QBullet: 5 Farmers Die in MP Protest; IT Firms Cut H1-B Reliance
The Quint’s roundup of headlines from the national dailies.
1. Mandsaur Protest: MP CM Announces Rs 1 Cr for Families of Deceased
The Madhya Pradesh farmers are on a ten-day protest demanding the government to waive their loans. Higher Minimum Support Prices (MSPs) is another of their demands. The protests have caused the prices of vegetables to soar and a shortage of milk.
Five farmers were shot while protesting in Mandsaur in Madhya Pradesh.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced that each of the deceased farmer’s families will get Rs 1 crore and a government job will be provided to one member from their families.
Chouhan called the killing of farmers in Mandsaur a “conspiracy fuelled by the Congress,” and said that his government was “sensitive” to the needs of the farmers and stands with them.
Read the full story on The Quint.
2. Indian IT Companies Sharply Cut H-1B Dependence
There was a sharp decline in the use of H-1B visas by Indian IT companies in Barack Obama's last year as US President, indicating that Donald Trump may only be accelerating an ongoing trend.
The top seven India-based IT companies received only 9,356 new H-1B visas in fiscal year 2016, a drop of 37 percent from FY2015, according to an analysis by the National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP). These are petitions filed during the April 2016 H-1B filing period and approved for individuals to start work on 1 October 2016.
In the year before, the top seven India-based IT companies received 14,792.
The foundation said the decline reflects, in part, industry trends, particularly digital services such as cloud computing and artificial intelligence, that require fewer people to service US clients.
It said IT services companies are also choosing to hire more locally.
3. Sainik School Students Paying Staff Pensions
Should a school student, who has gained admission on full scholarship after a national-level entrance examination, be forced to pay for the pensions and salary of his school staff?
This is the question that the authorities who run the Sainik Schools are struggling to address.
According to the estimates with the government, total expenditure on a Sainik School student is a minimum of ₹62,000 per year.
Even in the case of students on a full scholarship, (excluding those from SC/ST and OBC communities), the parents now pay from their own pockets anywhere between ₹18,000 and ₹40,000 per annum.
A part of this caters to the salary and pension of school employees, officials say.
For example, a student currently enrolled in Sainik School, Amaravathinagar in Tamil Nadu, is required to contribute to the pension of all the staff who worked in the school since it was founded in 1962.
(Source: The Hindu)
4. As Summer Blackouts Continue, Kejriwal Renews Call to Penalise Power Companies for Cuts
With power shortage haunting residents of the national capital again, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has revived his government’s proposal to penalise distribution companies for unscheduled cuts.
Electricity consumption touched 6,526 MW on Tuesday afternoon, surpassing the previous day’s record of 6,361 MW. This development threw power utilities into a tizzy, even as consumer complaints increased by nearly four times over a period of one week.
Alarmed by the spurt in blackouts across the capital, Kejriwal again brought up the proposal despite the Delhi High Court striking it down last year on the grounds of not acquiring then Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung’s nod.
5. El Nino Threat Dips, Met Department Ups Rain Forecast
The weather office expects good rainfall across the country this year. It is expected to touch 98 per cent of the long term average (LPA), the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Tuesday, raising hopes of increased rural demand for goods leading to overall economic growth.
The latest monsoon forecast is marginally higher than the IMD's earlier estimate of 96 percent. There's little chance of an El Nino weather pattern adversely impacting spread of rains between June and September.
The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology have also ruled out chances of an El Nino this year.KJ Ramesh, IMD Director General
6. Cow Slaughter: UP Invokes NSA, Gangsters Act
Uttar Pradesh Director General of Police (DGP) Sulkhan Singh has ordered that those involved in cow slaughter and smuggling of cows and their progeny should be booked under the stringent National Security Act (NSA) and Gangsters Act. Singh issued the order to all SPs, SSPs, DIGs and IGs at a meeting at the DGP headquarters on Monday. A circular has also been sent to all officers across the state.
Take strict action against cow slaughter and smuggling of cows and their progeny for slaughter. Invoke National Security Act and Gangsters Act against those involved in such activities.Circular
When contacted, Singh said he had issued general instructions to police officers in the districts in order to ensure communal harmony and peace.
Under the National Security Act, a person may be detained for up to a year.
7. 40% Skill Development Trainees in Three BJP-Ruled States Are Ghost Entries
About 40 per cent of the enrolled trainees in skill development centres in three BJP-ruled states – Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan – are ghost entries, the Centre has got reports.
Following reports of large-scale enrollment of ghost candidates, the Union Skill Ministry has suspended new allocation of centres in these states under the second phase of Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY-2).
A huge number of centres are likely to face cancellation in these states, said the skill development and entrepreneurship ministry officials who did not want to be identified.
Few other states, including Madhya Pradesh, are under scanner where national skill training targets have been achieved hurriedly raising suspicion.
8. In 'ISIS Recruiter' Case, His Mother's Letter Is Key NIA Evidence
A mother’s letter to her son questioning his association with terrorists is being used by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) as key evidence against an Indian man accused of being an online recruiter for ISIS.
Adnan Hasan Damudi, 36, accused of aiding youths from around the world in joining the ISIS in Syria and Iraq from 2012 to 2015, was arrested by the NIA in January 2016 after he was deported from the UAE.
A letter written by his mother, Gulshan Banu, questioning his links with radical elements – seized by police in the UAE at the time of Damudi’s detention – has been cited by the NIA as key evidence in his legal trial, besides details of his online activities and alleged fund transfers to youths around the world to entice them to join the ISIS.
In the letter, handwritten in Urdu, Banu has expressed her anger, disappointment and knowledge of her son’s “unlawful activities’’. Submitting the letter in court, the NIA has also gathered Banu’s handwriting samples to forensically prove its authenticity.
9. Rahul Gandhi Likely to Take Over as Congress Chief in October
Rahul Gandhi is likely to take over the reins of the Congress in October, the much-speculated change of guard coming ahead of key assembly elections and just one and half years before the Lok Sabha polls.
The Congress Working Committee formally approved the calendar for organisational elections which are already under way.
The internal polls, deferred by two years, have set a month-long schedule for the election of Congress president, state presidents and state bodies, from 16 September-15 October. Senior Congress members said Rahul will take over during this time, ending the uncertainty over his elevation.
Party managers have attributed the two-year delay in organisational elections to Rahul’s reluctance to step into his mother’s shoes yet.
The scion is said to have been ready before it was ultimately decided that veterans led by Ghulam Nabi Azad, AK Antony and P Chidambaram should field the media.
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