All 130 foreign students, including 129 Indians who were detained for enrolling in a fake university, were aware that they were committing a crime to fraudulently remain in the US, the State Department has said, days after India issued a demarche to the American Embassy in New Delhi.
The foreign students were arrested last week by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for enrolling at the University of Farmington allegedly to remain in America.
The fake university was set up by the DHS’s investigating unit in the Greater Detroit area to bust the “pay-and-stay” racket.
“All participants in this scheme knew that the University of Farmington had no instructors or classes (neither online nor in-person) and were aware they were committing a crime in an attempt to fraudulently remain in the United States,” a State Department spokesperson said in a statement on Monday.
The State Department’s response came after India issued a demarche to the American Embassy in New Delhi on Saturday, expressing its concern over the detention of Indian students and sought immediate consular access to them.
The External Affairs Ministry said India continued to closely monitor the situation arising out of the mass detention.
Eight of the individuals who ran this racket have been arrested and are either Indian citizen or Indian American.
The fake university which had no classes, a low tuition fee and gave work permits on the very first of the enrolments of the students had some 600 students, an overwhelming majority of whom are Indians.
The actual number of those detained is much higher. Some of the students who were released and many of those who escaped detention have left the country.
An unknown number of Indian students have been radio-tagged and authorities have put restrictions on their movement.
The Indian Embassy here has made an aggressive effort to reach out to these students and, with the help of the community leaders, is providing them with legal help.
Eminent Indian-Americans and some media outlets have also questioned the modus operandi of the US government in the detention of Indians in the “pay-and-stay” university visa scam, saying “trapping of innocent students” is a “crime, illegal and immoral”.
In the first reaction, days after the story broke out, the State Department had described it an unfortunate aberration in the proud history of India-US educational exchanges.
“More than a million international students’ study at US institutions each year, including approximately 196,000 Indian students last year. Instances of fraud schemes are rare, unfortunate aberrations in the proud history of educational exchange between the United States and India,” the State Department said.
The US government fully supports international education and is committed to facilitating legitimate student travel, it said in an apparent reference to the panic that the latest US move has created and reports coming out from India that students are now considering the option to study in other countries and not the US.
“International students are a valuable asset to our universities and our economy and enrich our communities through sharing their diverse perspectives, skills, and experiences,” it said, acknowledging that Indian students not only bring in about USD 6 billion per annum but also become instrumental in the creation of thousands of jobs in the US.
“It is unfortunate that some student recruiters and individuals seek to use the international student programme to foster illegal immigration status in the United States,” the State Department said.
Overseas Friends of BJO USA, in a statement, said that it was shocked to learn that 129 students of Indian-origin were arrested by the ICE, with about 600 students’ fate in jeopardy.
“It is very unfortunate that several students are affected by this University and the majority are Telugu students. Most of these students have joined to get their work permits without knowing that this college is not accredited and became victims of this. Their dreams are shattered now,” North America Telugu Association said.
The association has advised other students not to fall into the trap and instead work hard and get OPT/CPT from reputed universities as per the normal guidelines.
“If some university is offering a CPT without any course, it is not true at all,” it said.
The Indian embassy in the US has also opened a 24/7 hotline to assist 129 Indian students. It has appointed a nodal officer to help the students in distress.
Fire broke out at AIIMS today, fire tenders on the job
A massive fire broke out on the first floor of the teaching block of All India Institute of Medical Sciences.
This happened today near and on the upper floor of the Casualty department. The smoke of the spreading fire had engulfed the adjoining buildings as well.
This included the Cardiovascular Thoracic department building. This is where the former Finance minister Arun Jaitley is admitted in the ICU of the CARDIAC department. There is nothing much to worry as this building is quite at a distance from the Teaching block which caught fire.
This building is just adjacent to the Casualty Ward where hundreds of patients arrive on a daily basis 24 x 7. About twenty-two to twenty-five fire tenders were desperately engaged in controlling the fire and preventing it to spread further. The hospital authorities have closed the laboratory on the first floor of the building. The patients too have been safely evacuated.
There is no report of any serious casualty so far. The reason for the fire is being speculated as a short circuit. However, the actual reason for the eruption of fire would be ascertained after the fire is fully controlled. The was panic all around inside and outside AIIMS as well, as hundreds of thousands of patients from Delhi and other states visit here regularly. The building houses nephrology, gynecology, endocrinology, cardiology, skin, cancer and neurology departments where people from different parts of the country arrive for treatment and critical surgeries.
