Friday, March 24, 2017

H1B Visa Abuse: What Do Software Engineers Earn in India and Pakistan?

A segment of CBS 60 Minutes, top rated American newsmagazine on television, has recently brought sharp focus on H1B visa abuse. It alleges that the H1B visas are being misused by Indian body shops to bring low-cost Indian software engineers to the United States to replace higher-paid American workers.

H1B Visa Abuse:

The visa category was originally intended to help fill gaps in the high-tech workforce with highly skilled employees from abroad in situations where there aren’t enough Americans. Instead, it has given rise to body shops that bring in workers from overseas, mainly from India, to replace higher-paid American workers.

Recent examples of the firing of American IT workers and their replacement by Indian workers at UC San Francisco and Walt Disney and Co have received a lot of media attention. What has particularly incensed the American public is the practice of forcing the American workers to train their replacements.

Labor Cost Savings:

A loophole in H-1B legislation that US companies are taking advantage of allows them to outsource jobs to Indian body shops without even looking for Americans, if those jobs pay approximately $60,000 or higher. Similar jobs in Silicon Valley pay an average of $110,000 a year.

The average salary of a software engineer ($110,000) in Silicon Valley is about 20X more than the average salaries in India ($6,875) and Pakistan ($4,770), according to Glassdoor.

Source: Glassdoor


Indians Gaming H1-B System:

Indian body shops are masters of gaming the H1-B system.  Most of India's IT exports to the United States are made up of wages of H1B workers brought to the United States by a handful of Indian body shops like Cognizant, Tata Consulting Services (TCS) and Infosys.  In 2014, 86% of the H1B visas for tech workers were granted to Indians, according to available data.

Excluding the Indian H1B workers' pay,  India's IT exports drop to about one-twentieth of the the amount reported by the Indian government as IT exports, according to a 2005 study by US General Accounting Office (GAO).

The Indian body shops like Cognizant, TCS and Infosys that rely on the H1B visa program in the US are "the shining star" of the Indian economy, and the country's largest export, according to an Indian-American professor Ron Hira who is a strong critic of the abuses of H1B program. By complaining, the Indian government and firms that rely on the program are trying to "build up a firewall so that no other reforms can come through and constrain the program in any way."

Average Salaries of Software Engineers in Major Cities Source: qz.com


Indian Code Coolies:

H1B workers brought in by Indian body shops are described variously as "code coolies" or "H1B slaves". Some call them "indentured servants", like the ones from India who replaced slave labor after the British empire abolished slavery.

“’Indentured servants’ is a pretty accurate term because in many cases that’s exactly what’s going on,” said Phillip Griego of San Jose’s Phillip J. Griego and Associates. Over the years, Griego and his law partner, Robert Nuddleman have represented several H-1B workers in lawsuits against body shops.

Trump's Pledge:

Along with cracking down on illegal immigration, a key campaign promise of President Trump has been to create lots of American jobs for American workers.  “You’ve heard me say the words, and I’ll repeat them, right now: Buy American and Hire American. It’s not just a motto, it’s a pledge. It’s a pledge to the working people of this country. The era of economic surrender for the United States is over -- it's over,” Trump said at Michigan earlier this week.

Right after the CBS 60 Minutes segment on H1-B visa, Senator Chuck Grassley tweeted: "If u just saw CBS 60minutes abt ripoff H1B visa program is replacing AmWorkers u shld know my/Durbin bill will correct this injustice."

There are reports that new legislation is being offered to change the H1-B program. Among the key provisions of this new proposed legislation are cutting the number of visa by 50% and doubling the minimum salary of H1B workers from $60,000 to $120,000.

Summary:

The abuse of H1B visas to replace American workers and depress wages is drawing both legislative and executive attention under the Trump administration. High profile cases like the firing of American workers at UC San Francisco and Disney and their replacement by Indian workers has energized the support for cracking down on abuse.


Pakistan's Software Prodigy

Biotech and Genomics in Pakistan

35 comments:

Riaz Haq said...

Software engineers' salaries

Source: Glassdoor

https://www.glassdoor.com.au/Salaries/index.htm


Pakistan Avg Rs 500,0000 ( US$4,770) Min Rs 240 K ($2,290) Max $1.08 million ($10,302)

India Avg Rs. 450,000 ($6,875) Min Rs 327,000 ($4,125) Max Rs. 519,000 ($7,930)

China Avg RMB 150,000 ($21,760) Min 80,000 ($11,605) Max 246,000 ($35,687)

USA $95,105 Min $67,000 Max $132,000

UK British Pounds 37,469 ($46,786) Min 26,000 ($32,465) Max 61,000 ($76,168)

Canada C$72,000 ($53,853) Min C$51,000 ($38,146) Max C$95,000 ($71,057)

Germany Euro 54,000 ($58,144) Min 42,000 ($45,223) Max 70,000 ($75,372)

France Euro 42,000 ($45,223) Min 34,000 ($36,610) Max 55,000 ($59,221)

Australia A$83,968 ($63,963) Min 62,000 ($47,229) Max 116,000 ($88,384)

Israel Shekel 240,000 ($65,717) Min 126,000 ($34,501) Max 319,000 ($87,350)

19640909rk said...

Riaz Bhai, i fail to understand what these figures mean. I will give you a simple comparision. India's IT industry is approximately 147 Billion USD in 2015. About 60% of Pakistan's Nominal GDP. Comparatively Pakistan has about 2.8 Billion USD in 2016. The salaries mentioned for Indian software , is it the starting salary?

Chan said...

I was always wondering what exactly Indian IT industry was exporting, to make the industry India's biggest exporter. I have never heard of any Indian software, nor had I used any Indian Apps like I use Wechat,Clean Master or Antutu from China on my smartphones.

Riaz Haq said...

19640909rk: "India's IT industry is approximately 147 Billion USD in 2015"

Almost all of it is services revenue and exports are essentially H1B workers salaries. US cracking down on H1B will have massive negative impact on Indian companies revenues and exports.

19640909rk: "The salaries mentioned for Indian software , is it the starting salary?"

These are national average salaries reported by Glassdoor.

Kumar said...

Can someone explain how India really earns from h1b visas ? With someone claiming that 90 % of our earnings dependent on it .
By my calculations ...
85000 h1b visas per year.
Indians get 80 % .
ie 68000.
earning per person usd 60000.
ie 60000 × 68000 = 4080000000 = 4.08 billion usd.
For a 3 yr period , assuming 100 % stay back in the US = 4.08 x 3 = 12.24 billion usd.

How does this translate to 90 % of 100 billion $ , which are Indias export ?

Riaz Haq said...

Kumar: "Can someone explain how India really earns from h1b visas ? With someone claiming that 90 % of our earnings dependent on it ."

