October 22, 2010
A Publication of the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO)
Issue: IX-12October 22, 2010
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The Health Council of Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) (, together with GOPIO chapters of Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Long Island, and Upper New York are delighted to invite members of the global Indian Diaspora to participate in the first Annual Health Summit to be held on November 12 -14 at the Crowne Plaza LaGuardia Hotel, East Elmhurst, New York City. 


The Health Summit is an initiative of GOPIO's Health Council.  Its goal is to improve the health of people of Indian origin by raising awareness of current and emerging health issues affecting them, and by promoting preventive practices and sharing information to better manage chronic diseases.  This year's summit will focus on Cardiovascular Health/Metabolic Syndrome, Diabetes/Pre-Diabetes and Stress Management.  In addition to pharmaceutical or nutraceutical medication, the summit will also focus on lifestyle, diet and holistic health practices.  "GOPIO has taken this new initiative under its Health Council to promote health and wellness of our Diaspora, and the upcoming summit will provide health related talks to bring more awareness among the PIO community", GOPIO Founder President and Program Chair Dr. Thomas Abraham said on the preventive measures that could be taken especially for diseases to which people of Indian origin are more prone". 


GOPIO Health Summit Ad.The three-day summit with a panel of distinguished speakers and health practitioners will include interactive sessions with audience participation, breaks for exercise and meditation.  This year's summit will focus on Diabetes, Cardiovascular Health and Stress Management.  The target audience will comprise of South Asians from around the world with a majority from the Tri-State area who are committed to healthier living, and eager to learn more about the products and services offered by the diverse set of holistic healthcare providers.  Confirmed speakers include Dr. Enas A. Enas, a cardiologist and an expert on South Asian Heart Issues; Master Del Pe, a modern day guru of Energy/Yoga/Healing/Martial Arts; nutrition expert Dr. Wahida Karmally, Nutrition researcher and entrepreneur Dr. Madhavan Anirudhan; nutraceutical supplement expert Dr. Muhmmed Majeed; Ayurveda practitioners Dr. Prathibha Shah and Dr. Aparna Bapat, and Dr. Alex Zachariah a renowned speaker on Diabetes/Obesity.  During the last day of the summit, on the occasion of India's "Children's Day", Sunday November 14th morning, children's health and wellness sessions will be offered free to all.


"There is no easy way to deal with chronic diseases including diabetes and cardiac issues. Awareness, education and prevention play a huge role along with support and appropriate direction from the medical community.  Keeping this in mind I strongly believe that it is our responsibility to organize activities that bring culturally sensitive and practical information to the Indian Diaspora.  This summit is specifically designed to highlight the emerging health issues affecting people of Indian origin and we also want to honor our health service providers with community involvement", said Mrs. Sangeeta Ahuja, Chair of GOPIO Health Council.

More details on the upcoming GOPIO Health Summit will be available at  or contact GOPIO Health Council Chair Sangeeta Ahuja at 203-329-9744, E-mail  For more information, or to schedule an interview with the Health Summit organizers, please contact J. Nami Kaur at 914-476-2082, E-mail

GOPIO has two major international conferences in London on October 26th and 27th, 2010. The two day meeting will be preceded by OPEN Community Session with GOPIO officials (ADMISISON IS FREE. All are invited) on October 25th starting at 4 p.m. with the meeting details and agenda as follows:


Monday, 25th October 2010  Time:  4 PM to 7PM

Venue: Bombay Palace, 50 Connaught Street London W2 2AA

The session will present Vision of GOPIO and hear from the community on pressing community issues of NRIs and PIOs.

Program and Agenda

Tea:  4PM to  4.30 PM

Meeting to start at 4.30PM


Welcome - Raj Loomba, Vice President GOPIO Europe

Introduction of London Steering Committee


Report on Upcoming Programs

Global Indic Women's Conf - Lady Shruti Rana, Chair, GOPIO Intl. Women's Council, UK

GOPIO Health Summit - Sangeeta Ahuja, Chair, GOPIO Health Council, USA

GOPIO Conference in New Delhi on January 6, 2010


Community Issues and Future Vision of GOPIO International

President Lord Diljit Rana, UK

Chairman Inder Singh, USA

Immediate Past Chairman Dr. Thomas Abraham, USA

Exec. VP Ashook Ramsaran, USA

Vice Presidents Raj Loomba (UK), Dr. Piyush Agrawal (USA) and Deosaran Bisnath (Trinidad & Tobago)


