Today Current Affairs 9th January 2017

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The Indian Army has successfully conducted ‘user-validation’ trials of indigenous Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS) Dhanush in the Himalayas.  It clears the way for the induction in the Army. Earlier, proof firing tests of Dhanush’s armament systems were carried out during technical trials in June and September 2016 and some initial integrated firing tests were successfully carried out in December 2016. Dhanush 155 MM/52 calibre towed artillery gun is based on the 1980s’ Bofors FH-77B/39 Calibre artillery gun design. Its indegenous development is aided by the transfer of technology (ToT) clause signed with the Swedish company.  It is developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in collaboration with the private sector companies. It was designed by the DRDO’s Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE).  It boasts a range of 45 km with accuracy and precision and provides greater fire power, depending on the type of ammunition used. It is also has night firing capability in direct fire mode.  It has several significant features such as an all-electric drive, quick deployability, high mobility, auxiliary power mode, advanced communication system, and automated command and control system.  

Power Minister Piyush Goyal will unveil world’s largest street light replacement programme in South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) area on 9 Jan 2017. In this programme, two lakh LED lights will replace inefficient lamps.  Street Lighting National Programme (SLNP), currently running in the SDMC area is the World’s Largest Street Light Replacement Programme. The SLNP is being implemented by state-run Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), a joint venture under the Ministry of Power.  The SLNP programme is presently running in Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Tripura, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Goa, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan. A total of 15.36 lakh street lights have already been replaced in the country with LED bulbs, which is resulting in energy savings of over 20 crore kWh, avoiding capacity of nearly 51 MW and reducing 1.68 lakh tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per annum.

The 11th annual Blind Challenge Car Rally has organized in Bhopal, to raise awareness about the issues concerning the visually-impaired.  As part of the rally, drivers are navigated by blind persons tasked with reading the route given to them in Braille.  The organizers awarded cash prizes to the first three winners and certificates to all the participants.Blind Challenge Car Rally held in Bhopal. 

SBI Pension Funds, a subsidiary of State Bank of India, has appointed Kumar Sharadindu as its managing director and chief executive.  SBI Pension Funds is one of the three pension fund managers appointed by the regulator PFRDA to manage the pension corpus of employees enrolled under the National Pension System for government employees.  Prior to this assignment, Sharadindu was a general manager at SBI Corporate Centre, Mumbai, heading the private equity business. He has held several crucial assignments in his banking career spanning over three decades in areas of credit, treasury, risk and large corporate lending.  SBI Pension Funds had an AUM Rs 46,019 crore as of March 2016, representing a growth of 47 per cent over the previous fiscal, and is the seventh largest pension fund manager in terms of market share and 35 per cent its AUM comes from the government sector.   

In Andhra Pradesh, Vijayawada will be host to the first Digi Dhan Mela in the State this afternoon.  Digi Dhan Melas are being organized across the country to promote cashless transactions.  Union Minister for Urban Development and Information Broadcasting M. Venkaiah Naidu along with Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu will launch the Mela at Indira Gandhi Municipal Stadium, Vijayawada. 

The Union Government has made mandatory for workers in rural areas enrolled under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGA) to have an Aadhaar card. Those who have registered under the scheme will be required to give furnish proof of possession of Aadhaar card or undergo the enrolment process till March 31, 2017. For this purpose, government has invoked Section 7 of the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and other Subsidies, benefits and services) Act, 2016.  This section allows Government to ask an individual to undergo authentication or furnish proof of possession of Aadhaar when the government gives subsidy, benefit or service from Consolidated Fund of India (CFI).  The rationale behind making Aadhaar cards mandatory for the MGNREGA is to prevent leakages of subsidies and ensure that the beneficiaries get their due.  It will ensure effective implementation of the Aadhaar-linked Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) scheme aimed at checking leakages of welfare funds. Under DBT scheme, all cash benefits are transferred to beneficiary’s bank account. Union Government has asked its departments and State governments to widen scope of DBT to include all monetary transfers.  The expenditure for the MGNREGS is met by Government from the Consolidated Fund of India.

