September 15, 2012
A Publication of the Global
Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO)
September 15, 2012
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GOPIO TO LAUNCH GADAR
CENTENNIAL COMMEMORATION IN THE US ON OCT. 20TH IN WASH., DC
The Global Organization of People of India Origin (GOPIO International) is
launching GOPIO Gadar Centennial Commemoration in the USA with a Gadar lecture
seminar followed by a major announcement on October 20, 2012 at the National
Press Club in Washington, DC. The program starts at 2:00pm and concludes at
The event is
being coordinated by the GOPIO Gadar Centennial Commemoration team in
collaboration with the GOPIO chapters in Metro Washington DC, Maryland and
Virginia region along with several officials, executives, academicians,
historians and descendants of Gadar heroes. The launch is supported by Indian
Ambassador Nirupama Rao, who plans on attending.
Program at National Press Club:
2:00pm Seminar on Gadar Centennial on Theme: The Gadar Freedom Movement
3:30pm Press Announcement
complimentary; advance registration required.
GOPIO plans on
holding a series of consecutive lecture seminars beginning in early 2013 in
major US cities, highlighting the history and lessons of the Gadar Movement as a
significant diaspora initiative in the struggle for the independence of India.
These events are being planned for: Washington, DC; Los Angeles; New York;
Houston, Atlanta; Miami; Boston; Chicago; Seattle; culminating in the finale on
November 1, 2013 in San Francisco at the site of the Gadar Hall.
reported in the September, 1, 2012 GOPIO's News Bulletin, GOPIO is collaborating
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. In addition
to events at PBD2013, GOPIO plans on holding a GOPIO 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.
registration details and further information on GOPIO Gadar Centennial
Commemoration at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, please contact
national GOPIO Gadar Centennial Commemoration coordinators: Inder Singh at email@example.com;
Ashook Ramsaran at Ramsaran@aol.com; Dr
Piyush Agrawal firstname.lastname@example.org or Dr
Renuka Misra at email@example.com
KOCHI IS VENUE FOR GOPIO
CONVENTION ON JAN. 5-6, 2013
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
January 6, 2013
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 atKulathakal@yahoo.com or Convention 2013 (Kochi) Convener,
Mr. Ibrahim Khan at firstname.lastname@example.org
GOPIO INVITES NOMINATIONS FOR COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARDS (CSA) 2013
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.
MOIA's INDIAN CENTRE FOR
MIGRATION ANNOUNCES INTERNSHIP PROGRAM
The India Centre for Migration (ICM), a 'not for profit' society established by
the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA), invites suitably qualified
candidates for its internship programs with opportunities for young and dynamic
students to explore the field of international migration. ICM seeks to lead
'evidence based' work on international migration to support informed policy
making and enable strategic interventions for a coherent and harmonised response
to the transnational movement of people. To this end, ICM partners with
individuals, institutions and governments to drive empirical, analytical and
policy related research; enhance capacities and pilot good practices in
international migration and its governance.
Internship at ICM is designed to bring together talent from across the globe to
understand and support ICM's work and also provide excellent learning
opportunities for ICM's interns. Through practical work assignments and
interactions with key stakeholders involved in migration management in India,
the internship programme aims to enhance the educational experience of ICM's
interns. ICM seeks to encourage students from diverse backgrounds and
disciplines to explore new ideas and media to respond to the opportunities and
challenges posed in migration. Expected outcomes of the internship programme are
not confined to research papers or presentations, and may include innovative
research within the scope of migration.
It is intended to enhance the scope of work for mutual benefit, with ICM
providing interns mentors at ICM. The scope for flexibility in our internship
programme is reflected in the types of internship being offered, namely,
on-site, off-site (under the supervision of a partner institution) and part-time
internship (a combination of on-site and off-site internship).There are two (2)
types of internships: (a) The ICM Junior Internship Programme (ICM-JIP) provides
undergraduate and graduate students a platform to explore the various dimensions
to issues related to international migration, and (b) ICM Young Scholars'
Internship Programme (ICM-YSIP) is geared towards individuals who have already
completed their graduate programme and/or are enrolled for an MPhil/PhD
The aspiring candidates may apply in the prescribed application format provided
by ICM with the following attachments: A copy of synopsis approved by the
university, with a designated supervisor, or (if submitted) an executive summary
of the dissertation/thesis; Project synopsis for internship on any of the
international migration themes stated above and a timeframe required with a
detailed plan of action for completing the study; A recommendation letter from
the supervisor/department concerned supporting the candidate's application, duly
endorsed by the Head of the Department; Updated curriculum vitae (CV).
Applications are invited throughout the year with a maximum of twelve (12)
internship positions available for each year. All candidates selected for
internship at ICM shall be granted a stipend commensurate with their respective
qualification and experience during the course of their internship.
