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4/8/2014
WASHINGTON—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it has received a sufficient number of H-1B petitions to reach the statutory cap for fiscal year (FY) 2015. USCIS has also received more than the limit of 20,000 H-1B petitions filed under the U. S. advanced degree exemption. Before running a random selection process, USCIS will complete initial intake for all filings received during the filing period which ended today. Due to the high number of petitions, USCIS is not yet able to announce the date on which it will conduct the random selection process.
4/8/2014
STANFORD, Calif.--Stanford Graduate School of Business is seeking MBA candidates, who are citizens of India and interested in contributing to the country's human and socioeconomic progress, to apply for the Stanford Reliance Dhirubhai MBA Fellowship. Fellows must commit to return to India within two years, and for at least two years, in order to leverage their new skills to make an impact in the country. Applications now accepted through June 13, 2014. Initially launched in April 2008, thanks to a gift from Reliance Industries Limited, the program defrays the costs of application and attendance for promising Indian students with financial need in obtaining an MBA at Stanford. Up to five selected fellows will join the Class of 2017 in September 2015.
4/8/2014
LONDON-- After hitting an eight month high, the Indian Rupee is experiencing a recovery in time for the elections taking place this month. The high expectations of political stability and fast economic recovery after the new government is elected, is predicted to bring bulls into market and boost the Indian Rupee, causing it to rally against the dollar, according to Mohsin Jameel , CEO of Tradenext, a London based financial provider of derivatives trading solutions to private investors and institutions. Here, Jameel offers his views on the general elections taking place in India.
4/7/2014
The world is eager for news about the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370. So eager, in fact, that scammers are taking advantage of our curiosity, according to Better Business Bureau. Don't fall for click bait teasers promoting exclusive footage of found passengers. It sounds like a sick April Fool's joke, but it's a real scam. How the Scam Works:  You are on Facebook, and a post catches your attention. "Video of Malaysia MH370 Plane Found in Bermuda Triangle. Passengers alive," it teases. Another popular version promises: "[NEWS FLASH] Missing Plane Has Been Found!"
4/7/2014
HOUSTON--AG Global, one of North America's largest natural and organic fertilizer manufacturers with products available in retail outlets and distribution centers across North America, has signed an agreement to secure neem and neem products from Parry America, a United States-based subsidiary of EID Parry India Limited (Parry).  "After three years of in-house product development and research conducted with the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre (Ontario) and the Guelph Turfgrass Institute (University of Guelph, Ontario), we are now ready to move forward with neem as a key component of AG Global's product offering" said Brian Iversen, AG Global CEO. 
4/7/2014
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan—Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer of the World Bank met with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to discuss Pakistan's ongoing economic reform program, including a stronger focus on private sector involvement and other poverty fighting measures. During her one-day visit, Indrawati also met key cabinet members including the Federal Minister for Finance, Ishaq Dar, and the ministers of water and power, petroleum and natural resources. Indrawati recognized that despite the difficult economic situation the government's reforms are going into the right direction and are necessary to lead the country on a stable path to recovery.
4/7/2014

Over 55 people from the Indian, Nepalese and Pakistani communities gathered on Sunday to kick off Saheli Boston's Mental Health and Emotional Well-Being Initiative. The event was organized and planned by Saheli to introduce the organization's new initiative on raising awareness about mental health and emotional well-being in the South Asian community. This initiative is chaired by Saheli Board member Dr. Kumkum Pareek Malik and Co-chaired by Neelam Wali. Saheli Boston is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting South Asian women, children and families in the New England area."We want the entire community to be part of this," said Dr. Malik. "Mental health and emotional well-being is a community need, and it is a key area in everyone's life. 

