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Policy interventions mooted to accelerate Technology Diffusion – Namal Rajapaksa

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The government is keen to make necessary policy interventions to adopt Industry 4.0 cutting edge technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning, Augmented Reality, Internet of Things (IOT), Robotic, Big Data Cloud Computing, etc. in the vital sectors of the economy.

These sentiments were expressed by Minister of Youth, Sports and Development Coordination and Monitoring, State Minister of Digital Technology & Enterprise Development Namal Rajapaksa who was the chief Guest at the inauguration of the 39th National Information Technology Conference (NITC) 2021.

Minister Rajapaksa added: “The conference theme “Accelerate Technology Diffusion” is timely and in line with the government’s vision. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s policy statement Vista’s for Prosperity and Splendour places a high priority for technology. “Creating a technology based society” is amongst the top ten policy priorities”

Minister Namal Rajapaksa further said “I am glad to announce that a of week ago Cabinet of Ministers approved my proposal to appoint a committee to report to the Cabinet on the Acts, Rules and Regulations to attract investments and investors in the areas of Digital Banking, Blockchain and Blockchain related industries such as crypto currency.

As a result of the efforts of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa who strengthened ICTA during his presidency, the ICT industry became a USD 1 billion export Industry by now. Then President extended the existence of ICTA beyond 2007 with an amendment to ICTA act 2003 in 2007. Else ICTA would have been closed down in 2008.

“Today the ICT industry targets to achieve USD 3 Billion foreign exchange revenue by 2024. If that happened technology industry could fill a considerable share of the balance of payment deficit of our country by 2024. This will be a significant contribution by your industry.”

This government gives the fullest support to the industry to achieve these targets. Five Technology parks initiative is one example. Colombo port city will also offer ultra-modern infrastructure for inventors of the digital sector to set up their companies in Sri Lanka.

“I firmly believe our digital industry under the leadership of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has the potential to become the highest foreign exchange earning industry in the country.”

The Computer Society of Sri Lanka and ICT Professionals too have a great responsibility influencing policy makers to bring about necessary reforms in our education system in order to produce the knowledge and skills so that we don’t miss the industry 4.0 opportunity and actively participate in this massive global transformation and contribute to achieving national prosperity’ concluded Minister Rajapaksa.

Jayantha De Silva, Secretary, Ministry of Technology was the Guest of Honor and the Inauguration Keynote Speaker at the largest annual gathering of ICT practitioners.

National Information Technology Conference (NITC) 2021 with the theme “Accelerate Technology Diffusion” was organized by the Computer Society of Sri Lanka (CSSL) was held with a resounding success defying the pandemic on a virtual platform.

At CSSL National ICT Awards Minister Rajapaksa recognized the founder and CEO of CodeGen International Dr. Harsha Subasinghe as the “CSSL ICT Leader of the Year” for his significant contributions to the ICT industry in Sri Lanka. 11 Other ICT professionals under 11 diverse categories were recognized at the CSSL National ICT Awards held as a part of NITC 2021 conference.

Damith Hettihewa, President of CSSL said that event was concluded in a successful note defying the pandemic. The event featured two panel discussions, 30 local and international speakers, 5 Research presentations, 3 Product Presentations and startup pitches to investors.

Oshada Senanayake Chairman of ICTA and Director General of TRCSL, Laith Seneviratne, and Group CEO of SLTMobitel representing the Platinum Sponsor of NITC 2021 also addressed the NITC 2021 inauguration ceremony. NITC 2021 Conference Chair was Rasantha Hettithanthrige

NITC 2021 was supported by the Ministry of Technology, Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) of Sri Lanka as the National Partner. SLTMobitel for the second year running was the main sponsor of the CSSL annual conference and partnered as the Platinum Sponsor of NITC 2021. Huawei was the Gold Sponsor of NITC for the second time around. Axiata Digital Labs was the Silver Sponsor.

Facebook partnered with CSSL for the 2nd CSSL Colloquium at NITC 2021. FineTech was the virtual platform provider. Independent Television Network is the Electronics Media Partner of the flagship IT conference of the country. IFIP, SEARCC, FITIS were industry partners, Garvi Design Studio as the creative partner and Prime Events as the events partner of the conference.

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