The Ministry of Education and Skills Development had asked the Group to set up a City of Knowledge comprising the three main components – education, housing and entertainment, and a technology park

In continuation of the proposal cleared by the Government of Botswana, a country in the African continent, to replicate the Techzone model of the Rathinam Group in Coimbatore, a delegation from that country was here on Thursday to study the model and view the campus.

The Ministry of Education and Skills Development had asked the Group to set up a City of Knowledge comprising the three main components – education, housing and entertainment, and a technology park, Madan A. Sendhil, chairman of the Rathinam Group, said. The Ministry was involved in the project, in consultation with the Botswana Education Hub, the Innovation Hub, and the Botswana Export Development and Investment Authority.

“It will be on the lines of the Rathinam Techzone with the add-ons of entertainment and health. The proposal has been accepted because it is in line with Botswana’s policy for economic diversification, national human resource development strategy and creating a knowledge-based economy,” Mr. Sendhil had told The Hindu in October 2011 on his return from Botswana after his first talks with the Government officials. The Ministry came to know about Mr. Sendhil’s techzone during the latter’s visit to Botswana in 2010.

The project is envisaged as a 100-acre City of Knowledge under public-private partnership. It will deliver basic education and information, communications and technology education for more than 8,000 people, employment for 15,000 people, foreign currency earning of more than 60 million US dollars for the country, enhanced housing and entertainment facilities for more than 2,000 families, and attract more than 25 multinational companies to operate from within the city.

The delegation that visited the technical campus consisted of Lucky T. Mohai, co-ordinator, Botswana Education Hub, Theophilus Mooko, deputy permanent secretary (Basic Education), Daniel Tau, chief executive officer, Botswana Education Hub, Thebenala, director and trainee development, and Abel Mudungwa, chief executive officer and Human Resource Development Advisory.

After visiting the facilities, Mr. Mooko said the trip was very informative and useful. “This is one stage before the final tie-up with Rathinam Group. Now that we have physically seen everything, we will go back and submit a report. The project at Botswana is planned to be on similar lines with this techzone,” he said.

Mr. Sendhil said the delegation was here as a ‘due diligence’ before the commercial arrangement was sealed. He believed that the project would take off sometime before the end of the year. The project would be executed and operated by the Rathinam Group.

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