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Embassy of India assists Indian students during COVID-19 Crisis

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Embassy of India

The Embassy of India has deployed its Student Hub Advisory Board to take steps to educate students on how their lives at university may be impacted by the spread of the COVID-19 virus, as well as what actions they can take to ensure their continued safety. First and foremost the Board has urged all students to rely on reputable sources during this crisis, such as the World Health Organization,  Centers and Disease Control, and the Indian Government’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

In addition to this, students in need of emergency assistance are being urged to contact the 24/7 Consular Emergency helplines available at both the Embassy and Consulates; a non emergency peer support line has also been instituted. 

In regards to campus housing, students being asked to vacate their living quarters are implored to submit petitions in order to retain their residence. If the petition fails, students are to consult directly with university staff and networks in order to find alternative living accomodations. 

With numerous universities shutting down health services, the Embassy of India and the India Student Hub has stated that it remains steadfast in its goal of unwavering support of student welfare. The Embassy will be providing information on temporary emergency resources and solutions with their available resources and support from the United States government. 

The Embassy reaffirms its connection with the U.S. government, specifically in regards to how the pandemic will affect international students. On this front it has been been confirmed by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), a program which operates under both the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as well as the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), that international students have been granted temporary permission to engage in distance learning from either within or outside the confines of the United States; this comes without any penalty against any pertinent students as per the status of the Coronavirus pandemic. However the SEVP notes that this five month temporary absence rule is only applicable for students in inactive status. In relation to this the DHS has supplied updated information regarding visa statuses as well as CPT/OPT applications and extensions.

The Board also reminds students that were admitted into the country with visas nearing their expiration dates, that they may need to indicate action to extend their authorized stay. While the DHS currently is not offering blanket extensions to all visa cases, they are remaining vigilant to urgently process requests from individuals. As a result the Embassy is pushing individuals to apply for extensions through the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Addedly, campus advisories and Designated Student Officials are able to provide elucidation in regards to F-1 and J-1 students and their dependents. 

In line with the rest of the world, the board reaffirms that students are to avoid any and all non-essential domestic or international travel and to self quarantine and practice social distancing at home in order to prevent exposure to as well as the spreading of the virus. Concerning this, students are being directed to consult the US Department of State and Transportation and Security Administration.

Diya TV reported earlier this month that in order to preserve the public health and safety of the country’s citizens, the Indian government has suspended international and domestic flights alike until the 14th of April 2020.

The Embassy advises maintaining a minimum of a 6 foot distance from other individuals, and that those experiencing flu like symptoms are to self isolate for at least 2 weeks. 

To receive the latests updates directly from the Embassy of India Student Hub advisories, register here

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FTX’s Nishad Singh got $543 million loan

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More fallout from the FTX cryptocurrency platform collapse. Court documents show its affiliate Alameda Research loaned executives like Sam Bankman Fried $1 billion and more than $500 million to Indian American Nishad Singh, FTX’s top engineer. FTX’s interim CEO says never in his career has he seen such complete failure of corporate controls and a complete absence of trustworthy financial information. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after it was unable to come up with customer funds.

Elizabeth Holmes was sentenced to more than 11 years in prison after her conviction in January for defrauding investors while running the failed blood testing start up Theranos.In her trial, Holmes alleged she was in the midst of a decade-long abusive relationship with her then-boyfriend and Theranos COO Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani. The Indian American was also found guilty for his role in this fraud and will be sentenced later.

Starting next month, India will assume the G20 presidency for a year and chair more than 200 meetings, leading the way for global economic growth. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said his country’s leadership here will be inclusive, ambitious, and decisive.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Arvind Venkat & Tarik Khan win Pennsylvania State seats

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WASHINGTON D.C. (Diya TV) – Looking back at the midterm elections, Arvind Venkat and Tarik Khan made history as the first South Asian Americans elected to the Pennsylvania State Legislature. Advocacy group Indian American Impact played a major role on the ground, saying it trained and mobilized 200 volunteers to go door-to-door, to engage voters and provide info they needed to elect new leadership.

After 35 years, the Nancy Pelosi era is officially coming to an end. The speaker from San Francisco announced she’s bowing out of leadership, but will retain her House seat. The midterms cost Pelosi’s Democratic party the House and effectively ended her speakership.

Two former Indian American executives at Meta Platforms will launch a new non fungible token start up for creators. Kirthiga Reddy and Saurabh Doshi have raised more than $8 million for their new company called Virtualness. But they are facing headwinds as the FTX cryptocurrency exchange collapse is putting pressure on the entire industry.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Meet FTX insider Nishad Singh

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SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) – The controversy around failed cryptocurrency exchange FTX continues to captivate the world. Part of the scrutiny is now on the people involved, including Indian American Nishad Singh. According to new reports, this techie was part of FTX’s inner circle, which lived together and ran the cryptocurrency empire from the Bahamas. The software engineer was also reportedly aware that FTX secretly transferred customer funds worth billions of dollars to its sister firm Alameda Research. Currently, no one is facing any criminal charges. Diya TV featured Singh more than a decade ago for running ultra marathons as a 17 year old getting ready for college. 

Former President Donald Trump has officially announced he is running for president in 2024, marking his third bid for the White House. Trump had been hinting at this announcement for months, as the embattled former president faces multiple criminal and civil litigations and as his party is grappling with a worse than expected showing in the midterm elections. 

At the G20 Summit in Bali, world leaders including Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and U.S. President Joe Biden are coming together to condemn the rising threat of nuclear weapons as Russia’s war against Ukraine continues to raise tension and anxiety around the world.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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