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Oracle to double its India work force

The enterprise software maker plans to double the work force at its two research centers in India, bringing the total to about 6,000 employees.

Oracle said it plans to double its work force at its two research centers in India, bringing the total to about 6,000 employees.

Larry Ellison, Oracle's chief executive, made the announcement on Thursday while addressing key Indian customers via satellite from Oracle's global headquarters at Redwood Shores, Calif.

Oracle's Indian subsidiary has two large development centers at Bangalore and Hyderabad, where 80 percent of its more than 3,000 employees work. The company said it has about 6,200 customers in India and its products are supported in 13 major Indian languages.

American technology companies are increasingly shifting part of their research efforts to India--lured by the large numbers of highly trained software and hardware engineers and by lower development costs. China is also known for the quality of its technical education and professional services, but U.S. companies are currently more attracted to India because English is spoken fluently by most college-educated workers there.

EDS, General Electric and Microsoft are among those who recently announced expansion plans in India.

But the migration of technology jobs to countries like India has raised the hackles of many workers and politicians in the U.S. For example, legislators in New Jersey recently approved a bill that reserves certain state contracts for U.S. legal residents or citizens. Others worry that the migration of technology jobs overseas is a way of exploiting workers in the developing world.

Ellison, however, countered that globalization has helped India as well as Oracle.

"I know globalization is controversial in some spots in the world--people protest it regularly," Ellison said during the satellite address. "Yet isn't it remarkable that right now Oracle employs 3,200 Indian citizens, paying constantly increasing salaries, providing a very high standard of living, and helping to create a new middle class?"