Applications to intern at ICM and requests for further details can made at email@example.com\
GOPIO INTERNATIONAL AND
GOPIO CONDEMNS VIOLENT
PROTESTS IN AFRICA & MIDDLE EAST
Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) expressed "strong and
unequivocal condemnation of the recent and continuing wave of violent protests
in Africa and the Middle East directed against foreign persons as well as own
citizens, resulting in the unnecessary loss of many innocent lives, damage,
social unrest and fear among law abiding citizens of the affected countries and
statement released on September 17, 2012 read in part: "We join with several
community organizations and agencies in our condemnation of these violent
actions. We also convey our condolences to the families of the victims and offer
prayers for the speedy recovery of those injured. While we acknowledge the
indisputable right to lawful protest, we urge all concerned parties to resolve
disagreements and conflicts in non-violent and peaceful ways. We fully support
all measures being taken by local police and security personnel to bring
security, calm and confidence to the people and urge all efforts be made to stop
the violent protests and prevent similar attacks in the future".
GOPIO-YOUTH COUNCIL ENDORSED
MISS INDIA PAGEANT A GRAND SUCCESS
Inc hosted the third Miss India Connecticut Pageant on September 9, 2012 in New
Haven, CT, at the Shubert Theater from 4pm to 7pm with the theme "Unity in
Diversity". Endorsed GOPIO Youth Council, this year's pageant was hosted by
Gujarati Association of Connecticut. It was a sold-out event with 1,400 people
attending the show. New Haven Mayor John DeStefano Jr. extended a warm welcome
to the pageant and released the souvenir brochure.
Following a V.I.P. cocktail reception, sponsored by Indian Master
Chef Prasad Chirnomula, the culinaryvisionary
and owner of Thali & OaxacaKitchen,
attendees of the Miss India CT 2012 Pageant made their way to their seats at New
Haven's triple-tier Shubert Theater. Over the next three hours, the audience was
entertained and enthralled by the talent demonstrations and colorful dresses
worn by the 17 Pageant contestants, dance performances, knockout medleys from
Indian Idol Mohit Lalwani and hilarious stand-up comedy from Dan Nainan.
Bollywood choreographer Rajeev Khinchi stole the show with his dramatic
choreography and Bollywood dances. Shalini
Madaras from Kick for Nick Foundation inspired the audience with her mission. This
was all a lead-up to the grand finale.
The Miss India
CT Pageant 2012 winner Ronita Choudhuri, who was also recognized as Miss
Popular, will have the opportunity to travel on a chartered flight to Guatemala
on September 29, 2012,as part of AmeriCares' Airlift Benefit. The Pageant
Runner-Up is Preeti Srinivasan, who was also named Miss Facebook. Other special award winners
are: Aesha Patel - Miss Smile; Khushbu Amin - Miss Catwalk; Manjula Bangalore -
Miss Photogenic; Mona Sheth - Miss Congeniality; Anesha Agarwal - Miss Talent;
and Shayla Ranmal - Miss Best Dressed.
Connecticut is not only a beauty pageant but also a movementto bring a greater
assimilation of Indian Americans with the local American community. "We believe
that respecting other cultures, respecting other religions and getting respected
for our own is the way to live in peace and harmony. Keeping that as a motto,
the Pageant's theme this year was set as Unity in Diversity," said Diva America
President Mrs. Anita Bhat who is also serving as the National Director for GOPIO
Connecticut is also the first beauty pageant to introduce BMI (Body Mass Index)
as one of the selection criteria for the contestants. "We believe that the
Fashion Industry influences our next generation in its attitude towards health
and fitness. To target the Fashion Industry, we have introduced BMI and we hope
that by bringing this awareness, we can help reduce obesity, anorexia, bulimia,
low self-esteem and depression amongst the next generation. If we succeed in
bringing about this change in other beauty pageants, it will be historic!"
Mrs. Bhat commented.
Diva has been
engaging several local Indian American community groups. The Pageant was
endorsed by CAPI (Connecticut Association of Physicians of Indian Origin), AAPI
(American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin), YMCA and GOPIO (Global
Organization of People of Indian Origin) Youth Council.
clockwise from top left (1) New Haven Mayor John DeStefano Jr. releases the
souvenir brochure, from l. to r.: Dr. Thomas Abraham, Mayor DeStafano, Anita
Bhat and Meera Banta, (2) Miss-India Connecticut Pageant Winner Ronita Choudhuri
with Runner-Up Preeti Srinivasan, (3) Diva America President Anita Bhat, Winner
Ronita Choudhri and AmeriCares CEO Curt Welling, (4) Pageant winner with
organizer Anita Bhat and other contestants.
