November 8, 2009A Publication of the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO)
||November 8, 2009
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GOPIO INTERACTS WITH MINISTERS FROM INDIA'S EXTERNAL AFFAIRS MINISTRY
The Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) committed to its mission of advocacy and in its zest of serving the Indian Diaspora always looks for issues confronting the NRIs and the PIOs. GOPIO seeks to identify such issues and then tries to find ways and means to address those issues.
From L. to R, GOPIO New York President Lal Motwani, Kavita Motwani, Dr. Roopam Saran, Minister S.M. Krishna, Ambassador Meera Shankar, GOPIO Chairman Emeritus Dr. Thomas Abraha, GOPIO Life Member Prof. Parmatma Saran
The Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) and its chapters New York interacted with External Affairs Minister S. M. Krishna during his visit to New York to attend the UN General Assembly. Minister Krishna, while serving as Governor of Maharahtra, had inaugurated GOPIO Convention in January 2005 in Mumbai. Minister Krishna was briefed on GOPIO's 20th Anniversary Convention and was presented the souvenir brochure brought out at the convention.
MINISTER SHASHI THAROOR MEETS WITH INDIAN COMMUNITY GROUPS IN NEW YORK
The Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) and the Indian American Kerala Cultural and Civic Center joined hands with other Indian community groups to host a reception/dinner in honor of the visiting India's Minister for State of External Affairs Dr. Shashi Tharoor at the Kerala Center on Wednesday, October 14th. Attended by over 200 Indian community representatives from the tri-state New York area, the program also served as an interactive session with Minister Tharoor.
The program started with formal welcome from the Kerala Center President Jose Chummar and GOPIO Executive Vice President Ashook Ramsaran. Dr. Thomas Abraham, GOPIO's Founder and Chairman Emeritus conducted proceedings of the meeting and emphasized that NRIs/PIOs want to actively participate in India's development and interactive sessions with Indian officials should pave the way for the most effective channel to utilize their resources.
Being an NRI for a long time and returning to India in 2007, Tharoor said that this is a good time to represent India since India has been drawing greater attention all over the world because of its extraordinary economic growth in the last several years. Tharoor said that he has been quite excited about his new assignment as Minister of State for External Affairs. At the reception, instead of a speech, he took up a large number of questions from the audience.
Photo below: From L. to R.: Kerala Center President Jose Chummar, Dr. Thomas Abraham, Minister Tharoor, and GOPIO Executive Vice President Ashook Ramsaran
Photo middle: audience at the public reception. Photo bottom left: GOPIO officials with Minister Tharoor and bottom right, TMinsiter Tharoor at the Indian Consulate reception
Answering questions, Tharoor said that he is using India's foreign relations platform to increase bilateral trade between India and other countries. On question on the terrorism in India, Tharoor said that the government has placed a high priority on the safety issues in India.
On relations with Pakistan, Tharoor said that after the terrorist attack in Mumbai last year, Pakistan was not forthcoming in the beginning to arrest and punish culprits which resulted in our bilateral relations. However, things are improving in that front now.
On the Iran nuclear issue, Tharoor said that although India has historically very close relations with Iran, India will not support the nuclear weapon ambition of Iran since Iran has signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and it should follow the rules.
There were many other questions such as Overseas Indian Citizenship (OCI) card, voting rights for Indian citizens living outside India, NRI property disputes in India, etc. He suggested these issues should be brought in at the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas to the attention of Ministry of overseas Indian Affairs and to ministers and secretaries from several ministries who would present at the PBD. He also recommended to join hands with an established group such as GOPIO to campaign and to bring government's attention on important issues concerning NRIs/PIOs.
Other participating organizations were Long island Malayalee Association, NRIs for Secular and Harmonies India, India Empowerment Group, National Indian American Association for Senior Citizens (NIAASC) and Indian Christian Forum. The program ended with closing remarks by GOPIO-CT President Sangeeta Ahuja and a vote of thanks by George Thomas, Secretary of Long Island Malayalee Association.
|INDIAN DIASPORA ISSUES DISCUSSED WITH INDIAN INDUSTRY MINISTER
Anand Sharma, India's Minister for Commerce and Industry, has been briefed about issues affecting the Indian Diaspora arising from the recent 20th annual conference in New York by Lord Diljit Rana, recently elected GOPIO President.
Lord Rana met Mr Sharma in London recently for talks during the minister's visit to the United Kingdom. Among the issues discussed were the contribution NRIs/PIOs currently make to the Indian economy and the opportunities that exist for the Indian government to develop this important and longstanding relationship.
Lord Rana, a leading UK hotelier and property developer, told the minister that GOPIO was keen to strengthen further its relationship with the Indian government particularly in areas such as economic development and educational provision.
"Indian communities throughout the world would welcome closer interaction with the government in Delhi in areas such as human rights and property rights," Lord Rana said.
