India’s DEI Drive: Triumphs and Trials on the Path to Inclusion

As India strives to build a stronger and more inclusive government, the focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) has become paramount. Amid ambitious economic goals, the importance of an inclusive workforce cannot be overlooked, especially for those who have been historically underrepresented or discriminated against.

The Indian Constitution guarantees equality before the law and prohibits discrimination based on religion, race, caste, sex, or place of birth (Article 15). Embracing DEI principles aligns with these constitutional values and reinforces a commitment to equal rights and opportunities for all citizens. Inclusive workplaces foster innovation and creativity by bringing diverse perspectives, experiences, and talents together. By championing DEI, India can unlock its workforce’s full potential, driving economic growth and enhancing global competitiveness.

However, the effective implementation of DEI policies and selecting appropriate leaders to champion these initiatives are crucial. Those who need assistance or recognition under DEI programs have often been let down in the past, making it essential for DEI leaders to serve as true role models for society and industry.

While government policies are pivotal in selecting the right implementers at legislative and regulatory levels, private companies specializing in DEI also bear significant responsibility. Their leadership and boards must reflect the right values and character to drive such a critical and sensitive program into the mainstream workforce.

Ampera Diversity Private Limited Under Scrutiny

A stark contrast emerges when examining companies like Ampera Diversity Private Limited, based in Chennai. Despite its claims of leadership committed to including Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) in every societal facet, the credentials and integrity of its leaders raise significant concerns.

Ampera’s website prominently features Mr. Srimanikandan Ramamoorthy as part of its core team, highlighting his finance, IT, and real estate background. However, key details are conspicuously absent. According to a UK-based legal publication, Global Investigations Review, Mr. Ramamoorthy, an ex-Cognizant employee, is the U.S. government’s key witness in the trial of two former Cognizant executives accused of authorizing him to pay a bribe. Ramamoorthy is under investigation in India for paying multiple bribes to government officials to obtain necessary permits for Cognizant real estate projects. Further, he is being investigated under multiple FIRs in Pune and Chennai, and active police investigations are underway.

With Ramamoorthy confessing his crimes in the U.S., the question arises: Can an organization like Ampera, led by a confessed criminal, be trusted to champion the cause of the underrepresented? DEI programs in India, backed by state and central government resources, rely heavily on the integrity of the companies that implement them. Can the government and companies trust Ampera, which has such dubious leadership at its helm?

A Call for Transparency and Integrity

The inclusion of Ramamoorthy in Ampera’s leadership raises critical questions. Is it a genuine oversight by Ampera’s directors or a calculated decision to leverage his questionable methods for obtaining grants and support? Ampera and its directors owe a comprehensive explanation to stakeholders and the public.

DEI is essential to India’s social fabric, economic prosperity, legal framework, global standing, corporate governance, and educational development. It is imperative to safeguard the cause against corruption. As investigations continue, the onus is on ensuring that DEI initiatives remain in the hands of true champions of equity and integrity.

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