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December 12, 2008
A Publication of the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO)
Issue: VII-12 December 12, 2008
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The three day 15th Biennial convention of the National Federation of Indian American Association was held at the Bell Harbor Conference Center in Seattle WA from 21st to 23rd of November 2008. The program started with welcome reception and dinner on 21st evening at the Bombay Grill. Many prominent members of the local community attended the reception including the mayor of Bellevue Grant Degginger. Anjali Sachdev was the Convener of the Convention.  
Among other attendees were the founder and past president of NFIA Dr. Thomas Abraham, past Presidents Inder Singh, Niraj Baxi, Dr. Parthasarathi Pillai and outgoing President Radha Krishnan. Top ranking Companies like Boeing, Microsoft, Google, were represented at the convention, with their senior executives making attractive presentations at the convention.
Convention was formally inaugurated on the morning of 22nd November by Union Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi with the traditional lighting of the lamp. The chairman of the Convention Committee Sudip Gorakshakar delivered the welcome address. Minister Ravi in his address complimented NFIA for bringing together the whole segments of the Indian community in a spirit of unity in diversity. Minister Ravi further said that his ministry has successfully launched Overseas Indian Facilitation Center as a not for profit trust in partnership with Confederation of Indian Industry to help NRIs to invest in and benefit from India. He also announced launching of India Development Fund for Overseas Indians at the next Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in Chennai in January 2009.
Outstanding and dedicated services to the Indo-American community were recognized and the awards were presented by Minister Ravi, Hon'ble Jim McDermott, United States Congressman and. Three awardees are Aziz Haniffa, Senior Reporter and editor of India Abroad for his outstanding and distinguished Journalism, Raj Bhavsar, the first Indian American to win Men's Bronze Medal at the Olympics for dedication and excellence in gymnastics, and Dr. Dinesh Keskar for meritorious achievement, recognized stature and conspicuous success in Engineering.
"NFIA has been honoring individuals for their distinguished accomplishments in their chosen field and public service since its inception," noted C.K. Patel, the incoming President of the NFIA. "These highly coveted awards not only bestow honor on the recipients but also enhance his/her prestige. We are fortunate this year to honor these three outstanding individuals," he added.
