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IT companies in Karnataka exempt from state labour laws

State IT, BT and Science & Technology minister SR Patil said, IT organizations and other knowledge-based industries across Karnataka will be exempted from state labour laws for an additional 5 years. “The knowledge-based sector will be considered essential services and barred from strikes and shutdowns from April. They will also be exempted from complying with working hours regulations as stipulated in the Karnataka Industrial Employment Rules, 1946 for another five years,” Patil told reporters here. The clause for protection of women employees and prevention of sexual harassment at workplace in the order will, however, be applicable.
The state government is setting up the first Electronic System Design and Manufacturing (ESDM) brown field cluster in the electronics city here at a cost of Rs 85.15 crore. “The department of electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) has approved the ESDM cluster development project, which will be located in 1.2 acres of land in the electronics city to accelerate the growth of the ESDM-based industry in the state,” Patil said. As the fastest growing segment of the (ICT) sector, ESDM is projected to touch $400 billion by 2020 and generate 28 million jobs, according to the National Electronics Policy 2012. The central government has announced a modified special incentive package scheme to provide incentives to ESDM firms.
“We have come up with an ESDM policy with additional incentives to encourage the growth of the sector,” Patil noted. The state government has also granted Rs 5 lakh each to nine engineering colleges across the state for setting up incubation centres to foster entrepreneurship among their students. The nine engineering colleges are located at Bagalkot, Belgaum, Bijapur Dharwad, Gulbarga, Mysore, Shimoga and Tumkur. “The centres will be networked to exchange experiences and learn from each other’s domain expertise. The incubation centres will tie up with local industry leaders who will mentor the startups,” Patil said.
Startups will be eligible for plug-and-play space with internet at concessional rates of Rs 5-15 per square feet, depending on location. They will be given space in government owned or leased or privately-leased location. An apex committee comprising government and IT industry’s representatives will select the startups. The Karnataka Information and Communication Technology (ICT) group, set up by the state government, to retain the state’s pre-eminent position in the country as the preferred investment destination in the knowledge sector, has proposed to build Karnataka New Age Incubation Network for creating opportunities and jobs. “The incubation centres will encourage entrepreneurs to give preference to students, research scholars and alumni of the nine colleges. They will take up projects to solve local problems and find solutions to local needs,” Patil added.

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