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In boost for Indian IT, US to conduct rare 2nd lottery for H-1B applicants

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NEW DELHI: The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) said that a decision was taken after determining that the computerised draw of lots for H-1B visas conducted early this year did not give them enough number of Congressional mandated H-1B visas.

The H-1B visa, most sought-after among Indian IT professionals, is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise.

Technology companies depend on it to hire tens of thousands of employees each year from countries like India and China.

We recently determined that we needed to select additional registrations to reach the Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 numerical allocations. On July 28, we selected previously submitted electronic registrations using a random selection process, the USCIS said in a statement.

The petition filing period based on registrations selected on July 28 will begin on August 2 and close on November 3. Individuals with selected registrations will have their myUSCIS accounts updated to include a selection notice, which includes details of when and where to file, it said.

The move by the USCIS to conduct the second lottery will provide another chance to several applicants, including hundreds of Indian IT professionals, who could not make it in the first random selection.

The federal agency said that only those petitioners with selected registrations for FY 2022 are eligible to file H-1B cap-subject petitions. The initial filing period for those with selected registrations for FY 2022 was from April 1, 2021, through June 30, 2021.

The USCIS said an H-1B cap-subject petition must be properly filed at the correct service center and within the filing period indicated on the relevant registration selection notice.

Online filing is not available for H-1B petitions. Petitioners filing H-1B petitions must do so by paper and must include a printed copy of the applicable registration selection notice with the FY 2022 H-1B cap-subject petition.

Registration selection only indicates that petitioners are eligible to file H-1B cap-subject petitions; it does not indicate that the petition will be approved. Petitioners filing H-1B cap-subject petitions, including those petitions eligible for the advanced degree exemption, must still submit evidence and establish eligibility for petition approval based on existing statutory and regulatory requirements, the USCIS added.

Source: Press Trust of India

Mobile Services

Foxconn resumes operations at Tamil Nadu plant

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NEW DELHI: After a brief hiatus, iPhone supplier Foxconn on Wednesday reopened its manufacturing facility near here as the company decided to resume operations, government sources said.

The factory, located on the city outskirts of was opened after remaining shut for over three weeks following workers’ protests on the back of a mass-food poisoning incident at the offsite dormitory facility.

Private buses were seen ferrying employees wearing face masks, inside the Sriperumbudur campus, about 40 kms from here. “About 200 employees are joining today. We were told the plant will be operating in two shifts initially and later be scaled up..,” a government source told PTI.

Tamil Nadu Industries Minister Thangam Thennarasu said the government was happy as the facility resumed operations following the issue getting resolved.

“Based on the suggestions provided by the government for the welfare of the employees, the management agreed to implement them, particularly to enhance the amenities provided to the women workforce”, he said.

The management assured that it would implement all the suggestions following the direct involvement of Chief Minister M K Stalin in the matter, he told reporters at the Secretariat here.

“I am happy to note that the facility is resuming operations today. The facility will continue to take up all necessary steps to ramp up production without any hurdles (hereafter)”, he said.

On January 10, Foxconn Technology Group said it has implemented a range of corrective actions and would start bringing back team members gradually at the factory.

The facility was put on ‘probation’ by Apple following the protests by workers and an assessment revealed substandard living conditions at the dormitories and dining halls of the employees.

The unit has more than 15,000 people working on production of Apple products.

Source: Press Trust of India

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Foxconn to resume operations at Tamil Nadu plant; facility under probation by Apple

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NEW DELHI: Apple supplier Foxconn Technology Group on Monday said it has implemented a range of corrective actions and will start bringing back team members gradually to the Sriperumbudur factory, which was shut down last month following a mass food-poisoning incident at the plant’s offsite dormitory facility.

The factory located on the outskirts of Chennai in Tamil Nadu was shut down on December 18 after workers’ protests on the back of a mass-food poisoning incident at the offsite dormitory facility.

“We have been working on a series of improvements to fix issues we found at the offsite dormitory facilities at Sriperumbudur and to enhance the services we provide to our employees. We have implemented a range of corrective actions to ensure this cannot happen again and a rigorous monitoring system to ensure workers can raise any concerns they may have, including anonymously,” Hon Hai Technology Group (Foxconn) said in a statement.

The company also said it will “gradually begin to welcome back team members as each offsite dormitory becomes ready and is approved”.

According to sources, operations will be gradually resumed at the factory as hostels and dormitories get ready and certified as per local requirements by the government and Apple’s audits.

An Apple spokesperson said the Sriperumbudur facility continues to be on probation and that the company is closely monitoring the situation.

“For the past several weeks teams from Apple, along with independent auditors, have been working with Foxconn to ensure a comprehensive set of corrective actions are implemented in the offsite accommodations and dining rooms at Sriperumbudur,” the spokesperson said.

Workers will start to return gradually as soon as Apple is certain its standards are being met in every dormitory and dining area, the spokesperson emphasised.

Apple had put the Sriperumbudur factory of the iPhone assembler Foxconn on ‘probation’ following worker protests and an assessment that revealed substandard living conditions, saying it will ensure strict standards are met before the unit reopens.

While the companies did not comment on the expected timelines for full resumption of operations, the sources said full resumption of operations at the plant will take more time and workers will only be brought back in a phased manner over the next few months.

The factory has more than 15,000 people working on production of Apple products.

According to the sources, there has also been a management change at Foxconn India with a change of guard locally and introduction of new systems to better manage the factory and employee facilities.

The commercial production of the newly-launched iPhone 13 series was reportedly expected to start at the Foxconn plant by February. It is unclear if Apple’s probation would affect these plans.

 

Source: Press Trust of India

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Mobile Phones

Telcos’ gross revenues dip 1.36% in July-September 2021 to Rs 67k crore, AGR up 17%

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NEW DELHI: Telecom service providers’ gross revenue declined by 1.36 per cent on a year-on-year basis to Rs 67,300 crore in the July-September 2021 quarter, according to a Trai report released on Monday.

Telecom service providers (TSPs) had posted gross revenue of Rs 68,228 crore in the same quarter a year ago, according to the Trai’s performance indicator report for the July-September 2021 quarter.

The adjusted gross revenue (AGR) component of the telecom operators, on which the government levies charges, increased by 17.07 per cent to Rs 53,510 crore during the reported quarter from Rs 45,707 crore in the corresponding period of 2020.

Access service providers like Bharti Airtel, Jio and Vodafone Idea who provide services to end consumers accounted for 78 per cent of gross revenue and 79 per cent of AGR.

Reliance Jio reported highest AGR of Rs 18,467.47 crore during the reported quarter. It was followed by Bharti Airtel (Rs 14,730.85 crore), Vodafone Idea (Rs 6,337.58 crore), BSNL (Rs 1,934.73 crore), Tata Teleservices (Rs 554.33 crore), MTNL (Rs 331.56 crore) and Reliance Communications (Rs 53.4 crore).

Government’s revenue from telecom services in the form of licence fees and spectrum usage charges (SUC) increased by 16.8 per cent and 19.99 per cent respectively on an annual basis.

Government revenue collection in the form of licence fee was Rs 4,271 crore and SUC was Rs 1,741 crore during July-September 2021, compared to Rs 3,656 crore and Rs 1,451 crore in the corresponding quarter of 2020, as per the report.

Source: Press Trust of India

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