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India’s competitive advantage in Software sector is well known.  Within India, Karnataka has been a leading state in Information Technology and is known as Silicon State of India.

India reached $1.00 Billion mark in Software Export in 1997.  Just after 3 years later, Bangalore alone  has reached that mark.  Rightly so, Bangalore is called the IT Capital of India.

Karnataka offers several advantages for locating the IT companies in the State.

Technical Manpower :

Karnataka boasts of the best technical manpower in the IT in the IT sector.  The State has 77 Engineering colleges and produce over 29,000 engineering graduates every year.  Of these, 9775 graduates are from the IT related sector.

Higher Education

Karnatakas share in higher education is about 15% of the all India market.  The State education has pre-eminent educational institutions.  It is also has developed an excellent transparent system that attracts thousands of students from all over India as well as abroad.  For instance, this year’s common entrance test examination was attended by 100,000 students, out of which 45,000 students came from outside the Karnataka State.  Several special trains were run for the convenience of the students taking the examination.

The Common Entrance Test examination is conduct in the most transparent way.  The results are announced on the Internet and the admission to various colleges is carried out through sophisticated computerised system.  Every student gets to see a menu of courses and colleges and gets a chance to choose.  Students with higher rank get to choose their favourable college and course first.

Research Institutes :

The State has several important Research Institutes.  Indian Institute of Science is one of the most important place of higher learning that offers most advanced courses in Engineering Information Technology, Pure Science, Biotechnology etc.  Indian Institute of Management is one of the most premier institutes in India.  In addition, we have Indian Institute of Information Technology, Bangalore (iii-b) that has been set up by Government of Karnataka.

Iii-b :  This institute offers advanced Postgraduate and Doctoral courses.  The eligibility to take this course is a first class engineering graduation.  The institute has the governing council headed by Mr. N R Narayana Murthy, Chairman, Infosys Technologies Ltd.  The other member of the Governing Council are Mr. K V Kamath, m.d. & C.E.O., ICICI Limited.

Mr. Som Mittal, CEO, Digital Equipment Limited; Mr. Ravi Sankar, CEO, iFlex (formerly Citicorp Information Services Limited); Mr Dewang Mehta, President, NASSCOM; Mr. M R Rao, Director, Indian Institute of Science; Mr. B V Naidu, Director, STPI; Mr. Vivek Kulkarni, Secretary to Government, Department of IT; Professor Sadagopan, Director, iiit-b.

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The institute offers 3 semester courses.  The first batch began on September 15, 1999.  The students have now completed 2 semesters.  The students will be absorbed by the respective company where they would do an internship that begins in June.  All the 136 students of this institute have already been placed.  Some of the students are also going abroad for their internship. Companies like Infosys, Novell, GE, Oracle etc. have absorbed these students.  The next batch will start classes from July 15, 2000.


Right Place for Incubation

The State has the right ingredient for the Incubation for both Information Technology and Biotechnology.  The 4 ingredients as indicated by NASSCOM/McKinsey are Anchor Companies, Research Centres, Universities and Venture Financing.

Anchor Companies :

WIPRO, Infosys, I-Flex, TCS, Microland, Motorola, Satyam, Texas Instruments, CG Smith, Honeywell, CBSI

Research Centres :

ISRO, NAL LRDE, GTRE, CSIR, Raman Research institute, Centre for AI & Robotics.  The above mentioned is a partial list.  The actual list has more than 100 institutes.  Every institutes has contributed in its own way in the development of technology.  The ISRO has research capability comparable to the best in the world.  ISRO is responsible for development of several small companies and medium enterprises who have undertaken sophisticated IT projects for ISRO,

Universities :

Indian Institute of Science, Indian Institute of Management, Indian Institute of Information Technology.

Venture Financing:

Draper, KITVEN, ICICI, Ventures, IL&FS Ventures, Indus Ventures, CAN Bank, ICF Ventures.

Telecom Infrastructure :

The State has one of the best Telecom Infrastructure.  Right now 140 out of 175 taluks have been connected with the Fibre Optic Network.  In addition, Government of Karnataka has reentry created a policy in which any Telecom License holder will have Right of Way to set up its own network.  We have already received proposals from seven important players namely BPL, Reliance, Finolex, Lucent Technologies, Enron, Airtel, Zee Telefilms, Spectranet.  All these players plan to lay Fibre Optic Network all along National Highway as well as other routes in the State.  These companies will provide alternatives to DOT.  This will encourage many private entrepreneurs.  High Bandwidth is also likely to motivate housewives to come into the IT sector.  Once the connectivity improves, housewives will be able to work from their home.

e-Governance :

Karnataka believes in transparent and responsive administration.  The state has already implemented as well as planned several critical e-Governance projects.  Mukya Vahini is the decision support system for the use of Chief Minister.  Under the project “Bhoomi” (means Land in Kannada), 190 lakhs of records of rights have been completely computerised and these records will be made available for 60 lakhs of records of rights have been completely computerised and these records will be made available for 60 lakhs of farmers via the government functioneries as well as information kiosks.  The Government has also taken up the computerisation of treasury.  This project will mean the capturing every single government transaction and will provide transperancy and efficiency in Government accounts.  In addition, the Sate has several e-Governance projects for Commercial Taxes Department, KGID, Serriculture Department, Agriculture Department, Police Department, Marketing Board, Transport Department, Municipal Corporation etc.

Where IT Really Happens :

Karnataka has a pre-eminent position in IT Industry not only in India, but also in the World Map.  In fact, Bangalore was rated as one of the  “Top 10 Tech Cities” by the Newsweek magazine.  It was also considered as one of the “ top 10 Hot Spots” in a survey conducted by Business Week.

President Bill Clinton addressed the Joint Session of Indian Parliament as follows :

“You embraced IT and now when Americans and other big software companies call for consumer and customer support, they are just as likely to find themselves talking to an expert in Bangalore as one in Seattle”.

Global Investors Meet :

Karnataka is witnessing Global Investors Meet in June 2000, the month of the investors.  This month, the investors will be offered clearances on the spot and many projects will be cleared during this time.

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