While you were away: Top 10 stories to bring you up to date

From US guidelines for H-1B to SBI cutting lending rates to Kejriwal seeking EVMs for tempering probe, here’s a list of top 10 stories to bring you up to date.

india Updated: Apr 04, 2017 07:43 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
H-1B guidelines,US visa,EVM tampering
In a policy memorandum dated March 31, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services said a computer programmer with an ability to use IT skill will not be sufficient.(File Photo)

From US guidelines for H-1B to SBI lending rate cut to Kejriwal seeking EVMs for probe, here’s a list of top 10 stories to bring you up to date.

1) US tightens H-1B guidelines for computer programmers

The United States has raised the specialisation bar for H-1B visas for hiring computer programmers and, on Monday, just around the time it began accepting petitions for 2018, and warned employers against using the visa programme to discriminate against American workers. In a policy memorandum dated March 31, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services said a computer programmer with an ability to use IT skill will not be sufficient. A petitioner “must provide other evidence to establish that the particular position is one in a specialty occupation”.

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2) EVM tampering allegations: Kejriwal asks EC to release machines for probe

Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal raised doubts on Monday over the BJP’s landslide assembly poll victory in Uttar Pradesh, and asked the Election Commission to release electronic voting machines (EVM) for investigation into allegations of tampering and rigging. Also, the Aam Aadmi Party chief demanded that the April 23 civic elections in New Delhi be postponed, or the poll panel should go back to the paper ballot.

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3) Explosion in St Petersburg metro kills 10, injures dozens; terror link suspected

About 10 people were killed and several more injured Monday after an explosion rocked the metro system in Russia’s second city Saint Petersburg, according to authorities, who were not ruling out a possible terror attack. President Vladimir Putin said investigators were looking into all possible causes for the explosion -- “accidental, criminal and first of all ... terrorist.” Pictures screened on national television showed the door of a train carriage blown out, as bloodied bodies lay strewn on a station platform.

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4) Hindustani classical vocalist Kishori Amonkar passes away

Kishori Amonkar, one of India’s finest Hindustani classical singers, passed away at the age of 84 at her house in Mumbai on Monday evening. Born on April 10, 1932 to Madhavdas Bhatiya and Mogubai Kurdikar, a well-known classical vocalist, she learned music under Ustad Alladiya Khan Saheb and Kesarbai Kerkar. A recipient of the Padma Vibhushan, Amonkar sang in the Jaipur gharana style, with her quintessential Maharashtrian and Goan lehja.

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5) SBI cuts lending rates, hikes minimum balance for savings accounts

State Bank of India on Monday lowered lending rates but hiked charges for not maintaining minimum balance as well as for services like cheque books and lockers. The bank has cut its base rate by 15 basis points (bps) to 9.10% with effect from April 1, 2017, from 9.25%. The decisions are likely to trigger a rate cut war among lenders and hiking charges that will hit millions of account holders. The higher charges will be applicable to the account holders of five associate lenders and Bharatiya Mahila Bank that have merged with the SBI.

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6) Indian Institute of Science is the best university, Miranda House top college: HRD ministry rankings

Delhi’s Miranda House and Bengaluru’s Indian Institute of Science are India’s best college and university respectively, a countrywide government ranking of educational institutions said on Monday. Loyola College in Chennai and Shri Ram College in Delhi were the second and third-best colleges, said the survey of “general degree” colleges by the human resource development ministry. Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University – which was at the centre of a storm on nationalism last year – was ranked second among universities while Banaras Hindu University secured third position.

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7) Avoid eating what is prohibited in the Constitution, says Venkaiah Naidu

Food is a personal choice but one should avoid consuming what is restricted in the Constitution, Union minister M Venkaiah Naidu said on Monday. “Aapko jo khana hain voh khao...par jo samvidhan main prohibited hain usko mat khaon (One can eat his food of choice, but avoid eating that food which is prohibited as per our Constitution),” he said.

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8) Ajmer dargah head asks Muslims to give up beef, says triple talaq against Sharia

The head of the Ajmer Sharif dargah called upon Muslims to give up beef eating and said triple talaq is against Sharia. “On the occasion of the 805th Urs (death anniversary) of Khwaja Moinuddin Hasan Chisty, who all through his life strived for peaceful coexistence of Hindus and Muslims, we (Muslims) should give up eating beef to honour the religious sentiments of our Hindu brethren,” said Zainul Abedin Khan, the diwan of the shrine.

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9) Plea in Bombay HC against govt flouting rules to give land to Ramdev’s Patanjali

Congress Mumbai chief Sanjay Nirupam has filed a plea in the Bombay high court against the Union government, Maharashtra government, and Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali Ayurved alleging major irregularities in the allotment of 600 acres land to Patanjali for setting up a food park in the Multi-Modal International Hub Airport at Nagpur (MIHAN), Nagpur. Nirupam has alleged that the Maharashtra government favoured Patanjali and flouted all tender and legal norms to allot the land to Ramdev at the behest of Union minister Nitin Gadkari.

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10) Trump says US ready to act alone on North Korea if China can’t fix it

President Donald Trump has said the United States was prepared act alone to eliminate the nuclear threat from North Korea if China, its most important patron, was not willing to use its “great influence” to bring it to heel. Trump planned to bring up the issue at his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping at his Florida resort Mar-a-Lago later this week, he told the Financial Times in an interview. Trump said: “China has great influence over North Korea. And China will either decide to help us with North Korea, or they won’t.

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First Published: Apr 04, 2017 07:43 IST