By Manas Panda
On the occasion of the Digital India Anniversary…
The Digital India programme is a flagship programme of the Government of India with a vision to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy.
This was launched by the Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi, on 1 July 2015 in order to ensure the Government’s services are made available to citizens electronically by improved online infrastructure and by increasing Internet connectivity or by making the country digitally empowered in the field of technology. The initiative includes plans to connect rural areas with high-speed internet networks. Digital India consists of three core components: the development of secure and stable digital infrastructure, delivering government services digitally, and universal digital literacy.
Through Digital India Program, several initiatives have been taken for introduction of Information Technology to empower people in areas relating to health, education, labour and employment, commerce etc. Digital India Week has been launched with an objective to impart knowledge to people and to empower themselves through the Digital India Programme of Government of India.
‘Digital India‘ campaign, aimed at creating a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy and the programme comprises of various initiatives, each targeted to prepare India for becoming a knowledge economy and for bringing good governance to citizens with number of key initiatives.
The vision of Digital India programme aims at inclusive growth in areas of electronic services, products, manufacturing and job opportunities etc. It is centred on three key areas –
- Digital Infrastructure as a Utility to Every Citizen
- Governance & Services on Demand and
- Digital Empowerment of Citizens
Pillars of Digital India
Digital India is an umbrella programme that covers multiple Government Ministries and Departments. It weaves together a large number of ideas and thoughts into a single, comprehensive vision so that each of them can be implemented as part of a larger goal. Digital India aims to provide the much needed thrust to the nine pillars of growth areas, namely Broadband Highways, Universal Access to Mobile Connectivity, Public Internet Access Programme, e-Governance: Reforming Government through Technology, e-Kranti – Electronic Delivery of Services, Information for All, Electronics Manufacturing, IT for Jobs and Early Harvest Programmes. Each of these areas is a complex programme in itself and cuts across multiple Ministries and Departments.
As part of this, Ministry of Electronics & IT (Meity), Government of India has launched India BPO Promotion Scheme (IBPS) under the Most Ambitious Digital India Programme. It seeks to give Incentives to the Industries for establishment of more than 48000 seats in respect of BPO & ITES operations across the country. The scheme is implemented by Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) across the country.
It is distributed among each State according to State’s population with an Budgetary outlay of Rs. 493 Crore. This has helped in capacity building in smaller cities in terms of creating IT infrastructure & generating manpower and has become basis for next wave of IT/ITES led growth.
The main objective of India BPO Promotion Scheme for creating employment opportunities and balanced regional growth of Information Technology and IT Enabled Services (IT/ITES) Sector in each State.
India BPO Promotion Scheme provides the Capital & Operational financial supports with overall cap of Rs. 1 Lakh/seat in the form of Viability Gap Funding to eligible Companies, to encourage the growth of the IT/ITES Industry through BPO/ITES operations.
Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) has been entrusted with important role of the implementing agency for this scheme on behalf of Ministry of Electronics & IT, Government of India.
The implementation Status of IBPS in State of Odisha is exceeding well surpassing the State share. Odisha was earlier allocated 1900 seats under IBPS Scheme, out of which around 2832 seats are allotted to 20 successful companies for setting up of their ITES/BPO operation in the State to set up the BPO operation at places like Bhubaneswar, Puri, Cuttack, Jaleswar, sambalpur & Balasore etc. fulfilling the objective of the Scheme creating Employment opportunities for rural youth.
In coming days, India BPO Promotion Scheme will transform the Rural and small towns of the country to join in the IT revolution creating vast opportunities for employment of our youth and creating quality infrastructure at small towns of the state.
It is heartening that BPO units have been established at rural towns like Jaleswar, Sasan, near Balasore fulfilling the objective of the Scheme creating Employment opportunities for rural youth.
In coming days, India BPO Promotion Scheme will transform the Rural and small towns of the country to join in the IT revolution creating vast opportunities for employment of our youth and creating quality infrastructure as envisaged under Digital India Program by Government of India.
It is pertinent to mention that, Software Technology Parks of India (STPI), under the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology, Government of India was set up with distinct focus of promoting IT/ITES/ESDM Industries and boosting the export Software and IT services from the country. Over the last two decades STPI has played a seminal role in growth of IT/ITeS industry and has been strongly instrumental in developing India as a Software IT outsourcing hub and contributing substantially to the GDP.
Over the years STPI has put new milestones in IT exports of the State with around Rs. 4000 Crores of exports from the State.Since inception, STPI being a pioneer in promoting the IT/ITES Industries specially the Start ups, MSMEs & SMEs which has become a catalyst for their sustainable growth. STPI is working in the forefront for bringing entrepreneurial revolution, start-up and innovation and becomes a key driver for several of the flagship programs of Government such as Digital India & Make in India. STPI is working closely with State Governments, Industry and Academia for promotion of innovation led entrepreneurship with a focus to propel the growth in IPR generation and product development as well as boosting IT exports and employment generation across the country.
At present, STPI has 59 Centers across the country including three STPI centers at Bhubaneswar, Rourkela & Berhampur in the State of Odisha and fourth STPI centre at Balasore is ready for operation. STPI is in process of creating around 1 million sq.ft. of incubation space across the country for benefit of IT/ITeS/ESDM industry and dispersal of the industry to even smaller locations. In the State of Odisha, STPI is creating around 2 Lakhs Sq.ft Incubation space for incubating the SME/MSMEs & Startups in order to propel the growth in IPR generation and product development.
In order to build leadership and next wave of budding entrepreneurs in the emerging sectors of technology, STPI with support from Ministry of Electronics & IT, Government of India and State Governments is setting up Centre of Excellences (CoEs) in specific domain spread across the country. Among the notable CoEs, Electropreneur Park and Virtual & Augmented Reality (VAR), Fabrication Lab at Bhubaneshwar are being set up for accelerating innovation, enabling industry-oriented research, promoting adoption of data-driven decision making by enterprises, enabling appropriate skills & talent development in specific domain as well as creating a right Eco system to attract Industry.
STPI-Bhubaneswar has planned a number of new initiatives under Digital India Program which would help in revolutionizing changes in the IT sector of the state. STPI is successful in its endeavor, contributing to a greater visibility which State of Odisha enjoys today in IT sector of the State.
(Mr. Manas Panda is currently serving as the Director of STPI, Bhubaneswar)