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December 8, 2017

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

Issue: XV-13December 8, 2017
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GOPIO Convention will be held for the first time in The Middle East, after holding conventions in New York, London, Paris, Zurich, Trinidad, South Africa, Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, GOPIO International is holding its Biennial Convention 2018 - Bahrain on January 6-8, 2018 and concluding with a Desert tour scheduled for January 9th.
Bahrain Skyline for GOPIO Convention 2018   
GOPIO Bahrain team has picked up Gulf Hotel, Manama, Bahrain as the venue for GOPIO Biennial Convention. GOPIO will also hold its Annual General Body Meeting on Jan. 6th, which will consider many bylaws amendments.
GOPIO Bahrain Conv. Brochure
Bahrain's Energy Minister, Dr. Abdul Hussain Mirza welcomed the decision of GOPIO to hold the convention in the Gulf kingdom.
"Govt. of India organizes 'Pravasi Bharatiya Divas' every other year to commemorate the return of Mahatma Gandhi from South Africa to India to lead the non-violent movement against the British to gain Indian Independence and we want to commemorate the same on his return date in January next year," said Dr. Thomas Abraham, Chairman of GOPIO International.
Members of GOPIO and leaders of several countries, will be among the 500+ delegates arriving in Manama for the three-day conference, which has the support of the governments of India and Bahrain. Minister Dr. V.K. Singh will be the Chief Gust at the inauguration of the convention Jan. 6th evening.
Massive global support has been pouring in for the proposed Pravasi Sammelan of Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) and People of Indian Origin (PIOs) to be held in Bahrain from January 6 to 9, 2018 at the Gulf Hotel Convention Center.
General Dr. V. K. Singh, Minister of State for External Affairs, Government of India, will inaugurate the GOPIO International Convention on January 6th evening followed by the presentation of the Indian Women Achievers Samman in collaboration with GOPIO and NRI Achievers Magazine. This was announced by GOPIO's Global Ambassador and Convention Convener Sunny Kulathakal who called on to Dr. Singh last month. Kulathakal also met several other political leaders in India and invited them ot the convention,

Photos from l. to r.: Sunny Kulathakal with Minister Dr. V.K. Singh,  BJP General Secretary Muralidhar Rao and with Maharashtra Assembly Chief Whip Raj Purohit last month.

"The Bahrain convention will live up to GOPIO's role as a strategic networking platform for Indian businessmen globally," Kulathakal further added.
On January 7th, Dr. Shashi Tharoor, former External Affairs Minister and top leaders of BJP - the ruling party of India will address delegates coming from nearly 40 countries.
On evening of the same day, the Global Indian Businessmen Award will be given in collaboration with GOPIO and Business India Magazine, a 37-year-old publication from Delhi.
Mr. Chandan Mitra, Editor, The Pioneer and former MP, Mr. Muralidhar Rao, National General Secretary, BJP and Mr. Nalin Kohli, BJP Spokesman, have agreed to be speakers at different sessions.
Mr. Sam Pitroda, the Global Telecommunications Exponent will conduct a detailed session with the delegates on January 8th.

Dr. Shashi Tharoor and Sam Pitroda 
Dr. Shashi Tharoor and Sam Pitroda as speakers at the convention.
Former Prime Ministers, former Heads of State, and members of the House of Lords are expected to attend the three-day conference.
Among notable attendees include His Majesty King Goodwill Zwelithini Ka- Bhekuzulu from South Africa who will also attend with 25 delegates.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Mr Devendra Phadnavis and Chief Whip of the Assembly Mr Raj Purohit, a lifetime member of GOPIO will be attending with a large number of business delegates.
"Since 1989, GOPIO has taken several issues confronting the Diaspora community to India and various other governments," said Niraj Baxi, President of GOPIO International.
GOPIO's Global Ambassador and Convention Convener and Convention Convener Sunny Kulathakal met Minister V.K. Singh, BJP General Secretary Muralidhar Rao, Maharashtra Assembly Chief Whip Raj Purohit and former minister Dr. Shashi Tharoor who have committed to speak at the Convention.
Contact: Sunny Kulathakal, Global Ambassador, GOPIO International, Tel. in Bahrain +973-39441956, India +91-9845756692, E-mail:
Regarding the travel and visa arrangements our travel partner Dadabhai Travels will do everything possible to get the special rate to any destination. You may contact Mr. Aziz Gilitwala, Managing Director E-mail, Tel: +973-39614499 or,   Tel: +973-39843283
UK and US Passport holders will get visa on arrival. Others have send in the passport copy (1st and last pages) to the travel agent to arrange the visa, i.e.
Near the Gulf Hotel where GOPIO Convention Team has made an agreement with a new hotel- Park Regis for rooms with $70 for single occupancy and $80 for double occupancy including tax and breakfast. The above rate will be available only up to 15th December 2017. You may book directly on line at Should you require further assistance you can contact Asst. Director of Sales Mr. Usman Kiani, Tel: +973-36293777 (Mobile), E- mail: or Shiju Nair, Tel: +973-39830603, E-mail:
Delegates get free transport to the Gulf Hotel (Convention Centre) which is at a five minutes distance from Park Regis Hotel. 

GOPIO International is planning to hold its annual Community Service Awards (CSA) Banquet on the evening of January 8, 2018 at the Gul Hotel, Manama, Bahrain as the concluding event of GOPIO Biennial Convention 2018.
The GOPIO Community Service Awards (GOPIO CSA) are given for outstanding community service, public service and/or significant charitable or philanthropic contributions of benefit to the community. Nominations of suitably qualified candidates are requested for consideration by GOPIO's CSA 2018 Selection Committee. Please see attached file for more for details of GOPIO CSA criteria, format for submission of nominations and deadline for submission by clicking the file, GOPIO Community Service Awards (GOPIO CSA) Criteria and Nomination Form
Nominations are to be submitted using the prescribed form with supporting documents by December 12, 2017 to GOPIO CSA 2018 Selection Committee
Global Organization of People of Indian Origin is joining hands with NRI Achievers Magazine is organizing "The Indian Women Achievers Sammaan 2017" to felicitate the achievements of exceptional women role-models from diverse fields who have succeeded against mighty odds.  These pioneers have broken the glass ceiling for the new generation of aspiring women by setting an example with hard work, perseverance and innovation.
Nominations are invited from women of Indian origin irrespective of their country of residence from across the globe. Those who deserve to be considered for the selection, kindly send their detailed profile along with photographs and documentary proofs. A jury from GOPIO and NRI Achievers Group will shortlist the selected candidates who will be honored after the GOPIO Biennial Convention Inauguration on Jan. 6th, 2018. GOPIO and NRI Achievers Group reserve all the rights of selection & rejection. No claim can be made whatsoever.
Nomination may be sent self or by a colleague at bahrainconvention@nriachievers.inImportant: Last date for nomination: December 12, 2017.
NRIs, PIOs don't need to link bank accounts with Aadhaar, UIDAI clarifies
NEW DELHI: NRIs and PIOs are not required to link bank accounts and other services with Aadhaar, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) said today while instructing various implementation agencies to work out a mechanism to verify the status of such individuals. 

It said the Prevention of Money laundering Rules 2017 and the Income Tax Act clearly stipulate that the linking of bank accounts and PAN respectively, "is for those persons who are eligible to enroll for Aadhaar."
It said all central ministries and departments, state governments and other implementing agencies should bear in mind that Aadhaar as an identity document can be sought only from those eligible for it under Aadhaar Act and that most NRIs/PIOs/ OCIs may not be eligible for its enrolment. 
GOPIO has been campaigning on this issue with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and several members of the parliament during their visit to New York.
The Aadhaar-issuing body said several representations had been received about problems faced by Non-Resident Indians (NRIs), Person of Indian Origin (PIOs) and Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) where Aadhaar was being demanded with regard to various services and benefits. 
It said that some Departments and implementing agencies were asking NRIs/OCIs/PIOs to submit or link their Aadhaar for availing services and benefits, despite the fact that they were not entitled to the 12-digit biometric identifier. 

"The laws regarding submitting/linking of Aadhaar for availing the services/benefits apply to the residents as per the Aadhaar Act 2016... Most of the NRIs/PIOs/OCIs may not be eligible for Aadhaar enrollment as per Aadhaar Act...," the UIDAI said in a note dated November 15 to central ministries and states. 

Last year, during an excavation in a village 230 km from Paris two human remains were found. On examining their belongings, they were identified as Indian soldiers of the 39th Royal Garhwal Rifles who fought World War I in France

The French Government and the Indian Embassy in France held a burial ceremony on November 12, 2017 at Laventie Military Cemetery, with full military honors and prayers conducted by a Hindu priest.

GOPIO France Paris with Mehen Poinoosawmy and Vimal Khosla of GOPIO France Paris laid a wreath of flowers to pay homage to the dedication, loyalty, courage and sacrifice of the 2 Indian soldiers.

GOPIO-Paris Celebrate Armistice Day 2017 Ceremony
Photo from top left: Indian soldiers remains laid to rest at Laventie Military Cemetery; Indian Ambassador Vinay Kwatra with officers of the Indian Army paying homage to the 2 soldiers and below GOPIO-Paris officers Kevin Ayassamy, Mahen Chuttarsingh, Mehen Poinoosawmy and Nisha Dhingra with officers of the Indian Army 

Brief History: Indian soldiers were present in France during the World War I because the British government declared war on Germany on 4 August 1914. Two infantry divisions and a cavalry brigade of the Indian Army were ordered to mobilise and prepare for overseas service.

