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E-Pao! Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and Answers on STPI, Imphal Centre

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and Answers on STPI, Imphal Centre

1. What exactly is STPI?

- STPI stands for Software Technology Parks of India. It is an autonomous society, under the Department of Information Technology, Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Government of India, which was set up on 5th June,1991 with an objective to implement STP scheme, set-up and manage the infrastructure facilities and provide other services like technology assessment and professional training. STPI centers act as 'single-window' in providing services to the software exporters. The centres are equipped with basic facilities like back-up power, EPABX, security, photocopier, fax etc.

2. What is STP scheme?

- STP scheme is a 100% export oriented scheme for the development and export of computer software using communication links or physical media and including export of professional services. STP Scheme, which is 100% export oriented scheme, has attracted many entrepreneurs in the area of software and services. More than 7202 units are registered under STPI umbrella.

3. What are the other facilities available with STPI?

- The STPI also acts as a resource centre for the member computer software-exporting units, offering general facilities like ready to use built up space, centralized computing facility and High Speed Data Communication (HSDC) facilities. The most important contribution of STPI to the software exporting sector is that of providing High Speed Data Communication (HSDC) services. STPI has designed and developed state-of-the art HSDC Network called SoftNET. Member units of STPI have exported software of over Rs. 29,523 crores during the year 2001-02. The export figure of Rs. 29,523 crores from STP units represent more than 80% of the national software exports. The services to be provided by STPI in Imphal in a phased manner are:
1. International lease line
2. Internet service
3. Other value added services
4. Statutory services of STPI

4. How much employment will STPI Imphal Centre offer?

- STPI Imphal Centre will have less than 6 staff , and it does not need much manpower for its operations. The employment opportunities will be generated by those private firms/ entrepreneurs who take up IT software/ service business by using the STPI facilities. The State Government has an Investor-friendly IT Policy to promote IT Industry in Manipur.

5. When will the STPI Imphal Centre be ready?

- The unofficial target is August-September, 2003. The Memorandum of Understanding between STPI and Government of Manipur has been signed on 13th May, 2003 for setting up of the STPI, Imphal Centre. STPI has set up 39 nos. centres up to mid-2003 in Allahabad, Aurangabad, Bangalore, Bhilai, Bhubaneswar, Chennai, Coimbatore, Dehradun, Gandhinagar, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Hubli, Indore, Jaipur, Kanpur, Kolkata, Kolhapur, Lucknow, Madurai, Manipal, Mangalore, Mysore, Mohali, Navi Mumbai, Nagpur, Nasik, Noida, Pondicherry, Pune, Rourkela, Srinagar, Shimla, Thirupati, Thiruvananthapuram, Trichy, Thirunalvelli, Vizag, Vijayawada and Warangal. The STPI unit at Imphal will be the 40th unit.

6. Will Users have to get STPI connection from Mantripukhri?

- The STPI will set up a 100ft Tower mast at Hotel Imphal along with a Control Room. Users will be able to get connection from this point by lease line, Wireless LAN, Radio link, OFC etc.

7. Will STPI have Internet dial-up services for the public, like with BSNL?

- STPI caters to the IT Industry and not to the public at large. So Internet dial-up facility for the public, directly from STPI, is not envisaged. However, local firms/ enterprises may purchase Internet bandwidth from STPI and provide ISP services to the public in Manipur.

8. Who is to be contacted for STPI information before the Imphal centre is set up?

- Interested persons may contact Dept. of Science & technology, Government of Manipur, Old Lambulane, Imphal - 795001. Ph: 2224929, 2221816, email: dstmanipur@hub.nic.in for any STPI related information. Alternatively, you may send email enquiry directly to Director, STPI, Guwahati at pkdas@stpghy.soft.net .

9. Are STPI tariff available on the Internet?

- Yes. Tariff and other details may be seen at www.stpghy.soft.net . However, as LAN connection options have recently become varied with availability of many new products, details of the same are not yet put up on the website.

10. Are the STPI charges higher than those of other ISPs?

- The charges for services offered by STPI shall be in line with their tariff policies and shall be competitive when compared to identical services extended by other service providers in the country. STPI shall have the power to review or modify the charges for services offered at its own discretion. For example, a User may compare STPI Internet link charges for 64 kbps ( which is shared by 4 users at most) and that of 64kbps from another ISP at much lower rate, without confirming the number of users sharing that 64kbps ( which could be 16 or more users). Users can bring to the notice of STPI if they have information on lower charges for identical services ( which is not only for rated bandwidth but includes reliability, assured bandwidth etc. )

11. Even if STPI charges are competitive, why does it not offer lower bandwidth Internet connection like 64kbps shared between 12-16 users, so that small IT enterprises are attracted to STPI connection? This is especially important for a place like Imphal which has no competitive ISPs.

- As the needs of small IT firms are usually met by the ISPs, the STPI has not felt the need to cater to such units. It is true that for a place like Imphal which has only BSNL and NE-Line as ISPs, the reliable Internet connectivity required for IT business is not available. It is possible that some private ISPs may start functioning in Imphal and other locations in Manipur by taking Internet bandwidth from STPI, Imphal Centre. If the need for lower-end Internet connectivity is felt, interested users should apply to STPI. The same could be considered.

12. What options are there for small IT organizations, which would like to use STPI facilities, but do not need continuous connectivity?

- For small Users of STPI (they must be registered with STPI), Incubation Centre facility may be availed. This will be like a Cyber Café where Users will have to pay on per-hour basis only for downloading or uploading their files.

13. Will BSNL, Imphal take Internet bandwidth from STPI, Imphal Centre and provide better ISP services in Manipur?

- BSNL is taking Internet bandwidth from STPI at Calcutta, which is serving the local requirements including N.E. Region. As taking bandwidth at separate points will mean higher additional set-up costs, the same is unlikely for the present. BSNL is not taking any Internet bandwidth from STPI, Guwahati.

14. Is it true that STPI, Imphal Centre may be wound up after 3 years if it cannot earn enough revenue for itself?

- A review of the STPI, Imphal Centre will be held in the third year to assess whether the STPI Centre has become self-sufficient in terms of operational expenses, with the possibility of taking a decision to wind up if the prospects are not bright. It is expected that STPI, Imphal will soon become an active IT Hub in the Northeast, and talk of winding up will not need to come up.

15. How can Non-Resident Manipur professionals play a major role in this scenario?

- Non-Resident Manipur (NRM) IT professionals with an inclination to contribute his mite to bring Manipur out of the economic doldrums, can tie-up with their relatives/friends in Manipur for execution of sub-contracts of IT projects from abroad. Entry-level areas without need for IT qualifications include data-entry, digital printing, business transcription etc. Since NRMs are better networked and having more contacts, it is of utmost importance to link up with them for Manipur entrepreneurs to venture into IT business. It is reported that a major chunk of IT projects in Bangalore, Hyderabad etc. are brought in by local-born IT Professionals working abroad.

16. What is the Government of Manipur doing to help the IT entrepreneurs and to attract IT firms to Manipur?

- The IT Policy of Manipur, 2003 that was notified on 7th March 2003, indicates the initial direction taken by the State Government. It is necessary that the Government initiatives should attract and nurture the IT Software and Service industry for accelerated growth with supportive incentive mechanism. As this is a start, the prospective/ intending IT entrepreneurs should approach the Government with specific suggestions/ opinions so that we can work together for the benefit of all concerned.

You may write in to the Director, Dept. of Science & Technology, Manipur at: dstmanipur@hub.nic.in for more queries/ suggestions etc.


Let us join hands to make a prosperous Manipur.



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