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With Patna this week, mission to spread BPO centres to small cities gathers steam



New Delhi, May 10 : In a move that could herald an IT revolution in smaller cities, the Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) is all set to launch 1,000 seats in Patna this week, which is likely to create roughly 1,500 vacancies in the country’s business process outsourcing (BPO) sector.

Functioning under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, the STPI has plans to launch 48,000 such seats across the country, with a target employment of 72,450 in the sector, but restricting itself to tier-II and III cities as part of its India BPO Promotion Scheme (IBPS).

The scheme is being executed by allocating seats across 50 cities in 20 states. Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS), where this week’s 1,000 seats will be inaugurated, is one of the bidders.

The initiative, the first of its kind in Bihar, targets employing youth from cities like Muzaffarpur and Dalsinghsarai in the state.

Besides, it also aims to hire youth in cities across India, including Raipur, Siliguri, Shimla, Sopore, Dehradun, Salem, Kozhikode, Tiruchi, Sagar, Nagpur, Ghazipur, Bareilly, Jhansi, Unnao and Varanasi.

“This is for the first time that the industry would set foot in Bihar. A total of 4,600 seats had been fixed for Bihar alone, of which 1,910 seats have already been allotted. IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad will inaugurate the 1,000 seats at TCS on Thursday,” STPI Director General Dr. Omkar Rai told IANS.

Based on a 24X7 model and a minimum 50 per cent additional vacancy on one seat (minimum 1,500 vacancies for 1,000 seats), STPI feels that, in the near future, they would be able to optimise the potential of each seat — three jobs for one seat.

Officials said that beside 48,000 pan-India seats, 5,000 additional seats had been created for the north-eastern states.

Speaking of STPI’s aspirations, Rai said that initially operations in tier II-III cities would be comparatively small, but would gradually expand.

“We are trying to light a bulb here. India is reputed for its IT industry. The idea of this scheme is not just limited to generating employment or creating an IT revolution in small cities, it’s also about taking certain IT processes from metros to smaller places,” Rai said.

As per the STPI’s vision, the BPO’s profile is not limited to IT or software only; the seats planned and offered by it also seek to outsource operations from sectors like healthcare, manufacturing, construction, financial services and the hotel industry.

“Ten years from now, places like Gurugram and Pune will have less such processes. Jobs will shift to tier-III cities with only high-end and leadership positions in the big cities. Slowly, the top positions will also shift,” Rai said.

The idea is to engage the manpower that migrates to big cities to perform the same work and draw almost same salaries , according to officials.

Another reason is to maintain India’s global tag of “best-suited destination” for outsourcing by cutting down the operational cost, as countries like Philippines and Bangladesh are also emerging as options.

“It’s important that BPOs move from tier-I cities… Costs in tier-III cities are much less. The idea is to harness the problem-solving generation in the small cities and provide them a global process-based job in their cities,” Rai said.

With the creation of one vacancy in the IT sector, as is being done in Bihar, three additional jobs would be created, including in allied fields like logistics and support.

“So, speaking of Bihar, space for about 7,000 manpower is being created, which would create allied jobs to the tune of 25,000,” Rai said. The total number could vary in individual states, depending on local conditions.

Counting on the aspirations of Indian youth and the reputation of the Indian IT sector, the STPI, on the lines of an incubator, is now seeking to tap potential start-ups.

“Next time you pass through Bihar in a train, try using a Patna-based start-up called Rail Restaurant… Such small initiatives will soon become a driving force in cities of Bihar and small towns of the nation,” Rai said.

By Kushagra Dixit

(Kushagra Dixit can be contacted at [email protected])



Cyclone Nivar: Andhra CM orders state machinery to be ready

By dusk on Tuesday, no rainfall was recorded in all the 16 monitored places in Andhra Pradesh while Kurnool recorded a maximum temperature of 33 degrees Celsius.




Cyclone Storm Nisarga

Amaravati: In the light of severe cyclonic storm Nivar poised to strike Tamil Nadu and parts of his state, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy sounded an alert on Tuesday and instructed the state machinery to be prepared.

In a review meeting with District Collectors and Superintendents of Police, he asked them to be on high alert especially when Nivar makes landfall.

“Though the cyclone is not going to touch Andhra Pradesh directly, it would have an impact in areas closer to Tamil Nadu…. inclement weather would prevail on Tuesday and Wednesday and preparedness should be in place,” he said.

Reddy said parts of Kadapa, Kurnool and Anantapur districts and coastal areas of Prakasam are likely to receive 11-20 cm rainfall, while winds with up to speeds of 65 to 75 km per hour are expected.

He also instructed officials to set up relief and rehabilitation camps wherever required in Nellore, Chittoor and Prakasam.

The Chief Minister also said crop protection measures should be taken, along with disemminating crucial information through the ‘rythu bharosa kendras’ (RBKs).

