• IPC 2017

DIT fostering IT/ITeS skills in West Bengal

By GovernanceToday
In Interview
May 12, 2017

dr-krishna-guptaDo you think that West Bengal  is going to transform into a knowledge driven welfare society with extensive use of IT and ITES in Governance and in the daily lives of the people of  the state?

We firmly believe that IT can act as a key enabler by streamlining G2C interactions. IT interventions have the scope to bridge the gaps between citizens and the government.

A knowledge driven society  requires as a prerequisite adequate training and skill building. Department of Information Technology and Electronics is firmly committed to fostering IT/ITeS skills in the state of West Bengal. West Bengal Electronics Industry Development Corporation Limited, the nodal agency of DIT&E is strengthening ICT skills by training and education, certification, skill building and incubation activities. WBEIDC annually trains over 20,000 candidates from 150 plus centers. The ICT@School initiative covers 5500+ schools. All of this will go a long way in creating a knowledge driven economy.

Why is IT hub based around Kolkata Metropolitan Area? Is there any policy with your department to enable the spread of the industry to Tier II and Tier III locations?

Kolkata as the capital and largest city in eastern India was the logical location for large IT bellwethers to set up their initial establishments. This leads to a flourishing of a strong IT/ITeS ecosystem in Salt Lake Sector V, ably facilitated by Webel which lead to positive synergies.

DIT&E and WBEIDC administer the West Bengal ICT Incentive Scheme 2012. To enable the spread of industry to Tier II and Tier III locations additional incentives are provided to companies investing in Tier II/III locations. The incentive scheme has been structured to promote a holistic development of all regions and to give a boost to Tier II/III locations by offering additional financial incentives.

Webel on behalf of the Department of IT&E has already established 12 numbers of new IT parks since 2012 in various places  namely Rajarhat, Siliguri (Phase II), Durgapur (Phase II), Asansol, Purulia, Barjora, Kharagpur, Haldia, Howrah, Kalyani, Bolpur, Taratala. Facilities under development stages are 4 nos. of IT Parks at Malda, Bantala, Siliguri (Phase II), Krishnagar. Approval for further 7 nos. of IT parks at Coochbehar, Belur,Durgapur (Phase III), Sector V (02 numbers), Kalyani (Phase II), Rajarhat (Phase II) has been obtained for construction.

“ The development of two Electronic Manufacturing Clusters one at Naihati and the other at Falta will be providing suitable facilities for attracting investments. “

How do you plan to leverage on the premier educational and research institutions located in West Bengal to emerge as a leading State in the area of chip design, embedded software industry and areas related to very large scale integration  (VLSI) technologies?

DIT&E through WBEIDC is operationalizing two electronic manufacturing clusters in Naihati and Falta. Additionally hardware parks are coming up in Kalyani and Sonarpur. We foresee deep linkages including tie ups in the context of information exchange, knowledge transfer, incubation support between DIT&E/WBEIDC and premier education institutes like IIT Kharagpur, IIEST Shibpur, Jadavpur University and others. It is imperative that premier education institutions be on board as key stakeholders so that the knowledge enshrined in such institutes may be used to facilitate the growth of VSLI and Electronic System Design and Manufacturing.

Do you think that boosting R&D activities in IT sector by giving reimbursement for patent filing in SME sectors will lead by example for other states of the country?

We feel that the ICT Incentive Scheme 2012 which permits reimbursement for patent filing is an important step in building an entrepreneurial climate in the state. This will encourage development of intellectual property in the state. We feel this is a strong pioneering move that will soon be popularized across other states.

How do you create an investor friendly climate in the State for increasing West Bengal’s share in production of electronic goods to 15% by value by 2020?

A mix of initiatives have been structured to create an investor friendly climate.

The development of two hardware parks at Sonarpur and Kalyani are expected to act as catalysts for the growth of the ESDM (Electronic System Design and Manufacturing) sector and develop the ecosystem for hardware manufacturing in West Bengal. The development of two Electronic Manufacturing Clusters one at Naihati and the other at Falta will be providing suitable facilities for attracting investments.

IT Parks established by Webel bring best in class infrastructure in terms of state of the art office spaces, internet bandwidth and support facilities at a reasonable cost to consumers. IT Parks have enabled entrepreneurs from remote places in West Bengal including Tier II and Tier II cities to set up startups and augment employment in the state.

Additionally fiscal incentives will be provided as part of the ICT Incentive Policy.

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