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TCS Gujarat SEZ to be ready by 2008

Virendra Pandit

Initiative with State Govt to train students on `hot' technologies


Talent upgradation
The company is working to develop one-lakh square meters in two blocks located just opposite InfoCity near the State Capital.
Suryodaya initiative would be provided financial assistance as part of corporate social responsibility.

Ahmedabad , Sept. 29

The 20-acre Special Economic Zone being developed by the IT behemoth Tata Consultancy Services in Gandhinagar district will start functioning in about 18 months from now and emerge as a showcase for information technology destination in India, a company official said today.

Mr Abid Ali Neemuchwala, TCS' General Manager and Head (Western Region), told Business Line here that the company is, at present, working to develop one-lakh square meters in two blocks located just opposite InfoCity near the State Capital. This facility would be 2,200-seater and work for applications development, software, Information Technology and IT-enabled Services (ITeS). The Gujarat Chief Minister, Mr Narendra Modi, and the TCS Chief Mr S. Ramadorai, laid the foundation for this facility in January this year.

Earlier, he also announced a unique public-private partnership in India by entering into an agreement with the Gujarat Government to upgrade technology talent by imparting short-term programs in `hot' technologies to about 3,000 engineering students across 34 colleges in the State.

The joint programme, to be conducted by the Departments of Education, Science and Technology and TCS, will help students upgrade their technology and programming skills, enhance communication and presentation skills, in areas like Java technologies, which are in demand currently. This joint initiative, christened as "Suryodaya" has been launched State-wide following a successful two-day pilot project involving 1,200 students across 10 colleges last month.

Satellite Facility

He told a press conference here that the initiative had been undertaken by the company as part of its "corporate social responsibility" to give back to the society. In IT, the rate of obsolescence is very high and even experts are required to keep themselves constantly updated. Under the initiative, TCS will use the EDUSAT-Vande Gujarat, a satellite facility at the Bhaskaracharya Institute of Space Applications and Geo-Informatics (BISAG), Gandhinagar. The three-month annual programme, to be conducted for three hours on week-ends, would have 10 sessions on Java basics, four on quality in IT and software development life-cycle concepts and another four on soft skills like communication, presentation and interview techniques.

Gujarat Informatics Ltd and BISAG will co-ordinate with institutes, enrol students and help provide the required video conferencing/ audio facilities, IT laboratories and support infrastructure. On the other hand, TCS will design the course content, provide faculty, course materials and guidance to students through e-mails and telephones and conduct exit test for issuance of co-braded certificates. TCS will also review and recommend course revision of select universities.

Suryodaya Initiative

TCS, the consulting, services BPO and engineering services organisation, employs 73,000 people, including 1,000 in Gujarat. Its consolidated revenues in 2005-06 were to the tune of $2.97 billion. It was spending 4 to 6 per cent of its revenue on research and development and 2 per cent on corporate social responsibility and content development.

TCS has been working with numerous academic institutions across India as part of its academic interface program, as an effort to address issues pertaining to global IT needs and involves regular interaction with academia to help develop the right kind of manpower resource base to meet the evolving demands of the industry.

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