Date:- 24th Feb 2018
U.S. ANNOUNCES NEW H1-B VISA APPROVAL POLICY, INDIAN FIRMS TO BE HIT (GS 3 ECONOMY)
The Donald Trump administration has made it more difficult for companies and individuals to get H-1B work visa, by imposing more paperwork and processing hurdles.
The new move will mean H-1B visas may be issued only for the period for which an employee has work at a third-party worksite.
This will impact Indian IT companies that place H-1B employees at American companies
The US H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ graduate level workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise in specialized fields for a certain period of time.
Reshaping immigration is a central tenet of President-elect Donald Trump’s push for companies to invest and hire more in the U.S.
He blamed companies of misuse of visa programmes to undercut American workers, and promised to end the misuse
Restriction on H1B visa can adversely affect Indian IT companies business in USA.
Also they will be forced to hire Americans thus reducing job opportunities in India also rising operation cost.
MEETING ON LOKPAL TO BE HELD ON MARCH 1 (GS 2 POLITY)
The Centre on Friday has informed the Supreme Court that steps have been taken to process for the appointment of Lokpal, which has been delayed since the enactment of the Lokpal and Lokayukta Act in 2014. And a meeting of the selection panel is scheduled to be held on March 1.
The government has earlier delayed appointment of Lokpal by taking the position that Lokpal appointments could be made only after first amending the law to replace the Leader of Opposition (LoP) with the single largest party opposition leader on the high-level selection committee.
And there for inclusion of the single largest opposition party leader is a significant development as the government has, for years,
The ‘Lokpal’ is the central governing body that has jurisdiction over all members of parliament and central government employees in case of corruption
The main function is to address complaints of corruption, to make inquiries, investigations, and to conduct trials for the case of central government employees with having responsibility to help in curbing the corruption in the central government.
The selection of Chairperson and Members of Lokpal shall be through a Selection Committee consisting of –
a) Prime Minister;
b) Speaker of Lok Sabha;
c) Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha;
d) Chief Justice of India or a sitting Supreme Court Judge nominated by CJI;
e) An eminent jurist to be nominated by the President of India.
DHANUSH’ BALLISTIC MISSILE SUCCESSFULLY TEST-FIRED (GS 3 DEFENCE)
India has successfully test-fired the nuclear-capable ‘Dhanush’ ballistic missile
The missile was test-fired from the ship positioned near Paradip in the Bay of Bengal
The launch was part of training exercise by the Strategic Force Command, and declaring the test launch as “a complete success”, the officials said all mission objectives were met during the trial.
- The Dhanush is a surface-to-surface, short-range, sea-based, liquid propellant ballistic with a strike range of 350 kms
- It’s capable of carrying a payload of 500 kg and hitting both land and sea-based targets
- Its A Naval version of Prithvi II
- The missile has already been inducted into the defense services. It is one of the five missiles developed by the Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP).
LEADERS BREAK GROUND ON TAPI GAS PIPELINE’S AFGHAN SECTION (GS 3 ENERGY)
Leader of TAPI ceremonially broke ground on the Afghan section of an ambitious, multi-billion dollar gas pipeline expected to help ease energy deficits in South Asia.
- The TAPI (Turkmenistan–Afghanistan–Pakistan–India) Pipeline, also known as Trans-Afghanistan Pipeline, is a natural gas pipeline being developed by the Asian Development Bank. The pipeline will transport Caspian Sea natural gas from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan into Pakistan and then to India.
- Construction on the project started in 2015 and expected to be completed by 2019
- The TAPI pipeline is expected to eventually transport 33 billion cubic meters of gas annually along a 1,800-kilometer.
MAHINDRA ARM, VIKING AIR ALLY FOR UDAN PLAN (GS 3 connectivity)
Mahindra Aerospace Private Limited has decided to partner with Canada’s Viking Air Ltd. to form a strategic alliance to take advantage of India’s growing regional air connectivity opportunities.
Mahindra Aerospace and Viking Air have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for a strategic alliance, which was signed during the on-going visit of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to India
Both the companies are focused on production of small aircrafts with limited seats and looks to offer a unique product portfolio to customers across various geographies,
In India, this portfolio can address the much needed requirements of regional connectivity, where this range small aircraft offers a suitable solution and desired boost to regional connectivity scheme UDAN.
UDAN is an innovative scheme to develop the regional aviation market.
UDAN or Ude Desh Ka Aam Naagrik is Civil Aviation Ministry’s regional connectivity scheme for a period of 10 years, meant for the common man who dreams of flying at an affordable price.
It envisages providing connectivity to un-served and under-served airports of the country through revival of existing air-strips and airports
For the successful completion of such projects, the government is using Viability Gap Funding to support projects that are economically justified but not financially viable.
Since the routes are in such areas where passenger traffic is low, the scheme requires small seater plains to economically conduct services.