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April 25, 2016

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

Issue: XIV-1April 25, 2016
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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

We are back with our publication after a lapse of over one year. GOPIO News has been brought out by volunteers providing their time to write the stories, edit, do the graphics and upload to the web send it out. However, because of the turmoil in GOPIO with suits and counter suits, our volunteers were disheartened to spend their time. Now that GOPIO has successfully conducted the election and a new team that values the efforts of the volunteer editorial team has been elected, we want to go forward.
Starting with this issue, we also invite sponsors for the GOPIO News, which is one of the largest direct e-mail circulated publication among the Indian Diaspora. This is a great media to publicize one's business and professional practices. If you like to support this community venture, please contact us.

Ms. Nami Kaur (New York, USA) continues as Editor. Ms. Layla Mathew (Bangalore, India) joins as Associate Editor. We are looking for volunteer reporters from all regions of the world. If you like to volunteer your time to bring out this global publication for Indian Diaspora, please contact us at:
Dr. Thomas Abraham, Chief Editor, GOPIO News
Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) elected a new international executive council at a warmly contested election, conducted electronically for the first time, where 208 of the 223 international delegates from 21 countries cast votes, electing Mr. Niraj Baxi of Silicon Valley (USA) as its President. Other elected officers are: Mr. Noel Lal (Sydney, Australia) as Executive Vice President, Mr. Ram Gadhavi (New Jersey, USA) Vice President, Dr. Rajeev Mehta (USA), Dr. Pradip Sewoke (France), Mrs. Suman Kapoor (New Zealand), and Mr. Rajidre Tiwari (The Netherlands) as International Coordinators. The election process was supervised by GOPIO Chairman, Inder Singh who will continue in that position.
Elected GOPIO 2016 Team 