Open Discussion on GOPIO Vision

Concluding Remarks - President Lord Diljit Rana



GOPIO plans on holding an international conference on 26th October, 2010 (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) to be held at the National Liberal Club (One Whitehall Place) in London in London, UK. The conference theme is "Indian Diaspora's Role in New Economic World Order." Keynote addresses include: Lord Navnit Dholakia (House of Lords, UK); Lord Bhikhu Parekh (House of Lords, UK); Dr Amit Mitra, Secretary General - FICCI (New Delhi, India).


Sub-themes for the conference sessions are: Lessons from Indian Heritage in Sustainable Development; Relevance of Gandhian Economics in Today's World; Empowering Youth with Skills Training. REGISTRATION IS FREE. For more information, contact  Conference Convener Lord Diljit Rana, President of GOPIO International, For registration, contact Sameer Seth at

Conference Program

GOPIO Conference in London




GOPIO plans on holding the First Women's Conference on 27th October, 2010 (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) to be held at the National Liberal Club, One Whitehall Place, London, UK, following GOPIO's annual  conference on 26th October, 2010. The conference theme is "Women of Indic Origin: Issues and Solutions."


It will be one-day conference with speakers from UK and other countries.  The speakers would be both Women of Indic Origin (WIOs) as well as eminent persons who are authorities on personal, social, religious or economic issues regarding women and gender issues. The goal is to raise awareness on issues affecting women across the world in general and in particular women of Indic origin. It further seeks to revisit how, families, communities, institutions and governments can influence these issues and how education and awareness building can play its part in finding solutions. The keynote speakers will be parliamentarians, social workers and educationists.


Keynote speakers include:Her Holiness Anandmurti Guruma, Lord Meghnad Desai (House of Lords, UK); Baroness Shreela Flather, Baroness Sandip Verma (Peer & Minister in UK Government),  Former Trindiad and Tobago Prime Minsiter Basdeo Panday, Sonal Mansingh (Bharatnatyam exponent, Padma Vibhushan) and Ranjana Agarwal (President - FICCI Ladies Organisation -FLO)


Sub-themes for the conference sessions are: The Role of Women in Sustainable Development; Legal and Marital Issues of Women of Indic Origin; Gender Issues in Education and Culture and Ways and Solutions for Success. For registration and more information, see below:


Launched by GOPIO International


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

National Liberal Club, One Whitehall Place, London







Conference Theme

Women of Indian Origin - Issues and Solutions


Quick Schedule


Registration: 8.45-9.30


Inaugural Session: 9.30 - 10.45


Tea Break: 10.45 - 11.00


Inaugural Plenary Session: 11.30 -12.30

Theme: Women of Indian Origin and Sustainable Development


Plenary Session #2: 12.00 - 13.15 pm

Theme: Gender Issues in Education, Culture and Health


Lunch Break: 13.15 - 14.15


Plenary Session #3: 14.15 - 15.15

Theme: Women and Industry


Plenary Session #4: 15.15 - 16.15 pm

Theme: Legal and Marital Issues of Women of Indic Origin


Tea Break: 16.15 - 16.30 pm

Concluding Session: 16.30 - 17.30 pm


Detailed Programme:


Inaugural Session: 9.30-10.30

                Lighting of the Lamp

                Invocation: Her Holiness Anandmurti Gurumaa

                Welcome Address: Lady Shruti Rana, Chairperson, GOPIO International Women's Council

                A word on Women Diaspora and GOPIO's role: Lord Diljit Rana, President GOPIO International

                Keynote Address: Lord Meghnad Desai, Member House of Lords, UK

                Special Address: Baroness Verma, Minister for Women and Equality, U.K.