The adjacent building of PRIVATE wards and the cardiology department has several VIP patients including the former finance minister Arun Jaitley who is in critical condition and on a ventilator at the cardiac clinic.
Tributes paid to late Congress leader and three time CM Sheila Dikshit
The three-time chief minister and president of Delhi as well as Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee, former MP and union minister was remembered today in Delhi by her followers, Congressmen, and leaders of Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee.
A condolence meeting was organized by district Krishna Nagar Congress Committee at Preet Vihar in East Delhi and floral tributes paid to this towering leader of Congress party. All those present on this occasion termed Sheila Dikshit as a towering leader of the masses who dedicated her entire life to the service of the nation and the party.
Her former cabinet colleagues viz former finance minister in Delhi government Ashok Walia, former power minister Dr. Narendra Nath, former MLA Naseeb Singh, senior journalist and Congress leader Vijay Shankar Chaturvedi, Rajesh Pandey and several others while paying their respectful tributes said that during her one and a half-decade chief ministership the capital of the country NCT of Delhi witnessed historic Common Wealth Games, introduction of Metro Rail Project, construction of flyovers and widespread infrastructural development which no other government had executed in the past.
The Congress leaders said that Sheila Dikshit always worked for the poor, downtrodden and the people of the lowest ebb of the society and was duly respected by one and all, even her adversaries across party and ideological lines.
While hailing her leadership acumen and pro-farmer policies these leaders said that during her 15-year tenure the green belt of Delhi which merely had 9% of trees grew to a whopping 96%. Late Sheila Dikshit’s son and former MP from East Delhi, Sandeep Dikshit also paid floral tributes to her mother and extended his heartfelt gratitude to one and all who’d taken so much pain to remember his late mother who had dedicated her entire life for the welfare and well being of the masses.
It must also be remembered that during her 15 years rule of Delhi, Sheila Dikshit and her government was marred with a host of corruption charges, one of which that came to limelight was the corruption in Common Wealth Games. Among other charges of corruption in the CWG itself, Arvind Kejriwal led Delhi Government had directed Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) to lodge an FIR in the 90 cr street light project implemented during the 2010 Commonwealth Games. A panel headed by a former Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) had already indicted then Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on the issue. The Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project in Delhi, which was initiated by her also failed miserably. She was also accused of procuring these low floor buses at higher costs.
Kejriwal announces free electricity upto 200 units consumption in a month
In view of the Delhi assembly elections coming nearer a worried Delhi chief minister is announcing concessions after concessions for the Delhi populace especially for the electorates living in unauthorized colonies and the JJ clusters who are considered to be the largest vote chunk i. e. 60% of the total vote.
While the upper-middle class and the rich never come for a vote they are primarily the people of the lower middle class and those living at the lowest ebb, vote in large numbers as they can be swayed, influenced and impressed by various means. In the past, while the BJP had its major upper hand over the rich and the middle class, the Congress party commanded the vote bank of the people of unauthorized colonies as well as the JJ clusters of Delhi majority of which were established by the later as a vote bank.
But after the Aam Aadmi Party’s coming into the fray in Delhi the Congress party’s total vote bank shifted to it including the minorities which are quite in good number in the east and northeast constituencies including the South Delhi’s Okhla and Jamia Nagar etc.
To keep these vote banks in good humor Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal has announced sops in power tariff by declaring that his govt would deliver free electricity up to 200 units consumption in a month while 50 % subsidy on 201 to 400 units.
This would be a great boost for those living at the lowest ebb of the society especially in JJ clusters having one or two rooms consuming less than 200 units a month. He had also announced free travel for women irrespective of age difference in all the buses of Delhi Transport Corporation.
Prior to these freebies, the Delhi chief Arvind Kejriwal had announced free travel for women of Delhi in Delhi Metro rails, the 800 crores annual burden as if it would be borne by him personally.
Though it’s still a dream source say that modalities are being finalized between both the governments to bring the scheme into effect at the earliest.
If all these sops are implemented at the earliest there is no reason for Kejriwal’s party not coming to power in Delhi by winning the 2020 election in February defeating the BJP. The Congress has already been decimated in Delhi and after the demise of its veteran president, things have become more awry for the Congress which is lacking its president at the national party level as well as in Delhi.
