NRI Top Stories ( Page 1 of 29 )

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Record Number of Indian Students to Apply for USA this Fall August 24, 2021 13:23

The number of Indian students studying in the USA have been gradually increasing over the years. There has been a sudden decline in the numbers because of the restrictions imposed by Donald Trump and his government. The United States Mission announced the approval of more students in the year 2021 by the Embassy and the Consulate. With these new efforts, more than 55,000 foreign students are expected to fly to the USA soon. The US Mission planned for a packed spring semester and they are expecting a great student season. Ambassador Atul Keshap, Charge d'Affaires at the U.S. Embassy said that it is a life changing experience for Indian students. Atul Keshap also reminded about the leading career opportunities and this also deepens the friendship bond between the USA and India. The coronavirus pandemic also turned a huge challenge for the US Mission and it forced them to postpone it. The Embassies and Consulates will interview the fall semester students soon. The U.S. Embassy and Consulates are now working for additional hours and visa appointments are opened. They are making all the efforts to ensure timely arrival for the academic programs for as many students as possible. The American Higher Education has 45000 nationally and regionally accredited universities and colleges. The students can get all the information about the US education, visa rules and policies through educationusaindia.usief.org.in. Special USA University Virtual Fairs are planned and they will be held on August 27th and September 3rd. The Indian students can get engaged with the representatives of the US universities and advisers. By Siva Kumar

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H-1B Visas: Joe Biden to reconsider Donald Trump's decisions March 13, 2021 16:13

The administration of the new USA President Joe Biden said that they are in plans to reconsider the objections or decisions for the foreign workers on H-1B visas of the three policy memos by the administration of Donald Trump. This will rescue thousands of Indian IT professionals who are having a tough time for the past few years. Donald Trump introduced various policies in the past for non-immigrant work visas and particularly for H-1B visas. On Friday, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that the decisions will be reconsidered. USCIS generally uses the discretion to reopen a motion that is filed more than 30 days after the decision is taken. USCIS issued Policy Memorandum 602-0114 on June 17th, 2020 and USCIS issued Policy Memorandum 602-0142.1 on February 3rd, 2021. A petitioner can request the reopening of any request based on three rescinded policy memos and this can be done by filling the Form 1-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion, accompanied by the appropriate fee. USCIS also has the authority to accept and consider the motions under specific circumstances as explained. They generally process motions that are based on filing orders with the policy guidance. By Siva Kumar

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Indian Students contribute 7.6 Billion USD to the US in 2020 January 29, 2021 18:08

Indians comprise for 2% of America’s population. Each year, more than 2,00,000 students from India go the United states to study either for graduate, post graduate or do a PhD. India remains the second largest source of international student in the United States, even though there was a 4.4 percent decline this year due to the pandemic. According to a government record in association with the educational board, Indian students contributed to 7.6 billion USD to the United States Economy in the academic year 2019-2020. The country which is the first largest source of International students in the United States is China. China has been the first largest source of international students in the United States since 16 years continuously. There were over 3,72,000 Chinese students in the United states in the academic year 2019- 2020 despite the pandemic. Despite the 4.4 percent decline, India managed to have 1,93,124 students go to the United States to study this year, making it the second largest source. The report of this information was released by the United States’ Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the Institute of International Education (IIE) in collaboration. For the fifth year in a row, USA hosted more than 1 million international students in only one academic year. Due to the pandemic, there had been a 1.8 percent decline in the number of international students in the United States. Even with the decline, this group represent 5.5 percent of all students in the United States higher education system. In 2019, The US Department of Commerce stated that international students contributed 44 billion USD to the USA economy and 7.69 billion USD was from India itself. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic USA is encouraging more international students to come study in the United States. The country predicts around 5 million international students in one academic year once the pandemic recedes. USA believes that international students bring culture, diversity, innovation, skill and friendly relations to the country. USA President Joe Biden has issued multiple benefits for international students who are studying in the states, making it easier for them to study, live and work. Among the top 20 places of origin, the largest percentage increase for international students were students from Bangladesh with a 7 percent, Brazil with a 4 percent and Nigeria with a 3 percent increase. The country with the most decrease in percentage was from Saudi Arabia with a staggering 17 percent decrease due to the change in the government’s scholarship program. By Meena Atmakuri

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International Students Triple In Canada Over A Decade December 08, 2020 17:10

