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US Congresswoman for thoughtful roll-out of H1-B visa changes

A US Congresswoman of Indian origin has cautioned the Donald Trump administration against hasty changes in the H1-B visa regime, saying this should be done via the legislative route rather than through a presidential executive order.

Representative Pramila Jayapal (Democrat, Washington), now in India as part of a US Congressional delegation headed by Leader of the Democrats in the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, believes that there is bipartisan support for continuing the H1-B visa programme “perhaps with some changes”.

She is also hopeful that the Trump administration will continue to prioritise India though there are concerns about the growing process between the US and China and US and Russia but she feels that India “should be right in there”.

“You can’t just stop processing when people have been waiting in line for three years to get those H1-Bs and then put a barrier there and then say you are not going to get these…,” Jayapal told IANS in an interview.

“There has to be a thoughtful roll-out to any changes we might want to make to the H1-B programme and really it should come from Congressional authority, not from the President’s executive orders,” she said.

Her comments come after President Trump signed the “Buy American, Hire American” executive order last month to bring in major changes regarding the H1-B visa programme, including closing loopholes for immigration fraud and a shift from the current lottery system to a mechanism that favours higher-paid and higher-skilled workers.

Indian IT companies are likely to be badly affected if the rules are brought in.

Stating that every country has to make sure that it is taking care of its workers, Jayapal, however, said that the H1-B visa programme “is incredibly valuable”. She said that there has been some abuse of H1-B visas and that needed to be addressed.

“But I really do believe that there is a lot of bipartisan support for continuing the H1-B visa programme, perhaps with come changes,” the Chennai-born former pro-immigration advocacy activist.

Stating that she is on the immigration sub-committee that is chaired by Jim Sensenbrenner (Republican, Wisconsin), who is also a part of the visiting delegation, she said: “He (Sensenbrenner) raised the issue of H1-Bs in an internal meeting and you know, I think again that there is a lot of support for an H1-B programme that provides opportunities for Indians to come to the United States, provides opportunities for them to stay and also benefits India and Indian companies.”

Regarding India-US ties following the transition from the Democrats to the Republicans in the White House, the Congresswoman said she hoped that the Trump administration would continue to prioritise India.

“We were so proud of President (Barack) Obama at many levels but certainly the fact that he prioritised US-India relations was a huge benefit I think to the United States and to the world and I think probably those relations between India and the United States were never better in the last few years,” she said.

“We very much want this administration to continue to prioritise this relationship. We hope that they appoint an excellent ambassador (to India) very soon.”

Jayapal said that apart from diplomatic ties, “there are independent economic relationships that have been established regardless of which administration is in office”.

Asked about Trump’s policies on South Asia and Indian Americans, she said that there are now five Indian-origin members in the US Congress — Senator Kamala Harris and Representatives Raja Krishnamoorthi, Ro Khanna and Ami Bera, apart from her.

Stating that there is an increased interest in South Asia, she said: “I don’t think that the President himself is going to determine whether or not there are ties with South Asia. We are going to make sure that we continue to lift up the region and the importance of the region and the importance of the contributions of the South Asian Americans to the United States.”

Regarding Trump’s comments last month that countries like India, China and Russia have done nothing on climate change, she said that during the visiting delegation’s meeting with Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar, the latter said that this was not just a negotiation, it was a deep belief that India has that it must address climate change and the effects of climate change.

“I don’t think that India will back away from that, from taking on the climate question,” she said.

Asked about China’s criticism of the Congressional delegation’s meeting with the Dalai Lama, she said that “we know that China would not be happy”.

“It has not changed our resolve to really make sure that we address the issue of an autonomous Tibet and the United States I think in a bipartisan way continues to be deeply committed to speaking for autonomy for Tibet and the ability to practise their religion and their culture and their philosophies freely.”

Asked about Washington’s position on Beijing’s One Belt One Road initiative, Jayapal said that Foreign Secretary Jaishankar informed the delegation that while it was seen as an investment, many of the Chinese investments were actually in the form of loans to governments and not grants.

“So we are looking to see how that rolls out,” she stated.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Trump’s H1-B fallout: Infosys to hire 10,000 US techies

Global software major Infosys on Tuesday said it would hire 10,000 American workers in the next two years, a move seen as a fallout of US President Donald Trump’s executive order on H1-B visas a fortnight ago.

