Good news for IT cos! US resumes premium processing of H-1B visa categories

H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise

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The US has resumed premium processing of H-1B work visas in all categories, months after it was suspended temporarily to handle the huge rush of applications for the work visas popular among Indian IT professionals.

Premium processing of H-1B visa was suspended in April to handle huge rush of new petitions. In September, the country opened up some categories of the H-1B visas for the fast processing.

“Premium processing is now available for all types of H- 1B petitions,” US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) said yesterday.

Also Read : New Rs 100 notes coming next year, printing to begin in April

The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise. The technology companies depend on it to hire tens of thousands of employees each year.

As mandated by the Congress every year USCIS can issues a maximum of 65,000 H-1B visas and 20,000 to those who have earned higher education in STEM subjects from a US higher educational institution.

H-1B visas to several categories like those in academic and research institutes is exempted from the Congressional mandated limit.

When a petitioner requests the agency’s premium processing service, USCIS guarantees a 15-calendar day processing time. Read More

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Presidential polls result today: Counting from 11 am, result out by 5 pm

Ram Nath Kovind has a distinct advantage over his rival Meira Kumar

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Politics News : Counting of the votes cast to decide who will be India’s new President will begin on Thursday from 11 am. The result will decide the fate of the two contenders — the ruling NDA’s candidate Ram Nath Kovind, who has a clear edge, and the combined Opposition nominee Meira Kumar.

The candidate who secures at least one vote more than 50 per cent of the total votes will become India’s 14th President and enter the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

The final result of the presidential election 2017 is expected to be out by 5 pm today.

Officials said that all preparations have been made for the vote count and that all ballot boxes had already reached Parliament House by Tuesday evening amid tight security.

Also Read : Presidential election 2017 India: Kovind or Meira Kumar, who will be the next Rashtrapati?

They said the counting would begin at 11 am simultaneously across four tables. There will be eight rounds of counting and announcements made after every round.

Polling to choose the successor to President Pranab Mukherjee, who demits office on July 24, was held simultaneously at 32 polling stations — one in Parliament House and one each in the 29 state Assemblies and two Union Territories with Assemblies.

Lok Sabha Secretary General Anoop Mishra is the Returning Officer for the election and will issue the certificate to the winning candidate.

Officials said the seals of the ballot boxes will be opened on Thursday in the presence of representatives of the two candidates – former Bihar Governor Kovind and former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar – and the observers of the Election Commission.

In Monday’s polling, several states registered 100 per cent turnout. The overall poll percentage was pegged at 99.41 per cent. A total of 776 members of Parliament and 4,120 legislators were eligible to cast votes.

Kovind has the advantage

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Not allowed to speak in Rajya Sabha, Mayawati threatens to resign

The BSP supremo was speaking about the Saharanpur anti-Dalit violence in the Upper House

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Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader Mayawati News on Tuesday said she will resign from the Rajya Sabha after being asked to wrap up her impromptu speech on the Saharanpur anti-Dalit violence in the Upper House of the Parliament.

“I will resign right away. I will come back and give my resignation,” she said and walked out of the House.

Politics News : The Congress walked out of the Rajya Sabha after Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had got a mandate to rule, as BSP supremo Mayawati vociferously spoke against atrocities on Dalits and minorities in Uttar Pradesh and demanded a discussion on the issue.

Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad took objection to Naqvi’s remarks, saying the BJP had got a mandate to protect the poor, farmers, minorities, and Dalits.

“When Mayawati tried to talk, she was told that we have got the mandate. We did not know the BJP has got the mandate for the massacre of minorities and Dalits. We are not with this government,” an angry Azad said and walked out of the House.

Other Congress members followed their leader.

Earlier, there was a din in the House as Mayawati spoke about “atrocities on Dalits” in Saharanpur of Uttar Pradesh.

She said “casteism and capitalism” have grown all over the country, particularly in the BJP-ruled states, after the BJP came to power at the Centre.

The BSP chief alleged that Dalits were being targeted and sought the attention of the House over the issue.

Tejashwi says didn’t have moustache at time of scam; BJP not buying it

BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi once again urged Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to sack Tejashwi

RJD leader and Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav on Wednesday said the allegations of corruption against him were lies and a conspiracy by the BJP, led by Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, after attending his first Cabinet meeting since the CBI raids against him.

Latest Current Affairs : Tejashwi, the younger son of RJD chief Lalu Prasad, argued that the allegations being levelled against him were related to events which occurred in 2004, when he was a 14-year-old minor.

