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Certification programme for BPO candidates soon
BS Bureau in Bangalore | September 13, 2004 10:11 IST
National Association of Software and Service Companies is in the process of finalising a Common Certification Programme for prospective employees of the business process outsourcing sector in the country.
"We are in the final stages of deciding on what the tests should assess. While hard skills are easy to identify, soft skills are a more difficult proposition. Hence, we are in close contact with HR figures in the industry and outside agencies. We should be able to rollout the first phase of the programme by the end of this year," said Kiran Karnik, president of Nasscom.
Speaking on the sidelines of the second Beyond Knowledge seminar, conducted by 24/7 Customer and N S Raghavan Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning in Bangalore on Sunday, Karnik said that the process of standardising the tests for candidates being recruited for the sector began close to eight months ago.
The initial work was done with the state governments, which already had similar programmes, including the ones of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
"We are currently in the process of defining what exactly is needed from the candidates. The next challenge would involve actual working on the content for the tests and implementation of the same," said Karnik.
According to him, the first phase will involve pilots in certain cities.
The pilots as well as the actual process, when it comes into force, will be conducted by a set of third party testing and audit service providers. Karnik was not willing to reveal the names of providers being considered for the same.
"The ultimate objective is to take the tests online and make sure they are accessible to as many people across the country as possible. We are looking at the possibilities of ensuring the identity and security of these tests and are working towards a not too expensive and efficient way of getting the tests online," said Karnik.
He added that the tests would look at identifying areas where candidates fall short, such that they can work at filling the gaps. It will also be extended to people already in the industry for skill enhancement.
Other speakers at the seminar included Professor Mani Mala, member of NSRCEL and faculty at IIM-B, who spoke about the activities of the centre for increasing the entrepreneurial capacity of India.
Rani Chandar, faculty at IIM-B, also spoke at the seminar on the need for BPO's ripple effect to be felt by more and more industries for a faster growth in India's economy.
Chandar, a professor of economics and social sciences, warned against feeling too euphoric over the success of the sector. She pointed out that India still handled only 3 per cent of the world's BPO traffic.Downplaying the job losses in the US due to BPO outsourcing and giving statistics to support it, she said in the backdrop of the tax issue, that the industry should not forever stand behind sops and that it could prove to be a hurdle in the long run.