The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Wipro set to spread Bengal wings

Calcutta, Sept. 23: A software development centre is just the take-off point for Wipro to spread its wings in Bengal.

Helping the government setting up a hardware training academy for trainers in state-run polytechnic and Industrial Training Institutes, playing the lead role in computer literacy programme in schools and supporting the government’s self-employment schemes for unemployed youths — Azim Premji’s company is ready with its three-pronged strategy for Mission Bengal.

At a recent meeting with Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee in Writers’ Buildings, senior company officials from Bangalore discussed their plans for Bengal. After identifying the areas of association with the chief minister, the company has sent a letter to Md. Salim, minister in-charge of technical education, youth services and self-employment, describing its proposal of partnership with the state government.

“We have a close relationship with the company. The work for their software development centre in Salt Lake Electronics Complex (Saltlec) is in full swing and, recently, we have had discussions with regard to a number of projects in the state,” confirmed Bhattacharjee in Writers’ today.

According to the proposal sent by Wipro’s regional office last week, the company will assist the technical education department in setting up a hardware laboratory for hardware training. Responding to the government’s long-standing demand, the company has also agreed to “conduct ‘teach the trainer’ programme in the state”. Wipro has, however, urged the government to create necessary infrastructure for conducting the training programmes in Calcutta and Siliguri.

With regard to the school programme — one of the biggest IT projects to be implemented in the state — Wipro has expressed its desire to take charge of “overall supervision of the government’s computer literacy programme” in classrooms.

The company plans to implement the literacy programme by tying up with the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education, West Bengal Board of Madarsa Education and West Bengal State Council of Technical Education.

Wipro is also willing to support the government’s other IT initiatives like e-cafes, one-stop IT shops across the state as a self-employment scheme for the unemployed youth of Bengal.

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