India had sent more than 140,000 men to the Western Front of Europe. More than 8,550 were killed and as many as 50,000 more were wounded.

Almost 5,000 of the dead have no known grave and are commemorated at Neuve Chapelle Memorial. Last year, members of GOPIO family attending the GOPIO Europe convention came to pay tribute to the Indian soldiers at Neuve Chapelle. Again this year, GOPIO France Paris and its members accompanied His Excellency, Ambassador of India, Mr Vinay Mohan Kwatra to the laying of wreaths ceremony at Neuve Chapelle Memorial.

Contact: Krishna Shivalingayah, President, GOPIO-Paris, Tel: +33 6 78 24 51 63,  E-mail:
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The North Jersey chapter of the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO-North Jersey) on the timely topic of "Where India US Relations are Heading" on Sunday, November 5, 2017 at Jyoti Restaurant in Wayne, NJ.

The event was attended by over 60 people and even though was two days before the crucial Gubernatorial and State Senate and Assembly elections, the attendance included the Deputy Speaker of the NJ State Assembly, a Senator, an Assemblyman and numerous other elected New Jersey officials.

New Jersey political leaders at the seminar  
Photo above: American Political with GOPIO officials at the seminar

Rajul Shah, President of GOPIO North Jersey Chapter welcomed the guests and attendees and spoke about strengthening US India Relations and the importance of a meaningful dialogue that the seminar represents.

Thomas Abraham, Founder and Current Chairman of GOPIO International moderated the seminar and introduced the speakers as experts in their fields. The seminar focused on two key aspects. Professor Maya Chadda talked about Geopolitical and Economic Relations while the second speaker David Nachman, a leading Immigration Attorney with NPZ Law firm talked about the Immigration issues in which India US Relations have been caught up in the recent cross currents.

Ram Gadhavi, GOPIO Intl VP, also conveyed greetings from GOPIO International and spoke about a number of activities undertaken by the North Jersey Chapter of the GOPIO.

Prakash Shah, Co-Chair of GOPIO International Chamber of Commerce (GICC) and one of the original founders of GOPIO, introduced the political leaders and remembered the Indian Flag hoisting ceremony co-sponsored by GOPIO North Jersey Chapter in Clifton NJ on August 13, 2017. This was attended by over 300 people.
Addressing the Geopolitical and Economic Issues, Dr. Maya Chadda, Professor pf Political Science at William Patterson University asserted that the policy shifts under president Trump has strengthened India's trust in a supportive United States, especially on the issues of terrorism and Pakistan's role in it but that still doesn't solve the basic dilemma for the US which needs Pakistan to stabilize Afghanistan and rid South Asia of terrorist safe havens. Similarly, the economic codependence between China and the US not to mention the US goal to contain North Korea will make the US hedge its bets between India and China.
"It is only in securing the Indo-Pacific where India's naval contribution is clear and can be substantial, that the Indo-US convergence is unquestionably beneficial to both. Notwithstanding these caveats, Indo-US relations have again resumed a decisively upward trajectory," Dr. Chadda added.

GOPIO-North Jersey Seminar Panelists 
Photo: Panelists at the seminar, Attorney David Nachman, GOPIO Chairman Dr, Thomas Abraham, William Patterson Univ. Professor Maya Chadda and GOPIO-North Jersey President Rajul Shah
Attorney David Nachman addressed the issues of current hiatus in the issuance of H1B visas and the severe impact it is having on both the India and US High Technology Industries. According to Nachman, the US immigration and nationality law Arena is changing on a daily basis and presenting new challenges to immigration practitioners as well as for visa applicants. 
"The immigration and nationality enforcement authorities nowadays are seeking to enhance information technology applications as well as security methodologies through a process called "extreme vetting" to ensure the safety of individuals in the United States," said Nachman.
"The silver-lining to the new and restrictive immigration law policies and procedures that have been implemented is that individuals are visiting our immigration law offices and making inquiries about potential options to enable them to obtain legal immigration status in the United States," Nachman added.
Nachman suggested a partial solution if India were to focus on EB2 visas. He said for some reasons, the Indian Government side has not pursued an agreement with US on EB2 Visas whereas her neighbors including Bangladesh and Pakistan have been taking a full advantage of this category. He suggested EB2 as a good solution in absence of H1B Visas.
The seminar was concluded with a vote of thanks by Dhananjay Desai, VP, GOPIO North Jersey Chapter, He particularly thanked David Nachman and NPZ Law firm for sponsoring this event.
Seminar Panelists Prof. Maya Chadda and Attorney David Nachman with GOPIO officials  
Photo above: Seminar speakers with GOPIO International and GOPIO-North Jersey officials

