The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Tech horses come galloping in

Bhubaneswar, April 27: Orissa today took another giant stride in information technology with IT powerhouses like Wipro and Aricent Technology announcing their plans to set up global training centres in Bhubaneswar.

Anil Ambani’s Dhirubhai Ambani IT Centre, too, is all set to set up shop with a software development centre in the state.

Upbeat over a strong IT export growth of 58 per cent during the 2006-07 fiscal, the state government today said it would set up a second Infocity over an area of 671 acres and apply for its SEZ status. The decision was taken at the first meeting of the IT taskforce chaired by chief minister Naveen Patnaik here today.

Export earnings from the information technology (IT) sector in Orissa leapt to Rs 732 crore during 2006-07, up from Rs 465 crore in 2005-06. Attracted by the state’s IT policy, 14 new companies had registered themselves with Software Technology Parks of India, Bhubaneswar, in the 2005-06 fiscal, while 19 companies did so in the last fiscal, he added.

IT minister and vice-chairman of the taskforce Surya Patro said Wipro has proposed to set up a global training centre with a capacity to train 3,000 IT professionals toeing the line of the company’s centre at Mysore in Karnataka. The state government would provide about 100 acres of land along the Puri-Konark marine drive.

Aricent Technology has also asked for 30 acres land along the Puri-Konark sea beach for establishing a similar global training centre with a capacity of 1,500 professionals, he said.

Mumbai-based Dhirubhai Ambani IT Centre, too, has offered to open its branch over an area of 40 acres of land somewhere near Jatni, around 15 km from Bhubaneswar, added Patro.

With Bhubaneswar turning into a major IT hub, the state government is planning to build a satellite city over 300 acres of land between Bhubaneswar and Khurda to provide residential accommodation to the growing IT population.

Besides, around 25 acres of land is being identified near Infocity–I in Chandka industrial estate on the outskirts of the capital for construction of a housing complex for IT professionals.

Patnaik also asked Khurda collector to hand over 671 acres of land identified for the second Infocity to the Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (IIDCO) within a fortnight. The corporation would then apply for a SEZ status after developing basic infrastructures like road connectivity, water and power supply, said the IT minister.

IIDCO will also build up a knowledge park over an area of 92 acres adjacent to the site of Indian Institute of Information Science, the foundation stone of which was laid by President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar last year.

Around 1.5 lakh sq ft space available at the Toshali Plaza, a multi-storied office complex built by Orissa State Housing Board years ago, will be allotted to various BPO companies for opening development centres, Patro further said.

In the meeting today, the state government also decided to submit a proposal to the Union HRD ministry for establishment of another Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) in Bhubaneswar.

Recently, the HRD ministry has decided in principle to set up twenty IIITs across the country.

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