ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday April 27, 2008
Vol. 42 - No 48
Financial Times  

Schols and CSR, the Virtusa way

Corporate Social Responsibity (CSR) in the corporate sector has come to rest around the topics of philanthropy and general goodwill.
Virtusa Sri Lanka is taking on a new approach by conducting CSR in a way that benefits society as well as the firm, according to the company. Under this programme, 23 outstanding students from five local institutions will be awarded the Virtusa Placement Engineer Scholarship by the IT solutions provider. The scholarship entails the students spending approximately two years at Virtusa, learning the ropes.

They will be allowed into all of Virtusa’s processes and the knowledge offered by the senior officials, according to Madu Ratnayaka, General Manger, Virtusa Sri Lanka and will get the full exposure of working with international clientele as all of Virtusa’s accounts are foreign.

“We try to do CSR that tie in with the vision and the growth of the company,” said Ratnayaka speaking at the recently held scholarship awarding ceremony. He went on to explain that the scholarship scheme was a part of Virtusa’s Campus Reach programme, which plays a role in helping the state universities’ administrators update their ICT curriculum and work towards higher growth in the sector.

Students who have already put in time in the ICT syllabus at the Open University, Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology (SLIIT), National Institute of Information Technology (NIIT), IDM Computer Studies and the Colombo University (BIT) have been chosen for the Placement Engineering Scholarship. With the scholarship, the students will be taught the fundamental skills of software engineering for two years, then will be involved in the ‘Virtusa Boot-camp’ which is scheduled to be held for two to three months. There will be on-the-job training with a mentor who the students can shadow, plus, the students will also be trained through the Vendor Certification Programme.

Karu Jayasuriya, Minister of Public Administration, who was Chief Guest at the event, was emphatic on the government’s support toward the growth of Information Technology/Business Process Outsourcing (IT/BPO) front. According to him, the sector has been given “top priority” by the government and a plan has been put together to fast-track the industry which has so far raked in US$275 million. “We have an ambitious programme,” he said, revealing that the two billion mark was aimed at for 2012. He also revealed that ideas along the lines of a loan scheme for IT students, a publicity campaign, tax concessions for IT/BPO companies and real reductions of telecommunication costs are in the pipeline.


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