Minister Sharma was briefed about conference resolutions that included violence against Indian students in Australia, problems of property rights of NRIs/PIOs in India, tax parity on equities for NRIs/PIOs similar to what is done in Mauritius, voting rights for Indian citizens living outside India, and the red tape and other hurdles faced by NRI/PIO high school graduates to obtain permission in pursuit of college education in certain Indian universities.
Photo below: Lord Diljit Rana, left, briefing, right to left, Anand Sharma, Minister for Commerce and Industry, Government of India, Asoke Mukerji, Deputy High Commissioner for India, London, and Lord Navnit Dholakia, Deputy Leader of the House of Lords
Photo above: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pictured with GOPIO President Lord Rana, Lady Shruti Rana during her visit to Belfast
US SECRETARY OF STATTE HILLARY CLINTON BRIEFED BY LORD RANA
Lord Diljit Rana, GOPIO International President and Honorary Consul for India in Northern Ireland, was one of the VIP guests meeting Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State, when she visited Belfast early in October.
Lord Rana briefed Secretary Clinton about his role as India's consul in Northern Ireland and also about his recent election to the top post in GOPIO.
|GOPIO INTL. TO HOST CONVENTION 2010 IN NEW DELHI, JAN. 5-6, 2010
GOPIO International is planning to hold its annual executive and general council meetings, followed by its conference starting on January 6 and concluding on January 7 immediately preceding and in conjunction with Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2010 events of January 7-9, 2010.
The program schedule is as follows:
January 5, 2010 :
AFTERNOON: Executive and council meetings at FICCI Conference Center
EVENING: Welcome Dinner (Venue to be announced)
January 6, 2010
MORNING: Conference Sessions I and II FICCI Conference Center
AFTERNOON: Conference Sessions III, IV at FICCI Conference Center
EVENING: Community Service Awards Banquet (Venue to be announced)
For more information and details, contact GOPIO Chairman Inder Singh at firstname.lastname@example.org (Tel 1-818-708-3885) or GOPIO President - Lord Daljit Rana, UK, Tel: +44 28-9807-8787, Email: email@example.com
|GOPIO INVITES NOMINATIONS FOR COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARDS
GOPIO International is planning to hold its annual Community Service Awards Banquet on January 6, 2010 in New Delhi in conjunction with GOPIO's conference on January 6 - January 7, 2010 and Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD2009) events of January 7 - 9, 2010. 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 CSA Selection Committee. Nominations are to be submitted using by November 15, 2009 to the attention of Ashook Ramsaran, Executive Vice President of GOPIO International at 718- 969-8206, firstname.lastname@example.org
|INDIANS OVERSEAS CELEBRATE DIWALI - PRESIDENT OBAMA AND PRIME MINISTER BROWN JOIN THE CELEBRATIONS
NRIs and PIOs celebrated Diwali all over the world with some heads state in the Western countries personally being present at the celebrations for the first time. The festival of lights was celebrated with fervour and gaiety amid bursting of crackers and lighting of lamps. Indian community groups in major cities celebrated the festival with cultural programs and fire works. The Indian Missions in the US too organized various functions to celebrate the festival.
In London, Diwali was celebrated for the first time at the 10, Downing Street, amid chanting of Vedic prayers for world peace, with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown terming it a "historic event".
"This is a great day for Downing Street, a great day for us and a great day for Britain to celebrate Diwali for the first time in Downing Street. This is a historic event," a beaming Brown told the gathering.
President Barack Obama celebrated Diwali by lighting the ceremonial lamp at the White House amidst chanting of Vedic mantras seeking world peace, becoming the first US President to personally grace the occasion. The ritual of lighting up the "diyas" and celebrating Diwali at the White House has been initiated by Bush government in 2003.
"I think it's fitting that we begin this work in the week leading up to the holiday of Diwali - the festival of lights - when members of some of the world's greatest faiths celebrate the triumph of good over evil," Obama said in his remarks on the occasion at a White House function held at its historic East Room.
This is for the first time that a US President attended and celebrated Diwali at the White House - thus giving an official recognition to the festival of lights celebrated across the world by millions of Hindus, Sikhs and Jains.
Sri Lankan Tamils marked the festival with President Mahinda Rajapaksa promising the beginning of a new era where their sufferings "will be a thing of the past" and they would be able to return to their homes in the war-torn north, adding "the light of goodwill will dispel the darkness of terror in our land".
Indians from all walks of life greeted each other in the UAE, exchanged gifts and joined festivities on the occasion of Diwali across the Gulf region even as Indian embassies remained closed and telecom companies offered reduced tariff for those wishing to call friends and relatives in India.
Indians in Malaysia celebrated Diwali with the Prime Minister Najib Razak, who is championing the 1Malayisa concept in this multi-ethnic country, joining the festival of lights celebrations along with other leaders, many non-Hindus.
