Our Bureau

Hyderabad, Jan. 13

THE State Government has decided to create electronic manufacturing clusters (EMCs) and set up a Nanotech Park in efforts to attract leading hardware manufacturers.

Announcing this at the ETSA 2005, the IEEE Conference on Smart Appliances, here, the Chief Minister, Dr Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, said: "The focus of the Government is on hardware sector."

Consequently, the Government is promoting the Electronic Hardware Park over 5,000 acres stretch near the upcoming international airport near Shamshabad on the outskirts of Hyderabad, he said.

The Nanotech Park is proposed on a 3,000-acre area.

Korean, Taiwan and other countries have expressed interest in the hardware sector. In fact, a Chinese company has recently tied up to set up a facility in Visakhapatnam, Dr Reddy said in his inaugural address on Wednesday .

The EMCs would offer land at competitive prices. They would offer quality power and other infrastructure at lucrative terms. The Government is also planning an 8-lane outer ring road to ease traffic and reach important destinations such as airport easily, he said.

Earlier, Dr F.C. Kohli, Member, Executive Committee, in his address said by the end of 2005 Indian computer industry would be able to offer a personal computer at less than Rs 10,000. Similarly, companies working on software development should be able to come up with software in at least 10 Indian languages by end of the year. These two developments should accelerate the use of computers within the country.

Dr Kohli said during the 1990s, the policy of the Indian Government and focus of IT companies were on software exports. This has led to certain weakness such as lack of hardware production, no software in Indian languages, low computer usage within. China, on the other hand, concentrated on domestic interests and is today far ahead of India.

With only 5-6 per cent of the Indian population able to read and write in English, "the day we have hardware, which makes computers affordable, and software in Indian languages, India will grow faster in this area," he added.

Mr J.A. Chowdary, General Chair of ETSA 2005, in his welcome address said the Hyderabad Chapter of the IEEE, had emerged as the third largest in the world with a student strength of over 3,000 members.

He said smart appliances promised a big business and technological potential. The world market is estimated at $1 trillion and is growing 24 per cent annually. India is poised to take advantage provided it develops good manufacturing facilities.

The President of the IEEE, Dr Cleon Anderson, in his address gave an overview of the technological changes and how the IEEE members were playing an active role in it.

The 3-day event has attracted experts from different parts of the world who will discuss the emerging potential in smart appliances.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated January 14, 2005)
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