4/7/2014

CAMBRIDGE, MA — EdX, the nonprofit online learning initiative, has appointed edX President Anant Agarwal to the position of Chief Executive Officer and has appointment Wendy Cebula as the company's president and chief operating officer.  Cebula will assume the day-to-day management and oversight of the nonprofit's operations, while Agarwal will become edX's CEO, focusing on its strategic direction, growth and partnerships. The appointment of Ms. Cebula, a former Vistaprint executive, comes as edX continues to grow, expanding users, courses and partners. Cebula will help to build out and scale operations to accelerate edX's next phase of growth. The company currently provides a world-class destination site for learning and an open sourced platform, embraced by countries, institutions and companies around the world. 
4/7/2014
WASHINGTON –– U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is now accepting applications for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 Citizenship and Integration Grant Program, which will provide up to $10 million in funding for citizenship preparation programs in communities across the country. The Citizenship and Integration Grant Program is a competitive grant opportunity for public or non-profit organizations, which promotes immigrant civic integration and prepares permanent residents for citizenship. Applications are due by May 16.
4/7/2014
Almost half a million people fell ill with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) in 2012, yet less than one in 4 of these people was diagnosed, mainly due to a lack of access to quality diagnostic services.
But with an innovative international project, 27 countries are making promising progress in diagnosing MDR-TB, says World Health Organization. Countries around the world marked World TB Day, 24 March.
The project known as EXPAND-TB (Expanding Access to New Diagnostics for TB), financed by UNITAID, helped to triple the number of MDR-TB cases diagnosed in participating countries. 90% of India's detected MDR-TB cases were through EXPAND-TB supported services.
4/7/2014
Amid last month's Women's History Month, an event that highlights the contributions of women in historical and contemporary society, it's painful to concurrently reveal that "at the current rate of change, it will take until the year 2085 for women to reach parity with men in leadership roles in our country." This staggering estimate, just reported by the Center for American Progress (CAP), persists despite "over the past two decades, a considerable body of research has emerged to lend incontrovertible proof to the idea that when women thrive, organizations thrive—and nations thrive too. From that research, there is now a consensual view that women's leadership is not just a matter of fairness, but also has the potential to move companies, governments, and societies in new and better directions."
4/7/2014
WASHINGTON—South Asia needs to spend as much as $2.5 trillion on infrastructure by 2020 to bring its power grids, roads and water supplies up to the standard needed to serve its growing population, a World Bank report says.  The report, "Reducing Poverty by Closing South Asia's Infrastructure Gap", is the first analysis of the region's infrastructure needs by the World Bank. It says the region, which includes Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, could address its "enormous" infrastructure needs by tapping private and public sector funds as well as by introducing reforms. "Many people in South Asia remain unconnected to a reliable electricity grid, a safe water supply, sanitary sewerage disposal, and sound roads and transport networks," said Philippe Le Houérou, Vice President for the South Asia Region at the World Bank. 
4/7/2014
PISCATAWAY, N.J.--IEEE, the world's largest professional organization advancing technology for humanity, announced that the IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA) has formed the Indian Low-Voltage DC (LVDC) Forum under the auspices of the IEEE-SA Industry Connections (IC) program. “LVDC as a technique has the potential to dramatically reduce demand for electricity and thereby its consumption,” said Mustafa Wajid, chair of the LVDC Forum. “The resurgence of DC is driven by a multifaceted technology evolution that combines electrical engineering with power electronics, control systems, IT and emerging technologies like advanced LEDs, Brushless DC (BLDC) motors, DC-powered data centers, Power over Ethernet (PoE) and 100W USB connectors.”
4/1/2014
BOSTON—Harvard Business School (HBS) graduate Salman (Sal) Khan, founder and executive director of Khan Academy, a not-for-profit organization that provides online videos on a wide array of subjects to students and other learners of all ages around the globe, will give Harvard Business School's Class Day keynote address to members of the MBA Class of 2014 on Wed., May 28, as part of a student-led ceremony held the day before Harvard University's Commencement exercises.
4/1/2014
NEW YORK — Aereo, Inc., which offers live broadcast TV and DVR over the Web, released the following statement from its Founder and CEO Chet Kanojia regarding the company's response brief filed last week in the U.S. Supreme Court: "Last December, we decided to not oppose the broadcasters' petition for certiorari before the United States Supreme Court. Today, we filed our response brief setting forth the basis for our steadfast conviction that Aereo's cloud-based antenna and DVR technology falls squarely within the law. We have every confidence that the Court will validate and preserve a consumer's right to access local over-the-air television using an individual antenna, make a personal recording with a DVR, and watch that recording on a device of their choice.
4/1/2014
BOSTON—A group local Indians are embarking upon a loft task of putting together an Indian educational and cultural center in Boston. The group of led by Bijoy Misra and Praveen Sahay.
"For the last twenty years or so, I have been thinking about putting together an educational center on India in Boston for the sake of education and cultural exchange," said Misra, a physicist and research associate with the Department of South Asian Studies at Harvard University. "Praveen Sahay, a local friend from Acton, got interested and has helped me to streamline my thoughts in a conceptual organization of the proposed center in the form of an activity Museum."
3/31/2014
WAHINGTON, DC—The Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL) has announced a Request for Proposals from organizations interested in submitting proposals for projects that facilitate south-south cooperation for the protection of migrant workers in East Asia Pacific or South Central Asia. DRL invites organizations to submit proposals outlining program concepts and capacity to manage projects targeting the following issues. South-South Cooperation to Protect Asian Migrant Workers (Approximately $200,000): Civil society organizations in developing countries have expertise and access that is often not present in U.S. or international NGOs. They are often well situated to act as mentors to organizations in other developing countries, comparing strategic responses that address similar challenges and opportunities.
3/31/2014
WASHINGTON—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin accepting H-1B petitions subject to the fiscal year (FY) 2015 cap on April 1, 2014. Cases will be considered accepted on the date that USCIS receives a properly filed petition with the correct fee. USCIS will not rely on the date that the petition is postmarked. The congressionally mandated cap on H-1B visas for FY 2015 is 65,000. The first 20,000 H-1B petitions filed on behalf of individuals with a U.S. master's degree or higher are exempt from the 65,000 cap. USCIS anticipates receiving more than enough petitions to reach both caps by April 7. The agency is prepared to use a random selection process to meet the numerical limit. Non-duplicate petitions that are not selected will be rejected and returned with the filing fees.
3/31/2014

