Sunday, November 19, 2017

Trump administration is adding new hurdles for #H-1B visa applicants ‏

The legislation approved today by the Judiciary Committee include the following:-
Updates wage requirements to better align with local market averages. The legislation replaces both the $60,000 wage exemption and the advanced degree exemption in favor of a new formula that is equal to the lesser of $135,000 or the mean wage for applicants’ occupation in their area (but subject to a floor of no less than $90,000). The bill would also require the wage levels in this formula to be indexed for inflation over time.
Increases accountability for H-1B employers. H-1B dependent employers currently need to merely "attest" that they've taken good faith effort to recruit U.S. workers before seeking an H-1B visa for the open position. Under the new legislation, H-1B employers would be required to submit detailed a recruitment report summarizing the steps they have taken to recruit U.S. workers; the number of U.S. workers who applied for the job; the number of such workers who were offered the job, whether the workers accepted the offer, and for each worker who was not offered the job, the reason why the job was not offered.
Bolsters transparency of the program. The legislation would require the Secretaries of Labor and Homeland Security to annually publish a report on the use of the H-1B program including lists of H-1B dependent employers, occupations, wages, worksites and the status of any on-going or completed investigations into misuse of H-1B programs.
Improves oversight of H-1B dependent employers. The legislation authorizes the Department of Labor to conduct periodic investigations of H-1B dependent employers and requires the Department of Labor to review at least five percent of such employers annually. It also ensures that current H-1B penalties, including fines and debarment from the H-1B program, can be levied against any H-1B dependent employer that uses the program to displace American workers.

#InternationalMensDay : Why India needs gender-neutral laws?

Out of the 48 countries in Asia, only four countries, Bhutan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and South Korea and almost all of Europe and North America, have gender-neutral laws. In India, while sexual crimes against minors are covered under the POCSO Act, 2012, male adults have no such recourse to legal aid except to Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code which, too, is, arguably, vague. There is also widespread criticism that women-centric legislations, like the  Dowry Prohibition Act, Domestic Violence Act and Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act are rampantly misused.

Anti-dowry laws like 498A in India are frequently being misused to harass and extort husbands, and attributed this to the high suicide rate among married men in India, which is almost twice that of women.Divorce and child custody laws are biased against men. The frequency of domestic violence against men has increased in recent years, and that many cases go unreported as men feel too ashamed to report abuse, or fear false accusations against them in reprisal. Some men's rights activists also consider rape reporting laws and sexual harassment laws in India to be unfair to men.
In July 2005, the Supreme Court admitted that in many instances complaints under the Section 498a of the Indian Penal Code are not bona fide and have oblique motives. The court added that acquittal in such cases doesn't erase the suffering the defendant has to go through, which is compounded by adverse media coverage. The court also directed the legislature to find ways to check such false cases.In August 2010, the Supreme Court directed the government to amend Section 498a of the Indian Penal Code in view of the rising numbers of false or exaggerated complaints against husbands and their relatives by women. It further added that such complaints result in the husband and his relatives remaining in custody until trial or bail, which kills all chances of an amicable settlement.In January 2012, the Law Commission of India recommended that Section 498a should be made a compoundable offense. But, the court will decide if the particular case is compoundable or not.On 2 July 2014, the Supreme Court said that this law is being used by some women to harass their husband and in-laws. The court prohibited the police from making arrests on the mere basis of a complaint. The court asked the police to follow Section 41 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, which provides a 9-point checklist which must be used to decide the need for an arrest. The court also said that a magistrate must decide whether an arrested accused is needed to be kept under further detention.The decision was in response to a Special Leave Petition (SPL) filed by one Arnesh Kumar challenging his arrest and of his family under this law.However, due to lack of communication to police stations, the guidelines of Supreme Court of India are still not getting followed.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

10 Jan 1972 : Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman visits Delhi meets Indira Gandhi #Indira100 @albd1971

#HAL being bypassed for Anil Ambani's company for #RafaleDeal @OfficeOfRG

Twitter suspends verified Pak Defense handle for this tweet by faking Indian girl's picture

Pakistan's defence handle @defencepk, however, deleted the picture some time later.
The picture, which showed a woman holding a placard giving out message of the "secular values of our constitution", was morphed and distorted, which sent out a completely negative message against India.

#MissWorld2017 title winer #ManushiChhillar

Friday, November 17, 2017

Launch of spruced up #Texas -style microbrewery pub @Brewandbarbeque in Marathahalli #Benaluru

The 'Brew and Barbeque' celebrated the launch of its pub's expansion in Benaluru recently.
The luxurious pub Brew and Barbeque spread across 22,000 sq ft is located at the up-market Soul Space Arena Mall at Outer Ring Road, Marathahalli at the heart of  Bengaluru IT belt. The theme of pub has been inspired by the bars in Texas, designed to allow customers a first–hand opportunity to experience high quality dining and a large variety of exotic drinks.

The décor has been given much attention and it gives a Texan bar feel, said Prasanna Kumar, CEO & Managing Partner of The Brew & Barbeque. We have now launched the complete bar and hand crafted food menu which will satiate the beverage and food cravings of the city’s people and give them an amazing experience,he added.

The pub has three different sections- Sports Screening Section: The section has a big screen, ideal for any kind of sports screening. The rustic lighting and furniture adds to the laid-back and luxurious feel.   Mini Concert Section: Meant for live music and concerts, this area has a dedicated seating capacity of 100 people. Outdoor Seating Section: This open-air area is perfect for unwinding as it offers beautiful breeze and sunset views.

Beer connoisseur John Eapen, fashion designer Ramesh Dembla, Kannada film actor Bharath Sagar were present at the launch party. There was also a grand fashion show by celebrity designer Ramesh Dembla.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Buying property with #Bitcoin in India

A Supreme Court bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud has issued notice to the ministries of Finance, Law and Justice, Information Technology, market regulator SEBI and the RBI, on the plea which also sought setting up of a panel to frame a mechanism to regulate the flow of Bitcoin.
Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies have been in the news a lot if recent times, often for the wrong reasons but also because of the massive appreciation Bitcoin has been clocking up. To top it off, real estate has now been dragged into the bitcoin controversy, with a handful of projects in some parts of the US and Dubai actually inviting investments via the Bitcoin route. With the ongoing slump in sales, is it possible that developers in India will offer such an option to prospective buyers as well? Let us take a closer look at this.

We should begin by understanding that the viability of any currency as a means with which to transact in real estate in India obviously depends on whether or not the RBI and Government recognize that currency as valid tender in the country. So far, that is not the case with bitcoin. While the RBI was toying with the notion of launching an Indian crypto-currency, it apparently does not see much benefit in doing so. This is quite understandable.

The market needs transparency – not more opacity

The Indian real estate market is currently in the process of transiting from being an opaque and largely unregulated market to a more governed and transparent one. This process has been kick-started by several policies and reformative regulations like the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Authority or RERA Act, the unified Goods and Services Tax (GST) and the Benami Property Bill. As part of this process of increasing transparency and accountability for real estate and its related transactions, cash flows in and out of the sector need to trackable and accounted for at every level.

This is definitely not possible with money in the form of a currency whose origins and antecedents can, almost by definition, not be established in the majority of cases. The notion of crypto-currencies like bitcoin becoming legal tender for real estate transactions in India must first and foremost be considered in light of this fact.

No significant benefits, massive challenges

For the sake of an argument, let us assume that bitcoin transactions became acceptable in Indian real estate. Would this in any way affect the sector in a significant manner - for instance, would ROI on real estate be positively or negatively influenced? To arrive at an answer to this question, we must first consider that the value of real estate is determined by factors such as size, location, and most importantly local market rates – which, in India, are determined in rupees. This is how real estate is bought and sold in the country.

Hypothetically, If the RBI were to accept bitcoin as legal tender for real estate transactions at some point, it would be to the extent of allowing the rupee value of a property to be paid for in that currency. Remember, this would only happen if the RBI were able to establish the source of these funds to its complete satisfaction. Then consider that bitcoin has become such a popular mode of payment for crime-related transactions precisely because its sources cannot be traced if the person/s transacting in it do not want them to be traced.

Even if real estate deals transactions via bitcoin were to become legal in India, it would at best be extremely challenging - and there would be little or no real benefit to either seller or buyer. First of all, the Government levies statutory taxes on every real estate transaction and requires the payment of these dues to be clearly mentioned in Indian rupees for such transactions to be considered legal.

Likewise, market rates and property prices in India are calculated in rupees per square foot. From an ROI perspective, the currency used in transacting with it does not have any bearing on this value – and for a crypto-currency to become acceptable tender for buying a selling property in India, all these calculations would need to find a parallel monetary avatar that is acceptable to all stakeholders.

Difficult to swallow, harder to digest

Apart from the increased regulation in the real estate industry, the Indian banking and finance sector is extremely conservative and would find it very difficult to accept a currency which cannot be fully traced or regulated. Even if it did find a way to accept it, such a currency would also need to be comprehensible and acceptable to Indian end-users and investors. The currency would first need to be sanctified and accepted by various financial institutions - which is far from the case now. In fact, bitcoin has garnered itself a rather unsavoury reputation in financial circles which would make its adoption in India even more difficult.

Moreover, there is the question of safety of investment - a question which brings the Benami Property Act has now brought centre-stage once more. At the current time, any service or commodity purchased in a form of currency which is not accepted as legal tender in India represents a risk to both buyer and seller. Both end-users and investors want their real estate assets to be legal in every way so that ownership and resale do not become a problem for them. This, perhaps, is the strongest argument against bitcoin in Indian real estate transactions for now.

In short, crypto-currencies like bitcoin are very unlikely to take off in Indian real estate in the foreseeable future.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Rift in the #SupremeCourt : Eroding trustworthiness of top Indian Judiciary : Who will judge the judges?

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Live Perfornmance by #BomDigg fame @jasminwalia at @SpreeTheClub nightlife in #Dubai

Singers - Zack Knight, Jasmin Walia
Music & Lyrics - Zack Knight
Additional Programming - Iko Beatz
Styling - Sophie Bennett (Stylebysoph)
Music Label - Saavn LLC