Mon, 19 Aug, 2019

GTA 2.0: All set to take Goa’s IT ecosystem to a whole new level

The newly constituted managing committee of Goa Technology Association (GTA) is all set to grow the IT ecosystem of Goa by leaps and bounds. GTA 2.0 will aim at strengthening the industry-academia bond, getting all the IT companies registered under the policy and growing IT exports happening out of the State.

10th June 2019, 03:32 Hrs

Karan Sehgal  

PANAJI  

Recently, Goa Technology Association (GTA)’s new managing committee was constituted for the term 2019-21. Having formed only in 2017, GTA is a young industry association, but in its first term itself (2017-19) GTA 1.0 achieved a lot.  

GTA 1.0 focuses on bringing all information-technology (IT) stakeholders under one umbrella. As a result, more than 70 IT companies and start-ups are registered with GTA today. It also played an active role in the drafting and implementation of the IT Policy and Start-up Policy; both the documents are hailed as some of the best policy documents ever notified in Goa.  

The third area GTA 1.0 made efforts for was industry-academia collaboration. There used to be a huge gap between the curriculums of engineering colleges and the skill sets desired by the IT companies. GTA 1.0 tried to address it by increasing engagement with students and the institutes.  

Clearly, GTA 1.0 had achieved a lot and now the new managing committee, GTA 2.0, wants to take that work forward. Mangirish Salelkar is the president re-elect of GTA. Milind Anvekar and Jervis Pereira are the vice-presidents of the association. Yashvit Naik is the secretary and Rohan Warty is the treasurer.  

Strengthening the bond between the students and the industry is one of the main objectives of GTA 2.0. 

Efforts are already on to play a vital role in drafting curriculums of the engineering institutes and also to get the students on board to give them an experience into how the industry runs.  

Mangirish Salelkar, president, GTA, said, “Institutes like Padre Conceicao College of Engineering (PCC) and others have proposed that GTA comes on board for drafting of IT curriculums of their courses. During GTA 2.0, we will continue to promote industry-academia collaboration.” 

Salelkar continued, “We also have a plan of starting a student chapter wherein students from first, second, third and fourth year of engineering will be taken on board for interface. This initiative will help the students in knowing what is happening in the ecosystem.”  

Yashvit Naik, secretary, GTA, said, “Important changes are happening in the syllabus of engineering courses. Earlier, students would do internship of only 2 weeks, which wasn’t really helpful. Now, they will be doing internship of 8 weeks, which will be really beneficial.”  

Such initiatives will make students ready for the industry so that when they join the IT companies, they would in sync with the expectations of the employers. 

Moreover, it will also help the IT sector in employing more locals than recruiting people from outside of the State.  

The other area GTA 2.0 will focus on is growing IT exports from the State.  In 2017, Goa’s IT exports stood at Rs 85.3 crore, which was not even a fraction of India’s IT exports, which stood at Rs 3.5 lakh crore.  

GTA 2.0’s target is to ensure that Goa’s IT exports reach 1% of India’s IT exports by the year 2020.  

For this purpose, GTA 2.0 is going to partner in a lot of national and international events so that its members can network, get into partnerships and grow their businesses. For example: GTA is associated with ‘Vibrant Goa Global Expo and Summit 2019’, which will happen from October 17 to 19 in Panaji.  

Vibrant Goa is aimed at bringing business delegates from all over the world to Goa so that 

Goan companies grow their trade. It will provide a great opportunity to GTA members to network and grow their business.  

During GTA 1.0, the IT sector had complained that the process of registration under the IT Policy and Start-up Policy was slow and cumbersome. These policies provide a number of subsidies to IT companies on purchase of office space/built-up area, subsidy on power and internet bills and etc. However, to avail these subsidies, the companies have to be registered under the policies.  

An IT entrepreneur, on the condition of anonymity, said, “It has been 9 months that we submitted an  

application for registration under the IT Policy. Still, we have not been registered and neither have we heard from the government as to what is the reason for delay.”  

GTA’s managing committee is aware of the issues pertaining to slow registration. And, they are trying to ensure that the registration process becomes simple and transparent.  

Milind Anvekar, vice-president, GTA, said, “We are trying to have on-the-spot registration. This means that the process of registration happens on the spot itself without the IT companies waiting for a long time. We are targeting that by the end of this quarter (June 30) all the IT companies and start-ups with get registered under the policies.”  

Anvekar continued, “It’s really good that the CEO of Investment Promotion Board (IPB), Vishal Prakash, has got involved with the registration process. With his involvement, we expect that the process will become more efficient and simple.”  

The managing committee of GTA 2.0 is very clear about its objectives. 

Moreover, they have gained valuable experience during GTA 1.0. With a lot of members already on-board, policies in places and events like Vibrant Goa happening in the State, GTA 2.0 is all set on an interesting journey ahead.  

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