INFOTECH


Software market to grow by 35% this fiscal

The domestic software market will grow by 35 per cent to $2.3 billion or Rs. 11,000 crore during the current financial year, according to the latest NASSCOM projections. Revenues last year, 1999-2000, stood at $1.7 billion or Rs. 7,200 crore. This is projected to grow further to $3.5 billion or Rs. 16,000 crore in 2001-02.

The domestic market by the year 2007-08 is expected to grow to $37 billion.  Speaking at a press conference in Mumbai on 6.12.2000 NASSCOM President, Shri Dewang Mehta said, “e-Governance and e-banking are emerging as the key areas of growth in the domestic software market and these issues will be taken up on a priority basis at the forthcoming NASSCOM 2001 IT event slated to take place between February 7 and 10. NASSCOM 2001 is an annual IT event organised by the association to showcase the Indian IT world and this year the event will focus on projecting India as the originator of leading edge technologies which are used globally”.

India and Brazil sign MoU for collaboration on IT

India and Brazil have signed an MoU institutionalising a framework for co-operation and collaboration in the Information Technology sector. The MoU formally establishes a Task Force on IT and will focus on high technology activities in the IT sector. The areas identified to explore mutual co-operation between the two countries are as follows: 

  • Research Design and Development of IT; 
  • Electronic Commerce; 
  • Electronic Government; 
  • Exploring third country markets; 
  • Information Security and cyber crime and 
  • Banking automation. 
One of the key features of the MoU is the proposal of developing the human resource component through virtual education. The MoU was signed by Shri Pramod Mahajan, Minister for Information Technology and Parliamentary Affairs, on behalf of Government of India and Minister for Science and Technology, Mr. Ronaldo Mota Sardenberg of the Brazilian Government during Shri Mahajan’s visit to Brazil recently.

The MoU also focuses on the mutual interest between the two countries to identify components that would act as a catalyst to promote the growth of investments, joint ventures, joint initiatives, technology and markets in the IT sector. It also intends to implement a technology and industry co-operation programme between the two countries fostering B2B linkages to facilitate trade and development.

Brazil is the largest IT market and has emerged as a major hub of the IT industry in Latin America.   A number of states in Brazil are keen in forging commercial tie-ups with Indian Companies in the software sector.   In the Indian context the Electronics and Computer Software Export Promotion Council has been sensitizing Indian IT industry to the potential of co-operation.

India’s software exports to Brazil have doubled in 1999-2000 and are estimated to be Rs. 14 crores as compared to Rs. 7.7 crore in 1998-1999.    

Spectra Net connectivity for DSIDC cyber cafes

Delhi State Industrial Development Corporation Limited (DSIDC) and Spectra Net, a subsidiary of the Punj Lloyd group, on 5.11.2000 signed an agreement whereby Spectra Net will provide broadband connectivity, to DSIDC cyber cafes with the aim of providing e-governance in Delhi.

The agreement was signed by Shri J.P. Singh, Chairman and Managing Director, DSIDC and Shri Atul Punj, Chairman, SpectraNet. 

No majority foreign stake in digital signature certification

The companies authorised to enable digital signature certification cannot have more than 49 percent foreign equity. No company, in which, the equity share capital held in aggregate by the non-resident Indians (NRIs) foreign institutional investors (FIS) or foreign companies, exceeds 49 per cent of its capital, shall be eligible for grant of licence.

The companies, aspiring to become certifiers, should have a minimum paid up capital of Rs. 5 crore and net worth of Rs. 50 crore. Besides, the companies will also be required to furnish a bank guarantee or a performance bond of Rs. 10 crore for acquiring the licence. The applicant will be allowed a month’s time to furnish the guarantee after the approval of the licence. The guarantee should be valid for six years. 

Even individuals can acquire licences to become digital signature certifiers, provided they are Indian citizens, have a capital of Rs. 5 crore, and can furnish Rs. 5 crore bank guarantee.

The government had recently approved the Information Technology (IT) Act 2000, which has given legal recognition to the electronic records and digital signatures. According to the Act, digital signature certificates will be granted and recorded by independent agencies.   

Punjab labour law amended to boost IT

The Punjab government has initiated steps to declare IT/software industries as “public utility service”. Thus, relevant sections of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 have been amended to give a boost to it. This step has been taken to prevent flash strikes.

The state government has also declared that women workers can be employed round-the-clock in service-oriented IT units.