Accenture to fire 5% of its workforce; 10K employees in India to lose jobs

News Network
August 26, 2020

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New Delhi, Aug 26: IT major Accenture is all set to fire 5% of its workforce globally, which means that around 10,000 employees in India will lose their jobs due to the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Accenture is likely to ask several thousands of employees to go after the conclusion of the appraisal cycle that is underway.

The Australian Financial Review (AFR) reports that Accenture CEO Julie Sweet, in an internal staff meeting streamed online in mid-August revealed that 5% of their global workforce can be asked to leave the company.

“In a normal year, we transition out about 5% and we hire to replace them because we are in a demand scenario. Right now, we're not in a demand scenario, so if we manage out the same percentage of people and don't replace them, it allows us to continue to invest and preserve some people who have lower chargeability for when the market comes back." AFR said Accenture is looking to cut at least 5% of its global workforce.

To be noted, Accenture has 5 lakh employees globally and if 5% of the employees are fired, around 25,000 employees will be asked to leave. Out of 5 lakh, 2 lakh Accenture employees are in India. Hence, once 5% is applied to India, then 10,000 employees will face termination in India.

In July, Bloomberg reported that Accenture was cutting up to 900 jobs or 8% of its UK workforce. AFR said, “with about 5,000 staff employed by Accenture locally (Australia), the redundancy numbers would be about 250, but it is understood to currently sit around 180.”

Speaking on the possible layoffs in India and which employees will be targeted, a spokesperson in an emailed statement told TOI:  “Every year, as part of our performance process, we have conversations with our people about how they are performing, areas for improvement, their potential to progress, and whether they are a long-term fit for Accenture. This year, across all parts of our business and all career levels, we will identify approximately 5% of our people as our lowest performers, and these individuals will transition out of Accenture. This is consistent with our actions each year.”

Accenture asks, on an average, 5% of its employees every year to leave, based on performances. However, unlike every year, they won’t hire more employees, since demand is low.

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News Network
August 10,2022

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Patna, Aug 10: After taking oath as Bihar Chief Minister an eighth time, thus continuing in the chair with a change of partners, Nitish Kumar took a shot at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the next Lok Sabha elections: "He won in 2014, but will he in 2024?"

Though Nitish Kumar repeatedly spoke of "working towards Opposition unity" to unseat the BJP at the Centre, he told reporters that he is "not a contender for anything", when asked if he wants to be PM candidate. "The question to ask is, if the person who came in 2014 will win in 2024,” he said.

Elections in Bihar are due in 2025, a year after the Lok Sabha contest. Nitish is likely to still be in the chair in 2024, which means the who'll-be-the-challenger speculation isn't likely to die down soon, especially with the Congress weakened and the Opposition still far from united. His deputy once again, RJD's Tejashwi Yadav has said Nitish Kumar is the "most experienced chief minister in India right now".

It helps Nitish Kumar's case that another regional leader with national ambitions -- Bengal's Mamata Banerjee — has had to halt her march after corruption charges against her party colleagues. 

Analysts have for years floated the theory that Nitish Kumar could be the Opposition candidate against PM Modi, if the Congress plays a non-leading role. But that's drowned out as he floats in and out of alliances — with and against the BJP. Till yesterday, he was chief minister with BJP support. And now he is back with the RJD of old pal Lalu Yadav, whose son is his deputy in the new government — a new version of their 2015 alliance. The Congress is among the partners.

The first version of the JDU-RJD-Congress tie-up — called the 'Mahagathbandhan' or Grand Alliance — won power in 2015. Nitish Kumar had broken up with the BJP two years before that, ending a two-decade relationship. He had problems with Narendra Modi's past, particularly the 2002 Gujarat riots, and left the NDA after he became the PM face. 

But he made up with PM Modi's party in 2017, walked out the Mahagathbandhan and took a fresh oath. The JDU and BJP remained together for the 2019 Lok Sabha contest, and then won the 2020 assembly polls. Nitish Kumar remained in the chair. Two years on, he has switched again. 

Today he said he did not want to be Chief Minister after the 2020 win with the BJP. "Ask people in the party (JDU), what they have been reduced too. I did not want to become CM... but I was put under pressure. Then you see what happened. I have not even spoken to you (journalists) in two months." 

He pointed towards the drop in JDU's numbers. "How many seats did we win in 2015? And then we went with the same people (BJP) and look at what we have been reduced to." Besides those in the JDU, Tejashwi Yadav too has said the BJP "wants to finish off regional parties" and "usurps its partners".

