tirupati l friday l October 30, 2020 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l anantapur EDITION U.S. plans to scrap lottery system to select H-1B visas The Trump administration has proposed to introduce a wage-level-based selection process for H-1B work visas Move to protect American workers’ pay Will incentivise employers to pay more Replacing computerised draw will help counter the downward pressure on the wages of American workers due to influx of relatively lower paid H-1B visa holders, the Department of Homeland Security said. H-1B, the most sought after among Indian IT professionals, is a non-immigrant visa that allows US firms to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that need expertise | P7 ■ If finalised as proposed, the new selection process will incentivise employers to offer higher wages. DHS says this is a better way to allocate H-1Bs when demand exceeds supply ■ The proposals have been published in the Federal Register, but their implementation may hinge on the outcome of the US polls 85,000 H1-b visas ARE issued each year, IN ADDITION TO RENEWING LAPSED ones CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA ■ BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOgGA ■ MANGALURU ■ TIRUPATI ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUNELVELI ■ SAMBALPUR ■ HUBBALLI ■ DHARMAPURI ■ KOTTAYAM ■ KANNUR ■ VILLUPURAM ■ KOLLAM ■ WARANGAL ■ TADEPALLIGUDEM ■ NAGAPATTINAM ■ THRISSUR ■ KALABURAGI In battle of narratives, a generational divide M U K E S H RA N J A N & RA J E S H K U M AR T H A K UR @ Muzaffarpur/Patna At a highway crossing in Jarang Baluaha village of Muzaffarpur, a group of men playing cards under a tree are discussing the ongoing Bihar elections. As the debate touches on the subject of the Rashtriya Janata Dal’s rule of Lalu Yadav-Rabri Devi, when criminals ruled the roost, Amar Chand Verma, 32, turns agitated. “Let Nitish Kumar keep on shouting Lalu jungle raj, but the people will vote for the candidate of their choice. It is not going to influence the voters,” he said. His views are echoed by Shubham Thakur, 21, a graduate in Patna. “What is the point in recalling the Lalu-Rabri rule? We want jobs, whoever will perform on this front will get our vote, irrespective of caste and creed,” he said. Lal Bachchan Paswan, 30, of Kamtaul village agreed with them. “Most BIHAR 2020 of the people who witnessed that regime have died. Those who are still alive have no say in the decisionmaking of their family members,” Paswan said. But Lata Sinha, 54, a college teacher in Patna whose doctorhusband was kidnapped for ran- Lalu missing in RJD’s hoardings as the party tries to put a lid on his legacy | Ranjit K Dey som in 2004, violently disagrees. “Those who have seen those days will never forget them. We will not vote for that party at any cost,” she said. Sinha is supported by Kaushal Kumar Singh, 55, of Vaishali. “In those days we didn’t have the courage to go out in the evenings or buy a new car. Either you would get mugged or your car would be lifted,” he said. As campaigning for the threephase elections peaks, a competing narrative is being built by the BJP-JD(U) combine on the one hand and the RJD on the other. The BJP-JD(U) has repeatedly targeted the RJD and its leader Tejashwi Yadav, warning voters of the RJD misrule. Campaigning in Muzaffarpur on Wednesday Modi , described the 15-year RJD rule as the age of “darkness” and called Tejashwi the “jungle raj ka yuvraj (prince of jungle raj).” Continued on P7 AP bags 18 India Police Awards 2020 AP has done it again by winning more awards at the national level AP won 18 of 28 The State received the Police Transformation Award for its initiatives such as Disha Mobile App, AP Police Seva and Digital Health to reach out to people express read Kerala CPM chief’s son held in B’luru drugs case Bengaluru / Kochi: kerala CPI(M) state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan’s son Bineesh Kodiyeri was on Thursday arrested by the Directorate of Enforcement on charges of funding a drug racket. Bineesh has been booked under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, and remanded in ED custody for four days. Bineesh had appeared before the ED for inquiry on October 6. He was again summoned for questioning on Thursday. After nearly five hours of questioning, the ED officials formalised the arrest of the CPI(M) leader’s son. Bineesh was later produced before the Special Court for ED cases and was sent to ED custody for four days. LTC cash voucher scheme for all now New Delhi: The Centre on Thursday extended the I-T exemption available under the LTC cash voucher scheme to employees of state governments, state-owned enterprises and the private sector as well. “The payment of cash allowance, subject to a maximum of `36,000 per person as Deemed LTC fare per person (Round Trip) to non-Central Government employees, shall be allowed incometax exemption,” a finance ministry statement read. To avail the scheme, one has to spend three times the value of the deemed LTC fare on goods or services carrying a GST rate of 12% or more and obtain a voucher indicating the GST number and the amount paid. DGP Gautam Sawang pays homage to the frontline warriors who lost their lives while combating Covid-19, at an event organised at Swaraj Maidan in Vijayawada on Thursday to mark the Police Commemoration Week | Prasant Madugula Classes for 9, 10 & Inter students from November 2 The revised schedule will be applicable to all the government and private educational The State government has re- institutions in the State. vised the schedule of reopen“The State government has ing of educational institu- revised the schedule as the tions. As per the new schedule Ministry of Home Affairs, in released by Chief Secretary a recent circular, directed Nilam Sawhney on Thursday States to reopen schools in a , the educational instiphased manner. In the tutions will be reoearlier schedule, the Revised pened in three phases schools for all classes schedule from November 2. were supposed to funcClasses for 9, 10 and Intion on alternate days. November 2 termediate will start As children of prima9, 10 and from November 2. Ear- Intermediate ry classes are more lier, it was announced prone to the novel that classes for stu- November 23 coronavirus, the gov6, 7 and 8 dents of 1 to 10 would ernment has decided start from November to resume classes for 1 December 14 2. The educational into 5 from December 1 to 5 stitutions will func14,” School Education Schools to tion only half-day on Commissioner V Chifunction alternate days, strictly na Veerabhadrudu half-day on adhering to Covid-19 told TNIE. alternate days guidelines. Online classes for Classes for students those whose parents Online classes are not willing to