State IT policy must for digital India initiative: ICTA

Digital India Mission

IRFAN RASHID

SRINAGAR: Information and Communications Technology Association Saturday asked government to frame a proper policy for the growth and promotion of IT sector in the State.

Chairman ICTA Mehraj Gulzar urged state government to create vibrant IT departments and set up an active IT task force.
“We need four things: An ICT industry promotion cell, favorable IT policy, office infrastructure and a thoughtful public private partnership model,” suggested Mehraj while addressing a press conference here.
Digital India is an initiative of government of India to integrate the government departments and the people of India.
It aims at ensuring the government services are made available to citizens electronically by reducing paperwork and connect rural areas with high speed internet network. The project is expected to be completed upto 2019.
Taking dig at government’s existing IT policy, Meharj said: “We feel it is government’s approach that is killing our private sector. RS 160 crores are yet to be allotted in many e-governance projects like SWAN, SDC, SSDG, e-districts and NDMC.”
He stressed upon the need of including local IT players in the policy.
He cited examples from successful projects that were taken by local entrepreneurs including creation of electoral roll database, birth/death database for SMC, land records in Urdu, library automation for rare books, digitization of thesis in shudh ganga project, digitization of old newspapers, connecting SMHS hospital with high speed wireless bridges and enabling civil secretariat with wi-fi connectivity.
The total turnover of different market segments of local IT industry in J&K in 2014-15 is Rs 307 crores.
He said government has failed to accommodate as many people in the IT sector as local entrepreneurs.
 “Local entrepreneurs accommodated 10, 250 youth, corporate IT sector and Telcos gave employment to 1800 and government provided jobs to only 700 IT professionals.”
Demanding IT Park and IT policy for state, Mehraj said, “We have been listening about IT Park for last 15 years. Does it take 13 years for government to create an IT policy? if this approach continues then what can we expect in digital India Initiative.”
ICTA was established in 2009 to create IT as a major industry segment in the state and work in collaboration with state government for effective implementation of existing and future IT policies.
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