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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
India Files WTO Complaint Against US Over H1-B Visa Changes
India is the Biggest Source of Illegal Immigration in US
India's IT Exports Highly Exaggerated
Pakistan's Rising College Enrollment
Silicon Valley Pakistani-Americans
Pakistan Third Most Popular Among Outsourcing Countries
Upwardly Mobile Pakistan
Pakistan Among Top Outsourcing Destinations
Pakistan's IT Industry
Indian Code Coolies
India Files WTO Complaint Against US Over H1-B Visa Changes
India is the Biggest Source of Illegal Immigration in US
India's IT Exports Highly Exaggerated
Pakistan's Rising College Enrollment
Silicon Valley Pakistani-Americans
Pakistan Third Most Popular Among Outsourcing Countries
Upwardly Mobile Pakistan
Pakistan Among Top Outsourcing Destinations
Pakistan's IT Industry
Indian Code Coolies
Pakistan's Software Prodigy
Biotech and Genomics in Pakistan
Software engineers' salaries
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)
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?
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.
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.
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 % .
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 ?
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.
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.
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.
#Indian Owner of #SiliconValley Valley staffing firm charged in #h1b visa fraud - SFGate
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.
India does not count H1B salaries as exports. It's just false.
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).
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.
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.
US Rep Issa says #India benefits disproportionately from #H1B visas, Wants min #H1B worker salary raised to $100,000
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.”
“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.
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.
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:
H1-B Visa Applications Pour In by Truckload Before Door Slams Shut
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.
What software engineers are making around the world right now
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.
#India biggest loser as #Australia decides to abolish 457 #immigration work visas | The News Minute. #h1bvisa
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.
#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.
#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.
Less than 5% of #India engineers are cut out for high-skill programming jobs — Quartz #h1bvisa #SiliconValley
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.
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.”
#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.”
#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.
#India's tech sector downsizes heavily as #Trump’s #H1B temp worker visa policy creates uncertainty
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."
Indian recruiters see surge in job seeking among tech workers
US visa ban and automation cuts demand in one-time booming employment sector
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.”
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.
White ex employee at Infosys sues Indian company claiming bias in favor of H1B workers from 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.
Not only US, other countries too restrict Indian IT professionals
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.
125 #IT Jobs Just Moved From #Noida #Delhi #India To #Islamabad, #Pakistan. #Tech
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.
Buying a home in #SanFrancisco and #SiliconValley a struggle even for highly paid #technology employees at #Apple and #Google. #RealEstate
Bay Area home prices are out of reach for many middle-income families, but surely if you’re a highly prized engineer at Apple or Google you can afford a house here, right?
Not so fast.
These days even high-paid tech workers — the very people often blamed for driving up home prices — have to stretch to buy a house, according to a new study by Los Angeles-based real estate startup Open Listings. Techies do come closer to affording a pricey Silicon Valley home than teachers, service industry workers and scores of other workers. But home ownership may not be a given for them anymore, a shift that signals how the region’s explosive housing costs are shutting out even the prosperous.
“These highly paid, highly coveted people that are being recruited from all over the country or the world … they’re unable to afford the housing that’s available nearby,” said Open Listings CEO Judd Schoenholtz.
Software engineers at Bay Area tech companies including Apple, Google and Facebook would have to fork over more than 28 percent of their monthly salaries — a move frowned upon by financial experts — to pay for a home within a 20-minute commuting distance from their office, according to the study. The average software engineer at Apple, for example, makes $188,000 a year, and would have to spend 33 percent of his or her salary to afford a median-priced home in Cupertino, the study said. For software engineers at Reddit and Google, the mortgage and tax payments would total 32 percent of their income. Twitter engineers would have to fork over 30 percent, and Facebook engineers 29 percent.
Techies are unlikely to get much sympathy from other Bay Area workers struggling to make ends meet. Teachers, for example, who make a median salary of $72,340 a year, could afford just 0.4 percent of homes in San Francisco, according to an April study by Trulia.
