Shourie’s thumbs up for hardware

By : |January 30, 2003 0

Sudarshana Bannerjee

NEW DELHI: The new ICT minister Arun Shourie has assured that he would ensure there are no restrictions imposed by his government to arrest the march of technology. He has also asked the department officials of Telecom, Industry and Post to come up with position papers on key issues in their respective departments. Shourie formally took over the ministry of information technology and communication on Thursday.

He also said that he wanted to study the proposal to merge state-run telecom giants MTNL and BSNL but added the government had a bad record in running big companies.

“The growth in telecom should continue,” Shourie confirmed in a statement issued by the ministry, adding that the government would play the role of an enabler in the telecom sector. Speaking further on the prospects of the telecom industry he said that there should be several players coming up to take advantage of the competitive environment that was prevalent in the Communications sector.

On the IT front, the Minister said that though India had achieved considerable success in the software sector, the priority now would be to repeat similar success in the hardware sector.

“We are very confident that given his close association with complex issues such as disinvestments, he would be able to appreciate and comprehend the complexities of the hardware sector,” Vinnie Mehta, executive director, MAIT said. MAIT already has a wish list ready for him. “Hardware, Hardware, Hardware….,” said Mehta. “Procedural reforms are the need of the hour to bring back hardware on track. The hardware sector desperately needs attention, time is not on our side, and we need to put our act together. India badly needs avenues where we can provide job opportunities to millions of our youth…and hardware can. If today China is the only manufacturing factory of the world, we can become the ‘other factory.’

Senior officials of NASSCOM are in London, and were unavailable for comments. However Nasscom officials informed CNS that Kiran Karnik, president, Nasscom had been informed of the change of guards.

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