In 2015, Nitish Kumar's JDU had won 71 seats as part of the Grand Alliance's 170, in a House of 243. The RJD was the single largest party with 80 seats, but he became chief minister as leader of the pact.

At present, the JDU has 45 seats. The BJP, which has 77, made him chief minister in 2020 despite these numbers — but with two deputies from its stable. Why the switch now? Nitish Kumar and his party, it is learnt, were spooked in the latest by the Maharashtra coup in which the BJP backed a split in the Shiv Sena to return to power.  

On his fate after yet another flip, Nitish Kumar today said, "Whether I will stay or not... let people say what they have to say." After staking claim yesterday, he said he "never allowed corruption", and "we want brotherhood in society". Standing next to him, Tejashwi Yadav accused the BJP of dividing people along communal lines: "We are socialists. All of us want that the BJP's agenda shouldn't be implemented in Bihar."

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News Network
August 8,2022

Patna: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has called a meeting of all Janata Dal (United) MLAs and MPs on Tuesday, leading to speculation his growing friction with the BJP may come to a head.

Chief among the many reasons why Mr Kumar is upset with the BJP, which is an alliance partner of the Janata Dal (United), or JD(U) in Bihar, has been the BJP-led central government's offer of token representation to allies as Union Ministers.

Mr Kumar's party had denied another Rajya Sabha berth last month to his former JD(U) colleague RCP Singh, who had taken a spot in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's cabinet last year without consulting Mr Kumar. Mr Singh bade farewell to the JD(U) over the Rajya Sabha snub.

"There's a conspiracy against me because I'd become union minister," said Mr Singh, a former Indian Administrative Service officer who was once the national president of JD(U). "I'll just say that there's no cure to jealousy," he said while leaving the JD(U) yesterday. "Nitish Kumar will not become Prime Minister in any of his seven lives," he said, describing the JD(U) as a sinking ship.

Mr Kumar reacted by sending out his party's top leaders to respond to allegations by Mr Singh of pettiness and for allegedly dragging his family into a political fight citing illegal property deals.

The JD(U) national president Rajiv Ranjan (Lalan) Singh in a hurry to blunt the attacks by Mr Singh, however, appeared to have overcorrected when he ended up threatening the alliance party BJP.

"What is the need to join the Union Cabinet? The Chief Minister had decided in 2019 we won't be part of the Union Cabinet," Rajiv Ranjan told reporters. He said the JD(U) won't join the Union Cabinet in the near future too, leading to speculation of a rift that can't be mended.

The sudden increase in outburst of Mr Kumar's aides like Rajiv Ranjan is seen as a calculated move to put pressure on the BJP to concede to the Chief Minister's demands, which includes removal of Bihar assembly Speaker Vijay Kumar Sinha, for whom Nitish Kumar's dislike is an open secret.

The Chief Minister, citing health reasons, had stayed away from a meeting of the government think-tank NITI Aayog in Delhi this weekend, which 23 Chief Ministers including West Bengal's Mamata Banerjee had attended. The absence was seen as yet another show of anger by Mr Kumar at the BJP.

Mr Singh had denied the charge of negotiating directly with the Modi government for a ministerial position in the centre. He said Home Minister Amit Shah had spoken to Mr Kumar about cabinet expansion and offered one berth to the party on the condition that Mr Singh himself become a Union Minister.

Mr Singh also denied the JD(U)'s allegations that there are irregularities in his property deals. "These properties belong to my wife and other dependents, who have been paying due tax since 2010," he said. "I don't know what the party wants to investigate. I have nothing to hide," he said.

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News Network
July 30,2022

Bengaluru, July 30: An Ethiopian national with symptoms of monkeypox has been quarantined at a private hospital here, the Karnataka health department said.

His samples have been sent to the National Institute of Virology in Pune for confirmation, the health officials said on Saturday. The African national has been isolated at the hospital where he got admitted for treatment of multiple health issues, including renal problem.

“The 55-year-old Ethiopian with kidney-related ailment and other health complications had come in the first week of July and only recently, he showed signs of monkeypox with rashes in his body,” a health department official said.

Health Minister K Sudhakar told reporters that there was no need for people to panic as it is not a deadly disease. “There is no need to panic over monkeypox. Of course, we need to take some precautionary measures. Even if it comes, there is treatment available for it. It does not lead to death. Death is highly unlikely,” Sudhakar, who himself is a medical professional, said. He said the disease belongs to the smallpox family. Those who have taken vaccines will not show major symptoms. 

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