Kohima: Nagaland’s first and India’s 61st Software Technology Park of India (STPI) centre was on Friday inaugurated at the state capital by Union Minister of State (MoS) for Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar at the Directorate of Information Technology & Communication (DITC).

Prabir Kumar Das, jurisdictional director of ATPI in Northeast and West Bengal, said the state-of-the-art STPI centre, covering 18,137 sq ft, in Kohima is envisaging to host as a Centre of Entrepreneurship in IT Applications in Graphic Design, where start-ups, students and innovators can utilize the facility for research and development of new innovative solutions.

KD Vizo, principal secretary to the chief minister, IT&C and power, shared that in 2015, the Director General of STPI, New Delhi, during the e-Naga Summit and had signed a MoU to set up the Software Technology Park of India at Kohima.

“It may be worthy to note that we had a vision of making the State of Nagaland the next IT hub of South East Asia and as far as the basic infrastructures is concerned, we are slowly getting ready to embrace IT culture in a big way. Our biggest strength is the availability of highly trained IT-savy youths who are willing to compete with the rest of the world and they are just waiting for infrastructure like the STPI,” he said.

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Vizo then assured that the STPI will be utilized in no time and hoped that the ministry will assist the state the expansion of the infrastructure.

Building a technology ecosystem

The inauguration of the STPI centre in Kohima, said MoS Chandrasekhar, is a fulfilment of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision towards creating a technology ecosystem in the north-east to create opportunities for the future generations in the region.

The MoS urged the need to create real change in the technology ecosystem. In order to create job opportunities, he said, the state government must work towards creating an interconnection of institutions to create awareness about various opportunities available for the youth.

Saying that training across the north-east states is already creating appetite for more learning among the youth, Chandrasekhar said in the next few months other strategies that will be visible in north-east region will be the evolution of new ideas and concepts that are more relevant in the post-COVID world.

The minister also urged the National Institute of Electronics & Information Technology (NIELIT) and the National Informatics Centre (NIC) in the state to work closely with the state government. He suggested the state’s IT department to create a rolling strategy to have monthly meetings and build a network using the NEILIT and NIC with the other education institutions to create more job opportunities in Nagaland.

During a press interaction at the state BJP office on Friday evening, Chandrasekhar told the media that he had directed the state officials to utilize the newly inaugurated STPI centre at the earliest. He expressed hope to see companies being incubated in three to six months’ time.  

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Strong spirit of entrepreneurs in NE, Nagaland

During the inauguration ceremony, Chandrasekhar said there is a strong spirit of entrepreneurs in the northeast region. He urged the need for these resources to be tapped and capitalized.

The minister said following the COVID-19 pandemic, the demand for technology has doubled and that there is huge opportunity for India. In just April and May, he said, 5 lakh new jobs have been created in the IT sector across the country.

Nagaland government to create 5,000 IT/ITES jobs in 2 years

Adviser to the department of IT, Science and Technology, New & Renewable Energy, Mmhonlumo Kikon, announced that the state government has decided to create 5,000 new jobs for IT and information technology-enabled services (ITES) in the next two years.

Kikon said the “silent revolution” through IT will continue to determine the future of the people. From a government-dependent state to a state creating jobs through IT and ITES, he assured that the state government will address the various challenges.

Will Nagaland achieve the 5,000 new job target?

“Of course, it is achievable,” Chandrasekhar told journalists. According to him, the target should have been even higher. He said that there are many hardworking youth from the state and the Northeast who are out in the metropolitan cities working successfully in the IT sector.

“In the IT industry, there is nothing that prevents them from doing so here. In the post-COVID world, when work from home is the new normal, it is very possible for companies to allow engineers to work remotely. That is the opportunity for Nagaland and state of the Northeast,” he added.

As internet is the “raw material for working from home”, the MoS said, “I have promised to do whatever is possible in my ministry’s capability to improve the internet quality in Nagaland”. He said efforts will be made to improve internet capacity and bandwidth in the state towards achieving an IT ecosystem.

Earlier, during the inauguration ceremony, Chandrasekhar also virtually inaugurated the National Institute of Electronics & Information Technology, Chuchuyimlang permanent Campus, and had a live interaction with the students.

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