Among those present at the White House ceremony were several eminent members of the Indian community, nearly half a dozen members of his Cabinet and several Indian American members of his administration. The visiting Union Minister of Commerce, Anand Sharma, and Indian Ambassador to the US Meera Shankar graced the occasion.
"While this is a time of rejoicing, it's also a time for reflection, when we remember those who are less fortunate and renew our commitment to reach out to those in need," Obama said, minutes before lighting the lamp while Pandit Narayanacharya Digalakote from the Sri Shiva Vishnu temple chanted Vedic mantras.
"While the significance of the holiday for each faith varies, all of them mark it by gathering with family members to pray and decorate the house and enjoy delicious food and sweet treats," said the US President.
"In that spirit of celebration and contemplation, I am happy to light the White House Diya, and wish you all a Happy Diwali, and a Saal Mubarak," Obama said amidst a round of applause from the audience invited for the occasion.
PRAVASI BHARATIYA DIVAS (PBD) 2010 SCHEDULED
The Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) in partnership with the Government of NCT of Delhi and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) is organizing the 8th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention (PBD 2010) from 7th - 9th January 2010 at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi. Parvasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) is the annual flagship event of the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) which aims to connect more 25 Million Indians with India's Economic and Social development. The event will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, and President Pratibha Patil will address the concluding session of the three-day gathering of PIOs and NRIs from all regions of the global Indian Diaspora.
PBD-2010 will also witness the launch of an annual Lecture series under the theme of 'India and its Diaspora: Everlasting Bonds of Togetherness'. Tentative PBD 2010 program to include as follows:
Inaugural session with the Prime Minister of India
Interaction with Union Ministers
Interaction with PIO Ministers
Interaction with State Chief Ministers
Concurrent Sessions on
Returning to 9% Growth: Diaspora Connect
Leveraging Knowledge Networks: Global INK
Thousands of Fireflies: Diaspora Philanthropy
Valedictory Session with the President of India
Conferment of Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards by the President of India
Cultural Programmes & DinnerOther Attractions to include:
Pravasi Golf Tournament
Seminar on Nano Technology
Seminar on Property-related issues of NRIs/Visit PBD website at www.pbdindia.org for registration & other details.
The Government of India, as a result of wider consultations held at past PBD events, have established Overseas Indian Facilitation Centre, conceptualized PIO University, formed Prime Minister's Global Advisory Council of People of Indian Origin, set up the India Development Foundation, enabled professionals holding Overseas Citizens of India cards to practice in India, launched the Global Indian Network of Knowledge (Global-INK) and the issued smart cards for Indian workers working abroad.
|INDIAN PRESIDENT PRATIBHA PATIL CALLS ON INDIAN DIASPORA TO BUILD A GREAT INDIA
Indian President Pratibha Patil visited UK last month - becoming only the third Indian President to visit Britain on a state visit - and had three days of close interactions with British royals, politicians and Indian-origin achievers. Politicians and industrialists were among some 400 people - largely of Indian origin and from all walks of life - greeted Patil at a reception in central London in a recognition of the importance of a community that has grown to some two million in strength.
President Patil has urged the Indian Diaspora around the world to help overcome the challenges presented by a resurgent India and help build a "great and dynamic" nation.
"You know the challenges that a resurgent India presents," she told prominent members of the Indian Diaspora at a reception.
Pointing out that the Indian Diaspora across the world number some 25 million and those in Britain more than 1.5 million, she said: "We seek to interact directly and substantially with them".
"We must work in our individual ways to contribute to the objective of building a great and dynamic India which will be one of the mainstays of emerging global order," Patil told an audience of some 400 Indian-origin guests.
She lauded the Diaspora in Britain, saying that although they formed two percent of population, they contributed 4-5 percent to Britain's Gross Domestic Product.
"Your hard work and industrious attitude have won you appreciation both in country of adoption and country or origin," she said.
The guests included Nobel-winning scientist Venkataraman Ramakrishnan, industrialists Swraj Paul, Srichand Hinduja, Raj Kumar Bagri, Nat Puri, Ghulam Noon and Kiran Bilimoria, politicians Navneet Dholakia (Liberal Democrat), Sailesh Vara (Conservative Party), Paramjit Dhanda (Labour) and Lord Adam Patel, leading academics and representatives from the worlds of business, medicine, charity and the arts.
Patil said it was fitting that the first engagement in her three-day state visit to Britain was the reception with members of the Indian Diaspora. She praised the contributions of people of Indian origin to the development of post-War Britain.
"When we hear the prime minister of Great Britain, mention the excellent treatment he personally received from an Indian-origin doctor in the National Health Service, we feel proud of all of you," she said.
Patil said the Indian Diaspora was an important bridge between the two countries, pointing out that the architects of modern India - Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Vallabhai Patel and B.R. Ambedkar - had all been educated in Britain.
Education had now been identified as a major field of collaboration between India and Britain, she added.
