Monday 30 November 2020

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Infrastructure | InfoTech

Goa best for IT, but where's the manpower ?

 

Non-availability of skilled and experienced local manpower is the biggest hurdle the information technology sector is presently facing to exploit the utmost potential Goa is having to develop the sector.

"We can boast of having the utmost conducive atmosphere for developing the IT sector in the tourist state, but for the required skilled workforce", observes Sudin Naik, president of the Goa Small Industries Association.

Jumping from the annual revenue of mere Rs 50 crore in 1998-99 to the projected figure of not less than Rs 1100 crore next year, the IT industry in Goa plans to take a big leap forward.

Compared to the software exports of mere Rs 75,000 in 1995-96, Goa has now already crossed export figures of Rs 15 crore, though it is still less than one per cent of India's total software exports.

But the Goan small entrepreneurs have been planning diversification to the IT sector here also because it is cost effective as well as involving hardly any bureaucratic hurdles. "It is far more better than importing raw materials and also searching for the market outside Goa to make any industry survive in the tiny state", admits Naik.

Keshav Kamat, MD of Kamcom Systems Pvt Ltd, has praises also for the Department of Telecommunications, which has made the ISDN and even video conferencing facilities available here with optical fibre network in order to make it highly efficient.

"But where is the skilled and experienced manpower ? In spite of having the best potential in Goa, we are forced to import the manpower from the neighbouring states", states Vivek Mordekar, a software developer entering the arena.

Including the Goa University and private polytechnics, Goa offers diploma, degree and post-graduation courses in almost eight institutes while over 80 privates institutes are also run by around 15 computer training institutes like NIIT, Datapro, Wintech and Tulec of national repute, having around 200 students each.

"But these degree courses are totally outdated, due to which students have to then again opt for private education", points out Mordekar. Even the faculty in many institutes is found to be not to the required stature, he adds.

The blame once again comes on the government here, which has done very little in this direction after setting up a separate directorate for IT and preparing IT policy for the state along with stalwarts like NASSOCHAM president Devang Mehta.

An official in the directorate, who refuses to be quoted on the matter, however admits that nothing has been done from the government side in order to create local manpower for the industry, which is crying for the trained local personnel.

The GSIA however has now pulled up its sleeves by organising IT exhibition including a seminar on e-commerce this week, in order to generate awareness among the young entrepreneurs as well as IT professionals.

Tall claims are made in the IT policy even to the extent of providing internet connectivity to all schools by 2000 and making three-month IT course compulsory at college level. But hardly anything is being done to train even the 50,000 educated unemployed of the state, to attract them towards the IT sector.


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