                Signing of MOU between GIWC and FLO

                Inaugural Address: Hon. Basdeo Panday, Former Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago

                Vote of Thanks: Ashook Ramsaran, Vice President, GOPIO International


Tea Break: 10.45 -11.00


Inaugural Plenary Session:11.00 - 12.00

Theme: Women of Indian Origin and Sustainable Development

Chairperson: Lady Shruti Rana, UK

Co-Chair: Rekha Gupta, UK

                Keynote Speakers:

                Padma Vibhushan Dr. Sonal Mansingh (Renowned classical dancer and social activist)- India

                Usha Teji, Eminent Barrister, UK

Ms. Rita Abraham, Entrepreneur, South Africa


Plenary Session #2: 12.00 - 13.15

Theme: Gender Issues in Education, Culture and Health

                Chairperson: Baroness Shreela Flather -Member, House of Lords, UK

                Keynote Speaker:

                Lord Naren Patel, KT, FRSE, Member, House of Lords, UK


                Kamala Lakhdhir, US Consul General to Northern Ireland (USA)

                Lakshmi Rampersaud- Celebrated Author and Novelist, Trinidad (tbc)

                Asha Samant, DMD, MDS, BDS, FICD (USA)


Lunch Break: 13.15-14.15 pm


Plenary Session #3: 14.15-15.15 pm

Theme: Women and Industry

                Chairperson: Mr Mahyendra Utchaanah

Co- Chair: Indy Aujla      

                Keynote Speaker: Maggie Semple, OBE, FCGI, Chief Executive, The Experience Corps

                Speaker: Atul Pathak; Chairman Appt Corp Trading UK  


Plenary Session #4: 15.15 -16.15 pm

Theme: Legal and Marital Issues of Women of Indic Origin

                Chairperson: Mr. Vijay Sharma, Legal Advisor- GOPIO


                Priya Hingorani  Advocate, Member- Legal Panel, Women & Child Development Ministry , India

                Leela Maria-Goretti Ramdeen, Trinidad and UK                           

                Pavit Mattewal, Additional Advocate General, Punjab, India

                Seema Anand, Narratives expert, U.K.


Tea Break: 16.15 - 16.30 pm


Concluding Session: 16.30-17.30 pm

Theme: Ways and Solutions for Success

                Chairperson: Mr. Piyush Agarwal, GOPIO Country Coordinator-USA

                Validictory Address: H.H. Anandmurti Gurumaa, India

                Concluding Remarks: Lady Shruti Rana, Convener

                Vote of thanks: Dr Pushpinder Chowdhry


The conference has been put together by  Lady Shruti Rana, Conference Convener & Chairperson, GOPIO International Women's Council.

For more information contact Lady Shruti Rana: Email,

India Mob: 00 91 98100 78925, UK Mob: 0044 77921887718


For accommodation and logistic please contact Sameer Seth at





In an historic move, the four national organizations representing the Indian American community pledged to work together on issues concerning the community. Representatives of the Asian American of Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA), American Association of Physicians from India (AAPI), Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO), and the National Federation of Indian American Associations (NFIA), gathered in New York on September 18, 2010 and agreed on a common agenda to work cooperatively on issues affecting the Indian American Community at large. The AAPI was represented by its president, Dr. Ajeet Singhvi, Dr. Shashi Shah, and Dr. Krishan Aggarwal. From AAHOA, Chandrakant "CK" Patel, the chairman of the association was present. GOPIO's Chairman Inder Singh and Dr. Thomas Abraham, GOPIO Chairman Emeritus participated. The NFIA was represented by its president Chandu Patel "CK", Lal Motwani, the executive vice president as well as its chairman Rajen Anand. The meeting was coordinated by Niraj Baxi, a former president of the NFIA, and was held in conjunction with the 16th biennial convention of the NFIA in New York.


In welcoming the representatives of the four national organizations, Baxi said that all the four associations have been involved in conducting annually similar functions in Washington DC to advocate before the Congress their respective positions. "It would be much more productive if we all join our hands and show a united front before the lawmakers, when we have issues that affect the community at large" Baxi opined. He said each of the organizations had been organizing similar functions, like the White House briefing in addition to the events at the Hill. Each organization has been independently dealing with hate crimes and immigration and other issues of discrimination against Indian Americans. We have gathered here to explore the possibility of cooperation among the large national organizations to conduct some functions, said Baxi. Dr. Aggarwal from AAPI said that such efforts have been tried in the past with limited success. "But now the community has matured to a great extent and the cooperation has become possible," Aggarwal added.