GOPIO INTERNATIONAL AND CHAPTER NEWS
GOPIO NEW YORK PRESIDENT LAL MOTWANI ORGANIZES DANCE DRAMA AT METROPOLITAN MUSEUM
GOPIO New York President Lal Motwani organized the Diwali program at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art. The East-West School of Dance once again performed the epic Ramayana Dance Drama, directed and Choreographed by Pandit S.N.Charka at the Metropolitan Museum of Art after receiving standing ovation last year. The Ramayana depicts the story of good versus evil with good prevailing in the end.
The dance drama was held at the Grace Rainey Rodgers Auditorium. The cast and crew of over 60 mesmerized the audience with the lovely costumes, original music composed in India and of course the beautiful dancers. The dancers synchronized in their movements took over the stage with their grace and beauty while performing classical Indian dance form, Kathak. The multi-cultural audience was captivated by the mix of the American cast and Indian dancers - a true representation of Eastern and Western cultures.
The two hour performance included the symbolic scenes of Ram lifting the bow, the marriage of Ram and Sita, the exile into the forest, and rescue of Sita from Ravana, the ten headed demon. The many characters were played by professional dancers and actors from many different places.
Photo top: Ramayana dance drama at the Metropolitan Museom in New York City. 2nd from top shows organizer GOPIO Ne wYork President Lal Motwani with Consul General Prabhu Dayal and Dance Director Pandit Satya Narayan Charka.
Photo Above: Children performing at GOPIO-CT Diwali program.
GOPIO-CONNECTICUT CELEBRATE THIRD ANNUAL FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS IN STAMFORD
Heavy rains did not dampen the spirits of members of the local Indian community that gathered in Stamford, Connecticut to celebrate the Diwali "Festival of Lights" festival. The annual event is organized and hosted by volunteers of Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) Connecticut chapter at the UCONN Stamford campus on Saturday, October 24. The festive event drew over 300 members and friends of the community.
The stars of the show were the young children, who delighted the audience with their talent and colorful Indian outfits. The evening began with a traditional lighting ceremony and a soulful rendition of bhajans (hymns) followed by an enactment of religious stories of the significance of Diwali. The popular beats of Bollywood by the youngsters had the audience tapping their feet along with the young performers. The performances were followed by dinner and dancing to the beats of pop Indian music.
Adding to the festivities were a variety of vendors of arts, crafts, travel services and foods. Robert Arnett and Smita Turakhia authors of the award winning India Unveiled and Finders Keepers were on hand for book signings and discussion.
Diwali, the most significant Indian festival, is a religious celebration of love, light, hope and freedom. It marks the victory of good over evil, and is celebrated throughout India with lighting of lamps, the exchange of sweets and gifts, firecrackers and religious ceremonies. The festival is a vivid manifestation of its many cultures and diversity. "Diwali is also a great time to strengthen family values," said Sangeeta Ahuja, president of Connecticut chapter. GOPIO-CT youth volunteers enthusiastically raised money for local projects by selling the Om Namo Narayanaya "SOUL CALL" by Chandrika Krishnamurthy Tandon.
GOPIO T&T PUTTING TOGETHER A DELEGATION TO PBD 2010 AND INDIA VISIT
Gopio - TT is taking delegation to to the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) 2010 in New Delhi following which the delegation will take part in a three-week tour of various tourism spots in India. Speaking at a news conference at the Indian High Commission, in Victoria Avenue, Port-of-Spain recently, Indian High Commissioner Malay Mishra said that PBD, in its eight year, symbolises the continued interest of the government of India in the progress and well being of the overseas Indian community.
Mishra said PBD provides a platform to the overseas Indian community for an exchange of views on ways and means to fulfill their aspirations and expectations from the land of their ancestors. He noted that the formulation of the Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) and conceptualization of the People of Indian Origin (PIO) University were some of the outcomes of the Pravasi Divas.
He said the OCI assisted with land ownership for families outside India, as well as the provision of study and professional facilities for the PIOs.
"TT is one of the largest Diaspora concentration of Indians in the world and the largest in the Caribbean in terms of cultural, religious and linguistic diversities. We would like to see a large participation of people from this Diaspora," Mishra said. He said the Indian government will subsidize the registration costs by 50 percent as an added incentive to encourage a greater attendance. Mishra also noted the discussions which take place are related to the progress of the Indian Diaspora in various aspects and the mutual advantage of Indian nationals and Indians living abroad. Two important sessions will be on nano technology which is an advanced discourse on science and technology and on property-related issues.
"There are many questions on property ownership, maintenance and legislation related to the properties. Many times people who are living overseas are not able to look after their properties, so the government is trying to devise measures to see how best these properties could be perfected and the ownership of the people who are living far away from home, to ensure that the properties can be maintained," Mishra said.
GOPIOTT President Deosaran Bisnath called upon the T&T Indian community to register for PBD. Contact his at 687-7529, 662-7159 or email email@example.com.
