India offers to aid Sri Lanka in IT sector

Colombo, Feb 6 (IANS) External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Saturday said that India is ready to assist Sri Lanka in the information technology (IT) sector and set up an IT park in this island nation.

“One of the issues that I discussed with (Sri Lankan Foreign) Minister (Mangala) Samaraweera was the importance of information technology for the development of both our countries, and to take advantage of the opportunities that the new digital world offers,” Sushma Swaraj said while inaugurating a “Rise of Digital India” exhibition as part of “Sangam – a confluence of cultures”, a festival of India in Sri Lanka 2015-16.

The exhibition showcases the rise of the computing sector and digital technologies in India which is impacting the everyday lives of people in a positive manner.

“We felt that there are enormous opportunities of cooperation between the two countries in the field of information and digital technologies,” Sushma Swaraj said.

“India has made significant progress in the information technology sector and I conveyed our readiness to assist Sri Lanka in this sector.”

The external affairs minister said that India was ready to set up an IT park in Sri Lanka “that could attract investments in this important sector, and both sides agreed to explore this issue further”.

She said the “Digital India” campaign launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi was at the heart of the nation’s development strategy.

“The ‘Digital India’ initiative is one of the key measures to make government transparent, responsive and citizen friendly,” Sushma Sawaraj said.

“The objective is to create a digitally empowered society and infuse technology into government, healthcare and education,” she said.

According to her, India is weaving modern technologies with its immense civilisational strengths.

“From creating infrastructure to services, from manufacture of products to human resource development, from enabling citizens to promoting digital literacy, ‘Digital India’ aims to impact all aspects of life in India,” Sushma Swaraj said.

She also referred to India’s “Smart Cities” project with Bhubaneswar in Odisha leading the list “where information and communication technologies will be used to enhance quality, performance and interactivity of urban services, to reduce costs and resource consumption, and to improve contact between citizens and government”.

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