Arvind Kejriwal has also doled out freebies in the health, education, power and water sector in Delhi. All government hospitals and dispensaries are fully equipped with free medicines supplied to one and all and the government schools upgraded to a great extent and we expect to see outstanding results at par with the outcomes of high profile private schools. Water up to 30000 liters consumption is free for Delhites and now free electricity up to 200 units consumption on a monthly basis.
The Delhi Bhartiya Janata Party has criticized Arvind Kejriwal’s attempts to distribute freebies saying that it’s because of the elections coming near that he is misguiding the electorates of Delhi. He added that Bhartiya Janata Party in Delhi has waged a long struggle to compel Kejriwal to declare the concessions, therefore, it’s not him but BJP which deserves the credit.
BJP and AAP both claim credit for ownership rights to Delhi unauthorized colonies
Keeping in view the sizeable vote bank living in the more than 1700 unauthorised colonies of the national capital territory of Delhi and also the Delhi elections likely to take place in the month of February or March in 2020, politics of taking credit from the pivotal issue of ownership rights to over 60 lakh residents of these colonies have geared up between the state government of AAP and the Bhartiya Janata Party ruling at the centre.
Both the political parties are claiming the credit for this issue hoping to derive maximum political advantage at the hustings. However, granting of ownership rights decision primarily lies with the central government as the decision after formal finalisation has to get recommended to the NCT of Delhi after adequately seeking the stamp of formidable approval by the union cabinet chaired by prime minister Narendra Modi.
The granting of ownership rights to the residents of Delhi is to be officially given a green signal by the union ministry of Urban development of which Hardev Puri is the minister. According to union minister Hardev Puri the government has formally taken a decision to grant ownership rights to lakhs of residents of over 1789 unauthorised colonies within a months time provided the stakeholders especially the Delhi government responds quickly and adequately to its queries in this regard.
If this really happens it would benefit about 60 lakh people of Delhi whose power of attorney would be converted into the registered deed giving them legal ownership rights.
It may be recalled that Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal had recently held a press conference in order to claim full political credit for granting ownership rights to Delhi residents by saying that it was primarily the Delhi government which has sent the proposal to the union ministry of UD for approval and it has been given green signal by the central government whereas the union UD minister Hardev Puri has contradicted Kejriwal’s claim by saying that it’s primarily the BJP led central government’s initiative which had for the very first time constituted the committee to grant ownership rights to the residents of more than 1789 unauthorized colonies.
It is the central government which is concerned for the welfare and well being of 60 lakh odd people who reside in these colonies, not AAP as claimed by CM Arvind Kejriwal.
It may be recalled that before 1998 it was the BJP which ruled Delhi for a good time and Delhi was considered to be the BJP stronghold. But under late chief minister Sheila Dikshit Congress-ruled Delhi for three consecutive terms from 1998 till 2013 finally let AAP won with a landslide victory which bagged 67 seats out of 70 with no Congress MLA and BJP getting merely three seats.
It is since then that the saffron party is trying its best to capture Delhi state. Now since the elections are just 8 months away the BJP does not want to lose any chance further.
Hence it’s trying its best to grant the ownership rights to lakhs of citizens of unauthorized colonies for which Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal is leaving no stone unturned to claim undue credit.
Followers bid last adieu to Sheila Dikshit at Nigambodh ghat
Three term CM of Delhi Sheila Dikshit dies at 81
Ownership rights to residents of unauthorised colonies in Delhi says Kejriwal
BJP MP Verma meets LG and hands over the list of minority religious structures on govt land
CM Arvind Kejrival inaugurates CCTV camera installation ceremony in New Delhi
How long will the sewage workers continue to die?
More From NewsViewsNetwork
India3 days ago
Former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s condition critical
India2 days ago
Lance Naik Sandeep Thapa martyred at LOC in Kashmir
Sports1 day ago
Olympian Bindra disappointed for not selecting Jaspal Rana for Dronacharya award
Bollywood2 days ago
Vidya Sinha who remained away from Bollywood leaves this world silently
Resources6 hours ago
Avoid constructions on river banks in hilly areas to stay safe
Uttarakhand12 hours ago
Many reportedly missing and several houses washed away in Uttarakhand floods
Delhi2 days ago
Fire broke out at AIIMS today, fire tenders on the job
Uttarakhand10 hours ago
Martyred Lance Naik Sandeep Thapa cremated with full military honors