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GOPIO NEWS

November 15, 2011

A Publication of the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO)

Issue: X-15 November 15, 2011
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In This Issue
GOPIO CONVENTION 2011 TO DISCUSS ISSUES AND CONCERNS OF THE INDIAN DIASPORA
GOPIO ARRIVES IN CANADA BIG TIME TO NETWORK WITH INDO-CANADIANS
THE NFIA CONDUCTS TWO DAYS OF EVENTS IN WASHINGTON DC - GOPIO JOINS HANDS
US STATE DEPARTMENT SEES INDIAN DIASPORA AS A PARTNER IN IMPROVED US-INDIA RELATIONS
THE INDUS NANOTECHNOLOGY ASSOCIAITON (TINA) LAUNCHED IN NEW YORK
GOPIO JOINS GUJARAT UNIVERSITY TO ORGANIZE DIASPORA CONFERENCE IN AHMEDABAD, JANUARY 2012
GOPIO INTERNATIONAL AND CHAPTER NEWS
NRIs/PIOs ACHIEVE
NEWS OF INTEREST TO NRIs and PIOs
GOPIO LIFE MEMBERSHIP AND CHAPTER FORMATION
EDITORIAL BOARD
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GOPIO is a community supported non-profit organization taking up issues of the Indian Diaspora and attempting to unifying the community in its common causes. Support GOPIO by becoming a Life Member or chapter member. Once can become Life Member online by visiting http://www.gopio.net/online_membership.html.

GOPIO CONVENTION 2011 TO DISCUSS ISSUES AND CONCERNS OF THE INDIAN DIASPORA

  

The Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO International) invites everyone to attend and participate at GOPIO's Convention 2011scheduled to be held in Iselin, New Jersey, USA from November 18 - 20, 2011. The venue is the Renaissance Woodbridge Hotel in Iselin, New Jersey, USA.

 

GOPIO's conference on November 19, 2011 will evaluate, assess, debate, discuss and deliberate on the current, critical issues of interest and concern that confront persons of Indian origin of more than 25 million people living in many countries outside of India. The overall theme is "Issues and Concerns of the Indian Diaspora" and will examine issues of: Consular services, property, taxation and related issues; Consular Services, Property, Taxation & Foreign Accounts Disclosures; issues related to health, women and youth; Indian Migration and the Kolkata Memorial; Road to Entrepreneurship:How to Leverage Diaspora Networks to Jump Start New Venture; challenges and opportunities for political and economic empowerment and successful adaptation in adopted countries.

 

The program will start with an evening Inaugural Reception Dinner on Friday, November 18 starting at 6:00pm at the Renaissance Woodbridge Hotel in Iselin, New Jersey. Then conferences will be held on Saturday, November 19 followed by an elaborate Reception and Convention Banquet that evening that are expect to be well attended.

 

 

 

Chief Guest Ambassador Nirupama Rao

Chief Guest at the Finale Banquet - H.H. Nirupama Rao, Indian Ambassador to the U.S.

 

Program Outline

 

Friday, November 18, 2011

11:00am          GOPIO Executive Meeting (Not Open to the Public)

2:00pm            GOPIO General Council Meeting:

Country, Chapter and Council Reports (Open to the Public)

6:00pm            Reception & Dinner

 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

 

9:00am           GOPIO General Council Meeting

10:00am         Session I: (Inaugural Session) Issues and Concerns of the Indian Diaspora

11:00am         Session IIA: Consular Services, Property, Taxation &

                                               Foreign Accounts Disclosures

 

                      Session IIB: Indian Migration and Kolkata Memorial

1:30pm           Session IIIA: Health, Nutrition & Wellness for the Indian Diaspora

 

                      Session IIIB: Challenges & Opportunities for Political Empowerment

Toward Successful Adaptation in Adopted Countries

3:15pm           Session IVA:Living in Fear: Gender & Inter-generational Abuse        

 

          Session IVB: Road to Entrepreneurship:

How to Leverage Diaspora Networks to Jump Start New Ventures

4:45pm           Session VA1: Conclusions

 

                      Session VA2: Resolutions

          Session VB: Workshop - Road to Entrepreneurship:

How to Leverage Diaspora Networks to Jump Start New Ventures

 

7:00pm           Reception

8:00pm           Banquet        

 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

10:00am          GOPIO Executive Committee & General Council Meetings

 

Registration: Registration fees for all events: $125 per person ($200 per couple).

Registration fee for delegates from outside USA & Canada are waived.

Choice of all events or selective events per registration fees schedule.

Register on line via PayPal or payment by check. Make check payable to GOPIO at a US bank and send to GOPIO Convention 2011, Regus Business Center, Suite 600, 33 Wood Ave, Iselin, NJ 08830 USA.

 

For On-Line Registration visit www.gopio.net orhttp://www.gopio.net/Convention/Gopio_Convention_2011_Register.html.

 

Contact Registration Chairperson Jaswant Mody at jmody23@hotmail.com (tel +1-732-236-7084).

 

Sponsorships:Sponsors and supporters are invited to participate. Contact General Convener Dr Piyush Agrawal, at sudhapca@aol.com (tel +1-954-648-6494). Refer to sponsorship rates at www.gopio.net

 

Venue and Accommodation:: Renaissance Woodbridge Hotel, 515 US Highway 1 South, Iselin, New Jersey 08830 USA (tel: 1-732-634-3600), Rooms at $99 USD per night.

 

 

GOPIO ARRIVES IN CANADA BIG TIME TO NETWORK WITH INDO-CANADIANS

 

Indo-Canadians whole heartedly welcomed GOPIO launch in Canada with a national convention on October 15th in Toronto, Ontario. For the million strong Indo-Canadian community, it was an opportunity to connect to the global Indian Diaspora.

 

 

Indo-Canadians are part of the rich multi-cultural tapestry of the Canadian nation. From the end of the 19th century where their numbers were in the hundreds, the pendulum has since swung back. Indo-Canadians are now identified with top class professionals, successful businessmen and even leaders in the political spectrum. 

 

For an ancient religiously inclined people it is perhaps divine intervention that resulted in the launching of the Canadian network of GOPIO - Global Organisation of People of Indian Origin - this year designated by the Canadian Government as '2011 - Year of India" . Doubtless, this recognition comes from a multiplicity of reasons  - among the foremost being recognising the role played by Indo-Canadians in their many contributions to the cumulative Canadian good. Recognised is also the growing importance of Canada as a global economic power in the 21st Century.  

 

Kishore Mahbubani, Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy of the highly regarded National University of Singapore and- a noted Economics Professor recalls China and India made up 80% of the world's GDP contribution for sometime till the 18th century. He predicts the Status Quo may be restored to a substantial degree this century.