team presented a spectacular show with seven different classical dances of India
simultaneously on the stage, which was a unique offering at the Pageant. All of
this, in addition to the talent shows by brilliant contestants and Bollywood,
Folk and fusion dances by the talented local community, showcased magical India
for the audience. Michael Morand, Deputy Chief of Communication at Yale
University, and celebrity TV anchor Kanika Chadda entertained the audience as
Emcees. Celebrity Chef Maneet Chauhan, award-winning filmmaker Tom George
Kolath, Executive Director of IAAC Aroon Shivdasani, Yale University
Associate Professor Bonnie Fleming, President & CEO of AmeriCares
Curt Welling, President and CEO of YMCA Greater Hartford James Morton and
Ex-President of AAPI Dr. Sunita Kanumury were on the Pageant's esteemed panel of
GOPIO-TEL AVIV ORGANIZED VITIS
TO INDIAN EMBASSY TO STRENGTHEN TIES BETWEEN INDIA & ISRAEL
The GOPIO-Tel Aviv Chapter organized its 2nd visit to the Indian Embassy in order
to strengthening social and cultural ties between Israel and India. The event
occurred in August 2012.
On August 1st 2012,
GOPIO officials visited the four ships of the Indian Navy at the Haifa Port, in
Israel. That was a goodwill visit to the country and occurred from July 30th 2012
to August 2nd 2012.
Navy has commissioned the Israeli public to tour the boats as a way of
strengthening ties between the two countries. The names of the ships are
INS TRISHUL, INS ADITYA, INS MUMBAI, and INS GOMATI.
Tel-Aviv Chapter received the notification, the members organized a group of 120
Israeli Indians, including adults and children, from the central part of the
country to visit the ships. In addition, other groups also visited the ships
from around the country.
The tour of
the ship began around 10:15 A.M. Indian soldiers gave visitors a very warm
welcome and a guided tour of the ships. Everyone was allowed to take pictures of
the soldiers and the ships for their families back home. Light refreshment was
served to all.
was very pleasant. Indian soldiers were very happy to see such a great group of
Indians from Israel and said that the visit of so many people of Indian origin
warmed their hearts. All participants from Israel were also very glad about this
meeting and the rare opportunity of exposing their children and grandchildren to
their unique Indian roots.
after the tour of the ships, around 12:00 noon, GOPIO representatives, along
with the other groups, they all went to Elijah Cave and celebrated the
traditional thanksgiving ceremony of the Bene Israeli Jews called "Malida".
There the congregation sat around a plate full of roasted, puffed rice, fruits,
spices and flowers, and sang songs in praising Prophet Wlijah as the precursor
"Gate of Mercy" Synagogue in Haifa hosted the group. This synagogue has a rich
history of the Indian Jews.
later visited The Israel National Museum of Science, Technology and Space in
Haifa where everyone can explore, experience, discover and learn through play
GOPIO INTERNATIONAL AND ITS
NEW YORK AREA CHAPTERS TO HOST SOUTH AFRICA PIO DELEGATION IN NEW YORK CITY
GOPIO is hosting a talk and dinner reception with PIO delegation from South
Africa who will talk on the topic PIOs of South Africa -
History, Achievements & Opportunities to be given by prominent members of
the delegation, including Rita Abraham of Durban, South Africa. It will be held
on Wed, September 19, 6.30 pm at Bombay Palace Restaurant, 30
West 52nd Street (bet. 5th and
6thAve.) Tel: 1-212-541-7777.
Contribution: $40 per person (includes soft drinks, wine & beer).
delegation from South Africa is visiting New York to attend the "Global Indian
Business Meet" (GIBM) which is being organized by the New Global Indian (NGI)
The program is
being coordinated by Dr Renuka Misra, GOPIO National Coordinator USA and Mr
Satruhan Sukdeo, President of GOPIO Upper New York chapter. Guests include Amb.
Prabhu Dayal, Consul General of India in New York and Amb. Milan Meeterbhan,
Consul General of Mauritius in New York.
Persons of Indian origin (PIOs) in South Africa,
approximately 1,400,000 representing 2.5% of total population of 49,000,000, are
descendents of indentured immigrant laborers from colonial India during late
19th-century through early 20th-century, with the first arrivals in 1860.large
concentrations of PIOs in Durban and Natal.
your participation by email to program coordinators: Dr Renuka Misra at 732-647-
5978, E-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org or Mr Satruhan Sukdeo at 347-429-1924
GOPIO SUPPORTS 17th ANNUAL MAHATMA GANDHI PEACE MARCH
IN NEW YORK
its Cultural Council, joins with several other prominent community organizations
in support of the 17th Annual Mahatma
Gandhi Peace March being held on September 30, 2012 in observance of Mahatma
Gandhi's birthday (October 2). The Peace March begins at 2:00pm from Liberty
Avenue and 123rd Street to
the Arya Spiritual Center ground in Richmond Hill, Queens, New York.
