Category: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
- U.S. to interdict business visas for H-1B speciality jobs
The issue in news
The U.S. State Department has proposed not to issue temporary business visas for H-1B speciality occupations, which allowed several companies to send tech professionals for a short stay to complete jobs on site.
- According to the U.S State Department, the proposal, if finalised, will eliminate any misconception that the “B-1 in lieu of H policy” provides an alternative avenue for foreign professionals to enter the U.S. to perform skilled labour that allows them and their employers to circumvent the restrictions and requirements relating to the H non-immigrant classification established by the Congress to protect U.S. workers.
Impact on India:
- The move could affect hundreds of Indians.
- It is likely to impact several Indian firms that send their professionals on B-1 visas for a short stay to complete jobs on site.
Difference between H-1B Visa and B-1 Visa:
- An H1 visa is needed by foreigners who seek employment in the United States. A B1 visa allows a person to perform business transactions temporarily.
- The application process for a B-1 visa does not include similar procedural requirements to protect the U.S. workers like that of H-1B visas.
- Fees for the B-1 visas are far lower than that of H-1B visas.
Category: ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY
- CPCB flags unsafe disposal of carcasses
The issue in news
The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has issued guidelines for the incineration of dead cattle and livestock.
- According to CPCB, about 30% of India’s dead cattle and 40% of goats weren’t flayed.
- There were nearly 25 million head of cattle including buffalo that died of natural causes.
- Nearly nine million bovine hides were lost annually due to non-recovery.
- The draft guidelines require carcasses of livestock to be disposed of in incinerators.
- The municipal authorities have been asked to ensure that such facilities are set up and made available.
- The Board has not specified any deadline for the implementation of the guidelines.
Dead livestock – Environmental Hazard:
- There isn’t any organised system of disposal and it has become a major environmental hazard.
- Carcasses, especially those that result from animal slaughter, are an ‘environmental hazard’.
- They are one of the reasons for bird-hit hazards at airports.
- While the hide is mostly removed for leather, the carcasses are frequently left to putrefy in the open and attract vultures and dogs polluting the environment and creating environmental hazards.
- Open dumping attracts birds which can cause air accidents.
- Flaying of cattle could yield more commercial opportunities, for instance – meat-meal, bone-meat and technical fat.
- The process would require setting up more carcass utilisation plants where the parts of the animal could be used to make tallow, nutritional supplements and fertilizer.