But people whose mortgage payments exceed the recommended 28 percent of their income may have a hard time getting a home loan, Schoenholtz said. If they do get a loan, it may not be for the full amount of the price, which would force them to pony up more for a down payment. And for residents already paying high rent prices, saving up a standard 20 percent down payment is hard enough — not to mention a payment of 30 or 40 percent.
That means the dream of home ownership likely will elude some high-tech workers, which could hurt local companies’ abilities to recruit and retain employees, Schoenholtz said.
“If that’s not going to be attainable, I wonder what the long-term viability of these companies (is),” he said.
It’s an issue already on the radar of many Bay Area tech companies. Last month, more than 100 tech executives and venture capitalists signed a letter supporting a bill by Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, that would make it easier to build dense housing near transit stations.
“The lack of homebuilding in California imperils our ability to hire employees and grow our companies,” the leaders wrote. “We recognize that the housing shortage leads to displacement, crushing rent burdens, long commutes and environmental harm, and we want to be part of the solution.”
In Apple’s hometown of Cupertino, for example, Zillow estimates the median home value is $2.2 million — up more than 20 percent from a year ago.
Several companies are taking the matter into their own hands. Facebook is planning to build 1,500 homes on its expanded Willow Campus in Menlo Park, and Google is backing the development of nearly 10,000 homes as part of its new office development at North Bayshore, in Mountain View.
#US tightens #H1B #visa rules, #Indians to be hit hardest. #India #Modi #Technology http://toi.in/qqEbWa/a24gk via @timesofindia
The Trump administration has just made it more difficult for companies and individuals to get the H-1B work visa. And even if one gets it, it may not be for a full three years, as is the practice now.
Indians and Indian IT companies will feel the impact the most because they are the biggest users of this visa. The shorter durations may even make the transition from H-1B to a green card next to impossible.
A policy memorandum issued by the US Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) on February 22 said its officers could seek detailed documentation and more evidence from companies to establish that they have specific assignments in a specialty occupation for the H-1B beneficiary. And that they have these assignments for the entire time requested on the petition.
If the company is able to only demonstrate that the beneficiary will have the specified work for less than three years, then the visa would be granted for that shorter duration.
Currently, H-1Bs are issued for three years, and, for a long time, they were extended for another three years with few questions asked. Over the past year, the Trump administration has made the process of extension more difficult - compelling Indian IT companies to tell employees on H-1Bs that they may have to return earlier than anticipated. The new rules imply that one may not even get the initial full three years now.
#US is rejecting more and more #Indian #H1B applicants. Between July and September 2017, US denied H-1B visas to 23.6% of Indian applicants, up from 16.6% in the three preceding months, according to the latest data. #India #Modi #Trump https://qz.com/1335857 via @qzindia
The Donald Trump administration’s crackdown on work visas is hitting Indians disproportionately hard.
Between July and September 2017, the US denied H-1B visas to 23.6% of Indian applicants, up from 16.6% in the three preceding months, according to the latest data (pdf) released by the National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP), a non-profit, non-partisan organisation dedicated to public policy research.
This increased scrutiny is a result of president Trump’s “Buy American and Hire American” executive order signed in April 2017. “It took some time to get people into many of the key positions,” immigration attorney Greg Siskind told the NFAP. “Once we saw who was being appointed, a who’s who of stars in the anti-immigration world, no one was really surprised with what we’re seeing.”
Besides the uptick in outright denials, there has also been a sharp increase in the number of requests for evidence (RFE). These are notices the US authorities issue to visa applicants seeking more information on their applications.
Between July and September 2017, the Trump administration issued 63,184 RFEs, compared to 63,599 RFEs issued during the nine months prior. Several lawyers previously told Quartz that their clients were struggling with the high number of RFEs, which not only delay the visa process but also increase costs for companies.
Here, too, Indians took a severe beating.