Photo above: GOPIO 2016 Officers: From top left clockwise, NirajBaxi, Noel Lal, Ram Gadhavi, Dr. Rajeev Mehta, Dr. Pradip Sewoke, Suman Kapoor, Rajendre Tiwari, GOPIO Chairman Inder Singh
Formed in 1989 at the First Global Convention of People of Indian Origin, GOPIO has now reached most countries with a sizable Indian Diaspora population. In the past, GOPIO elections were generally held at its biennial conventions, wherein only a fraction of the international delegates could participate. However, with new technologies being available, the present election was held electronically with a record participation by 93% of the international delegates.
With India at the threshold of accepting new technologies and business investments, the new team has come up with a motto, "GOPIO Means Business" so as to attract Indian Diaspora entrepreneurs and businessmen to take more interest in investing in India in all spheres, in business, philanthropy, education, healthcare and social causes.
"With an investment and business-friendly government in India, we see a lot of opportunity for the Indian Diaspora to invest and actively participate in India's development," said President NirajBaxi.
GOPIO Executive Vice President Noel Lal said that GOPIO would reach out to all countries where we have the Diaspora presence.
Vice President Ram Gadhavi, who has brought Gujarati Diaspora writers on a common platform in the US, plans to extend it to all Indian writers on a global GOPIO forum.
GOPIO Founder President, Dr. Thomas Abraham, who also serves as the Executive Trustee of GOPIO Foundation said that GOPIO will increase its social and philanthropic activities in India, as well as in countries with a large Indian Diaspora population.
Baxi further said that he would work towards making GOPIO the voice of any and all NRIs and PIOs and would take initiatives in growing GOPIO in all countries and regions of the world.
"In all our internal and external activities, we want to bring about fairness, transparency and accountability; there are many challenges that lie ahead of us and we need good wishes and continued hard work from everyone," Baxi continued.
GOPIO elected officers are as follows:
President - Niraj Baxi(Silicon Valley, CA, USA) - In 1984, Niraj visited various countries, becoming the first emissary of the National Federation of Indian American Associations (NFIA), which sponsored the First Global Convention of People of Indian Origin in 1989. He coordinated NFIA and GOPIO organized the 90th Anniversary of Gadar in San Francisco. Niraj has served as Regional Vice President of GOPIO. Niraj has served in several positions at NFIA and became its President in 2003. He is also active in many civic, political and community service associations. Professionally, Niraj is a third generation insurance and financial services professional. 
Executive Vice President - Noel Lal (Sydney, Australia) - Originally from Fiji, Noel joined GOPIO at the 2000 GOPIO Convention in Zurich, Switzerland. Noel served as the Regional VP and International Coordinator for the Oceania region. Noel is also a current Trustee of the Foundation for Educating Needy Children in Fiji. A Justice of Peace in Australia, Noel is an engineer by profession and currently is the Managing Director of South Pacific Engineering, Pvt. Ltd.
Vice President - Ram Gadhavi (Wayne, New Jersey, USA) - For four decades, Ram Gadhavi has been involved in various community activities, starting with the India Cultural Society of NJ where he served as its Chairman, helped build the Gandhi Mandir, was Secretary/President of the Federation of Indian Associations (FIA of CT, NJ and NY) where he organized the first India Day Parade, President of Gujarati Literary Academy of NA, Secretary of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan (USA), and was the Co-Convener of the first GOPIO Convention in 1989. A chemical engineering project manager of Lummus Co., Ram, after retirement, started a home building and re-modelling company.
International Coordinator for North America - Dr. Rajeev Mehta (Piscataway, New Jersey, USA) - Dr. Rajeev Mehta is the Founder President of GOPIO-Central Jersey (and served in this capacity 2008 to 2012). He also served as Co-chair of the GOPIO Health Council (2010-2014), Co-Convener of the 2011 GOPIO International Biennial Convention held in New Jersey and Chair of GOPIO Health Council from 2014 onwards. He has organized several health camps on behalf of GOPIO Central Jersey. He is a researcher, clinician and professor at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Jersey.
International Coordinator for Europe - Dr. Pradip K. Sewoke (Belforte, France) - Founder and President of GOPIO Belfort and Borders of East France (Switzerland, Germany), Pradip attended the GOPIO International Convention in New Delhi and New York. He supports the development of GOPIO Chapters in the francophone countries (Europe, Canada, Africa, Islands of Mauritius, Reunion, Antilles, etc.). Professionally, Pradip is an interventional cardiologist and Co-Director at Diaconat Clinic, Mulhouse, France.
International Coordinator for Oceania - Suman Kapoor (Waikato, New Zealand) - A founder President of GOPIO's first chapter in New Zealand, Suman served as chairperson of GOPIO's Women's Council and Cultural council. She was conferred the Uttar Pradesh NRI Samman Award in Jan 2016 and several other awards, including Bharat Gaurav, Hind Rattan and NRI of the year (Times Now). She has been often referred to as GOPIO LADY in her local community, is very widely traveled globally and has participated in International conferences, including PBDs in India, Europe, Australia, Fiji, etc.
International Coordinator-at-Large - Rajindre Tewari (Amsterdam, The Netherlands) - Rajindre served as Chapter president of GOPIO-Amsterdam, followed by Country Coordinator, then EU coordinator, and later served as International Coordinator for Europe in the GOPIO Executive Council from2012 onwards. Rajindre Tewari is the MD of an Investment Company with a strong focus on private equity and emerging market investments and chairs the India Business Council of the Dutch Council for Trade. As a Dutch PIO with roots in UP, he studied in Delhi, Antwerp and Leiden, and comes from a family that has been performing Seva for generations.
GOPIO is a non-partisan, non-sectarian and secular global organization with about 50 chapters delegates, over 200 life members in over 24 countries. It actively promotes 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.
The new GOPIO team seeks your suggestions and participation. If you have an issue about our Diaspora community that should be taken up, please bring it to our attention. We are here to serve you. Please contact GOPIO President NirajBaxi, Tel: 408-307-9845408-307-9845 or email: or visit

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Indian Ambassador to France, Dr. Mohan Kumar, accompanied by his wife Mala Kumar and Minister Consul at the Indian Embassy in France, Shri Jaiswal, made a visit in Guadeloupe, Martinique and Saint-Martin in late February  and early March, 2016.

This visit is a consequence of the official visit to France in April 2015 of Prime Minister of the Republic of India, Shri Narendra Modi who expressed his willingness to promote economic cooperation between India and France and particularly with the French overseas departments and territories.

