November 8, 2012
BANGALORE: The Indian IT industry would have preferred not to have another four years of Barack Obama, having been at the receiving end of higher visa fees, lawsuits on misuse of visas and general anti-offshoring rhetoric during his first tenure. But some veterans said the Indian IT sector was “too big and too important” to the US to be affected much by whatever Obama now does.
IT industry body Nasscom’s president Som Mittal said Indian tech services firms help the US to become more efficient and competitive. “And they have a shortage of skills. There is now growing realization that we are part of the solution (to the US’s problems),” he said. He has some statistics to bear him out. In May this year, a group called the Partnership for A New American Economy, backed by US technology industry bigwigs, released a report that said that if the US did not adjust its immigration policies to make it easier for foreign born technology workers to reside in the country, it could fall behind the rest of the world in growth and innovation.
The argument was based on the finding that the demand by US companies for talent with degrees in STEM (science, technology , engineering and math) was rising three times faster than jobs in the rest of the economy , but these positions were “the hardest to fill because of the dearth of native-born Americans with these degrees” . The report said the US would face a shortage of 224,000 hi-tech workers by 2018.