October 1, 2012
A Publication of the Global
Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO)
October 1, 2012
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GOPIO KOHI CONVENTION UPDATE -
KERALA TOURS ARRANGED FOR DELEGATES
GOPIO International plans 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:
January 5, 2013
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)
January 7, 2013 (9:00am -
GOPIO Executive Meeting
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 email@example.com
GOPIO ARRANGES KERALA TOURS
FOR GOPIO AND PBD2013 DELEGATES
GOPIO is collaborating with reputable tour and hospitality groups in Kerala to
provide optional tours at discounted rates for delegates attending GOPIO and
PBD2013 events in Kochi. These tours are designed to be made in advance of GOPIO
PROGRAMME 1: 5 NIGHTS & 6 DAYS
KOCHI - PERIYAR
- PERIYAR - TRIVANDRUM (KOVALM IS SOLD OUT)
- KOVALAM - HOUSEBOAT
- HOUSEBOAT - KOCHI
DEPARTURE TO GOPIO MEETING
COST PER PERSON = Rs.34900.00/
Price is based on 4-Star hotels shown or similar and on minimum16 passengers
Accommodation on twin sharing basis.
Breakfast in all hotels
Full board on the houseboat
Chauffeur driven A/C coach for transfers as per program
English Speaking Guide at Kochi and Trivandrum
Supplement for New years eve function with dinner
Entrances to all sightseeing places
Kathakali at Kochi
Kalari Payattu at Thekkady
Spice Plantation at Thekkady
Elephant Safari at Thekkady
Photo above clockwise from top left: Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Trivandrum,
Kowdiar Palace, Kovalam Beach, Munnar Tea Gardens, Periyar Wilfe Life Sanctuary
in Thekkady and House Boat in Alleppy Backwaters
PROGRAMME 2: 5 NIGHTS & 6 DAYS
KOCHI - KUMARAKOM -ALAPPUZHA
ALAPPUZHA - houseboat day cruise
ALLEPPEY - PERIYAR
PERIYAR - MUNNAR
MUNNAR - KOCHI
DEPARTURE TO GOPIO MEETING
COST PER PERSON = Rs.41950.00/
Price is based on 4-Star hotels shown or similar and on minimum 14 passengers
Accommodation on twin sharing basis.
Breakfast in all hotels
HOUSE BOAT DAY CRUISE AT ALLEPPEY WITH LUNCH & TEA / COFFEE ONLY
Chauffeur driven A/C coach for transfers as per programme
English Speaking Guide at Munnar
Supplement for New years eve function with dinner
Entrances to all sightseeing places
Kathakali at Kochi
Kalari Payattu at Thekkady
Spice Plantation at Thekkady
Elephant Safari at Thekkady
Packages do no include:
Airfare/ train fare/ bus fare other than what is mentioned
Camera/ Video fees
Any expense of personal nature
Tips, porterages, etc
Anything not mentioned ABOVE
For more information and
details, contact Convention 2013 (Kochi) Chairman, Mr. Sunny Kulathakal atKulathakal@yahoo.com+44-7812539464
(till Nov. 20th) and at +91-9845756692
(India Mobile). or Convention 2013 (Kochi)
Convener, Mr. Ibrahim Khan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
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.
PRAVASI BHARATIYA DIVAS
(PBD2013) TO BE HELD IN KOCHI on Jan 7-9, 2013
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
Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs at email@example.com
GOPIO HOSTS RECEPTION DINNER
FOR PIO DELEGATION FROM SOUTH AFRICA IN NEW YORK CITY
GOPIO International hosted a well attended and successful reception/talk/dinner
for a PIO delegation from South Africa on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at the
Bombay Palace Restaurant in New York City. The talks given by prominent members
of the delegation centered on the topic of PIOs of South Africa - History and
PIO delegation from South Africa was in town to attend the "Global Indian
Business Meet" (GIBM) organized by the New Global Indian (NGI) group.
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. They migrated during late
19th-century through early 20th-century, with the first arrivals in 1860. Large
concentrations of PIOs live in Durban and Natal.
The program was well coordinated by Dr Renuka Misra, GOPIO National Coordinator
USA and Mr Satruhan Sukdeo, President of GOPIO Upper New York Chapter. Mr
Satruhan Sukdeo chaired the program. Prominent guests included: Ambassador Milan
Meeterbhan, Permanent Representative of Mauritius to the United Nations; Hon
Rudrawatee Ramgoolam, Consul General of Trinidad & Tobago Consul General in New
York; Hon Sugandh Rajaram, Consul at Indian Consulate in New York; Counselor
Rajesh Mishra at the Permanent
Representative of India to the United Nations.