All four organizations had been planning of working together and, in fact, the AAPI President, Dr. Ajeet Singhvi, had included this as part of his agenda, when he took  office last summer. Dr. Singhvi and all other leaders hope that other major associations would join this endeavor.


Four American National Organizations meet in New York 

Photo above: From L. to R. Niraj Baxi (Coordinator), Dr. Krishan Aggarwal (AAPI), Dr. Thomas Abraham (GOPIO), Inder Singh (GOPIO), Dr. Ajeet Singhvi (AAPI), Chandu Patel "CK" (NFIA), Lal Motwani (NFIA), Dr. Shashi Shah (AAPI), and Chandrakant "CK" Patel (AAHOA)


The organizations agreed they have many common interests on which they can all agree and work together. Such issues were India centric concerns each of the four associations, such as passport surrender and visas to travel to India, Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card, Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, etc. Similarly, there are many common issues facing the community in this country and if the organizations join their forces to tackle them they will achieve success. When a single association is trying to face some issues others should join to show their support.


The issues will change with time, but the pledge to tackle them jointly and show a rapid and joint response to these issues should stay firm.


The group of these representatives was named as the National Coordinating Council and Baxi was designated as the coordinator. The council agreed to meet again in fall in Washington DC.


Niraj Baxi can be contacted at 409-307-9845, E-mail:



The Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) is working with the Ministry of Culture, the Port Trust and Government of West Bengal towards finalizing the date and logistics for the installation of the commemorative plaque "in recognition and remembrance of Indian Indentured Labourers: 19th - 20th centuries". The plan is for the installation to take place on January 11, 2011 at the Kidderpore (Demerara) Depot Clock Tower at 14 Garden Reach, Kolkata. It is expected that many delegates to PBD2011 would be in attendance at this inauguration which has been described as an "historic event" by MOIA Secretary Dr A. Didar Singh who has been and continues to be instrumental and very supportive of this effort.


GOPIO International and the Global Indian Diaspora Heritage Society (GIDHS) plan on holding a celebratory luncheon starting at 12:00 Noon at the Kolkata Club in Kolkata, followed by the installation of the commemorative plaque at 3:30pm, pending confirmation of the January 11 plaque installation date. It is expected that the commemorative plaque would be inaugurated by Minister Vayalar Ravi of Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs, along with invited VIPs and dignitaries. GOPIO Executive Vice President Ashook Ramsaran (Guyana-USA), along with prominent historian Leela Sarup (Mauritius-India) of GIDHS, is spearheading the effort. Both Ramsaran and Sarup have been at the forefront of this initiative for a commemorative plaque, to be followed by a heritage museum/resource center at a suitably significant site in Kolkata. The planned heritage museum/resource center would house records of Indian indentured laborers' emigration (during the 18th and 19th centuries), literature, works of art, documentaries, films, artifacts, photographs and emigration records relevant to that era and those who left as indentured laborers. (Ref: GOPIO Newsletters of April 1, 2010 and August 1, 2010).


Demerara Depot, Kolkata
Site of the Commemorative Plaque at Kidderpore (Demerara) Depot Clock Tower at 14 Garden Reach, Kolkata (Photo by Ashook Ramsaran)

The inscription on the commemorative plaque (being designed) states in part: "By thousands they journeyed from other parts of India by boat, bull cart and by foot to this port city, bound for their long and arduous journeys on the treacherous seas of the "kala pani" by ships to places unknown to them, travailing with unwavering spirit and hope for a better tomorrow.  In honored tribute, with due recognition, gratitude and lasting remembrance of all those who left these shores during the 18th and 19th centuries as Indian indentured laborers to far away lands seeking better livelihoods for themselves and their descendants; for their pioneering spirit, determination, resilience, endurance and perseverance amidst the extremely harsh and demeaning conditions they encountered; for their preservation of sense of origin, traditions, culture and religion, and their promotion of the Indian culture; for their achievements and successes despite insurmountable odds; for the many sacrifices made individually and collectively; for the invaluable contributions they have made to the diverse culture and economic development of the lands they adopted and where they lived; and  for triumph of the spirit of Indianness that they maintained and passed on to their descendants".



