September 1, 2012
A Publication of the Global
Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO)
September 1, 2012
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GOPIO ORGANIZES GADAR
CENTENNIAL COMMEMORATION EVENTS IN INDIA
On a recent trip in early August 2012 by a delegation of the Global Organization
of Indian Origin (GOPIO Int'l) met with several officials, executives,
academicians, historians and descendants of Gadar heroes to organize a series of
events to commemorate the Gadar Centennial in 2013 in various cities in India.
The delegation included GOPIO Chairman Inder Singh, GOPIO President Ashook
Ramsaran, accompanied by Munish Gupta, Regional Coordinator (Africa), as well as
K. N. Gupta, Director, Liaison to Government of India.
Karan Singh (ICCR), Ashook Ramsaran, Inder Singh, Munish Gupta, K. N. Gupta
GOPIO developed collaborative steps with Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs
(MOIA) for commemoration of the Gadar Centennial in a prominent way at Pravasi
Bharatiya Divas (PBD 2013) in Kochi with an oration, a panel session, an exhibit
and release of Gadar Centennial Book by Hon. Dr Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister
of India at PBD2013.
Photo above: Munish
Gupta, Inder Singh, Dr Nisha Dube (Vice Chancellor of Barkatullah University),
In addition to events at PBD2013, GOPIO plans on holding a conference session on
"Freedom Movements in the
Diaspora - Gadar & others" on January 6, 2013 as well as recognize several
descendants of Gadar heroes who would be in attendance at GOPIO's Community
Service Awards banquet on the evening following the conference sessions.
GOPIO is collaborating with Dr. Karan Singh, President of Indian Council for
Cultural Relations (ICCR) to host a GOPIO Gadar Centennial Commemoration event
at ICCR's facilities in New Delhi on January 11, 2013. GOPIO is also working
closely with Punjab Governor HE Shivraj Patil to hold a special Gadar Centennial
Commemoration in Chandigarh on January 13, 2013.
Photo below: From l. to r. Ashook
Ramsaran, Prof Arun Grover (Vice Chancellor of Punjab University), Inder Singh
Photo above: Brig. V K Sawhney
(ret'd), Inder Singh, Ashook Ramsaran, Dr Savitri Khankhoje Sawhney (Gadar
descendant), Prof Chaman Lal (Jawaharlal Nehru University)
Prof. Arun Grover, Vice Chancellor of Punjab University in Chandigarh, has
agreed to hold a GOPIO Gadar Centennial Commemoration seminar and/or lecture
series in 2013 similar to the seminar/lecture series proposed by GOPIO at the
meeting held at Punjab University on August 4, 2012. Prof. Nisha Dube, Vice
Chancellor of Barkatullah University in Bhopal, also plans on GOPIO Gadar
Centennial Commemoration seminar or lecture series in 2013, as well other
programs to commemorate India's freedom movement. Barkatullah University was
named after Maulvi Barkatullah, a Gadar hero.
Discussions were held with several descendants of Gadar heroes including:
Surinder Pal Singh, a Gadar researcher and writer; Dr Savitri Khankhoje Sewhney
who also wrote of her father's history in the Gadar Freedom Movement; and Rajani
Patil, daughter of Gadar hero Pingle. Discussions continue with other
descendants in India and elsewhere to participate in GOPIO Gadar Centennial
Commemoration events in 2013 worldwide.
GLOBAL INDIAN DIASPORA 2012
BOOK PUBLISHED AND AVAILABLE
Sayantan Chakravarty, publisher of India Empire magazine based in New Delhi, has
worked in close collaboration with GOPIO to develop a comprehensive, keepsake
coffee table publication titled "Global Indian Diaspora: GOPIO Making
an Impact".Mr Chakravarty has acquired extensive knowledge of Indian
migration and the global Indian Diaspora. He is actively involved with bringing
Indian Diaspora news and promoting the activities of the Indian Diaspora through
the monthly India Empire publication which is a prominent magazine that is
widely distributed globally.
This book, the Global Indian Diaspora:
GOPIO Making an Impact discusses
how the 28 million strong Indian Diaspora being ambassadors of India and being
largely responsible for India's economic growth and prominence. It also
describes how the Indian diaspora has fared and the key issues confronted by
GOPIO. It contains historical text of various aspects and history of the Indian
migration and the Indian diaspora in various continents, along with history of
GOPIO and selected profiles of several prominent chapters and life members of
GOPIO. To date, several prominent members of government and agencies have been
presented with PIOs Global Indian Diaspora:
GOPIO Making an Impact and find
it very comprehensive and informative.
Contact for publications acquisition details: Sayantan Chakravarty Email: email@example.comTel:
(91)-11-2923-1515 or (91)-11-2923-3647.
DATES ANNOUNCED FOR PRAVASI
BHARATIYA DIVAS 2013 AND GOPIO CONVENTION 2013
PRAVASI BHARATIYA DIVAS
(PBD2013) TO BE HELD IN KOCHI on Jan 7-9, 2012
The 11th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) will be
held from January 7-9, 2013 in Cochin, Kerala, India. Addressing a Press
conference here today, Shri Vayalar Ravi, Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs
(MOIA), said that the Prime Minister will inaugurate this annual flagship event
of MOIA on January 8. The President of India will deliver the valedictory
address on January 9 and also confer the Pravasi Bhartiya Samman Awards. The
pre-conference seminars will also be organized on January 7 followed by plenary
and panels sessions beginning on January 8.