Between July and September 2017, up to 72% of Indians applying for H-1B visas received RFEs, compared to 61% for all other countries. Between October and December 2016, during which period president Barack Obama was in office, only 18.2% of Indian applicants were asked to submit supplementary material.
Bengaluru pays the highest salaries in India: Study
Hardware & networking jobs fetch about Rs 15 lakh per annum ($21,500) .. software jobs fetch about Rs 12 lakh ($16,900) , and consumer jobs Rs 9 lakh ($12,700).
(One US $ is worth 71 Indian rupees)
#Trump Admin tells #India it is considering caps on #H1B #visas to #Indians at between 10% and 15% of the annual quota. There is no current country-specific limit on the 85,000 H-1B work visas granted each year, and an estimated 70% go to Indians. https://reut.rs/2x5EdxO
The plan to restrict the popular H-1B visa program, under which skilled foreign workers are brought to the United States each year, comes days ahead of U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s visit to New Delhi.
India, which has upset companies such as Mastercard and irked the U.S. government with stringent new rules on data storage, is the largest recipient of these temporary visas, most of them to workers at big Indian technology firms.
The warning comes as trade tensions between the United States and India have resulted in tit-for-tat tariff actions in recent weeks. From Sunday, India imposed higher tariffs on some U.S. goods, days after Washington withdrew a key trade privilege for New Delhi.
Two senior Indian government officials said on Wednesday they were briefed last week on a U.S. government plan to cap H-1B visas issued each year to Indians at between 10% and 15% of the annual quota. There is no current country-specific limit on the 85,000 H-1B work visas granted each year, and an estimated 70% go to Indians.
Both officials said they were told the plan was linked to the global push for “data localization”, in which a country places restrictions on data as a way to gain better control over it and potentially curb the power of international companies. U.S. firms have lobbied hard against data localization rules around the world.
A Washington-based industry source aware of India-U.S. negotiations also said the United States was deliberating capping the number of H-1B visas in response to global data storage rules. The move, however, was not solely targeted at India, the source said.
“The proposal is that any country that does data localization, then it (H-1B visas) would be limited to about 15% of the quota. It’s being discussed internally in the U.S. government,” the person said.
Most affected by any such caps would be India’s more than $150 billion IT sector, including Tata Consultancy Services and Infosys Ltd, which uses H-1B visas to fly engineers and developers to service clients in the United States, its biggest market. Major Silicon Valley tech companies also hire workers using the visas.
Stratfor analyst Reva Goujon on Twitter called the move “potentially another big blow to the U.S. #tech industry amid US-#China economic battle,” a sentiment echoed on social media by some Indians and their supporters.
India’s Ministry of External Affairs has sought an “urgent response” from officials on how such a move by the United States could affect India, said one of the two government officials, who declined to be named due to the sensitivity of the matter.
India’s Ministry of External Affairs, as well as the commerce department that is typically involved in such discussions, did not respond to an e-mail seeking comment.
Since last year, the Trump administration has been upset that U.S. companies such as Mastercard and Visa suffer due to regulations in several countries that it says are protectionist and increasingly require companies to store more data locally.
India last year mandated foreign firms to store their payments data “only in India” for supervision, and New Delhi is working on a broad data protection law that would impose strict rules for local processing of data it considers sensitive.
Green card share for skilled #Indian #immigrants (EB-2, EB-5 visas) drops to 10% from 14% as application share rises in 2019. Virtually all applicants for EB-2 and EB-3 green cards are on H-1B visa in #UnitedStates. #Trump #Modi #H1B #India https://bayareane.ws/2w2E01a via @mercnews
While a fierce debate rages over a U.S. Senate bill to scrap per-country green card limits — with opponents claiming it would give unfair advantage to Indian citizens — the share of green cards going to skilled Indian workers has dropped, according to a new report.
Meanwhile, the share of green card applications filed by employers for Indians has risen, according to the report released this week by the Cato Institute.
