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Indian BPO, IT Industry Gets Flexible Working Policies as Govt Allows Work From Home

Indian BPO, IT Industry Gets Flexible Working Policies as Govt Allows Work From Home

The Department of Telecommunications has, in a significant move, removed multiple restrictions that so far required BPOs to set up specific network protocol, which in turn prevented a flexible working model.

The government of India has liberalised the working restrictions that so far governed India’s Information Technology (IT) and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industries, in a significant revision of working policies rolled out yesterday. According to the new guideline issued for Other Service Providers (OSPs) by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), India’s massive BPO and ITeS (IT-enabled Services) sector will no longer be imposed with restrictive regulatory hurdles such as compulsory registration of OSPs, removal of BPO units from existing OSP guidelines, compulsory static IPs and more.

According to the IT Ministry’s newly issued guidelines, the IT, ITeS and BPO industries will now be able to facilitate a more flexible working environment through steps such as remote agent and multiple domestic OSP centre interconnectivity, which in turn can be key to enabling a work from home or “work from anywhere in India” model – something that has so far been impossible for the IT industry to undertake. The liberalisation of licensing guidelines for this sector has also removed factors such as the publication of an organisation’s network diagram, imposition of penal provisions for violation of the pre-existing guidelines, and more.

The government of India, through this reform, hopes to attract renewed foreign interest in the crucial IT industry of India. Reacting to the reforms, a Nasscom spokesperson said in a statement, “The new guidelines will tremendously reduce the compliance burden of the BPM industry. There are some security related obligations for voice based OSP which appear to be fine. The BPM industry engaged in data-related work have been completely taken out of the ambit of the definition of an OSP. Access to remote working will give our industry an epic boost and significantly expand access to talent, increase job creation, catapult Indian IT and BPM to the next level of growth and innovation.”

With the Covid-19 pandemic necessitating the need for a flexible working model, it will be interesting to see if the liberalisation measures taken by the government of India manages to rejuvenate the Indian IT industry. The key sector has seen considerable growth over the past two decades, and with more flexible working conditions, may further enable an easier transition into a new form of working that the post-pandemic world may entail.

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