Wednesday, 24 August 2011

New Bihar IT policy announced

It proposes to make all state government offices paperless by 2016 by connecting all departments, blocks and districts to statewide area network

Patna: The State Cabinet on Tuesday approved the new IT Policy for the state. With an aim to provide basic facilities to the people through various e-Governance applications, the new IT policy also proposes to make all state government offices paperless by 2016.

Briefing about the salient features of the new policy Cabinet Principal Secretary Ravikant said every department has been given task to prepare a road map for next five years.

To promote IT in government offices all block and district headquarters across the state will be connected with BSWAN (Bihar State Wide Area Network). It will help make government offices paperless, the Principal Secretary said.

It has also been proposed to post all ordinances, schemes and tender notices of different departments on the state portal.

Citizens would also be given facilities to submit all documents electronically. Departments which have overload of citizen services have to spend atleast 3 per cent of their budget on IT in the new policy.

A nodal officer would be appointed to act as link between the government and the IT Department. Websites will be preferred in Hindi and Urdu languages.

A Database of all the IT literate students will be prepared in consultations with the IT institutions, Universities, Colleges and IT companies. This database will be shared with the IT companies set up in the state to facilitate the employment of eligible candidate.

The policy envisions providing employment opportunities to 100,000 employable youths in the IT sector in the next three years. It is expected that 300,000 more indirect jobs will be created in due process in next three years.
Under the aegis of Bihar Knowledge Society the government will endeavour to develop 5 IT Training centre per district for imparting computer literacy and other short‐term certificate courses for training the unemployed educated youth in various IT skills in PPP Mode.

Under the new Policy State will create a Venture Fund with a corpus of Rs 100 crore to promote entrepreneurs to set up their innovative units in Bihar.

State would help IT/ITES companies by keeping all the computer equipments, spare parts, computer peripheral devices, other connectivity devices, network cables, etc. under common Sales Tax which would not exceed the Uniform Floor rate announced by the state government.

On case to case basis a special package of incentives will be offered for innovative and indigenous IT projects.

Such projects will be defined as projects creating employment of more than 1000 citizens in case of IT projects and 500 in case of ITES projects, the policy said.

The Bihar Communication Technology Policy 2011 - which sets 2016 as the deadline for all government offices to go paperless - addresses the larger objective of developing information technology (IT) in the state to attract investment and promote IT-related subjects in education and governance.

Ravikant said that the policy incorporated the best practices prevailing in other states, including incentives, subsidies and action plan.

To make all government departments go paperless by 2016, the policy mandates the earmarking three per cent of the total planned expenditure for IT. All ordinances, schemes, forms and tenders will be available on government portals and people will be allowed to submit documents electronically from a government IT centre, he said.

The IT policy promises to provide a roadmap for growth in the electronic hardware manufacturing sector, with emphasis on embedded technology, and also promote IT-enabled services.

Ravikant said those setting up electronic hardware manufacturing units would be entitled to a capital subsidy of 20 percent, up to a maximum of Rs.3 crore.

All IT and IT-enabled services will get relaxation from labour law provisions and will be allowed to operate in three shifts for working round-the-clock each day. They will also be beyond the purview of pollution control laws.



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