Shimla: Sachin Pilot, union minister of state for communication and information technology said that the ministry was keen to set up more Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) in Himachal as there was demand for them and the state needed to provide land for it.
The young and savvy minister who was here for inaugurating an upgradation of 11 post officers said, that there was one STPI operating at Shimla but it was a very small place and the ministry was keen to set up more.
He said that IT sector had emerged a major employer in the country as there were 25 lakhs directly employed and another 85 lakhs were indirectly in this sector.
The state government was slow in executing the State Data Center project and this was delaying roll out of many important e-governance initiatives, said Pilot.
The minister said that call dropping on BSNL network was because of traffic congestion and steps were being taken to improve the service.
With the countrywide tele-density in rural areas at 33% and that in urban areas at 160%, the minister said that efforts were for reducing the divide.
In remote Spiti valley, Samdoh and Losar had been provided with mobile connectivity through satellites.
Nako and Changho had been provided mobile connectivity and along the Indo-China border, 9 satellite phones had been set up for use for border security forces and another 30 are to be installed, he said.
Himachal Pradesh University would be connected to the National Knowledge hub network soon, he added.
Postal department intends to open about 1000 ATMs as part of its business expansion plans and targets to computerize the entire network of 1.55 lakh posts offices in the country by 2012, for which a budget of Rs 1877 Cr has been provided, said Pilot.
After upgrading 12 post offices under project arrow the minister let the media know that the proposal of opening ATMs was being undertaken on a pilot basis and would leverage the organizations network for financial inclusion. Core banking facilities would be introduced in 4000 branches, he said.
He added that a large number of post offices under project arrow program were being transformed into a responsive business organisation with a focus on social obligations.
In all 25 post offices in Himachal would be upgraded under the project for which Rs 4.25 cr has been marked, he said.
In 2010, the Himachal circled handled 97,223 electronic money orders 162 instant money orders, 69,685 e-post, and 57.71 lakh speed post transactions.
With demand for speed posts increasing, the minister announced opening of three more sorting centers at Solan, Kangra and Hamirpur besides the 3 already operating in Shimla, Pathankot and Ambala.
To keep the post offices viable, he said a target of 20% addition revenues had been given. India posts provides employment to about 5 lakh people, he added.