Centre push for 'digital Northeast'

Union minister for electronics and information technology Ravi Shankar Prasad on Saturday asked the northeastern states to give priority to electronics manufacturing.

By RAJIV KONWAR in Guwahati
  • Published 12.08.18
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Ravi Shankar Prasad (second from right) launches an IT project in Guwahati on Saturday as Meghalaya chief minister Conrad K. Sangma (extreme left) and his Assam and Tripura counterparts Sarbananda Sonowal and Biplab Kumar Deb look on. Picture by UB Photos

Guwahati: Union minister for electronics and information technology Ravi Shankar Prasad on Saturday asked the northeastern states to give priority to electronics manufacturing.

"We are trying to make India the biggest electronic manufacturing country in the world. The northeastern states should also explore this sector. I will instruct my officials to find out which state can manufacture what," Prasad said while releasing the Digital North East Vision 2022, which aims to empower the Northeast digitally, here.

The vision document was released in the presence of the chief ministers of Assam, Meghalaya and Tripura, IT ministers of other northeasten states and senior officials of several ministries, including telecommunication and DoNER.

Prasad said there were only two mobile manufacturing factories in the country in 2014, which has now increased to 127.

Earlier, Prasad and Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal laid the foundation stone for the Common Facilitation Centre and Smart Meter Manufacturing facility at the Electronics Manufacturing Cluster at Bongara village near here for promotion of electronics manufacturing.

Prasad said the Centre had saved Rs 90,000 crore by eliminating middlemen and promoting digital payment.

On business process outsourcing (BPO) centres, Prasad said, "Till now, India's BPO centres were all in big cities. But now we have transformed small towns into BPO hubs. There are BPO centres in Kohima, Guwahati and Dibrugarh, which have opened job opportunities for the youth."

He urged the chief ministers present to give the BPO sector a boost in their states.

The minister also said e-Pragati (a digital initiative aimed at connecting people to departments and services) would be available across the Northeast through Digital India.

He said the Centre would make available e-classroom facilities in the medical colleges in Shillong, Guwahati, Dibrugarh, Dimapur, Agartala and Imphal. "We are making India a digital superpower, digital is the future," he added.

He announced that 50,000 state government employees in the region would be trained in digital technology with capacity-building in goods and services tax (GST).

During the event, several projects were launched for the region. As part of the Digital North East Vision 2022, a cloud hub for the Northeast will be set up in Guwahati.