Telangana Growth Story Scripted by Investments and Innovations: Rekha Menon

 - Sakshi Post

Minister for ITE&C, Industries, and MA&UD, K. T. Rama Rao along with Chief Guest, Smt. Rekha Menon, Chairperson NASSCOM and Chairperson & Senior MD Accenture in India today unveiled Telangana’s 2nd ICT Policy at Hyderabad International Convention Centre at 12.30 pm. Hon’ble Minister ceremoniously presented copies of the policy to Mr. Joel Reifman, US Consul General, B.V.R. Mohan Reddy, Founder Chairman of Cyient, Stephen Raveendra, IPS, Cyberabad Police Commissioner, and V. Rajanna, Global Head, Technology Business Unit of TCS. Prominent industry and business leaders from different verticals, senior bureaucrats, and other stakeholders also attended the event.

In her address, Chief Guest Rekha Menon said, “Telangana’s growth story over the last few years has been scripted by the investments and innovations in technology. Their progressive policies have always set a benchmark, and the pathbreaking initiatives are the reason behind this spectacular growth. From an industry perspective, NASSCOM has had deep engagements with the state like with T-AIM, the Telangana AI Mission. Accenture also has a large presence in the state, with several CSR initiatives running in 5 districts and recently we supported the setup of a 120-bed CCU in Nizamabad. 

Big growth opportunities are coming up in emerging sectors – in SaaS, AI, e-commerce, quantum computing, etc., and these would require focused investments and combined efforts from business, technology, and government. To capitalize on this, the government already has put in place policies in the new ICT Policy that will help in creating structural changes. We are ready to collaborate with the government to make that happen.”

Hon’ble Minister for ITE&C, Industries, and MA&UD, K. T. Rama Rao spoke about how the state has performed since the launch of the first ICT Policy in 2016. He said, “The first ICT policy was announced in 2016 as a set of guiding principles for the ITE&C department. It set the strategy for the department and the goals for the growth in technology in Telangana for 2016-2021. I am glad to say that the ITE&C department has been successful at meeting the goals set out in the ICT Policy 2016 and in some cases even performing beyond the set targets. This has also shown a strong positive impact on the citizens, investors, and the government itself.

While the ICT Policy 2016 has helped Telangana propel itself from being a young state to one of the top achievers in the IT and electronics adaption, there is a need to rethink our approach after 5 years. The citizens of Telangana deserve to get better employment opportunities, better access to technology, and overall, a better quality of life that technology can enable. It is towards this that the government will work now in order to give the citizens what they deserve and to realize the vision of Golden Telangana.”

Mr. Jayesh Ranjan, Principal Secretary of, ITE&C Department, presented the features of the new ICT Policy to the audience. He said, “The second ICT policy might not seem very different from the previous one. This is because the first one has done exceedingly well and as the saying goes, why fix something that is not broken. The key aspect of this policy is that we want citizens to be at the center stage. Our focus will be on having our citizens as the biggest achievement of the government and the state.”

Over the last five years, the state has passed several milestones in the IT and Electronics sectors. Telangana has seen the highest annual growth rate in IT/ITeS exports in the last 5 years in the country. The Electronics Sector saw over 1.5 lakh jobs being created. Telangana has also developed a robust innovation ecosystem. Several new and growing technologies have been taken up by the Emerging Technologies wing in the state, and sectoral policies for Open Data, Blockchain, Data analytics, AI, Cybersecurity, Cloud adoption, and e-Waste management have been launched. 
Along with the launch of the policy, other milestone achievements including MoUs and new projects were also announced by the ITE&C Department:

MoU with Microsoft on Cloud and Cloud Assisted Technologies: 

Microsoft has a 23 years rich history in Hyderabad, Telangana, which is the home of one of their largest research and development campuses, contributing to the world-class cloud and IT capabilities. Through the MoU, they aim to support the development of the local ecosystem through startup programs and skilling initiatives. They will also continue to partner with and invest in the state to strengthen its digital infrastructure. Navteq Bal, Executive Director and Lead Public Sector, Microsoft India was present at the launch and quoted, “We’re deeply grateful for the continued partnership with the people and government of Telangana and are committed to contributing to the state of Telangana’s digital transformation journey, impacting lives.”
Across India, Microsoft’s existing deep investment includes three local data center regions and an innovative partnership with Reliance Jio, as well as 11 offices. They are closely aligned with the Digital India agenda supported with technology interventions and their Global Skilling Initiative (GSI) which have supported the skilling of 3 million people in India. 