Following the inauguration, the conference sessions started. The first session had discussion on Aviation - Sky to Space and Beyond. Honorable speakers who were part of the discussion were Dinesh Keskar (Boeing), Jeff Kruger (Boeing Commercial Planes), Tim Norgar (Director of IDS Boeing), Dt. Bishnujee Singh (Head of Flight Science, NASA Goddard Space Center, VA) and Dr. Robert Briedenthal (Professor of Aero Sciences, University of Washington).
The second Session 2 "Initiative India" was moderated by Sachin Joshi, Convention Committee member. Honorable speakers who were on the panel were Bill Stafford, President Trade Development Alliance of Greater Seattle, Thomas Boydell, Manager, Economic Development, City of Bellevue and Professor Sitaraman, Member Board and Project Director, Amity University, India.
A "Spotlight on the Stars" session was held after lunch by Roshni Recognitions. Stars that were recognized in this session included Shalini Govil-Pai, Google Inc., Raj Bhavsar, Olympic bronze medalist Gymnast, Naveen Jain,, Raj Shah, Shah Safary Inc. and Ramakrishna Reddy, Youth Panelist.
The next session was an interesting one and a thought-provoking session where the subject of deliberation was "The Rationale of US-India Relations". United States Congressman Jim McDermott, who is also the Co-Chairman of the Indian Caucus, spoke about the importance of cordial relationship between these two oldest and largest democracies in the world.
"Politics of Immigration" which was moderated by Amrik Khamoh had speakers including Habib M Habib, Political Outreach, Harish Bharti, Attorney, Social Justice, Taran Bhuttar, Immigration Attorney and Jay, Youth Panelist, a student University 0f Washington.
The last session, moderated by Lavanya Reddy, had Sister B.K. Chandrika, Brahmakumaris, India, Mari Chin, Vice President, Living Values, Dr. Meena Shah, Yoga 4U, ZEE International, Rubai Aurora, Youth Panelist, Student University of Washington, and other youth panelists.  A special session was conducted on "Roshni Media Recognition" that was introduced by NFIA Chairman Rajen Anand. Indian Ambassador to the United States of America Ronen Sen was the keynote speaker for this session.
Photo below: Inauguration ceremony, from L. to R.: NFIA Exec. VP Pramor Kamdar, NFIA outgoing  president Radha Krishnan, NFIA Chairman Dr. Rajen Anand, Convention Convener Anjali Sachdev, Minister Vayalar Ravi, NFIA Incoming President Chandu patel and NFIA Convention Chairman Sudip Gorakshakar.
Photo middle: Outgoing NFIA President Radha Krishan speaking at the banquet,
Sitting ont he head table, from L. to R.: Anjali Sachdev, Kalpana Sen, Dr. Rajen Anand, Ambassador Sen, Chandu patel, Consul General Sushmita G. Thomas, Radha Krishnan and Pramod Kamdar
NFIA Convention 2008 Photos.Combined
Photo above: Sitting L to R: Lavanya Reddy, Ann Pillai, Lal Motwani, Chandu K Patel, Rajen Anand, Radha Krishnan; Standing Front Row L to R: Anjali Sachdev, Rajeev Awasty, Sachin Amin, Kiritkumar Patel, Ritesh Agrawal, Babu Patel, Ashok Madan, Niranjan Patel, Satheesan Nair; Standing Back Row L to R: Jeevan Zutshi, Anil Yadav, Babu K. Patel 

