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Indian-American diaspora can give more aid to India than US government

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Washington: The Indian-American diaspora among the top ten percent earners in the US has the capacity to give to India at levels that could be more than official US development aid there, according to a new report.

Indian-Americans are expanding their philanthropy from giving to family and community to giving to broader-based social causes aimed at addressing India’s most challenging problems, noted the report released Monday by the Bridgespan Group.

Approximately 3.5 million Indian-Americans and their children are living in the US States. The India-born population is a rapidly evolving and fast-growing diaspora group, noted the Group, an advisor for not-for-profit organizations and philanthropists.

“The Indian diaspora in the United States is positioned to help now more than ever before,” said Rohit Menezes, a Bridgespan partner who leads the organization’s India office.

“Indian immigrants have fared well and amassed significant wealth. It is our aim to encourage donors to give more to India and to do so more effectively,” he said.

The report notes that Indian-headed households have a median annual income of $89,000 (compared to a US median of $50,000), and 27 percent of Indian households earn more than $140,000, putting them in the top 10 percent of earners nationally.

The combined annual discretionary income of Americans of Indian origin is approximately $67.4 billion.

“If their philanthropic contributions were consistent with those of other US households in similar income brackets, and they directed 40 percent of their philanthropy to India, $1.2 billion per year would flow from Indian diaspora donors to Indian causes, as compared to current US foreign aid to India ($116.4 million in FY 2014),” the report noted.

And it represents over half the entire amount of annual official development aid received by India from all countries-$2.2 billion, on average, from 2005 through 2013.

The report also points to significant nonfinancial assets the diaspora community has to offer.

“Indian-Americans are highly educated and well represented in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) professions, in technology and entrepreneurship, and increasingly occupy roles of political and social influence in the US,” said Menezes.

“This achievement, combined with familiarity with Indian culture and communities, positions Indian-Americans well to increase involvement in building the capacity and professionalism of India’s civil society organizations and the philanthropic entities that support them.”

The Bridgespan Group along with Stanford Social Innovation Review and Dasra have also launched “Impact India “- a joint publication on strategic philanthropy in India.

It represents trends in giving by Indian-Americans back to India, and the impact of these funding flows. The giving could also be in non-monetary terms.

(Arun Kumar, 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.

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)