President all praise for state; keen on enhancing IT in state

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IMPHAL, March 11: In a significant event for the state, the President Pratibha Devisingh Patil on the last day of her two days official visit to the state capital laid the foundation stone for the Manipur Information Technology Park and launched the Manipur State Wide Area Network (SWAN) in a function held this morning around 10.15 am at IT Park Campus Mantripukhri.The President during the inaugural and launching of IT park and SWAN project at IT Park Mantripukhri praised the courage of the women of the state for delivering towards the welfare of the society. The women of Manipur are known for their great talents and strengths.
She further mentioned that the concept of women working in a cooperative basis is not new in Manipur, from the early days, she was told that there existed a system of socio-economic cooperation called Marup, a type of self help group, where those with common economic needs would undertake an economic activity, by participating directly in decision making, and sharing the benefits.
She further mentioned in the gathering today that, issues like drug consumption or HIV/AIDS all require sensitive handling and women can play an important role in dealing with such social issues and also expressed her desire to see the women of the state take the initiative in bringing about a friendly and harmonious atmosphere in the whole state and among all sections of the society and communities.
While deliberating on her speech at the IT Park gathering, this morning, she expressed her appreciations for the warm reception, and conveyed her good wishes for the peace, prosperity and progress of the state.
She further mentioned that both the IT and SWAN project which were launched this morning will enhance the use Information and Communication Technology (ICT) “demonstrate the commitment of the State to harness the benefits of technologies for development and for improved governance adding that these initiatives are only going to lead the State into the 21st century which is based on knowledge economy where new technologies and information systems are the major determinants of growth. Connectivity provided by ICT, has played a pivotal role in linking people, institutions and regions within the country and globally. This has resulted in transcending distances, as well as ushering in new ways of conducting business and providing services.
She also mentioned that, the state of Manipur evokes many memories and images. It is a land of great diversity where many different communities and tribes with their vibrant culture, have lived side by side in harmony for generations. Each of its communities and each of its tribes with their varied costumes and traditions, songs and dances, folk tales and proverbs, have added immensely to the composite culture of the country.
While appreciating the talents that have been shown by the players of the state in the field of games and sports, she mentioned that, the state has been excelling in sports. The President further congratulated the state for being the top state in the country, at the 34th National Games held at Jarkhand recently. She further maintain her belief that Manipur will continue to produce world-class sports persons, bringing glory to the state and the nation, and its people will also continue to contribute to the nation-building, she added.
President Patil also mentioned that, Manipur is a land of great potential and a land of beauty. Its hills and valleys, river and lake including Loktak Lake, green vegetation and trees, its amazing varieties of flowers like Siroi Lily and animals like Sangai deer have given it a distinctive identity. Even as development takes place, it should be accompanied with efforts to restrain the traditions and conserve the great bio-diversity, she added.
She also mentioned that, most of all development should be directed towards enhancing the quality of life of the people, and to their social and political empowerment.
She further maintained that as a large percentage of the state population is based on agriculture and its allied activities for livelihood a comprehensive way forward, should be look at ways to increase agricultural productivity through better cropping patterns, using high yielding seeds and scientific water management. Agro Processing Units, including small home based and co-operatives units, would add value to agricultural products, and make it easier to transport them to markets. And later place strong emphasis on post harvest management and processing, to make agriculture a higher income generating activity.The president of India, also elaborated in her speech that, building productive and creative human resources requires a strong education system, which will provide not only bookish knowledge but also good value system to its students. Quality education will enable the youth to get gainful employment opportunities, the state government must focus on implementing employment generation and skills development programmes, in a manner that the youth can put their knowledge to the best possible use, in the interest of families, communities, the nation and human kind.
She further recalled that, she had interacted with the chairperson of the state Social Welfare Board, as well as with the Chairperson of the Manipur Women’s Development Corporation and with Women’s Self Help Groups. The commitment towards the welfare of women in the state by these bodies is commendable, she maintained.
Later, she expressed her firm belief that Manipur alongwith other North-Eastern states, has great potential for development. Regional integration among the states, and their cooperation with the countries in South-East Asia, can be useful in not only promoting India’s Look East Policy, but also in bringing benefits to the region, including Manipur. Manipur has rich natural resources and its talented people provide it with a sound basis of growth. Manipur can look to the future with hope and promise. And she once again thanked the people of the state and conveyed her good wishes to the people of the state, Governor and Chief Minister for a peaceful, progressive and a prosperous state.
In the meantime, Governor Gurbacharan Jagat in his speech in the gathering expressed his warmed welcome to the visiting President of India, Pratibha Devisingh Patil to the state and further mentioned that, the laying of foundation stone for the Information Technology Park adjacent to the existing Software Technology Park of India (STPI) at Mantripukhri, Imphal, today by the President of India heralds a new era for Manipur as it will usher in establishing a viable IT industry in the state. The IT Park will not only have the requisite infrastructure but will develop into an IT SEZ. The IT Park which is being implemented by the STPI on turnkey basis will provide the availability of incubation space for IT entrepreneurs.
