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Budget to focus on IT and Entrepreneurship

Dr.T.P.Sethumadhavan

 In tune with growth of services sector, Kerala Budget 2017-18 has given more thrust to changing trends in education and career. IT sector has been given an allocation of 549 Crores. Budget proposed more allocation for Entrepreneurship, start-ups, technology business incubators and Boot camps. KSIDC will implement Technology Business incubators in the campuses. It has been forecasted that by 2020 Infopark will generate one lakh employment opportunities. 45000 School class rooms will be converted as high-tech class rooms. Smart classes will be established in schools with more than 1000 students. Rs 3 Crore will be allocated to each school. In order to strengthen school’s infrastructure facilities, a challenge fund will be launched so that Government will fund up to One Crore Rupees as part of Challenge fund. Kerala Institute of Local Administration, Thrissur will be converted as a higher learning centre of which Rs 30 Crores were ear marked. Smart city had received an allocation of Rs 100 Crores.
Plan expenditure for the year 2017-18 has been increased to additional 10.4 percent. Free internet access will be provided to 20 lakh families and the digitalisation process will be augmented as a sequel to demonetisation. This initiative envisages to provide about 1 GB data per month totally free of cost. Additional usage may be charged. By 2020, one lakh jobs to be generated through Kochi Info Park. 12 IT Parks will be set up and hardware mission will be allotted Rs 1 Crore. Free wifi will be made available in all Akshaya centres to facilitate e-seva facilities. Majority of government transactions will be through platform. Budget promises to create 2,500 new posts of higher secondary teachers in the state. Moreover State schools will get 45,000 more smart class rooms. Rs 100 crore was allocated for Smart City mission. More allocation was proposed for skill development programme as part of ASAP.

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