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Trump Administration Wants to Block 'Startup Visas' July 11, 2017 16:39

The Trump administration is planning to rescind an Obama-era program that would allow foreign entrepreneurs who launch startup companies in the U.S. to live in the country. The program will allow the non-U.S. citizens who had launched companies that has won $100,000 in government grants or received $250,000 as venture capital investment can stay in the U.S. for a renewable 30-month term. Finalized in the last days of the Obama administration, was set to take effect July 17. The Trump administration has announced that it would delay the program until next March as the Department of Homeland Security launches an additional review of the so-called "startup visa." A notice that the department issued indicates that in the interim the administration will propose rescinding the program. "Big mistake," Steve Case, founder of America Online and now chief executive officer of the Revolution LLC investment fund, said in a Twitter statement. "Immigrant entrepreneurs are job makers, not job takers." "At a time when countries around the world are doing all they can to attract and retain talented individuals to come to their shores to build and grow innovative companies, the Trump Administration is signaling its intent to do the exact opposite," Bobby Franklin, president and CEO of the trade group said. "There is little benefit to losing any more ground in attracting entrepreneurs and their investments," the senators, which include Arizona’s John McCain and Jeff Flake, Utah’s Orrin Hatch, and Jerry Moran of Kansas, said in the letter. By Premji

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Indian-American appointed U.S. Ambassador to Peru June 29, 2017 13:04

United States President Donald Trump has appointed an Indian-American as the new U.S. Ambassador to Peru. Krishna R Urs, who is a career service American diplomat since 1986 is currently 'Charge d'Affarires of U.S. Embassy in Spain's capital Madrid, where he also served as the Deputy Chief of Mission. During the three decades of his service at State Department, Mr. Urs as specialized in economic issues and developed extensive policy experience in the Andean region of South American. A media release said that Mr. Urs has served at seven U.S. Embassies and also as a senior leadership positions in Washington D.C. Mr. Urs completed his MS from the University of Texas and did his graduation in BS from Georgetown University. He speaks fluent Spanish as well as some Hindi and Telugu. Before appointing as the U.S. Ambassador to Peru, he served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Transportation Affairs and Chief of U.S. Government Aviation Negotiator at the Department of State from November 2010 until June 2014. He has also served as Director in the Office of Aviation Negotiations in the Bureau of Economic, Energy and Business Affairs in the Department of State, Charge d'Affaires, at the US Embassy in La Paz, Bolivia, Deputy Chief of Mission at the same embassy, Director of the Office of Economic Policy and Summit Coordination in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs at the Department of State. Indian-American self made billionaire in Chicago AMandeep

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US Senator slams Chinese media for threatening Indian-origin June 24, 2017 17:49

A top U.S. Senator has slammed Chinese media for “threatening” Indian-origin chancellor of the University of California, San Diego for hosting the Dalai Lama. The Tibetan spiritual leader delivered the commencement address at the University of June 7. California Senator, Dianne Feinstein said: “I find it unconscionable that a reporter for the Global Times, a mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party, would threaten UC San Diego and its chancellor and students for inviting the Dalai Lama to speak.” In a statement, Feinstein demanded the Chinese newspaper to apologize and retract the article that threatens to withhold visas from Chancellor Pradeep Khosla but also suggests that the university would be punished by withholding students. “The newspaper’s portrayal of the Dalai Lama as an anti-China separatist is also patently false,” she said. “I’ve known the Dalai Lama for more than 25 years and was directly involved in the latest discussions between him and the Chinese government. The Dalai Lama doesn’t wish to separate Tibet from China. Rather, he strives for greater autonomy so Tibetans may freely practice their faith,” Feinstein said. “The Dalai Lama’s desire to end religious persecution for his people doesn’t make him a separatist, it makes him a peaceful leader who should serve as an inspiration to all students. “The Chinese government and the media outlets it directly controls should recognize this and not threaten Americans or American institutions,” said the Senator from California. In its editorial on June 20, Global Times threatened the University Chancellor, saying: “Khosla must bear the consequences for this.” It went on to say: “His support for Tibet independence will affect his personal and the university’s exchanges with China. Chinese universities will take cooperative programs with it into prudent reconsideration. “It’s suggested that relevant Chinese authorities not issue visas to the chancellor and not recognize diplomas or degree certificates issued by the university in China.” The International Campaign for Tibet has also condemned the article and said that there is no evidence to suggest that Chancellor Khosla has been involved in any action supporting the independence of Tibet. TATA to Jointly make F-16s with Lockheed Martin under “Make In India” AMandeep

