KARNATAKA

State will require one million IT workers by 2010

Staff Correspondent

MYSORE: The information technology sector in Karnataka will require one million professionals by 2010 when the State will be exporting software worth $20 billion, IT Secretary M.K. Shankarlinge Gowda said here on Thursday.

He was speaking at the inauguration of a two-day international conference on "Cognition and recognition", which began at the B.N. Bahadur Institute of Management in Mysore on Thursday.

He pointed out that the McKinsey report on IT capabilities and IT potential released last week has predicted software exports worth $20 billion from the State by 2010. IT companies in the State will require one million professionals by then, he said.

By 2010, India's software exports will increase to $60 billion from $20 billion, Mr. Shankarlinge Gowda said, quoting the report. "Software exports from Karnataka, which accounts for one-third of India's IT exports, will be worth $20 billion. Its exports are worth $6.37 billion now," he said.

There are three lakh IT professionals in the State. "By the end of the decade, we will require one million professionals for the sector," he said and called upon universities to equip graduates from all streams with IT and other technological skills to meet the demand for IT professionals.

As many 30,000 graduates pass out from 135 engineering colleges in the State each year, he said and added that 50 per cent of the students are from outside the State.

The IT industry requires professionals other than engineers, Mr. Shankarlinge Gowda said. "Even students with 10-plus-2 qualification will be eligible for lower-end jobs in the sector if they are equipped with computer skills," he said.

He said universities in the State will be required to produce at least 50,000 graduates equipped with IT skills each year.

Mr. Shankarlinge Gowda emphasised the need for institutes to produce highly qualified doctorates, who will be useful to the knowledge industry. He quoted the Chief Technology Officer of IBM, with whom he interacted in Bangalore recently, as saying that there is a need for producing more doctorates in Physics and Electronics. "The Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, confers 35 Ph.D.s each year," he said.

The IT Secretary said Bangalore has emerged as the fourth largest technology hub in the world — after Silicon Valley, Boston and London — mainly on account of the 103 research and development units located in the city.

"Bangalore has become the technology capital of India not because of its gardens and weather. It is because of its intellectual contribution, which is unsurpassed," he said.

Mr. Shankarlinge Gowda said the future of India lies in developing its knowledge economy. The services sector is contributing 52 per cent of the Gross Domestic Produce (GDP), and the agriculture sector, in which an estimated 67 per cent of the country's population is engaged, contributes only 19 per cent of it.

The international conference is organised by PES College of Engineering, Mandya.

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