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Govt extends relaxed ‘work from home’ norms till July 31 for IT firms, BPOs

Union IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad later specified that the relaxation should not be seen as an extension of work from home.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: April 29, 2020 1:52:40 am
Work from home extended till 31st july, Work from home extended till july 31, ravi Shankar, ravi Shankar Work from home, Ravi Shankar Prasad The decision was taken after a meeting between Union Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication Ravi Shankar Prasad and state IT ministers. (File)

As India continues to battle the coronavirus pandemic, the Centre has extended relaxed connectivity norms for ‘work from home’, applicable on IT and BPO companies, till July 31.

Earlier, companies were not allowed to connect office Virtual Private Network to home infrastructure, a rule that was relaxed in view of the Covid-19 breakout till April 30 initially.

The decision was taken after a meeting between Union Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication Ravi Shankar Prasad and state IT ministers.

However, Prasad later specified that the relaxation was not an extension of work from home.

“Wish to clarify that it is not extension of #WFH.  In response to IT Industry’s request to facilitate WFH for OSPs, @DoT_India had relaxed terms & conditions for VPN till 30.4.20. After discussions with IT Ministers this relaxation in terms & conditions is extended till 31.7.20,” Prasad tweeted.

Industry body Nasscom said the extended timeline for other service providers (OSPs) to facilitate ‘work from home’ will help IT and BPO firms plan their strategy of bringing back workforce to offices, in a gradual and phased manner.

In March, the DoT relaxed certain norms for OSPs till April 30 to facilitate work from home amid the coronavirus pandemic. This included exemptions in requirement of security deposit and agreement for WFH facility for OSPs (primarily IT and IT-enabled services companies).

“Given that work-from-home is going to be the new normal for some time, the decision to extend timelines is a welcome move. It will help companies plan their return-to-office strategy in a phased manner,” Nasscom Senior Vice-President and Chief Strategy Officer Sangeeta Gupta told PTI.

Currently, over 90 per cent of the IT workforce is working from home and only those performing critical functions are going to offices.

(with PTI inputs)

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