The Minister said that the PBD has become a significant forum to connect the
overseas Indians from all over the world and the PBD-2013 will be focusing on
more connectivity with overseas Indians. He further said that Kerala will be the
Partner State of the 11th PBD, which would provide the Diaspora
an opportunity to understand the vibrant culture and potential of the State. The
Minister said that more than 2000 delegates are expected to participate in
PBD-2013 from all over the world.
For any further queries kindly contact: Mr. Yogeshwar Sangwan, Director
(Diaspora Services), Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs, at firstname.lastname@example.org
GOPIO TO HOST CONVENTION 2013 IN KOCHI,
INDIA on JANUARY 5-6, 2013 6-7, 0
GOPIO International is planning to hold its annual executive and general council
meetings, followed by its conference starting on January 5 and concluding on
January 6 immediately preceding and in conjunction with Pravasi Bharatiya Divas
2013 events of January 7-9, 2013 in Kochi, India.
The events schedule and tentative program are as follows:
GOPIO Executive Meeting
General Council Meeting
Conference Session I
Conference Session II
Conference Session III
Conference Session IV
Conclusion & Wrap-Up
CSA Banquet (GOPIO CSA + Recognition of Descendants of Gadar Heroes)
For more information and details, contact Convention 2013 (Kochi) Chairman, Mr.
Sunny Kulathakal at
GOPIO INVITES NOMINATIONS FOR COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARDS (CSA) 2013
GOPIO International is planning to hold its annual Community Service Awards
(CSA) Banquet on the evening of January 6, 2013 in Kochi, India as the
concluding event of GOPIO Convention 2013 (Kochi). In addition, there will be
special recognition of attending descendants of Gadar heroes at the CSA Banquet.
The GOPIO Community Service Awards (GOPIO CSA) are given for outstanding
community service, public service and/or significant charitable or philanthropic
contributions of benefit to the community.
Nominations of suitably qualified candidates are requested for consideration by
GOPIO's CSA 2013 Selection Committee. For details of GOPIO CSA criteria, format
for submission of nominations and deadline for submission, please visit www.gopio.net .
Nominations are to be submitted using the prescribed form with supporting
documents by October 31, 2012 to Chair, GOPIO CSA 2013 Selection Committee at GOPIOawardsKochi@gmail.com; by
October 31, 2012.
INDIAN DIASPORA CELEBRATES
INDIA INDEPENDENCE DAY
Indian community living all over the world celebrated 65 anniversary of India's
Independence with greater fervor organizing flag hoisting, cultural program,
fairs, festivals and parades. The biggest celebration took place in new York
organized City organized by the Federation of Indian Associations (FIA) of NY,
NJ and CT. India Day Parade was organized for the first time in Long Island, New
York and was attend by over 10000 people. Parades were also organized in
Chicago, Silicon Valley, New Jersey while large festivals marked the day in
other US and Canadian cities.
On August 15th, Indian missions around the world
raised Indian flags at their mission and organized other programs to celebrate
the day. Many of these events were joined by the Indian Diaspora community.
INDIA DAY PARADE FILLS NEW
YORK WITH ITS SIGHTS, SOUNDS AND STARS
people watched as the sights and sounds of India took over Manhattan's Madison
Avenue for the 32nd India Day Parade led by Bollywood star Saif Ali Khan and
cricketer Anil Kumble. It is organized by the Federation of Indian Associations
(FIA) to mark India's Aug 15 Independence Day.
feature of the city's cultural scene the procession made its way over blocks
with dancing, costumes and floats. A replica of the Cricket World T20 Trophy was
featured at the parade.
general Prabhu Dayal joined Saif on the lead float as a contingent of the New
York Police Department led the three-hour long parade while Indian-Americans
wearing tri-color sashes waved the Indian flag and patriotic Indian music filled
New Yorkers joined thousands of Indian Americans who had come from neighboring
New Jersey and Connecticut to watch the parade showcasing India's cultural
heritage and diversity.
INDIAN HIGH COMMISSION IN
LONDOIN ORGANIZES PUBLIC CELEBRATION
Indian High commission had arranged a public celebration of India's
65th independence anniversary at the Indian Gymkhana Grounds. The celebration
was in the form of a grand fair with over 40 different stalls.
It was a beautiful summer's day with the green and well trimmed grounds of the
Gymkhana at its best. Most Indian communities were represented through their
stalls. Institute of Jainology stall represented the Jain community. Indian
Banks and other State organizations were also present in numbers.
Institute's stand with JAINpedia project panels and a running demo was one of
the very few stands displaying cultural heritage - most communities were busy
preparing their culinary specialties and serving them.
Indian High Commissioner, Dr J Bhagwati raised the Indian tri-color flag. In his
speech, High Commissioner Bhagwati referred to the speech given by the first
Indian Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru to the Constituent Assembly on the
independence day quoting 'Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now
the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure
...' and went on to elaborate on that. He also referred to Nobel Poet Laureate,
Rabindranath Tagore and his composition of the Indian and Bangladesh national
anthems. He also quoted Poet Laureate's translation of a poem from Gita.