Contact: Rajul Shah, President, GOPIO-North Jersey, 908-327-0605,


 GOPIO Triloet, North Mauritius paid tribute to the Indians on the 183rd anniversary of their landing in Mauritius.
GOPIO President, Mrs. Kritilata and other members paid tribute to the Indian settlers at the Monument of Antoinette Phooliyar where in 1834, Indian laborers were sent to work at the Antoinette sugar estate.
GOPIO Triolet  N.Mauritius officials at Aapravasi Ghat They worked in harsh conditions to convert a barren land into a sugar estate, factories and stores.   It is a place of shared history and heritage, where between the late 18th and the mid-20th centuries, hundreds of slaves and thousands of Indian and Non- Indian indentured workers and their descendants worked.
Now, owing to the unremitting labors of these Indians, this island is a haven of peace and prosperity. Their trials, hardships and sacrifices, resulting in the prosperity of Mauritius have now been symbolized by a lotus at this Monument of Antoinette Phooliyar - a flower that grows in mud but emanates a fragrant aroma. 

Contact: Mrs. Kritilata Ram, President, GOPIO Triloet, North Mauritius,
Photo above: GOPIO Triolet  N.Mauritius members at Aapravasi Ghat


GOPIO Members interacted with Rep, Pramila Jayapal during a reception hosted in honor of the first Indian American Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal in New York on Nov. 3rd, 2017. Several community issues were discussed at the meeting including the current anti-immigrant atmosphere, H1-B Visa, DACA and Dreamers.
Rep. Jayapal emphasized the importance of everyone getting involved in the political process. Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal elected in 2016 election, represents Washington's 7th District. She is the Vice Ranking Member of the House Budget Committee and also serves on the House Judiciary Committee and the Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security. Before getting elected to the US Congress, Jayapal was elected to the State Legislature and the only woman of color in the Washington State Senate.
Congresswoman Jayapal is committed to ensuring that every resident of the district has economic opportunity; fairness and equity; and safe and healthy communities. She is proud of the district's role in leading the country on issues like the minimum wage, racial equity and innovation, and will work to support that work and lift it up as a model for the rest of the country.
Her focus is on ensuring income equality; access to education, from early learning to higher education, including debt-free college; expanding Social Security and Medicare; protecting our environment for our next generation; and ensuring immigrant, civil and human rights for all.

GOPIO officials with Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal
Photo: GOPIO Members with Rep, Pramila Jayapal at a New York reception. from l. to r. Dr Parveen Chopra, Jaswant Mody, Shailesh Naik, Dr. Thomas Abraham, Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, Viresh Sharma, Joe Simon, Prakash Shah, Rajul Shah and Prof. P. Somasundaran

The first Indian-American woman in the House of Representatives, Jayapal has spent the last twenty years working internationally and domestically as a leading national advocate for women's, immigrant, civil, and human rights.
She came to the United States by herself at the age of 16 to attend college at Georgetown University and later received her MBA from Northwestern University. She has worked in a number of industries in both the public and private sector.

GOPIO Oceania region celebrated 10 years of active GOPIO Movement in a conference that was successfully held on 26 November 2017 at Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia under the chairmanship of Mrs. Suman Kapoor, International Coordinator of Oceania region. Delegates from Sydney, Melbourne, Queensland, Gold Coast and New Zealand chapters participated in the conference. Dr. Sonia Singh of Melbourne chapter was the Conference Secretary, Mr. Shyam Das of Queensland chapter was the Conference Convener, Mr. Harjit Singh of New Zealand chapter was the Conference Coordinator and Mr. Pushpinder Oberoi of Gold Coast chapter was the host whose team worked hard towards the success of the conference. Preconference meetings were  held in Melbourne and Sydney  (where GOPIO Canberra founder President also joined) where chapter members and presidents met Mrs. Kapoor and discussed GOPIO Oceania Region's future course of action with a clear vision was discussed.