Interested persons, organizations, groups and media are invited to participate. Attendance will be by invitation and advance registration only. Please send a request for each person desiring to attend (to: Ashook Ramsaran at with following information:




Country of Birth:

Country of Residence:




Tel/Mobile Number:

Email address:

Attend Luncheon at Kolkata Club: Yes ____

Attend Installation of Commemorative Plaque: Yes ____




The Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) in partnership with the Government of NCT of Delhi and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) is organizing the 9th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention (PBD 2010) from 7th - 9th January 2011 at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi. Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) is the annual flagship event of the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) which aims to connect more 25 Million Indians with India's Economic and Social development.


 The theme of PBD 2011 is: "Engaging the Global Indian" with a special focus on the north eastern states of India.


It will provide an opportunity to interact with:


(i)                   Cabinet Ministers from Indian on matters of interest and concern to them.

(ii)                 PIO ministers/dignitaries from other countries on the expectations and aspirations of the overseas Indian community from the land of their ancestors and how they could work towards strengthening the relationship between India and the country of their residence.

(iii)                Chief Ministers on issues of their States need to attend on priority and facilities and incentives available in their states for the overseas Indian community.


Concurrent sessions will be held on Education, Health Services, Youth, and Information Communication and Entertainment.


PBD2011 will also see the continuation of an annual lecture series under the overarching theme of "Engaging the Global Indian, this year there will be a memorial lecture on Prof C K Prahalad.


The Convention will be inaugurated by Prime Minister of India on 8th January.  The President of India will deliver the valedictory address on 9th January and would confer Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards for 2011.


For further details and registration, visit PBD website at






GOPIO International has scheduled its annual Community Service Awards Banquet on January 6, 2011 in New Delhi immediately after GOPIO's annual conference on January 6 and preceding Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD2011) events of January 7 - 9, 2011. The GOPIO Community Service Awards (GOPIO CSA) are given to suitably qualified NRI and PIO individuals for outstanding community service, public service and/or significant charitable or philanthropic contributions of benefit to the community.


Nominations of suitable qualified candidates are requested for consideration by GOPIO CSA Selection Committee. For details of GOPIO CSA criteria and format for submission of nominations, visit


Nominations are to be submitted by December 4, 2010 to the attention of Ashook Ramsaran, Executive Vice President of GOPIO International at




Guyanese industrialist icon Yesu Persaud was given a high profile luncheon tribute on October 3, 2010 in Toronto by well wishers from various groups and associations, associates and friends. It was a well attended event that featured resounding accolades with testimonials and tributes by many.  The theme of the occasion was summed up with a program that recognized "A Pioneering and Lasting Imprint on Guyana's Economic, Social and Cultural Landscape". The organizers were Leila Daljit, Janet Naidu and Adit Kumar.


Among the many who gave tributes were: Ken Singh (Atlas Cargo); Chetram Singh (formerly of Guyana), Danny Doobay (Hon Consul General of Guyana to Toronto), Ian Mc Donald (formerly of DDL, Guyana) and GOPIO Executive Vice President Ashook Ramsaran. GOPIO of Canada presented Yesu Persaud with a recognition plaque that recognized his life long community service with "recognition and appreciation of his many years of community service and his continuing efforts in the preservation and promotion of Indian heritage and culture"


In his remarks, GOPIO Executive Vice President Ashook Ramsaran stated that Yesu Persaud is  "a truly remarkable person, a man of honor and unwavering integrity; an ardent advocate of noble and worthy causes for the larger good; a humanitarian at heart and in practice, with understanding and unmatched compassion; an authentic, self-sacrificing person of moral character with positive traits that manifest profound respect; a person of enormous talent, an agent of change, with spirited determination, resilience and endurance; a valiant protector and promoter of his culture, with nurturing and sustained beliefs in goodness, self and humanity; an innovator, a motivator and man of action".


GOPIO Toronto Honors Yesu Persaud
Photo above (l-r): Adit Kumar (GOPIO Toronto), Ashook Ramsaran (GOPIO International), Yesu Persaud (GOPIO of Guyana), Jay Banerjei (GOPIO of Canada)

Yesu Persaud is a founding life member of GOPIO, Chairman of GOPIO of Guyana, recipient honorary doctorate degrees from University of Warwick (UK) and University of West Indies (St Augustine, Trinidad) and Government of India Pravasi Samman Award in 2006.