Following the welcome by Satruhan Sukdeo and formal introductions by everyone in
attendance, Dr Renuka Misra spoke to the gathering and expressed appreciation
for their participation. GOPIO International President Ashook Ramsaran welcomed
the PIO delegation from South Africa and acknowledged all the invited guests
including members of the diplomatic corps and GOPIO members. GOPIO's founding
President and Executive Director of GOPIO Foundation, Dr Thomas Abraham, spoke
about GOPIO, its history and progress in covering PIO issues in several Diaspora
Amb. Milan Meeterbhan stated that, "PIOs
from South Africa, the Caribbean and Mauritius have one important thing in
common:- most of them are fourth or fifth generation migrants whose ancestors
came from the same part of India and left over a couple of decades
in the second half of the 19th century." Counselor
Rajesh Mishra remarked that, "GOPIO
has been going from strength to strength, and as a friend of GOPIO, I wish it
all the very best in the days to come". Hon
Rudrawatee Ramgoolam expressed "the common experiences of the Indians in the
Diaspora and invited everyone to visit the twin islands of Trinidad & Tobago".
Hon Sugandh Rajaram welcomed PIO delegation from South Africa with "greetings
from Amb. Prabhu Dayal", Consul General of India in New York.
Professor Dasarath Chetty spoke on the history of PIOs of South Africa,
including issues of discrimination as well as certain areas in South Africa
where PIOs live below average conditions. Prominent businessman Rajen Pillay
discussed opportunities in South Africa and looked forward to meeting those
interested in bilateral investments. Prominent South African and president of
South Africa Women's Forte, Rita Abraham thanked GOPIO for "the warm and special
welcome". Well known South African journalist Marlan Padayachee also expressed
appreciation to GOPIO and all the participants.
Also participating in the program: Aminta Kilawan (Co-Chair, GOPIO Human Rights
Council); Naidoo Veerapen (Co-Chair, GOPIO Cultural Council); Netram Rambudhan
(Treasurer, GOPIO International); J. Nami Kaur (Secretary, GOPIO International);
Jaswant Mody (Associate Secretary GOPIO International); Dev Chedda (GOPIO Upper
New York); Jhairam Persaud (GOPIO Upper New York); Tony Roopnarine (GOPIO Upper
New York); Bhanu Dwarika (Co-Chair, GOPIO Women's Council); Dr Najma Sultana
(Co-Chair, GOPIO Cultural Council); Nohar Singh (GOPIO Platinum Life Member);
Harbachan Singh (GOPIO Liaison to United Nations); Ramesh Kalicharran (founding
life member); Suresh Reddy (GOPIO Central New Jersey).
Presentations were made to each member of the PIO delegation from South Africa
and members of the diplomatic corps:
Book: "Indians in Guyana" by Guyanese American historian Dr Basdeo Mangru
DVD on "Secrets of Life" by GOPIO Life Member Dr Chan Misier (Netherlands)
Dr Jagat Motwani, GOPIO founding Life Member, made a special presentation of his
book " India-USA - a Give and Take Relationship" to Professor Chetty.
At the conclusion of the program, GOPIO International President Ashook Ramsaran
announced the appointment of Rita Abraham as Co-Chairperson of GOPIO Women's
Council. Rita Abraham is active on women's issues on several fronts in South
Africa and was a presenter at GOPIO Women's Conference held in London, UK in
Photo - GOPIO Officers,
Digntaries and South Africa Delegation at the reception - From l. to r.
Abraham, Prof Dasarath Chetty (SA), PMI-NY Counselor Rajesh Mishra, Indian
Consul in NY Hon Sugandh Rajaram, Mauritius Amb to UN Hon Milan Meeterbhan,
Trinidad & Tobago Consul General in NY Hon Rudrawatee Ramgoolam, Rajen Pillay
(SA), Ashook Ramsaran, Jasodha Pillay (SA), Rita Abraham (SA), Dr Renuka Misra,
Shamilla Pather (SA), Jaishree Haribhai (SA), Dr Najma Sultana, Satruhan Sukdeo,
J. Nami Kaur
CHICAGO INDIAN COMMUNITY
TO HOST 17TH BIENNIAL NFIA CONVENTION ON OCTOBER 12-14 - NFIA TO HONOR
The National Federation of
Indian American Associations (NFIA),the
umbrella organization representing various Indian American associations, will
meet for its 17th biennial convention in Chicago
on the weekend of October 12-14-2012.
The NFIA delegates coming from all parts of the United States will gather in
this city, after a long time which is a major hub of Indian American population.
GOPIO itself was formed at an international convention organized NFIA in 1989 in
New York City.
The convention will be held at the Holiday Inn(3405
Algonquin Road, Rolling Meadows, Illinois
60008) phone no 847 259 5000.
The NFIA delegates and many other guests will engage in discussing, deliberating
and debating contemporary issues facing the Indian American community on October
13th. Several U.S lawmakers have been invited to participate in these
deliberations. In addition, several prominent members of the Congressional
delegation from New York/ New Jersey states are being invited to this event.
Since its inception in 1980, NFIA has held its biennial conventions in various
cities of the United States, in order to mobilize and unify the local community.