GOPIO Oceania Conv.Welcome.Mtg.Lightimg of the Lamp  
Photos - Top: A rigorous discussion in progress, Middle: GOPIO Oceania Coordinator Suman Kapoor welcoming all the delegates, Bottom: Lighting the Lamp (L-R): Vanita Khushal, Dr. Sonia Singh, Suman Kapoor, Shyam Das, Harmohan Singh Walia and Pushpinder Oberoi

The conference started with Indian cultural rituals of lighting the lamp, the Vandana dance and Tikka ceremony by Ratna of New Zealand. Rigorous discussions were held on the progress, vision and mission of GOPIO Oceania region for the next 5 years with the collaboration of other chapters. Mr. Harmohan Singh Walia, Prof. Balkar Singh Kang, Mrs. Usha Chandra, and Mrs. Vanita Khushal, Mr. Adam Zimmerman, Mr. Vikas Sinha, Mr. Raveen Bhairo, Mr. Harjit Singh, Mr. Shyam Das, Mr. Jagdish Lodhia, Mr. Pushpinder Oberoi, Mr. Mannu Kala, Mrs. Suman Kapoor and Mr. Pradeep Kapoor participated in the discussion and gave suggestions to improve the working of GOPIO chapters in the Oceania region. Amazing intellect and wisdom wrapped with experience at one place. The discussion was moderated by Dr. Sonia Singh.
Prof. Balkar Singh Kang, President of GOPIO Sydney North West chapter and Mrs. Vanita Khushal, President of Queensland chapter highlighted their chapter's achievements.  Mr. Pradeep Kapoor and Suman Kapoor presented GOPIO Waikato (New Zealand) report and Harjit Singh, GOPIO Botany highlighted chapter's activities. The goodwill messages received from VIPs including Ms Michelle Rowland MP - Federal Shadow Minister for Communications; Ms Jodi McKay MP - NSW Shadow Minister for Transport, Roads, Maritime and Freight; Ms Julia Finn MP and Mr. Peter Primrose MLC - NSW Shadow Minister for Local Government were read, welcomed and appreciated. Mrs. Kapoor spoke about greetings and congratulatory messages sent by GOPIO International Council Chairs. Melbourne chapter contributed heavily and as per Dr. Sonia Singh, she is looking forward to developing strategies for taking GOPIO Melbourne chapter to global conferences and making it the leading chapter in the world. Earlier, Mrs. Suman Kapoor welcomed all and gave insight to future vision mission and how GOPIO has proceeded in the past 10 years successfully in Oceania region. Fiji is added with two new chapters. Talented Ratna of New Zealand entertained the delegates with Kathak and Bollywood dances.

GOPIO Oceania Convention Officials and Gulf Coast Organizers
Photos: Top - GOPIO Oceania Convention Officials and Gulf Coast Organizers,  L-R (Standing): Pushpinder Oberoi, Raveen Bhairo, Vikas Sinha, Prof. Balkar Singh Kang, Harjit Singh, Adam Zimmerman, Shyam Das & Harmohan Singh Walia, L-R (Sitting): Pradeep Kapoor, Vanita Khushal, Dr. Sonia Singh, Suman Kapoor & Usha Chandra; Bottom Left: Gulf Coast organizers and Dancer Ratna from New Zealand
Evening was full of laughter, involvement and delicious food. It was a roaring success in binding all, cementing the chapter links and creating goodwill among all who came to pre-conference and conference network. A similar conference has been suggested in New Zealand in the near future.
Suman Kapoor, Chairperson of the conference recognized some delegates and the host team with memento awards for their tireless work to make the conference a great success. A detailed report on the conference will be submitted later by Mrs. Suman Kapoor to the GOPIO International Executive Council.

Contact: Suman Kapoor, GOPIO Oceania International Coordinator,
The 4th World Tamil Economic Conference was held in Durban on Nov. 15th to 19th at the Durban International Convention Center. Attended by over 600 delegates, the conference brought together the Tamil community from Tamil Nadu in India and Tamilians under one platform to discuss business and investment opportunities.
Chairman of the Reception Committee Logie Naidoo said, "the conference was created to bring together the Indian diaspora and to strengthen economic links between the different countries."
The conference, organised by the World Tamil Economic Federation and the Madras Development Society, saw Indians from countries in East Asia, Australia, the Middle East and across African in attendance. Dignitaries includes Mauritius Vice President Paramasivum Pillay Vyapoory.
Some of the speakers came from countries like Mauritius, Malaysia and Singapore. Others are from the different Indian states like Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. On the list of South African speakers were businessmen like Vivian Reddy, owner of Edison Power, GOPIO International Africa Coordinator Ishwar Ramlutchman and Garuba Capital CEO Rajen Pillay.
At the inauguration ceremony, His MajestyThe King, King Goodwill Zwelithini KabhekuZulu , MaurituisVice PresidentParamasivam Pillay Vyapoory andTamil Nadu Minister of Arts and Culture Dr. K. Pandia Rajan joined dignitaries from Guyana, Mauritius and India to start the conference. Topics like investment and business opportunities in South Africa & African Continent and global situation & economic opportunities were discussed.
eThekwini Municipality Deputy Mayor Fawzia Peer said that while the city was playing its role to drive economic growth with many projects and infrastructure development, such as the roll out of communication technologies, business had to contribute more to socio-economic stability and development.
She addressed the leaders saying "Business leaders, this is a call to arms for business. We need you to take a hard look at how business fits into the picture."