GOPIO is embarking on an extensive program to establish chapters in Canada with rapid expansion of membership in several provinces. These include several chapters in the metropolitan Toronto area, Kitchener (Ontario), Montreal (Quebec), Vancouver (British Columbia) and Edmonton (Alberta). Jay Banerjei of Toronto is spearheading the effort with support of GOPIO International North American Vice President Dr Piyuash Agrawal and GOPIO International Executive Vice President Ashook Ramsaran.


On October 2, 2010 a planning meeting was held in Toronto with many of the core members of the planned chapters. GOPIO International Executive Vice President Ashook Ramsaran met with the group at the home of Jay and Molly Banerjei and discussed various aspects of chapter formulation, the role of chapters, councils and issues at GOPIO international level. Ramsaran stressed the importance of GOPIO chapters in addressing issues confronting the community and providing services of benefit to the community: Education, health, issues of employment and discrimination, seniors and children, philanthropy, collaboration with other community groups, and lobbying for fairness, equitable treatment and needed support.

GOPIO Meeting in Toronto Canada, Oct. 2, 2010
Photo above (l-r): Rajini Venugopal, Arul Venugopal, Molly Banerjei, Shiv Kumar, Janet Naidu, Satnam Singh, Jay Banerjei, Adit Kumar, Mrs. Sookar, Vishnu Sookar, Amb. Kant Bhargava, Uttam Chakraborti, Mark Persaud, Ashook Ramsaran


Other related matters discussed included: Indian passport surrender and visa issues, PIO card, OCI card and consular services. Calendar matters: GOPIO conferences in UK (Oct 26-27, 2010), Health Summit in New York (Nov 12-13, 2010), GOPIO annual convention and CSA banquet in New Delhi (Jan 6, 2011), Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) 2011 in New Delhi (Jan 7-9, 2011), Kolkata Memorial inauguration in Kolkata (Jan 11, 2011) and PBD-Canada in Toronto (Jun 9-10, 2011).




GOPIO Health Council, in association with GOPIO San Jose chapter, plans to hold a series of Health Awareness seminar in Freemont, California. These are initiatives "to improve the health and well being of people of Indian origin." Topics of discussion will include: Food safety; foods to avoid; side effects of certain drugs; use of supplements.


Details are as follows:

Date: Saturday, October 16, 2010

Time: 10:30 am - 12:15 pm

Venue: At Fremont Resource Center, 39155 Liberty Street, Pacific Room, Suite H 800, Bldg EFGH, Fremont, CA 94538

Presenter: Mary Ellen Taylor, FDA

Sponsors: Indo-American Community Federation, IACF-USA,; Amit Zutshi Foundation,


Dates: Monday Oct. 25 and Monday November 9

Time: 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM

Venue: The Fremont Senior Center

Topic: Awareness Seminar on Alzheimer's

Presenter: Charan Singh, M.D., Neurologist

Sponsors: The City of Fremont and The Alzheimer's association


Contact: Jeevan Zutshi at




Indian-American academician and IIT Madras alumnus, Dr. Subra Suresh was sworn in as the director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) the top US science body that leads scientific research in the country.

Before joining as NSF Director,
Dr. Suresh was dean of MIT's School of Engineering.

John Holdren, President Barack Obama's science adviser and director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, administered the oath of office to Suresh in the Secretary of War Ceremonial Room of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building of the White House in Washington, DC.

As NSF director, Suresh will lead a $7.4 billion independent federal agency that supports all fields of science and engineering research, as well as a wide span of educational programs that reach more than 2,000 institutions across the U.S. and involve approximately 200,000 educators, researchers and students. NSF funding accounts for more than half of all non-medical science and engineering basic research at American academic institutions.

"We are very grateful to have Subra taking this new task," Obama said in his remarks at the White House Science Fair after Suresh was sworn in yesterday as the 13th NSF director by John Holdren, Obama's science advisor.

"He has been at MIT and has been leading one of the top engineering programs in the country, and for him now to be able to apply that to the National Science Foundation is just going to be outstanding," he said.

"So we're very grateful for your service," he said acknowledging the contribution of Suresh in the field of science and technology.

Suresh was confirmed by the US Senate on September 30, for a six-year term.

A mechanical engineer, who later became interested in materials science and biology, Suresh has done pioneering work studying the biomechanics of blood cells under the influence of diseases such as malaria.



