National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom) on Friday termed Jack Palmer’s statement on H-1B visa workers having ‘minimal skills and little business knowledge’ as untrue and highlighted that highly trained employees of Indian companies were working in the US.
Palmer, a former Infosys employee who had sued the company for alleged visa fraud, made the comments to members of the US Senate judiciary committee during a Congressional on immigration hearing.
Referring to Palmer’s statement, Nasscom stated that H-1B workers are highly qualified, skilled and over the years have been providing vital services. The US government has also recognized the innovation and competitiveness H-1B workers have spurred in thousands of US businesses and the investments these global IT services companies make in their economy, it said.
On these allegations, R Chandrashekhar, president, Nasscom, said: “We feel the allegations made are misplaced and rhetorical. Indian IT-ITeS employees going onsite are both educated and skilled and are subjected to laws that govern that particular visa category.”
The recently released US labour statistics highlighted that there was a need for skills that Indian professionals possess and that the unemployment rate in this sector is around 3%. In today’s labour market, Indian employees fill a critical need — particularly in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. Strengthening India and US bilateral ties recently resulted in the US government’s agreement to discuss elements required in both countries to pursue an India-US totalisation agreement.
The US is the world’s largest IT market and has been a role model in leveraging diversity, interdependent trade and innovation across the world, Nasscom said, adding, the level of co-operation and exchange of technology service, products and ideas between the two countries continues to grow both in terms of size and importance.
The US influences the Indian IT industry in a large way as it is the largest geographic market for India, accounting for 62% of industry exports. Over the years, foreign workers have been brought into the US to meet the shortage of skilled workers.