Telangana inks historic MoU with Illinois on Smart State Cooperation

MoU signatories L to R Arvind Kumar, Hardik Bhatt with Minister  KT Rama Rao and CG Dr Ausaf Sayeed

MoU signatories L to R Arvind Kumar, Hardik Bhatt with Minister
KT Rama Rao and CG Dr Ausaf Sayeed

CHICAGO: It was in a way history in the making when for the first time a State in Indian Union – the newly formed Telengana – and a front runner State of Illinois in USA signed a Memorandum of Understanding ( MoU) for collaboration and interaction between the two in various fields in the form of sharing expertise.

The agreement was signed by Principal Secretary (Industries and Commerce) Arvind Kumar on behalf of Telangana and Secretary of Innovation & Technology and Chief Information Officer Hardik Bhatt on behalf of Illinois at Chicago on Monday, October 17.

The Telangana Minister for Industries and IT K. Taraka Rama Rao and Consul General of India Dr. Ausaf Sayeed were present at the event. The MoU was signed as part of Mr. Rama Rao’s second leg of business visit to the USA to promote Telangana and attract investments to the State.

According to officials, the agreement would facilitate cooperation in the areas of Smart State Solutions, e-governance, entrepreneurship, innovation, business incubators, job creation and best practices between the two States. Under the Smart State solutions, Illinois State would introduce “Array of Things” sensors for air pollution monitoring in Telangana.

The two States would also share best practices, tools and processes for disaster/emergency management, data management, data analytics, open data and Intelligent Transportation Systems.

As part of cooperation in e-governance, the two States would strive to transform the State agencies by incorporating communications and information technologies into their operations. The two governments would share information and insights on the e-services implemented in Illinois and Telangana, evaluate them for their effectiveness and impact on citizens, the officials explained.

MoU signers with other members of Illinois government, Minister KT Rama Rao and CG Dr Ausaf Sayeed

MoU signers with other members of Illinois government, Minister KT Rama Rao and CG Dr Ausaf Sayeed

Further, the MoU would also aim at promoting entrepreneurship in both the States by facilitating interaction between entrepreneurs and holding hackathons for high citizen impact applications.
The two States would work to establish UI Labs, an innovation accelerator, in Telangana and to replicate innovation labs in Telangana back in Illinois.

The MoU would also help establishment of joint business incubators to support development of high technology solutions and foster the start-up culture. The two States would also work for identifying job creation initiatives and share best practices and experience related to policies and regulations, financial models and standards.

CG in his welcome address also hinted that the Consulate is hosting a meet of scientists besides taking measures to promote economic cooperation between India and Midwest Region.

Hardik Bhatt in a small talk with this paper indicated that this was the first step and that Illinois is considering to have similar tie ups with other States and regions in India. Gujarat State is one in the line, he mentioned.

Dr Deepak Kant Vyas, a businessman from St Louis specially flew for this event to Chicago along with a team of St. Louis regional Chambers of Commerce. Dr Vyas has been active in the field of promoting economic co-operation between St. Louis and India along with James Alexander, senior Vice president of Economic Development and Karen Ellis, Director Economic Development, St. Louis Regional Chamber. The two officials were accompanied by Dennise Pruitt of Missori Parners.

James Alexander indicated that their organization planned to take a business delegation to India in early 2017 for closer business links.

Ramesh Soparawala
India Post News Service

Tags: