Not against English and computers, says Akhilesh at launch of IT City

LucknowCM Akhilesh Yadav with HCL chairman Shiv Nadar (on CMs left) before a press conference in Lucknow Monday. Vishal Srivastav

Stating that the Samajwadi Party is not against English or computers, and that it is just a misconception, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav Monday gave a letter of intent to HCL Group for the construction and development of Lucknow IT City worth Rs 1,500 crore.

Akhilesh's clarification comes after SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav had reportedly said in Etawah a month ago that MPs should be banned from addressing the House in English.

"There is a misconception that our party is against English and computers. Instead, we are trying to connect computers and English with employment."

The IT City, to be spread over 100 acres of land, introduces the concept of "walk to work", and will have training institute and a residential complex all under one roof, thus making it a first-of-its-kind-project, the CM said.

Announcing that the state government would fund 50 per cent of the fee for the training of students from UP in the IT training centre to be developed by HCL, Yadav said, "IT is a huge sector with lots of job opportunities. HCL would train youngsters here in Lucknow to make them employable. Students who hail from UP will be paid either 50 per cent of their fee or a maximum of Rs 5,000 per month."

The CM also said that by successfully carrying out the laptop distribution programme and now with this IT city, his government has silenced those who have raised doubts on the two initiatives

HCL chairman Shiv Nadar dispelled notions regarding the state's law and order situation affecting the interest of the investors, saying, "I started my business here. For the past 37 years, I have not seen even a semblance of resistance here. I can sense safety, except few incidents, given it is a big state with a large population."

He said HCL would develop the project in two phases of five years each, and target to invest Rs 200 crore in the first three years and Rs 500 crore in five years' time. HCL was the lone bidder for the project.

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