As the work-from-home trend is anticipated to stay longer, the government has started working on ways to streamline the process further.
A government official, seeking anonymity, told Economic Times that there are two important aspects of work-from-home. First, the need for software suits and hardware that allow a seamless experience without compromising on data security. Second, setting basic parameters for working from home.
The IT ministry has been focusing on the first, whereas the department of personnel and training has taken up the latter part. The IT ministry also called a meeting of major software and hardware companies and industry bodies on April 20 for the same, as per the report.
The meeting was headed by IT secretary Ajay Sawhney and Telecom Secretary Anshu Prakash. Attendees included Internet and Mobile Association of India and National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM).
IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has reportedly asked the Telcom ministry to reach out to industry leaders in order to identify roadblocks and discuss possible solutions for the same. Meanwhile, it has reportedly encouraged the industry to design products and make policies around them.
The IT Ministry has also invited companies and startups to develop an indigenous video conferencing solutions to enable smooth remote operations as well as teleconferencing between agencies and state governments.
The government will offer INR 5 Lakh to 10 shortlisted startups to develop a prototype of the product. Once approved, the shortlisted startups will be granted INR 20 Lakhs to develop the final product. In total, the IT Ministry has set aside INR 2.3 Cr for the same.
PM Modi Boasts Tech-Adoption, Work-From-Home Trend
Backing the work-from-home trend, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a LinkedIn post published on April 19, highlighted several businesses have opted for it and are going embracing technology to take up digital-first approach. He also elaborated on the possible outcomes of the new trend,
“India, a youthful nation known for its innovative zeal, can take the lead in providing a new work culture,” PM Modi added.
He also offered ‘five vowels’ as the key to surviving this crisis: adaptability, efficiency, inclusivity, opportunity, and universalism. Modi said businesses can minimise the lockdown impact and the pandemic by focusing on these aspects.
Besides this, PM Modi also elaborated on the steps the government had taken under the Digital India project. This included providing Jan Dhan Accounts, and linking them to Aadhaar and mobile numbers to electronically transfer money to those who need government benefits to sustain themselves.
“India has perhaps the largest such infrastructure in the world. This infrastructure has helped us tremendously in transferring money directly and immediately to the poor and needy, benefiting crores of families, during the Covid-19 situation,” Modi said.
He also elaborated that the government’s DIKSHA portal, SWAYAM and E-Pathshala initiatives have proved to be beneficial in promoting remote learning.