Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Leadership battle has just begun in Tamil Nadu politics! Here are interesting facts about O PanneerSelvam

O Panneerselvam, OPS
Pic Courtesy - Wikimedia Commons

O Panneerselvam (also known as OPS) was stand-in chief minister of Tamil Nadu twice when Dr. J Jayalalithaa was not allowed to hold public office because of litigations against her. He was sworn in as the Chief Minister on 6th December when Jayalalithaa died on 5th December 2016 after a major cardiac arrest.

Later, he tendered his resignation for the third time from the post of Chief Minister citing personal reasons paving way for Sasikala Natarajan. Whereas, on 7th February 2017 he took Tamil Nadu’s political spectrum in a storm when he declared on Marina Beach that he had been forced to resign by a section of AIADMK. He further stated that they want Jayalalithaa’s close aide and party’s general secretary, Sasikala Natarajan to become the Chief Minister. In a quick response, Sasikala expelled OPS from the post of treasurer of AIADMK.

  • It will be surprising to know, that as a matter of respect, O Panneerselvam refused to sit on Amma’s chair during the last two terms. He’s famous among his senior leaders for being a man of patience and one who never desperately tried for any position. It is for these reasons, that he was favored by the late Chief Minister herself as the best person suitable for the role of CM.

  • As this leadership battle has just begun in the politics, here are some of the interesting facts you all would be interested to know about O Panneerselvam, a people’s leader:

  • The 66 years old O Panneerselvam was born to Ottakara Thevar and Palaniammal Naachiar in Periyakulam in Theni district, Tamil Nadu on 14th January 1951. Hailing from a middle-class family, he owned agricultural land and started to work as a tea stall owner of ‘PV canteen’ (Now called as Rosie Canteen).

  • At the age of 18, he became the political worker of DMK party. He has studied Bachelor of Arts at Karutharawuthar College in Uthamapalaiyam up to class 12. It was his close friend Salvunddin from tenali who encouraged him into politics.

  • O Panneerselvam is married to P. Vijayalakshmi and together they’re blessed with three children.

  • In 1973, after moving away from Karunanidhi headed DMK, he joined AIADMK soon after Tamil Nadu chief Minister M G Ramachandran formed it.

  • He became chairman of Periyakulam Municipality in 1996. After five years, i.e. in 2001, he won his first assembly elections as AIADMK candidate from Periyakulam constituency. He was offered the post of Revenue Minister in Jayalalithaa’s cabinet.  

  • He became Interim Chief Minister for the first time on 21st September 2001 when Jayalalithaa was convicted in the TANSI land scam. On his first serving for 6 months period, his government was widely criticized as a ‘puppet government’ managed by Jayalalithaa.

  • After 6 months i. e on 1st March 2002, he took the position of the Public Works, Prohibition & Excise in Jayalalithaa’s cabinet.

  • In May 2006, after AIADMK lost the elections to DMK, he served as a leader of AIADMK legislature party and Leader of Opposition in the assembly briefly for about two weeks as it was Jayalalithaa’s decision of not attending the assembly. After the suspension of all the AIADMK legislators by the speaker, Jayalalithaa had to change her decision. OPS thus handed over the charges back to her.

  • In 2011, when AIADMK was back in power, he was selected as Finance Minister in Jayalalithaa’s cabinet.

  • Became the interim Chief Minister for the second time on 29th September 2014 when Jayalalithaa was the main convict in the disproportionate assets case. As a matter of respect for his mentor Jayalalithaa, he refused to sit in CM’s room and also denied for any undue police security.

  • On 22nd May 2015, she was acquitted in the case by the court and thus OPS again had to make way for his mentor. Thereafter, O Panneerselvam joined the finance and public works department.

  • He was then appointed as the Finance Minister in Jayalalithaa’s cabinet in 2016.

  • O Panneerselvam was the first chief Minister of Tamil Nadu from ‘thevar’ community which is considered as one of the largest and most loyal vote banks of AIADMK.

  • On 7th February 2017, he took Tamil Nadu’s political spectrum in a storm when he declared on Marina Beach that he had been forced to resign by a section of AIADMK. Sasikala expelled OPS from the post of treasurer of AIADMK

  • After meeting the Governor Vidyasagar Rao, OPS have said that – “the right thing will happen. Justice will be delivered and the truth will prevail”.

Now, the supreme court verdict in Jaya asset case have accused V.K.Sasikala, J. Ilavarasi and V.N. Sudhakaran, let us see how this political drama unfolds!


Wednesday, February 1, 2017

H-1B Visa: How the proposed changes can affect Indians?

New bill H-1B Visa H1B Visa
Pic Courtesy - The Y-Axis Blog

It is not going to be a great time for Non-Americans in Trump ruled America! The new bill H-1B visa could seriously affect the exporters of IT workforce to The United States, wherein India is the leading IT exporter followed by China.

The big Indian IT companies enjoy significant cost reductions by sending their employees to the US, but not anymore! The new bill proposes a change in the minimum salary cap from $60000 to $1,30,000 which hugely hits the IT firms in India.

H-1B Visa: What is it?
H-1B visa belongs to the non-immigrant category of visa that is issued for temporary workers based on their employment. The employer provides the job to the person and also apply for the visa process with the US Immigration Department.

Trump’s administration: Proposed changes on H-1B norms

  • Salaries of H-1B visa holders to be doubled.The minimum salary cap of $60,000 changed to $1,30,000
  • Spouse of H1B visa holders will be prohibited from working in The United States
  • 20% of the visa applications should be earmarked for small entrepreneurs and start-up companies
  • To ensure equal distribution of employment, the ‘per country’ cap will be removed
  • Companies looking for H1B visa holders should recruit the Americans first
  • Students graduated in the US will get the first preference
  • Companies that have more than 50 employees in H1B and L1 visa categories will be restricted to hire additional employees
  • A strict audit team employed by the department of labor will monitor the fraud and misuse of the visa.

Why and how India is affected? The Indian Impact!

Do you know that the biggest beneficiaries of the H-1B visas are the Indians? In 2014, more than 70% of the approved visa belongs to India. If the new bill becomes a law, it would impact the Indian outsourcing firms like Infosys, Wipro, Tata Consultancy service, Cognizant and other information technology companies. The stock prices of the IT companies already fell by 9% in the reaction to this news.
Will this not affect America?

The skilled employees who visit US with the H-1B visa do not just contribute to the IT development but they indirectly support other industries too. Most of these workers travel with their family who engages themselves in various other businesses improving the economy of the US. So, the new bill can have a huge impact on the business development and economy of The United States.

However, we still do not know the outcome of the bill. Let’s keep waiting to know what’s on the table!