May 1, 2011

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

Issue: X-5May 1, 2011
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Since many of the GOPIO officers were in India in january to attend GOPIO Convention and Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, we coudl not bring out Ferbuary issue. Regular bulletin starts with this issue.


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



GOPIO International organization took the initiative to launch four new chapters, namely in Kolkata, Uzhavoor (Kerala), Mumbai and Dubai. With over 70 chapters worldwide, GOPIO plans to establish more chapters in major cities and regions to develop network amongst NRIs/PIOs all over the world. GOPIO chapters in Indian will be to connect former NRIs/PIOs who have settled back in India and others who have interest in the global Diaspora activities to develop closer relations with overseas Indians.


"We hope that by bringing our Diaspora members on a common platform networking them globally, we will be able to pool our resources for common cause of the Diaspora and India," said GOPIO founding president and former chairman Dr. Thomas Abraham, who took the initiative launch the India chapters.




GOPIO Chairman Inder Singh, founding president and former chairman Dr. Thomas Abraham and Vice President for North American Dr. Piyush Agrawal addressed a meeting organized by GOPIO Life Member Mridul Pathak, Manmohan Meheshwai and S.K. Sarkar at the Palladian Lounch at the Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Janaury 11, 2011. Attended by many prominent community leaders, the meeting decided to launch the chapter. Also present were GOPIO Life member from Columbus, Ohio Nirmal Sinha, GOPIO Toronto President Jay Banerjei, Tapas K. Mazumdar (Brisbane, Australia), Sudha Agrawal (USA) and Sante Chary (USA). Other present included Asha Maheshwari, Suliaman Mohammed (Allahabad/New Delhi), Pawan Maheshwari, S.M.M.Hossain Ashraf, Anil Bhargava, Sandhya Sinha (Patna), Kalyan Kumar Dutta, Advocate Goutam Kansari and R.K. Tripathy.


After presentation by Singh and Dr. Abraham, an open discussion was held. Some of the activities for the chapter could include: networking reception with dignitaries, high-tea/dinner talk with visiting scholars, intellectuals, writers, community leaders and prominent visiting NRIs/PIOs and programs which can bring NRIs/PIOs closer to people in Kolkata. The chapter could also involve and help in the new Kolkata Memorial Museum for PIOs being planned by the Global Indian Diaspora Historical Society (GIDHS). Kolkata could become a center of PIO activities in India in the future.

GOPIO-Kolkata Launch 

Photo Above: GOPIO Kolkata Launch - GOPIO International officera and Life Members with the new chapter members


At the meeting, the following people volunteered their time to organize the chapter. The original coordinators, Mr. Mridul Pathak, Mr. Manmohan Maheshwari and Mr. S.K. Sarkar will continue as advisors and members of the Steering Committee. The following people will constitute the Steering committee.


Chairman - Hari Prasad Kanoria

Members - Kalyan Kumar Dutta, Goutam Konsri, SMMH Ashraf, Anil Bhargava

Overseas Member - Tapas K. Majumdar (Australia), Jay Banerjei (Canada), Nirmal Sinha (USA)


Contact: GOPIO-Kolkata, Hari Prasad Kanoria, Tel: 098 3004 7977,




The first launch meeting of a Kerala chapter GOPIO-Uzhavoor, an NRI concentrated town, was held at Blossom Health Care in Uzhavoor, Kerala. Attended by over 40 current and former NRIs and those whose children are settled outside, the meeting was organized by GOPIO Life Member and US NRI E.M. Stephen and coordinated by Mr. Thomas Mulakkal pf New York. The program was attended by many American NRIs who are settling back to Kerala. Many American NRIs were present at the meeting including Dr. George and Valsa Marangoly, Mr. C.M. Chacko, Mr. Sunil Koozhampala, Mr. Abraham Vattakulam.


The host of the meeting Stephen welcomed to his new health care center and dais that this one of his contribution to his home town. In his welcome address, Mr. Mulakkal said that he attended GOPIO program since its inception and it is an extra ordinary organization bring all Indians to one platform.


The launch meeting was inaugurated by former Governor M.M. Jacob who has been serving as advisor of GOPIO since its inception. Gov. Jacob in his address complimented GOPIO for providing a broad plat form for Indians living outside India and help those Indian communities when they were in crisis. He recollected his trip to Zurich to inaugurate the GOPIO convention when Fiji Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry was taken hostage and the GOPIO campaign to release him as well as GOPIO delegation meeting with the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva.


"GOPIO made a big difference in Indian community mobilization for the causes of the Indian Diaspora community and India," said Gov. Jacob. See interview with former central minister and Meghalaya governor M.M. J
acob at



GOPIO_Uzhavoor inauguration with former governor M.M. Jacob

Photo above: GOPIO Uzhavoor inauguration with former Governor M.M. Jacob (sitting in the center). To his left are E.M. Stepehn and Thomas Mulackal and to his right is Dr. Thomas Abraham


GOPIO founding president and former chairman Dr. Thomas Abraham provided a detailed account of GOPIO history and its achievements and what role each chapter can play in the global network. Dr. Abraham also said that since a large number of NRIs are settling back in Kerala, GOPIO has a large critical mass to initiate chapters in every Kerala cities and towns.


The launch meeting was followed by an interactive session which provided ample opportunities to hear some of the issues of NRIs settling back in India. One important issue brought at the meeting was on how the NRIs settling back in India get a local identity card (i.e. ration card, etc.).


Suggestions for some of the initial programs are thought be evening talks over coffee/tea/snacks with prominent NRIs/PIOs who may be visiting Kerala, panel discussion on issues of general interest and supporting good causes of the Kerala.


For more information and to get involved in GOPIO-Uzhavoor, contact Jose Kachiramattam, email:




A large gathering of over 200 people attended a reception in honor of GOPIO Founder President Dr. Thomas Abraham, AAHOA (Asian American Hotel Owners Association) President C.K. Patel and FIA (Federation of Indian Associations, Columbus) Trustee Neil Patel at the BCA Club in Mumbai on Jan. 19th. Organized by Mr. Raj Purohit, President of Mumbai Pradesh BJP and an advisor to the National Federation of Indian American Associations (NFIA).  Others honorees were GOPIO-Toronto President Jay Banerjei and NFIA Treasurer and GOPIO New York official Ritesh Agrawal. The meeting also honored several businessmen and entrepreneurs from Mumbai for their contribution to business and creating jobs. Also present were GOPIO life members Ashok Motwani of Mumbai and Prof. Gan Bhukta of Vizag.


GOPIO-Central Mumbai Chapter launch. Dr. thomas Abraham felicitated,

 Photo above: GOPIO Founder President Dr. Thomas Abraham is being felicitated at the launch of GOPIO-Central Mumbai Chapter: From L to R: GOPIO-Torono President Jay Banerjei, FIA Columbus Trustee Niranjan (Neil) Patel, BCA Gharvare Club Hon. Vice President Pravin V. Gandhi, Mumbai Pradesh BJP BJP Preisdent Raj Purohit, Binani Group Managing Director Dr. Vinod Juneja, and AAHOA President C.K. Patel.


The program was compeered by former MLA Atul Shah. In this welcome address, Purohit said that the overseas Indian communities have made tremendous contribution to India's development and that all Indians should be proud of them. The keynote address was delivered by Dr. Thomas Abraham who spoke on what GOPIO and other community organizations have done for India and what they could do further to make India a developed country by the year 2020. AAHOA President Patel and FIA Trustee also spoke about their organizations and how they have mobilized the community in their respective areas.


At the conclusion of the meeting, GOPIO-Central Mumbai launch was announced. The coordinator is Vikas Narayan along with Priya Tandon and Lalit Jain. Purohit and Mr. V. Balachandran who organized GOPIO-Mumbai conference in 2005 will serve as advisors.


Contact: GOPIO-Central Mumbai, Vikas Narayan,




On January 24, 2011, the GOPIO chapter in Dubai was inaugurated by GOPIO Chairman Inder Singh in the presence of International Coordinator Mr.Sunny Kulathakal, Mr.Kamal Vachani (Director, Al Maya Group), Mr.Issac John (Business Editor, Khaleej Times) and other dignitaries including Siddarth Balachandran, Chairman, Indian Club, Dubai and Managing Director, BUMG Group.


At a gala dinner event, Kamal Vachani, a prominent businessman in Dubai, took the leadership role of the chapter. Other people who signed the Letter of Intent (LOI) with Kamal included Issac John, Aswin Borkotoky, Siddarath Balachandarn, P. Soneja, Deepak Arora and Suresh Lakhani.



GOPIO-Dubai Launch, Jan. 24, 2011

Photo above: SIddharth Balachandran, Sunny Kulathakal, Pradeep Soneja, Manoj Prasad,  Inder SIngh,  Kamal Vachani and Ajay Bindroo


GOPIO International Coordinator for Middle East, Sunny Kulathakal and his wife specially came from Bahrain to join the inaugural event. Sunny has been working for sometime with Issac John, a 2010 GOPIO award recipient for Media and Business Editor, Khaleej Times to found GOPIO chapter team headed by Kamal Vachani.


Contact: GOPIO-Dubai, Kamal Vachani, Email:





GOPIO-Edison (New Jersey) chapter was inaugurated on February 28th at Holiday Inn, Raritan Center, NJ.


"Edison, NJ has arguably the most density of Indians any where outside India. It is time they organize to pool their considerable resources, have a unified voice in the community and political affairs. A GOPIO chapter offers the best option to achieve this", said the chapter President, Arvind Sood.


The founder of GOPIO, Dr. Thomas Abraham and current Executive Vice President, Ashook Ramsaran were at hand to inaugurate a lively, interactive session with the audience, citing the history, goals and achievements of GOPIO International. Dr. Abraham said that GOPIO provides the best network for Indians worldwide to mobilize support for common causes of the community and India. Ramsaran said that GOPIO offers the best platform for all segments of the community. He also pointed out GOPIO involvement in the successful inauguration of Kolkata Memorial for PIOs by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs early this year.


Other guests of honor included Assemblyman Upendra J. Chivukula and Dr. Sudhir Parikh who emphasized the importance of building the bridge across the local communities, sharing thoughts, jobs and social activities with all.


The president of the GOPIO-Connecticut chapter, Shailesh Naik and President of GOPIO-Central Jersey NJ chapter, Rajiv Mehta shared the activities of their respective chapters, stressed on engaging the next generation and offered their generous help and cooperation in making the new chapter a success.



GOPIO-Edison Launch, February 28, 2011

 Photo above: GOPIO-Edison officers and members with GOPIO International officers and guests at its launch



GOPIO-Edison Vice President Mahendra Pratap presented some of the immediate tasks and activities of the chapter which include Project Welcome Guest to support NRIs/PIOs when they visit India and Indian residents when they visit the US. In the discussion followed, many suggested to organized health and wellness related seminars and interactive session with political leaders.


The GOPIO-Edison chapter officers are as follows:


President - Arvind Sood

Vice President - Mahendra Pratap

Secretary - Sumit Prabhakar

Joint Secretary - nNavin Pathak

Treasurer- Rajesh Grover


For further information and to become a member, please visit or call Arvind Sood, 732-277-6313, e-mail:



Dr. Maya Chadda speaking at GOPIO-CT program, March 11, 2011At a function organized by the Connecticut Chapter of the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO-CT), Dr. Maya Chadda, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and professor of political science at William Paterson University of New Jersey spoke about the evolution of US-India relations. She underscored in her speech India's expanding ties with the US as a reflection of the emerging world order and shifting of power balance from the west to east. Dr. Chadda was speaking in Stamford, Connecticut on March 11.


Dr. Chadda said, "for the U.S., India is not only an ally in shaping emergence of a peaceful and cooperative China but also an anchor of stability in the region stretching from the Suez Canal to the straits of Malacca."


"What is new in this relationship is their growing partnership in delivering the common good- ensuring safety of sea lanes and trade routes, participating in peace keeping operations and rescue missions following natural disasters or civil wars and cooperating in managing climate change, environment and global financial stability," Dr. Chadda added.


Dr. Chadda concluded that on its own, India had provided the common good by forging a transnational bloc of non-aligned nations and legitimizing liberation of countries emerging from the colonial yoke in the 1950 and 1960, that too was a common good but in the Post- Cold war era, India is fashioning a new role for itself along side the US as a conventional power with considerable military and economic strength to maintain regional stability and contribute to the global commons.   


The program was moderated by GOPIO International Founder President Dr. Thomas Abraham. GOPIO-CT Shailesh Naik in his welcome address said that GOPIO-CT had been providing many services to the community and would also provide such forums to Indian and American communities to interact and exchange ideas.

Before the talk, GOPIO-CT also honored Mr. Ashook Ramsaran, Executive Vice President of GOPIO International for receiving Pravasi Bharatiya Samman earlier this year.




 GOPIO Officials with Dr. Maya Chadda, March 11, 2011 

 Photo above: GOPIO-CT officials with Prof. Maya Chadda. From L. to R.: Ritu Johorey, Dr. Thomas Abraham, Sangeeta Ahuja, Dr. Maya Chadda, Shailesh Naik, Prakash Chakravarti and Anita Bhat



Visit YouTube Coverage at the following links:


GOPIO-CT hosts dinner talk with Dr. Maya Chadda, GOPIO-CT President Shailesh Naik welcomes the gathering,


GOPIO-CT hosts dinner/talk with Dr. Maya Chadda, GOPIO Founder President Dr. Thomas Abraham introduces the topic and Dr. Chadda


GOPIO-CT -  Dr. Maya Chadda Speaks - Part 1,


GOPIO-CT - Dr. Maya Chadda Speaks - Part 2,


GOPIO-CT - Dr. Maya Chadda Speaks - Part 3,


GOPIO Executive Vice President Ashook Ramsaran felicitated by GOPIO Founder Dr. Thomas Abraham at a function by GOPIO-CT,


GOPIO Executive Vice President Ashook Ramsaran felicitated by GOPIO Health Council Chair Sangeeta Ahuja at a function by GOPIO-CT in Stamford,




When she stopped conforming to the conventional picture of femininity she finally began to enjoy being a woman. Betty Friedan (1921 - 2006)


Two eminent women's interest bodies, active on domestic and international turf took centre stage in New Delhi last month to celebrate International Women's Dayon March 8th. In their deliberations on the evolution and grass root dynamics of women - they said that women have triple roles. They represent Brahma, Shiva and Vishnu - in the modern context.


In her welcome address, Ranjana Agarwal, FICCI Ladies Organization (FLO) said that women's day is a time for solidarity, sharing and reassuring each other of our self worth and role in society. According to her in the 21st century it will not be India or China that will take centre stage but women coming into the work force. They will be responsible for transforming politics, improving governance and ensuring inclusive and socially sensitive development. With family support and with organizations like FLO and GOPIO International Women Council (GIWC), she will get a platform to enhance her skills, learn how to do business and be economically independent.


Agarwal further emphasized the role of parents, husbands and sons in bringing about a change in perception about women and their rightful position in society. She expressed deep concern on the fact that world statistics showed India as the most backward in its treatment of women and stressed upon the need for concerted and passionate action for a fast track change.


In her address Lady Shruti Rana, Chairperson GIWC, said "The GOPIO International Women's Council, which represents about 10 million women of the Indian Diaspora, focuses on facilitating support and creating narratives for women's empowerment through cities/countries with active GOPIO chapters. It actively liaises with Institutions and Governments to bring in policy changes that favor women and develop a network for women in the Indian Diaspora.


"We have also develop publications for awareness generation of issues related to women and facilitate a channel for exchange of cross border knowledge through conferences, seminars and online forums," Lady Rana added.


Lady Rana also spoke of the four great powers or Mahashaktis in Indian narrative as four complementary archetypes of humanity and reiterated that women should evolve to express all these  powers within themselves in order to live as holistic and empowered individuals in society. She expressed her deep distress at the plight of women of Indian origin all over the world which is a direct result of patriarchal attitudes that are still rampant in most parts of society and supported sanctions on policies for women with lesser education and exposure along which constant impositions of forced marriage situations with psychological, physical or financial pressure or torture.


Present on the occasion was the chief guest Padma Vibhushan Dr. Sonal Mansingh along with the panelists including Ethiopian Ambassador Ms Gennet Zewide, Kyrgyzstan Ambassador Ms Irina A Orolbaeva, New Zealand High Commissioner Ms Jan Hendrderssow, Somali Ambassador Ms Ebyan Mahamed Salah and Ms. Neelam Deo, former Consul General of India in New York.


The program was hosted by FLO and International Aids Vaccine Initiative. Indeed, at the conclusion of the meaningful event, the fact that education, awareness and health, plus courageous advocacy at all levels is the key to empowerment of women and the evolution of a holistic and healthy society.


Over 2000 members of FLO across 8 chapters and GWIC members across 19 countries and over 25 chapters are leading the target group for FLO-GWIC initiatives in India and abroad. FLO is actively involved in leveraging the pool of resources and infrastructure of FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry) for mutual benefit. Distinguished FLO members guide, mentor, share and inspire women at large and particularly women from the Indic region, thereby offering the support of a vast human resource reservoir.


GOPIO Women's Council and FLO Women's Day Event

Photo above: GOPIO Women's Counicl and FICCI Ladies Association organizies Women's Day  panel in New Delhi. From L. to R. Somali Ambassador Ms Ebyan Mahamed Salah, New Zealand High Commissioner Ms Jan Hendrderssow, Lady Shruti Rana, Sonal Mansingh, Ranjana Agrawal, Neelam Deo and Ethiopian Ambassador Ms Gennet Zewide


Indeed,  Amy Vanderbilt's belief, 'The modern rule is that every woman should be her own chaperon'  was met a base line, with an extended resonance in Virginia Woolf's enunciation about the undeclared extent of a woman's ability to impact life and living in a subtle, undeclared mode in her utterance,  'For most of history, Anonymous was a woman'. Indeed, perfect acknowledgments on the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day.


Contact: Lady Shruti Rana,




The Ministry of Oversea Indian Affairs (MOIA) has posted important information on its website for those wanting to visit the Kolkata Memorial located in Kolkata. Website Link:


Directions as follows:


All visitors to the memorial plaque for indentured workers may visit the site as follows:

1. By road: Visitors may reach the Kolkata Port Trust, No. 8 Workshop, Garden Reach Road, Kolkata-43 and collect passes from the gate and visit the site. The passes may be returned at the gate after the visit.

2. By jetty: Boats may be hired on a payment basis to reach the site from the following- Shri R. Chakraborty, Deputy General Manager, West Bengal Tourism (mobile: 0091-90-5105-7272, email: No passes are required for visitors in this case.


The Kolkata Memorial was unveiled on January 11, 2011 by MOIA Min Vayalar Ravi. It has meaningful significance to millions of descendants of those who left India as indentured Indian laborers from 1834 thru' 1920. The plan to begin with the installation of the inauguration plaque on January 11, 2011 followed by the memorial museum and resource center, has been received with overwhelming emotional sentiments and enthusiastic support from all corners of the global Indian diaspora, in particular from persons of Indian origin (PIOs) in destination countries where Indian indentured laborers emigrated from 1834 thru' 1920.



A 2-day business forum and Diaspora conference is planned for May 31 - June 1 in Port of Spain in Trinidad following commemoration of the 166th anniversary of Indian Arrival Day on May 30 in Trinidad and Tobago (TnT). The business forum was planned as result of GOPIO meeting with TnT Prime Minister Hon Kamla Persad-Bissessar on August 16, 2011 in New York.


The program is a collaboration among GOPIO, Office of Indian High Commission to Trinidad (IHC), India-Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Commerce (ITTCC), Overseas Indian Facilitation Centre (OIFC), Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), University of West Indies (UWI).


May 31, 2011: Business Forum

Venue: Hyatt Regency Hotel, Port of Spain

Theme: Building a New Partnership between India & Caribbean: Role of Diaspora

Program Summary:

0800 - 08.30     .           Registration and Networking

08.30 - 10.00               Inaugural Session: Business Round Table on Investment & Entrepreneurship  Welcome Remarks by GOPIO, OIFC, CII, ITTCC, IHC and Hon. Stephen Cadiz, Minister of Trade & Industry, Republic of Trinidad & Tobago

Inaugural address by Shri Vayalar Ravi, Hon. Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs & Civil Aviation, Govt. of India

Feature address by Hon.  Kamla Persad-Bissessar ,Prime Minister of Trinidad & Tobago


10.00 - 10.15                Tea Break                      

10.15 -  12:45                Business Session

Business and Investment opportunities in India - Presentation by OIFC

Business and Investment opportunities in the Caribbean -by ITTCC

Setting up business in the Caribbean - by CARICOM

Success Stories in the Caribbean by Diaspora Businessmen/Businesswomen

12.45 - 13.15    Interactive Session   

13.15 - 14.00    Lunch                                               

14.00 - 16.30    Business Presentations /B2B Meetings


Areas for Presentation - IT/ITES, Pharmaceuticals and Medical supplies, Renewable Energy (Solar and Wind), Hospitality including Wellness Tourism, Ayurveda Products & Services and Eco-Tourism, Construction Equipments, Agriculture, Agro-processing and Agro-equipments and Telecom

B2B Meetings   For Business Delegates from India organized by CII


May 31, 2011: Diaspora Conference

Venue:  University of West Indies at St Augustine

Theme: Building a New Partnership between India & Caribbean: Role of Diaspora

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM        Inaugural Session:

Shri Vayalar Ravi, Hon. Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs & Civil Aviation, Govt. of India

Dr Suruj Rambachan, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Government of Trinidad & Tobago

4:00 PM to 5:30 PM       Presentation & Networking of Diaspora Associations in the Caribbean


5:30 PM            Reception hosted by Prof. Clement Sankat, Pro-Vice Chancellor & Principal, UWI

6:00 PM            Cultural Program (Bhangra group from India)

7:30 PM            Dinner hosted by GOPIO


June 1, 2011: Diaspora Conference

Venue:  University of West Indies at St Augustine

  9:00 AM to 10:30 AM   Theme - Culture, Identity & Roots in a Globalizing World

11:00 AM to 12:30 PM   Theme - Building a Knowledge Economy: Role of Youth

12:30 PM to 1:30 PM     Lunch

  1:30 PM to 3:00 PM     Theme - Caribbean Diaspora: Role in Development

  3:30 PM to 4:30 PM     Valedictory & Wrap up Session

                                    Valedictory address by Hon Winston Dookeran, Minister of Finance

                                    Wrap up by all Session Chairs

Closing Remarks by Shri Malay Mishra, Indian High Commissioner

  4:30 PM to 6:00 PM     Presentation of Documentary film on the Diaspora


Contact for tickets and reservation: Rajendra Shanker, Second Secretary at office of Indian High Commissioner in Port of Spain, at and Deosaran Bisnath, GOPIO's Regional Coordinator (Caribbean) at



GOPIO's Convention 2011 is scheduled to be held in Toronto on September 2 - September 4, 2011. The convention will be a 3-day event with GOPIO of Canada holding its first international event along with its several GOPIO chapters. 


Tentative program outline is as follows:

7      Friday, Sep 2 (day): GOPIO Meetings

7      Friday, Sep 2 (evening): Inaugural Reception

7      Saturday, Sep 3 (day): Conference

7      Saturday, Sep 3 (evening): Banquet

7      Sunday, Sep 4 (day): Conclusion


GOPIO of Canada will take the lead, supported by all the GOPIO chapters in Canada, taking the lead role in planning and coordination. The organizing committees are being established. The conference program would be addressing current, relevant PIO/NRI issues.


Contact: Jay Banerjei, GOPIO of Canada at



GOPIO-Edison and Central Jersey Chapters in collaboration with the Rotary Club of Plainsboro, New Jersey announced a Japan Disaster Relief and Rehabilitation Fund.  At the launch of the disaster relief and rehabilitation fund, the two chapter presidents Arvind Sood and Rajeev Mehta said, "Japan and India have accomplished great things together. People of Indian Origin would like to show their solidarity with the brave people of Japan by mobilizing the resources of the Indian Diaspora worldwide.


This effort will be coordinated under GOPIO Foundation which will announce the fund recipient organizations as it completes investigating organizations that can make the maximum impact, both in terms of immediate relief needs as well as the longer term recovery process. All funds will be routed through "GOPIO International" which is a 501 (c) (3) non profit entity in the US. 100% of your generous tax-deductible contributions will go to organization(s) that directly help victims recover from the devastating effects of the earthquake and tsunamis that struck Japan on March 11, 2011.


For further details, call Arvind Sood at 732-277-6313, Email: or Rajeev Mehta at 908-917-4081,




One can also send a check to GOPIO International - Japan Disaster Relief Fund, P.O. Box 1413, Stamford, CT 06904-1413, USA.








May 31- Jun 1, 2011: Business & Diaspora Conference (Trinidad)

June 8 - 9, 2011: PBD Canada (Toronto)

September 2 - 4, 2011: GOPIO Convention (Toronto)




Guyanese born Ashook Ramsaran, recipient of the prestigious Government of India's Pravasi Samman Award 2011, was honored in grand style on February 26, 2011 at a New York tribute dinner hosted by GOPIO Int'l life member and fellow Guyanese born Nohar Singh, President/CEO of Travel Span Airlines. The tribute dinner was held to recognize Ramsaran for the many significant and notable achievements as an active and versatile civic leader both in the local New York community as well as the global Indian diaspora of Non-resident Indians (NRIs) and Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs). The most recent, yet notably significant, accomplishments include India's 2011 Pravasi Samman Award and his initiatives and collaboration to establish the Kolkata Memorial which was unveiled on January 11, 2011 in Kolkata, India.


GOPIO Exec. VP Ashook Ramsaran honored in New York

Photo above: Attendees from US Civic & Political Leadership Groups at the reception: James Gallagher & Yolanda DeLaCruz (FMHCA), Kevin & Jackie Forrestal (HECA), Hema Virani, Camille Ramsaran, Ashook Ramsaran, Farouk Samaroo (NYC Democratic Club), Father Thaddeus (Holy Family Church) 


The tribute included a very informative presentation on indenturedship facts and photos titled "My Journey"; congratulatory video clips from Guyana's industrialist, civic icon and former Pravasi Samman Awardee and a GOPIO founding life member, Yesu Persaud, as well as former Prime Minister of Trinidad & Tobago, Basdeo Panday, a former Pravasi Samman Awardee, who also sent his congratulations and well wishes. GOPIO's Dr Thomas Abraham, founding former president of GOPIO, himself a former Pravasi Samman Awardee, remarked that Ramsaran was the fourth Guyanese to have been so recognized. Dr Abraham explained the significance of the Pravasi Samman Award and how it is bestowed on Indians and those of Indian origin living outside of India for major notable achievements.


Nohar Singh and Dr. Abraham present special recognition to Ashook RamsaranRamsaran was recognized for his many contributions: By the US Congress in a citation from US Congressman Anthony Weiner; citation from New York State signed by NYS Assemblyman David Weprin; proclamation from the City of New York presented by NYC Councilman James Gennaro. Event host Nohar Singh, along with Dr Thomas Abraham, presented Ramsaran with a special recognition (see photo in the left) for his efforts and contribution towards the Kolkata Memorial which is significant and meaningful to millions of descendants of those who left India as indentured laborers from 1834 - 1920, and for his role in writing the inscription that has been put onto the Kolkata Memorial. Recently appointed Trinidad and Tobago ambassador to USA, Dr Neil Parsan, commended Ramsaran for his unselfish civic contributions in GOPIO efforts locally and globally. Also included: GOPIO former Secretary General Dr Jagat Motwani; Trinidad born SUNY Prof of Sociology Dr Mahin Gosine; GOPIO Upper New York president Satruhan Sukhdeo. Ramsaran's immediate family, his friends and associates joined in the tribute.


The evening's tribute concluded in a very special way as Ramsaran's birthday was observed with a special cake embossed appropriately with a photo of Ramsaran standing next to the Kolkata Memorial. Ramsaran's six year old grandson Jaden, ably assisted by his three year old brother Gavin, gave a beautiful rendition of "Happy Birthday, Papa" to the cheers of everyone.





GOPIO fraternity joined hands to deliver another successful 'GYAAN 2011' event on 13 March 2011 at Castle Hill. GYAAN NIGHT was launched by GOPIO Australia in 2010 to acknowledge the success of HSC students and to honor them for their achievements. The GYAAN Awards are open to all HSC students of Indian origin, who attained ATAR 99 and above in HSC results. The awards are presented during a ceremony each year to outstanding young achievers for their academic, Indian language, dance, drama, music, visual arts and sports achievements and for demonstrating the capabilities and personal qualities that would make a significant contribution to Australian community in NSW.  Before an august audience of distinguished guests, proud parents and encouraging community members, the 33 young achievers were honored with GYAAN awards for their hard work, grit, determination and loads of talent. Trophies and certificates were presented to high achiever of each category to recognize their success.


GOPIO Sydney President Mrs. Lucky Singh welcomed all the guests and acknowledged the hard work, commitment and enthusiasm of the young achievers as these awards provide a great opportunity and give important recognition to our leaders of tomorrow. GOPIO Australia Coordinator Harry Walia addressing the audience, highlighted GOPIO's achievement and read the message of GOPIO International Chairman Mr. Inder Singh. He expressed gratitude to Mr.  Amit Dasgupta, Consul General of India, Sydney, chief guest for the evening and for the special gifts he provided for all the students. Mr. Dasgupta applauded the Australian cultural diversity and congratulated the young achievers of Indian origin. Also Mr. Michelle Rowland, Federal Member for Greenway was thanked for sponsoring all the trophies for the award winners. Other guests for the evening included Transport Minister John Robertson, representing the Premier of NSW; Mr. Ray Williams MP, representing Opposition leader of NSW; Mr. Peter Primrose Minister for Youth, Volunteering, Ageing & Disability Services; Mr. Nathan Rees MP, former Premier of NSW; Mr. Michelle Rowland, Federal Member for Greenway, many councillors of Labor and Liberal parties and community leaders. The evening was led by charming and enthusiastic ladies Lucky Singh, Neeru Singh and Sneha Chandran


The event was sponsored by Maya Da Dhaba as Platinum sponsor, Sharma Kitchen as Gold sponsor and Best & Less as Silver sponsor and other sponsors were Angad's Creations, ANZ real estate, Minto Cellars, Centrum Printing, Cressel Software, Hami Car Repairs, Grace of India Restaurant, Innovative Hub, Kellyville Ridge Medical Centre, Kings Restaurant, Michelle Rowland (Federal Member for Greenway), Poonam's family day care, Radhika Imports and S4S coaching. The award ceremony was followed by a short entertainment program which was a potpourri of traditional and Bollywood dances and songs. Maya Da Dhaba had laid out sumptuous dinner, there was an auction and raffle draws conducted fabulously by Ayush Sharma and Sumeet Sarna where attractive prizes were given away to the winners.


Ayush Sharma, President GOPIO Glenwood, closed the evening with a thank you note by acknowledging all the sponsors, the dignitaries, the young achievers, their families and members of the Indian community.






GOPIO-CT has kicked off its 2011 schedule for serving food for the homeless at the Yerwood Center of Stamford on February 26th. Soup Kitchen effort has been coordinated by GOPIO-Ct member Meera Banta and several school students serve as volunteers. GOPIO-CT has announced the schedule for this year as follows:


Saturday, June 25, 2011

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Saturday, October 22, 2011


Work includes cooking the food, serving and cleaning up. Those interested in volunteering may contact Meera Banta at


GOPIO-CT Volunteers at the Soup Kitchen

 Photo: From Left to Right: Louella D'Silva, Frankie Guadiano, Siyan Shaikh, Bhoom Banta, Anita Bhat




GOPIO-San Francisco joined hands the Indo-American Community Federation's 10th Anniversary "Unity Dinner." Joined by over 300 guests of varied ethnicities, including elected officials, the Unity Dinner celebrated and recognized extraordinary contributions made by individuals and organizations for the development of the community.

Since 2002, the "Unity Dinner " has attracted the involvement of the Chinese, Korean, Filipino, Bangladesh, Hispanic and Afghani communities, presenting them with a forum to address and discuss common social issues, effectively strengthening unity through diversity.

The Bay Area's ethnic organizations and elected city, state and federal representatives have also supported this endeavor over the years. San Jose city council member Ash Kalra commented, "The Silicon Valley is truly representative of what can be achieved when multiple cultures work together for a common cause and it is important that we appreciate this unity and strive to strengthen it, so that we can continue to achieve greater things."

Jim Wieder, former KGO-TV Channel 7 reporter/anchor and former president of the Hayward Chamber of Commerce, introduced the evening's guest speakers. State Assembly member Mary Hayashi was the first to address the audience and spoke about the advantages of diversity in Alameda County.
Guest of honor Congressman Jerry McNerney, who acknowledged each of the elected public officials at the dinner for their hard work and support for the community, presented IACF founder Jeevan Zutshi with a certificate in recognition of his efforts to unite the community. Cupertino Mayor Gilbert Wong also presented IACF with a commendation note from the City of Cupertino.

GOPIO-San Francisco India Unity Dinner.March 25, 2011

Photo above: From L. to R - Congressman Jerry McNerney addressing the gathering; Jeevan Zutsgi with Fremiont Vice mayor Sue Chan and Cupertino Mayor Gilbert Wong; Keynote Speaker Mohammed H. Qayoumi, Preisdent of San Jose State University.


Supporting organizations at the event were the city of Fremont, Citizens for Better Community, Roman Reeds Foundation, Hispanic Unity Council, Ohlone College Foundation and the Federation of Indo-American Associations, among many others. One of the Bay Area's Bollywood dance groups, Dance Identity, performed an entertaining medley of numbers from all over the world. Creative director Shaira Bhan choreographed the numbers, drawing from more than five global dance styles that complemented the vibrant costumes.

CSU East Bay president Dr. Mo Qayoumi, as the keynote speaker, congratulated the IACF and Zutshi for their contributions to the community.

"Social science has shown that humans are highly social beings with very strong family associations, since they share common experiences," Qayoumi, who is set to join San Jose State University as president this summer, said.

Assembly member Bob Weickowski and San Jose council member Ash Kalra were honored for "Unity through Politics"; the Hindu American Foundation received the "IACF Organization of the year" for Religious Diversity" award; and Anil Yadav was presented the "Unity through Business Development" award.

Other recipients included Trilochan (Bobby) Singh for "Unity through Service"; Lena Zee and Mahesh Nihilani for "Unity through Selfless Community Service"; Vandana Kumar of India Currents, "Unity through Journalism " award; and Sujoy Sarkar, "Unity through Films and Broadcasting" award.


"The support from the community at the 'Unity Dinner' has just been overwhelming," said Jeevan Zutshi, President of Indo-American Community Federation and GOPIO-San Francisco.


"It is gratifying to see that the vision we began with in 2002, after the twin towers collapsed, to unify and strengthen the community is gradually being realized. We do hope to keep the annual event on-going, making it better with every year," Zutshi added.




GOPIO Upper New York chapter sponsored a lavish float at the 23rd Annual Phagwah (Holi) Parade which took on Sunday, March 20th 2011 in Richmond Hill, Queens, New York. On a gloriously sunny day, GOPIO Upper New York joined thousands turned out to celebrate the arrival of the Hindu New Year. GOPIO's presence was its first at this annual celebration and advanced the GOPIO name among the PIO community. Remarked GOPIO Upper New York president Satruhan Sukdeo, "GOPIO celebrated with the community and the community is now more aware of GOPIO".


GOPIO Float at the New York Phagwa Parade on March 20th, 2011

Photo above: GOPIO Upper New York float with officials and members


The first day of spring was greeted with an abundance of song and dance, joyous laughter and sprinkling of colored powder on family and friends. It was indeed a joyous occasion with an entire community mostly Indo-Caribbean PIOs coming out in large numbers to celebrate. The stage program in Smokey Oval Park was nothing less than spectacular. "The high quality of artistry was amazing to behold, and the huge number of appreciative revelers stayed entertained to the end, determined to maintain the lively spirit of Holi", said Dr Dhanpaul Narine, PRO/Media Liaison of the Hindu Parades & Festivals Committee.




The GOPIO Upper New York Chapter plans to commemorate its Third Anniversary and Indian Arrival Day (Guyana) with a dinner celebration on Saturday 7th May, 2011. This event will be held at the World's Fair Marina, Flushing, Queens, New York starting at 7.00 pm until 12:00 Midnight. There will be a cocktail hour before the buffet dinner and the popular DJ Mike will be directing the music.


The feature speaker this year will be Dr. Clement Seecharan, the eminent historian from Guyana and the United Kingdom, who will release his new book titled "Mother India's Shadow over El Dorado: Indo-Guyanese Politics and Identity,1890's to 1930's". Clem Seecharan is Professor of Caribbean History at London Metropolitan University. He will join the rich procession of outstanding Indo Guyanese historians who had previously delivered speeches at GOPIO Upper New York Chapter's annual celebration.


RSVP required. Cost is $40.00 per person. For more information please contact Sat Sukdeo at 347-429-1924 or at, Jhairam Persaud at 917-748-2430 or at, or Netram Rambudhan at 917-292-5630 or at




Governor of Bihar, Shri Devanand Konwar, hosted  a get together of  GOPIO India and PIO TV at Bihar Niwas office in New Delhi on April 15, 2011. Journalists, scholars and social activists, besides the GOPIO members, felicitated the Governor for his patronage to overseas Indians including PIOs/ NRIs. The Governor was happy to learn from MOIA official about the ministry's exemplary efforts to ensure the safe arrival of thousands of Indians from  Libya in the recent past. The ministry not only arranged their flight back home but also dispatching them to their respective states in India, in cooperation with the state commissioners.


Governor Konwar is pleased about the Kolkata Memorial in Kolkata unveiled on January 11, 2011 to commemorate the departure of first lot of Indians overseas.  GOPIO urged the Bihar state to make such a commemorative  place in the state of Bihar as the PIOs  consider India and especially Bihar, a place of pilgrimage. The Governor supports the proposal to organize Indian Media Diaspora, and assured us of his state government's cooperation in looking after the PIOs hailing from Bihar. 


For details, contact: K.N. Gupta, GOPIO-India,




Gopio-Ireland and Ireland India Council jointly organized a luncheon meeting with Mr Rajnish Kumar, Regional Head of State Bank of India in UK.  Held on February 23rd at the Georgian building of the Institute of International Trade of Ireland, it was attended by about 30 people from academic, financial and business organizations in Dublin .


The lecture was on "Potential for Indo-Irish financial services, trade & Investment". Kumar, a career banker who joined State Bank in 1980 gave very interesting and interactive talk. Before coming to London in 2009, he was General Manager in Mumbai looking after the retail business in one of the most prosperous regions in India. Kumar's responsibilities include promotion and expansion of SBI business in UK and Ireland. 


Contact: Dr. Prabhu Kulkarni, GOPIO-Ireland, Tel: +353-1-4944315,




GOPIO International's India and GOPIO Berlin Chapter on March 1, 2011 hosted German Parliamentarians of the German-Indo Parliamentary Friendship Group at a dinner meeting at Ashok Hotel in New Delhi. The interactive get-together created a platform to further cement India and German relations and involvement of NRIs and PIOs in the development of the two nations. Significantly, the German parliament has three Members of Parliament who are of Indian origin, two of whom were part of the seven MPs at the GOPIO dinner meeting. Sebastian Edathy's father is from Kerala, while Josef Winker's mother is from Kerala. The third PIO MP Raju Sharma was not in attendance.


The meeting was promoted by GOPIO International's Berlin Chapter President Barjinder Sodhi. GOPIO International's Media Council Chairman Munish Gupta coordinated the get-together.


GOPIO-India Chapter President K N Gupta, who hosted the event, welcomed the guests that included Ms. Monika Hein, in charge Parliamentary Friendship Groups; Dr. Lukas Wasielewski, Counsellor (Political), Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in India and Ms Annya Malhotra from the German Embassy.


Mr Edathy, who was the head of the delegation, hailed PIOs for their admirable contribution in the education sector especially, saying they were "good ambassadors". PIOs in Germany are estimated to be 60,000, with 30,000 holding German citizenship. Also in attendance were GOPIO International's India Chapter members, mediapersons, Govt. of India Secretary for Food Dr. B. C. Gupta, former High Commissioner of India to UK Ambassador Shiv Shankar Mukherji, an official from the Minsitry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) officials and some prominent members from the Indian community and businessmen.


GOPIO-India hosts German MPs delegation

Photo above: GOPIO-India and GOPIO-Berlin host reception of German MPs in New Delhi.


K N Gupta welcomed resurgence in Indo-German trade and business relations and assured GOPIO's support to enhancing the bilateral exchanges being promoted by PIOs and NRIs and Indian businesses and academics. Munish Gupta conducted the evening's proceedings, highlighting GOPIO's aspirations to connect with PIOs all over the world. He talked about the possibility of creating a special Indian festival in Germany later in the year. GOPIO and MP delegations agreed to work together to partner in events in both countries.  On behalf of the delegation, Mr Josef Winker expressed optimism in building a relationship with GOPIO and appreciated the efforts of the Indian Diaspora.


GOPIO India Chapter reception for FRG MPs is on the PIO TV. Two stories done are now in the Feature Sections also on Home page ( .






Mr. Leo Varadkar was appointed Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport in the new Fine Gail and Labour coalition government of Ireland on March 9th, 2011. The 25th February elections gave resounding mandate to these two parties with two third seats in the Dail Iireann (lower house) of Oireachtas (Irish Parliament).


Leo was born in Dublin in 1979, a son of Indian medical Doctor (General Practitioner, Castleknock) from Nagpur in Maharashtra & an Irish mother. He was educated in the King's Hospital School, Palmerstown and Trinity College, Dublin as a medical Doctor.


He was co-opted to the Fingal County Council in 2003 and was elected to represent Castlknock area with highest first preference votes in 2004. In 2007 general elections he was elected to the Dail Iireann. "New TDs arriving in Leinster House, especially the younger ones look like kids arriving at boarding school for the first time--Not Varadkar. Within a week of being elected the then 28-year-old went straight for Bertie Ahern's jugular, excoriating the Taoiseach of the day for being "both devious and cunning". He continued the speech despite being heckled by Fianna Fail's heavy artillery" wrote thee The Irish times in November 2010.


Irish Minister Leo Varadkar at an earlier GOPIO-Ireland Program

Photo above: Irish Transporatation Minister Leo Varadkar (second from right) atGOPIO-Ireland inauguraiton in Dublin in 2006.


In his short time in Dail Iireann, Leo has become one of Fine Gael's most prominent spokesmen and the Front Bench Spokesperson on Enterprise, Trade and Employment. In June 2010, Leo was appointed to the Communications, Energy and Natural Resources portfolio. He has published detailed policy papers in a number of areas. These included a paper on the rationalization of state agencies and quangos. Reduction of these quangos is one of the main policy issues of Coalition Government.   


Leo was one of the distinguished guests at the GOPIO Ireland inauguration in 2006 in Dublin Castle attended by the then Minister of State for Trade and Employment, GOPIO Founder President Dr. Thomas Abraham and Lord Diljit Rana, current president of GOPIO International.


The photos show Dr Leo Varadkar addressing the GOPIO Ireland function and with the visiting guests and event organisers. 




Dr. Clement Seecharan, the eminent Guyana-born PIO historian will release his new book titled "Mother India's Shadow over El Dorado: Indo-Guyanese Politics and Identity, 1890's to 1930's" at the Third Anniversary of GOPIO Upper New York on May 7, 2011 in New York. Dr. Seecharan will be the featured speaker at that event and also attend several other book signing events in New York. Dr. Seecharan is Professor of Caribbean History at London Metropolitan University


In Mother India's Shadow over El Dorado:Indo-Guyanese Politics and Identity, 1890s-1930s, Seecharan reconstructs the circumstances surrounding the development of Indo-Guyanese nationalism. He assesses the impact of the Golden Age of the Ramayana; the glories of ancient India unearthed by British scholars/administrators (Indologists); and Gandhi's virtual deification in his campaign for India's freedom. An India seen to be in revolt against imperial rule inspired several Indo-Guyanese intellectuals, such as Joseph Ruhomon, Peter Ruhomon and J.I. Ramphal, to popularise an image of Mother India that bolstered Indo-Guyanese self-esteem.


Drawing on a range of primary sources, the book presents a comprehensive picture of the 'many Indias' Indo-Guyanese (Hindus, Muslims and Christians) embraced in countering the 'coolie' stain, while seeking to belong in creole society. On the flip side, the consuming El Dorado syndrome in Guyana bred a discernible triumphalism among Indo-Guyanese, manifested in the Colonisation Scheme of the 1920s and the associated ideas of creating an 'Indian colony' or a 'Greater India' in Guyana. This kindled a resilient fear, among African-Guyanese, of Indian economic and political domination which still haunts the country. Multiple constructions of India, as homeland, have been central to the shaping of Indo-Guyanese identity. An imagined India- part fact, part fantasy -has continually woven into the Indo-Guyanese consciousness a rich, elevating perception of self: an antidote to the deflating image of the 'coolie' that lingered when the last Indian indentures were cancelled in 1920.


Seecharan's other books include Sweetening 'Bitter Sugar': Jock Campbell, the Booker Reformer in British Guiana, 1934-66 (awarded the Elsa Goveia Prize (2005) by the Association of Caribbean Historians), Muscular Learning: Cricket and Education in the Making of the British West Indies at the End of the 19thCentury and From Ranji to Rohan: Cricket and Indian Identity in Colonial Guyana, 1890s-1960s.




Sun Mark Ltd, a UK-based export company founded by leading NRI entrepreneur Dr. Rami Ranger MBE, FRSA has won the Asian Business of the Year Award 2011 in the Food & Drink category. Dr. Ranger, an active GOPIO supporter, received the award from the British Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Dr. Vince Cable MP, at the Asian Business Awards on 18th March 2011 at Park Plaza Hotel, Westminster, London. He said that vision, determination and hard work enabled his company to achieve outstanding results which also helped win the Queens Award for Enterprise in International Trade for two consecutive years, 2009 and 2010. He saluted Britain which gave him the opportunity to realize his dreams.

Dr Ranger started his logistics company with just #2 capital from a shed and he now runs two of Britain's fastest growing companies with an annual turnover of over #100 million and growing at over 20% per annually and sustain hundreds of British jobs through their export activities.  Sun Mark markets a range of high quality consumer products in the food, drink, toiletries and household sectors in over 90 countries, including South Asia, Africa, Middle East and the Caribbean. Brands such as Royalty, Pure Heaven, Golden Country, Robust, and Laser are now well known in over 90 countries




Reputed Indian American computer scientist Satish K. Tripathi, a Banaras Hindu University alumnus, has been appointed president of the prestigious University at Buffalo (UB) in New York state. Tripathi, 60, is the first non-American president in the history of UB, the largest and most comprehensive university in the State University of New York (SUNY) system and one of two SUNY institutions which is a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities (AAU). Jeremy M. Jacobs, chair of the UB Council and the presidential search committee, said Tripathi was the unanimous choice of the council, selected from an outstanding pool of some 70 candidates in a very competitive search spread over seven months.


Tripathi says he is committed to furthering the vision of the university that is at the heart of the UB 2020 plan: to make UB an excellent university and bring it to the next level, where it is competing with the top research universities in the country. "To do that, we need to make an impact with our research, have a better quality of life for our citizenry and foster economic development in Western New York, as well as provide an excellent education for our students," he said.

Tripathi, who served as UB provost and executive vice president for academic affairs for six years, succeeds John B. Simpson as head of SUNY's most comprehensive university. Tripathi graduated top of his class from Banaras Hindu University in India, and holds three master's degrees - one in computer science from the University of Toronto and two in statistics from the University of Alberta and Banaras Hindu University. After receiving a doctorate in computer science from the University of Toronto in 1979, he joined the computer science faculty at the University of Maryland, where he spent 19 years on the faculty, including seven years as department chair. He moved on to the University of California-Riverside in 1997 to become dean of the Bourns College of Engineering. He joined UB as provost and executive vice president for academic affairs in 2004.




Prabhakant Sinha, a co-founder of ZS Associates, a sales management consultancy firm based in Chicago, has donated $2 million to his alma mater IIT-Kharagpur, giving it a bioenergy centre of excellence that opened recently.

"This centre will provide immense support for further research and innovations. Inter-disciplinary students can come together and share their knowledge. Even nationally relevant problems and issues can be solved easily through an inter-disciplinary approach," said former dean Amit Patra.

Prabha, a mechanical engineering student of the class of 1970 at IIT-Kgp, donated the sum in order to assist the institution achieve the status of a global giant in technological education.

The centre is already offering elective courses to 35 undergraduate chemical engineering students who have selected fundamentals of bioenergy. "We shall expand soon. In the centre, we will conduct research as well as introduce new courses. Faculty from University of California, Berkeley, have been invited to conduct courses. The students will be offered MTech courses on bioenergy by this centre later. Students who have completed BTech in biotechnology, biochemical engineering, bio-science, food technology and agricultural engineering or are from a pure science background will be given an equal opportunity to apply and study in the postgraduation courses," said Rintu Banerjee, professor-in-charge of P K Sinha Center for Bioenergy

The total sum $2 million (Rs 10 crore) was donated by Sinha in phases. IIT-Kgp is known to have been endowed with several such donations from its illustrious students. It set up the Vinod Gupta School of Management in the mid-'90s from a $10 million donation from another Indian American alumnus, Vinod Gupta.





Hindu American Seva Charities (HASC), headed by Anju Bhargava, a member of President Barack Obama's Advisory Council on Faith Based and Neighborhood partnership, is sponsoring a two-day event aimed at increasing Seva (service) and visibility across America. This event will include a briefing by the White House Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.


The theme of the event is "Energizing Dharmic Seva (Service): Impacting Change in America and Abroad," and is designed to inspire all towards community service.  This event opens at the White House on July 29, 2011 and continues at Georgetown University Campus on July 30th and 31st as Festivals of Service. Dharma(ic) is defined as one's obligation or duty to serve.


"The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others."  Mahatma Gandhi


Be the Change!  Share Your Seva Plan! - To impact change and encourage new service ideas, HASC is sponsoring a widespread civic and service participation essay contest. HASC is will provide an opportunity to share one's service plans in America and abroad! The winners of the contest will be recognized by HASC at the White House briefing in Washington D.C.


75 best entries will be invited to the White House for briefings. Nominees will be recognized on the second day of the conference at Georgetown University.


HASC in release said, "With your Seva Plan you can become change makers. You can be part of the ongoing seva movement. You can play a role in America valuing the talents of its diverse faiths, its pluralistic multicultural communities, the New Americans. Interfaith cooperation and community service is an important way to build understanding between different communities and contribute to the common good."


One can download the essay questions at


Email all entries and queries to: Uma Chaudhary at  with contact information and include a short biography.


"Be the change you want to see in the world." - Mahatma Gandhi


Contact: Hindu American Seva Charities, 184 South Livingston Avenue, Ste 9 #174, Livingston, NJ 07039 or Anju Bhargava




The 2011 Regional PBD will be held in Toronto on June 9 and 10th.  Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce (ICCC) is the nodal agency for the event.  The theme is Building Bridges: Positioning Strategy of the Indian Diaspora.  Indian Diaspora members in Canada, USA, Mexico and the Caribbean countries are expected to attend the PBD­Canada 2011 convention in large numbers. Also expecting participate are the provincial governments and Canadian mainstream organizations.


Start Date:  06/09/2011

End Date:   06/10/2011

Address:   255 Front St W, Toronto, Canada

Price:   $250.00 CDN (taxes not included)


For more information, visit




Britain is toughening its student visa rules, closing bogus colleges and turning away students who can't speak English well in a bid to reduce immigration, officials said Tuesday.

The clampdown could cut the number of foreign students and their dependents by about 100,000 people a year under the plan, home secretary Theresa May said. "You need to speak English to learn at our education establishments. If you can't, we won't give you a visa," she said. The number of foreign students coming into the country has more than trebled in the last ten years and they now account for a far larger number of incoming population than those who apply as workers or family, May said. The minimum English proficiency for degree-level students will be raised and assessed with tests, although universities will be permitted to make their own assessments, May said.

Border Agency officers will also be given discretion to refuse entry to students who cannot speak English without an interpreter, or who are clearly below the minimum standard for university, May said. However, students who lack the required level of English for university will still be allowed to attend preparatory courses that help them progress to university. The measures will also limit the amount of work students and fresh graduates can undertake. Students studying at private colleges will be barred from working, while those wishing to stay in the country after their studies can only do so if they find employment that pays at least 20,000 pounds ($38,000) a year.





The latest edition of the directory, Gulf Who's Who 2011-2012, was launched last month under the patronage of Dr. Abdulhussain Ali Mirza, Bahrain Minister of Energy - Oil and Gas, Electricity and Water.


The brain child of Sunny Kulathakal, Managing Editor of Sunliz Publications who also serves as International Coordinator for the Middle East, the GWWD has grown from a litany of names into an information-packed guidebook to all doing business and living in Bahrain. Ever since the first edition came out in 1978, The Gulf Who's Who Directory (GWWD) has been a popular record of the country's Who's Who, tracing the Kingdom's trajectory of growth through thumbnail profiles of its important people.


The 2011- 2012 edition has a series of in-depth interviews with leaders across all sectors on the Vision 2030 - a development blueprint drawn up by the leadership of the Kingdom. It also packs in an amazing amount of details about individuals and companies in the private as well as public sectors.


The Directory is the result of 33 years' efforts and is based on data collected by a team of researchers and is an indispensable reference volume for individuals and business houses that has anything to do with the Kingdom of Bahrain. Life sketches, photographs and addresses of thousands of individuals, locals and residents including expatriates who matter in the region are cohesively featured in the Directory.


"Our concept is to have individuals and companies from different areas of activities and interests listed in the Directory," says Kulathakal. "For getting additional information on a particular area or business, these individuals or companies can come forward and help others."


The book has special indices with category-wise listing of airlines, travel agencies, hotels & restaurants. Listing of manufacturers, jewellers, associations and schools in Bahrain are also added along with details of media and advertising agencies. Complete details and information along with photographs are included for easy and better comprehension for the readers.


For further details or to buy a copy, contact Sunny Kulathakal at +973-39441956,




The U.S. Justice Department is suing the state of California and Gov. Jerry Brown because prison authorities required a Sikh prison inmate to cut his beard. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Sukhjinder Basra, an inmate at prison in San Luis Obispo in central California. It said that the requirement violated the man's right "to practice his religion" under the federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLIUPA).


The Justice Department said the suit followed a probe "that revealed that California's inmate grooming policy substantially burdens the rights of an inmate to practice his Sikh faith."


"The rights guaranteed by the Constitution extend to all people in the United States," said Andre Birotte Jr., U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California. "By protecting those rights -- even for those incarcerated -- we strengthen those rights for all."


The state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation was also named in the suit.


RLUIPA, which became law in 2000, protects the religious freedom of people "confined to institutions such as prisons, mental health facilities and state-run nursing homes," the Justice Department said.




The Center for Public Scholarship at The New School for Social Research presents the 24th Social Research conference, INDIA'S WORLD on May 10-11, 2011 at the John Tishman Auditorium, 66 West 12th Street in New York City. The mission of the conference is to engage both experts and the public in discussions that will deepen our understandings of the ways in which the country and people of India are influenced by the world and the world, by India. Speakers will discuss key issues of contemporary Indian life to connect the dots between government, economy, policy, and culture in India and in India's world today. Dr. Arien Mack directs the conference series and organized this conference in collaboration with Dr. Arjun Appadurai of the India China Institute.


Keynote Speaker is Amitav Ghosh, author of The Glass Palace, The Hungry Tide, and Sea of Poppies, among others. Other session speakers include the following:


Ajit Balakrishnan, (on Internal and Global Dimensions of India's IT Revolution)

Aromar Revi, Indian Institute of Human Settlements and TARU (on India's Gray Educational Markets)

Sabyasachi Bhattacharya, Tata Institute (on Tensions Between Research, Graduate Training, and Undergraduate Teaching in the Natural and Physical Sciences)

Sheldon Pollock, Columbia University (on Crisis in the Classics)

Lawrence Cohen, UC Berkeley (on Different Kinds of Waiting: The Verdict of Surgery in Contemporary India)

Ranjani Mazumdar, Jawaharlal Nehru University (on Surveillance, Terrorism and Cinema of the Contemporary)

Wendy Doniger, University of Chicago Divinity School (on Puritanism, Censorship and Self Censorship in Colonial and Post Colonial Hinduism)

Mukulika Banerjee, London School of Economics (on Elections as Communitas)

Gopal Guru, Jawaharlal Nehru University (on Mobile Dalit in Incredible India: The Limits of Liberalism)

Suvir Kaul, University of Pennsylvania (on The Crisis in Kashmir With Regard to Partition, Sovereignty, and National Security in India)


Open to the public. Free for students. $15 for non-students. RSVP now to





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: 818-708-3885, E-mail:

GOPIO President - Lord Daljit Rana, UK, Tel:  +44 28-9807-8787, Email:

GOPIO Executive Vice President - Ashook Ramsaran, Fresh Meadows, New York City, Tel: 718/939-8194, 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)

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: Inder Singh (GOPIO Intl., USA), Munish Gupta (GOPIO Media Council, New Delhi), Harry Walia (GOPIO-Australia), and Jay Banerjei (GOPIO-Toronto), Shailesh Naik (GOPIO-CT), K.N. Gupta (GOPIO-India), Dr. Prabhu Kulkarni (GOPIO-Ireland), Mazrul Bacchus (Georgetown, Guyana), Netram Rambudhan (GOPIO-Upper New York, USA).


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