Following the speech, there were few presentations cultural items.
GOPIO-CT CELEBRATES INDIA
INDEPENDENCE DAY WITH FLAG HOISTING AND RECOGNITION OF HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATES
GOPIO-CT organized India Independence Day celebration with a flag hoisting,
dignitaries and entertainment at the Stamford Govt. Center on Saturday August 18th. Over 100 members of the
Indian-American community, from toddlers to seniors, and elected officials
gathered to celebrate 65 years of India's Independence and the hoisting of the
American, Indian and Connecticut flags while the GOPIO-Youth san American and
Indian national anthems. The chief guest at the event was Ambassador Manjeev
Singh Puri, Deputy Permanent Representative of India to the UN. City of Stamford
was represented by Mr. Randall Skigen, President of Board of Representatives and
Deputy Mayor of Stamford. The program was sponsored by Dr. Prasad Manoharan and
Shashi Prasad of Poughkeepsie, New York.
The US Stars and Stripes, the Indian Tricolor and Connecticut flags were hoisted
by event sponsor Mrs. Shashi Prasad, Ambassador Puri and Deputy Mayor Skigen
with the singing of the American and Indian national anthems, led by the
Indian-American youth dressed in their colorful national attire.
Photo: Clockwise from above left: Ambassador Manjeev Puri and Stamford Deputy
Mayor raising Indian flag; Event sponsor Shashi Prasad raising the American flag
and GOPIO-Youth singing American and Indian National Anthems
Deputy Mayor Skigen praised the Indian-American community and
GOPIO-Connecticut's leadership in organizing these events in Stamford. He said,
looking in the internet and reading the Indian constitution, it could have been
very well written by Thomas Jefferson.
President Shailesh Naik, President of the GOPIO Connecticut chapter, in his
welcome speech wished India and the entire Indian Diaspora spread throughout the
far corners of the world a very Happy Independence Day. He described India by
quoting Jawaharlal Nehru, as a cultural unity amidst diversity, a bundle of
contradictions held together by strong but invisible threads
Ambassador Puri said that India is immensely proud of its Diaspora in the US and
was very happy to see the Indian American community very well integrated in
America. He further said that the US-India relations have grown leaps and bounds
with more trade and economic cooperation.
"In the IT sector, both the US and India are fully integrated and that Indian IT
companies alone have created over 300,000 jobs in the U.S," Ambassador Puri
Connecticut Assemblyman Gerald Fox representing Stamford thanked the community
for bringing the best of cultural traditions to Stamford.
Photo below left: GOPIO-CT officials with dignitaries, from l. to r.: Dr. Thomas
Abraham, Prakash Chakravarti, Anju Simon, Shashi Prasad, Namrita Puri,
Ambassador Manjeev Puri, Stamford Board of Representatives President Randall
Skigen, Assemblyman Gerald Fox, GOPIO-CT President Shailesh Naik and Nandita
Suvarna; Phto below right: GOPIO-CT youth artists with digntaries and GOPIO
Photo above clockwise:
Audience at the GOPIO-CT independence day celebrations
GOPIO-CT also recognized over two dozen high school graduates at the event.
Entertainment program included children Shivani Kotikalapudi and Devi Srinidhi
Thoka singing 'Aye Mere Watan Ke Logon..' and a Tamil semi-classical dance by
Arunodhaya Dance Academy.
YouTube Videos of GOPIO-CT
Independence Day Celebrations in Stamford, CT, USA
Independence Day Celebrations - Channel 12 News Coverage - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHMOW4WH5mw&feature=youtube_gdata_player
Independence Day Celebrations - Ambassador Manjeev Puri speaks - http://youtu.be/bMPHvx0n_fs
Aye Mere Watan
Ke Logo at GOPIO-CT Independence Day Celebrations - http://youtu.be/LCUGzqMyl-g
Independence Day Celebrations - Assemblyman Gerald Fox speaks - http://youtu.be/nsC_fGHUVPI
Independence Day Celebrations - Semi-Classical Dance - http://youtu.be/RpDzklETqn8
Independence Day Celebrations - Connecticut Assemblyman Gerald M. Fox, III
Indian Independence Day - High School graduates honored - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a5-Zhd9YBls
Contact: Shailesh Naik, President, GOPIO-CT, 914-409-2552, email@example.com,
GOPIO INTERNATIONAL AND
GOPIO-INTERNATIONAL TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO
CHAPTER ORGANIZES CONFERENCE AND PRESENTS AWARDS
GOPIO International Trinidad and Tobago Chapter just concluded its annual award
presentation, which included a panel discussion titled "Contributions to the
Development of Trinidad and Tobago 50 years of Independence." The event was held
at the Xtra Foods Building, Eleanor Street in Chaguanas on Saturday, August,
President of GOPIO International Trinidad & Tobago Chapter, Ms Ena Maraj,
welcomed the guests to the event. During her welcoming remarks, she outlined the
objectives of the Gopio chapter in the Twin Islands nation. She mentioned that
the organization is a non-partisan, secular global organization engaged in
promoting the well being of people of Indian origin and enhancing the
cooperation between communities and nations of East Indians living in different
countries across the globe.
Among the distinguished guests and honourees who attended the event, was the
Former First Lady of Trinidad & Tobago, Ms. Kalahari Hassanali. She received
the Awards of Appreciation for her invaluable contributions towards the
upliftment of the Trinidadian people through her community services
and many charitable works. Mr. Narad Amarsingh was awarded for his sterling
contributions towards nation building and cultural development. Ms. Rosiana
Ramdeo was recognized for her valuable contribution and dedication in her
medical profession. She worked as a 'Mid Wife' for over sixty years, while Mr.
Morgan Job received accolades for his contribution towards the enhancement of
the community he served and for being a dear friend of GOPIO chapter in
Trinidad. Ms. Ria Ramnarine received an award for her tremendous contribution in
sports. She was the first female boxer to win four world championship titles.
Indian High Commissioner Malay Mishra also graced the presentation ceremony. He
brought special greetings on behalf of India, which was also celebrating
its sixty-five years of Independence on August 15th. He congratulated everyone
for their efforts, hard work and dedication in making GOPIO International
Trinidad & Tobago Chapter a success for all. He said he felt the presence of
the GOPIO Chapter as it is well-known in Trinidad and Tobago.
panel discussion, the
panellists included Ms. Aneela Bhagwat, Dr. Rakib Buckridan, Mr. John Ramsaran
and Ms. Ria Ramnarine. The discussions were vibrant, lively and very energetic
and the panellists touched on some very critical points needed to move the
Ms. Bhagwat (post graduate history student) spoke about the problems of
nationalism and identity among Trinidadian Indians. She mentioned the biased
views of one foreign-based academic who focuses more on the first Prime Minister
during this country's observance of 50 years of Independence.
Dr. Buckridan, who is a representative for Muslim population, spoke of the
Muslims presence and the important role they played in the development of
Trinidad and Tobago. He mentioned the excellent performance of the late Mr. Noor
Hassanali, the former President of Trinidad and Tobago, both as a human being
and as the President of this country. Also Mr. Kamaludin Mohammed and the role
he played in Government, the various Awards he received and the exemplary life
he lived and the Muslims in the Judiciary division who fought for one cause or
Mr. Ramsaran, who is a retired principal, dealt with the contribution of the
Presbyterian church in laying the foundations for the emergence of outstanding
Trinidadians. He also discussed the controversial issues of conversions among
the denominational schools. He spoke on the Presbyterians presences and growth
in Trinidad, especially the great role they played in the education field. He
mentioned the Canadian missionary system and the dedicated Principal of the
primary schools who made home visits to the holistic development of the
Ms. Ramnarine, who is the champion Boxer athlete, spoke of her personal
experiences as a young female boxer. She felt somewhat ostracized for being a
female boxer because of her involvement in this male-dominated sport. She she
also revealed the neglect by previous and current Governments to address this
Photos below showing presentation of awards; Left: President Ena Maraj presenting
Ms. Zalayhar Hassanali;
Middle: President Ena Maraj and Ms.
Rosiana Ramdeo and Right: Vice President Oscar Ramoutar
presenting Ms. Ria Ramnarine
Photo above: l to r: GOPIO Intl. T&T Chapter officials with seminar panelists:
Mahadaye Ramlagan (Asst. Treasurer), Mr.
Latiff Mohammed (Treasurer), Pamela Mangroo (Asst. Secretary), Ms. Aneela
Ena Maraj (President), Dr. Jerome Teelucksingh (Moderator), Shivanie Ramcharitar
Oscar Ramoutar (VP), Mr. John Ramsaran (Panelist), Seeta Sahatoo (Asst. P.R.O.),
Karan Nancoo (P.R.O)
Both the panel discussion and the award ceremony were successes. The turnout was
excellent and the program drew attention to the great work that GOPIO
International Trinidad and Tobago Chapter is doing in that country for the
Indians there. All the members of this chapter played an important role in
making this event a grand success. Without their hard work, dedication, time and
effort, this could not have happened. They must be complimented their great
contribution towards a successful event.
GOPIO HOLDS METRO-WASHINGTON,
DC, MARYLAND & VIRGINIA (USA) TRI-STATE MEETING
GOPIO held a very productive and successful meeting on Saturday, August 25, 2012
in Rockville, Maryland, coordinated and chaired by Dr. Renuka Misra, GOPIO
National Coordinator (USA). Her key collaborators on this initiative include Dr.
Zafar Iqbal, President of GOPIO Washington Metro-DC chapter, Jay Bhandari,
President of GOPIO Northern Virginia chapter, and respective Board members of
these GOPIO chapters. Ashook Ramsaran, President of GOPIO International and Dr.
Piyush Agrawal, Senior Vice President of GOPIO International, were invited to
meet with chapter members and guests at the meeting. The objective was to meet
and interact with executives and members of the area's GOPIO chapters, as well
as members of the Indian community of Washington DC, Virginia and Maryland area.
Photo above: GOPIO International and
Chapter Executives (l-r): Dr
Zafar Iqbal, Dr Piyush Agrawal, Dr Renuka Misra, Ashook Ramsaran, Jay Bhandari
The meeting was well attended with an excellent, diverse, cross section of the
Indian community in Metro Washington DC and Northern Virginia. The meeting was highly informative and
interactive. The attendees participated at all levels, including an interactive
segment with audience participation. GOPIO President Ashook Ramsaran and Senior Vice PresidentDr. Piyush
Agrawal discussed GOPIO's
achievements to date; its goals and objectives; plans for growth and expansion;
and planned participation at Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PB2013) in Kochi, India
from Jan 7-9, 2013. The points raised during this meeting are important
organization and community matters, that help GOPIO and its chapters respond to
the interests and concerns of the NRI/PIO community in more effective ways.
GOPIO has been prominent and well recognized for its service to the NRI/PIO
community through various forums. GOPIO's contributions have included health
seminars and assistance, food for homeless, legal services and assistance with
consular matters; interest in youth and young professionals as an inclusive part
of GOPIO's chapter, and overall plans. Prior to the conclusion of the meeting,
the GOPIO Gadar Centennial Commemoration (GGCC) Washington Metro-DC & Virginia
team was formed. Members include GOPIO chapters' members as well as others from
several Indian-American organizations in the region. Prominent community
advocates Dr. Rajen Anand, Dr. Joy Cherian and Dr Shambu Bhanik, also in
attendance, were named as GGCC advisors. The GGCC upcoming events in Washington
include a seminar on "The Movement for Independence and Initiatives of Gadar",
followed by an announcement at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.
Photo above: Presentation of Global
Diaspora Book (l-r): Dr Renuka
Misra, Dr Joy Cherian, Dr Piyush Agrawal, Ashook Ramsaran, Dr Sambhu Banik, Dr
Jay Bhandari, President of GOPIO Northern Virginia chapter, thanked everyone for
their attendance and participation, including the support of Spice Xing
Contact: Dr. Renu Misra,
National Coordinator, GOPIO America, firstname.lastname@example.org
COLLABORATION WITH FICCI WITH ADDITIONAL MoU
GOPIO enhanced its close
collaboration with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry
(FICCI) with another Memorandum of Agreement (MoU) signed on August 13, 2012.
This follows the existing MoU between GOPIO International Women's Council (GIWC)
and FICCI's Ladies Organization (FLO) signed in 2012 to further the cause of
empowerment of women of Indian Origin and their individual objectives and
The agreement was reached after discussions between Dr. Ramesh Caussy GOPIO's Chairman of Science & Technology Council, in
collaboration with Mr. Munish Gupta, GOPIO Regional Coordinator (Africa), and Nirander Saxena, Director of FICCI,
representing FICCI's Center for
Technology. The MoU stresses promoting the connection between India and its
Diaspora in areas and issues encompassing Science & Technology. This will
benefit India, the Diaspora, as well as bilateral and multilateral relations
between India and Indian Diaspora countries.
GOPIO and FICCI agree "to cooperate in promoting enhanced interaction and
exchanges between India and the Indian Diaspora in the fields of science &
technology to create a unique platform offering the ability to garner and share
the knowledge and experience of India and Indian Diaspora scientists,
researchers, academics, inventors, discoverers and manufacturers".
RATAKONDA DAYAKAR APPOINTED
GOPIO REGIONAL COORDINATOR, SOUTH ASIA
ambassador Ratakonda Dayakar has been appointed GOPIO Regional Coordinator,
South Asia, effective August 23, 2012. Dayakar joins the ranks of 8 other
regional coordinators covering the designated regions of the Indian Diaspora
world. Included in the portfolio of
GOPIO Regional Coordinator, South Asia, is the outreach and expansion of GOPIO
in solidifying existing chapters towards full compliance; as well as
establishment of bone fide chapters in the region; recruitment of suitably
qualified candidates for GOPIO's several councils; increasing membership in
chapters and at GOPIO International level; coordinating the activities of
GOPIO's chapters in South Asia region (including organization of conferences,
seminars and symposia); and providing activity reports in a timely manner.
The selection of Dayakar as GOPIO Regional Coordinator, South Asia was based on
his many years of outstanding service in the Indian Diaspora countries, his
relevant experience and knowledge in serving in the larger Indian community, in
combination with his commitment and interest in GOPIO and its objectives.
Dayakar has an impressive resume of positions as an astute, seasoned, polished and
accomplished diplomat, including his pioneering work as the first Joint
Secretary in the then newly created NRI Affairs Ministry.
In confirming the appointment to Dayakar, GOPIO International President Ashook
Ramsaran stated that "your selection was
based on your many years of outstanding service in Diaspora countries and the
Indian community, your relevant experience and knowledge in serving in the
larger Indian, in combination with your commitment and interest in GOPIO". "I am glad to be associated with GOPIO
under your stewardship and look forward to working with you in giving concrete
form to the action plan and agenda of GOPIO, in respect of South Asia', remarked
Dayakar in response.
