The much awaited report submitted by Dr. C Rangarajan to the Chief Minister of J&K on Mar 03, 2011 at a function organized at SKICC, Srinagar is ICT negative. It is discouraging for the Local ICT sector which has been in the survival mode since it's birth in the State in early 90's. The recommendations made by the Information and Communications Technology Association (ICTA) of J&K during their interaction with the Rangaran committee in December last year, have been overlooked completely in the report.
ICTA had recommended measures for strengthening the Local ICT industry by adopting a simple policy of ensuring allocation of IT projects to the local ICT companies of the State to boost local employment, but the Prime Minister's Economic Advisory committee has completely chosen to overlook the matter as it involves loop holes of the State Government wherein they bypassed the tendering process of implementing the Central Government's E-governance plan for setting up of 1109 Com-unity Services Center throughout the length and breath of State for making Government Services available to the common man through these centers. The State Government bypassed the tendering process the instead of giving the project to Local ICT companies, gave it to the Jammu and Kashmir Bank Limited for reasons best known to the Government. All the other State's in India saw a massive boost to the Local ICT sector in the respective State's during the implementation of the CSC project. But J&K chose to involve a financial institution for implementing ICT projects and thus snatching the major share from the local companies which could have otherwise provided an opportunity to the local companies to grow their business and provide employment to thousands of IT Skilled youth in the State.
Rangarajan report recommends brain drain of the youth of J&K to other parts of India. The private companies will provide training to the youth at 50% expense of the State and Central Government and absorb them back into their companies. There will be no direct economic impact of this in our State. The Government will keep on shelling out money from the State to outside companies for ICT projects, like it has been doing in the past decade. Rather than creating programs for capacity building of the existing ICT companies to increase their capacity for generating employment, the Rangarajan committee has proposed to provide employment to the youth of J&K within other parts of country.
If this has to be the case then let the State Government invite such Committee's from other countries as well. From USA, from UK, etc. Let foreign investment flow into J&K, train our youth and absorb them in their companies abroad. The State government is preparing ground for selling human machines.
If the Government really cares to create avenues for growth for the local ICT sector, then it should take positive steps to ensure the allocation of the SDC and SWAN project to local ICT entrepreneurs in J&K and help to build their capacities and generate abundant avenues for their growth and employment of skilled youth within the State.That will only only boost the Local ICT industry but also create long term sustainable employment for the skilled youth in the ICT sector.