Everywhere Indian engineers are unwanted

Source: Quartz India

April 20, 2017

Here’s a look at some of the windows of opportunity that are being shuttered.

The “America first” fever

On April 18, Trump signed an executive order to overhaul America’s H-1B program, which allows foreign employees to work in the US for up to six years.

Trump’s “Buy American, Hire American” directive will force Indian IT firms—the top sponsors of visas from India—to rethink their recruitment models. Industry bigwigs like Infosys, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), and Wipro, have been prepping for these restrictive measures for nearly a decade now with the knowledge that ramping up local hiring amidst America’s chronic skills shortage could prove to be a challenge.

Amid the winds of uncertainty that have been raging since Trump’s elections, many Indians in the US have been looking to return home. This year, for the first time in five years, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) saw a decline in the number of H-1B applicants. Simultaneously, the number of Indians in the US searching for jobs in India has gone up more than 10-fold between December and March, according to an analysis by consulting firm Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, shared exclusively with Mint. In the last month of 2016, approximately 600 US-based Indians were seeking jobs in India. By the end of last month, there were around 7,000.

Clampdown in the UK

The UK is increasingly less hospitable for Indian students and workers alike.

In 2012, the country abolished its post-study work visa that let fresh graduates remain in the country for two years, so all those who did not graduate with a job in hand had to pack their bags and leave. The government also raised the maintenance funds (living expenses) a student needed to have in their bank accounts by 24% in 2015, shutting out some of the internal student population because of the ballooning cost. Between 2014 and 2015, the number of first-year Indians enrolling in UK universities dropped 10%from 11,270 to 10,125.

Indian workers, who hold nearly 60% of the skilled foreign worker visas in the UK, faced similar woes as the country raised the salary threshold for different visas and added new English language requirements. Under the new rules, Tier 2 short-term intra-company transfers—the provision under which Indian tech companies typically take their workers to the UK—would be discontinued. This change went into effect on April 6.

Although British Chancellor Phillip Hammondassured India that efforts to shrink migration of less-skilled labour would not impact India adversely, that did not hold true. At least 30,000 Indian software professionals currently working in the UK will not have their work permits renewed, India’s National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom) told The Hindu Business Line.

Singapore’s quiet retreat

The 5.6-million-strong island nation of Singapore has upped the resistance against Indian techies in recent years. In order to make sure that companies have a “Singapore core,” and to address concerns about overpopulation, officials have been “shutting the tap down” on Indian workers, according to Nasscom.

In 2015, Singapore adopted the Fair Consideration Framework to ensure employers are considering Singaporeans for vacancies. It requires, among other things, that an employer with over 25 employees advertise a vacancy for two weeks before applying for an employment pass for an international worker. Singaporean authorities are also reportedly asking Indian tech companies based in the region to carry out labor market testing, which Nasscom says violates the 2005 economic cooperation agreement between the two countries. Other measures to curb foreign worker populations include raising the bar for salaries and English proficiency.

Before these recent efforts, Indian tech companies were awarded between 5,000 and 10,000 work permits each year. Recently, the total population of Indian techies in Singapore has shriveled to under 10,000, NDTV reported. Applications—which typically took two to four weeks to process—have been held up for months, Nasscom said.

Putting Australians first

On April 18, the same day as president Trump’s announcement, Australia abolished its 457 visa, which allowed employers to sponsor skilled foreign talent to work in the country for up to four years. The largest proportion—roughly a quarter—of these visas are held by Indians. This comes a year after the government set limits onwhich types of occupations that outsiders could apply for under the visa.

“We will no longer allow 457 visas to be passports to jobs that could and should go to Australians,” prime minister Malcolm Turnbull announced in a Facebook video.

Australia is replacing the 457 visa with two new types of temporary visas—one that lasts two years and another that lasts four. The criteria to acquire these visas are getting tougher: applicants will have to demonstrate previous work experience and a high level of English language proficiency. To make sure that locals get a fair shake, Australia will also mandate labor market testingwherein employers must first attempt to find an Australian citizen or permanent resident for a job role, before hiring an international worker.

A survey revealed that more than 70% of the 457 visa holders said they planned to apply (pdf) for permanent citizenship. The 90,000 temporary workers currently in the country won’t be affected. Plans for those who had wished to live and work in Australia in the future, however, have been foiled.

