Technocrat N R Narayana Murthy on Wednesday suggested that the country should quickly embrace a modern and world-class human resources policy to avoid cutting a sorry figure on manpower front going ahead.
"There is a serious manpower shortage," said Murthy, chief mentor of domestic software giant Infosys and added: "So, unless we put in place a dynamic, forward-looking, modern and world-class human resources policy, I think we will regret".
The success of India's software sector and other research and development activities is a result of an "extraordinary policy" that was put in place in the early 1950s by the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.
"We are now reaping the benefits. Unfortunately today, we do not have people who have imagination, youth, energy and enthusiasm in framing modern, world-class human resources policy," Murthy said, adding: "That's a fact of life unfortunately. We will regret this 20 years from now, we will regret it 30 years from now."
He said he had raised the issue with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh many times. "I hope that he (Singh) will realise that development of human resources is the most critical issue for not just the software industry but for India's future."
Murthy said he is against tax holiday for IT companies.
"I think we have to pay taxes. After all, what's the difference between a company that serves Indian consumers and a company that serves outside? There is no difference."Government could give exemption from tax the first Rs 20 crore (Rs 200 million) profit earned by IT companies for some investment like brand-building, he suggested. "But beyond that, I don't see any need for tax holiday".