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Kerala all set to become knowledge-based society: CM

twitter-logoPTI | March 22, 2018 | Updated 18:57 IST

(Eds: Adding inputs) Kochi, Mar 22 (PTI) Seeking to woo emerging knowledge companies to Kerala, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan today said the state was all set to become a knowledge-based society for which the government will put in place all infrastructure and policy framework. "We have a wide range of highly qualified and skilled professionals and world class physical and digital infrastructure that can attract the emerging knowledge companies to Kerala," the Chief Minister said, in his inaugural address at the Global Digital Summit - #FUTURE. Spelling out steps taken by the government to create digital infrastructure in the state, the Chief Minister, said his dispensation was committed to provide free Wi-Fi in at least a 1,000 public spots every year. To ensure that the requisite infrastructural facilities were available in the state, the government had already taken up the ambitious goal of increasing the floor area of its IT parks by 10 million square feet, he said. "It is not just the physical infrastructure that we are focusing on. We are preparing the much required digital infrastructure as well," he said addressing top business leaders and influencers from across the world. The government has declared internet as a right to the citizens and committed to provide free Wi-Fi in at least 1,000 public spots every year, including parks and libraries. "We are connecting our offices and homes with a high speed optical fibre network," he said. Recalling the inherent strengths of Kerala to rise up to the fast-paced changes happening around the world, he said the ongoing conclave is a key step in showcasing the state as a global digital and information technology destination. "Through #FUTURE, we hope to connect and collaborate so as to enable a digital lifestyle for all in the state. That is why we have this confluence of thought leaders, knowledge champions and leading industrialists, IT professionals and  experts here," he observed. The summit is attended by nearly 30 global experts, who will share their knowledge and experiences during discussions scheduled over two days covering sectors from travel and transportation, big data and health and sustainability to education and skills, technology and banking, finance and retail. He said the interactions with leading lights in the knowledge domain would certainly help share a comprehensive picture of the vast investment potential of the state. "We are moving towards ensuring that last mile connectivity is a reality in Kerala, by linking even our rural and coastal areas," Vijayan said. Highlighting the scope of business opportunities in Kerala, the Chief Minister said the state presents a phenomenal business ecosystem. Kerala showcased a 35 million strong population. With superior human development indices and an abundantly varied topographical landscape, the state presented the rich blend of a phenomenally beautiful natural living environment and a highly literate population presenting a rich pool of knowledge and digitally adept workforce, he said. Vijayan said the state has always embraced various cultures and talents from other cities and even all over the world would find Kerala their natural home. The government recognises the potential of the information and digital technologies in transforming the socio-economic landscape of the state, he said. "Through this summit we look forward to equip our industries, education system, healthcare and the government services so as to make the best use of emerging technologies," he said. The summit would also provide a rare opportunity to start-ups and the vast pool of skilled youth to meet and interact with the top figures who have assembled for the event. "We are promoting startups like never before with both technical and financial support. We are also investing in skill development platforms, apart from ensuring the last mile connectivity," he said. Vijayan further said the summit is the best opportunity for students to learn from eminent academicians and leading industry professionals. On the occasion, the Chief Minister also launched M-Kerala, a unified app for all government services. S D Shibulal, Chairman of Keralas High Power Committee on IT (HPIC), said over 30 business leaders who have made a name in the global arena are attending the summit. PTI TGB SS

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