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NRI student found shot to death in California, USA

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Dental student Randhir Kaur was found dead in her apartment after she did not show up for her appointments at the dental school at UC San Francisco. Reports say she died of a single gunshot wound.

Kaur was a student of the Albany school’s International Dentist Program that admits 24 foreign trained dentists each year. She was to graduate next year.

Investigators have not yet named a suspect or a motive.

Newspaper reports say it is the first homicide since 2004 in Albany, a city just north of Berkeley.

US to accept H-1B visa petitions from April 1

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According to an official release, the US government will start accepting petitions for H-1B visas from April 1. The mandated cap on H-1B visas for the fiscal year beginning October 1, 2015 remains 65,000. The first 20,000 H-1B petitions filed for individuals with a US Master’s Degree or higher are exempt from the 65,000 cap.

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) expects to receive more petitions than the cap during the first five business days of the program. If the Services receives an excess of petitions they will use a lottery system to randomly select the number of petitions required to meet the cap.

Advocate killed in Allahabad court shoot out

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Advocate Roshan Ahmed was killed and Feroze Nabi was seriously injured when a police sub-inspector opened fire in self-defence inside an Allahabad district court.

According to a police spokesperson and advocates present at the time, a sub-inspector opened fire when some lawyers threatened to beat him up. The identity of the accused however could not be confirmed by the police, but advocates claimed the shooter was sub-inspector Shailesh Kumar Singh, who opened fire then fled from the room.

The lawyers went on a rampage at the court promises, as well as near the Allahabad high court that is situated a short distance away. They threw stones at police and other officials and resorted to vandalism and arson. Similar scenes were seen at the high court premises where advocates blocked traffic and torched some vehicles belonging to police and other officials.

The agitation ceased after a group of senior high court judges requested them to calm down and said they would personally visit the district court premises to assess the situation.

Millionaires leave India for NRI status

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According to a recent annual Wealth Report, 43,000 Indian millionaires have left the country to settle elsewhere in the past 10 years, second only to China from where over 76,000 millionaires parted with their roots.

The report says while Indians have taken their wealth to other English-speaking countries, government restrictions have stemmed the flow of the departing millionaires, by tightening capital controls and making it more difficult to export capital.

Despite this, last year Mumbai hosted the most with 619 UHNWIs or people worth at least $30 million. Delhi followed with just 157, and Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, and Ahmedabad brought up the rear.

Luxury property in Mumbai costlier than in Dubai !

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A report from property consultant Knight Frank says it is more expensive to buy a luxury property in Mumbai compared to Dubai.

In Mumbai $1 million can buy 96 of prime property while in Dubai the same amount can buy 145 sq mt of luxury property.

Out of 20 cities in the ranking, only Sao Paulo, Dubai and Cape Town are cheaper than Mumbai. Monaco is the costliest city in the world.

In TN money is the root of recruitment, promotions !

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Corruption in Tamil Nadu state seems to be coming out of the closet since former agriculture minister SS Krishnamurthy exited the cabinet over the suicide of an agriculture department executive engineer, who jumped in front of a running train as he was allegedly harassed to manipulate the selection process for recruitment of drivers in the department.

The CPM state secretary said corruption exists in appointments, promotions and transfers at the officer level in every department, as the AIADMK and DMK governments have nurtured corrupt practices over the last 10 years.

Even the police department is riddled with the practice and officials pay middlemen to secure transfers to preferred locations.

One retired director general of police said everyone is benefiting from corruption from the top ranks to the lower rungs. The CPM now intends to hold a series of agitations to put an end to the pervasive corruption in government administration.

Racially harassed NRI student receives compensation in New Zealand

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A New Zealand Human Rights Tribunal has awarded Sikh student Satnam Singh 45,000 dollars in damages for racial harassment, humiliation and physical assault he suffered at the hands of his Indian origin employers at Scorpion Liquor in a suburban area in Auckland.

Singh was paid less than minimum wage by the store manager Shane Singh and his mother Raj Devi who owns the business. During his two months at the store Shane Singh frequently made racial remarks and commented about Singh’s long hair. On one occasion in 2012 he hit the student on the head with a clipboard, knocking off his turban. He told the lad that if he ever saw him again he would lose his turban and his teeth. Satnam did not return to the store after the incident.

Satnam told the tribunal he was afraid Shane Singh and his friends would attack him so he cut his hair and beard and hid his turban under a hat to avoid abuse.

Apart from the compensation the Tribunal also ordered the defendants to undergo training in their responsibilities under the Human Rights Act, pay 3,750 dollars in legal costs, and imposed a restraining order to prevent Shane Singh continuing the abuse. In a separate decision by the Employment Relations Authority, Scorpion Liquor was ordered to pay Satnam wage arrears of 3,417 dollars plus interest at 5 percent and a penalty of 1000 dollars.

Bengaluru is world’s cheapest city : Survey

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According to a report compiled by The Economist Intelligence Unit, Bengaluru is the cheapest city in the world to live in. It tied with Karachi as the least expensive in the ‘Worldwide Cost of Living 2015′ Survey.

Four Indian cities feature in the 10 cheapest cities in the world to live in including Mumbai, Chennai and Delhi. Singapore is the most expensive city in terms of cost of living, followed by Paris.

The bi-annual survey compares more than 400 individual prices across 160 products and services that include food, drink, clothing, household supplies and personal care items, home rents, transport, utility bills, private schools, domestic help and recreational costs.

Journalist and author Vinod Mehta has died

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Legendary journalist and author Vinod Mehta has died at the age of 73. Mr Mehta died of multiple organ failure at a government hospital in Delhi.

He was the founder and editorial chairman of Outlook, one of India’s leading magazines. During his career as a journalist he edited many publications including The Pioneer, The Sunday Observer, The Independent and The Indian Post.

Many journalists who worked under Mr Mehta remember him as ‘irreverent’, and one recalls his fearless approach. His admirers and critics both agree that he never gave in to any pressure from newspaper owners.

Many of today’s top journalists either worked with him or had the opportunity to learn from him.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi acknowledged Mr Mehta’s directness in opinions while paying tributes to Mr Mehta, and conveying condolences to his family.

Realtor abandons investors, lives it up in New York !

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An investigation by the NYT has identified New Delhi builder Kabul Chawla, as the owner of a $19.4 million apartment in Time Warner Center’s south tower in Manhattan. Chawla is the promoter of Park Serene Apartments in Delhi, an unfinished, behind-schedule complex that has driven many of its retired military veteran buyers to desperation, as Park Serene has collected 100% of the price of the apartments from 400 buyers that military veterans estimate at over $35 million.

Chawla has denied that he owned the apartment in Manhattan but investigations traced the ownership to him through a shell company and a cousin. Chawla subsequently admitted that the unit was owned by his cousin Aneil Anand.

The NTY investigation also zeroed in on NRI mining magnate Anil Agarwal of Vedanta who is said to be behind condos purchased in the same complex by Amantea Corporation for $9.1 million in 2004.

The NYT said the US has no legal requirement for the real estate industry in America to identify and record buyers’ identity and background. Consequently some of the most expensive residential properties in the US are now purchased anonymously through shell companies.