Skilled Indian workers received 10 percent of available green cards in the two largest green card categories — the EB-2 and EB-3 visas for skilled workers — in 2019, down from 14 percent the year before, the report said. Meanwhile, the share of applications filed for Indian citizens by employers jumped to 53 percent from 50 percent, according to the report.
Virtually all applicants for EB-2 and EB-3 green cards are on the H-1B visa or other temporary work visas, said report author David Bier, a Cato immigration-policy analyst. Hundreds of thousands of foreign citizens, the vast majority from India, are stuck in a green card backlog with wait times reaching decades, Cato has reported.
The disparity between the proportion of green cards allotted to Indians and the share of green card applications made for Indians has persisted for years, but broadened significantly from 2018 to 2019, the report said.
“Nearly all (93 percent) of the immigrants waiting for green cards solely because of the low immigration limits are from India,” the report said.
Under federal law, no single nationality can receive more than 7 percent of the total green cards issued per year, though undistributed green cards can be added to that percentage on a first-come, first-served basis.
A bill to address green card waits, The Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act, passed the U.S. House of Representatives last fall, but has been tied up in the U.S. Senate amid a bitter dispute over whether it is fair to citizens of other countries and U.S. workers to start giving Indian citizens a lion’s share of green cards.
The bill calls for a maximum 85 percent of green cards to be allocated to Indian or Chinese citizens during the first year of implementation. In the second and third years, that would rise to 90 percent.
Bier, in the report, expressed support for the bill, saying the current law creates an “exceptionally unjust system.” Declines in Indians’ share of green cards “will have devastating consequences for recent Indian applicants, effectively guaranteeing that they will not receive green cards at all,” Bier wrote. “Many Indians would die waiting for green cards if they could stick it out, so most will leave the line before then.”
But Center for Immigration Studies lawyer John Miano said the bill “would create a total train wreck in the immigration system.”
Miano pointed to the controversial H-1B visa — intended for jobs requiring specialized skills, used heavily by tech firms and outsourcing companies, and dominated by Indian citizens — as a significant driver of the green card backlog.
#Indian #H1B Visa Holders Fear Deportation as Unemployed Workers Must Leave US within 60 Days. #Trump #Modi #India #America https://www.dqindia.com/indian-h1b-visa-holders-fear-deportation-unemployed-workers-must-leave-us-within-60-days/
Fears of a mass exodus are rising amongst the Indian H1B Visa holders as those who are unemployed have 60 days to find a job or leave the US
Indian H1B Visa holders are facing a tough time in the US due to the rising Coronavirus layoffs that are coming to the fore. What makes matters worse for skilled workers who are either unemployed as of now or may be sacked due to the dwindling economy is the fact that they have just 60 days to find a new job or get deported to their home country. While this was always the rule and is not a new development, in the current scenario it may be difficult for those who are unemployed to find new jobs within the stipulated period of time.
“All of us who are currently employed on H1B Visas are getting mentally prepared that we may lose our jobs, and may have to come back to India as it seems unlikely at the moment that we will get another job within 60 days,” said an Indian IT engineer employed with a reputed company to DataQuest.
There is also an ongoing petition on the White House website requesting the US Government to extend the 60 day grace period to 180 days. The petition says that the US Government must consider extending the grace period as most H1B workers are from India and would not be allowed to travel home with children who are US Citizens as nations across the world have announced an entry ban. The petition, which has about 53,000 signatures as of now, will be taken into consideration only if it reaches 1 lakh signatures.
Apart from Indian H1B Visa holders, those who are on student visas also fear being deported to their home country. Student visa holders who apply for H1B visas to be selected through the lottery system are also at the risk of being sent back as finding employment at the present time seems improbable.