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Aadhaar not mandatory for NRIs June 20, 2017 18:24

Non-Residential-Indians (NRIs) across the world get a sign of relief after the Indian government officials clarified that NRIs were exempted from the mandatory requirement of Aadhaar card to file tax returns in India effective July 1. Since only Indian residents are entitled to get the unique identification number as per the Aadhaar Act, it is not a compulsion for NRIs to apply for Aadhaar card, said officials. "So the July 31 deadline to comply with the rule of obtaining an Aadhaar card for filing Income Tax returns does not apply in the case of non-resident Indians," said Bharatbhai Shah, Convener of NRI Cell, Indian Business and Professional Council, Sharjah, said. Despite the exemption previously announced many NRIs expressed their concerns about disruption of transactions in Non-Resident External bank accounts in India and filing of income tax returns. As Permanent Account Number (PAN) was already made mandatory for holding a bank account, NRIs are concerned about a June 30 deadline to link Aadhaar with PAN. Failure to link Aadhaar with PAN makes PAN redundant and hence some NRIs feared that this could affect their banking transactions. However, Aadhaar will be made compulsory for those NRIs who had resided in India for more than 182 days in aggregate in the past 12 months, Shah said. He further clarified that a resident is an individual who stayed in India for a period of 182 days or more in the 12 months immediately preceding the date of application for enrollment. As per Section 139AA of the Income-tax Act shall not apply to an NRI who had stayed in India less than 182 days in the preceding 12- month period. Abhishek Gautum, under secretary of Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance has clarified that "Foreign citizens and individuals above the age of 80 years at any time during the previous year are also exempt from this requirement." TATA to Jointly make F-16s with Lockheed Martin under “Make In India” AMandeep

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New Portal to help women abandoned by NRI husbands June 15, 2017 18:30

The government of India is planning to set up a single window portal for those Indian women, who are facing abandonment or divorce or other such problems from their Non-Resident Indian (NRI) husbands. Currently, ministries such as Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and women and child development handle different aspects of such cases. A spokesperson for MEA said that the “plan is to coordinate efforts in a centralized manner.” The decision was taken by an inter-ministerial panel at a meeting last week. The new web portal will have advice on how to proceed with a case, including approaching the Indian mission, seeking the help of empanelled lawyers and NGOs. The website will also have instruction and precautions to follow before marrying an NRI. At present, measures include legal and financial aid of $3,000 in developed countries and $2,000 in developing ones to assist women who face abandonment or divorce proceedings within 15 years of marriage. But what has been lacking is a single point for redressal. The Indian government had set up an inter-ministerial committee in July 2016, following mounting complaints to look at measures to help such women. The panel is now revising the standard operating procedures for dealing with all such cases. According to the annual report, in 2014, the National Commission for Women, which is an autonomous section under the WCD ministry and runs an NRI Cells, registered 346 complaints from women married to NRI men. However, these current figures do not reflect the true image as most of the women does not come forward to lodge a complaint. The complaints are mostly regarding husbands keeping custody of their wives’ passports and not allowing them to travel, disappearing after leaving their wives behind in India, abandoning wives in foreign countries, forcibly keeping the child abroad and not letting the wife contact the child, etc. In 2007, the then Overseas Indian Affairs ministry came up with a handbook on NRI marriages. One of the reasons that had triggered this was the rising number of abandoned spouses of NRI women — over 13,000 in Gujarat and more than 25,000 in Punjab. Back in 2009,  Girija Vyas, the then NCW chairperson had commented that “out of 10 NRI marriages, two resulted in the wife being abandoned after honeymoon”. NRI quota goes Vacant in private colleges AMandeep

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NRI Quota goes vacant in Private Colleges May 31, 2017 18:32