The convention concluded with an evening gala banquet and entertainment. The guests included Ambassador and Mrs. Kalpana Sen, Congressman McDermott and India's Consul General in San Francisco Sushmita G. Thomas, Consul General of India. The outgoing president Radha Krishnan called upon all member associations for unity and work together for the Indian American causes and that of India. Ambassador Sen complimented the India community for its success and thanked the community for its support of the US-India Nuclear deal to pass through the Congress. Congressman McDermitt suggested that President-Elect Obama should make the first visit to India after assuming office.

The Convention concluded on Sunday, the 23rd of Oct' 2009 with Chandu K Patel, popularly known as "CK", taking over as the President, and electing Lal K Motwani as Executive Vice-President, Satheesan Nair, Ashok Madan, and Anil Yadav as Vice-Presidents, Sachin Amin as Secretary, Hari Har Singh as Joint Secretary, Kirit Patel as Treasurer and seven members at large, Gope Gidwani, Y.N. Gupta, Babu patel, Niranjan Patel, Lavanya Reddy, Anjali Sachdev and Jeevan Zutshi. The regional vice presidents elected unanimously included, Ann Pillai (Washington Capital), Babu K. Patel (Central), Dr. Navin Mehta (Mid Atlantic), Ritesh Agrawal (New York), Ajoy Dube (Pacific South), Dhirendra Shah (South WEast) and Sabnum Modgil (South West). Dr. Rajen Anand was elected as NFIA Foundation Chair. Dr. Parthasarathi Pillai, Dr. Joydeb Roy and Dr. Thomas Abraham served as the election commissioners.
Newly elected President Chandu Patel announced his next two-year plans such as Town Hall meetings in all major cities, conducting a powerful trade show and on 2nd anniversary of International Day of Non-violence, holding a "World Leaders Conference" inviting prominent world leaders at Gandhi Ashram, Ahmedabad, India to find a solution to global terrorism problem.
NFIA, founded in 1980 at the First Convention of Asian Indians in North America, is an umbrella organization of over 200 Indian associations representing over 2.5 million Indian Americans who trace their roots to India and is the premier organization dedicated to serve all Americans of Indian origin, irrespective of their religious, regional, ethnic, linguistic, professional or political affiliation.
GOPIO International is planning to hold its annual executive and general council meetings, followed by its conference starting on January 6 and concluding on January 7 immediately preceding Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2009 events of January 8 - 9, 2009.  
The program schedule is as follows:
GOPIO Meetings & Conference Sessions
Chennai January 6--7, 2009
Program Summary
Tuesday, January 6th, 2009
12:00 Noon                Lunch
1:30 pm                     GOPIO Executive Committee Meeting (Not open to public)
3:00 pm                     GOPIO General Council Meeting (Not open to public)
4:00 pm                     GOPIO Council & Chapter Reports (Open to Public)
North America - Dr. Piyush Agrawal, Regional Vice President
South America & Caribbean - Amb. Krishna Nandoe, Regional Vice President
Middle East - Sunny Kulathakal, Regional Vice President
South East Asia - George Abraham, Regional VP and
     Dr. V.P. Nair, President, GOPIO Singapore
Pacific/Ocenia - Noel Lal, Regional Vice President
Europe - RajindreTewari, National Coordinator, The Netherlands
                        Birjinder Sodhi, President GOPIO Berlin
India- K N Gupta, President, GOPIO of India
****  More speakers are to be added as attendance confirmation are received
7:00 pm     Awards Banquet with the Presentation of GOPIO Community Service Awards
Welcome: V. Narayanan, Convention Chair, Chennai
Welcome: K. N. Gupta, GOPIO India, New Delhi
Welcome: Inder Singh, President, GOPIO International, USA
Greetings: Dr. Thomas Abraham, Chairman, GOPIO International, USA
Inauguration Ceremony: Lighting of the Lamp
Chief Guest - Honorable Vayalar Ravi, Minister, Overseas Indian Affairs (Invited)
Presentation of GOPIO Community Service Awards 2009
Release of book The Cosmic Detectiveby Dr. Mani Bhaumik
The Cosmic Detective by Dr. Mani Bhaumikis packed with interesting facts and dazzling color photographs, an ideal primer designed for popularizing cosmology to people of all ages and backgrounds, especially the young.
UNESCO intends to distribute Dr. Bhaumik's book, The Cosmic Detective, to the 300 VIPs and 400 selected global students at the opening ceremony of the International Year of Astronomy 2009 on January 15, 2009 in Paris, France.
Recognition of Sponsors
Note of Thanks:Munish Gupta, Chairman of GOPIO Media Council
Wednesday, January 7th, 2009
Conference: Critical Issues of Interest and Concern to NRIs and PIOs
8:30 am                     Registration
9:15 am                     Session 1:       NRI/PIO Parents Coping at Home and Abroad
10:45 am                     Tea Break
11:00 am                     Session II:       NRI/PIO Contributions toProjects in Respective
12:30 pm                     Lunch
2:00 pm                       Session III:         Business and Investment Challenges and
Opportunities in a Global Financial Crisis Scenario
3:30 pm                     Tea Break
3:45 pm                       Session IV:      Current Issues Confronting NRIs/PIOs (Real Estate
Ownership, Adoption Laws, Misuse of Anti-Dowry Law (IPC - 498a), NRI Parental Issue, etc. ...)
5:00 pm                     Resolutions & Wrap-up
GOPIO welcomes resolutions on any NRI/PIO issues to be considered at the convention. Please send it to GOPIO Secretary General Ashook Ramsaran at

