AFA DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS- 18/01/2019


PRELIMS


H-1B visa holders prone to abuse

  • A U.S. think tank has claimed that H-1B workers are “underpaid, vulnerable to abuse” and frequently placed in “poor working conditions”.

  • In a report, the South Asia Center of the Atlantic Council also sought safeguards like higher wages, fair working conditions and greater employment rights for those working under the visa programme.
  • The H-1B visa, popular among Indian IT professionals, is a non-immigrant visa that allows U.S. companies to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise.

Trump promises reform: The report comes days after U.S. President Donald Trump said he would soon come out with reforms that would give H-1B visa holders certainty to stay in America and an easy pathway to citizenship.


AAI to study early arrivals at three busy airport:

  • The Airports Authority of India (AAI) will conduct an year-long study to examine early arrivals at the Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru airports — among the busiest in the country — in order to devise ways to improve operational efficiencies.
  • Early arrivals to an airport lead to bunching of flights and impact the punctuality of planes scheduled to land or arrive at the same airport. The three airports under study are among the most sought after by domestic and international airlines, but capacity constraints here mean there are no slots available to accommodate more flights.
  • The exercise will help them to collect data, which will be used to optimise block-timings between city-pairs. They will be monitoring block-timings followed by various airlines during peak and non-peak hours, and in different parts of the year.
  • Block-timing refers to the span of time between switching on the aircraft’s engines before take-off and switching them off after landing. Officials are of the opinion that if airlines are able to inculcate discipline or self-regulate, there may be no need for penalties.
  • A study conducted by the AAI between September and November 2018 showed that 20.6% of aircraft arriving at Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru from 80 other airports were landing earlier than their scheduled time.
  • Early arrivals to an airport lead to bunching of flights and impact the punctuality of planes scheduled to land or arrive at the same airport. The three airports under study are among the most sought after by domestic and international airlines, but capacity constraints here mean there are no slots available to accommodate more flights.

Govt. to move strategic ITBP unit to Leh:

  • Amid growing concerns over the Chinese military build-up along the eastern flank of the country, the government has ordered moving a strategic ITBP command from its current base in Chandigarh to the border of Leh in Jammu and Kashmir.
  • The North West (NW) frontier of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police has been ordered to move by the end of March, documents showed.
  • The Leh district in the mountains of Jammu and Kashmir is the base for 14 Corps of the Army and the proposed shift will allow a better interaction between the two forces “for strategic and defence planning”.

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