Tejashwi has made it clear that he will not resign despite alliance partner and Bihar Chief Minister, Nitish Kumar, calling upon him to come clean. Tejashwi has been named as an accused in a CBI case in connection with benami property.

ALSO READ: Congress reaches out to Nitish Kumar as questions linger over Bihar grand alliance

Instead, Yadav said he would go to the people to explain how and why the BJP, led by Shah and Modi, has conspired against him. “This allegation is of 2004 when I was merely 14 years old, and my moustache and beard had not begun to sprout on my face. Do you think a minor like me would have committed a scam?”

ALSO READ: Project Nitish as UPA face to save party, Ramachandra Guha advises Congress

Further, Tejashwi stressed that the grand alliance in Bihar, comprising Lalu’s RJD, the Nitish-led JD (U), and Congress, remained intact.

BJP not buying Tejashwi’s defence

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Opposition Prez candidate Meira Kumar files nomination papers today

She is slated to launch a campaign from the Sabarmati Ashram in Gujarat on June 30

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Opposition presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind VS Meira Kumar on Wednesday filed her nomination in the presence of top Congress and opposition leaders.

Kumar, who filed her papers with Congress chief Sonia Gandhi on one side and former prime minister Manmohan Singh on the other, will launch her campaign from Sabarmati Ashram in Gujarat on June 30.

Politics News : Accompanying the former Lok Sabha Speaker as she filed her nomination in Parliament House were a host of opposition leaders, including NCP’s Sharad Pawar and CPI-M general secretary Sitaram Yechury.

Also Read : Sonia leads Oppn support to Meira, says Prez polls an ideological battle

Sonia Gandhi and other top Congress and opposition leaders were amongst those who proposed and seconded her nomination.

The nomination papers will be scrutinised on Thursday.

Kumar, who will contest against NDA’s Ram Nath Kovind in the July 17 presidential elections, had said yesterday that it was a battle of ideologies and not a ‘Dalit versus Dalit’ fight as was being made out by some.

Assembly Polls 2017: Exit polls suggest Modi-led BJP clearly ahead in UP

BJP may retain power in Goa, wrest power in U’khand; consolation prize for Cong in Punjab

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Election Results 2017 : If the predictions of several of the exit polls, made public on Thursday, for the five states that had Assembly elections in February-March turn out to be true, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to emerge as the most influential leader of India since Indira Gandhi, who had held sway over the country’s political landscape 40 years back.

Findings of at least four exit polls suggested that Modi’s blitzkrieg of public rallies in Uttar Pradesh (UP) could help the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) either comfortably cross the majority mark of 202 in the 403-seat UP Assembly, or come close to it.

The BJP, along with ally Apna Dal, had bagged 73 of the 80 Lok Sabha seats in UP in 2014, winning a staggering 337 of the 403 Assembly segments. At least two exit polls — India Today-Axis and Today’s Chanakya — could come close to that tally by winning up to 285 seats. However, two other exit polls predicted a hung Assembly with the BJP as the single-largest party but the Samajwadi Party (SP)-Congress alliance not far behind and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) in third place. As for other states, most exit polls said the BJP was likely to retain power in Goa and wrest power from the Congress in Uttarakhand.

One exit poll, however, predicted a dead heat between the BJP and Congress in Uttarakhand, predicting that both were likely to win 35-seats each in the 70-member Assembly.

In Lucknow, Modi said: “Woh kahate hain Modi hatao; main kehta hoon kaladhan hatao, bhrashtachar hatao (they say remove Modi; I say end black money, end corruption).(read more…)

I am ‘adopted son’ of UP, says PM Modi

He said the future of the state cannot be ensured without ridding it of SP, BSP, Congress

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Calling himself the “adopted son” of UP, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said the future of the state could not be ensured without ridding it of the Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party and Congress. Invoking Lord Krishna at an election meeting here to suggest a strong connect between Gujarat and UP, Modi, who represents Varanasi Lok Sabha constituency, said the state was his “mai-baap” (parents) and he will not desert it.

“Vote for a full majority to the Bharatiya Janata Party. I promise to show you the ways of all the problems you are facing within five years,” he said, telling the crowd that all pollsters had predicted BJP getting massive support in the first two phases of polling.

Highlighting the problems faced by the state and its national importance, Modi said poverty will be removed from the country only when it is eradicated from UP.

“This is the land of Ganga and Yamuna where the land is most fertile with crores of labourours but poverty still exists here…why is this so? There is nothing wrong with the people here or their capabilities or shortage of resources,” he said.