The 20th Edition of the National Conference for e-Governance 2016-17 has started in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. The theme of this year’s conference is ‘Internet of Things and e-Governance’ and will be covering newly evolving areas of e-Governance across five plenary sessions. The conference has been organised by Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) and Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG) in partnership with Information Technology, Electronics and Communication (ITE&C) Department, Andhra Pradesh Government. It is being held on the premise of “Minimum Government, Maximum Governance”. It will provide an opportunity for the public and private sector to discuss best practices and explore new areas of partnership in areas related to e-Governance by leveraging various technology initiatives.  It will conduct plenary session include ‘Cyber Security policy for the future’, ‘IoT and Data Analytics’, ‘Digital Connectivity to the last mile’ and ‘Andhra Pradesh – Leading 4.0 which refers to the 4th Industrial Revolution. The conference is aligned with the Digital India programme of Union Government and it is the largest annual event in the arena of Governance reforms in the country. Last year it was held in Nagpur, Maharashtra. E-Governance is one of the subjects allocated to DARPG under the II Schedule to the Allocation of Business Rules, 1961. DARPG has been entrusted the role to promote e-Governance activities in consonance with the overall national objectivities and priorities. Whereas, DeitY’s mandate is to encourage e-Governance to empower citizens, promote inclusive and sustainable growth of Electronics, IT & ITeS industries.  

The Supreme Court has reiterated the necessity to implement the Vote Verifier Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) in electronic voting machines (EVMs) to ensure 100% transparency in elections.  This is the second time the Supreme Court has directed Election Commission (EC) for the implementation of VVPAT in EVMs. Earlier in 2013, SC had directed the EC to introduce VVPAT in a phased manner for 2014 general elections.  SC had observed that VVPAT will ensure free and fair polls and help in sorting out disputes. In response the EC had informed the apex court that the VVPAT can be introduced in a phased manner. The VVPAT system is a new initiative of the Election Commission to ensure free and fair elections. In the VVPAT system, when a voter presses the button for a candidate of his choice in the electronic voting machines (EVM), a paper ballot containing the serial number, name of the candidate and poll symbol will be printed for the voter. It is intended as an independent verification system for EVM designed to (i) allow voters to verify that their votes are casted correctly, (ii) detect possible election fraud or malfunction and (iii) Provide a means to audit the stored electronic results.

The 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards ceremony was organized at Beverly Hills, California, United States (US). The Golden Globe Awards are the annual awards that honour the best in Motion Pictures and American Television for the previous year.  This year, La La Land, a romantic musical comedy-drama film won in all the seven categories including the top award of best musical or comedy at the ceremony in Los Angeles. Veteran actress Meryl Streep was bestowed with the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award. Best Motion Picture Drama: Moonlight. Best Motion Picture Musical/Comedy: La La Land.  Best Director in Motion Picture-Drama: Damien Chazelle for La La Land.  Best Actor in Motion Picture-Drama: Casey Affleck for Manchester by the Sea.  Best Actress in Motion Picture-Drama: Isabelle Huppert for Elle.  Best Actor in Motion Picture or Musical or Comedy: Ryan Gosling for La La Land.  Best Actress in Motion Picture Musical or Comedy: Emma Stone for La La Land.  Best Actor in a Supporting role in Motion Picture: Aaron Taylor-Johnson for Nocturnal Animals. Best Actress in a Supporting role in Motion Picture: Viola Davis for Fences.  Best Original Score Motion Picture: Justin Hurwitz for the La La Land.  Best Original Song: “City of Stars” (Justin Hurwitz, Pasek & Paul) for the La La Land.  Best Animated Feature Film: Zootopia. Best Foreign Language Film: Elle (France).

Former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani passed away on 8 January 2016 following a cardiac arrest. He was 82. Rafsanjani served two terms as Iran's president from 1989 to 1997. Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani : At the time of his death, he was the chairman of the Expediency Council of Iran that settles disputes between the country's parliament and the Guardian Council. Rafsanjani served as president in the early 1990s when Tehran was accused of a executing a wave of assassinations in Europe that targeted regime opponents. However, he lost a presidential bid against the former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2005.During Ahmadinejad's 2009 re-election campaign, Rafsanjani became a vocal critic blaming the election results that gave Ahmadinejad another overwhelming victory.  He was a staunch supporter of the nuclear deal, which lifted sanctions on Iran in exchange for curbs on its disputed nuclear program.  He was the one who helped broker the secret talks with the Reagan administration in the mid-1980s that focused on the US trading arms to Tehran in exchange for its help in freeing Americans kidnapped in Lebanon.He began his political career as the consummate insider and adviser to Ayatollah Khomeini.  

The Union Finance Ministry  amended the Income-tax Rules, 1962 to allow banks to obtain and link PAN or Form No 60 (where PAN is not available) in all existing bank accounts (other than BSBDA) by 28 February 2017. The amended rules are referred as Income-tax (33rd Amendment) Rules, 2016. Earlier in December 2016, RBI mandated that no withdrawal will be allowed from the accounts having significant deposits, if PAN or Form No 60 is not provided in respect of such accounts.  Therefore, people, who have bank account but have not submitted PAN or Form No 60 yet, will now be required to submit the PAN or Form No 60 to the bank. Moreover, the banks and post offices were mandated to submit details of cash deposits from 1 April 2016 to 8 November 2016 in accounts where the cash deposits during the period 9 November 2016 to 30 December 2016 exceeds the specified limits. This means that the banks will be required to provide details of cash deposits of Rs 2.5 lakh or more in individual accounts. In case of current accounts, banks and post offices will have to furnish details of accounts where deposits are 12.5 lakh and above. It has also been provided that people, who are required to obtain PAN or Form No 60, should record the PAN in all the documents and reports submitted to the Income-tax Department. The Union Government on 8 November 2016 banned the legal tender of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes in the country. Following the note ban, around 60 lakh individuals and firms made large deposits totalling to around Rs 7 lakh crore in old notes.

Indian tennis players Rohan Bopanna and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan on 8 January 2017 won the 2017 Chennai Open Men’s Doubles title. The duo defeated compatriots Purav Raja and Divij Sharan 6-3, 6-4 in the summit clash held in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. It is the first time that an Indian pair clinched the title after Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi, who won the title in 2011. Rohan Bopanna : Rohan Bopanna’s singles career high ranking was World No. 213 in 2007. His career high ranking in doubles was World No. 3 as of July 2013. At present, he is ranked 10th in the world in the doubles rankings.  In 2007, he partnered with Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi in doubles. The duo, nicknamed the IndoPak Express, won four Challenger titles in quick succession. However, they broke up in the 2010 season. In 2008, he conquered his first ATP doubles title in the Countrywide Classic in Los Angeles with Eric Butorac. Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan : Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan got his 50th career win at the 2013 ITF Men's Pro Circuit. He is the grandson of V. R. Nedunchezhiyan, former Finance Minister of Tamil Nadu.

Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut  clinched the Men’s Singles title of the 2017 Chennai Open. Agut defeated Russia’s Daniil Medvedev 6-3 and 6-4 to claim the first ATP tournament of the season. It was the second time that the Spaniard was playing a final at the Chennai Open. In 2013, he ended up as a runner-up to Janko Tipsarevic at the Nungambakkam stadium. In 2016, the Chennai Open Men’s Singles title was clinched by Switzerland’s Stanislas Wawrinka. Roberto Bautista Agut : Born on 14 April 1988, Roberto Bautista Agut has won five ATP singles titles. They are the 2014 Topshelf Open, the 2014 Mercedes Cup, the 2016 ASB Classic, the 2016 Garanti Koza Sofia Open and the 2017 Aircel Chennai Open. In October 2016, he achieved a career-high singles ranking of world No. 13. He is the first Spaniard younger than Rafael Nadal to be ranked in the Top 20 players. Chennai Open : The Chennai Open is a professional tennis tournament. It is played on outdoor hard courts. At present, it is a part of the ATP World Tour 250 series of the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) World Tour. It is held annually in January at the SDAT Tennis Stadium in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.The winners of the 2017 Chennai Open Men’s Doubles title are Rohan Bopanna and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan.  

