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Kerala's draft IT policy released

Special Correspondent

State to support private initiatives in development of IT parks


  • Focus on e-governance, free software and development of technologies
  • Finishing schools with industry participation

    THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The draft information technology (IT) policy released by Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan here on Wednesday proposes to make Kerala a cradle of knowledge workers. It aims to upgrade the productivity, skill and knowledge levels of the citizen.

    Proposals include establishment of an International Centre for Free Software and Computing for Development, ITES Training Centre (in Kochi) and extension of Internet to all educational institutions and villages by 2010. Around 3,000 broadband-enabled information hubs called Akshaya e-Centres will be set up in difference parts of the State.

    The Government will support private initiatives to set up IT parks. Private IT parks that meet a minimum set of standards shall be promoted by the Government as an integral part of the State's IT infrastructure, if the parks desire so. The Government will expand Technopark in Thiruvananthapuram and Infopark in Kochi on its own accord and in partnership with private infrastructure providers. Focus areas include e-governance, free software and development of appropriate technologies. The State will network with national and international organisations and industry for research and development in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and knowledge sharing. The proposed Centre for Free Software will focus on developing technologies relevant for social and economic advancement in developing countries.

    The policy stresses that Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) will be used in e-governance projects. Open standards such as Unicode and Open Document Format and Open Architectures will be followed in e-governance projects to avoid total dependence on select vendors. The Government proposed to develop the State as the FOSS destination in the country. It will provide special incentives to companies developing FOSS. The policy says that the State will try to make maximum use of ICT in governance. Taking the Right to Information Act in its true spirit, the Government will take up ICT-enabled programmes for efficient flow of information between citizens and the Government.

    The Government will make use of all the media tools and emerging technologies to ensure proper communication between the Government and the citizen. The Government will promote the use of Web sites, e-mails and other news communication facilities in various Government and semi-Government organisations.

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