Recent statistics state that the number of international students who have enrolled in Canada has tripled over the past decade and Canada is beyond delighted about it. As a country that encourages diversity, Canada provides an abundance of incentives for its immigrants. Before the pandemic began, the number of international students applying to Canada tripled the number of Canadians who study in Canada. In 2018/21019, 2.1 million student enrolled in universities across Canada, out of which 1.8 percent were from Canada itself while 16.2 percent of the numbers were from international students. Due to the pandemic however, this number decreased by 0.5 %. 2008 to 2018 was the benchmark for the number of immigrant students arriving to study in the country. During this period, the number of Canadian student enrollments also grew by 10.9 percent. The growth in immigrant students in this particular decade percentage grew from 6.4 to 16.2 percent.International students pay higher tuition fees as compared to domestic students. Canadian universities rely on International students tuition as a source of their income. Canadian Universities revenue grew by 4.7 percent after an increase in immigration students. International students also contribute to the country’s economy. Post the pandemic, Canada is making preparations for international students to enroll in universities to help improve and increase social and cultural diversity of campuses. Once the pandemic recedes, Canada statistics and research will determine how the pandemic had an impact on international students what is the future outlook. By Meena Atmakuri

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Canada Bans Prescription Drugs’ Mass Exports December 08, 2020 14:32

Canada has banned the export of some prescription medicines in order to prevent a shortage in the country. The decision is in response to a USA plan that will allow drugs to be imported from Canada to make them cheaper for Americans. Although prescription drug prices in Canada are higher than some nations, they are cheaper than the prices of prescription drugs in the USA. A number of Canada’s drug suppliers have warned that the plan, implemented by USA’s former president Donald Trump, would case shortages to the prescription drugs which will be sent into Canada.  The pandemic has already given the scope for increased demand for medicines according to health sources. A statement from Canada’s health ministry said the country sources 68% of its drugs from overseas and therefore it was important to avoid disruptions to supplies before and during their deliveries.  The ministry also states that companies will now also be required to provide information to assess existing or potential shortages when requested and within 24 hours immediate assistance is there is serious of imminent health risks. The former President Trump signed an executive order in July to allow legal importation of cheaper drugs from Canada with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who himself was delighted to help other actions with their supplies if possibly whilst simultaneously protecting the needs of Canadians. Drug makers have faced intense criticism from the US politicians- including the former President Trump himself as well as insurance companies and patients over the increased and high costs of new medicines and price hikes in some old generic drugs. USA’s newly elected President, Joe Biden has previously spoken of potentially importing drugs directly to the US to bring down costs.By Meena Atmakuri

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Everything about new Income Tax rules for NRI, residential status, Taxation August 29, 2020 20:31

The Indian government has relaxed the residential provision of FY 2020. During the FY 2019-20, a number of individuals holding the status of RNOR were stranded in India due to the pandemic. The COVID-19 crisis has brought a huge loss not only to the employees in the country but also to the NRI’s. A lot of non resident Indians (NRI’s) are now looking forward to heading back to their home towns. If you are also one of them, meticulous planning would be required for a hassle-free relocation. A generic concern among most of the NRI’s is the tax implications on the income earned during the year in which the NRI returns to India. The Union Budget of 2020 has reformed certain rules for determining the tax residential status of an individual in India. Here is a glimpse of the amendments which you need to take a look at. Rules to determine the residential status of NRI Residential status of an individual is determined by the period of time an individual stays in India during a financial year. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has brought forward some new amendments for the determination of residential status. If an individual satisfies any of the following two conditions he will qualify as the resident of India or would be an NR in the FY. He or she stays in India for more than 182 days of that financial year. He or she stays for more than 60 days during a FY and stays 365 days in the preceding 4 FY’s. If an Indian citizen or a person of Indian origin comes to stay in India then 60 days mentioned in the second point will be extended to 182 days. Another new RULE says that if an Indian citizen or a person of Indian origin comes for a visit to India and he/she earns more than Rs. 15 lakh during a financial year with a business set up in India, then 60 days in the second point will be replaced by 120 days. Meanwhile, if the income does not cross Rs. 15 lakh, then the 182 days rule will itself apply. Deemed residency, a new concept A new concept of deemed residency has been introduced to plug certain loopholes. An Indian citizen who earns more than Rs. 15 lakh per FY and if he is not liable to any tax to a foreign country or territory by reason of his domicile or residency, then he will be deemed to be a resident of India. A person of Indian origin whose total income exceeds Rs. 15 lakh through a profession in India and whose stay in India is more than 120 days but less than 182 days will be considered for NOR status. Relaxations in residential provisions 2020 The inability of people to travel back to India has increased due to the pandemic and this will impact their residential status in India. To avoid the hassles to such individuals, Indian government has relaxed the norms for the FY 2019-20. A relaxation was provided wherein the cut off date for considering the physical presence was brought down to 22 March 2020 instead of 31 March 2020 by excluding the lockdown phase. How the income of ROR, RNOR, and NRI will be calculated? The tax liability of the individual depends on residential status. If you are an ROR, you will be taxed in India. If you qualify as an RNOR or NR, the income only to the extent which arises in India will be taxed. An RNOR is liable to tax on income or business set up in India whereas an NR is not liable to this. By Gayatri Yellayi