Although Peer felt that businesses were taking steps to partner with the government and NGOs to address the problem, she hoped that more women would apply for business funding and thus contribute to economic growth. Peer also said there was a dire need for education to equip people for jobs in the workplace.

Further Peer said that many businesses were reluctant to venture out of their comfort zone and they were not giving back enough to the society they operate in.  She said, "Business has a moral obligation to the communities in which they live and work but for the business community, this is also a matter of self-preservation and we must act now"

4th Tamil Conference Organizers with Durban Deputy Mayor Fawzia Peer and GOPIO Intl. Coordinator Ishwar Ramlutchman
Photo: The 4th Tamil Conference in Durban, Organizers with Durban Deputy Mayor Fawzia Peer and GOPIO International Coordinator for Africa Ishwar Ramlutchman

GOPIO International Coordinator for Africa Ishwar Ramlutchman said that since Africa tended to lag behind the other powers in 'information superhighway', South Africa was attempting to shorten the gap to increase its competitiveness in the global economy.
Ramlutchman stated that South Africa was a strong power in the global economy and the Indian Diaspora was one of the most dominant forces here.  He went on to say that the unique combination of highly developed, first world economic infrastructure and a hugely emergent market economy had given rise to a strong entrepreneurial and dynamic investment environment.
He summed up the spirit of the conference by saying "For those of us that desire peace, our quest must be to work relentlessly against injustice of every sort. Wherever we may work or live in the world, building unity must be our preoccupation. This gathering is an exceptional talent of diverse skills and expertise.
GOPIO-Virginia conducted its election with a new team as follows:
GOPIO Virginia Team 2018President - Jay Bhandari in the center, Vice President - Sumit Kumar (Second from Left), Secretary Shweta Jain Extreme right, Treasurer Sunil Singhal next to me rest are Board members - Vishu Reddy, Rani Sisodia, Punit Jain, Dhiraj Agrawal And Alan. 
GOPIO Virginia is organizing its 7th Annual Gala and award ceremony in December. Virginia Governor elect Ralph Northam as Chief guest and Ambassador of India Honorable Navtej Sarana, DCM Mr. Santosh Jha and Congressman Gerry Connolly are invited as special guest. We are honoring 
Seven Indian Americans for their extraordinary achievements in Education, Economy, Medical, Science and technology, Philanthropy and Community service. 
GOPIO France Paris celebrated Diwali 2017 at the Intercontinental Opera Le Grand Hotel. The event was honored by the presence of His Excellency Shri Vinay Kwatra, Ambassador of India, Mr Serge Letchimy, member of Legislative Assembly and Mr Jamet, General Secretary of the prestigious group LVMH (Louis Vitton - Moet Hennessy).
On that occasion, the GOPIO France Paris recognized the outstanding contribution done by some members of the French Indian Diaspora who have worked tirelessly in the promotion of Indian Culture, Arts, Music and Dance.
The GOPIO Achievers Award 2017 were given to: Dr Raghunath MANET, ANWAR HUSSAIN (Bollywood Maharaja), Bhavana PRADYUMNA (Carnatic music), Shobna of Diva Creations and Krishna Bagadiya (One Man show).
Chapter President Krishna Shivalingaiah briefed and illustrated the works done during the past few months by GOPIO France Paris. Mehen Poinoosawmy thanked all the local and international guests, last but not the least, our partner Jet Airways who offered 2 free tickets to fly to India to the winners of a lucky draw.

GOPIO-Paris Diwali CelebrationPhotos: From top left to right: Anwar Hussain, DR Raghunath Manet, Bhavana Pradymna and Lucie Ayassamy; From below left to right: Mehen Poinoosawmy, Dr Raghunath Manat, Indian Ambassador Vinay Kwatra and Mr Jamet of LVMH group; and last Ambassador Vinay Kwatra addressing the guests at Diwali 2017 event.
Contact: Krishna Shivalingayah, President, GOPIO-Paris, Tel: +33 678245163, E-mail:
Aspirant members of the proposed GOPIO Abu Dhabi Chapter meeting at Abu Dhabi Social Centre under the chairmanship of Issac John Pattaniparambil, GOPIO International Coordinator, Middle East.
Among the participants were Sunny Kulathakal, GOPIO Global Ambassador, Sudhir Shetty, President of UAE Exchange, and Joy Thomas John, President, Abu Dhabi Social Centre, Johny Kuruvilla, former global chairman of World Malayalee Council, and Promitheus T.
GOPIO-Abu Dhabi Chapter Launch
Photo: GOPIO International officials Sunny Kulathakal and Issac John at the chapter kaunch
Contact: Issac John, GOPIO International Coordinator for The Middle East, Tel: +971 50 6259941, E-mail: 

