AIFF Advertises For U-17 Coach Adam's Replacement
- NEW DELHI : The All India Football Federation (AIFF) today advertised for a new head coach for the U-17 national team following the sacking of beleaguered Nicolai Adam barely nine months ahead of the forthcoming FIFA U-17 World Cup to be held in the country. Reflecting on the future course of action, AIFF general secretary Kushal Das said, "A committee will be formed to shortlist the candidates and conduct the interviews. Based on the advertisement, the applications received would be considered by the committee."
- "The boys are presently training in Goa and we want to expedite the process to enable the coach to take charge at the earliest," Das added. The AIFF officially parted ways with Adam by "mutual consent" on Tuesday. That the German had been shown the door by AIFF following complaints of "physical abuse" by his players, has been doing the round for weeks. Adam was appointed as the coach two years ago on the recommendation of the German Football Federation. Last month, though, 21 players from the team submitted a letter to AIFF president Praful Patel, in which they alleged that the former Azerbaijan U-17 coach physically abused them.
Usain Bolt Leads His All-Stars To Relay Win In Nitro Meet
- MELBOURNE (Australia) : Usain Bolt and Asafa Powell helped the Bolt All-Stars win the 4x100-meter mixed relay Thursday on the second of three nights of the Nitro Athletics meet. A botched baton change in the mixed relay by Australia cost it overall victory on the night. The home team initially thought it had beaten the Bolt All-Stars but was penalized 50 points after Jack Hale failed to legally pass the baton to Fabrice Lapierre in the second changeover. That penalty saw Australia slip to second with 895 points overall, 35 behind the Bolt All-Stars, who also won the first meet last Saturday at Lakeside Stadium.
- The six teams, including Japan, New Zealand, England and China, will conclude the meet on Saturday when Bolt is set to also contest the individual 150 meters, having only run a leg of the relays in each of the first two meets. A commanding victory by Ryan Gregson in the penultimate event of the night - the men's elimination mile - ensured Australia remained close to the Bolt All-Stars. Bolt's team picked up double points in the mixed relay, but Australia's strength was in the longer track events. In addition to wins by Gregson and Heidi See in the two elimination miles - where the last-place finisher after each lap must leave the track, Luke Matthews and Linden Hall combined for first place in the mixed three-minute relay and Morgan Mitchell won the mixed 2x300-meter relay with Luke Stevens.
- With Bolt revving up the crowd, Nina Kennedy of Australia tied for first in the women's pole vault with a best clearance of 4.10 meters. "He is just the pinnacle of our sport and he's out there clapping for me," the 18-year-old Kennedy said. Joseph Millar of New Zealand was a surprise winner of the men's 100 in 10.30 seconds, with American sprinter Jarrion Lawson and Jack Hale of Australia trailing home to finish second-to-last and last, respectively. With 6,722 fans turning up on Thursday and Saturday's meet already a sellout, more than 22,000 will have watched the three-meet series.
Infosys Defends CEO & Board, Denies Governance Lapses
- BENGALURU : Infosys, while strongly denying any governance lapses by its board, said on Thursday that it had recently appointed the law firm of Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas, described as "corporate governance experts", to receive inputs from the promoters and other key stakeholders, to evaluate them and make recommendations to the board. In a statement, the company said that while the board appreciates and respects inputs from the founders, it is committed to fulfilling its fiduciary responsibility to act independently and in the overall interest of shareholders. As part of the same statement, the chairman of Infosys, R Seshasayee, strongly defended Sikka, saying the board was "fully aligned with his strategic direction".
- Jeff Lehman, the senior most member of the Info sys board and chairman of the nomination and remuneration committee, defended the company's chairman, R Seshasayee, who is reportedly facing heat from the founders, saying: "The board has full confidence in the leadership of Seshasayee to steer this company in these challenging times." This follows reports of tension between the founders on one hand and Sikka and the board on the other. The founders are said to have redflagged certain governance issues. But people close to the board and to Sikka insist there has been no breach of governance. Dismissing media reports of "purported rifts among the founders, the board and the management," Infosys said, "The issues highlighted by the media -CEO compensation, appointment of certain independent directors, and severance pay relating to former employees -are several months old, on which the company's position has been repeatedly explained.
- While there could be differences in views on these matters, they have been over whelmingly approved by shareholders, wherever required, and on which due disclosures have been made." Infosys said, "The board receives inputs from various stakeholders, including the company's promoters. It gives serious consideration to all these inputs. The company it has an independent and professional board, whose members possess vast experience. The independent directors have no interest other than their commitment to enable this great institution that has been assiduously built by the iconic founders, to succeed."
- Seshasayee also said, "The company is in the process of a formidable transformation journey... and is very appreciative of the initiatives taken by him (Sikka) in pursuance of this transformation. Vishal and the board, while being pleased with the company's resumption of industry leading performance on many parameters, are keen to further accelerate the progress and achieve even more shareholder value increase, on the foundation of sound governance. We will remain undistracted with this focus." Lehman said, "The members of the board are deeply engaged with the company and spend considerable time on the affairs of the company."
Legislation Introduced To Cut Legal Immigrants To US By Half
- WASHINGTON : Two top US senators have proposed a legislation to cut the number of legal immigrants to the US by half within a decade, a move that could adversely hit those aspiring to get a green card or permanent residency in the US including a large number of Indians. The Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment, or Raise Act, introduced by Republican senator Tom Cotton and David Perdue from the Democratic party, would alter the US immigration system to significantly reduce the number of foreigners admitted to the country without a skills-based visa.
- The bill proposed to reduce the number of green card or legal permanent residency issued every year from currently about a million to half a million. The passage of the bill, which is said to have the support of the Trump administration, will have a major impact on hundreds and thousands of Indian Americans who are currently painfully waiting to get their green cards on employment-based categories. Notably, the current wait period of an Indian to get a green card varies from 10 years to 35 years and this could increase if the proposed bill becomes a law. The bill however does not focus on H-1B visas. Cotton argued that the growth in legal immigration in recent decades had led to a "sharp decline in wages for working Americans" and that the bill represented an effort to move the US "to a more merit-based system like Canada and Australia".
- "It's time our immigration system started working for American workers," Cotton said. "The RAISE Act would promote higher wages on which all working Americans can build a future-whether your family came over here on the Mayflower or you just took the oath of citizenship," he added. The RAISE Act would lower overall immigration to 6,37,960 in its first year and to 5,39,958 by its tenth year, a 50 per cent reduction from the 1,051,031 immigrants who arrived in 2015. "We are taking action to fix some of the shortcomings in our legal immigration system," Perdue said. "Returning to our historically normal levels of legal immigration will help improve the quality of American jobs and wages," he added.
- The RAISE Act, among other things, would retain immigration preferences for the spouses and minor children of US citizens and legal permanent residents while eliminating preferences for certain categories of extended and adult family members. It also proposes to eliminate diversity visa lottery. "The Diversity Lottery is plagued with fraud, advances no economic or humanitarian interest, and does not even deliver the diversity of its namesake. The RAISE Act would eliminate the 50,000 visas arbitrarily allocated to this lottery," it said.