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Digital divide is reality, and must be addressed: Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah

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Bengaluru: Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Wednesday said digital divide is a reality, and it must be addressed to ensure the benefits of technology reach every citizen regardless of their background.

“We aim to 138bridge this gap through targeted initiatives, utilizing the power of data and analytics to drive informed decision-making in governance,” he said addressing at the inauguration of 2023 Bengaluru Tech Summit.

The Beyond Bengaluru is a unique initiative in that direction with the primary focus of developing and enhancing ecosystems in regions beyond Bengaluru and bridging the digital divide, he added.

Siddaramaiah said the state government is committed to furthering this technological trajectory, and also is committed to invest in the infrastructure needed to support the next wave of innovation.

He also said that the government is committed to foster collaboration between industry and academia, and create policies that propel the state of Karnataka to new heights on the global tech stage.

Siddaramaiah said Karnataka has been a driving force behind the IT sector’s success, contributing around US$ 85 billion to the nation’s exports.

This vibrant industry has not only provided direct employment to over 12 lakh professionals, but has also created a ripple effect, generating over 31 lakh indirect jobs, the CM said.

Karnataka’s share of software exports, nearly 40% of the country’s total, solidifies its position as a global IT powerhouse, he added.

Siddaramaiah said the state has become the most sought-after destination for global capability centres, hosting around 40% of GCCs in India.

“The availability of a skilled digital talent pool, a thriving innovation and startup ecosystem, and a conducive policy environment have fuelled the growth story of GCCs in Karnataka,” he said.

In the backdrop of the state making continued advancements in biotechnology, Siddaramaiah announced a revised Biotech Policy. “This policy revision reflects our commitment to staying ahead of the curve and fostering growth in this critical sector,” he said.

Siddaramaiah said his government is focused on building a seamless ecosystem that attracts investment, talent, and opportunities. “We want Karnataka to be seen as the hub with an “end-to-end ecosystem” for innovating and growing businesses,” he said.

The government’s pro-business policies reflect its dedication to simplifying regulatory processes, Siddaramaiah said. “From affidavit-based clearance to land reforms, central inspection systems, and single-window clearances, each step we take is aimed at encouraging an industry-friendly environment,” he said.

Crucially, Siddaramaiah said the policies are not developed in isolation but are driven by collaboration between industry and academia, in tandem with the state government.

“Vision Groups in IT, Biotech, and startups, comprising industry stalwarts and leaders, operate as think tanks, shaping the trajectory of our state’s development,” he said.

The government is also continuously strive to create an ecosystem that fosters innovation, supports startups, and attracts the brightest minds from around the globe.

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