Norway is set to become the first country to switch off its FM radio network next week, as it takes the unpopular leap to digital technology.  Critics say the government is rushing the move and many people may miss warnings on emergencies that have until now been broadcast via the radio. Of particular concern are the 2 million cars on Norway's roads that are not equipped with Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) receivers, they say.  Sixty-six percent of Norwegians oppose switching off FM, with just 17 percent in favor and the rest undecided, according to an opinion poll published by the daily Dagbladet last month. Nevertheless, parliament gave the final go-ahead for the move last month, swayed by the fact that digital networks can carry more radio channels. By the end of the year, all national FM broadcasts will be closed in favor of DAB,  which backers say carries less hiss and clearer sound throughout the large nation of 5 million people cut by fjords and mountains. Torvmark said cars were the "biggest challenge" - a good digital adapter for an FM car radio costs 1,500 Norwegian crowns ($174.70), he said. For the same cost, digital radio in Norway allows eight times more radio stations than FM. The current system of parallel FM and digital networks, each of which cost about 250 million crowns ($29 million), saps investments in programs.  

Petrol pump owners have deferred till January 13 their decision to not accept credit and debit card payments for fuel sales after banks put off the move to levy the transaction (MDR) charge. To promote cash-less transactions, the government had waived the Merchant Discount Rate (MDR) on fuel purchase post demonetisation for consumers. But after the expiry of the 50-day window, the banks have decided to levy MDR on petrol pump owners. This meant petrol pumps having to bear 1 per cent on all credit card transactions and between 0.25 per cent and 1 per cent on all debit card transactions from January 9. AIPDA also has decided to defer the agitation till January 13.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched Pravasi Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PKVY), a skill development program targeted at Indian youth seeking overseas employment.  It was launched after inauguration of 14th Pravasi Bhartiya Divas convention held in India’s IT hub Bengaluru, Karnataka. Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa was the Chief Guest of the event.  PKVY will provide training and certify Indians who are seeking overseas employment in selected sectors in line with international standards.  It will be implemented by the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) through its training partners and in consultation with the Union Ministry of External Affairs and the Union Skill Development Ministry.  It also aims at boosting the confidence of the Indian youth so that they don’t feel like strangers when they land in a country of their choice for vocation.

Scientists from Botanical Survey of India (BSI) have discovered a new species of Zingiber (commonly referred as ginger) from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.  The new species has been named as Zingiber pseudosquarrosum and belongs to genus Zingiber. It is used by the local Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs) of the Andamans for its medicinal values. The pseudo stem of Zingiber pseudosquarrosum is red in colour. Its flowers are lotus shaped and have a vermilion tinge and dehisced fruit. This species has tuberous root and its inflorescence buds are urceolate in shape.  The morphological features of this species make it distinct from other species belonging to the genus Zingiber. Like other species of Gingers, it is edible and can be propagated vegetatively from the rhizome. The new species possesses ethno-medicinal uses. The fresh extract (juice) of fleshy tuberous roots of this species is used to treat abdominal pain and anti-helminthic troubles by native tribal communities. There are 141 species of genus Zingiber distributed throughout tropical Asia, including China, Japan and tropical Australia. Of these, 20 are reported from India, which include seven ( including Zingiber pseudosquarrosum) from Andaman and Nicobar Islands.  Species belonging to genera Zingiber are monocotyledonous flowering plants and their hizomes are widely used as a spice or a traditional medicine. Commonly used species of Zingiber are known for its aromatic smell is cultivated widely across India.