NFIA has been credited for many accomplishments, including its role in
strengthening US-India relations, making US lawmakers aware of issues of concern
to the community, and presenting testimony on the interests of India before the
The National Federation since inception has recognized and
presented awards to outstanding achievers in the community at their gala
banquet. This time also, The National Federation is seeking out nominations for
NFIA awards from Indian Americans with outstanding accomplishments. The awards
will be presented at the banquet, on Saturday October 13, 2012.
Nominations are invited for
the following categories:
Service to the Indian community
Liberal and Fine Arts
Medicine and Health Sciences
Engineering and Technology
Business and Finance
Mass Media-Radio, Television, Newspaper
and Non-Profit Institutions
nominations of distinguished Indian Americans who have done an outstanding job
in their chosen field.
Send a copy of
the resume of the nominee, a copy each of the document in support of
qualifications (publications, awards, recognition letters, etc.), and names,
addresses and telephone numbers of two references and send them to the NFIA
Awards Selection Committee headed by Haresh Panchal (1669 Monterey Rd, San Jose, CA
95112) or email at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can fax at fax # 408 287
CONVENTION HOTEL INFORMATION
For accommodation, call Holiday Inn Rolling
Meadows Hotel (3405 Algonquin Road, Rolling Meadows,
IL 60008) at (847)259-5000
and mention NFIA for
convention room rates.
To Register go
to www.nfia.net and click the Online Registration or click this link https://mycity.sulekha.com/nfia/nfia.aspx )
For all Convention information, contact the following convention officials;
Convener Sohan Joshi at
Coordinator Satheesan Nair at
Advisory Committee Radha Krishnan at
248-320-8617 or NFIA
President Lal Motwani at
GOPIO INTERNATIONAL AND
GOPIO SILICON VALLEY HELD 6TH ANNUAL
KIDS AND YOUTH SUMMER TALENT COMPETITION
GOPIO Silicon Valley, in collaboration with Radio Zindagi, IND TV USA and the
Association for Kids and Youth Programs, organized its 6th Annual
Kids and Youth Summer Talent Competition o n June 9, 2012 at IND TV studios. The
youth event started at 9 am and went until 3 pm. More than 300 enthusiastic
people attended and participated in this event. The annual Youth Summer Talent
Competition was categorized into two groups: Talent Contest for kids from ages 3
to 12 years old and Kids Art Contest.
The Talent Contest competition, kids participated in cultural activities such as
singing, dancing, playing musical instruments and public speaking, which ran up
to 3 minutes of speech. Awards and trophies were awarded based on age groups.
In the Kids Art Contest, which also consisted of children from ages 3 to 12
years, was an open theme competition, whereby the participants had the option to
choose what their art work would be. The kids brought their own colors, however,
the drawing papers were provided by the organizers. Kids, who excelled at the
contest, received awards and trophies which were presented by State Senators,
Mayors, City Officials and Assembly Members.
Photo: GOPIO-Silicon Valley officers and volunteers with children
The event was another successful one and the children who participated learned
many good values, among them they learned to bring their best in a competition,
team work, they build friendship, and they learned to network with children
their own age.
GOPIO CHAPTER IN CENTRAL
LONDON IN THE OFFING
GOPIO Executive Vice
President Sunny Kulathakal had meeting several key community people in London to
launch GOPIO-Central London chapter. Under
the patronage of Mr. Veerendra Sharma M.P. the London Chapter of GOPIO will be
launched on 16th Oct. 2012 in the London Parliament.
This was decided by a meeting by Mr. Sunny Kulathakal, Executive Vice President
of GOPIO with Mr.Sharma and other community representatives at Southal.
be attending the GOPIO Cochin Convention on 6th Jan 2013. Those who wish to attend the
GOPIO London Chapter launch on 16th Oct 16th in
London Parliament may contact Mr. Kulathakal on (M) +44-78-12539464 or send an
e-mail to Kulathakal@yahoo.com.
GOPIO PROMINENT AT 17th ANNUAL GANDHI PEACE MARCH IN NEW
GOPIO, through its Cultural Council and in collaboration with GOPIO Upper New
York chapter, joined several other prominent New York based community
organizations in support of the 17th Annual Mahatma Gandhi Peace March held
on September 30, 2012 in observance of Mahatma Gandhi's birthday (October 2).
Mr. Naidoo Veerapen, Co-Chair of GOPIO Cultural Council, was one of the primary
organizers and a prominent cultural advocate and leader in the Indo-Caribbean
community of Queens, New York.
