Karnataka's new IT policy to decongest Bengaluru: DyCM

Karnataka's new IT policy to decongest Bengaluru: DyCM

Ashwath Narayan. (DH Photo)

The state government will unveil a new information technology policy to further strengthen Karnataka’s position in the areas of technology and innovation while incentivising investments in Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities, Deputy Chief Minister C N Ashwath Narayan said Thursday.

Narayan, who is in charge of the IT/BT department, said the new policy will replace the existing one that was 10 years old.

“The new policy will focus on providing incentives and provide more flexibility so that investments are not Bengaluru-centric and move towards the smaller cities. Also, the
the policy will look at creating employment and enhancing technical expertise,” Narayan told DH.

That the government is working out a new IT policy comes at ahead of the 22nd edition of the Bengaluru Tech Summit (BTS) scheduled to be held November 18-20 where industries, technologies and academia will come together.

“As a state, we are not just trying to keep pace, but we are trying to get ahead and compete with the best,” Narayan said. “For that, the government is committed to doing whatever is needed.”

Bengaluru is ranked 8th globally for innovation, Narayan pointed out, and that the state was home to the world’s fourth-largest technology cluster.

“As a government, we have played a minimal role thus far. We need to work more towards creating an environment that is conducive,” he said.

The government has already announced the establishment of the Karnataka Innovation Authority. “We will have regulatory sandboxes to ease regulations for companies in order to foster innovation,” he said.

A high-powered committee headed by Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa is looking at reforms to enable ease of doing business.

“We are trying to overcome the challenges faced by companies for land acquisition and approvals. For instance, we now have a post-approval regime that gives companies three years’ time to get necessary clearances,” he explained.

“At present, companies have to wait for the KIADB to acquire land. But companies can directly purchase land,” he said. In a first, the BTS will have a competition for robotics — Robotic Premier League — where participants can demonstrate innovation.

“We are betting strongly on technology and artificial intelligence is a big game-changer,” Narayan said.

The minister, however, admitted that the state suffered a gap in talent, which he said the government was keen to address. “It is true that what is being taught in our institutions isn’t what the industry needs. We are looking at starting talent accelerators to bridge the talent gap,” he said.

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