August 12, 2011
A Publication of the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO)
August 12, 2011
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INDIAN AMERICAN COMMUNITY GROUPS SEEKING
RELIEF ON PENALTIES STIPULATED BY US TAX RULES ON FOREIGN BANK ACCOUNTS
Major Indian American civic and professional organizations in the United States
with a substantial membership have joined together to campaign with the US
administration seeking relief on penalties stipulated by US tax rules on foreign
bank accounts. Following a letter from GOPIO delivered on June 27, 2011 to Mr.
Timothy Geithner, Secretary of the US Department of Treasury, representatives of
four major Indian American community groups; the Global Organization of People
of Indian Origin (GOPIO), National Federation of Indian American Association
(NFIA), American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) and Asian
American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA), under the aegis of a National
Coordinating Council, sent a letter on July 19, 2011 to US President Barak Obama
seeking his assistance in this matter of urgent concern particularly to the new
US immigrants of Indian origin who are facing unfair and unprecedented penalties
for failure to disclose and do tax filing of foreign bank accounts by August 31,
2011. Copies of the letter were also sent to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner.
letter affirmed the community's recognition of the necessity for the IRS to take
needed actions and enact rules to track money flowing to terrorists, drug
transaction and money laundering in safe havens outside the United States. The
groups have requested that the IRS review and reconsider the rules towards more
practical and prudent application.
United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced on February 8, 2011 a
special voluntary disclosure initiative (Ref IRS News Bulletin IR-2011-14,
Feb. 8, 2011) designed to bring
offshore money back into the U.S. tax system and help people with undisclosed
income from hidden offshore accounts get current with their taxes. The new
voluntary disclosure initiative will be available through August 31, 2011.
decision to open a second special disclosure initiative follows continuing
interest from taxpayers with foreign accounts. The first special voluntary
disclosure program closed with 15,000 voluntary disclosures on Oct. 15, 2009.
Since that time, more than 3,000 taxpayers have come forward to the IRS with
bank accounts from around the world. These taxpayers will also be eligible to
take advantage of the special provisions of the new initiative".
2011 initiative, there is a new penalty framework that requires individuals to
pay a penalty of 25 percent of the amount in the foreign bank accounts in the
year with the highest aggregate account balance covering the 2003 to 2010 time
period. Participants also must pay back-taxes and interest for up to eight years
as well as paying accuracy-related and/or delinquency penalties of 2 percent". (Ref IRS News Bulletin IR-2011-14,
Feb. 8, 2011).
United States has a rapidly increasing population of Indians and persons of
Indian origin who are contributing significantly in all areas of the US economy
and society, many in the Indian American community were not aware of the first
voluntary disclosure program which ended in 2009. The Indian American media also
was not aware of 2009 voluntary disclosure program. Many people holding foreign
bank accounts were unaware of these rules simply because these rules were never
publicized by the IRS to the general public. Even most accountants preparing and
filing the annual individual tax returns did not inform or alert their clients
about this requirement. It also appears that certain communities have been
singled out for investigation which is highly damaging to the multi-ethnic ethos
of our country.
appeal is for universal application of the law on an equitable basis, on the
principle of fairness and in good conscience without undue burden to the US
taxpayer. The request further stated that strict application of compliance with
the law on hard working Americans who are not aware of the law can lead to undue
and irreparable distress, as well as unforeseeable consequences for a large
number of innocent citizens who did not consciously or knowingly violate the
letter further states that the community is becoming aware of the new
regulations on foreign accounts and is in full agreement that all citizens must
be in compliance and pay all taxes due to the US government.
Indian community in the USA, by and large, consists of very progressive, hard
working and law abiding citizens who do not deliberately or intentionally
violate any US laws or IRS rules governing taxes due. In many cases, people had
transferred money to have a retirement income or home in the foreign country, or
to provide support for extended family in the foreign countries. There was no
deliberate intent to avoid taxes on interest earned during the process of
acquiring homes or supporting family or saving for children's education. It was
not planned to be unjustifiable enrichment.
the groups have become aware of this IRS initiative, the impending deadlines,
and potential consequences, they have offered to use their networks to inform
and urge full compliance. However, the groups have requested that the remedies
fully described in the July 19, 2011 letter to President Obama be considered and
enacted. These include:
- Request that penalties of 25% Foreign Bank and
Financial Accounts (FBAR) penalty on assets of law abiding citizens be
eliminated, that presumption of guilt is not a fair and equitable application of
law; that penalty on the highest value of the assets is immoral and unfair; that
penalties on assets as stated in the rules on foreign accounts should not be
levied on law abiding citizens who missed declarations or filing deadlines due
to lack of information or timely notification.
- Request that the IRS deadline be extended to
December 31, 2012 to allow more persons who were not previously aware to fully
comply. GOPIO is urging organizations, institutions and individuals to fully
comply and pay any taxes due in an expeditious manner before the deadline.
- Request that the 20% accuracy penalty on undeclared
taxes be substantially reduced for those who did not knowingly miss the filing
- Request that the US Government should publicize the
Voluntary Disclosure Amnesty Program in ethnic newspapers and other community
media in multiple languages, as well as IRS representatives be interviewed by
print, radio and television media to bring about more awareness resulting in
compliance by more tax payers.
joint letter was sent by GOPIO Chairman Inder Singh, NFIA President Lal K.
Motwani, AAPI President Dr. Sunita Kanumuri and AAHOA Chairman Hemant D. Patel.
Since sending out the letter, Federation of Indian Community associations of
Cleveland (FICA) and Federation of Indian American Associations (NY, NJ and CT)
have joined the effort along with Lueva Patidar Samaj. The groups are reaching
out to all Indian community groups to join this effort.
information and participation in this national campaign, please contact the
respective signatory organizations shown below:
Global Organization of
People of Indian Origin
New York, NY
Contact: Inder Singh,
Tel: 1-818 708-3885,
National Federation of
Indian American Associations (NFIA), Bellrose, NY
Contact: Lal K.
Tel: 1-646 724-1153,
American Association of
Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI),
Oak Brook, IL
Kanumury, MD, President
Tel: 1-630 990-2277,
Asian American Hotel
Owners Association (AAHOA), Atlanta,
Contact: Hemant D.
Patel, Chairman &
Tel: 1-404 816-5759,
COMMUNITY GROUPS APPEAL TO THE LARGER INDIAN COMMUNITY
The coordination group
has appealed to the Indian American community to post note to the White House athttp://www.whitehouse.gov/contact or write to your
Congressman and Senators. The groups have posted their appeal to the community
for action as follows:
Making Arguments on the Community Cause
The Indian community
in the USA, are
widely regarded as law abiding model citizens. They are
also first generation immigrants, as such almost all have close ties back in
India and family obligations- helping family youngsters to educate, taking care
of parents and extended family, building retirement home, etc. This reality
needs to be considered in any application of rules and laws. Indeed the US
immigration laws allow for dependents and parents to immigrate precisely for
that reason so there is precedent in American Law that is cognizant of the
particular history of the new immigrants. This
kind of connection is natural for new immigrants who unlike third generation
immigrants, will have active financial obligations towards families. What is
required is for the IRS to help new immigrants make that generational transition
both smooth and effective.
fact is that most Indians are unaware of these rules governing foreign
account disclosure which has been very poorly publicized by the IRS. Indeed our
spot survey suggests that close to 95 % are unaware of the amnesty and
disclosure laws. And others believe that because they are paying taxes in India
they are in compliance of the rules. A large majority are not therefore trying
to avoid taxes on interest earned while acquiring homes or supporting family or
saving for financing children's education. And if they have invested in India
then they are simply following what the free market dictates.