The Peace March began at 2:00pm from Liberty Avenue and 123rd Street
to the Arya Spiritual Center ground in Richmond Hill, Queens, New York. GOPIO
Upper New York chapter proudly and prominently carried its banner right behind
the organizing group banner of the Federation of Hindu Mandirs which sponsored
the Peace March. GOPIO
Upper New York chapter also provided T-shirts imprinted with"Be the change that you want
to see in the world".The
march was held along Liberty Avenue in Richmond Hill, home of a diverse Indian
community, and concluded at theArya Spiritual Center. Veerapen
conducted the program at the Arya Spiritual Center where a cultural presentation was
preceded by inter-faith Hindu, Muslim and Christian prayers. Mr
Satruhan Sukdeo, president of GOPIO Upper New York chapter, gave a lecture on
"Gandhi and his role in Indian identity and his impact on the Indian struggle
with his concept of satyagraha and relevance in tacking today's
issues". At the conclusion of the program, a presentation of the GANDHI PEACE PRIZE 2012 was made to a prominent and deserving
Photo below - Organizing Group including Naidoo
Veerapen, Co-Chair of GOPIO Cultural Council (3rd from left in white behind the banner).
Photo credit Nala Singham of Caribbean
Photo above - GOPIO officers
at the parade (l-r): Tony
Roopnarine (Treasurer of GOPIO Upper New York); Dr Tyran Ramnarance (Co-Chair of
GOPIO Academic Council); Ashook Ramsaran (President of GOPIO Int'l); Patsy
Leopold (GOPIO Upper New York) ; Netram Rambudhan (Treasurer of GOPIO Int'l);
Jhairam Persaud (Vice Pres of GOPIO Upper New York); (2) Friends of GOPIO;
Satruhan Sukdeo (President of GOPIO Upper New York). Photo credit Nala Singham of Caribbean
reported in the September 15 issue of GOPIO Newsletter, Veerapen is planning 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
For details and further information, please contact Naidoo Veerapen, Co-Chair of
GOPIO Cultural Council email@example.com
GOPIO SILICON VALLEY CREATES PROGRAM TO LUNCH TO THE
HOMELESS IN THE BAY
GOPIO Silicon Valley creates an on-going program to serve hot lunches to the
homeless folks in the Bay area on Sundays but on a weekly basis. President of
GOPIO Silicon Valley, Mr. Ajay Jain Bhutoria, with the help of other members of
the GOPIO chapter have initiated this program for the homeless in Bay area
Thus far, more than 5,000 meals have been served by Mr. Bhutoria, Mr. Neil
Banerjee and members of GOPIO chapter to this vulnerable group. The GOPIO team
has put in a lot of effort, love, kindness and compassion into this project to
make it a great success. They are also working on expanding this program to get
the homeless people back on the work force, one person at a time.
Each Sunday morning, Mr. Bhutoria, Mr. Neil and his team seek out the homeless
people in and around San Jose in the park, armed with hot lunches which are
provided by Madhuban Indian Cuisine.
They distribute meals to a crowd of about 200 regulars coming every Sunday and
also provide them with human warmth and comforts. This project has helped them
achieved a sense of dignity and gave them a sense of belonging to the community.
Many of the recipients are mentally challenged individuals.
Photos Clockwise from top: People gather for lunch, Neil Banerjee serving lunch
and Ajay Bhutoria serving lunch.
GOPIO Silicon Valley members must be complimented for embarking on such a
challenging but needed project to help uplift the lives of the poor in the
community. Madhuban Indian Cuisine must also be lauded for providing the free
meals for the homeless. It seems with team effort and cooperation a lot could be
done for the enhancement of a community and GOPIO Silicon Valley is a shining
example in this effort.
FIVE INDIAN AMERICANS IN THE
FORBES MAGAZINE'S LIST OF RICHEST PEOPLE IN AMERICA
Five Indian-Americans figure in the Forbes magazine's annual list of the richest
people in America with Microsoft Corp chairman Bill Gates retaining his top spot
with $66 billion, up $7 billion from 2011.
The Indian-Americans' list is topped by Bharat Desai and family with a net worth
of $2 billion in the 239th place. Kenya-born Bharat Desai started as a
programmer for Tata Consultancy Services, leaving the company four years later
to start Syntel.
Romesh Wadhwani ranked 250, is founder and chairman, Symphony Technology Group,
with a net worth of $1.9 billion. Landing in the US with only a few dollars in
his pocket, he developed business software firm Aspect Development. Today his
portfolio includes more than 10 different enterprise software companies.
Kavitark Ram Shriram, managing partner, Sherpalo Ventures is ranked 298, with a
net worth of $1.6 billion. He was one of the first people to write a check to
Google cofounders Sergey Brin and Larry Page in 1998.
India-born Manoj Bhargava ranks 311 with a net worth of $1.5 billion. His
two-ounce caffeine and vitamin elixir, 5-Hour Energy, promises to keep users
alert without crashing -- and claims a 90 per cent-plus market share in the
energy shot sector
Last on the
Indian-American list is venture capitalist Vinod Khosla at 328 with a net worth
of $1.4 billion. With a firm belief that the future lies in developing cleaner
energy sources, the Khosla Ventures founder was a big backer of biofuel
producers Kior and Gevo, both of which went public in 2011.
WHITE HOUSE APPOINTS 2012-2013
CLASS OF WHITE HOUSE FELLOWS
The President's Commission on White House Fellowships announced the appointment
of two Indian American physicians, Anand Veeravagu, MD and Dave Chokshi, MD who
are among these 15 accomplished Americans. The
Fellows come from diverse backgrounds, varied professions, and have all shown a
strong commitment to public service and leadership.
Dave Chokshi, Baton Rouge, LA, is a primary care physician with interests in
public health and innovation in health care delivery. He recently
completed internal medicine residency at Brigham & Women's Hospital and Harvard
Medical School. He received his MD with distinction from Penn, an MSc in
global public health from Oxford, and graduated summa cum laude and Phi
Beta Kappa from Duke.
Palo Alto, CA, is a neurosurgeon in training at Stanford University SOM. Anand
is focused on advancing minimally invasive diagnostic and surgical techniques
for diseases of the central nervous system. Anand received his MD from Stanford
University and graduated with honors from Johns Hopkins University with a BS in
Biomedical Engineering and minor in Multicultural and Regional Studies.
Selection as a White House Fellow is highly competitive; each Fellow must
possess the knowledge and skills necessary to contribute meaningfully at senior
levels in the Federal government.
NETHERLANDS INDIAN ASSOCIATION COMPLETES 60
The Netherlands has the second largest Indian community in Europe. A very large
and vibrant community, they occupy a special niche in the Dutch
The Netherlands-Indian Association (NIA) has become a very vocal force in
promoting Indo-Dutch cultural and economic relations; it has been a bridge of
sorts between the Indian and Dutch governments, and is duly consulted on
NIA was founded in 1951 by a few prominent Dutch nationals who were interested
in learning more about India and its diverse culture.
In the later years, a large number of Indians got actively involved in its
affairs with RL Lakhina becoming its first Indian secretary and Dr Badri Madan
the first president. Today, The Netherlands-India Association encompasses a wide
range of activities including the study of the respective cultures, histories,
philosophies, religions, education and even the Indian Ayurvedic system of
The Netherlands today boast of the second larger Indian community in Europe,
next to United Kingdom.
TWO INDIAN AMERICANS NAMED
WHITE HOUSE INNOVATION FELLOWS
Ryan Panchadsaram, head of customer and product at Ginger.io, a spin-off from
MIT Media Lab; and Karl Mehta, founder and chief executive officer of Fremont,
California-based PlaySpan, which was acquired by Visa in March 2011, have been
named among 18 White House Innovation Fellows for 2012.
Selected from an applicant pool of nearly 700 innovators, they will spend six
months in Washington DC working on five high-impact projects aimed at supporting
entrepreneurship, small businesses and the US economy. The Presidential
Innovation Fellows program leverages the ingenuity of leading problem solvers
from across America together with federal innovators to tackle projects that aim
to fuel job creation, save taxpayers money and improve the lives of Americans in
tangible ways. Ryan has been assigned to the Blue Button Initiative and Karl to
the 20 Percent Initiative.
Ryan co-founded San Francisco-based Pipette, a mobile health start-up focused on
turning consumer mobile devices into remote monitors for patients. He will work
on the Blue Button Initiative, which will enable Americans to download their own
health information electronically.
Karl founded PlaySpan, a leader in monetization platforms for digital media,
mobile apps, social networks and online games. The 20 Percent Initiative is
working 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.
INDIAN AMERICAN DEEN
CHATTERJEE AMONG CARNEGIE COUNCIL'S GLOBAL FELLOWS
Deen Chatterjee of
University of Utah among
11 Global Ethics Fellows named by the Carnegie Council for Ethics in
International Affairs. Selected Fellows will host site visits to generate
dialogues on the local dimensions of global issues such as economic development,
corruption, and climate change.
Deen Chatterjee is senior advisor
and professorial fellow at the SJ Quinney College of Law, University of Utah.
His research focuses on justice and global initiative, ethics of war and peace,
and philosophy of religion and culture.
Global Ethics Fellows lie at the heart of Carnegie Council's Global Ethics
Network, a platform for educational institutions around the world to create and
share interactive multimedia resources. The Network was launched as part of the
Council's three-year Centennial project: Ethics for a Connected World. Through
the Network, Fellows enable their students to interact with other students and
educators around the world. Fellows meet annually at Carnegie Council in New
York to exchange ideas for research, teaching, and public engagement.
WORLD BANK NAMES CORNELL
PROFESSOR KAUSHIK BASU AS CHIEF ECONOMIST
The World Bank named Kaushik Basu, a Cornell University professor and former
Indian official, as the institution's new chief economist and Senior
Dr. Kaushik most recently served as chief economic advisor of the India's
Ministry of Finance while on leave from Cornell, where he was an economics
professor and the C Marks Professor of International Studies.