March, sponsored and organized by the Federation of Hindu Mandirs, is to be
followed by a Cultural Presentation which includes the 2012 Mahatma Gandhi
lecture by Mr Satruhan Sukdeo, President of GOPIO Upper New York chapter, plus
the presentation of the GANDHI PEACE PRIZE 2012 to a prominent and deserving
Veerapen, Co-Chair of GOPIO Cultural Council remarked that, "we feel honored,
yet obligated, to hold this annual peace march in commemoration of the birthday
of one of the most influential persons of all time". Veerapen is also proposing
a GOPIO sponsored conference in 2013 to coincide with Mahatma Gandhi's birthday
in 2013. The theme of the conference is based on Mahatma Gandhi's non-violence
initiatives that influenced the civil rights marches and successes in
the USA through the late Dr Martin Luther King which made it possible for more
non-Caucasians, including Indians and persons of Indian origin, to come
the USA as immigrants.
and further information, please contact Naidoo Veerapen, Co-Chair of GOPIO
Cultural Council at email@example.com
GOPIO INITIATES CHAPTER
IN DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA
months of planning and coordination initiated by Loshni Naidoo in collaboration
with Munish Gupta (Regional Coordinator, Africa), GOPIO Durban chapter has been
Officers of the newly formed GOPIO Durban chapter are:
President - Sudesh Maharaj
Vice President - Dr Kinesh Pather
Secretary - Urmilla (Molly) Patel (Head of HRC)
Treasurer - Pankaj Doorgaparsad
Joint Secretary - Gerelene Jagganath
SA Co-ordinator/ Facilitator - Loshni Naidoo
said that by joining GOPIO, "we can partake in an organization that will be
there to assist in addressing some of the needs of the Indians in South Africa.
This will allow South African Indians to be part of and build a better South
African society for all".
Persons of Indian origin (PIOs) in South Africa,
approximately 1,400,000 representing 2.5% of total population of 49,000,000, are
descendents of indentured immigrant laborers from colonial India during late
19th-century through early 20th-century, with the first arrivals in 1860. Large
concentrations of PIOs are in cities of Durban and Natal.
and further information, please contact Loshni Naidoo at firstname.lastname@example.org
IN SHIVAJI UNIVERSITY DIASPORA CONFERENCE
Organization of People of India Origin (GOPIO International) participated in an
international lecture series on "Empowering Rural Youth" held on Monday, 10thSeptember, 2012 organized and held at
Shivaji University (Kolhapur, Maharashtra) in association with the Ministry of
Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) and Dnyaneshwar Mulay Education Society (DMES).
The conference was coordinated by Dr. Vasanti Rasam, head of the Program
Organizing Committee, Program Anchor and Kurbushan Birnale, Head, Program
Session 1: (10:30am to
12:30pm) Inaugural Function - Lamp Lighting & Felicitation Program
Speakers: Hon'ble Vice Chancellor Dr. N. J. Pawar (Shivaji University); Video
Message by Amb Dnyaneshwar Mulay (Indian High commissioner to Maldives); Video
Message by Mr. Ashook Ramsaran (President of GOPIO International); Dr. Didar
Singh (former Secretary of MOIA); Video Message by Hon'ble Minister Mr. Vayalar
Ravi (Minister of MOIAI).
Session II: (1:30pm to
3:30pm) Panel Discussion on "Building
the 21st Century Business Enterprises"
Upjitsingh Sachdeva (Honorary Consul of India in Liberia): Vision for building the
competent global business houses; Dr. Gajanan Sabnis (Distinguished Member
of American Society of Civil Engineers and Emeritus
Professor, Howard University, USA): Present Global Economy -
Challenges & Opportunities for Indian Business World; Dr. Didar Singh: "Role of World-class human
resources and Technology in building the successful enterprises"; Hon'ble
Vice Chancellor Dr. N. J. Pawar: Universities as Business
Research Centers ; Amb Dnyaneshwar Mulay: India's super power
aspiration - Share of business sector; Video Message by Mr. Ashook
Ramsaran: Indo-US business
relations and road ahead.
Open Discussion/ Question Answers Session.
Session III: (4:00pm to
6:00pm) Panel Discussion on "Role
of Quality Education in Nation Building, upcoming global challenges and road
Upjitsingh Sachdeva (Liberia): Importance of skills
development in academics; Dr. Gajanan Sabnis: Need of Integration between
Campus and Corporate; Dr. Didar Singh: Excellence in Administration
and Academics in educational institute; Hon'ble Vice Chancellor Dr. N. J.
Pawar: Promoting the
Innovation, creativity and research facilities; Video Message by Amb
Dnyaneshwar Mulay: Global
outlook of Indian education system and road ahead; Video Message by Mr.
Ashook Ramsaran: Pervasive
comparison of Western and Indian Education System.
Open Discussion/ Question Answers Session.
of Understanding (MoU) was signed during the Inaugural Function by GOPIO and
DMES to collaborate for building better connectivity and bringing the untapped
assets and expertise of the worldwide Indian Diaspora and the communities in
rural and urban areas
of India as well as other countries of the Indian Diaspora.