New Zealand shuts the door

A day after Australia’s announcement, its next door neighbor New Zealand also blocked foreign workers in a bid to put Kiwis first.

The overhaul of the visa program aims to alleviate concerns about housing shortages, road congestion, and overcrowding in major cities, the Guardian reported. “It’s important that our immigration settings are attracting the right people, with the right skills, to help fill genuine skill shortages and contribute to our growing economy,” immigration minister Michael Woodhouse said. To qualify as high-skilled labor, workers will have to earn at least 150% of the median income.

The rising nationalism is going to cost Indians deeply. They have consistently been in among thetop three sources of migrants to New Zealand over the last decade, coming in first since 2014. Indians are also the second-largest and fastest-growing international student population in New Zealand but with job prospects dimming due to visa constraints, the trend might come to a halt.


TOP TEN UNIVERSITIES Ranking in India 2017

The ranking of 100 institutes was conducted by the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) which comes under the MHRD.


  1. Indian Institute of Science Bangalore
  2. Indian Institute of Technology Madras
  3. Indian Institute of Technology Bombay
  4. Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur
  5. Indian Institute of Technology Delhi
  6. Jawaharlal Nehru University
  7. Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur
  8. Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati
  9. Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee
  10. Banaras Hindu University

The complete list of university rankings is posted online (https://www.nirfindia.org/OverallRanking.html).


Writing Your Research Proposal

[Tips for Writing Your Research Proposal]
1. Know yourself: Know your area of expertise, what are your strengths and what are your weaknesses. Play to your strengths, not to your weaknesses. If you want to get into a new area of research, learn something about the area before you write a proposal. Research previous work. Be a scholar.


2. Know the program from which you seek support: You are responsible for finding the appropriate program for support of your research. 


3. Read the program announcement: Programs and special activities have specific goals and specific requirements. If you don’t meet those goals and requirements, you have thrown out your chance of success. Read the announcement for what it says, not for what you want it to say. If your research does not fit easily within the scope of the topic areas outlined, your chance of success is nil.


4. Formulate an appropriate research objective: A research proposal is a proposal to conduct research, not to conduct development or design or some other activity. Research is a methodical process of building upon previous knowledge to derive or discover new knowledge, that is, something that isn’t known before the research is conducted. 


5. Develop a viable research plan: A viable research plan is a plan to accomplish your research objective that has a non-zero probability of success. The focus of the plan must be to accomplish the research objective.


6. State your research objective clearly in your proposal: A good research proposal includes a clear statement of the research objective. Early in the proposal is better than later in the proposal. The first sentence of the proposal is a good place. A good first sentence might be, “The research objective of this proposal is…” Do not use the word “develop” in the statement of your research objective. 


7. Frame your project around the work of others: Remember that research builds on the extant knowledge base, that is, upon the work of others. Be sure to frame your project appropriately, acknowledging the current limits of knowledge and making clear your contribution to the extension of these limits. Be sure that you include references to the extant work of others. 


8. Grammar and spelling count: Proposals are not graded on grammar. But if the grammar is not perfect, the result is ambiguities left to the reviewer to resolve. Ambiguities make the proposal difficult to read and often impossible to understand, and often result in low ratings. Be sure your grammar is perfect. 


9. Format and brevity are important: Do not feel that your proposal is rated based on its weight. Use 12-point fonts, use easily legible fonts, and use generous margins. Take pity on the reviewers. Make your proposal a pleasant reading experience that puts important concepts up front and makes them clear. Use figures appropriately to make and clarify points, but not as filler. 


10. Know the review process: Know how your proposal will be reviewed before you write it. Proposals that are reviewed by panels must be written to a broader audience than proposals that will be reviewed by mail. Mail review can seek out reviewers with very specific expertise in very narrow disciplines. 


11. Proof read your proposal before it is sent: Many proposals are sent out with idiotic mistakes, omissions, and errors of all sorts. Proposals have been submitted with the list of references omitted and with the references not referred to. Proposals have been submitted to the wrong program. Proposals have been submitted with misspellings in the title. These proposals were not successful. Stupid things like this kill a proposal. It is easy to catch them with a simple, but careful, proof reading. Don’t spend six or eight weeks writing a proposal just to kill it with stupid mistakes that are easily prevented.