A person is eligible for an NRI quota in a deemed University, even if your great grandfather’s great grand uncle was an NRI.This rule for NRI seats in deemed universities is flexible enough for the seats to get snapped up fast. But in private colleges the scenario is little different, as most of the seats under the NRI quota go abegging. Private colleges have tighter norms to abide by, as per the state-appointed admissions regulatory body. The candidate’s parent must be an NRI. Out of 200 seats in private medical colleges for Post Graduate degree, 150 are available in the last mop-up. That is the final closure round from seats available after students drop out in the second round. Another 50 seats in the institutional quota remain vacant too. The head of the Directorate of Medical Education and Research, Dr. Pravin Shingare said: "These seats will be available in the mop-up round," Deemed universities are governed by the admission regulatory body appointed by them, as per the rights awarded by the University Grants Commission. "Things have still not settled down. When parents come to our campus, they start negotiating to pay a component of the fees in cash," said a college principal. The colleges felt that the seats may fill up after the latest circular to reduce NEET eligibility. A note from the health ministry said: It has been decided in consultation with the Medical Council of India (MCI) to reduce the percentile cut-offs for NEET-PG 2017 by 7.5, taking them to 42.5 for general candidates, 32.5 for reserved category candidates and 37.5 for PWD category." Many seats were left vacant, with insufficient candidates having met the qualifying cut-off score. "As per clause 9, sub-clause III, of the Medical Council of India's Postgraduate Medical Education Regulations (PGMER) 2000, when sufficient candidates fail to secure minimum marks, the central government in consultation with MCI, may lower minimum marks, which will be applicable for that academic year only. Representations were received from some state governments that seats in some categories may remain vacant as there are insufficient candidates," added the ministry's note. India to open 40 consulate officers for NRIs AMandeep

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Ireland’s Indian-origin gay minister frontrunner in Prime Ministerial race May 22, 2017 17:44

Ireland’s first openly gay minister, who is of Indian decedent has emerged as the front runner in the prime ministerial elections in Ireland. 38-year-old Dr. Leo Varakdar, who is the son of a Mumbai-born father and Irish mother is expected to become Ireland’s first ever minister from LGBT group. Currently, Dr. Varadkar is the welfare minister of the Ireland and has won an early support for his leadership bid from several senior Cabinet members and a majority of his parliamentary colleagues have supported him publicly. Dr. Varadkar announced his candidacy following the resignation of current Prime Minister Enda Kenny, a title, which is referred to as ‘Taoiseach’ in Ireland. Housing minister Simon Coveney have also been nominated for the leadership of the governing ‘Fine Gael’ party this week. "I am not counting my chickens. I am really humbled at the level of support I have received from my colleagues and I am really looking forward to the hustings and the debates," he said. Enda Kenny’s successor is due to be elected by June 2nd and the Ireland’s Parliament will vote in the new leader as Prime Minister a few days later. In 2015, Dr. Varadkar publicly came out as a gay, when Ireland became the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage thorough popular voice. In a coming out speech, which he have through radio: "It is not something that defines me. I am not a half-Indian politician, or a doctor politician or a gay politician for that matter. It is just part of who I am, it does not define me, it is the part of my character I suppose". He has campaigned on same-sex marriage and liberalizing abortion laws. Dr. Varadkar has worked as a general practitioner before wining a sear in the Parliament in 2007 and steadily raised through party ranks. He held several ministerial portfolios including minister for social protection and minister for transport, tourism and sports. "Leo has got off to a good start but there are two weeks to go so we will see how that plays out," said his opponent Coveney. Fine Gael is a center-right political party and the party is taking liberal positions on several social and economic issues. India to open 40 consulate sub-offices for NRIs AMandeep

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India to open 40 consulate sub-offices for NRIs May 16, 2017 11:21