In theory, India follows what is known as BPM 6 (MSITS) reporting method for software and information-enabled technology services (ITES) which counts sales to all multinationals, earning of overseas offices, salaries of non-immigrant overseas workers as India's exports. In practice, India violates it. BPM 6 allows the salaries of first year of migrant workers to be included in a country's service exports. India continuously and cumulatively adds all the earnings of its migrants to US in its software exports. If 50,000 Indians migrate on H1B visas each year, and they each earn $60,000 a year, that's a $3 billion addition to their exports each year. Cumulatively over 10 years, this would be $30 billion in exports year after year and growing.

This is just to the US. Indian forms also send workers to other western nations whose earnings are included in Indian IT exports.

http://insights.dice.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/H-1B-Visas-Issued.jpg

Majumdar said...

Brof sb,

Two questions.

First, what is wrong? American companies are saving money, Indian people are getting access to middle class lifestyle. If Americans want to take up these jobs, why not work for less money, why are they insisting on charging a job.

Second, why cant Bakiland get its share of the H1B pie. As you say, the quality of education is much better in Bakiland.

Regards

Riaz Haq said...

Majumdar: "First, what is wrong? American companies are saving money, Indian people are getting access to middle class lifestyle. If Americans want to take up these jobs, why not work for less money, why are they insisting on charging a job."


$60K is less than a living wage for places like Silicon Valley and San Francisco. Indian H1B workers are mostly singles living in spartan conditions in overcrowded housing.

Majumdar: " Second, why cant Bakiland get its share of the H1B pie. As you say, the quality of education is much better in Bakiland."

For the same reason that other countries like China don't. This market is dominated by a few Indian body shops that have mastered the H1B game. They take away more than 85% of the visas each year.

Riaz Haq said...

#Indian Owner of #SiliconValley Valley staffing firm charged in #h1b visa fraud - SFGate

http://www.sfgate.com/news/crime/article/Owner-of-Silicon-Valley-staffing-firm-charged-in-11026913.php

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The owner of a company that supplied foreign workers to San Francisco Bay Area technology companies is facing visa fraud charges after filing fake documents to bring people to the United States, the U.S Attorney's Office announced Friday.
A federal grand jury indicted Jayavel Murugan, CEO of Dynasoft Synergy, Inc., and a second man, Syed Nawaz, on Thursday on charges including conspiracy to commit visa fraud.

The men obtained H-1B visas for more than a dozen people by claiming the workers had jobs at Stanford University, Cisco Systems and Brocade Communications Systems, according to the indictment. No such jobs existed, but Dynasoft could use the fraudulently obtained H1B visas to get the workers to the U.S., where it could place them with other companies and profit, prosecutors said.

Bala Murali, Dynasoft's chief operating officer, said Nawaz was not available.
Murugan said he did not know about the indictment and was "shocked." He said he needed to consult with his attorney and did not immediately have additional comment.


Raj said...

India does not count H1B salaries as exports. It's just false.

Riaz Haq said...

Raj: "India does not count H1B salaries as exports. It's just false."


Here's an excerpt of US GAO report on the subject:


India counts the earnings of temporary Indian workers residing in the United States as exports to the United States. However, the United States only includes temporary foreign workers who have been in the United States less than 1 year and who are not on the payrolls of firms in the United States. Indian officials estimate that this factor may account for 40 to 50 percent of the difference between U.S. and Indian data.

India treats sales to U.S.-owned firms located outside of the United States as exports to the United States, but the United States does not count these as imports. (For example, salaries of Indian workers working at US-owed companies abroad).

http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d06116.pdf

Srinivasan K. said...

http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d06116.pdf

this is a 12 yr old document. In case you were sleeping since 2005, all top Indian companies are now listed in US stock exchanges. Counting salaries as exports will certainly lead them to jail time.

We understand porkis have massive inferiority complex as in the 70s yrs they have not risen above export of towels and even there they are getting screwed by China, Bangladesh.

Riaz Haq said...

Sri K: "this is a 12 yr old document"


The Indian government's practice to include H1B workers' pay in its IT exports has not changed since 2005.

As a result, the percentage of Indian IT export revenue now depends much more heavily (closer to 80-90%) on H1B workers' wages now than 40-50% it did in 2005, given the tremendous increase in the total cumulative stock of Indian H1B workers in the US and elsewhere.

Riaz Haq said...

US Rep Issa says #India benefits disproportionately from #H1B visas, Wants min #H1B worker salary raised to $100,000

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/india-disproportionately-benefits-from-h-1b-scheme/article17688961.ece

Indian companies and workers are disproportionately gaining from the current method of allocation of H-1B visas and this is a distortion of the programme, said a U.S lawmaker at the forefront of an ongoing campaign against alleged abuse of the visa programme.

The current system of selecting H-1B visa recipients is neither fair nor efficient, and it must be replaced, said Congressman Darrell Issa, who has recently introduced a Bill that proposes to raise the minimum salary of H-1B employees to $1,00,000 per year from the current level of $60,000.

Speaking at an event organised by the Atlantic Council on Monday, the California Republican was not sure if his Bill will be passed by the legislature, but said: “The President supports the Bill and we will have strong support in the Senate.”

A distortion


“We can’t have 75% of a programme going to Indian-owned, Indian-operated companies and Indian employees and not say that this is a distortion. At the end of these reforms, will this programme still disproportionately favour countries that are willing to let go of their high-skilled workers and come here? Yes. Will it be as extreme as it is now? No,” the lawmaker said.

The Congressman had proposed to expand the number of visas in a Bill in 2013, but he said that proposal is not desirable now. “We were then saying that we are pushing to get the best and the brightest to the country. We had a lot of good people going away even after graduating from U.S. universities, including the medical doctors,” he said adding that due to the abuse of the programme, American people have lost confidence in it.

Cecil Kapoor said...

Your argument will only make economic sense if the dollars tally up. However, they don't. India's forex reserves are climbing approximately $5-10 billion per year for some years now and approaching 400 billion.
Please use foreign trade figures, remittances
FDI and other dollar expenditures to show if you're right. I think not.

Riaz Haq said...

CK: "Please use foreign trade figures, remittances FDI and other dollar expenditures to show if you're right. I think not"


Yes, India's big trade deficits are more than offset by FDI inflows.

It makes India heavily dependent on foreign investments to avoid balance-of-payment crisis.

Here's a recent Forbes report:


https://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2017/02/18/record-fdi-flows-into-india-nicely-balance-the-trade-deficit/#4ebea7205be6

Riaz Haq said...

H1-B Visa Applications Pour In by Truckload Before Door Slams Shut

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/03/us/tech-visa-applications-h1b.html?_r=1


In 2014, the last year for which information is available, just 13 outsourcing firms accounted for a third of all granted visas. The top recipients were Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys and Wipro, all based in India.

