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.