GOPIO-TEL AVIV JOINS INDIA
INDEPENDECE DAY CELEBRATIONS
On August 15th 2012, GOPIO members attended the
Independence Day function, along with 70 people of Indian origin who
participated in the flag hoisting ceremony and the other cultural activities
that took place at H.E. Navtege Sarna's residence.
Sarna ended his 4 years' term as India's Ambassador to Israel. GOPIO chapter is
grateful to Mr. Sarna for being active in promoting cultural ties between India
and Israel. He was the first Ambassador to begin the custom of India Festival in
Israel since 2010.
GOPIO members and others were pleased to attend the different functions of arts,
classical music and dance, cultural shows and movies organized by Mr. Sarna from
India. These events helped tremendously in maintaining tradition and connection
with the land of our birth.
PROF. SOMASUNDARAN ELECTED AS
THE SOLE FOREIGN FELLOW OF ROYAL SOCIETY OF CANANDA
Prof. Ponisseril Somasundaran will be inducted as one of the newest Fellows of
the Royal Society of Canada in a ceremony on November 17th in Ottawa, the only one from outside
Canada to be elected this year. A member of the faculty of Columbia University
School of Engineering and Applied Science since 1970, Dr. Somasundaran has been
honored in many countries.
Dr. Somasundaran is currently Director of the National Science Foundation I/UCR
Center for Advanced Studies in Novel Surfactants and Langmuir Center for
Colloids and Interfaces. He was one of the youngest members to be elected in
1985 to the National Academy of Engineering, the highest possible distinction
then in engineering in the U.S. He was awarded Padma Shri by the Indian
Government in 2010. He has authored 15 books and close to 700 scientific
publications and patents.
INDIAN-ORIGIN JUDGE NAMED
SINGAPORE'S NEW CHIEF JUSTICE
Sundaresh Menon has been named as the new Chief Justice of Singapore, making him
the first from the community to head the courts. Presently Singapore's Judge of
Appeal, he will assume the office of the Chief Justice from November 6.
Reacting to his appointment, Justice Menon said, "I am greatly honored and
privileged to be entrusted with this awesome responsibility; and humbled by the
caliber of those who have been so entrusted before me".
Menon obtained his Master of Laws from Harvard University, after graduating with
First Class Honors in Law from the National University of Singapore.
Justice Menon has been a leading lawyer and later became Singapore's Attorney
General before he was appointed to the position of Judge of Appeal. Chief
Justice Chan has served in the public service for 26 years, including six years
as Chief Justice.
OBAMA APPOINTS ROMESH WADHWANI
AS TRUSTEE OF KENNEDY CENTER
Romesh T. Wadhwani, Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Palo Alto, a California-based
Symphony Technology Group, has been appointed by President Barack Obama to the
board of trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in
Symphony Technology Group is a strategic private equity firm that invests in
software and services companies. The company's portfolio of 15 global companies
has combined revenues of $2.5 billion and 15,000 employees worldwide.
In announcing the appointment of Wadhwani and other new appointees Aug. 31,
Obama said, "These dedicated men and women bring a wealth of experience and
talent to their new roles and I am proud to have them serve in this
administration. I look forward to working with them in the months and years to
Before Symphony, Wadhwani was Founder, Chairman and CEO of software and
information technology companies, including Aspect Development, which was
acquired in 1999 by i2 technologies for $9.3 billion, the largest merger at that
time in the software sector.
Forbes 2012 listed him in 634th place worldwide on its billionaires list with a
net worth of $2 billion.
BRITISH INDIAN ENTREPRENEUR;
TWO OTHERS HONORED IN UK
A leading NRI entrepreneur and two other people were honored in London for their
outstanding contribution to Heart and Stroke Research and their support to the
Northwick Park Institute for Medical Research.
Atul Pathak, Managing Director of Appt Corporation Limited, Northwick Park
Institute for Medical Research founder Colin Green and Dominic Grieve, MP,
Attorney General, received a trophy each for their "invaluable support over the
years." The trophy was handed over to them by Dr. Rami Ranger, Chairman of the
Golden Heart Club.
The Northwick Park Institute was set up in 1994 and is one of the UK's leading
charity-based independent Medical Research Institutes, working to translate
ground-breaking medical research into patient care. It is affiliated with
University College London which is consistently rated as one of the top five
medical schools in the world.
US EPA HONORS CSU's NEELAM
SHARMA AS ENVIRONMENTAL HERO
The US Environmental Protection Agency's Pacific Southwest Region named Neelam
Sharma of Community Services Unlimited of Los Angeles as 'Environmental Justice
Champion' among the 12 winners for the 2012 annual Environmental Awards to
acknowledge significant contributions to protecting the environment.
Community Services Unlimited Inc. (CSU) is a 501c3 established in 1977 and
headquartered in South Central Los Angeles. It has created community programs
and organized campaigns like the Early Safe Seniors to the more recent Free
Medical Screening Program and the most recent From the Ground Up.
