STPI contributed hugely to IT growth: Raja

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Gwalior, Jan 23 (UNI) Union Information Technology and Communications Minister A Raja today claimed that the Software Techonology Park of India (STPI) had made a major contribution towards the country carving a niche for itself in the global IT arena.

''When STPI was established in 1991, the sector's export was a mere Rs 50 crore but it is now Rs 220 crore,'' he said while addressing the foundation stone-laying ceremony of an STPI unit at Ganga Malanpur here. Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan was chief guest.

Mr Raja highlighted the need to take information technology to the rural level so that the country could progress in the true sense of the term.

''After developing IT in major cities, the Centre has decided to decentralise it and STPI units are being established in 50 towns.

The Indore results are encouraging. In the next step the government will set up STPI units at rural level so that IT development reaches the common man,'' he told mediapersons here. STPI units are set up prior to establishing IT parks so that basic infrastructure for IT parks is available.

Emphasising on making education employment-oriented, Mr Raja added that IT was the best alternative for achieving that objective.

''With the setting up of an STPI unit here, Gwalior will come into the category of IT facility-equipped towns. The unit will be ready in 18 months and IT companies will flock here,'' he said while advocating a safe atmosphere for advent of industry.

Mr Chouhan said that IT special economic zones would come up around STPI units and three major companies had provided assurances in this regard.

''Ninety-five per cent IT units are directly linked to STPI that has 48 units in India,'' said STPI Director-General Bharat Bhushan.

UNI XC-AC 2144

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