The companies, which subcontract their employees to banks, retailers and other businesses in the United States to do programming, accounting and other work, often inundate the immigration service with tens of thousands of applications.

BitTitan, a growing company that hopes to hire 60 engineers in the next 12 months, is submitting six applications. “We are trying to fill specific positions around cloud and artificial intelligence,” the chief executive, Geeman Yip, said. “If we can’t fill them, our innovation suffers.”


Several bipartisan bills in the Senate and the House seek to make companies give more priority to American workers before they fill jobs with H-1B visas. They also seek to raise the minimum pay for the jobs, which depend on skill level and location: A computer systems analyst in Pittsburgh, for example, must make at least $49,000 under current regulations. The theory is that higher pay will eliminate some of the rationale for importing workers.

A draft of a presidential executive order on “protecting American jobs and workers by strengthening the integrity of foreign worker visa programs” was distributed widely in late January but never signed. Then, without warning, Citizenship and Immigration Services published a memo on its website over the weekend that could affect many applications.

Specifically, companies seeking to import computer programmers at the lowest pay levels will have to prove that the work they perform qualifies as “specialty” labor, which is what the H-1B visas were created for. “There will be greater scrutiny of the role the company wants to fill,” said Lynden Melmed, a lawyer in Washington and a former chief counsel for the immigration service.

The measure appears to be directed mainly at outsourcing firms, rather than the big technology companies, which tend to hire workers at higher skill and pay levels.

In a statement, the National Association of Software and Services Companies, the main trade group for India’s outsourcing industry, said, “The H-1B visa system exists specifically because the U.S. has a persistent shortage of high-skilled I.T. talent.”

The group said that its members followed all the program’s rules, and that the change would have little impact. “It is aimed at screening out less-qualified workers, whereas our members tend to provide well-credentialed workers to help U.S. companies fill their skills gaps and compete globally,” it said.

Even before the memo and the Justice Department’s warning, fears about the future of the H-1B program were making this year more pressure-packed than most. “Just to make sure the petitions get in, almost every client demanded that theirs arrive on the first day,” said Greg McCall, a lawyer at Perkins Coie in Seattle who prepared 150 applications.

Inside the federal building, a formidable structure that has provided backdrops for movies including “Coma” and “Outbreak,” the logistical dance unfolded over two floors. In the mailroom, about 40 people wearing blue gloves sat around tables opening packages that arrived nonstop in six-foot-high bins. In a huge warehouse, those same packages were separated according to whether the applicants had bachelor’s or master’s degrees.

All told, 1,500 workers were involved, with a second shift expected to stretch past normal business hours.

“This is the day we prepare for months and months in advance,” said Donna P. Campagnolo, the center’s deputy director.

Trucks came and went all day, with some couriers, including from FedEx, staggering their deliveries to avoid having dozens of trucks backed up at the gate.

Riaz Haq said...

With its bad #engineers and horrible #internet, #India is far from becoming the next #SiliconValley https://qz.com/950473 via @qzindia
...However, surprisingly, India fared poorly, ranking 26 out of the 28 major global tech hubs evaluated in HackerRank’s April 06 report (paywall).
The coding recruitment platform rated each country on nine factors: corruption perception, english-language proficiency, competition for talent from other tech companies, average salary, rent, taxes, internet speed, STEM grads, and skill. Overall, Singapore topped the list because it had “the lowest taxes, fastest internet & exceptional talent.” Last year, the Singaporean government committed $19 billion towards R&D and the local engineering ecosystem, while Google expanded its office in the city-state to 1,000 engineers.
India’s weaknesses

While India ranked fourth for its supply of cost-efficient engineering talent, it ranked 19th on skill sets as the quality of its talent is questionable. Besides, it isn’t going to stay cheap forever. “The developer cost, the executive cost, was supposed to be at least 50% (compared to Silicon Valley). Now it’s like 75%. And it’s not going down, it’s only going up,” says Ravisankar. India is also at the bottom on corruption and taxes. Moreover, the time difference with the US doesn’t

make life any easier.
Most importantly, India is the worst when it comes to the internet.
An Economist Intelligence Unit study of internet inclusiveness ranked India first among 75 countries on policies to ensure connectivity. However, network availability and quality in the country were deeply flawed. A 3Q 2016 Akamai report says India’s 4.1 megabits per second (Mbps) average internet speed is Asia’s slowest. Frequent power cuts in pockets of the country and a sizeable chunk of the population—240 million—lacking power supply, only add to the chaos.
Where to go

As the Trump administration clamps down on immigrant workers, companies in the Valley—the biggest tech behemoths and up to 19,000 startups—will probably seek innovation hubs outside the US. Even otherwise, the region is approaching saturation.
HackerRank designed an interactive tool that lists the top countries for users based on parameters that matter to them. “Large companies like Google or Facebook might care less about cost than a startup. Smaller, more agile companies may prioritize cost-effectiveness and skill level to hire developers who can start coding on day-one,” the report states. “If you’re anticipating overseas collaboration, then low corruption levels and language barriers could take priority.” For instance, despite its shortcomings, a company that values cost savings above all might find India favourable due to the low rents and cheap labour costs here.

The following are HackerRank’s top five countries for collaboration, cost, and talent, and their rankings in the sub-categories used to determine them.
COLLABORATION Internet English Corruption
1. Singapore 1 8 5
2. Canada 12 1 6
3. UK 10 1 9
4. New Zealand 17 1 3
5. Ireland 13 1 10
COST Salary Taxes Rent
1. Egypt 1 14 1
2. Bulgaria 8 5 4
3. The Philippines 2 13 8
4. India 4 23 3
5. Hungary 7 15 5
TALENT STEM Grads Skill Competition
1. China 1 1 20
2. Taiwan 3 5 5
3. Russia 9 2 14
4. Poland 8 3 11
5. Hungary 25 4 12



While these locations show promise, Silicon Valley remains a class apart. “I think Silicon Valley is still one of the best places to start a company because of infrastructure, for things like Y-Combinator, and other investors,” says Ravisankar. “People there have solved the social network problem. People have built YouTube, people have built Paypal, people have built Square.”

Riaz Haq said...

Trump Puts India First
By Tim Culpan

https://www.bloomberg.com/gadfly/articles/2017-04-12/trump-puts-indians-first-by-clamping-down-on-it-visas

"Putting American Workers First," reads the bold headline on the home page of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, proclaiming: "New Measures to Detect H-1B Visa Fraud and Abuse."A click through to the April 3 statement outlines steps the agency will take to clamp down on the use of temporary visas for foreign workers in specialty occupations. Among the areas of focus: "Employers petitioning for H-1B workers who work off-site at another company or organization’s location."Indian technology companies are in the cross hairs. Outsourcing providers such as Tata Consultancy Services Ltd., Infosys Ltd. and Wipro Ltd. are contracted by U.S. firms and government agencies to deploy programmers and engineers. This usually happens at the client's premises instead of their own offices: that is, "offsite."

