Indian visa-holders see hope in Trump review

When Gokul Gunasekaran was offered a full scholarship for a graduate programme in electrical
engineering at Stanford University, he saw it as the chance of a lifetime.

He had grown up in Chennai, India, and had a solid job offer with a large oil company after getting his
undergraduate degree. He came to America instead, got the Stanford degree and now works as an
engineer at a data science startup in Silicon Valley.

But for the past five years, he has been waiting for a green card that would give him full legal rights as a
permanent resident. In the meantime, he is in a holding pattern on an H-1B visa, which permits him to
live and work in the United States but does not allow him easily to switch jobs or start his own company.

"It was a no-brainer when I came to this country, but now I'm kind of regretting taking that
scholarship," said Gunasekaran, 29, who is also vice president with a non-profit group called
Immigration Voice that represents immigrants waiting for green cards.

Immigration Voice estimates there are some 1.5 million H-1B visa holders in the country waiting for
green cards, many of whom are from India and have been waiting for more than a decade.

Many of these immigrants welcomed President Donald Trump's executive order this week to the federal
departments overseeing the programme to review it, a move that may lead to H-1B visas being awarded
to the highest-paying, highest-skilled jobs rather than through a random lottery.

Their hope is that merit-based H-1Bs might then lead to merit-based green cards.

"I think less random is great," said Guru Hariharan, the CEO and founder of Boomerang Commerce, an e-
commerce startup. Hariharan, who was previously an executive at Amazon.com Inc and eBay Inc, spent
10 years waiting for his green card and started his own company as soon as he got it.

Green cards can be a path to naturalization and Hariharan expects to become a U.S. citizen soon.

H-1B visas are aimed at foreign nationals in occupations that generally require specialised knowledge,
such as science, engineering or computer programming. The U.S. government uses a lottery to award
65,000 such visas yearly and randomly distributes another 20,000 to graduate student workers.

'INDENTURED SERVANTS'

The H-1B and the green card system are technically separate, but many immigrants from India see them
as intimately connected.

The number of green cards that can go to people born in each country is capped at a few percent of the
total, without regard to how large or small the country's population is. There is a big backlog of Indian-
born people in the line, given the size of India's population - 1.3 billion - and the number of its natives in
the United States waiting for green cards.

That leaves many of those immigrants stuck on H-1B visas while they wait, which they say makes them
almost like "indentured servants," said Gaurav Mehta, an H-1B holder who works in the financial industry.

Mehta has a U.S.-born son, but he could be forced to take his family back to India at any time if he loses
his job and cannot find another quickly. "He's never been to my country," Mehta said of his son. "But
we'll have no choice if we have to go. Nobody likes to live in constant fear."

No plan to lower VIP security, says Venkaiah Naidu

New Delhi: A day after the Narendra Modi government banned the use of red beacons atop VIP
vehicles, information and broadcasting minister M. Venkaiah Naidu clarified on Thursday that there
were no plans to curtail VIP security.

His comments came after concerns were expressed in some sections that the move to ban red
beacons could lead to cutting down of security for persons with threat perceptions.

“With regard to security, it is necessary in the interest of the country because important people have
to be protected. Otherwise, there is no preferential treatment,” Mr Naidu said.

The Union Cabinet cleared on Wednesday a proposal that red beacons would not be used by
anybody from May 1 onwards, saying even the PM, the President and judges were not exempt.

The minister reiterated that the decision to ban red beacons was part of the Modi government’s
philosophy that every citizen of the country was a VIP. “This way we also send a message that
every person should be treated equally,” he said.

Only emergency services such as ambulances and fire brigades can have beacons. “I have never
used it, but I don’t publicise it. I hope everybody will follow the decision,” the minister said. The
minister also hoped that state governments would follow the lead of the Centre and shun the use of
beacons.

Speaking on the sidelines of a workshop for government officials engaged in social media outreach,
Mr Naidu said this medium of communication cannot be censored. “We have to think about it and
discuss because we cannot think of censoring social media. The society has to discuss and then
come to a conclusion at the end of the day,” he said.

