INFO-TECH
Policy moves to boost IT sector in Maharashtra
 

The Maharashtra Government has accorded a top priority to information technology with a resolve to become a front-runner in infotech revolution. The state government's policy initiatives in this regard were announced by the Hon'ble Governor, Shri P.C. Alexander, before the joint session of the state legislature on Monday, the 13th March. 

The government also expressed its commitment to provide an efficient, transparent and responsive administration through infotech and said that gram sachivalyas will be provided connectivity in phases. 

On industrialisation, the governor said that Maharashtra continues to be the leading industrial state and added that nearly 7,268 industrial entrepreneurs' memoranda with an investment of Rs.1,50,220 crore have been filed in the State. 

The State-a leader in the co-operative sector —has recently taken a decision to set up the Maharashtra Cooperative Finance and Development Corporation to give further boost to industry. The Corporation with a 51 per cent government equity will finance establishment of financially viable new projects, capacity expansion, modernisation and rehabilitation of sick units. On infrastructure development, Shri Alexander said that the government has already taken up the construction work on Mumbai-Aurangabad-Nagpur highway. It will also take up the work of Mumbai-Talasari expressway on build-operate-transfer basis. 

The government plans to create an additional irrigation potential of 2.46 lakh hectares during the current fiscal. The state government will continue to approach markets to raise funds required for the completion of various irrigation projects undertaken by the previous alliance government. 

The government has sanctioned Rs. 21.60 crore towards subsidy for small and marginal farmers as the Corpus fund under the revised National Crop Insurance Scheme. 

India is 4th largest PC market in Asia

India has emerged as the fourth largest buyer of personal computers (PCs) in Asia Pacific after China, Korea and Australia with one million units shipments in 1999 according to the US based Internatioal Data Corporation (IDC). 

The Indian market recorded a growth of over 42 per cent which was supported by home consumers, small businesses and falling price points in the price-sensitive market. 

The PC market in the Asia-Pacific surpassed 14.1 million units in 1999, registering an increase of 35.1 per cent over 1998. 

Britain ready to fund seminars and scholarship programme for IT

Mr. Peter Hain Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs during his visit to India in November 1999 announced a programme of British Government funded seminars to take place during the first half of next year. Titled "Get Connected", these seminars will bring together University IT, R&D experts from the UK with their Indian counterparts with the aim of spawning new, innovative and mutually beneficial Indo-British partnerships. 

The British Government will comit $ 120,000 annually to this projct. Mr. Hain invited those repesentatives of the software industry who consider co-sponsoring these scholarships. British officials will be looking at the possibility of reverse scholarships of bringing young British IT professionals to India for similar courses, and Mr. Hain expressed the hope that Indian IT companies and academic institutions would consider scholarships, as the mutual benefits could be very great.