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Thus have we seen in visions of the wise !."
Tamil Poem in Purananuru, circa 500 B.C 

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Home >   Tamil Digital Renaissance  > Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.Karunanithi


Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Kalaingnar M.Karunanithi
on Inaugration of Tidel Park for IT industries in Chennai 
July 2000

[Hear also Kalaingnar M. Karunanidhi, Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu
- Special Address at Tamilnet'99 Conference, in Real Audio]

KarunanithiWe are in the dawn of the Information age. Information technology is poised to become the technology of the future. The development of information Super Highway's based optical fibres, VSAT Networks, cable TV Networks, the integrated voice, data and video links has made the world a global electronics is expected to reach about US $1300 billion by the year 2000. With the value addition growing at 6% annually, the Indian Electronic Industry is expected to reach a production level of US $ 20 billion by the year 2000.

In recent years, Tamilnadu has emerged as a major recipient of investment and become one of the most favoured investment destinations particularly for Foreign Direct Investment. Several multinationals such as Ford motors of USA, Hyundai of Korea, Mitsubishi of Japan and Saint Godain of France are setting up their base in Tamilnadu. This is because of the state Government's investor-friendly industrial policies which have been able to provide a healthy and productive environment for foreign investments. Tamilnadu's other advantages such as good infrastructure facilities, excellent corporate culture, highly skilled affordable manpower and cordial industrial relations make it an important destination for Information Technology Industries.

Out of the 23,000 engineers who graduate every year from Tamilnadu, 13,000 are from information technology-related disciplines, coming from institutions of excellence such as Indian Institute. of Technology, Chennai; Anna University; PSG College of Technology, Coimbatore, etc.

Software exports from Tamilnadu have increased from a mere Rs. 36 crore in 1994-95 to a phenomenal Rs. 400 crore in 1997-98 and continues to grow at a CAGR of over 70%. The hardware exports in the year 1997-98 are in excess of Rs. 700 crore. With over 15,000 professionals presently working in Tamilnadu, we have one of the largest pools of software professionals in the country.

Realising the importance of Information Technology as a key to rapid industrialisation of the State, Tamil Nadu government has recently introduced an innovative and industry-friendly Information Technology policy.

Infrastructure Development has always been on top of our agenda in Tamilnadu and the new Information Technology policy addresses this concern by encouraging the setting up of state-of-the art hi-tech parks. These parks will be equipped with full fledged facilities with adequate provision for software developments well as space for non-polluting hardware units, commercial and residential areas, schools, convention and business centers as well as the connectivity required for global communications. To this end, ELCOT and TIDCO have floated a new company called Tidel Park Limited to develop 1.00 million sq.ft. of space for IT industries in the heart of Chennai at Taramani at a cost of Rs. 280 crores.

Taking note of the need for skilled manpower for IT, Tamil Nadu government has taken a major initiative in setting up the Tamilnadu Institute of Information Technology [TANITEC] as an Institute of Excellence for producing high quality manpower. TANITEC has been set up as a company to facilitate participation of private IT companies in its management. We are very keen that major IT players participate in this innovative Institution so that Tamilnadu can be in the forefront in developing the skills required for this important sector.

VSNL is in an advanced stage of implementing augmentation facilities from Chennai. For this purpose, they are installing another Standard-A earth station at Ambattur. Also under installation is a Standard-B antenna which will provide both data and video uplinking facilities. These facilities costing about Rs. 60 crore are to become operational by early next year. DoE has also come forward to set up an earth station in Chennai.

I am sure that these initiatives would go a long way in strengthening our telecommunication infrastructure so essential for this industry. We are indeed very happy that the National Task Force of the Information Technology has selected Chennai as one of the 5 centres for setting up of a hi-tech habitat in rural hinterlands with modern telecom and communication infrastructure for a flourishing IT manufacturing base in the country.

Another major initiative taken by us is the setting up of TamilNadu Venture Capital Fund to provide Venture Capital Support to fledgling software companies which would give a special impetus to the growth industries in Tamilnadu. We hope that this Venture Capital fund is utilised by IT players planning to set up their operations in Tamil Nadu.

Tamilnadu is as of now the third most industrialised state in India. Not content with this, we have initiated a series of policy measures aimed at enhancing our competitive edge through requisite interventions. We are revamping our industrial policy with the sole objective of moving up further and reaching the top slot as expeditiously as possible.

At the same time, in conscious recognition of the critical role that the sunrise sectors, viz., biotechnology and information technology are going to play in the coming decades, we are providing a facilitating environment to orderly and speedy growth of these two domains which will help us claim our rightful place into the 21st century.

The growth of these sectors will usher in an era of prosperity for the whole state of Tamilnadu apart from benefiting the investors in industry in Tamilnadu.



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