Mangaluru: Mangaluru on the west coast would be the next IT and IT services industry cluster in Karnataka after Bengaluru, said state Deputy Chief Minister C.N. Ashwath Narayan on Wednesday.
"We have identified the port city of Mangaluru as the next IT and IT e-service industry cluster as per 'Beyond Bengaluru' policy in the state," said Narayan at the 'Mangaluru Innovation Conclave' here.
Mangaluru is located about 360km west of state capital Bengaluru.
"Mangaluru will also emerge as the next start-up hub in the state after Bengaluru as part of the IT cluster, which will include the adjacent districts of Udupi, Dakshina Kannada, Kodagu and Uttar Kannada along the coast," said Narayan, who holds the portfolio of IT, BT and Science and Technology.
With Infosys software development park in the port city, Manipal Institute of Technology near Udupi and state-run National Institute of Technology (NIT) at Surathkal near Mangaluru in Dakshina Kannada district, the state plans to develop the region as the IT cluster for software and hardware development.
"We are taking steps to set up an Electronic System and Design Management (ESDM) centre in this city along with Central Instrumentation Facility to attract investments and generate hundreds of jobs," said Narayan in his address at the day-long conclave here.
The state government plans to set up three more IT industry clusters at Belagavi, Mysuru and Shivamogga to decongest Bengaluru and replicate its success in other regions across the state.
"The state government has also set up the Karnataka Digital Economy Mission (KDEM) to promote digital growth, attract investments and innovation in science and technology in the state.
The mission will work to increase the contribution of digital economy to the gross state domestic product (GSDP) by 30 per cent of and create 30-lakh jobs across the state over the next 5 years.
"We are targetting $150 billion IT exports by the knowledge industry in the state in the next 5 years," asserted the Minister.
Ruling BJP's state unit president and Lok Sabha member from Mangaluru Nalin Kumar Kateel, who presided over the conclave, said more jobs would be created when the IT industry flourishes and spurs the local economy.
"At the same time, the culture and heritage of the region should be protected. Mangaluru should grow by keeping its natives intact," said Kateel in his address to the gathering.
According to the state IT-BT and S&T department's estimate, the port city has the potential to transact Rs 7,500 crore annually in the IT sector by 2023.
State-run Keonics chairman Harikrishna Bantwal, electronics and IT-BT department secretary E.V. Ramana Reddy, Centre for Contemporary Issues Steven David and Keonics managing director S.N. Siddaramappa participated in the panel discussion held as part of the event.
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