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Karnataka keen to focus on grassroots-level innovation: Yediyurappa

Karnataka will have greater focus on the development of indigenous technology, grassroot-level innovation, and people-friendly policies to contribute to the national goal of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’, Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa said at the inaugural session of the State’s annual tech exposition, Bengaluru Tech Summit, on Thursday.

He said the State was also committed to meaningfully contributing to the Union government’s vision of clocking India a $5-trillion economy by 2025. “To this end, we are in the process of making Karnataka more attractive for investors through the simplification of labour rules, progressive policies, and setting up initiatives such as Karnataka Digital Economy Mission, Karnataka Innovation Authority etc.,” he said.

‘Beyond Bengaluru’

The Chief Minister said his government was also taking active measures to take the IT industry “beyond Bengaluru” to create over 60 lakh direct and indirect jobs in the next five years. Given the pandemic, digital transformation is now happening at a rapid pace, making programmes such as ‘Make in India’ and ‘Digital India’ more important than ever before, he said.

“Over the past months, the government has taken a lead role in utilising technology to combat the pandemic. The Apthamitra app is a classic example,” said Chief Secretary T.M. Vijay Bhaskar.

Also speaking at the event was MLA for Shivaji Nagar Rizwan Arshad, who emphasised the need to work hard to take technology to the poorer sections of society. For example, in the education sector, when it comes to access to technology, children studying in government schools are left far behind in today’s COVID-19 situation, he argued. “So, it is imperative we make a level playing field for the less privileged children who come from the bottom of the pyramid,” he said.

On the first day of the session, Finland announced that an institution-level collaboration had been initiated between Business Finland and the Centre of Excellence for Data Science and Artificial Intelligence. Data Science and Artificial Intelligence, skilling programmes, and startup collaboration will be some of the areas of focus for Karnataka to work together with Finland. Karnataka has developed “Global Innovation Alliances (GIA)” with innovation hubs of the world, through which there are ongoing engagements with over 20 countries on a regular basis, and Finland is a key GIA partner.

The UK India Tech Hub initiative was also announced to promote cross-border technology transfer in early-stage businesses and to use digital skills and enterprise for inclusive and sustainable economic growth.

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