Kerala IT sector can expect the government to utilize the present sluggish period to build up infrastructure that would be required when the upturn comes, put in place a rent deferral offer, and engineering students can hope to get scholarships for higher studies, According to state IT secretary Ajay Kumar
â€œThings are not as bad in Kerala as in other states in the IT sector because there is a huge trend in companies opting for tier-2 and 3 cities, which favours Kerala. In the backdrop of the slowdown, there has of course been a moderation in new companies setting up business in the state, but the state is poised to do significantly better than the national average performanceâ€, Mr Kumar said.
Based on provisional statistics, state IT department officials foresee Keralaâ€™s IT sector clocking a 45% growth in 2008-09 in comparison to the previous year, as against the projected national average growth of about 17%.
Considering the pressure on placements faced by engineering students in the state, the IT department has drawn up plans to offer scholarships to students to pursue higher education. â€œPresently there are roughly 250 students in the state opting for higher studies as against about 25,000 engineers graduating each year. We propose to enhance post graduation seats by 50% and offer scholarships for PG studies. In real numbers that may be insignificant, but that is one of the measures being adopted to help the IT industry cope with the situationâ€, Mr Kumar said.
Technopark senior manager M Vasudevan said Kerala was perhaps the only state to offer an assistance package to the IT sector, and that there was no mood of despair in the Technopark, which has about 25,000 techies.
The governmentâ€™s plans to decentralize the IT industry in Kerala with tech parks in all districts are also being realized. District IT parks are proposed to come up at Kundara, Cherthala, Ambalappuzha, Thrissur, Kozhikode and Kannur, of which the Thrissur park is expected to be the earliest to be commissioned, by October.
Ajay Kumar said the 50% rent deferral offered to companies operating out of the Technopark here and the Infopark in Kochi was proposed for this full fiscal, adding that it was an encouraging sign that the facility put up by L&T in Kochi had been fully taken up by tech companies.