Gem Madhoo's name is synonymous with theatre in Guyana, and she is notably significant in the development of the country's theatrical arts. She has played an integral role in the survival of United Women for Special Children, an organization that assists children with disabilities. She also served voluntarily as secretary, for 12 years, to the Guyana Motor Racing and Sports Club. Gem is actively involved in so many projects covering various aspects of dramatic arts and theatre. In 2002, she won the prestigious "Woman of Distinction' Award by the YWCA.


She was born in Guyana of PIO parents and resides in the capital city of Georgetown with her husband Kit Nascimento, former Guyana Minister of Information. Gem attended workshops in the US and in some Caribbean countries, be coming the secretary for a group called T I E. (Theatre Information Exchange). This was a body formed by Caribbean dramatists headed by Ken Crosby. "It was a great collaboration because we got to know what various artistes through out the Caribbean were doing", she reminisced.


After graduating from Corentyne High school, Gem came to Georgetown where she joined the Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU) Drama Group as an extra- curricular activity while employed with the Guyana National Co- operative Bank. Her real interest in the theatre was being part of the back stage crew working on props and costume design. It was never her intention to be on stage, but the head of the group, Francis Quamina Farrier cast her in a play at the first opportunity he got, and so she was.


As part of the GPSU drama group, Gem was given the opportunity to tour countrywide. In 1978, she debuted at the Theatre Guild, when Farrier took a play to that stage, and became a member of the Theatre Guild, which laid the foundation for her involvement in theatre. "Francis had written his production for Independence in 76 'Journey to Freedom' which was preformed at the Theatre Guild, and I was placed to perform. That was my introduction to the Theatre and then I got involved in it becoming a member. I didn't make it as an actress, but got more involved as an organizer and back stage person. So that's where I got my training as stage manager and the other roles I play," she said.


"I started doing my own productions and from that year to now I have done about 50 productions," she said. "I have brought in foreign artistes and done various productions from drama to musical. I was even brave enough to take a show to Canada which was well- received, but it was hectic taking a group, but I'm happy I did it because we all learnt a lot." Describing herself as adventurous, Gem said at 23 she took off alone on a world tour to 28 countries. "I actually hitch hiked to some countries and didn't know anyone. I had an amount of money and I decided to go on a tour to various countries and I told myself I didn't care if I was broke permanently after this - that I would just do it. It was something I wanted to do since I was 14. I went to Trinidad then to Jamaica, Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, and Canada then to Holland and hitch hiked from England to Scotland; but then I got homesick.




MIT Professor of Physics Nergis Mavalvala, whose research focuses on detecting gravitational waves created in the violent collisions of stars and in the earliest moments of the universe, and two other Institute alumni have won 2010 MacArthur Fellowships, also known as "genius" grants.

The fellowships, awarded each year, carry a $500,000 purse that recipients may use as they see fit. Mavalvala is one of 23 recipients this year.

Since her graduate-school days at MIT, Mavalvala has been working on building more sensitive instruments to detect gravitational waves, whose existence Albert Einstein first predicted in 1916. Such waves, which carry information on the motions of objects in the universe, are so faint that they have never been detected. Scientists believe that by measuring gravitational waves, they will be able to observe phenomena never before seen.

"Everything we know about the universe, both nearby and distant, comes from measuring light," said Mavalvala. "Gravitational waves are another messenger. Being able to look into the universe with that completely new tool, we should learn new and enormously interesting things."

For example, gravitational waves should help scientists get a much better look at the space that surrounds black holes. Because black holes absorb light, traditional telescopes reveal little about the regions surrounding them. It should also be possible to detect gravitational waves that began in the first few fractions of a second after the Big Bang, offering a glimpse into the formation of the universe.





India's Tata Group has given a large donation of USD $50 million to the prestigious Harvard Business School (HBS) to fund a new academic and residential building on its campus, the largest gift received by the institute from an international donor in its 102-year-old history.

The gift comes from Tata Companies, the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust and the Tata Education and Development Trust, the philanthropic entities of the Group.

It comes days after Anand Mahindra, Vice Chairman and Managing Director of Mahindra and Mahindra Group gave USD $10 million to the Humanities Centre at Harvard. A Harvard alumnus, Mahindra gave the gift, the "largest" in the Centre's history, in honor of his mother Indira Mahindra.

