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`Develop low-cost IT tech indigenously'

Our Bureau

KOLKATA, Jan. 23

THE West Bengal Chief Minister, Mr Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, has stressed upon the imperatives for developing indigenous and low-cost IT technology and applications. Such technology and applications should provide direct benefit to the people at large, he said in an address to the sixth annual exhibition of Computer Association of Eastern India (Compass) here.

Mr Bhattacharjee said the IT community could not rest on the laurels of its earnings from export of customised software. It would be necessary for it to develop software products and systems, too.

He urged the IT community to develop voice activated computers that could understand vernacular languages. This would facilitate greater use of computers by the common man. Adequate research should be done to benefit from emerging convergence technologie s, too.

On its part, the West Bengal Government had adopted a multi-pronged strategy to facilitate the growth of the IT industry in the State. With seven lakh sq.ft. of area in the Salt Lake Electronics Complex here already taken up by companies, the State Gover nment has decided expand the complex by adding another 15 lakh sq.ft. within the next two years.

Besides, a new IT complex would be set up at Nonadanga near here even as an agreement has been entered into with Software Technology Parks of India for the setting up of an earth station at Salt Lake.

To facilitate e-governance, a joint venture -- for an applications services provider -- would soon be formed between West Bengal State Electricity Board and Tata Consultancy Services. A pilot project has been embarked upon for a wide area network connect ing the state headquarters and the districts for exchange of data, voice and video-conferencing.

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