SHALINI KANTAYYA WINS
filmmaker and eco-activist Shalini Kantayya has been chosen for this year's
prestigious MacArthur Foundation filmmaking grant of $125,000. Her documentary,
'Solarize This' takes a look at the human side of the green economy by focusing
on three unemployed Americans in a solar jobs training program in Richmond,
interested in the idea of people who are impacted by the economic crisis trying
to retool by looking for jobs in the solar industry - and in Richmond, a Chevron
Oil town." The film is now in the editing stage, and Kantayya hopes to release
it next year.
family hails from Chennai and she has lived in India and traveled back and forth
many times. It was during one of her trips there that she experienced the 2004
Tsunami, she said. "I realized that climate change affects the poor, and women
and children, most of all - and I realized that the ways we make and use energy
have a serious impact." The experience of making Solarize has also given her a
new respect for renewable energy.
Shalini finished in the top 10 out of over 12,000 filmmakers in 'On the Lot' a
reality show produced by Steven Spielberg about the search for Hollywood's next
BRITISH INDIAN HEART SURGEON
DR. MUKESH HARIWALA CHOSEN FOR 'INDIA'S MOST ADMIRED SURGEON' AWARD
internationally acclaimed Heart Surgeon and Research Scientist Dr Mukesh
Hariawala, has been unanimously selected by the National Healthcare jury to be
honored with the prestigious 'India's Most Admired Surgeon 2012 Award'.
will have in attendance top dignitaries from government, celluloid
personalities, industrialists and eminent public figures, led by His Excellency,
Maharashtra Governor Shri K. Sankaranarayanan, who will present the award.
Dr Mukesh will
also deliver the much anticipated 'Keynote Lecture' on Cardiac Angiogenesis,
which is his pioneering research work on the dynamic cutting edge scientific
technology of stimulating growth of new blood vessels on the heart by using 'Low
Energy Laser Beams'. This is projected to significantly give relief of symptoms
and bring down the cost of healthcare. A rechargeable lithium ion battery
powered 'Titanium Mechanical Artificial Heart Device' will be showcased as part
of the lecture.
In a career
span of 25 years across 3 continents, Dr Mukesh has performed open heart
surgeries on worldwide celebrities, including being a key member of British
surgeon Dr. John Wright's surgical team that has operated on Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh during his first bypass surgery in the early 1990's in London.
INDIAN AMERICAN SELEC TED AS
PRESIDENTIAL INNOVATION FELLOW
American entrepreneur Karl Mehta has been selected among the 18 'Presidential
Innovation Fellows' who will work on five 'high-impact' projects in Washington
among 700 innovators from across the country, the 'Fellows' will spend six
months working on five high-impact projects aimed at supporting entrepreneurs,
small businesses and the economy, while significantly improving how the Federal
Government serves the American people.
only Indian American to be present in this list of 18 fellows would work on 'The
20 percent Initiative' program. "The 20 percent Initiative will work to
transition 'the last mile' of international development assistance payments from
cash to electronic methods lowering administrative costs, promoting financial
inclusion, and reducing theft, fraud, and violence," the White House said.
A member of
TiE Silicon Valley, Mehta is founder & CEO of PlaySpan, which was acquired by
Visa in March 2011. With more than 18 years of experience in founding, building
and funding technology companies in the US and international markets, Mehta
before founding PlaySpan, was part of the founding team at MobileAria Inc
(acquired by Wireless Matrix) based in Mountain View and co-founder/CEO of
OmniLabs Inc, based in Singapore and India.
BRITISH INDIANS HONORED AT
INDIA'S INFEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATIONS IN UK
prominent NRIs, including director general of the Commonwealth Business Council
Dr. Mohan Kaul, were honored by the Indian Overseas Congress (London) at a
function to celebrate the 66th anniversary of India's Independence Day.
recipients of the honor for their services to the community were Dr. Onkar
Sahota, member of the greater London assembly for Ealing & Hillingdon, R S
Nangla, founder chairman of travel agency Brightsun, former councilor and former
mayor of London Borough of Ealing Madhav Patil, publisher Neermal Suri, Gurnam
Singh Sahni, Veerindra Rishi, Rajinder Singh Dhutt and Lord Sardar Singh.
the occasion, President of the Indian Overseas Congress (London) D L Kalhan
said, "While we proudly share the joys of getting voting rights for Indians
residing abroad, we are now advocating for getting representations for them in
Virendra Sharma lauded the progress made by NRIs in the UK and elsewhere because
"they took their values with them wherever they went."
minister of Britain David Cameron and leader of the opposition and Labor leader
Ed Miliband sent messages congratulating India on its 66th Anniversary of
Independence and growing India-UK relations in different spheres including
science and technology, education and climate change.
INDIAN AMERICAN'S HORSE
GALLOPS TO SUCCESS IN BELMONT STAKES
migrated to the United States and kept pursuing his love for horse racing. He is
perhaps the first Indian to have his horse run at the Belmont Stakes, an
American Grade I stakes.
uninitiated, Belmont Stakes is almost at par with the cricket World Cup or the
Olympics, and the race is the third and the final leg of the US Triple Crown,
the other two being Kentucky Derby and Preakness. "Being a part of the Belmont
Stakes was an experience of a life time for me. Having my horse run that race is
as great as it could get in horse racing in the United States," shared Deepak.
Out of the 12
furlongs, Kakkar's horse, Unstoppable U, ran neck to neck with other top horses
owned by Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Prince of Dubai. "Our horse
was the least experienced in the race, but he came up with a superb show," added
Ferozepur district of Punjab, riding horses and watching them gallop was nothing
new for Kakkar, but owning a Thoroughbred horse and have him run in one of the
top horse races in the world surely rake as the dream moments of his life.
