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Connect 2004: Showcasing TN's IT prowess

September 21, 2004 16:00 IST

Connect 2004, the fourth edition of Tamil Nadu's ICT show, will commence on Wednesday at the Chennai Trade Centre in Chennai. The international conference and exhibition will go on for four days.

According to the IT Secretary, Tamil Nadu, Vivek Harinarain, it is for the first time that an international conference-cum-exhibition of this magnitude is being organised in public-private partnership.

Connect 2004 is organized jointly by the Tamil Nadu government and the Confederation of Indian Industry, and it will showcase the IT strength of Tamil Nadu. Its main aim is to attract IT and IT-Enabled Services to the state.

Connect 2001, the first edition of the international conference-cum-exhibition on IT, Communication Technologies and Bio-Informatics resulted in business transactions of more than Rs 120 crore (Rs 1.20 billion), with over 10,000 business and general visitors.

Connect 2002 focused on IT and Communication Technologies aspects of Tamil Nadu, and it had international representatives from the United States, the United Kingdom, Singapore and Mauritius participating in it. For the first time in India, a state released its IT Policy. 50,000 people visited the exhibition.

Connect 2003 showcased Tamil Nadu as the destination of choice for IT investments. It had 5000 business visitors and 50,000 general visitors.

Connect 2004 is expected to attract 10,000 business visitors and 50,000 general visitors, according to the IT secretary. With 20 state governments participating in the event, the focus of Connect 2004 may become the ICT opportunities in India itself.

"The conference will guide us on how IT can help in manufacturing, e-governance and i-serve. So, you can call the theme of the event as ICT for people."

The 4-Enterprise ICT conferences will focus on Wireless Technology, i-Govern, Smart manufacturing and i-Serve. Wireless Conference will be on the emerging trends and opportunities in wireless modules of IT solutions. i-Govern 2004 will focus on quality of IT in public services and spell out opportunities and challenges in replicating of e-governance models. Smart Man will focus on IT- as a key enabler in world class manufacturing. Conference of i-Serve will be on emerging integrated e-solutions for service sector.

Not only delegates from 20 other states but delegations from Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Nepal, Mexico, Dubai and South Korea are also participating in Connect 2004.

As far as government participation is concerned, Government of India, and state governments of Karnataka, Pondicherry, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu are main participants.

The Tamil Nadu government would not only promote Chennai as the most favoured IT and ITES destination in the state but Coimbatore, Trichy and Hosur too, remarked D Jayakumar, the law and IT minister of the state.

One of the interesting exhibitions is from IBM; it will showcase the Linux, open standards and e-governance framework. IBM would also demonstrate a new product –Express -- specially designed for SMEs.

According to estimates, customer spending for IT in the SME marketplace is growing faster; it was around $300 billion last year.

Shobha Warrier in Chennai