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The outgoing Trump administration has announced stricter rules for the H-1B visa programme. The decision has been taken to protect the economic interests of US workers and give better employment opportunities to highly-skilled foreign employees in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise. The old lottery system of work visa selection will not be followed now. As per the new wage-based work visa regime priority in selection of visas will be given to applications of those employers whose “proffered wage equals or exceeds” the prevailing level in that area of employment. Watch, how will it impact Indians and US firms.


Watch how minorities in Pakistan are treated. The mainly Islamic nation treats even its Muslim minorities - Shias and Ahmediyas - worse than animals. Not just religious identity, even regional minorities are facing the daily wrath at the hands of the Pakistani military establishment. Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists face daily crisis where the women are abducted and forcibly converted to Islam, raped and even killed for holding on their identities. Hindu temples are constantly destroyed, places of worship decimated. The minorities in Pakistan face daily human right abuses.


Around 128 years ago, on September 11, Swami Vivekanand delivered an iconic and eloquent speech at the Chicago Convention of Parliament of Religions. Introducing Hinduism to the world in 1893, Swami Vivekanand spoke about intolerance, religion and the need to end all forms of fanaticism. Such was the effect of the remarkable message that he was given a two-minute standing ovation.


The Jammu and Kashmir Police on Sunday busted a terrorist hideout of Lashkar-e-Taiba in Chandhara Pampore village of the south Kashmir district's Awantipora area. Awantipora Police officials swiftly acted after receiving credible intel regarding the presence of terrorist hideout in a particular house in village Chandhara. The police have also arrested one terrorist associate named Adil Ahmad Shah. During the search, one large hideout was found in the cowshed of the house. Amongst clothing and other essentials, incriminating material of proscribed outfit LeT with 26 rounds of AK47 were recovered from the hideout.


Jammu and Kashmir Public Works Department is constructing bridges in Rajouri to improve rural connectivity of remote border areas and villages with the district headquarters. Locals from these secluded areas said these bridges will make their lives much easier. Earlier, they had to take a two day walk to reach the district Centre or use horses for transportation, but with the construction of bridges, motor vehicles can reach their villages. Accessibility for medical services will also be enhanced with these groups.


On January 10, the Kashmir Hallmarking Centre (KHC), Kashmir’s first centre for gold assaying and hallmarking, started functioning. Given people are now aware of the benefits of buying gold with hallmarks, setting up of KHC will boost the gold business in the valley. Recognized by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), KHC’s responsibility will be to certify gold and verify its purity. First of its kind in Kashmir and fourth in the Union Territory of J&K, the Seed Capital Fund Scheme of the Jammu and Kashmir Government will be funded by the centre.


COVID19 lockdown has hit livelihoods all across the world. In Jammu and Kashmir, an engineer by profession Rakesh Sharma took up mushroom farming post losing his job and moving to his hometown. The district authorities came forward to his aid to support his initiative and gave him a subsidy. Given the popularity of mushroom farming as one of the most profitable and low investment business options, many youngsters in the valley are attracted to it, generating employment for themselves and others.


On January 3rd, Pakistan’s Balochistan province saw the heinous kidnapping and killing of 11 impoverished coal miners in Machh by Islamic State. They recorded these ghastly killings and the brutal video went viral on social media inviting huge criticism for Pakistan. Thousands of members of the Shia Hazara community in Quetta are protesting with coffins containing the miners’ bodies refusing to bury them unless Prime Minister Imran Khan travels down to Quetta to meet them personally. Despite calls and protests, Pakistan’s PM refused to meet the families of the victims and said he will not be “blackmailed” into flying to Quetta.


At least 25 Indian Americans are set to hold important roles in the incoming administration of President elect Joe Biden. Besides the to be US Vice President Kamala Harris, Biden continues to fill his government structure with Indian Americans holding key policy positions. They are Neera Tanden, Vivek Murthy, Bharat Ramamurti, Vedant Patel, Vinay Reddy, Gautam Raghavan, Dr. Celine Gounder and Sabrina Singh. Apart from the Cabinet & White House, many positions in Joe Biden's Agency Review Teams or The ARTs are held by Indian-Americans.


2020 has been a bizarre year for the world. India is no exception to it. The Coronavirus pandemic is likely to cast a shadow on 2021 too. India has battled with Coronavirus head on and the vaccination drive to eliminate the virus has already begun. A look at what awaits India in 2021. From Vaccine Manufacturing to elevating the economy from the pandemic woes to handling Chinese aggression and more, India has a lot to look up to in 2021.

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