The State government has come out with a draft policy on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) targeting to achieve a gross revenue of Rs.24,000 crore in the sector by 2020.

The State aspires to see a direct employment for 60,000 IT professionals in 800 IT, ITES (IT Enable Services), and ESDM (Electronic System Design and Manufacturing) units in the next seven years by effectively implementing the policy.

The draft policy also seeks to create a built-up space of 60 lakh square feet and a developed land bank of 2,000 acres for the IT, ITES, and ESDM sectors.

The policy says the State has attracted an investment of over Rs. 100 billion.

“These investments, in turn, would create new opportunities and market for the local IT industry. The State, having political stability and warm and hospitable people, is destined to become the destination of choice for the most discerning investors,” it hopes.

Besides, Odisha has 16 universities, more than 100 engineering colleges, and a good number of institutes offering MCA and MBA courses, which produce 40,000 professionally qualified technical and management graduates every year.

The draft policy promises investment in the PPP mode for creation of world-class social and civil infrastructure and removal of infrastructure bottlenecks that act as an hindrance in the IT industry.

Moreover, steps would be taken to facilitate establishment of incubation centres in universities, leading government technical institutes, and accredited academic institutions across the State to help students work on innovative ideas and develop those to tangible business model.

The draft policy emphasises on enhancing employability through interventions such as industry-oriented academic curriculum, soft skill programme, and train the trainer programme. The policy moots a range of employability tests of every entry-level opportunities in the IT and ITES sectors.

Besides, departments will be asked to earmark 2 per cent of their annual plan or 1 per cent of overall budget (whichever is higher) for IT spending so as to provide service through electronic mode.

As per the draft policy, the government would improve the existing software procurement policy for making the process simple and transparent with empanelment of local software units based on the expertise and company profile.

The draft ICT policy says the government will provide single window interface for private sector to facilitate IT, ITES, and ESDM projects.

While projects worth more than Rs.1,000 crore would be cleared by the High Level Clearance Authority headed by the Chief Minister, the State Level Clearance Authority headed by the Chief Secretary would consider projects in the range of Rs.50 crore and Rs.100 crore.

The policy recommends incentivising the IT, ITES, and ESDM projects with regard to securing land, tax payment, power tariff, and assistance for participating in exhibitions.

An apex committee chaired by the Chief Secretary would be constituted to monitor the policy implementation.

Projects worth more than Rs.1,000 crore to be cleared by a High Level Clearance Authority headed by the Chief Minister

Ambitious approach

Draft ICT policy targets to achieve a gross revenue of Rs.24,000 crore by 2020

It aspires to provide direct employment to 60,000 professionals in the next seven years

Investment promised in PPP mode for creation of world-class infrastructure

Steps to be taken for establishment of incubation centres in universities and accredited academic institutions

Single window interface for private sector to facilitate IT, ITES, and ESDM projects promised

Apex committee chaired by the Chief Secretary to monitor implementation of the policy