PUNE, November 30:India has chronically
under-invested in IT in comparison not only to US, Europe and China but also
compared to Sri Lanka and Egypt. It should not measure its success in IT merely by
looking at its exports but also on the basis of IT use within the country, said
chairman, Microsoft Corporation Pvt Ltd and member of CII National Council, Ravi
Venkatesan. Microsoft has done a study with Nasscom on IT productivity in India
and its impact on the economy and will be coming out with the report in January
2005, he added.
When it comes to IT penetration and IT use even in a state like
Maharashtra, remove Mumbai and Pune, it falls short on most parameters, Venkatesan
said, at the third edition of `EBDigital Maharashtra - Promoting competitiveness
of knowledge-based industry`ED organised by CII here on Monday.
Microsoft plans to expand in India and is also considering
options of either expanding at its existing centres in Delhi, Hyderabad and
Bangalore or move to Chennai, Kolkata or Pune. While the Andhra Pradesh chief
minister spoke to him and the West Bengal IT minister came calling, there were no
such push from Maharashtra, which was not promoting Maharashtra aggressively.
‘Maharashtra needed to make IT a priority. It would need to
attract key `EBlight house`ED companies to set up a significant presence in the
state as the IT industry had a herd like behaviour,’ Venkatesan suggested.
Maharashtra also needed to lead the country in e-governance, he said.
Microsoft India`EDs focus in the country, Venkatesan said,
would be to look at education in a big way. It has signed an MoU with the
Maharashtra for Project Shiksha, which is aimed at training teachers from
government schools from January 2005.
The company will be coming out with the Marathi version of its
Windows and MS Office products. This package for education institutions will be
available at lower rate. Project Shiksha, to be done in association with NIIT, is
aimed at training 80,000 teachers who in turn will teach 35 lakh students.
Microsoft India will be spending $20 million in India over the
next three to five years in the area of education. A similar MoU have also been
signed with the Karnataka and Uttaranchal also.