Kerala Government Unveils Ambitious IT Policy

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Thiruvananthapurm: Kerala’s IT policy 2017, tabled in the State Assembly by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, aims at creating one crore square feet of office space and providing employment directly or indirectly to 2.5 lakh people in the IT and IT-enabled Services (ITeS) sectors in the coming years.

Presenting the policy, along with sub policies in eight areas, Pinarayi Vijayan said the Government wants to make Kerala a 100 per cent e-literate society by 2020. “The State has the potential to break the digital divide prevalent in the country. So the policy is also about e-governance initiatives and bridging the gap,” he said. The eight focus areas in the sub-policy include digital inclusion, e-governance, ease of doing business, free and open source (FOSS) interventions and cyber security.

The draft policy outlines the State’s vision to tap resources of the co-operative sector and NRKs to develop IT parks. It also proposes to attract investments in the IT sector and create young entrepreneurs through Startup projects. It also moots consolidation of IT parks – Technopark, Infopark and Cyber Park – under the single brand, ‘Kerala IT’. “90 per cent of the State’s population have been enrolled in the Aadhaar card programmes. In this context, the government intends to implement the Know Your Customer (KYC) facility through Aadhaar-based biometric system. However, no government services shall be denied to beneficiaries for want of Aadhaar,” the Chief Minister said.

The vision document also proposes the constitution of a Kerala Digital Advisory Board to implement the IT initiatives in the State in a time-bound manner. Expecting a quantum leap in startups, the policy mentions about schemes to incentivise startups which involve offering funds ranging between Rs. 2 lakh and Rs. 25 lakh for eligible startup ventures.

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