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Why is a Giant Lord Ram Deity Appearing on Times Square and Why is it Controversial? August 06, 2020 19:51

The bitter battle among Indian Americans, Hindus and Muslims erupted after the portrayal of Lord Ram and the Ram Temple on Times Square. Times Square is usually a pretty busy place with tourists thronging the place. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic the place has become deserted and the New York city’s landmark saw complete silence. However, this has not prevented the bitter battle among Indian Americans, Hindus and Muslims in the area. The dispute is over the billboard that has been erected on the Times Square marking the celebration of Ayodhya temple construction in the Northern India, about 8000 miles from the Times Square. The bill boards went up on Wednesday that displayed 3D image of the Hindu god Ram and the temple. The Babri Masjid issue had run for centuries and the construction of Ram Temple is a victory for the Hindus after all these decades of long wait. But, as the bill board battle demonstrates, the conflict is far from over, both in India and the Indian Diaspora in the US. Indian American Muslims, human right groups and anti-Modi groups have asked the advertisers in the Times Square to not put up the display of the images of the temple or the deity on Wednesday. They have also urged the New York city Mayor Bill de Blasio to step in and stop the advertising. These groups have reportedly seen some success. Branded cities Network, the organization in charge of advertisements at the Nasdaq building told the battling Indian Americans that it would not put up the advertisements of Ram Temple on their bill boards. However, the Ram Temple advertisements are going to run on Disney and Clear Channel outdoors as well. According to reports, these ads cannot be blocked from displaying and the Indian Americans have been late in stopping the ads. All of this issue may be a new thing to the New Yorkers passing on their way across the Times Square and they have no idea about what is going on 8000 miles away from them. But, to Indian Americans, Hindus and Muslims, the issue is what they symbolize and is about their beliefs and emotions. This dispute in the New York city indicates that not just in the minds of Indian Muslims but also the Indian Americans are irked by the construction of the temple in India. However, to the crores of Hindus in India, the laying of foundation stone event that was done on August 5 is auspicious and marks the victory of the Hindu beliefs. Hindus of India say that Ram Rajya has begun in the country. By Gayatri Yellayi

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Trump Bans Hiring of H1B Visa Holders for Federal Contracts August 05, 2020 19:14

Trump signs an executive order to ensure that the federal government lives by a simple rule: Hiring Americans Only. United Nations President Donald Trump on Monday signed an executive order which prohibits American employers from hiring non-Americans and also bans giving priority to H1B workers instead of native people. The order aligns with the rule that federal contracting and hiring practices must be in the interest of American workers. President Trump had said that this move is the first time ever that the US has seen and his motive is simply one thing, Hiring Americans only. The order will majorly change the priorities of the federal government in the US drastically. It would force employers and contractors to hire Americans rather than foreign workers who are in the country on H1B visas. He said that he is finalizing this executive order because he does not want to see Americans being replaced again. H-1B’s must be used for the top and highly paid talent to create American jobs but not as inexpensive labor program to destroy American jobs, according to Trump. The H1-B is a non-immigrant visa that is used to allow companies in the US to hire foreign workers in specialty operations that require technical expertise and theoretical knowledge. As per a report, about 50,000 workers were hired based on the H1-B visa program. The H1-B visa is also popular among the highly skilled Indian IT professionals. The executive order signed by the President Donald Trump states that the head of each agency that enters into contracts shall assess the contractors for any impact of their foreign hiring practices or off shoring practices on the economy till now. It would also assess the efficiency of federal procurement and on the national security and will propose an action if necessary and appropriate. This assessment would improve the economy and the efficiency of federal procurement and also protects the national security of the country, according to the order issued. Notably, a few Republican senators had written to the President Trump to suspend all the new guest work visas for 60 days and some of its categories including the work visas or the H1-B visas at least till the next year or at least till the employment figures return to the normal rate or the pre-COVID rate in the country. The decision to sign the executive order by Trump comes after the request from these senators. According to a survey, more than 33 million American Americans have lost their jobs in the past two months due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its crisis that caused that economy’s downfall. The White House officials predict that the country’s economy is likely to go negative by 15 to 20 percent in the second quarter of 2020. By Gayatri Yellayi

