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1st Meeting of the Information Technology Advisory Council under the Chairmanship of the Hon’ble Chief Minister

Panaji – Goa: The Information Technology (IT) Advisory Council formed to recommend measures to build a Startup and IT ecosystem to drive sustainable economic growth and generate large scale employment opportunities met for the first time on September 12, 2022.

The Secretary (IT) welcomed the members and introduced the proceeding of the meeting. He put forth the objective of the Government to promote the image of Goa to a world-wide audience and related the situation of how the pandemic can be an opportunity in this direction.

The Department of Information Technology laid out a detailed plan of action based on verticals of ‘Infrastructure, Talent & Outreach’ to make Goa the creative capital of the country. Hon’ble Minister for Tourism and IT, Shri Rohan Khaunte laid down this vision with an emphasis on making Goa a home to Creative Tech, Tech Startups and Tech Centre of Excellence (CoE).

Those present for the meeting were: Dr. Pramod Sawant, Hon’ble Chief Minister, Shri. Rohan Khaunte, Hon’ble Minister of Information Technology, Dr. Chandrakant Shetye, Chairman, InfoTech Corporation of Goa, Shri. Srinivas Dempo, Chairman, Dempo Group of Companies, Shri. Mohandas Pai, Co-founder and Chairman, Aarin Capital, Shri. Ajit Roy, IAS, Secretary, Information Technology, Shri. Sachin Lawande, President and CEO, Visteon Corporation, Shri. Ryan Carvalho, Director and Principal Consultant, Evolve IT Strategies, Shri. Sandeep Shenoy, Executive Director – Equities, PINC Research, Prof. Rakesh Shrivastava, Goa Institute of Management, Prof. Bharat Deshpande, BITS Pilani, K. K. Birla Goa Campus, Dr. Sharad Sinha, Associate Professor, Indian Institute of Technology, Dr. Damodar Reddy Edla, Associate Professor, National Institute of Technology and three special invitees; Smt. Swati Salgaonkar, President, CII, Shri. Ralph De Souza, President, GCCI, shri. Milind Anvekar, President, Goa Technology Association and Mr. Jervis Pereira, Founder Digital Kwills.

The Council, deliberating upon the vision to make Goa the Creative Capital of India, suggested organising outreach campaigns such as roadshows and meetings to build an industrial connect from established organisations.

The Council praised the Startup and IT policies and the amendments undertaken by the Department. Members of the Council also suggested intervention at the state-level to equip educational institutions for up-skilling of graduates. The Council also discussed measures to be taken to attract focus sectors in Goa, and a yearlong event plan that would provide a platform for the Industries and Startups to connect. In the said meeting it was also decided to setup a sub-committee of the academia and industrialists for brainstorming on the talent creation and nurturing aspect.

The Committee deliberated upon ways to improve the ease of doing business in the State and how Tourism and Technology sectors could collaborate and work in synergy towards Goa’s economic growth.

The Council praised the focus on the IT infrastructure projects planned; Electronic Manufacturing Cluster at Tuem, Pernem, and IT Hybrid Cluster at Porvorim, which will go a long way to cater to the demand of spaces for setting up Industries and Startups.

The Hon’ble Minister for IT emphasised on the concept of working in destination Goa and coined the phrase “#Workation Goa”, which he described would become synonymous to Goa in the coming months. In his address he thanked the members for their inputs and suggestions and spoke about how Goa is focussed at targeting niche tech segments. The Hon’ble Minister opened an invitation to Anchor Units to establish their base in Goa and assured the necessary support and cooperation.

After hearing the Council members, the Hon’ble Chief Minister suggested to look towards upskilling and bridging the industry-academy gap. The Hon’ble Chief Minister also promised the necessary support in ease of doing business for those companies intending to setup their base in Goa.

The possibilities of collaborating with incubators and accelerators for Startups was discussed and it is expected that Memorandum of Understanding with some renowned incubators would be signed shortly.

The meeting concluded with directions to the Department to prepare an operational structure for implementing the vision of the Council.

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