National Centre for Additive Manufacturing (NCAM):

Telangana will establish the National Centre for Additive Manufacturing (NCAM) in partnership with MeitY under the National Strategy for Additive Manufacturing (3D Printing). The Center will be a comprehensive ecosystem of additive manufacturing in the country by enabling the adoption of additive manufacturing in the industry, prototyping new products and focusing on indigenization, access to state of art infrastructure, enabling research and development of standards and new product development, and promoting skill development activities to generate quality manpower. The governing council of the Centre, headed by Sri Ajay Prakash Sawhney, Secretary, MeitY, was announced at the launch. 

NextGenGov ‘Data for Policy’ Initiative with UNDP:

GoTS has partnered with UNDP to jointly initiate the NextGenGov ‘Data for Policy’ initiative on Food Systems. The aim is to incorporate anticipatory governance models for future-fit food systems in Telangana using data-driven policymaking tools and ecosystem-driven approaches.

Partnership with German Development Corporation’s (GIZ) FAIR Forward: AI for All: 

The collaboration focuses on two action items: 

The Emerging Technologies Wing and the FAIR Forward initiative have identified the top five use cases to apply artificial intelligence for enhancing sustainable agriculture and can have a Pan – Telangana impact on the agricultural landscape. The joint activity promotes the use and creation of public goods for AI and facilitates the creation of an open ML4EO (Machine Learning for Earth Observation) community to promote AI innovation for sustainable development. 

The Emerging Technologies Wing is an active part of the "Africa-Asia AI Policy Maker Network". This is an international peer-learning and training programme for and with AI policymakers from 5 African countries and the state of Telangana. In the 5-month programme, officials gain knowledge and skills needed to be successful AI policymakers, to identify relevant AI applications for government services, and to foster exchange across countries and continents

Launch of Startup Telangana Portal:

The Startup Telangana Portal aims to be the one-stop destination for the entire startup ecosystem of Telangana. The portal will cater to all startup-related services in a time-bound manner, including startup recognition, grievance redressal, mentorship, and incentive disbursement mechanism. Also, it will act as a central place for knowledge dissemination about the state’s support to the startups.

i2E Lab, a joint initiative of Telangana State Innovation Cell & Make Room India:

Innovation to Entrepreneurship Lab is a hands-on 14-week pre-incubation program that’s designed to further youth entrepreneurship by enabling youth to kick-start their startup journey. The program brings in the right mix of workshops, mentor guidance, government & startup networks to move ideas into viable businesses. The first cohort of the i2E lab program graduated 8 startups that collectively raised funding of INR 45 Lakhs and market access worth of INR 30 Lakhs.

MoU between Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts of India (ICFAI) and T-SAT: 

T-SAT will produce education content using the subject matter experts of ICFAI university. The classes are expected to benefit the students in rural Telangana by leveraging the faculty resources of the reputed university of ICFAI. This MOU is expected to bridge the learning resources gap/transfer of knowledge from urban private universities faculty to rural and resource-handicapped university/higher education students.

MoU Exchange with Mentor Together for Online Speed Mentoring Program:

Mentor Together is India’s first and largest youth mentoring organization with a mission to facilitate empowering mentoring relationships and networks for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. The objective of speed mentoring is to support students to learn skills that are essential for them to get into the workforce. Each student’s work readiness needs are different and hence having short and theme-based mentoring is important to help students to master the skills of their interest and need.

Launch of T-FACE (T- Fabless Accelerator through Cloud Enablement):

T-FACE is a virtual incubation platform for supporting the startups in VLSI/Fabless Chip designing space. VLSI/Fabless units are essential constituents in a Fab ecosystem. This is a Cloud platform nurturing the incubatees, mainly, in the 3rd generation or compound semiconductors technologies. It is being implemented with the active intervention of the industry.

Commemoration for Outstanding Entrepreneur in Digital Literacy Program:

The Digital Literacy scheme (PMGDISHA) is aimed at empowering the citizens in rural areas by training them to be digitally literate. In Telangana, 5.29 Citizens have been trained and 3.7 Lakhs citizens were certified at Gram Panchayat level. The state has recognized Sri. Ratlavat Shanker to be an outstanding Village Level Entrepreneur (VLE) under this program. He has trained 550 citizens across the 3 villages of Kalkonda, Brahmanpally, and Choudar Pally in Ranga Reddy District.

Commemoration for Outstanding Entrepreneur in Grameen eStore:

CSC Grameen eStore is an e-commerce initiative by CSC eGovernance Services India Ltd and a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) of the Ministry of IT, Govt of India to promote rural eCommerce by online ordering and delivery to the consumer doorstep, especially in the rural parts of the country at Gram Panchayat Level. This Initiative has been started from Telangana and is now scaled up across the country with 1.81 Lakhs eStores with 33.5 Lakh Deliveries worth 317 Crores. Telangana has over 3000 stores under this initiative. Sri. Kodikanti Venkanna, of Nagaram Bungalow village in Suryapet District, was awarded the eStore Business Achievement Award for having the highest sales of Rs. 2.64 lakhs in the last 4 months.

