C: Syed Ali – Unsplash

Bengaluru: The Karnataka State government announced on Thursday a new information technology (IT) policy for the period 2020 – 2025 envisaging a total job creation of six million during the implementation period.

Deputy Chief Minister C N Ashwath Narayan who is also IT&BT minister announced the policy at a time when the global economy is going through the impact of economic recession and COVID-19 pandemic.

“The new IT policy has a vision to ensure Karnataka retains its leadership position in innovation and technology which should also pave the way towards sustainable and holistic economic development across the state through strategic policy interventions,” said Deputy Chief Minister C N Ashwath Narayan.

Expansion to new region

The Minister made it clear that the government will support the stakeholders in the IT & BT sectors to achieve the state government’s ambitious target of contributing around 30% to India’s goal of becoming a $1 trillion digital economy.

“During the policy period, we want to boost the IT penetration & innovation in the state holistically and to strengthen the ecosystem in new regions. This will definitely help us to achieve in generating over 60 lakh direct and indirect employment in the state during the policy period,” Deputy Chief Minister C N Ashwath Narayan said.

The following are the goals of the proposed IT policy:

  • To enable the State’s IT industry to contribute ~30% to India’s goal of becoming a trillion-dollar digital economy;
  • To achieve generation of 6 million jobs in direct and indirect employment in the State during the policy period;
  • To boost the IT penetration & innovation in the State holistically and strengthen the ecosystem in new regions;
  • To enable a remote, distributed labour force beyond Bengaluru, required for the IT industry; and
  • To evolve a State Cyber Security policy to employ the necessary Data Protection safeguards and create& sustain a safe and resilient ecosystem.
C: Andrea Leopardi – Unsplash
Goals In Expansion
  1. Infrastructure Development: Enhance infrastructure facilities to provide impetus to local industry and encourage investments and growth beyond Bengaluru
  2. Market Development: Facilitate and enable development of a thriving market for IT/ITeS entities by easing norms for public procurement, hosting IT and emerging technology events specifically beyond Bengaluru.
  3. Ecosystem Engagement: Promote innovation and encourage growth of upcoming industries by promoting investment, global alliances, R&D support and IP creation.
  4. Talent Development: Accelerate skill enhancement and nurture the talent pool by strengthening the existing initiatives and introducing strategic skill interventions for emerging technologies.
  5. Ease of Doing Business Enhancement: Facilitate and handhold IT/ITeS industry entities to help streamline procedures and enhance the overall experience of doing business in the State; put in place supportive mechanisms for better facilitation of incentives and other policy benefits thereby attract investments and growth.

Information Technology (IT) and Information Technology enabled Services (ITeS) industry in India, has emerged as a critical sector, steering India’s leadership position in the global landscape in terms of employment and economic value creation.

As such, India is now a global leader with 55% market share in the IT and Business Process Managament (BPM) service industry worldwide.

Indian IT & ITeS firms have over 1000 international delivery centers in 80 countries across the globe. India holds the reputation of being the Digital Capabilities Hub of the world, with close to 75 percent of global digital talent available in the country.

Karnataka has been the destination of choice for IT/ITeS leaders. Karnataka was ranked by NITI Aayog as the top state in India, in the India Innovation Index 2019.

Karnataka’s achievement in IT and BT sector
  • Karnataka is the IT hub of India and its capital Bengaluru is the fourth largest technology cluster in the world. Karnataka is the first state in the country to formulate IT Policy in the year 1997, which gave an impetus to the growth of IT industry in the State. Karnataka continues to be the destination of choice for the global Information Technology giants owing to various favourable factors including single-window clearance, industry-friendly Government, salubrious climate, the talent pool of highly skilled professionals, investor-friendly landscape, favourable law & order situation and cosmopolitan social life.
  • The Karnataka IT industry has emerged as one of the largest employment-generating industry in the State. 80% of global IT companies have their India operations and R&D centres based out of Karnataka. Quite a few IT industry giants were born in Bengaluru and have made a significant impact in promoting India as the destination of choice for IT all over the world.
  • Karnataka has formulated many policies to support the IT industry. The Millennium BPO Policy, 2002 was responsible for developing an investor-friendly environment for the BPO industry in the State and generating large-scale employment opportunities, especially outside Bengaluru. The Millennium BPO Policy of the State was adequately supported by the India BPO Promotion Scheme, with a focus on employment generation outside metros. Karnataka is the first state to set up a Council of Science and Technology (1975) and Department of Science and Technology (1980).
  • The Karnataka i4 (IT, ITeS, Innovation and Incentives) Policy was announced in 2014 to strengthen the thriving IT industry. The major achievements during the period 2014 – 2019 are listed below:

  1. Govt. of Karnataka, in association with industry partners, has created K-Tech Innovation Hubs across the State, including the Centres of Excellence. This ecosystem now spans across 58 institutions in 24 Districts across the State.
  2. Government of Karnataka in order to create a system of Global Innovation Alliances (GIAs) with countries leading in innovation and technology, set up Karnataka Unit for International Co-operation (KUIC), a dedicated international cell. KUIC prepares the broad strategy for interaction and collaboration with technologically advanced countries, curates joint international programs and tracks their development.
  3. Government of Karnataka has been organizing annually the flagship event ‘BENGALURU TECH SUMMIT’. This event has been a strategic platform for industries and technologies, worldwide to understand and to leverage the latest technology innovations and their repercussions on our businesses and daily lives. The event brings together technocrats, thought leaders, innovators, investors and policymakers across sectors, providing a platform for spirited multi-sectoral interactions and learnings.
  4. Close to 500 IT & ITeS entities have registered till date with the Directorate of Electronics, IT & Bt, Government of Karnataka for availing various incentives offered under i4 Policy.
  5. Department has issued validation certificates for 18 firms that submitted requests to avail Stamp Duty exemption.
  6. Department has issued validation certificates for 68 firms that submitted requests to avail industrial power tariff.
  7. 21 Projects were approved by SLSWCC / SHLCC under Single Window clearance, agency set up by the Department during the policy period. Subsequently, the Single Window Agency offering was brought under the purview of Karnataka Udyog Mitra of Commerce & Industries Department. Project investments of about Rs. 6728 crores were approved during the policy period, generating over 170,300 jobs.

This article first appeared in the NFA Post and is republished here with permission

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