12. Submit your proposal on time: Duh? Why work for two months on a proposal just to have it disqualified for being late? Remember, fairness dictates that proposal submission rules must apply to everyone. It is not up to the discretion of the program officer to grant you dispensation on deadlines. Get your proposal in two or three days before the deadline.

TechGig Geek Goddess 2017

TechGig Geek Goddess 2017, a coding battle for women techies, registration opens

Mumbai: The presence of women professionals in the tech companies based in India is minuscule. It is fact that the tech-talent landscape is dominated by male professionals in India. On this adverse backdrop, The TechGig, a network operated by Times Business Solutions, is hosting India’s biggest coding battle for women, #TechGigGeekGoddess.

The pan India coding contest, dedicated for female coders, aims at celebrating the tech genius of ladies. TechGig Geek Goddess, the women-only tech extravaganza, enters its second edition this year. #TG3, popularly it is fondly known as, aims to create awareness on gender diversity and inclusiveness.

Nilanjan Roy, Head of Strategy at Times Business Solutions, says, “TechGig is the harbinger of a paradigm change coming in the IT community. While female coders in India constitute around 20% of the workforce, the percentage of women coders visiting TechGig is over 40% – clearly showing that the Era of Geek Goddess upon us. The growing popularity of our flagship event for women coders highlights this paradigm shift as companies seek tech talent and coders with top skills from amongst the thousands of coding divas who participate in this national level competition.”

In this coding battle, many giant tech companies have partnered: Sapient, Schneider Electric, Radisson Blu Atria Bengaluru, CDK Global, Genpact and more.

TechGig Geek Goddess is not just about coding contest. Promoting women tech talent and providing a platform to showcase their expertise is the primary objective of this tech festival. The second edition of TechGig Geek Goddess is set to become bigger, better and stronger, highlighting both, the present generation of women technologists and inspiring the next wave of women IT professionals.

The event not only involves women coders, but also testers and UI/UX experts. Mr Roy explained, “While back-end coding provides for a strong and stable product, it is front-end coding where the biggest innovations and real brand differentiation is being witnessed. We have broadened the horizon of TG3 and introduced ‘Theme Rounds’ in UI/UX, QA and Testing, to cover them as integral parts of the tech eco-system.”

Participants of TechGig Geek Goddess can win prizes worth Rs. 5 lakh, apart from gift vouchers and even a cool smartphone.  In addition, Top IT recruiters would have a close eye on the contest to select the right talent.  The registration window has already opened for TechGig Geek Goddess 2017 from 15 January 2017.

TechGig Code Gladiators 2017

TechGig Code Gladiators 2017, India’s biggest coding contest, announces bounty of over Rs 5 million

Mumbai: TechGig Code Gladiators has become the undisputed leader in Coding Contests having won the Limca Book National Record for being India’s Largest Coding Contest in 2015 and 2016. With a grand bounty of over Rs 50 lakhs to be won by the best coders, this year’s event promises to scale unprecedented heights.

Speaking at the launch of this record breaking event, Gautam Sinha, CEO, Times Internet Limited said, “I’m a coder, and this is a distinct pleasure, because this event is not about the best singer, or the best artist, but the best coder. My personal commitment is to make TechGig Code Gladiators 2017 a success. With all the partnerships that we forge, we will put the entire house of Times Group behind it – to make it successful.”

TechGig Code Gladiators 2017 will see over 2 Lakh top programmers code in over 52 Languages – the largest choice of languages in the world. Contestants can code in any of the 52 major programming languages including C, C++, C#, Java, PHP, VB.Net, Python, Perl, Ruby, JS, Objective C, Go, Scala, F#, Haskell, Lua, D, Clojure, Groovy, TCL, Pascal, Ocaml, Erlang, Small Talk, Cobol, Racket, Bash, Java 8, Python 3, GNU Octave, Rust, Common LISP, R and Node JS.

Of the over 2 Lakh coders only the top 200 will make it to the Grand Finale Hackathon to be held in Bangalore – That’s a pass percentage of less than 0.1%, which makes this a selection 7X tougher than the Joint Entrance Examination of the IITs!