Ratan Tata, Chairman of Tata Sons, attended Harvard's Advanced Management Program -- one of three comprehensive leadership programs offered by the Harvard Business School's (HBS') Executive Education -- in 1975.

He had also received the School's highest honor, the Alumni Achievement Award, in 1995.

The School said it will use the USD $50 million gift from the Tata Group to fund a new academic
and residential building on its campus for participants in its broad portfolio of Executive Education programs.

HBS hopes to break ground for the building, which will be named Tata Hall, next spring. It is expected to be open for use by late 2013.

Calling it a privilege and a pleasure to "give back to Harvard a little bit of what it gave to me," Tata said he hoped the new facility would encourage and inspire future leaders to take advantage of the executive education offerings at HBS.

"The Harvard Business School is the preeminent place to be exposed to the world's best thinking on management and leadership and we are pleased that this gift will support the School's educational mission to mold the next generation of global business leaders," Tata said.

Expressing "deep appreciation" for Tata's "generosity," Harvard Business School's Indian-origin Dean Nitin Nohria said the "historic" gift comes from an organization "revered" for its significant economic, civic and philanthropic impact.

"The Tata Group is widely respected for integrity and innovation, not just in India -- where it produced both the first indigenous car and the 2,000 dollar Tata Nano automobile -- but in a variety of business lines across several continents, from cars to hotels and from tea to information technology," Nohria said.



India's University Grants Commission (UGC) has agreed to create a chair for Diaspora studies at

the Goa university, Goa Non-Resident Indian (NRI) commissioner Eduardo Faleiro said at a press conference. The university had been asked to draft a proposal for creating a Diaspora studies chair and send it to the UGC to expedite the process.


Faleiro, a former minister of state for external affairs, said, 'The study of population migration in all its diverse aspects is one of the most fascinating areas of research at present. A large number of universities abroad have this facility,' 'However, the Goan Diaspora in particular and the Indian Diaspora in general constitutes significant communities worldwide. None of our academic institutions have facilities for focused research and teaching on this subject,' he added.


Faleiro said his discussions with Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal on the subject had borne fruit. Faleiro also said that the minister has agreed to his request and the UGC has asked the registrar of the Goa University to send a proposal for a chair on Diaspora studies at our university. The chair on Diaspora studies will deal with the questions and issues regarding the Indian Diaspora in academic depth and in a comparative context along with the study of migration in other countries.


The Goa University would be the first varsity in the country to offer such a chair. Incidentally, Goa is the second state in India after Kerala to conduct a survey on emigration of its working population from Goa, to other countries for employment, primarily in the Gulf region.




A new book by Dr Dhanpaul Narine titled "Crisis in America - Glimpses from a Troubled Nation" had been published by Vitasta Publishing of New Delhi, India. This book examines the current economic and social issues and concludes that America is in crisis seldom seen in its history. At the domestic level, there is rising unemployment, a recession that seems to have no end, rising unemployment, drug abuse, failing schools, and the breakdown of the family. It also examines how America's international image is dented by wars, the incidence of terrorism, and the failure of the current administration to bring about comprehensive reforms.


"Dr Dhanpaul Narine is a scholar with a global vision", said the New York Daily News. Guyana's Ambassador to the United States, Mr. Bayney Karran stated that "this sweeping compendium  of wonderful essays shows a leading thinker at the top of his craft".


Dr Dhanpaul Narine is PIO-born of Guyana of PIO, educated at the University of Guyana and obtained his PhD from the University of London School of Economics. He currently teaches in New York City.


Contact: Dr Dhanpaul Narine at email:


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

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

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Contributors of this issue: Inder Singh (GOPIO Intl., USA), Lord Diljit Rana (GOPIO Intl, Belfast, UK), Lady Shruti Rana (GOPIO Intl, Belfast, UK), Sangeeta Ahuja (GOPIO Intl, USA), Shailesh Naik (GOPIO-CT, Stamford, CT, USA), Nami Kaur (GOPIO/NFIA, Yonkers, NY, USA), Jay Banerjei (Toronto, Canada), Jeevan Zutshi (San Jose, California, USA).


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