The Punjab Government on Friday signed a tri-party Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish a Centre of Excellence in Microelectronics— Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) Design to be established on the premises of Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) in Mohali.The MoU was exchanged by Director IT department Punjab, Tanu Kashyap, with heads of Semi-Conductor Laboratory (SCL) and STPI during the panel discussion session on 'IT/ITeS and ESDM— Emerging IT Technologies: opportunities for Industry and State' on the concluding day of ongoing Progressive Punjab Investors Summit.The panel discussion was moderated by Director Quark Express Sofi Zahoor, while Director IIT Ropar SK Das, Director General STPI Dr Omkar Rai, Managing Director TT Consultant Komal Talwar and CEO Bebo Technologies Rajeev Rai were the panellists.Setting the context for the theme of the Progressive Punjab Investors Summit, Principal Secretary Finance Anirudh Tewari explained the role of emerging technologies in future IT scenario and also the State IT/ESDM world class ecosystem including the IT city near the International Airport which was rapidly emerging as the next IT destination.He further stated that the Punjab Government had undertaken several policy changes for promoting ease of doing business to facilitate maximum investments in the state.Punjab is a beautiful place for Industrialists with half of the Air Quality Index (AQI) as compare to Delhi besides having the much-needed infrastructure, uninterrupted power supply @Rs 5/unit for industry, highest road density, air connectivity and safest for women employees,” he said. Mohali is the only city in the country which is a central pool of academic institutions and industries together, he added.Tewari said that Punjab is on the way to transition from Agri based to a Technology-Driven economy and has identified IT/ITES/ESDM as a thrust sector. He said that the state government is dedicatedly promoting this sector by offering special incentives over and above the non-thrust sectors and implementing state policy initiatives that support the industry.
Director IIT Ropar SK Das taking part in discussion said that Punjab particularly Mohali emerging as innovative and researching hub in Information Technology based on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and availability of semiconductor designing and manufacturing here. Citing the example of Taiwan, which is the hub of manufacturing of semiconductors has set six AI Research Centres worldwide and only one such centre was set up in India which is at the IIT Ropar. He said AI is all set to give a major boost to the Electric, Healthcare and Automobiles sectors.Director General STPI Dr Omkar Rai further continuing the discussion termed Punjab as a start-up hub for IT Industry due to conducive environment being provided by the State Government. He added to disperse the IT industry even in smaller towns, department of electronics and information technology, Government of India has been setting up Centre of Excellence for research and Innovations.Managing Director TT Consultant Komal Talwar, who is also a task committee member on Artificial Intelligence by Government of India has termed Computer Science Field as the highest-paid industry having many fold job opportunities, particularly for women. Considering Punjab as the safest place for working women, Talwar asked the women to prepare themselves to overcome the barrier of not coming into the technology sector.She said that only the IT and AI sectors enable women to work from home with ease. She also announced to contribute 1% of her company’s revenue for this mission to bring women in the technology sector with Punjab Government.Terming Punjab as the most fertile destination for IT sector, CEO Bebo Technologies Rajeev Rai said that he could have invested in Delhi or Bengaluru but he has chosen Mohali due to tremendous Government support besides availability of young and talented minds.Meanwhile, Director SCL Dr Surinder Singh and Senior Vice President Infosys Sameer Goyal endorsed Punjab’s Industry and Investment friendly policies and also hailed the decision to earmark 250 acres of land particularly for manufacturing of electronic goods at upcoming Industrial Manufacturing Cluster at Rajpura.