Implications of ICE announcement on F1 foreign students and Harvard University going online this fall

All of us are closely watching for the unfolding events as the Coronavirus pandemic continues to impact businesses, lives and careers around the world. We are all grappling with a barrage of news while trying to make sense of it.

Corporate leaders, educationists, aspiring students and their parents are trying to make sense of two recent announcements coming from ICE and Harvard University that are likely to have far reaching consequences.

The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced on Monday that students on visas must leave US if their schools and universities go online-only. The announcement (link) highlights
“Nonimmigrant F-1 and M-1 students attending schools operating entirely online may not take a full online course load and remain in the United States. The U.S. Department of State will not issue visas to students enrolled in schools and/or programs that are fully online for the fall semester nor will U.S. Customs and Border Protection permit these students to en…

Matrimonial scam: NRI man duped of Rs 65 lakh by Hyderabad family

A Hyderabad based Telugu family recently lured a California-based software engineer into a scam and got him to part with Rupees 65 lakh (almost $ 90,000).

A family of three from Telangana plotted by creating a fake profile on a matrimonial site and began baiting software engineers living abroad.

Malavika's son Gopal created a fake profile on the Bharath Matrimony website for 'Keerthi,' a wealthy doctor living in the popular suburb of Jubilee Hills. Malavika, pretending to be Keerthi would chat with Non Resident Indian (NRI) men who came to the portal in search of a bride.

Based on a complaint filed by Varun, a software engineer from California, the Hyderabad police arrested a 44-year-old woman Malavika Devati and her 22-year-old son Venkateswara Gopal Devati
and sent them to judicial remand. Malavika’s husband Srinivas Devati is absconding.

The modus operandi was simple social engineering. After making initial contact on the website, Malavika began chatting with the engi…

Zoom meetings and Work From Home - Recent oops moments

White collar employees around the world are suddenly coming to realize that the 'new normal' of continually working from home introduces new stressors. Many are finding ways to cope with it while some are succumbing to the pressures. We have all heard funny background noises in web-meetings, but here are a few incidents that go beyond the ‘new normal’ of interrupted video conferences.

California official resigns after throwing cat, drinking beer during Zoom meeting During a meeting of the Vallejo, California planning commission, an official lost his cool. The Video of that conference, which was made public, shows Planning commissioner Chris Platzer announcing, “I’d like to introduce my cat,” after it made some noise in the background. He then picks up his pet, shows it to the camera, and tosses it off screen. Commissioner Chris Platzer resigned on Saturday due to his behavior during a Zoom conference on April 20.

The Vallejo Times-Herald reported that Platzer could also be he…

TCS seeks lead technology services companies in Work from Home

India’s largest IT employer, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) plans to to significantly reduce the amount of time its employees spend in office in the next five years. By 2025, TCS will ask a vast majority of 75% of its nearly half-million  employees globally (including 350,000 in India) to work from home.

Before lockdown, 20 percent of TCS workforce worked from home, now due to the lockdown the company moved 90 percent of the teams to work from home through its Secure Borderless Work Spaces (SBWS) operating model. The new model called 25/25 will require far less office space than occupied today. "We don't believe that we need more than 25% of our workforce at our facilities in order to be 100% productive," says TCS's chief operating officer NG Subramaniam.

"We have come out stronger and our model is more proven than ever before," CEO and MD Rajesh Gopinathan told employees in a letter. As per Gopinathan, SBWS had seen 35,000 meetings, 406,000 calls, and 34…

Tech Startup Layoffs: What, Where, Who And The Impact On Freelancers

This week, the US Labor Department reported an extraordinary rise in unemployment claims. The individuals seeking unemployment support March 15-April 4 surged to 16.8 million. According to Politico, “the number of jobs lost in a mere three weeks now exceeds the 15 million that it took 18 months for the Great Recession to bulldoze from 2007 to 2009.”

Tech jobs have been lost all over the country, and across a variety of sectors. And, one obvious area that has recently been hard hit is the startup community in the Bay Area and elsewhere. Layoff Tracker has done a super job of tracking the layoffs that have troubled both well-known and established companies like YelpGroupon and Zenefits, and dozens of new businesses that were just starting up or had recently received angel funding.

Layoff Tracker has been a key go to site for anyone in recruiting, freelancing or HR tech. In a recent article in Crunchbase, Mary Ann Azevedo tells how entrepreneur Roger Lee, co-founder of Human Interest, a …

After Bengaluru techie falls prey to online fraud twice, wife walks out of marriage

"I can’t believe you could be so ignorant as to fall prey to cybercriminals and lose lakhs despite being a software professional." With these words, a Bengaluru woman recently walked out of her marriage.
The 32 year old bank executive couldn’t digest the fact that her husband was duped by online scammers for a huge amount twice.

Kumar (pseudonym) works as a senior software engineer in Bengaluru for an American software giant. In early 2019, after Kumar and his wife Sruthi (name changed) had their first child he began looking for greener pastures overseas.

Cyber-criminals who are always on the prowl for victims like Kumar, lured him with an ‘attractive’ software engineer position in Dubai along with a promise of a home and a car.

Kumar underwent Skype 'interviews' and 'tests', which he assumed were real. Then came a request  for a huge deposit to secure the job. In June, Kumar transferred Rs 25 lakh (about $35,000) in a few installments, believing he landed t…

Government considers ban on registration of new vehicles in Bengaluru ? Residents skeptical of such move

There are news articles that the state government is considering a ban on registering new vehicles in Bengaluru. However, residents are skeptical of any such move.

A proposal to ban registration of all new vehicles for the next two years has received mixed reactions from the traffic experts and public. This is being considered by Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara, who is also the Bengaluru Development Minister.

Even as people grapple with never-ending traffic jams, there are new proposals being mulled by the government. Two experts, Professor Ashish Verma and Ashwin Mahesh, speak to TNIE on best possible solutions to handle city’s traffic woes.

Traffic expert Ashish Verma, associate professor, transport engineering laboratory, civil engineering department, Indian Institute of Science (IISc), said that though calling for a ban is a good idea, the plan won’t work unless worked out with various other combination of solutions. “The number of private vehicles is increasing every year b…