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Infosys ready to hire Dalit techies on merit: Murthy
July 14, 2003 12:50 IST
Infosys Chairman and Chief Mentor N R Narayana Murthy on Sunday agreed to consciously recruit Dalit techies on merit.
Participating in a seminar on 'Contemporary Dalit Issues: Challenges and Dilemmas,' hosted by Infosys in Bangalore, Murthy responded positively to a suggestion by a Dalit delegate that Infosys consciously recruit Dalits with merit being the criterion for selection.
"We already have Dalit employees in our company. I am not concerned about the caste of an employee as long he/she commands merit. But if it helps in the process of selection on merit, so be it," Murthy declared.
Murthy, however, rejected the idea that the private sector should adopt the reservation formula of the public sector in selecting candidates for jobs as such a demand by political parties would be counter-productive.
"The private sector has an important role to play in the social and economic uplift of the Dalits. Before formulating any policy, the compulsions of all sides should be taken into account," Murthy stated.
Ruling out reservation system in the private sector, Murthy said global IT firms like Infosys could not afford to have it as the company derived 98 per cent of its revenues from overseas customers despite competition from global corporates.
"Our customers do not care what the issues within the country are. That is our compulsion," Murthy affirmed.
Inaugurating the seminar, Murthy called for a dialogue between corporates and Dalit leaders on the issue of reservation in the private sector.
"The issue needs to be discussed threadbare by industrialists and Dalit leaders to arrive at a suitable formula. Corporates have a role to play in bridging the divide between the haves and have-nots so that our children can have a bright future," Murthy asserted.
Murthy also offered to extend financial assistance to Dalits if they came up with a specific plan to provide English-medium education in their villages or localities.
Cautioning Dalits against being carried away by the chauvinistic propaganda of some political parties, Murthy said there was an urgent need to create competencies through education, particularly in the English medium.
"It will be possible to educate all Dalit children in the country from the funds saved by reducing losses in the public sector undertakings to zero," Murthy added.Among others who participated in the seminar were Gauri Vishwanathan of Columbia University, Gopal Guru of Delhi University, and Vibha Pingle of the Institute of Development Studies.