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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Nepal's deposed king has not paid electricity dues for 10 years
Kathmandu : Nepal's last monarch Gyanendra Shah has not paid his electricity dues for the last 10 years, the state-owned Nepal Electricity Authority said on Wednesday.
 
Gyanendra, after vacating the Narayan Hiti Royal Palace here in 2008, has been living in Nagarjuna Palace, a royal property on the northern outskirts of the Kathmandu Valley. 
 
He has not been paying the electricity dues for the Nagarjuna Palace which he has been occupying since he left the Narayan Hiti royal palace, a Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) official said.
 
NEA assistant director Mukunda Man Chitrakar, who looks after auditing at the NEA, told media persons here that the staff at Nagarjuna Palace have repeatedly refused to acknowledge any letter sent by NEA raising the isue of unpaid power dues. 
 
The NEA, he said, has run up a loss of Rs.7 million in the last 10 years.
 
After the staff refused to receive NEA's letters, the electricity authority knocked the doors of Nirmal Niwas, another palace in Kathmandu in which Gyanendra used to live as former royal highness until the infamous royal massacre in Nepal in 2001. 
 
Sagar Raj Timilsina, Gyanendra's personal secretary, reportedly told the NEA officials that the liability comes under the Prime Minister's Office not the Nagarjuna Palace.
 
Until 2008, the PMO used to pay all the bills and tariffs incurred to the palaces belonging to the royals.
 
According to the Electricity Act, if a consumer fails to pay electricity bills for two months, his/her power connection will be cut and if any consumer continuously fails to pay bills for another six month, a ban will be placed on sale of his/her private properties like land and house for the next three generations.
 
Asked why had the NEA failed to cut the connection to the Nagarjuna Palace or impose a ban on selling of property as per the electricity act, Chitrakar said that since Gyanendra was a respected national and former head of the state, they did not initiate action against him.
 
"Instead of taking action against him, we decided to collect the tariff, if possible," he added.
 
The staff at Nagarjuna Palace told the NEA officials that all properties of the formal royals had been nationalised since 2008 after Gyanendra vacated the Narayan Hiti palace. 
 
"So, it is the duty of the government to pay the bills," the Nagarjuna Palace staff were reported to have told NEA officials.
 
Nepal has started to nationalise the properties of former royals after the Himalayan nation declared itself a republican state in 2008.
 
A dedicated Office of the Nepal Trust is handling the properties of the former royals, including Gyanendra, and bringing them under its ambit.
 
The Office of the Trust responded to a letter sent by the NEA that Nagarjuna Palace is being used by Gyanendra for his private purpose and is not owned by the government. 
 
This has paved the way for NEA to knock the door of the Prime Minister's Office (PMO).
 
"We are writing to PMO soon in this respect," Chitrakar said. 
 
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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Inflation, corporate profits key to India's growth story: Moody's
Mumbai : It will be advantage India during 2016 if inflation is kept under control and corporate profits revive, global credit rating agency Moody's said on Wednesday.
 
"India enters 2016 on the cusp of a cyclical growth recovery, with inflation under control and its economy benefitting from lower commodity prices," Moody's associate managing director Atsi Sheth said at a conference here.
 
With Baa3 positive rating, the country will be among the fastest growing economies this year if inflation is reined in and corporate profits rise.
 
The agency's Indian affiliate ICRA Ltd. expects consumption to increase from pay revision to central government's employees and pensioners, upturn in agriculture pick-up in rural demand.
 
"We believe these advantages will yield growth acceleration once corporate and bank balance sheets are repaired and private sector remains competitive," Sheth said at the day-long session on 'Financing India's Growth', organised by Moody's and ICRA.
 
Though the federal government is facing opposition in introducing the Goods and Services Tax (GST) from April 1, it has initiated measures to spur investments in infrastructure, allow greater foreign direct investment (FDI) and implement inflation targeting.
 
"Inflation and corporate profit trends in 2016 will offer clues on these policy efforts creating conditions for sustainable growth over the next three-four years," Sheth asserted.
 
According to official data released on Tuesday, the annual retail inflation climbed to 5.61 percent in December from 5.41 percent in November.
 
As corporate profit taxes are a major source of state revenue, the agency hoped stronger profits from India Inc. would support the government's fiscal consolidation efforts.
 
"We believe the lagged impact of reforms, pay revision for government employees and pensioners and a cyclical upturn in agriculture and rural demand will provide a modest boost to economic activity in 2016," ICRA senior economist Aditi Nayar said at the outlook conference.
 
A normal monsoon in 2016 after two consecutive years of poor rainfall will boost agricultural output, restore purchasing power to the farm sector and generate an up-tick in rural demand.
 
ICRA believes private investment will be constrained by high levels of corporate groups, weak asset quality of state-run banks and structural issues plaguing sectors such as steel and power generation.
 
The government's capital outlay and expenditure is likely to moderate this year to absorb the pay revision burden and reduce fiscal deficit to 2.5 percent in the ensuing fiscal year (2016-17).
 
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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