ANDHRA PRADESH

CM favours national panel for e-governance projects

HYDERABAD Nov. 7. The Chief Minister, N. Chandrababu Naidu, has mooted the idea of the National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM) setting up a national committee for identifying potential developers of e-governance projects, which will help avoid criticism on awarding such projects.

He was addressing NASSCOM members after inaugurating a seminar on "Challenges of Global Marketing: A Perspective for Indian Software and Services Industry'', here on Thursday. The day's focus was on the inauguration of NASSCOM's regional office in Hyderabad by Mr. Naidu. NASSCOM currently has only two other regional offices at Mumbai and Bangalore, and the opening of another office in Hyderabad is taken as a reflection of the City's growing recognition as a destination for the IT industry.

While clear details of Microsoft founder Bill Gates's programme in Hyderabad are not yet made available, Mr. Naidu disclosed that there will be an event on `e-governance' which will be addressed by Mr. Gates here on November 14. The NASSCOM president, Kiran Karnik, on the other hand disclosed that on the same day there will be a special session of NASSCOM with Bill Gates. It will be a `closed door meeting', he said.

Recalling steps taken by the State Government to promote IT, Mr. Naidu said NASSCOM can play the role of a promoter/facilitator in identifying developers from among the SMEs (small and medium enterprises), and also popularising the e-governance concept by conducting meetings on e-governance and also IT-enabled services.

Mr. Naidu asked NASSCOM to expedite setting up of the National Institute of Smart Governance (NISG), in which the Government of India, NASSCOM and the Government of Andhra Pradesh are partners. The State has promised to allocate five acres of land besides a corpus of Rs.1 crore, and it was willing to do more, but NASSCOM must act faster, he said. Mr. Karnik said the IT industry had successfully weathered the global slodown, and registered 29 per cent growth last year. This year it expects to cross 30 per cent, he said. NASSCOM, he said, would work for the benefit of SMEs in the IT segment. The organisation also sees the combination of bioinformatics and IT as another important area of development and growth, he said. Ramalinga Raju, Chairman, Satyam Computer Services, said the knowledge component was increasing in the industry, and cycle time for creating value addition shrinking. G.V. Prasad, Chief Executive Officer of Dr. Reddy's Laboratories, and B.V.R. Mohan Reddy, Chairman of Infotech Enterprises, spoke.

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