indica News Bureau-
India’s top diplomat proclaimed to a Washington audience Tuesday the value of the Indian IT industry to the competitiveness of the global operations American companies in a process that has created thousands of jobs in the two countries.
“The Indian IT industry has been an important stakeholder in promoting and supporting stronger bilateral business relations between our two countries,” Indian Ambassador to the U.S. Harsh Vardhan Shringla said.
Indian IT companies have invested billions of dollars across many states in the United States, Shringla said during a discussion on “America’s Highly Skilled Workforce, the Talent Pipeline, and H-1B Visas” organized jointly by the Wilson Center’s Asia Program and the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM), along with Wilson Center’s Science and Technology Innovation Program,
Indian IT companies, he said, have “contributed to the competitiveness of global operations” of U.S. companies, and in doing so have also supported hundreds of thousands of jobs through direct, indirect and induced jobs in the United States.”
He estimated that Indian IT companies have invested more than US$50 billion in the U.S. He added that Indian IT companies are deeply embedded in the roots of American society, and their contributions go far beyond the economy.
Shringla said the movement of highly skilled Indian professionals to the U.S. through programs such as H-1B visas has been a mutually beneficial partnership.
He said there is a 2.4 million personnel shortfall in the high-tech sector today in the U.S. This coupled with a very low rate of unemployment, below 3 percent, shows that clearly there is a shortage of people with the requisite experience and expertise in the sector.
Many of the Indian companies, he said, have pledged to employ more people in the United States. For instance, Infosys has plans to employ 10,000 U.S. citizens in its operations. The company has gone from campus to campus recruiting people, training them, and equipping them for the high-tech profession they will join.
In his remarks, Shringla praised the recent passage of a bill by the House of Representatives that proposes lifting per-country caps on green cards. The move is likely to benefit Indian IT professionals in the U.S. “This is an important initiative,” he said.
The event featured new reports produced by IHS Markit on H-1B visas and the global IT services industry; including expert analysis of issues companies are experiencing with the visa program, and details of exploration of industry and government workforce and STEM education initiatives.
In his remarks, NASSCOM President Debjani Ghosh said technology companies from India contribute about US$78 billion in sales in the U.S., and 170,000 jobs are created directly by those Indian tech companies, while close to a million jobs are created indirectly.
“Close to US$16.3 billion of wages are paid by these companies of Indian origin in the U.S. While NASSCOM contributes about US$185 billion to India’s numbers, we also contribute US$28.2 billion directly to the U.S. GDP and US$7.7 billion in terms of state and federal taxes in the US,” Ghosh said.
The Washington based Wilson Center is a non-partisan policy forum chartered by the U.S. Congress in 1968, according to the organization’s website.