1.   Introduction :

1.1 Information Technology (IT), the most important development of the century, holds the key to rapid progress in the coming years, contributing to better governance and improved productivity which will increase the growth of the economy and quality of life of the citizens. India has already been ushered into an era of Information Technology (IT) and is making rapid strides towards becoming an IT Super Power. Acknowledging the fact that the importance of Information Technology is going to increase dramatically in the future, the Government of Pondicherry in line with the Government of India's policy has decided to prepare a perspective plan suitable to the region. Many State Governments have already announced their policies and it is therefore important that Pondicherry also falls in line to pursue pro-active policies to benefit from IT.

1.2 The Union Territory of Pondicherry has limited physical resources like land, water, power and raw materials. The environmental factors have also restricted the growth of major industries in the region inspite of attractive financial incentives offered by the Government. Pondicherry is endowed with skilled and educated manpower and around 1000 well trained IT professionals at various levels are turned out every year, and hence, it is ideally suited for the development in the area of IT.

1.3 The Government of Pondicherry has been encouraging the use of IT in the Government Departments and Educational Institutions during the last decade. Some of the important Departments like Accounts and Treasuries, Civil Supplies, Transport, Electricity etc. have already been computerized for facilitating the transactions with the public. Incentives offered by the Government have already attracted a sizable number of Computer Hardware manufacturers. A Software Technology Park is being set up by Pondicherry Industrial Promotion, Development and Investment Corporation Limited (PIPDIC) in Pondicherry and an Electronic Industrial Estate is also coming up. In addition, IT has penetrated other areas such as banking, shopping etc.

1.4 To make the UT of Pondicherry a fore runner in the field of IT, a comprehensive IT Policy has been prepared, which will act as a blue print for planning and implementation.

2. Objectives of IT Policy :

2.1 To provide the common man an easy access to information in all spheres of life.

2.2 To make the Government machinery Citizen Friendly by facilitating transparency, efficiency and quick decision making in the administration.

2.3 To impart IT training in order to increase IT literacy and creation of trained manpower.

2.4 To create a healthy investment environment and encourage and accelerate the growth of IT related Industries, with attractive policies.

2.5 To establish a good Information Communication Infrastructure in the Union Territory of Pondicherry.

2.6 To create an organizational structure to achieve the above objectives by 2005.

The IT policy has been framed under two categories namely short term (3 years) and long term(5 years), in view of the high rate of obsolescence in IT related products.

3.   Government :

3.1 The IT policy for the Government aims at bringing in Electronic Governance thereby improving productivity and efficiency in the Government Services to the public. It will also help in quick decision making in Government operations and providing better implementation of programmes and policies of the Government. This will be achieved through the following strategies:-

3.2 Short Term :

3.2.1 Government to initiate action towards the standardization of basic data which ensures the manageability, portability and interoperability of systems across the departments.

3.2.2 A Citizen's Charter for effective and responsive administration in terms of time bound service to public to be framed and implemented in all the Government Departments.

3.2.3 Each Department in the Government to prepare a five year IT plan with prioritization of applications, to create a visible impact on citizens at large, and should have its own web pages in the Internet comprising procedures to allow people to make complaints and suggestions electronically.

3.2.4 2% of the budget to be earmarked for IT usage in the Government for purchase of IT products, training and services.

3.3 Long Term

3.3.1 Databases of relevant information to be created for each department and made available to other departments and the public wherever necessary.

3.3.2 All Government Departments to be networked by INTRANET for Information exchange.

3.3.3 A vast majority of the Government officials to be trained on the usage of IT on a continuous basis.

3.3.4 IT literacy to be given special consideration for promotion of officials in the Government.

3.3.5 Steps to be taken to boost IT usage in Agriculture and allied activities and Integrated Rural Development, through farm clinics/information booths/public kiosks etc.

3.3.6 Geographical Information Systems(GIS) to be attempted which are of strategic advantage for applications like spatial planning, environmental protection, utility management, traffic regulations etc.,

3.3.7 Disaster Management applications using IT tools to be taken up in view of the fact that all regions in the UT are located near the sea shore and are prone to cyclones and other natural calamities. This will help avoid loss of life and property.

3.3.8 The official records in the Government offices and Autonomous Institutions beyond two years to be kept in the electronic/magnetic/optic media.

3.3.9 As a part of right to information, all public domain information such as official gazette notifications, acts, rules, regulations, policies, programmes etc., to be digitized and made available for electronic access.

3.3.10 An IT department to be created in the Government headed by a Secretary to carry out specifically IT related activities and to formulate policies.

3.3.11 Making the Government a Smart buyer by rewriting the purchase rules relating to IT products and services.

3.3.12 Persuing strategic alliances with the private sector to exploit its technical, organizational and financial strengths in the Government Computerisation programme through outsourcing and other innovative processes.