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No New Foreign Students For Online Classes: Trump July 25, 2020 17:37

Earlier Trump had said that all foreign students whose classes have turned online must depart the country. New international college students or foreign students who are yet to get admission into first year would not be allowed to US this fall, if their courses are already online. The announcement was issued by the President Donald Trump’s administration on Friday. Students from foreign countries who have already enrolled for spring classes and have student visas can remain in the country or come back after vacation even if their university offers digital classes only. President Donald Trump has suspended several kinds of visas for foreigners during coronavirus crisis. The policy change was announced by the Immigration and Customs enforcement. The earlier policy of deportation of foreign students to their own countries was severely criticized and the policy was taken to court by top universities including MIT and Harvard. That policy was seen by Trump to put pressure on educational institutions that were adopting a cautious approach to reopen the institutions. Trump is also eager for schools at all levels to reopen amid the COVID-19 pandemic as a sign of return to normality as has his elections scheduled in November. ICE has allowed the foreign students to stay in the country when the classes went online in March. Yet, it has discussed with universities as to what to do with the students as the colleges are again going online as the pandemic still persists. The guidance issued on Friday made it clear that new International students looking to study in America will have to enroll in a college that has at least some in person classes though their veteran peers can take only online classes. ICE had also clarified that new enrollments in the colleges by foreign students would only be permitted in the case the university applied by the student has a mixture of both online and offline courses. They can stay in the country even if the university turns the study mode completely online in the middle of the semester. This new policy is also likely to cause uproar from the universities. International students are often considered by US universities to encourage cultural diversity and also international students pay full tuition fee. However, due to the continued spread of coronavirus in the US, many institutions have opted for complete digital mode of study. We have to wait and see what this decision by Trump government would create in the coming days across Universities. Will it be widely accepted or would it be disagreed by Universities’ authorities? By Gayatri Yellayi

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Dubai Hospital Waives Off 1Crore 52Lakh Bill for Telangana COVID-19 Patient July 17, 2020 14:55

A hospital in Dubai sets an example for humanity by waiving off his COVID treatment bill and was given a free ticket to Telangana and an amount worth Rs. 10,000. Odnala Rajesh is a 42-year old man from Venugumatla village of Jagityal district in Telangana and a resident of Dubai. He was admitted to a hospital in UAE due to some illness on April 23 and was also tested positive for coronavirus. Rajesh has undergone a treatment for 80 days in the hospital and was charged with a bill of 762,555 Dirhams or Rs. 1crore 52lakh. Narasimha, President of Gulf workers protection society in Dubai admitted Rajesh to the hospital heeding to his illness. He visited Rajesh in the hospital regularly during the treatment and brought the matter to the notice of Sumanth Reddy, an Indian Consulate volunteer in Dubai. Sumanth Reddy has allegedly requested Harjeet Singh of Indian Consulate in Dubai to help Rajesh. Responding to the request, Harjeet Singh wrote a letter to the hospital authorities requesting them to waive off the bill of Rajesh on humanitarian grounds. The hospital authorities had responded positively and waived the bill and also discharged the poor worker. Ashok Kotecha, a volunteer of Swaminarayan trust in Dubai provided free flight tickets to patient Rajesh and his aid Dyavara Kankaiah and also paid Rs. 10000 for their expenses. The patient and his escort were sent by Air India flight from Dubai to Hyderabad on July 14. After Rajesh reached the Hyderabad airport, Telanga NRI officer, E. Chittibabu, handed over the patient Rajesh to his family members at his village and advised him to stay in home quarantine for 14 days. By Gayatri Yellayi