Indian nationals are so dominant in the H-1B program that they accounted for 195,247, or 70.1 percent, of all beneficiaries in 2015. PROPORTION OF H-1B VISAS THAT GO TO INDIANS70.1%Whatever the impact on these outsourcing companies, the crackdown is already hurting the net worth of their billionaire founders as investors anticipate tightened enforcement will hurt earnings, Bloomberg News reported Wednesday. Tata Consultancy has lost about 3 percent since the U.S. administration announced on March 3 it would suspend premium processing of H-1B visas, lagging a 2.8 percent advance in the benchmark Sensex index.

Riaz Haq said...

What software engineers are making around the world right now

https://techcrunch.com/2017/02/09/what-software-engineers-are-making-around-the-world-right-now/

https://hired.com/state-of-salaries-2017
A new study published by the data science team at Hired, a jobs marketplace for tech workers, shows why it’s becoming harder for software engineers to afford life in San Francisco, even while they make more money than their peers elsewhere in the U.S. and the world.

Based on 280,000 interview requests and job offers provided by more than 5,000 companies to 45,000 job seekers on Hired’s platform, the company’s data team has determined that the average salary for a software engineer in the Bay Area is $134,000. That’s more than software engineers anywhere in the country, through Seattle trails closely behind, paying engineers an average of $126,000. In other tech hubs, including Boston, Austin, L.A., New York, and Washington, D.C., software engineers are paid on average between $110,000 and $120,000.

Yet higher salaries don’t mean much with jaw-dropping rents and other soaring expenses associated with life in “Silicon Valley,” and San Francisco more specifically. Indeed, factoring in the cost of living, San Francisco is now one of the lowest-paying cities for software engineers, according to Hired’s lead data scientist, Jessica Kirkpatrick. According to her analysis, the $110,000 that an Austin engineer makes is the rough equivalent of being paid $198,000 in the Bay Area, considering how much further each dollar goes in the sprawling capital of Texas. The same is true of Melbourne, Australia, where software engineers are paid a comparatively low $107,000 on average, but who are making the equivalent of $150,000 in San Francisco.

In fact, Hired says it’s seeing a “huge percentage of our candidates” in other markets that are attracting and hiring relocation candidates. In Austin, says Kirkpatrick, 60 percent of job offers are being extended to and filled by people outside of Texas.

(It should be noted that candidates who are willing to move to a new city are often paid more than local candidates, per Hired. It says this is especially true of European, Canadian, and Asian markets, where, astonishingly, non-local candidates can earn up to 57 percent more than their local peers.)

How bias shows up in salaries

Hired’s study explores a range of other data, including how much data scientists and product managers are being paid across 16 major cities and how that salary information has changed over time. Of greater interest to us, however, is another section focused on the impact of bias on salaries and hiring practices. It’s something Hired began following roughly a year ago by collecting voluntary demographic data from candidates and examining how their identity impacts the wages they ask for — and what they receive.

Bias is nothing new, of course. In fact, in a survey released Tuesday by the job site Indeed.com, one quarter of U.S. workers in the tech sector said they’ve felt discrimination at work due to their race, gender, age, religion or sexual orientation. Roughly 29 percent of female respondents said they experienced discrimination, compared with 21 percent of men. Meanwhile, 32 percent of Asian and nonwhite employees said they were discriminated against, compared with 22 percent of white employees.


Riaz Haq said...

#India biggest loser as #Australia decides to abolish 457 #immigration work visas | The News Minute. #h1bvisa

http://www.thenewsminute.com/article/india-be-majorly-hit-australia-decides-abolish-457-immigration-work-visas-60553

Adopting a new "Australians first" approach to skilled migration, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has announced that he will be abolishing the existing 457 Visa programme, currently used by temporary foreign workers to gain employment in the country.

The 457 Visa programme is used mainly to hire foreign workers in the restaurant, IT and medical industries and the majority of such visa holders came from India, Britain and China, reported the Sydney Morning Herald on Tuesday.

According to government statistics, 95,758 people were living in Australia under 457 Visa programme last year, with the highest proportion coming from India (24.6 per cent), followed by Britain (19.5 per cent) and China (5.8 per cent).

Turnbull used Facebook to announce the policy, which he said would "put jobs first" and "Australians first", signalling a reduction in the occupations available to skilled foreign workers and raising the threshold to qualify.

"We are putting jobs first, we are putting Australians first," he said. "We are an immigration nation, but the fact remains that Australian workers must have priority for Australian jobs."

Stating that Australian workers must have priority for Australian jobs, he said: "We will no longer allow 457 Visa system to be passports to jobs that could and should go to Australians."

At a press conference in Canberra, Turnbull said the 457 Visa system needed to be replaced because it had "lost its credibility".

The scheme will be replaced by two temporary visas that will impose tougher English language tests, stricter labour market testing, at least two years of work experience and a mandatory police check.

The numbers of jobs eligible for the two-year and four-year visa streams will be slashed, with 216 occupations ranging from antique dealer to fisheries officer to shoe-maker, axed from a list of 651 professions on the list.

Accounting giant KPMG criticised the decision, saying "there is no evidence the current system is not working".

However, Turnbull dismissed that claim, arguing the abolition of the 457 Visa regime was "a decision of my government... this has been a careful exercise in policy development", reported the daily.

Riaz Haq said...

#Trump signs executive order tightening rules on #H1B visa program. Will impact #India the most http://to.pbs.org/2peI3Tt via @NewsHour

President Donald Trump has signed an executive order to tighten the rules for technology companies seeking to bring highly skilled foreign workers to the U.S.

The order Trump signed at the Kenosha, Wisconsin, headquarters of tool maker Snap-on Inc. targets the H-1B visa program. The White House says the program undercuts American workers by bringing in large numbers of cheaper foreign workers, which drives down U.S. wages.

The order directs U.S. agencies to propose rules to prevent immigration fraud and abuse in the program.

Agencies are also being asked to suggest changes so that H-1B visas are granted to the “most-skilled or highest-paid applicants.”

Trump says the order sends a “powerful signal to the world” that the U.S. will defend its workers, protect their jobs and put America first. He narrowly carried Wisconsin in November on the strength of support from white, working class voters. But Trump is currently facing a 41 percent approval in the state.


Riaz Haq said...

#IT #technology sector dims as beacon of #Indian job creation. #TCS #Infosys #h1b #Trump https://www.ft.com/content/282a93fe-1ff4-11e7-a454-ab04428977f9 … via @FT


TCS, the largest of India’s powerful IT services companies, set up the lab 18 months ago to enable new starters to work on the “internet of things”, the field of connected machines and appliances that is one of the company’s fast-growing areas of business — and one on which the company’s future depends.

Since then, the young team has produced three ideas the company will now market to clients, including a system enabling technicians to find data on an appliance by looking at it through smart glasses and another that creates alerts when machines are at risk of malfunctioning.

“We’ve moved away from the repetitive work — we’re getting a chance to learn something new each day, so it doesn’t become monotonous,” says Priyanshi Saxena, 23.

But while the shift to disruptive new technologies has opened exciting new opportunities for Ms Saxena, it is fuelling concerns about the job prospects for others in her generation, as India agonises over how to find gainful employment for its booming adult population.



The IT services industry, a totem of India’s increasingly modern, outward-facing economy, has been a powerful driver of skilled job creation over the past three decades, and employs about 4m people.

While the sector continues to add new workers, however, employment growth has been slowing, lagging well behind revenue growth: 150,000 new positions were created in the sector during the last financial year, according to trade body Nasscom, down from 230,000 three years before.

That trend reflects the increasing importance of new fields of business such as data analytics and connected devices, which Nasscom predicts will account for at least 38 per cent of industry revenue by 2025. This cutting-edge work tends to be driven by relatively small numbers of highly specialised workers, unlike the labour-intensive software installation and management work in which the companies first made their mark.

“What we hired last year was less than a year before, and this year will be a bit less again,” says Ajoy Mukherjee, TCS head of human resources. “It’s the story of any automation — technology makes human beings more productive. So revenue per person will go up, and the team size delivering one unit of revenue will go down.”

With 1m young people entering the workforce each month, fears of insufficient job creation loom increasingly large in India. Demand for skilled labour has held up better than for blue-collar workers over the past five years, but “now seems about to conk off comprehensively”, brokerage Ambit Capital warned in February, noting structural shifts in the IT industry as a key factor.



A further shadow over the IT industry has been cast by the election of US President Donald Trump, who has launched a crackdown on the H-1B visa programme for skilled workers as part of his “Hire American” agenda.

But while this reform may weigh on margins, industry executives view the growth of automation and related areas as a more profound long-term shift.

The speed of change means a growing portion of new jobs will be temporary, enabling companies to bring in specialists for a few months as required, says Puneet Bhirani, head of human resources at Mphasis, another IT services company.

And while large numbers of highly skilled jobs could be created in the emerging areas, there are signs that Indian universities are not producing graduates with the relevant training, says Prasar Sharma at Mumbai’s SP Jain School of High Technology.

Riaz Haq said...

#H1B visas: #India talks tough, signals it may hit back over #US curbs. #Trump

http://www.livemint.com/Politics/4ItpsVUuXrtimX2wLZXlnL/H1B-visa-curbs-India-threatens-US-with-trade-retaliation.html


India has signalled it could respond against the US move to restrict H-1B visas by capping the royalty payout by American companies in India to their parent firms.

Not only does the veiled threat signal a toughening of India’s stance, the move, if implemented, risks escalating into a full-blown trade war that could harm the otherwise warm relationship between the two countries.

“It is not just that Indian companies are in the US, several big US companies are in India too,” trade minister Nirmala Sitharaman told reporters on the sidelines of an event in New Delhi. “They are earning their margins, they are earning their profits, which go to the US economy. It is a situation which is not where only the Indian companies have to face the US executive order. There are many US companies in India which are doing business for some years now. If this debate has to be expanded, it has to be expanded to include all these aspects. We shall ensure that all these factors are kept in mind.”

The trade minister, however, declined to be drawn into a confrontational stance, saying India still preferred a constructive dialogue.

Sitharaman’s remarks came two days after US President Donald Trump ordered a review of the H-1B visa regime for bringing skilled foreign workers into the US, a move that could undermine technology and outsourcing firms.

When asked whether there is a case for India to drag countries such as the US, Australia and New Zealand to the World Trade Organization (WTO) for raising barriers to the free movement of professionals, Sitharaman said: “At this stage I can only say that we will ensure that we engage with them constructively. At the same time, I have no hesitation (in) saying that India will ensure that it shall not accept unfair treatment.”

At the event, Sitharaman said countries like the US had provided a commitment to the WTO on the number of work visas they would provide, and India can question them if they didn’t live up to the commitment.

Riaz Haq said...

Less than 5% of #India engineers are cut out for high-skill programming jobs — Quartz #h1bvisa #SiliconValley

https://qz.com/964843/less-than-5-of-india-engineers-are-cut-out-for-high-skill-programming-jobs/

When considering Indian engineering talent, quantity trumps quality.
Indian universities may be churning out the world’s largest engineering population, but the graduates’ skills levels aren’t high. In 2011, India’s National Association of Software and Services Companies estimated that only 25% of India’s IT engineering graduates were employable. Six years on, the talent pool is still in dire straits.
“Only 4.77% candidates can write the correct logic for a program, a minimum requirement for any programming job,” a recent Aspiring Minds study of over 36,000 engineering students in India revealed. The employability assessment company tested students from IT-related streams of study at more than 500 colleges across India on Automata, a machine learning-based assessment of software development skills.

“The IT industry requires maintainable code so that it is less prone to bugs, is readable, reusable and extensible,” the study notes. “Time efficient code runs fast.” Only 1.4% of programmers surveyed could create code that was functionally correct and efficient, meaning it does what it’s supposed to do and in a reliable and speedy manner.
More than two-thirds of the candidates from the top 100 universities in the country were able to write “compilable code,” or that which does not throw errors when compiled into machine-readable code. In the rest of the colleges, only 31% of students were able to write compilable code.
One reason for the poor performance is the dearth of good instructors as well as misaligned college curriculums. “The school curriculum focusing on MS-Word, Powerpoint, Excel, etc., rather teaching programming using elementary languages such as Basic and Logo is also the culprit,” said Varun Aggarwal, the co-founder and chief technology officer at Aspiring Minds.

Riaz Haq said...

Youth unemployment bucks #India’s rapid growth https://www.ft.com/content/ec92d162-04d2-11e7-aa5b-6bb07f5c8e12 … via @FT


Three years ago, Rashmi Kathuria decided she was fed up with the number of children leaving the school where she worked in north Delhi and not being able to find decent employment — so she decided to do something about it.


Ms Kathuria, a maths teacher at the Kulachi Hansraj Model School, set up a young enterprise scheme to help pupils set up their own businesses and gain some real-life experience of the skills they might need in the workplace. The scheme was operated under the auspices of Teach a Man to Fish — an international non-governmental organisation that sets up similar programmes across the world.

“It is hard for many of these children to find a job in India,” Ms Kathuria says. “Those who are good academically will try and get a good job with a corporate or in government but, even then, many of them fail because they lack the skills they need and cannot get past the interview.”

With two-thirds of its 1.2bn people under the age of 35, India has the world’s largest youth population — something that is both a blessing and a curse for the nation.

---

In a recent survey of about 6,000 young people aged between 15-34, New Delhi’s Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS) found that 18 per cent of respondents cited unemployment as India’s biggest problem, while 12 per cent mentioned poverty and inequality. More than 70 per cent said they were anxious about their own job situation.

India does not measure youth unemployment on a regular basis, but the latest data available, from 2012, show that just over 10 per cent of Indian people aged from 15 to 24 were out of work. This figure does not capture the very high percentage of workers in self-employment and informal labour, however. A 2016 survey from the labour bureau found that almost 80 per cent of India’s total labour force was either self-employed or working as casual labour. The CSDS study also found that self-reported unemployment rates are higher among graduates than among those without degrees.

Experts are beginning to worry that India’s rapid growth — its GDP is increasing by around 7 per cent per year — is coming without any significant addition of jobs. “We all know that not enough jobs are being created,” says Dharmakirti Joshi, chief economist at Crisil, the Indian rating agency. “Part of that is because the sectors that employ the most people — manufacturing and construction — have not been doing well, and part of it is because processes are becoming more efficient.”

---

Other schemes are more focused on specific skill development, such as the Skill India Mission, launched by India’s prime minister Narendra Modi in 2015, which aims to provide training to 400m people by 2022 through various government initiatives.

But for all the policy activity, experts say that young Indian workers still do not have the kinds of skills needed to give them the kind of high-value manufacturing jobs that will help to increase people’s incomes.

Jayshree Sengupta, senior fellow at the Delhi-based Observer Research Foundation, considers youth unemployment to be the biggest problem facing India. “The last Budget had no specific schemes for youth unemployment, except the old skill development scheme, which has not been very successful,” she says. “Today most youths are absorbed in low-paid jobs in the informal sector. They have little education to get higher-paid jobs in the organised [economy].”

Ms Kathuria says it is often left to volunteers to provide the kind of job training the state struggles with: “Children are being trained to pass exams, but they are still not getting the kind of skills training they need to satisfy job requirements.”

Riaz Haq said...

#India’s worst engineers come from #Hyderabad, the city that sends the most STEM students to the #US https://qz.com/977850 via @qzindia

Hyderabad, the southern Indian city that sends the largest number of STEM students to the US, is home to India’s worst techies, a study has noted.
Software engineers from the city lag much behind those from other Indian cities when it comes to programming skills, a recent Aspiring Minds study of over 36,000 engineering students in India showed. The employability assessment company tested students from IT-related streams at over 500 colleges across India on Automata, a machine learning-based assessment of software development skills.

The study analysed students on their programming skills, practices, and ability to handle runtime complexity—the time taken to run a program. Hyderabad had a total score of just 3.49 on 100 while New Delhi had 23.48 and the Mumbai and Pune regions together had a score of 17.51.
Hyderabad, home to over 6.8 million people, is the common capital of two Indian states, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Over the past decade or so, it has turned into a hub for thousands of students aspiring to enter the prestigious Indian Institutes of Technology. Between 2008 and 2012, it sent over 26,000 students to the US, most pursuing science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) degrees, a Brookings Institution report (pdf) said.
“Hyderabad, India, sent the largest number of STEM students (20,800) to the United States and ranked fourth for the percentage of its students pursuing a STEM degree (80%) during the 2008-2012 period,” the report said. “Notably, 91% of students from Hyderabad are studying for a master’s degree, versus only 4% for a bachelor’s degree.”
In 2015—the year for which the latest data is available—the US government issued around 60,000 visas to Indian students, with a large number being issued by the US consulate general in Hyderabad.

India is believed to be churning out the world’s largest number of engineers every year at over one million, but the graduates’ skill levels have remained poor. “Only 4.77% candidates can write the correct logic for a program, a minimum requirement for any programming job,” the Aspiring Minds study had noted.
“Lack of programming skills is adversely impacting the IT and data science ecosystems in India,” Varun Aggarwal, a co-founder at Aspiring Minds said. “The world is moving towards introducing programming to three-years-olds. India needs to catch up.”

Riaz Haq said...

#India's #IT giants are laying off employees. And the worst is yet to come. #H1B #Wipro #Infosys #TCS http://www.dailyo.in/politics/it-sector-unemployment-layoffs-cognizant-wipro/story/1/17146.html … via @dailyo_

The $150-billion Indian IT sector has not just been an important contributor to the country's GDP and global exports, but has also been at the vanguard of white-collar job creation in an otherwise jobless growth of the past two decades.

For years, campuses across India have relied on the mass hiring by the likes of Infosys, Tech Mahindra, Cognizant, etc as the placement hub for India's large crop of engineers. But, of late, the sun has stopped shining on the sector. Major recruiters like Wipro, Infosys, Cognizant have been seen significant reduction in their workforce. The bad news though is that the worst is yet to come.

For various reasons, we may see massive layoffs in the IT sector. Here's why:

1. The rise of automation

Over the past few years, automation has gathered pace and, in the coming time, it promises to replace many jobs, especially of repetitive and mundane nature.

The competitive advantage in favour of automation has been increasing with technological advancement reducing cost, improving performance and wider applicability becoming possible. The Indian IT sector faces a serious challenge from automation as the nature of most jobs here is "mundane". Besides, human discretion and intelligence are low enough to be easily replaced by automation.

2. 'Freeze' on hiring Indians abroad

India's abundant labour force had made it less expensive to hire Indian expats for projects abroad. But the tide has turned against this trend with US proposing to raise the minimum income requirement for H1B visa to $130,000 from existing $60,000. Australia, Singapore and many other popular lucrative markets too have introduced procedural changes making life difficult for Indians. Getting a work visa has been made both time-consuming and costly.

This will affect one of the most lucrative opportunities that our IT workforce enjoyed, and make it more difficult to employ middle-level employees whose higher salary expectations are difficult to fulfil within India in an industry, where mass hiring at the bottom (to keep the cost low) is the norm.

3. Rises of protectionist politics in US, Europe

The rise of protectionist politics in advanced economies has increased the pressure on companies there to outsource contracts to local companies, instead of firms in India. This is making growth prospect more difficult for Indian IT companies.

The proposed reduction in corporation taxation in the US as well as France will also further incentivise more of the IT big shots to shift back some, if not a major portion, operation back to the US. All this again doesn't bode well for jobs in the Indian IT sector.

4. Corporate governance and Indian IT brands

Indian IT's fabled rise was built on the foundation of outstanding corporates who won the trust and respect of their stakeholders at home and abroad through admirable corporate governance.

But even as the industry needs the goodwill in these difficult times, the Indian IT bellwether have had a rather tough time negotiating corporate governance troubles.

While TCS has seen Tata Sons being mired in a dirty and ugly boardroom struggle, Infosys, after years of being led by unsatisfactory successors to its founders, found a decent performer in Vishal Sikka. But the respite seems short-lived as the current leadership has been engaged in a power-cum-perception struggle against Infosys old guard, notably Narayana Murthy, who has levelled and repeated some serious charges against the present leadership.


5. Sluggish global economy and low demand

As such, the big ticket projects are far fewer in number now with the global economy slowing compared to the initial decade of the millennium when Indian IT sector came of age.

Riaz Haq said...

#India's tech sector downsizes heavily as #Trump’s #H1B temp worker visa policy creates uncertainty

http://www.cnbc.com/2017/05/23/indian-tech-sector-downsizes-heavily-as-trumps-h-1b-policy-creates-uncertainty.html

Technology companies in India are in the midst of a massive restructuring drive that has both employees and industry analysts worried over the future of the sector.

Information Technology companies like Infosys, Cognizant and Tech Mahindra have announced redundancies this year and some analysts have said that this string of layoffs are expected to continue for the next two years.

A recent report from McKinsey India says that at least 200,000 software engineers in India will lose their jobs each year over the next three years.

According to local media reports, tech giant Infosys had earlier announced its plans to lay off about 1,000 employees at senior levels based on performance-based processes, the company also then announced its plans to hire 10,000 Americans over the next two years – a move many analysts have said will please U.S. President Donald Trump. Following this move, other companies such as Cognizant announced their plans to cut 6,000 jobs.

"With the majority of their business coming from US-based clients, it seems like a natural step for Indian IT companies to expand and strengthen their client offering in a market that promises sustained growth. This will undoubtedly benefit U.S. workers and sing to the tune of Trump's America First strategy," Af Malhotra, co-founder of Bangalore-based IT firm GrowthEnabler, told CNBC via email.

U.S. President Donald Trump's "America First" agenda and focus on curbing immigration especially around the much-sought-after H-1B visa policy may hurt India's massive information technology sector that forms a strong base for the country's economy.

Data from Goldman Sachs estimates that Indians accounted for nearly 195,257, or 70.1 percent, of all beneficiaries of the H-1B visa program in 2015. And hence, President Trump's decision to steer his policies towards "America First" is clearly going to hurt these professionals as well as Indian software companies. But there are divergent views on whether the redundancies in India by major IT companies have anything to do with Trump's policies.

"It does not seem like Indian companies are laying off in India so they can hire in the US," an IT-professional based in the U.S. told CNBC on the condition of anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the topic. "The IT sector has been struggling, these companies have been having poor disappointing earnings/lower guidance for a few quarters now and that is probably the primary driver."

Riaz Haq said...

Indian recruiters see surge in job seeking among tech workers

US visa ban and automation cuts demand in one-time booming employment sector

https://www.ft.com/content/f1035a74-41df-11e7-9d56-25f963e998b2


Indian recruitment companies are seeing a surge in job applications from laid-off IT services workers, as the sector rapidly automates.

The Indian IT sector employs more than 3 million, according to industry body Nasscom.

IT companies such as Infosys and Wipro grew rapidly over the past three decades by hiring huge numbers of Indian software engineers to perform software installation and maintenance work for global companies, at relatively low cost.


But recruiters say the companies now appear to be cutting staff at an increasing rate, as they focus their businesses on fast-growing, cutting-edge fields such as data analytics and connected devices, which require smaller numbers of more highly-skilled staff.

Cloud computing lets groups tap into generic platforms, easily creating company software without the need for outside consultants.

“Lay-offs happen every year, but this is different,” said Alka Dhingra, assistant general manager at Teamlease, a large Indian recruitment company. Its applications in recent months from jobhunters in IT services were at least 50 per cent higher than in recent years, she said.

A further shadow over domestic job creation has been cast by the prospect of tighter immigration rules in the US, by far the industry’s biggest market, aimed at pushing companies to hire locally instead of bringing in workers from India. Infosys this month promised to hire 10,000 workers in the US.

The worries about job cuts in the industry reflect global concerns about the potential for rapidly developing automation to create unemployment — a particular concern in India, where about 1m young people enter the workforce each month.

The number of people seeking IT services jobs on Naukri, India’s most popular jobs website, increased 23 per cent year-on-year between January and April, it said.

The Forum for Information Technology Employees, a workers’ group, is seeking to form the industry’s first union to fight what it says were illegal job terminations seen recently in the sector.

The companies themselves have downplayed the scale of headcount reduction.

“To say the need of people in the business will go down is wrong,” said Ravi Kumar S, deputy chief operating officer at Infosys. “Automation will take away jobs of the past but will create lots more jobs of the future.”

Mr Kumar said the job cuts at Infosys in recent months were part of an annual process where “underperformers” were released, though he declined to say how the number of such cuts compared with previous years.

Lay-offs have also hit senior staff, as companies see less need for managers to handle large teams, said Kris Lakshimanth, chairman of Headhunters India, who estimates job inquiries from such people have doubled since last year.

“Companies are trying to reskill the employees [in new fields], but where there is no option, they're having to let them go,” said Ratna Gupta, a director at ABC Consultants, another recruitment company. “Obviously the number of humans required is going to be less.”

Riaz Haq said...

McKinsey: #India #technology sector to lose 200,000 jobs a year for next 3 years as #Trump’s #H1B policy tightens

http://www.cnbc.com/2017/05/23/indian-tech-sector-downsizes-heavily-as-trumps-h-1b-policy-creates-uncertainty.html

Technology companies in India are in the midst of a massive restructuring drive that has both employees and industry analysts worried over the future of the sector.

Information Technology companies like Infosys, Cognizant and Tech Mahindra have announced redundancies this year and some analysts have said that this string of layoffs are expected to continue for the next two years.

A recent report from McKinsey India says that at least 200,000 software engineers in India will lose their jobs each year over the next three years.

According to local media reports, tech giant Infosys had earlier announced its plans to lay off about 1,000 employees at senior levels based on performance-based processes, the company also then announced its plans to hire 10,000 Americans over the next two years – a move many analysts have said will please U.S. President Donald Trump. Following this move, other companies such as Cognizant announced their plans to cut 6,000 jobs.

"With the majority of their business coming from US-based clients, it seems like a natural step for Indian IT companies to expand and strengthen their client offering in a market that promises sustained growth. This will undoubtedly benefit U.S. workers and sing to the tune of Trump's America First strategy," Af Malhotra, co-founder of Bangalore-based IT firm GrowthEnabler, told CNBC via email.

U.S. President Donald Trump's "America First" agenda and focus on curbing immigration especially around the much-sought-after H-1B visa policy may hurt India's massive information technology sector that forms a strong base for the country's economy.

