Citizens' Issues
India tops in sending scientists and engineers to the US: Report
Washington : Among Asian countries, India continues its trend of being the top country of birth for immigrant scientists and engineers to the US, says a latest report, adding that with 950,000 out of Asia's total 2.96 million, India's 2013 figure represented an 85 percent increase from 2003.
 
Overall, the number of immigrant scientists and engineers in the US has risen to 18 percent from an earlier 16 percent and 57 percent of those were born in Asia.
 
From 2003 to 2013, the number of scientists and engineers residing in the US rose from 21.6 million to 29 million.
 
This 10-year increase included significant growth in the number of immigrant scientists and engineers, from 3.4 million to 5.2 million, said the report from the National Science Foundation's National Centre for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES).
 
In 2013, 63 percent of US immigrant scientists and engineers were naturalised citizens, while 22 percent were permanent residents and 15 percent were temporary visa holders.
 
"Also since 2003, the number of scientists and engineers from the Philippines increased 53 percent and the number from China, including Hong Kong and Macau, increased 34 percent," the report added.
 
The NCSES report found that immigrant scientists and engineers were more likely to have earned post-baccalaureate degrees than their US-born counterparts.
 
In 2013, 32 percent of immigrant scientists reported their highest degree was a master's (compared to 29 percent of US-born counterparts) and 9 percent reported it was a doctorate (compared to 4 percent of US-born counterparts).
 
"The most common fields of study for immigrant scientist and engineers in 2013 were engineering, computer and mathematical sciences and social and related sciences," the findings showed.
 
Over 80 percent of immigrant scientists and engineers were employed in 2013, the same percentage as their US-born counterparts.
 
Among the immigrants in the science and engineering workforce, the largest share (18 percent) worked in computer and mathematical sciences, while the second-largest share (eight percent) worked in engineering.
 
Three occupations -- life scientist, computer and mathematics scientist and social and related scientist -- saw substantial immigrant employment growth from 2003 to 2013, the report said.
 
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Modi government announces new insurance policy for farmers
New Delhi : The central government on Wednesday announced a new crop insurance policy 'Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana' for farmers across the country, saying the "path-breaking scheme" will boost the farming sector.
 
Announcing the new insurance scheme for the farmers, union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said "it would minimise the atmosphere of uncertainty" for farmers.
 
"The new crop insurance scheme will not only act as 'Suraksha Kawach' (security shield) against the vagaries of nature but also safeguard farmers' interests," he said at a press conference.
 
Earlier, the new crop insurance policy was approved by the union cabinet in a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
 
Talking about previous crop insurance policies for farmers, the home minister said they failed because of certain reasons and points of their failure have been taken into account before coming up with the new policy, He hoped it would be "accepted" by farmers of the country.
 
"This would be based on the concept of minimum premium and maximum cover (for the crops)," said
 
Singh was accompanied by union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh and union Minister for Urban Development, Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation and Parliamentary Affairs M. Venkaiah Naidu at the press conference.
 
Singh termed it "a historical decision" of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance government, saying it would help increase purchasing power of the farmers and this, in turn, would shield the country's economy from any bad effects of global financial slowdown.
 
Speaking on the occasion, the agriculture minister said the new crop insurance scheme will provide "safety" to crops and it will be implemented from the upcoming Kharif season that generally begins in April.
 
"The new insurance policy will cover seeds, plants and post harvest damage," Radha Mohan said, adding that it will ensure speedy disposal of cases.
 
The minister said the damage claim would also be simplified as farmers would be allowed to send in pictures of the damaged crop through their mobile smartphones to the agencies concerned.
 
The use of technology will be encouraged to a great extent. Smartphones will be used to capture and upload data of crop cutting to reduce the delays in claim payment to farmers. Remote sensing will be used to reduce the number of crop cutting experiments.
 
Naidu said the farmers never have "level playing field" as they get affected with all sorts of natural calamities.
 
"This (the new scheme) will take care of them," he said.
 
Naidu also said it was due to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's constant effort that the government has come up such a "path breaking" scheme.
 
"From the day one he has been thinking of poor and vulnerable sections of the society," he added.
 
Under the 'Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana', 25 percent insurance funds of the total compensation for the damaged crop will be disbursed to the farmers' bank account directly.
 
The minister said that the burden of insurance amount would be funded by the central as well as the state government.
 
There will be a uniform premium of only 2 percent to be paid by farmers for all Kharif crops and 1.5 percent for all Rabi crops. In case of annual commercial and horticultural crops, the premium to be paid by farmers will be 5 percent only.
 
The premium rates to be paid by farmers are very low and balance premium will be paid by the government to provide full insured amount to the farmers against crop loss on account of natural calamities.
 
