IT Park invites proposals from local universities

Kathmandu, August 5

The government has finally started work to make use of Panauti, Kavrepalanchowk-based Information Technology (IT) Park. The Department of Information Technology (DoIT) has invited proposals from Nepali universities to impart professional IT-related training programmes and operate incubation centres and IT finishing schools.

A meeting of the IT Park Operation Committee held on Monday decided to call proposals along with work plans from interested universities giving 30 days’ time. The park that was built 11 years ago with a target to contribute in IT sector development is yet to be utilised. It is spread over 237 ropanis of land and was developed with an investment of around Rs 400 million.

As per the plan of the IT Park, an area of 8,126 square foot (on the ground floor and first floor) of its building will be provided to the universities on lease for producing skilled workforce in IT sector by conducting training, operation of incubation centres, and research and development in collaboration with regional, national and international organisations.

Through the incubation centres, the government is planning to provide platform to workforce wishing to start IT entrepreneurship. In this regard, selected individuals will get technical support, physical infrastructure and other facilities in such centres.

Similarly, in IT finishing schools, fresh IT graduates will go through capacity development course to make them ready for jobs, according to Ramesh Raj Subedi, director of DoIT.

Even though the government has floated the plan to start using the IT Park, DoIT is yet to fix the lease charges and fees for individuals taking part in the training and incubation centres and IT finishing schools.

“The main target is to produce skilled IT workforce based on demand of the labour market,” said Subedi. He also said that the issues related to charges will be dealt with later.

The proposals from the universities were invited based on a provision incorporated in the Directive on IT Park Operation and Management 2015. The guideline endorsed by the government two months ago has talked of operating the park in collaboration with universities and private sector under the public-private-partnership (PPP) model.

It has also talked of using the park for many purposes, including IT system design, call centre, operation of business processing outsourcing, research and development and training centre for production of skilled IT workforce, among others.

The park, as per the directive, can also be utilised for setting up data centre, data warehousing and backup, hardware fabrication and business incubation centre and running IT-based services and technical support centres, among others.

The IT Park Operation Committee has eight members under the coordination of secretary at the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment. The panel that includes representatives from concerned ministries, private sector and experts as members is tasked with devising required policies and plans to achieve the targets set in the guideline.