Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Karnataka Govt backs IT stand on merit, downplays language protest

'Jobs for locals' demand: Karnataka backs IT industry

Indo Asian News Service

Bangalore, Sep 28 (IANS) The Karnataka government Wednesday reiterated that it considered Kannada activists' campaign for employing more locals in the IT sector as a law and order problem rather than a socio-economic issue.

'We endorse the stand of the IT companies that recruitment should be strictly on merit and not on any other consideration. We consider the agitation spearheaded by Kannada activists seeking more jobs for locals as a law and order issue,' the state's IT secretary M.K. Shankaralinge Gowda told reporters here.

Gowda's clarification comes in the wake of a protest demonstration held by the Karnataka Rakshana Vedike (Karnataka Protection Forum) at the Infosys campus Tuesday demanding more jobs for the local youth.

'We are not in favour of raking up the controversy after the state government clarified its position on the issue at a meeting with IT business leaders recently. We understand the IT sector's compulsions in having a meritorious recruitment policy, as it operates on a global scale in a competitive environment,' Gowda pointed out.

The Vedike has also threatened to disrupt the upcoming Bangalore 2005 event next month if its demand for employing more Kannadigas by the IT sector was not met.

'Though we do not have the exact data on the employment profile of the IT sector, we estimate about 40-50 per cent of the engineers employed in the IT companies across the state are locals, especially Kannadigas,' claimed Software Technology Parks of India director B.V. Naidu.

Vedike president A. Narayan Gowda argued that, the private sector, including the IT industry, is legally bound to employ more locals on priority in accordance with an official committee report on job reservations.

'If the IT firms want to recruit only on the basis of merit, we are ready to provide as many locals with the required qualification,' Narayan Gowda added.


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