The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Rural roads take Rahul to hi-tech highway
- Amethi MP lands in Bangalore for sessions with infotech and space bosses

Bangalore, Oct. 20: Rahul Gandhi is on a quiet visit to Bangalore to do his homework.

After a tour of his constituency Amethi in the rural heartland, where roads topped his agenda, the first-time MP was racing on the information highway for an update on the infotech, biotech and BPO sectors and the space programme.

Yesterday, he was at the offices of GE, Infosys Technologies Ltd and Biocon Ltd, ending the day with a dinner meeting with CEOs of IT companies ' Nandan Nilekani of Infosys was among them ' and the director of the Indian Institute of Management, Prakash Apte.

A CEO who was at the dinner said: 'We found him very affable and refreshing.'

This morning, Rahul drove to the headquarters of the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro), where chairperson G. Madhavan Nair made a presentation on the application of space programmes for rural areas.

In the afternoon, he was at Doddaballapur, a town 30 km from here, for a demo on the application of IT in rural areas.

The state government has introduced several projects on computerisation of land records, registration of sale deeds, taxes and other data, and even the operations of the state treasury department. 'He was keen to look at these projects, perhaps with the intention of replicating them in Amethi,' M.K. Shankarlinge Gowda, the secretary of IT department, said.

In Amethi last week, Rahul had spent time with residents to find out their problems and look for development solutions. The unannounced visit to Bangalore appears to be a follow-up of that.

Like father Rajiv Gandhi, technology is right up Rahul's street. Well before his electoral debut, he had launched a BPO. The Mumbai-based Backops Services Pvt Ltd was incorporated in New Delhi on May 28, 2002, to provide engineering detail and structural planning services to large overseas civil engineering firms.

In June 2004, a month after being elected to Parliament, Rahul was scouting for a CEO for his BPO with eight employees and three overseas clients that outsourced detailing and technical analysis work. The BPO has an authorised share capital of Rs 25 lakh divided into 25,000 equity shares of Rs 100 each.

He also wanted to launch a call centre 'with a difference'. But after his foray into politics, it is not known if he still nurses the dream.

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