KERALA

Officials prospect for land for IT hub

Staff Reporter

Five places identified; Government to take final decision

Kozhikode: The process of setting up an information technology (IT) hub in Kozhikode was set in motion on Saturday with top officials visiting a few places here to identify land. IT Secretary K.R. Jyothilal, IT Adviser to the State Government Joseph C. Mathew and others visited a place each on Bypass Road and at Nellikode. "We have identified at least five places. It will be up to the Government to make a final decision on the land," Mr. Jyothilal said.

He said that the hub would be modelled on the lines of Technopark in the State capital. Several IT companies and industries here had evinced interest in the proposal. "We have not decided on the name of the park. It will be decided at a later stage," he said. IT experts believe that setting up of the hub assumes significance considering Kozhikode's proximity to Bangalore, where major IT firms are headquartered.

Meet on draft policy

Mr. Jyothilal said a workshop to discuss the draft information technology policy held in the city on Saturday had a positive response. The regional workshop was the third and the last in the series held in the State. Discussions were held in Thiruvananthapuram on Monday and Kochi on Wednesday.

The subjects discussed were information and communication technologies (ICT) and society; e-Governance; ICT society; IT in government; ICT infrastructure and Akshaya Project; human resources and knowledge development (knowledge creation, HRD); and IT industry (industry, copyrights and data protection).

The draft policy, released by Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan on January 17, proposes to establish an international centre for free software and computing for development, ITES (IT-enabled services) training centre in Kochi and extension of Internet to all educational institutions and villages by 2010. Another big proposal is setting up 3,000 Akshaya e-centres, broadband-enabled information hubs, and introducing free and open-source software in e-governance projects. The policy will be finalised in March.

Akshaya State Coordinator T.K. Manzoor was present. P.M. Sasi, Additional Director, Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC); Saji Gopinath, Associate Professor, Indian Institute of Management, Kozhikode (IIM-K); Ravindran Nair, Principal, Calicut University Institute of Engineering and Technology; and A.V. Francis and M.P. Sebastian, Professors, National Institute of Technology, Calicut (NITC), spoke. Students and faculty of the IIM-K, the NIT-C and engineering colleges participated.