Officials have been directed to ensure that there is no loss of life in coastal areas, and fishermen do not venture into the sea.

“Utilise the services of village secretariat employees and volunteers and prepare NDRF and SDRF teams to be ready keep ready power poles for immediate restoration in case of power outage,” he said. Officials were also instructed to keep tools and equipment ready to remove uprooted trees.

Reddy also told officials to set up 24×7 control rooms at each district Collectorate, along with control rooms at mandal centres.

Noting that a booklet outlining the steps to be taken during a cyclone has been made available at all village secretariats, he asked them to make sure that information is shared with staff and the public.

Meanwhile, a Met Department official said Nivar is expected to cross the Tamil Nadu Puducherry coasts between Karaikal and Mamallapuram as a very severe cyclonic storm on late Wednesday evening.

By dusk on Tuesday, no rainfall was recorded in all the 16 monitored places in Andhra Pradesh while Kurnool recorded a maximum temperature of 33 degrees Celsius.

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Delhi Schools Unlikely To Reopen Until Covid Vaccine Is Available: Manish Sisodia

While several restrictions have been eased in different ‘unlock’ phases, educational institutions continue to remain closed.



Manish Sisodia

Schools in the national capital which are closed due to the coronavirus pandemic are unlikely to reopen until a vaccine is available, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said on Tuesday.

Universities and schools across the country were closed on March 16, when the Centre announced a countrywide classroom shutdown as part of measures to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.

“Until we get some vaccine, schools (in Delhi) are not likely to open,” Sisodia, who is also Delhi’s Education Minister, told reporters.

He had announced on October 30 that schools will remain closed until further orders, saying parents were not in favour of sending their ward to schools yet.

“We keep getting feedback from parents that they are really concerned about whether it is safe to reopen schools. It is not. Wherever schools have reopened, COVID-19 cases among children have risen. So we have decided that as of now schools in the national capital will not reopen. They will continue to be closed till further orders,” Sisodia had said then.

A nationwide lockdown was imposed on March 25.

While several restrictions have been eased in different ‘unlock’ phases, educational institutions continue to remain closed.

According to ‘Unlock 5’ guidelines, states can take a call on reopening schools in phases. Several states also began the process of reopening schools. While some of them announced closure again due to rise in coronavirus cases.

Earlier, schools were allowed to call students from Class 9 to 12 to school on voluntary basis from September 21. However, the Delhi government decided against it.

Delhi recorded 4,454 fresh COVID-19 cases on Monday and a positivity rate of 11.94 per cent while 121 more fatalities pushed the death toll to 8,512, authorities said.

These relatively low number of fresh cases came out of the 37,307 tests conducted on Sunday, including 18,046 RT-PCR tests, according to the latest bulletin issued by the Delhi health department.

On last Friday, authorities had said that 23,507 RT-PCR tests, the highest till date, were conducted a day before.

The highest single-day spike till date here — 8,593 cases — was recorded on November 11 when 85 fatalities were recorded.

As many as 121 fatalities were recorded on Monday, same as the previous day.

This is the sixth time in the last 12 days that the daily number of deaths has crossed the 100-mark.

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Covid Cases Decreasing In Delhi Since November 10 Peak: Arvind Kejriwal To PM

Kejriwal told the prime minister that Delhi saw the peak of 8,600 coronavirus cases on November 10 during the third wave



Arvind Kejriwal

At a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday said the high severity of the third wave of Covid-19 in the national capital is due to many factors, pollution being an important one, sources said.

Kejriwal told the prime minister that Delhi saw the peak of 8,600 coronavirus cases on November 10 during the third wave and since then, the number of cases as well as the positivity rate are steadily decreasing, the sources said.

The chief minister hoped that the trend would continue in the national capital.

“The high severity of the third wave is due to many factors. Pollution is an important factor. The chief minister sought the prime minister’s intervention to get rid of the pollution caused by stubble-burning in adjoining states, especially in view of the recent bio-decomposer technique,” a source said.

At the meeting with the prime minister, Kejriwal also sought the reservation of the additional 1,000 ICU beds in the central government-run hospitals in Delhi for coronavirus patients till the third wave of the infection lasts in the city, the source said.

Modi on Tuesday interacted via video-conferencing with the chief ministers of the states that are witnessing a surge in the number of coronavirus cases to review the pandemic situation.

Delhi recorded 4,454 fresh Covid-19 cases and a positivity rate of 11.94 per cent on Monday, while 121 more fatalities pushed the death toll due to the disease to 8,512 in the city.

This was the sixth time in 12 days that the daily number of deaths crossed the 100-mark in the national capital.

Authorities reported 121 deaths due to Covid-19 on Sunday, 111 on Saturday, 118 on Friday, 131 on November 18, the highest till date, and 104 on November 12.

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