 

October 15th's 5-hour programme (5- 10 pm) of business, music and cultural activities held at the Metropolitan Centre located in Finch Avenue East, Toronto was attended by a full house of nearly 350 cheering appreciative guests. Among the invitees in attendance were society leaders Jim Karyigiannis, M.P. and Liberal critic for Multiculturalism. Mr. Karygiannis, in his brief address welcomed the many benefits of 40 years of multi-culturalism he claimed was a tremendous success in Canada. He pointed out the Venue was in a Hall owned by a Greek Church hosting an event focussing on Indo-Canadians. He opined this was a good example of welcome coexistence between culturally diverse people if done the right way with the government creating the right enabling environment.. 

 

Jay Banerjei, the founder President of GOPIO Toronto, began the evening outlining what the 22-year influential World-wide organisation stands for and what it has done for the 30 million PIO spread out in 24 countries. He pointed out that the new Ministry of Overseas Indians Affairs was created in India largely due to the work of PIO organisations outside India lead by GOPIO.  Among the many programmes on stream Banerjei, said was plans to set up a fully-integrated University for children of the PIO, the Overseas Citizens of India programme that brings hitherto unavailable benefits to the organised PIO. Among those he cited were the allocation of separate counters for the PIO in the major Indian international airports, He added favourable terms of investment opportunities and tax-exemption features in both countries are some of the many attractive features under consideration.

 

Guest Speakers included Rana Sarkar, Dr. Sid Gautam, Dr. Bikram Lamba, and Mr. Cliff Rajkumar. Message of Felicitation and Greetings from the Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the Premier of Ontario, Mr. Dalton McGuinty, The Mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford, the Leader of the opposition, Mr. Bob Rae, the Indian Consul General, Ms. Preeti Saran and the head of GOPIO International, Dr. Thomas Abraham,Mr. Inder Singh and Lord Rana were read out.

 

Ms. Sadaf Das, a 15 year old youth spoke on the behalf of the children on ecological responsibility.

 

Among the many VIPs and representatives of all levels of the Government present at this occasion was also the Mayor of Pickering, Mr. Dave Ryan.

 

This was also a day dedicated to honouring leaders who have made enormous contributions to the community. Among the honourees were: Mrs. Shashi Bhatia and Mr. Vishnu Sookar for community service, Mr. Rana Sarkar and Ms. Salima Syerah for Business leaders, Mr. Sidharth Kak, Bollywood movie producer for his service to the NRI/ PIO community and Mr. Gurbax Singh Malhi for being a pioneer in the community

 

 

GOPIO Canada National Convention - Recognition to Achivers 

Photo Above: GOPIO officials with community achivers. Standing extreme left is GOPIO International Coordinartor Sunny Kulathakal and exreme right Convention Convener Jay banerjei.

 

The Toronto Police officials noting the role GOPIO Canada can play in the promotion of community interests were present to underline their own support. Inspector David Saunders, speaking on the behalf of the Toronto Police chief, Bill Blair, in his brief address assured his men and women will be fully supportive of the work of GOPIO Canada.

 

The Gala Dinner that began with the singing of both Canadian and Indian National anthems concluded after a sterling music and dance programme by 14 year old Arshiya Chowdhary, Bollywood singer Shweta Subram and her troupe.  Molly Banerjei sang in the style of Barbara Streisand delighted the audience with a beautiful rendition of One People.

 

Contact: Jay Banerjei, Tel: 416-286-3993 (O), 647-273-1119 (cell), e-mail: jay@jaybanerjei.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE NFIA CONDUCTS TWO DAYS OF EVENTS IN WASHINGTON DC - GOPIO JOINS HANDS

 

 

Although the National Federation of Indian American Associations (NFIA) has been sponsoring annual Congressional Luncheons in the nation's capital for over two decades, it was the first time the umbrella organization had two days of elaborate program. NFIA delegates from all over the United States traveled to Washington DC on September 15, 2011 to participate in Congressional Luncheon, White House briefing, an Indian Embassy hosted reception on the first day followed by a Board meeting and a social get-together, fashion show, entertainment and a seminar entitled "Empowering Women" on the next day. Over 150 people, including a bus load of people coming from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut participated in the two-day activities. This is the first time the NFIA organized such an extensive program. GOPIO joined hands with the NFIA with a large delegation from around the country.

 

Congressman Ed Royce (R-California), the co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans was the first lawmaker to address the NFIA delegates and guests gathered in Rayburn House Office Building. Royce spoke passionately against the support of terrorism by Pakistan. He said, Pakistan harbors, trains, and financially supports terrorist groups like Al Qaida and LET, that have attacked India as well as United States. Pakistan which has received billions of dollars in Military assistance grants from the United States has not made a substantial effort to wipe off terrorists from its soil. The United States has tactfully removed Osama Bin Laden from the Pakistani soil, without informing the Country. "Pakistan must fully cooperate with the United States to eliminate all terrorist activity from its land," insisted the Congressman.

 

Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (D-California) paid a glowing tribute to India's Democracy. Sanchez has been supported by the Indian American Community in Southern California, which she gratefully acknowledged. Acknowledging the Democracy in India, she said, "You value Democracy and we value it also. We can trust India and that is why we are dedicated to maintain good relations with India, unlike some other countries that profess Democracy but do not value it." It is matter of pride for me to be with you this afternoon, she added.

 

Another lawmaker, James Himes (D-Connecticut), praised the stability and growth of India and paid a tribute to the huge contributions of Indian Americans to the US economy. "I am very impressed with the way the government is being run in India and I salute her."

(Visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DDkKMCXoLSI).

 

Photos below: From L. to R.: Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez speaking and Dr. Rajen Anand standing next to her; GOPIO-CT President Shailesh Naik introducing Congressman Jim Himes with Dr. Thomas Abraham standing in the left; Congressman Ed Royce with NFIA President Lal Motwani

NFIA Congressional Uncheon.Rep Loretta Sanchez, Jim Himes and Ed Royce and White House Briefing 

Photo above: Delegates to the White House Briefing

 

An Indian Embassy representative Ambassador Arun Kumar Singh who is serving as the Deputy Chief of Mission in Washington DC, paid a glowing tribute to the NFIA for its continuous efforts in enhancing the relations between the US and India. "You have played an important role in the transformation of this relationship. I congratulate your members who were actively involved in getting the US-Indian Civil Nuclear deal approved by the House and Senate." It is a matter of pride for us to remain engaged in the activities of NFIA.

 

Following the Congressional luncheon, the NFIA delegates and guests moved to the White House for a briefing by the Obama Administration officials. These briefings were arranged by Aneesh Chopra, the Chief Technology Officer in the White House. The gathering was addressed by Chopra, Chris Lu, the Secretary of Cabinet Affairs and Assistant to the President, Mitul Desai from the State Department, an official of the Homeland Security and others. Lu talked about the newly proposed by President Obama the American job act and urged the audience to contact their legislative representatives to approve the bill now.

 

American Job Act, explained Lu, will cut payroll tax in half for 98% of businesses, a complete payroll tax holiday for added workers or increased wages, extending 100% expensing into 2012, hiring tax credit for veterans, preventing up to 280,000 teacher layoff and modernizing our roads, rail, airports and waterways while putting hundreds of thousands of workers back on the job. The act is likely to reduce the rate of unemployment.The immigration officers gave an overview of Immigration reforms and answered several questions from the audience.

 

For many people who had come from far away distances, White House briefing was the highlight of their trip to Washington DC. By and large they were pleases by the remarks from various officials.

 

The newly arrived Indian Ambassador, Nirupama Rao, hosted a reception for the NFIA delegates. She praised the NFIA's efforts in transforming the relations between India and the US. "We will continue to work with the NFIA in future also on our mutual interests," said the Ambassador Rao.

 

"I learned many years ago that we are supposed to work closely with the Indian Embassy, but never developed close relations with the diplomats, for no sooner do we get to know them, they are ready to leave the United States," an official of the NFIA remarked.

 

Lal Motwani, president of the NFIA also addressed the attendees and promised to provide all the help Embassy needs. He presented a small gift to the Ambassador. Dr. Thomas Abraham, Founder President of NFIA and Chandu Patel, Chairman of the NFIA addressed the delegates at the Congressional luncheon.

 

Former NFIA President Dr. Parthasarthy Pillai coordinated the Congressional luncheon and Rajen Anand, a political appointee of President Obama heading an agency in the Department of Agriculture helped arrange the White House briefing with the Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra.

 

A seminar on Empowering Women was conducted on the following day.

 

NFIA ORGANIZES SEMINAR ON EMPOWERING WOMEN

 

The first ever mini conference organized by the NFI) was held on Friday, September16, 2011 at the Diya Restaurant in Vienna, VA. The conference exceeded the expectations of the president of NFIA, Lal Motwani in bringing in the elite of the elites, intellectually seeking answers to the meteoritic progress made and accomplishments of the women nationwide.

 

The conference, titled "Empowering Women" seminar was the brain-child of Ms. Angela Anand, who heads the women's task force of NFIA. She said while introducing the subject and the speakers, "There are many questions in my head that have popped up from time to time, such as, if women are thriving worldwide, how are they getting their power and who is empowering them?" I often wonder," Are they empowering themselves, are they empowering each other or are the men in their life are the ones responsible in empowering them?"

 

The conference attended by over 125 people on a busy weekend provided an excellent opportunity to the attendees to meet, greet and have conversation with the speakers and other attendees and delegates who were there to attend two days of fun, networking and strengthening Indo-US relations in the Washington DC, by holding a Congressional Luncheon, White House Briefing and a reception by the Indian Embassy.

 

In keeping with the theme of the public policy and networking, the panelists for the seminar were carefully selected by Ms. Anand, that included a galaxy of speakers, Mr. Robert O Blake, Assistant Secretary, responsible for the South and Central Asia from State Department, Ms. Nisha Biswal, Assistant Administrator, responsible for South Asia from United States Agency for International Aid (USAID), a long time staffer and policy advisor and confidant of Secretary Hillary Clinton, Ms. Neera Tanden, currently Chief Operating Officer, Center for American Progress (Think Tank), Treasurer of the Commonwealth of Virginia, Ms. Manju Ganeriwala, Delegate from the 15th District, Maryland, Ms. Aruna Miller, president of Association of American Physicians from India (AAPI), Ms. Sunita Kanumury and last but not the least, a very capable Ms. Sukriti Likhi, Counselor (Economic), Embassy of India who is from an administrative officer rank and has worked with women in rural India.

 

Quite impressed with the quality of the speakers and their accomplishments, Ms. Anand said, "If I look in the audience, I see writers, scientists, physicians, attorneys and when I look at the panelists, I see power houses from Think Tank to all government agencies all empowered individuals." She added this room, referring to the elegant high ceiling crystal covered chandeliers banquet hall of Diya restaurant, "This room must be buzzing with power overload."

 

During the key-note address of Assistant Secretary Robert O Blake, who had just returned that morning from a mission to India recounted the initiatives of Secretary Clinton and spoke about the programs that have been placed and are working throughout Asia. Ms. Biswal also spoke about empowering agencies, such as SEWA that are working and through those network women are becoming stronger economically. She also attributed her career rise and related to her personal empowering spouse. She said," I am married to a wonderful human being and have a two and four year old girls who at one point needed one of us to stay home and take care of the children and my husband said, your career is going good, you can continue on and I will take time off to look after the girls."

 

Another speaker, Ms. Ganeriwala who after pointing out to the strives and struggles that Indian American young couples face in migrating to this country and then pursuing careers related to her present and past experiences where she received empowerment from her family.

 

Ms. Kanumury related the goals of women and men physicians in the healthcare industry and how AAPI with the help of NFIA and GOPIO has been lobbying for better healthcare system. Ms. Miller made many witty remarks when she said, "I think women belong to House and that is where I belong." She said more women should be elected and to accomplish that everyone should register to vote and partake in elections.

 

Ms. Likhi took the audience back to India and Indian villages where she said women are now getting elected to Panchayats (small units of decision making) in villages but their mind set needs to undergo change. When asked questions, they (the women) are still in gungats (covers) and their spouses still want to exert the power because they are the husband of the leader- the elected official.

 

During the seminar there were many lighter moments and a variety of items were presented. The students of University of Maryland, Baltimore campus, organized a fashion show. The coordinators of the show were, Jasmine Malhotra, Bill Ryan and Sara Castelino. Thirteen young men and women presented three sets of attires from day-to-day to social/business to more formal evening wear. The costumes were loaned from a local clothier of Satya Paul designer's outfits.

 

ADA Group, Jasmine Malhotra and the students of a local dance school run by Shweta Misra provided dances. All dances were entertaining and a feast for the eye and the audience over-joyed to see the five to seven year old three Kathak (a classical dance discipline) dancers perform so elegantly. The conference ended with a sumptuous food prepared by the restaurant, DJ Rocky's music and then of course the fluttering sounds of the cameras that flashed everywhere in an effort to capture the audience, speakers, dancers and the displays of Indian artifacts placed strategically in the banquet hall.

 

An organizing committee of several, most prominently, Drs. Satish Misra, Reuka Misra, Hari Har Singh, Yogendra Gupta and Satish Gupta, provided the needed support in carrying out the event coordination. Other well-known individuals in the audience were Ambassador Har Swarup Singh, Mr. Mitul Desai from the State Department, responsible for the outreach for South and Central Asia and Ms. Hope Bryer, team lead from the Asia Bureau of USAID. Also, was present Ms. Sukhjiwan Singh, a published author from VA.

US STATE DEPARTMENT SEES INDIAN DIASPORA AS A PARTNER IN IMPROVED US-INDIA RELATIONS

 

With a growing Indian American community and its increasing influence in the US technology development, service industry and economic activities, the US sees the Indian Diaspora as an important partner for the continued closer relation with US and India. At an interactive meeting organized by the major national Indian community organizations in New York city, the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO), National Federation of Indian-American Associations (NFIA), American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) and Society of Indo American Engineers and Architects (SIAEA), Mr. Mitul Desai, Senior Advisor for Outreach, Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, U.S. Department of State stated that the Indian community groups such as the GOPIO and NFIA have been among the country's leading Indian-American organizations for years now. Their long-standing work in organizing the community and dialoguing with policy leaders embodies the importance of proactive civic engagement.

