bhubaneswar l friday l October 30, 2020 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l late CITY 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 A generational shift in battle of narratives MUKESH RANJAN & RAJESH KUMAR T H A K U R @ 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, irrespec- Lalu missing in RJD’s hoardings as the party tries to put a lid on his legacy | Ranjit K Dey tive of caste and creed,” he said. Lal Bachchan Paswan, 30, of Kamtaul village agreed with them. “Most of the people who witnessed that regime have died. Those who are BIHAR 2020 still alive have no say in the decision-making of their family members,” Paswan said. But Lata Sinha, 54, a college teacher in Patna whose doctor-husband @ Bengaluru / Kochi the Enforcement Directorate on Thursday arrested Kerala CPM secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan’s son Bineesh in Bengaluru on charges of funding a drug racket. Bineesh was booked under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act and sent to ED custody for four days. Sources said Bineesh was arrested after the ED gathered evidence about alleged financial dealings between him and Mohammed Anoop, who was earlier arrested in a narcotics seizure case. Bineesh had appeared before the ED for questioning on October 6. He was again summoned on Thursday He arrived at the ED of. fice in Shanthinagar at 11am and, after nearly five hours of questioning, his arrest was recorded. The arrest added to the discomfiture of the Left Front government in Kerala, already reeling under the impact of the gold smug- Three knifed to death in church terror attack gling case. The back-to-back arrests of senior official M Sivasankar on Wednesday and Bineesh on Thursday have dealt a serious blow to the Pinarayi Vijayan government’s image in the last days of its tenure. In August, the Narcotics Control Bureau’s (NCB) Bengaluru zonal unit had seized a huge stash of MDMA (Ecstasy pills) and LSD blots and arrested Anoop along with two others — Anikha D and R Ravindran. The NCB probe revealed financial transactions between Anoop and Bineesh and the ED stepped into the investigation. Anoop reportedly told ED Bineesh that had paid him `50 lakh for his restaurant business in Bengaluru. The agency registered a case to investigate the money trail between Anoop and Bineesh. Anoop is also said to be known to K T Rameez, an accused in the diplomatic baggage gold smuggling case. E x p ress N e w s S er 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 P9 millions of French people”. e x press read Missing technician died in petrol pump explosion: DNA report Safety plan Circles being marked in front of Keshari Talkies in Bhubaneswar in anticipation of opening of cinema halls, as government is set to announce further unlock measures in next two days | Express Bhubaneswar: Commissionerate Police on Thursday confirmed that the technician, who had gone missing from the Raj Bhavan square filling centre following the LPG tank explosion on October 7, was killed at the spot in the deadly incident. The deceased is Simanchal Parida, a native of Gahangu village under Aska block of Ganjam district. He was engaged at the fuel station on the fateful day. Police had recovered mutilated body parts strewn across the accident site | P3 CM seeks banks’ support to restore economy E x p ress N e w s S er v i c e @ Bhubaneswar Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday sought unstinted support of banks for restoring the economy of the State as well as protecting livelihoods of people, which have been severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Calling for unhindered credit flow to farmers, self help groups and MSMEs, he announced that a ‘Chief Minister’s award for Champion banks’ will be instituted for honouring the best perfor ming UNDER COVID GLARE, PURI SHUTS DOORS on Habisialis E x p ress N e w s S er v i c e @ Puri France Horror ED arrests Kerala CPM chief’s son in B’luru drugs case E x p ress N e w s S er v i c e was kidnapped for ransom 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 BJPJD(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 Continued on: P8 of jungle raj).” Thousands of devotees, mainly elderly women from the State and outside, throng the abode of Lord Jagannath to observe the month-long Kartik brata rituals banks on these fronts. “I would also inform about the performance to the Union Finance Minister,” he said. Addressing the state level bankers committee meeting, Naveen said he would closely monitor the credit flow to these three crucial sectors and have a districtwise review with collectors and bankers jointly by the end of November. “My government is very serious about restoring economy both at State ` level and at individual household levels. For this, I have three important interventions - Credit to farmers, Credit to Mission Shakti SHGs and Credit to MSMEs - where I need your unstinted support,” he stated. He said as doctors have a major role in saving lives, bankers also have a major role in saving livelihoods. “I am sure, all of you will rise to the occasion in helping the poor and needy especially , women, farmers and MSMEs,” he Continued on: P5 said. In view of the Covid-19 situation, the entry of devotees will be restricted as of now. No decision has been taken on online darshan so far JK Sahu, Administrator (rituals) With no abatement of Covid-19 situation, the pilgrim town of Puri has decided to shut the doors on devotees from outside, who throng the abode of Lord Jagannath during the holy month of Kartik every year. The district administration has asked devotees not to come to the town to observe the month-long rituals, which start from Sunday. Every year thousands of devotees, mainly elderly women from different parts of the State and country, come to Puri to observe the Kartik brata. They spend time in Sri Jagannath temple, worshipping the Lord in his Radha Damodar Besha. The State government also used to host about 3,000 devotees every year under its Habisiali Scheme and provide them free accommodation, Mahaprasad, winter clothing, darshan of deities in temple and other puja essentials for their brata. The administration has appealed devotees not to come to Puri as the temple continues to remain closed and Covid-19 situation is still grim. However, for the local devotees, special steps will taken by the temple administration to provide Mahaprasad to them. The Mahaprasad would be available for devotees outside the south and north gates of the temple. This was resolved in a meeting of Suar Mahasuar Nijog (association of temple cooks) and the temple administration, Administrator (rituals), JK Sahu said. The administration has also decided to restrict the grand spectacle of Nagarjuna Besha of Lord Jagannath, which is going to be held after 26 years. The mega ritual will be held on November 27. It was last held in 1994. The decision to impose curbs on the entry of devotees for darshan in the temple during the festival was taken by the temple administration on Thursday. Sahu said preparations for the Nagarjuna Besha have almost reached the final stages and the timings have been approved. A committee will be formed to ensure smooth conduct of the rituals this year. As per tradition, the deities will be dressed like warriors with golden attire and adorned with several weapons including arrows, bows, hala (plough), chakra (wheel) and musala (mace) during the Besha. “In view of the Covid-19 situation, the entry of devotees will be restricted as of now. No decision has been taken on online darshan so far,” Sahu said.
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