4.   Education :

4.1 IT policy is aimed at creating an Intelligent Society to raise IT literacy per se and to generate human resources with advanced skills and expertise in IT. The Government shall mobilise the support of private sector training institutes, academic institutions, software companies and vendors of software & hardware to help evolving several initiatives to produce high quality professionals. They are:-

4.2 Short Term :

4.2.1 Courses on IT to be introduced in all branches of study starting from Higher Secondary Level.

4.2.2 Specific courses to be launched to provide project management and software marketing skills.

4.2.3 Computers and Internet access to be made available in all degree level institutions.

4.2.4 The quality of IT training offered by private institutes is to be monitored and enhanced through an accredition programme.

4.3 Long Term :

4.3.1 Schemes to be worked out to enable students, teachers and schools to buy computers under attractive financial packages, such as easy installment bank loans at lower interests, participation by manufacturing Industries etc.

4.3.2 Computers and Internet access to be made available to all other institutions down to middle schools.

4.3.3 All educational institutions of higher learning and Research and Development organizations to be networked to provide quality education.

4.3.4 All teachers to be trained in IT knowledge and skills.

4.3.5 A Centre for Advanced Studies in Information Technology (CASIT) to be established in the Pondicherry Engineering College Campus with the following objectives:

    1) To carry out Research and Development on IT and related subjects.

    2) To offer a range of Master's programmes for creating top quality professionals in critical new technologies and a range of short term programmes for updating the skills of practising professionals and academicians.

    3) To help in implementing the IT policy of the Government.

    4) To undertake professional testing programmes and accredition of Private Training Institutions.

    5) To foster academic-industry linkages.

The centre should operate on self-sustaining and self-funding basis. Participation by National/Multinational corporations and Non Resident Indians (NRI's) is to be encouraged.

4.3.6 Digital libraries to be set-up in public libraries and academic institutions.

5.   Industries :

5.1 The IT Policy for the Industries is aimed at accelerating growth of IT industries such as Hardware( computers, pheripherals, telecommunication and related products), Software, Services, Training etc., by providing extra incentives in addition to the ones that are available, thereby increasing the employment opportunities, and earnings from domestic and export fronts. The policy will also aim at streamlining the procedures and planning for industry specific infrastructural facilities. The following will be the initiatives:-

5.2 Short Term :

5.2.1 An Industrial Guidance Bureau (IGB) to be set-up under the aegis of the department of Industries, which will function as the single window clearance agency for setting up of industries.

5.2.2 All restrictions, clearances and permissions required to be lifted with respect to setting up of software units.

5.2.3 IT related companies such as Software, Training, and Services which are environment friendly, to be allowed to function in residential areas and also to be exempted from inspection by factory inspectors etc.

5.2.4 Training Institutions for Hardware, Software, Services and Maintenance to be deemed as "Industries" and should be eligible for all facilities offered to Industries including Bank Finance and SSI. Certification for software training to be governed by existing standards prescribed by the Department Of Electronics (DOE), Government of India.

5.2.5 Exemption from the purview of Pollution Control Act to be given.

5.2.6 Priority in sanctioning and servicing of power at industrial rates.

5.2.7 Private sector Software Technology Parks to be encouraged.

5.2.8 Relaxation of Floor Space Index (FSI) to IT parks to the extent of 50% to be given.

5.2.9 A Venture capital fund to be established for IT related Industries through PIPDIC, SIDBI, Private sectors etc.

5.2.10Assistance to be sought from Dept of Telecommunications(DOT), Government of India(GOI) and Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd(VSNL) for expanding IT specific telecom facilities on war footing and ensuring high-speed international data connectivity.

5.2.11 State Investment subsidy upto 10% of capital investment subject to a maximum of Rs.10 lakhs, to be given.

5.2.12 50% subsidy for installation of captive generation sets by IT industries subject to a maximum of Rs.15 Lakhs to be given.

5.2.13 Sales Tax exemption for a period of 10 years to be given.

5.3 Long Term :

5.3.1 The Industrial Guidance Bureau (IGB) to act as consulting agency for the IT industries to enable them to obtain quality certification from International Standards Organization (ISO) and Software Engineering Institute (SEI).

5.3.2 As a part of the policy an aggressive compaign will be launched to promote Pondicherry as a destination for IT industry. NRIs of Pondicherry origin, particularly those in France to be specifically targetted.

6.   Public :

6.1 The IT policy for the public is aimed at improving the quality of life of the citizens and providing an easy access to the required information.

