‘Kerala Model’ proposed for growth of IT in state

June 9th, 2011 - 8:01 pm ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananthapuram, June 9 (IANS) A group representing over 150 IT companies in Kerala Thursday said it has submitted to the government a “Kerala Model” — a plan that emphasises taking IT industry away from major cities to semi-rural and rural areas — to help open up new opportunities for graduates in the state.

Addressing reporters here, Group of Technology Companies (GTech) chairman V.K. Mathews said they have presented this model to Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and IT Minister P.K. Kunhalikutty.

Group GTech includes more than 150 IT companies which includes 85 percent of all the IT firms in the state, located here and in Kochi, and employs more than 30,000 professionals.

“We have suggested that the need of the hour is to see that the state government act as a facilitator to set around 50 IT clusters across the state which will employ around 100-200 ordinary graduates every year for a period of five years.”

“These clusters will be managed by willing IT firms that are presently working in the state and can be essentially their back office operations. When these graduates finish the five years, they will be armed with a masters degree in computer applications,” said Mathews, who heads one of the biggest IT firms in the state.

The feature of this model is that these fresh graduates can learn and work, getting a monthly stipend of Rs.5,000, which would go up to Rs.12,000 at the end of the five-year period.

“Once these graduates finish the five-year term, they will be ready to ‘fly’ because they would be armed with a master’s degree and besides they will be well versed with their five years of full time experience of working with a frontline IT firm,” he added.

The approximate cost of setting up an IT cluster which could accommodate 1,000 graduates is around Rs.20 crore and it is here that the IT industry wants the state government’s support.

“The biggest advantage is that it is going to be beneficial to both the IT company and these graduates. While the IT firms can cut down their costs, these graduates will be gainfully employed. They would never have got an opportunity to work in such an environment because in these IT clusters, the requirement to know, speak and write English is not a requirement,” said Mathews.

According to studies done by GTech every year, 1.67 lakh students enrol for non-professional degree courses in the state and 74 per cent of these students hail from the rural areas of the state.

“This model is suitable only in Kerala because the broadband connectivity in the state is 99.8 percent and tele-density is the highest in the country at 88 percent as against the national average of 56.83 per cent. We expect that the state government will come forward to support this idea of ours in their IT policy which will be announced shortly,” Mathews added.

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