"The U.S.-India relationship will be one of the defining partnership of the 21st century, but we know that governments alone cannot realize the full promise of this potential and that is why we need the Indian-American community's ideas, energy and commitment,' Said Desai.

 

Desai, a second generation Indian American has been appointed early this year by Assistant Secretary Robert O. Blake as Senior Advisor in the U.S. Department of State's South & Central Asian Bureau, where he builds dialogue and partnerships with private sector, NGO, and Diaspora organizations. Desai comes to government from the corporate arena, where he worked as an investment bank analyst, consultant, and intellectual property attorney. 

 

"On a range of issues, from our Passport to India internship project to exciting new initiatives aimed at enhancing philanthropy in India and further accelerating U.S.-India state-state and city-city linkages, the Diaspora has a crucial role to play," Desai added.

 

Dr. Thomas Abraham, Founder President and Chairman Emeritus of GOPIO, who organized the program said that the initiative by the State Department and Obama Administration to reach out and motivate the Diaspora group is welcome move in the right direction to solidify further US-India relations. "As far as I remember, this is first time there is such an initiative to reach out the Indian American community in an official way," said Abraham.

 

"While the Indian American community is growing in America, more and more American citizens of Indian origin are settling back in India for retirement and for employment opportunities and this opens up an opportunity for us to get involved in activities of larger interest to both countries," Dr. Abraham added.

 

GOPIO Life members with State Department official Mitul Desai 

Photo above: GOPIO Life Members presenting GOPIO Memorabilia of First Day Covers brought out by the US. Postal Service at the GOPIO's First Global Indian Convention in 1989 to Mitul Desai. From L. to R.: Dr. Sushila Gidwani-Buschi, Sudha Acharya, Shailesh Naik, Dr. Thomas Abraham, Mitul Desai, Lal Motwani, Dr. Najma Sultana, Viresh Sharma and Anita Bhat

 

However, Dr. Abraham was critical of both governments on the issues related issuance of visas to citizens of both countries who wish to travel to the US and to India which in turn hamper US-India people to people partnerships. Dr. Abraham said that both governments should make it easer for citizens to travel to either countries.

 

NFIA President Lal Motwani said that American museums should exhibit some of the oldest Indian artifacts and fine arts in their museums so as to reach out the larger American community. 

THE INDUS NANOTECHNOLOGY ASSOCIAITON (TINA) LAUNCHED IN NEW YORK

 

Indian Americans are increasingly contributing to the new generation technologies and particularly in nanotechnology which is already transforming our lives in a significant way.  At a Nanotechnology Commercialization conference organized in conjunction with CHEM SHOW 2011 at the Javits Convention Center in New York City, several Indian American academicians, technologists and entrepreneurs participated. The conference, held on November 1st to 3rd, was organized by Dr. Thomas Abraham, President of Innovative Research and Products (iRAP), Inc., a Stamford, CT firm conducting industry and market analysis of new generation technologies.

 

Nanotechnology is termed by many as the "next big thing" among the emerging technologies.  Literally, "nano-" represents 0.000000001, or 10-9, an extremely small quantity with enormous implications for the miniaturization-driven technology of the twenty-first century. The US National Science Foundation has estimated the nanotechnology enabled market to reach $1 trillion by 2015.

 

There are a large number of Indian academics involved in nanotechnology research encompassing from sciences including chemistry, physics, engineering, materials science, biology and medicine. Many others are working in the national labs and other leading R&D institutions as well as in all major companies. Yet many other Indian Americans have started their own companies in developing and producing nanomaterials and nanotechnology enabled products. There are also Indian Americans who are involved in angel funding as well as in venture capital funding to promote nanotechnology business.

 

With large number of Indian American professionals in the nanotechnology industry, a group of US Nanotechnologists had explored forming The Indus Nanotech Association (TINA), which would have not only entrepreneurs and businessmen, but also researchers, technologists and investors. Since the Nanotechnology along with related fields such as Nano-Bio Convergence, Nanoelectronics, Nanomedicine and other areas are growing leaps and bound, a meeting was held at the Bombay Palace Restaurant in New York City on November 1st. The meeting, hosted by Dr. Anil Diwan, President and Chairman of Nanovirisides, was attended by over two dozen leading Indian American nanotechnologists, businessmen and investors. The Indian Consulate was represented by Mr. Sugandh Rajaram, Consul for Political and Economic Affairs. TINA was launched as a worldwide organization with its headquarters in the US. The group assembled at the conference felt that there are opportunities to organize this area for mutual benefits of its members in the US and others countries as well as those in India. It will also contribute to the society at large by helping to commercialize new technologies.

 

"We have reached the critical mass of a large number of Indian Americans involved in nanotechnology and nano-enabled technologies and the time has come to develop a networking group amongst us to help each other as well as to look at opportunities for collaborations, licensing and other joint ventures in India and in other countries so as to bring synergy to take new technology initiatives to commercialization," Said Dr. Thomas Abraham, Coordinator of the new group and who had also been the founder and architect of the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO).

 

At the 2010 Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD), accepting the group's suggestion, the PBD organized a session on Nanotechnology. However, at the end, it became like an academic seminar rather than becoming a B to B platform.

 

"We would like to see more collaboration between researchers and companies as well as B to B at these meetings to achieve early commercialization of nanotechnologies,' added Dr. Abraham.

 

As nanotechnology is impacting every sphere of the society, networking opportunities through TINA will provide more cooperation between researchers and businesses, more B to B, more opportunities for investors to finance right type of technology and take new generation technologies to the market. So TINA will be a platform for all involved in nanotechnology.

 

A steering committee was formed to formalize the organization. It will be coordinated by Dr. Abraham. Others in the committee are: Dr. Anil Diwan of Nanovirisides, Rajan Pillay and Dr. Ramesh Bhargava of Nanocrystals Technology, NEI Corporation President Dr. Ganesh Skandan, HSBC Chief Operating Officer T.T. Bhat, Investor Priyam Sen, Prakash Madgi of Midtown Partners, Abbas Baqueri of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, Suresh Nichani of Nichani Holdings, Prof. George John of City University, Prof. Mahendra Sunkara of University of Louisville, Shailesh Naik of Charles A Manganaro Consulting Engineers and Kishore Ramnani of Pfizer. Prof. P. Somasundaran of Columbia University, Sreedhar Menon of Visteos Fund Service and Prof. S.V. Babu of Clarkson University will serve as TINA's advisors.

  

The Steering Committee for The Indus Nanotechnology Association (TINA) at its lunch

Photo above: The steering committee and advisors of The Indus Nanotechnology Association (TINA) at its launch meet in New York City. Front Row from L. to R.: Dr. Thomas Abraham, Dr. Anil Diwan, Sreedhar Menon, Prof. P. Somasundaran, Prof. S.V. Babu, Consul Sugandh Rajaram, Dr. Ramesh Bhargava and Priyam Sen. Back Row, From L. to R.: Prakash Madgi, Shailesh Naik, Dr. Sam Brauer, Suresh Nichani, Meeta Vyas, Abbas Baqueri, Rajan Pillai, Dr. Charles Brumlik, Prof. Mahendra Sunkara, Kishore Ramnani, T.T. Bhat, Anita Bhat, Mrs Bhargava and Prof. George John

 

The new group will provide a platform for Indian origin nanotechnology researchers, technologists, entrepreneurs and investors to exchange ideas and provide networking opportunities among the nanotechnology professionals so as to advance the field and create new areas of business. It will also create interactive and cooperative efforts between nanotechnology professionals and entrepreneurs living outside India with their counterparts in India. The new group will organize international and regional meetings to promote new technologies and to provide opportunities for technology developers to meet with potential investors.

 

Thos interested to join may contact Dr. Thomas Abraham at 203-569-7909 or E-mail:Indus.nanotech@Innoresearch.net

 

GOPIO JOINS GUJARAT UNIVERSITY TO ORGANIZE DIASPORA CONFERENCE IN AHMEDABAD, JANUARY 2012

 

GOPIO JOINS GUJARAT UNIVERSITY TO ORGANIZE DIASPORA CONFERENCE IN AHMEDABAD, JANUARY 2012

 

GOPIO joins hands with the Department of Study Abroad Program at the Gujarat University to organize a conference with the theme, INDIA DIASPORA - Inter Linkage and Synergy at Gujarat University campus in Ahmedabad on January 12 and 13th, 2012. See announcement below:

 

GOPIO and Gujarat University Diaspora Conference


 

The impact of Indian Diaspora has motivated its homeland to map its history and factors for migration. Concerns for economic, political, cultural and social engagements of Indian Diaspora have been widely shown in the society. It has also brought sociologists and researchers to look into the process of migration and have found themselves into pondering upon the trends of Indian Diaspora.

 

The considerable presence of the Indian Diaspora in almost all parts of the world and its insistence upon sending success stories back home in spheres inspired homeland India to connect India with her Diaspora with renewed passion. This conference will look into the cultural, social, economic and political spheres of India's relations with its Diaspora and map on Diaspora history and its contribution to India in IT, infrastructure, education, research and technology, finance and banking, remittances, investments and oriental arts and cultures.

 

The conference organizing chairs are: Dr. Neerja Arun (Study Abroad Program of Gujarat University, Ahmedabad, India), Dr. Thomas Abraham (Founder President and Chairman Emeritus, GOPIO International) and Dr. Jagat Motwani (GOPIO Academic Council Chair 2004-2009).

 

Although, the deadline to submit an abstract was November 10th, one may contact Dr. Neerja Arun to see whether there are any slots available for presentation. Papers are invited for the following categories:

 

INDIA DIASPORA - Inter Linkage and Synergy

  1. Here and there: merging spheres
  2. Transforming the local with global initiatives
  3. Funder's agenda: pitching ideas for development

 

And finally, Role of Indian Diaspora in re-conceiving and reconstituting faith in physical and virtual places of spiritualism: India and Abroad

 

Contact: Dr. Neerja Arun, Study Abroad Program, Gujarat University, Ahmedabad, India,drneerjaarun@yahoo.com or Dr. Thomas Abraham of GOPIO at gopio@optonline.net.

 

The International Indian Diaspora Conference

12th and 13th January, 2012, GOPIO & SAP at Gujarat University, Ahmedabad, India

For a registration form, contact the Conference Secretariat. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Dr Neerja Arun. Tel: +91-79-26303153 or +91- 9825012984 Fax: ++91-79-27910213 E-mail: drneerjaarun@yahoo.com

GOPIO INTERNATIONAL AND CHAPTER NEWS

 

  

GOPIO-CT DELEGATION ATTENDS CONGRESSIONAL LUNCHEON AND THE WHITE HOUSE BRIEFING

 

On August 13, on a picture perfect Saturday morning, almost 200 members of the Indian-American community gathered at Stamford Government Center to celebrate the 64th anniversary of India's Independence.

 

A delegation of GOPIO-CT members attended the Congressional luncheon organized by the National Federation of Indian American Associations (NFIA) at the Capital Hill last month. The delegation called on Congressman Jim Himes and discussed many of the issues faced by the Indian American community, especially Overseas Voluntary Disclosure Initiative (OVDI) and the US-India Relations.

 

The following people were in the delegation: Dr. Thomas Abraham, Anita Bhat, Louella D'Silva, Gurmeet Gulati, Ritu Johorey, Nami Kaur, Jyoti Naik, Shailesh Naik, Shelly Nichani, Junaid Shaikh and Sara Tierno.

  

GOPIO-CT delegation with Congressman Jim Himes before Congressional Luncheon 

Photo above: GOPIO-CT Delegation with Congressman Jim Himes. From L. to R.:  Dr. Thomas Abraham, Ritu Johorey, Anita Bhat, Shelly Nichani, Jyoti Naik, Sara Tierno, Congressman Himes, Shailesh Naik, Louella D'Silva and Junaid Shaikh

 

For more information, contact Shailesh Naik, President, GOPIO-CT, Tel: 914-409-2552, Email: srnaikus@gmail.com

 

GOPIO WAIKATO TO ORGANIZE INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR THE ELEIMINATION OF VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

 

GOPIO-Waikato (New Zealand) Chapter is organizing white ribbon appeal on Friday, November 25th to mark INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR THE ELIMINATION OF VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN. The program will be by, for & from senior women, well supported by men, wearing white ribbon.

 

A musical melody treat will be presented after dinner (cost $10).

 

Date & Venue - Friday, 25, Nov.2011, Celebrating Age Centre, 30 Victoria St., Hamilton

Program - Dinner 6.30 to 7.30 p.m. - Mix & Mingle and Reflections 7.30 p.m.,

8-9.30 P.M.- MEHFIL-E-GEET SANGEET  a musical melody in Hindi Punjabi & other languages

Contact: Suman Kapoor, President, GOPIO Waikato Inc., e-mail: sumankapoor2002@yahoo.com.

 

 INDIAN DIASPORA MEET IN NETHERLANDS CONCLUDES WITH A POSITIVE NOTE

 

A meet on Indian Diaspora here has ended after stressing the vital role of the Indian community in deepening cultural and economic relations between India and the Netherlands.

 

Vayalar Ravi, the minister of overseas Indian affairs who was the keynote speaker, lauded the role of the Indian Diaspora in the Netherlands in enhancing closer bilateral ties, reports EuAsia News.

 

"You are playing an important role not only in the social and cultural fields but also in influencing the political leadership," he told the meeting.

 

Ravi estimated that over 27 million Indians or people of Indian origin were living around the globe.

 

"Whether we look at Europe, North American, Africa or South Asia, the Indian Diaspora is emerging as significant and important actors in the economic cultural and political scene," he stressed.

 

The minister listed the facilities being provided by the Indian government to the Diaspora which includes issuing Overseas citizenship of India and the People of Indian Origin cards to make travel and stay in India easier.

 

He also mentioned the recent decision by the government to allow the overseas Indians who hold the Indian passport to vote in their constituencies in assembly elections.

 

In her welcome address, Bhaswati Mukherjee, ambassador of India to the Netherlands, spoke about the historical development of Dutch-Indian ties during the past 400 years and said people-to people contacts between the two countries were growing.

 

The theme of the one-day conference was "Indian Diaspora in Netherlands: Achievements, Contributions & Challenges.

 

An estimated 200,000 Indians or people of Indian origin live in the Netherlands. In addition, there are about 180,000 Surinamese of Indian origin living in the Netherlands.

 

Jozias van Aartsen, Mayor of The Hague and former Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs, said 50,000 Indians or people of Indian origin lived in the Hague and that there was growing interest in the Indian culture.

 

He announced that the Gandhi Centre wiould be inaugurated in the Hague Oct 2 and soon the city would also host an Indian film festival.

 

Bob Hiensch, the Dutch ambassador to India, noted that Dutch-Indian trade exchanges rose from 1.4 billion euro in 2001 to 5 billion euro in 2010.

 

He said that 119 Indian companies based in the Netherlands were playing an important role in developing bilateral economic and trade cooperation. The Netherlands was the fifth largest investor in India.

 

Hiensch, however, urged the Indian Diaspora to work hard to change the public opinion about India in the Netherlands that remains focussed on the corruption scandals and social affairs in India.

 

About 200 representatives of the Indian Diaspora attended the conference held at the Word Forum.

 

It was organized collectively by many Indian Diaspora Organizations based in The Netherlands under the umbrella organization "The Foundation for the Indian Diaspora in Europe". GOPIO-Netherland joined hands to organize the conference.

 

Source: IANS

 

GOPIO-HEALTH COUNCIL ORGANIZES SEMINAR ON INTEGRATING AURVEDA IN LIFE AND PRACTICE

 

The Global Organization of People of Indian Origin held a presentation called "Integrating Ayurveda into your life and practice" at the Hampton Inn and Suites in Stamford, CT on Tuesday, Nov. 8. Ayurveda, the oldest "Science of Life' was developed in India more than 5000 years ago and is still practiced there. This presentation discussed the art and science of Ayurveda, in modern, integrative terms, and emphasized how participants can incorporate it into daily life with practical, usable hints. The program was well attended and ended with a wide ranging Q/A session and a healthy dinner.

 

The speaker was Bhaswati Bhattacharya, MPH, MD, DABHM, FABPM, HHC, CAP. who is based in New York City.  Dr. Bhattacharya said,"It bewilders me that the oldest sciences of study of human health and disease known to man are not studied in medical schools around the world. Thus, Ayurveda is left to the few that respect the forests and soil and elder teachers and the powers of nature. The rest worship technology and economics and blind over consumption in their attempts to conquer time and space and find happiness. I suppose Ayurveda is too simple and too elegant" said Bhaswati.


Sangeeta Ahuja Chair: GOPIO-International Health Council said "Understanding Ayurveda not only can help us treat the ailments but can also help us discover a knowledge of improving our health with daily simple practices to prevent diseases". "The talk was so entertaining and really informative; so many of the issues you brought up are ones we talk about at home, so it was terrific for "not-mom" to be saying the same things. I look forward to any other workshops in the future" said Susan who attended the program with her daughter.

For information regarding future such program visit www.gopiohealth.net or contact contact Sangeeta Ahuja gopiohealth@gmail.com 
 


 
Photo above: GOPIO-Health Council organizers and dignitaries with speaker Dr. Bhaswati Bhattacharya. From left to right, Andy Bhatia, Meera Vasudevan, Sangeeta Ahuja, Shelly Nichani, Maureen Pavia (First lady of Stamford), Dr. Bhaswati Bhattacharya (Speaker), Prakash Chakravarrti, Meera Banta, Bhupi Verma, Paul Ahuja, Sudhir Bansal and Dr. Thomas Abraham

 

NRIs/PIOs ACHIEVE

 

PRESIDENT OBAMA MEETS TWO INDIAN AMERICAN WINNERS OF GOOGLE SCIENE FAIR

 

US President Barack Obama met and congratulated the three Google Science Fair winners at the White House, of which two were two Indian-American students Shree Bose and Naomi Shah who did their landmark research in the field of medical science and environment.

 

Bose discovered a way to improve ovarian cancer treatment for patients when they have built up a resistance to certain chemotherapy drugs. Shah in her project endeavored to prove that making changes to indoor environments that improve air quality can reduce people's reliance on asthma medications. 

The third winner Lauren Hodge studied the effect of different marinades on the level of potentially harmful carcinogens in grilled chicken.

 

DR. RAMI RANGER'S SUN MARK CELEBRATES QUEEN'S AWARDS

 

GOPIO Gold Life Member Dr. Rami Ranger's Indo-British company Sun Mark Ltd., winners of three consecutive Queen's Award for Enterprise in International Trade held a glittering party at the Grosvenor Hotel, Park Lane, London on Saturday 15th October 2011 to celebrate this unique achievement and to pay tribute to India and Britain.

 

Sun Mark Ltd has won the Queens Award for Enterprise in International Trade 2009, 2010 and 2011, a rare achievement by any standard. The party was attended by over 40 members from both Houses of Parliament and the European Parliament along with the Acting High Commissioner of India, HE Rajesh Prasad.

 

Notables included Mr S. P. and Mr G. P. Hinduja; Lord Hameed; Mr Sukhdev Sidhu, Minister Co-ordination; Mr Amitabh Jain, Minister Economic; Mr C. Rajasekhar, Minister Political; Mrs Jasminder Kasturia; Mr Jitendra Kumar and Mr Gowri Shankar, Deputy Director of the Nehru Centre were amongst the prominent guests.

 

Over 800 guests attended this glittering celebrations, which included prominent people from the world of business, sport, overseas clients, suppliers, staff and friends who came together to celebrate this unique achievement. 

 

The Great Room of the Grosvenor House Hotel looked even more magnificent than usual with splendid decorations and lighting. Live dance performances were provided by the world famous Karan of K Spark Entertainment and guests were also entertained by the famous magician, Magic Singh, as well as other artists.

 

The event was opened by Reena Ahuja, daughter of Dr. Ranger, who welcomed everyone and described her father not only as a successful businessman but also as a philanthropist. She gave a video presentation to show the work her father does to enrich community and country (seehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rySvoBkvlKE)

 

Mr. Harmeet Ahuja, Head of Operations at Sun Mark Ltd. praised Dr. Ranger's vision, which has taken Sun Mark from a start-up to a world class company in just 15 years. It now trades with over 100 countries. He thanked the staff, customers and suppliers for making a winning team. He then gave a video presentation showing the Lord Lieutenant of Greater London, Sir David Brewer CMG, JP, presenting the third consecutive Queen's Award for Enterprise to Dr. Rami Ranger MBE, FRSA, on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen (seehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vbDpw_Qhsn8).

 

The presentation was followed by speeches by HE Rajesh Prasad, Acting High Commissioner of India; Baroness Verma; Baroness Prashar; Lord Popat; Lord Loomba; Lord Sheikh; the Rt. Hon Dominic Grieve QC MP; the Rt. Hon James Arbuthnot MP; the Rt. Hon Keith Vaz MP; the Hon Tony Baldry MP; Mr Stephen Pound MP; Mr Richard Harrington MP; Ms Priti Patel MP; Dr Charles Tannock MEP; Dr Syed Kamall MEP; Mr S.P. Hinduja and Mr G.P. Hinduja, Dr Mohan Kaul, Director General, Commonwealth Business Council.

 

Dr. Ranger thanked everyone present and said that no one makes it alone. After his vote of thanks Dr. Ranger received a standing ovation from the audience. The speeches were followed by dinner, courtesy of Ragamama and music by Ritzy Road Show; the guests danced until the early hours.

 

BRITISH INDIAN RABINDER SINGH SWORN IN AS UK HIGH COURT JUDGE INDIAN-AMERICAN STUDENTS NAMED 2011 DAVIDSON FELLOWS

 

Rabinder Singh, a leading lawyer who successfully appeared on behalf of Indian doctors in an immigration case in 2007, has been sworn in as the first Sikh judge of the High Court at the Royal Court of Justice.Singh, 47, is the son of Indian immigrants, and studied at the Bristol Grammar School and the University of Cambridge.

 

Singh is the first Sikh judge of the High Court, but not the first Sikh to be appointed to a senior level in Britain's judiciary.

 

Singh is best known through his work suggesting that the 2003 invasion of Iraq broke international law and for his part in the landmark 2004 House of Lords case that outlawed indefinite detention of foreign terror suspects.

 

INDIAN AMERICAN DR. SID GAUTAM NAMED ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR

 

Methodist University's Center for Entrepreneurship (CFE) has been a courageous venture, much like a new enterprise. In 1973, GOPIO Life Member Dr. Sid Gautam, who was then chair of the Department of Economics and Business Administration at Methodist College, founded the CFE with a mission to help entrepreneurs as they explore new frontiers of opportunity while promoting, creating, and preserving wealth.

 

For the last 38 years, the CFE has recognized over 300 entrepreneurs: "movers and shakers" from all parts of North Carolina who believe in America's free market economy.

 

As a community resource for entrepreneurs, students, minorities, small business owners, and business people in Eastern North Carolina, the CFE provides educational experiences, networking opportunities, and recognition through business awards. All our programs reflect the depth and breadth of our dedication to help these people attain their goals and objectives of becoming the best and brightest in their fields.

 

For his contribution to entrepreneurship, Dr. Gautam was named entrepreneur of the Year by Methodist University's Committee of Center for Entrepreneurship on October 26th.

 

Dr. Gautam has published three books and more than 300 articles in economic journals, magazines and newspapers.

 

NEWS OF INTEREST TO NRIs AND PIOs AROUND THE WORLD

 

 GANDHI CENTRE INAUGURATED IN THE HAGUE ON GANDHI JAYANTI DAY

 

In a befitting tribute to the ideals and message of peace and non-violence propounded by Mahatma Gandhi, Gandhiji was honoured in the Netherlands in a special way through opening of an Indian Cultural Centre named "Gandhi Centre" in The Hague on the occasion of his birth anniversary on 2nd October 2011. Gandhi Centre was inaugurated by H.E. Dr. Karan Singh, MP and President of Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) in the presence of H.E. Mr. Jozias van Aartsen, Hon'ble Mayor of The Hague and former Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands.

 

The opening of the Centre fulfills the long standing aspirations of the 200,000 Indian and Surinami Hindustani community in the Netherlands as well as the Indian Embassy and Government of India.

 

A solemn inauguration ceremony was attended by a distinguished audience of over 300 persons including Ambassadors and representatives of the Diplomatic Corps, the Grand Master of the Queen's Household, Members of the Dutch Parliament, leaders of the Surinamese Hindustani Community, media, intellectuals and artists. The programme began with the rendition of the Indian and Dutch National Anthems followed by a brief introduction by Ambassador Ms. Bhaswati Mukherjee recalling the significance of the fulfillment of a 40 year old dream. In his inaugural address, Dr.Karan Singh referred to the significance and relevance of Gandhiji in today's world and expressed the hope that the Centre would flourish and meet the aspirations of the Indo-Dutch community. Dr. Singh underlined the importance of Cultural Centres as effective instruments for fostering cultural relations and people to people contacts. Mayor van Aartsen, in his address referred to the rich tradition of Indo-Dutch cultural interactions going back to four centuries and welcomed the establishment of Gandhi Centre in The Hague. He saw the Centre symbolizing the East meeting the West, while quoting Mahatma Gandhi's message of "I want the cultures of all the lands to be blown about my house as freely as possible." He assured fullest cooperation of The Hague Municipality to the Gandhi Centre.                  

 

The cultural programme began with the traditional prayer "Ganesh Vandana", followed by Mahatma Gandhi's favourite Bhajans and Patriotic songs sung by local artistes; dramatic rendering of an adaptation of Rabindranath Tagore's poem based on an episode in Mahabharata and concluding with a Lecture cum Musical Intermezzi on "Tagore in Netherlands" by the distinguished Dutch Musicologist and ComposerProfessor Rokus de Groot. Tribute was also paid to Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore whose 150th Anniversary is being commemorated through the presentation of a portrait to the Centre by eminent painter and sculptor Dr. Manas Roy.

 

The Gandhi Centre is the 36th Centre established by ICCR worldwide. The Centre, located in the historic and beautiful area of Scheveningen in The Hague, would act as an important platform for developing and maintaining contacts with Dutch friends including students, teachers, academicians, cultural personalities and artists to project the rich and diverse cultures of India and the Netherlands.

 

A library containing substantial collections of Indian films, documentaries and other multi-media material related to India and Indo-Dutch heritage will be a part of the Centre. The Centre would organise regular lectures, panel discussions, seminars, and performing arts on subjects of contemporary and cultural interest, aimed primarily at promoting Indo-Dutch relations. Another important element of the Centre's activities would be teaching of Yoga, Meditation, Ayurveda, Art, Indian languages, etc. The Centre would also offer scholarships to Dutch students to learn Indian Music, Languages and performing Arts and also sponsor visits of experts from both sides and support other cultural exchanges.

 

Gandhi Jayanti was celebrated throughout the Netherlands on 2nd October by the Indian and Surinamese Hindustani community. Dr. Karan Singh attended a function organised at the Public Library in Hobbemaplein in The Hague. He offered floral tributes at the Statue of Mahatma Gandhi in the presence of H.E. Mr. Rabin Baldewsingh, Deputy Mayor of Hague and spoke of the enduring relevance of Gnadhiji's message. He also inaugurated an Exhibition of Photographs of Mahatma Gandhi in The Hague Library organised by The Hague Municipality.

 

GANDHI IS REMEMBERED IN THE US HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

Gandhi's life was a testament to invincibility of truth over injustice, a key US lawmaker said on the occasion of the birth anniversary of the Father of the Nation. 

"On this day, I join the Indian-American community and friends around the globe to remember and celebrate the life of this fearless man who led a nation to gain independence for his people from the British Empire," New York Congressman, Joseph Crowley, said in his speech on the floor of the House of Representatives. 

"Gandhi's life was a testament to invincibility of truth over injustice. When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it, always." he said. 

Offering his best wishes to the millions of Indian-Americans and to Indians around the globe on this occasion, Crowley said Gandhi shaped modern India and has continued to shape the world by inspiring some the greatest leaders of the time. 

"A champion for the rights of all people, he fought apartheid in South Africa, colonial rule in India, and oppression and injustice in all its guises. In doing so, he has inspired our world's greatest leaders from Nelson Mandela to Cesar Chavez, Aung San Suu Kyi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr," he said. 

"It was Dr. King who once said he owed his inspiration to fight injustice to God and his method--nonviolent resistance--to Gandhi. The American civil rights movement, from lunch counter sit-ins to the Montgomery County bus boycott, was influenced by Gandhi's foundational principle of Satyagraha, or nonviolent civil disobedience," he said. 

"Today, modern India is a leader as the world's largest democracy, among the world's largest economies, and as our close friend and ally. The US -India friendship remains a growing and essential part of US foreign policy, and working together our two countries are a powerful force for positive change in the region and in the world," Crowley said.

 

AUSTRALIA CANCELS VISAS OF OVER 15,000 STUDETNS FOR VIOLATION OF RULES

 

Australian authorities have cancelled 15,066 student visas of foreign nationals, including Indians, for breaching visa conditions, reports said.

 

The immigration department has already cancelled 15,066 foreign student visas in the past year, a 37 per cent spike from the previous year.

 

About 3,624 students are facing deportation for flunking subjects or missing classes and a further 2,235 visas were cancelled on students who quit their original courses and were either working illegally, in some cases in brothels, 'The Daily Telegraph' reported.

 

The report said that Indian students have been hit the hardest where as Chinese students were fared better as they were less likely to be studying for a trade.

 

Under the new rules, University graduates will have the right to work here for two years after they graduate, leaving vocational training students to wait on a second tranche of changes, due next year, to find out where they stand.

 

Of the 332,709 international students in Australia in June, more than half were studying at university, while a third were on vocational training visas studying diploma courses.

 

The report said that one in every five international students is Chinese, while one in every six is Indian. The majority of international students were placed in New South Wales and Victoria.

 

To receive a visa students must be enrolled in a course and show they can pay tuition and living costs and meet health and English language tests.

 

Immigration Department offers eight kinds of student visas - including vocational training, university, English language courses or school education visas.

 

The department's annual report said that 8,309 student visa holders became "unlawful" in the past year because their student visa expired and they did not apply for a new one, such as a bridging visa.

 

In some cases, foreigners were not genuine students and use the work rights of a student visa as a back door to higher wages and working conditions in Australia.

 

Some women have come to Australia on student visas to work in illegal brothels.

 

UK MAKES IT MIORE DIFFICULT TO GET STUDENT VISAS, BANS 1,900 INDIAN BANKS

 

Britain on Tuesday published a list of nearly 1,900 banks in India - most of them cooperative - whose financial statements will not be accepted for student visa purposes, a move that is set to affect thousands of Indian students wanting to study there.

 

The new list has just 85 banks operating in India whose statements will be accepted for purposes of student visas.

 

As part of the application for student visas - Tier 4 under the points-based system - applicants have to show evidence of possessing the necessary funds to pursue a course of study and live in the UK for the duration of the course.

 

INDIAN EXTERNAL AFFAIRS MINISTRY ASK MISSIONS TO STOP OUTSOURCING VISA-RELATED WORK

 

The foreign ministry's experiment with outsourcing has not taken off. Stung by complaints from NRIs and others seeking Indian visas, the ministry last week issued a circular to all Indian missions asking them not to outsource any visa and passport related work to foreign firms.

 

At the outset of handing over the passport, OCI and surrender certificate work to the Travisa, GOPIO had complained about the inexperience of the outsourcing company personnel to handle these work. There have been several complaints from the community about the outsourcing company personnel not knowing the intricacies of Indian birth certificates, etc. Not knowing Indian language was another issue.

While WTO regulations prevented the ministry from banning foreign companies altogether, it said in the circular that outsourcing contracts should only be awarded to Indian companies "with or without foreign partners". 

The circular comes close on the heels of foreign minister S M Krishna's letter, dated October 20, to all Indian envoys warning them of disciplinary action if they failed to ensure transparency in procurement and visa outsourcing. 

Officials said the decision to issue the circular was taken because of growing number of complaints against foreign firms, including Travisa in the US, which are handling such work on behalf of Indian missions. The ministry surprised many in 2007 when it allowed Indian missions to outsource visa and passport processing to private companies saying that because of the shortage of staff, it was no longer possible to handle a rapidly growing number of visa applications for tourism and trade purposes. 

Immediately after this, the Indian embassy in the US outsourced all visa and passport processing work to Travisa which became the face of the Indian mission for those seeking travel documents as it exclusively handled all such work. Four years later though, things seem to have worsened. In fact, during his last visit to the US in September, Krishna held a meeting with Indian ambassador to the US Nirupama Rao to find out why complaints from Indians were piling up. Apparently, there were not enough staff well versed with Indian languages in all the centres. 

According to a MEA official, the existing contracts will remain for now but from now on, no new contract will be given to any foreign firm which does not have any Indian partner.

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: gopio-intl@sbcglobal.net

GOPIO President - Lord Daljit Rana, UK, Tel:  +44 28-9807-8787, Email:president.gopiointl@googlemail.com

 

GOPIO Executive Vice President - Ashook Ramsaran, Fresh Meadows, New York City, Tel: 718/939-8194, E-mail: ramsaran@aol.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 International, PO Box 560117, New York NY 11356, USA.

 

 

EDITORIAL BOARD

 

Chief Editor: Dr. Thomas Abraham, Founder President and Chairman Emeritus, GOPIO (Stamford, CT, USA)

Editors: Ashook Ramsaran, GOPIO Executive Vice President (New York, USA)

Webmasters: Prashant Gupta (Hyderabad, India) and Abu Thomas (New Rochelle, NY, USA)

Contributors of this issue: Nami Kaur (GOPIO Convention 2011), Suman Kapoor (GOPIO-Waikato, New Zealand), Jay Banerjei (GOPIO-Toronto), Shailesh Naik (GOPIO-CT, USA), Dr. Piyush Agrawal (GOPIO Intl., USA) and Sangeeta Ahuja (GOPIO Health Council)

 

GOPIO NEWS welcomes NRI/PIO related stories from all over the world. Be a volunteer correspondent or reporter. Contact Dr. Thomas Abraham, Tel: 203-329-8010, E-mail: gopio@optonline.net.
 

Visit GOPIO's Official site at www.gopio.net or www.gopio.com