Dr. Mani Bhaumik is a physicist, internationally bestselling author, celebrated lecturer, entrepreneur, and a philanthropist. His early contributions to laser technology are exemplified in the development of the excimer laser at the Northrop Corporation Research and Technology Center in Los Angeles . His discovery found extensive use as the type of laser that made possible the immensely popular Lasik eye surgery, eliminating the need for glasses or contact lenses in many cases requiring vision correction.
Dr. Bhaumik had the opportunity to live and labor with Mahatma Gandhi in his camp. He a PhD in Physics from IIT (Indian Institute of Technology) and a Sloan Foundation Fellowship for his post doctoral work at UCLA. He has been elected by his scientific peers to be a fellow of both the American Physical Society and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.
GOPIO Convention Registration Fee: Rs. 1,200. Waived for first 50 people who register prior to December 25, 2008. Prior registration is mandatory. Total registration will be limited to 150 delegates. Limited number of Jan. 6th banquets only registration available at Rs. 800 per person. To register, send an E-mail to GOPIO Secretary General Ashook Ramsaran in the US E-mail: or call him at 718-353-1900. Registration is mandatory to attend proceedings of January 7th.
The conference in Chennai is coordinated by V. Narayanan Tel: 91-98410-46342, e-mail:
For more information on GOPIO Convention 2009, please contact: GOPIO President Inder Singh in USA at 818-708-3885, E-mail:, K N Gupta, President, GOPIO of India at (91)-98-1113-1588 or E-mail at or Mr. V. Narayanan, Chairman GOPIO Convention 2009 at
At the GOPIO Convention in Chennai, GOPIO International will launch its Chennai Chapter. NRIs/PIOs living in and around Chennai who would like to be part of this chapter may contact the Chapter Coordinator V. Narayanan at 91-98410-46342
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 Ministry is organizing Seventh edition of the PBD on 7-9 January, 2009 in Chennai, the South Indian city in Tamilnadu. The role of overseas Indians in the country's emergence as a global power will be the main theme. The event will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Pratibha Patil will address the concluding session of the three-day meet.
During the annual meet, the Diaspora's role in India's emergence as a global power will be the focus of deliberations. The congregation of Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) and Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) will also dwell upon aspects like preservation of language and culture and health concerns of Indian Diaspora. Regional working sessions of the Diaspora residing in the Gulf, Asia-Pacific, Africa, USA, Europe, Caribbean and Canada will be organized.
A special trade and industry exhibition during the event with corporate, state governments, NGOs and financial institutions as participants will also be held as part of the convention, an official statement said.
Early this year, more than 1,500 participants from 50 countries had attended the PBD 2008 meet.
January 7-9, 2009
The seventh PBD is also projected as a platform where issues of social concern of regional diaspora groups could be discussed in details. There will be parallel sessions of different regions - such as Gulf and the Middle East, Asia Pacific, Africa, USA etc - where there is significant Indian presence.
The Indian Diaspora estimated at over 25 million is rapidly scaling up its professional achievements, income levels, and influence. The role of the Diaspora extends beyond its country of residence to the country of origin, and to building strong linkages between the two and the rest of the world. The emergence of India as a world power would also depend in considerable measure on the contributions of the Diaspora and its role in global affairs.
PBD 09 seeks to identify ways in which the Diaspora can partner in India's development. How can the Diaspora and India build synergy for mutually beneficial ventures? This session will evolve ways to help deepen and strengthen the Diaspora engagement within itself, with India, and with the rest of the world to become a potent force in shaping India's emerging role on the world stage.

The annual Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention provides a much needed platform to the Overseas Indian Community for exchange of views on ways and means to fulfill their aspirations and expectations from the land of their ancestors. It also provides opportunities for exploring mutually beneficial trade & business relationships and for networking among the community. Celebration of the day every year symbolizes the continued interest of the government of India in the progress and well-being of the Overseas Indian Community.

The formation of a separate Ministry to look into the affairs of Overseas Indians has sent across a positive signal vis-a-vis the importance India attaches to its diaspora. Various steps taken by the Ministry have further strengthened the already strong traditional cultural ties of the togetherness that the Indian Community has with the land of their forefathers.
Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention 2009 - Theme: Engaging the Diaspora: The Way Forward
The 7th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) Convention is scheduled to be held at the Chennai Trade Centre, Chennai from 07-09 January 2009. Organised by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs in partnership with the State Government of Tamil Nadu and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), it would be the first PBD Convention organized in Chennai.

PBD Conventions provide a platform for exchange of views and networking to the Persons of Indian Origin settled all over the world on matters of common interest. Such Conventions have helped the Government to better understand the expectations of the Overseas Indian Community from the land of their ancestors and acknowledge the important role played by it In India's efforts to acquire its rightful place in the comity of nations.

Among the decisions taken by the Government of India as a result of wider consultations held at these Conventions, are formulation of the Overseas Citizenship of India, establishment of Overseas Indian Facilitation Centre, Conceptualisation of PIO University, formation of Prime Minister's Global Advisory Council of People of Indian Origin, and the proposed India Development Foundation. A series of Programs e.g. Know India Program and Scholarship Program for Diaspora Children are also designed specifically for Diaspora youth.

