BHUBANESWAR, APRIL 2: The State Government may well shout from the rooftops about its eagerness to become another software hub after Bangalore and Hyderabad, but a cursory look at its `official’ website, Orissa.org raises questions about its sincerity.
According to the site, the State’s Chief Minister is J B Patnaik, who in the site thanks the `Orissa Society of the Americans’ for organising `Invest Orissa’ symposium. The State had a new Chief Minister after Giridhar Gamang took over from J B Patnaik a month ago.
The site, inaugurated after Patnaik had visited Houston, United States in June 1997, has not been updated for months. Neither does it mention the last time the contents were updated.
Ripples, a section on new business ventures in Orissa, contains articles as old as the go-ahead given to AES Transpower-aided IB Valley power project, which appeared in the August 16, 1998 issue of a national newspaper, while two other articles dated June 1998 also figure.
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Moreover, the last StateGovernment policy the site announced was the Gemstone policy for 1999, which was announced as late as October 1998. There are no further business policy announcements.
Facts pertaining to the State, including population, literacy, health, industry, education, agriculture and transport have been presented in a cluttered manner.
A non-resident Indian software entrepreneur in the City, requesting anonymity, said in design and content, the website would hardly score two on a scale of ten. “I would not be impressed by the page layout and the facts provided in the site. It should have been given to somebody professional who knew what he was doing,” the entrepreneur said.
C Chandrasekhar, another web site designer, said the site was “very unattractive and has not been updated for some time.” He felt the updating may have been neglected because nobody in the Government set-up had been held responsible.
The website, hosted free by a US-based software company, is maintained by the Integrated EconomicDevelopment Society of Orissa (IEDSO), an organisation headed by a group of California-based software entrepreneurs.
According to sources, the Industrial Promotion and Investments Corporation of Orissa Limited (IPICOL) was entrusted with the responsibility of ensuring that the website was regularly updated.
IPICOL managing director Aditya Padhi said the IEDSO, responsible for updating it, have not been doing so for some time. While clarifying that it was just an “website of the Government for industrial promotions” and not an “official website of the Government” as it claimed, Padhi said whatever information IPICOL has on the industrial scenario of the State is placed on the site. “But we are soon taking over the updating part of the site, maybe in a month’s time,” he told The Indian Express.