National Skill Registry : Profiling IT professionals

Lets get it straight guyz .

Would you like keep an account of your romantic encounters online ?
The one which contains list of people you had relations with . The one which can be tomorrow be upgraded so that it contains details of exactly what kind of relations you had with them .The one with which people can ask you questions like “did u have sex and how many times?” . The one which you may be forced to reveal when you plan to get married ?

IF you are a girl you will immediately get my point .

National Skills Registry [ ] is an initiative by nasscom running for quite a long time .It aims at keeping a database of all the IT professionals .Its a permanent account maintained by an IT professional. These details will be upgraded as the employee moves across companies . The same data will be used for background verification and routine stuff you would see about profile maintenance on orkut or facebook . They even claim of 4 lakh successful registration !Gosh what happened to IT professional .

I find this quite suspicious and dangerous plan which aims at tightening controls over personal rights of IT professional .The fact that this is a permanent account sounds too dangerous to me , like the romances example I gave at the outset .

Lets c how , The first and foremost reason that Nasscom gives is that of security .
It says that since Indian IT industry is booming and since India doesn’t have an electronic registeiry of its citizen ,so its a concern with our clients when it comes to background check .

Question is which Background ?

Now there can be no doubts on IT clients seeking assurances about the people that they outsource to . If in case Nasscom is getting inspiration from US social secutiry system then its a fair thing to pursue . Nobody , including me , will want criminals at workplace .We should have a way to handle this .But that’s about it .
The rest that is said in support of this registry sounds like some smart marketing to me .

First and foremost ,security assurances to its clients is about the social record of the person .There is no reason to include his employments details and so on in this .

Secondly If at all such assurances is needed then Nasscom , with its technical and monetary strength should convince Govt of India to establish a social net than do it herself . Infcat such a registry should be maintained for everyone in India . Being a criminal be it CEO of a company or the office peon is euqally harmful to IT ecosystem .

And this is where Nasscom fails to establish its intigriyt .We can say that an association of IT companies so its targeting only IT professional .

No my friends this is too short and too sweet of a justification for this . Nassmcom first of all is association of IT companies . It is not organization of IT professional .Its the masters club ,however much we pretend .I leave rest to your thinking here 🙂 .

The next point is , by definition this is Skills registry . It aims to cover all historical data of an employee . Which all companies he worked for ? which all skills he worked on . The duration .
The salaries … wel I personally haven’t registered for this .But lets use common sense.

Even if intimate details like salary aren’t captured in this registry How much time do you think it will take . The day this registry becomes a hit , it will become a norm .And that day my frined it will not take much time for companies to force one to update his salary there .

Nassmcom does say that the data in this registry is controlled by the professional .Wel it must be but there is a good word that we use in IT industry .. “As of Now ” . Yes as of now it is .Tomorrow there can be a regulations 2.0 where in it will be mandated to keep one appraisal details in it . It can be extended to gather details to any minutes details like the years spend onsite foreign countries and so on .

Do you think companies will be hesitant to put salary and such details of their employees in such a database ?
Go and ask if you have any friend in recruitment process . Or if you have faced a job interview and bargained for things you would get sense of where I am coming from 🙂

you have no Idea , If I were an employer , how delighted I would be to have such a minute data about people i hired or will hire . Its would be a dream situation of having complete control over IT employees who any way aren’t allowed to form Support Groups .

And in essence this registry by its design can be very dangerous to IT folks . This or any attempt of profiling common people is to be suspected for its intention . The last such experience that history tells us is soviet russia and the KGB net that is said to have noted down minutest details .Again i leave rest to your own thinking .

Now lets look at the fundamental point that arise out of this issue .
That of Individuals freedom and Job Background verification .

Job background verification seems to be the prime intention that evident from NSR .
Now this is a real issue and this has nothing to do with security :).
This is quite an individual matter of what honesty an individual chooses to practice .Compare this to tax filing and you would be clear on the risk and honesty aspects of it .

As much keeping false claims in ones resume is a real concern, so is this being a pure business scenario . Its about how companies can and should verify Job Background and the business rather monetary aspects related to this . I for once and all I like such business issues be handled by market itself than NSR like profiling .

IT and most of the service Industries are about brands . A company and its trustworthiness as well as that of people working in it is purely determined by its brand . This is real market differentiators . We should be using the same as a base fro Job profiling . Rather this is how Indian IT industry seems to be working now . And again this is the final and real determinant factor .

NSR or no NSR ……
such brand establishment by an company by its corporate and Skills related practices . Or say by the employees by getting professional certifications or working in such companies should be the direction which Nasscom is working in .

NASSMCOM should have created industry wide system of skill certifications on diff Job profiles . It could have mandated , like we do in stock markets , Annual Job certificates by IT companies to employees .There could be more such open and fair ideas that could be cited .

Any falsification after that would be an individual risk .And so long people can pull such lies off or they get caught he has right to do so. For once such events strengthen the system than weaken it.It puts the strength of the system under scanner and makes them responsible for it .This is how nature and civil society works . Sadly this philosophical clarity is missing in NSR .

The point is in the onus of establishing ones rightful credential should be on the entity who wishes to benefit from it and they way they wish to benefit from it . Any overseeing body if at all regulatory should see that there are enough credential establishment events available so that such brands can be built and people benefit from the brand . After all there is a market for unbranded stuff too and thats a market reality too !

Beyond that NSR by its name and design it an attempt ar profiling people , having complete control over it . Its like treating IT professions like suspects, the only difference is this time its worded differently …and its web enabled..and its on name of security …and its from NASSCOM !

PS : Being an IT professional I am not making any conclusion on what an individual should do with NSR lest it goes against the conduct expected by my employer . I have taken care to keep this strictly as a critique and at a though argument level . I wish no political or monitory benefit from this blog entry.
EveryOne is expected to make his own decisions and the thinking needed for it . I wish not to dictate it 🙂 _Sachin .