Among other things, the 7th PBD Convention would have sessions on the preservation of Diaspora language and culture and the importance of Diaspora as facilitators and bridge builders. The highlights of PBD 2009 include an Exhibition on Trade & Industry, live demonstrations by craftsmen, cultural evenings and post convention tours.

The Convention would be inaugurated by the Prime Minister of India on 8th January. The President of India would deliver the valedictory address and also confer Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards for 2009 on 9th January. 
The online Registration for PBD-2009 is now open through the website or go directly to the registration page To register, visit:
The MOIA ministry official in a communiqué has suggested to those who want participate to register early to avoid any inconvenience related to accommodation and other arrangement at a much later date.
Contact: N. Balasubramaniyan, Deputy Secretary, Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs, Government of India, Akbar Bhawan, Chankyapuri, New Delhi - 110021, Tel: + 91-11-24197910, Fax: + 91-11-24197942, Website: or Madhu Pillai, Director, Confederation of Indian Industry, The Mantosh Sondhi Centre, 23, Institutional Area, Lodi Road, New Delhi - 110003, Tel: + 91-11-24629994 - 7, Fax: + 91-11-24601298, Email:
Fine artist Suraj Sadan from Montreal (Canada) will display his paintings with a theme "Words and Images of Mahatma Gandhi" at the Arts Exhibition Segment of PBD2009 on January 8th and 9th.
Mahatma Gandhi is the favorite subject of international artist Suraj Sadan, a Canadian citizen of Indian origin. An exhibition of his Gandhi drawings and paintings was mounted at Gandhi Museum, near Gandhi Samadhi in Delhi, last month. But India has changed, he says. He found only lukewarm interest in Gandhi and his views, in spite of the "Gandhigiri" fashion introduced by the Munnabhai film. Ever since he met the Mahatma in 1947, at a post partition refugee center at Kingsway Camp in Delhi, he was won over for life. An outstanding portrait painter with dozens of international awards and honors to his credit, Sadan has painted a number of national and international leaders but he has dedicated his life to spreading the message of Mahatma Gandhi through his drawings and paintings.
Since early 1980s, the community has supported candidates in both political parties and has been raising funds for political campaign. In terms of contesting for political offices, the first ever Asian to become a Congressman was Indian American the late Dilip Singh Saund from California in the 1950s. In the 1990s, several Indian Americans ran for the state elections, of which Kumar Barve (Democrat) and Upendra Chivukula (Democrat) won to become legislative assembly members of Maryland and New Jersey respectively. Satveer Chaudhary (Democrat) won the election as a State Senator in Minnesota in 2000, and Swati Dandekar won the state assembly election in Iowa in 2002. Nikki Randhawa-Haley (Republican) won the election as member of the South Carolina Legislative Assembly in 2004. Indian Americans community got its second congressman when Bobby Jindal won the election in 2004.
The year 2006 saw another historic political achievement with the election of over a dozen Indian Americans to the national, state and local offices. There were over two dozen Indian Americans who ran for different positions in that election. Incumbent Republican Congressman Bobby Jindal won his race from the 1st District in Louisiana with a huge majorioty of 87.9% votes with his three opponents together garnering less than 11,000 votes. Other incumbent winners were legislators Kumar Barve in Maryland, Satveer Chaudhary in Minnesota and Swati Dandekar in Iowa .In South Carolina, incumbent Republican Nikki Randhawa ran unopposed from District 52 for a seat in the State House. The year 2006 also saw two more Indian American winners to the state houses: Jay Goyal (Democrat), who was elected in Ohio, Raj Goyle (Democrat) elected in Kansas.
The biggest achievement for the Indian American community in 2007 was the election of Bobby Jindal as Governor of Louisiana.
In the 2008 election, Swati Dandekar got elected to the Iowa State Senate, Both incumbents Jay Goyal and Raj Goyle won their seats, Kesha Ram won as a state representative in Vermont. Several other Indian Americans got elected to different city councils as follows: Councilman Harry Sindhu got reelected in the city of Anaheim and Ash Kalra and Suhas Naddoni got elected as council members to San Jose (California) and Manassas (Virginia) city councils respectively while Kish Rajan was elected to one of the three seats on the Walnut Creek City Council. Attorney R.K. "Ravi" Sandhill of Houston ran as the Democratic candidate  and got elected as the first South Asian district court judge in Texas.


Akashaya Kala is the latest cultural program organised by GOPIO Singapore Chapter. Akshaya Kala is the annual cultural night cum dinner celebrations organised by GOPIO Singapore. Akshaya Kala means never ending (everlasting) Art. As GOPIO is organizing common strategies in collaboration with many other Indian and other local community organizations, this year`s Akshaya Kala was supported by Cairnhil Community Club and was held at the CCC on Saturday 22November 2008.
Photo below: GOPIO-Singapore President Dr. V.P. Nair helps Singapore MP and Deputy Sepaker of the Parliament INdranee Rajah in lighting of the lamp
GOPIO Singapore Akashya Kala Program 
Photo above: Artists and volunteers.
The guest of honor was Ms. Indranee Rajah, MP for Tanjong Pagar and Deputy Speaker of Paliament in Singapore. There were a variety of dance items, songs in many languages and other cultural programs as well as a sumptuous dinner. A well known group of Bharatanatyam artists from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia also performed at the program. 
Contact: Dr. V P Nair, President, GOPIO, Singapore, E-mail:
The Metropolitan Museum of Art celebrated Diwali - the annual Indian festival also known as the "Festival of Light" - on October 11, 2008 with day-long programming including family activities and dance performances. All programs were open to the public and free with Museum admission.
The morning activities, which were held in the Ruth and Harold D. Uris Center for Education, included Kuchipudi dance performances and workshops hosted by Kantham Chatlapalli and students from her Natya Niketan school of dance. Other family activities focused on Indian artistic traditions such as Rangoli (sand painting). Over the course of the morning, more than 400 visitors participated.
The evening presentation was performed in front of a full house in the Museum's Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium. The festivities began with a dance number by Neha Multani, Maaza Miss India New York and continued with a performance of the Ramayana Dance Drama by the East-West School of Dance Company. The Ramayana Dance Drama was directed and choreographed by Pt. Satya Narayana Charka.
The Metropolitan Museum's Diwali programs were made possible by Aetna. The program was organized by the Metropolitan Museum's Multicultural Audience Development Initiative and the Museum's Education Department. The events were hosted by Committee Member Lal K. Motwani, President, Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO-NY) and Executive Vice President, National Federation of Indian-American Associations (NFIA);and by the Multicultural Advisory Committee.
Contact: Lal Motwani, President, GOPIO-NY, Tel: 718-470-1026, E-mail:
Photo below: At the finale of the program at the New York Metropolitan Museum, GOPIO-NY President Lal Motwani honors Pt. Satya Narayana Charka and other artists 
GOPIO Chapters in New York and Sydney organize programs
Photo above: Officers of GOPIO Chapters in the greater Sydney area with Dr. Sid Gautam 

GOPIO Sydney - North West, South West and Sydney Chapters jointly organized a very informative lecture by the visiting Financial Guru and an expert motivational speaker on Business Entrepreneurship at an elaborate function held in his honor at 'Andrew Cooke Room' Toongabbie Community Centre Toongabbie, near Sydney, Australia on December 06, 2008.  The lecture was attended by GOPIO members and many local participants including the business people from the local community. Dr Sid Gautam stressed the need of entrepreneurs in the world and successes they have made in the fast changing economic times and competition. He acknowledged the contributions made by the Indian entrepreneurs worldwide and the acknowledgement of their abilities to do something different as well as leave a mark on the society.
The lecture was highly motivating and informative, an open discussion was held at the end of the session and ideas troubling the participants about the uncertain current financial times were discussed and pondered over. The participants were served with snacks and cold drinks and were given an opportunity to meet the visiting professor one to one.
Dr Sid Gautam holds a Ph.D. in economics from Vikram University. He is a Professor of Economics and Director of the Centre for Entrepreneurship at Methodist University. During 2008, the Methodist Alumni Association recognised his contributions to students, faculty and community at large by presenting him the Distinguished Faculty Award. Dr Gautam has published over 200 articles in academic journals, magazines and newspapers in several countries.
GOPIO chapter officers present at the meeting included Harry Walia, President of GOPIO Sydney North West; Lucky Singh Secretary of GOPIO Sydney; Amarinder Bajwa, Vice President GOPIO Sydney North West, Rohitas Batta, President of GOPIO Sydney, Jagdish Lodhia President of GOPIO Sydney South West and Mahavir Arya, Treasurer GOPIO Sydney.

