Rohan shrivastav | NT
Panaji: Expressing disappointment over the state government’s lack of support to the information technology (IT) industry, former director of Infosys Mohandas Pai on Friday said that the vision to make Goa an IT hub has ‘fallen apart’.
“I have been working in Goa for the last three to four years and I have always been disappointed. I was on Goa’s IT Advisory Committee. We came here four-five times, we had meetings and we did two-three events with Manohar Parrikar and it was very encouraging. He did many things, but now it has fallen apart,” Pai said in an interview with ‘The Navhind Times’.
“You need continuity. There was a chief minister who was interested and now when the new chief minister came, it has fallen apart. It can’t work like that…there must be continuity. You require a chief minister with a vision, who is willing to say that he is ready to put some Rs 40-50 crore a year and change the future. This is important because you have to give young Goans a future,” he said.
Pai, who is also the chairman of Manipal Global Education, said that the political establishment including the opposition should keep aside their political differences and support the initiatives that are beneficial for the future of Goan youth.
“You can’t rely only on mining and other natural resources, as there are too many tigers trying to destroy it. Tourism is okay but mass tourism has its own problems. But if you have technology, research and development (R&D) and intellectual centres where locals get jobs including in the BPOs and KPOs, then I think you have done that…and for that, the chief minister should drive it. Manohar Parrikar was driving it but sadly he fell ill and it didn’t work,” Pai said.
He said the government should immediately have a group of local business leaders on board and work together with them to make Goa a digital state in order to facilitate its IT ambitions.
Stressing on the need to create R&D centres, AI Foundry and incubation space for hi-technology by inviting people from across the country, Pai said that the government should immediately have a group of local business leaders on board and work together to create a favourable environment for IT with a vision He said that Goa should invest in creating a system where companies can come up and set up their own start-ups, and the state should play a supporting role. Pai said that Goa should organise hi-tech events such as global artificial intelligence conference, digital Goa event to market the state, all India Hackathon and then another event wherein NASSCOM and others can come to Goa.
He said that the state government should look up to Bengaluru city, which has made remarkable progress in the IT sector, and aim at creating one lakh jobs in high technology by 2030 in Goa.
“Goa should create a global Konkani community and ask people to come and spend some time in Goa and create a kind of place where Goa stands out as a global hub of R&D and technology and where there are jobs for young people of Goa. If Goa loses its Konkani characteristic and culture then it will be just like any other place,” Pai said.
Stressing on the need to bring in technology in teaching and provide access to the students, he said that the government should ensure that the curriculum is based on content which is electronic and create a culture in schools where children develop reasoning skills and involve themselves in more projects. “Everyone should be connected to the web; every place should have high-speed bandwidth. You can start with Panaji, one village and a few colleges and schools, and show what can be done in one year and then take it forward,” he said.