M.K. Yadava, MD, AEDC Ltd, speaks at the technical session at NICT 2010 in Guwahati on Thursday. He is flanked by Tanmoy Chakravarty, vice-president and global head, government industry solutions,TCS, (left) and Niraj Prakash, director, Microsoft India. Picture by Eastern Projections
Guwahati, Sept. 2: If Pune and Calcutta can do it, why can’t Guwahati?
A question that was uppermost in the minds of IT honchos on the first day of the NICT 2010.
The answer is — develop skills.
The tone was set by vice-chairman and chief executive officer of Zensar Technologies, Ganesh Natarajan, who is also the chairman of the CII national committee of IT and ITes who emphasised skill development to help the state go forward in the information technology sector.
“One needs to finetune the skills,” Natarajan said.
Natarajan had a meeting with Niraj Verma, commissioner and secretary, department of information technology, science and technology, where they discussed joint collaboration on developing skills.
He said the first and uppermost thing was identification of 1,000 bright young persons in the state and then impart proper skills. CII is ready to be a partner in this.
Sources said the state government has given a lot of emphasis on upgrading the skills and is also planning to open up skill development centres in all the blocks of the state.
Natarajan said the presence of a vast number of English-speaking people is a good talent which needs to be harnessed properly for leapfrogging into the IT sector.
Not only for education, ICT can also help boost the agriculture produce in Assam whose productivity is one-third of Punjab.
“A centre can be set up in Assam where the latest methods in teleconferencing are demonstrated,” he said.
Natarajan said the CII has a plan to have a national conference in Assam next March-April where some top IT companies can come. “The bus may have left the station but there are opportunities to build later.”
Verma said all the districts in the state would be covered under the e-district scheme. At present, Goalpara and Sonitpur are the only two e-districts in the state.
He said the Assam state area network project in the state was at an advanced stage of completion. “The rules of the IT policy are being formulated and will be completed by the end of the year,” Verma said.
He said nearly 3,000 schools would be covered under the ongoing Rajiv Gandhi Computer Literacy programme in the state.
On the 2009 IT policy of Assam, Verma said the rules were being framed and would be completed by the end of this year.
Speaking at the session on Innovative ICT solutions for Transforming Governance Focus: Rural India, managing director of AEDC Limited, M.K. Yadava, said a lot of work was needed to develop content in local languages of the region for the benefit of information technology to flow down.
“There are challenges within the government for developing innovation,” Yadava said.
Tanmoy Chakravarty, vice-president and global head, government industry solutions unit, Tata Consultancy Services, called for setting up of rural BPOs in the region to harness the skills of rural youths to help them get employment which will also help stem the exodus from villages to towns.
“There is already 40-45 per cent attrition in urban BPO centres,” Chakravarty said.
Niraj Prakash, director, public sector marketing, Microsoft India, and Rupendra Bhatnagar, industry director, SAP India, also spoke on the occasion.
Abraham Tharakan, vice-president, NIIT School Learning Solutions, spoke on the National Curriculum Framework 2005, a landmark education policy document on its recommendations on ICT.
“The scope of ICT in education is many and varied but it must be understood clearly that technology cannot replace the teacher,” he said.
M.M. Baidya, general manager, Telecom Power Grid Corporation of India Limited, spoke on the vast network of the Power Grid Corporation in the Northeast. “Almost every mobile call made or received in the region passes through the transmission network of the region.”