Number of Indian students in the US feel to 3-year low in FY20: Report

With frequent changes in visa norms and the anti-immigration mood during the Donald Trump regime, the number of Indians studying in the US fell to a three-year low at 193,124.

According to the latest Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange (IIE), the number of Indian students studying in American universities and colleges fell 4.4 per cent in 2019-20 (FY20) year-on-year (YoY), against 5.3 per cent growth in 2017-18 (FY18) at 196,271 and 2.92 per cent in 2018-19 (FY19) at 202,014.

Released annually, the Open Doors Report on IIE depicts trends around international students in the US as well as US students studying abroad, and is sponsored by the US Department of State with funding provided by the US government.

Since the total number of international students in the US also includes those working on optional practical training (OPT), experts believe the decline in Indian students is actually defective of three years. The OPT period is for three years for students from the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) background.

“The decrease had started with Trump’s rise to power and the sentiments turning negative due to the

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India Inc gains despite Covid-19 disruptions; combined profit at Rs 1.5 trn

Going by headline profits in the September quarter (Q2) of FY20-21, India Inc has done well despite the disruptions due to the pandemic. The combined net profit of listed reached a record Rs 1.52 trillion — up two and half times on year-on-year (YoY) basis.

In comparison, these firms had reported a combined net profit of Rs 11,200 crore in Q1 FY21 and a combined net loss of Rs 450 crore in Q4 FY20. Not surprisingly, equity investors are bidding-up stock prices across sectors and the broader market is now more valuable than pre-Covid levels.

The surprise upside on earnings came despite a continued contraction in sales volumes and revenues. The combined net sales of listed (interest income in case of banks and non-bank lenders) were down 5.2 per cent YoY during Q2 — marking the fifth consecutive quarter of revenue decline. For comparison, net sales were down 0.7 per cent YoY during Q2 FY20 and it was down 27 per cent YoY during Q1 FY21. The trend in revenues suggests a sharp rebound in economic activity on sequential basis but it is yet to recover to its pre-Covid high.

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Merkel Fails In New Curbs Bid As Virus Infections Stabilise

Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday failed to push through additional curbs to combat the coronavirus, as she said ongoing restrictions have helped to halt a runaway rise in infection numbers.

Speaking after talks with the leaders of Germany’s 16 states, Merkel said the country had managed to “break the dynamic of new infections” after restaurants, leisure facilities and cultural sites were ordered to close again from the start of November.

But she said state premiers did not have any appetite to up the ante and introduce tougher curbs to not only stabilise but also bring down infection numbers.

“We still have a long way to go but the good news is that we have halted the exponential growth for now,” Merkel told reporters.

The veteran chancellor had earlier sought to agree further measures such as halving class sizes and having all pupils wear masks during lessons.

Europe’s biggest economy began a new round of shutdowns in November, set to last for four weeks and closing restaurants, cultural venues and leisure facilities to curb transmission of Covid-19.

But while new cases are plateauing at below 20,000 a day, the numbers are still too high for officials to keep track of the

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