There is no upper limit on government subsidy. Even if balance premium is 90 percent, it will be borne by the government.
 
Earlier, there was a provision of capping the premium rate which resulted in low claims being paid to farmers. This capping was done to limit government outgo on the premium subsidy. This capping has now been removed and farmers will get claim against full sum insured without any reduction.
 
The new crop insurance scheme is in line with 'One Nation - One Scheme' theme. It incorporates the best features of all previous schemes and at the same time, all previous shortcomings and weaknesses have been removed, Rajnath Singh added.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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COMMENTS

Subramani P K

2 years ago

Success of this scheme depends on fast disposal of claims by the insurance companies & honest claims by the insured. Strict vigilance to ensure proper & honest claims will be necessary otherwise this will also be like subsidies which is a drain on the tax payer's money.

MG Warrier

2 years ago

Earlier initiatives in certain states to introduce crop insurance did not take off for want of other linkages and half-hearted approach to the whole concept. This time around, Centre-state participation and overall awareness about the need to make farming a ‘bankable’ activity in its own right should make a difference. Centre and states should revisit all subsidies now being provided to farm sector, like interest subsidy, subsidised inputs and concessions in cost of electricity and ideally pool them and provide need-based subsidy to make individual farming activities economically viable.
Though going back to old practice of three components (A-Cash, B-Kind, provision of inputs and C- A consumption component in gross bank credit) may not be practical, human involvement in appraisal and supervision of credit cannot be substituted by technology while providing bank credit to farm sector.
M G Warrier, Mumbai

Pathankot attack: NIA recovers Chinese wireless from militants' car
New Delhi : The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Wednesday said it had recovered a "Chinese wireless set" from a car used by terrorists to reach the Indian Air Force (IAF) base at Pathankot which they attacked on January 2. The set was similar to one recovered after a failed assault at Samba army camp in March last year.
 
The anti-terror probe agency claimed that the car was used by the terrorists to reach the IAF base on the intervening night of December 31, 2015 and January 1, 2016. 
 
"Data in the wireless set was deleted," an NIA official told IANS here on condition of anonymity, adding that the set has been sent to the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) here to retrieve the deleted data, if possible.
 
The official said the set was similar to the wireless set recovered from the army camp in Samba on the Jammu-Pathankot highway where two terrorists opened fire on March 21, last year, in which the militants were killed and three army personnel and one civilian were injured.
 
At the Samba army camp, the militants had used a modus operandi similar to that used at the Pathankot air base. They came to the military camp dressed in army fatigues and tried to enter it to destroy defence assets. However, they failed to carry out their plan due to the tight security at the camp.
 
The official further said that NIA sleuths have traced the route the terrorists took to reach Pathankot air base from the point of abduction of Punjab Superintendent of Police Salwinder Singh, his cook Madan Gopal and jeweller friend Rajesh Verma on December 31 night.
 
"NIA teams are collecting CCTV footage on the route taken by the terrorists to the IAF base from the point they abducted Salwinder Singh and two others," the official said.
 
The NIA teams, headed by an Inspector General (IG)-rank officer, in coordination with Punjab Police and local villagers are carrying out searches on the routes taken by the terrorists to find evidence like clothes and electronic devices.
 
The officials of NIA's eight separate team have been conducting searches at those villages falling on the route taken by the terrorists to reach the IAF base.
 
Meanwhile, the agency questioned Salwinder Singh at its headquarters in New Delhi for the third consecutive day on Wednesday.
 
Salwinder Singh's cook Gopal and Somraj, the caretaker of Panj Peer Dargah -- located a few kilometres from Bamiyal village from where the terrorists were suspected to have infiltrated into India before mounting the attack -- were also summoned to reach the NIA headquarters for questioning on Thursday.
 
Salwinder Singh had claimed that he was a regular visitor to the shrine and had visited it before he was abducted by the terrorists.
 
Another highly placed source said the agency found inconsistencies in the statements of Salwinder Singh and Somraj as the latter in his earlier statement had said that the Punjab Police officer had come to the shrine for the first time before the Pathankot air base attack.
 
Somraj had also informed the NIA sleuths that Salwinder Singh's friend Verma and cook Gopal had visited the shrine twice on the same day.
 
Six Pakistani terrorists -- believed to be from the outlawed Jaish-e-Mohammed terror outfit -- sneaked into Punjab from across the border and raided the IAF base at Pathankot, killing seven security personnel.
 
Security forces killed all the terrorists in the counter-offensive. 
 
India later said it had delivered "actionable intelligence" for Pakistan to act against those who masterminded the terror attack.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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