L E T T E R S    T O    T H E    E D I T O R

US Bill: Time for IT firms to diversify

The proposed US legislation to prevent the outsourcing of call centre business to countries like India has sent alarm bells ringing in the country. Although the move would hurt the firms receiving federal grants and loans, it is a signal for the Indian BPO market players to diversify in other areas. These areas could include IT enabled services like customer interaction services, transaction processing, including problem solving, data processing, financial services; content development including website production, delivery of multimedia like CDs, DVDs, movie production and gaming.

India is facing stiff competition from countries like Ukraine, Hungary, Belgium and Philippines in the BPO sector and call centre business. These countries provide BPO services at lower rates, so it becomes imperative for us to explore the more lucrative KPO (Knowledge process outsourcing) sector, which is at a much higher level in the value chain. It includes high-end processes like valuation research, investment research, patent filing, legal outsourcing, online teaching, media content supply, among others.

The Bill coming at a time when the world economy is facing one of its biggest phases of downturn, accompanied with one of the highest unemployment rates in the developed world, is an indicator for India to initiate this transition from BPO to KPO. It would require a huge pool of skilled human capital, besides large scale ICT enablement. Sourcing of knowledge services has already gained base in industries such as pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, entertainment and aerospace. Such success needs to be replicated in other areas.



The absence of adequate and effective legislation to protect its database in India may also be an area of concern for the US Senators to bring the new Bill. The US usually cites certain infamous incidents involving information leak pertaining to US residents by call centre employees in India. The government needs to take care of the legal lacuna.


Polls in winter

Although the announcement of elections in Punjab on January 30 has been welcomed by both the Akalis and the Congress, the decision shows an extreme lack of foresight on the part of the Election Commission. It should have resorted to rationality rather than false bravado.

Winter is the worst time to hold elections in Punjab. Over the past few years, weather in Punjab is usually at its worst towards the end of January. Intense fog and biting cold hamper movement. This makes electioneering extremely difficult. The Election Commission should not underestimate the importance of public contact in a democratic system.

One fails to understand the tearing hurry to hold elections in Punjab. The term of the present government is not nearing its end. As it is, counting would be delayed because of the electoral process being in progress in other states. It seems that the functioning of the Election Commission is totally bureaucratic and lacks dynamism.

Dr NS KHAIRA, Ludhiana

Time wasted

The middle ‘The sweet, sad scents of childhood’ is like peeping into the days gone by. The most important period of one’s life no doubt is childhood. It is during this period, when the mind is free from worldly vices. During my childhood, I liked the scent of cream rolls and the overpowering scent of candy floss being made outside our school, which we bought during recess time. The only thing we were not aware of was the importance of our childhood. The comforts, the love and care provided by our parents, that we took for granted, are hard to find in this vile world once we grow up. I wish I had studied harder to fulfill my parents’ dreams. Now when I have grown up and have achieved almost everything I desired for, my parents have grown old. My parents remain my only contact with my childhood days.


Good old days!

This is with reference to the middle ‘The sweet, sad scents of childhood’ (December 24). Today’s youngsters have missed out the simple and pious lifestyle that our generation has lived. Among scents, the sweet smell of desi ghee emanating from the kitchen while the lady of the house made ‘pinnies’ is still fresh in my memory. Our generation was always obedient. My mother used to apply lots of coconut oil after hair wash bath every Sunday. The sweet smell of that warm massage lingers in my memory till today.

The ‘fast food’ kids of today will never be able to relish a ‘garam’ chapatti with a coating of desi ghee emitting heavenly flavour. As victims of modernisation, they have had no chance to understand the utility of a letterbox, surahi, kundi sotha, hamamdusta, kerosene oil stove, etc.

But then one has to sacrifice something for growth and progress.




HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |