There is good news for the internet users in Bangalore: the Karnataka Government is planning to provide free WiFi facility in entire Bangalore within six months. Earlier this year, Bangalore became the first city in India to launch free public WiFi at various locations in the city.
Making the announcement in Bangalore on August 12, Minister for Information Technology, Biotechnology and Science and Technology S R Patil said, “Bangalore became the first city in India to launch free public WiFi, earlier this year. We are adding additional locations and we are planning to provide free WiFI facility in entire Bangalore and in all the district towns.”
According to the minister, Expression of Interest (EoI) has been called and six companies have responded. Evaluation is under process and the entire process will be completed in six months.
Apart from the free WiFi facility, the government is also establishing a Brownfield ESDM Cluster in the Electronics City, Bangalore at an estimated project cost of Rs 80 crore, out of which Rs 50 crore funding would be done by the Centre. Karnataka will provide about Rs 19 crore and the balance will be contribution of the promoters – ELCIA and its member units.
The Brownfield Cluster will provide a Common Facility Centre (CFC) for the electronic industry players. The CFC will house required plant and machinery to enable the manufacturers to carry out various activities of electronics like designing, manufacturing, testing and calibration under one roof.
“The Government of India has given an in-principle approval for setting up of two Brownfield ESDM Clusters, one in Electronics City, Bangalore, at an estimated project cost of Rs 80 crore, out of which Rs 50 crore funding would be done by the Government of India, and another in Mysore at an estimated cost of Rs 30 crore, out of which Centre’s funding will be about Rs 22 crore,” the minister added.
In order to give e-commerce push to the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) the IT Department is partnering with leading e-commerce majors such as Snapdeal and Amazon to leverage their marketplace capabilities.
“The government proposes to enable the MSMEs to become more competitive and reach the market place both in the domestic market and the world market. The IT Department is partnering with leading e-commerce majors such as Snapdeal and Amazon to leverage their market place capabilities for helping the MSMEs. The state government will play the role of a facilitator,” Patil said.
To foster the start-up ecosystem in the State, the state government, in association with IT industry body NASSCOM, is setting up 50,000 square feet StartUp Warehouse NextGen and India’s first ever Hack-celerator and Internet of Things Lab (IoT Lab). The Hack-celerator, a combination of a Hackathon and an Accelerator, will be one of the first few in the world.
The minister also said that the state continues to lead the country in IT & BT sectors, contributing to over 1/3rd of the IT exports from the country. During the FY 2013-14, IT exports are estimated at Rs 1.65 lakh crore at a growth rate of about 16–17 percent.