Govt. to announce new IT policy within a month

Focus to be on spreading IT/BT to Tier-2 and 3 cities in the State

The State government will come out with a new Information Technology (IT) policy to spread IT beyond Bengaluru to Tier-2 cities like Mysuru, Mangaluru, Belagavi, and Hubbali-Dharwad.

E.V. Ramana Reddy, Additional Chief Secretary of IT, BT and S&T Department, Government of Karnataka, said they were engaged in consultations with stakeholders on the new policy framework and the feedback has been encouraging.

He was speaking in the city on Wednesday on the sidelines of an event to promote Bengaluru Tech Summit 2019 – slated to take place from November 18 to 20 at the Bengaluru Palace Grounds.

Dr. Reddy said the policy would be formalised within a month. “The present policy will be five years in 2020 and a revision is necessary to spread the IT sector and its innovations to Tier-2 cities,” he said. He pointed out that an eco-system for flourishing of IT and allied industries outside Bengaluru already exists as in the case of Mysuru where IT exports have crossed ₹6,000 crore.

“But we tend to compare Mysuru with Bengaluru IT exports which accounts for almost 25% of the State GDP (about 16 lakh crore) and tend to be dismissive of the contributions of other Tier-2 cities in the State. But there are many other State capitals whose IT exports are not as high as ₹6,000 crore clocked by Mysuru and hence the ecosystem not only existed, there was scope and potential for furthering the sector,” said Dr. Reddy.

Key concern

The key concern aired by stakeholders was that students from Tier-2 and 3 ctties were not job-ready owing to lack of exposure which was inhibiting the growth of IT sectors across the State. Hence, the government was contemplating bridge courses to shore up technical competence of students. “We can encourage educational institution to team up with the industry and subsidise such courses,” Dr. Reddy said. He pointed out that the government was laying emphasis on engaging with universities and educational institutions through New Age Innovation Network (NAIN) focusing on Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities in the State. “There is a network of 30 engineering colleges wherein 293 projects have been funded and over 100 working prototypes have been realised,” according to Dr. Reddy.

He said the department was mulling over strengthening the NIAN initiative and renaming it District Innovation Hubs. Managers who are designated as K-Tech District Innovation Associates would evangelise and support innovation-related programmes at the district level and organise mentoring sessions for students.

The government will also hold events like BTS in Mysuru, Mangaluru, and Hubbali-Dharwad next year, he added. Major players from the IT and BT sector from Mysuru, and representatives of Confederation of Indian Industry were present.

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Printable version | Apr 6, 2020 6:46:29 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/govt-to-announce-new-it-policy-within-a-month/article29281800.ece

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