ECONOMIST HONORED WITH 'DR.MANMOHAN SINGH CHAIR'
Cambridge economist Professor Ajit Singh accepted the 'Dr Manmohan Singh Chair'
named after Indian Prime Minister at the Punjab University. Launched in 2009,
the 'Dr Manmohan Singh Chair' is based at the Department of Economics, Punjab
"I regard it
as a great honor not only because of Dr Manmohan Singh's outstanding qualities
but also because he was my teacher at Punjab University when I started doing
economics," said Prof Ajit, an alumnus of the Punjab University, who has spent
all his academic life teaching and researching at Cambridge since 1964.
in 2007, he continued his research as an Emeritus Professor of Economics and a
Life Fellow of Queen's College, Cambridge. Prof Singh's current research is
concerned with the rise of India and China and their economic interactions with
advanced and emerging countries. The research re-examines, among other lines of
inquiry, structural questions such as the respected roles of manufacturing and
services as engines of long-term economic growth in the two countries.
has published numerous research papers, advised several governments at the
highest level (including India) and assisted international organizations focused
on development, during his career.
NRIs AND PIOs NEWS FEATURES
BRITISH PM CAMERON AGAINST
SPENDING TIME ON INDIAN DANCE IN SCHOOLS
Prime Minister David Cameron on Friday claimed that schools in UK were spending
two hours on 'Indian dance' rather than on competitive sports. Indian dance is
growing in Britain, with several workshops and dance classes teaching the steps
accompanied by popular Hindi film songs. Besides its cultural value, Bollywood
dance is also seen as an exercise. Contrary to Cameron's remark, there have been
few instances of it being taught or performed regularly in schools.
Cameron has scrapped the two-hour target for schools to spend on sports because
some youngsters ended up spending two hours performing Indian dance instead of
playing sport. He said: "The trouble we have had with targets up to now, which
was two hours a week, is that a lot of schools were meeting that by doing things
like Indian dance or whatever, that you and I probably wouldn't think of as
sport, so there's a danger of thinking all you need is money and a target.
Cameron's remarks prompted a wave of online comments by readers. A reader wrote
to the Guardian: "Back in the seventies we did county dancing as part of PE in
primary school. Indian dancing is quite physical and if it engages some pupils
who think running around after a ball is not enjoyable then why not? Cameron's
comment just seems racist to me".
"Indian dance or any form of dance would seem to me to be an excellent way of
engaging students in physical activity", another reader wrote.
DUBAI BOOSTS KERALA
Pravasi Investment Consortium & Equity Holding Ltd (Prince Holding), a
Dubai-based consortium of non-resident Indians (NRIs), will set up a business
park for IT and IT enabled services (ITES) in Kochi with an investment of over
Rupees 2,000 crore.
Sebastian Joseph, chairman of the consortium is a chartered accountant by
qualification and currently serving as chief financial officer and chief
operating officer in the office of the ruler of Abu Dhabi, one of the emirates
of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The consortium has floated a society called Global Advanced Technology Enabled
Society, or Gates, to collectively pool the resources of the individual members
of the Consortium to create infrastructure for promoting technology-based firms.
The project, planned to be developed in a campus of over 100 acres, will have a
special business zone, a centre for excellence in advanced technology and
innovation, international financial centre, and education zone. Its hospitality
zone will comprise of clubs, spas and service apartments.
There will also be a health care zone, NRI facilitation centre, shared
facilities zone consisting of sports academy, retail strip mall, multiplex, food
courts, library and a residential zone with villas, row houses and apartments.
The whole project would create 20,000 jobs, Joseph said. Prince Holding is
banking on the expectation that 3 lakh NRIs will return to India over the next
five years. "Kerala is a very preferred destination as the majority of the
returning NRIs is from Kerala.
Roughly 350 to 500 NRIs will invest in the project. "After successful conclusion
of various tie-ups and putting the project on track, we intend to replicate the
same model in other major south Indian cities," Joseph revealed. "Our attempt is
to establish an eco-system to enable the integration of global advanced
technologies. The combined experience, expertise and resources of the global
Indian Diaspora will facilitate the development, transfer and commercialization
of technology," Joseph said.
The collective investment by NRI professionals is first of its kind in the
country. Lead consultants and planners of the project are Ernst & Young and Burt
NEWS OF INTEREST TO NRIs
AND PIOs AROUND THE WORLD
PANEL SEEKS TO PROTECT WOMEN
MARRIED TO NRIs
Standing Committee on External Affairs in India has enacted a special NRI
Matrimonial Law to protect brides from being duped by deceitful Non-Resident
Indian grooms. The 'special NRI matrimonial law' provides "distressed and
abandoned brides with much needed remedial armour", comprehensively dealing with
marriage, divorce, maintenance, child custody and other related issues.
parliamentary panel's recommendation came in the backdrop of increasing number
of cases of women being cheated by NRI men through fraudulent marriages. The
cheated women find it difficult to seek justice, as the 'NRI marriages' were
governed, not only by legal system of India, but also by the laws of other
current laws and introducing new rules and regulations would help victims of NRI
marriages reclaim their fundamental rights to property, equality in marriage,
the protection of family, freedom from inhuman or degrading treatment and, above
all, dignity," observed the committee.
of Overseas Indian Affairs has a scheme for providing legal and financial
assistance to Indian women deserted by their NRI and foreigner husbands for
defraying initial costs of documentation and preparatory work for filing the
cases by the empanelled NGOs, who have lawyers on their panel who render free
services. The amount of legal and financial assistance has of late been enhanced
from US$1,500 to US$3,000 per case for developed countries and US$2,000 per case
for developing countries.
