Tuesday, Nov 12, 2002
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By Our Special Correspondent
The Chief Minister, Jayalalithaa, handing over the first copy of an E-commerce book to R. R. Shah, Union IT secretary, at a conference on IT/Software Industries in Chennai on Monday. Applauding are Ulrich Hiemenz, OECD Development Research Centre, Research Director, and D. Jayakumar, Tamil Nadu Minister for IT and Law (left). - Photo: Vino John
``A good domain for partnership among the Asian countries could be the location of the disaster recovery centres of their respective Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) operations in other Asian countries.'' She was inaugurating a conference on IT/Software Industries in Indian and Asian Development, organised by the OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) Development Centre and the Central and State Governments here.
``Tamil Nadu, especially Chennai, is the established gateway to South-East Asia and offers connectivity to international clients through several private communication providers. With the landing of the India-to-International submarine cable, a mega capability of over eight tera bytes per second communication connectivity, Chennai without doubt will become the BPO capital of the world,'' the Chief Minister said.
Ms. Jayalalithaa welcomed investors and reiterated that locating their operations in the State was not a cost reduction exercise but was a value-adding proposition. The State was chosen to hold the conference, and this was not a ``coincidence''. ``It is the result of deliberate choice and is testimony to the prowess of my State in the IT sector.''
Tamil Nadu was the first State to introduce a comprehensive IT policy and to place a draft policy for IT-enabled services sector on the web. It had also maintained an over six per cent growth in the State Domestic Product and continued among the top-ranked States in Human Development Index and Literacy.
But what concerned her was the skewed distribution of development. ``Several digital divides still exist, besides imbalanced regional and geographical development,'' she said. The Tamil Nadu Government had taken several steps to address these problems.
The Union IT secretary, R.R. Shah, said the Convergence Bill, expected to be passed by Parliament soon, was yet another step the Government had initiated to facilitate IT growth.
The Centre decided to release some frequencies for communication uses and right now the security implications of this move were being studied by two institutes one in Pune and the other in Bangalore. Once the institutes gave the green signal, a huge bandwidth between 2.4 and 2.48 KHz would be available for wireless communication.
The Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary, Sukavaneshvar, said the conference needed to look at issues including the factors responsible for the phenomenal IT growth and whether the benefits of economic development were spread across all sections.
The OECD Development Centre Research Director, Ulrich Hiemenz, said that ever since 1995, when the first official dialogue with India and the OECD began, the work of the centre in India had grown manifold. The relationship between the centre and developing countries was a two-way bridge, where the best practices were chosen to be replicated.
The Chief Minister handed over the first copy of a publication on aspects of IT development to Mr. Shah. About 200 delegates from nine countries are attending the two-day conference.
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