Kerala sector is named for Highest telephone density, Highest rural telephone density and Higher literacy and socio – economic development indices. State level Information Infrastructure in place to deploy G2C, C2G, G2B, B2B and B2C applications opts significant and unique opportunity for industry·
Kerala Telecom Circle Serves the whole of Kerala State, the Union Territory
of Lakshadweep and part of Union Territory of Pondicherry (Mahe). The
Circle has 11 major Secondary
Switching Areas (SSA)s
and one minor SSA of Lakshadweep. Out of the 11 major SSAs, five are headed
by Principal General Managers and seven are headed by General Managers.
Lakshadweep minor SSA is headed by a Telecom District Manager. Kerala
Circle has an impressive record performance in telecom sector and Kerala
has the rare destination of being the first State in the country having
all automatic telephone exchanges. Kerala Circle becomes the first State
to provide Public Telephone facilities in all Panchayat headquarters.
Kerala is also the first State to provide Public Telephone in every village,
by 1995. Kerala has the unique status of providing STD facility to all
telephone exchanges. The number of telephone connections working is 60.96
lakhs (Landline – 36.03, WLL – 4.33 and Mobile 20.60). The
Kerala Telecom circle has the 2nd largest telecom network out of 24 territorial
circles in the country. The
major mobile connection providers in Kerala are Idea (24.01%), BSNL (21.08%),
Reliance( 17.33%), Vodafone (17.17%) and Airtel (14.27%).
Even though the emergengence of IT industry had been late in Kerala, the Government is keen to play a promoter role for the development of IT/ITES industry within the State, as it is ideally suited for a state with quality social infrastructure and excellent physical connectivity.
The IT Policy 2007 of the Government of Kerala provides an outline of how to evolve the State into a knowledge society with sustainable economic growth with equity, social harmony and high quality of life. The policy notifies the increased usage of free software as one of the vehicles for realising this goal. Other major objectives of the new IT policy are setting up of finishing schools to increase the quality of HR, bridging the digital divide, strengthening of e-governance, increased handholding to small and medium IT units, promotion of R&D and prevention of cyber crimes.
In all the 14 districts of the state, government is setting up quality IT parks on the basis of a Hub and Spoke model with the three major cities Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Kozhikode as major IT hubs with spokes spilling over to the districts neighbouring these cities.
As a result of efforts of Kerala State IT Mission (KSITM) to promote Kerala as a major ICT destination, the state has attracted major IT companies, like STPI–T, Kinfra IT parks, SEZ are being strengthened and an integrated IT complex is to be established as part of a growth strategy for the ICT industry in Kerala. Investment Promotion and Management Cell in KSITM registers and administers the incentive scheme for IT units under the IT Policy of Government of Kerala.
Smart city,a joint venture between the Government of Kerala and Dubai Technology, Electronic Commerce & Media Free Zone Authority (TECOM), at Cochin and Technocity on the outskirts of Thiruvananthapuram are is a one stop solution for the ever-increasing demand for space of IT companies. The Kochi project with Rs.1700 crore budget would generate 90,000 jobs and is expected to catapult Kerala to become one of the leading IT destinations in the country.
The Smart City together with Technocity, another project on IT infrastructure coming up in Thiruvananthapuram, will certainly result an investment destination for IT companies.Covering 246 acres of land and an estimated built-up space of 88 lakh sq ft, Smart City Kochi will be one of India’s largest business parks. The project, when completed, will feature an architecture that is an assorted blend of modern and local traditional styles amidst an exquisitely designed landscape, Smart City Kochi will create an infrastructure and environment for knowledge-industry companies to grow and flourish. 70% of the built-up space would be devoted exclusively for IT related activities. Kochi will join Malta as the first two members of a global network of knowledge-based industry townships that Smart City seeks to create. The Kochi project with Rs.1700 crore budget would generate 90,000 jobs and is expected to catapult Kerala to become one of the leading IT destinations in the country. Though late to come up, Smart City is million dollar coin for the IT industry.
Infopark at Kochi, the new IT Park to be developed by the Government of Kerala, has attracted large scale investments from IT majors like Tata Consultancy Services, Wipro, Affiliated Computer Services, OPI Global, IBS Software Services and US Technology. Complete plug and play solutions are offered by Infopark with no lock-in conditions which make Infopark a very friendly destination. High quality standards maintained by the park give comfort to the most demanding customers.
The Technocity, a to be developed huge Information Technology township with flats, schools, hospitals and basic amenities in Thiruvananthapuram, is expected to employ around 1.5 lakh people in the IT and ITES sectors. The space used by the IT and ITES companies will have special economic zone status. It will include for residential area, an education hub and a commercial zone with hotels, multiplexes and other retail space. Approximately 25 acres has been earmarked for social amenities such as a hospital and a club. Common infrastructure for the project is developed by the Kerala State Information Technology Infrastructure Ltd.
State Information Infrastructure (SII)
State Information Infrastructure, a project commissioned in September 2004, acts as the State Network backbone connecting Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Kozhikode with an aim to use the free bandwidth by Asianet, Reliance, Bharathi and other service providers. The Data Centre attached with the project will act as common server yard to all government institutions for safeguarding the data, cost savings and consolidation of IT activities in the state.
Indian Institute of Information Technology and Management - Kerala (IIITM –K)
IIITM –K, one of the advanced IT and Management Institute in Kerala, offers PG programmes in different areas related to IT and Management for industrial growth, development of ITES in areas such as education, health care, e-governance, different area specific information services and community development. The faculty manages subjects like theoretical computer science, IT, scientific computing, computational science, computational chemistry, geo-informatics, grid security, data grids, community e-governance concepts, enterprise systems of different kinds and a few others. The Institute includes Academic Schools and PG programmes, Media and Informative Centre for Education and Technology and Business Incubation Services (TABIS).
Government of India has declared the Phase II expansion of Technopark,the home to 120 IT and ITES Companies including 32 start up companies in the incubation centres, employing about 15000 IT professionals, as a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) entailing investors in the phase to all the various privileges and concession granted in similar zones in the country. The SEZ status is granted to the IT sector for the creation of IT Park in the 86 acres of land acquired for the phase II expansion and the same status will be given to 100 acres of land also once the acquisition process is completed. Technopark includes the big names of IT & ITES like Infosys, TCS, US Technology, IBS Software Services, Mckinsey, Allianz Cornhill, Ernst &Young, Tata Elxsi, RMESI, Toonz Animation, NeST , Sherston Educational Software, Alamy Seaview Support System, Geosoft Technologies, Toroid India Ltd. etc.
The Park also bags the positions like the first electronics technology park of its kind in the world, the first technology park initiated with 100% Government equity, the first park that bagged Capability Maturity Model Integration Level 4 certification with ISO 9001:2000 in the world and the first park to start Business Incubation Centre in the country, the first industrial park to start Technology Business Incubation in the country, and first park for developing in-house entrepreneurship talents and training activities by initiating the National Centre for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship.
Software Technology Park of India- Thiruvananthapuram (STPI –T )
Among 419 companies registered under STPI –T, 160 companies are exporting software regularly. The total software export during 2006-07 is Rs. 750 crores which is 66% higher than the previous year and above the national average. Past years showed a steady growth in software export from Kerala. Most of the units registered with STPI –T are SMEs. The incubation facility provided at the centre attracted a large number of small and medium level export oriented units and have grown to larger size within 12 to 24 months. The centre, a society under the Ministry of Information Technology, Government of India, in collaboration with Real Time Systems Inc, USA, is offering three months training program on Embedded Technology for B.Tech, MCA and M.Sc candidates both employed and job seekers. The course contains training on Software Development on Real Time Embedded Systems, Building and Industrial Automation, Biometrics and Cryptographic solutions.
Public Sector Restructuring and Internal Audit Board (RIAB)
RIAB executes the public enterprise reforms sub-theme of the moderniing government programme and propagates good governance practices in association with the Commonwealth Secretariat, Commonwealth Association for Corporate Governance, Asian Development Bank, Government of Netherlands, Global Corporate Governance Forum, United Nations Development Programme and the Academy of Corporate Governance. RIAB also manages a special purpose Vehicle for fund management during the transition phase of Reforms.
KSIDC,a government agency for industrial promotion, financing and facilitating in Kerala, helps the large-scale and medium-scale industries to identify and implement the viable projects providing financial assistance which is suitable for the smooth functioning for the project.
Kerala Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (KINFRA)
KINFRA has identified over 20 core competency areas. It has 12 well-defined industrial parks of which many are functional and some are in the launching phase. Each of these Parks offer comprehensive infrastructure and support services to the clients. The most fascinating feature of KINFRA is that it offers single window clearance facilities. Attractive incentives and excellent opportunities for expansion and diversification are the specialities of KINFRA.
The head office of KINFRA is located in Thiruvananthapuram, the state capital of Kerala. The Parks of KINFRA are scattered in different parts of the state. Kerala has several specialities. Kerala is the only state in India which have legislature for statutory Single Window Clearance. The state offers highly skilled man power and cheap labour compared to international rates. Owing to the rich natural resources of the land, the State of Kerala offers the lowest tariffs for potable water and electricity compared to its counterparts.
Kerala State IT Infrastructure Ltd. (KSITI)
deals with the implementation and supply of the infrastucture for the
IT sector in Kerala. It attracts enterprising investors and developers
for the slew of new IT projects in the state, or it opens a new world
of opportunities. Main projects include expansion of Technopark-Phase
3 and development of Technocity.
Economic Zone in Cochin, a foreign territory within India with special
rules for facilitating foreign direct investment, is set up for export-
oriented ventures. The Zone is run directly by the Government of India.
Akshaya-e-pay, a browser based web enabled system for collection of utility bills like Electricity bill, Water Authority bill, BSNL land line and mobile bill, University fees etc. The project implemented at Akshaya Centres in Malappuram district on pilot basis by KSITM on August 2004 as an extension of FRIENDS. Akshaya e-pay roll out is complete in the districts of Kollam, Pathanamthitta, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Kozhikode, Kannur and Kasaragod. Akshaya e-pay is offered through 145 centres in the above districts. Akshaya e- pay will be extended to Akshaya Centres being set up in the six districts on completion of e-literacy programme.
FRIENDS Janasevana Kendram
FRIENDS ,a single window utility bill payment centre set up in all district headquarters, has been introduced in the eight districts where Akshaya centres have been set up, viz. Kollam, Pathanamthitta, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Kannur & Kasaragod.
Citizen Call Centre
Citizen Call Centre, a complaint retrieval cell based on Commercial Tax Check Posts with round the clock service. The centre records the Sutharya Keralam Programme which is being telecast through Doordarshan.
Kerala State Wide Area Network
This project aims to extend the present backbone between Thiruvananthapuram – Kochi – Kozhikode upto the entire block headquarters in the state. The work of providing connectivity to ten State Government offices each from the district headquarters as well as from the Block headquarters is getting carried out presently.
Secretariat Wide Area Network (Sec WAN)
Digitization of Secretariat & Directorate level activities by connecting the Secretariat, Public office and Vikas Bhavan under a WAN is the prime aim of the project. The pilot project in Secretariat is finished in 2007-08 and roll out in others could be made in next 3 years.
Knowledge Archive Project (K-Base)
K-base is the project intended to upload Government Orders in website and make it accessible to all, including citizen. Anybody can view the GOs or take printout. Since linked with Government site, the uploaded GOs can be accessed by logging in www.kerala.gov.in under “More GOs’. Government orders, being the most important reference & supporting document to guide for claim of the grievances of citizen/activities of Institution/ Departments, its availability on finger tip will be a real help. This service delivery project is expected to finish in 2007-08.
Video Conferencing (VC)
The Video Conferencing project connects all District Collectorates, Kerala House New Delhi, Secretariat, Public Office, Vikas Bhavan, Advocate General Office and IT Mission and equips all the centres with video conferencing facility to organise immediate online conferences and discussions, minimising strains to participants, saving time and expenses, recording the conference etc.
Integrated Government Service Gateway (IGSG)
IGSG is a service delivery project envisaged to deliver pin pointed information about any Government office, its hierarchy, location, services available, and others the citizen need to know. Downloading provision of various forms of Government are also available.
Service and Payroll Administrative Repository for Kerala (SPARK)
SPARK, a project under Kerala State IT Mission, gives an up-to-date details of staff and their salary. The salary bill preparation, service book maintenance etc are made simple through SPARK. It is a web based solution for service and payroll management, which can process and generate pay bills/reports/orders etc. Ultimately it can facilitate online data transfer between Government Departments, Treasuries and Accountant General’s Office. Digitized Service Books of all the Government employees in the State will be captured into the system and Permanent Employee Numbers (PEN) will be allotted. This PEN will be the important code to identify the employees in the SPARK database. SPARK is online in 10 Departments like government Secretariat, Chief Electrical Inspectorate, Land Revenue, Commercial Taxes, Treasury, General Education, Police Department and Collectorates covering 33 offices and is in good progress in 35 Departments. Service Books of over 95000 Government employees are already digitized. Works to implement SPARK in remaining offices has attained very good speed and expected to cover all the Government offices within the next four years.