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|April 23, 1999||
National Information Technology Task Force Convenor Dr N Seshagiri today said that the government might impose certain restrictions on "dollar hunting" Y2K solution providers.
He is referring to software companies that allegedly refuse local Y2K jobs in preference to those in the West because the earnings there are in foreign exchange.
If these Y2K solution providers do not, through self-discipline, offer solutions to the tune of 10 to 15 per cent of Indian firms, the government might be forced to take drastic steps, he warned. This might even mean fixing certain domestic quota for these Y2K solution providers, he said.
Reminding that the situation might get alarming as D-Day nears, Dr Seshagiri, does not rule out the possibility that some of the smaller Y2K companies might attempt black marketing their expertise.
Dr Seshagiri, who is also the director general of the National Informatics Centre and special secretary in the Planning Commission, inaugurated the seminar through videoconferencing from New Delhi.
Dr Seshagiri said prominent institutions like the National Association of Software and Service Companies should play an important role and pressurise the Y2K solution providers to consider "ethical values".
Five to six months from now, the "greed" of some companies could lead to a black market situation, he warned.
Dr Seshagiri said another major problem could arise from embedded software that is not Y2K compliant. According to a study by the Gartner Group, of the 50 billion embedded software chips, at least 500 million are not Y2K compliant.
It would be a Herculean task to change them because it requires about 21 months to do it. Victims of these chips include offshore oil drilling platforms and power systems.
He claimed some of the multinationals have behaved in an unethical manner. Citing an example, he said a major multinational has supplied power equipment to a public sector unit that is not Y2K compliant.
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