Manipur: The IT hub of Northeast India!

Imphal, Jan 10: The demand for the Information Technology or IT sector anticipates a general need for developing and great investment on the field and Manipur has come on top through multiple projects and schemes which has rightfully made it the IT hub of Northeast India.

Information Technology (IT) has touched various chords of existence so much so that the different ways of doing and conducting business have undergone a sea change in Manipur. Though a small state, Manipur has been at the leading edge of the best practices by learning from experiences and by adopting appropriate technology for laying the foundation of infrastructure.

The Department of Information Technology (DIT), bifurcated from the erstwhile Department of Science and Technology in 2009, which is responsible for implementing various IT related projects, schemes and more importantly promoting e-governance in the state has made tremendous effort whereby enabling, empowering and transforming the society though IT. Apart from DIT, the Manipur State IT Society has been acting as the State Designated Agency for taking up National e-Governance Plan (NeGP) projects to make all the government services accessible to the people of the state.

Prior to the inception of DIT, the Government of Manipur had already started to boost the IT sector in the state with the publication of the Manipur IT Policy 2003. In the year 2004, Software Technology Parks of India, Imphal Centre was established with the objective to provide Industry Standard Connectivity and Incubation space to the IT firms of the state.

In pursuance of the flagship programme ‘Digital India’, the Department of Information Technology has established a State Data Centre (SDC) which aims to improve the core infrastructure of IT in the state and is responsible for hosting of websites, e-governance applications and data of the State Government. The State Data Centre operates on a 24×7 mode and is presently hosting the Application software of the Crime and Criminal Tracking System (CCTNS).

Under NeGP, State Wide Area Network (SWAN) was established for connecting the State Headquarter to the district Headquarters (expect for Imphal West and Imphal East which are co-located with the State HQ) and 19 Block HQs where Optical Fibre Connectivity of BSNL is available. Expanding the SWAN connectivity, the DIT strives to establish a robust and fast network to support the Digital India initiatives by connecting all the government offices of the state in one single network.

DIT has been successful in establishing 599 Common Service Centres (CSC) under NeGP in a geographical spread of 1 CSC for every 6 villages. The CSCs would act as Facilitation centres and the Front End to all online Government services. To fulfill the vision of providing Government services and digital literacy to the citizens in an easy and convenient manner through remote access through computer network or mobile services, DIT has commissioned a State Portal, State Service Delivery Gateway and e-Forms with online services and payment gateway. Realising the dreams to strengthen the IT sector, Manipur becomes the first State in the country to complete all four infrastructure of NeGP, i.e. SWAN, SDC, CSC and State Portal & SSDG & e-Forms.

The State Government is taking a pro-active role in formulating projects with an intention of building up awareness for IT Industry like, standardization, development and revamping of websites. Thus, Government of Manipur has set up a 50 seater State of art e-Governance Training Centre at State Academy of Training, Takyelpat. Capacity building and training programmes on e-Governance of various levels of Government functionaries from Ministers, Members of Legislative Assembly, Senior Officers and officials of various departments are being carried out from time to time.

Another major activity of the Department of Information Technology is the completion of the e-District project that would provide online application and issue of certificates like birth and death certificates, OBC certificates, income certificate, domicile/permanent residential certificates etc. The Department has introduced e-cabinet for a completely paper-free, automated, and digital form of Cabinet meetings.

The people of the state will get benefits of IT as the Government has set up an IT SEZ (Special Economic Zone) in February 2014 at Mantripukhri. The Government of Manipur has also established Manipur IT SEZ Project Development Company, which will be the SPV for setting up and operating the Manipur IT SEZ. The Manipur IT SEZ would encourage exports oriented projects and products from reputed IT industries including their auxiliaries and start-up firms.

A total area of 1.4 lakhs sq. ft. has been notified as IT SEZ and would employ about 2000 skilled IT personals. The Government has set up and commissioned an IT Park at Mantripukhri in July, 2015. Five IT firms are already operating out of the IT Park. Manipur is now poised to be a preferred destination of being an IT/ITES and ESDM hub in India. Alongwith the IT Park, Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT), Manipur was also established and the first Academic session with BE in Computer Science and Electronics and Communication was commenced on July, 2015.

The Government of Manipur, in response to the Government of India’s flagship programme ‘Digital India’, Digital Manipur was formulated to promote e-Governance in the State. Under the ‘Digital Manipur’, DIT act as then Nodal Agency to facilitate and coordinate with all the Departments in Manipur for the implementation of e-Tender projects viz. construction, procurement, supply etc. To have greater transparency and accountability in governance, the State Government has introduced three mobile applications.

The ‘Louchapathap’ app, ‘GPF Manipur’ app and Computerized Personal Information (CPIS) app deals with land records, jamabandhis and dag chitha, to help state government employees to check their GPF and other balance sheets and providing the details of all state government employees covering the entire period from joining to retirements including promotions respectively. Pensioners and vehicle registration related issues can also be availed through SMS services.

Manipur is gradually positioning itself as an ideal Hub of IT/ITES/ESDM clusters to develop, proliferate, sustain and grow. The road of travel is a long haul, a drive that is exciting, a journey that manifests itself as path of realization of dreams. Manipur stamping itself as a major knowledge exchange Hub with exchanges happening to enhance productive capacities. The State invite big and small industries to be a partner with the State and together be a witness of History- the history of scripting Manipur as a vibrant IT Hub.

(Source: E-Pao)

(Featured Image Source: Internet/ Representational)

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