Governor further mentioned that, state government have started implementation of the core infrastructure project like Common Service Centre (CSC), State Data Centre (SDC) and State Wide Area Network (SWAN). Under the National e-Governance Plan, the  SDC is the nerve centre which store all the data required for consolidation of services, applications and provisions of efficient electronic delivery of government to government, government to consumer and government to business. The SDC will enable various state government departments to host their services and applications on a common platform for ease in integration and efficient management.
He further mentioned that, today, is a good beginning, in the auspicious presence of the President of India, the setting up of the IT Park will usher Manipur in the race for ICT opportunities. Manipur has already stamped its prowess in sports in the recently held 34th National Games in Jarkhand and earlier in 19th Commonwealth Games held at Delhi and now the state will be aiming to be amongst the  leaders in this new race of IT also. The state Governor further prayed that, today the foundation has been laid for modern, peaceful, prosperous and resurgent Manipur.
In the meantime, Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh in his speech to the gathering mentioned that it has been a proud moment for the state that the President of India, Pratibha Devisingh Patil has laid the foundation stone for the IT Park and launched the SWAN project for the state this morning.
He further mentioned that, the IT Park has been set up by the state government primarily to tap the talent among the boys and girls of Manipur. The pool talent of young people is proposed to be harnessed for reaping the benefits of IT and ITES industry, which has become immensely successful in cities like Bangalore, Delhi, Gurgoan etc which is further moving to smaller towns and cities due to the lack of expansion space in the existing locations of the big cities and also for cheaper operational cost in smaller cities like Imphal.
He further added that Manipur like the other NE states has a large number of English speaking IT literate boys and girls who are either unemployed or under employed. These burgeoning groups of talented youngsters are an asset waiting to be tapped for starting a successful ITES industry.The Mantripukhri IT park seeks to provide the requisite infrastructure for tapping the talents of these young peoples, the CM maintained.He further mentioned that, estimate to cost Rs. 34.32 crores and spreading over 3.2 acres pf land the park has been funded with special plan Assistance provided by the Planning Commission. The Software Technology Park of India (STPI), Guwahati is implementing the project, on behalf of the state Department of Information Technology on a turnkey basis. It will have reliable connectivity and 24×7 power backup and provide incubation space to IT entrepreneurs. The first phase, which will provide about 20,000 Sq ft of floor space, is expected to be completed by the end of 2011 and the second phase will provide an additional 30,000 sq ft of space, he added.
The state CM further mentioned that, in addition to the 3.2 acres IT Park, the state department of Information Technology has acquired another 27.12 acres of land adjacent to the IT Park. On the advised of the Planning Commission, the department is engaging a competent agency as consultant, for preparing the DPR for setting up IT SEZ. When implemented, the IT SEZ will provide vast opportunities to IT and ITES Enterpreneurs and is also expected to attract some of the  IT majors like Infosys, TCS, CVonvergys, Accenture etc.
He further mentioned that, the State Wide Areas Network (SWAN), launched today by the President of India, is a joint effort of the state Department of Information Technology and the NIC. It has been implemented under the National e-Governance Plan of the Government of India. The Swan will connect the State HQ to all the district head quarters and also to most of the sub-division and Block HQs. BSNL, the Bandwidth will be increased as more applications are enabled. SWAN will further be expanded to include the offices in the districts and Blocks which will be providing citizen service under the State Portal, SSDG and e-Form project of NeGP. About 20 such services will be provided initially and will be increased by another 20 services within a few months. These services will provide the facility of receiving applications from the citizen online through the State Portal and e-Form from any of the CSCs or Cyber cafes and will provide status and tracking mechanism thereby reducing the number of visits to the offices.
It is also finally mentioned by the chief minister that, the SWAN project along with the State Data Centre and Common Service Centres are the three pillars of the national e-governance Plan which strive to provide government services to the common man at his doorstep. 399 CSCs have already been set up across the state in a ratio of one CSC for every 6 villages and have been providing a number of businesses to citizen services. Government to citizen services will also be added very shortly. Following completion of the state Data Centre, located in the Western Block Building, New Secretariat, shortly, the major infrastructure required to providing e-Governance in Manipur will be in place and the people of the state can look forward to an era of transparent, efficient and cost effective governance, he added.
Earlier, state chief secretary DS Poonia has given his key note address during the inaugural and launching session of IT Park and SWAN project this morning at Mantripukhri IT Park Complex.
Besides, with the official launching of the SWAN Project this morning by the President of India Pratibha Devisingh Patil at IT Park complex Mantripukhri Imphal, a video conferencing was held between the visiting President of India and Deputy Commissioner of UKhrul district Ashokumar before the gathering of the function.
Later Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh presented mementos to the President of India Pratibha Devisingh Patil and her companion spouse Dr. Devising Sekhawat during the formal public reception function. The function winded up with vote of thanks given by the S. Briendra Singh, Special Secy. Department of state Information Technology.
In the meantime the function this morning was attended by spouse of the President Dr. Devisingh Shekhawat, Speaker Manipur Legislative Assembly, I Hemochandra, MLAs, cabinet ministers, VIPS, officials and a large gathering of people including school children. The entourage of the President of India included Maj. Gen AK Bakshi, Military Secretary to the President, Barun Mitra, IAS, Joint Secretary to the President and others.

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