Giant leap in IT/ITeS/ESDM Sector Investments in Punjab

With a market size of USD 167 Bn and a share of approx 8% in GDP, the IT sector in India is a key contributor to India’s growth besides creating several job opportunities. ITES has propelled India as a global powerhouse and a preferred IT destination. Emerging technologies such as Big Data, Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, Cyber-Physical Systems, Advanced Robotics, Smart Manufacturing, and Nanotechnology are bringing rapid and large-scale changes across industries creating novel global opportunities.

Punjab is on its way of transition from Agri-based to a Technology-Driven economy and has identified IT/ITeS/ESDM as a thrust sector. The state also has India’s only large-scale ASIC Fabrication Laboratory in SCL-Mohali. SCL Mohali is also aiding in international research and technology projects by developing cutting edge technology for Chandrayaan 2 and a Large Hadron Collider, CERN Geneva besides many other strategic electronics sector projects.

Invest Punjab is actively promoting this sector by offering special incentives over and above the non-thrust sectors and implementing state policy initiatives that support the IT/ITeS/ESDM industry. Punjab Government has envisaged transforming Mohali into a world-class IT hub of the country with world-class amenities. The state has developed an IT city next to the Mohali International Airport with modern facilities and integrated infrastructure for setting up campuses by leading IT/ITeS/BPO companies. The region is also home to Quark City, Bestech Towers and STPI with ready to move in, plug and play infrastructure. STPI, Mohali provides
regulatory support to all IT units in the Tricity and has touched exports to the tune of INR 4,400 crores in FY 2018-19. Punjab Start-Up hub (NEURON) at STPI identifies and evaluates promising startups in the field of AI/Data Analytics, IoT, Audio, Visual, and Gaming. Built at a cost of approx INR 60 Cr, the facility is spread over 1.40 lakh sq ft. of built-up space and is one of the country’s largest incubation facilities.

Interestingly, the IT sector has been able to quickly adapt to the lockdown situation and all 23 Incubated IT companies (400 Employees) operating from STPI Mohali Incubation centre were able to work from their home during the lockdown. Most of the STP/NSTP units registered with STPI have also allowed their employees to work from home.

a. A sustained impressive rise in it/ITeS Sector Investment in the State

With aggressive policy advocacy and proactive follow up with the investors, investments in the IT/ITeS sector have risen substantially during the financial year 2019-20 and have touched Rs. 605 crores which are 164% times as compared to the previous financial year 2018-19 investment figure. This investment is expected to generate employment for nearly 4600 IT professionals. Some of the major companies who have invested during this financial year 2019- 20 are Aeren IT Solutions, Entella Pvt. Ltd. a Sweden origin Company, Target Everyone IT Pvt. Ltd., Miran informatics Pvt. Ltd., Mark Software, EON Infotech and Vertex Infosoft Solutions Pvt. Ltd. among many others.

The trend of increase in IT investments in the state continued with IT sector investment witnessing a jump from Rs. 121.49 cores in 2017-18 to Rs 365 Cr in FY 18-19.

b. SOME IT/ESDM RELATED Developments in the state – Upcoming Software Technology Parksof India (STPI) at Amritsar

Carrying forward the success of STPI Mohali towards the development of an IT ecosystem in Mohali, another STPI is coming up at Amritsar.

Department of IT, Govt. of Punjab is bearing the full cost of land (approx Rs. 6 crores already released to PSIEC), Rs. 1 crore as grant-in-aid and Rs. 4 crores towards construction of 10,000 sq. ft. (against total construction cost of approx Rs. 20 crores for 38000 sq. Ft total built-up area).

This initiative of the Department of Information Technology, Govt. of Punjab is expected to go a long way in encouraging new IT/ITES knowledge entrepreneurs for setting and starting their operation and for generating employment in the Amritsar region.

c. Center of Excellence (CoE) in Microelectronics/ASIC DESIGN

For promoting High tech technology development in the state, the Department of IT has collaborated with STPI and submitted proposals to the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Govt. of India for setting up of Centres of Excellence in Punjab in IT, AI, Machine Learning, Data Analytics, IoT, etc.

For the ESDM sector Government of Punjab has recently signed an MoU with Semi-Conductor Laboratory, (SCL), an autonomous society under Department of Space, Government of India and STPI for setting up of Center of Excellence (CoE) in Microelectronics/ASIC DESIGN in STPI premise in Mohali and for the Development of Electronic Design and Manufacturing ecosystem in the state of Punjab.

The above CoE will undertake Research & Development in the areas of Advanced VLSI Device Fabrication, VLSI Device, semiconductor Circuit Design, and Device Modelling. SCL will provide the technical guidance & mentorship to this COE.

SCL, STPI, and Govt. of Punjab are also planning to conduct Awareness Workshops which will cover basic introductory aspects of Microelectronics especially VLSI Design and Package Design, etc. which will target the students of various Engineering colleges and IITs to attend the workshop in addition to coordinating with various Design Houses in India like ST Microelectronics, Intel, AMD, etc. to take them on board in this upcoming COE.

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