Task force heads IT drive

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 15 August, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 15 August, 1998, 12:00am

A national task force was formed last month to accelerate India's drive to become an 'information technology superpower' in the 21st century.

The country has already made giant strides in the multi-billion dollar software industry. Export growth has averaged 50-60 per cent for seven consecutive years and is on target to pass US$4 billion by 2000.

Bangalore has emerged as India's 'silicon valley' - accounting for more than half of all software exports - and an 'intelligent city' is being developed by an international consortium on the outskirts of Hyderabad.

Additional 'hi-tech habitats' are planned for the immediate future in Pune, Delhi and Bhubaneshwar.

More than 150 'Fortune 500' companies have already established software centres in India.

Fifty extra 'silicon cities' were envisaged along a nationwide software super-corridor within the next decade, Jaswant Singh, chairman of the newly- formed National Task Force on Information Technology and Software Development, said.

The target for software exports, meanwhile, is US$50 billion within the next 10 years.