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India highest recipient of US economic assistance: USAID

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The US provided $65.1 billion as economic assistance to India between 1946 and 2012, according to the US Agency for International Development (USAID) statistics. Credits: https://www.google.co.in/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=0CAYQjB1qFQoTCJjv_a232sYCFYQupgodusIHLQ&url=http%3A%2F%2Fthephilanews.com%2Ftreasury-secretary-lew-on-u-s-economic-assistance-to-ukraine-44723.htm&ei=_-akVdjzG4TdmAW6hZ_oAg&bvm=bv.97653015,d.dGY&psig=AFQjCNH6FrcUGXOt5bMcNxiUoeZqa_sAmw&ust=1436956796267425

It was the highest among the economic assistance provided to 200 countries and regions by the US during the period.

The data, which was inflation adjusted, shows India received $65.1 billion in economic assistance, followed closely by Israel, which got $65 billion.

Pakistan, which received a total of $44.4 billion from the US, was among the top five countries of the total 200 nations and regions getting the economic assistance.

Indian economic aid was spread over various sectors and programmes, including child survival and health, development assistance, HIV/AIDS initiatives, migration and refugee assistance, food aid and narcotics control. Some $26 billion of the total aid was provided for various USAID programmes.

In comparison, of the total economic assistance provided to Pakistan, $13.8 billion was given for USAID programmes, while $13.7 billion was attributed to the Economic Support Fund and Security Support Assistance.

USAID is the lead US government agency that works to end extreme global poverty and enable resilient, democratic societies to realise their potential.

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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.

Donald Trump, India
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)