TODAY -

E-Pao! - Why Manipur requires IT-park now?

Why Manipur requires IT-park now?
Courtesy: Professor N. Sanajaoba
&
The Sangai Express

Recently the Governments of Assam and Tripura have opened IT (Information Technology) parks in quick session under the initiative of NEFi, NEC, DONER (Department of Development of NE region, Government of India), assisted to enhance IT-environment and initiate e-commerce in the respective States. Even Meghalaya tries to boost up IT -sector by establishing CIC (Community Information Center), among others. The Government of Manipur, has scientific advisors to be led by the Chief Minister is expected to break the ice in the proposed Mumbai conclave of Chief Ministers to be held on 19 June, 2002 which would explore the potential of the North- East.

Inspite of the NEC approach paper's targeting an IT Park in every State of the North-East, the MIT (Minister of Information and Technology Government of India 0 has arrogantly turned down the Manipur Chief Minister's extremely modest proposal to set up a small hub unit of the STPI (Software Technology Parks of India), Guwahati in Imphal without giving satisfactory explanation for its refusal.

As a layman understand in his own right, the Government of India's arbitrary refusal to bring Manipur in the network of e-governance, e-education which are the basic tenets of development, let alone the e-industry and e-commerce on the one hand and boost IT -sectors, IT- parks in Assam and two tiny, border State of Tripura and Meghalaya which lack IT- resource potentials and are in no way better than Manipur in terms of IT- resources, potential and capacity- building smacks of professionally engineered technological dis- empowerment of Manipur people with a vengeance, and e-internal colonialism in political linguistics. Manipur 's development had been systematically cut to the root because of the RAD (Restricted Areas Permit), deprivation of minimal infrastructure for economic growth and all communication facilities plus the frequent blockades, extortions on National Highways 39 and 53.

Manipur had the crying need of IT- Park much ahead of the IT- parks the Asian established recently and Tripura inaugurated. Manipur Chief Minister backed by his scientific advisors if any) has to block took and nail Mr. P.D. Chenoy's complicated moves on 19 June, 2002 to justify his engineered technology dis empowerment of Manipur people and his disguised political reasons of discrimination and digital divide.

P.D. Chenoy and DONER's MIT anti-Manipur clique would insist on merely lack of e-commerce aspects in Manipur, but the mischief of wrong - rioritisation is the fact that technology empowerment of Manipur and developmental requirements lies in making e- governance, e- education, e- medical transcription, e- connectivity as priority over e- commerce, which could be undoubted by Assam's priority. What Manipur requires is not hub units of Assam, but proportionally small and efficient IT -parks and STPI parks in 2002, and in the near immediate future.

Manipur does not dissolve a clientele status of either Tripura, Meghalaya, Assam all of which like Manipur are sensitive and disturbed areas in near equal measure. The security reasons are totally irrelevant for IT - parks. If this reason is the real reason, Manipur shall not have Governor's residence, RIMS and any semblance of civilization. DONER, MIT and others cannot justify their reasons to let down Manipur people in all sectors of economic growth, of which IT -park is the back bone of knowledge- based services, health care, e -governance and industries.

The NEC itself and NEDFi owe and explanation of Manipur people for their denial of assistance toward setting up IT- parks in Manipur which would allow Manipur people to leapfrog in cyberspace, information superhighway and technological - empowerment. If situation so demands, despite the NEC Act, Manipur may pull out of NEC to register vehement protest against the engineered intrigues of crooked politicians of small ideal.

What Manipur has acquired in IT - capability in the last 5-10 years is much richer than rest of the States - Tripura, Meghalaya, Sikkim et al and English literacy, etc. Manipur is far ahead of Assam. By taking up a small parameter like cities for connectivity, NEC approach States the no. of urban cities - Tripura (18), Meghalaya (7), and Manipur (30). In terms of city no 1, Assam has 5 and Manipur has 1.

In union Government's annual allocation of Rs 220 crores for IT sector in the region has to be fairly distributed among the 7 States and no State shall be perpetually crippled for the sake of making her totally dependent on another. Besides, how much of the 1,000 jobs proposed for IT - park may be reserved for Manipuris in hill and plain is placed at the backburner of speculation. Doner, MIT, government of India supposedly make wise attempt to keep Manipur at the receiving end and as a clientele of Assam or, another State. Certain science - NGOs task force in Manipur with good and undisputed credentials may be, without delay, entrusted with the task of preparing blue -print of e -governance in Manipur. Lack of e- governance and requisite communication has widened the different communities of Manipur and it is right time to destroy the physical distance by way of e-governance that would be slowly followed by e- business.

Manipur regional seminar (10-13, March 2002) on IT in North East has identified although in brief , the potential for IT software business in Manipur in terms of Manipur's existing IT manpower , software development , IT - enabled services, IT entrepreneurs (then add medical transcription , healthcare, connectivity, marketing etc ). IT -parks provide for high - speed data communication (add powerful bandwidth), UPS-run office space, ISP facilities, customs relaxations, and domestic software activity as well.

Proposed e- governance in Manipur would link -up all blocks, all panchayats, all schools, institutions, all medical facilities, tax collection areas and all nerve-center of modern democratic form of Government. If security is the reason to block IT-park, it is nothing but silly and foolish, not to speak of what the crooks in DONER led by PD Shenoy, MIT, and NEC do in concert or, separately to keep Manipur at the back-banner a, as clientele of a neighboring State, whose temperature varies with the change of Government and mood. We wish strongly that Manipur Chief Minister, Government representatives shall unfailingly declare in public the news of establishing independent IT- Park in Manipur subsequently after the proposed June-19 Mumbai conclave of Chief Minister.


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