"Having worked in a Ministry of Finance, in addition to his impressive academic
achievements, Dr Kaushik is uniquely suited to help us offer evidence-based
solutions and advice to client countries and provide innovative excellence in
leading our development research,'' said World Bank President Jim Yong Kim. "Dr
Kaushik brings first-hand experience from a developing country and will be a
terrific asset to the institution," said Kim.
Dr Kaushik holds a doctorate from the London School of Economics and founded the
Centre for Development Economics at the Delhi School of Economics in 1992.
SIDDHARTHA DEB WINS US
Author Siddhartha Deb has been named among the winners of the 2012 PEN Awards,
considered the most comprehensive literary awards program in the US, for his
non-fiction work The
Beautiful and the Damned: A Portrait of the New India.
Described as a gripping analysis of the country and an important book of current
book won the PEN Open Book Award, which carries a $5000 cash reward for an
exceptional work of literature by an author of color.
Deb's book chronicles varying lives in contemporary India, including that of
highly paid call center workers, an entertainment mogul and the tragedy of the
"Deb gives us a gripping analysis of what is happening in India, where an
uncertain world is being built from its newest industries and oldest traditions,
as well as a portrait of our own new and uncertain America in the background,
also in crisis.
NRIs AND PIOs NEWS FEATURES
RESERVE BANK OF INDIA ALLOWS
NRIs TO PICK-UP SHARES, DEBENTURES AT FACE VALUE
The New Reserve Bank of India
announced that Non Resident Indians can make investment in an Indian company at
the face value of shares or debentures subject to compliance with FDI scheme.
As per the existing norms, non-residents are allowed to purchase shares or
convertible debentures of an Indian company up to the extent and subject to
terms and conditions set out under the FDI scheme.
A person purchasing shares proposes to be collaborator or proposes to acquire
the entire shareholding of a new Indian company is required to obtain prior
permission of the government if he has a previous venture or tie-up in India
through investment in shares or debentures.
It also requires that the price of shares issued to persons resident outside
India under this scheme shall not be less than the price worked out in
accordance with the Sebi guidelines, if the issuing company is listed on any
recognized stock exchange in India.
Fair valuation of shares should be done by a chartered accountant as per the
guidelines issued by the Controller of Capital Issues, in all other cases, as
HELP FOR NRIs: HOW TO TRANSFER
TITLE OF INHERITED PROPERTY
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.
Dealing in Indian real estate matters, especially if you have lived outside the
country for a long time can be a nightmare.
"The process of transferring title
in India can be quite cumbersome especially if the paperwork is not in order as
it will involve several court matters," explains P Sunder, Managing Director of
yourmaninindia.com, a TTK Services company that provides legal services for
NRIs. "A lot of times there is no Will making the title itself disputable. When
there is a Will, the related property documents may not be in place. Indian
sensitivity prevents the heirs from asking for estate documents before the death
of parents or other bequethers. As a result, the heirs end up running around
quite a bit to complete the inheritance process."
Here are some answers to frequently asked questions on this issue:
What are the documents needed
to transfer title of inherited property?
A Registered Will - As per legal requirement, a Will is not required to be
registered. It can just be written on a plain piece of paper. However,
registration makes it a valid document that can be presented in the court. "We
recommend that the Will is registered. One can always keep revising a registered
Will," Sunder explains.
A Succession Certificate - In the absence of a Will, the heirs would need to
obtain a Succession Certificate from the court. "The heirs will have to submit
various documents such as death certificate of the deceased, the birth
certificate of the heirs, copy of the ration card, bank statement of the heirs
etc. These documents are needed to prove that the heirs are indeed the rightful
successors," Sunder says.
Original purchase deed of property and registration documents. In case of old
properties, the original purchase deed may not be available. In such cases, you
would need to procure certified copies of the title deed from the jurisdictional
Encumbrance Certificate - The Encumbrance Certificate records and reflects all
the transactions occurred in respect of an immovable property be it a sale,
lease, mortgage, gift, partition, release, etc.
Khata - Khata is a record that shows the entry of the property owner's details
in the records of the Corporation/Municipality. It contains details such as name
of property owner, type of property, property taxes paid/ payable etc. It is
basically an evidence of who owns and possesses the property concerned.
How is Khata different from
the property registration?
The registration document shows the purchase or sale of the property from one
owner to another with various rights thereon, whereas the Khata shows the annual
property taxes paid. Ideally, when registration of a property changes,
automatically the Khata should also be changed in the municipal records.
Unfortunately, that automatic process does not happen and Khata must be
What is the process for
effecting transfer of title?
"Transfer of title can be done through mutation of revenue records/ transfer of
Khata," Sunder explains.
Mutation of revenue records means updating the details of new owner of the
property in the books of the respective development authority, that is, either
municipal corporation or village Panchayat.
