Bangalore Ite.Biz, the city’s annual information technology conference kicked off with the State government unveiling its new IT policy, which aims to make Karnataka the global destination for the sector by 2020.
Speaking at the conference inauguration, IT secretary Srivatsa Krishna said, “By 2020, Bangalore will become the largest IT cluster in the world with 20 lakh employees in the sector, having exports of `4 lakh crore. The market for electronics system design and manufacturing will be nearly $400 billion by 2020 and the State wants to target at least 20 per cent of this,” he said.
However, Krishna did not merely stick to ambitious corporate targets, but also provided examples of the role of IT in governance. He spoke of the government tying up with companies to inform rural consumers about timings of water supply via SMS and allowing them to switch on irrigation pumpsets with a phone call.
“Next week, we are expecting cabinet clearance for a system to upload photos of and keep tabs on anganwadis in the State,” he said.
Infosys executive vice-chairman Kris Gopalkrishnan noted that Bangalore was becoming one of the best ecosystems for startups around the world. “It has a unique mix of startups, mature companies and talent, which can make it the startup capital of the world, besides the innovation and IT capital,” he said. He asked the government to consider supporting at least seven startup incubation centres in colleges in the city and three more outside Bangalore.
Deputy chairman of the Planning Commission, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, who delivered a pre recorded address cautioned that the government should not ignore urban planning and infrastructure. “The city must ensure that everything is being done to provide urban infrastructure. Infrastructure has been left behind and I hope the government will put in place planning mechanisms,” he said.