Indian IT to go rural

By Vidya   |   Wednesday, 28 February 2007, 06:00 Hrs
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NEW DELHI: The Indian Government has decided to include its rural citizens into the growing phenomenon of the World Wide Web. According to The Economic Survey conducted by the Govt. of India, a proposal to establish 100,000 Common service Centers (CSCs) in rural areas has been formulated.

The CSEs would help the rural population in accessing the services offered by both State and Central Governments. Using broadband connectivity they will be connected with the State servers that in turn would be linked with the national network.

An outlay of 57.42 billion has been approved for this through Public Private Partnership (PPP) of which the share of the Central Government and the State Governments would be Rs 8.56 billion crore and Rs 7.93 billion, respectively and the rest would be from Private partners. The Survey states that the Government has initiated a move to make available tools and fonts in various Indian languages freely to the general public. Tamil, Hindi and Telugu software tools and fonts have already been released. All Indian languages are expected to be covered in the next one year.

The Survey further noted Software and ITES exports from India to be at an estimated $23.4 billion during 2005-06 climbing 32 percent from the previous year. The software and ITES exports from India grew from $12.9 billion (Rs 582.4 billion) in 2003-04 to $17.7 billion (Rs 782.3 billion) in 2004-05.

In terms of employment, total number of professionals employed in this sector grew from an estimated 284,000 in 1999-2000 to 1,287,000 in 2005-06. The industry's contribution to GDP rose from 1.2 per cent in 1999-2000 to an estimated 4.8 per cent in 2005-06 as global software giants such as Microsoft, Oracle and SAP established their captive development centers in India.

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