In Brief: US may suspend H-1B visa from October; India mulls law to ban cryptocurrencies

In Brief: US may suspend H-1B visa from October; India mulls law to ban cryptocurrencies
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12 Jun, 2020

US President Donald Trump is considering suspending a number of employment visas, including H-1B, which is in high demand among Indian IT professionals, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing sources. The proposed curbs come on the back of massive local unemployment issues caused by Covid-19 in the US, the report said. The proposed suspension could extend into the government's new fiscal year beginning October 1, when many new visas are issued, it added.

Months after SC relief, govt plans law to ban cryptocurrencies

The central government plans to introduce a law to ban cryptocurrencies, four months after the Supreme Court quashed an Reserve Bank of India (RBI) notice that prevented banks from dealing in the digital currency, The Economic Times reported. The finance ministry has issued a draft cabinet note for inter-ministerial consultations, the report said, citing senior officials. If the law is similar to the earlier RBI proposal, it will deal a blow to investors, exchanges and other entities dealing in virtual currencies such as bitcoin, the report added.

Udaan launches Pickily app to enter B2C ecomm segment

Business-to-business (B2B) ecommerce major Udaan has launched a consumer-facing app Pickily, as per an Entrackr report. The app, which is currently in an experimental stage, sells products in the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) segment directly to customers in Bengaluru, the report said. The firm aims to release a full-fledged app in July, the article said, adding that it has been building a network of dark stores in Bengaluru and Hyderabad to facilitate quick fulfilment.

Govt to invest in 52 startups to aid the fight against Covid-19

The Centre for Augmenting WAR along with Covid-19 Health Crisis (CAWACH), a government-backed initiative, will invest between Rs 50 lakh and Rs 2 crore in 52 startups that are building solutions to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic, Inc42 reported. Pune-based DINGG, an intelligent queue management platform, was among the firms chosen to develop indigenous, low-cost and effective solutions to contain Covid-19, the report said.

Infosys sets up global programme for students

Bengaluru-based technology major Infosys has launched an eight-week campaign, Summer of India, to help the global student community overcome the loss of learning opportunities caused by Covid-19. Powered by its digital learning platform Wingspan, the initiative will provide students mentorship and access to curated learning materials, as per a statement. The programme will induct 2,000 participants and help shape their ideas based on emerging technologies, it said. 

Google to help users find information on Covid-19 test centres

Menlo Park, California-based technology company Google is working with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and MyGov to provide users with information on authorised Covid-19 testing labs. The service, offered on Google Search, Assistant and Maps, will be available in English and eight other regional languages, as per a statement. 

Infosys swaps senior level hires for mid-level ones

Bengaluru-based information technology (IT) services company Infosys has reduced the number of top-tier executives in the firm, paving the way for more mid-and-associate level positions, as per a report on The Economic Times. The company, which released the data in its latest sustainability report, said the number of top-level employees fell 5% to 926 people in the financial year 2019-2020 compared to a year earlier, the report said. On the other hand, the number of employees in mid-level positions went up 4% to 1,15,277 while associate-level positions, at the bottom of the organisation, grew about 9% to 94,584 in the same period, it added.

Work from home setup added to expenditure, says TCS

Even as Tata Consultancy Services allowed its employees to work from home amid the nationwide lockdown, the company incurred higher expenditure, The Economic Times reported, citing Tata Sons chairman N Chandrasekaran. The costs went up as the company had already signed long-term leases for its offices, Chandrasekaran told shareholders at the annual general meeting, the financial daily reported. Tata Sons is the parent entity of TCS.