In order to do this, you must submit all the documents mentioned above to the
"While the transfer must be affected locally, that is, within India and within
the same jurisdiction where the immovable property is situated, it can be
executed by an NRI using a Power of Attorney (PoA)," says Sunder adding, "For
the succession certificate too, the NRI can have someone represent him/her
through the PoA." The person you choose can be a friend, relative or even a
professional. Different municipal bodies follow different processes. It might be
best to speak to a local lawyer about your specific case.
How should an NRI make the
Sunder explains the procedure, "The NRI can issue a PoA in favor of a local
representative, authorizing such person to do certain specified and incidental
acts/deeds and things. Such PoA should be duly notarized by an attorney in the
country of the NRI's residence followed by attestation at the nearest Indian
consulate in that country. This must be handled by the NRI in his country of
residence. Next, the PoA needs to be registered in India (via adjudication
process) by paying requisite fees/stamp duty to the Department of Stamps and
Registration. This can be handled by the PoA holder."
"It is safe to give a PoA provided you clearly specify its purpose and keep a
track of it. If you apprehend misuse at any point of time then take immediate
action to revoke the PoA followed by a newspaper publication of such revocation
thereby deliberately notifying the general public. General PoAs (that is PoAs
with open ended/blanket/broad powers) should be avoided at all times. Through
the PoA, the acts of the holder are akin to acts as if they have been carried
out by you. So you cannot claim misuse if you have given a very open ended PoA.
Also, we have seen that normally misuse of PoAs happens within families and
relatives. Blind trust without checkpoints and the sensitivity of personal
relationships makes this a difficult space to tread. Most property related legal
problems for NRIs stem from here," he adds.
What are the most important
things to do as a precautionary measure to avoid future legal issues or
complications with respect to inherited property?
Ensure that a Will is made and duly registered. One can always draft a fresh
Will anytime and have it registered again. The last registered Will is the one
that will be used. Ensure property matters are discussed and clarified between
siblings so that there are no complicated legal wrangles later on.
Ensure that documentation required for each property to establish ownership is
mandatorily done. "In some cases the property continues in peaceful enjoyment
without mutation (transfer of records to the next successors) for generations.
That kind of a situation is a time bomb waiting to explode should relationships
go bad. And the more the number of successors, the more the complications,"
Venkatraghvan, Times of India, Sept. 25th,
BLUE CARD ADVANTAGES:
OPPORTUNITES FOR INDIAN TECHIES IN GERMANY
of the new German 'blue card initiative' for skilled and highly qualified
workers can look forward to tapping opportunities in Germany. The German
government has also announced the Recognition Act, which facilitates the
recognition of foreign professional credentials.
The changes to
the Residence Act include regulations regarding the issuance of the new EU blue
card which is a residence permit intended for highly skilled non-EU nationals
seeking employment in Germany. It also offers new benefits for foreign students.
While pointing out the advantages of the blue card scheme for young
professionals from India, the German ambassador Michael Steiner said, "The new
EU blue card is one step towards providing better access to jobs in Germany for
skilled international workers. Germany and many of our European partners are
ageing societies that need skilled workers.
are what make tomorrow's technologies, products and services possible. This is
why we are providing targeted funding for young academics including measures
that make it easier for specialists and scientists from abroad to come to
Germany," said Federal minister of education and research Annette Schavan.
Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) is very upbeat about the opportunities that
will be now available for foreign students. "This new law gives foreign
academics more freedom of choice on extending their stay in Germany. This is an
important step at a time when we are urgently in need of skilled workers,"
president of DAAD, Margret Wintermantel, said.
when the earlier green card scheme was launched, Germany needed to attract
software professionals. But because of language problems and a perception among
skilled workers that countries such as the US and UK were better to live in, the
best talent did not move here," says Chirantan Banerjee, a researcher at the
University of Bonn and a permanent resident of Germany on the merit of his
high-end research work.
Economic Times, Sept. 24th, 2012
NEWS OF INTEREST TO NRIs
AND PIOs AROUND THE WORLD
INDIAN AMERICAN DOCTORS TO SET
UP MEDICAL INSTITUTE NEAR MADURAI
Institute of Medical Sciences is an initiative of NRI doctors to contribute to
the creation of an equitable healthcare infrastructure In India and augment the
supply of its physician workforce. The Rs 300-crore rural institute at
Tirumangalam is about 30km from Madurai. First phase of the institute, a 300-bed
multi-specialty hospital will open December 2013 and a medical college would
start functioning from August 2014.
They will have
700-beds when the first batch of 150 students complete their MBBS by 2019. The
world class medical college would utilize modern, state-of-art medical education
technology, including digital teaching boards and virtual dissection
would be modeled on some of the best medical universities in the world. It would
be staffed by a number of returning NRI doctors trained in some of the world's
medical centers like Harvard Medical School and University of Pittsburgh.
