DATE=2/11/2000 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=INDIA - HIGH TECH (L-ONLY) NUMBER=2-259046 BYLINE=ANJANA PASRICHA DATELINE=NEW DELHI CONTENT= Intro: In India, preparations are underway for President Clinton's visit next month. (March 20 to 25th). The visit will not be confined to politics. President Clinton is also expected to stopover at one of the two high-technology cities in southern India - Hyderabad or Bangalore. Anjana Pasricha reports from New Delhi, both cities are competing to be included in the President's itinerary. Text: Bangalore in the southern Karnataka state is called India's Silicon Valley. It was the first city to attract international attention as a booming software center in the developing world. But in recent years, another southern city, Hyderabad in Andhra Pradesh state, has begun competing with Bangalore to attract top information technology companies. Both cities are now in a race to be called the center of India's cyber industry. American officials say President Clinton wants to see the best of India's cyber cities. An advance team (of American officials) preparing his trip recently visited Hyderabad, which is headed by Chief Minsiter Chandrababu Naidu - a techno-savvy politician who has won praise for his efforts to modernize his poor state, and promote an open investment climate. Bangalore is not giving up its claims easily for a Presidential stop-over. The Karnataka state government points out this is the better-known and more- established cyber center. Sidharth Padam is a spokesman for one of India's leading information technology companies, Infosys. He is not surprised at the interest being shown by the U.S President in India's cyber-industry. ///Insert Padam act/// As far as countries like U.S are concerned, their whole economies are booming because of the IT (Information technology) industry, the IT revolution, the internet-- the US has got some eight years of non- stop growth, being driven purely by the hi-tech industry. And Hyderabad and Banagalore in India are being seen as the high-tech centers. These are the two centers which are really making news. ///end padam act/// India's huge pool of English-speaking engineers are greatly in demand in American high-tech companies which need technical workers. Mr. Padam says Indian software companies are also attractive because the cost of hiring employees is much lower. ///Insert padam act/// Companies abroad either look for people from countries like India and China to work on their projects, or they outsource entire IT requirments to companies in India which they feel will be able to do a good job. ///end padam act/// The federal government is happy that President Clinton wants to spend some time having a look at the heart of India's cyber-industry. In recent months, the government has identified information technology as one of the key areas that could fuel Indian economic growth, and is pulling out all the stops to encourage the development of cyber-industries. (signed) NEB/AP/PLM 11-Feb-2000 07:03 AM EDT (11-Feb-2000 1203 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .