Kolkata: The core committee on IT, set up by the West Bengal government under the chairmanship of technocrat Sam Pitroda, on Saturday said a baseline study was needed to assess the status of the state vis-a-vis its peers.

At its first meeting here, the committee also decided to set up various working groups covering areas such as education and infrastructure to push the growth of technology sector in West Bengal.

"We have worked out a programme in order to get inputs on what to do, for which a baseline study is needed both for software and hardware to find out where we stand," Pitroda told reporters after the committee's first meeting here on Saturday.

He also said several working groups would be set up in areas of e-governance, e-health, e-education, infrastructure and human resources and they would come out with reports in these fields.

Pitroda said there were a number of challenges like infrastructure and everybody was complaining about it, adding that as compared to software, the state needed to develop the hardware industry more.

He favoured that since land was a big issue, the software industry should go for vertical expansion.

Pitroda also said the state had an excellent talent pool and was truly a gateway to the Asia-Pacific region.

The next meeting of the committee will be held in November. Saturday's meeting was also attended by IT Minister Partha Chatterjee, former Nasscom head Kiran Karnik, IT Secretary Basudeb Banerjee and Infosys founder N R Narayana Murthy, who was on video-conference.

Chatterjee alleged that the previous government had done nothing to develop IT infrastructure in the last three decades.

(Agencies)