The USCIS selects H1B Visa candidates based on a computer-generated random selection process. When candidates on student visas are offered a job, employers submit the details of the H1B applicants in an online H1B Registration Tool. After the details are submitted a 19 digit number is generated by the system, which is used for internal tracking by the USCIS to run the H1B lottery. Each candidate on student visa gets three chances at the fully electronic H1B lottery system each year. Those who do not get picked for three years will be deported.
“Just last month I had three offers in my hand. As of today, two of those offers have already been withdrawn from the company due to the impact of the Coronavirus on the economy. What must I do should I lose the third offer as well? My visa expires in June, I’m not able to renew that as well,” said a source on a student visa, who does not wish to be named.
Although the situation appears grim as of now, Indian H1B Visa holders remain hopeful of receiving some respite from the Donald Trump government as the H1B community supports the IT industry and are huge contributors to the US economy.
Why #Trump's #H1Bvisas freeze will hurt #India most. #Indians received half a million #H1B visas issued between 2004 and 2012. Along with their dependents make up more than a fourth of the #Indian-#American population, which is currently around 3 million.https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-53150214
Illegal immigration has long been the subject of fervid debate in the US.
Now President Donald Trump is making "legal immigration a scapegoat" with an eye on the upcoming election, says Poorvi Chotani, a managing partner at Law Quest, an immigration law firm with offices in the US and India.
"How can the US recover more than 17 million lost jobs due to the pandemic by keeping out a little more than half a million foreign workers for the rest of the year?" she told me.
Ms Chotani is mainly alluding to the H-1B visa programme that currently admits 85,000 immigrants each year, many for skilled jobs in the tech industry. On Tuesday, Mr Trump suspended this and other work visas that allowed foreigners to work in the US until the end of 2020.
The move will hit India hard.
Three quarters of the H-1B visas issued every year still go to India-born workers although the top seven Indian tech companies now pick up only 6% of the total visas under this programme.
Rise of Indian-Americans
"This is testimony to the skill sets of Indian nationals. And it has little to do with immigration. The H-1B is about temporary movement of high skilled workers. It doesn't impact net immigration numbers," Shivendra Singh, vice president of global trade development at Nasscom, the Indian technology industry trade group, says.
The H-1B visa programme is also the reason for the "rise of Indian-Americans into the highest educated and highest earning group, immigrant or native in the US," say the authors of The Other One Percent, a study of Indians in America.
US-based researchers Sanjoy Chakravorty, Devesh Kapoor and Nirvikar Singh found that by the early 2010s, some 60% of the 100,000 India-born people entering the US each year through skilled-based paths were on the H-1B programme. They were mainly employed in computer-related occupations.
Nearly half of a million H-1B visas issued between 2004 and 2012 went to Indians. Along with their dependants they accounted for more than a fourth of the Indian-American population, which is currently around 3 million.
President Trump has made a tough immigration stance a key part of his campaign
The new entrants, the researchers noted, spoke different languages, and lived in different places from earlier Indian immigrants.
Hindi, Tamil and Telugu language speakers increased in size. Traditional Indian-American clusters in New York and Michigan were replaced by larger clusters in California and New Jersey. In many ways, the skilled visa programme, led to the birth of a "new map of Indian-Americans".
The future of the H-1B visa programme has been always difficult to predict, and has been susceptible to anti-immigration pressures. Steve Yale-Loehr, a Cornell law professor told the New York Times that this was the "largest crackdown on work visas that I have seen in my 35 years of practice".
It is unclear what will happen next. With the pandemic showing the world how to work remotely, will a post Covid future see a drastic reduction in the visas and more professionals working from home as businesses reduce dependencies on visas? Will short-term "technology visas" ease out relatively long term ones like H-1B?
"An overhaul of the immigration system has long been in process. Things have now been pushed over the edge because of the upcoming US presidential polls. It's all driven by populism, exacerbated by the pandemic and the rise in unemployment" says Ms Chotani.
No,its the harsh reality of an Indian IT professional due to the Indian societal pressure of coding and becoming an engineer.