Ambassador Kumar presented to the economic actors and French Caribbean Indian Diaspora, the "Made in India" program which is intended to develop its promising economic ties with India and France in all fields: industry and trade, tourism, culture, environment, health and wellness.
Ambassador Kumar met authorities in Guadeloupe including Prefect, Conseil Generale, Conseil Regional and some mayors of different municipalities. He attended a conference with a theme 'Made in India.'

Indian Ambassador to France, Dr. Mohan Kumar's visit to Guadeloupe
Photos above: GOPIO Guandelope hosting reception and meeting Indian Ambassador to France Dr. Mohan Kumar and Mrs. Mala Kumar
According to the newly appointed GOPIO International Coordinator for Caribbean Region, Claude Sheikboudhou, the immediate impact of this conference and the other meetings was that the authorities are planning now to create a Guadeloupe house in India.
GOPIO Guadeloupe Chapter also passed a resolution to open a liaison office in India to help all the investors from India and to provide information on the island country. Another outcome was that Pole Emploi (Unemployment Government agency) asked the GOPIO Chapter to study a way where the agency can send people to those companies who have a new business project.
In Martinique the delegation was welcomed at Saint Pierre, a famous town, on Wednesday, March 2nd 2016. The delegation with the Ambassador was welcomed on the steps of the Town Hall by the Rainbow Robert folkloric ballet in a special presentation of Martinican tradition. In his speech, Saint Pierre Mayor Mons. Christian Rapha recalled the Indian dimension in this Martinican culture.

Indian Ambassador to France, Dr. Mohan Kumar in Martinique  
Photos above: Martinique Indian Community Reception for Ambassador Kumat and Mrs. Mala Kumar
The sub-prefect Etienne Guillet said that in his district of TrinitésurMer, there was a strong presence of people of Indian origin among the local population.
Ambassador Kumar was delighted with his visit to Saint Pierre. He felt it was a very beautiful city, with impressive sceneries and a group of dynamic Indo-Martiniquaise population. He was very touched by the reception from all in Martinique.
The Mayor presented to Ambassador Dr. Kumar, the medal of the city as an official invitation to commemorate the 163rdanniversary of the arrival of the first Indian immigrants to Saint Pierre on May 6, 2016. At the end of this meeting, Dr. Mohan Kumar and Mr. Christian Rapha planted a small tree of South Indian origin called "Vêpelé" in Tamil, in the courtyard of Town Hall. The delegation then visited the museum of St. Pierre.

Lucienne Sacarabany, president of GOPIO Martinique was very satisfied with this visit. Sacarabany said, "I think it will help to have more trades with India. We would like to especially develop the Know India program in which Indian states reimburse airfare to young people who traveled to India to discover their roots."

This visit is the first step in the preparation of the festivities planned on the 6th of May 2016 to commemorate the 163rd anniversary of the first arrival of the Indians in the Island of Martinique. Indeed on the 6th of May 1853, a boat named "Aurelie" with 314 Indian immigrants onboard landed in Saint Pierre to work in the sugar plantations.
Compliments are due to GOPIO Guadeloupe and Martinique for GOPIO's active participation in making the visit of the Ambassador of India to the French Antilles, a great success.
Contact: Claude Sheikboudhou, GOPIO International Coordinator for Caribbean Region, Tel: +590690350840+590690350840 pr +91-9894057333+91-9894057333, E-mail:

