BENGALURU: Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister (DCM) C N Ashwath Narayan on Friday said all employees of IT and BT companies, except for those discharging essential services, must work from home.

A video conference with heads of IT-BT and Start-Up Companies was held on Friday, where the DCM explained the steps taken to control the outbreak of the coronavirus, and also sought inputs from the industry leaders.

“Regarding working from home, many of the offices have not taken this advisory, even now many employees are working from respective offices…

We don’t want to issue an order for them to work from home. We want them to do voluntarily,” Ashwath Narayan, who also holds IT-BT portfolio, said.

The minister said those in the non-essential service of these firms should work from home.

“..social distancing needs to be done. Advisory by the state government need to be followed,” he said and sought industry captains help in this regard.

Infosys founder and Chairman of Karnataka’s IT Vision Group Kris Gopalakrishna, Biocon chief and Chairman of BT Vision Group Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, NASCOM Chairperson Debajani Ghosh and other leaders of IT and BT organisations attended the video conference.

A discussion was held on developing an app and a locally developed test kit for providing care for those diagnosed with coronavirus or to aid those under quarantine, a statement from the DCM’s office said.

Ashwath Narayan has also assured industry that government will talk to telecom and power firms on uninterrupted broadband and power supply to facilitate work from home, it said.

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