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Maharashtra to focus on biotechnology

December 01, 2003 15:52 IST

Maharashtra government will focus on biotechnology and building a brand image for the state, even as it is planning to increase the information technology infrastructure to bridge the digital divide.

"Biotechnology is one of the fastest developing sectors and we see a lot of potential," state chief minister Sushilkumar Shinde said in his inaugural address at `Digital Maharashtra', a conference organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry, in Mumbai on Monday.

The state expects to replicate its success in the business process outsourcing segment, he said, adding even though a late starter, Maharashtra has emerged as one the leading states in BPO operations in the country.

A biotechnology centre and park was also being planned in Pune and the state was open to investments from major players, both domestic and international, he said.

The chief minister also said the state would embark on a brand-building exercise to showcase it as the IT destination of the country. Stress on IT infrastructure and policies and efforts to bridge the `digital divide' were also on the state's agenda, he said.

Later, speaking to reporters, Shinde said that only a small fraction uses IT and IT-enabled technologies, resulting in an evident digital divide.

On the outsourcing issues around the globe, he said a slowdown in BPO activities was being felt due to the fear of job losses in other countries like the United States and United Kingdom, and added "this is a passing phase and the country will overcome it."

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