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Uttar Pradesh’s ‘Next Chapter’ —IT & Electronics: Akhilesh Yadav

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Akhilesh Yadav, Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, says that bringing growth to the state’s IT and electronics industry is a key priority for his government. He wants to focus on empowering the youth of the state by overcoming the digital divide and creating new institutions for skill development

The IT City Project in Lucknow was inaugurated in October 2014. Since then, what kind of progress has been made in the project?

The IT City in Lucknow is being developed in the Public-Private Partnership mode with HCL IT City on 100 acres of land in Lucknow. This initiative will have an investment of close to Rs 1500 crores from the private sector. The number of direct employment opportunities that we expect to be generated from the project will eventually go up from 3000 to around 25,000, once the construction of the entire IT City is completed. The indirect employment that the IT City generates will be twice the number of the direct employment opportunities. We have given the IT City Lucknow the status of Special Economic Zone (SEZ). The IT Units coming under the IT City will be eligible for all the benefits and incentives available under UP IT Policy 2012. The construction at HCL IT City project site is under progress. By October 2016, the Skill Development Centre (SDC) and a Hostel facility, for around 200 students, will be operational.

In what areas of Uttar Pradesh do you expect maximum amount of investments in IT?

Noida and Greater Noida are already regarded as premier IT destinations in India. IT companies like HCL, Wipro, IBM, Accenture, Adobe, and electronics companies like Samsung, LG, Lava, Vivo mobiles and many others are having their development centres in this area. Several IT, ITeS and electronics companies now are moving into the Yamuna expressway area due to the excellent infrastructure that is being developed there.

We are sure that the three EMCs at Yamuna Expressway and Greater Noida will be the next major electronic manufacturing hubs in the country—here the world’s leading electronics, mobile manufacturing companies will be establishing their manufacturing units. The state government is also promoting other Tier-II & Tier-III cities such as Lucknow, Agra, Meerut, and Gorakhpur. HCL has already started constructing a 100 acre IT City in Lucknow.

The Government of Uttar Pradesh unveiled the new electronics policy in 2014. What kind of response are you having from the industry on the policy? Also, please tell us about the progress that is being made in the development of electronics clusters.

Currently we have very high demand for electronics products, and the Uttar Pradesh government is keen to ensure that a significant part of this demand is met through electronics industry based in the state. We have come out with a unique Electronics Manufacturing Policy 2014. The policy provides incentives like capital subsidy, interest subsidy, land rebate, VAT/CST exemption and it also provides for thrust on the availability of quality and reliable power and the development of world-class infrastructure. Associations like Indian Cellular Association (ICA), Electronics Industry Association of India (ELCINA), Indian Electronics & Semiconductor Association (IESA) have expressed interest in investing in Uttar Pradesh. MOUs worth more than Rs 5000 crores have been signed. There is constant growth in demand for electronics products in all sectors like telecom, medical, automobile, consumer electronics and there is lot of scope for the electronics industry in Uttar Pradesh to grow manifold.

What kind of progress is being made in the setting up of Electronic Manufacturing Clusters (EMCs)?

The land identification and in-principle approval for setting up two EMCs of 100 acres each, one at Yamuna Expressway and other in Greater Noida has been obtained. Recently, the state government signed a MoU with TEEMA (Taiwan Electrical & Electronics Manufacturing Association) for 165 acres of land to enable the TEEMA member companies to establish their manufacturing units. We are witnessing a tremendous demand from the electronics industry, so the government is now going to establish a third EMC of 100 acres at the Yamuna Expressway.

The Information Technology and electronics industry can be one of the largest generators of good jobs for the youth. What kind of job creation do you see in the technology space?

IT and electronics sectors have traditionally been the biggest employers. The IT cities, IT parks, start-up incubation centers and EMCs that we are setting up will lead to the generation of large numbers of new jobs. Since the IT and electronics sectors have to be supported by the allied industries such as engineering services, R&D, metal and chemical, embedded system design, telecom, hospitality, logistic and transportation, infrastructure, education, and many other sectors, the growth will be seen in almost all the sectors of the state’s economy and there will be a very healthy growth in employment opportunities for the state’s youth.

What steps are being taken by the state government to develop infrastructure that will enable the youth to develop the necessary skills in IT and electronics?

Uttar Pradesh has the privilege of having India’s reputed centres of learning like the IIT Kanpur, IIIT Allahabad, IIM Lucknow and many other engineering colleges. Skill development has always been a top priority of this government. We have already launched the Laptop Distribution scheme for improving the digital capabilities of the state’s youth. More than 15 lakh laptops have been distributed to meritorious students from financially weak sections of the society. This initiative is helping us bridge the digital divide. Uttar Pradesh Skill Development Mission (UPSDM) is implementing a first of its kind integrated skill development training programme for youth, aged between 14 to 35 years, across 75 districts in the state. UPSDM aims to provide skill development training to over 2.3 million youth by 2017. We also aim to provide these youth with gainful employment opportunities.

A 24 hour Woman Power Line has been started in Uttar Pradesh. What kind of impact is the helpline having?

The 1090 Women Power Line has been initiated by our government to empower women by making use of technologies like mobility and Internet. This first-of-its-kind service for women has been developed to function alongside the existing system of policing. The programme is for the women and by the women. The focus of the initiative is not so much on apprehending or convicting the offenders, as it is on deterring potential offenders and raising awareness on woman safety related issues. Women need to stand up and speak about the crimes against them. While the victim is not required to come to the police station anymore, 1090 keeps them posted with the progress that is being made in regard to their complaint.

Modern police control rooms have been launched in some cities of Uttar Pradesh. What are the main features of these police control rooms?

Currently we are having Modern Police Control Rooms at Kanpur, Lucknow, Ghaziabad and Allahabad. All of them are functioning satisfactorily. Now we have decided to establish a State Control Room in Lucknow. This control room will provide services to all the 75 districts of the state. A high official committee has been constituted to execute this plan. Through a sustained publicity campaign, citizens are being encouraged to ask for police help simply by calling 100. Thereafter, the police setup automatically ensures appropriate action. With these systems in place, people don’t find it difficult to get a FIR registered. The police stations use modern systems like voice logging, GIS maps and customised software for recording complaints. The process of dispatch of police units makes use of latest technologies and is highly efficient.

What is your message to the potential IT and electronics investors in Uttar Pradesh?

Uttar Pradesh offers many advantages for investors. The state has high growth rate, abundant resources, skilled manpower, rising consumer demand, expanding infrastructure, and it has a government that is keen to enable the IT and electronics industries to grow. We are committed to making Uttar Pradesh the most attractive investment destination for IT and electronics industry. The government of Uttar Pradesh is continuously coming up with new policies for improving the business environment in the state. My message to the IT and electronics companies of the world is that it is time for them to start investing in Uttar Pradesh.

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