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British Council and Mumbai First Join Hands to transform Mumbai into a World-Class City

Other than cultural and educational reforms, there will be musical exchanges between the UK and Indian artistes, organisations and public through collaborative projects designed to nurture talent and promote wider cultural dialogues

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  • Projects and activities will be initiated for an all-round achievement in the two key areas- education and culture
  • In education, initiatives will be taken up aimed at enrichment of teaching skills and quality improvement of low-cost private English medium schools
  • On the culture front, initiatives will focus on taking the diverse range of music of Mumbai to a global audience through Mix The City Mumbai Project

Mumbai, July 10, 2017: The British Council and Mumbai First will collaborate in education, tourism, arts, and culture to transform Mumbai into a world-class city, an official said here on Monday.

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed to initiate projects and activities in these sectors for an all-around achievement in the two key areas — education and culture — that would positively impact Mumbaikars.

In education, initiatives will be taken up aimed at enrichment of teaching skills and quality improvement of low-cost private English medium schools in and around Mumbai besides professional development and language proficiency programmes.

These programs will be conducted face to face and digitally with government (municipal) primary and secondary schools involving around 10,000 teachers across the Mumbai Metropolitan Region.

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The new schools would focus on developing the school leadership, 21st-century core skills of learners and quality in classrooms with plans to set up joint awards for those (schools) that meet the set quality standards.

On the culture front, initiatives will focus on taking the diverse range of music of Mumbai to a global audience through Mix The City Mumbai Project, featuring recordings of performances by local musicians curated online.

The collaboration will seek art installations in public places across Mumbai, creating multiple sites to involve people to become part of the city’s rich musical heritage.

Besides, there will be musical exchanges between the UK and Indian artists, organizations and public through collaborative projects designed to nurture talent and promote wider cultural dialogues.

“For almost 70 years, we have helped put education and culture at the heart of the UK’s relationship with Mumbai. We are delighted that in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘UK-India Year of Culture’, we can deepen our connections with the city through a new partnership with Mumbai First,” said British Council’s Director-India Alan Gemmell.

“The collaboration is in line with our vision to transform Mumbai and MMR into a world-class safe city, one of the best places to live and do business,” said Shishir Joshi, CEO, Mumbai First think tank.

It was set up as a model of public-private-participation by India’s corporate leaders almost two decades ago with the Tatas, Mahindras, Godrejs, and others being the original patrons. (IANS)

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India Continues Engaging With USA Over H-1B Passport Issue

India is closely engaged with the US administration as well as the US Congress on this matter.

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As Trump proposes changes in H1-B visa, India continues to engage with US

India is continuing to engage with the US over the H-1B visa, largely availed of by Indian IT companies, after the Trump administration proposed changes to the programme, a senior official said on Thursday.

“It is a very important topic for us and that is the reason why we have time and again at various levels, we have taken up this matter with the US side,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said in response to queries by journalists here.

Kumar said that most recently, the issue was raised during the first ever India-US 2+2 Ministerial Meeting held here last month that was attended by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defence Secretary Jim Mattis.

On Wednesday, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said that the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) plans to come out with its new proposal by January 2019.

India n Passport
It will also “revise the definition” of employment and employer-employee relationship to “better protect” US workers and wages Flickr

The DHS said it was also proposing to remove from its regulations certain H-4 spouses of H-1B non-immigrants as a class of aliens eligible for employment authorisation.

The move to end the rule could have an impact on more than 70,000 H-4 visa holders, who have work permits.

The H-4 visas are issued by the USCIS to immediate family members (spouse and children under 21 years of age) of the holders of H-1B visa.

The DHS said it will propose to revise the definition of speciality occupation to increase focus on obtaining the best and the brightest foreign nationals via the H-1B programme.

It will also “revise the definition” of employment and employer-employee relationship to “better protect” US workers and wages, the DHS said.

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President Donald Trump speaks about immigration alongside family members affected by crimes committed by undocumented immigrants, at the South Court Auditorium on the White House complex, June 22, 2018, in Washington, VOA

In his remarks on Thursday, Kumar said that India is closely engaged with the US administration as well as the US Congress on this matter.

Stating that there are certain bills which have been introduced, he, however, said that “it is important to note that none of these bills have been passed so far”.

“When we have engaged with the US, we have emphasised that our partnership which we have in the digital sphere have been mutually beneficial,” the spokesperson said.

Also Read: USA And Other Countries Pledge To Eradicate Illegal Wildlife Trade

“We have highlighted the role which has been played by the highly skilled Indian professionals who have actually contributed to the growth and development of the US economy,” he stated.

“And also they have helped the US to maintain a competitive edge in the world towards innovation and science and technology.” (IANS)