A more discrete IRS approach combined with
wider reach into the new immigrant community will in fact lead to far
greater compliance under the disclosure scheme. The current penalties take away
savings , retirement incomes in case of a large number of new immigrants and
thereby discourage compliance. That surely does not serve any purpose. Making
citizens poor and their retirement years uncertain will in the long run impose
greater burden on US entitlement system.
We would also like to stress that the current
penalties of 25 percent for non-disclosure is totally disproportionate in
relation to the presumed violation of tax laws. After all laws need to be just
and proportionate to the supposed wrong doing. The disclosure scheme invites
no hearing, no consideration for special circumstances that might
diminish penalties for non-disclosure. As it stands now, the IRS requires you
to simply pay 25percent irrespective of particular life situations. That in our
view is indefensible.
The Indian American
completely agrees with the
necessity for the IRS to take needed action and enact rules to track money
flowing to terrorists, drug transaction and money laundering in safe havens
outside the United States. The Indian American community requests that the IRS
review and reconsider the rules towards more practical and prudent application both in
the interest of justice and compliance of the law. We would
like this ruling to be changed to make it fair. We also urge that it be applied
in a more equitable mannerthat will not impose undue burden on
good citizens who have not deliberately violated any law. To do otherwise is to inflict
undue harm and cause extreme distress which cannot be the purpose of the US
government and its law makers.
GOPIO CONVENTION KICK OFF MEETING TO BE
HELD IN TORONTO, AUGUST 13, 2011
Convention 2011 is scheduled to be held in Toronto on October 14 - 16, 2011. The
convention will be a 3-day event with GOPIO of Canada holding its first
international event along with its several GOPIO chapters.
program outline is as follows:
Oct. 14 (day): GOPIO Meetings
Oct. 14 (evening): Inaugural Reception
Oct. 15 (day): Conference Sessions on Diaspora Community Issues
Oct. 15 (evening): Banquet
Oct. 16 (day): Conclusion
Canada will take the lead, supported by all the GOPIO chapters in Canada, taking
the lead role in planning and coordination. The organizing committees are being
established. The conference program would be addressing current, relevant
off meeting/dinner is planned for Saturday, August 13th starting at 5 pm at 15 Royal Rouge
Trail, Toronto, ON M1B 4T5. Many important people from the community will be
present, including GOPIO International Chairman Inder Singh from Los Angeles and
GOPIO International Executive Vice President Ashook Ramsaran from New York. The
event will be presided over by Honorable Jim Karigiannis. Members of the media
will also be present to cover this event.
would like to be actively involved in GOPIO Convention organization or become a
volunteer, please join for the meeting on August 13th or cntact Jay Banerjei at email@example.com.
Contact: Jay Banerjei,
International Convention Chair, GOPIO of Toronto, 1-647-273-1119 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
INDIAN AMERICAN GIRLS GET TOP HONORS AT
GOOGLE SCIENCE FAIR
Indian American girls have emerged winners at Google's inaugural Science Fair,
impressing thousands at the internet giant's California headquarters with their
projects on ways to improve ovarian cancer treatment and bettering air quality
for the benefit of asthma patients.
three winners out of 15 finalists at the fair were all girls: Shree Bose, Naomi
Shah and Lauren Hodge, prompting Google to laud "girl power" at the fair.
"The unifying elements of all three young women were their intellectual
curiosity, their tenaciousness and their ambition to use science to find
solutions to big problems," Cristin Frodella from Google's Education Team said
in a blog post.
The finalists examined complex problems and found simple solutions that can be
implemented by the general public--like changing cooking habits or removing
toxins from homes, Frodella said.
Bose, who won in the 17-18 age group, was also named the 'Grand Prize' winner,
taking home a 50,000 dollar scholarship and an internship opportunity at the
prestigious Geneva-based CERN institute.
Bose impressed judges, more than 1,000 local attendees as well as Googlers with
her project to "improve ovarian cancer treatment for patients when they have
built up a resistance to certain chemotherapy drugs".
Apart from the scholarship, Bose also won a trip to the Galapagos Islands with a
National Geographic Explorer.
Terming Bose's work as "groundbreaking discovery which could have wider
implications for cancer research," Google said she came up with complex
solutions that can be addressed in labs by doctors and researchers.
Shah won in the 15-16 age group for her "endeavour to prove that making changes
to indoor environments that improve indoor air quality can reduce people's
reliance on asthma medications".
Hodge was named winner in the 13-14 age group for studying the effect of
different marinades on the level of potentially harmful carcinogens in grilled
Shah and Hodge each received 25,000 dollar scholarships and internships at
Google and toy company LEGO.
DIASPORA CONFERENCE PLANNED FOR SEPTEMBER IN HAGUE
The Foundation for the Indian Diaspora
in Europe, in collaboration with GOPIO of Netherlands, is hosting its first
annual Indian Diaspora Conference (IDC) on September 25, 2011 in The Hague. The
theme is "Diaspora conference "Indian Diaspora in the Netherlands: Achievements,
Contributions & Challenges".
conducting the Pravasi Bhartiya Divas-Europe in September 2009, the
representatives of the Indian Diaspora organizations in the Netherlands will
meet again on the 25th of September 2011 at the World Forum in The Hague for the
first Netherlands edition of the Annual Diaspora Conference. The theme of the
IDC is "Indian Diaspora in the Netherlands: Achievements, Contributions &
Challenges". Distinguished speakers from all sections of the Diaspora in the
Netherlands, the representatives of the Government of India and prominent Dutch
dignitaries, will address on various aspects of this theme. At least 400
participants, most of them representing various Indian Diaspora organizations
are expected to
participate in this
The aims of this
conference are to:
Enhance understanding and strengthen the relations between the various sections
of the Indian Diaspora in the Netherlands
Increase participation and visibility of the Indian Diaspora in the Dutch
social, cultural and political spectrum
Broaden and deepen the ties with India in various fields Work as a catalyst to
further the cause of economic and cultural cooperation between India and the
The conference has not
only as an aim to highlight the contribution of the Indian Diaspora to the host
country but also to focus on the issues of concern to the Diaspora. There will
be special sessions to address the issues concerning the youth
and the women. The Diaspora congress is organized collectively by many Indian Diaspora
Organizations based in The Netherlands under the umbrella organization "The
Foundation for the Indian Diaspora in Europe."
