The Bill being pushed by the Obama administration gives the domestic IT professionals in the US a 60-day period to find a new job after they lose the existing one, among several other sweeping reforms
Software services industry body Nasscom today raised concerns over proposed discriminatory restrictions in the draft US Immigration Bill.
“Surely, we have got huge concerns on the restrictions that are being proposed in the Senate Bill. There is discrimination because it is based on visa dependent companies versus non-visa dependent companies.” Nasscom president Som Mittal told reporters.
He said “it puts restrictions on our ability to service our customers and prevents our ability to have a level-playing competition in the US”.
Mittal said the restrictions would have a major impact on US corporations served by Indian IT companies, because of which the first impact would be on the US economy and customers there. “So, it is the US corporations who are actually batting for us,” Mittal added.
Officially called the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernisation Act, 2013, the Bill being pushed by the Obama administration gives the domestic IT professionals in the US a 60-day period to find a new job after they lose the existing one, among several other sweeping reforms.
Out of the $108-billion software exports from the country, as much as $46 billion comes from the US alone for most of the domestic IT companies. These companies will also have to shell out more fees to get H-1B visas, if the draft legislation is cleared by the Congress and is signed into law by Obama.
To a query on whether the Indian government and IT companies were lobbying on the issue with the US government, he said, “Whether it is our customers (in the US) or whether it is our own government or Nasscom, we are all ensuring that we provide these perspectives to the decision makers there“.
“Our Ambassador (Nirupama Rao) is actively working (on this issue). Government of India at the senior levels have written to their counterparts in US. I don’t think any country wants discriminatory bills to come in. They do not want this to become a trade issue”, he said.
Mittal said Indians working in the US for several IT companies have contributed more than $15 billion in taxes and social security in the last five years.
“So we are creating jobs there as well. We have to ensure during the negotiations (before passing the bill), negative provisions do not come. Our hope is on the process of legislation in the US. That’s the way democracy works“.
“The rate cut from 10p/10KB to 2p/10KB will make internet access affordable for customers who use mobile Internet in a limited way,” Vodafone said in a statement
In a significant move, Vodafone India today said it has reduced data charges by up to 80% in three circles and the new cheaper rates will be rolled out nationally in a phased manner.
The telecom operator has reduced the price from 10 paisa per 10 KB to 2 paisa per 10KB for Karnataka, UP West and Madhya Pradesh & Chhattisgarh circles.
“The rate cut from 10p/10KB to 2p/10KB will make internet access affordable for customers who use mobile Internet in a limited way,” Vodafone said in a statement.
The company said this rate would be applicable for all pre-paid and post-paid customers using 2G network on a “Pay as you Go” basis in these circles.
“These rates are currently applicable in Karnataka, UP West and Madhya Pradesh & Chhattisgarh circles and will be rolled out nationally in a phased manner,” Vodafone said.
As part of its strategy to ‘democratise’ data, Vodafone is educating current and potential users about how Internet can add significant value to them.
The company is also building content partnerships, simplifying pricing, educating retailers and offering choice to customer basis their interests and consumption patterns.
“We, at Vodafone, want to accelerate mobile Internet adoption ...This 80% reduction in data charges for customers using 2G network is an important step in this direction,” Vodafone India chief commercial officer Vivek Mathur said.
A new research by Jeffrey Winking and Nicholas Mizer of Texas A&M University on human generosity suggests that past studies may have overestimated this human quality
All this while it was believed that humans are inherently generous. Several studies seem to confirm this. A new study however, offers a totally opposite conclusion.
Scientists recreated a game—the Dictator Game—often used to assess people's altruism--but this time there was a twist, and a darker result. In real-life enactment of the game, no one gave anything. The new findings may “demand a re-evaluation” of the “true nature” of these human qualities as exhibited in laboratory experiments.
In the new study, researchers, Jeffrey Winking and Nicholas Mizer of Texas A&M University recreated the game commonly used in laboratory experiments to assess people’s willingness to give away money or their altruism. Usually, the participants are granted anonymity. In the new study also the researchers assured anonymity, but more than what is usually assured. The participants did not know any experiment was even happening or that they were being watched. The result to this was that the level of giving fell to zero. The levels of altruism recorded in previous experiments may be “substantially inflated,” wrote Winking and Mizer. The results are published in the July issue of the journal Evolution and Human Behaviour. The findings also highlighted that ‘anonymity’ and ‘secrecy’ can be different things, because any visible experimental situation can threaten a participant with “very subtle cues”.
The altruism game, known as the Dictator Game, along with many variants, is routine fare in psychology and economics experiments. Usually, the participants are given somemoney and are instructed that may share some of the money with any unknown, randomly assigned partner if they wish. Anonymity is generally promised.
In the new version, a random stranger would approach the people waiting for the buses near the Las Vegas casinos and offer them some free casino chips which are convertible to money, saying that he didn’t have time to cash them in. In certain scenarios, the stranger would also suggest that the recipient could share the chips with a second stranger, who was standing some distance away with his back turned, chatting into a cell phone. Both strangers were actually actors. The chip-giver would then leave, and the second stranger who was on a call would put down his phone and come to the bus stop. The chip recipient’s next move was then secretly noted.
Winking and Mizer wrote that in the standard Dictator Game, the overall average donation based on past studies is 28% of the total, with nearly two-thirds of people offering at least something, but in their “real-life” re-enactment of the game, no one gave a thing. They speculated that one of the reasons could be that the participants were reluctant to start a conversation with a stranger. However, there were two participants who did start a conversation with the cell phone guy but only to say how lucky they were.
There were 60 participants in this “real-life” Dictator Game. But for another version that combined aspects of the “real-life” form and the laboratory form, thirty additional participants were recruited. These people were approached in the same manner as before, butwere told that it was an (anonymous) experiment. This was done to assess whether the “real-life” form and the laboratory version were indeed comparable, apart from their intended differences. The researchers said that the results from this hybrid Dictator Game were similar to the laboratory version which has been repeated in at least 129 published studies since 1986. They said that the new findings are important because cooperation and altruism is an active area of study, with one great riddle being their evolutionary origins and the new findings may “demand a re-evaluation” of the “true nature” of these human qualities as exhibited in laboratory experiments.