Knowledge City among five projects to be mentored by Pitroda

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Tvm: The Knowledge City project is one of the five projects that will be mentored by Sam Pitroda, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Public Infrastructure, Information & Innovations and also, Mentor for Kerala’s Vision 2030. Coastal transportation, Ayurveda, Waste management and e-Governance are the other projects that were recommended by him during his meeting with Chief Minister Shri Oommen Chandy, today in Thiruvananthapuram.

During Pitroda’s earlier visit in January, 2012, ten projects were discussed and proposed by him. The other five projects including the High Speed Rail corridor will be taken up by the State Government. All the projects will come up in Public Private Participation (PPP) mode. A co-ordination committee with the Chief Secretary as its head has been constituted to work out details. Another round of talks would be held in August before finalising the projects and they will be launched in the next one year.

Interacting with the media, Pitroda said that he favoured Trivandrum for the Knowledge City project as the city had the ecosystem to support such a project but if the State Government wants, similar projects could be started in Kochi and Kozhikode. He added that funds would not be a problem if the projects were structured properly and a minimum return of 10% was assured, along with proper risk management. It was up to the State to market these projects globally. “There was tremendous goodwill for Kerala among global investors and they would invest if projects were tailored to suit them”, he added.

An integrated Knowledge City, proposed as a cluster of knowledge institutions may employ about 20,000 knowledge professionals directly and provide indirect employment to at least 2 lakh people. In his presentation, Pitroda said that Kerala’s knowledge city would be built on the brand equity of trans-disciplinary studies. He said that the Planning Commission had been persuaded to set up a node for teraflop that helps high speed computing. This would leverage animation and gaming industry into Kerala with tremendous job potential. It would also help location of institutions for weather forecasting.

R Gopalakrishnan, Member Secretary, National Innovation Council, said that Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) would be the global partner for the initiative, individually or in combination with Harvard.

Kerala IT News

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