IT infrastructure in Bangla growing at rapid pace

From May 2011, an amount of more than Rs 600 crore has been invested by the Trinamool Congress Government in the creation of physical infrastructure in the IT and electronics sector. This includes creation of IT parks and hardware parks, facilities for equipment manufacturing clusters (EMC), etc. The Information Technology & Electronics (IT&E) Department is overseeing all of these.

Hardware park and EMCs: Two electronics manufacturing clusters are coming up in Naihati and Falta. Construction is on in full swing. A hardware park in Sonarpur is complete. An IT park in Kalyani has been planned.

Start-up Warehouse: The State Government established a Start-up Warehouse in 2015 in collaboration with NASSCOM for the benefit of new ventures and start-ups in the IT/ITeS sector. Fifty-one companies have been promoted from the centre so far. Nineteen companies have received funding from private investors and nine companies have received their second round of funding.

Capacity building and self-employment: The IT&E Department, through the training wing of Webel, is imparting IT training in the districts and in tier-II/III-level towns in an organised way. Almost 1.5 lakh students were trained and 30,000 students got employment or achieved self-employment from 2011 to 17, compared to about 74,000 students trained and 11,000 students employed/self-employed during the period of 2004-11.

Cyber Security Centre of Excellence: The Cyber Security Centre of Excellence has been inaugurated by the department and is operational from November 2017. The portal for the same was launched in March 2018. The centre is working on five verticals: capacity building and awareness generation, cyber security assurance, Security Operation Centre, cyber forensics and investigation, and research and development (R&D) and Advisory.

Promotion of emerging technologies: The IT&E Department has been holistically promoting the emerging technologies – the technologies that are going to have a significant impact in the near future. The department has already started working on cyber security, blockchain, artificial intelligence, machine learning, animation, IoT (internt of things), Industry 4.0 (a standard), analytics, animation and e-sports. Summits are being held every month on different emerging technologies. Already summits on cyber security, blockchain and artificial intelligence have taken place.

Silicon Valley Asia: The Government is setting up a cutting-edge IT and hardware technology research and manufacturing hub at New Town called Silicon Valley Asia, on the lines of Silicon Valley in California, USA.

Capacity expansion by private companies: Several of the top IT companies in India have opened new campuses and expanded existing ones, or are in the process of doing those. More and more IT companies are showing interest in opening offices and campuses in Bengal.

Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT), Kalyani: The fi­rst IIIT of Bengal was started in 2014. The first batch of BTech came out in 2018.

Reaching destinations beyond Kolkata and Salt Lake: Twenty-five IT parks in tier-II and tier-III cities in different districts are either operational or at different stages of completion – 12 are fully operational, four are almost completed and nine have received sanction for construction.

Thus we see that the State Government is continuously developing infrastructure for different aspects of the information technology industry. The Government has big plans for making Bengal an IT powerhouse.

IT sector growing rapidly in Bangla

The information technology (IT) sector in Bangla is growing at a fast pace. Under the leadership of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, there has been a lot of growth in the sector, and the Information Technology & Electronics Department is the department driving this growth.

Almost 80% overall growth in IT business: The State now has a presence of about 894 IT companies, up from nearly 500 in 2010-11, showing a rise of almost 80 per cent in the IT business.

Many of the leading IT software companies are operating and expanding their facilities in the State at the moment.

The vision: The vision of the State Government, as described in its ICT Policy 2012, is to become one of the leading States in India in the IT and ITeS, and ESDM sectors and to enable Bangla to transform into a knowledge-driven welfare society.

67 per cent growth in employment: From the financial year (FY) 2010-11 figure of 90,000, the IT sector today employs more than 1,50,000 IT professionals – a growth of about 67 per cent. The projected figure for employment for FY 2018-19 is at least 1.8 lakh, of which almost 50,000 will be covered through the IT parks developed by the State Government.

Almost 150 per cent growth in export: The total export by the IT industry of the State was Rs 21,000 crore during FY 2017-18, compared to Rs 8,500 crore during 2010-11, showing a growth of about 150 per cent in seven years.

IT sector in Bangla: Improving in leaps and bounds

The information technology sector in Bangla has progressed in leaps and bounds under the leadership of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. The Trinamool Congress Government has created a favourable environment for the growth of the sector and its related industries in Bangla.

This is evident from a comparison of the achievements of the Information Technology & Electronics Department in 2010-11, which was the last year of the Left Front rule, and 2017-18:

· Plan Budget of the department: More than doubled, from Rs 93.7 crore to Rs 201.53 crore, signifying an increased focus on the information technology and electronics sector;
· Software export turnover: Grew by almost 2.5 times, from Rs 8,500 crore to Rs 21,000 crore. Bangla is thus gradually turning into a hotbed of cutting-edge technology;
· Employment in IT sector: Significant rise from 90,000 to 1.5 lakh, ushering in a tech-savvy generation
· Investment for creation of IT hardware clusters: Nil earlier to Rs 14.86 crore; thus, the State Government, for the first time, under the direction of Trinamool Congress, is focussing on the creation of hardware clusters
· Investment for creation of IT parks: Grew by more than 16 times, from Rs 37.18 crore to Rs 612.11 crore, thus bringing about an unprecedented focus on infrastructure creation – 15 IT parks have been completed and 10 more are under construction.

Under the direction of Mamata Banerjee, the department is bringing about an all-round development, opening numerous employment opportunities, both in software and hardware.

Bengalathon 2018 to focus on apps for day-to-day needs

State Information Technology and Electronics (IT&E) Minister on Friday launched Bengalathon 2018, inviting software-based solutions from students, technical professionals and common citizens, particularly for the day-to-day problems of common people.

The minister also announced that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will lay the foundation stone for her dream Silicon Valley project in New Town on August 13.

“We are looking for app-based solutions in a number of areas that include financial advisory app for senior citizens and game-based app for sensitisation of common people so that they do not get fleeced by fraudsters who pose as bank representatives, know the bank details and siphon money from accounts. We are also looking for an app to have a toto on call,” said a senior official of the IT&E department.

The details for registration along with other details of Bengalathon has been made available in the website of the state IT department and a Facebook page titled Bengalathon has also been introduced.

“Bengalathon” is a technology based competition to recognise innovative ideas that would culminate into path-breaking viable solutions for any of the industry sectors or citizen services and at the same time, provide a platform for them to showcase the innovative skills/ideas of the state resources at the national and international arena. The best solutions will be awarded.

Talking about the Silicon Valley project, the minister said: “We will put up IT&E infrastructure here in such a way that the entire country will look towards this place for solutions in these areas.”

The IT&E department also organised a day-long knowledge based workshop on ‘Internet of Things’ (IOT) involving the academia and the industry to work out a strategy for the state on how to embrace this modern technology, at Biswa Bangla Convention Centre.

State IT Department starts construction of EMCs

The West Bengal Information Technology (IT) Department is constructing Electronics Manufacturing Clusters (EMC) in Falta and Naihati, at a cost of Rs 12,000 crore. These would lead to the generation of around 37,000 jobs, and also give a boost to the electronics sector of the State.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has given a lot of emphasis on information technology, electronics and telecommunication. Accordingly, the IT Department has initiated these two EMCs.

According to an official of the IT Department, Bengal has some of the best talents for manufacturing electronic goods and ancillary parts. State-made electronic goods will hit the market in the future.

The permission for the Falta EMC, on 58 acres, has already arrived from the Department of Electronics and Information Technology, a division of the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, and the one for the Naihati EMC, to be built on 70 acres, is expected soon. Both the EMCs are strategically located – the Falta EMC is on the shore of the river Hooghly and approximately 27 km from Haldia Port, and the Naihati EMC is located off Kalyani Expressway.

The State Government’s well-laid out IT and electronics policy has reaped rich dividends. Among the prominent achievements have been the construction of eight software parks (with seven more planned for the future), convincing NASSCOM to set up a start-up warehouse in Rajarhat, which is an incubation centre for IT-based companies, and setting up a seed fund for IT start-ups.

The IT arm of the State Government – West Bengal Electronics Industry Development Corporation – has also proposed to set up a venture capital fund.

Most of the IT firms in West Bengal, which are based in Salt Lake’s Sector V and Rajarhat, feel the State Government’s industry-friendly policy structure and supportive nature would help the industry to grow by leaps and bounds.


ইলেকট্রনিকস্ ম্যানুফ্যাকচারিং ক্লাস্টার নির্মাণ করছে রাজ্য তথ্য ও প্রযুক্তি বিভাগ

পশ্চিমবঙ্গের তথ্য প্রযুক্তি (আইটি) বিভাগের ফলতা এবং নৈহাটিতে ১২০০০ কোটি টাকা ব্যয়ে ইলেকট্রনিকস্ ম্যানুফ্যাকচারিং ক্লাস্টার ( EMC) নির্মাণ করছে। এর ফলে প্রায় ৩৭০০০ কর্মসংস্থান হবে।

ক্ষমতায় আসার পর মুখ্যমন্ত্রী মমতা বন্দ্যোপাধ্যায় তথ্য প্রযুক্তি, ইলেকট্রনিক্স ও টেলিকমিউনিকেশন উপর জোর দিয়েছেন। তদানুসারে, আইটি বিভাগ এই দুইটি EMCs চালু করেছে।

আইটি বিভাগের একজন কর্মকর্তার তথ্য অনুসারে, বাংলা ইলেকট্রনিক পণ্য ও আনুষঙ্গিক অংশ উৎপাদনের জন্য সবার ওপরে রয়েছে। ভবিষ্যতে রাজ্যের তৈরি ইলেকট্রনিকস পণ্য শীঘ্রই বাজারে আসবে।

ইতিমধ্যেই ইলেক্ট্রনিক্স বিভাগ, তথ্য প্রযুক্তি এবং যোগাযোগ মন্ত্রণালয় বিভাগ ফলতার EMC-এর জন্য ৫৮ একর জমি এবং নৈহাটির EMC-এর জন্য ৭০ একর জমির অনুমোদন দিয়েছে। ২টি EMC গুরুত্বপূর্ণ জায়গায় অবস্থিত – একটি ফলতায়, নদী হুগলি তীরে এবং হলদিয়া বন্দর থেকে প্রায় ২৭ কিলোমিটার  এবং অপরটি নৈহাটির  কল্যাণী এক্সপ্রেসওয়েতে অবস্থিত।

রাজ্য সরকারের তথ্য প্রযুক্তি কেন্দ্রের শাখা – পশ্চিমবঙ্গ ইলেকট্রনিক্স শিল্প উন্নয়ন কর্পোরেশন – একটি ক্যাপিটাল ফান্ড গঠনের প্রস্তাব দিয়েছে।

সরকারের শিল্প বান্ধব নীতি ও পরিকাঠামো পশ্চিমবঙ্গের বেশিরভাগ আইটি সংস্থাগুলো, যা সল্টলেকের সেক্টর ফাইভ ও রাজারহাটে তৈরি হয়েছে সেগুলিকে শিল্পবান্ধব পরিবেশ পেতে আরও সহায়তা করবে।