For US Visa, Over 2-Year Wait For New Delhi, Just 2 Days For Beijing
There's an appointment wait-time of 833 days for applications from Delhi and 848 days from Mumbai for visitor visas.
Indian visa applicants require a wait-time of over two years just for getting an appointment, a US government website showed, while the timeframe is only two days for countries like China.
There's an appointment wait-time of 833 days for applications from Delhi and 848 days from Mumbai for visitor visas, shows the US State Department's website. In contrast, the wait-time is only two days for Beijing and 450 days for Islamabad
For student visas, the wait time is 430 days for Delhi and Mumbai. Surprisingly, it's only one day for Islamabad, and two for Beijing.
Foreign Minister S Jaishankar, who is in the US, yesterday raised the issue of visa applications backlog with the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. The top US diplomat said he's "extremely sensitive" to the issue and that they are facing a similar situation around the world, a challenge arising due to Covid.
Layoffs in the Silicon Valley are proving to be exceptionally problematic for Indian Techies. Most them were working on H-1B visas & now have just a 60-day grace period to find another job.
Layoffs at Amazon: Many Indians impacted, have limited time to find a new job
Amazon is said to cut nearly 10,000 jobs globally this week. While the tech company hasn’t revealed any information about layoffs yet, impacted employees have taken to social media platforms like LinkedIn to share their distress.
#India's #visa temples attract #Hindu devotees aspiring to go abroad. These temples can be found in almost any Indian city with a #US consulate – 104.5 WOKV
CHENNAI, India — (AP) — Arjun Viswanathan stood on the street, his hands folded, eyes fixed on the idol of the Hindu deity Ganesh.
On a humid morning, the information technology professional was waiting outside the temple, the size of a small closet – barely enough room for the lone priest to stand and perform puja or rituals for the beloved elephant-headed deity, believed to be the remover of obstacles.
Viswanathan was among about a dozen visitors, most of them there for the same purpose: To offer prayers so their U.S. visa interviews would go smoothly and successfully. Viswanathan came the day before his interview for an employment visa.
“I came here to pray for my brother’s U.K. visa 10 years ago and for my wife’s U.S. visa two years ago,” he said. “They were both successful. So I have faith."
The Sri Lakshmi Visa Ganapathy Temple is a few miles north of the airport in Chennai (formerly Madras), a bustling metropolis on the Coromandel Coast in southeast India -- known for its iconic cuisine, ancient temples and churches, silk saris, classical music, dance and sculptures.
This “visa temple” has surged in popularity among U.S. visa seekers over the past decade; they can be found in almost any Indian city with a U.S. consulate. They typically gain a following through word of mouth or social media.
A mile away from the Ganesh temple is the Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Navaneetha Krishnan Temple, where an idol of Hanuman – a deity who has a human body and the face of a monkey — is believed to possess the power to secure visas. Also known as “Anjaneya,” this god stands for strength, wisdom and devotion. In this temple, he has earned the monikers “America Anjaneya” and “Visa Anjaneya.”
The temple’s longtime secretary, G.C. Srinivasan, said it wasn’t until 2016 that this temple became a “visa temple.”
“It was around that time that a few people who prayed for a visa spread the word around that they were successful, and it's continued,” he said.
A month ago, Srinivasan said he met someone who got news of his visa approval even as as he was circumambulating the Anjaneya idol — a common Hindu practice of walking around a sacred object or site.
On a recent Saturday night, devotees decorated the idol with garlands made of betel leaves. S. Pradeep, who placed a garland on the deity, said he was not there to pray for a visa, but believes in the god's unique power.
“He is my favorite god,” he said. “If you genuinely pray – not just for visa – it will come true.”
At the Ganesh temple, some devotees had success stories to share. Jyothi Bontha said her visa interview at the U.S. Consulate in Chennai went without a hitch, and that she had returned to offer thanks.
“They barely asked me a couple of questions,” she said. “I was pleasantly surprised.”
