January 1, 2012

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

Issue: XI-1 January 1, 2012
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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

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GOPIO International has scheduled its Annual Conference and Community Service Awards (CSA) Banquet on January 6, 2012 in Jaipur, India along with GOPIO's General Council Meetings on January 6, 2012 preceding Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD2012) events of January 7 - 9, 2010. Rajasthan Governor H.E. Shivraj Patil and Chief Minister Hon. Ashok Gehlot will speak at at the banquet to be held at the Marriott Jaipur on Jan. 6th evening


Honored Guest at GOPIO Banquet on Jn. 6th Rajasthan Governor  Shivraj Patil and Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot

 Photo above: Rajasthan Governer H.E. Shivraj Patil and Chief Minsiter Hon. Ashok Gehlot 


Program outline as follows:


Date - Friday, January 6, 2012 

11:00am GOPIO Executive Meeting 
12:30pm Lunch 
1:30pm Regional & Country Reports

4:00pm Conference Session on NRI/PIO Investment Opportunities and Networking with Indian Businesses 
7:00pm Cocktails and Networking Reception 
8:00pm GOPIO CSA Banquet

Detailed Program 
11:00am GOPIO Executive Meeting (Not open to the public) 
Venue: Sapphire 1 Conference Hall, Marriott Jaipur Hotel

12:30pm Lunch 
Venue: Hallway, Outside Sapphire 1 Conference Hall, Marriott Jaipur Hotel 

1:30pm Regional & Country Reports (Open to the public)  Venue: Sapphire 1 Conference Hall, Marriott Jaipur Hotel 

Markandey Rai - Kenya 
Dr. Anand Singh - South Africa 
Ved Prakash Goojha - France 
Ena Maraj - Trinidad & Tobago 
Radha Krishnan - Indian Organizations in the USA 
Dr Piyush Agrawal - North America 
Dr. Mohan Gautam - Netherlands 
Suman Kapoor - New Zealand 
Jean Ramsamy - Reunion Island 
Dr. Sai Giridhar - Middle East 
Umesh Chandra - Australia 
Dr. C. Thomas - Muscat 
Prem Lashkery - Nepal

Datuk A. Vaithilingam - Malaysia 
Prabhu Ganesan MP - Sri Lanka 
Dr Winston Tolan - Jamaica

Sunny Kulathakal - GOPIO Council Reports

Dr. Piyush Agrawal - GOPIO Chapter Developments

                GOPIO-Jaipur - Gopal Mehta/Viswas Jain

                GOPIO-Bangalore - Elizabeth Kulathakal

                GOPIO Tel-Aviv and GOPIO-Ahmadabad - Dr. Thomas Abraham

4:00PM Session : NRI/PIO Investment Opportunities 
Venue : Marriott Hotel Jaipur

Detailed Program 

Welcome  - Convener Munish Gupta 

Introductions - GOPIO President Ashook Ramsaran 

Remarks - GOPIO Chairman Inder Singh 

Inaugural Chief Guest - Shri. Rajendra Pareek, Minister of Industries, NRI, Economics & Statistics Rajasthan Govt., Jaipur
Minister Rajendra Pareek

Minister Rajendra Pareek



Mr. Yadvendra Mathur, IAS - Rajasthan Financial Corporation

Theme: The changing/ new India with rapid liberalization, economic reforms, legal system and good economy luring NRI/ PIO / Foreign Investors


Mr. Nirankar Saxena, FICCI Director, Center for Technology

Theme: India Commercializing Innovation and Technology Overseas, and Opportunities for Overseas Indians to participate


Ms. Sujata Sudarshan, CEO, Overseas Indian Facilitation Centre (OIFC-CII/MIOA Initiative)

Theme: Facilitating NRI / PIO Investment Opportunities, an MOIA initiative 

Shyamsundar Kadur, India-Trinidad &Tobago Chamber of Industry & Commerce (Managing Director of SS International Ltd.) 
Theme: NRI Opportunities in Trinidad & Tobago and the Caribbean Region 

Hon Prabha Ganeshan, Member of Parliament, Sri Lanka 
Theme: Investment Opportunities in the New Sri Lanka 

Dr. Muhammed Majeed, President, Sabinsa Corp. (New Jersey, USA) and Sami Labs (Bangalore, India) 

Theme: Experience as NRI investor in India

Kotak Mahindra Bank, Mumbai, India 
IL&FS Trust Company Ltd, Mumbai, India 

Interactive Session - Moderator 

Closing Remarks and Note of Thanks - Mr. Viswas Jain, Co-Coordinator, GOPIO-Jaipur 

7:00pm GOPIO International Annual Banquet & Community Service Awards 2012 
Venue : Ruby Grand Ballroom, Marriott Hotel Jaipur 

By Invitation or advance registration (Pay at door Rs. 1,500 after reservation; Pre-register online at GOPIO Website, USD$ 30)

7:00pm - 8:00pm Cocktails - Networking. 

