The Jig Saw

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Nasscom '05: Rural India calling

Tuesday Feb 8, 2005

MUMBAI: Addressing the inaugural session of Nasscom 2005, IT Minister Dayanidhi Maran and Chief Minister of Maharashtra, VilasRao Deshmukh appealed all IT companies to make IT viable for the masses, especially in rural areas. Nasscom 2005: India Leadership Forum, kick-started in Mumbai on February 8, 2005.

In his keynote, Maran said that there is a need to invest in IT education at the grass root level. "Taking IT to the masses should bridge digital divide and since India is a multi lingual country, software companies need to make cost-effective applications in different Indian languages," he added.

"There are still a host of areas that require our undivided attention, major pieces in the ICT industry puzzle that need to fit in and a significant number of market segments where our industry still needs to stake a claim and strengthen its credentials," he further added.

Maran also said that, Internet penetration needs to grow by leaps and bounds. Currently, Internet growth in India is limited by low PC penetration, which in turn is inhibited by the high prices of computer hardware. The government is working closely with the industry to ensure that PC costs come down rapidly and Internet access devices are within the reach of the ordinary citizen.

Deshmukh insisted that the state IT policy is being revised to boost infrastructure and all the hotspots including airport would soon be well equipped to cater needs to all the visitors coming and investing in Maharashtra.

Earlier addressing the gathering, Nasscom chairman Jerry Rao apart from his wish list, asked for better infrastructure which has always been a major cause for concern among IT and ITES companies.


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