DISCUSSIONS AT the Madhya Pradesh IT Conference 2006 held at Noor-Us-Sabah Palace Hotel on Thursday concluded that by taking the rights steps, Madhya Pradesh could emerge as an IT hub.
The steps that needed to be taken were bridging the digital divide by adopting a holistic approach to all sorts of available resources, conducting special drive towards quality improvement, packaging and branding its products and making IT reach every home.
Inaugurating the conference, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said the State has all requisite resources to be an IT State and if any shortcoming existed, it would be bridged.
Stating that the State Government had introduced several IT enabled services, he said the weak area in the State’s IT sector was lack of investment. “By using IT, I personally monitor the targets vs achievements of Government departments,” he maintained.
Emphasising proper and time-bound implementation, Chouhan said mere verbal assurances would not help. “We have to make the City of Lakes, a City and State of IT too,” the Chief Minister stressed. “The Chief Minister wanted transparency in administration and it was possible only through IT applications, which we’ve done.
Our aim is to make IT enabled services reach rural masses,” said IT minister Kailash Vijayvargiya, adding that 8,000 e-kiosks will be set up in villages. In his welcome address, Principal Secretary (IT & PWD), Padamveer Singh said discussions in the conference would bring out necessary aspects, which would help in bringing investments in the IT sector. “We have to leverage our manpower resources, locational advantage, low cost of operation and cheap land to our advantage, so that MP too could be branded an ‘IT Savvy’ state in the country,” he added.
Manufacturers’ Association of Information Technology (MAIT), Executive Director, Vinnie Mehta said, “We have to see that the IT policy really helps IT reach the masses and this could be possible by making IT meaningful for adoption.” He said the sector was going through an evolutionary process in the State and investments would come provided the State marketed itself effectively through proper branding.
Sharing his long association with the State, Chairman of Wisilex Foundation, organiser of the show, Dr YL Arora said since there was a lot of choice before the industry, the State had to tap its resources to leverage the opportunity.
Chairing the technical session, IIIT (Gwalior), director, Dr Om Vikas stressed on factors like localisation, sharing of knowledge, collaboration, speedy implementation, better communication resources and assessment mechanism. “IT entrepreneurship, IT clinics and HR development need to encouraged,” he pointed out.
Discussing the IT Policy 2006, Additional Secretary, IT Anurag Shrivastava said the Government had to rewrite the entire policy as there was lacunae in the earlier 1999 policy. “Now, we’ve come up with investor-centric policy and have earmarked four thrust areas,” he mentioned.
The four areas identified are e-governance for transparency, efficiency & accountability; attracting investments through time-bound clearances; creating meaningful human resources so that it could be readily deployable and common infrastructure - adopting inter-operability standards by following global best practices. Sharing their views, District Manager, South Asia Public Sector – Intel India’s Vinesh Paperwala emphasised on digital inclusion programmes. “Don’t think Madhya Pradesh is a late entrant, the need is to focus on opportunities timely,” he remarked.
“A collaborative effort between Government and industry needed to increase access and usage of information & communication,” said Paperwala, suggesting the State use ICT to become an investment destination. The Chief Minister also inaugurated an IT exhibition.