8:00pm Award Ceremony


Welcome - Program Convener Munish Gupta

Greetings - K. N. Gupta, Outgoing President GOPIO India & Director, Government Liaison, GOPIO International 

Greetings - Gopal Mehta, GOPIO Jaipur Coordinator

Introduction of GOPIO Officials: Chairman, President, Vice Presidents, International Coordinators and Council Chairs

Remarks by GOPIO Officials - Inder Singh, Chairman and Ashook Ramsaran, President 

Remarks - H.E. Shri Shivraj Patil, Governor of Rajasthan 

Remarks - Hon. Shri Ashok Gehlot, Chief Minister of Rajasthan 

Remarks - Hon. Shri Rajendra Pareek, Rajasthan Minister - Industries, NRIs


Presentation GOPIO Community Service & Special Awards 


Recognition of Sponsors - Kotak Mahindra Bank, L&FS Trust Company Pvt. Ltd, Marriott Jaipur Hotel and PIO TV


Closing - Sunny Kulathakal, Executive Vice President, GOPIO International


Note of Thanks - Dr. Piyush Agrawal, Senior Vice President, GOPIO International

GOPIO Community Service Awardees 

Faisal Kottikollon (Bahrain)

Raghunath Manet (France) 
Prof. Ved Prakash Nanda (USA) 
Dr. Rami Ranger, MBE (UK) 
Dr. Ajeet Singhvi (USA) 
Datuk A. Vaithilingam (Malaysia) 
Hendry H Wickramasinghe (Sri Lanka)

GOPIO Special Award


Hon. K. Mohandas, Secretary Shipping and Transport and former Secretary, Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs

Program Emcee

Dr Thomas Abraham, Immediate Past Chairman, Executive Trustee of GOPIO Intl. Foundation




Kotak Mahindra Bank

"Kotak Mahindra Bank is happy to be associated with GOPIO and looks forward to its presence at the GOPIO Annual Conference & Community Service Awards 2012. Kotak Mahindra Bank is in the forefront on the engagement with NRIs and PIOs across the globe to offer investments and wealth management services to NRIs and PIOs. Kotak can be a perfect financial partner for GOPIO and its member and can support GOPIO on joint initiatives. Kotak Mahindra Bank has a comprehensive suite of best in class investment products and services for NRIs across the globe which includes deposits, remittance, mutual funds, life insurance, loan and other banking and investment products and services."


ILFS Trust Company Ltd.IL&FS Trust Company Ltd., India (ITCL) is among the largest integrated trust companies, offers Trusteeship, Fiduciary & para-Legal services to infrastructure & financial services industry - government & individuals, and administers over USD 48 billion worth in assets under a gamut of Corporate and Family Trusteeship services. ITCL understands the PIOs/NRIs connection with India, and the long pain-staking efforts in building businesses, homes (family and otherwise), real estate investments and charitable interests.


1. ITCL 'Family Office' Solutions provide a combination of legal structures aimed at protecting family assets from personal and legal risks, ensuring seamless transfer of assets to legal heirs/ chosen individuals/ charities without encountering any legal hurdles/ complexities/ disputes, preservation of Business and Family records, Art & Artefacts,Consolidated Reporting and Monitoring of Investments, integrated back office support including accounting, legal and tax, compliance and secretarial services, and, Real estate administration and Property Management.

2. ITCL Offers Corporate Trusteeship and Administration for Conventional and Capital Market Debt Issuances (Term Loans/ Debentures/Bonds/Commercial Paper), Private Equity and Venture Capital Funds, Employee Stock Options / Employee Welfare Trusts, Collective Investment Schemes, and, Securitization Trusts.


