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Letters to the Editor
Sunday, October 1, 2000

Call for Unity

To do any kind of good work in India, be it technology, medicine or any other, is not easy. Determination, dogged determination, and visionary leadership are necessary to put India back where she belongs. Let us hope we can organize the Silicon Valley technocrats into one united army that our politicians are not.

- Shankar Nair

Software Stocks

Your magazine shows Indian software companies as heaven. Please show the real and ugly side, too. The much-hyped Indian software stocks are at their bottom despite the Nasdaq bouncing back past 4,000. Many people lost their shirts by investing in Indian software companies.

Satyam Infoway (SIFY) is glorified as a $2 billion company. Its stock dropped from $120 to about $14. One of the most pathetic stocks is Intelligroup (ITIG), whose stock is trading at $2, from a high of $50.

So much for investing in Indian software companies and reading the rosy picture presented by Indian media like siliconindia. - S. Rama

Explaining Silicon Valley Success

The Internet has been a cradle to its own development. When the Egyptians thought of writing on the papyrus, the Chinese were a few thousand miles away to contribute their printing machine to it. Distance between centers of new ideas was therefore a severe bottleneck in the propagation of the ideas themselves. The Internet, however, has progressively solved the problem of its own propagation. Every new development has opened up another vista for further revolutionary progress.

What strikes me as odd, therefore, is the amazing proportion in which we Indians find ourselves in Silicon Valley. We have proved our excellence in this twentieth century industrial revolution beyond a shred of a doubt. We have dominated with our presence in every arena, from the microscopic technical to the macroscopic managerial. And it is this, in spite of the self-propagating property of the Internet, which encourages people from every wee corner of the world to contribute without any hindrance.

Before anyone interprets this note to be one from a person dissatisfied about the state of affairs, let me specify my standpoint precisely. Am I complaining about the success we Indians have had in the Silicon Valley? Definitely not. I am plainly asking the intelligent people over here who have glorified our country’s name to spare some thought as to what are the exact reasons why we have been so successful. What are the principles we have adhered to and policies we have followed, and I ask whether they could be suitably modified and intelligently applied in a more indigenous context?

- Anirban Banerjee

Immigration Bottlenecks

I am writing to inform you about the increasing severity of problems faced by H-1B visa holders in the employment-based immigration category, like myself. The number of individuals unable to acquire permanent residence within six years of holding an H-1B visa is growing exponentially every year. A mass departure of these professionals is not only imminent, but will certainly cause significant damage to the high-tech industry in the US when its need for such highly skilled professionals has already reached critical levels.

The inordinate delays at INS service centers and the lack of immigrant quota numbers for certain employment-based categories are causing the six-year limit on these professionals’ H-1B visas to expire.

A recent bill, S. 2045, has already passed the Senate Judiciary Committee. This legislation proposes an increase in the H-1B visa quota and includes some provisions that would temporarily resolve some of our concerns.

However, the legislation does include relief for some of our most pressing problems. It only represents a short-term solution to conditions that will persist and grow for current and future H-1B workers.

To achieve long lasting, comprehensive employment-based immigration reforms, we propose creating an adjustment of status program for H1-B workers. An adjustment of status program would allow H-1B holders to apply for green cards, independent from their employers and the per country quotas, if they can prove that they have worked as H-1B holders for a specific amount of time. Spouses and children of these H-1B workers should be included. - Deepak Mahendarkar


I have been visiting siliconindia.com for the last few months and have noticed the changes. The navigation is quicker, the coverage has broadened, the content comes up at flying speed and the overall design has improved, though the graphics need to get better. - Punit Modhgil

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