Sharma currently serves as executive director for CSU and has worked with CSU in
various capacities since moving to Los Angeles in 1996.
Over the years, she has been involved in the creation of an employee rights
center, several campaigns against racist attacks, police abuse, and illegal
deportations, and a campaign against spousal abuse within her own community of
immigrants from the Indian subcontinent.
INDIAN AMERICAN DIRECTOR'S
THRILLER WINS ANOTHER US AWARD
'9 Eleven', a Bollywood-style thriller by Indian American director Manan Singh
Katohara, has won the Best Narrative Feature Award at the 2012 Third World
Independent Film Festival ( TWIFF).
The San Francisco festival celebrates established and emerging filmmakers from
third world countries and filmmakers from developed countries whose topics deal
with issues of the developing world. The film earlier won the Best Feature and
Best Director awards at the 2012 World Music & Independent Film Festival (WMIFF)
Written and directed by Katohora, who also won the 2012 Rising Star Award for
the film at Canada International Film Festival, the fast paced thriller with
undertones of terrorism, poses the question how does one survive collectively in
meeting the growing phenomenon of terrorism head on.
It portrays the life of 11 people terrorized to the core by an unknown entity in
an unfamiliar place. Each individual is petrified and is hesitant to talk or
take each other into confidence for one simple reason: The fear of the unknown!
NRIs AND PIOs NEWS FEATURES
TWO RECENT IRS DEVELOPMENTS
THAT WILL IMPACT INDIAN AMERICANS
Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has been focusing heavily on tracking offshore
accounts of its residents and citizens. Two developments in the last two weeks
which will impact Indian Americans:
1. Tax Evasion
green card holders and citizens are required to comply with the following:
income earned from offshore assets and pay tax on those assets in the US.
Interest and dividends from foreign financial assets must be disclosed on
Schedule B on the Form 1040. Foreign financial assets must also be declared in
Form 8938 along with Form 1040.
Must file the
FBAR if they have a financial interest in, or signature or other authority over,
a financial account in a foreign country with assets in excess of $10,000
comply with these can attract civil as well as criminal penalties. Civil
penalties can be as high as 50% of the account balances in addition to penal
interest and criminal penalties can extend to up to 10 years imprisonment.
If you have
been a defaulter, inadvertently or otherwise, Jim Mastracchio, Partner at
Washington DC based law firm Baker Hostetler advices, "The IRS is encouraging
people to enter the 2012 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP). Through
the OVDP, the IRS is allowing non-compliant taxpayers to come into compliance
without the risk of criminal penalties and with a reduced rate of civil
penalties. We have seen that if the process is followed correctly, the OVDP can
be an effective means to come into compliance."
disclosure, that is, filing amended returns for delinquent years and hoping the
IRS will not notice is becoming less and less of an option. "The filing of an
amended income tax return has heighted audit risk (probably significantly
greater than the original filed return). The filing of a delinquent FBAR also
has heighted audit risk (probably significantly greater than a timely filed
FBAR)," says Parag Patel, a tax attorney at New Jersey based law firm Patel Law
With the new
regulation FATCA (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act) now almost imminent, the
IRS is soon going to get more details about foreign financial accounts. Most
experts agree that there is going to be little scope to say 'I am not going to
report small accounts.'
2. New filing procedure for
non-resident US taxpayers
from September 1st 2012, a new IRS procedure went into effect to help 'low
compliance risk' US citizens and green card holders living abroad to comply with
their offshore disclosures., termed as 'EZPass' or 'Express OVDP' for
non-resident US taxpayers.
initiative is targeted at 'taxpayers who have recently become aware of their
filing obligations and now seek to come into compliance with the law.' The IRS
clarifies that this new procedure does not provide protection from criminal
prosecution if the IRS and Department of Justice determine that the taxpayer's
particular circumstances warrant such prosecution.
This procedure is available for non-resident US taxpayers who have resided
outside of the US since January 1, 2009 and who have not filed a US tax return
during the same period. However, these taxpayers must present a low level of
compliance risk (discussed in next point)
risk - In the absence of any high risk factors, if the submitted returns and
application show less than $1,500 in tax due in each of the years, they will be
treated as low risk and processed in a streamlined manner. The risk level may
rise under several circumstances such as if the return filed under this program
is an amended return or it the taxpayer has not declared all of his/her income
in his/her country of residence or if the taxpayer is under audit or
investigation by the IRS etc.
participate - You must submit complete and accurate delinquent tax returns and
mention 'Streamlined' at the top of the return to indicate that these returns
are being filed under the new initiative. You must also pay all the taxes due
along with interest and penalty, if any, for delay. You must also submit a
questionnaire as prescribed by the IRS to present your compliance risk profile.
One can find
the entire process on the IRS website - www.irs.gov
NEWS OF INTEREST TO NRIs
AND PIOs AROUND THE WORLD
GLOBAL INDIAN BUSINESS MEET ON
SEPTEMBER 20-23, 2012 IN NEW YORK
The New Global
Indian (NGI) group has scheduled a "Global Indian Business Meet" (GIBM) to be
held on September 20-23, 2012 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York,USA. The
theme of this global event is "Managing Business in
Challenging Times - the Indian Way - with Global Networking for Entrepreneurship
and Inclusive Growth". According to organizer Kanchan Banerjee, the overall
objective is to "to inspire and strategize; to explore new opportunities; and to
network and support. Specifically, to impact global business, and thereby human
development, by taking the best Indian run enterprises and the new
resurgent India to the world, thus chartering new avenues for investment,
partnership, entrepreneurship and building sustainable growth models."
to bring together Indian origin CEOs and heads of businesses from around the
world, leaders from various Indian, North American and other states and cities
along with entrepreneurs and investors. It is billed as India-focused global
business platform with participation of the Indian Diaspora from more than 25
countries in New York City, the center of global business. GIBM intends for this
event to meet as a global platform for forward-thinking Indians living all over
the globe, connecting them to generate resources, interactions, visibility,
branding, networking, technology and knowledge share, business partnerships, new
ideas and investment opportunities.
event includes several business conference sessions in global investment,
partnerships, entrepreneurships and networking. An array of suitably qualified
speakers has been selected for the sessions with experts for keynote
presentations. The evening inauguration, receptions and gala dinner include
prominent VIPs and notables from various regions of the Indian Diaspora.
includes: Business Leaders' Summit; Entrepreneurs' Summit; Investors' Summit;
India Business Summit; Partnership Summit.
details and registration: Email: email@example.com Website: www.gibm2012.org
REMITTANCES FROM NRIs
According to a
study conducted by the RBI, remittances made by overseas Indians from Gulf
countries accounted for an average of 27% of the total remittance inflows.
has launched the Mahatma Gandhi Pravasi Suraksha Yojana (MGPSY) for Indian
workers holding Emigration Check Required (ECR) passports and a valid work
permit in an ECR country. By providing a co-contribution from the Government,
this scheme encourages and enables Overseas Indian Workers to save for their
return and resettlement and to save for their old age. This also provides a free
life insurance cover against natural death during the period of coverage, under
The following facilities are also available to returning NRIs/PIOs:
Returning NRIs/PIOs may continue to hold, own, transfer or invest in foreign
currency, foreign security or any immovable property situated outside India, if
such currency, security or property was acquired, held or owned when resident
The income and sale proceeds of assets held abroad need not be repatriated.
NRIs /PIOs may open, hold and maintain with an authorized dealer in India a
Resident Foreign Currency (RFC) Account to transfer balances held in
Non-Resident (External) Rupee/Foreign Currency Non-Residential NRE/FCNR(B)
(b) Proceeds of assets held outside
India at the time of return can be credited to RFC account.
(c) The funds in RFC accounts are
free from all restrictions regarding utilization of foreign currency balances
including any restriction on investment in any form outside India.
(d) RFC accounts can be maintained
in the form of current or savings or term deposit accounts, where the account
holder is an individual and in the form of current or term deposits in all other
information was given by the Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs,
Shri Vayalar Ravi.
19 US SENATORS CALL FOR
TRACKING SIKH HATE CRIEMS
senators, led by California Senator Dianne Feinstein, issued a bipartisan letter
to Attorney General Eric Holder, urging the Justice Department to track hate
crimes against Sikhs.
the August 5 attack against Sikh worshipers in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, and the
persistence of hate crimes against Sikh Americans, the senators noted that
"Sikhs are particularly susceptible to violence committed because of their Sikh
the letter, "it is important to collect data on hate crimes committed against
Sikhs because this data can identify trends and help federal, state and local
law enforcement agencies properly allocate resources."
that the Justice Department and FBI track hate crimes against Sikhs is a
longstanding demand of the Sikh Coalition, the nation's largest Sikh civil
rights organization. In April, working with the Sikh Coalition, Congressman
Joseph Crowley led over 90 members of the House of Representatives, calling on
the Justice Department to begin tracking hate crimes against Sikhs.
grateful that more than 100 members of Congress have supported our call for
improved data collection by the Justice Department," said Rajdeep Singh,
director of Law and Policy for the Sikh Coalition. "It is impossible to address
a problem unless it is being measured, and Sikhs who experience hate crimes at
the very least deserve the dignity of being a statistic."
BRITISH INDIAN CHEF MAKES
CURRY TO STAVE OFF COUGH, COLD
chef Anjum Anand has made an immune-boosting curry using humble ingredients like
garlic, cinnamon and chillies which she claims can ward off illness.
