Trump’s H1B visa trouble for Indian techies

In sync with its “Buy American, Hire American” campaign slogan, the Trump administration has proposed to end H-1B visa extensions of foreign workers awaiting Green Cards. With about 70% of the visa holders being Indian IT professionals, the announcement has sparked fears in India that more than 500,000 Indian techies may be forced out of the US.
The recent proposal, if implemented, will hit the US companies hard since a bulk of their employees are from countries like India and China. Unlike Indian companies that go for project-based hiring system, the US companies face the risk of possible stalling of onsite projects if the workers awaiting Green Cards on extensions are made to leave.

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TRUMP CONNECT: A NEW INDIA-US CHEMISTRY

Initial anxieties about how President Donald Trump’s volatile policy postures and nationalist agenda will impact the India-US relations have now become muted. PM Modi’s visit to the US, followed by Washington’s greater receptivity towards New Delhi’s concerns on terrorism and Afghanistan, has infused a new dynamism in India-US relations, says Meera Shankar, India’s former ambassador to the US in an article written exclusively for India and World, a pioneering magazine focused on international relations
The election of Donald Trump as President of America brought new uncertainties in India-US relations. His “America First” approach and call for strong trade action to protect American jobs from being shipped overseas promised fresh trade frictions and the lack of clarity on the US’s role in the Asia-Pacific raised questions whether the Strategic Partnership would be diluted in favour of a more transactional approach. Today, eight months down the road and following Prime Minister Modi’s visit to the US in June, 2017, the India-US Partnership is on course, centred on shared interests in countering terrorism, managing a more assertive China and shaping a balance conducive to peace and stability in the broader Asia-Pacific region.

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Make & Invest in India, incubator of innovations: Modi at GSE 2017

Celebrating India as the land of entrepreneurs and the incubator of innovations, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has exhorted the international community to invest in India and showcased the burgeoning entrepreneurial culture in the world’s fastest growing major economy.Highlighting India’s recent economic achievements and the government’s successful efforts at promoting an investor friendly environment, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the world’s top innovators and entrepreneurs at the 8th edition of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES-2017) in Hyderabad on November 28. Inaugurating the show with United States President Donald Trump’s Adviser Ivanka Trump, Mr Modi underscored the them of “Women First, Prosperity for All”, and pointed out a growing number of women entrepreneurs in India. This is the first time India is hosting the GSE, which has brought together over 1500 investors, entrepreneurs, academicians, think-tanks and other stakeholders to propel the global entrepreneurship ecosystem.

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Quad Quandary: Modi, Trump step up strategic connect in balancing Asia

Amid the mutating strategic landscape in Asia and the new geostrategic configuration of Quadrilateral as a backdrop, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi held wide-ranging talks with US President Donald Trump in Manila that focused on bolstering India’s military capability and enhancing strategic connect in the Indo-Pacific region.
The Modi-Trump meeting at a glitzy hotel in Manila on November 13 was watched closely in the region amid a collective effort by the leaders of ASEAN and East Asia Summit countries to shape an inclusive regional architecture and China’s declared ambition to be a global power.
The meeting between Mr Modi and Mr Trump lasted for 52 minutes, much beyond the allotted time, signalling that despite a slew of back-to-back meetings both leaders had serious business to discuss. “There was a broad review of strategic landscape in Asia,” India’s Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar told reporters at Manila Marriott hotel, where PM Modi with his entourage is staying.
Mr Trump was all praise for Mr Modi, suggesting a deepening personal chemistry between the two leaders. “He’s become a friend of ours and a great gentleman doing a fantastic job in bringing around lots of factions in India — bringing them all together,” he said.
Bonhomie and backslapping apart, the overarching thrust of the discussions was on spurring the rise of India as a major global power and enhanced coordination in the Asia-Pacific, with an eye on containing China.
The White House read-out on the Trump-Modi meeting underlined “shared commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific region.”
They pledged to enhance their cooperation as Major Defense Partners, resolving that two of the world’s great democracies should also have the world’s greatest militaries,” said the White House.

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Trump’s Asia tour: What’s on the table?

Amidst tensions simmering in the Asia-Pacific with regard to North Korea’s rapid nuclear programme and the US withdrawal from the Trans Pacific Partnership, US President Donald Trump’s five-nation Asian marathon will be a testing time for American diplomacy under its unpredictable leader. Mr Trump, accompanied by First Lady Melania Trump will be visiting Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and Philippines in one of the longest tour of Asia in 25 years by an American President.

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Pakistan important but needs to do more to fight terror: Tillerson

More than two months after US President Donald Trump called out Pakistan for providing “safe haven to agents of chaos, violence and terror,” US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson delivered an unequivocal message to Pakistan to dismantle its terror infrastructure or face consequences.
In Islamabad, Mr. Tillerson held extensive talks with Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Foreign Minister Khwaja Mohammad Asif and Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa. During the talks, Tillerson said that Pakistan is “so important regionally to our joint goals of providing peace and security to the region and providing opportunity for greater economic relationship,” but it was important for Islamabad to keep its commitment on fighting terror.
Assuring his country’s continued support, Pakistani PM told Mr. Tillerson: “We have produced results. And we are looking forward to moving ahead with the US and building a tremendous relationship.” He added, “The US can rest assured that we are strategic partners in the war against terror and that today Pakistan is fighting the largest war in the world against terror.”

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Diwali light for India-US relations: Trump lauds Modi & India, Indian-Americans

Is it Diwali time for India-US relations? Clearly, there is a lot to cheer about, and the reassuring Diwali message from US President Donald Trump should light up the spirit of his “friend,” India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
In a gesture reaffirming his commitment to deepening India-US relations, the flamboyant American president, along with his daughter Ivanka, celebrated the Hindu festival of lights – Diwali – at the White House. The Diwali bash was attended by many prominent Indian-Americans in the Trump administration, including Nikki Haley (US Ambassador to the UN), Seema Verma (Administrator of Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) and Ajit Pai (Chairman of the US Federal Communications Commission). A video of the Diwali celebrations at White House was posted on the president’s Facebook page.
In hosting the Diwali celebrations at the White House, Mr Trump was continuing the tradition followed by his predecessors. But given the upswing in India-US relations during the first few months of his administration, despite initial apprehensions about policy volatility, there is a lot to cheer about how this vital relationship is shaping up.
Prime Minister Modi’s visit to the US in June and his first meeting with Trump had set an ambitious, multi-layered agenda for upscaling India-US relations across the spectrum.

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Trump-Modi dinner: What’s cooking, what’s on menu?

It promises to be a gourmet meal as the leaders of the world’s oldest and largest democracies have their first full-spectrum meeting and dinner in Washington DC on June 26. The buzz and hype surrounding India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s fifth visit to the US is relatively subdued – the carnival-like festive atmosphere and feverish energy that marked his first visit to the US, with his rock-star like show at Madison Square Garden, in September 2014 seems a distant echo, but even though the horizon of expectations has shrunk there are still some appetising dishes on the table which both sides can pick and choose to suit their taste and some serious business to transact.
Looking ahead, cutting through minutiae and complexity of issues, the really important question for India is whether the new US president believes in a “New India” which PM Modi is trying to create and whether this new India synthesises with Trump’s promise of Making America Great Again. If there is win-win fit, then indeed the chronic “hesitations of history” will be passe, and a new symphony can steer India-US relations onto a higher trajectory. Read more…

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