“One must have a passion for technology”

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M N Vidyashankar, Principal Secretary, IT, BT, S&T, and e-Governance Dept., Government of Karnataka, in an exclusive interview with egov

Tell us about your vision for the state’s IT department.

The Department of Information Technology, Bio Technology, Science & Technology, has played a facilitating role in the growth of IT in the State. In IT, we are at the top of the ladder in the country. We will continue to come up with proactive, industry-friendly, entrepreneur-friendly policies. Some of the most important initiatives taken by the state to improve the IT infrastructure include:

a)    Promoting rural BPOs in Tier-II and Tier-III cities.
b)    Setting up of the country’s first Bio Technology Finishing Schools. Enhancing the footprints of IT Finishing Schools.
d)    Launching the Semi Conductor Venture Capital Fund.
e)    Launching the second tranche of Karnataka IT and BT Venture Capital Funds.
f)    Steps towards setting up of Indian Institute of Nano Science & Technology.
g)    Inviting global offers for setting up the country’s first Nano Park.
h)    Setting up of a characteristic lab in the Semi Conductor space.
i)    Strengthening International Institute of Information Technology, Bangalore, Institute of Bio Informatics and Applied Bio Technology, Centre for Human Genetics as Centres of Excellence.
j)    Setting up of Karnataka state-of-the-art bio-technology clusters in Electronic City.
k)    Setting up of IT Parks in Tier-II and Tier-III cities.  A host of steps to enhance the infrastructure base in schools, colleges in terms of setting up labs, strengthening of labs etc.
m)    Opening up a Dharwad Regional Science Centre and getting ready to launch to Pilikula Regional Science Centre (Mangalore).
How would you rate

Karnataka’s response to e-Governance?

The response has been tremendous. The e-procurement project has had a turnover of 1,00,000 crores during the past 3 years. In Bangalore, we had started with 37 centres in the year 2007-08, and now the number of centres stands at 80 (till February 2012). The number is expected to reach 100 by June 2012.   As e-Governance initiatives render services more transparently and efficiently, the political leadership desires these initiatives to be implemented in every sphere of governance.

Please shed some light on the part that your department is playing in the UIDAI initiative.

The e-Governance Department in Karnataka is implementing UIDAI Initiative.   Of course, it is on hold since Feb 2012. In the project biometric authentication was employed for collecting the details of residents like iris and finger prints (All ten fingers) at the time of enrolment. In the days to come the government services will flow to the eligible beneficiaries through a system of verification based on biometric standards.

How is the department of IT contributing towards the modernisation of police forces? In your opinion what ICT technologies are most important for the modernisation of police?

In Karnataka, the Department of e-Governance has rendered assistance to the Police Department in its modernisation. As a result 4,000 + computers are functioning in a networked environment in Police Department. The Department also needs open GIS software for crime mapping.

Tell us about the State Data Centres in Karnataka.

Karnataka is the first state to start Data Centre services in 2005. Since the existing data centre was co-located with a private service provider, the state government has set up its own Data Centre in the year 2011.

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