His comments seemingly came in the wake of a string of videos, related to Jammu and Kashmir and
security personnel, being leaked on various social media platforms.
...................................................................................................................................................................................................
No plan to lower VIP security, says Venkaiah Naidu

New Delhi: A day after the Narendra Modi government banned the use of red beacons atop VIP
vehicles, information and broadcasting minister M. Venkaiah Naidu clarified on Thursday that there
were no plans to curtail VIP security.

His comments came after concerns were expressed in some sections that the move to ban red
beacons could lead to cutting down of security for persons with threat perceptions.

“With regard to security, it is necessary in the interest of the country because important people have
to be protected. Otherwise, there is no preferential treatment,” Mr Naidu said.

The Union Cabinet cleared on Wednesday a proposal that red beacons would not be used by
anybody from May 1 onwards, saying even the PM, the President and judges were not exempt.

The minister reiterated that the decision to ban red beacons was part of the Modi government’s
philosophy that every citizen of the country was a VIP. “This way we also send a message that
every person should be treated equally,” he said.

Only emergency services such as ambulances and fire brigades can have beacons. “I have never
used it, but I don’t publicise it. I hope everybody will follow the decision,” the minister said. The
minister also hoped that state governments would follow the lead of the Centre and shun the use of
beacons.

Speaking on the sidelines of a workshop for government officials engaged in social media outreach,
Mr Naidu said this medium of communication cannot be censored. “We have to think about it and
discuss because we cannot think of censoring social media. The society has to discuss and then
come to a conclusion at the end of the day,” he said.

His comments seemingly came in the wake of a string of videos, related to Jammu and Kashmir and
security personnel, being leaked on various social media platforms.
...................................................................................................................................................................................................

New Delhi: A day after the Narendra Modi government banned the use of red beacons atop VIP
vehicles, information and broadcasting minister M. Venkaiah Naidu clarified on Thursday that there
were no plans to curtail VIP security.

His comments came after concerns were expressed in some sections that the move to ban red
beacons could lead to cutting down of security for persons with threat perceptions.

“With regard to security, it is necessary in the interest of the country because important people have
to be protected. Otherwise, there is no preferential treatment,” Mr Naidu said.

The Union Cabinet cleared on Wednesday a proposal that red beacons would not be used by
anybody from May 1 onwards, saying even the PM, the President and judges were not exempt.

The minister reiterated that the decision to ban red beacons was part of the Modi government’s
philosophy that every citizen of the country was a VIP. “This way we also send a message that
every person should be treated equally,” he said.

Only emergency services such as ambulances and fire brigades can have beacons. “I have never
used it, but I don’t publicise it. I hope everybody will follow the decision,” the minister said. The
minister also hoped that state governments would follow the lead of the Centre and shun the use of
beacons.

Speaking on the sidelines of a workshop for government officials engaged in social media outreach,
Mr Naidu said this medium of communication cannot be censored. “We have to think about it and
discuss because we cannot think of censoring social media. The society has to discuss and then
come to a conclusion at the end of the day,” he said.

His comments seemingly came in the wake of a string of videos, related to Jammu and Kashmir and
security personnel, being leaked on various social media platforms.
...................................................................................................................................................................................................
No plan to lower VIP security, says Venkaiah Naidu

New Delhi: A day after the Narendra Modi government banned the use of red beacons atop VIP
vehicles, information and broadcasting minister M. Venkaiah Naidu clarified on Thursday that there
were no plans to curtail VIP security.

His comments came after concerns were expressed in some sections that the move to ban red
beacons could lead to cutting down of security for persons with threat perceptions.

“With regard to security, it is necessary in the interest of the country because important people have
to be protected. Otherwise, there is no preferential treatment,” Mr Naidu said.

The Union Cabinet cleared on Wednesday a proposal that red beacons would not be used by
anybody from May 1 onwards, saying even the PM, the President and judges were not exempt.

The minister reiterated that the decision to ban red beacons was part of the Modi government’s
philosophy that every citizen of the country was a VIP. “This way we also send a message that
every person should be treated equally,” he said.

