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Nasscom Urges Govt to Ease Restrictions on Work From Home Option Amid Coronavirus Scare

New Delhi: An official uses a thermal screening device on an employee in the wake of deadly coronavirus, at an office in New Delhi, Thursday, March 12, 2020. (PTI Photo/Arun Sharma)

New Delhi: An official uses a thermal screening device on an employee in the wake of deadly coronavirus, at an office in New Delhi, Thursday, March 12, 2020. (PTI Photo/Arun Sharma)

Nasscom, which represents IT and BPO companies as well as startups, has written to Communications and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on the issue.

New Delhi: IT industry body Nasscom has urged the government to relax restrictions regarding allowing employees to work from home, amid the coronavirus outbreak. Currently, there are restrictions on WFH (work from home) under the OSP (other service providers) regime.

Corporates across sectors are asking their staff to work from home and adopting technologies like telepresence and video conferencing to ensure business continuity.

However, companies continue to struggle in operationalising WFH for their employees, owing to the onerous compliance and technical requirements under the prevailing OSP regime.

These requirements include establishing PPVPN connectivity, sharing pre-defined locations of extended agents (employees), and providing high monetary security deposits, among others.

PPVPN (Provider Provisioned Virtual Private Network) is generally used by companies to ensure secure communications for employees working from remote locations.

In a tweet, Nasscom President Debjani Ghosh said: "Dear Shri @rsprasad, in order to mitigate potential threats to employees & ensure business continuity, IT industry requires urgent help from @DoT_India to waive off restrictions around work from home under OSP regime for this period. Request your urgent support pls".

Nasscom, which represents IT and BPO companies as well as startups, has written to Communications and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on the issue.

In its letter, it has urged that requirements pertaining to WFH under the OSP regime be relaxed for a period of one month as an interim emergency measure. The number of coronavirus cases continues to climb globally, with 73 cases being reported in India so far. Coronavirus - declared as a pandemic by World Health Organisation - has claimed over 4,600 lives worldwide.

Meanwhile, WNS Group CEO Keshav Murugesh said Indian tech industry has always responded very quickly to the environment to ensure employees are protected and that the industry delivers as the world's IT leader. "We must urgently have Work from home ability and we request @DoT_India to help address request of @nasscom. @debjani_ghosh_ @rsprasad," he said in a tweet.

Genpact CEO NV Tyagarajan has also requested the government to address the situation. "...we @Genpact have to find a way to serve our clients we have executed in China , Philippines , Rumania , US etc .... we need India to follow very fast," Tyagarajan tweeted.

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