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State plans four IT parks

Calcutta, Dec.7: The Jharkhand government is planning to set up four software parks in the state under the Software Technology Parks of India (STPI), a central scheme, to strengthen e-governance and boost online services for citizens.

Currently, the state has one such STPI unit.

Speaking on the sidelines of the 12th edition of Infocom — one of the largest IT conference and exhibition organised by the ABP Group, Jharkhand’s principal secretary (IT) N.N. Sinha said, “We are in the process of setting up four more STPI units. Currently, we have one. We do not have huge plots, but IT parks do not need hundreds of acres either.”

Of late, the state has been focusing on e-governance to boost the use of information technology (IT) to deliver citizen-centric services online.

The state has already initiated steps to facilitate online registration, tax payment, mutation etc.

And, now to further IT penetration, the state is preparing ground to set up more IT parks under the STPI scheme.

Notably, STPI is an autonomous society set up in 1991 under the department of electronics and information technology of the central government to boost software exports from India.

Sinha said IT demanded seamless connection between buyers and sellers and as demand picked up, bandwidth would also be available.

The central proposal to roll out a national optic fibre network to digitally connect even gram panchayats will also help. “At this stage of development, the focus is on e-governance. Ranchi, Jamshedpur and Bokaro will soon emerge as centres for IT activities. Ranchi will act as the base and will have satellite centres,” Sinha said.

Earlier, speaking on “the making of a digital nation”, the IT secretary pointed out that even as the concept of digital empowerment was ringing throughout the nation, Indian was still lagging behind China in terms of penetration of Internet. While the figure for China stands at 40 per cent of the population, for India it is only 10 per cent.

Hence, steps should be initiated to meet infrastructure needs.

“The National IT Policy, 2012, aims to make one person in every household digitally literate. Also, by 2015, we should have broadband on demand and by 2020, 600 million are likely to have broadband connections. We will have to address the puzzle about devices. The costs must go down else we will not be able to meet the target of connecting every household digitally,” Sinha said.

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