Only emergency services such as ambulances and fire brigades can have beacons. “I have never
used it, but I don’t publicise it. I hope everybody will follow the decision,” the minister said. The
minister also hoped that state governments would follow the lead of the Centre and shun the use of
beacons.

Speaking on the sidelines of a workshop for government officials engaged in social media outreach,
Mr Naidu said this medium of communication cannot be censored. “We have to think about it and
discuss because we cannot think of censoring social media. The society has to discuss and then
come to a conclusion at the end of the day,” he said.

His comments seemingly came in the wake of a string of videos, related to Jammu and Kashmir and
security personnel, being leaked on various social media platforms.
...................................................................................................................................................................................................
Narada case probe: Lodging FIR against 12, CBI closes in on Trinamool Congress

Setting the stage for another bitter showdown between the Centre and the Mamata Banerjee
government in West Bengal, the CBI Monday booked 12 Trinamool Congress (TMC) leaders,
including MPs and state ministers, and an IPS officer and unidentified “others” for alleged
corruption in the Narada ‘sting’ case involving visuals of money changing hands.

Maintaining that its inquiry revealed “prima facie material for registration of a regular case”, the CBI
said an FIR had been lodged under the Prevention of Corruption Act and Indian Penal Code
section 120B on criminal conspiracy.

TMC leaders booked by the CBI include Rajya Sabha MP Mukul Roy, Lok Sabha MPs Saugata
Roy, Aparupa Poddar, Sultan Ahmed, Prasun Banerjee and Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar.

Others named are West Bengal Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim, Transport Minister
Suvendu Adhikari, Environment Minister Sovan Chatterjee, Panchayat Raj and Rural Development
Minister Subrata Mukherjee, former Minister Madan Mitra, MLA Iqbal Ahmed and IPS officer
SMH Mirza.

The FIR also mentioned “unknown persons” and CBI officials claimed there were “many others
who were a part of the conspiracy but were not shown in the footage’’.

The Narada News tapes, released ahead of the 2016 assembly elections in West Bengal, showed
TMC leaders allegedly receiving money from representatives of a fictitious company for future
favours.

Also Read: What is the Narada News tapes? All you need to know

Last month, the Calcutta High Court ordered a CBI probe but this was challenged by the state
government. The Supreme Court gave the CBI a month to conduct a preliminary enquiry and see if
there was need for an FIR.

CBI officials said they had examined video clips containing footage of TMC leaders and a
Superintendent of Police who featured in the ‘sting’ operation.

Mathew Samuel of Narada News had told the court that the ‘sting’ recording was done on an
iPhone, transferred to a laptop and then stored in a pen drive. A committee had taken possession
of all devices after the Calcutta High Court ordered a CBI probe.

In the first set of tapes released by Narada News, the leaders were shown accepting wads of cash.
It was in the second set, mostly featuring Firhad Hakim, in which favours were promised. Hakim
was filmed saying there were “lots of infrastructure projects coming up in West Bengal… especially
roads.’’ He also said that the quality of MLAs in the TMC had dropped and all that investors
needed to do was apply for projects, and that he would ensure these were passed.

Although he declined comment when the tapes were released, Hakim, after the 2016 elections, said
of the Narada tapes: “It was completely false, I have not done anything unethical throughout my
life… it is a political conspiracy, they were unable to fight with us on a political agenda, they
indulged in all these things.’’

Mirza, the IPS officer in the tapes, was the former SP of Burdwan. He was taped saying he had
access to top TMC leaders and could get work done. In another instalment of the ‘sting’ operation,
Samuel of Narada News is taken to Minister Subrata Mukherjee by MLA Iqbal Ahmed.
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Poorest of poor should have a house in next 5 years: Modi

A series of functions have been organised to mark Ambedkar Jayanti across Maharashtra,
including at Deekshabhoomi in Nagpur and Chaityabhoomi in Mumbai, where the Dalit icon was
cremated following his

Nagpur, April 14: Addressing a large gathering at Nagpur on Friday Prime Minister Narendra
Modi said that every Indian should have a house by 2022 and the government was working in this
direction.

The Prime Minister, who inaugurated various development works in Nagpur to mark the birth
anniversary of Dr Ambedkar, said, "The people of the country should strive to fulfil the dreams of
freedom fighters."

He said each and every Indian should have a house in the next five years. "We have a dream for
2022 and that house must be equipped with electricity, water and other facilities. There should be
hospitals and schools in the neighbourhood," Modi said.

Referring to Ambedkar, Modi said that "He did not have a trace of bitterness or revenge in him
despite facing struggles in his life."
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Kulbhushan is our son, will go to any extent to save him: India

NEW DELHI: Indian Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday cautioned Pakistan
of “consequences” if it proceeded with the death sentence of RAW agent Kulbhushan Yadav.

Speaking in parliament on Yadav’s death sentence, Swaraj said India would go to any extent to
“save” Yadav, whom she termed a “son of India”, the Indian media reported.“I would caution the
Pakistan government to consider the consequences for our bilateral relationship if they proceed on
this matter,” she said, as quoted by the Indian media.

The external affairs minister labelled the charges against Yadav as “concocted” and claimed there
was no evidence of wrongdoing by him.On Monday, Pakistan sentenced Kulbhushan Yadav to
death for carrying out espionage and sabotage activities in Balochistan and Karachi.

Chief of the Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa confirmed the death sentence awarded by the
Field General Court Martial under the Pakistan Army Act.In response, India lodged a formal
protest with Pakistan over Yadav’s death sentence and announced that in case the punishment was
carried out it would regard it as ‘premeditated murder’.

Pakistan, however, rejected the Indian objections to the RAW agent’s death sentence, saying the
country’s national security is Islamabad’s utmost priority.“You can’t sponsor terrorism and then
summon an ambassador to protest over the sentence of terrorists. Nothing matters more than
national security,” Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit told the Indian media after meeting
officials of India’s Ministry of External Affairs on Monday.  speaking with Geo News said that
India should now get it clear that they can’t dominate Pakistan on the basis of their artillery.

“We will never compromise on our national security. It’s a law practised in every single country to
give death sentence to spies. We are following the same rule. We have always aimed for better
bilateral relations but India is adamant to stick with anti-Pakistan rhetoric.”

Chaudhry said that the entire parliament, people of Pakistan will never make a deal or compromise
on the national sovereignty. “Let a strong message be given to New Delhi, we will continue to take
strict action against espionage in light of domestic and international laws.” The PML-N leader said
that Indian reactions would not change any policy decision related to Kulbhushan.
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Ready to function from streets, says Kejriwal over cancellation of AAP's office

A day after Lt Governor Anil Baijal cancelled the allotment of his party's office bungalow, Aam
Aadmi Party convenor Arvind Kejriwal today said that they are ready to operate from streets for
the common people and alleged that by levelling baseless allegations the BJP and the Congress
want to finish AAP.

Addressing a press conference, Mr Kejriwal said, "This is very saddnening that the party (AAP)
which rode to power in Delhi by winning 67 out of 70 Assembly seats, their office allotment was
cancelled while the parties (Congress and BJP) which won zero and three seats have office in the
city. I want to ask why is AAP discriminated."

"Even other political parties have offices in Delhi. The question is that why we are treated in a
different way. What is our fault? That we are fighting for the rights of the poor and common people
or because we have started a fight against different 'mafia's'. Let them snatch everything from us but
we will continue our struggle. We are ready to work from streets, nothing can stop us," the Delhi
Chief Minister asserted.

Attacking the BJP-Congress parties for allegedly levelling baseless allegations against AAP, Mr
Kejriwal accused both the parties for attempting to finish it and said that they can't succeed.

"We are following the path of truth. We didn't do anything wrong," the AAP convenor claimed.

He also said that people of Delhi will teach them a lesson on March 23 MCD elections by voting
for AAP.

Close on the heels of the Shunglu committee raising questions on the allotment of the bungalow at
206 Rouse Avenue for the Aam Aadmi Party office, Mr Baijal yesterday cancelled the allotment.
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