SEVEN-LANGUAGE CAMPAIGN TO
EDUCATE SOUTH ASIAN VOTERS IN THE US
Americans Leading Together (SAALT), a coalition of South Asian community
organizations has launched a national, non-partisan campaign called South Asian
Vote! in seven South Asian languages to engage the community in the Nov 6 US
include distribution of voter education materials in Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi,
Nepali, Punjabi, Tamil and Urdu. The material covers Know Your Rights, How to
Get Involved, and the Election Process; voter outreach and voter registration by
civic leaders throughout the country; and election monitoring and protection for
Are You Ready
To Vote? is a checklist is for US citizens at least 18 years old by election
day, and have met their state's residency requirements for voting to make sure
they are ready exercise their fundamental right to vote.
"Unfortunately, in past elections, many South Asians have faced challenges at
the polls due to voter intimidation and suppression and have encountered
difficulties in casting their ballot due to language barriers," SAALT said.
appealed everyone, citizen or not, to become involved in the civic and political
process in the US.
NEW VISA RULES MAY DETER
INDIANS SEEKING JOBS IN DUBAI
may now face restrictions over getting entry in Dubai for employment
opportunities, as the Middle East city has reportedly adopted stricter rules for
tourist, visit and conference visas to curb the influx of foreign workers from
certain labor exporting countries.
The move was
prompted by the recent arrests of scores of foreigners on tourist, visit and
conference visas, who were either engaged in organized crimes, human trafficking
or were found unemployed and looking for jobs or begging in the streets, or near
hospitals, mosques and malls.
Residency Department has decided to adopt stricter regimes for tourist, visit
and conference visas to curb the influx of blue-collar workers from many labor
exporting countries into the country," an official told on the condition of
anonymity. "This would help significantly reduce the risk that individuals
engaged in organized crime or the trafficking of persons could gain entry to the
The new regime
sets a university degree as a prerequisite for obtaining a visa. Categories
banned from obtaining tourist, visit or conference visas include electricians,
pipe fitters, masons, farmers, drivers, tailors and cleaners.
requirements will give authorities a greater ability to manage the flow of
visitors into the country and allow residency departments across the country to
screen more travelers for security risks prior to their arrival in the UAE.
LUGGAGE RULES REVISED IN
Airlines (Saudia) flights have implemented a new baggage allowance rule based on
the piece concept replacing the current weight concept.
the new system, each economy class passenger will be allowed to carry only one
piece of luggage weighing 32kg or less. For the first and business class, two
pieces up to 32kg each will be allowed. There would be charges for additional
luggage piece even if it is within the allowed weight limit.
passengers will be allowed an additional luggage weighing 23kg with an extra
payment of 350 Saudi riyal for African and Asian destinations and 500 Saudi
Riyal to destinations in the United States. During return trip, additional
baggage services will be charged $100 from the embarkation points to Saudi
baggage allowance will be free of charge for holders of the Saudia frequent
flyers with Fursan Gold and Silver cards.
As far as hand
baggage is concerned, it must not exceed 9kg in first and business class and 7kg
in economy class cabins. The baggage size should not exceed that of overhead
compartment capacity. It is forbidden to carry compressed and liquid materials
in either checked-in baggage or carry-on baggage.
RELAX VISA RULES FOR SKILLED
STAFF: UK THINK-TANK
think-tank, considered close to the ruling Conservative party, wants the David
Cameron government to relax immigration rules to make it easier for digital
companies to recruit highly skilled staff from anywhere in the world.
In a report
titled 'Bits and Billions', the London-based Policy Exchange said the UK has
enormous potential to be a world-leader in the high-tech and digital economy,
but that it is tough for start-ups to find enough coders, designers and other
highly skilled staff.
wants UK policymakers to learn lessons from the United States, especially
California which is home to nearly half of the top 100 digital start-ups in the
world, and relax immigration rules.
One of its
major recommendations is to reinstate the two-year post-study visa that enabled
students from India and other non-EU countries to work for two years after
completing their courses. The visa, which was popular among Indian students, was
scrapped in April.
wants the government to relax visa requirements for skilled migrants, to enable
start-up businesses in the digital sector to take on highly skilled staff for a
two-year probationary period without needing to pay a high up-front salary.
"Start-ups need to be able to take on the right people fast, not spend months
trying to expand their technology teams. That's why we need to make it easier
for UK start-ups to take on highly skilled foreign graduates."
Yiu noted that companies such as Intel, Yahoo!, Google, eBay and YouTube were
co-founded by immigrant entrepreneurs. "They are now major global businesses. We
need to create the right conditions to ensure that the UK lives up to its
potential to be a world leader in the digital economy," he said.
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.), Sunny
Kulathakal (President, GOPIO Intl. Bahrain), Yogeshwar
Sangwan (MOIA, India), Ajay
Jain Bhutoria (President, GOPIO-Silicon Valley, USA), Lal Motwani (New York,
Contact Dr. Thomas
Abraham, Tel: 203-329-8010, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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