CMYK WEDNESDAY www.thestatesman.com 9 MAY 2018 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 16 |` 5.00|LC* KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR P6 SENSEX 35,216.32 +8.18 WEATHER Sultry weather. Rain /thundershower with gusty winds likely. Max and min temp 35 and 29 degree celsius, respectively. RAINFALL: Trace RELATIVE HUMIDITY P9 NIFTY 10,717.80 +2.30 Min. 62% Max: 35.1°C (0) SUN RISES 04:59 hrs MOON RISES 00.50 hrs Min: 28.5°C (+2) SUN SETS 18:07 hrs MOON SETS 12:25 hrs ` vs $ 67.08 +5 PAISE GOLD 29,990 -115.00 New moon on 15 May THUMBNAILS STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE KOLKATA, 8 MAY Thalassaemia and AIDS Prevention Society activists observing World Thalassaemia Day in Kolkata on Tuesday. DILIP DUTTA India’s growth to pick up: India's economic growth was pushed downward in 2017 due to GST as well as protracted issues of corporate and bank balance sheet problems, according to a UN report which said the country is expected to recover gradually and grow at 7.2 per cent in 2018. According to estimates in the UN ESCAP flagship publication the Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific, India's GDP grew by 6.6 per cent in 2017. P8 Probe into carcass meat scam: The panic over the carcass meat racket in West Bengal has prompted the state government to form a high-power committee for keeping a check on such malpractices, CM Mamata Banerjee said on Tuesday. The police recently busted a racket involved in supplying decomposed meat from dumping grounds to restaurants. The committee, headed by the Chief Secretary would devise a mechanism to deal with it. Lalu seeks parole to attend son’s wedding: RJD president Lalu Prasad, serving sentence in fodder scam cases, has sought a five-day parole to attend the wedding of his elder son later this week, his lawyer and one of his close aides said on Tuesday. The septuagenarian Prasad, who has been convicted in three fodder scam cases by a special CBI court at Ranchi since December last year, is ailing and undergoing treatment at RIMS hospital in the Jharkhand capital. ICICI Bank: Govt director to maintain distance: Lok Ranjan, the government appointed nominee director of the board of ICICI Bank skipped the board meeting during the banks result on Monday. Officials said the government will maintain a distance and is unlikely to attend any board meeting of ICICI Bank until investigations related to alleged conflict of interest associated with the bank's loan to P8 the Videocon group is on. NEW DELHI, 8 MAY T a ride by the central government ... Are we waiting for the votes to be cast on May 12 (in Karnataka polls),” the lawyer asked. He vehmently opposed Venugopal's plea that the case be adjourned till May 14 as the Union Cabinet has not been able to meet to approve the draft Cauvery scheme due to the campaigning in Karnataka. “This is the fit case for contempt. Somebody has to be sent to jail,” Naphade said. Venugopal referred to the sensitive nature of the Cauvery water dispute and said Tamil Nadu and Karnataka have witnessed violent protests over it in the past. The top law officer referred to previous orders, including the one passed on May 3, and said “the cabinet was not available on that day and this is why we are seeking 6-8 days time till May 14”. Venugopal also referred to the violent protests across the country after the apex court judgement in the SC/ST matter and said the Cauvery draft scheme would be put before the cabinet as soon as possible. Taking exception to the submissions, the counsel for Tamil Nadu said, “Now, the cat is out of the bag.. we will not be getting the water”. The bench intervened by saying, “We must understand the purspose behind framing the (Cauvery management) scheme. It is for implementation of the order”. It then referred to the adjustments to be made in the shares of stakeholder states in water deficient years. The bench said Cauvery Management Scheme, once finalised, would deal with the issue of water share of four states in different circumstances like normal and deficient water years in the Cauvery river basin. Trump to reveal Iran N-deal’s fate AGENCIES WASHINGTON, 8 MAY President Donald Trump is preparing to tell the world whether he plans to follow through on his threat to pull out of the landmark nuclear accord with Iran and almost surely ensure its collapse. There are no signs that European allies enlisted to “fix” the deal had persuaded him to preserve it. In a burst of lastminute diplomacy, punctuated by a visit by Britain's top diplomat, the deal's European members gave in to many of Trump's demands, according to officials, diplomats and others briefed on the negotiations. Yet they still left convinced he is likely to reimpose sanctions and walk away from the deal he has lambasted since his days as a presidential candidate. As they braced for an expected withdrawal Tuesday, US officials were dusting off plans for how to sell a pullout to the public and explain its complex ramifications to the global financial world, said the officials and others, who weren't authorized to speak ahead of an announcement and requested anonymity. Building up anticipation for the big reveal, Trump announced on Twitter he would disclose his decision at 2 p.m., with an announcement set for the Diplomatic Room of the White House. With uncharacteristic discipline, he kept the decision confined to a small group within the White House National Security Council, leaving even many his aides guessing what he had decided. An immense web of sanctions, written agreements and staggered deadlines make up the 2015 nuclear deal struck by the U.S., Iran and world powers. So Trump effectively has several pathways to pull the United States out of the deal by reneging on its commitments. Under the most likely scenario, Trump will allow sanctions on Iran's central bank intended to target its oil exports to kick back in, rather than waiving them once again on Saturday, the next deadline for renewal, said the