GOPIO HOUSTON TO BE FORMALLY INAUGURATED
GOPIO Houston Chapter will be formally inaugurated on Friday November 20th, 2009, starting at 7 p.m. at India House, 8888 W.Bellfort, Houston, TX 77031. Chief guest is Texas Lt. Governor David Dewhurst and inaugural addrss will be delivered by Consul General of India Sanjiv Arora. The inauguration will be followed by dinner. The Indian community is invited tois event.
Contact: Sam Kannappan P.E., President, GOPIO Houston, Tel: 281 425-8743, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
INDIAN AMERICAN VENKATRAMAN RAMAKRISHNAN WINS NOBEL PRIZE IN CHEMISTRY
Indian American Venratraman Ramakrishnan shared the 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with two other scientists American Thomas Steitz and Israeli Ada Yonath. The trio won the Nobel prize for the atom-by-atom mapping of protein-making factories within cells. All the three scientists have generated 3D models that show how different antibiotics bind to the ribosome and these are now being used by scientists to develop new antibiotics to save lives and mitigate human suffering, the Nobel said in an announcement.
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said their work on ribosomes has been fundamental to the scientific understanding of life and has helped researchers develop antibiotic cures for various diseases. The researchers used a method called X-ray crystallography to pinpoint the positions of the hundreds of thousands of atoms that make up the ribosome.
"This knowledge can be put to a practical and immediate use; many of today's antibiotics cure various diseases by blocking the function of bacterial ribosomes," the Nobel citation said. "Without functional ribosomes, bacteria cannot survive. This is why ribosomes are such an important target for new antibiotics."
The Prize amount: SEK 10 million to be shared equally between the Laureates
Ramakirshnan, who moved to the US in the 1970s, to pursue higher education, currently heads the Structural Studies Division at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, UK where he relocated in 1999. He joins a select group of Indians and people of Indian origin who have won the Nobel in various disciplines. The list includes Rabindranath Tagore, C.V. Raman, Hargobind Khorana, S. Chandrasekhar, Mother Teresa, Amartya Sen and R.K. Pachauri.
COUNCILMAN THOMAS ABRAHAM ELECTED TEXAS MUNICIPAL LAGUE'S REGION 14 PRESIDENT
Sugar Land City Council Member Thomas Abraham has been elected president of Texas Municipal League (TML) Region 14 - San Jacinto Region-Houston Area. As president of the San Jacinto - Houston area region, Abraham will serve as presiding officer and chief executive.
The Texas Municipal League, formed in 1913, serves the needs and advocates the interests of more than 1,100 cities and towns comprising the membership. The TML has 15 regions, with each region expected to promote interest in municipal government, facilitate information exchange among the cities in the region, and assist the TML Board of Directors in formulating policy that represents the diverse interests of the state.
"I am pleased and honored to be elected to this key role within the Texas Municipal League and will focus my energies and attention on the range of needs and future direction for the San Jacinto-Houston area region," said Abraham.
Abraham was elected to office on June 19, 2004. He is vice president of the Sugar Land Development Corporation, chairman of Sugar Land Reinvestment Zone No. 3 and serves as a board member on the Houston-Galveston Area Council. He is a member of the Exchange Club of Sugar Land, Fort Bend Rotary Club and Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce. He and his wife, Sarah, have two children, Bryan and Lauren, and have lived in Sugar Land since 1989.
PRIDE OF BRITAIN AWARD GOES TO INDIAN ORIGIN ACTIVIST JASVINDER SANGHERA
A British Indian activist Jasvinder Sanghera, known for her vigorous campaign that led the British Government to take effective measures against forced marriages, has received the Pride of Britain award. Sanghera, who fled from her home to escape from being forced into a marriage at the age of 15, was given the award for her extraordinary achievements at a gala ceremony on Oct. 7 night. Sanghera came to Britain in 1950s from Punjab. She set up a charity foundation from, Karma Nirvana, at Derby in 1993 to help victims of forced marriage and honor-violence after her elder sister Robina committed suicide in 1983 to escape a forced marriage. Sanghera (44) was instrumental in forcing the British Government to take effective steps against forced marriages. The Foreign Commonwealth Office now has a Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) that receive about 5,000 calls a year from victims.
INDIAN AMERICAN BHARAT DESAI FEATURED IN FORBES LIST OF 200 BEST SMALL COMPANIES
Indian American Billionaire Bharat Desai has been featured in Forbes annual list of America's 200 Beat Small Companies among "eight self-made stars who have built tidy empires in an array of industries."
According to Forbes listing, billionaire Bharat Dasai, is the 212th richest American. His wealth vehicle: Syntel, the information-technology services provider that Dasai founded with wife Neerja Sethi, in Troy, Michigan, in 1980. The company went public in 1997 as the tech boom raged.
Kenya-born Dasai started Syntel (No. 27 on Forbes Best Small Companies list) while doing his MBA from the University of Michigan.
Last month, Dasai stepped down as chief executive, but as chairman of the board, he maintains a 43 percent stake in his company. "That's a good thing when your company just cleared $101 million on $405 million in revenue in the last 12 months," commented Forbes asking: "What recession?"
Forbes annual list of America's 200 Best Small Companies features outfits that have annual revenue between $5 million and $750 million, have been publicly traded for at least a year and have a stock price no lower than $5.
INDO-CANADIAN DR. BIKRAM LAMDA APPOINTED TO TRILLIOUM FOUNDATION
Dr. Bikram Lamba has been appointed by Ontario Lieutenant Governor on the Halton-Peel Grant Review Team of Ontario Trillium Foundation for a period of two years.For over 25 years, the Ontario Trillium Foundation has helped build healthy and vibrant communities by supporting the great work of not-for-profit and charitable organizations.
Dr. Lamba has been appointed to this position to help allocate funding under the Foundation's Community Grants Program. A well known community leader, an international business and political strategist, a writer and a commentator, Dr. Lamba brings a new vision to the assignment.
GOPIO SECRETARY GENERAL ASHOOK RAMSARAN HONORED AT NEW YORK CITY HALL CEREMONY
GOPIO Executive Vice President Ashook Ramsaran was honored at the Council Chamber of New York City Hall with a proclamation during Diwali Celebration on Thursday, October 22nd. Ramsaran has been serving the NRI and PIO community over a dozen years in different capacities. He was responsible to Guyana East Indian Civic Association (GEICA). Since 1999, Ramsran has been involved in GOPIO in different capacities. He was appointed as the Secretary General in 2004 which he served till he was elected as the Executive VP of the organization. He also served as the Convener of GOPIO's 20th Anniversary Convention held in in New York from August 20th to 23rd.
In GOPIO, he dedicated a much of his time, effort, resources and energy to help solve critical issues affecting Indians in countries around the globe. He has helped to bridge the gap between NRIs and PIOs who come from countries such as Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago, Suriname, Fiji, Malaysia, Mauritius and South Africa.
Ramsaran is also the president of Ramex, Inc., a company he and his family have built and which has grown in size and magnitude. Apart from running his company, he finds time to get involve in many civic and community organizations to help enhance the quality of life for the people in New York and elsewhere.
OBAMA NOMINATES INDIAN AMERICAN SURESH KUMAR AS ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF COMMERCE
Indian-American Suresh Kumar, who was a news anchor in India from 1970 to 1985, has been appointed to a key administration post by President Barack Obama.
Mr. Kumar, known for his expertise of public-private partnership, has been nominated Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Director-General of the United States and Foreign Commercial Service in the U.S. Department of Commerce, the White House said in a statement. Mr. Kumar, president and managing partner of KaiZen Innovation, served as special adviser to the Clinton Foundation where he worked with governments in Sub-Saharan Africa and corporate CEOs to establish private-public partnerships to stimulate economic development in the region.
|NEWS OF INTEREST TO NRIs AND PIOs AROUND THE WORLD
INTERNATIONAL AHIMSA-NONVIOLENCE DAY CELEBRATED IN LA PALMA CITY
October 2, 2009, the Birthday of Mahatma Gandhi was celebrated in Community Hall of La Palma city, as The International AHIMSA- NON VIOLENCE- DAY as declared by UNO.
The event was organized by Prof. Keshav Patel for southern California. Indian American Community brought several non profit Indian organizations together for this program. These included, UFICA,Amrit Bhandari of FFICS & Lions Club, Dilip Bautani, & Prakash Pancholi of FIA SC, Ravjibhai Patel of FIA LA, Uka Solanki Trustee of IASH & businessman, Tony Parmar of IASHA, Ramji Patel -PSP of America, Ramesh Raval -Giyatri Parivar. These organizations worked together and supported each other as a support to the root cause of main principles of nonviolence and peaceful movement Mahatma Gandhi had adopted in his action for achieving independence of India.
The guests and dignitaries present for event were Mr. Mark Waldman, the Mayor of La Palma city, Dr. Prakash Narian, Mayor pro team of Cypress city, La Palma city councilmen Mr. Larry Herman and Mr. Ralph, Representative of the chief of police, Veterns of WWII (American Navy).Over and above Indian & Americans, several persons origin of Pakistan, China, Korea, and Hawaii attended the function which shows love for Gandhiji and affinity for Ahimsa- Non-Violence. Mr.Dilip Butani and Amrit Bhandari worked with Prof. Patel in organizing event. Mr. Uka Solanki presided over the function.
The event started in joyous environment with national song "Vande Mataram" and Gandhiji's favorable prayer "Vaishnav Jan to Tene Kahie"sung by Shri Arvind Joshi, followed a welcome speech by Prof. Keshav Patel.
Mr. Mayor La Palma city praised Mahatma Gandhiji's simplicity, high thinking power, principles of non-violence and peace.He added if he were alive he would have given the solution of terrorism the world is suffering from.
Dr. Prakash Narian, Mayor pro team of Cypress city narrated Gandhiji's experiences in South Africa where he learnt lessons of Satyagrah. He also explained the meaning of Satyagrah-the peaceful way of hesitation against injustice he suffered in South Africa.
ATTACKS ON INDIANS CONTINUE IN AUSTRALIA
Three Indian Students Thrashed and Robbed in Melbourne - In the backdrop of racial attacks against Indians, three Indian students were bashed and robbed when they were returning home at night. The latest incident took place at around 10.30 pm (local time) when the victims were on their way home from Sunshine station along Anderson road. Three to four persons approached the victims from behind near Derby Road Reserve demanding their wallets and cellphones, the police said in the report. One of the victims a 26-year-old student from Sunshine handed over his wallets and mobile phone and escaped from the spot, the report said. While the other two students aged 24 and 27 were thrashed by the offenders who also stole their cellphones. The 24-year-old man received head injuries in the attack and the 27-year-old man suffered soreness to his upper body, the report said.
Indian attacked and Turban Removed - In another attack inMelbourne, a 22-year-old Indian man was punched and had his turban removed in this Australian city as he slept at a bus stop. The police are investigating the unprovoked bashing of the Indian man in Epping who was "punched in the head and had his turban removed" early Sunday, The Age reported Monday. The victim was asleep at a stop near Epping railway station in Cooper Street about 12.45 a.m. when a bus pulled into the depot. Five youths, believed to be between 17 and 19, approached him.
Two of the five youths allegedly bashed the Indian man, while their three companions are believed to have tried to stop the assault, the media report said. The bus driver, 60, and a passenger, 39, also tried to stop the attack. All five youths then ran away. The victim suffered injuries to his mouth.
There has been a string of attacks on Indians in Australia, causing uproar in India and around the world.
US ARMY ACCEPTS FIRST SIKH RECRUIT
In a major step to end the exclusion of Sikhs, the US army has accepted a Sikh recruit who had declined to either remove his 'dastaar' (turban) or cut his hair as a condition for joining the military. The Sikh Coalition, a community advocacy, group applauded the army's action in accepting Captain Kamaljeet Singh Kalsi, but expressed concern that the decision was an exemption from army policy only for a single individual Sikh.
There has been no change in the overall policy excluding Sikhs from service, the group regretted. "The Coalition is encouraged, however, that the Army has expressed its willingness to review its general policy of excluding Sikhs from service in the coming months."
Two Sikh men, Captain Kamaljeet Singh Kalsi, a doctor, and Captain Tejdeep Singh Rattan, a dentist, were recruited to join the Army's Health Professions Scholarship Program several years ago. Both maintained their turbans throughout the four year program, and appeared in uniform during specialized Army training, at Army ceremonies, and while working in military medical facilities.
However, after completing the program, they were told that they must remove their turbans and cut their unshorn hair and beards for active duty. Rather than abandon their religious identity, they chose to appeal to army leadership to end its policy of Sikh exclusion from service. The Army finally accommodated Captain Kalsi and deferred a decision on Captain Rattan's appeal until he completes his dental certification.
A number of prominent members of Congress have called on the Army to welcome all Sikhs, and not just Captain Kalsi, into the military.
In August, 43 members of the US House of Representative and 6 US senators called on Defence Secretary Robert Gates to allow all Sikhs to serve in the US army.
MOIA REPORT SAYS THAT NRIs ARE IN 180 COUNTRIES
According to a report form the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs, Indian citizens are today permanent residents of all but three countries in the world. The Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs has registered the presence of Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) in 180 of 183 countries of the world. The numbers may vary from just two in Lebanon to almost a million in the United States of America but the fact is that Indians call the whole world their home. It is only in North Korea, Pakistan and Bhutan that not a single NRI is to be found.
THE NETHERLANDS SIGNS SOCIAL SECURITY AGREEMENTS WITH INDIA
The long-awaited Bilateral Social Security Agreement between the Republic of India and the Kingdom of the Netherlands was concluded on 22nd October 2009 in New Delhi when the Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs Mr. Vayalar Ravi and the Dutch Minister of Social Affairs & Employment Mr. P.H. Donner inked it.
During the Mini Pravasi Bhartiya Divas (PBD) - Europe Convention on September, 19TH, 2009 at The Hague, Mr. Vayalar Ravi and the Dutch Minister Mr. Piet Hein Donner had announced the signing of the agreement. In 2002, when the Dutch Government passed a bill to restrict the export of social security benefit to a country with which the Netherlands do not have bilateral social security agreement. Mr. Wahid Saleh, member of the Board of Directors of the Europe India Chamber of Commerce and a prominent Indian in Holland had raised the matter with the Government of India about the new Dutch law and asked for negotiating a suitable agreement to address the emerging issues.
