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One of India’s largest tech outsourcers, Infosys to add 10,000 American jobs

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Infosys
Infosys

Infosys, one of India’s largest tech outsourcers, said the company will add up to 10,000 American workers.

SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — Facing new demands and political pressure from the Trump administration, Infosys, one of India’s largest tech outsourcing companies, said Tuesday that it will hire up to 10,000 Americans to fill jobs servicing its U.S. clients.

The move makes Infosys the latest Asian technology company to pitch itself as a jobs creator, this is President Trump has threatened to curb immigrant work visas and to take action against companies hurting American workers.

Last month, President Trump signed an executive order directing government agencies to begin an immediate review of employment immigration laws to promote “Hire American” policies. The order included suggestions for how to reform the H-1B visa program, which operates as a lottery to bring skilled foreign laborers to the United States each year — usually tech workers.

However, Infosys’s move to hire more American workers is being driven by a different set of circumstances. Back in the company’s home country of India, the climate has become a less attractive location for programmers, leaving skilled labor more difficult to find. A study of 36,000 engineering students at 500 Indian colleges released last month found that only 5 percent could write software code correctly.

“Building talent pools that define the future of America is what we want to do,” Ravi Kumar S., Infosys’s president, told The New York Times in a phone interview from Indiana.

Indiana, which just so happens to be the home state of Vice President Mike Pence, will be the first beneficiary of Infosys’s hire-American efforts. The company intends to open a new technology and innovation office in or near Indianapolis in August, recruiting 100 new workers this year and several hundred more next year, with a goal of adding a total of 2,000 employees by 2021.

The company said it will also seek out three additional sites for American expansion, looking for places that are close to clients and universities and where state and local governments are willing to offer significant economic incentives. The company already has an innovation hub in Silicon Valley. The majority of the company’s business lies in the United States, and it typically receives several thousand H-1B visas every year to bring in mostly entry-level Indian programmers who move from project to project at companies in industries like banking, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing and energy.

According to Kumar, Infosys has hired more American college graduates in the last couple of years. Now, U.S. clients have asked the company to have even more people on site locally. So it must expand its American work force significantly, he said.

“We polled our customers and a lot of our newest locations require a lot of presence,” Kumar told the Times. “This year, we are taking it to scale.”

Kumar, however, declined to comment on whether the attacks and threats of President Trump played a role in the move.

Whether or not the company will truly hire 10,000 American workers in the coming years remains to be seen. Infosys, which employs more than 200,000 people globally, has slowed its overall hiring to a trickle as revenue growth has stalled. Kumar said the American expansion plans depend on expected client demand, as well as whether it can find and train enough college graduates with skills in artificial intelligence and other technical fields that it needs.

Indiana’s governor, Eric Holcomb, aggressively pursued Infosys, the company said at a news conference. The company already had a workforce on nearly 150 in the state. The state is offering Infosys incentives worth up to $31 million for the project. Indiana intends to give the company $500,000 in training funds and $15,250 in conditional tax credits per new job created.

Critics say that companies like Infosys have taken advantage of the H-1B program by bringing in workers who ultimately undercut it by taking lower wages. The proposed changes to the H-1B visa program have alarmed Indian companies and government officials, since Indians receive about two-thirds of those visas. India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, discussed the H-1B matter with Trump in February, and Indian tech executives raised it with members of Congress during a visit to Washington about two months ago.

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Houston to host community summit for Indian Prime Minister Modi

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Houston hosts Modi

HOUSTON (Diya TV) — Non-profit group Texas India Forum announced they are organizing “Howdy, Modi!”, an Indian American community event for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to Houston September 22nd. The venue has yet to be announced, but tens of thousands of people are expected at the event.

Seattle Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal was among the members of the House antitrust committee with sharp questions for Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon in a hearing focused on competition and anti-competitive behavior online.

Saravana Bhavan founder P Rajagopal died days after the Indian Supreme Court threw out his plea to postpone imprisonment in a murder conviction. He was 72. The ‘dosa king’ was found to have orchestrated the murder of a man, whose wife he wanted to marry.

And the managing director of the State Bank Of India, Anshula Kant, is taking the helm at the World Bank as managing director and chief financial officer.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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House vill passes removing Green Card country cap

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WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — The House of Representatives passed a bill to lift the current seven percent country-cap on issuing Green Cards, a development that could benefit thousands of skilled Indian IT professionals.

The United States India Strategic Partnership Forum had a bipartisan feel to it in Washington, as the event was keynoted by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senior Advisor to President Trump, Jared Kushner. Watch both of their speeches to the USISPF crowd exclusively on Diya TV.

Labor Secretary Alex Acosta is resigning his post amid controversy over the way he handled a sex crimes case a decade ago against wealthy businessman Jeffrey Epstein when Acosta was U.S. attorney for southern Florida.

Billionaire Richard Branson’s spaceflight company Virgin Galactic will be the 1st publicly traded space tourism company in a $800 million deal backed by venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya’s investment company.

And Mindy Kaling’s open casting call for her upcoming Netflix series led to the hiring of Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, who was cast out of 15,000 people.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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New Zealand eliminates India in cricket World Cup

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New Zealand wins Cricket

MANCHESTER, England (Diya TV) — After a rain delay stopped play between New Zealand and India, when play resumed, the Kiwis held on to win by 18 runs, knocking India out of the Cricket World Cup. It’s on to the championship round for New Zealand.

The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raided an Indian restaurant in Washington DC, detaining several employees.

Airbnb, the Silicon Valley couchsurfing startup turned hospitality behemoth, says they made a direct economic impact of around $150 million in India in 2018.

Indian Airbnb hosts collectively made almost $28 million and welcomed nearly 800,000 guests last year. 

Chennai-based speech recognition startup, Uniphore Software Systems, raised $38 million as part of its Series C round. They’ve received funding from California venture capital firm March Capital Partners and former Cisco CEO John Chambers. 

And Indo-Australian Priya Serrao was crowned Miss Universe Australia 2019.

The 26-year-old policy advisor from the state of Victoria said she will use her new platform to promote multiculturalism. 

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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