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IT policy neglects women

Published Nov 26, 2013, 1:31 pm IST
Updated Mar 18, 2019, 8:21 pm IST
Business atmosphere, bank loan system do not aid women entrepreneurs.

Hyderabad: The impressive IT policy charted out by the state’s IT department is half way through its time frame but a number of goals, such as promotion of IT incubation facilities at engineering colleges and incentives for SC, ST and women entrepreneurs, have not even begun.

While there are specific incentives being offered under the policy, women’s industry bodies say that there is no infrastructure outside Hyderabad to support such projects and no attempts from the department to publicise the benefits.


Although the IT department has announced incentives for women entrepreneurs, the whole focus of IT in the city is on software whereas IT Enabled Services, which have much scope, are not being innovated to create entrepreneurial opportunities.

Also, the business atmosphere, bank loan system and investors are not available for women to tap into, pointed out women industry bodies. According to officials at the department, there may be less than 10 entrepreneurs, although there are no details available.

But IT companies’  association doesn’t have a single woman entrepreneur in the list. The Information Technology and Communications department has received about 10 to 15 enquiries from women toying with the idea of entrepreneurship.

The IT policy was introduced in July 2010. Women are 30 per cent of the IT workforce. Women entrepreneurs feel that a more proactive policy is needed.

The ITC policy has spelt out provisions like 100 per cent reimbursement on stamp duty, transfer duty, registration fee paid on sale or lease deeds on the first transactions, 25 per cent rebate in land cost, 20 per cent subsidy on fixed capital investment, 50 per cent power subsidy for five years, `10 lakh as recruitment assistance, reimbursement of patent filing cost and reimbursement of 100 per cent exhibition stall rental cost.

In addition, 15 per cent of built-up office space in government promoted IT, multi-purpose SEZs and IT parks has been reserved for women IT entrepreneurs.

Be it FICCI Ladies Organisation, Confe-deration of Women Entrepreneurs, IT and ITES Association of Andhra Pradesh or Association of Lady Entrepreneurs of AP, none have any women IT entrepreneurs on their list. “It is easier for a qualified woman to get a job in the IT field than to start a project of her own.

Also, since IT is only showcased as software, it is not clear what other business can be done within IT. We have to create business opportunities using IT, for which innovation is necessary. Even training institutes are preparing women to be able to land jobs and not for entrepreneurship,” said Rama Devi, president of ALEAP.

Next: Only 10% eligible for IT jobs

Only 10% eligible for IT jobs

Hyderabad: Even after a decade of pointing out that the quality of engineering graduates from the state is poor, companies say that less than 10 per cent graduates are worth recruiting. Of the total number of graduates, it is difficult to get even 10,000 quality graduates and the situation has not seen any improvement over the last decade, say recruiters.

The IT and ITES Industry Association, in association with NASSCOM, had earlier charted out recommendations to have a dedicated official appointed for each of the tier II destinations and be given mandates to help expedite the growth in these areas.

The idea was to focus on start-up and incubation facilities so that students got a thorough industry orientation, internships and other campus programmes.

However, the universities and colleges have not taken the opportunity and despite attempts by the industry, the overall employability quotient of graduates has remained pathetic.

“Partnership between the industry and the academia has to be strengthenedbut the colleges have not responded well. In fact till date it is difficult to get 10,000 employable graduates in a year,” said Ramesh Loganathan, vice-president ITsAP.

Next: JKCs just a quick-fix: IT industry

JKCs just a quick-fix: IT industry

Hyderabad: According to the IT industry, the Jawahar Knowledge Centres are quick fix band-aids which have not made any significant changes.

While it has helped students from rural areas, which offsets one part of the problem, the performance of JKCs has been sliding over the years.

Recruitments through JKC centres have gone down by less than half in the last three years and the number of companies recruiting had also fallen last year from 30 to just 10. This year so far, only one recruiter has come forward.

The big players like Wipro, TCS, IBM and HCL are now shying away from the JKCs. Officials say that unlike earlier, when the government would insist that each company hired from JKC centres, the tempo has gone down as hiring was almost stopped three years back during the economic slowdown.

“Companies first choose from IITs and other institutes and universities and only then look at students from JKCs. Hiring has seriously decreased in Andhra Pradesh and moreover, a clear shift in the pattern of hiring has emerged now.

Unlike earlier, engineering graduates are less in demand. They are being hired for only a few posts while for other posts that require working under a team leader, normal graduates are being picked,” said a senior JKC official.

Meanwhile, IT companies say that despite years of existence, JKC has made no major difference and is like a band-aid put on the huge problem and has therefore not changed the scenario.

Location: Andhra Pradesh