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Yes, Indians can speak English

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Indians living abroad, especially in English-speaking countries, are quite often asked a question that takes us by surprise. I am sure that many Indians have been asked this question time and again and no, this has nothing to do with their line of work or anything else.

The question, that may come across as innocent, is actually quite appalling. I have met at least five persons who have asked me about the fluency of my spoken English. It may come as a surprise when you are asked the very first time but when asked, again and again, it becomes a little irritating.

Let me make  this clear on behalf of all the Indians who live abroad. Yes, we can speak English. There is a simple reason behind this–we come English medium schools. Yes, we have lots and lots of those back in India. We not only have English as a subject but it is also the language used for communication in school and college and throughout our years of education. It may come as a surprise to you but we also use English at the workplace. Our fluency may vary but most of us do know the language. Surprising as it may seem to many, we can read, write and speak English fluently.

I was first bombarded with this question around three years ago when my husband and I went mattress shopping. The saleswoman, who was in her late forties, was quite amiable and did her job well. Then she asked us for how long we had been living in the United States. I told her it had just been a couple of months (We had just relocated back then). She looked surprised and I think she did try to control herself but failed and said, “Your English is perfect. Where did you learn to speak the language?” It took me a few minutes to recover from the question but my husband, who travels a lot and is probably used to this line of questioning, simply said, we come from English-medium schools. The poor woman looked shocked. We did not buy the mattress from that store, not because of the stupid question but because it was too expensive.

Since it was the first time I was asked that question I did not know how to react. I have been asked the same question on many occasions and sometimes with a look of disgust, surprise, shock and many similar expressions but now I do not even bother to explain the Indian education system to them. I simply reply with a Yes and move on.

I can still understand if the question is asked by some middle-aged person. But someone who is young shouldn’t be so ignorant. Don’t get me wrong. I can completely understand that you are intrigued and think that people from India do not speak English and why shouldn’t you? After all, it is not our national language. However, the good part is that the India was ruled by the Britishers for the 100 years and whatever bad they did, they did manage to leave behind a few good things, the adaption of English language in our education system and it is being followed till date and becoming more and more advanced.

So, the crux is most of us who do get a job in English speaking countries or are transferred there, it is because we know the language. Why the hell would we be sent there otherwise? Think about it. Am I making sense to you now? I am sure I am.

Source-en.gravatar.com/confused4ever, writer is an Indian blogger living in the US

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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)