REGIONAL PBD2012 TO BE HELD IN MAURITIUS ON OCTOBER 27-28, 2012
The 6th Regional Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD)
Convention will be held in Mauritius on October 27-28, 2012. Regional PBDs
are organized by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA), Government of
India in collaboration with the host Government, the respective Indian Mission
and organizations catering to the needs of the Indian Diaspora. They serve the
objective of reaching out to a vast majority of over 25 million-strong diaspora,
who for various reasons, are unable to attend the annual main PBD conventions in
India and benefit from its deliberations. Regional PBD conventions are also
helpful to local populations who are not of Indian origin, and are interested in
doing business and/or collaborating with India.
The Mahatma Gandhi Institute (MGI) in Moka, Mauritius has been chosen as the
venue for hosting the PBD Mauritius 2012. Hon. Dr. Navinchandra Ramgoolam,
Prime Minister of Mauritius, will inaugurate PBD Mauritius 2012 on October 27.
Shri. Vayalar Ravi, Hon. Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs, Government of
India, will address the gathering. Hon. Rajkeswur Purryag, President of the
Republic of Mauritius, will be the Chief Guest at the Closing Ceremony on
October 28, 2012.
PBD Mauritius 2012 will be centered on a particular theme, and will also have
several pre-Convention and breakaway sessions/discussions on various issues
relevant to the Indian Diaspora including Education, Tourism, Academia, Science
& Technology, etc.. A Business Event comprising seminars/sessions aimed at
enhancing business ties between the Indian Diaspora and India is an integral
part of every regional PBD convention. The Business Event is usually held with
participation from a renowned Indian business chamber along with their partners
and counterparts in the host country. The Business Event serves as a platform
for business leaders from within the Indian Diaspora to network and forge
mutually beneficial partnerships with each other.
GOVT. OF INDIA KEEN TO SET UP
PENSION PLAN FOR SKILLED AND UNSKILLED WORKERS IN UAE
Government will sponsor an ambitious Pension and Life Insurance Fund (PLIF) for
skilled and unskilled Indian workers employed in the United Arab Emirates (UAE)
revealed MK Lokesh, India's Ambassador to the UAE.
from the Ministry of Indian Overseas Affairs (MOIA) will promote the scheme
among the workers. Bank of Baroda, the only Indian bank with a fully-fledged
banking operation in the UAE, has been selected as the bank for the scheme. The
Dubai-based Indian Workers Resource Centre (IWRC), a support centre for Indian
expatriates, will also have a major role in the scheme.
scheme offers three important benefits; help skilled and unskilled workers save
money for their old age, they will have financial means when they go back home
and life insurance cover for Rupees 100,000 during their work abroad.
between the age of 18 and 50 who hold Emigration Clearance Required (ECR)
passports are eligible to enroll in the scheme. About 65 per cent of more than
two million Indians in the UAE are blue-collar workers.
Government will provide a contribution of up to Rupees2,000 per year for male
workers and Rupees 3000 per year for women workers for up to either five years
or until the worker returns home, whichever is earlier.
A worker with
a bank account has to contribute a minimum of Rupees 5,000 per annum towards the
scheme. The pension fund requires a contribution of between Rupees 1000 and
12,000 per annum and the return and resettlement fund requires a minimum of
NO SERVICE TAX ON NRI
government in India has decided not to charge NRIs the proposed service tax on
their overseas remittances. The earlier proposal to impose 12.36% service tax on
NRIs' remittances had generated resentment. The commissioner for NRI affairs had
taken up the matter with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for review of the
decision to levy service tax.
NRIs CAN BE NOMINEES FOR
of India has allowed NRIs to be appointed as nominees by sole holders of the 6.5
per cent or eight per cent savings bond in respect of interest or redemption
value of the investment. The nomination would have to be registered in the books
of the bank or agencies. Until present, NRIs were not eligible to invest in
these bonds nor were allowed to be nominees.
UNIQUE CARDS FOR NRIs
government has decided to launch a unique card for NRIs of Punjab origin to
enable them to show their identity for any official work.
Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal said, "Punjab has to involve NRIs in the
process of development by assuring them total support of the state government
and offering them legal support in their cases."
would be able to apply for this card on the website of NRI department.
identity to the NRIs for every official purpose, the card would assure quality
medicare and discounts on shopping in Punjab.
comprehensive website and portal of NRI Affairs department has been finalised
and would become operational next month. A 24-hour NRI helpline would register
complaints of NRIs from next month.
expressing concern over forcible possession of properties of NRIs, Badal has
issued directions to initiate amendments in the law to ensure protection of
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