India will be opening 40 new consulate sub-offices soon in countries that have a strong presence of non-resident Indians, Akali Dal’s MP Prem Singh Chandumajra said on Sunday as he was referring to a "communication received from the External Affairs Ministry". "India is going to open 40 new consulate sub-offices in countries where NRIs have settled in large numbers," the Anandpur Sahib MP said in a statement here. Chandumajra had been taking up the issues concerning NRIs in general, especially Punjabi NRIs. He said that he had recently received a word from the Ministry of External Affairs in this regard. Referring to countries such as the United States, Canada and Australia, where NRIs had to travel long to get visas from consulate offices, the Akali Dal general secretary and spokesperson said, "They had been demanding more sub-offices in their respective countries. This step would go a long way in mitigating their problems." The Indian government has also agreed for people from Punjab who have settled abroad on political asylum to visit India along with their families for up to two years in a stretch. Informing that he had been pressuring the government for these people to be treated as “economic asylum-seekers:, he said: “A large number of people had sought political asylum in countries including the United States, Canada and Germany, despite never being active in the militancy (earlier in Punjab). However, once they were granted asylum on political grounds, it became impossible for them to visit. NRIs can exchange old currency notes till 30th June AMandeep

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11 Indian-Americans in  Forbes list of best venture capitalists May 15, 2017 18:38

The Forbes magazine's annual list of the 100 best venture capitalists has featured 11 Indian-origin investors, who are behind some of the highest-returning investments in the technology sphere. 'Midas 2017', which is a part of Forbes, compromises the top 100 venture capitalists in the world, while taking into account a a five-year look-back at a partner's portfolio, with exits by IPO or acquisition of at least $200 million and private holdings that raised money at valuations of at least $400 million over that time period. Jim Goetz, who is partner in Sequoia Capital topped the list. He retained the top stop  three years after messaging giant WhatsApp was sold to Facebook for nearly $22 billion. Goetz is the only investor in the company and transformed $60 million over three rounds into more than $3 billion in Facebook stock Goetz, the only investor in the company, transformed $60 million over three rounds into more than $3 billion in Facebook stock The list includes 11 venture capitalists who are of Indian-origin. Neeraj Agrawal, General Partner in Battery Ventures is on the 17th spot and leads the pack of Indian-origin venture capitalists on the list, followed by Sameer Gandhi, Partner in Accel Partners (23); Asheem Chandna, Partner in Greylock Partners (28); Salil Deshpande, Managing Director, in Bain Capital Ventures (33); and Aneel Bhusri, CEO and Cofounder of Workday (37). Gaurav Garg, Founding Partner of Wing Venture Capital (48); Promod Haque, Senior Managing Partner of Norwest Venture Partners (67); Hemant Taneja, Managing Director of General Catalyst Partners (70); Navin Chaddha, Managing Director of Mayfield Fund (73); Ravi Mhatre, Partner in Lightspeed Venture Partners (76); and Deven Parekh, Managing Director of Insight Venture Partners (99) also figure on the list. Agrawal made into the list for the 7th consecutive time. His companies Coupa and Nutanix, went public last year and AppDynamics was about to go public this year but was scooped by Cisco for $3.7 billion. Taneja holds five degrees from from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He debuts the list due to an early investment in Snap that went public at market capitalization of $25 billion in February this year. Haque, who is a graduate from Delhi College of Engineering, has worked as a senior managing partner at Norwest Venture Partners since 2013. He has invested in more than 70 companies that have produced more than $40 billion in exit values in over 15 years of venture capital experience. Forbes said that still accounts for 12 Midas investors and Facebook another 10, they are now moving for Snap with eight investors in the 2017 Midas ranks. Indian-origin doctor warned about the cyber attack that hit the world AMandeep

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Pregnant Indian women, racially abused in Sydney May 03, 2017 11:33

A pregnant Indian woman and her family were racially abused by a lady in a park in Sydney, Australia, after her husband asked the lady if they could sit next to her. The incident occurred on April 22nd in Luna Park.  The pregnant woman’s husband Utsav Patel recorded a video, who was at the receiving end of the woman’s racist tirade. You can hear the lady shout “F#@* off” and F#@* India” at Patel his pregnant wife and their 4-year-old daughter. Patel said that the incident precipitated after his wife wanted a seat as she waited for them to finish a ride. When he requested the lady, who was seated on a nearby bench to give a little space for his wife, she refused and began swearing and abusing at the young couple. .@lunaparksydney @7NewsSydney pic.twitter.com/EjjE7mRddx — UtsaV (@PatelUtsav4155) April 23, 2017 Stung by her expletive-laden rant, Patel asks the woman, "Why?” to which the woman replies, "Because I don't like them. Go f#@* yourself... get out of here man. Go, go, go." When Patel told the woman that was not the right manner to treat people, she disrespectfully responded with an insulting mimic of Patel’s Indian accent. Patel then warned the lady that he would inform the security officials, but the lady responded saying, “What's security going to do? I can say whatever I like," she shouts. Patel said that he alerted the park authorities and showed them video evidence of the racist attack. New South Wales police has contacted Patel's family and is investigating the incident. Fifth man from Indian community shot dead in the United States AMandeep

