Gates allays US outsourcing fears

MS co-founder wants exception for Indians in US immigration policy

Gates allays US outsourcing fears

bill gates: But why not make an exception for smart people?

Instead, he made a strong pitch for having an “exception” for Indians in the US immigration policy.

“If we get the statistics, about 1,800 American people are working here,” he said in response to a query regarding Obama’s recent comment that he would not like jobs to move from Buffalo in the US to outsourcing companies in Bangalore.

Speaking at an event organised by the National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM) here, he said there must be an exception for “smart people” from India in the tough US immigration policy.

“I cannot make any predictions. Immigration policy could get more difficult. Microsoft as a company is very vocal. It would be a big mistake (not to have an exception),” said Gates, whose Microsoft Corporation has a large number of Indians in its offices in the US.

Unique ID project
“The US Congress is very tough on immigration. But why not make an exception for smart people,” he asked, making a reference to the unique identification project launched by the Indian government to issue biometric cards to every citizen.

Gates gave a thumbs-up to the government’s ambitious unique identification project, saying:  “Microsoft wants to be part of the unique identification project.” Gates, who may meet Unique Identification Authority of India head Nandan Nilekani, said: “I am very excited about the project. It is a great initiative.” Underlining the crucial nature of the project, he said: “We need to make sure that every data (on the cards) is accurate. From a mobile phone number to anything.”

Gates, who is in the capital to receive the Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development on behalf of the Gates Foundation for its ‘pioneering and exemplary’ philanthropic work around the world and in India, spoke on a range of issues at the conference.

The Microsoft co-founder was blunt when he said India still had a long way to go as far as development of infrastructure was concerned. Giving an example, he said: “Lack of roads is a big problem. India needs more roads which means more investment, something on the lines of the Green Revolution of the late 1960s.”

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