Sania Mirza along with her American partner Bethanie Mattek-Sands on 8 Janaury 2017 won the 2017 Brisbane International Women’s Doubles title.  It was the first win of the season for Mirza. However, with the trophy came an end to Mirza’s 91-week reign as the world No. 1 doubles player in the WTA rankings. She ended up losing the world No.1 ranking to her partner, Mattek-Sands. The top-seeded Indo-American duo scored 6-2 6-3 against the second-seeded Russian team of Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina in the final of the tournament. In 2016, the women’s doubles trophy was won by Sania Mirza and Swiss Martina Hingis. Brisbane International : The Brisbane International is a professional tennis tournament. It is played on outdoor hard courts in Brisbane, Queensland.It is a part of the ATP World Tour 250 series of the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) World Tour. It is also a part of the WTA Premier tournaments of the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) Tour. The tournament is held annually in January at the Queensland Tennis Centre.The 2017 Brisbane International is the ninth edition of the tournament. Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov was the winner of the 2017 Brisbane International Men’s Singles title. Czech Republic’s Karolina Pliskova was the winner of the 2017 Brisbane International Women’s Singles title. The duo of Thanasi Kokkinakis and Jordan Thompson won the 2017 Brisbane International Men’s Doubles title.  

Novak Djokovic has won the Qatar Open tennis title. In an epic final in Doha, the Serbian defeated Andy Murray ofUK by 6-3 5-7 6-4.  Djokovic missed out on three match points and had to repel a roaring Murray comeback before ending the Briton's 28-match, five-tournament winning streak. 

US President-elect Donald Trump has named Dan Coats as his National Intelligence Director. The Indiana ex-senator formerly served on the Senate Intelligence Committee.  Mr Coats would provide unwavering leadership and spearhead his administration's ceaseless vigilance against those who seek to do them harm.  The appointment comes a day after an intelligence report accused Russia's President of ordering a campaign aimed at helping Mr Trump to victory. Mr Coats will need the Senate to confirm his appointment, replacing James Clapper.

The 14th edition of Pravasi Bhartiya Divas (PBD) began in the country’s IT hub Bengaluru, Karnataka. The theme of this edition is “Redefining Engagement with the Indian Diaspora”. On the first day of three day event, ‘Youth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas’ was inaugurated as part of the PBD 2017 with an aim to connect with the youth, the new generation of Pravasis growing up all over the world. The main convention will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Indian-origin Portugal Prime Minister, Dr. Antonio Costa who is the chief guest in the PBD convention. Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas (PBD) :  PBD is an annual event organised since 2003 by Ministry of External Affairs to foster greater interaction between the Indian Diaspora and Indian government.  It is a very important platform for engagement of the Union Government and the state governments with the overseas Indian community. It provides the single platform to Indian diaspora to put forth their issues and grievances before the government and in turn government can leverage their resources in nation building activities.  It is held annually on 9 January to mark the return of Mahatma Gandhi from South Africa to India i.e. on 9 January, 1915.

Astronomers have discovered two of the most powerful phenomena in the universe, a supermassive black hole and the collision of giant galaxy clusters about 2 billion light years from Earth.  It was discovered combining data from India’s Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT), NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and other telescopes. These two phenomenon combined to create a stupendous cosmic particle accelerator. This was the first time, scientists found cosmic combination in a pair of colliding galaxy clusters.  It was found from the two colliding galaxy clusters called Abell 3411 and Abell 3412 located about two billion light years from Earth. These two clusters are very massive and each weighs about a quadrillion or a million billion times the mass of the Sun of our solar system. Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT)  : GMRT is an indigenous project set up by Pune based National Centre for Radio Astrophysics (NCRA).  It has been designed for investigating a variety of radio astrophysical problems, ranging from nearby Solar system to the edge of observable Universe. Astronomers from all over the world use this telescope regularly to observe many different astronomical objects such as galaxies, pulsars, supernovae, HII regions and Sun and solar winds.

