Research firm 2thinknow that specialises in analysing innovative cities has placed Bengaluru at 19th place ahead of Berlin, Hong Kong and Shenzhen. San Francisco is at the top. The ministers said the global recognition for Bengaluru -the only Indian city to figure in the list -was a vindication of the government’s initiatives. Deshpande said: “In 1997, when no one spoke about information technology , not even the Union government, we brought out the first IT policy. There were, of course, reservations but we went ahead and created an exclusive department for information technology. This helped develop an eco system and get institutions such as IIIT-B. All these factors helped.“
He added that today more than 400 fir ms are engaged in R&D in Karnataka, which offers a plenty of talented human resource. “The most important thing is investors have kept confidence with us and in the government’s commitment. We should not rest on this laurel and we have the potential to rise further in the ranking,“ he said.
Kharge, the IT minister, said: “Timely government intervention and policies have created a good eco system for technology . We were the first to identify technology as the sunrise industry and helped create an entire eco system here.“
He added: “Bengaluru, as a city, is technology-friendly and adapts to changes easily and fast. Being a tech hub also enabled the city to become one of the best innovation eco systems in the world.“
In a tweet, Manipal Global Education Services chairman TV Mohandas Pai attributed Bengaluru’s climb to India’s first IT policy announced in Karnataka by Deshpande in 1997.
“No other city in 2thinknow’s ranking climbed as far compared to 2016’s ranking as Bangalore, which moved from 49th place to 19th. The change is due to an influx of IT companies and the city’s enormous population of programmers. Half of India is under 25 and many are entering the growing tech space, creating a virtuous circle of growth,“ the research firm said.
The firm chose 10 factors related to technological advancement -including the number of patents filed per capita, startups, tech venture capitalists, ranking in other innovation datasets, and level of smartphone use -weighted them and came up with the global ranking of the cities.