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Why Indian IT Leaders Backed Anna Hazare's Anti-Corruption Movement

IT services encompass a big portion of India's GDP, where government IT projects have brought strong association of many of the Indian IT giants with the public. This could be the reason that Indian IT leaders beginning to get more vocal about the socio-political issues in the country.

Tata Consultancy Services vice-chairman S Ramadoraion Saturday praised anti-graft crusader Anna Hazare for keeping alive the fight against corruption, but said he did not endorse his methodologies to achieve it.

This is not the first time that a leader from the Indian IT industry has commented on anti-graft crusader Anna Hazare and his movement. In the past, the chairperson and chief mentor of Infosys N R Narayana Murthy also remarked on the movement, and backed Anna Hazare's fight against corruption. He supported bringing the Prime Minister and the under the ambit of the Lokpal bill.

On the other hand, some leaders have also been equally vocal about their criticism of the methods adopted by Team Anna, most notable, Nandan Nilekani, former CEO of Infosys. Nilekani who is the Chairman of the largest Government IT project -- UIDAI -- had once advised Team Anna not to undermine the Parliament and elected representatives, and to look at corruption in a much more strategic holistic manner and not by just passing a law.

Whether in the favor or against the Anna's movement, people from IT industry have been commenting on this issue. Industry watchers also believe that this can be mainly due to the association of these IT companies with the government and masses that motivates their leaders to speak up. TCS has a big chunk of business with Government sector lead by the Passport Seva Project. Infosys also has a huge business association with Government.

India's IT firms are also spending large amounts of their profits on their corporate social responsibilities. Lending their voice and support to important socio-political issues helps them boost their social reputation.

According to media reports, S Mahalingam, CFO and Executive Director, has claimed that TCS spends 0.5 percent of its net profit in CSR activities, primarily in the area of healthcare and education. Infosys actively participates in the welfare of the local communities through their development centers countrywide. The company supports the activities of institutes and Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) dedicated to healthcare and education, and campaigns for skills development and community welfare.


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