In this edition of Chai with Manju, we present an interesting glimpse into the life of Anant Agarwal, president of edX, a not-for-profit enterprise offering free online courses from the 32 global institutions of higher education and founded by MIT and Harvard University. Only within two years of its launch and with over two million students enrolled from 196 countries, edX has become a global phenomenon, or a journey that Agarwal describes as "like riding a rocket ship."

Despite his extraordinary career that started with an electrical engineering degree from IIT Chennai, followed by computer science at Stanford, then MIT and now edX, Agarwal does not believe in destiny. He does concede, however, that timing and luck play a role in life but insists that while it may be raining diamonds "you must have your hands spread out for them to accidentally drop into your grasp." Agarwal's success is attributed to his hard work, great mentors and the fact that he never gives up. He enjoys building things and also has a passion for doing new and crazy things, be it building a chicken farm at home at the age of 13 or giving up the prestigious directorship of MIT's computer science and artificial intelligence lab for an education, non-profit start-up. Not surprisingly, his best advice for other entrepreneurs is: "Shoot for the impossible."
3/31/2014
WASHINGTON, D.C. —The Center for American Progress released a report earlier this month entitled: "Women's Leadership: What's True, What's False, and Why It Matters." The new analysis examines the stubbornly persistent gender gap in workplace advancement and political representation, questions how and why we talk about women's leadership in the United States, and offers insights into how we might more successfully fight to remove longstanding barriers to women's equal participation. "Arguments in favor of women's leadership all too often rest upon feel-good stereotypes about all the ways that women—'naturally' more collaborative, more risk-averse, more grounded in old-fashioned common sense—can be better leaders than men," says Judith Warner, a CAP Senior Fellow and author of the report.
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