Contact: Harmohan Singh (Harry) Walia, President, GOPIO Sydney North West,
Two Indian teenagers created history in the US sports when they were signed up by prestigious baseball team Pittsburgh Pirates, five times World Series Champions, as professional players. Rinku Singh, 20, and Dinesh Kumar Patel, 19, were signed up by the Pirates after the duo emerged winner of the "Million Dollar Arm" contest held in India, in which more than 30,000 Indian youth participated.
The person who could throw the most pitches 85 miles per hour or faster for strikes was adjudged the winner. "Singh and Patel are the first-ever Indian-born players to sign a professional sports contract outside of the country, which has a population of more than 1.1 billion people," Pittsburgh Pirates said in a statement.
The club's vice president and general manager, Neal Huntington hoped that the success of these two Indian baseball players would lead the US baseball clubs into the untapped market.
"By adding these two young men, we are pleased to not only add two prospects to our system but also hope to open a pathway to an untapped market," he said. It is the inherent talent of both Singh and Patel in throwing baseball which attracted the attention of the club.
Singh and Patel, who were born in Bhadohi and Varanasi, respectively, in Uttar Pradesh, were brought to the United States in May after the contest and trained by the club's trainers.
Singh is the youngest of the nine children in his family, while Patel comes from a family of five brothers and sisters. Neither of them knew English when they came to the US and picked up the language by watching Baseball Tonight and by taking online classes.

Dr. Thomas Abraham, Chairman of the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin and President of the US based Innovative Research and Products has been conferred the Distinguished Alumni Award to mark his outstanding contribution to society by Malaviya National Institute of Technology (MNIT) at its 4th Convocation held at the institute on November 15th. Dr. Abraham graduated in the year 1971 from the Malaviya Regional Engineering College, Jaipur. The college was renamed as MNIT in 2005. The award was presented by the chief guest at the convocation Mr. Shashi Ruia, Chairman of Essar Group of Industries. Also present were MNIT Chairman Mukul Kasliwal who is also chairman of MW Corporation and MNIT Director Dr. R.P. Dahiya. At the convocation, a total of 589 received Ph.D., MBA, M.Tech. and B.Tech. degrees.

Dr. Abraham has been given great credits to the NRI/PIO movement in the last four decades. Dr. Abraham coined the word PIO (people of Indian origin) in 1989, when he put together the First Convention of People of Indian Origin in New York. The greatest achievement of Dr. Abraham is initiating and building several NRI/PIO Indian community institutions in the last 34 years, including the Federation of Indian Association (FIA) of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut; National Federation of Indian-American Associations (NFIA); Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO); Indian American Kerala Cultural and Civic Center; Jagdish Bhagwati Chair for Indian Political Economy at Columbia University ($4.0 million endowment); National Indian American Association for Senior Citizens (NIAASC) and South Asian Council for Social Services (SACSS). Through these organizations, Dr. Abraham has helped to build a solid base for India in various countries and the Indian Diaspora.
Photo above: Dr. Thomas Abraham receives Distinguished Alumni Award from Essar Group Industries
Chairman Shashi Ruia while MNIT Chairman Mukul Kasliwal looks on.
GOPIO Chairman Abraham Received award in JaipurProfessionally, Dr Abraham is an expert in advanced materials and nanotechnology. Dr. Abraham is President of Innovative Research and Products (iRAP), Inc., a Stamford, CT (USA) based technology and market research firm. Before, starting iRAP, Dr. Abraham served as Vice President for Research at the Business Communications Co. (BCC), a market and industry analysis company. A graduate of Columbia University, Dr. Abraham had worked earlier for the Univ. of Denver and Brookhaven National Laboratory.