individuals briefed on Trump's deliberations. Then the Trump administration would give those who are doing business with Iran a sixmonth grace period to wind down business and avoid running afoul of those sanctions. For weeks, Iran's foreign minister had been saying that a re-imposition of U.S. sanctions would nullify the deal. BRENT CRUDE (IN $) 75.68 -0.49 HC allows online filing of rural poll nominations SNS & PTI headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said when the Tamil Nadu Government alleged that the non-framing of the policy was a blatant violation of the crucial judgement in the Cauvery case. “We do not want to come back to square one. Once the judgment has been delivered, it has to be implemented,” the bench, also comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, said. The bench directed the Secretary of the Union Water Resources Ministry to personally appear before it on May 14 with the draft of the Cauvery management scheme to implement its verdict on water sharing between four riparian states. At outset, senior advocate Shekhar Naphade, appearing for Tamil Nadu government, said the state, which was facing acute water shortage, was not getting its due share. “We are being taken for P11 SILVER 39,600.00 -100.00 SC raps Centre over Cauvery ‘inaction’ he Supreme Court today warned the Centre that it was in “sheer contempt” of its February 16 verdict by not framing the Cauvery management scheme on river water sharing between four southern riparian states till now. It directed the Secretary of the Union Water Resources Ministry to appear before it on May 14 with the draft scheme. The harsh comments of the top court came after Attorney General K K Venugopal said the Union Cabinet has not been able to meet to approve the draft scheme as the leaders, including the Prime Minister, were busy in the ongoing poll campaign in Karnataka. He also said the Cauvery issue would be placed before the cabinet soon. The Union Cabinet had last met on May 2. The apex court had in its February verdict asked the Centre to frame the Cauvery management scheme, which also included creating the Cauvery Managament Board, within six weeks for the release of water from Karnataka to Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry with a caveat that the deadline cannot be extended. “You (Centre) are in sheer contempt,” a bench HOW INFANTINO THINKS HE’LL PULL IT OFF P9 ‘Govt was in sheer contempt of court’s 16 Feb verdict’; secy summoned Max.85% TEMPERATURE MORE TROUBLE FOR SHARIF BANGLA SC DEFERS VERDICT ON ZIA’S BAIL RELIGION OF JOY The Division Bench of Justice Biswanath Somaddar and Justice Arindam Mukherjee of Calcutta High Court today directed the State Election Commission (SEC) to accept the online nominations for the panchayat poll filed by CPI-M candidates by 3 p.m. on April 23, the extended last date for filing nominations. The court came down heavily on the SEC for rejecting the nominations. “As the commission has to act fairly, it should have accepted nomination by email to advance democratic principles to let the electorate choose their representatives by enhancing voting rights,” the court observed. The hearing of another petition by PCC chief Adhir Chowdhury charging police officials with contempt of court was concluded during the day before the Division Bench of Chief Justice Jyotirmoy Bhattacharya and Justice Arijit Banerjee and the judgement will be pronounced on 10 May. The Division Bench of Justices Somaddar and Mukherjee directed that its order pertained only to those candidates, whose names appeared in the list submitted by the appellant before it. Filing of nomination by e-mail may not be recognised process, but where the charges of prevention of candidates from filing nomination had surfaced, this mode was being allowed to dispel all criticism against the commission, the court observed. “Submitting nomination by e-mail prevents violence and loss of life and as poll process involves participation, it is against democratic principles to shut out any bona fide candidate,” the court observed. The court clarified it didn’t intend to “embark into allegations of prevention of the appellants by force or otherwise as it would consume time and delay elections. This judgement is not an observation on the law and order situation of the state.” The CPI(M) had submitted a list of over 800 candidates, claiming that they were prevented from filing nominations at the designated places and thus, had sent their documents to the SEC through e-mail. The SEC counsel contended it had received 340 complaints on the last day of filing of nominations, of which 25 containing 62 Cong MPs withdraw plea on CJI from SC SNS & PTI NEW DELHI, 8 MAY Two Congress MPs, who had challenged the rejection of the impeachment notice against the Chief Justice of India by Rajya Sabha Chairman, today withdrew their petition from the Supreme Court after it showed reluctance to part with the administrative order on constitution of a larger bench to hear the matter. The two MPs confronted a five-judge constitution bench headed by Justice A K Sikri and demanded a “copy of the administrative order by which a constitution bench was constituted overnight”. The bench, also including Justices S A Bobde, N V Ramana, Arun Mishra and Adarsh Kumar Goel, told senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for the two lawmakers that giving a copy of the administrative order “will not lead to anywhere”. The bench, which comprised judges who are 6 to 10 position in terms of seniority, expressed reluctance to go into their contention questioning the setting up of a larger bench to hear the matter. “It is a piquant and unprecedented situation where CJI is a party and other four judges may also have some role. We don't know,” the bench said when Sibal asked where can he mention the matter for seeking the administrative order. The court said “It will lead us nowhere. You can argue the matter on merit. We are ready for it”. The bench declared