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Many technology companies like Google, Facebook, Microsoft etc, join lawsuit against new student visa rule.

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A lawsuit filed by Harvard University, MIT against ICE latest rule that bars international students from staying in US unless they attend one in-person course, Top American technology companies also joined this lawsuit.

Many top American technology companies, including Google, Facebook and Microsoft, on Monday joined a lawsuit filed by the Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology against the Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) latest rule that bars international students from staying in the United States unless they attend at least one in-person course.

These technology companies Seeking a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction,these companies along with the US Chamber of Commerce and other IT advocacy groups, asserted that the July 6 ICE directive will disrupt their recruiting plans, making it impossible to bring on board international students that businesses, including amici, had planned to hire, and disturb the recruiting process on which the firms have relied on to identify and train their future employees.

The July 6 directive will make it impossible for a large number of international students to participate in the CPT and OPT programmes. The US will “nonsensically be sending…these graduates away to work for our global competitors and compete against us…instead of capitalizing on the investment in their education here in the US”, they said.

On the other hand, the Optional Practical Training (OPT) programme allows up to one year of temporary employment that is directly related to an international student’s major area of study, which can occur either before the student graduates and/or after his studies are complete. Students in STEM fields may obtain a two-year extension of their post-graduate OPT, they said.

Closing off more than half of all international students from participating in the recruiting pipeline for American businesses will thus harm companies and the entire economy, and disrupt reliance expectations based on prior policies permitting international students to remain in the US, the firms said.

Asserting that international students contribute substantially to the US economy when they reside in the United States, the legal brief said the departure of these students threatens the ability of US educational institutions to sustain critical mass — which they need in order to maintain their standards of excellence, to train the American students who will make up the talent pool available to amici and other US companies in the future, and to perform the research that keeps US businesses on the cutting edge of innovation.

“International students are an important source of employees for US businesses while they are students and after they graduate. Finally, they become valuable employees and customers of US businesses whether they remain in the United States or return to their home countries,” the companies said.

According to the IT companies, international students residing in the US make a substantial contribution to the country’s GDP and have a particularly significant impact in towns and cities where colleges and universities are located. During the 2018-2019 academic year, there were more than 10 lakh such students attending institutions of higher education in the US.

Reducing by half or more the number of international students residing in the United States — even for a single school year — will hurt the economy, amplifying the adverse economic effects of the ongoing pandemic. International students contribute billions of dollars to the US economy each year. In the 2018-2019 academic year alone, “international students at US colleges and universities contributed nearly USD 41 billion to the US economy and supported 458,290 jobs”, the companies said.

Observing that for every seven international students living in the US, three jobs are supported due to their presence, the companies said international education “ranked as the country’s fifth-largest service export” in 2019. Small businesses — from coffee shops to bookstores — in communities around the country benefit significantly from the presence of international students, they said.

The companies told the court that if these students are barred from studying in the US until the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic ends, many of them will not return: they will switch to programmes of study elsewhere in the world. And without international students, many the US STEM programmes will contract sharply and ultimately cease to exist.

Corona

Use Vitamins, Minerals Rich Diet to Fight Against COVID-19 :says Expert

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During a session held at the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), the health experts stressed the need for inclusion of vitamins and minerals in daily diet to build immunity for the battle against the COVID-19.

The present pandemic has brought the focus back on the role of vitamins as part of nutrition going beyond popular proteins and carbohydrates, they said on Saturday. The experts weighed in that traditional Indian foods and natural herbs are a potent combination to avert threat from the deadly virus.

“There are several foods which are rich in natural minerals and nutrients, but we destroy their nutritional value in the course of our cooking and consumption practices. Wheat, which in its original form is Dalia, it has important minerals like phosphorus. Still, in our strange wisdom we powder it into a refined maida which is nothing but starch and increases weight and risk of diabetes,” said Dr Shikha Sharma, founder and managing director of Dr Shikha’s NutriHealth.

Dr Sharma named traditional food items and Ayurvedic herbs that can increase immunity level in the body. “Barley, Channa, Sattu, seeds – pumpkin, sunflower, chia and flax among others that can be included in diets for a nutrition boost across all age groups. Ashwagandha and Giloy are potent herbs that can be given to both seniors and children. They purify the blood, build the body’s immunity, reduce stress and keep intact, healthy pH level in the body,” she added.

The session was held while concluding the second edition of the ‘Illness to Wellness’ series themed ‘Building immunity through nutritious food during COVID-19’ by ASSOCHAM. The experts also dismissed the need for a protein or carbohydrate-rich diet, instead advocated for a wholesome, balanced diet especially in times of Corona.

“The beauty of Indian traditions during COVID times is that we need the support of this amazing knowledge of Indian Ayurveda and traditions to beat it,” Dr Sharma said.

The corona virus has individually turned fatal for individuals with existing comorbidity, for such cases, Dr Sharma emphasised that the first course of action needs to address the health issues through long-term preventive measures such as exercising, avoiding sugar and a maintaining a balanced diet.

Meanwhile, Sangeeta Narayan, nutrition educator and wellness expert, commenting on the impact of proper diet on the mental health said, “Stress plays an essential part in mental health considering the current times. With everything changing, we have to be adaptive. The first and foremost thing is to have a proper 6-8 hour sleep, plan your day in advance, doing all the chores can be overwhelming so allocate tasks for each day whether living with a family or alone. Add fruits or food items rich in Vitamin C. They act as a stress buster and immunity booster. Having proper meals is important, especially a nutritious and nourishing breakfast. Exercising also plays a vital role in managing stress and keeping the mind clear.”

 

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