Karnataka to help ICT industry create 2 mn jobs

The Karnataka government would partner with the burgeoning Information & Communication Technology (ICT) sector to generate two million jobs in the state by 2020, Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar said Tuesday.

"The state government will implement the ICT group's recommendations by making budgetary provisions over the next four-five years to enable the ICT industry generate two million jobs by 2020 from 0.8 million (eight lakh) presently," Shettar told reporters here.

With a view to maintaining the state's leadership position in the knowledge sector, the state government had set up the 'Karnataka ICT group' in June 2012 under the chairmanship of T.V. Mohandas Pai, chairman of Manipal Global Education Services Ltd and former director of Indian IT bellwether Infosys Ltd.

"As the premier IT state, our objective is to triple ICT exports to Rs.4 trillion (Rs.4 lakh crore/$74 billion) from Rs.1.35 trillion (Rs.135,000 crore/$25 billion) over the next eight years and help incubate 1,000 start-ups and entrepreneur-driven firms by 2020," Shettar asserted.

In order to achieve the ambitious targets, the group has recommended setting up a Rs.1,000-crore (Rs.10 billion) ICT & Innovation fund for infrastructure development and Rs.100 crore for incubating start-ups and new IT firms.

"To create the huge talent pool required for the ICT sector, the state government should provide free Wi-Fi (wireless fidelity) across Bangalore, distribute a Tablet PC with 3G connection, pre-loaded with teaching material to students in class 7 and above and connect all government and private schools and colleges with high speed bandwidth," Pai said on the occasion.

The group also recommended setting up of learning academy and talent development centers in ICT and Electronics System Design Manufacturing (ESDM) areas across the state to train thousands of youth in developing skills required by the sector.

"We have asked the state government to develop ICT centres at Belgaum, Dharwad, Gulbarga, Hubli, Mangalore, Mysore and Shimoga on the lines of hub and spoke model, with Bangalore as the tech hub," Pai pointed out.

The group also suggested expansion of the metro rail connectivity in and around Bangalore to cover 250km, development of elevated high-speed travel corridors across the city and proper solid waste management and drainage facilities by 2020.

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