'Bangalore will become single largest IT cluster by 2020'

Last Updated 21 October 2013, 13:55 IST

The country's technology hub Bangalore will become the single largest IT cluster in the world by 2020, a top Karnataka government official said today.

"Bangalore, you believe it or not- is going to become the single largest IT cluster on the planet by 2020. We will have 20 lakh IT professionals in one location- namely Bangalore and 60 lakh indirect employment because of that, and Rs four lakh crore exports by 2020," Srivatsa Krishna, Secretary to Government, Department of IT, BT and S&T Government of Karnataka, told reporters here.

"The corresponding figures for today are nine lakh direct employment, 27 lakh indirect employment and Rs 1.65 lakh crore exports today; ....if you see numbers of Chennai and Hyderabad -our neighbours put together- combined don't come up to even half of Karnataka's numbers," he added.

He said this was the primary reason the state government has decided to come out with a new IT, ITeS and innovations policy which the Chief Minister would announce tomorrow.

Krishna was speaking at a press conference organised to share details on Bangalore ITE.biz scheduled to be held here from October 22 to 24.

ITE.biz 2013, an initiative of Department of IT, BT and S&T, along with STPI, Bangalore- is to be attended by IT and electronics majors, policymakers, MSMEs and start-ups and academia.

Pointing out that Bangalore ITE is in its 16th edition, Krishna said the difference this time around was that the focus would be away from traditional IT and ITes.

"The focus is on electronics which is increasingly becoming major part of IT. The focus will be on start-ups, creating entrepreneurial ecosystem and on bringing together knowledge event and partners who are really redefining the IT space that we know," he added. 

Dwelling on the event and its advantages, state minister for IT, BT and S&T S R Patil said "we are bringing a radical change in our IT policy making it more investor friendly."

"....IT.biz event will be more meaningful this time because we are all set to announce several incentives, exemptions to IT industry and to new start-ups," he added.

Patil said that with these important incentives and exemptions, the focus would also be on development of the IT sector in Tier II and III cities, thereby initiating the process of growth throughout the state.

"The Chief Minister will be announcing the details of stimulus measures by tomorrow," he said.

On plans to spread the IT sector to parts of the state other than Bangalore, Krishna said "IT requires talent pool, requires ancillary support system which today is available largely in Bangalore... we also have it in Mysore to some extent, we have it in Mangalore, now we are beginning to have it in Hubli. We do see IT industry has begun taking shape there as well."

"....the policy that will be announced tomorrow makes a specific effort in terms of specific incentives to bring in IT companies in to Tier II and III cities. So that the emerging IT cities as we call them, our focus with the policy is to ensure that companies go there," he added.

To a question- hinting that Karnataka would exempt IT companies from an onerous labour law for a further five years, the Minister said "Government has taken some decision; ultimately it should come out in the form of a Government Order, that will be given tomorrow."

IT sector in Karnataka was exempted from Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946 for 11 years. Government's move to bring sector under the law in March had caused worry among IT companies that were slowly recovering from the economic slowdown. 

(Published 21 October 2013, 13:51 IST)

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