Marriott Jaipur LogoMarriott Hotel Jaipur is proud to be the host hotel and hospitality partner of GOPIO International for the 2012 Annual Conference & Community Service Awards on January 6, 2012, at Jaipur. Marriott Jaipur is a new, modern, convenient and comfortable hotel. GOPIO International members are encouraged to avail of the special rates - Rs. 6,600 plus tax for double occupancy including breakfast. Marriott Jaipur is strategically located close to the heart of the city as well as the airport. It offers perfect accommodation for leisure as well as business travelers with 300 spacious rooms including 15 suites and 1 Presidential suite, catering to the MICE and leisure traveler. Marriott Jaipur hotel is a perfect destination where work and pleasure blend seamlessly into each other. Marriott Hotel Jaipur ( has a special offer for GOPIO International Members. Visit

Jaipur Marriott Hotel, Near Jawahar Circle, Ashram Marg, Jaipur - 302015, Rajasthan. Tel: +91 141 4567777 Fax: +91 141 4567887


PIO TV ( is a unique digital multi-media and new media platform connecting the Diaspora amongst itself, and with India. PIO TV covers India and the Diaspora world daily from an overseas Indian perspective. PIO TV is proud to partner with GOPIO International each year to provide a comprehensive coverage of the Annual Conference & Community Service Awards of GOPIO International in conjunction with Pravasi Bharatiya Divas. Watch 2012 GOPIO International conference and PBD 2012 in Jaipur, India, on Jan. 15 PIO TV ( PIO TV has over 4 million minutes of archived videos spanning coverage from around the globe. Share Diaspora Stories with PIO TV,  PIO TV to be launched January 15, 2012 in Canada!



GOPIO has selected seven to receive community service awards at the annual banquet to be held on Jan. 6th. The senior most Indian Administrative officer, Shnipping Secretary and former MOIA Secretary K. Mohandas will be recognbized for his services to the Indian Diaspora community. This year's award recipients are as follows:


Faisal Kottikollon (Bahrain) - Entrepreneur/industrialist. Founder President/CEO of Emirates Techno Casting synergy comprising of several successful companies. A visionary industrialist and philanthropist, a man widely respected for his business acumen and compassion for the underprivileged. As the founder-chairman of the UAE-based KEF Holdings, he has scripted a phenomenal success story that continues to inspire many entrepreneurs. Many years of service in practicing corporate social responsibility as well as setting up the Shabana & Faizal Foundation charity organization directing funds and support for the betterment of deprived people.


Raghunath Manet (France) - Prominent exemplary classic Indian dancer and teacher with exemplary contribution to social and humanitarian activities that include active collaboration with UNESCO for promotion of art and Indian culture worldwide. Pro bono community volunteer service as teacher of vocal, instrumental, Ayurveda, yoga and classic dance at his own institution. Offering basic education, training facilities, shelter & access to art & culture, including handicrafts, to particularly the disabled, blind persons and kids and disadvantaged persons through his own school based in Pondicherry. Participating in voluntary activities for AIDS/SIDACTION. Funding for Reconstruction of Historical sites and Temples in South India by performing "The famous Temple of Tanjore".


Prof. Ved Prakash Nanda (USA) - Director of the International Legal Studies Program at the University of Denver and an internationally renowned jurist. He was also the former president of the World Jurist Association and President of the World Association of Law Professors. Prof. Nanda is the recipient of the 2004 Gandhi, King, Ikeda Award; the 1997 United Nations Association Human Rights Award; and the 1990 World Legal Scholar award. He has authored or co-authored 22 books in international law and is widely published in law journals, magazines and newspapers. He has been a Distinguished Visiting Professor and Scholar at a number of universities in the United States and abroad. One of the founding team setting up GOPIO International for the cause of protecting and furthering the human rights of PIOs; a professional of excellence and dedication to community service. A staunch supporter of forging better bilateral ties and understanding between India and US and India and many other countries.


Dr. Rami Ranger, MBE (UK) - A very successful businessman with recognition from Her Majesty the Queen five times, four times for business (Sun Mark Ltd) and once personally for community service. This year the company was added to the Sunday Times most profitable 100 companies in Britain in their "Profit Track 100". He also devotes his time to benefit society by launching ground breaking initiatives designed to strengthen social cohesion in Britain. He has created hundreds of jobs for fellow Indians and he also raises funds for worthy projects in India. He encourages the British Indian community to become more publically and politically spirited in Britain. In addition, he has also helped 5 fellow Indians to become Members of Parliament in Britain to safeguard India's interest.


GOPIO Community Service Award Recipients to be honored at Convention 2012 in Jaipur in conjunctioin with PBD 

Photo from top left clockwise - Faisal Kottikollon, Raghunath Manet, Prof. Ved P. Nanda, Hendry Vikramasinghe, Datuk A. Vaithilingam, Dr. Ajeet Singhvi and Dr. Rami Ranger


Ajeet Singhvi, MD (USA) - Immediate Past President of American Association of Physicians of India Origin (AAPI), the largest organized association of PIOs and NRIs in the US. Worked for over 30 years towards better understanding between people of Indian and United States. Prominent physician with faculty appointment at Loma Linda University Medical Center, a Fellow of the American College of Gastroenterology and the American Gastroenterological Association. He served as the Chief of Staff at Hemet Valley Medical Center from 2000 to 2004, and was also on the Hemet Hospital Foundation Board. He is presently serving on the Board of Riverside County Medical Association. He has been working closely with community leaders to address issues of mutual interest, especially the first ever "Health India Think Tank". Worked closely with community leaders to address issues of disease prevention and health promotion amongst Indo-Americans.


Datuk A. Vaithilingam (Malaysia) - A dedicated national leader of NGOs for social service and community development in Malaysia; recognized as a righteous spokesperson for the advancement of inter-faith advocacy and its role in fostering harmony within the multi-religious communities of Malaysia. At the forefront in initiating and implementing community development and social welfare programs in for in Malaysia. He has helmed various leadership roles of Malaysia Hindu Sangam that is Malaysia's national representative organization of the 1.8 million Hindus in the country. He served as the President of the Malaysia Hindu Sangam for over 12 years until his retirement in 2009. He has also been a key founder member of the Malaysian AIDS Council, as well as the Malaysian Consultative Council for Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism & Taosim (MCCBCHST).


Hendry H Wickramasinghe (Sri Lanka) - Secretary/Consultant at Office of Hon. M.P. Praba Ganesan. Participated in the peace process activities in Sri Lanka at the grass root level, representing Indian origin Tamils. An ardent activist in promoting the Indian origin upcountry Tamils rights in socio-cultural and political spheres and facilitating higher studies of upcountry Tamil students. Made significant contribution in the service of preservation and betterment in temples in Colombo. Actively campaigning for the civil rights of Indian origin Tamils in Sri Lanka whom were disenfranchised in 1948. Participated with Ministers and Members of Parliament in seminars and study tours on the Federal System in most of the European countries since the year 2000. Many years in support of the community in both public and social service, as well as your exemplary achievements and your commitment to human rights.


SPECIAL AWARD - Hon. K. Mohandas (India) 


Secretary of Shipping and former MOIA Secretary K. MohandasSecretary K Mohandas is the senior most IAS officer in the Indian administration. Currently the secretary of the Ministry of Shipping, Government of India, earlier he served as the secretary in the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA). While serving as the Secretary of MOIA, Mohandas traveled in many countries with large NRI/PIO population to reach out the overseas Indian communities, to understand their issues and seek solutions to them. During his term as MOIA Secretary, Mohandas made several initiatives from the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs including Overseas Indian Facilitation Center (OIFC), India Development Foundation of Overseas Indians and Global Indian Network of Knowledge (Global INK). When MOIA initiated the Kolkata project at the urging of GOPIO as a memorial for the PIOs who migrarted one century ago from India, Secretary Mohandas came forward and helped to clear it from his ministry.



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, or Dr. Thomas Abraham of GOPIO at


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:




GOPIO International is hosting a special dinner in Kolkata on January 11, 2012 for Trinidad & Tobago's Prime Minister, Hon. Kamla Persad-Bissessar, who is making a historic visit to the Kolkata Memorial on the first anniversary of its unveiling. Hon. Kamla Persad-Bissessar, the first female Prime Minister of the twin-island state will be the chief guest at Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) 2012 to be held in Jaipur on January 7-9, 2012.


The Kolkata Memorial pays tribute to those who left India as indentured Indian laborers from 1834 thru' 1920 and is inscribed with memorial plaques in Hindi and English in "recognition and remembrance of their journeys as Indian indentured laborers taken to far away lands seeking better livelihoods for themselves and their descendants".


 It was inaugurated on January 11, 2011 at Kidderpore Depot along the Hoogley River in Kolkata by Hon Vayalar Ravi, Minister of India's Overseas Indian Affairs, along with now Chief Minister of West Bengal, Hon Mamta Banerjee. The unveiling was a attended by hundreds from several countries including Guyana, Trinidad, Surname, Guadeloupe, USA, Canada, UK, Netherlands, Switzerland, South Africa, Kenya, Fiji, Mauritius, Re-Union Islands, New Zealand, Australia and other many others countries where Indians and persons of Indian origin reside.


A large contingent of PIOs from the Caribbean region will be in attendance as well as many GOPIO members from local and international groups. The event will be one of the highlights of the first official state visit to India by Prime Minister Persad-Bissessar.


Attendance to the planned luncheon is by invitation only. For seating arrangements, RSVP is requested as soon as possible. 
For details, contact: Mridul Pathak (Program Coordinating Chairperson) at or Arundhuti Ganguli at (or Tel 91-98-3063-2422).

The 10th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) will be held from 7-9 January, 2012 in Jaipur, Rajasthan. Shri Vayalar Ravi, the Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) and Civil Aviation, announced that the Chief Guest of PBD-2012 will be the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Ms. Kamla Persad Bissessar. The theme of PBD-2012 is "Global Indian-Inclusive Growth". It was announced that Rajasthan will be the partner State of the 10th PBD, which would provide the Diaspora an opportunity to understand the vibrant culture and potential of State. 

Shri Ravi said that Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh will inaugurate this annual flagship event of the Ministry on January 8, and the President Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil will deliver the valedictory address on January 9 and confer the Pravasi Bhartiya Samman Awards. He also informed that two pre-conference seminars on 'Solar Energy- Investment' and R&D' and 'Social Entrepreneurship-Water' will also be organized during the event. 

The Minister said that more than 1500 delegates are expected to participate in PBD-2012 from all over the world. He said that Government is making efforts to make PBD more meaningful and interactive event that would address issues and concerns of the overseas Indian community effectively. He also announced that the event would be webcast online and summary of proceedings put out each day. The interactive website would provide an opportunity for the Diaspora to participate in the conference from any corner of the world. On the occasion, he also launched the PBD website- 

For further details and registration, visit


Note: GOPIO Members can register for PBD2012 at 50% discount. Visit the registration website at When you reach to the payment page, click GOPIO member to get the 50% discount.




The Bengalurue chapter of the Global Organisation of the People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) was inaugurated by Justice Gopala Gowda, Chief Justice of Orissa High Court, on Saturday, December 17, at Hotel Ashok in the presence of a select gathering. Justice Gopala Gowda lauded the objectives of GOPIO and urged the organization to spread the message of peace and humanism inherent in Indian culture.

Dr.Siddharth Gautam, Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and a motivation speaker from the US, in his keynote address regaled the audience with stories of Indian Diaspora's success everywhere. He said the best days of India and Indians are ahead. Recalling the contributions of many professionals like Vikram Pandit, Indrani Nooyi and Fareed Zakaria, he said Indians were emerging as game-changers and agents of change. He has no doubt that tomorrow's world leaders will emerge from India.

The meeting felicitated the newly elected Executive Vice President of GOPIO, Mr. Sunny Kulathakal, and the first NRI from the Middle East to be elected to that post. All the speakers appreciated Sunny's contributions. The logo of GOPIO, Bangalore, was also unveiled on the occasion.

Others who spoke included Dr.Majeed from the US, M.K.Ramachandra, former chairman of FKCCI, and Dr.Joseph V.J.Chairman, Garden City College, Bangalore. Mr T.Ramappa, convener, GOPIO, Bangalore, proposed a vote of thanks. The function was sponsored by Garden City College.


GOPIO-Bengaluru Chapter Launch 

Photo above: Mrs. Elizabeth Sunny Kulathakal, Dr. R.K. Ramanathan ( outstanding scientist)), B.N.Ramanath, Director, Sri Nagalakshmi Dyes & Silks Pvt Ltd, T. Ramappa ( Former General Secretary, Chamber of Commerce ,Bangalore), M.K.Ramachandra (Former President, Chamber of Commerce, Bangalore), Aswathnarayana, (Senior Advocate), Ashok Saxena , Director, ADS Group, Sunny Kulathakal, Justice Gopala Gowda, Chief Justice of Orissa High Court, Dr.Sid Gautam, Mrs. Gautam, Dr. Muhammed Majeed, MD, Sami Labs,Bangalore, Naresh Kumar , CEO, NK Associates, Dr. Kodur Venkatesh, Director, Einstein International University




GOPIO-Jaipur was launched at an evening reception and meeting on Friday, December 23rd at the Conference Centre, CEG Tower, B-11G Malaviya Industrial Area in Jaipur. Attended by over former NRIs and those who have close connections with NRIs and otehrs who do business with NRIs, the meeting was addressed by GOPIO Founder President and Chairman Emeritus Dr. Thomas Abraham.


Two Principal Secretaries of Rajasthan Government Mr. R.S. Verma and Mr. O.P. Saini called on the audience to support this worthwhile cause and make a successful linkage of Jaipur to the global Indian Disapora. Both officers extended theri full support for GOPIO-Jaipur. After the speeches, an interactive session followed where several issues of interest to those NRIs who have settled back in India. A letter of intent was signed by five initial incorporators.


After the meeting, a sumptous dinner was served by CEG India Ltd and its Presdent Vishwas Jain.


GOPIO-Jaipur has also served as a launching pad for a major GOPIO International program to be held on Jan. 6th, i.e. GOPIO Conference and Community Service Awards banquet on January 6th at Marriott-Jaipur.

Photo below: Rajasthan Principal Secretary for Public Works O.P. Saini speaking at GOPIO_jaipur launch. Seted from L. to R. are: publisher J. Kothari, Dr. thomas Abraham and Principal Secretary R.S. Verma

GOPIO Jaipur Launch 

 Photo above: Some of the participants at the GOPIO-Jaipur launch. Seated from L. to R. are J. Kothari, Viswas Jain, Dr. thomas Abraham and Gopal Mehta


Former NRIs settled in the  Jaipur area and those interested in to network with NRIs/PIOs (i.e. parents of NRI children and those with business interest) are requested to contact the GOPIO-Jaipur Coordinators Mr. Gopal Mehta at 09928852100 (e-mail: or Mr. Viswas Jain at 09929094199 (




GOPIO plans to launch GOPIO-Ahmedabad in conjunction with the Diaspora Conference organized by Gujarat University's Study Abroad program on Jan. 12 th and 13 th . GOPIO Founder President and Chairman Emeritus Dr. Thomas Abraham will be the guest speaker. Former NRIs settled in the Ahmedabad area and those interested in to network with NRIs/PIOs (i.e. parents of NRI children and those with business interest) are invited. 
5:00 pm to 5:30 pm - Networking Reception, Coffee/Tea and Snacks 
5.30 pm - 7.00 p.m. GOPIO-Ahmedabad Launch, Talk, and Interactive Session 
7.00 p.m. - Dinner (Venue will be announced later) 
Date and Time: 
Wednesday, January 11 th , 2012 
Executive Meeting Room, Main Tower Building, Gujarat University, Ahmedabad    

Confirm your participation by sending an e-mail to Dr. Neerja Arun 9825012984 or 079-25601314 or 26303153 (O) (e-mail:  






Indian American lawyer Preeta Bansal, who was an adviser to Barack Obama's presidential campaign before serving in the administration, has been appointed to a key administration post. Preeta Bansal has been appointed Member of the Advisory Council of the Administrative Conference of the United States, the White House said in a statement, which also announced the appointment of Boris Bershteyn to the same position.

"I am proud to appoint such impressive individuals to these important roles, and I am grateful they have agreed to lend their considerable talents to this Administration. "I look forward to working with them in the months and years ahead," Obama said in a statement.


A rising Democratic rising star, Bansal served as the General Counsel and Senior Policy Advisor for the Office of Management and Budget from 2009 to 2011. In that capacity, she was also a government member of the Council of the Administrative Conference of the US, serving as Vice Chair from 2010 until 2011. She is a Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.


Bansal, who studied at the Harvard Law School, has earlier served as an adviser to Obama's presidential campaign. Prior to joining the Obama Administration, she was a Partner and Head of the Appellate Litigation Practice at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom, LLP, in New York City. She is the former Solicitor General of the State of New York and a former law clerk to US Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens. From 2003 to 2009, while in private law practice, Bansal also was a Commissioner of the bipartisan United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, serving as its Chair from 2004 to 2005. 
Shuvendu Sen, MD has been honored with Oscar Edward E. Award for Volunteerism and Community work by the American College of Physicians, North Carolina chapter on January 28th, 2011 at Washington Inn, Duke University, North Carolina. The award was given due to his outstanding contribution to the community. Amongst his many contributions, Dr Sen has been the founder Director of Project Access, Harnett County, North Carolina, a non profit organization to treat patients with no health insurance. 
Formerly an Attending Physician of Betsy Johnson Regional Hospital, NC and President, Harnett County Medical Society, Dr Sen has recently moved to Raritan Bay Medical Center, New Jersey as Associate Director, Internal Medicine Residency Program and Director, Medical Education. 
Dr Sen, also serves as the Chair of the Surgical Technology Program at Long Island University. He received The Men of Distinction Award from NY State Senator Shirly Huntley on March 24th, 2008. 
The five-member City Council of Cypress, California approved Prakash Narain, M.D., as the new Mayor Pro Tem of Cypress on December 12, 2011, effective immediately. First elected to the City Council in 2006, he also served as Mayor Pro Tem in 2009, and as Mayor in 2010. Narain won easily in his bid for reelection in November 2010, as he ran unchallenged. He is the first Indian-American and first physician elected to this City Council, and perhaps the first Indian-American Mayor in the Southern California region. S ince the city of Cypress has term limits, Mayor Pro Tem Narain's second and final term will end in December 2014. He will hold the one-year term position of Mayor Pro Tem until December 2012.






Indian Cabinet has approved the National Council of Human Resources in Health (NCHRH) Bill that allows doctors who hold the Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) status to work in India. They can also teach in medical colleges.

The Bill is expected to go to Parliament soon from where it will then go to the standing committee. The Bill includes penal provisions against authorities running private medical colleges who fabricate figures about bed strength, number of faculty members or infrastructure to get registration. The errant authorities after the Bill is approved, will face three years of imprisonment and a fine of Rs 25 lakh.  



As per report by Migration Policy Institute, Foreign students contribute significantly to the US economy. During the 2010-11 academic year, foreign students and their dependents spent $20.2 billion between living expenses, tuition, and other related fees. Many states, including California, Texas, and New York, which receive the most international students, get substantial economic benefits. New York state received $2.43 billion from students. 

Last year saw an 8 percent increase in foreign students in the United States, with 723,277 studying in the country.  Because of financial benefits and brain gain, various countries compete to recruit international students and, after graduation,  try to retain them to reap the benefits of their advanced skill sets.




The US House of Representatives has passed a bill modifying the visa system that will allow highly skilled immigrants to obtain permanent residency status faster. The Fairness for High-Skilled Immigration Act (HR 3012), eliminates per-country caps on employment-based visas and institutes a first come first served system.  

Currently, immigration law limits employment-based green cards allowing permanent residence for citizens from any one country to no more than seven percent of the total green cards approved by the State Department in any particular year. The rule makes it tougher for workers from big countries that provide most of the foreign tech workers. Although it is easier to obtain a green card for applicants from smaller countries that don't generate a significant amount of applications. Individuals from India, the source of most tech industry immigrants to the US, often have to wait up to 10 years for a green card due to the per-country cap. 

The High-Skilled Immigration Act aims to correct such imbalances by switching to a first come, first served system for the roughly 140,000 employment-based green cards awarded each year. In addition to eliminating numerical caps on employment-based green cards, the Act would also raise the per-country cap for 226,000 family-related green cards from seven percent of the total to 15 per cent.


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 ( and get details of chapter initiation (visit Process involves sending a letter of intent to start a chapter by a committee of five people or more. For more information, contact:



GOPIO Chairman - Inder Singh, Tarzana, California, USA, Tel: +1-818-708-3885, E-mail:


GOPIO President - Ashook Ramsaran, Fresh Meadows, New York, USA, Tel: 718/939-8194,


GOPIO Executive Vice President - Sunny Kulathakal, Bahrain, Tel: +973 39441956 or +91 9845756692, E-mail:



To become a Life member of GOPIO, one can sign up online at or fill up the form and send it with a check to: GOPIO International, PO Box 560117, New York NY 11356, USA. 




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

Editor: Ashook Ramsaran, GOPIO  President (New York, USA)

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

Contributors of this issue: Inder Singh (Chairman, GOPIO Intl.), Nami Kaur (Secretary, GOPIO), Dr. Neerja 
Arun (Ahmadabad, India), Munish Gupta (GOPIO International Coordinator for Africa)


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:

Visit GOPIO's Official site at or