the petitions moved by RS Congress MPs, Partap Singh Bajwa and Amee Harshadray Yajnik, as “dismissed as withdrawn” after Sibal decided not to press the pleas realising that the judges were not inclined to accept his arguments. H1B visas: The high & low of Indian beneficiaries AGENCIES WASHINGTON, 8 MAY Technology professionals from India accounted for 74.2 per cent of the total number of H1B visas issued by the US in 2016 and the next year the figure rose to 75.6 per cent, a government report said today. However, there has been a drop in the number of new H1B beneficiaries from India, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services report said. China with 9.3 and 9.4 per cent respectively for 2016 and 2017, comes a distant second after India in terms of number of H-1B visas issued. The number of beneficiaries from India approved for initial employment decreased by 4.1 per cent in fiscal 2017, while the number of beneficiaries approved for continuing employment increased by 12.5 per cent in fiscal 2017, the USCIS said in its latest report titled 'Characteristics of H-1B Specialty Occupation Workers'. The H-1B visa is a nonimmigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise. The technology companies depend on it to hire tens of thousands of employees each year. The USCIS said petitions for initial employment are filed for first-time H-1B employment with an employer, only some of which are applied to the annual cap. Examples of petitions for ini- The H-1B visa is a nonimmigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise. The technology companies depend on it to hire tens of thousands of employees each year. tial employment that are exempt from the cap include petitions submitted by nonprofit research organisations or governmental research organisations. Continuing employment petitions refer to extensions, sequential employ- ment and concurrent employment, which are filed for foreigners already in the US. Extensions generally are filed for H-1B workers intending to work beyond the initial threeyear period up to a total of 6 years, the maximum period generally permissible under law. In 2016, as many as 70,737 Indians received initial H-1B visas, which dropped to 67,815. During the same period, Indians accounted for 185,489 visas for continuing employment, which increased to CMYK 208,608 in 2017. In all there were 256,226 Indians on H1B visas in 2016 and 276,423 in 2017. A copy of the report, sent to US lawmakers on April 10, became public this week. Dismantling several myths about H-1B, the USCIS said the median salary of beneficiaries of approved petitions increased from USD 82,000 for fiscal year 2016 to USD 85,000 for fiscal 2017. While the number of H-1B petitions filed increased 1.24 per cent from 398,718 in 2016 to 403,675 in 2017, the number of H-1B petitions approved increased 5.9 per cent from 345,262 in 2016 to 365,682 in 2017. According to the report the number of H-1B petitions approved in 2017 for workers between the ages of 25 and 34 was 66.2 per cent, the num- ber of H-1B petitions approved in 2017 for workers with a bachelor's degree was 45.2 per cent. In addition, 44.5 per cent of approved petitions were for workers with a master's degree, 6.8 per cent had a doctorate, and 3.3 per cent were for workers with a professional degree. The number of H-1B petitions approved in 2017 for workers in computer-related occupations was 69.8 per cent, it said. The number of H-1B petitions approved for workers in computer-related occupations increased by 6.6 per cent from 237,837 in 2016 to 254,592 in 2017. The number of H-1B petitions for all other occupation groups increased by 3.4 per cent from 106,418 in 2016 to 110,009 in 2017, the report said. nominations were sent through e-mail. On the other hand the Division Bench of Chief Justice Jyotirmoy Bhattacharya and Justice Arijit Banerjee asked the commission counsel why there were allegations of terror tactics even after the court's order. The advocate general submitted those allegations were false. State Election Commission counsel Shaktinath Mukherjee placed before the Bench the break-up of 71,500 state armed forces of whom 500 are inspectors, 10,000 sub-inspectors and assistant subinspectors and 61,000 constables. Replying to the court's query, the advocate general submitted whatever force the commission had requisitioned was provided. Arguing for the petitioner Bikas Bhattacharya submitted that the commission's satisfaction was not final. The commission was satisfied with a three-day long poll schedule but it later changed it to a day, it was submitted. Rahul ready to be PM if party tops 2019 polls BENGALURU, 8 MAY Congress president Rahul Gandhi said today he is ready to occupy the prime minister's post if his party emerges as the “biggest” party in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, making known his ambition for the topmost executive post. “Well, it depends....it depends on how well the Congress does in the election....I mean, if it emerges as the biggest party, yes,” Gandhi said, when asked during an interaction here if he would be the next prime minister. This is not the first time Gandhi has spoken about his PM ambition. In an interaction at the Berkley University in the US in September last year, Gandhi had said he was “absolutely ready” to be the prime ministerial candidate of the Congress in 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Amid the cut and thrust of the Karnataka Assembly polls, Gandhi said he is “pretty confident” that Narendra Modi would not be the next PM, and if the Congress acts as a “platform” (with other parties in a coalition), the BJP does not stand a chance of winning the elections. “It is highly unlikely that BJP will form the next government, and the second part is that it is close to impossible that Modi will be the next PM,” Gandhi said, speaking at a function where he launched 'Samruddha Bharat Foundation'. PTI
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