Ravi Shankar Prasad does “Tanu Weds Manu” on IT job losses Reports

These days whenever some question contrary to the Government claims is raised, it’s instantly swept aside by the Government as “motivated”. Thus on Friday, when IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, after a meeting with the leaders of the Indian tech sector, was asked by the Media about the job losses in the IT sector, this is what the Minister said,

“There has been a lot of debate, and by any standards of economy, this talk of job decline in the IT sector is motivated,”

“You know by any standard scrutiny, the way Indian digital economy is rising, the question of slackness in jobs is absolutely factually incorrect. Obviously, those who don’t perform, will have to go. This annual tripping (decline) in case of any institution is natural.”

“… and people who were asked to leave were told to do so for lack of performance.”

As a reader or a Listener what will you make of the above words of the Minister.

We agree that only certain pieces from the entire paragraph spoken by him are being quoted here. But still what do you make of the above words?

Sadly, not much.

The Minister is contradicting himself in the very next sentence.

In the beginning, he says “the way Indian digital economy is rising”. If his intention is to point to any particular way “the Indian digital economy is rising”; then it can safely be assumed that he’s indirectly pointing to the other ‘ways’ the Indian digital economy is lagging. If the Indian digital economy is rising in other ways, then sizable job loss is taking place in the sector. Notably, coming out from the same meeting, Tech Mahindra chief C P Gurnani said

“We need to re-skill and re-purpose ourselves. We have a list of different skills, where we need people… If you re-skill yourself in blockchain or AI, there is no shortage of jobs globally,”

At one point, the Union IT Minister, Mr. Ravi Shankar Prasad, says that “Annual Tripping in any Institution is Natural”. Unfortunately, this is not correct. The annual tripping which he’s referring to is the one for which the industry is always prepared. In such a normal job fluctuation, neither the employers nor the employees are much bothered. Right now, if the impact of tripping is being felt, then it’s not natural. This means that the sector is surely NOT in the job growth phase. The tripping is felt even more when new jobs are not created, while the existing ones are being tripped.

Notably, emerging out from the same meeting, Infosys Co-founder Kris Gopalakrishnan said ,

“Growth has slowed down but data shows every large company is hiring net. TCS and Infosys are hiring over 20,000 more people each. I don’t believe there is job cut. Yes, growth has come down. Recruitment from colleges have also slowed because the industry has slowed down. Otherwise, there are no job losses that I can see,”

The basic idea of this article is not to prove that the jobs in IT sector are infact declining.

The basic idea here is to share with you why it’s difficult to believe the Minister; and why we think not everything is “Motivated”.

That’s why we are showing the contradictions in what’s being told to you.

To conclude, if jobs are indeed being created and being offered (talent or person with the skill-set is also present in the job market) by TCS, Infosys, Wipro, Cognizant, Tech Mahindra and other IT and ITeS companies, then all these questions about job losses will become in-consequential.