Colourful start to 2010

Colourful start to 2010

Colourful start to 2010

Chief Minister B S Yedyurappa inaugurated the event, the 13th since 1997. This year’s theme is “Billion-strong Empowered by ICT”, denoting the technology’s use at the grassroots. Among the highlights this year will be launch of an array of initiatives and schemes to take IT to the interiors of the State.

In his inaugural address, Yeddyurappa said: “Karnataka is contributing 30 per cent of the country’s IT exports. We are confident of reaching the Rs 90,000-crore exports mark for the year 2010-11.” State’s IT exports in 2008-09 had touched Rs 74,929 crore, and in 2009-10, was Rs 76,000 crore. Yeddyurappa also announced an investment promotion subsidy to give impetus to the semiconductor industry, meeting a long-pending demand of the sector.

“The government has taken a decision in-principle to extend investment promotion subsidy to semiconductor units in Mysore, Mangalore and Hubli-Dharwad. Orders in this regard will be issued soon,” he said.

The State government was revising its ICT policy to include telecom, as mobile telephony was bound to be the growth engine of the rural economy, the Chief Minister added.

Infosys CEO and Managing Director S Gopalkrishnan said: “It is good to know the sector is spreading its footprint in Tier II and III cities. According to a survey conducted by Infosys, 40 per cent of our new employees are from rural families where one or both their parents have not completed Xth standard.”

Regarding Tier I cities, there was need for infrastructure growth to sustain the high-growth of the sector, as development in Tier II and III cities would be at a far lower rate, he said.

Union Minister of State for Communications and IT Sachin Pilot, who made up for the absence of Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Telecom Minister A Raja at the inauguration, said: “We have to create an environment for growth. IT should not be considered as domain of rich people; we should work together to break the barrier. Indian companies should look at three points for growth namely diversification of export destinations, avoiding commoditising their services by innovations and research and development.”

Those among the host of dignitaries present at the inauguration were Chilean Ambassador Cristian Barros, Union IT Secretary Shashi Kant Sharma and others.