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  • BharatPremi
    03-26 05:05 PM
    Unfortunately, there are no simple answers. Mortgage rates are tied to 10 year bond rate, so they generally are not affected much by short term fed rate. With credit crunch, bond market is in real bad shape.
    Fed is trying to supply short term funds to ease this crunch. I don't know how low Fed will go for this. What I am seeing is mortgage rates being stable or going down a little in near term bcoz of Fed easing. For long term, I believe rates will go up as bonds have to become attractive to get new investors.This may not be the best ( absolute bottom) but definitely very good time to refinance if it makes sense for your conditions.
    For first time buyers like me, there are a lot of parameters to be considered. In my opinion the parameters are tilted towards faster house price drop . Hence I am waiting at least for a year. I will not do anything till next spring.

    Thank you very much.

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  • gcgreen
    08-06 02:22 PM
    Relief in the form of no caps or country quotas. Earlier priority dates is kind of arbitrary IMHO.

    This is a better proposition, asking for more relief to Masters or PHD guys makes more sense than asking USCIS to stop porting/interfiling and denying EB3 guys a chance to get faster GC after they have waited for many many years.

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  • whattodo
    07-11 11:49 AM
    My wife (secondary applicant on I-485) started job 1.5 months after her H4 to H1 approval. She needed to wait for SSN and that took 1.5 months. Will that create any issue? I am planning to use AC21 to change job. Will that result in extra scrutiny?

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  • senthil1
    05-16 05:29 PM
    Infact pro immigrants and Corporations are arguing that shortage of skills and they are not displacing US workers. If that is true why cannot they accept the conditions that they will not displace US workers. If you accept that you do not mind replacing some american workers also then all of your points are valid. Then you can lobby for unlimited H1b and Unlimited greencards. You will never get American people support for that. But we all are lobbying based on the shortage of skills. So we should be ready to reduce H1b when demand goes down or accept the conditions for non displacement of US workers. Right now demand is more so US will absorb even 200K H1bs. But you need to look what happened between 2000 to 2003. So many layoffs. Part of reason was economy but other part was due to H1b and outsourcing

    I will accept that 25 year old H1b from India can work 15 to 18 hours a day but same kind of productivity cannot get with 40 year old person with family of 2 kids whether Indian or american. Is it right to replace those person with 25 year old person. If that is the case then you will be replaced by youger H1b person in future.

    My view is clear. There should be H1b numbers based on demand and supply. If they cannot come with correct numbers then restriction of non displacement of US workers should be there.

    I am not Ronald Regan but I am compelled to say, " There you go again...."

    Why are you consistently discussing about H-1B caps. Green card delays are not because of H-1B quota, I am sure you know this. H-1B caps have nothing to do who applied for the H-1s, whether those were consulting companies in US or a company in Japan. You are just saying it consistently in all your posts because you don�t like more people coming here after you are on path to green cards. In all your posts, you have this mid set where the door closes right behind you and more people should not be allowed on H-1. I am sure you qualify to be the member of IEEE-USA. Please Google search for their membership form. Just because the name of the organization is �Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers� doesn�t mean that every thing on their agenda is kosher.

    This shows that you have no clue about the reality. You have looked at the IEEE website and formulated the opinion about the nice people at IEEE-USA, who are working overtime for you to get your green card. This is what you think, right? Well! My friend we live in a very strange world in which political organization (like IEEE) show stuff on their website just so that they don�t appear to be outright anti-immigrants.
    Also, I do think that anybody who do not want to pick up their ass to find a job and rather chose to whine about someone else taking away the job is lazy and for sure undeserving. They are interested to put restrictions on H-1B because they want to eliminate their competition. Every community/group, big or small, have their opponents and enemies just because of the sheer nature of the competition for resource with other groups/communities. H-1B community now forms substantially large group of people. It is natural that orgs like IEEE-USA will be a natural opponent of H-1B community because there is a competition. Now, most members of IEEE-USA are older and middle aged folks, who are not able to compete with good quality engineers from other parts of the world. The folks on H-1 are young, dynamic and fast learners. IEEE-USA folks cannot compete with this group and so they are working to eliminate competition from H-1B folks by other means. Sometimes they call H-1Bs as indentured servants, sometimes promoting outsourcing, sometimes taking away their jobs and sometime depressing wages. They throw out all sorts of rationale to hurt H-1B community. And some idiots on this and other forums have not clue of the bigger picture and are hell bent on screwing the so called �body shoppers� as if it is ok to work at the client site to do the same job at the same amount if you are employees of KPMG or Accenture or Bearing Point. But it is not ok to do the same thing if you are an employee of TCS, INFY or SIFY etc. If this is not discrimination, then tell me what is????? I sincerely do want to understand your view and please consider me to be totally ignorant person who is here to learn from you. I sincerely mean it.

    So you do think that anything associated with the word �IEEE� is gospel. Let me share with you my friend that IEEE and IEEE-USA are totally different organizations. Just like any other organization in the world, IEEE-USA is working to address the issues of their members only. IEEE-USA is working to fix the issues of their members who live in USA ONLY. It has no clue and no desire and no objective to look at any of your issues, no matter what they are. We all acknowledge that are problems with the H-1B program but the question is, Is Durbin-Grassley approach the real solution to the problem? Congress did not address anything associated with H-1B visa for last 6-7 years. If you write to lawmakers they only understand only thing about the word �H-1B� and that is increase in H-1B� that�s it. Now every system in the world needs tweaking from time to time and this has not happened with H-1B program for a very long time. Either way, throwing out people waiting for green cards for 6-7 years is not the solution, putting in restrictions to undermine the entire H-1B program (because they know they will not have enough votes to reduce the visa numbers or eliminate the program) is not the solution, �investigating� companies when they hire someone on H-1B as if hiring someone on H-1B is a crime is not the solution, singling out companies from one country because the guy driving IEEE-USA (Ron Hira) doesn�t want more people to come from India because he hates his heritage � is not the solution. Yes there are problems, but Durbin-Grassley bill is not the solution.

    Who needs enemies if we have friends like you? I mean why do you want hard working people to unnecessary go through more problems before getting their green cards, as if the existing problems for us are not enough. You simple want to make the system difficult to test human endurance? You know what, we can do this, how about all the stringent conditions of Durbin-Grassley bill will apply ONLY on you and we are all sure that the �HIGH-SKILLED� that you are, you will pass all the �tests� with flying colors. For rest all the others, please consider us lowly skilled and please set a bar lower to the extent that is humanly achievable, we are not �highly-skilled� super-humans like yourself.

    Yes, you have not yet clearly said that �I support banning all H-1Bs�, not in those words, not yet. But reading your posts, it is apparent that you are headed there, as soon as you get your green card. As I said earlier, form now on, just think that all the Durbin-Grassley conditions apply on you and live your life as per the standard set by Durbin-Grassley. For the rest of us, please have mercy on us.


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  • GCBatman
    01-06 04:53 PM
    Hey guys,
    If all the topics can be posted here and anyone can start any unrelated thread (No Offense to "Refugee_New" because there are others also who did the same in past and it looks like all the moderators are sleeping.)
    So I am thinking of posting unrelated issue.
    Here is the question?
    I have to buy the tires for my car (15")
    Which tires are best Michelin or Goodyear
    Please no reds and sincere answers only.

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  • pitha
    09-26 06:49 PM
    You are not a citizen, you are not even a green card holder, you and I are H1, and whatever i said is from an h1 point of view. Dont think like a citizen or green card holder, think like a H1b and you will realize obama will roast us. with mccain it might be 4 more years of bush nothing good for eb but definetely nothing bad. The reason behind this thread is not to discuss socialism or capitalism in the general sense but through the lense of eb folks. Once we agree that obama\durbin CIR would spell dooom for us we can decide either
    1. We contribute to IV and put one last fight
    2. pack our bags and leave or
    3. waste our time arguing about capitalism and socialism in the general sense, argue about health care, jobs, etc etc etc when we dont even have a green card.

    This is complete non-sense. See the fact of capitalistic approch. Reckless free market approch brought the country to (wall) street. If no regulation and control by the government, the CEOs/Captialist screw you and me. see Enron. See WAMU. The CEO of WAMU walks away with millions of $ after screwing the bank. Where did you studied socialist goverment do not create high tech job? Captalistic form of government is good only if, the CEOs/capitalists are Gandi/Budda.


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  • riva2005
    04-06 09:06 PM
    you need to touch the bottom of barrel to go on another direction, this will be the bottom of the barrel I suppose

    these protectionist will realize as many H1B dependent companies virtual outsource all there jobs

    well in all seriousness I don't think this bill will be passed in senate,

    This bill may not be introduced in its current form anywhere.

    But I am sure they are going to use this bill to pull sections out of it and introduce it as amendments. Both sponsors of this bill are Judiciary committee. That makes it possible for them to put amendments not just on the floor, but also in the committee. If they think whole bill will not pass as a single amendment, they will put small pieces of it so that it can pass the roll-call one piece at a time.

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  • gomirage
    06-07 01:13 AM
    I felt the same way before. I said to myself I wouldn't buy a house until I get my GC. That was until a builder offered me a nice offer. I was renting a two bedroom apartment for $1200 as I have a family with 3 small kids.

    The builder offered me a 2,600 sq. ft., 4 bed-room home at $1450 per month, including taxes and insurance, fixed for 30 years. I guessed that the $250 difference from rent is nothing compared to the benefit of owning a home. The interest part of my first monthly amortization is about $800, $400 go to principal, and $250 go to taxes and insurance.

    Have you done your math ? Granted those $250 looks chump change for you, but what if it was invested for a return of 5% while the house may not be back at sales level for another 10 to 15 years ?

    No one will argue with you about buying a house for yours kids pleasure though.


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  • Vsach
    01-09 06:19 PM
    What a waste of time & energy!! :rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:

    Why can't we all plan a strategy to get the Green Card process going....rather waste time discussing something like this????:mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::m ad::mad::mad::mad:

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  • alisa
    12-27 01:04 AM
    There is no coherent state or government in Pakistan anymore, there are only personalities pulling the country in various directions. So let's only talk of personalities. My hunch (and that of the many world intelligence agencies too) is that Kayani did it! He was being pushed to a corner by Zardari, who was rapidly chipping away at his power at the behest of US. Apparently Zardari is wiling to give US a much freer hand in western Pak than Kayani. Kayani feared that Zardati may topple him and appoint another COAS. So he played this masterstroke. Zardari and Gillani were taken completely off guard by this hit.

    You are right about the lack of governance in Pakistan. And that there are more personalities and less institutions.
    But I think you are wrong about Kayani. I haven't seen any reports about any intelligence agencies pointing fingers at Kayani. So, I am curious if you could provide any links. It sounds like a conspiracy theory otherwise.


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  • kaisersose
    04-14 11:10 AM
    Most of the posts here are not relevant to the original topic of the thread – buying a home when 485 is pending.

    You basically buy a home not to sell it off, but to live in it. Circumstances may lead one to sell a home, but no one can predict if that will happen for sure or when it may happen.

    For selling a home – just like stocks – it does not matter if the real estate market is doing well today or not. It only matters how the seller market is when it is time to sell. And again, no one can predict that in advance. Given this simple logic, it is totally useless to speculate resale values of homes which you may never even sell!

    I see people are so obsessed about resale value that they almost have never gone out to see homes, look at floor plans and see what they want, what the other family members want in a home or any of that. They instead prefer to calculate resale value based on current market conditions.

    Stop seeing a home as an investment and start seeing it as a place where you will live and where your kids will grow up. Obsessing too much about the monetary aspects just takes all the fun away.

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  • pani_6
    07-13 01:27 PM
    I commend the initiative. But I see a few issues with it:

    You are complaining to DOS about USCIS and DOL. That will not work. Every agency has a specific role
    [I am going to include USICS Address and Fax's numbers also]

    You are complaining to the official who sets visa dates. He has no authority to give relief just because some applicant/s are asking for it. He has to follow the rule every month and his responsibility is only to set the dates based on the statistics received from USCIS. This official has a very specific and limited role.

    The reasons are not compelling enough. You cannot just say you are waiting long enough and thus your date should become current. Rules cannot be changed just for that reason.

    [with due respect ...How did the rules suddenly change to favour eb-2]..I am not against it..just want to know?

    If economy was down in 2001- 2003 and you were asked to file in EB3 and people in Perm could file in EB2 is your strongest reason, it may not work in your favor. Because by law you can file again and convert to EB2 and port your date. DOL and USCIS does not stop you from doing that.

    If you are qualified for EB2 but your attorney and employer filed in EB3, then it is not a fault of USCIS/DOL/DOS. You must talk to the company and the lawyer for it. If the company or the lawyer has broken any rule or employer has exploited you, then the letter should be complain to the appropriate authority about them.

    [This statement is not entirely true...Lawyers have DOL/USICS contacts] and acts in a way that the application will get approved ...most times looking at the trend and talking to DOL contacts and adjudicators...]

    Please also note that labor is filed based on the degree and experience requirement of the job. By law if the requirement is only undergraduate degree for the job, the employer cannot file in EB2 just because the applicant has a masters degree or more experience than needed. So you cannot really put this arguement here because it will be against the rules.

    So I personally do not think this idea will work.

    [could you suggest a know that legislation cannot work this year so what needs to be done??]

    While this mess is depressing for EB3 folks, we need to have a more compelling argument, determined membership and effective plan to get things changed.

    The root cause of the problem is limited greencard quota for EB3. And the solution is to get recapture, get rid of country limits, STEM exemption. Any single relief itself will be huge for all of us. With 179 phone calls and $16656 collected in last 3 months, I do not see that happening. It will need a far more bigger and determined effort. Such amount can be spent on full scale lobbying in just one month. 179 phone calls are nothing if we have to make a compelling case for ourselves.

    [Eb-3-I is also participating in calling and contributing..]

    [For people suggesting that the letter is weak..could you give an idea as the what written in letter would work..]


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  • dealsnet
    01-08 03:05 PM
    You think about using brain by them?? You kidding???
    Blind following the blind.

    What did they invent in this world.?
    May be using kids as suicide bombers.
    You may remember first attempt for Benezer's life by giving a 3 month old child covered with bombs, and it explode before she touched the child??

    All the religeous books were written based on contemporary circumstances. I have a friend named Mansuri, mentioned to me once why muslims don't eat turtles:

    "Few animals with hard shell were not hygenic or dangerous like crocodile. It was difficult to explain each animal separately to common people. So Mohammad advised that animals with hard shell should not be eaten. "

    Another one told by my friend Maqsood:

    "There were lots of cabella wars going on at the time of Mohammad. The prophet allowed to have more than one wives so that those ladies don't go on wrong route like prostitution. "

    Above examples seem acceptable over that time. At today they are not relevant anymore. Some people still want to follow the same words spoken 1300 years before literally without applying a slightest brain. They are abused and misguided by some selfish Mullahs who have their own agenda in life.

    Rather than abusing entire community, need to educate "spoiled kids" how they are misguided in current time. Unfortunately percentage of "spoiled kids" are very high as I mentioned in one of posts before.

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  • 2008FebEb2
    08-05 01:35 PM
    I a EB2-I with PD 2008 Feb.

    I think everybody has the right to port to a different category if they qualify for it.

    I feel for Eb3 guys who have been waiting in the queue for ever now.

    The Original thread starter is a sh*t stirrer who knows nothing. :mad:

    Good luck to everyone. :p


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  • alisa
    12-30 12:31 AM
    So what should India do?

    Not go to war overtly now. Start covert operations inside Pakistan on war footing and start funding and support for Balochi, Sindi, Mohajir, Pushtun, Baltistan freedom movements inside Pakistan.

    The Pakistani security establishment believes, and there is probably some truth in it, that India is already supporting groups that are trying to destabilize Pakistan. And because of that, they view India as an existential threat to Pakistan, and justify their own activities.

    Its quite a vicious circle.....

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  • alterego
    07-13 10:03 AM
    Can I ask why the complaint in the letter about the change in interpretation of the law in favor of Eb2 I? Before jumping on me, read on.
    The overflow visas would not go to EB3 I, under either interpretation. They would now go to either oversubscribed EB2 countries namely India and China(horizontally) or as in the past 2 yrs they went to to EB3 ROW under the old interpretation(Vertically).
    Arguably the first one is better for EB3 India since atleast, if you are qualified and your employer agrees and your job description is suited to EB2, then you could move. You certainly could not move your country of chargability. If you were hoping for overflow from EB3ROW, it would still have to pass through the gate of EB2I.
    Perhaps the person drafting the letter can explain their rationale on including this in the letter.

    I agree with Pappu, the single most important thing that could help EB3I in the near term is a visa recapture legislation. That is where the most energy of EB3 and for that matter all of IV membership should be. Specifically the membership needs to get more robust in their actions especially personally meeting lawmakers and their staff. Meeting affected constituents from their districts seems to have the most influence on them.
    Additionally, I would not convey the sense that, you were "deciding" on whether to file Eb2 or EB3. That should solely be based on the job description and is more up to the employers discretion in the current law. The beneficiary should not have a role in that(as per what I understand). Additionally, noone was prevented from porting their PD or using Sub labors or moving into EB2 category should the new job description meet the criteria (always remember you being qualified for EB2 means didly squat to the USCIS, it is the job description and the employer's desire for it that the USCIS considers, only then do your qualifications even matter to them). I agree that all of these are irksome to those waiting patiently in line, but those are the rules unfortunately. To my mind, the labor sub. thing was the most egregious, discriminatory and widely abused(thank god it has been ended), unfortunately those in the queue over the last few years paid for it.


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  • alisa
    12-27 02:09 AM
    The world is more worried about Militants getting their hands on Nukes and has some confidence in India's caution. Madeline Albright recently said pakistan is like a migraine for the world. How many times we have seen stories where leaders after leader, strategists after strategists express concerns that Militants may get the nuke trigger.
    I believe the world has a stake in neutralizing Pak's Nukes. Do you believe the Nukes are partially controlled by US at present? Or is it Zardari who has the complete control?
    I am ambivalent about eliminating Pakistan's nuclear program. On the one hand, you are right that nukes in the hands of militants is a scary scenario. (Ironically, you increase the probability of the nukes falling into wrong hands by having a destabilizing war between Pakistan and India.)
    But then equally scary is a defenseless Pakistan against India. Atleast, thats our perception.
    I don't know who all controls the nukes. The army is certainly one part of it.

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  • pete
    04-09 11:29 AM
    Looks like everyone want to talk about their specific selfish advantages and ignore the problem on a whole if this bill passes.

    You can say it whichever way you like. Isnt everybody looking for selfish gains?
    A few months back somebody wanted info on labor substitution and the moderator took the man's side by saying we should all look for advantage and not worry about NAY sayers......

    There is nothing selfish about this. Universities usually donot take short cuts. My job before while they were doing PERM was on for 11 months!!!The received tons of applications. Yes I can confidantly say they "did not find " a suitable candidate. The H1B visa is a favor granted to us and should not be misused. It also works in IVs advantage because it makes their agenda more solid:


    Unlike we want H1B abuse to continue AND ALSO GC reform.

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  • rajuram
    07-13 02:20 PM
    It is funny how EB2s are crying like little babies. Just a hint of EB3 getting more visas is making you guys sweat. You people have all the luck, nothing is going to happen so RELAX.

    Just remember that there are a lot of EB3 out there with Masters degrees, like myself, and waiting since early 2002.

    EB3s - mail out the letter PLEASE!!!!!

    05-11 05:28 PM
    The 'Education' Mantra ( By Thomas Sowell | Investor's Business Daily

    One of the sad and dangerous signs of our times is how many people are enthralled by words, without bothering to look at the realities behind those words.

    One of those words that many people seldom look behind is "education." But education can cover anything from courses on nuclear physics to courses on baton twirling.

    Unfortunately, an increasing proportion of American education, whether in the schools or in the colleges and universities, is closer to the baton twirling end of the spectrum than toward the nuclear physics end. Even reputable colleges are increasingly teaching things that students should have learned in high school.

    We don't have a backlog of serious students trying to take serious courses. If you look at the fields in which American students specialize in colleges and universities, those fields are heavily weighted toward the soft end of the spectrum.

    When it comes to postgraduate study in tough fields like math and science, you often find foreign students at American universities receiving more of such degrees than do Americans.

    A recent headline in the Chronicle of Higher Education said: "Master's in English: Will Mow Lawns." It featured a man with that degree who has gone into the landscaping business because there is no great demand for people with Master's degrees in English.

    Too many of the people coming out of even our most prestigious academic institutions graduate with neither the skills to be economically productive nor the intellectual development to make them discerning citizens and voters.

    Students can graduate from some of the most prestigious institutions in the country, without ever learning anything about science, mathematics, economics or anything else that would make them either a productive contributor to the economy or an informed voter who can see through political rhetoric.

    On the contrary, people with such "education" are often more susceptible to demagoguery than the population at large. Nor is this a situation peculiar to America. In countries around the world, people with degrees in soft subjects have been sources of political unrest, instability and even mass violence.

    Nor is this a new phenomenon. A scholarly history of 19th century Prague referred to "the well-educated but underemployed" Czech young men who promoted ethnic polarization there-- a polarization that not only continued, but escalated, in the 20th century to produce bitter tragedies for both Czechs and Germans.

    In other central European countries, between the two World Wars a rising class of newly educated young people bitterly resented having to compete with better qualified Jews in the universities and with Jews already established in business and the professions. Anti-Semitic policies and violence were the result.

    It was much the same story in Asia, where successful minorities like the Chinese in Malaysia were resented by newly educated Malays without either the educational or business skills to compete with them. These Malaysians demanded-- and got-- heavily discriminatory laws and policies against the Chinese.

    Similar situations developed at various times in Nigeria, Romania, Sri Lanka, Hungary and India, among other places.

    Many Third World countries have turned out so many people with diplomas, but without meaningful skills, that "the educated unemployed" became a cliche among people who study such countries. This has not only become a personal problem for those individuals who have been educated, or half-educated, without acquiring any ability to fulfill their rising expectations, it has become a major economic and political problem for these countries.

    Such people have proven to be ideal targets for demagogues promoting polarization and strife. We in the United States are still in the early stages of that process. But you need only visit campuses where whole departments feature soft courses preaching a sense of victimhood and resentment, and see the consequences in racial and ethnic polarization on campus.

    There are too many other soft courses that allow students to spend years in college without becoming educated in any real sense.

    We don't need more government "investment" to produce more of such "education." Lofty words like "investment" should not blind us to the ugly reality of political porkbarrel spending.

    Tiger Mom: Here's how to reshape U.S. education ( By Amy Chua | USA Today
    The American Idea: An Open Letter To College Graduates ( By Carl Schramm | Forbes
    The Myth of American Exceptionalism ( By Richard Cohen | Washington Post
    The Role of Economics in an Imperfect World ( By EDWARD L. GLAESER | New York Times
    Where the Jobs Were Lost ( By CASEY B. MULLIGAN | New York Times
    No, We Are Not a Nation of Hamburger Flippers ( By Elizabeth MacDonald | Fox Business
    Multinationals Dump U.S. Workers for Foreign Labor ( By JAMES C. COOPER | The Fiscal Times
    California Economy Gets a Jolt From Tech Hiring ( By JIM CARLTON | Wall Street Journal

    12-27 06:50 PM
    A crucial connection ( By Michael Kugelman | Times of India

    With India's soaring growth and rising global clout hogging media headlines, it is easy to forget the nation is beset by security challenges. Naxalite insurgency rages across more than two-thirds of India's states, while long-simmering tensions in J&K exploded once again this summer. Meanwhile, two years post-Mumbai, Pakistan remains unwilling or unable to dismantle the anti-India militant groups on its soil. Finally, China's military rise continues unabated. As Beijing increases its activities across the Himalayan and Indian Ocean regions, fears about Chinese encirclement are rife.

