US President Barack Obama is in India -- and clearly the outsourcing issue looms large -- though understated -- on the minds of all concerned.
In a nicely timed move, US Republican leader John McCain has decried efforts to "demonise", saying there was no "Indian plot to steal American jobs". "We cannot allow our anxieties about globalisation to cause us to demonise India for crass political gain," McCain said at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a Washington-based think tank, "Outsourcing is an inescapable feature of today's global economy, not an Indian plot to steal American jobs, and we should not condone any unfair punishments of Indian workers."
And in similar vein, Presidential biographer William Chafe writes: "Mr. Obama “is not going to interfere with companies doing what they need to do to be competitive.He’s too smart. Obama may make rhetorical gestures to those who want him to be more protectionist, but he won’t do it because it would set off a cycle of retribution that is not in America’s best interest. ( see Why Obama Won’t Walk the Walk Against Outsourcing/Wall St. Journal blog in "Best of the Rest" section below).
Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao has reminded Americans that many Indian service providers have established U.S. subsidiaries that hire American workers."Recent studies have shown that thousands of jobs have been created by our green field investments, by our active positions in the U.S. That's something we would definitely like to stress," said Rao on the eve of the US President's visit ( see "India To Obama: Outsourcing Is A Win-Win" in Best of the rest section).
The twitterati have their own take: The Times of India quotes from TrendMap.com, which monitors twitters worldwide: "Taklooman" was sure the US president would never visit Bangalore. "Those b*****s will make him outsource his presidency, that too at $10/Man Hour," he tweeted.
More seriously, President Obama tasted at first hand, India's efforts at bridging the digital divide by reaching technology to the grassroots level. He held a video conference with the villagers from Kanpura, near Ajmer in Rajasthan, where the villagers showed the world's most powerful leader how e-governance has changed the lives of the people in the village. The villagers informed Obama that with the help of broadband, education is accessible from remote villages and another big advantage of broadband is Tele-medicine.
According to data on Google Trends, which provides insights into broad search patterns, US President's visit to the country was the most searched item on Google India website on Saturday, Nov 6.
Virtual laugh riot: Why Obama won't visit Bangalore - The Times of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Virtual-laugh-riot-Why-Obama-wont-visit-Bangalore/articleshow/6881771.cms OneIndia.in: Villagers interact with Obama: http://news.oneindia.in/2010/11/07/villagers-interact-with-obama-through-e-conference.html
Economic Times: McCain on outsourcing http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-industry/jobs/No-Indian-plot-to-steal-American-jobs-McCain/articleshow/6880318.cms
Nov 8 2010