BBC2's Indian Cooking Made Easy, Anand said that a dish made with vitamin
C-packed ingredients like pomegranate seeds and fenugreek leaves has healing
powers and can fight infection.
food are like medicine in Indian families and I wanted to make a simple,
immune-boosting dish. I read research showing that fenugreek leaves were rich in
Vitamin C," Anand said.
"They are also
very tasty so I have combined them with superfoods like pomegranate seeds," she
said. British nutritionists have backed her claims.
FIVE-YEAR TOURIST VISA FOR
PARENTS OF AUSTRALIANS
Government has decided to give five-year tourist visas for parents of Australian
citizens and permanent residents to enable them to visit their families. The
five-year tourist visa holders can stay up to 12 months on each entry. The grant
of long term visa is expected to start by the end of this year and will be
considered on a case-by-case basis.
An applicant for the tourist visa must meet Australia's health and character
requirements, have access to adequate funds and have health insurance to cover
any healthcare costs during their stay.
FOREIGN REMITTANCE TO INDIA
REACHED OVER $66 BILLION IN 2011-2012
over $66.13 billion in remittances in the years 2011-12 as compared to $55.62
billion in the previous year. In 2009-10, India received $53.63 billion while in
2008-09, the amount was $46.9 billion. During the first half of 2009-10,
remittances from Gulf countries were about 27 per cent of the total remittances
INDIAN STUDENTS AT LMU
PROMISED HELP BY UK
The license to
recruit non-UK and non-European students to London Metropolitan University has
been revoked. Many Indian students who were affected by the cancellation of the
license, now has a ray of hope. A student helpline is being set up to
enable their transfers to other UK universities that are willing to sponsor the
1, 2012, the UK Border Agency will be writing to each student and give them
detailed instructions on what to do. Overseas students pay higher fees
than UK and European students, an average of about $10,000 pounds. The
also spend a similar sum on living costs. UK has established a $2 million
pound fund to help legitimate overseas students of LMU to transfer to other UK
universities. The fund is meant to assist with extra costs which the students
may have to incur in transferring to other universities.
HUGE RISE IN INDIAN STUDENTS
in the West have been wooing Indian students to enroll in their campuses. They
have organized education fairs, road shows and special admission campaigns to
encourage them to pick up brochures that show college life in Europe.
During the last decade, the number of Indian students in foreign countries
has grown by 256%.
students from north India sought admission for higher education in universities
in the West but increasingly, the number of students from Gujarat and the
southern states have also been on the increase. And when it comes to
scholarships and grants, most of them are bagged by students from southern
In 2000, more
than 53,000 Indians went abroad but at the end of the decade, the number went up
to 190,000. The US attracted the largest number, while UK came in a close
second. Australia has been aggressive in seeking Indian students to enroll in
their universities. Germany and France are also attracting Indian students.
Indian students are now exploring Sweden, Italy and Ireland, where cost of
education is considerably cheaper.
US EMBASSY IN DELHI UNVEILS
FASTER VISA CLEARANCE SYSTEM
The US embassy
has unveiled a new visa application processing system starting from September
26, 2012. The new system utilizes the Internet and mobile phones for fee
payment and scheduling appointments for interviews. The collection of
biometric data has been outsourced but visa interviews will continue to happen
at the US embassy or consulates. The new system is expected to reduce the number
of people visiting the US embassy or consulate for visa applications.
will be able to fill out forms or apply directly online, pay visa application
fees, schedule appointments for the collection of biometric data and fix an
interview at the US embassy or consulate by visiting the new website. They can
also make appointment by calling the call center agents who can answer questions
in English, Hindi, Punjabi, Gujarati, Tamil and Telugu.
The US is
boosting efforts to market itself as a tourist destination. The new simpler visa
system is aimed at increasing tourism between India and the US.
GOPIO LIFE MEMBERSHIP AND
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: +1-818-708-3885,
GOPIO President - Ashook Ramsaran, Fresh Meadows, New York, USA, Tel:
GOPIO Executive Vice President - Sunny Kulathakal, Bahrain, Tel: +973 39441956
or +91 9845756692, E-mail:Kulathakal@yahoo.com
GOPIO Senior Vice President - Dr Piyush Agrawal, Weston, Florida, USA, Tel:
To become a Life member of GOPIO, one can sign up online at http://gopio.net/online_membership.htm or 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 of GOPIO Intl. and Executive Trustee, GOPIO
Foundation (Stamford, CT, USA)
Editor: Nami Kaur, Secretary, GOPIO
International (New York, USA)
Mahabir, Co-Chair GOPIO Media Council, GOPIO International (Guyana-New York,
USA) and Nilofar Pardawala (Portland, Oregon, USA)
Gupta (Hyderabad, India) and Abu Thomas (New Rochelle, NY, USA)
Contributors of this
Ramsaran (President, GOPIO Intl.), Inder Singh (Chairman
of GOPIO International), Anita Bhat (USA
National Director, GOPIO Youth Council)
Contact Dr. Thomas
Abraham, Tel: 203-329-8010, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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