Dr. Abraham has been a frequent invited speaker on the state of the advanced material industries and nanotechnology at several international conferences. Dr. Abraham has written over 50 papers that are published in the various professional journals and magazines.
The National Institute of Health has named Aravinthan D.T. Samuel, an associate professor of physics at Harvard University and a member of the Center for Brain Science at Harvard, as recipient of its Pioneer Award. The award has been supporting individual scientists who propose pioneering work in biomedical and behavioral research. Dr. Samual had received a doctorate in biophysics from Harvard in 1999 and has long-term interests in the mechanisms that give rise to purposeful behavior in simple organisms.
Dr. Samuel's Pioneer Award project will involve the development and the Drosophilia larva as a model system to analyze the neutral circuits that mediate sensory perception and decision-making during the navigational behaviors that the animal exhibits in complex environments.

Global Indian International School, which has its branches in seven countries and imparts education with an Indian spirit, is all set to open 15 more schools in India by 2010. Of these, the first five will come up by 2009 end.
The Global Indian Foundation, a Singapore-based non-profit organization which established the first Global Indian International School six years back in Singapore, has now grown into a healthy network of 15 schools in seven countries with more than 17,000 students.
While most students are Indians, the school also gets students from 30 other countries. Four schools are in India and the rest in Malaysia, Japan, Vietnam, New Zealand, Thailand and Singapore. This expansion will lead to an increase in their presence in India.
The first five schools will be opened in Hyderabad, Nagpur, Jodhpur, Indore and Thane.
Atul Temurnikar, co-founder and chairman of GIF said it was not only quality education, but affordable education with global standards that is important in today's scenario. He said though in India, the standard of value education is remarkable but GIIS has its own role to play as they serve and nurture Indian students to become global players who can be placed in any part of the world with the increase in trade and culture relations in Asian economies.
Some of the 'Indianness' that GIF tries to inculcate in its students through their curriculum are through compulsory Sanskrit classes - so every student, no matter how his pronunciation is, recites Sanskrit shlokas - and a Mahatma Gandhi Centre for Values and Thoughts, which has a library of books on Gandhi.
Guyana's President Bharrat Jagdeo is planning to meet in Washington DC with officials of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) and USAID as both entities are partnering with government on a number of developmental projects.
According to a Guyana Government Information Agency (GINA) press release, on October 29 government and USAID launched the Guyana Threshold Country Plan Implementation Project (GTCP/IP), which will focus on boosting the country's economy. Guyana qualified for the programme after being assessed in three categories of indicators: ruling justly, investing in people and economic freedom.
The country passed all indicators but two that relate to economic freedom where the country's fiscal deficit was 8.12% while the Millennium Challenge Account's (MCA) median is 3.48%. The country also fell down in the number of days, which it takes to start a business - 46 while the MCA's median is 43.

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 President - Inder Singh, Tarzana, California, USA, Tel: 818-708-3885, E-mail:

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

GOPIO Secretary General - Ashook Ramsaran, Fresh Meadows, New York City, Tel: 718/939-8194, E-mail:


To become a Life member of GOPIO, visit, print and fill up the form and send it with a check to: GOPIO, P.O. Box 1413, Stamford, CT 06904, USA.



Chief Editor: Dr. Thomas Abraham, Chairman, GOPIO (Stamford, CT, USA)

Editors: Ashook Ramsaran, GOPIO General Secretary (New York, USA); and Munish Gupta, GOPIO Media Chair (Los Angeles, Calif)

Webmasters: Prashant Gupta (Hyderabad, India) and Abu Thomas (New Rochelle, NY, USA)

Contributors of this issue: Inder Singh (USA), Dr. V.P. Nair (Singapore), Lal Motwani (USA), Dr. Piyush Agrawal (USA), Dr. Rajen Anand (USA), Harmohan Singh Walia (Australia)
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:


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