The one day programme of
the conference consists of presentations, lectures, discussions about the
position of Indian Diaspora in the Netherlands and its relation with India. This
will be an excellent opportunity to take stock of the progress made by the
Indian Diaspora in the Netherlands so far and the measures to enhance it further. The programme will be concluded by
a cultural gala with about 50 top artists giving quality performances with songs
and classical as well as folk dances from various parts of India.
Those who are interested
in attending the conference are most welcome to register via the website (http://www.fideu.org). The participation fee is
€ 35,00 p.p. if paid in advance, and € 50,00 for those who want to pay at the
door. Students with a student card will be charged € 20,00 in advance payment
procedure and € 35,00 at the door. The students will be requested to show their
student card at the entrance. he entry to the conference also includes drinks,
snacks, lunch and cultural programme. Those who want to register only for the
cultural programme the fee is € 20,00 to be paid in advance.
For more details, contact
Wahid Saleh (Press Officer): Email: email@example.com
GOPIO INTERNATIONAL AND CHAPTER NEWS
CALENDAR OF MAJOR INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE EVENTS 2011
14 -16, 2011: GOPIO Convention (Toronto)
CONDEMNS SERIES OF BOMB BLASTS IN MUMBAI
The Global Organization of People of
Indian Origin (GOPIO) expressed strong and unequivocal condemnation of the
series of bombings in Mumbai on July 13, 2011 that killed at least 22 innocent
people and left many more injured. GOPIO considers these brutal and despicable
acts as unforgivable and unjustified criminal actions directed to create
widespread fear among innocent citizens.
GOPIO commends the Government of India
and Maharashtra State for their diligent efforts in providing emergency services
to the survivors and their families. GOPIO expresses deep and abiding
concern for the victims of the tragedy, their families, friends and associates.
SEMINAR ON FBAR
With the Internal Revenue
Service (IRS) of the United States issuing rules and penalties regarding foreign
bank account reporting (FBAR), GOPIO-CT organized a seminar on the subject on
July 15th in Norwalk, CT.
The speaker was Cecil Nazareth ACA, CPA, MBA. It was fully subscribed meeting.
According to the IRS
rules, any individual living in the US for more than 180 days and has a foreign
account in India and has more than $10,000 USD at anytime between 2003 and 2011
has to report their foreign accounts Failing to report can result in criminal
proceedings and the individual can be placed under amnesty and will have to pay
85% of the amount held in foreign accounts as penalty. Depending on the
individual situation, tax returns for the years 2003-2010 could be amended to
include interest income, dividend income and all other income including rental
income, if any, in the amended tax returns. Nazareth at the seminar said that
the US citizens and residents are Taxed on World-wide Income.Nazareth said that
those with foreign bank accounts should avail the Offshore Voluntary
Disclosure Initiative (OVDI 2011) to come forward with undisclosed foreign
assets and get back in to the tax system.
"I strongly urge all
Indian- Americans to disclose all their Foreign Bank accounts that exceeded
$10,000 as per FBAR requirements," said Nazareth. He further suggested to employ
competent professionals and get the best advice possible both in the US and
GOPIO-SAN FRANCISCO AND
LOS ANGELES HOLD FAREWELL DINNER TO CONSUL GENERAL SUSHMITA THOMAS
chapters in San Francisco and Los Angeles, in cooperation with other Indian
community groups, organized a farewell to India's Consul General in San
Francisco Ambassador Susmita Gongulee Thomas as she completed her term.
GOPIO-San Francisco Chapter held a farewell dinner at
the residence of Usha and Jeevan Zutshi in Vineyard Hills of Fremont on Friday
June 24, 2011. It was co-sponsored by Indo-American community Federation
(IACF-USA) and attended by nearly 75 community leaders including the National
Federation of Indian American Associations (NFIA), FIANC, Jain Temple,
Indo-American Community Federation (IACF-USA) and others. Ashok Sinha, Consul
Community Affairs was also present at the gathering.
GOPIO-SF President Jeevan
Zutshi spoke about the effective and low key leadership style of the Consul
General and the remarkable progress consulate has made in terms of serving
community needs, in spite of all the odds.
"The Ministry of External
Affairs has been changing rules and regulations so recklessly in the past couple
of years thus causing confusion and belligerence amongst NRI community", said
Zutshi. "Consulate staff has been reduced and there are more than 1000
applications a day for OCI, PIO and visa, thus putting too much pressure on
Others who spoke were NFIA
Executive V.P Anil Yadav, FIANC President Rajiv Awasti, and Jain Temple
President Shoba Vora. Everyone appreciated the role of CGI and Consul Ashok
Sinha in helping promote understanding of Indian culture in this part of the
Zutshi presented both CGI
and Consul for Community Affairs with his book "The Last Smile - A Journey of
Hope" about his journey from strife torn valley of Kashmir in India to the U.S.
and about the dangers of dietary supplements which ultimately took the life of
his elder son in 2008.
Photo above: Jeevan
Zutshi (Center) presenting his book "The Last Smile- A Journey of Hope" to
Consul Community Affairs Ashok Sinha (Left) and Consul General of India Susmita
C.G. Susmita Thomas talked
about her pleasant experiences during her term in San Francisco as Consul
General and praised the active segment of the community in building Indo-U.S
ties and understanding of Indian culture in the U.S. She praised the role of
GOPIO International in addressing the recent controversial issues related to
Visa fees, surrender certificates and other related issues.
The evening concluded with
musical entertainment by Dr. Deepak Sachdev.
Program - GOPIO, in association with National Federation of Indian American
Associations (NFIA),Federation of Indo-American Associations of Southern California (FIA) and India Association of Los Angeles
(IALA), held a farewell dinner for
Ambassador Susmita Thomas at the Royal
Delhi Palace Banquet Hall, West Hills
near Los Angeles. The dinner was attended by over 150 people. Several community
leaders, Padam Shree Mani Bhaumik, Cypress City Councilman Dr. Narayan, heads
and members of the above four organizations and many members of the community
from all walks of life attended the event.
of Los Angeles (IALA) president Bobby Kumar welcomed Consul
General Susmita Thomas.FIA chair Anju
Garg pleaded for a consular office in Los Angeles. FIA president Rajinder Dhunna
complimented her as a leader while Cypress City Councilman Dr. Prakash Narayan
praised her the way she explained the stringent regulations for the grant of
visa to the audience. Gursharan Nat narrated his own impressions about his
visits to San Francisco Consulate and how he got changed from having negative
thinking about the working of the consulate to becoming an admirer of the Consul
Inder Singh said that obtaining Indian visa was never a problem in the past.
Consul General and senior staff members were more engaged in promoting business,
tourism, or reaching out to the community for issues pertaining to India in the
Inder Singh stated
that the new restrictions for the grant of visa to India imposed in May 2010
triggered resentment and obtaining visa became nightmare. GOPIO got the fee for
surrender certificate reduced and some penalties eliminated, but that did not
ease the continuing problem. He urged Ambassador Thomas to get the rules for
visa relaxed and to make the process work smoothly. The expatriates should be
free to visit India. It is good for people to maintain links with their
motherland. These are the people who collectively contributed to India's
transformation into a modern economy and that these are the people who sent over
$55 billion to India in 2010 as foreign remittances. The huge sum is good for
India's economy; it is good for Indian people.
Thomas told that her assignment as the Consul General of India in San Francisco
has been very challenging. She was obligated to follow the new rules but she
also had responsibility to the needs of people for consular services. Her
workload had increased manifold but her staff strength stayed the same.
Photo above: L-R:
Mobin Khan, Consul General Susmita Thomas, Kewal Kanda, GOPIO President Inder
Singh, IALA President Bobby Kumar, NFIA VP Ashok Madan, Dinesh Lakhanpal, FIA
President Rajinder Dhunna, FIA Chair Anju Garg
NFIA Vice President
Ashok Madan called upon all the event co-chairs and presented a coffee table
book on Los Angeles with signatures and comments from several people. Vinod
Manchhani gave note of thanks mentioning all those who contributed to the
organization and success of the farewell program. He thanked the media and TV
Asia for attending the event.
GOPIO WASHINGTON DC
HELPTS TO ORGANIZE POETRY RECITATION AT THE INDIAN EMBASSY PROGRAM
"It is with
great pleasure we welcome you to the first combined Hindi-Urdu poetry recitation
session arranged at our Embassy," said Ambassador Arun Kumar Singh, Deputy Chief
of Mission, Embassy of India greeting the audience assembled to felicitate
Professor Satyapal Anand and for a mushaira-kavi sammelan program at the Embassy
of India Auditorium on Friday, 10th June, 2011. He acknowledged the support of
the community members in the organization of the event and expressed hope to
establish a tradition to holding such functions in the future. He also paid
tribute to Professor Satyapal Anand for his outstanding contributions to the
literature of Urdu, Hindi, English and Punjabi languages.
Ambassador A. K. Singh and Dr. Virander Paul, Minister, Press, Information and
Culture, Embassy of India for their support in organizing the event,
GOPIO-Washington DC President Dr. Zafar Iqbal apprised the audience that for the
last three years the Embassy of India has been supporting Yaum-e-Azadi
(Independence Day) Mushaira-Kavi Sammelan programs jointly organized by the
Washington Aligarh Alumni Association (AAA) and the Global Organization of
People of Indian Origin of Metro Washington (GOPIO) every year to promote
subcontinent's Ganga-Jamuni culture. It was very pleasing to note that such
events are gaining increasing popularity, he added.
Professor Satyapal Anand- the honoree, Dr. Iqbal said that Professor Anand is a
stalwart literary personality of our times; he has enriched the literature of
Urdu, Hindi, English, and Panjabi languages authoring more than 70 books. Almost
all reputable Urdu magazines of the Subcontinent and the Europe and Northern
America have published special numbers acknowledging his remarkable
contributions to the field. An indication of Dr. Anand's recognition is the fact
that the US Library of Congress has acquired 18 books authored by Dr. Anand, an
honor not shared by any other Indian author in USA. Copies of documents listing
publications and a brief biography of Dr. Anand were also distributed at the
tribute paid to him, Professor Anand thanked Ambassador Singh, participating
poets and the organizers of the program. He also mentioned a few anecdotes
related to his interactions with contemporary poets, writers, and critics during
his many decades of literary life in India and other parts of the globe.
Dr. A. Abdullah,
the evergreen conductor of poetry recitation sessions, mentioned in his
introductory remarks that Urdu and Hindi are like twin sisters, but
unfortunately people with political motives-starting with the British
Empire-have tried to inculcate sibling rivalry between them. The faithful lovers
of both languages have realized that the progress of Hindi and Urdu is
interdependent on each other. He also mentioned that the Aligarh Alumni
Association and GOPIO have been successfully providing a common platform for the
interaction of Urdu and Hindi literary personalities under one roof for the last
three years and that increasing number participants and audience is in these
programs is a testimony to the desire of people to share the common heritage.
Packed audience at the poetry recital at the Indian Embassy in Washington DC
Participating poets included Professor Satyapal
Anand, Professor Rajkumar Qais from San Diego, Mr. Krishnakumar Singh Mayank
from Lucknow, Dr. Narendra Tandon Saahil, Dr. A. Abdullah, Smt. Madhu
Maheshwari, Dr. Astha Naval, Mrs. Bhupinder Katohora, Dr. Vishakha Thaker, Mrs.
Rekha Maitra, and Ms. Rashmi Sanan.
The program was followed
by a sumptuous dinner hosted by the Indian Embassy.
GOPIO SYDNEY NORTH WEST
CHAPTER HOSTS INDIAN AMERICAN ACADEMIC PROF. PARMATMA SARAN
Prof. Parmatma Saran and Dr. Rupam Saran
visited Sydney and addressed GOPIO members at a meeting organized GOPIO Sydney
North West and GOPIO Cultural Council on July 8th at the Edward Purser Hall of Rouse
Hill Library. The event was organized by GOPIO Sydney North West chapter. The
chapter president, Neeru Singh welcomed Dr Parmatma Saran and other guests.
GOPIO Cultural Council Co-Chair Abbas Raza Alvi provided the introductory
remarks and then introduced Dr. Saran to guests. GOPIO-Australia Area
Coordinator Harry Walia highlighted activities
of GOPIO in the Sydney area.
Dr. Parmatma Saran, a GOPIO
Life Member, spoke of the history of the community mobilization such as GOPIO
and assimilation of the community in the larger society in the US and other
countries. A lively discussion followed. Amit Pall conducted a Question - Answer
session with Dr Saran. GOPIO's Alka Sharma paid vote of thanks.
Photo above: Prof. Parmatma Saran and
Dr. Rupam Saran with GOPIO organizers of program in Sydney
GOPIO NEW ZEALAND
CHAPTERS HOST PROF. PARMATMA SARAN
On 11th July 2011 GOPIO NZ Inc had organized
an interactive meeting with Dr. Parmatma Saran, Professor of Sociology at Baruch
College of City University in New York City. It was held at Bharatiya Samaj in
Auckland New Zealand. Dr Parmatma Saran gave a 15 minutes statement on Indian
Diaspora in USA and other countries. It was followed with an interactive session
with the gathering.
Dr. Saran advised that
there are approx 25 million Indian origin people residing around the world. It
was in the late 1980's that BJP leaders while visiting USA and met with Dr.
Thomas Abraham who was a community organizer and a strong supporter of Indian
culture, Indian Diaspora; who had asked if Indian government would open a cell
within the Foreign ministry for NRI's. At that time this was a new thing and it
was not received with enthusiasm. Now with the help and initiative of GOPIO
International, that Indian government created a ministry of NRI and not only a
above: Bharatiya Samaj Charitable Trust Chairman Jeet Suchdev, GOPIO Auckland
Downtown President Nek Mohammed, Prof. Parmatma Saran and
GOPIO NZ Inc. National Co-Chair Marketing [PR & Membership] Sunny Kaushal
Dr. Saran wants to promote interaction not only within our Indian
community but also with the local communities around us. He wants to promote and
uphold not only Indian culture but interact with the other cultural groups
around us. He wanted to know more about NZ societies mixing with Indian and vice
versa. It was very interesting to note participation of people on this topic.
This kind of meeting and
interaction does help in our thinking and widening our horizon. Over 30 people
attended the meeting despite rainy
and unsettled weather on that evening. Every one enjoyed the talk and meeting
Prof, Saran and Dr. (Mrs) Rupam Saran. GOPIO NZ Inc. had pleasure in organizing
this and would not mind having more International GOPIO speakers from anywhere
from GOPIO families.
Paramatma Saran and Dr. Rupam Saran also visited Hamilton, Waikato (New Zealand)
on July 10, 2011. The informal talk & session in the evening focused on Diaspora
cultural heritage, languages & transmission of values/ beliefs, assimilation of
Diaspora in the US and other countries. The meeting was organized GOPIO Waikato
President Suman Kapoor and was also attend by Dr. Pushpa wood who is an expert
on financial literacy for seniors.
CONDUCTS TWO SOUP KITCHENS IN JUNE AND JULY
sponsored and conducted two soup kitchens in June and July. On June 25th,
YOUTH CT cooked food for over 100 people at the Stamford Soup Kitchen located at
the New Covenant House of Hospitality. This event has been carried on by
volunteers of the GOPIO CT adult group, but on June 25th, for the
first time youth have participated. The participants were Sharon-Priya Banta,
Ashish Ramachandra, Amit Ramachandran, Sarika Mathur and Sivan Sud. The youth
worked diligently to cook food for the people who are less fortunate and hungry.
It was a great experience and the youth group looks forward to participating
July 30th, GOPIO-CT adults group conducted the soup kitchen. Again
over 100 people were served. GOPIO has committed two more dates in 2011 and six
dates in 2012.
Photo below: Meera Banta, Amit Ramachandra, Sharon-Priya Banta, Lucille Thompson, Sarika Mathiurs, Ashish Ramachandran and Sivan
Sud. Adult is Meera Banta
Photo above: Lucille Thompson, Meera Banta, Rekha Hida, Carina Brijmohan, Dr.
Susy Abraham and Dr. Thomas Abraham
To get involved to
volunteer with GOPIO CT at the Soup Kitchen please contact Meera Banta firstname.lastname@example.org
HOSTS MUMBAI POLITICAL LEADER IN NEW YORK
GOPIO-New York joined hands with the National Federation of Indian American
Association to host a luncheon meeting with visiting political leader from
Mumbai Mr. Raj Purohit, Chief of Mumbai Pradesh BJP. Purohit, who is an advisor
to NFIA was in the US attending the annual conventions of Asian American Hotel
Owners Association (AAHOA) in Las Vegas and American Association of Physicians
of Indian Origin in New York. It was held at the Malabar Kitchen in Belrose, New
Yorkon June 19th.
NFIA President Lal Motwani welcomed the gathering. GOPIO Founder President Dr.
Thomas Abraham complimented Mr. Purohit for his interest in overseas Indian
community and thanked him for his help in launching GOPIO-Mumbai. Mr. Purohit
called upon the overseas Indians to help India's development. The program was
attend by several community leaders from the New York Metro area.
above: Community leaders of the New York Indian American community with Mr. Raj
AUSTRALIA ACKNOWLEDGES GOPIO'S SUPPORT DURING CYCLONE DISASTER
Senator Kate Lundy, Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister of Australia,
expressed appreciation for GOPIO's concern and support for citizens of the
affected areas of Australia which were experiencing unusually harsh flooding and
cyclone conditions that have caused undue suffering, pain and anguish. This
followed GOPIO's Press Statement of February 4, 2011 and letter from GOPIO
President Lord Diljit Rana.
The letter from Senator Lundy to Lord Rana states that, "in these difficult
times the sympathy and messages of support received by the international
community, including the Global Organisation of People of Indian Origin, have
been greatly appreciated by the Australian people."
End of GOPIO Activities
FORMER INDIAN TEXTILE WORKER TERMED BEST
FARMER IN GHANA
textile worker Harchavari Singh Cheema, who came to Ghana 40 years ago, has
become a celebrated farmer and one of the most successful Indians in the West
African country. From an initial export of about 70 tons a
year, Cheema's Param Farms now exports 120 tons of vegetables a year. Ghana, a
country of 24 million people, is known the world over for cocoa exports.
Cheema arrived in Ghana in 1972 to work as
a manager for the then Glamour Stores - a supermarket chain - but some years
later, the country's economy started to go down and he had to leave the chain to
do something on my own. Cheema, who hails from Amritsar in Punjab, initially
started a poultry farm at Gomoa Pamfokrom in the Central Region. He used to grow
maize to use as feed.
Unfortunately, the poultry sector also
started having problems, so he started a small textile manufacturing unit in
Accra, Ghana's capital. But this also suffered a lot because of the trade
liberation that the government initiated in the 1980s. Cheema decided to
get back to farming again to produce 25 different varieties of Asian vegetables
for export to Europe. Since then, he has been awarded by two presidents - as the
Best National Farmer in the vegetable sector in 2006 and the Best National
Farmer award in the food crop sector in 2004.
From a small farm in Weija in Accra, he
moved to other areas outside Accra, including Bawjiase in the Central Region,
Akatsi in the Volta Region, Old Akrade and Nsawam in the Eastern Region.
"The idea to spread was necessary because
we did not want to become victims of the weather. Therefore, the spread of the
farms enabled us to succeed even when the weather failed in other areas," Cheema
Cheema said that because of his success in
Ghana other Indian investors looking for opportunities had sought his assistance
to establish businesses here. Cheema and a group of investors are in the process
of establishing a packaging company at Tema, near Accra.
BRITISH INDIAN RAMI RANGER'S SUN MARK WINS A
THIRD QUEENS AWARD
For the third
time in a row, British Indian Dr. Rami Ranger's Sun Mark was awarded Her Majesty
Queen Elizabeth's coveted award for business, the Queens Award for Enterprise 2011. It
is an exceptional achievement by any company to win such a prestigious award and that too
for a third consecutive year 2009, 2010 and 2011.
This extremely rare accomplishment is
the culmination of great effort, organization, and vision by the company which
was founded and is led by Dr Ranger MBE FRSA, who has taken the company, in just
15 years, from a start-up business to one which is now recognized all over the
This Queens Award for
Enterprise symbolizes the
strength and credibility of the company, its positive contribution to the
British economyand that it is amongst the best of British companies. The
company's sales continue to grow despite the global downturncaused by the
financial meltdown. The company's turnover grew by over 35% last year and is
fast approaching £150 millionand continuing to grow at 30% even now. It is a
considerable achievement by
any standard, especially when the company's business has been affected by the
events in countries such as Libya, Bahrain and Egypt.
The company exports British supermarket
products to over 90 countries with staggering results and market penetration.
Needless to say, due to its export activities, it not only generates wealth
and employment for Britaindirectly, but also
helps other British companies grow which
are connected with its export activities like transport, shipping and
manufacturing. It is fair to state that Sun Mark is an engine of growth for many
other British businesses. This year Sun Mark was added to the prestigious Sunday
Times Profit Track 100 emphasizing the company's contribution to the British
Exchequer in terms of profitability and taxes.
As Managing Director, Dr.
Ranger MBE, is optimistic that his company, which is a leading force in exports,
will continue to drive hard and be a recipient for many more such awards for
sustainable growth and for excellence. He said that the third award recognizes
the company's ethos of hard work, ethical practices and above all empathy for
INDIAN AMERICAN MITUL DESAI APPOINTED TO
EXPAND TIES WITH INDIAN AMERICAN COMMUNITY
Indian American Mitul Desai, an Indian American
international finance and law expert, has been brought in to US State
Department's South Asia bureau to lead its efforts to expand "partnerships and
engagement with the private sector and diaspora groups" in the US.
appointment of Desai at an India Donor Roundtable here last week, Assistant
Secretary of State for South Asia Robert Blake said "The US-India relationship
has never been stronger," thanks to the "important role" that the Indian
community has "played in creating and strengthening these ties."
"Indeed I have made
it a priority for the South and Central Asia Bureau to expand our partnerships
and engagement with the private sector and diaspora groups here in the US," he
Desai, who has been
named Senior Advisor for Outreach, comes from a private sector career in
international finance and law, where he worked on many issues, including global
health, Blake noted.
Desai received his
BA in Chemistry and Philosophy at Rudgers University and his JD from the Boston
University School of Law. He was born in Kankakee, Illinois, and lived in South
Carolina, Ohio, and Pennsylvania before moving to Succasunna, New Jersey, where
he spent most of his childhood.
Indirajit and Surekha Desai who hail from Gujarat, came to the US in the 1960s,
when they were both in their early 20s. He has a younger brother, Amit.
NEWS OF INTEREST TO NRIs AND PIOs AROUND THE
DIASPORA TOPS REMITTACNE LIST
According to the World Bank, there
has been a dramatic increase of almost 162% in the remittance that India
receives from overseas Indians over the last eight years. While India received
nearly $21 billion from overseas Indians in 2003, the figure jumped to $55
billion in 2010.
"India received the highest remittance in 2010 compared with any other country
in the world," said Dr Alwyn Didar Singh, secretary, ministry of overseas
affairs during a discussion on the Indian Diaspora organized by the global think
tank Gateway House. World Bank data also points to the fact that India receives
the highest remittance, followed by China ($51 billion) and Mexico ($22.6
billion), Philippines ($21.3 billion) and France ($15.9 billion).
Though there was a slight dip in remittance from 2008 to 2009, it bounced back
in 2010 to a level higher than in 2008. Kerala and Punjab are currently among
the states which receive the highest remittance from overseas residents. Didar
Singh believes the increase in remittances has much to do with a great degree of
faith in the Indian banking system, coupled with a lack of faith in US banks.
"Remittance may be in a number of forms, such as domestic consumption, property,
health and education. This is real money that is very much a part of the local
economy, and is not money that is simply parked in a bank," he adds.
According to S Parasuraman, director of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, money is increasingly being remitted to
India from educated Indians who have temporarily moved out of the country for
work. "Those who earlier left the country for the US often settled down there
for good and did not send money back home," said Parasuraman. "Earlier, the
money coming back to India was largely from poor people who migrated to Gulf
countries, and sent a large portion of their income back home," he added.
He says there is a great need to protect the rights of these migrants and
introduce schemes to support them when they return home. It isn't just the money
that's returning to India. India also has the highest number of returning
migrants, says Didar Singh. While six to eight lakh Indians leave the country
each year, a significant number of overseas Indians (over one lakh) return to
the country yearly.
IS LARGEST SOURCE OF SKILLED MIGRANTS TO NEW ZEALAND
India has emerged as the largest source country for New Zealand with a 12
percent increase in approval of applications under the skilled migrant category
for the 2010-11 financial year. Among
the top source countries to New Zealand, Britain decreased by 17 percent, China
decreased by 11 percent, South Africa decreased by 37 percent and the
Philippines decreased by 25 percent, according to the Migration Trends
Statistics (MTS) report for July 2010 to May 2011.
India's increase was due to former Indian
students who transited to temporary work and then went on to permanent
residence, it said. The report focused on three key areas - the
New Zealand residence programme, permanent skilled migration and temporary
With regard to student visas to New
Zealand, as many as 69,448 people were approved in July 2010-May 2011 - a three
percent increase from the 67,453 in the previous financial year. From July
2010-May 2011, the largest source countries of students were China (23 percent),
India (14 percent) and South Korea (12 percent).
Indian-origin MP Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi
said that as New Zealand was a peaceful country, it has emerged as an ideal
destination for study. Its spectacular scenery and rich and diverse culture were
the other factors that made it a favorite among Indians.
Richard Howard, honorary member and past
chairman of the New Zealand Association for Migration and Investment, said:
"These statistics confirm the clear trend that New Zealand is seen as an
increasingly attractive study and migrant destination for Indian students."
BAHRAIN'S WHO'S WHO RELEASED IN CHICAGO
ECONOMIC VISION 2030 was discussed at a Professional Summit of Kerala/Indian
professionals in Chicago last week. Nearly a dozen professional organizations of
Indians in different parts of U.S.A had arranged a one day conference the first
of its kind at Sheraton Gateway Hotel, Chicago under the auspices of FOMAA
(Federation of Malayalee Associations of America). Mr. Ramesh Chennithala,
President of Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee President and Mr.T.P.Sreenivasan
Former Indian Ambassador to Austria were the chief guests. Experts from
different areas and academic heads and journalists spoke on the occasion.
As a special guest Mr.
Sunny Kulathakal, Managing Editor of the Gulf Who's Who Directory Bahrain
and GOPIO's International Coordinator for the Middle East addressed the
gathering and the directory was officially released at the function
for the U.S market. Kulathakal focused on the interviews of nearly 200
dignitaries on VISION 2030 of Bahrain which forms part of the 750 pages
Directory. He mentioned that the dreams and aspirations of the leaders of a tiny
island nation to improve the standard of living of its citizens are quite
evident in these interviews.
Dr. Sreedhar Kavil senior
Professor and former Chairman of St. John's University in his keynote
address appreciated the contents of the 2011-2012 Directory. He stressed
that the recent negative global publicity against Bahrain in foreign media could
be rectified through wide circulation of such publications. Dr. Kavil
mentioned that we should be proud and happy that an Indian could bring out such
a precious and timely document to project to the outside world, a positive
true picture of Bahrain.
