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.

Bangla Govt embracing infotech: E-governance, fintech, AI, student competitions, cyber security

Under the initiative of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, the State Government has embraced the use of information technology wholeheartedly. Every Bangla Government office, be they in Kolkata or the districts, is either wholly computerised or in the process of being so. The Government is also encouraging students to work on software technologies to create apps and other useful technologies.

E-governance has been made the norm. As a result, work has become faster – both for the Government offices as well as for the public being served.

All information technology-based aspects of the State Government are handled by the Information Technology & Electronics Department. Thus the department is playing a leading role in the digitisation of governance.

A report published by the McKinsey Global Institute last January had stated that Kolkata is poised to emerge as one of the top Indian cities and one of the epicentres of global financial activities by 2030. According to the report, by virtue of its relative proximity to Singapore and Hong Kong, Kolkata stands a bright chance of becoming a big IT hub.

The department is investing in the latest aspects of information technology. It has formed a core group which will interact with various stakeholders and prepare a repository of case studies of projects involving artificial intelligence (AI). Such cases will be taken up which can be adapted by various departments of the State Government.

The IT&E Department is coming up with is a Centre of Innovation. In an effort to give fresh graduates rent-free space for churning out ideas and designing innovative models, the department is setting up a Centre of Innovation at the IT park being built in Bantala, Kolkata. The blueprint for the centre has already been prepared. It will be functional from this financial year, and will have top academicians, scientists and industry members as its mentors.

The department is also encouraging software-based solutions from students, technical professionals and common citizens, particularly for the day-to-day problems of common people. For the last two years (2017 and 2018), the department has been organising Bengalathon, a competition for the development of apps for day-to-day needs.

Another sector the IT&E Department is actively promoting is fintech (short for ’financial technology’). Fintech is an emerging industry that comprises companies which use digital technology to provide financial services. These companies are involved in digital payment, automatic digital banking, share market analytics, insurance predictions and asset management.

The State Government has taken a leading role in developing fintech. A fintech hub is coming up in New Town, with plug-and-play infrastructure. Several companies have already rented space. The department came up with a stellar show at the Singapore FinTech Festival, held last November.

The department has already started working on emerging technologies like cyber security, blockchain, artificial intelligence, machine learning, animation, IoT (internet of things), Industry 4.0 (a standard), analytics, animation and e-sports. Summits are being held every month on different emerging technologies.

An important avenue of growth and safety that the State Government has identified is cyber security. It has set up a Cyber Security Centre of Excellence in order to successfully confront cyber crimes.

The cyber security centre collects, analyses and disseminates information on cyber security incidents, executes emergency measures, coordinates response, and issues guidelines, advisories and vulnerability notes. It also acts as a monitoring authority for the State, which looks at every single incident and incorporates the information for research and development.

Harnessing technology in the best possible way tops the Bangla Government’s priorities, and the above measures provide ample proof of that.

Bangla Govt introduces GEM portal for more transparency

To make buying by Government departments more transparent, the Bangla Government has introduced a model called Government e-Marketplace (GEM).

GEM is in the form of a portal. Details regarding the purchase of any stationery item by a department costing more than Rs 10,000 would have to be put up on the portal. All vendors of the Government would also have to be registered on the portal.

After the details are put up, online tenders would be issued. As happens with any tender, the vendor bidding the lowest amount would get the tender. About 4 lakh items would be available through this portal.

A special training was organised at Nabanna for officials of all the departments in batches, from August 6 to 10. Officials of the Finance Department provided the training. For each department, a nodal officer and two master trainers have been identified, who were provided the training. They, in turn, would train the colleagues of their departments who deal with procurement.

This is another fruitful step by the Trinamool Congress Government in making e-governance an integral part of the governmental system. Systems like e-tender, Integrated Financial Management System (IFMS), Government Receipt Portal System (GRIPS) and Human Research Management System (HRMS) by the Finance Department are up and running for quite some time.

From January this year, the process was started to make all Government offices into e-offices, whereby all paper documents of all departments are being scanned in a step-by-step manner and stored online, and easy retrieval systems being put in place.

Source: Bartaman

Research scholar chooses Mamata Banerjee’s life and struggle as Ph.D subject

Rejaul Hossain Islam, a student hailing from a farmer family has taken Mamata Banerjee’s life and struggle as the subject of his Ph.D. His topic is  ‘Charisma of Mass Leader Mamata and her Leadership’.

Rejaul will be pursuing his Ph.D. from Vidyasagar University under a guide.

Rejaul, a management student was born in Hatipota village in the Kalna block. His father is a farmer and his brother helped him to complete his MBA by supporting his brother’s education.

Reajul, who spoke exclusively to Trinamool Digital Media team, said that the research on Didi was his childhood dream. ” I am a management student. I have seen Singur and Nandigram movements. I have seen her management charisma. These are the things that inspired me,” he said.

Rejaul has now started getting stipend as a Maulana Abul Kalam Junior Research Fellow.

In an article published on Ei Samay, dated September 23, 2015, Rejaul said, his choice has been not a big issue as he had seen the movements made by Mamata Banerjee in his early student days.

“This is not the first time that a student of history or politics has shown interest in Mamata Banerjee’s struggle to end communist rule in Bengal. I’ve had the privilege of sharing her story with the students of Yale University and Columbia University in the US”, said the Trinamool National Spokesperson and Leader of the Rajya Sabha, Derek O’Brien.

Kalyani Analytics Hub raises industry hope

The proposed analytics city in Kalyani is likely to attract investments of more than Rs 3,000 crore in next three years. In the first phase, being developed over 52 acres off Kalyani Expressway, the hub will accommodate academic, residential and commercial centers apart from real estate projects.

According to Kallol Dutta, the immediate past president of BCCI, the original plan is to set it up on 250 acres. In that case, the investment will go up to Rs 6,000 crore.

Holistic solution to consumers

While MNCs in the field of banking, insurance, retail, telecom and automotive industries have in-house data and analytics facilities, there is no analytic hub that can provide holistic solution to analytics consumers. While a number of small boutique analytics service providers have come up in the country, the state is looking at bringing the majors under one umbrella.

With research facilities being proposed inside the city, there are proposals to tie up with the education institutions. Apart from universities in the country, efforts are on to tie up with foreign universities. Apart from organizing road shows, chief minister Mamata Banerjee will showcase the project during her visit to London.

Data and analytics, which require strong science, puts India in an advantageous position with a ready talent pool. “We have a large talent pool in Bengal who work in other cities. The analytics city will have access to the talent pool available within the state,” Sen said.


Excerpted from a story that appeared on The Times of India on 20.06.2015

WB Govt to set up a centre for research on renewable sources of energy at Howrah

The state government plans to set up a centre for research on renewable sources of energy at Howrah. A land near Howrah Maidan has been earmarked already. France has shown interest to collaborate with the state government on this project.

On Tuesday, Power Minister Manish Gupta had a long meeting with Francois Richier, Ambassador of France to India at New Secretariat. The ambassador praised Bengal’s initiatives to increase the production of renewable sources of energy.

A 1000 MW solar power project is coming up at East Midnapore. Raj Bhavan and several other heritage buildings are already using solar power. Purulia Pump Storage Project will also be using solar power.

Manish Gupta said that the research centre will come up on 20 kattah of land. He added that the government was interested to focus on scientific and technological ties with other countries. With this aim, the French government wants to collaborate with the State in setting up the research centre on renewable sources of energy.