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September 2, 1999
The government and the software industry have lashed out against international agencies for having put India on Level 3 of a scale that measure Y2K preparedness.
Level 3 on the scale indicates that there is 'sufficient awareness' in the country about the millennium bug but 'there is a risk of business disruption'.
NASSCOM has asked these organisations to upgrade India's Y2K preparedness to Level 2.
Level 2 indicates 'good preparations with challenges remaining'.
NASSCOM has specially written to US State Department Inspector General Jacquelyn L Williams-Bridgers, apprising the officer of India's sector-wise status on Y2K compliance. A recent report by the US State Department identified India as 'poorly prepared for Y2K bug'.
More significantly, NASSCOM has blamed the Indian government itself for not drawing attention to the Y2K compliance effort in the country.
NASSCOM President Dewang Mehta has regretted that ''In spite of the good work done in India, we have noticed that many international agencies have not yet properly evaluated India's position on Y2K preparedness mainly because of lack of information.''
The poor perception of India's Y2K preparedness might have arisen from the fact that by the government's own admission only 7 of the 11 critical sectors of the economy are set to become Y2K compliant by the end of September.
The government's Y2K Action Force chairman, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, has identified the 11 critical sectors for Y2K compliance as the department of atomic energy, defence, the space department, civil aviation, banking and finance, insurance, power, ports, petroleum, railways and telecom.
Ahluwalia promises that ''Most of these departments are indicating that they will achieve Y2K compliance by which I mean that all those steps, including a contingency plan, will be complete''.
Ahluwalia recently told a Confederation of Indian Industry conference in New Delhi that most of these sectors would publish a compliance report by the end of September.
He said important government departments and utilities would present to the Y2K Action Force an action plan with details on problem identification, inventories, rectification steps, internal auditing and contingency.
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