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Towards a Brownfield Electronic Cluster

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Raghunath MohantyRaghunath Mohanty Hon’ble Minister, IT, Housing & Urban Development, Odisha

Please share with us your vision for further developing the governance structure in the State through the use of ICT.

The Citizens of Odisha when deal with government in their day-to-day lives, expect speedy service, courteous treatment, and quick disposal of their grievances. Therefore, Government, today is expected to be transparent in its dealings, accountable for its responses. This has made the use of ICT imperative in any agenda drawn towards achieving good governance. My vision is to position Odisha in the league of top 3 States in the country, in terms of successful implementation of e-Governance projects and
delivery of government services at the doorsteps of the citizens.

The IT industry in the state has been growing at a healthy rate and the state is being looked at by many as an investment hub. What kind of  contributions interms of enacting new policies, has the govt. in the state made for development of IT industry?

The Government of Odisha is giving high priority for promotion of IT & ITES sector in Odisha. There is tremendous growth of IT Industries both large and SMEs at Bhubaneswar in last 6-7 years. The IT exports from Odisha has crossed Rs.1611 crores during the last financial year 2011-12 with a growth of 17% in comparison to 2010-11. Odisha has some inherent advantages that would attract investors from the IT/ ITES sector. Apart from technically qualified workforce and low attrition rates, the following conducive factors exist in the State:

• Surplus power supply

• Adequate IT infrastructure including high speed data connectivity at affordable cost.

• Low cost of living

• Well connected to all major cities in the country by air, rail & road.

• Attractive ICT Policy & IPR policy

How open is the environment for investment from industry and foreign investors to come and participate here.

It is an accepted belief that IT industry is concentrated mainly in the urban areas, so what steps that you are taking to develop IT industry in Rural areas? In my opinion, IT has no boundary of urban or Rural. It extends to the entire cyber space. In odisha after Bhubaneswar, Rourkela and Berhampur now IT industries are expanding to other semi urban areas. It is an accepted fact that quality power and connectivity/bandwidth which are the two important components for any IT industry is still a major concern in Odisha. System is improving day by day and Govt. is also thinking to create more and more IT parks & ITIR across the state to attract IT industries in Rural space too.
The Odisha Govt. is very committed in creating an open environment to attract investment from industry and foreign investors. For all IT/ITES project proposals the single window clearance mechanism has been made operational since long. In order to promote such Investments, IT Special Economic Zones (SEZ) are being established at  Infocity and Infovalley in Bhubaneswar. To accommodate future development of IT sector in odisha, the Govt is developing one IT Investment Region (ITIR) to be developed on the southern part of Bhubaneswar as per ITIR Policy-2008. Developing Brown field Electronic Cluster at Bhubaneswar under the ESDM policy will definitely create an environment for foreign investors to come and participate here.

It is an accepted belief that IT industry is concentrated mainly in the urban areas, so what steps that you are taking to develop IT industry in Rural areas?

In my opinion, IT has no boundary of urban or Rural. It extends to the entire cyber space. In odisha after Bhubaneswar, Rourkela and Berhampur now IT industries are expanding to other semi urban areas. It is an accepted fact that quality power and connectivity/bandwidth which are the two important components for any IT industry is still a major concern in Odisha. System is improving day by day and Govt. is also thinking to create more and more IT parks & ITIR across the state to attract IT industries in Rural space too.

Given the fact that technology keeps evolving at a very rapid pace, where do you see the governance in next 10 years.

Odisha would be a model state in e-Governance implementation during next 10 years. I foresee major overhauling and refinement in governance as the citizen get more used to delivery of services through electronic and online mode. Mobile Governance services could emerge as the key players and game changers in few critical areas of governance. There will be greater concern amongst people on environmental issues and there would be emphasis on adopting Green IT concepts in next 10 years.

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