 Yet another Indian-American has reached the pinnacle of the American news, fashion and celebrity world.   Vanity Fair, the magazine that takes a splashy view of America and the world, has named Radhika Jones as its new chief editor.
She is the second woman to helm the magazine, and follows in the footsteps of the British media icon, Tina Brown, who launched the new incarnation of the magazine as its editor-in-chief from 1984-1992
Anna Wintour, the editor-in-chief of Vogue and artistic director of Conde Nast which owns Vanity Fair, stated,  "In Radhika, we are so proud to have a fearless and brilliant editor whose intelligence and curiosity will define the future of Vanity Fair in the years to come".
Condé Nast, stated that Jones would oversee all content development, production and consumer experiences for Vanity Fair's digital, social, video, print and experiential platforms.   Earlier, Jones held senior editorial roles at The New York Times, Time and The Paris Review.
Jones has a B.A. from Harvard University and holds a Ph.D. in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia, where she has also taught courses in writing and literature. Born in New York City, she grew up in Cincinnati and Connecticut.
 Regarding Jones' appointment, Bob Sauerberg, president and CEO of Condé Nast felt that Jones had the ability to "drive the cultural conversation-balancing distinctive journalism with culture and humor."
 He stated "Her experience covering news and entertainment has given her a thorough understanding of the importance of chronicling and celebrating the moments that matter. With her expansive worldview, I know she will guide Vanity Fair's history of provocative and enduring storytelling well into its future."
Indian-American talents shone at the Broadcom MASTERS (Math, Applied Science, Technology, and Engineering for Rising Stars). This competition is founded and produced by the Society for Science and the Public.
The Sameuli Foundation Prize was won by Faris Irwin Walt who was awarded $25,000 for his project on the sun's power to affect cyclones.
Meghna Behari won the $10,000 Marconi/Samueli Award for Innovation. She developed 'Aquabot', an automated testing device that can wirelessly collect and transmit data on water quality.
Indian American, Pujita Tangirala, won first the place at the Science Award for her project on a green, low-cost adsorbent to remove dyes from aqueous solutions.  Mithra Karamchedu won the Rising Stars Award for his research on remote-sensing the ablation or accumulation of a glacier by using fractal analysis on glacier images.
Another Indian American, Arjun Moorthy won the Scott A. McGregor Leadership Award. He was selected by other finalists from their group, based on their leadership abilities to represent their class as a speaker at the awards ceremony.
The Society for Science and the Public hopes that these students will translate their personal interests into a passion for STEM by participating in science fairs, which would inspire them to later pursue STEM careers.
Dr. Ritu Raman, a post-doctoral researcher in the Langer Lab at MIT, has been honored as one of five recipients of the 2017 L'Oreal USA for Women in Science Fellowship.
The L'Oréal USA for Women in Science Fellowship recognizes female scientists at a critical stage in their careers and supports them with $60,000 grants to advance their post-doctoral research. The announcement was made on Oct.10 in conjunction with Ada Lovelace Day - an annual event aimed at raising the profile of women in STEM.
Raman plans to use the award to conduct pioneering research and collaborate with other scientists, engineers, and clinicians across the country.
While growing up in India, Kenya, and the U.S, Raman felt that her colleagues did not have adequate opportunities and resources to pursue careers in STEM fields. This inspired her to become a staunch advocate for STEM education and outreach, and to focus on empowering women and under-represented minorities to pursue degrees in STEM fields.
 At the University of Illinois, she helped to design and led a course that focused on teaching students the process of ethically designing, building, evaluating, and optimizing bio-hybrid robots targeted at a variety of applications.
 Raman is currently at the MIT's Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research. Here she is working to create a long-lasting capsule that can safely and effectively deliver drugs to the stomach. She also collaborates with researchers in the Cima and Graybiel labs to build implantable devices for drug delivery to the brain.
Raman who is also on the Women in Academia Committee for the national chapter of the Society of Women Engineers, stated "I appreciate that L'Oréal recognized not only women who are pursuing research in science and engineering, but those who have dedicated a lot of time to STEM outreach and education."
The November 7, 2017 elections across the United States emphasized the growing influence of Indian-Americans and their roles in the US government.
Manka Dhingra, the Indian-American Democratic candidate for the Washington 45th Legislative District State Senate seat, not only won but flipped the majority party of the state from Republican to Democrat.
"I was proud of and excited about the result," Dhingra said. "It reinforces the message from the beginning to make it about the people. It was about honesty, integrity and compassion. From the beginning I was clear I wanted a campaign run on values and not one that does attack ads. You are what Democracy looks like. And when Democracy wakes up, justice wins," she stated.
Vin Gopal, the former Monmouth County Democratic chairman with deep roots in the party there, defeated longtime state Sen. Jennifer Beck.
In spite of unwarranted racist attacks and being depicted as terrorists, Indian-Americans Ravi Bhalla and Phalguni Patel easily won their respective races in New Jersey. Both of them brushed aside the hateful comments and Bhalla stated "I want to use this incident as an opportunity to affirm to each other and our children the value of living in a diverse community where we are judged by the content of our character - not by the color of our skin or how we worship,"
These victories not only give Democrats a huge psychological boost that could help their fundraising and candidate recruitment but also emphasize the role of Indians in the US government.  Indian-Americans, a community of about 4 million people, are now aggressively pursuing public office and playing a role in the country's politics. 


