Andhra Pradesh To Tie Up With MIT

NEW YORK, NY (TIP): The Government of Andhra Pradesh is to sign an MOU with the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston to tap its vast resources to develop interactive labs and utilizing its edX platform and open courseware, said Andhra Pradesh Minister of Information Technology and Communications Ponnala Lakshmaiah here Monday, June 3.

Addressing an international media conference at Bombay Palace restaurant in Manhattan, he said on his return from Boston that Andhra Pradesh has 700 Engineering colleges that churn out over 250,000 engineers in various disciplines annually. The educational system needs a serious face lift back home in the absence of qualified teachers. The proposed partnership will help the State to develop interactive labs where small and rural colleges can have access to the expensive labs using the iLabs technology of the MIT.

The tie-up will also help in the development of utilization of OSIDs – Open Software Interface Definitions. The MOU will help tap the edX platform and open courseware of MIT to develop alternative learning mechanisms in the wake of serious dearth of qualified teaching professionals, he said. The Minister said the finer details are being worked out and the MOU will be signed within a few months and this will be a major breakthrough in enhancing the quality of education in the state.

Hyderabad is emerging as a knowledge economy, he said. The Minister highlighted in his discussions with the top-brass of MIT that one out of three IT professionals working in the US is an Indian and out of three Indians one is from Andhra Pradesh. Andhra Pradesh is the first state to pioneer e-governance projects across India and contributes 12 percent to national employment in the IT sector.

“The MIT faculty was pleasantly surprised to learn that Andhra Pradesh has about 700 engineering colleges and assured their cooperation in skill development,” the Minister said. Answering questions, Lakshmaiah said the global potential of electronic hardware industry is estimated at $ 2.4 Trillion by 2020 and the demand for the Indian market that stood at $45 Billion is expected to touch $400 Billion by 2020.

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Andhra Pradesh unveiled the nation’s first electronic hardware policy for 2012-2017 highlighting special facilitation and incentives for electronics hardware in the areas of industrial electronics, communication and broadcast equipment and strategic electronics and components. The State Government is setting up a game city in an area of 30 acres near Hyderabad dedicated to the growing fields of gaming, animation, media and entertainment.

Once completed the game city will deliver $500 Million as additional net export revenue to the regional economy for over five years. It is expected to provide employment to 15,000 people and over 200 animation and gaming centers will come up in the city, the Minister said. The game city along with ICT industry will make Andhra Pradesh world’s one of the most wired states in Asia Pacific region.

India has mere one percent share of animation and gaming industry, he said. The Minister who walked the Red Carpet at the Cannes Film Festival said Andhra Pradesh produces largest number of movies in India with190 being made last year. More than 80 percent of visual effects of Oscar-winning movie Life of Pie were designed by Rhythm and Hues, a Hyderabad-based company that has 250 employees.

The national award winning animation movie Ega (Flies) was developed in Hyderabad, he said. The New York Times mentions Hyderabad as one of the 41 must cities of the world and the only from India. It ranks at 19th place. The World Bank in its report has rated Hyderabad as best metro in India. The Harvard Business School has dubbed Hyderabad as most investment friendly in India, he added.

Sanjay Jaju, Secretary to AP Government, Information Technology and Communications Department said India’s first electronic manufacturing cluster is to be set up in Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam to make the State electronics manufacturing capital of India. Jaju said the State contributes over 15 percent of national IT exports and makes 12 percent of national IT employment. It ranks fourth nationwide in IT performance and contributes 40 percent of total exports from Andhra Pradesh.

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