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IT guru to guide Buddha programme

Calcutta, April 12: The B-team from Bengal bagged the best brain today to give shape to the state’s information technology policy.

N.R. Narayana Murthy, chairman and chief mentor, Infosys Technologies, has promised state IT minister Manab Mukherjee that he will help the government to draw up one of the most “attractive” IT policies in the country.

Led by Mukherjee, a high-level pitch team — comprising IT secretary D.P. Patra, Webel managing director S.K. Mitra and Confederation of Indian Industry eastern region chairman Sanjay Budhia — called on Narayana Murthy this morning at his office in Bangalore.

Though the founder of the Rs 3,622.69 crore software bellwether, that employs over 10,000 people in 17 offices across the globe, remained non-committal on the company’s plans for Calcutta, he agreed to put his seal of wisdom on the state’s IT policy.

“It was indeed a very successful meeting. I requested him to guide us in finalising the state’s IT policy and he promptly agreed to help us,” said Mukherjee from Bangalore.

To cash in on the interest shown by Murthy, a draft IT policy will be sent to Bangalore without wasting any time. The government has decided that the “suggestions” would be given “utmost” priority in finalising the policy that has been on the pipeline for quite some time.

The Buddhadeb government is also planning to utilise the Narayana Murthy brand — that will get associated with the policy — for luring IT investments into the state.

During the 50-minute meeting at Infosys headquarters in Bangalore Electronics City on Hosur Road, state government representatives gave a presentation on the opportunities in Bengal. According to Mukherjee, Murthy expressed his satisfaction over the state’s recent achievements in the field of IT and lauded the government for its various initiatives.

Besides, Murthy also listed the three enablers — overwhelming technical talent, adequate telecom infrastructure and spread of English language — that will fuel the future growth of IT industry in the state.

“He told us that the state’s recent progress in the field of IT was commanding and Info- sys would seriously consider Calcutta while planning its tenth development centre in the country,” Mukherjee added.

At present, the company has eight development centres in the country and the ninth one is coming up in Trivandrum.

The local IT industry welcomed the government move of roping in Narayana Murthy for the policy. “It’s good to learn that the government has decided to approach people from the world of business on finalising policy issues. I am confident that it will turn out to be much more industry friendly and forward looking,” said a Salt Lake-based IT-preneur.

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