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The Assam government will lay the foundation stone of a technology city near Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport here on February 1, two days before the Global Investors' Summit.

The facility will come up on 300 bighas of land near the airport at a cost of Rs 129 crore.

State science, technology and IT minister Keshab Mahanta on Wednesday said chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal will lay the foundation stone of the tech city.

"Yesterday, the ministry of science and technology approved Rs 50 crore while the state government will contribute another Rs 25 crore and the rest of the amount generated from other funding agencies. We hope the approval of the project ahead of the Global Investors' Summit will give a message to investors about our commitment to explore potentiality in various sectors with the use of the right kind of technology," Mahanta said at a function to inaugurate the office of directorate of information technology.

The three-storied building, which will house the IT directorate on the secretariat campus, was inaugurated by Sonowal and Mahanta. IAS officer Vinod Kumar Seshan was appointed the first director of the department.

The IT department was set up in 2003 but had been functioning without a directorate. The BJP-led government approved a decision to set up the directorate last year.

Apart from the directorate office on the ground floor, the building will house the state data centre on the first floor, a centre for implementing the optical fibre network project and the e-governance office on the second floor.

"Nearly 500 panchayats are connected to Internet so far. We will connect another 2,500 in the next year. Our aim is to provide telephone and Internet connection to every household," Mahanta said.

Sonowal hoped that the IT directorate would help the government use information technology to bring in more transparency and accountability and thereby improve governance.

"Since we are inviting investors, we must have infrastructure to connect with the global community at any point of time. Besides, we must achieve the target of digital literacy to 3.3 crore people of the state," he said.

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Autor(en)/Author(s): Sumir Karmakar

Quelle/Source: The Telegraph, 25.01.2018

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