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|December 8, 1998||
1999 is 'Information Technology Year' for MaharashtraMaharashtra Chief Minister Manohar Joshi today declared 1999 as the Information Technology Year for the state.
Briefing reporters at Mantralaya after the weekly cabinet meeting, Joshi said a decision to this effect was taken earlier in the day.
The inauguration of the 'Wired Village' project at Warananagar near Kolhapur in western Maharashtra will mark the beginning of the programme, he said.
Considering the worldwide scope and demand for IT, the state government will give full priority to this sector by providing infrastructure and machinery for entrepreneurs to invest in IT, he said and added that an exhibition and conference would be organised in Bombay in November next year for this purpose.
Measures like providing more basic facilities to the people, strengthening the existing ones and strict implementation of the decision would follow, Joshi added.
Detailing about the IT parks proposed by the state government, Joshi said the park would be set up on 200 acres at Hingorali near Pune, 70 per cent of which has already been reserved by industrialists for development, he said.
A 'Millennium Park' will be set up in Thane district on 20 acres, he said adding that the state government has booked some of the land for development.
Work on the software technology park in Nagpur is complete and its sale is on while another park called Pimpri-Chinchwad Navnagar would be developed on 100 acres at Pimpri-Chinchwad soon, he said.
IT should be included in school curriculum from June next year and the syllabus for is to be prepared by the education department, Joshi said.
Earlier, addressing a national conference on 'Electronics and information technology beyond 2000', Joshi said that the Santacruz Electronic Processing Zone is the first internationally known software export centre in India and it has been a pioneer in software development and export.
The conference was organised by the Maharashtra chapter of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
Electronic and software export through SEEPZ has been about Rs 10.62 billion during 1997-98.
Joshi said that there are plans to develop Pune as a major software centre because it already has renowned institutions like the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing.
Joshi said the government has decided to develop the Bombay-Pune belt as a knowledge corridor and added that a hardware park is also being developed on 400 hectares of land next to the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust at Donagiri in New Bombay.
Since Maharashtra contributes to about 60 per cent of the total export of hardware from the country, this industry is also being given priority in the state, he said.
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