A series of campaign
to explain the salient features of VISION 2030 of Bahrain was
started by the publishers of Gulf Who's Who Directory
2011-2012 in different parts of the United States of America last
month. The Directory was widely distributed to the American Arab Chamber
of Commerce and other Diplomatic missions. Separate Public
functions were organized in Houston, St. Louis
and Dallas where Mr. Kulathakal Managing Editor and Mrs. Elizabeth
Sunny Kulathakal, Business Editor of the Directory attended.
AUSTRALIA ENFORCES NEW,
TIGHTER IMMIGRATION RULES
Australia's new immigration
rules that focus on higher qualification and advance English language skills as
requirements for those wanting to migrate to this country came into effect
today. The new rules, according to Australian officials, aim to pick up the
"best and the brightest" from the pool of applicants, and have been criticized
by Indian groups in Melbourne.
The Australian government announced changes to its independent skilled migration
points test, introducing the new immigration point system to put more emphasis
on work experience and high-level educational qualification with higher English
However, the new program has been criticized by the Federation of Indian
Association of Victoria (FIAV) which said the level of English proficiency is
like an "iron curtain" being imposed on migration in this country. IAV president
Vasan Srinivasan said the organization sympathizes with the government's need to
attract to Australia migrants with good English speaking skills but the
requirement that is appropriate for skilled professionals like for doctors and
accountants, should not be required for other less professional occupations.
ADDS SOPs FOR ITS NRIs
budget presented by the Congress-led United Democratic Front has added Standard
Operating Procedures (SOPs) for the Kerala diaspora by way of a rehabilitation
scheme, a legal aid cell and a 24-hour helpline. A new centre will also be set
up to improve the skill sets of those who want to go abroad for a job.
According to a study done by the Centre for
Development Studies on the diaspora, there are more than two million Keralites
working abroad, of whom around 90 percent are in the Middle-East. The budget QAS
presented by Finance Minister K.M. Mani.
"The NORKA department will come out with an
elaborate program for the rehabilitation of those people who have returned from
abroad on account of internal issues in some countries," said Mani. According to
the CDS study, the number of returnees from the Middle East has crossed one
million in the last one decade.
Another new initiative is the setting up of
an Overseas Employment Skill Testing Centre.
STEM CELL BANK - SERVING INDIANS GLOBALLY
The Background - Annually Over 120,000 Indians are
diagnosed with blood cancers and another 10,000 children are born with
Thalassemia (a disease needing one or two blood transfusions every month for
lifetime). Over 400 Indians living globally search for a bone marrow donor or
stem cell match annually. Over 60% of these patients can hope for a cure if they
have access to matching stem cells from donated umbilical cord blood. Since
matching is highly dependent on ethnicity, the chances of an Indian finding a
match in any other country is less than 10% while the possibility is over 60% in
an Indian inventory. Today, even if a match is found, it will cost over USD
45,000 to import a unit of stem cell, which is beyond the reach of most of these
The Beginning - Jeevan Stem Cell Bank, a unit of
Jeevan Blood Bank and Research Centre, a 15 year old not-for-profit
organisation, started operations in November 2008 with the vision of Ensuring Quick and affordable access to
matching stem cells for life-saving treatment for Indian patients living
globally with blood cancers and Thalassemia. Jeevan will make available matching
stem cells free for poor and at Rupees Two lakhs for those who can afford. As of
now, Jeevan is the ONLY active Indian Public Stem Cell Bank across the world.
What Jeevan Has done - Today, Jeevan has 669 units of
stem cells processed, tested and stored - ready for patients and gets over 5
requests a week for matching units from Indians across the world. Chances of
finding a match is directly proportional to inventory size. Our vision is to
scale-up the inventory to 4000 (March 2012), 10,000 (December 2012) and 30,000
The Team - Jeevan is professionally managed
by a committed and competent team lead by the co-founders Drs. Srinivasan and
Saranya Narayan and who have a combined experience of over 50 years in starting
and managing Pathology and Blood transfusion facilities.
How You Can Help - There are two challenges to this
project, which will touch Indians globally. One is cord blood donation. With
over 20 million births happening every year targets are easily achievable.
However, the other - meeting the cost ($ 750) of processing each cord blood
donation, testing, typing and storing each unit of stem cells can only be
surmounted with the participation of the beneficiaries - Indian community across
the world. Jeevan is looking for 30,000 Indians who could make a tax exempted
donation of $ 750 each (or $ 250 every year for three years).
Can Jeevan also meet the needs of
patients of Indian origin living in Canada, the UK, the U.S. and other parts of
the world? Dr. Saranya Narayan, Co-Founder and Medical Director of Jeevan
responds with an emphatic 'yes'. She points out that donor registries across the
world are wired into a global stem cell donor network through reciprocal
agreements. However at present, persons of Indian origin are underrepresented in
the national donor registries, and Indian patients face very poor odds in
finding matching donors. More than 400 patients of Indian origin living globally
search the various registries for matching donors every year, and very few, if
any, find matches.
Says Dr. Srinivasan "the Jeevan Stem
Cell Bank will ensure quick and affordable access to stem cells derived from
donated cord blood and therefore, life saving treatment for many. The creation
of an Indian Public stem cell bank like Jeevan will raise the potential match
rate to as high as 60%, both for Indians living in India and globally".
To find out more about Jeevan, online
donations and tax exempted donations in USA and UK please visitwww.jeevan.org. contact Dr Srinivasan at email@example.com.
PADOSI BLOG LAUNCHED
living outside India can be an isolating experience for Indians, especially when
they are new. When living abroad, Indians should be able to have an opportunity
to get to know other Indians & their families in the "neighborhood".
is a new Platform that provides an opportunity to create awareness about the
existence of other Indians in the neighborhood. The service is called Desi
Padosi.com. NRIs & PIOs around the world can Visit www.desipadosi.com & become a
member for FREE.
becoming Members of desipadosi.com, NRIs & PIOs can derive following benefits
* Find new family friends who have similar lifestyles, hobbies and values.
* Come together and share nostalgic moments.
* Create groups based on common interests.
* Share shopping tips pertaining to ones own neighborhood.
* And last but not the least, build a support system for each other.
2 Sections in desipadosi.com to make the website User-friendly & Interactive,
viz;" How It Works" & " Desi Padosi BLOG".
PIOs around the world may make use of this platform to reach out.
Contact:K.Suresh Rao,Desi Padosi Blog, firstname.lastname@example.org.
COUPLE CHALLENGES BRITISH IMMIGRATION LAW
An Indian woman who
lives in Britain and wants her husband to join her there cannot do so because a
new immigration law requires him to speak English. The couple has now challenged
the law in court.
British citizen Rashida Chapti, 54, applied for her husband Vali Chapti, 57, to
join her in Britain. The couple have been married for 37 years and has six
children together. Vali Chapti is an Indian national and does not speak, read or
write English. They have now challenged the rule at a court in Birmingham. They
said the law "contravenes their rights to a family life, their right to marry
and constitutes discrimination", according to UK's Daily Mail newspaper.
