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Posted: December 03, 2020
While background screening has always been a fairly common practice in India, it is growing in popularity as the country experiences an increase in CV fraud, which occurs when job applicants misrepresent themselves in cover letters and resumes. This phenomenon has created a greater need for background screening. According to a PricewaterhouseCoopers 2016 Global Economic Crime Survey, HR misrepresentation, especially when work candidates submit false capabilities, adversely affects companies and should be avoided. As noted in the report, economic crime, including HR fraud, can negatively affect a company’s bottom line, decrease employee morale, adversely affect business relationships and harm a company’s brand and reputation.
Because of the high amount of risk in hiring in India, employers should seriously consider implementing a background screening program in order to decrease the risk of human resources fraud. A solid background screening program will credentials for full-time, part-time, and temporary workers. Companies in India must familiarize themselves with the legal and cultural nuances prior to launching a program. For example, it is important to keep in mind that consent should always be obtained from the applicant before conducting a background check in India, and schools and employers often request the applicant’s authorization in writing before providing any verification information.
Legal and Data Privacy Considerations of Conducting Background Checks in India
While India currently does not have data privacy laws and “privacy” is not specified in India’s Constitution as being a formal right, there are several pieces of legislation that provide guidance in this area, including the Constitution of India’s Article 21, which guarantees, “[n]o person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law.” Article 21 has been referred to in numerous Supreme Court cases as related to upholding an individual’s right.
India’s NDA government (National Democratic Alliance) has argued that there is no right to privacy under the Constitution. In addition, the Information Technology Act 2000 and the Information Technology (Reasonable Security Practices and Procedures and Sensitive Personal Data or Information) Rules 2011 give parameters on personal data. Sensitive personal data includes financial information, sexual orientation, medical records and history, physical, physiological and mental health condition, passwords and biometric information (i.e., fingerprints, voice patterns, DNA, etc.). While it is legal for companies to collect sensitive personal information, it is only legal if it for lawful and necessary purpose like background checks, and with consent of the individual.
Available Background Checks in India
The most common background checks in India are employment history verification, education verifications, professional reference checks, and criminal records checks. There are other checks available, including reviewing motor vehicle records checks but they are typically only used when they are relevant to the position or the industry. It is common to have a school or employer request the applicant’s authorization in writing before providing any verification information.
There are numerous other background searches available in India, including passport checks and license checks. Reach out to your background check provider for information on available searches and turnaround times.
For more information on conducting India background checks, or for information on international background checks in general, please feel free to reach out to the Info Cubic team at (877) 360-4636.
It is important to note that the preceding is offered as general educational information and is not intended to constitute legal advice. Given the intricacies of the pertinent laws and regulations, consultation with qualified legal counsel is recommended.