Newly electedwho is also President Gujarati Literary academy of North America was felicitated at Gujarat Vidyapith, Ahmedabad on March 8th, 2016. At the program organized at the seminar hall of Vidyapith, Gadhvi delivered a lecture on "American Gujarati Diaspora Literature: Conservation, Preservation and Evaluation." The program was organized by Gujarat Literary Academy of Gandhi Nagar
A renowned writer and retired IAS Officer, Mr.Bhagyesh Jha, Chairman of the Gujarat Sahitya Academy delivered the presidential address. At this occasion Prof. Balvant Jani, Ex. Vice-Chancellor and Ex. Dean of Faculty of Arts at Saurashtra University (Rajkot), as well as Director of Gardi Research Institute for Diaspora Studies (GRIDS) and Editor of Gujarati Diaspora Literature, honored Gadhavi with a shawl and a citation. Prof. Jani gave a brief introduction of Gadhvi's contributions abroad and said that he has been a cultural ambassador of Gujarat. Jnanpith award winner and Gujarati writer Shri. Raghuvir Chaudhri also spoke about Gadhvi's work in literature. After the felicitation, program continued with performances by musicians, singers and folk artists.
GOPIO Vice President Ram Gadhavi felicitated t Gujarat Vidhya Pith  
Photo top: GOPIO VP Ram Gadhavi speaking at Gujarat Vidyapith. Seated from l. to r.: Prof. Kanu Nayak, Trustee of Gujarat Vidiyapith, Bhagyesh Jha and Prof. Balvant Jani; Photo bottom: Participants at Gujarat Vidyapith meet
GOPIO officers, chapter delegates and a selected group of GOPIO Life Members from the Tri-State New York area met India's new Consul General in New York Ambassador Riva Ganguly Das and other Consuls on March 30th at the Indian Consulate and had a fruitful interactive session on community issues and how the Indian American community can effectively be involved in India's development. In addition to Ambassador Riva Ganguly Das, other officials present from the Consulate at the meeting were Deputy Consul General Dr. Manoj Kumar Mohapatra, Consul Sandeep Kumar (Passport and Visa), Vice Consul Sandeep Grover (OCI) and Passport Officers Devvrat Chakravarthy and Suman Bala.
Consul General Das welcomed the GOPIO delegation and said that GOPIO is an important organization to interact, since GOPIO reaches out to all sections of our community. Dr. Mohapatra explained on the current consular services provided by the Consulate and steps taken to improve and make it easier for the community.
 Indian Consul General Iva Gangulay Das and other officials in discussion with GOPIO delegation at the Meeting in New York
Photo above: Consulate Officials and GOPIO Delegation at the Meeting

The meeting was organized by GOPIO's Tristate New York Coordinator Lal Motwani and was attended by the newly-elected International Coordinator for North America, Dr. Rajeev Mehta and delegates from GOPIO-New York, GOPIO-Upper New York, GOPIO-Connecticut and GOPIO-Central Jersey and many Life Members who have served in various capacities in the past. Dr. Thomas Abraham, GOPIO Founder President and Executive Trustee of GOPIO Foundation highlighted some of the community issues and many avenues where the community and the Consulate could cooperate for mutual benefits. These included the following:
Increased cooperation with the Consulate and Indian Community (Consulate celebrations of national events and festivals, consulate representation at Indian community meetings, participation in Consulate's lecture/seminar series, meetings with the Indian delegation, etc.); Utilizing community contacts with elected officials for promoting Indians' causes; Reaching out to next generation Indian Americans and involving them for India's causes; Issuance of Visa and Passport in emergencies;  Improving consular services and shortening delays in OCI card issuance; Improving services by Cox and Kings and BLS International; Emergency help for Indian citizens in time of distress, death, etc.; Reaching out and interacting with the PIO communities in the New York area (large Indo-Caribbean community); and promoting India to the general American public.

