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Centre extends work from home for IT employees till July 31

Image: Ravi Shankar Prasad Twitter

The Union government on Tuesday announced the extension of work from home (WFH) relaxation for IT-ITes sector till July 31. The move comes amidst an increasing number of Covid-9 cases in various parts of the country despite the nationwide lockdown. 

The department of telecommunications (DoT) had earlier relaxed certain rules for other service providers (OSPs), which are primarily IT and IT-enabled services companies, till April 30 to facilitate the companies to enable its workforce to function smoothly from home during the lockdown.

The government has exempted the requirement of security deposit and agreement for WFH facility for OSPs and also exempted the requirement of authorised Service Providers Provisioned secured VPN (PPVPN).

“During this period, the OSPs are permitted to use secured VPN (virtual private network) configured using ‘static IP’ addresses by themselves for interconnection between home agent position and OSP Centre with predefined locations,” the government order said.

Union IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Tuesday tweeted the clarification of WFH relaxation rules.

The decision came after the Union minister’s discussion with IT ministers of various states. Prasad asked the States to support Bharat Net scheme and requested them examine right of way issues for promoting development of a robust telecom network. 

Meanwhile, Karnataka Deputy CM Ashwath Narayan, in a twitter post said that he has informed the Union IT Minister about the problems faced by the IT industry and suggested that WFH be extended till next year. However, he added that the Union Minister has granted WFH till July 31, 2020 and promised to take a call on further extension after assessing the situation in July. 

Secretary, Department of Telecommunications (DoT) stated that all efforts are made for uninterrupted and quality Telecom Services during lockdown.  DoT promised all support for work from home, which is expected to become the new norm.

It also explained its newly launched COVID Quarantine Alert System (CQAS) and Saavdhaan System. Regarding implementation of National Broadband Mission at field level, state government’s support was sought for relaxation in right of way and levy of reasonable charges.

Nasscom President Debjani Ghosh, welcomed the extension of WFH.

It is to be noted that IT behemoth Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has recently announced that nearly 75% of its 4.5 lakh employees will be working from home by 2025.

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