For IT professionals, Maharashtra considers nodal centres in smaller towns as WFH continues

By Aparna Banerjea
Working from home blurs the line between work and personal life

As the Covid pandemic continues, several IT workers are yet to return to the office. In this work from home environment in the state, the Maharashtra government is now mulling to create 'nodal centres' on the lines of co-working spaces in smaller cities and towns, from where software professionals can work for their respective companies, a minister has said.

The state, which is home to the IT hub in Pune and also has a presence of enterprises in other pockets like Mumbai, Nagpur and Nashik, has invited suggestions from the industry for an 'inclusive IT policy', Minister of State for IT Satej Patil has said in a tweet.

"We are also planning to start government-run well-equipped nodal centres where IT employees can come and work for their respective companies. All ideas are welcome in this regard," Patil said in a tweet on Monday, responding to suggestions made by billionaire Anand Deshpande, the founder chairman of Pune's Persistent Systems.

 

Almost the entire IT staff has been in the WFH mode since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020 and companies have been saying that the future will have a 'hybrid model' where a good part of the employees continue working from offices.

A lot of the work done by IT professionals is for critical sectors like finance, where privacy concerns and data confidentiality are important which also forced a few of the professionals to continue working from offices even during the lockdowns.

Major cities, including those in the state, have co-working spaces like WeWork since before the pandemic as well which typically help workers from diverse companies and sectors to help from dedicated spaces.

Patil said the government is trying its best to promote IT in Tier-2 and -3 cities. He appealed to industry lobby groups Nasscom and the Software Export Association Pune (SEAP) to come forward with help on creating district-wise databases suggested by Deshpande.

"Mumbai and Pune have been leading in the IT sector and have been saturated due to migration to these cities.

"We now want to take this progress to tier 2 and 3 cities like Nagpur, Satara, Amaravati, Latur, Nanded and others by giving incentives to the industries. The industries will be incentivised with various facilities through a separate IT policy," Patil had said recently, reported news agency PTI.

A statement from Patil later said SEAP and Nasscom have responded positively to the appeal with suggestions.

"With hybrid work systems becoming a reality, our focus lies on ensuring equitable collaboration and access for all, regardless of location," Nasscom said in reply to a tweet from Patil.

SEAP Vice-President Vidyadhar Purandare said the focus should be on tier-2 and -3 cities taking the growth forward.

"This has to be in addition to enhancing infrastructure at existing IT hubs, to make them more attractive destinations.

"SEAP would be happy to work closely with the state government. A nodal agency to collect and collate data points is the need of the hour," Purandare said.

The Covid-19 situation in Maharashtra has been improving steadily, but the government is still on alert ahead of the festivities. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has urged everyone to not gather in large crowds amid the pandemic during the upcoming festivals.

With inputs from PTI


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