Indians top beneficiary of H-1B

Data from Goldman Sachs estimates that Indians accounted for nearly 195,257, or 70.1 percent, of all beneficiaries of the H-1B visa program in 2015. And hence, President Trump's decision to steer his policies towards "America First" is clearly going to hurt these professionals as well as Indian software companies. But there are divergent views on whether the redundancies in India by major IT companies have anything to do with Trump's policies.

"It does not seem like Indian companies are laying off in India so they can hire in the US," an IT-professional based in the U.S. told CNBC on the condition of anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the topic. "The IT sector has been struggling, these companies have been having poor disappointing earnings/lower guidance for a few quarters now and that is probably the primary driver."

Riaz Haq said...

After #IT #outage, #BritishAirways union blames outsourced IT jobs in #India for problem #Modi #BJP http://toi.in/ea7ePZ via @TOIBusiness


NEW DELHI: British Airways' GMB union has reportedly blamed the airline's decision to outsource hundreds of IT jobs to India last year for the IT failure related problems on Saturday.
The GMB website says the union had on February 29, 2016 warned against BA outsourcing IT jobs. The website quotes Mick Rix, GMB national officer for aviation, as saying then that a march will be held "in protest as the company plans to outsource and offshore work to one of the biggest IT majors in India.

The GMB website says "the affected job losses at Heathrow in West London is around 700 people and around 100 in New Castle and other locations."
The Indian IT major "will need to carry out work in the UK and they will bring workers from India to fill the jobs of the ex BA workers," the website adds.

Riaz Haq said...

White ex employee at Infosys sues Indian company claiming bias in favor of H1B workers from India

https://www.dallasnews.com/business/technology/2017/06/21/white-ex-employee-infosys-plano-filessuit-claims-company-favored-workersfrom-india

Erin Green, a former supervisor at Infosys, filed suit this week in the Eastern District of Texas in Sherman, alleging that he and black and white staffers on his team were denied raises and promotions, and that other "non-South Asian" workers were berated by South Asian company officials.

Green, of Frisco, is white and rose to the rank of "head of global immigration" while working in the company's Plano office. He was terminated in June of 2016, ostensibly for violating Infosys' "code of conduct by using his work computer for personal use a number of years earlier."

The race-based discrimination lawsuit by a former American employee comes just weeks after Infosys -- India's second-largest technology services company -- announced plans to hire 10,000 American workers at a time when President Donald Trump has been pushing an "America First" policy.


An Infosys spokeswoman said the company is "not in a position to comment on ongoing litigation."
Green's attorney said he did not have time to answer questions.

"Infosys maintains [more than 20,000] employees working in the United States," Green's suit said. While less than 5 percent of the U. S. population is of the South Asian race and national origin, roughly 93 percent to 94 percent of Infosys's United States workforce "is of the South Asian national origin, (primarily Indian)."
"This disproportionately South Asian and Indian workforce, by race and national origin, is a result of Infosys's intentional employment discrimination against individuals who are not South Asian, including discrimination in the hiring, promotion, compensation and termination of individuals," the suit said.

"Infosys has gone to great lengths to obtain its primarily South Asian workforce in the U. S., in particular by utilizing professional H-1B and L-1 work visas to bring South Asians (primarily Indians) into the United States to work in information technology ("IT") consulting roles," according to the suit.

Riaz Haq said...

Not only US, other countries too restrict Indian IT professionals

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/india-business/not-only-us-other-countries-too-restrict-indian-it-professionals/articleshow/60520905.cms

The woes of Indian information technology companies are not limited to the US and extend from Australia to Canada as they not only have to grapple with visa curbs but also obscure rules that are open to interpretation by local authorities.
Following the concerns brought out by Nasscom in a study, the government has started flagging the hurdles, many of which are against the commitments given by these countries at the World Trade Organisation or in trade agreements with India. The study has brought out the fact that there is no match between the commitments given and the visa issued.
The report comes at a time when India is seeking a permanent agreement for trade facilitation in services. Separately, it is pushing for liberal rules in Asean and other countries such as China, Australia and New Zealand, under the regional comprehensive economic partnership agreement, which will create one of the world's largest free trade areas.

These countries are, however, reluctant to ease the rules, but are seeking sharp duty cuts for goods imported into India. What makes it easier for other countries not to honour their commitments is the absence of any clarity on the number of visas that they have agreed to. Pointing to the US, Nasscom has said that it is the only country that partially mentions the visa category, H1, under WTO's agreement on trade in services (GATS) but there is nothing on offer for the information, communication and technology category.
Then, there are other conditions such as high fees to dilute the commitments. Some rules could even be tweaked by countries. For example, Indonesia had notified a rule allowing one visa for every 10 local workers hired. Other complaints revolve around the duration of the visa and the time taken to issue it, which can be long, and can often come with quotas. What makes life more difficult for Indian workers is the fact that many countries have not signed (and some are reluctant) social security agreements which will allow for contributions to be transferred once the employee returns to India.

There are other issues which have stalled the Indian IT sector's expansion drive, such as outdated definitions, said a government official. For instance, there is very little clarity on the definitions of contractual service providers, independent professionals and inter-corporate transfers, which results in lack of confidence among companies.
The industry also has to deal with subjective and discretionary elements of the commitments that have been given, resulting in interpretations that are only meant to block access.

Riaz Haq said...

125 #IT Jobs Just Moved From #Noida #Delhi #India To #Islamabad, #Pakistan. #Tech

https://www.outlookindia.com/magazine/story/noida-to-islamabad/299532

On the night of November 1, stretching into early next morning, close to half the workforce at the Noida office of a US-based IT service provider was informed that their services were no longer needed. A former employee says salaries for the staff at the Noida office were declared delayed by a day on October 31. The official explanation was that the servers were not working. “They weren’t clear about how many people were going to be laid off,” he says. The next night, they “axed 125 people in half-an-hour.” They all got a severance package—a cheque for October and another two months of salary—and a termination letter. Rumours of layoffs had started doing the rounds four to five months ago. The talk was that the company was opening offices in a neighbouring country.

Curiously, the day the workforce in Noida was sacked, almost the same number of employees for the same low-level IT-enabled jobs logged into their systems, 676 kilometres away, in Islamabad, Pakistan.
Job cuts have plagued the Indian IT sector for about two years now and have begun to get pretty serious from the start of this year. “Bloodbath in Bangalore” has been the recurring headline. But the trend of these jobs going to techies in Pakistan is more recent. Away from all the noise of ceasefire violations and surgical strikes, where Pakistan could really hurt India is in taking away low-end IT jobs. The neighbour has a budding IT industry, growing in its own space, looking to emulate the Indian IT success story where right now data operators and BPO callers come much cheaper.