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Student from Indian origin gets invited to Apple WWDC-20 after developing social distancing stimulator: June 20, 2020 20:53

A student of Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, Dave Jha has been invited to one of the biggest tech company Apple’s developers conference also known as WWDC 2020. Dave Jha is of Indian Origin but is from California. Apple’s WWDC 2020 is a Worldwide Developer’s Conference organized by Apple. It is an event where developers can attend sessions and meet with the engineers at Apple. Apple’s WWDC 2020 event is going to be a little different than the others as it will be online because of the coronavirus pandemic. It is the first time ever that the event has gone online. Dave Jha, a student of Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, US applied for the prestigious Apple WWDC scholarship. For this scholarship Dave has submitted software which he had developed himself and is very much needed in the current times. He developed a Covid-19 social distancing simulator for this scholarship. The good news is that after the submission of his simulator he got invited to this prestigious event by Apple itself. Dave Jha took to twitter to announce his excitement of being selected for the Swift Student Challenge Award and being invited to the Apple’s WWDC. He also mentioned how this is a dream come true as he has been watching those keynotes since middle school. Dave Jha is a computer science and business student who designed a social distancing simulator keeping in mind how much essential social distancing has become in these current times. He also wants to encourage the young and the old to follow social distancing. The Covid-19 simulator developed by Dave is able to toggle speed, asymptomatic conditions, social distancing, forced distancing and the number of people around us in a fun game mode. Dave Jha has also uploaded a 4 minute demo video where he demonstrates the working of the simulator and all its diverse features like enabling asymptomatic people, forced or social distancing among others. In the simulator people are demonstrated as tiny little dots. In the simulator there is also a game that lets the user of the software control the dot in order to avoid contact with other people in the simulator. Dave has been active in finding solutions in these tough times. He has been working on various projects that will help the people in these times of a pandemic. One of his main projects is also providing the scare surgical equipment’s like the PPE kits or the Personal Protective Equipment kits. This particular project is called the PPE4NYC. This projects aims in providing the PPE kits in the midst of this coronavirus outbreak. He wasable to raise 5000 dollars for his PPE project which was used in providing masks to local police and hospitals. Apart from this, Dave Jha has also been working on various projects. His main focus has always been entrepreneurship. He has also been working on several projects apart from minoring in Entrepreneurship. Apple conducts this WWDC every year. This year it is going to be a little different as it is mainly going to be virtual. It is going to start on the 22nd of June and also it is free for everyone. The expectation from this event include 100 engineering sessions and one on one developer labs that will enable developers to work on a new range of Apple devices. Apple is also expected to announce the information related to an Arm based Chip, IOS/ iPadOS 14, MAC OS 10.16, watch OS 7 and TV OS 14. This is going to be the 31st Worldwide Developers Conference. There is going to be a keynote event that’s set to take place on June 22 at 10:00AM. The event is going to be streamed directly from Apple Park and can be watched on various Apple platforms including the website, app, TV app and even YouTube. The Apple’s WWDC started happening in the year 1987 and since that this is the first time that the event is going to be virtual.By Deepika Agarwal

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Indian American to become ambassador to Ethiopia: President Trump June 16, 2020 18:25

U.S President Donald Trump announced on June 15, 2020 that he intends on nominating an Indian American under his administration as the ambassador to Ethiopia. The most probable option at the moment is Geeta Pasi from New York who would likely be the ambassador if her nomination is cleared. She might become the next Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.Pasi is currently working as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for African Affairs at the State Department. She has been working since October 2018. She is also a career Senior Foreign Service officer.She has previously served as “United States Ambassador to Chad from 2016 to 2018 and as United States Ambassador to Djibouti from 2011 to 2014.”Aside from these achievements, Pasi has also worked under the Director of Career Development and Assignments for the State Department. Her services have been used in South Asia including India. She also served as the Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Dhaka, Bangladesh from 2006 to 2009. As for her degree, she earned her B.A from Duke University in 1984. She later pursued and acquired her Masters from New York University in 1986. Before her contribution to the Foreign Service, Pasi had worked as an Institutional ork.Pasi has acquired a number of accolades for her contribution from the Department of State performance award including the prestigious Matilde W. Sinclaire Language Award. She can also speak multiple languages including French, German, Hindi, Romanian, and Russian.By Somapika Datta

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