Wednesday, October 4,  2006

Bits & bytes
IIT-Kanpur students to turn teachers in villages

Inspired by the ideology of Mahatma Gandhi, students of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur, will soon set out to the villages to teach primary schoolchildren.

IIT students affiliated with the NGO, Youth for Equality, adopted a primary school at Bara Sirohi village in Kalyanpur for this purpose on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti.

They will visit the school and provide “moral and practical education” to the students from Class I to VI on a daily basis, the spokesman of Youth for Equality, Chandrashekhar, said in Kanpur recently.

The students will also teach them English and other languages so that they do not face any problems while pursuing higher education in future, he said.

Educational aids will also be provided to the children through donations from fellow students, he said.

The Youth for Equality will from now on oppose the Centre’s reservation policy by adopting non-violence teachings of Mahatma Gandhi, the spokesman said. —-PTI

More Aussie firms to outsource work to India

Close on the heels of Qantas announcing outsourcing of its IT operations, Australia’s St George Bank is also planning to transfer jobs to India.

St George is following the lead of Westpac, ANZ, National Australia Bank and Qantas in shifting as many Aussie jobs as it can overseas, media reports from Melbourne said recently.

The bank has already told 80 workers at its Kogarah collections office that their jobs will be moved to India and more jobs are expected to be axed.

Many in the financial services industry are now trying to cut costs by outsourcing back office operations to India.

Meanwhile, despite opposition from labour unions, Australian Qantas has said it will go ahead with the plan to move at least 300 IT jobs to India saying skills needed to upgrade its systems are no longer available in Australia.

Two Indian companies have been shortlisted to take over the airline’s IT development, maintenance and support services, Qantas chief information officer John Willett was quoted as saying by a local radio.

“The providers involved in the tender process have the capabilities and depth of expertise that we can no longer source in Australia,” he said.

“If people want Qantas to be competitive and successful, and to continue to employ tens of thousands of Australians as we currently do, we need to be able to have the greatest possible flexibility in all areas of our business - IT no exception,” Willett said.

The company said Tata Consulting Services and Satyam Computer Services, have been shortlisted to take over the technology work. — PTI

Over half of India’s workforce was jobless in FY’05

More than half of the country’s employable population was without jobs during 2004-05, with urban India accounting for most number of people out of work, the government said recently.

According to the National Sample Survey Organisation data, about 42 per cent of the population was employed during fiscal 2004-05, which meant that the remaining 58 per cent of the country’s employable population was without jobs.

Unemployment rate among the educated was higher than that among people, who were educated up to the secondary level, it said.

Rural areas accounted for 44 per cent of the employed while urban India had 37 per cent of its population employed.— PTI