banerjee

Steel fabrication facilities in the rural and semi-urban areas are extremely limited and this has emerged as the singular constraint in expanding the market for steel. Steel doors, windows, racks, shutters, storage bins, boxes, trunks, cycle sheds which are fabricated by welding are regularly needed by households in the vicinity of the villages. To bridge this gap, INSDAG has initiated a 21-days “Skill-cum-Entrepreneurship Development Programme” for making village entrepreneurs as steel fabricators. INSDAG has already conducted two successful training programmes at West Bengal (ESAB Welding Institute) covering 35 village entrepreneurs drawn from all Districts of West Bengal under the Market Development Fund of Ministry of Steel and the 2nd one sponsored by Tata Steel at Konrak Institute of Science & Technology (KIST), Bhubaneswar Odisha covering 55 participants. INSDAG would provide all hand-holding support to these entrepreneurs by registering them under Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) to make them eligible for Govt subsidy from the local banks, preparation of project report, submission and acceptance of the Project Reports by Banks. INSDAG will also help the entrepreneurs to set up the fabrication facilities in their own land with details of machinery requirement and would also tie them up with the rural network of steel dealers appointed by the major producers.

The all India Award competitions among the students of Civil Engineering and Architecture organised by INSDAG for the last few years have generated excellent enthusiasm and response. It has created a healthy competitive spirit which has further contributed to increasing use of steel.

World Steel Association (WSA) in October / November 2011 initiated a study entitled “Indian Steel Vision 2020” under the Chairmanship of DG INSDAG. The study contributed by the members representing all the major steel producers (SAIL, Tata Steel, JSW, ESSAR and JSPL) submitted its final reports covering areas of Demand and Capacity Creation, Raw Materials, Logistics, Technology, Sustainability and Human Resources and this was presented during the Board Meeting of WSA held in New Delhi during 8 – 11 October 2012. The full report is now uploaded in the website of WSA.

The membership of INSDAG is comprised of more than 470 members representing the professionals, Designers, Architects, Consultants, Steel producers, Construction Companies, Equipment Manufacturers, Faculties and Students who have become the Brand Ambassadors for steel by actually using steel in construction and recommending steel use in architectural and structural designs .

On behalf of the Institute I take this opportunity to convey my gratitude to our President Mr H M Nerurkar MD Tata Steel for continuously giving us the guidance and support for achieving the desired objectives of the organization. I would like to convey my sincere thanks to Chairman/SAIL and other CEOs of the member steel companies for their continuous encouragement to INSDAG in its various efforts for promotion of steel in the country. I also thank Chairman Project Review Committee (PRC) Mr V K Ameta ED (Flat Products) SAIL/CMO and Chairman Executive Committee of INSDAG (ECI) Mr G K Basak Ex-Executive Secretary JPC for providing all necessary help. This Report would not have been completed if I do not make a special mention of the guidance and support of the Honourable Minister of Steel Shri Beni Prasad Vermaji who has encouraged INSDAG immensely by his gracious presence in both the inauguration and concluding sessions of our training programmes at UP. During the year under review we have continuously received valuable suggestions, guidance and support from Secretary (Steel), Joint Secretary (Shri Syedain Abbasi) and other Joint Secretaries, Industrial / Dy Industrial Advisor of Steel and other Senior Officers of Ministry. On behalf of our Institute, I convey our deep regards for the same. I convey my sincere thanks to all the Members of Executive Council, PRC, ECI, INSDAG Building Committee, INSDAG Manpower Assessment Committee, all the esteemed organizations and individuals for giving all support to INSDAG. My special thanks are also to Mr M Bhaduri, CMD HSCL for being the PMC for INSDAG new OfficeBuilding coming up near RubyHospital, Kolkata. On behalf of our Organization, I look forward for receiving such continuous guidance to enable us to deliver more value added services in the forthcoming year.

Towards offering an improved service for all our Members, we have provided a Feedback Form and would request you to fill it up and send us the same at an early date. We will consider your valuable input for planning our activities for 2013-14.

Sushim Banerjee

Director General