Karnataka to boost IT growth in rural areas

June 20th, 2008 - 5:29 pm ICT by IANS  

Bangalore, June 20 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Karnataka will soon come out with a policy to take the benefits of information technology to people in the countryside. “We want IT firms to go beyond Bangalore and tier two cities to towns and villages for replicating their success story in India’s IT hub in rural areas. When investment and technology go to rural areas, development and growth will create local jobs, check migration and improve living standards of rural folks,” state IT and Science and Technology Minister K. Subramanya Naidu said Friday.

As part of its uniform growth strategy, the government plans to set up computer training institutes in all hoblis - village clusters - across the state in partnership with the IT industry.

“We are planning to take up projects such as rural tele-healthcare in primary health centres and school health in primary schools with the support of the IT industry for extensive use of computers, telecom network and broadband connectivity,” Naidu said at the fourth Indian Innovation summit 2008, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

“The proposed rural IT policy will have a special package of incentives and concessions for the IT industry to set up business process outsourcing (BPO) centres in rural areas.

Computer training and skill development will be imparted to the rural youth under public-private initiative with the IT industry and academia,” he added.

In a bid to decongest a choked Bangalore and develop tertiary cities on a hub-and-spoke model, the state-run Karnataka State Electronics Development Corporation Ltd (Keonics) will build IT parks and electronic hubs in tier-two cities such as Mysore, Mangalore, Hubli-Dharwad, Belgaum, Gulbarga, Shimoga, Hassan and Davangere.

Keonics will also provide support facilities to IT firms in software/hardware sectors and auxiliary units, while other state departments will build infrastructure such as roads, power, water and connectivity in the IT parks/electronic hubs, spread over 300 acres each.

“These cities will be the new investment regions in the state to facilitate expansion of existing IT firms in Bangalore and attract new firms/investors for ensuring uniform development across the state in partnership with the central government,” Naidu told the captains of India Inc.

He extolled the IT industry, especially software giants such as Infosys and Wipro, for putting Bangalore on the world map and creating a global brand; as India’s tech capital, the city had become a innovation hub with over 100 research and development (R&D) institutes in every technology field.

“Bangalore has made Karnataka a knowledge region. Sectors of the new economy such as IT and BT (biotechnology) have capitalised on the knowledge skills of the tech city. Innovations in information and communication technologies (ICT), space, aerospace, bio-sciences and nanotechnology have benefited the country,” Naidu added.

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