Pakistan’s former Army chief Gen. Raheel Sharif (retired) was appointed head of Islamic Military Alliance to Fight Terrorism (IMAFT), a Saudi Arabia-led military coalition of 39 nations. The appointment was confirmed by Pakistan’s Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif as both the government and the Army allowed Gen. Sharif take charge of the alliance. Raheel had retired as the Pakistan army chief in November 2016 and was succeeded by General Qamar Javed Bajwa. Islamic Military Alliance to Fight Terrorism (IMAFT) :  IMAFT is military coalition comprising 39 nations. It was established by Saudi Arabia in December 2015 and its command centre, headquarters is based in Riyadh. The coalition calls for all member states to cooperate to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.  It is envisaged to serve as a platform for security cooperation, including provision of training, troops and equipment, and involvement of religious scholars for dealing with extremism.  It has been established in pursuance with objectives and principles of the charter of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). Member countries of this alliance will coordinate and support military operations against terrorism in Iraq, Libya, Syria, Afghanistan and Egypt.  The coalition includes countries like United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Bahrain, Tunisia, Sudan, Egypt, Yemen, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Malaysia among others. Note: Saudi Arabia’s arch rival (for influence in the Arab world) Iran was not named as member of the IMAFT. Currently both regional powers are engaged proxy sectarian conflicts in Syria to Yemen. Pakistan’s position on IMAFT : Pakistan initially had taken aback for being part of IMAFT, after Saudi Arabia had announced Pakistan also part of the alliance. However, Pakistan later confirmed its participation in the alliance but has not committed itself to providing troops for any possible military operations.

India and Portugal have signed six memorandum of understandings (MoUs) including in defence cooperation. These agreements were signed after delegation level talks Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his visiting Portugal counterpart António Costa who is chief Guest of 2017 Pravasi Bharatiya Divas. Six agreements signed are  MoU on Defence.  MoU on Renewable Energy.  MoU on Marine Research and Resources.  MoU in the Agriculture and Allied Sectors.  MoU in the field of Information Technology and Electronics.  MoU on the establishment of an ICCR Chair of Indian Studies in University of Lisbon. Besides, an agreement on visa waiver for holders of diplomatic passports was also signed. It allows visa free travel for diplomatic passport holders of India and Portugal to each other’s countries for short term visits. The defence agreement between both countries aims to boost joint production and development of niche weapons systems.  It was signed following Portugal’s support to India’s multilateral plans in various technology regimes including Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) in which India secured membership in 2016.

The Protect and Grow American Jobs Act was introduced in the US Congress in January 2017. The bill roposes key changes in the H1-B Programme in order to stop misuse of the H1-B and L1 visas by the American companies. The bill also seeks to encourage companies to hire more American workers in order to tackle growing unemployment in the country. Highlights of the Protect and Grow American Jobs Act : The bill was introduced by Republican Darrell Issa and Scott Peters. They represent California in the House of Representatives of the US Congress. It prohibits companies from hiring H1-B employees if they employ more than 50 people. It also disallows companies from hiring H1-B employees if more than 50% of their employees are H1-B and L-1 visa holders. The proposed legislation prohibits replacement of American workers by H1-B or L-1 visa holders. H1-B and L-1 visas : The H1-B and L-1 visas are non-immigrant visas offered by the US Government. These visas allow companies to employ skilled workers from other countries to meet shortages in the labour market. These two visas differ in terms of the length of period that an individual is allowed to stay in the country.On an L1 visa, the maximum length an individual is allowed to stay is 7 years. An H1B visa holder may remain in the county for a total of six years but there exists the opportunity to file for a 3-year extension. The Protect and Grow American Jobs Act comes after a number of companies like Disney and SoCal Edison have come under fire for abusing the H1B Visa programme to replace American workers with foreign workers. The Indian Information Technology industry is expected to hit hard with the proposed legislation as it is the major beneficiary of this visa programme. As per an estimate, around 80,630 H1-B visas were issued to Indian nationals by the American companies in 2012 alone.