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Wipro fired 300 staff found working with rivals at same time: Rishad Premji

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NEW DELHI: Wipro Chairman Rishad Premji on Wednesday said that 300 people who worked with the company were also found to be working for one of its competitors at the same time, as he firmly stood his ground that moonlighting is “complete violation of integrity in its deepest form”.

Speaking at an AIMA event, Premji who has been a vocal critic of moonlighting (the practice of techies taking up side gigs to work more than one job at a time) made it clear that the company had no place for such employees, who even while working with Wipro chose to directly work for rivals, simultaneously.

The Wipro top boss later said that in those specific instances of violation, action had been taken by terminating their services.

“The reality is that there are people today working for Wipro and working directly for one of our competitors and we have actually discovered 300 people in the last few months who are doing exactly that,” Premji said terming it a “complete violation of integrity in its deepest form”.

The issue of ‘moonlighting’ has emerged as a big talking point in the IT industry ever since Premji flagged the issue in a tweet equating it to “cheating”. Premji had taken to Twitter recently to highlight the issue saying: “There is a lot of chatter about people moonlighting in the tech industry. This is cheating – plain and simple.” Premji’s tweet had evoked strong response within the industry, with many IT companies raising their guard on such practices. Infosys, last week, shot off a missive to its employees, emphasising that dual employment or ‘moonlighting’ is not permitted, and warned that any violation of contract clauses will trigger disciplinary action “which could even lead to termination of employment”.

“No two timing – no moonlighting!” Infosys, India’s second largest IT services company, had said in a strong and firm message to employees last week.

Infosys’ internal communication titled “no double lives” had made it clear that “dual employment is not permitted as per…Employee Handbook and Code of Conduct”.

It also cited the relevant clause in the offer letter to drive home the point.

“Any violation of these clauses will lead to disciplinary action which could even lead to termination of employment,” Infosys’ mail had said.

IBM India too joined chorus on moonlighting, terming it an unethical practice.

IBM’s managing director for India and South Asia Sandip Patel had reasoned that at the time of joining, the company’s employees sign an agreement saying they will be working only for IBM. “…notwithstanding what people can do in the rest of their time, it is not ethically right to do that (moonlighting),” Patel had said.

Not everyone agreed, though.

Tech Mahindra CEO CP Gurnani tweeted recently that it is necessary to keep changing with the times and added, “I welcome disruption in the ways we work”.

On Wednesday, Premji while speaking at AIMA’s (All India Management Association) National Management Convention, sought to clear the air around why he took a strong position on the moonlighting issue saying his opinion was “meant more sincerely that people interpreted it to be”.

Premji said that he stands by his recent comments on moonlighting being a complete violation of integrity “in its deepest form”, and cited instance where 300 employees were found to be working simultaneously for Wipro and its competitors.

Asked about the action taken against employees who were working simultaneously for the company as well as for rivals, Premji, on the sidelines of the event later said, that their employment had been terminated for “act of integrity violation”.

The definition of moonlighting itself is about having another job secretively. As part of transparency, individuals can have candid and open conversations around, say, playing in a band or working “on a project over the weekend”, he explained.

“That is an open conversation which the organisation and the individual can make a concerted choice about, whether that works for them or doesn’t work for them as an organisation,” he said.

Premji sought to differentiate such cases from those where employees secretly also worked for competitors, and said: “there is no space for someone to work for Wipro and competitor XYZ and they would feel exactly the same way if they were to discover the same situation.” “That is what I meant…so I do stand by what I said…I do think it is violation of integrity if you are moonlighting in that shape and form,” Premji said.

With the vexed issue now in the spotlight, some industry watchers have been cautioning that employers may consider extra safeguards to protect proprietary information and operating models, especially where employees are working remotely. Companies, analysts have said, could also turn tougher on exclusivity clauses in employment contracts.

Source: Press Trust of India

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Cyber crime threat to India’s progress, security: Pramod Sawant

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PANAJI: Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Friday said cyber crime is a threat to India’s progress and security and cyber warriors need to be created to combat the menace.

Sawant was speaking at the International Conference on Information Security, Privacy and Digital Forensics (ICISPD 2022) at BITS Pilani campus in Vasco city, 35 km from here.

The chief minister said the importance of comprehensively addressing social media privacy issues cannot be underestimated and the challenge calls for skilled experts.

Cybercrime is a threat to the progress and security of our nation. The need of the hour is to create cyber warriors to combat cyber crime, he said.

Sawant stressed on the need for awareness, knowledge and skills about the emerging trends in cybercrimes and training in latest technologies of cyber security and computer forensics.

As per data from the National Crime Records Bureau, a total of 52,974 cases of cyber crime were registered, showing an increase of 5.9 per cent in registration since 2020, he said.

The crime rate in this category had increased from 3.7 per cent in 2020 to 3.9 per cent in 2021, he added.

In 2021, 60.8 per cent of cyber crime cases were of fraud, 8.6 per cent of sexual exploitation and 5.4 per cent of extortion, Sawant said.

He further said that two of the greatest inventions of the 20th century, the computer and the internet have changed the world.

It is interesting that children born at the start of this millennium can’t even imagine a world without internet connectivity and mobile devices, he said.

The positive side of the internet and related technologies became clear during the COVID-19 pandemic, the chief minister said.

When self-isolation and social distancing were essential to control the outbreak, internet helped people remain connected, make payments, buy essentials, and most importantly, do their work, Sawant said.

Source: Press Trust of India

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Tech Mahindra Inks MoU with Digital Economy Promotion Agency

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NEW DELHI: Tech Mahindra, a leading provider of digital transformation, consulting, and business re-engineering services and solutions, and Digital Economy Promotion Agency (depa), a government agency established under the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society of Thailand to promote development of digital industry and innovation and ascertain nationwide digital technology adoption in order to achieve economic, social, cultural, and security benefits, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to accelerate digital transformation in Thailand.

As a part of the partnership, both organizations will co-develop innovative digital solutions and execute commercially viable projects and use cases for enterprises in areas of IoT, AI, 5G, Analytics, Blockchain, and Metaverse for various industries including Smart Cities, Telecom, among others.

Rajesh Chandiramani, Business Head, Communications-Media-Entertainment for EMEA and APJI Markets, Tech Mahindra, said, “We started our Thailand operations in 2004, and today it has become one of the most strategic and growth markets for us. Our partnership with depa will unlock immense potential for us to build, develop, and market innovative solutions for our customers in Thailand and support them in their digital transformation journey. This partnership is a major step forward in strengthening the industrial competitiveness between Thailand and India. We will also work towards diversifying the talent pool in the region through various skilling and upskilling initiatives on multiple technologies like NFT, Blockchain, Metaverse, AI, Analytics, IoT, 5G, Machine Learning, Quantum Computing, and Cloud.”

Digital Economy Promotion Agency (depa) was established under the Digital Development for Economy and Society Act promulgated on 23 January 2017. The agency aims to support and promote the development of digital industry and innovation, support and promote digital technology adoption, which benefits the national economy, society, culture, and security according to Article 34 of the Act.

Dr Passakon Prathombutr, Senior Executive Vice President of Digital Economy Promotion Agency, said, “Thailand aims to become ASEAN’s digital hub, for which a digital workforce is vital. This partnership with Tech Mahindra will empower our talent development in key fields such as AI, Blockchain, and the Metaverse. Depa is building Thailand Digital Valley (TDV), a state-of-the-art digital innovation ecosystem in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC). TDV will become the digital and innovation hub for the entire region. Hence, this collaboration is strategic to the digital economy and society.”

This partnership is in line with Tech Mahindra’s NXT.NOW™ framework, which aims to enhance ‘Human Centric Experience’, and focuses on investing in emerging technologies and solutions that enable digital transformation and meet the evolving needs of the customer.

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Naveen Patnaik inaugurates Happiest Minds Development Centre at Bhubaneswar

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NEW DELHI: Happiest Minds Technologies Limited, a ‘Born Digital. Born Agile’, Mindful IT Company, announced the inauguration of a new Development Centre at Fortune Towers (5th Floor) in Bhubaneswar, taking forward its long-term investment plans for further expansion in the state in alignment with the Make in Odisha focus of the state government.

Under the ease of business initiative, the Odisha state government’s State Level Single Window Clearance Authority (SLSWCA) granted approval to Happiest Minds to set up a software development centre at Fortune Towers located in Bhubaneswar. Happiest Minds has earmarked Rs. 265 crore investment towards this initiative.

Naveen Patnaik, Honourable Chief Minister of Odisha, said, “Odisha has been taking giant strides in IT sector in recent years. The growth momentum is accelerating in IT space with growing confidence of IT companies on Odisha as an investment destination. Odisha is now fast emerging as a technology resource hub of India creating jobs for our youth.”

Ashok Soota, Executive Chairman, Happiest Minds Technologies said, “We are delighted to start the operation of our new development centre at Bhubaneswar. At Happiest Minds, we have always embraced our responsibility to create a mindful impact on our communities, and we are grateful to the Hon’ble Chief Minister Shri Naveen Patnaik and the state government officials for their support in establishing this centre. We praise the new IT policy of the state and are optimistic that it will become one of the most preferred destinations for skilled talent, promoting greater employment opportunities for the youth.”

Venkatraman Narayanan, MD & CFO, Happiest Minds Technologies said, “The rise of Bhubaneswar as a destination of choice for businesses is on an ever-rising curve. This is the basis of the industry-supporting initiatives of the state government, duly complemented by the burgeoning talent pool available in the city and nearby regions. Aligned with the ethos of Happiest Minds, the new development centre (Smiles 7) will help us meet evolving customer needs, accelerating our growth and the overall development of the state.”

Founded in 2011, Happiest Minds has consistently gained recognition as among the best places to work in India and Asia. The company has won the Golden Peacock Award for Excellence in Corporate Governance 2022. The company recently acquired additional space to expand its presence in Bengaluru and extended its development facilities in Noida.

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