send of 6, 7 and 8 will comfor students mence on November their children to to continue 23. Classes for students school in view of Covof 1 to 5 will start from till reopening id, will continue. of schools December 14. Earlier, The ongoing online it was announced that classes will continue students of 1, 3, 5 and 7 for students of all and 2, 4, 6 and 8 will attend standards till their respective classes on alternate days to en- d a t e s o f r e o p e n i n g o f sure social distancing. schools. E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Vijayawada France Horror Three knifed to death in church terror attack E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e In another lone-wolf jihadist attack in France, a man armed with a knife killed three persons at a church on Thursday, prompting global outrage. This was the third such attack in two months in the country since the opening of a terror trial into the mass murder at satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo’s office in Paris in 2015. Though the assailant at the Notre Dame Church in the city of Nice was wounded by police bullets, “he cried ‘Allah Akbar!’ over and over,” Mayor Christian Estrosi later claimed. Less than two weeks ago, an assailant decapitated a French school teacher who showed caricatures of the Prophet for a class on free speech. There were further worries as a Saudi Arabian citizen wounded a guard in a knife attack at the French consulate in Jeddah. Also, an Afghan national armed with a long knife was arrested in the French city of Lyon as he was about to board a tram. Prime Minister Narendra Modi joined global leaders in condemning the attack, adding India stands with France in its fight against terror. But Malaysia’s Mahathir Mohamad was the odd man out as he said Muslims had a right “to kill millions of French people”. P9 price Rationalisation Medium, premium brands of liquor to cost less E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Vijayawada The State government on Thursday reduced the prices of medium and premium brands of liquor following increase in smuggling of such brands from neighbouring States into Andhra Pradesh due to huge price difference. However, there is no revision of prices of ordinary (cheap) liquor and beer. The revised prices will come into NGT refrains AP from taking up R’seema lift scheme without EC NGT remarks against MoEF The NGT made sharp remarks against the Ministry of Environment and Forest committee for concluding that RLIS doesn’t need an EC without any impact assessment based on the Detailed Project Report, which hasn’t been furnished AP to submit DPR of RLIS Governance Now India Police Awards-2020 on Thursday Of the 18 awards, seven were won by AP Police Headquarters, two each by Prakasam and Anantapur and one each by East Godavari, Vijayawada City, Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, Kadapa, Guntur Rural and Kurnool Tribunal ‘ignores and disagrees’ with findings of MoEF that RLIS prima facie doesn’t need Environmental Clearance effect from Saturday . The prices of medium and premium brands of liquor ranging from `200 to `1,010 and above of various quantities (ml) were reduced from `50 to `1,350. The fresh revision of prices comes in less than two months after the government increased the prices of medium and premium brands of liq- uor, while reducing the prices of cheap liquor. Following a report submitted by the Special Enforcement Bureau (SEB), the government reduced the prices of cheap liquor and beer on September 3 to discourage smuggling of liquor from neighbouring States. At that time, the prices of medium and premium brands of liq- uor were increased by `40 to `1,320. Following the increase in prices of medium and premium brands of liquor, the SEB observed that the smuggling of that brands into AP from others States increased due to huge price difference. An analysis of the flow of liquor into the State from September 15 to October 15, revealed that 1,211 cases of smuggling were regP4 istered during that period. As the Andhra Pradesh government is anyway in the process of submitting the Detailed Project Report of the Rayalaseema Lift Irrigation Scheme, as decided in the apex council meeting earlier this month, the officials said that they would examine the NGT judgement and take a call on what needs to be done as the project has already been awarded to a contracting agency E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Vijayawada In a setback to the State government, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has ‘restrained’ Andhra Pradesh from going ahead with the execution of Rayalaseema Lift Irrigation Scheme (RLIS) without environmental clearance (EC) as it ‘prima facie’ found that there is a component of irrigation envisaged in the project. The southern zonal bench of the tribunal also ‘ignored and disagreed’ with the findings of Union Ministry of Environm e n t a n d Fo r e s t (MoEF), which stated that the project prima facie does not need an Environmental Clearance ‘for want of proper application of mind in the right prospective’. The bench, which reserved the order in a case filed by a Telangana farmer against the RLIS, on September 3, pronounced its judgement on Thursday . “Since the tribunal has prima facie found that there is a component of irrigation envisaged in the project which requires an EC..., the Andhra Pradesh government is restrained from proceeding with the work without an EC,” the tribunal said, disposing of the matter. The bench, with Justice K Ramakrishnan as the judicial member, and Saibal Dasgupta as the expert member, termed the claims of the Andhra Pradesh government - that the project is a supplementary mechanism to enhance the present drawl to bridge the gap between allocated share of water and available water - appear to be “premature.” It also made sharp remarks against the Ministry of Environment and Forest committee for concluding that the project doesn’t need an EC without any impact assessment based on the DPR, which hasn’t been furnished. “...This tribunal feels that the finding of the committee that no prior EC is required ...has to be ignored for want of proper application of mind in the right perspective without getting DPR and without making any impact assessment as envisaged under the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) notification, 2006, and without considering pros and cons of the proposal...,” the tribunal said. It also said the committee not considering the impact of the project as ‘doubted’ by the Krishna River Management Board (KRMB) member and an expert member of the MoEF committee was “not expected” of such body who is “supposed to be pioneers of protecting enP4 vironment”.
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