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Nasscom seeks easing of Work From Home norm for a month as COVID-19 cases surge

Rajesh Kurup Mumbai | Updated on March 13, 2020 Published on March 13, 2020

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Nasscom seeks interim emergency measure, easing of Work From Home norms for a month as COVID-19 cases surge

As the number of COVID-19 cases in India surges, IT industry’s apex body Nasscom has sought easing of regulatory restrictions for a month to enable Work From Home (WFH) for the sector.

Under the prevailing Other Service Providers (OSP) regime, multiple compliances – such as technical and security deposits – are required for WFH.

The COVID-19 outbreak in India is one of the biggest risks the industry has faced towards business continuity. Industry players have also echoed a similar sentiment and believe that there must be cognizance in providing WFH to employees under the OSP regime, Nasscom said in a letter to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT).

Indian IT-ITeS companies are evaluating several options to ensure the business remains up and running and one such option is to offer WFH to their employees to minimise any threat to people and business. Today, it is possible for employees to work from anywhere in the world, while remaining within the ambit of organisational information and data access protocols, and organisational security practices, the letter written by Nasscom President Debjani Ghosh said.

 

Accordingly, keeping in mind the current situation and in the interest of public health and the safety of people employed in the technology industry, Nasscom has sought urgent intervention to waive-off requirements pertaining to WFH under the OSP regime for a period of one month, as an “interim emergency measure”.

The move is important as despite the availability of technology, companies under the OSP regime continue to struggle in operationalising WFH for their employees due to the “onerous” compliance and technical requirements under the prevailing regime. These include setting up Provider Provisioned Virtual Private Networks (PPVPN) connectivity, sharing pre-defined locations of extended agents (employees) and providing “high” monetary security deposits among others.

Last year, licensor Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) had conducted extensive consultation on OSP regime and recommended the need to remove restrictions. However, DoT is yet to take these into consideration, the letter sent to Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said.

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Published on March 13, 2020
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