Bontha’s friend, Phani Veeranki, stood nearby, nervously clutching an envelope containing her visa application and supporting documents. Bontha and Veeranki, both computer science students from the neighboring state of Andhra Pradesh and childhood friends, are headed to Ohio.
Both learned about the visa temple on the social media platform Telegram.
Veeranki said she was anxious because she had a lot riding on her upcoming visa interview.
“I’m the first person in my family to go the United States,” she said. “My mother is afraid to send me. But I’m excited for the opportunities I’ll have in America.”
Veeranki then handed over the envelope to the temple’s priest for him to place at the foot of the idol for a blessing.
“We’ve been hearing about applications being rejected,” she said, her hands still folded in prayer. “I’m really hoping mine gets approved.”
If she and Bontha make it to Ohio, they want to take a trip to Niagara Falls.
“I’ve always wanted to see it,” Bontha said.
An Indian-origin Google employee lost job after 11 years of service.
The Google employee says it is difficult to express the pain after layoff news.
The H1B visa holders need to leave the country after 60 days if they job.
Google laid off thousands of employees and the process was not as smooth considering many were locked out of their systems without any notice. While the news of layoff is disheartening for many, the most impacted ones are the employees who got the job on an H1B visa. An Indian-origin employee with an H1B visa who worked at Google for more than 11 years also lost his job and found out about layoff news out of nowhere.
His wife also got locked out of the system and discovered in the morning that her access to any internal resources on the laptop was blocked. He penned down an emotional note on LinkedIn about his good and bad experiences at Google. He wrote that they were in disbelief after finding about the job they lost at the biggest tech company, even after giving many years to the company.
“Two out of the 12,000 Googlers were staring at each other in disbelief in that room while our 2-year-old daughter slept peacefully not knowing (thankfully so) what just hit her family. It’s hard to explain what this feels like, especially when you’ve spent a third of your life at a place that’s given you so much and more that it becomes an integral part of your identity. I spent 11.5 amazing years at Google - staying loyal and committed to its mission and believing in its “do no evil” motto,” he said on LinkedIn.
The laid-off Google employee with an H1B visa also expressed his pain of leaving the country after about two months if he doesn’t get a job in the US, where he is currently living. “The dreaded H1b countdown has begun and I’m starting to look for roles,” he said.
For those who are unaware, H1B visa holders or we can say immigrants, who get a job in the US, are not allowed to stay back in the country for more than 60 days if they lose a job. The H1B visa workers will have to find a new job in about 60 days or they will have to leave the country. The visas are typically issued for three years, and they can get extended depending on the employment.
Google did fire as many as 12,000 employees across globe, but the company has also promised to offer severance pay to the affected workers. The laid off Google employees will get 16 weeks of salary, two weeks for every additional year at Google, and at least 16 weeks of GSU vesting. Google will also pay 2022 bonuses and remaining vacation time. The sacked employees will also be entitled to receive six months of healthcare, job placement services as well as immigration support.
India has no "software exports". India's forex tech earnings come from tech services provided to foreign firms by H1B type work visa workers on the payrolls of Indian body shops like Infosys, TCS, Wipro etc.
Glassdoor, a company that reviews employers, calls all of them body shops.
#Microsoft-owned platform #GitHub lays off entire #engineering team in #India. "We’re talking of ~100 engineers.....owning fewer and lower priority stuff" #layoffs #jobs #software https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/gadgets-news/microsoft-owned-platform-github-lays-off-entire-engineering-team-in-india/articleshow/99055653.cms?from=mdr
In the high-stakes race for supremacy in the burgeoning field of generative AI, India’s technology ecosystem is facing an uphill battle to catch up to global leaders. Despite being home to one of the world’s largest startup ecosystems, the South Asian economy has yet to make a material impact in the rapidly advancing AI arena.