TechGig Code Gladiators 2017 will have an Open Contest, and several unique theme rounds covering cutting edge technologies such as Machine Learning, IoT, Data Science, E-Commerce, Bots and DevOps.

The winner of the open contest will receive Rs. 2.5 Lakhs in cash, a trophy and a certificate plaque and winners of theme will get Rs. 2 Lakhs each. With accolades and prizes for all top performers, there is over Rs.50 Lakhs of Prize money to be won.

TechGig Code Gladiators 2016 had entered the Limca Book of Records, the second time in a row for being India’s largest programming contest – beating its own 2015 record recently. Over 1,47,000 premium coders, 70 days of extensive coding and a coveted place in LIMCA Book of World Records made Code Gladiators 2016 a grand spectacle and a phenomenal event.

TechGig Code Gladiators 2016, saw coders ranging from fresh graduates to highly experienced hackers be a part of India’s biggest coding challenge. The winners got all the glory and pride, from prizes worth Rs. 15 Lacs to exposure with top IT companies. The legacy of this record breaking event is poised to grow further in TechGig Code Gladiators 2017, by leaps and bounds.

TechGig Code Gladiators 2017 has started on 20 March 2017 and culminates in a Grand Finale hackathon in Bangalore.


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IIT Jodhpur PhD Admission notification for 1st semester 2017-18, fellowship available

IIT Jodhpur PhD Admission notification for 1st semester 2017-18, fellowship available

Jodhpur, Rajasthan: Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Jodhpur, a leading engineering & technology institute, has invited online applications from eligible candidate for PhD programmes for first semester of 2017-18. IIT Jodhpur offers PhD programmes with specialisation in the following disciplines:  Biosciences and Bioengineering, Computer Science & Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics, and Humanities & Social Sciences (Philosophy, English and Sociology subjects).

The last date of filling online application form is 31 March 2017. Applicants are required to pay the processing fee of Rs 300 in case of General and OBC applicants, and Rs 150 in case of SC, ST, and PD applicants online while submitting the application form. IIT Jodhpur will announce the short listed applicants for the admission process 10 April 2017. The institute offers the following Financial Assistantship to students enrolled in PhD programmes:  B.E/BTech or Equivalent and GATE score or equivalent OR  MSc or Equivalent in Basic Sciences and NET Qualified Rs 25,000 per month; ME/MTech or Equivalent candidates Rs 28,000 per month.

Eligibility for Admission:

(a) Engineering discipline

(1)          Applicants with a Master’s degree in Engineering namely M.Tech, M. E., M. Sc. (Engineering) or MS by Research with at least 60% marks or at least 6.5/10 Cumulative Performance Index (CPI) or Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA). Such students are required to have at least 60% marks or 6.5/10 CPI or CGPA in Bachelor’s degree.

(2)          Applicants with a Master’s degree in Sciences with at least 70% marks or at least 7.0/10 CPI or CGPA with a valid GATE, CSIR, UGC or NBHM score card. Such students are required to have 70% marks or 7.0/10 CPI or CGPA in Bachelor’s degree.

(3)          (a)          a B.Tech, B.E. or B.Sc. (Engineering) degree with at least 80% marks or at least 8/10 CPI or CGPA and a valid GATE score, and

                (b)          a B.Tech. degree from any of the IITs with at least 8/10 CPI or CGPA with a valid GATE Score Card.

Admission Procedure: The Academic Committee will shortlist applicants with a proven academic record based on a cut-off of the GATE, CSIR or UGC score card or equivalent. The shortlisted applicants will be called for the Written Examination and/or Interview. Admission will be made based on academic performance in the Written Examination and/or Interview.

For how to apply, exact eligibility conditions and other details on PhD admission of IIT Jodhpur, candidates should refer the Admission page of the official website of the institute:


The PhD degree programmes are available in the following three categories: Regular, Part-Time and Sponsored PhD.

The norms of reservation for different categories are applicable as laid down by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India.

Admission to MTech Programmes for first semester AY 2017-18 at IIT Jodhpur is also open.

For how to apply, exact eligibility conditions and other details on MTech admission of IIT Jodhpur, candidates should refer the MTech Advertisement uploaded on the official website of the institute: