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June 10, 2010
A Publication of the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO)
Issue: IX-6June 10, 2010
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We at GOPIO International are pleased to inform the members of the Indian Diaspora that due to the overwhelming opposition to the retroactive enforcement of the new rules, theGovernment of India has relented in retroactive enforcement of the new rules.
The most recent notice posted on the website of Consul General of India, San Francisco, says, "In supersession of previous rules, Government of India has decided that Persons of Indian origin who have already acquired foreign citizenship up until 31 May 2010 will not be required to pay renunciation fees of USD 175.00, he/she will be required to pay miscellaneous fees of USD 20.00 when getting the old Indian passport cancelled/surrendered.
In future those Indian citizens who acquire foreign citizenship on or after 01 June 2010 will have to submit declaration of renunciation of their Indian citizenship forms as given on website and fees of USD 175.00."
On May 23, 2010, the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO International) initiated an on-line petition addressed to the Prime Minister of India, titled "Opposition to Retroactive Enforcement of New Rules for Surrender of Indian Passport". As of this date, over 28,000 people have signed this online petition to the Prime Minister of India against the retroactive enforcement of the new rules for surrender of Indian passports by naturalized citizens of other countries. By signing the petition, the former Indian citizens have expressed their strong opposition to the new rules and have vented their anger and frustration with their comments.
On May 28, 2010 GOPIO International sent a letter to Prime Minister of India, Hon. Dr Manmohan Singh, together with the first batch of over 19,000 signatures of people supporting the petition, with the following requests:
  1. To reconsider the retroactive enforcement of the new rules as many thousands of people could suffer undue and unnecessary hardship for no fault of their own. Indians who have been naturalized for years should be given the same 90 days window to obtain "surrender certificate" as being allowed to those Indians who become citizens of other countries now, without payment of fee or penalty.
  2. To reduce the service fee from $175 to a reasonable amount of $25 (USD) after the first 90 days
GOPIO International congratulates community activists, organization heads, individual volunteers, Indian American media and media people in India, who all banded together and unanimously condemned the retroactive enforcement of the new rules for obtaining "surrender certificate." Their individual and collective efforts created quick and informative awareness against the retroactive enforcement of the new rules. In about a week's time, more than 28,000 people went on line and signed GOPIO initiated on-line petition which was addressed to the Prime Minister of India. There were many people, who in addition to signing the on-line petition, also vented their feelings in their emails directly to the secretary of Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) and Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
We at GOPIO International acknowledge and appreciate the overwhelming support from the global Indian community from all corners of the world. We believe that this massive level of support made a tremendous difference in the outcome of our appeal - retraction of the enforcement of the new rules. We also acknowledge the efforts of Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) and Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) to respond to our concerns promptly and take remedial action.
We do not as yet have the complete details of the announcement by the Government of India, but it appears that the latest posting on the Consulate website shows reduction of fee to $20 for "surrender certificate" for large majority of people.
GOPIO is discontinuing the current on-line petition drive. If there are demands from the global Indian community which have not yet been met, GOPIO will try to persuade the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs to resolve them in a fair and equitable manner.
For more information, please contact GOPIO International at +1-818-708-3885, Email:


With a view to rationalizing the present arrangements relating to foreign portfolio investments by Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs)/ Non Resident Indians (NRIs) and other foreign investments like Foreign Venture Capital Investor (FVCI) and Private Equity Entities, etc., the Government of India has set up a Working Group to look at various types of foreign flows, across the respective stand-alone regulations and generate recommendations to Government. The Working Group will consist of members from the Government, the regulators and the private sector. Its composition and the office order is available at the following links: and


The terms of reference of the Working Group, inter alia, are as follows:-


i. To review the existing policy on foreign inflows, other than Foreign Direct lnvestment (FDl), such as foreign portfolio investments by Foreign lnstitutional lnvestors (Flls)/ Non Resident lndians (NRls) and other foreign investments like Foreign Venture Capital lnvestor (FVCI) and Private equity entities and suggesting rationalisation of the same with a view to encourage foreign investment and reducing policy hurdles in this regard while maintaining the Know Your Customer (KYC) requirements.


ii. To identify challenges in meeting the financing needs of the lndian economy through foreign investment. Foreign investment for this purpose to be understood broadly and can include investment in listed and unlisted equity, derivatives and debt including the markets for government bonds, corporate bonds and external commercial borrowings.


iii. To study the arrangements relating to the use of Participatory Notes (PNs) and suggest any change in the policy if required from KYC and other points of view


iv. To re-examine the rationale of taxation of transactions through the Securities Transaction Tax (STT) and stamp duty.


v. To review the legal and regulatory framework of foreign investment in order to identify specific bottlenecks impeding the servicing of these financing needs.


vi. To suggest specific short, medium and long term legal, regulatory and other policy changes in respect of foreign investment, keeping in view the suggestions of expert committee reports such as the Committee on Fuller Capital Account Convertibility, the Committee on Financial Sector Reforms and the High Powered Expert Committee on Making Mumbai an International Financial Centre.


There were series of events commemorating Indian Arrival Days in the Caribbean. GOPIO recognized the respective dates of Indian Arrival in several countries:

7     Grenada                                    May 2

7     Guyana                                     May 5

7     Trinidad & Tobago                      May 31

7     St Vincent's                               June 1

7     GOPIO Suriname                       June 4


The statement by GOPIO International Chairman Inder Singh, GOPIO International President Lord Diljit Rana and GOPIO International Executive Vice President Ashook Ramsaran stated:


"GOPIO pays honored tribute and expresses its gratitude to those who made the first journey as indentured laborers from India to the various colonies".


"We are always reminded of their pioneering spirit, determination, persistence and endurance under extremely harsh conditions. While survival must have been the primary concern, they persevered to maintain their sense of origin, traditions, culture and religion. Their children, grandchildren and following generations will always take pride in this unique accomplishment, recognizing and appreciating the sacrifices and achievements made on their behalf. We also recognize the invaluable contributions they have made to the diverse culture and economic development of their respective homelands"


"We extend GOPIO's congratulations to the government and peoples of the respective countries on the commemoration of the anniversary of that historic day. We also extend our continued best wishes to all the descendents of those early pioneers for peaceful and prosperous co-existence both in their respective homelands and other lands where they have subsequently settled".


"We continue to encourage and support active promotion of the rich and enduring Indian traditions that served their forefathers so well. We also wish to remind all the descendents of those early pioneers to recognize and reach out to others of Indian origin whose forebears also embarked on similar journeys".




New York: GOPIO Upper New York Chapter celebrated its 2nd Anniversary as a GOPIO chapter and commemorated Guyana's Indian Arrival Day on Saturday, May 15th, 2010. After a reading of Sharda Yardan's poem "The Earth Is Brown" by GOPIO Upper New York Director Premnauth Singh, Dr. Baytoram Ramharack spoke on the migration of Indians to the Caribbean region. His speech was a brilliant encapsulation of Indian immigration to the Caribbean that provided more of an understanding and appreciation to those not familiar with that history. Dr Ramharack is the author of "Against the Grain: Balram Singh Rai and the Politics of Guyana" and "Centenary Celebration of the Arrival of Indians to British Guiana (1838-1938)" which he autographed at the event.


Trinidad and Tobago: In commemoration of 165th Indian Arrival Day in Trinidad and Tobago, the High Commission of India and Mahatma Gandhi Institute for Cultural Co-operation (MGICC) in collaboration with the National Council of Indian Culture (NCIC), Lakshmi Narayan Temple and Nrityanjali Theatre hosted several performing groups and a Symposium on Rabindranath Tagore: "A Universal Man" during the month of May 2010. These included:  May 8 - A Symposium on Rabindranath Tagore; May 25-30 - Performances by one of India's leading exponents of the Dhrupad style of music, the Gundecha Brothers; May 26-30 - Performances by a 10-Member Folk Group led by Ganga Bai Kamad; May 10-30 - Group performances at Lakshmi Narayan Temple, Dattatreya Yoga Temple, Pandavas, University of the West Indies, and Diwali Nagar. Newly elected Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar participated at the event at Diwali Nagar.


Guyana: In commemoration of 171st Indian Arrival Day, a lecture series was held to identify and address issues of interest and concern among PIOs in Guyana as well as the Caribbean region. These included: May 6 - "Indians in the Diaspora: Their contributions to the development of the various countries in which they settled"; May 13 - "The Indian Diaspora agenda for the Caribbean"; May 20 - "The Indian Diaspora in the Caribbean: A Historical Perspective"; May 28, 2010 "Literature by Guyanese of Indian Ancestry". Celebrations marking the occasion were held at Monument Gardens in Georgetown on May 5.


Suriname:In commemoration of Immigrant Arrival Day, two events were held with a celebration theme "Indian Arrival: From Indian Immigrant to Suriname Citizen". In addition, there was a parade at City Center on June 4 and a cultural event with reception at Lala Rookh Center on June 5. Guest of Honor is Suriname's Vice President Ramdien Sardjoe.


St Vincent's: The St Vincent's and Grenadines Indian Heritage Foundation (SVGIHF) St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) celebrated the 149th Anniversary of the arrival of Indians in St. Vincent on June 1, officially designated Indian Arrival Day. The highlight of this year's celebration was the performance of a visiting 10-Member Rajasthani Dance Group from ICCR. Program included and display of artifacts, mementos, and Indian cuisine at the Peace Memorial Hall in Kingstown with Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves and Minister of Culture Rene Baptiste in attendance.


The Government of India (Union Cabinet) on May 20, 2010, approved setting up Indian Community Welfare Fund (ICWF) in Indian missions in 17 countries to meet contingency expenses for welfare of overseas Indian citizens who are in distress.  The proposed fund, estimated at Rs 16 million , is aimed at providing boarding and lodging for distressed overseas Indian workers in domestic sector and unskilled laborers, extending emergency medical care to those in need, providing air passage to stranded overseas Indians in need, providing initial legal assistance to the overseas Indians in deserving cases and expenditure on airlifting the mortal remains to India or local cremation/burial of deceased overseas Indians in such cases where a sponsor is unable or unwilling to do so as per the contract and the family is unable to meet the cost.  


Overseas Indian workers duped by unscrupulous intermediaries in the host countries, runaway house maids, those who become victims of accidents, deserted spouses of overseas Indians or undocumented overseas Indian workers in need of emergency assistance or any other overseas Indian citizens who are in distress would be the main beneficiaries of the fund.





Indian-origin Kamla Persad-Bissessar became the first woman Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago after her five-party coalition emerged with a stunning upset and won 27 of 41 seats in the snap polls conducted in the former British colony. A former Attorney General, Kamla Persad-Bissessar heads the United National Congress (UNC), which put together a coalition to oust the former Prime Minister Patrick Manning's People's National Movement (PNM).Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar won the UNC party leadership over former Prime Minister Basdeo Panday.


Outgoing PM Manning's PNM draws most of its support from Afro-Trinidadians while the UNC of Kamla Persad-Bissessar largely relies on Indo-Trinidadian backing. Her coalition campaigned strongly for multi-ethnic support. Kamla Persad's campaign tapped into voters' worries about rising gang violence and corruption scandals here.


Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar promptly selected cabinet ministers and formed the government for the next five years in the twin-island nation. The 58-year-old has promised to increase pensions and create a multi-million-dollar fund for sick children in a campaign focused on change. Manning, 64, has ruled the country for 13 of the past 17 years and his biggest accomplishments as prime minister include poverty reduction and attracting billions of dollars in investment in Trinidad and Tobago's petrochemical industries.


In her acceptance speech, Prime Minster Kamla Persad-Bissessar said "the changing of the guard is an indicator that our democracy is still preserved and there can be nothing of greater importance for this nation". In introducing her cabinet, she stressed that "we begin to be tested as of this very moment. We carry a huge responsibility to get this nation back on track. So we must discover how to turn obstacles into opportunities, discover new ways of solving old problems. Inspire others by our enthusiasm and positive outlook.


GOPIO International sent a message of congratulations to Prime Minster Kamla Persad-Bissessar which stated that "GOPIO conveys its best wishes to the new government formed with Kamla Persad-Bissessar as its head and look forward improved progress, peace and prosperity for all the people of Trinidad and Tobago".


Prime Minster Kamla Persad-Bissessar attended GOPIO's Business Conference banquet in 2002 in New York when she was Attorney General of Trinidad and Tobago and delivered her remarks to a packed audience.


The country is the biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas to the United States. The change in government was not expected to produce any significant change in energy policy. Trinidad and Tobago's population of about 1.3 million is almost evenly divided between descendants of African slaves and those of Indian indentured workers brought over when the territory was a British colony.




GOPIO International sent a message and issued a press statement of congratulations to Prime Minster Kamla Persad-Bissessar following the victory that propelled her to become the new Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago. The statement stated that "GOPIO congratulates the United National Congress (UNC) alliance and its leader PIO-born Kamla Persad-Bissessar on the resounding victory on Monday, May 24, 2010 in Trinidad and Tobago.  Your achievement of such a spectacular victory brings lots of pride to persons of Indian Origin in the region as well as throughout the global Indian Diaspora" The statement continued, "GOPIO conveys its best wishes on the new government to be formed with Kamla Persad-Bissessar as its head and look forward improved progress, peace and prosperity for all the people of Trinidad and Tobago". GOPIO of Trinidad & Tobago as well as GOPIO of India also sent messages of congratulations to the new prime minister.


Prime Minster Kamla Persad-Bissessar attended GOPIO's Business Conference banquet in 2002 in New York when she was Attorney General of Trinidad and Tobago and delivered her remarks to a packed audience. The new prime minister met with GOPIO Chairman Inder Singh and GOPIO Executive Vice President Ashook Ramsaran on their recent visit to Port of Spain, Trinidad.


Trinidad PM Kamla Persad Bissessar with GOPIO Officials 

Photo above: GOPIO officials with PM Kamla Persad-Bissessar when they called on her in 2008. From: L. to R.: GOPIO Executive VP Ashook Ramsaran, Prime Minster Kamla Persad-Bissessar, GOPIO Chairman Inder Singh


In remarks issued separately, Ramsaran stated that, "we at GOPIO are very pleased when a Person of Indian Origin (PIO) rises to a level of major accomplishment such as Hon. Kamla Persad-Bissessar has achieved with her astounding victory to become Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago. Furthermore, we also take much pride that a PIO woman has become the first in the Caribbean to have done so". He continued, "She exemplifies the true spirit of a PIO which provides a rejuvenated sense of pride among PIOs in Trinidad and Tobago as well as the entire Caribbean region. We at GOPIO are convinced that Hon. Kamla Persad-Bissessar, being a PIO, would be more sensitive and aware of the interests and concerns of PIOs, and we look forward to close interaction and collaboration at the local chapter level as well as with GOPIO International".




The coalition composed of the Mauritius Labour Party under Dr Navinchandra Ramgoolam, the Militant Socialist Movement under Pravind Jugnauth and the Mauritian Social Democrat Party under Xavier Duval, won a resounding majority with 41 seats in the parliament. The Mauritian Militant Movement-led coalition under Paul Berenger finished second with 18 seats. The Mauritian Solidarity Front won one seat and the Rodrigues Movement won the two remaining seats. The elections were the ninth to be held since independence from the United Kingdom in 1968. Mr Mookhesswur Choonee, former High Commissioner in New Delhi, has been appointed as Minister of Art and Culture.


GOPIO International and the India Chapter of the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO International) extended congratulations to H.E. Dr Navinchandra and his team. In conveying the best wishes, Mr. K N Gupta of New Delhi said that GOPIO India as well as PIO TV offers its goodwill and services in any manner possible to help their dynamic government usher in a new era of progress, peace and prosperity. 






In a packed ballroom at the Italian Center in Stamford on May 2, GOPIO Connecticut honored and celebrated a corporate CEO, a US Senator and a young pediatric diabetes practitioner, for their achievements and contributions to the community - Mr. Dinesh Paliwal, Chairman, CEO and President of Harman International; US Senator Chris Dodd, and Ms. Neesha Ramchandani, Pediatric Nurse Coordinator at Maimonides.


The elegant raspberry-themed event which included a cocktail reception, dinner, dance performances by local artists and live music, was attended by nearly 250 Indian-American community leaders, supporters and public officials - including US Senator, Chris Dodd, Ambassador Prabhu Dayal from the Indian Consulate in New York, US Congressman Jim Himes, Lt. Governor Michael Fedele, Mayor Michael Pavia, State Senator Andrew MacDonald, and former Stamford Mayor, Dan Malloy. Also attending, were several members of the senior management team of Harman International, Gold Sponsor, and Stamford Hospital, Silver Sponsor of the event.


The 2010 "Indian-American Achiever Award" went to Mr. Dinesh Paliwal, Chairman, CEO and President of Harman International, for business building and turnaround successes at Harman and ABB. Mr. Rajat Gupta, Senior Partner Emeritus at McKinsey & Company, who introduced Mr. Paliwal, called him a "builder of businesses and teams, a person with great personal qualities, and I am honored to be his friend." Paliwal who regards himself as a "global citizen" credited his team and his supportive family for many of his accomplishments, and lauded GOPIO-CT for the "great community work you have been doing. I am truly impressed."


US Senator Christopher Dodd of Connecticut, Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee and Co-chairman of the Senate India Caucus, was honored with a "Friend of India" award in recognition of his leadership in advancing economic and political cooperation between India and the United States, and his years of support to the Indian-American community. Senator Dodd thanked the organization for this gesture and said, "It's great to be a friend of GOPIO Connecticut and India."


"Americans of Indian descent have become part of the rich fabric of Connecticut and the United States and their contributions to our economy and our culture can be seen all across our state and our country," said Dodd.


"India is a trusted friend to America and an important ally in addressing the global challenges that both our countries face," Dodd continued. "I am honored to receive this award and have been proud to play a role in developing the relationship between our two countries. "I'm looking forward to continuing my work on strengthening US-India relations in the Senate India Caucus during my last months in the Senate-and beyond."


Ambassador Dayal lauded the "contributions of the Indian-American community to the United States as well as to India." He said he was "delighted to be part of the celebration in Connecticut honoring distinguished Indian-Americans and Senator Dodd as  a Friend of India."


Guest of Honor, Stamford's Mayor Michael Pavia spoke about the strength of diversity of the city of Stamford, and ways in which Indian-Americans have enriched the local culture and economy. "The Indian-American community embraced me in the very early days of my campaign, and I am grateful for their friendship and support," he added.


The "Young Person of the Year Award" went to Ms. Neesha Ramchandani, a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner and Certified Diabetes Educator. She is coordinator of the pediatric diabetes program at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY.


Along with the awards, each of the awardees was presented with an official certificate of recognition by Lt. Governor Michael Fedele on behalf of Governor Jodi Rell. He congratulated the awardees and thanked the community for the "many contributions they have made in enriching the fabric of Connecticut." Certificates of recognition were also presented to the awardees on behalf of Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal.

Photo below: GOPIO-CT officials with 4th Anniversary Awardees and dignitaries. Front Row from L. to R.: Chandni Dayal, Rajat Gupta, Dinesh Paliwal, Ambassador Prabhu Dayal, Maureen Pavia, Sangeeta Ahuja, Carol Fedele, Neesha Ramchandani, Ritu Johorey, Shamla Sharma and Dr. Thomas Abraham. Back Row: Ila Paliwal, Ravi Dhingra, Shelly Nichani, Mayor Michael Pavia, Lt. Governor Michael Fedele, Shailesh Naik and Prakash Chakravarti 
GOPIO-CT 4th Anniversary Awards Banquet 2010 
 Photo above left: Senator Dodd receiving the Friend of India award from Mayor Pavia. Others in the picture, left to right, Thomas Abraham, Shailesh Naik and Ravi Dhingra. Photo above right: GOPIO-CT banquet attendees dancing with Senator Chris Dodd at the banquet.

US Congressman Himes spoke fondly of his many visits to India, "I became an honorary Indian 20 years ago, when I first traveled to India. I fell in love with the country.  India is truly taking its place as a leader nation in the world. We are seeing levels of development there that finally speak to the heritage of commerce, that is so much of India's past. A democracy that will truly thrive and take its rightful place as a leader among nations."


Connecticut State Senator Andrew McDonald said "Our country would not be rich and bountiful a place, but for the gracious generosity and philanthropic efforts of people who are giving tirelessly of their efforts."


In welcoming the guests and dignitaries, Shailesh Naik, President of GOPIO-CT said, "We congratulate the 2010 awardees. They are an asset to the community for all that they have done and accomplished."


Contact: GOPIO-CT President Shailesh Naik, e-mail:, or visit




It was a stellar presentation acclaimed by all. The evening of 23rd May 2010 was special in more ways than one. This was the evening when thirty two high achieving students from the Indian community in the fields of academics, arts and sports were recognised by dignitaries that came from across different political parties and varied political status. Before an august audience of distinguished guests, proud parents and encouraging community members at the Pioneer Hall in Castle Hill, the young individuals were applauded for their hard work, grit, determination and loads of talent. The organization responsible for making this very special evening possible is GOPIO, the Global Organization for People of Indian Origin.


 The GOPIO chapters of NSW have set a bench mark by organizing an evening of such great magnitude and have become trend setters, as this is the first time that any Indian organization has organized a function to recognize the feats of young Indian Australians. This is an immense gesture and one that will go long way in promoting the talents of the youth. The evening was very well organised and one that brought all the different sub-chapters across Sydney to a united forum.


The students and guests were welcomed with traditional "Teeka Ceremony" with a "Thaali of Aarti' at the door before they entered the hall. The evening began with the traditional lighting of the lamp followed by a welcome note by GOPIO Sydney President Lucky Singh. She said, "It is a night of celebrating hard work, commitment and enthusiasm. The reward for work well done is the opportunity to do more." She congratulated all the young achievers and their proud parents and wished them all a great future ahead.


Harry Walia, President GOPIO Sydney North West addressed the audience and read the message of Chairman, GOPIO International, Mr. Inder Singh. Mr. Walia on behalf of GOPIO in his speech highlighted achievements made by GOPIO in the last two years, such as helped needy and raised funds for many generous causes such as: Victorian Bushfire, Tsunami in Samoa, Earthquake in Indonesia, Floods in Fiji and India, Blood donation at Red Cross Parramatta, Indian students who were victims of attacks, An Indian family in Cobbitty, who met with a serious life threatening accident. Mr Walia further informed the audience that GOPIO also organised many workshops like "Art of living", "How to run small business" and for overseas Indian students to help in jobs, accommodation, courses and many social issues.


Mr. Walia acknowledged the chief guest and other dignitaries, the sponsors including official publisher for the event Centrum Printing and Veetel Pty Ltd (Telecommunications) who supported generously to make the night a huge success, expressed gratitude to Mr. Amit Dasgupta Consul General of India, Sydney for special gifts for all the awardees. The chief guest for the evening was Indian High Commissioner Sujatha Singh. High Commissioner Singh said "it was an evening well spent". Gautam Roy, the Indian Consul at Sydney, Former Premier of NSW, Mr. Nathan Rees, the representative of the Premier of NSW, Mr. Peter Primrose, Minister for Youth, Volunteering, Ageing & Disability Services, representative of the Leader of the Opposition, Mr. Michael Richardson MP, federal MP, Ms. Julie Owens, Ms. Penny Sharpe MLC and a number of Councillors of ALP graced the occasion. Mr. Primrose read out the message from Ms. Kristina Kennelly, Premier of New South Wales to the audience, who were later addressed by Mr. Richardson and Mr. Nathan Rees. The evening was led by charming and enthusiastic ladies Lucky Singh President GOPIO Sydney and Neeru Singh Secretary GOPIO Sydney North West.


Officials of GOPIO Metro Sydney chapters with young achievers 

Photo above:GOPIO Metro Sydney Chapters officials and dignataries with young achevers.

In the midst of all the celebrations, the GOPIO organizers also had a one minute silence at the beginning of the event to mourn 159 victims of the Mangalore air crash. The hall, packed with 400 people, stood up in silence to pay tribute to the 159 people who died at the Air India Express aircraft crash on  Saturday 22 May 2010 morning.


There were representatives from the various Indian organizations including Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan Australia, UIA, India Club and Indian ethnic media. The students were awarded certificates and trophies by the various dignitaries. The top 3 achievers received a pleasant surprise, when award of lap tops were announced from the floor by Sub Continent Friends of Labor, 99 Acers Properties, Sharma's Kitchen and India Club based in Sydney- a very kind and encouraging gesture, indeed. Amit Dasgupta, the Consul General of India also had special gifts for the students. The dignitaries were in turn presented with a book each by the Art of Living Foundation.


The award ceremony was followed by a short entertainment program which was a potpourri of traditional and Bollywood dances performed By Varun Tiwari , Bhangra by Punjab World Entertainers and bollywood songs. Billu's Eatery had laid out sumptuous dinner, there was an auction and raffle draws conducted fabulously by Rajpal Sandhu where attractive prizes were given away to the winners. All in all it was an evening that felt good and a stepping stone to many such award ceremonies in the future.


Mr. Abbas Raza Alvi, Co-Chair GOPIO International Cultural Council recited the following couplet:

"Zeh zameen tumahri hogi,

Aasmaan tumhara hoga,

Tum jo pyar bantoge,

Yeh jahan tumhara hoga......."


Amit Pall President GOPIO Parramatta closed the evening with a thank note by acknowledging all the sponsors, the dignitaries, the young achievers and their families ,members of the Indian community and everyone else present on the evening.


All GOPIO chapters in the Metro Sydney area were well represented at the program including Mr. GOPIO Ryde President Parmanand Singh, GOPIO Glenwood President Aayush Sharma,  executive members of GOPIO including Mr. Balbir Singh Secretary GOPIO Ryde, Mr. Dhawal Amlani Treasurer GOPIO Parramatta, Mr Mohan Singh Treasurer GOPIO Sydney North West, Mr. Rajesh Batra, Vice President GOPIO Sydney, Mrs. Ravi Gill, Joint Secretary GOPIO Sydney, Mr. Jag Rawat, Vice President GOPIO Parramatta, Mr. Jai Deep Singh Vice President GOPIO North West, Mr. Sameer Pandey Secretary GOPIO Parramatta ,Mr. Mahavir Arya, Mrs Kuldeep Kaur, Mr. Balkar Singh Kang, Mrs Alka Sharma, Mrs. Aman  Singh, Mr. Amar Sood, Ms. Sunita Sethi, Mr. Sumit Sarna, Mr. Kunal Jain,Mr. Sarabjit Kalra, Mr. Jai Jin and volunteers who worked relentlessly for this event.




GOPIO Upper New York Chapter celebrated its 2nd Anniversary as a GOPIO chapter and commemorated the 172nd anniversary of Guyana's Indian Arrival Day on Saturday, May 15th, 2010 at the Royal Palace Banquet Hall in White Plains, New York.


The event was well attended and representative of the community and GOPIO International. It started at 6:00pm, was a well organized and very successful event. The format was a cocktail hour followed by remarks and speeches, then a buffet dinner. Master of Ceremonies for the event was Satruhan Sukdeo, President of GOPIO Upper New York Chapter.


The program for the evening included greetings from VIPs, local political representatives, GOPIO International, as well as welcome remarks, commentaries, songs by a Caribbean PIO live band and a keynote address by notable historian and author Dr. Baytoram Ramharack. Planned activities for GOPIO Upper New York in the near future include a golf outing, health seminar and a conference on Caribbean PIOs in the North America.


In continuing GOPIO Upper New York's annual tradition of honoring mothers, red roses were given to all mothers in attendance while a beautiful rendition of the late Trinidadian chutney singing pioneer Sundar Popo's "A Mother's Love" was sung to Indian music by the band. The singing group comprised: Randy Ramdin, Ramesh Peter, Vedanan Peter, Andrew Bhola, Chandini Ramdath and Rashmi Ramdath. A commemorative 2nd Anniversary as a GOPIO chapter and commemorated Guyana's Indian Arrival Day event Brochure was released and distributed to all attendees. It included congratulatory messages from GOPIO International President Lord Rana, Executive Vice President Ashook Ramsaran and Indian Consul General Ambassador Prabhu Dayal, as well as articles such as "From Kolkotta to Kanpur" by Basdeo Mangru PhD, Guyanese born popular Indian immigration historian and author who was also in attendance.


After the welcome remarks by president of GOPIO Upper New York, Satruhan Sukdeo, greetings from GOPIO International Chairman and President were conveyed by GOPIO International Executive Vice President Ashook Ramsaran who commended GOPIO Upper New York on its progress as a GOPIO chapter and its active community service. Immediate past Chairman of GOPIO International, Dr Thomas Abraham, spoke on the formation of GOPIO in 1989, GOPIO's remarkable achievements and role as the pre-eminent global Indian Diaspora organization, and the need for continuing community service by all GOPIO chapters and councils.


Photo below (Left to right): Satruhan Sukdeo (GOPIO-Upper New York), Ramesh Budhram (GOPIO-Upper New York), Jairam Persaud (GOPIO-Upper New York), Ashook Ramsaran (GOPIO Intl), Dr Thomas Abraham (GOPIO Intl), Premnauth Singh (GOPIO-Upper New York), Dr Sushila Gidwani-Buschi (GOPIO Intl), Sangeeta Ahuja (GOPIO Intl), Harry Singh (GOPIO-Upper New York), Netram Rambudhan (GOPIO-Upper New York).

GOPIO Upper New York Anniversary Celebrations 2010 

Photos above: Artists at GOPIO-Upper New York 2nd Anniversary Celebrations.


After a reading of Sharda Yardan's poem "The Earth Is Brown" by GOPIO Upper New York Secretary Premnauth Singh, Dr. Baytoram Ramharack spoke on the migration of Indians to the Caribbean region. His speech was a brilliant encapsulation of Indian immigration to the Caribbean that provided more of an understanding and appreciation to those not familiar with that history. Dr Ramharack is the author of "Against the Grain: Balram Singh Rai and the Politics of Guyana" and "Centenary Celebration of the Arrival of Indians to British Guiana (1838-1938)" which he autographed at the event.


Contact: Satruhan Sukdeo, President, GOPIO Upper New York Chapter, e-mail:




The GOPIO-Metro Washington chapter participated in the Asian/Pacific American Resource Fair organized by the Montgomery County, Maryland on Saturday, the 8th May 2010 at the Executive Office Building in Rockville, Maryland. More than 50 ethnic, social, religious, and community organizations were invited to this day-long fair that was intended to appraise county residents about the various services available to them.  The display and the booth setup by GOPIO-Metro Washington were visited by a large number of people, including the Montgomery County Executive, Hon. Ike Leggett and his staff.  GOPIO Metro Washington president (Dr. Renuka Misra), Vice-President (Dr. Zafar Iqbal), and Secretary (Mr. Walton Dawson) interacted with the visitors and shared the information about the mission and activities of GOPIO-Metro Chapter covering Washington, Maryland and Virginia.  Information about GOPIO activities at national and international level was also communicated to visitors. 




GOPIO Parramatta recently organised a seminar on 24 April 2010 at Parramatta Library for local business Owners on Employment Law & Insolvency. The Fair Works Act 2009 which commenced with full operation on 1 January 2010 has made significant changes to the industrial relations in Australia which also affect sole traders and small business owners.


 Aman Singh, who is a Human Resources Advisor at the HR Help Desk, Australia provided valuable information on the uncapped costs of not being compliant with the new employment laws when he spoke on New Employment Law. Aman said that "there is plenty of evidence if you don't pay attention to the changes it will bite you hard. So there is absolutely no advantage in ignoring the changes but rather work out how to deliver them in a cost effective and productive manner for your business". Some of the tips given by her at the seminar were:  Make sure your current employment contracts comply; Know which modern award(s) your people are covered by; Review your policies and procedures: make sure they reflect your current business needs; Ensure your job descriptions are up to date. 


In the second half of the seminar, Mrs Hiteshi Dekhtawala, a Senior Accountant with Condon Associates, who has extensive working knowledge on Corporate & Individual Insolvencies spoke on Insolvency. Says Hiteshi, if a company is in financial difficulty, its shareholders, creditors or the court can put the company into Liquidation. Similarly, if an Individual is in financial difficulty, the Individual himself or the Creditors may make him Bankrupt by making an application to the Court. Insolvency is generally viewed as an end. Conversely, it can also be viewed as beginning of a new start. It is wise to understand that each Insolvency case is a unique situation by itself and the best course of action can be best suggested by a professional.


"A lot of our Indian community own business and this necessitated GOPIO Parramatta to organise such seminar to reinforce our commitment to better serve the community" says GOPIO President Amit Pall


For details, contact Amit Pall, President-the GOPIO Parramatta at




GOPIO's Health Council is holding the First Annual "GOPIO-HEALTH SUMMIT" in NEW YORK on November 12-14, 2010.


GOPIO HEALTH is a global initiative of GOPIO International's Health Council and its mission is to: "To Improve the Health and well being of People of Indian Origin".  


Primary objectives are:

7         Improve the health of PIO's and NRI's globally

7         Raise awareness of current and emerging health Issues/challenges

7         Promote preventive/holistic practices

7         Share information, experiences and ideas

7         Learn how to better manage chronic diseases

7         Support research on health issues.

7         The focus will be on:

7         Cardiovascular Health/Metabolic Syndrome

7         Diabetes/Pre-Diabetes

7         Stress Management

7         Total Health

7         Health and Society

7         Meal Planning and Foods


The summit is expected to involve dynamic and distinguished speakers who will cover change management, disease prevention, disease management and lifestyle interventions. Active participation from the attendees in workshops and attendees will be invited to share their ideas in the open session. There will be stress reduction workshops, healthy cooking demonstrations and much mores


For sponsorship and other information please contact: 

Sangeeta Ahuja: Chair, GOPIO International Health Council (USA) -  

Dr. M. C. Gupta: Co-Chair, GOPIO International Health Council (USA)  

Dr. Vivian Rambihar: Co-Chair, GOPIO International Health Council (Canada) -  

Asha Samant: Co-Chair, GOPIO International Health Council (USA) -

Dr. Rajiv Sood: Co-Chair, GOPIO International Health Council (NZ)   




GOPIO Sydney, Sydney North-West and Ryde chapters are actively supporting the local sports teams by participating in events and providing trophies for winners. Dashmesh Sports Club, Parklea Sydney, organised it's 3rd Annual Interstate Kabaddi Tournament on 16th of May, 2010 at Francis Park, Blacktown NSW.  In the event of Kabaddi three teams from Queensland, three from Victoria and two from NSW competed for the trophy.  The tournament went for the whole day and at the end of the day Mayor and deputy Mayor of Blacktown City council distributed the prizes. Punjab warriors form Melbourne, Victoria defeated Singh Sabha Sports Club, Melbourne, Victoria to win the trophy.  Host team of Dashmesh sports club lost in the earlier stage of knock out tournament. 


Hosting Club offered handsome cash prizes of $3100.00 to the winner and $2100.00 to the runners up along with $1500.00 to every participating team.  Tournament's best raider Mr Sony Koanke and best stopper Sebbi Singh were given cash prize of $500.00 each. Apart from the Kabaddi children's races, shot put, 10KM open and musical chair for ladies attracted the big crowds. 


GOPIO-Sydney North West President Harry Walia presents trophy 

Photo above: GOPIO Sydney Norh-West President Harry Walia presents trophy to the winners
To encourage the local players of Sydney, GOPIO awarded the trophy of Best Raiders, to Mr Bikramjit Singh of Dashmesh Sports Club.  Dignitaries of GOPIO like Mr. Harmohan (Harry) Walia, President GOPIO Sydney North-West tournament hosting area along with Mrs Lucky Singh, President GOPIO Sydney and Balbir Singh, Secretary GOPIO Ryde graced the occasion and awarded the trophy. 



Harvard Business School has appointed Indian-origin Nitin Nohria as its 10th Dean, making him the first member from the community to occupy the post in the prestigious institution's 102-year old history. Nohria, the Richard P Chapman Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School (HBS), will take up his new role on July 1, President Drew Faust said on Wednesday. A scholar of leadership and organisational change, Nohria has previously been the School's senior associate dean for faculty development and chair of its organisational behaviour unit.

A current co-chair of the HBS Leadership Initiative and member of the HBS faculty since 1988, Nohria succeeds Jay Light, who in December announced his plans to retire at the end of the 2009-10 academic year after five years as dean and four decades of service on the HBS faculty.
"At a pivotal moment for Harvard Business School and for business education more generally, I'm delighted that Nitin Nohria has agreed to lead HBS forward. He's an outstanding scholar, teacher and mentor, with a global outlook and an instinct for collaboration across traditional boundaries," Faust said.

On his appointment as Dean, Nohria said, "I feel a profound sense of responsibility for continuing Harvard Business School's proud legacy of groundbreaking ideas and transformational educational experiences. With business education at an inflection point, we must strive to equip future leaders with the competence and character to address emerging global business and social challenges".

He said as the school enters its second century, he is looking forward to working with the faculty and students "to forge a vision for Harvard Business School that will enable it to remain a beacon for business education for the next 100 years". Nohria received his bachelor of technology degree in chemical engineering in 1984 from the IIT Mumbai, which awarded him its distinguished alumnus medal in 2007.

He received his Ph.D. in management in 1988 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Sloan School of Management, where he earned the outstanding doctoral thesis award in behavioral and policy sciences. He joined the HBS faculty as an assistant professor in 1988, was appointed associate professor in 1993, was promoted to tenure in 1997, and became the Richard P. Chapman Professor of Business Administration in 1999. "Nohria will be a wonderful dean of Harvard Business School," said Light.

"He is widely respected within our extended community as a perceptive scholar of leadership and as a thoughtful and able academic leader.




Imtiaz Sooliman, an Indian origin man, received the Order of the Baobab in Silver award, from South African President Jocob Zuma, "for his excellent contribution through the Gift of the Givers Foundation to humanitarian aid in South Africa and humanitarian relief missions in various countries."  Sooliman set up the 'Gift of the Givers Foundation' over a decade ago which has since provided humanitarian aid to people in countries all over the world which have been torn apart by war or natural disaster. The Foundation's most recent effort was in providing aid to the victims of the earthquake which killed over 250,000 people in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. It was with the help of Sooliman's team that the first survivor of the disaster was founded.


Sooliman received the Order of the Baobab in Silver from President Jacob Zuma at a function in the Presidential Guest House in Pretoria on April 27, 2010. The awards are given out to deserving recipients each year to mark the public holiday of Freedom Day, April 27, when South Africa's first democratically elected President Nelson Mandela was sworn into office in 1994. The Order of the Baobab recognizes South African citizens who have contributed to community service, business and economy, science, medicine and technological innovation




Sugar Land, Texas - The city of Sugar Land was founded in the mid 1800s as a sugar plantation, and the City was incorporated on Dec. 29, 1959, encompassing only 2,265 acres. Today, the many awards winning city has land area over 15,000 acres with ETJ and population over 110,000 with ETJ limits.


Thomas Abraham, the forth term councilman for the At-Large Position was elected as a Mayor Pro-Tem for the city of Sugar Land on Tuesday May 1st, 2010 during the council meeting. Mayor Jimmy Thompson nominated Thomas Abraham for the position which was seconded by Councilman Russell Jones. The motion was passed unanimously by 7 votes. He is the first Asian American selected as a Mayor Pro-Tem in the history of Sugar Land, while the city has celebrated the 50th Anniversary last year.


A successful businessman, Thomas Abraham has also set several records in his political carrier. He is the first elected official for the Indo-American Community, not only in Greater Houston Area but in the entire State of Texas. As a first Asian-American, he has been elected as a President of Texas Municipal League Region 14, which serves the needs of more than 1,100 cities and towns. In addition, at present, he serves as a President of Sugar Land Development Corporation, Chairman of Sugar Land Reinvestment Zone No. 3, and a Board Member on the Houston-Galveston Area Council. A great honor was bestowed to him to meet Prime Minister of India Mr. Manmohan Singh, President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and other high ranking officials at the White House. 


Councilman Abraham and his wife, Sarah and two children, Bryan and Lauren have lived in Sugar Land since 1989.




No theatrical flourishes for Anamika Veeramani. She kept her hands behind her back and rattled off the letters of every word she was given - until she was crowned the spelling bee champion.


The 14-year-old girl from North Royalton, Ohio, won the 83rd Scripps National Spelling Bee on Friday, acing the word medical word "stromuhr," a device that measures blood flow and speed, to claim the winner's trophy and more than $40,000 in cash and prizes. Anamika became the third consecutive Indian-American bee champion, and the eighth in the last 12 years. It's a run that began when Nupur Lala won in 1999 and was featured in the documentary "Spellbound."


Anamika was one of the favorites among the 273 spellers who began the three-day competition, having finished tied for fifth last year. She stood deadpan while the audience cheered, not cracking a smile until the trophy was presented. There was a three-way tie for second. Adrian Gunawan, 14; Elizabeth Platz, 13; and Shantanu Srivatsa, 13, were all eliminated in the same round.

Anamika survived the round by spelling "juvia" - a Brazil nut - and then had to wait for a nerve-racking 3-minute commercial before spelling the championship word.



Raina Jain, a junior from Freedom High School in Bethlehem, Penn., has won the sanofi-aventis International BioGENEius Challenge, a competition for high school students who demonstrate an exemplary understanding of biotechnology through science research projects. Fourteen students from the U.S., Canada and Western Australia competed in this year's event. Jain will receive an award of $7,500.


Winners were announced at the 2010 BIO International Convention keynote luncheon last month held in Chicago. The BIO International Convention is the largest global event for the biotechnology industry drawing an estimated 14,000 to 20,000 attendees each year.  The convention attracts the biggest names in biotech, offers key networking and partnering opportunities and provides insights and inspiration among the major trends affecting the industry. 


Jain's project titled, "Engineering Glass Bone Implants to Enhance the Adhesion of Precursor Osteoblast Cells," looked at whether cells adhere better to rough or smooth surfaces of Bioglass, an implant material that turns into bone over time. Bioglass is used in surgical applications and is commonly found in dental and ear implants. Jain found that cells adhered better to smoother surfaces, resulting in improved implant performance and mobility. This finding provides insight into developing better bone implants in the future.


Students were evaluated not only on the quality of their research and display but also on their responses to questions relating to their scientific knowledge and potential commercial applications of their research. The panel of judges included scientists, researchers, educators and key members of the biotech industry who selected the first- through fourth-place winners. 


Third Place: Anirudh Saraswathula from Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Oak Hill, Va., received a $2,500 award for his project titled, The Implementation of Functional Pancreatic Endoderm Derived from Human Spermatogonial Stem Cells In Vivo.


Other Indian Ameircan winners include the following students: Shaina Hasan from Hamilton High School in Chandler, Ariz., was named a finalist for her project titled, EGFR and mTOR Inhibitors on Cell Proliferation in Glioblastomas.


Prithwis Mukhopadhyay from Woodbury High School in Woodbury, Minn., was named a finalist for his project titled Rood Additive or Carcinogen?  Carrageenan Inhibits ASB Activity and Induces Cell Invasion Involving RhoA Activation and MMP-9 Secretion




Candidates of Indian origin in the British general elections augmented their presence in the House of Commons. In two significant upsets, Alok Sharma in Reading West and Paul Uppal in Wolverhampton South West unseated Labor candidates. The former erased a 12% deficit from the 2005 elections to storm into the House of Commons.

Valerie Vaz of Labour claimed a maiden victory at Walsall South to join her brother Keith Vaz  of the same party who retained Leiscester East in the British parliament. These Goan siblings become the first brother-sister amalgamation in the House of Commons since the 1950s.

Valerie and Priti Patel of the Conservatives, who triumphed by a massive margin at Witham, become the first women of Indian descent to enter Britain's directly elected national legislature. Patel's success was no surprise as she had been granted a rock solid Tory constituency.

But really noteworthy is Marsha Singh's achievement, who has uninterruptedly represented Bradford West - often referred to a little Pakistan - since 1992. Ceaselessly - including on this occasion - his opponents have thrown contenders of Pakistan extraction at him. But the electorate has remained undeterred, rewarding him now with an increased majority.




Thirteen year old Aadith Moorthy from Florida  has won the 22nd annual National Geographic Bee - courtesy his knowledge about Haiti. By correctly answering that Cap-Haitien is the largest city in northern Haiti that was renamed following Haiti's independence from France, Aadith Moorthy received a 25,000-dollar college scholarship, a free trip to the Galapagos Islands and a lifetime membership to the National Geographic Society.


Grinning on stage after the win, Moorthy said that he'd felt confident all along, reports National Geographic News. He said, "I wanted to win--that was my goal," adding that he "thought the questions would be harder."




The Obama Administration has named Indian-American Kshemendra Paul as the new Program Manager of the Information Sharing Environment (PM-ISE). PM-ISE is an agency that facilitates the sharing of terrorism-related information within various US government wings. Paul will replace Thomas McNamara, who retired from the position in July 2009. He moves to the new position after spending the last three years as the chief architect of the Office of Management and Budget. This agency has assumed a major role as the Obama administration is focused on organizing and streamlining the huge terrorism related data available with various agencies and departments of the US government. Paul will now work in the Office of the Director for National Intelligence and will be the co-chairman of interagency meetings with the National Security staff. He will be responsible for developing standards, policies and processes to improve how the federal government shares terrorist information with state and local law enforcement agencies. 


Mr. Paul has over 23 years of experience in strategic planning, enterprise architecture, organizational management and systems development. Before joining the civil service in 2005, Mr. Paul was Group Architect and Product Manager with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (previously NASD). Prior to that, he was an active entrepreneur, co-founding Local Eyes (sold to AOL) and founding Andelina (sold to FoundryOne). He has participated as a member of senior management for a variety of other technology product and service companies. He holds both Bachelor's and Master's Degrees in Electrical Engineering, and an additional Bachelor's degree in Mathematics, from the University of Maryland, College Park.




British Indian Dolar Popat has been elevated as a Conservative Peer in the House of Lords. Dolar's arrival in the Upper House will take his rise from a mere waiter in a London restaurant to one of the highest offices in the country. He was the personal choice of David Cameron, the new British Prime Minister who has known Dolar for some time.


Lord Popat who is known as simply "Dolar" by many, is someone who has gone the extra mile for the Hindu community and his adopted country, Britain. He is a Ugandan Asian who arrived for studies and could not return as Asians were expelled by General Idi Amin; the despot leader of Uganda who felt that by expelling his hard working Asian community he would give the indigenous population a head start. As a matter of fact, by removing the hardworking and enterprising community, he plunged Uganda into an unparalleled crisis.


The country has only started to recover now after the dictator was deposed and the present government allowed the Asians an honourable return back to the country of their birth in order to help build Uganda's shattered economy.


They say one man's poison is another man's meat. Britain under the then Conservative Government, received these beleaguered and destitute Ugandan Asians with open arms. These Asians, as we know, worked hard and transformed the British economy. They became successful as a result of the British sense of tolerance and fair play. Today, Britain without the Asians will not be the Britain as we know it. The Asians have brought colour, pageantry and culinary delight to every corner of the country and have become invaluable assets to the nation in every sense of the word.


Dolar has never forgotten this act of kindness by the then Conservative Government and set about repaying his debt to the Party. He by chance met Sir Rhodes Boyson MP through one of the community leaders, Mr Shantoo Ruparell MBE in 1980. The rest, as they say is history and Dolar has been working for the party quietly and diligently ever since.




Guyana born PIO Dr. T. Vidhya Persaud who lives is Winnipeg, Canada, was honored by Anatomy Society with the highest Award for Achievement in Anatomical Science Education


Dr. T. Vidhya (Vid) Persaud's distinguished career as an educator was recognized by the American Association of Anatomists (AAA) at the society's Annual Meeting in Anaheim, CA.  Dr. Persaud was presented with the 2010 Henry Gray/Elsevier Distinguished Educator Award, the AAA's highest award for human anatomy education in the anatomical sciences, broadly defined to include gross anatomy, embryology, histology, and neuroanatomy.


Dr. Vid Persaud joins an elite group of educators in the field of anatomical sciences. His nomination and selection by the AAA Award Committee, chaired by Anna Lysakowski, is a true testament to his commitment to excellence within his profession.  Dr. Persaud is widely published with extensive research contributions in the areas of embryology, developmental biology, and teratogenesis including 25 books and monographs, 35 book chapters, and 160 primary research papers.  He trained 25 fellows and graduate students, all of whom have achieved academic excellence in their own careers. His expertise in normal and abnormal development led to invitations to serve on 8 journal editorial boards, more than 35 professional appointments, and almost 40 visiting professorships. He has been a member of 14 professional societies or associations, serving as the president of 3 of these organizations.


Dr. Persaud studied in London, England and in Germany, receiving his MD (summa cum laude) from the University of Rostock, Germany, in 1965. After completing his internship in Berlin, he returned to his native Guyana, where he worked as a government medical officer. After completing his PhD in anatomy at the University of the West Indies, Jamaica, he served there as a Senior Lecturer. In 1972, Persaud accepted an academic appointment in the Dept. of Anatomy and Cell Science, Faculties of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Manitoba, Canada where he dedicated the next 30 years to his faculty and discipline. In 1977, just five years later, he succeeded Keith Moore (also a recipient of the Henry Gray/Elsevier Distinguished Educator Award) as chair of that department.  For the next 16 years, Dr. Persaud worked tirelessly in this position, developing the department into one of the premier units not only at the University of Manitoba  (the largest university in the province of Manitoba), but also throughout Canada and abroad.




Born of Indian parents  on June 3, 1910 in Trinidad, James Ramnath dedicated his life to service to his community is ways that helped nurture education at a time when such community service was rare. On the 165th Anniversary of Indian Arrival in Trinidad & Tobago, recognition is given to James Ramnath for his selfless efforts in fostering community spirit, education and the national good for a period of eighty-five (85) years. His son Ralph Ramnath said that, "He has given his life to, and served his country, his fellow man and God in a manner that few people can and ever will". James Ramnath passed on February 2, 2009.


Founding the Cumuto-Guaico Welfare Association in 1944, he motivated the members and delivered moral, financial, spiritual aid to many an institution and remained at the helm until his demise in 2009. Original appreciation letters have been tendered as evidence spanning a period of six decades of dedicated and un-rewarded national service.  Similarly, his dedication to education is equally thought-provoking. He started teaching in the Primary School System as a pupil-teacher in 1924, graduated from the Naparima Teachers Training College in 1932, served in many primary schools around the country until 1950 when he was appointed Principal or rather Headmaster of the Cumuto C.M. School. He retired in 1970, continuing to serve as Supervisor on various school boards. His formal service in the field of education is a staggering forty-six (46) years.




Two Indian-American students are among the winners of the prestigious 2010 No Boundaries National Competition jointly sponsored by NASA and USA Today newspaper. The winners excelled in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), according to a press release from NASA. The purpose of this completion was for students to create a project that will attract teenagers to work at the space agency. 


Neil Montwani and Elka Chowdhury and their team mates Kristine Baltazar and Jenna DiRito from Saddle Brook Middle School in Saddle Brook, NJ won the completion with their entry "Let's Get Materialistic," noted the press release.  Their team focused on a career in material engineering. They won the competition with an old-fashion black-and-white art portfolio.


The winning students from New Jersey copped a cash prize of $2,000, while their teacher received $500 from USA Today. NASA will provide the first-place winners with a VIP guest tour of the agency's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.  Alotta Taylor, who is NASA's manager for education at the agency's Space Operations Mission Directorate, stated that teaching about STEM careers through an actual example is important to attract young people to careers in the space science.   




Seven Indian Americans were honored by the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations. They were among the 95 outstanding individuals named during the 24th Annual Ellis Island Medals of Honor recipients, held on May 8th annual gala awards dinner in the historic Great Hall on Ellis Island.


The seven NRIs who received the prestigious awards are Rao Anumolu, president and CEO of ASR International Corp.; Suraj Bhatia, president of Technology Consultants Service International Inc.; Sudhir K. Gupta, vice president of operations for Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company; Shekhar Mitra, senior vice president of Global R & D for Procter and Gamble; Dr. Hemant Patel, former president of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin; Kappana Ramanandan, Community Health Advisory Committee, Public Health Foundation of Connecticut.


Bhatia served many years as a Rotarian both locally and internationally, until he was installed as the 53rd district governor for Rotary District 7490 June 18th 2009. Gupta served as the vice president of operations for Lockheed since 2001. Mitra is a life scientist who became the first Asian to be senior vice president of Global R & D at Proctor and Gamble, where he blazed the trail in creating strategic partnerships in many countries and with leading institutions. A research scientist, Ramanandan, who bought over Hydrox Laboratories, used his skills to develop several new products in the early 1980s. Having served the Hartford area for over 30 years, Srinivasan was named top doctor by Connecticut magazine in 2010. He founded the Free Public Health Clinic for Uninsured Patients in the Hartford area.




South Carolina State Assembly woman Nikki Haley won the Republican primary in run-off with 49% of the vote in a four-way race for the Governorship of South Carolina.


Washington DC based Indian American Conservative Council made the following statement:


"Nikki Haley is poised to become the next Governor of the great state of South Carolina, and we are going to be there every step of the way with her," said Council Chairman Dino Teppara.  "Many of our members worked incredibly hard to support Governor Bobby Jindal, a poised and focused government reformer in both 2003 and 2007.


"We are on the brink of history.  Nikki is set to do something the political class doubted she could do.  When Bobby Jindal first ran for Governor of Louisiana in 2003, few people believed he could win.  But many of our members supported him from the start.  Similarly, groups like the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA), joined our efforts early last year when Nikki set out on her historic campaign of reforming South Carolina's government.  We were by her side in 2004 when she first ran for office, defeating the longest-serving statehouse member."


"In this run-off, the choice is clear.  Nikki brings the bold leadership we need to direct South Carolina onto the path of transparency and good government," Teppara continued.




The Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs announces 100 scholarships under the "Scholarship Program for Diaspora Children" (SPDC) for Persons of Indian Origins (PIO's) and Non-Resident Indians ( NRI's) to pursue under graduate courses in Indian Universities.


Highlights of the SPDC 2010 - 11 are:


7         100 scholarships in disciplines such as Engineering/Architecture/Technology, Humanities/Liberal Arts, Science, BBA/BBM, Commerce, Journalism, Hotel Management, Agriculture, Animal Husbandry, and Law.

7         50% of the scholarships are reserved for PIOs. In the event of their non availability, the unfilled slots would be assigned to NRI candidates. NRI candidates whose total family income per month does not exceed an amount equivalent to US $ 2, 250 ( US Dollars two thousand two hundred and fifty only) are eligible.

7         Children of NRI candidates  should have pursued at least three years of education  inclusive of 11th and 12th or equivalent ( not beyond) in a foreign country during the last six years and should have passed the qualifying examination abroad.

7         The last date for receipt of duly filled in application forms in the prescribed format by Ed.CIL is 10th June, 2010.

7         PIO/NRI students , already studying in India ,will not be eligible under this scheme.

7         The amount of scholarship admissible is 75% of the total Institutional Economic Cost [tuition, books, etc] or US $3,600 (US dollars three thousand six hundred) per annum, whichever is less.


For details of terms and conditions, including application form, please log on to:

It can also be down loaded from the




The Indian population in Australia has doubled in six years and now India has become the biggest source of migrants to the country. The immigration department said in 2007-08, the number of immigrants from India grew more than any other country. During this period, the number of India-born people living in Australia grew by a total of 39,529. China was the second-biggest source, as the Chinese-born population grew by 32,563. New Zealand (31,248) dropped to third place, while Britain (17,397) was fourth. The India-born population has risen from 110,563 in 2002 to 239,295 in 2008, to become Australia's fourth-largest migrant community. Some of the Indians were skilled migrants arriving to take up jobs, and some arrived as students, many of them hoping to stay on as workers. 




Former Canadian foreign minister Pierre Pettigrew on May 25, 2010 launched the Canada India Education Council (CIEC) in Toronto to woo more Indian students to Canadian universities and colleges. He would serve as the chairman of the new educational body and noted Indo-Canadian lawyer Kam Rathee would be its chairman. Since Canada got less than 4,000 Indian students compared to 40,000 going to Australia and 80,000 to the US, Pettigrew said THAT "they should tell Indians that Canada was such a unique country and their education system would make them much more knowledgeable individuals". Kam Rathee, who as former president of the Canada-India Business Council (C-IBC) had taken many educational delegations to India, said the new body, would fill the gap in the education field between the two countries. 




A United Arab Emirates Court in Sharjah, which recently sentenced 17 Indians to death for killing a Pakistani man, on May 19, 2010, adjourned the case to June 16 after allowing them to have access to a Punjabi translator. Bindu Suresh Chettur, the lawyer who is handling the case said that they were asked to either plead guilty or innocent but the convicts said they don't understand any language other than Punjabi. The court then agreed to allow a Punjabi translator and adjourned the case to June 16 when it will be heard again. Indian consulate in Dubai has already made a translator available to the Indians.


GOPIO International had urged the Government of United Arab Emirates to promptly take all necessary actions to remedy this situation for substantial reduction of the sentences imposed on the basis of humanitarian consideration and to facilitate and accommodate all legal efforts by others to seek redress in the courts and appropriate agencies of the United Arab Emirates.




The Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) in partnership with the India-T&T Chamber of Industry and Commerce organized an India Trade Exposition at the Centre of Excellence, Macoya from 21-31 May 2010. Senator Mariano Browne, Hon'ble Minister for Trade and Industry, Trinidad & Tobago inaugurated the event on the morning of 21st May. For the purpose, a group of approx. 35 Indian companies/traders would be exhibiting their merchandise - ready-made garments, jewellery, handicrafts, objects d'art, household items etc. The ceremony will be attended by a number of T&T traders looking for business opportunities with India, establishing partnerships, joint ventures in manufacturing/trading, local agency/distribution etc. Business to business (B2B) meetings will be organized by the India-T&T Chamber of Industry & Commerce in the course of the Expo. The Trade Expo is part of FIEO's outreach activity in various parts of the world in order to show-case India's huge export potential and to establish mutually beneficial trade partnerships. Presently FIEO is participating in a large-scale Made in India Show at Dubai.  A similar show is being planned for 2011 in Trinidad. 




Dr Kamlesh Sharma had released his second book titled "Gulaami: Slavery in Fiji" to mark the 131 years of the first arrival of Indians in Fiji. author Dr Kamlesh Sharma decided to write a book on the experience of his uncle to whom he attributes his inspiration for his latest book titled Gulaami, Slavery in Fiji.


"Gulaami" means slavery. It is a first-hand narration by a great uncle Devi Sharan Pathak who arrived in Fiji on board the SS Sangola II in 1908," Dr Sharma said. He continued, "Books had been written in the past on the Girmit era which were usually based on research. I wanted to write a book which narrated the experience of a girmitiya so because I grew up listening to the stories told to me by my uncle, I wanted to write a book that depicted his experience and life as an indentured labourer," he said.


Dr Sharma, who also authored the books Indigenous Governance and Rahul's Road, dedicated his third book to the Girmitiya. It has been widely acclaimed as a major contribution to the Indian Diaspora by readers across the globe.


Further details are available at




A new book titled "Civil Rights in Wartime" by Dawinder S. Sidhu provides a unique window onto this particular minority group's experience in an increasingly hostile climate, and offers a sharp analysis of the legal battles fought by Sikhs in post-9/11 America. In doing so, it adds a new chapter to the ongoing national story of the difficulties minority groups have faced in protecting their civil liberties in times of war. Dawinder S. Sidhu is Founding Director of the Discrimination and National Security Initiative, Pluralism Project, at Harvard University, and an attorney whose practice focuses on individual rights and national security.


In the days, months, and now years following the events of September 11th , 2001, discrimination against the Sikh community in America has escalated sharply, due in part to a populace that often confuses Sikhs, compelled by their faith to wear turbans, with the Muslim extremists responsible for the devastating terrorist attacks. Although Sikhs have since mobilized to spread awareness and condemn violence against themselves and Muslims, there has been a conspicuous absence of academic literature to aid scholars and commentators in understanding the effect of the backlash on the Sikh community.

Jeffrey Rosen, author of The Unwanted Gaze and The Naked Crowd said that, "'after 9/11, those who were perceived to be Muslim - including turban-wearing Sikhs - suffered from discrimination around the world. This illuminating and troubling book explores the range of discrimination experienced by Sikhs and examines legal and political solutions. It should galvanize the Sikh civil rights movement - and everyone who cares about liberty and justice in an age of terror.


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), Ravi Dhingra (GOPIOI-CT, USA), Harmohan (Harry) Walia (GOPIO-Sydney North West, Australia); Dr. Rami Ranger (U.K.), Satruhan Sukdeo (GOPIO-Upper New York, USA),  Bina Mahabir (Guyana - New York, USA), Dr. Yesu Persaud (Guyana), K.N. Gupta (GOPIO-India), Dr. Rajindre Tewarie (GOPIO of Netherlands), B. Shanker (India-Trinidad), Deosaran Bisnauth (Trinidad), Rajindre Tiwari (Netherlands), Dr Zafar Iqbal (Metro DC, USA), Amit Pal (GOPIO-Parramatta), Netram Rambudhan (Guyana-USA). 


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

Visit GOPIO's Official site at or