No homegrown Indian contenders have emerged to challenge the dominance of large language model titans such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT, Google Ventures–backed Anthropic, or Google’s Bard.
“While there are over 1500 AI-based startups in India with over $4 billion of funding, India is still losing the AI innovation battle,” say analysts at Sanford C. Bernstein.
To their credit, many of India’s major startups are using machine learning to enhance aspects of their business operations. For instance, e-commerce giant Flipkart uses machine learning to refine customer shopping experiences, while Razorpay utilizes AI to combat payment fraud. Unicorn edtech Vedantu recently integrated AI into its live classes, making them more accessible and affordable.
Industry insiders attribute India’s dearth of AI-first startups in part to a skills gap among the nation’s workforce. Now the advent of generative AI could displace many service jobs, analysts warn.
“Among its over 5 million employees, IT in India still has a high mix of low-end employees like BPO or system maintenance. While AI isn’t at the level of causing disruptions, the systems are improving rapidly,” Bernstein analysts said.
Dev Khare, a partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners India, recently assessed the disruptive potential of AI and warned that jobs and processes in industries such as market research, content production, legal analysis, financial analysis, and various IT services jobs could be impacted.
However, for India, this disruption also presents an opportunity. A rapid gain in agriculture sector, which employs over 40% of the country’s workforce, is challenging, and similarly automation in the manufacturing industry may be unnecessary due to the abundant and affordable labor force.
In the high-stakes race for supremacy in the burgeoning field of generative AI, India’s technology ecosystem is facing an uphill battle to catch up to global leaders. Despite being home to one of the world’s largest startup ecosystems, the South Asian economy has yet to make a material impact in the rapidly advancing AI arena.
With timely upskilling and resource optimization, the services sector stands to benefit the most. Indian consultancy giants are already recognizing it. Infosys, for example, revealed last month that it is working on several generative AI projects to address specific aspects of clients’ businesses. TCS, on the other hand, is exploring cross-industry solutions to automate code generation, content creation, copywriting, and marketing.
In response to this landscape, New Delhi has declared that India will not regulate the growth of AI, taking a different approach from many other countries.
“AI is a kinetic enabler of the digital economy and innovation ecosystem. Government is harnessing the potential of AI to provide personalized and interactive citizen-centric services through digital public platforms,” India’s Ministry of Electronics and IT said last month.
Glimmer of hope
With the more established segment of India’s startup ecosystem staying muted in the generative AI race, young firms are stepping up to the occasion.
Startups like Gan, which enables businesses to repurpose videos at scale; TrueFoundry, which assists in building ChatGPT with proprietary data; and Cube, which facilitates AI-powered customer support on social media, are among those leading the charge.
The surge of interest has prompted nearly all venture funds in India to develop investment strategies in the emerging space.
Anandamoy Roychowdhary, partner at Surge, Sequoia India & Southeast Asia, pushed back that Indian startups have just started to explore applications around generative AI, saying several have been working on this space for many years.
“What cannot be denied though is the spectacular pace of projects and startup creation post the launch of ChatGPT. The Sequoia India and SEA team have been early to this trend, having partnered with 7 to 8 AI companies across earlier Surge cohorts,” he told TechCrunch.
Sequoia India and SEA is evaluating at least five firms in this space each week, he said.
Accel, another high-profile venture firm that has been operating in India for over a decade, said Wednesday that AI is one of the two main themes across the new cohort of its early-stage venture program.
However, some founders expressed concerns that these AI startups are unlikely to focus on creating their own large language models due to the lack of funding and conviction from investors to support such high compute and other infrastructure expenses.
An investor, who requested anonymity to speak candidly, cautioned that the current frenzy around AI deals somewhat echoes aspects of the crypto craze in 2021.
“Everyone wants to do genAI but no one knows how/what to do. This is the crypto arms race all over again,” the person said. “I doubt most Indian VCs ever really dug deep and understood crypto, because otherwise they wouldn’t have made so many utterly crap investments.”
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