The Bihar government will organise an information technology conclave in Patna on September 13 and 14 to showcase the work being done to make the state an investor-friendly destination for IT companies.
Deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi, who also holds the information technology portfolio, made this announcement on Thursday.
“We are trying to ensure participation of (former Infosys CEO and former UIDAI chairman) Nandan Nilekani in this mega event and efforts are also being made to ensure participation of CEOs of major companies of the IT sector,” Modi said in Patna.
The government has taken three major steps to make Bihar an investor friendly destination for the IT sector.
The first pertains to developing an IT tower near Dakbungalow square in Patna. The process of selecting a consultant for executing the project is in the final stage. The main purpose of setting up this tower is to provide a ready-to-use space to the IT companies.
The state government is going to set up an IT park at Bihta, around 35km southwest of Patna, on a 25-acre plot. The process of handing over the land to the IT department is in the final stage of approval.
There is one more ambitious project on the anvil: setting up an IT city on a 91-acre plot in Rajgir.
“The purpose of developing these facilities is to provide a ready-to-use space to the IT players as per their requirement. The input received during the IT conclave would play an important role in shaping these facilities,” Modi said.
In addition, the state will also have its first software technology park in Patna which would be ready for use in the next three to four months. The park will have space for 300 persons to work.
Plans are afoot to develop similar facilities at Bhagalpur and Darbhanga. The land for setting up the tech parks at Darbhanga and Bhagalpur has been identified and the acquisition process is in the final stage. The government is also keen to have trained manpower for the IT sector. The Patna branch of the National Institute of Electronics & Information Technology (NIELIT) would have its full-fledged campus at Bihta where space would be available for 2,000 students for residential training programmes. The branch is presently running from Biscomaun building in Patna. Plans are afoot to open NIELIT branches at Muzaffarpur and Buxar as well and land would be made available for these soon.
For next month’s proposed IT meet, christened Hackathon-cum-IT conclave, the state government has also roped in the services of consultancy firm KPMG which has provided a project management unit (PMU) that would render its services for three years.
“Apart from helping us in branding the event, the management unit has already started liasing work for major IT players. This team would also help us in contacting the prospective investors post-event,” IT secretary Rahul Singh said.
The government will also woo prospective investors by organising special programmes in IT hubs such as Bangalore and Hyderabad.
“Along with officials of the department, I too would take part in such events. We would organise these events after due consultations and these could be organised either before the conclave or even after that,” minister Modi said.
The deputy chief minister was candid enough to accept that Bihar had lagged behind in the IT sector and failed to attract investments like many other states have, but he maintained that the efforts being made now would deliver good results.
Industry was cautious in its reaction to the government’s efforts to attract IT investment. Bihar chamber of commerce and industries president P.K. Agrawal said: “The government should first ensure participation of serious players in the conclave. It should also have a monitoring mechanism in place for assessing the outcome of the efforts.”