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|September 30, 1998
Zasha Penn in Bombay
Last week IBM announced that it would make Rajasthan the first 'e-state' in the country. On Monday, Tata-IBM, Big Blue's joint venture in India, signed a memorandum with Andhra Pradesh for building an institution to promote the concept of 'electronic governance'.
What has happened in the last fortnight is a result of IBM's efforts to sell in India its expertise in electronic governance that it has accumulated through various government projects across the world.
The software for this will be initially installed at the office of the chief minister. This is part of Tata-IBM's ongoing efforts to usher in the automation for various state governments across the country in support of the IT Task Force's recommendations.
Colleary met Rajasthan Chief Minister Bhairon Singh Shekhawat and discussed the introduction of e-business recently. It was decided at the meeting that IBM would assist the state government in setting up a Global Institute of Electronic Business and Governance.
Such education has now become mandatory to build IT-trained human resources, he claimed.
Colleary said IBM is committed to making a sizeable investment in the state by providing adequate technology and resources. He hoped that once Rajasthan went electronic, it would be able to look across its boundaries.
Colleary revealed that IBM had been working on this project for the last couple of months. "We would continue to give new technologies and training for their effective use. We believe that if e-business is adopted by the government of Rajasthan it would establish an excellent precedent for other state governments," he said.
Asked about the IBM's strategy in India, Colleary said his company would work with state governments and software developers now that its business is growing significantly in the country.
Tata-IBM is poised to become a billion-dollar company by the end of the century, he claimed.
Rohit Singh, director, computer centre, Government of Rajasthan, said that it has also been decided at the meeting that IBM would give inputs as courseware to the engineering colleges and universities running MCA courses.
This would result in students getting an internationally acclaimed certificate and better standing in the IT sector. IBM has already started a programme on Java at the Birla Institute of Technology, Pilani, Rajasthan. It has also amended a programme in Hindi Java.
On Monday, in New York, Tata-IBM CEO Ravi Marwah and Andhra Pradesh Department of Information Technology Secretary R Chandrasekhar signed a memorandum to build an institution to promote and research electronic governance.
A government statement says the state appreciates the need for creating electronic governance concept centres that would serve as a think tank and resource institution with experience on issues related to effective use of information technology in governance.
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