The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Jaya sets ambitious targets in IT race

Chennai, Aug. 23: Jayalithaa is set to make Tamil Nadu the “number one IT state” in India.

The ADMK chief today unveiled an ambitious roadmap for the information technology sector when she announced a programme to provide optic fibre cable connectivity across the state.

Imparting digital literacy to students, simplification of procedures and e-maintenance of government records, improved global connectivity in public-private partnerships and augmenting skills “for English and non-English-speaking markets” are among the other objectives for the IT sector, Jayalalithaa said at the first meeting of the Tamil Nadu Information Technology Council.

The chief minister chairs the state’s top policy-making body in the IT sector.

Jayalithaa said the government would soon come out with the “New IT Policy of Tamil Nadu” outlining medium and long-term plans for the growth of IT in the next four years. The state has crossed the $1-billion mark in software exports in 2001-02.

Focusing on e-governance, Jayalalithaa said her government recognised the increasingly important role the private sector plays in IT development. Hence, e-governance initiatives will be implemented through public-private partnerships in future with suitable revenue-generating and revenue-sharing arrangements put in place.

While the e-governance project of the Tamil Nadu Registration Department has been chosen as a model project, the Rural Access to Services through Internet is being extended to 10 districts, Jayalalithaa said.

The rural access project prepared with the help of IIT Madras hinges on the deployment of Wireless in Local Loop technology.

Other government departments where e-governance has been launched are revenue, police, transport, health, higher education, school education, rural development and municipal administration, the chief minister pointed out.

Creation of an International Research and Development Knowledge Park in Chennai in partnership with IIT Madras and setting up Special Purpose Vehicles to develop Coimbatore, Madurai, Tiruchirappalli and Tirunelveli as IT hubs are part of Jayalalithaa’s grand plan.

The ADMK chief also inaugurated the new website of the state government at the meeting.

Members of the IT council who attended the meeting included law and IT minister D. Jayakumar, education minister M. Thambidurai, chief secretary Sukavaneshwvar, president of the National Association of Software and Service Companies Kiran Karnik, vice-chairperson of Manufacturers Association of Information Technology Sudha Raju and CII chairman P.K. Mohapatra.

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