    It is even easier to forget that these challenges are intertwined with natural resource issues. Policy makers in New Delhi often fail to make this connection, at their own peril. Twenty-five per cent of Indians lack access to clean drinking water; about 40 per cent have no electricity. These constraints intensify security problems.

    India's immense energy needs - household and commercial - have deepened its dependence on coal, its most heavily consumed energy source. But India's main coal reserves are located in Naxalite bastions. With energy security at stake, New Delhi has a powerful incentive to flush out insurgents. It has done so with heavy-handed shows of force that often trigger civilian casualties. Additionally, intensive coal mining has displaced locals and created toxic living conditions for those who remain. All these outcomes boost support for the insurgency.

    Meanwhile, the fruits of this heavy resource extraction elude local communities, fuelling grievances that Naxalites exploit. A similar dynamic plays out in J&K, where electricity-deficient residents decry the paltry proportion of power they receive from central government-owned hydroelectric companies. In both cases, resource inequities are a spark for violent anti-government fervour.

    Resource constraints also inflame India's tensions with Pakistan and China. As economic growth and energy demand have accelerated, India has increased its construction of hydropower projects on the western rivers of the Indus Basin - waters that, while allocated to Pakistan by the Indus Waters Treaty, may be harnessed by India for run-of-the-river hydro facilities. Pakistani militants, however, do not make such distinctions. Lashkar-e-Taiba repeatedly lashes out at India's alleged "water theft". Lashkar, capitalising on Pakistan's acute water crisis (it has Asia's lowest per capita water availability), may well use water as a pretext for future attacks on India.

    Oil and natural gas are resource catalysts for conflict with China. Due to insufficient energy supplies at home, India is launching aggressive efforts to secure hydrocarbons abroad. This race brings New Delhi into fierce competition with Beijing, whose growing presence in the Indian Ocean region is driven in large part by its own search for natural resources.

    India's inability to prevent Chinese energy deals with Myanmar (and its worries about similar future arrangements in Sri Lanka) feeds fears about Chinese encirclement, but also emboldens India to take its energy hunt further afield. Strategists now cite the protection of faraway future energy holdings as a core motivation for naval modernisation plans; India's energy investments already extend from the Middle East and Africa to Latin America. Such reach exposes India to new vulnerabilities, underscoring the imperative of enhanced sea-based energy transit protection capabilities.

    While sea-related China-India tensions revolve around energy, land-based discord is tied to water. South Asia holds less than 5 per cent of annual global renewable water resources, but China-India border tensions centre around the region's rare water-rich areas, particularly Arunachal Pradesh. Additionally, Chinese dam-building on Tibetan Plateau rivers - including the mighty Brahmaputra - alarms lower-riparian India. With many Chinese agricultural areas water-scarce, and India supporting nearly 20 per cent of the world's population with only 4 per cent of its water, neither nation takes such disputes lightly.

    India's resource constraints, impelled by population growth and climate change, will likely worsen in the years ahead. Recent estimates envision water deficits of 50 per cent by 2030 and outright scarcity by 2050, if not earlier. Meanwhile, India is expected to become the world's third-largest energy consumer by 2030, when the country could import 50 per cent of its natural gas and a staggering 90 per cent of its oil. If such projections prove accurate, the impact on national security could be devastating.

    So what can be done? First, New Delhi must integrate natural resource considerations into security policy and planning. India's navy, with its goal of developing a blue-water force to safeguard energy resources overseas, has planted an initial seed. Yet much more must be done, and progress can be made only when policy makers better understand the destabilising effects of resource constraints. Second, India should acknowledge its poor resource governance, and craft demand-side, conservation-based policies that better manage precious - but not scarce - resources. This means improved maintenance of water infrastructure (40 per cent of water in most Indian cities is lost to pipeline leaks), more equitable resource allocations, and stronger incentives for implementing water- and energy-efficient technologies (like drip irrigation) and policies (like rainwater harvesting).

    Such steps will not make India's security challenges disappear, but they will make the security situation less perilous. And they will move the country closer to the day when resource efficiency and equity join military modernisation and counterinsurgency as India's security watchwords.

    The writer is programme asso-ciate for South Asia at the Woodrow Wilson International Centre for Scholars in Washington, DC

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