Lalzama announces 'IT Vision' for Mizoram

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Aizawl, May 20:Mizoram Information Technology Minister Dr Lalzama today asserted that establishment of an effective telecommunication system, creation of an IT park and a world-class Indian Institute of Information Technology were among his top agenda.

The IT Minister claimed that the ruling Mizo National Front (MNF) was the forerunner in the state in the field of IT and bamboo industry.

He said Mizoram was one of the most advanced states in the IT sector in the Northeastern region and asserted that the new initiatives taken up by the MNF government would help the state march ahead.

He said owing to the inefficient telecommunication system in the state, the people had to face frequent breakdown of mobile services, internet banking and broadband services.

''The students are the worst sufferers as they do not have wide access to resources and we can not set up Business Process Outsourcing (BPOs) and other IT-enabled Services like call centres and medical transcription owing to the poor telecommunication system,'' the Minister stressed.

To overcome these problems, the Minister said, the Power Grid Corporation of India had been assigned to undertake fibre optic connectivity in Mizoram.

''Work will commence within the next three months to connect Mizoram to the two nearest points, either Kumarghat (Tripura) or Badarpur (Assam),'' Mr Lalzama said.

All the districts and blocks in the state are to be connected through fibre optics.

Besides, 71 mobile towers are being planned to be installed under the universal service obligation funding that would benefit even the remotest rural areas to access mobile connection.

''We are determined to install an international gateway once we have access to good and reliable connectivity,'' the IT Minister told reporters.

Moreover, the state government was looking at setting up Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) in Mizoram, the Minister said, adding that the Business Standard Reporter had identified Mizoram as one of the best locations for IT.

The Minister also proposed a one-stop-shopping-centre-cum-IT park in Mizoram, preferably near the Lengpui Airport.

''Once the IT park is set up, multinational companies will rush to Mizoram thereby creating job opportunities for our youth,'' Mr Lalzama claimed.

On the question over a bureaucrat or a technocrat heading the upcoming IT department, the Minister said a clear-cut decision had not yet been taken.

''If we reserve the top post strictly for a technocrat, there could be a problem as we are short of eligible technocrats. We will make the recruitment rules in such a way that both a technocrat or a bureaucrat can head the department,''he said.

However, the Minister strongly recommended that a technocrat was the best option for a technical department's head.

UNI

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