BSNL vows swift action on BharatNet concerns; says responsible for upkeep of optical fibre portion………………..

Drawing flak from the telecom department over gaps in maintenance of BharatNet infrastructure, BSNL has promised to take action against erring officers, but asserted that its maintenance responsibility pertains to only the optical fibre portion, sources said. The telecom PSU has also sounded out Department of Telecom (DoT) about Rs 617 crore of dues pending from Bharat Broadband Network Ltd (BBNL), as operation and maintenance payment for BharatNet project BSNL writing to DoT pointing out that while the onus of preventive and corrective maintenance of the optical fibre portion connecting gram panchayats is with BSNL, the responsibility of remaining network elements lay with other agencies. BSNL has claimed that BBNL has not taken steps to put in place such a mechanism despite the state-owned telecom service provider repeatedly insisting on the same. Earlier this month, the telecom department reportedly pulled up BSNL and BBNL over underutilisation of BharatNet infrastructure as well as deficiencies in maintenance of the project that seeks to connect 2.5 lakh gram panchayats through high-speed broadband by March 2019. Absence of a mechanism to segregate the faults in the network makes it difficult to initiate action against officials, as some of the problems may turn out to be beyond their area of responsibility, BSNL has said.

Very interesting story “Cognizant begins quarterly promotions to retain junior employees……..”

Cognizant Technology Solutions Corporation has introduced quarterly promotions for junior employees and digital skill compensation programmes to help cut attrition even as more business restructuring could be on the cards next year. Employee departures at the Teaneck, New Jersey-based company have exceeded 20% in the past three successive quarters and analysts had been concerned that a slew of cost-saving measures had cut too deep and that it was losing out on top talent. Cognizant's chief people officer said all attrition was not the same and that the company has put measures in place to target groups of employees who might leave. "For our junior employees, we have reintroduced quarterly promotions. That group wants to see upward mobility early in their careers. We've also created a number of niche-skill, digital compensation programmes where the market will support that," James Lennox, chief people officer, told analysts in New York last week. Lennox said the goal of the digital compensation programme was to incentivise employees to build in-demand skills so that they could be deployed with clients and win more business. He said Cognizant had also started employee engagement programmes such as workplace flexibility and had enhanced time-off and health benefits. IT companies such as Infosys and Cognizant have seen attrition creep up over the past few quarters and have said they are focused on ensuring that their 'high performers' do not leave. Cognizant follows the model of Indian IT service providers, with about seven out of 10 staffers in low-cost offshore locations such as India. "When we look at the data for our high performers, attrition is 4-5 percentage points lower than our overall employee pool," Lennox said. Cognizant, in particular, has faced employee pushback for a score of cost-cutting measures that were put in place to placate investors who demanded higher margins. Last year, about 400 senior executives accepted a voluntary retirement package and this year an additional 200 senior executives were shown the door.