GOPIO Life Member, Harmohan (Harry) Walia won the prestigious McKell Award. This award was conferred on him for his outstanding contributions to the Australian Labor Party.
Walia stood as a candidate at the 2004 Local Government Elections and he continues to campaign for Labor candidates, helping out heavily in the Labor Organizing Centre by making hundreds of calls to swinging voters.
Since he was a founding member of the "Global Organization of People of Indian Origin" (GOPIO) in Australia and has assisted in raising funds for different causes locally and globally, GOPIO is honored by Walia's services being recognized by the Australian Labor Party.  
GOPIO Life Member Harmohan (Harry) Walia Receiving the prestigious McKell Award.
Photo Left: Harry Walia receiving McKell Award from Michelle Rowland MP, Shadow Federal Minister for Communications; Right: Ms Pam Smith President of ALP Hills Branch, Hon. Peter Primrose MLC, Harry Walia, Mrs. Manbeen Walia, Ms Kaila Murnain, Secretary of the Australian Labor Party, NSW Branch & a Representative from ALP Parramatta Branch.

The Indian central government had in July 2017 informed the Supreme Court that it will bring a bill during to amend the Representation of People Act to allow Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) to exercise their franchise from their offshore locations.
However, this matter was adjourned and the government informed Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud that this matter will be done through legislation that will be brought during the Winter Session of Parliament.
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 2/3 of 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 with people of Indian origin all over the world. If you do not have a chapter in your city, please visit the GOPIO website ( and get details of chapter initiation (visit This 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 - Dr. Thomas Abraham, Stamford, Connecticut, USA, Tel: +1-203-329-8010, E-mail:
GOPIO President - Niraj Baxi, San Jose, California, USA, Tel: 408-307-9845, E-mail:
GOPIO Executive Vice President - Noel Lal, Sydney, Australia, Tel: +61 417448293, E-mail:
GOPIO Vice President - Ram Gadhavi, Wayne, New Jersey, USA, Tel: +1-973-699-8582, E-mail:
Execuitve Trustee of GOPIO Foundation - Inder Singh, Tarzana, California, USA, Tel: +1-818-708-3885, E-mail:
GOPIO's Global Ambassador - Sunny Kulathakal, Bahrain, +973-39441956, India +91-9845756692, E-mail:
To become a Life member of GOPIO, visit, print and fill up the form and send it with a check to:. GOPIO International, PO Box 1413, Stamford, CT 06904, USA.


Chief Editor: Dr. Thomas Abraham, Chairman, GOPIO International (Stamford, CT, USA)
Editor: Nami Kaur, GOPIO Media Council Chair (New York, USA)
Associate Editors: Layla Matthew (Bangalore, India), Ila Rosengarten (Denver, CO, USA) and Harry Walia (Australia)
Webmasters: Abu Thomas (Ardsley, New York, USA)

Sunny Kulathakal, GOPIO's Global Ambassador (Bahrain), Ishwar Ramlutchman , GOPIO International Coordinatro for Africa (Durban, South Africa), Asha Tewari , Secretary, GOPIO Netherlands (Amsterdam, The Netherlands), Gladson Varghese, Chairman, GOPIO Chicago (Chicago, IL), Prof. Balkar Singh Kang, President, GOPIO-Sydney North West (Sydney, Australia), Kritilata Ram, President, GOPIO-Triolet (North Mauritius), Vasu Pawar, President, GOPIO-Inland Empire Chapter and Anita Bhat, President, GOPIO-CT (Stamford, CT) 

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
Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) Inc., P.O. Box 1413, Stamford, CT 06904-1413
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