Rashida Chapti has been travelling between India and Leicester for 15 years.
The rule came into force in November 2010. It says English language is a primary
requirement for migrants applying to come or stay in Britain as a spouse.
Manjit Gill, representing the couple, told the Birmingham court the requirement
was a breach of their human rights. He said it contravenes several articles of
the European Convention on Human Rights - including the right to family life,
the right to marry, and to be free of discrimination.
SHOWS IT PROFESSIONALS HEADING BACK TO INDIA
According to survey
conducted by recruitment consulting firm MyHiringClub.com, as reported in the
media, IT and IT-enabled firms in India hired 28 percent more non-resident
Indian (NRI) professionals in the first quarter of 2011-12. Due to shortage of
jobs and declining wages overseas, an increasing number of NRI IT professionals
are returning to India. During the first quarter of the current fiscal year, IT
and IT-enabled services registered highest growth, as much as 28 percent.
Several other sectors of the economy have also seen noticeable job growth.
Pharma and healthcare grew by 20 percent, automobile and manufacturing by 18
percent, telecom by 14 percent, banking and financial services by 10 percent.
Largest number of
returned NRIs found jobs in Bangalore, followed by Mumbai, Delhi and Hyderabad.
PUNJAB GOVT. TAKES
SEVERAL STEPS FOR NRIs' WELFARE
Punjab's Non-Resident Indian (NRI)
Affairs Minister Balbir Singh Bath said in a statement that the state government
had initiated many new steps for the welfare and security of NRIs. He also said
that the East Punjab Rent Act has been amended empowering NRIs to get their
property on rent vacated from tenants.
The minister said that all 20 districts
in Punjab have separate revenue courts for NRIs for speedy disposal of their
cases, exclusive NRI police stations have been set up in six districts with
predominant NRI population for the prompt redresses of their
grievances/complaints and one court for NRIs has been opened in Jalandhar in
consultation with the Punjab and Haryana High Court. Punjab Government would
soon open a new NRI Suwidha Kender at Jalandhar to provide single window service
to the NRIs for all Government related works.
Minister Balbir Singh Bath
also met Minister of State for External Affairs Preneet Kaur and asked her to
expedite the grant of visa to Punjabis who want to visit their motherland.
1,800 CANADIANS TO LOSE
Canadian Immigration Minister Jason
Kenney recently confirmed that as many as 1,800 new Canadians could be stripped
of their citizenship as they obtained it fraudulently. The minister said that
some people who did not meet the qualifications for citizenship are believed to
have submitted fraudulent applications. They have been identified following a
three-year investigation and their citizenship will be revoked.
Minister Kenney also said that his
government is combating immigration fraud and abuse whether it is from bogus
asylum claimants, crooked immigration consultants, people smugglers or people
who are abusing Canadian citizenship program.
The minister also announced that Canada
will soon be introducing 10 year visas for low-risk visitors from around the
TKA NAIR APPOINTED
ADVISOR TO PM & PULOK CHATTERJEE AS PRINCIPAL SECRETARY TO PM
Shri T.K.A. Nair,
Principal Secretary to Prime Minister, has been appointed as Adviser to Prime
Minister with the rank and status of Minister of State in the Prime Minister's
Office with effect from the October 3, 2011. Earlier this year, Mr. Nair was
inducted to GOPIO's honor roll for his help and support of NRI/PIO causes.
Chatterji, presently Executive Director of World Bank, as Principal Secretary to
Prime Minister with effect from the October 3, 2011 on approved standard terms
and conditions. His appointment will be co-terminus with the term of the Prime
MALDIVES IN JOINT INDO-MALDIVES TRADE AGREEMENT
Marking an era of unprecedented Indian
investment and collaborations in the neighboring Maldives, and coinciding with
the official visit of India's External Affairs Minister S M Krishna, a unique
Indo-Maldives PPP collaboration project was announced today to set up a US$ 200
million Global Knowledge & Medical Hub including a Medical Tourist Resort
pioneered by an Indian company.
The Government of Maldives announced on
July 28, 2011, the successful completion of a series of agreements between
Government Ministries and the Island Development Company Pvt. Ltd., Maldives
(IDC). The announcement was made in the presence of H.E. President Mohamed
Nasheed of Maldives and Hon.S M Krishna at the first function during the
latter's two-day visit. The project is the second largest Indian investment
after MR's take-over of operations of the Male International Airport.
Contributed by Munish Gupta
GOPIO LIFE MEMBERSHIP AND CHAPTER FORMATION
GOPIO is a non-partisan, non-sectarian global organization with chapters in
several countries, actively promoting the interests of people of Indian origin
worldwide by monitoring and addressing current critical issues of concern, and
by enhancing cooperation and communication between groups of Indians living in
GOPIO Individual Life membership is open to all who believe in the mission
of GOPIO. The one- time fee is $5,000 for Platinum Life Membership, $2,500 for
Gold Life Membership and $1,500 Silver Life Membership and half the amount for
each category for those from developing countries and India.
GOPIO is looking forward to opening chapters in all major cities of the
world so as to network people of Indian origin all over the world. If you do not
have chapter in your city, please visit GOPIO website (www.gopio.net) and get details of
chapter initiation (visit http://www.gopio.net/chapter_initiative.htm). Process involves
sending a letter of intent to start a chapter by a committee of five people or
more. For more information, contact:
GOPIO Chairman - Inder Singh, Tarzana,
California, USA, Tel: 818-708-3885, E-mail: email@example.com
GOPIO President - Lord Daljit Rana,
UK, Tel: +44 28-9807-8787, Email:firstname.lastname@example.org
GOPIO Executive Vice President -
Ashook Ramsaran, Fresh Meadows, New York City, Tel: 718/939-8194, E-mail: email@example.com
To become a Life member of GOPIO, one can sign up online at http://gopio.net/online_membership.htmor fill up the form and send it with a check to: GOPIO
International, PO Box 560117, New York NY 11356, USA.
Chief Editor: Dr. Thomas Abraham, Founder
President and Chairman Emeritus, GOPIO (Stamford, CT, USA)
Editors: Ashook Ramsaran, GOPIO Executive
Vice President (New York, USA)
Webmasters: Prashant Gupta (Hyderabad, India) and Abu
Thomas (New Rochelle, NY, USA)
Contributors of this issue: Inder Singh
(GOPIO Intl., USA), Dr.
Zafar Iqbal (GOPIO-Washington DC), Suman Kapoor (GOPIO-Waikato,
New Zealand), Jay Banerjei (GOPIO-Toronto), Shailesh Naik (GOPIO-CT, USA), Shefali Mehta (GOPIO-NZ), Harry
Walia (GOPIO-Australia), Jeevan Zutshi
(GOPIO San Francisco), Munish Gupta (GOPIO Media Council).
GOPIO NEWS welcomes NRI/PIO related stories
from all over the world. Be a volunteer correspondent or reporter. Contact Dr. Thomas Abraham, Tel:
203-329-8010, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.