The city-based IT major also said it would set up four technology and innovation hubs across North America to focus on cutting-edge technology, including artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, user experience, emerging digital technologies, cloud and big data.

The first hub will open in the midwestern state of Indiana in August and is expected to create 2,000 jobs by 2021 for American workers.

“The hubs will have technology and innovation focused areas and serve clients in key industries such as financial services, manufacturing, healthcare, retail and energy,” said the firm in a statement here.

Clients in the US contribute about 60 per cent of the company’s software export revenue per year.

“We are committed to hiring 10,000 American technology workers over the next two years to help invent and deliver the digital futures for our clients in the US,” said Infosys Chief Executive Vishal Sikka in the statement.

The $10.3-billion company will hire experienced professionals as well as recent graduates from major universities and local and community colleges to create talent pools for the future.

“Basically, Infosys is hiring American workers to please Trump, who passed an order recently (April 19) which will force Indian IT firms to pay more salary for high-skilled employees working in the US on H-1B visas,” Head Hunters India Founder-Chairman and Managing Director K. Lakshmikanth told IANS here.

Infosys Deputy Chief Operating Officer S. Ravi Kumar however said the company had been hiring in the US over the years for organic growth and create talent on campuses.

“The right strategy for a company like ours is to build local talent pools and supplement them with global talent in times of shortage. The hubs will be located where we have client clusters and good local talent is available,” he said.

The decision to ramp up local hiring by Indian IT majors like Infosys, TCS and Wipro comes also in light of Trump’s order to ensure that H-1B visas were awarded to the most skilled and highly-paid.

“Infosys will take time to ramp up local hiring as it is very costly. It has to pay a minimum of $80,000 (Rs 52 lakh) per year to a skilled American techie. For the same amount, it can hire four software engineers in India for its offshore development work,” said Lakshmikanth.

Currently, an Indian IT firm pays $60,000-65,000 per year for techies working in the US on H-1B visas and they return after three years of onsite work.

Infosys, which sends about 3,000-4,000 techies to the US every year, will get 50 per cent of the H1B visas under the new rules as part of the quota and the rest through the lottery system.

“If Infosys hires about 500 Americans techies, it will result in loss of 2,000 jobs in India for offshore operations. Automation and AI (Artificial Intelligence) will reduce hiring by another 30-40 per cent,” said Lakshmikanth.

Indian IT industry representative body Nasscom, however, declined to react to Infosys’ plans, saying it “doesn’t comment on company specific matters”.

Observing that learning and education have been the core of what Infosys offered to clients, Sikka said they make the company a leader in times of great change.

Indiana Governor Eric J. Holcomb said on the occasion that it was good to welcome Infosys to the state to expand its growing tech ecosystem with the addition of 2,000 jobs.

“Indiana continues to put the tools in place such as the Next Level Trust Fund and incentivising direct flights that allow us to attract and retain great companies like Infosys,” he said in the statement.

The Governor also said higher education institutions in Indiana were producing a world class workforce and establishing the state as the innovation hub in the Midwest.

“I look forward to working with Infosys to elevate Indiana to the next level,” he added.

To ensure that American workers are equipped to innovate and support clients in the digitisation of all industries, the company will institute training programmes in competencies such as user experience, cloud, artificial intelligence, big data and digital offerings as well as core technology and computer science skills.

Since 2015, over 134,000 students, 2,500 teachers and 2,500 schools in America have benefited from h computer science training and classroom equipment funded by Infosys Foundation USA.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Trump: US pays billions but India, China and Russia have contributed nothing

President Donald Trump in a speech at Pennsylvania marking his first 100 days in office, said that his administration will take a big decision on Paris climate treaty in next two weeks. He further alleged that while US bears the financial brunt, countries like India, China and Russia have done hardly anything to the Paris accord.

POTUS said, “Our government rushed to join international agreement where the U.S. bears the costs and bears the burden while other countries get the benefit and pay nothing and this includes deals like the one-sided Paris Climate Accord. Where the US pays billions while China, Russia and India have contributed, and will contribute, nothing.”

Trump vowed to withdraw from the Paris treaty during his election campaign, but his administration has been split over the issue. The decision will be out prior to the G-7 summit on May 26-27.

Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt and top strategist Steve Bannon are pushing for a pull-out. On the contrary, White House adviser Jared Kushner and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson suggest that the US can scale back on the amount of foreign climate assistance pledged, and compel countries like China and India to commit to deeper emissions reductions. Democrats have contended that India’s commitment will breed a huge market for American renewable energy companies.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Visa troubles – upsurge in ‘foreign returned techies’

Telugu360 was in conversation with a co-founder of a Hyderabad startup who in a candid conversation mentioned – “At least, two people have told me that they left their job in the US – one to join family business and other to start their own business. I emphasize on today. Since Trump came in the number has been going up. I know a lot of them who already left and there are people who are contemplating to return home”

This is going to be the case with most of the Indians, who will now know at least one ‘foreign returned techie’. It is apparent that the Indians in the US have accepted the Trump change and are looking to come back home. As each month is passing by the number of Indians searching for jobs in India is snowballing. As per the analysis of one of the Big four companies, 600 Indians were looking to return home in December and by March the number hit 7000.

A workable option for companies to not only retain the Indian workers but also address the shortage of workers in US is through global in-house centers (GICs). The idea for GICs was to maintain low cost but now they can turn into a facility for talent.

POTUS Donald Trump ordered federal agencies to look at tightening the H1B visa programme used to bring high-skilled foreign workers to the country, as he tries to carry out his campaign pledges to put “America First”. On similar lines Australia abolished the 457 visa programme used majorly by Indians, in the national interest to put Australians and Australian jobs first. The rising nationalism is going to cost India intensely.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

TIME names Donald Trump `Person of the Year 2016′


Times person 2016

Causing disappointment to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s supporters, US President- elect Donald Trump was today chosen as the TIME’s Person of the Year 2016 for his stunning victory in the US polls. After Modi emerged as the front runner in the online poll, his supporters expected he would get this honour for the second year. Modi was among 11 names, shortlisted by TIME.

The first runner-up for Person of the Year is Trump’s rival in the presidential elections and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and the second runner-up are online hackers. Every December, TIME names the person who had the greatest influence, for better or worse, on the events of the year.

Time said after campaigning as an anti-establishment, populist candidate, 70-year-old Trump was elected the 45th President of the US — a stunning end to a presidential bid that repeatedly broke with political precedent.

Last year German Chancellor Angela Merkel was Time’s ‘Person of the Year’. The Person of the Year is picked by Time editors from among world leaders, artists, corporate czars and organisations who most influenced the news, for better or for worse.

The other contenders were US gymnast Simone Biles, CRISPR Scientists who developed a ground-breaking new technology that can edit DNA, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage, the Flint Whistleblowers who along with civil-engineering professor Marc Edwards and local pediatrician Mona Hanna-Attisha blew the whistle on the lead-poisoned water in Flint, Michigan, singer Beyonce, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Shabbir Ali condemns Donald Trump’s Muslim ban proposal


Leader of Opposition in Telangana Legislative Council Mohammed Ali Shabbir has strongly condemned the proposal of Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump for barring all Muslims from entering the United States.

Shabbir Ali described Trump’s proposal as highly provocative and aimed at encouraging hate among different communities. He also condemned Republican Party leader’s call for surveillance against mosques and establishing a database for all Muslims living in the US. He said such statements and a discriminative approach towards Muslims were primarily responsible for the growing terrorism in the world.

“Both George W. Bush, senior and junior, meddled in the affairs of Muslim countries like Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria and exposed the entire world to the threat of terrorism. Al-Qaeda was created by CIA to settle its scores with USSR and later, the same Al-Qaeda turned against it. Similarly, Saddam Hussain’s regime was brought to an end which consequently gave birth to Islamic State and now the ISIS operatives are unleashing terror across the world. The US and European countries must introspect and change their policies,” said Shabbir Ali.

Shabbir Ali also criticised the Western world for having duel policy on terrorism. “Terror attack on Paris is being treated as attack on the entire world. But when our Mumbai was attacked by Pakistan-based terror groups, the same countries did not support India in its war against terrorism. They did not snap their ties with Pakistan and didn’t even ask it to stop breeding terror groups,” he said.

The Congress leader said that the statement of Donald Trump is highly condemnable and all peace and justice loving people should oppose it.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.



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