Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Mar 17:
Six more new Software Technology Parks of India (STPI)s are being planned in Odisha, Tourism Minister Ashok Panda, deputising for IT minister Pranab Prakash Das, told the Assembly on Tuesday.
The State Government also has a plan to make the state an IT hub by 2020, Panda said while answering a question by Congress MLA Naba Das during Question Hour today.
Expressing concern over the reluctance of IT firms in the state to employ Odia techies, Das wanted to know the number of Odias employed in IT firms based in the state.
“In the last 14 years of your rule, how many Odia engineers did you enrol in your skill development program? You gave them land, infrastructure and tax benefits. My direct question to the minister is how long would you fool the people in the name of skill development?” Das asked.
BJD MLA Amar Prasad Satapathy also took up the matter and pointed out that the companies are not hiring people from the state as they find them incompetent. He wanted to know if the government had insisted on any condition to employ local people before providing land and other facilities to companies that have set up shop here.
Panda answered that there are 108 software companies operating in the state have givien employment to 13,384 people of whom as many as 9849 were Odia.
“We are trying our level best to launch a skill development initiative for engineering graduates during their final year campus placement through the Employment Mission. This will empower them technically, so that they can face the tests of IT majors such as Infosys, TCS, WIPRO etc once they are on the job,” said Minister Panda.
An IT hub has been planned in the state by 2020, besides six more Software Technology Parks. There are four parks in the state right now in Bhubaneswar, Rourkela, Brahmapur and Balasore.
It may be noted that earlier IT Minister Das had announced the setting up of six more parks at Jaypore, Sambalpur, Jajpur, Angul, Rayagada and Bhawanipatna on September 30, 2014.
The centre had also accorded in-principle approval for setting up the six parks in Odisha, taking the number of such parks in the state to 10.