Published On: Thu, Apr 30th, 2020

Work from home may become new norm: Union Minister

New Delhi: Work from home being practised during the ongoing coronavirus-induced lockdown might become a trend in coming days, IT and Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Thursday said at a meeting of G20 ministers.

IT and Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad

The minister highlighted India”s action plan to fight coronavirus by leveraging digital technology and called for a coordinated global digital response to fight the pandemic.

“Work from home may become a new norm. Spoke about the tremendous role played by Indian IT/ITeS industry in providing uninterrupted support to global businesses during COVID-19 by switching to the work from home mode,” Prasad said on social media platform Twitter.

An extraordinary virtual ”G20 Digital Economy Ministers” meeting was convened on Thursday to discuss the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic that has killed over 2.17 lakh people globally and to forge a global coordinated response harnessing digital technologies.

The death toll due to coronavirus rose to 1,075 and the number of cases climbed to 33,610 in the country on Thursday.

While Prasad talked about work from home culture, he also spoke about the need for developing digitally connected and more resilient global supply chains supported by innovations.

“India is an attractive destination for businesses who are willing to set up such resilient supply chains,” Prasad said.

He said that to handle coronavirus, India has developed the Aarogya Setu mobile app, using geo-fencing for quarantine management.

The app has been made mandatory for government employees and people applying for e-pass in some jurisdictions.

The Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) in a statement said the G20 digital ministers agreed to leverage the potential of digital medium to contain the pandemic and protect people.

MeitY said that Prasad during the meeting emphasised the importance to revive the economy while continuing the fight against COVID-19.

“He impressed upon the G20 ministers that the present situation also demands greater collaboration among stakeholders for providing solutions that can address issues related to social distancing, distributed workforce and the changing nature of global supply chain,” the statement said.

Prasad also urged G20 to come out with a concrete digital action plan to fight the global pandemic.

“At the end of the summit, a G20 Digital Economy Task Force COVID-19 ministerial statement was issued which called for a coordinated global digital response to fight the pandemic, adopting measures to strengthen communication infrastructure and network connectivity, non-personal data exchange in a secured manner, use of digital solutions for healthcare, cyber-secured world and measures to strengthen resilience of businesses,” the statement said.


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