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Joe Biden administration introduces ambitious immigration bill in Congress

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By Lalit K Jha

WASHINGTON: In a major move that will benefit hundreds and thousands of Indian IT professionals in America, the Biden administration has introduced an ambitious immigration bill in Congress which among other things proposes to eliminate the per-country cap for employment-based green cards.

The US Citizenship Act of 2021 proposes a pathway to citizenship to 11 million undocumented workers, elimination of per country quota for employment-based green cards and work authorisation for dependents of H-1B foreign workers.

The bicameral immigration bill, if passed by both the chambers of the Congress House of Representatives and the Senate and signed into law by President Joe Biden, would bring citizenship to millions of foreign nationals, including undocumented workers and those who came to the country legally.

The legislation would also benefit hundreds and thousands of Indian IT professionals and their families.

Those waiting for a Green Card for more than 10 years, would get the legal permanent residency immediately as they would be exempted from the visa cap.

Indian IT professionals, waiting for more than a decade now, and whose number runs into thousands, are likely to be the biggest beneficiary of this provision of the bill.

Authors of the bill Senator Bob Menendez and Congresswoman Linda Sanchez told reporters that the US Citizenship Act of 2021 establishes a moral and economic imperative and a vision of immigration reform that is expansive and inclusive.

It grows the economy by making changes to the employment-based immigration system, eliminating per-country caps, making it easier for STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) advanced degree holders from US universities to stay in the US and improving access to green cards for workers in lower-wage industries.

It would also give dependents of H-1B holders work authorisation, and prevent children of H-1B holders from “ageing out” of the system.

I am the daughter of immigrant parents from Mexico. I have dedicated my career to building an immigration system that lets people live without fear, and a system that gives immigrants like my parents who sought a better life and contribute to our nation a fair opportunity to thrive, Sanchez said.

Immigrants contribute greatly to our country and society. They own businesses, pay taxes and teach our children. They are our coworkers, neighbours and friends, said Menendez.

We have a historic opportunity to finally enact bold immigration reform that leaves no one behind, addresses root causes of migration and safeguards our country’s national security. We have a moral and economic imperative to get this done once and for all, he said.

The ruling Democrats have a majority in both the House and Senate. However, in the upper chamber, they need the support of 10 Republicans to get the legislation through the Congress before it can be signed into law.

The Democratic leadership and the White House hope that they will get the necessary support in the interest of millions of non-citizens living in the country.

Supported by the White House, the bill creates an earned roadmap to citizenship for all 11 million undocumented immigrants, with an expedited three-year path to citizenship, and giving all other undocumented immigrants who pass background checks and pay taxes with an eight-year path to citizenship without fear of deportation.

It reforms the family-based immigration system to keep families together by recapturing visas from previous years to clear backlogs, including spouses and children of green card holders as immediate family members.

It also eliminates discrimination facing LGBTQ+ families, provides protection for orphans, widows and children, allows immigrants with approved family-sponsorship petitions to join the family in the US on a temporary basis while they wait for green cards to become available.

In a statement, President Biden said he looks forward to working with leaders in the House and Senate to address the wrongdoings of the past administration and restore justice, humanity and order to the immigration system.

This is an important first step in pursuing immigration policies that unite families, grow and enhance our economy, and safeguard our security, he said.

The legislation I sent to Congress will bring about much-needed change to an immigration system where reform is long overdue. It will responsibly manage the border with smart investments.

“It will address the root causes of irregular migration from Central America. It will modernise our legal immigration pathways and create an earned path to citizenship for so many including Dreamers, farm workers and TPS (Temporary Protected Status) holders, he said

These are not Democratic or Republican priorities, but American ones. I have laid out my vision for what it will take to reform our immigration system and I look forward to working with leaders in Congress to get this done, Biden added.

Commenting on the development, FWD.us president Todd Schulte said it is a critical moment for immigration policy in the US. FWD.us is a pro-immigration lobbying group based in the United State.

This is a substantial step forward for major immigration legislation and would provide a desperately-needed pathway to citizenship for millions of immigrants who have spent decades building their lives and families here,” Schulte said.

FWD.us represents top IT companies from Silicon Valley.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi described it as a hopeful and historic day.

Source: Press Trust of India

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Vi showcases 5G

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NEW DELHI: Vodafone Idea Limited (VIL), leading telecom operator, today demonstrated a range of 5G-based technology solutions as part of its ongoing 5G trials on government allocated 5G spectrum in Pune, Maharashtra and Gandhinagar, Gujarat.

According to Ravinder Takkar, MD & CEO, Vodafone Idea Limited, “With our 5G trials underway, Vi is preparing to take India on the next journey of fifth generation wireless mobile communication technology. Our 5G trials showcase a whole new world of possibilities across various domains that promise a new era of technology advancement in India. I am confident that 5G will bring a better tomorrow that will deliver significant benefits to consumers, businesses and society, driving digital economy growth in India.”

With the purpose for a better tomorrow, Vi has been conducting 5G trials and developed a wide range of use cases relevant for Enterprises and Consumers in India. Vi has partnered with industry leaders like L&T Smart World & Communication, Athonet, Indian start-ups like Vizzbee & Tweek Labs, and technology leaders – Ericsson and Nokia for trialling use cases in the two locations.

Committed to helping its customers thrive and have a better tomorrow, Vi is leveraging the power of 5G technology across segments such as industry 4.0, smart cities, smart healthcare, smart workplace, smart education, smart agriculture, gaming, amongst others. Vi’s trials have proven that high data speed, low latency and reliability of 5G technology, can bring about massive developments by enhancing business performance, revolutionizing customer experience, changing consumer lifestyle and positively impacting people dwelling in remote corners of India.