Salient features of 2nd ICT Policy:

A 5-point Vision statement was framed at par with leading countries to amplify Telangana’s status as a technology leader and innovator:

Digitally Empowered Citizens: Making citizens familiar with digital opportunities and ensuring that they are in a position to make the most of it.

Digital Government: To improve service delivery and public interaction through technology and digital skills.

Innovation & Entrepreneurship: To make Telangana the first-choice destination for start-ups and promote impact-driven solutions.

ICT as an Industry: To facilitate investments and create jobs in the Product, Engineering, and R&D fields.

ICT for Development: Use new and emerging technologies to develop solutions in order to improve the lives of citizens.

Telangana Government has identified the following 12 focus sectors:

IT/ITeS, Product development, Engineering, and R&D

4 Strategic Areas of Importance: Product Development, Engineering and R&D, Global Capability Centers, and Sustaining IT Services Ecosystem

The department shall support investors through an Investor Playbook, Advisory Committee, a Single Point Of Contact for project management, and by providing special incentives to SMEs and IT companies

Electronics

New focus areas of development: Consumer Electronics, EV & ESS, Solar Cells & Modules, Mobile Manufacturing, Telecom Equipment, Semiconductors, and IT Hardware

6 industrial parks catering to Electronics and allied sectors such as EV, New Energy Manufacturing, and LED products will be established

Develop 5 lakh sq.ft. of Plug and Playspace in phase 1 and 10 lakh sq. ft. in phase 2

Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Special focus sectors: IMAGE (Animation, Gaming & Entertainment), Life sciences, Agriculture, and Defence

End-to-end support to start-ups at all stages of development and a Government Investment Committee as a part of the start-up funding ecosystem

Founding new initiatives in Homepreneurship, School Innovation & Social Entrepreneurship

Skilling, Upskilling & Reskilling

Impart digital skill training to citizens with a focus on early-stage digital skills, cybersecurity, AI, and supporting IT skills

Improve employability through training in soft skills, and train to create job-ready employees in the Emerging Technologies industries

Utilize effective industry partnerships to provide online courses, foreign language training to students

Contactless, Paperless, and Presenceless Governance

Use technologies like AI, ML, Big Data and Blockchain to improve eGovernance experience

Real-Time Data Authentication of Identity and Digital Verification to fast-track verification processes for beneficiaries

Citizens Grievance Redressal Platform (Janahitha) to create effective communication between citizens and the government

Beyond Digital Infrastructure

T-Fiber to provide internet connectivity to 100% of govt. institutions, rural and urban households to enable services such as Education at home, Skilling at home, Healthcare at home, and Rural eCommerce 

At least one Digital Telangana Centers in each Gram Panchayat to provide G2C services, which will be maintained by trained Village Level Entrepreneurs 

Beyond Hyderabad

Attract investments to Tier 2 & 3 cities by working with TASK to provide training and improve the employability of citizens and strengthening relations with industry associations

Develop new ICT Hubs with Plug-and-Play model through PPPs to bring in investors to these locations

Happening Telangana initiative aims at improving general infra in these areas through the promotion of malls, schools, tourist attractions, and other leisure activities

Digitally empowered citizens

T-Consult, a telemedicine service, to be made available across the state

Provide access to new age technology-based solutions for Agriculture that can be learned at the Rythu Vedika Centres 

SHGs will be empowered with technologies such as Blockchain and AI to increase the effectiveness of the projects like SthreeNidhi

Emerging technologies

New high impact technologies: Additive Manufacturing, Space Technology, Robotics, and Digital Twins

Emerging Technologies will be deployed in government through the creation of Data Stacks, and by promoting Digital Public Goods

The TET Corridor to act as a Hub for CoEs or Technology Centers

Cloud-first policy

Cloud Center of Excellence to accelerate cloud adoption in the government by providing support and expertise across functions

Cloud adoption in the government through an empanelment model to ease the process of procurement of cloud service providers and price discovery

Technologies for urban living

Town Domain Services such as Smart lighting, smart water, smart education, smart healthcare, smart mobility, smart waste management, and smart tourism

Data-Driven Administration to monitor operations, quality and flow of elements such as water, air, traffic.

Emergency control including Smart ambulances, smart traffic systems and early crisis detection will be developed

ITE&C Department as the Tech enabler

TSTS to aid departments with hardware and software procurement, providing a digitally skilled workforce and digital consultancy services

T-WEB to make government websites and services secure, usable, user-centric and universally accessible

Data Analysis Wing to utilize data generated across departments and deliver data-driven services to citizens

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