6.2 Short Term :

6.2.1 Internet Access nodes to be opened at all Regions, Blocks and commune levels.

6.2.2 IT in local languages, to be encouraged to spread its usage for the benefit of the common man.

6.2.3 The IT trained ex-service men to be utilized for IT penetration in the rural areas.

6.3 Long Term :

6.3.1 Government to encourage the setting up of value added services like Automatic Teller Machine (ATM), electronic Kiosks, smart cards, Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) services etc., with the help of private sector.

6.3.2 All the Government hospitals to be provided with computers and Internet access in order to give improved health care/education.

6.3.3 Internet access to be encouraged through cable TV without additional licensing as per cable laws.

6.3.4 Electronic Commerce to be introduced for the public for making transactions such as payment of taxes etc., with the Government.

7.   Pondicherry (UT)   Information Infrastructure:

7.1 A Pondicherry Information Infrastructure is very much essential to meet and realize the IT Policy specified. In view of this, a Pondicherry Information Infrastructure (PII) has to be conceived, designed and executed in a phased manner to provide the backbone for implementation of the IT Policy. The PII would essentially comprise the following elements:

7.1.1 Communication infrastructure encompassing High Speed Broad Band and Digital Telecom Infrastructure, to be established, for transfer of information in all forms reliably and interactively through out the UT and to the National Information Infrastructure(NII).

7.1.2 Computing platforms and Data Warehouses covering Servers, Workstations etc., to be set up to act as the public database and to provide storage, processing and information services across the network.

7.1.3 UT level networks, both Local Area Networks (LAN) and Wide Area Network (WAN) to be established for information processing and dissemination at regional, block and village levels.

7.1.4 Government to encourage DOT / private vendors in setting up necessary infrastructure to provide effective communication links towards realizing the objectives of the IT policy.

7.1.5 The area between Pondicherry Engineering College at Pillaichavady and the Ashoka Hotel at Kalapet to be declared as Hi-Tech Corridor.

8.   Organizational Structure :

8.1 An elaborate institutional support mechanism is highly essential for planning, implementing and monitoring the different components of the IT policy and IT initiatives.

8.1.1 An Information Technology Department to be established to act as a single point of contact and to coordinate all policy initiatives in the IT area.

8.1.2 A task force to be set up with Development Commissioner as Chairman and with professionals/experts drawn from Government/Private sectors, to review the implementation of IT policy periodically and to evolve new policies.

8.1.3 A High Power Committee comprising the key secretaries, to be set up under the chairmanship of the Chief Secretary to oversee the implementation of the IT policy and to ensure quick and comprehensive administrative clearances for IT related initiatives.

Financial estimate for the implementation of IT Policy


S.No. Details of the Scheme    99-2000    2000-01    2001-02       Total
1. IT course in all institutions & Course for Software Marketing 4.2.1 & 4.2.2          50          60          90         200
2. Internet access in all degree Level institutions 4.2.3           5           5           5          15
3. Internet access in Regions Blocks and Communes 6.2.1           3           6           6          15
4. IT development in Local Language 6.2.2          15          15          20          50
             73          86        121        280


SlNo. Details of the Scheme 99-2000 2000-01 2001-02 2002-03 2003-04 Total
1. Database development for All Departments 3.3.1     45     45     45     45     45    225
2. Internet for all depts 3.3.2     40     40     40     40     40    200
3. Trg. Of the Govt. officials 3.3.3     15     15     15     15     15     75
4. Farm clincs / Information Booths 3.3.5      5      5      5      5      5     25
5. GIS & Diaster Mgmet Applications 3.3.6 & 3.3.7     20     20     20     20     20    100
6. Scanning official records and Digitizing of Gazzette 3.3.8 & 3.3.9     15     15     20     20     20     90
7. Internet Access for Other Institutions 4.3.2     20     25     30     30     25    130
8. Networking Educational Institutions 4.3.3     20     20     20     20     20    100
9. IT Trg for Teachers 4.3.4     50     60     70     70     25    275
10. Advanced Centre for IT 4.3.5    100    300    250    250    100   1000
11. R & D Activities 4.3.5     10     10     10     10     10     50
12. Digital Library 4.3.6     20     20     20     20     20    100
13. Computer & Internet Access for Hospital 6.3.2     5     10     10     10     10      45
14. Union Territory Information Infrastructure 7.1     40     40     40     40     40    200
  Total    405    625    595    595    395   2615
  Grand Total    478    711    716    595    395   2895

9.   Conclusion:

The Financial inputs required for implementing the IT Policy are given in the Annexures. Since the implementation of the policy is hinged to the availability of funds, the sooner the funds are made available in the Plan, the easier it is to implement within the specified time frame. With the implementation of the IT policies highlighted, it is expected that the UT of Pondicherry will emerge as an "INTELLIGENT UT" of India in the 21st Century. This will definitely contribute towards improving the economic status and the standard of the people, comparable to the developed countries.