Vi has been allocated 26 GHz and 3.5 GHz spectrum in the mmWave band by the DoT, for 5G network trials and use cases. Vi has achieved peak speeds in excess of 1.5 Gbps on 3.5 GHz, more than 4.2 Gbps on 26 GHz and up to 9.8 Gbps on backhaul spectrum of E-bands.

The 5G trial network set up by Vi in Pune, deploys Ericsson Radios and Ericsson Dual Mode Core based on cloud native technology comprising of 5G SA, 5G NSA & LTE packet core functions. All use cases demonstrated in Pune have been developed over Ericsson’s 5G technology solutions.

In Gandhinagar, Vi is using Nokia’s AirScale radio portfolio and Microwave E-band solution for the trial that support enterprises, both large and small and medium businesses with reliable connectivity. Vi use cases in Gandhinagar were demonstrated via a live telecast at the special media preview held in Pune.

 

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LTI, IBM inaugurate innovation and experience center in Bengaluru

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NEW DELHI: Larsen & Toubro Infotech, a global technology consulting and digital solutions company has opened an Innovation & Experience Centre at LTI Whitefield campus in Bengaluru (India) focusing on IBM technologies. The Center will assist enterprises in modernizing their operations and accelerating digital transformation journeys.

This Innovation and Experience Center will showcase LTI solutions that have been co-created using IBM technologies such as IBM Cloud and Cloud Paks. The Centre will also serve as a forum for customers to engage with LTI and IBM technical resources for in-depth technology briefings, solution demos, software, tool access and solution workshops.

Sudhir Chaturvedi, President-Sales and Executive Board Member, LTI, said: “The rapid technological advances make it necessary for customers to experience solutions before adopting them. Our new center in Bengaluru fulfils this need for the joint customers of IBM and LTI. This center will offer combined benefits of LTI’s rich domain proficiency and IBM’s deep technical expertise, and thereby assist clients in their transformation journey.”

Through this center, IBM and LTI will collaborate and invest in creating joint solutions and develop industry viewpoints around digital transformation, hybrid cloud, data & AI, and security services. In addition, both LTI and IBM teams, will work with customers to address their requirements around driving digital transformation and managing multiple clouds.

Evaristus Mainsah, GM, Hybrid Cloud and Edge Ecosystem, IBM, said, “This center is an outcome of our growing alliance with LTI to help clients predict, automate, secure, and modernize their business operations. We are confident our clients will benefit from the ease of access to industry-specific assets and customized joint solutions with IBM’s open hybrid cloud approach that will help to accelerate their transformation journeys.”

Distinct features of the center include an IBM Playground for associates to explore and experiment with prototypes, History Zone that highlights LTI-IBM alliance journey, joint customer success stories, Innovation Zone for brainstorming on innovative ideas and planning future offerings, and Discussion Zone with feedback mechanism to ensure continuous improvement.

LTI has strong capabilities in IBM’s Digital Business Automation portfolio. LTI’s Automation consultants are helping clients in driving productivity improvements with industry specific pre-built IBM frameworks. Earlier this year, LTI and IBM had announced expansion of their global alliance.

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Cygnet Infotech’s Cygnature adds a new feature; helps procure an electronic stamp online

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NEW DELHI: Cygnature by Cygnet Infotech, the global Technology Products & Services company, has added an important feature called ‘e-stamp’ to its e-signing solution. Cygnature is an award-winning signing solution that securely authenticates signers, offers them a range of signature types for signing and protects the integrity of the documents.

With the e-stamp feature, businesses will be able to procure e-stamps through Cygnature platform and significantly ease the process of stamping documents.

COVID-19 has been a catalyst in pushing industries to move towards a paperless economy by offering a faster way of executing documents. Cygnet Infotech’s Cygnature supports organizations when it comes to digitally transforming their businesses. Cygnet Infotech’s Cygnature has added a useful feature ‘E-Stamp’ in its latest release providing multiple benefits. E-stamp can be generated within minutes using this feature. It can help you save time as physical stamp paper procurement is a time-consuming process. Users can prepay the stamp duty amount and then issue stamp papers against that balance.

With Cygnature, the solution can help digitize the process of paying the stamp duty and procuring e-stamp challan online rather than going to a stamp paper vendor to procure traditional stamp paper:

1. Initiate a workflow by uploading an agreement on Cygnature

2. Add E-stamp, select state and stamp duty amount to be paid for the relevant document category

3. Provide details of first and second party

4. On confirmation of details, the e-stamp challan will be generated and gets added instantly to the uploaded agreement

5. Both the parties can then continue to sign the document using Cygnature by adding placeholders to e-sign the document

6. The stamp duty amount will be deducted from the prepaid amount you deposit in your Cygnature account

7. The physical copies of the stamp paper will be couriered at the end of the month to the consumer’s address

Cygnature will not provide advice on the amount of stamp duty to be paid. This will have to be decided by the user.

Niraj Hutheesing, Founder & Managing Director at Cygnet Infotech said, “Cygnet Infotech’s product, Cygnature has been developed with an aim to promote seamless digital signing of documents. With the introduction of Cygnature’s E-stamp feature, we seek to further support businesses in speeding up the process of authorization of documents. Paying stamp duty is mandatory for many transactions across the country, and to simplify the process, e-stamp will help tackle counterfeiting and will further make the payment of stamp duty easier and glitch free.”

In this latest release, Cygnature’s E-stamp feature will be available for 5 states – Delhi, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

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