Karnataka unveils new policies to boost ICT, hardware


Bangalore: The Karnataka government Monday came out with a revised information and communications technology (ICT) policy (version 2.0) and an electronics hardware policy to attract investors in the knowledge sector and promote tier-I and tier-II cities across the state as new investment destinations.

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“We will ensure that Bangalore and the state will remain a premier destination for global investments in the knowledge sector, especially in ICT, research and development (R&D) and electronics hardware,” Minister for Large and Medium Industries Murugesh R. Nirani said while releasing the twin policy documents at a function here.

The twin polices outline the government’s measures to create an eco-system for the consolidation and expansion of the software services industry in the state and fiscal incentives, including tax rebates, subsidies, stamp duty exemptions and single-window clearances for setting up manufacturing facilities for electronics products and components.

“To replicate the success story of our software sector in the hardware sector, we will set up four electronics hardware manufacturing hubs across the state on the outskirts of Bangalore, Mysore-Nanjangud, Hassan-Shimoga and Hubli-Dharwad. We have identified about 500-acres of land near these cities for the hubs,” Nirani said at a preview of the 14th edition of BangaloreIT.biz 2011, the premier technology event in this tech hub Oct 18-20.

The hardware policy envisages setting up the Karnataka Electronics Innovation Fund with an initial corpus of Rs.25 crore to partly finance entrepreneurs for developing vendor resources, including tooling for electronic products.

“In addition to the four manufacturing hubs, a 100-acre mobile handset manufacturing-cum-assembly will be set up in the IT Investment Region (ITIR) near the Bangalore international airport at Devanhalli, about 40 km from the city,” Nirani noted.

The state IT department will form a dedicated team comprising officials and members of the industry to promote the state as the preferred destination for investments in manufacturing electronic hardware products.

The policy also proposes to offer research grants for innovative electronic hardware products.

Under the revised ICT policy, the state government will set up a research hub in Bangalore with a prototype-cum-testing lab, with 50 percent state funding for setting up the required infrastructure.

“The policy encourages setting up innovation park on public-private partnership (PPP) model for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Bangalore and dedicated special economic zones (SEZs) for SMEs at Mysore, Mangalore, Hubli-Dharward, Gulbarga and Belgaum in the respective industrial areas,” Nirani pointed out.

The new ICT policy calls for decongesting Bangalore by developing satellite townships at Ramanagaram, Devanhalli, Hoskote and Bidadi.

“To build human capital, school and college curriculum will include soft skills such as communications and personality development. Similarly, centres of excellence will be set at 100 engineering and degree colleges in Bellary, Gulbarga and Shimoga districts to hone the skills of graduates for ready employment in the ICT sector in tier-I and tier-II cities,” Nirani added.