GOPIO Founder President Dr. Thomas Abraham presenting a bookGlobal Indian Disapora - 'GOPIO Making an Impact to Ambassador Riva Ganguly DasGOPIO Founder President Dr. Thomas Abraham presenting a bookGlobal Indian Disapora - 'GOPIO Making an Impact to Ambassador Riva Ganguly Das. From l. to r. Photo: GOPIO Central Jersey President Dinesh Mittal, GOPIO International Coordinator Rajeev Mehta, GOPIO Upper New York Secretary Patsy Leopold, Dr. Abraham, Ambassador Ganguly Das, GOPIO Tri-State Area coordinator Lal Motwani, GOPIO New York President Anand Ahuja and Dr. Parveen chopra
Ambassador Riva Ganguly Das reinforced the importance of the community reaching out to the elected officials and interacting with the new generations of Indian Americans. Dr. Mohapatra said that the passport services from BLS International will be taken over by Cox and Kings and he would make sure the transition is smooth. He also suggested that the community should write to for any visa, passport and OCI issues.
For more information on GOPIO, contact Lal K. Motwani, GOPIO Coordinator for New York Tri-State Area. Tel: Tel: 516-581-3332516-581-3332,
Europe is currently undergoing a massive influx of migrants trying to escape from the instability and conflicts between rival groups in their country. Germany has been at the receiving end of a large influx of these refugees. Congratulations and cheers to the Chapter President of GOPIO Berlin, Mr. Barjinder Sodhi and his wife who have done commendable work and set an example of courage and solidarity in helping these migrants. Sodhi organized food for these refugees from his restaurant, Neumann's in Berlin. This symbolizes the values that GOPIO sends to the whole world.
Please see the YouTube Video at
Congratulations to GOPIO Vice President Ram Gadhavi for taking the initiative of launching GOPIO-North Jersey in his area. GOPIO life members and others interested in GOPIO were invited to a meeting held at the Jyoti Indian Restaurant Banquet Hall in Wayne, New Jersey on Sunday, April 10th.Gadhavi welcomed everyone on behalf of GOPIO International.
GOPIO Founder President, Dr. Thomas Abraham provided an overview of GOPIO objectives and how GOPIO took up a major campaign for OCI cards, eliminating large penalties for passport surrender and a separate ministry for Overseas Indians. Dr Abraham further talked about GOPIO's mission and vision to serve the community as one voice for assisting and resolving complex issues and challenges by thinking globally and acting within local communities through local regional chapters.
Dr. Abraham further said that with the large Indian Diaspora population in New Jersey, GOPIO will have at least three chapters to serve the community, i.e. GOPIO Central Jersey (already in existence), GOPIO-North Jersey and GOPIO-South Jersey.
Passaic County Freeholder John W. Bartlett said that there is a sizable Indian community population in North Jersey and he welcomed the news of GOPIO starting its chapter in New Jersey.
Mr. Ashok Bhat, President of GOPIO Silicon Valley Chapter and provided some examples on how GOPIO assists in connecting political leaders across U.S and India to help start a dialogue on issues at hand. 
Immigration attorney Michael Phulwani mentioned his involvement with GOPIO since its inception and also shared a few instances of immigration issues that he has been involved in to help the community. Phulwani also brought a major issue of Govt. of India not issuing/renewing passports for those Indian citizens in the U.S. who are no longer legal residents. A large number of Indian citizens are affected by this decision of the Indian government.
People assembled at the meeting unanimously decided to form chapter and elected the following persons as its office bearers.
President - Dhiraj Solanki
Vice President - Rajul Shah
Secretary - Abhi Adukia
Joint Secretary - Nitin Shukla
Treasurer - Gaurang Mehta
A letter of intent was prepared to send to GOPIO International. The chapter will be formally inaugurated on May 22ndat a luncheon meeting.
GOPIO NJ Chapter officials with GOPIO Inttl officers Photo above: GOPIO North Jersey Chapter officials with GOPIO International officers and other participants. Sitting from l. o r.: Gaurang Mehta (Treasurer), Abhi Adukhia (Secretary), GOPIO Intl. Coordinator for North America Dr. Rajeev Mehta, Dhiraj Solanki (President), GOPIO Intl. VP Ram Gadhavi, Rajul P. Shah (Vice President), GOPIO Founding President Dr. Thomas Abraham and Nitin Shukla (Jt. Secretary)
Contact: Dhiraj Solanki, Tel: 873-714-5249, E-mail:
GOPIO-CT conducted its annual election at its annual general body meeting in conjunction with its annual holiday part held at Hampton Inn and Suites in Stamford.
The following persons are elected for 2016.
Executive Officers
Shelly Nichani - President
Pradeep Govil - Exec. Vice President
Varghese Ninan - Vice President Bhavna Juneja - Secretary
Deepender Gupta - Jt. Secretary
Viresh Sharma - Treasurer
Shailesh Naik - Immediate Past President
Board Members
Meera Banta
Louella D'Silva
Ravi Dhingra
Ritu Johorey
Scholarship Committee
Sanjay Santhanam (Chair)
Hari Srinivasan
Tara Sharma
Priya Easwaran (Exec. Director)
Board of Trustees
Anita Bhat - Chair
Dr. Thomas Abraham - Secretary, Comptroller
Sangeeta Ahuja
Santosh Gannu
Joe Simon
Amarjit Singh
Shelly Nichani - Ex-Officio
In addition to many other celebrations around the year, GOPIO--CT organizes informative seminars and panel discussions on topics of interest to the larger Indian community three times in a year. Last month, the chapter organized seminar 2015/'16 US Tax Planning and Tax Saving Tips - International Tax Session, India-US Tax Issues, Financial Planning and Regulatory Issues Impacting Businesses. The speakers were: Cecil Nazareth (Nazareth CAs & CPAs), Shiva Bhashyam (Certified Financial Planner) and Steve Fusco (Senior Consultant with Paychex). Sponsored by Paychex, the seminar was fully subscribed.

GOPIO-CT Tax Seminar with Cecil Nazareth, Shiva Bhashyam and Steve Fusco
Photo: GOPIO-CT officials with seminar speakers: Photo top from l. to r.: Shailesh Naik, Sanjay Santhanam, Shelly Nichani, Meera Banta, Steve Fusco, Cecil Nazareth, Shiva Bhashyam, Deepender Gupta and Dr. Thomas Abraham; Photos bottom: Participants a the seminar

GOPIO-CT Youth meets at least once in a year and coordinate their own activities separately including GOPIO-CT sponsored soup kitchen for the homeless six times in a year. Early this year, the chapter's youth wing served at the soup kitchen at the New Covenant Soup Kitchen in Stamford and fed over 100 people for a special meal on February 27, 2016.  GOPIO-CT youth coordinator Siyan Shaikh organized this event.  Volunteers present were Avi Mukherjee, Bay Hodge, Siyan Shaikh, Junaid Shaikh and Louella D'Silva.

GOPIO-CT volunteers at the soup kitchen in Stamford
Photo: GOPIO-CT volunteers at the soup kitchen in Stamford. From l. to r. Bay Hodge, Siyan Shaikh, Junaid Shaikh and Avi Mukherjee


SABINSA FOUNDER DR. MUHAMMED MAJEED HONORED AS INDUSTRY LEGEND - New Hope Network's Hall Of Legends Pays Tribute to Influencers With Enduring Impact
GOPIO Life Member and Sabinsa Corporation founder Dr. Muhammed Majeed was honored for his pioneering role in building the nutraceuticals industry when he was inducted into the Hall of Legends at Natural Products Expo West on Friday March 11, 2016 in Anaheim California.
New Hope Network honors the industry's greatest contributors each year in the Hall of Legends ceremony, with "12 individuals who have devoted significant portions of their lives making this industry what it is today."In presenting the award, Fred Linder, New Hope Network Group President, said "Dr. Muhammed Majeed is, quietly, a groundbreaking figure in the nutritional and cosmeceutical ingredients industries. As the founder of both Sabinsa Corporation and Sami Labs, his commitment to utilizing science to discover why traditional Indian herbs are beneficial and then expand their applications, has resulted in an array of unique branded ingredients backed by over 100 patents across the globe."
A table of Sabinsa staff and colleagues joined a ballroom full of people applauding as Shaheen Majeed, Sabinsa's Marketing Director, accepted the award on his father's behalf.
"He came as an immigrant to the United States with $8 dollars in his pocket; his ambition was to work and study - both of which he did," Shaheen said. "His business commitment was very clear, make the best ingredients, give the absolute best service and make sure it's based on real science." Shaheen also noted that in a profile on Dr. Majeed in the book "Stepping out of the Brain Drain" by Michael Pistone and John Hoeffner, the authors wrote that Dr. Majeed correctly anticipated and assessed the undeveloped market opportunity that existed in providing Ayurveda-based products to the developed world. They go on to say that Dr. Majeed has provided a service for an untold number of future scientists and entrepreneurs. 
Lastly, Shaheen mentioned that his father's foundation named after him, which gives charitable contributions to schools and institutions worldwide by providing computers and rebuilding lecture halls, has recently taken on a mission to provide care to children with cancer.
Two Books by Clinical Psychologist Dr. Greesh Sharma are available from Amazon as follows:

Mental Health Survival Guide For Individuals and Families of Indian Origin, see at

Indian Diaspora Handbook - Challenges and Solutions
Though Asian Indians are typically thought of as a "model minority", not much is known about the school experiences of their children. Positive stereotyping of these immigrants and their children often masks educational needs and issues, creates class divides within the Indian-American community, and triggers stress for many Asian Indian students. This volume examines second generation (America-born) and 1.5 generation (foreign-born) Asian Indians as they try to balance peer culture, home life and academics. It explores how, through the acculturation process, these children either take advantage of this positive stereotype or refute their stereotyped ethnic image and move to downward mobility.
Focusing on migrant experiences of the Indian Diasporas in the United States, this volume brings attention to highly motivated Asian Indian students who are overlooked because of their cultural dispositions and outlooks on schooling, and those students who are more likely to underachieve. It highlights the assimilation of Asian Indian students in mainstream society and their understandings of Americanization, social inequality, diversity and multiculturalism.
Published by Routledge, August 2015, Hardback 258 pages. More info is available at


At the 30th annual Indian American Heritage Foundation awards function held on Sunday, April 10, 2016 at Cerritos Sheraton Hotel, Cerritos, California, Nithya Menon won the top award of $2000 and revolving trophy in the High school category. Shivana Anand won the top award in the Middle school category. The second place winner in the High school category was Tejal Gala while the third place winner was Vikas Munukutta. The next seven winners were Vibha Vijayakumar, Kanhai Shah, Chirag Bisht, Kriti Kumar, Ashwath Manivannan, Varun Mandi, and Megan Phansalkar. The second place winner in the Middle school category was Sreekar Kasturi while the third place winner was Rishi Shah. The fourth and fifth awards went to Abhinav Ganguly and Ria Arora respectively. Sreekar Kasturi and Shivana Anand also won the Visual and Performing Arts awards instituted in honor of "Teachers, parents and family."    
Vikas Munukutta won Outstanding Achievement Award and revolving trophy in Visual & Performing Arts. Tejal Gala shared the Award and revolving trophy in Math, Science and Technology with Varun Mandi, Kanhai Shah shared award and revolving trophy in sports with Deeksha Chaturvedi, while Kriti Kumar shared award and trophy in community service with Navya Katragadda.
The Indian American Heritage Foundation, headed by GOPIO Chairman Inder Singh, has been recognizing the achievements of Indian youth, graduating from High and Middle Schools in Southern California for the past 30 years. The Foundation, started by Inder Singh, is the leading Indian American organization in the USA to publicly recognize, reward and celebrate excellence of the community's best and brightest graduating students in Southern California.  Ambassador Venkatesan Ashok, Consul General of India, San Francisco was the chief guest while US Congresswoman, Loretta Sanchez, Cerritos Mayor Pro Tem, Naresh Solanki and Artesia Mayor Pro Tem Ali S. Taj, were the guests of honor.
Los Angeles community honors the best and brightest Indian American graduating studentsPhoto clockwise from top left, Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez with organizers; Consul General Venkatesan Ashok along with GOPIO Chairman Inder Singh presenting winner's check to top High School Award recipient Nithya Menon; Indian American Heritage Foundation 2016 Scholarship Winners with their trophies
The Foundation that initially started with five scholarship awards in 1987, now awards twenty four scholarships annually. Inder Singh, in welcoming the attendees, appreciated the support by the sponsors and praised his "Working Crew" -- team of volunteers -- who worked hard to make the event a success. The organizing team included Abdulgani Shaikh, Ashok Madan, Deepi Singh, Kewal Kanda, V.J. Singh, Dilip Butani, Aparna Hande, Amrit Bhandari, Navin Gupta, Vasu Pawar, Simi Singh, Sunny Chohan, Ranjit Bhatia, Rajinder Dhunna and Yash Singh.
The event was organized in partnership with NFIA, GOPIO Los Angeles and Orange county chapters.

Gujarat University Conducts regular need based Programs throughout the year for NRIs/PIOs under STUDY ABROAD PROGRAM (SAP) and the centre is named as KADAMB. Under these programs SAP offers a range of graduate Degree, Post Graduate and Research programs in Arts, Commerce, Education, Law, Medicine, Mental, Culture, Social Sciences, Performing Arts and Sciences.
The courses are designed from three weeks to ten weeks, apart from regular U.G., P.G., M.Phil, Ph.D. degree programs, keeping Indian and International scenario in mind. They offer a wide range of cultural, philosophical, traditional and contemporary knowledge and expose the students to this unique land called India. Each course is offered from 4 to 16 credits ranging three weeks to one semester.
Gujarat University, the only one in India, signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Ed. CIL.The Ministry has sent senior officers and diplomats from other countries to undertake studies in different Post Graduate course. ICCR has selected Gujarat University to send students under Prime Minister's special Scholarship scheme. The course fee includes stay and field trips.
Courses for foreign/NRI/PIO students
  • Studies in Gandhian Philosophy
  • Artistic / Cultural Identities of India
    • Indian Philosophy
    • Indian Poetics/ Indian Literature
    • Start-up in India
    • Research programs in Indian Diaspora
    • Studies in Tribal Culture of Gujarat
    • Yoga and Meditation
    • Contexts of Indian Business Practices
      • Indian Languages
      • Classical / Folk Dances of India
      • Journalism and Public Relations
      • Indian Folk Dance and Music
      • Indian Cuisine
      • Scientificality of Indian Traditions
      • Indian Mythology
      • Indian Films/ Film Music
      • Art of Rangoli/Menhdi/Traditional Art
Contact: Dr. Neerja A. Gupta, Director, SAP, Gujarat University, Ahmedabad, India

In an attempt to attract overseas funds, the Govt. of India said non-repatriable investments by nonresident Indians (NRIs), overseas citizens of India (OCIs) and persons of Indian origin (PIOs) will be treated as domestic investments and will not be subject to FDI caps. The Cabinet approved some amendments, including changes in the definition of NRI, to be incorporated in the FDI policy, "Investment by NRIs under Schedule 4 of FEMA (Transfer or issue of security by persons residing outside India).
"Regulations will be deemed to be domestic investment at par with the investment made by residents." an official statement said. The NDA government, which has liberalized the FDI policy for sectors such as Defense, Railways, infrastructure, medical devices and insurance, is keen to tap NRIs, OCIs and PIOs. The government wants to channelize the funds of NRIs, who now have set up large companies abroad, by treating their non-repatriable investments as domestic investments. NRIs have been demanding from the government that their investments be considered as domestic investments. A committee set up to look into the possibility of treating non-repatriable NRI funds as domestic investments, had earlier said that NRIs might prefer investing through corporate entities. "It was intended to provide NRIs an incentive to bring funds into India without repatriation rights, at a time when foreign exchange reserves were limited and capital inflows were modest," the statement said. The provision should continue to incentivize investments by NRIs, including OCIs and PIOs, resulting in increased investments in the country. "This will enable investments by NRIs, OCI and PIO cardholders under Schedule 4 on non-repatriation basis, across sectors without being subjected to any of the conditions associated to foreign investment," it said. During the April-February period of the previous fiscal year, FDI rose by 39 per cent to $28.81 billion, as against $20.76 billion in the same period last fiscal year.
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Chief Editor: Dr. Thomas Abraham, Founder President and Chairman Emeritus of GOPIO Intl. and Executive Trustee, GOPIO Foundation (Stamford, CT, USA)
Editor: Nami Kaur (New York, USA)
Associate Editor: Layla Matthew (Bangalore, India)
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Contributors of this issue: Inder Singh (Chairman, GOPIO International, USA), Ram Gadhavi (Vice President, GOPIO International, USA), Claude Sheikboudhou (GOPIO International Coordinator for Caribbean Region); Abhi Adukia (Secretary, GOPIO-North Jersey, USA), Prof. Balvant Jani (Ahmedabad, India) and Surya, Newsletter of GOPIO Paris Nord.

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