BENGALURU FRIDAY OCTOBER 30, 2020 `7.00 PAGES 32 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 | P9 ■ 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 K’taka joins BCG vaccine trials against Covid-19 Four medical institutes are conducting studies on its efficacy among elders R A N J A N I M A D H A V A N @ Bengaluru MODERNA VACCINE SET FOR LAUNCH Amid the pandemic, Moderna Inc is getting ready to launch its mRNA-1273 anti-Covid-19 vaccine, according to its CEO Stephane Bancel. The company has signed several supply agreements globally with various governments. HEARTENING 01 10,070 8,793 02 03 9,886 04 10,145 05 7,051 06 9,993 07 (Highest addition in a day) 10,947 08 10,704 09 10,913 10 10,517 11 9,523 12 7,606 13 8,191 14 9,265 15 8,477 16 7,542 7,184 17 18 7,012 19 5,018 20 6,297 21 5,872 22 5,778 23 5,356 24 4,471 25 4,439 26 3,130 27 3,691 28 3,146 29 4,025 Daily new cases from Oct 1 THERE may be a ray of hope in protecting the most vulnerable section of society, the elderly, from the dreaded Sars-CoV-2 virus which is responsible for the Covid-19 pandemic. Following the Indian Council of Medical Research’s (ICMR) thumbs up that the Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine was effective in shielding the elderly against Covid, medical institutes in Bengaluru and Mysuru are undertaking studies to test its efficacy . Trials of the BCG vaccine will be conducted at Raja Rajeshwari Medical Colle ge and Hospital ( R R M C H ) a n d N a r aya n a Health, in Bengaluru, and Mysore Medical College & Research Institute (MMCRI) and JSS Academy of Higher Education and Research (where the trials are already on) in Mysuru. The BCG vaccine is typically used against Tuberculosis (TB) and mandatorily given to children in India. Apart from pre- venting TB, it also prevents many respiratory illnesses. The BCG vaccines were administered in India as early as 1948, and, on Thursday, an ICMR study concluded that it was effective in the elderly against Covid-19. As part of the trials, which have already been approved by ICMR, the volunteers — all elderly citizens aged 60-80 years and free from Covid-19 and TB — will be administered a booster dose of BCG vaccine at RRMCH. Over the next nine months, the participants will be monitored for presence of antibodies in their blood and how they respond. P3 TREND * Govt data showing the trend of daily positive cases in K’taka ED ARRESTS KERALA CPM CHIEF’S SON IN BENGALURU DRUGS CASE EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Bengaluru / Kochi Bineesh Kodiyeri being produced before a special court in Bengaluru on Thursday | EXPRESS OPPOSITION SLAMS PINARAYI GOVT The Opposition Congress and BJP on Thursday lashed out at Kerala’s LDF government over the arrest of CPI(M) state chief Kodiyeri Balakrishnan’s son Bineesh by the Enforcement Directorate, alleging that anti-national activities were being carried out under the Left Front rule in the state. THE Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday arrested CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan’s son Bineesh Kodiyeri in Bengaluru for his alleged involvement in a drug racket. Bineesh was booked under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002, and sent to ED custody for four days. Sources said Bineesh was arrested after gathering evidence about alleged financial dealings between him and Mohammed Anoop, who was earlier arrested in a narcotics seiz u re c a s e. B i n e e s h h a d appeared before the ED officials for questioning on October 6. He was again summoned on Thursday He arrived at the . ED office in Shanthinagar at 11 am 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 smuggling case. The back-to-back arrests of senior bureaucrat 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 FRANCE HORROR CONTINUED ON: P7 DELHI-NCR 3 knifed to death in church terror attack LAW AGAINST AIR POLLUTION In an attempt to tackle air pollution in Delhi-NCR, the Centre has introduced a new law through an ordinance that puts in place an oversight body. It also provides for a jail term of up to 5 years and a B1-crore fine for violators | P9 EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE 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 ‘ llah Akbar!’ A 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 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 P12 French people”. Control Bureau’s (NCB) Bengaluru zonal unit had seized a huge stash of MDMA (Ecstasy pills) and LSD blots during raids and arrested Anoop along with two others -- Anikha D and R Ravindran. The NCB probe had revealed financial transactions between Anoop and Bineesh, and the ED stepped into the investigation. The ED had grilled Anoop in September and he had reportedly admitted that Bineesh had paid him `50 lakh for his restaurant business in Kammanahalli in East Bengaluru. The agency registered a case to investigate the money trail between Anoop and Bineesh. EXPRESS READ Shapoorji Pallonji seeks separation from Tatas Mumbai: The Shapoorji Pallonji Group on Thursday said it has submitted a plan to the Supreme Court to end its seven decades-old association with the Tata Group. The Mistrys have valued their holding in the Tatas at D1.75 lakh crore, it informed the SC. P13 Eight core industries’ output contracts 0.8 pc New Delhi: For the seventh consecutive month, the output of the eight core infrastructure sectors contracted, dropping by about 0.8 per cent in September, mainly due to a decline in production of crude oil, natural gas, refinery products and cement. P13 Sebi fines Biocon staffer for violating norms New Delhi: The Sebi has imposed a fine on a Biocon employee for flouting insider trading norms while dealing in the company’s shares. P Ravishankar (noticee), has been penalised D3 lakh for violating provisions of the Prohibition of Insider Trading norms. LTC cash voucher scheme for all now EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi IN a bid to boost consumption, the Centre on Thursday extended the I-T exemption available under the LTC cash voucher scheme to employees of state governments, stateowned 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 income-tax exemption,” a statement frpm the Finance Ministry read. To avail the scheme, one has to spend three times the value HOW IT WORKS If the deemed LTC fare is `80,000, then one has to spend `2.4 lakh on specified goods / services to avail the tax benefit under the scheme 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. The payment must be done digitally between October 12, 2020, and March 31, 2021. Those who have exercised the option to pay income tax under concessional tax regime under Section 115BAC of the Income-tax Act, 1961 will not be entitled for this exemption.
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