Good Morning, Swarajya Readers! Here's What You Need To Know Today.
Modi Seeks H-1B Visa Rules Rethink: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday sought support from the US Congress in battling attempts to restrict H-1B visas for foreign worker that have gained steam under the Donald Trump administration and threaten Indian companies and workers the most. At a meeting with a visiting team of US Congress delegation, Modi emphasised the role that skilled Indian workers, especially in the information technology industry, were playing in creating jobs and profits for American firms.
Strengthening India’s Coastal Surveillance: India’s Defence Ministry on Tuesday approved 38 additional coastal radar stations with the cost of Rs 800 crore for strengthening surveillance on the country’s 7,500-km long coastline. In addition, the ministry also approves four mobile surveillance stations along with the integration of vessel traffic management systems in two places on the Gujarat coastline.
Pakistan Crackdown On Hafiz Saeed: Citing security reasons, Pakistan has cancelled the licences of 44 weapons issued to Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed and other members of his organisations. The step has been taken in line with the government’s action against Saeed and his organisations – JuD and the Falaha-e-Insanyat, an official of the Punjab Home Department said. Earlier, the government had put Saeed under house arrest in Lahore for 90 days.
Record Voter Turnout For BMC Polls: The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) election held on Tuesday recorded 55 per cent voter turnout, which is the highest in the last 25 years. This turnout even surpasses the voting registered in the last assembly and Lok Sabha elections conducted in 2014. Soon after the voting was over, Shiv Sena and Bharatiya Janata Party rushed to claim a tide in their favour going by the turnout for the polls to the country's richest civic body.
Sasikala Jail Term May Be Extended If She Fails To Pay Rs 10 Crore Fine: All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) leader V K Sasikala, in jail after her conviction in a disproportionate assets case, will have to serve 13 more months in prison if she fails to pay a fine of Rs 10 crore imposed by the Supreme Court. Sasikala will be in jail for three years and about 11 months. She had earlier spent 21 days in Parappana Agrahara jail after conviction by the trial court in September 2014.
Early Extradition Of Vijay Mallya Likely: The law is catching up with liquor baron Vijay Mallya. His extradition may happen sooner than expected, after sources said they received a "positive" response from UK following a crucial meeting between officials from UK and India. A government spokesman said: “Both sides reiterated their determination to strengthen legal cooperation and expedite the pending requests."
UK Rules Out Visa Cap For Indian Students: Announcing 600 scholarships for Indian students aspiring to study in the UK, British High Commissioner to India Dominic Asquith said on Tuesday there is no cap on visa for Indian students and they are free to access world-class education in the country’s top notch universities. UK’s visa policy requires students to return home after their courses end – a move that has led to fall of Indian students enrolling in British universities by 50 per cent.
Jio Announces Tariff Plans: Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani announced on Tuesday that his telecom company, Jio, will start its tariff plans. The company will offer free voice calls and that there will be no roaming charges from 1 April. Jio will offer sharply discounted prices for a year to those who sign up by the end of March under its Prime offer. The telecom service provider will also double its data capacity in the coming months. “Jio has crossed 100 million customers mark in just 170 days,” Ambani said.
Trump Widens Deportation Net: Under President Donald Trump administration's sweeping rewrite of immigration enforcement policies announced on Tuesday, many more people living in the US illegally could face rapid deportation, including those arrested for traffic violations. The new enforcement documents are the latest efforts by Trump to follow through on campaign promises to strictly enforce immigration laws.
MUST READ OP-EDS
Our Injustice System: The acquittals in the Delhi serial blasts case once again remind us of these questions. Mohammad Hussain Fazli and Mohammad Rafiq Shah are the latest in a line of dozens of youths who turned out to have been accused without plausible evidence.
The Sufi Must Sing: Behind the violence lies a long theological conflict that has divided the Islamic world for centuries. Pakistan is the site of conflict between two understandings of Islam. Let the music not fade.
India’s Buy American Challenge: The ‘Buy American, Hire American’ slogan of US President Donald Trump is rapidly assuming Goebbelsian proportions. It is time that India came to terms with the changing architecture based on ‘Buy American’ and ‘Hire American’ policies in which it is a major losers.
Quest To Widen Direct Tax Net: For the past two years, direct taxes have risen by 17 per cent in each year, even though rates have stayed unchanged, showing a healthy widening of the tax net. There is need to drastically reduce the income tax exemption slab.
Digital Society’s Many Disruptions: With digital automation set to accelerate, the spectre of jobless growth looms large. The digital revolution will go well beyond the disruption of industries; the entire social contract will have to be renegotiated.
Bengal’s Budding Hindu Assertiveness Rattles Mamata Banerjee: With the Mamata government looking the other way when it comes to violence on Hindus in Bengal, the community is beginning to organise itself through other means.
We hope you enjoyed reading our morning brief. Have a great day ahead!
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