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Fifth man from Indian community shot dead in U.S. April 29, 2017 18:17

An Indian-origin man has been killed after getting caught in the crossfire outside a motel in Tennessee. The incident strikes the fifth killing among the community in the United States, since February. 41-year-old Khandu Patel, who was a father of two, worked as a housekeeper at Best Value Inn and Suites in Whitehaven. The incident occurred earlier this week, when about 30 shots were fired. According to police one of those bullets hit Patel. He was standing at the back of the motel when he was shot and was pronounced dead at the Regional Medical Center. Patel had worked at the motel for about 8 months. His wife and children lived at the motel with him. "He finished his day’s work and was out walking around the property. The next thing you know he hears some gunshots flying around and one caught him in the chest," Jay Patel, the victim's nephew, was quoted as saying by the report. "He did not even make it to the hospital to be saved." Jay Patel added that the family was about to shift to another location for a new job. "He was ready to get out of there," said Jay Patel. "Just trying to put food on the table so he had to take what he had at the time." Police have put up flyers all over the area asking for information about the suspect. The flyer also reads there is a ‘Crime Stoppers reward. Jay Patel has requested people with information to come forward to help the family get justice. -On February 22, Indian techie Srinivas Kuchibhota was killed in a ‘hate crime’ when a Navy veteran opened fire at him and his friend. -43-year-old Harnish Patel was found dead of gunshot wounds in the front year of his home in Lancaster, South Carolina. In early March. -On March 23, 38-year-old Sasikala and her 6-year-old son Anish Narra were found dead inside their apartment in New Jersey. NRI in Indian-squad for FIFA U-17 World-Cup AMandeep

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Indian businessman wins UK’s prestigious award April 27, 2017 18:47

Indian businessman’s food processing firm in the United Kingdom has won the prestigious Queen’s Enterprise Award 2017 for its outstanding contribution to the country’s trade, industry and economy. 61-year-old Yusaffali MA said that the recognition for this Birmingham based Y International Ltd will spur his UAE headquartered Lulu Group International to further expand business interest in the United Kingdom. "I am extremely honored and proud to hear the news about Y International UK Ltd been selected for the prestigious Queen's Award this year. This great recognition will surely help us further strengthen our plans to expand business interests in the UK and continue with our innovations and contributions to the dynamic economy of the UK," the Kerala-born, UAE-based entrepreneur said in a statement. The food processing plant employs 300 local staff. It was established in Birmingham in 2013to source and process food products from the United Kingdom to support the demand for high-quality British products for sale in Lulu Group’s hypermarkets across the Middle East, India and Far East. "We are in the process of setting up another world-class food processing plant in the 12.5 acres of land allotted by Birmingham City Council, to further boost our exports and cover a bigger variety of products. The planned investment would be to the tune of 36 million pounds," Yusuffali said. The Queen's Award is conferred annually by Queen Elizabeth II on her birthday, April 21, upon firms that display great enterprise across the fields of innovation, international trade, promoting opportunity through social mobility and sustainable development. The selections are based on the recommendation of Downing Street and published in the official London Gazette. All the entries are subject to audit and scrutiny by over thirty United Kingdom agencies before being included in the roll of honor. The Y International Limited is listed as an international distributor of grocery products, perishables products and non-foods products, was chosen in the international trade category. The winners of the 2017 awards will be invited to a special reception at Buckingham Palace later this year. The Lulu group’s estimated worth is about $6.9 billion, it is ranked as a top retailer in the MENA region and listed among the50 fastest growing retailers in the world by Deloitte. The company made headlines in the United Kingdom in recent years for acquiring the iconic Scotland Yard building in London and for its investment in luxury retail brand East India Company. NRI Bank accounts must be linked to Aadhaar card to avoid blockage AMandeep

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