The Agreement will prevent double coverage and avoid non-coverage of social security benefits and will allow export of social security benefits to the nationals of both countries moving and working in each other's territories. Further, the Agreement will guarantee equal treatment of nationals of the Contracting States under the respective laws of both countries; and regulate the co-operation between the two Contracting States to ensure the enforcement of the Agreement.
The Agreement also provides a special provision for exemption of social security contribution to the contracting State by employees of the other contracting State for a maximum duration of up to 60 months. The agreement shall apply with respect to the Kingdom of the Netherlands, to the Netherlands' legislation concerning the following branches of social insurance: sickness and maternity benefits, disablement benefits for employed persons, sailors of the merchant marine; disablement benefit for self-employed persons; Old-age pensions, Survivors' benefits; Child benefits. As regards India, the Agreement shall apply to all legislations concerning old age and survivors' pension for employed persons; the Permanent Total Disability pension for employed persons.
The signing and implementation of Bilateral Social Security Agreement will go a long way in encouraging and cementing the mobility of human resources between the two contracting States. There are about 21,000 Indians in the Netherlands and over 850 Dutch nationals are working in India.
The agreement follows similar agreements India has signed with Belgium, France, Germany, Switzerland and Luxembourg.
NORTHERN IRELAND INDIAN COMMUNITY MOURNS DISTINGUISHED SCHOLAR
The Indian community in Northern Ireland is mourning death of Professor Ghan Shyam Singh, Emeritus Professor at Queen's University Belfast and a member of staff at the university from 1965-92.
Prof Singh, born in Jaipur in 1929, was one of the most distinguished Indian scholars, also taught at leading universities in India, Italy and England including the Queen's University Belfast.
He was an acknowledged and widely respected expert on poetry and English literature. Prof Singh was also a pioneer in translating into English the poetry, prose and criticism of the Italian Nobel Prize winner, Eugenio Montale who was also a personal friend of his.
In all he published more than 60 books, including critical works, translations, and editions of texts, as well as several volumes of his own poetry, in both English and Italian. He wrote a groundbreaking book on Eugenio Montale, the renowned Italian poet.
Singh also wrote critical works on T.S. Eliot and Ezra Pound whom he knew personally and with whom, in the case of the latter, he collaborated in his translations into Italian of Pound's English translations of the Indian poet Kabir, Scheiwiller, Milan, 1966.
He was born into a prominent Rajput family in Jaipur, Rajasthan, on 24 January 1929 and attended the Scottish Presbyterian Missionary High School. He completed a degree and doctorate at Jaipur university, then taught English literature at the universities of Agra and Aligarh before his departure for Italy.
|GOPIO LIFE MEMBERSHIP AND CHAPTER FORMATION
GOPIO is a non-partisan, non-sectarian global organization with chapters in several countries, actively promoting the interests of people of Indian origin worldwide by monitoring and addressing current critical issues of concern, and by enhancing cooperation and communication between groups of Indians living in various countries.
GOPIO Individual Life membership is open to all who believe in the mission of GOPIO. The one- time fee is $5,000 for Platinum Life Membership, $2,500 for Gold Life Membership and $1,500 Silver Life Membership and half the amount for each category for those from developing countries and India.
GOPIO is looking forward to opening chapters in all major cities of the world so as to network people of Indian origin all over the world. If you do not have chapter in your city, please visit GOPIO website (www.gopio.net) and get details of chapter initiation (visit http://www.gopio.net/chapter_initiative.htm). Process involves sending a letter of intent to start a chapter by a committee of five people or more. For more information, contact:
GOPIO Chairman - Inder Singh, Tarzana, California, USA, Tel: 818-708-3885, E-mail: email@example.com
GOPIO President - Lord Daljit Rana, UK, Tel: +44 28-9807-8787, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
GOPIO Executive Vice President- Ashook Ramsaran, Fresh Meadows, New York City, Tel: 718/939-8194, E-mail: email@example.com
To become a Life member of GOPIO, one can sign up online at
http://gopio.net/online_membership.htm or fill up the form and send it with a check to: GOPIO, P.O. Box 1413, Stamford, CT 06904, USA.
Chief Editor: Dr. Thomas Abraham, Chairman, GOPIO (Stamford, CT, USA)
Editors: Ashook Ramsaran, GOPIO General Secretary (New York, USA)
Webmasters: Prashant Gupta (Hyderabad, India) and Abu Thomas (New Rochelle, NY, USA)
Contributors of this issue: Lal Motwani (USA), Ravi Dhigra (USA), Lord Diljit Rana (UK), Dr. Wahid Saleh (The Netherlands), Sam Kannappan (USA), Deosaran Bisnath (Trinidad & Tobago)
GOPIO NEWS welcomes NRI/PIO related stories from all over the world. Be a volunteer correspondent or reporter. Contact Dr. Thomas Abraham, Tel: 203-329-8010, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.