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Prime Minister Narendra Modi urges U.S. to take ‘farsighted’ approach on Visas

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NEW DELHI (Diya TV) — Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged U.S. officials visiting the country and back home to adopt a “balanced and farsighted perspective” on the movement of skilled immigrant workers amid tensions currently surrounding the U.S. visa program that threaten to wreak havoc on Indian software services companies.

“Both countries can work even more closely, including in facilitating greater people-to-people linkages that have over the years helped contribute to each other’s prosperity,” Modi said after his meeting with a visiting delegation of 26 U.S. lawmakers.

The delegation, which also met Ravi Shankar Prasad, Union Minister for Electronics and Information Technology, in the Capital on Tuesday, said the two countries were willing to work together to sort out trade and economic issues. Their conversations were of course filled with dialogues referencing the proposed changes to the current H-1B visa program, a work visa that Indian IT companies are heavily dependent on to move their talent stateside. At least four U.S. lawmakers have proposed changes to the H-1B or skilled workers immigration process.

Prasad told the delegation he respected America’s efforts to “reassess and reappraise” the relationship between the two nations, but urged lawmakers to “keep in mind the value the Indian talent has contributed in making the American economy more competitive.” He also emphasized the fact India is expected to become $1 trillion digital economy in the next five to seven years, which could represent hefty profits for companies such as Amazon, Microsoft and Google, as well as for e-commerce.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte led the delegation, he said both sides discussed the story of President Donald Trump — the 45th president entered the White House with no experience in government or politics. “He is a businessman and he likes to do deals and he also wants to do deals with India and other countries around the world,” Goodlatte said. “He is also assessing what deals the United States has done in the past that are good and which ones he thinks may be not so good.”

There are currently between 300,000-350,000 Indians working in the U.S. courtesy of the H-1B visa.

Texas Congresswoman Sheila Jackson said both countries are concerned with “the youth bulge and the importance of training our young people… (and) will work together to create those opportunities for them and certainly technology is a method of doing so.”

A delegation of Indian IT companies, led by the National Association of Software and Services Companies, is expected to discuss the visa issue with U.S. lawmakers this week.

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Indo-pacific framework documents declassified

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Indo-pacific Framework Documents Declassified | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — In its final days, the Trump administration is declassifying some highly sensitive documents, including the “U.S. Strategic Framework for the Indo-Pacific” (SFIP), written by the National Security Council. India is shown as a rising power in the document, vital to the security of the Indo-Pacific region and important to U.S. interests.

Former US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley is starting a new political action committee called Stand for America PAC.  But so far, there’s no mention of President Trump on her donation site or web page. Haley’s spokesperson says don’t read too much into that. But Haley is widely considered a contender for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination and could face Trump if he chooses to run again.

President-Elect Joe Biden has yet to take office, but he’s already getting down to business, unveiling a massive $1.9 trillion dollar economic relief package. If passed by Congress, it would include $1 trillion for households, with direct payments of $1400 to all Americans, and the rest going to small businesses and the fight against COVID-19.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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India reveals 8-point plan to fight terrorism

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India Reveals 8 Point Plan To Fight Terrorism | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — India’s Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar says terrorism remains the greatest threat to global peace and India’s best interests. So he’s unveiling an eight point action plan that includes using more U.N. sanctions and mobilizing what he calls the political will to fight this menace. The minister’s defensive posture is in response to the increase in security concerns related to China and Pakistan.

Two more Indian Americans are now part of a growing list of South Asians being added to President elect Joe Biden’s administration. Neha Gupta and Reema Shah are now part of the White House Counsel’s Office. Gupta will serve as associate counsel, while Shah will be deputy associate counsel. Both attorney’s already have experience and impressive resumes serving in other Democratic administrations.  

Federal authorities say an Indian American man targeted the elderly in a massive telemarketing scam. Hirenkumar Chaudhuri admitted that he used a phony Indian passport, false name, and fake address to open several bank accounts to receive money from victims of the telemarketing scheme. This is the latest in a crackdown on scams using call centers in India, defrauding senior citizens and others. People of Indian descent as well as others are involved in the scams that continue to operate and are ruining India’s reputation and have the potential of affecting the nation’s multi-billion-dollar back office industry.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Trump becomes first U.S. President to be impeached twice

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Trump Becomes First U.S. President To Be Impeached Twice | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — The House of Representatives voted 232-197 to impeach President Trump for “incitement of insurrection.” He is the first President to be impeached twice, with 10 Republicans joining Democrats to vote for the removal of the President, whose term ends January 20th. But the Senate will not convene until January 19th to hold a trial for the president.

A full week after the Capitol was stormed by his supporters, President Trump released a video saying he condemned the mob violence that left 5 people dead and threatened the lives of members of Congress. Trump took on a solemn tone and did not address being impeached, nor acknowledge his successor President-Elect Joe Biden.

After months of massive nationwide protests by India’s farmers, the Indian Supreme Court has put three contentious farm laws on hold until further notice. The court said the decision to suspend the laws “may assuage the hurt feelings of the farmers and encourage them to come to the negotiating table with confidence and good faith.” The farmers argue the new laws passed in September would privatize land and undermine their livelihoods by giving more power to corporations.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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