GOPIO Logo Revised


December 23, 2012

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

Issue: XI-19

December 23, 2012

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The Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO International), in collaboration with GOPIO Chapters of Metro DC and Virginia, held a very successful launch of its GOPIO GADAR Centennial Commemoration in the USA on Saturday, November 3, 2012 starting at 2:00pm at the Embassy of India in Washington, DC.


Hon. Nirupama Rao, India's Ambassador to the USA, was the Chief Guest. Three (3) other Indian Diaspora ambassadors to the United States also participated in the launch program: Hon. Ambassador Bayney Karran of Guyana; Hon. Ambassador Dr Neil Parsan of Trinidad & Tobago; and Hon. Ambassador Subash Mungra of Suriname.


The GOPIO GADAR Centennial Commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Gadar Movement which began in 1913, is planned as a series of commemoration events throughout 2013 in collaboration with several NRI/PIO organizations, government and international agencies, individuals and institutions. It is a fitting tribute to patriots and heroes of the Gadar Movement and deserving of their sacrifices to free India.


The history of the Gadar movement is a testimony of the deep love that the Indian immigrants had for their motherland, India. The Gadarites wanted India freed from the British and did not hesitate to make any sacrifices for the cause of freedom, dignity and prosperity of their motherland. Over 6,000 went back to India to fight for their cause; several Gadarites were imprisoned, many for life, and some were hanged to death. They are our heroes, deserving highest of admiration and deepest respect. The determination, courage and sacrifices of the Gadarites inspired many freedom fighters to continue their mission for India's independence. The Gadar Movement is an integral part of the rich heritage in the United States for the Indian Americans and of Indian history. The Gadarites left an extra-ordinary legacy for the future generations and a global centennial commemoration is a fitting and well deserved tribute.


The Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) on 15th October, 2012 announced details of the  annual convention for overseas Indians, Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD 2013) program which includes GADAR Centennial events at PBD2013 based on GOPIO's initiatives to the Prime Minister's Office and MOIA. These events include:  An Oration at the plenary session, a Gadar Exhibit and Hon. Prime Minister's speech on 8th January to make favorable mention of Gadar.


MOIA Press Release on 15th October, 2012 stated that, "Since we are celebrating the centenary of the Gadar Movement in 2013, the PBD Oration this time will be on the Gadar Movement. We will also have an exhibition on the Gadar Movement".


As GOPIO has done for the Kolkata Memorial unveiled on January 11, 2011 in recognition and remembrance of Indian indentured laborers who left India from 1834-1920, the Centennial Commemoration of Gadar Movement is another GOPIO initiative in our continuing efforts to preserve and promote Indian history, heritage and culture.


The launch event on November 3, 2012 included a lecture/discussion on "The Role of Gadar Movement for India's Independence" by prominent Gadar researchers and historians, a release of the GOPIO publication on "Global Indian Diaspora", distribution of a GOPIO Gadar Centennial Commemoration Press/VIP information kit and GOPIO Gadar Centennial lapel pin as well as showing of the GOPIO Gadar Centennial Commemoration documentary.


The launch program included a welcome by Dr Renuka Mishra (GOPIO National Coordinator USA) followed by remarks by Dr. Zafar Iqbal (President, GOPIO Metro DC) and Mr Jay Bhandari (President, GOPIO Virginia). GOPIO chairman Inder Singh delivered a compelling presentation on Role of Gadar Movement for India's Independence; prominent Indian community advocate Dr Rajen Anand spoke on The Importance of the Gadar Movement; and Kewal Kanda of California discussed The Gadar Memorial Hall.


Hon. Ambassador Nirupama Rao spoke glowingly about the launch and positively supportive of GOPIO's initiative and GOPIO Gadar Centennial Commemoration, highlighting GOPIO's initiatives on matters of interest and concern in the Indian Diaspora. She said that "it is a privilege to cooperate with GOPIO in this auspicious venture." Ambassador Bayney Karran, Ambassador Dr Neil Parsan and Ambassador Subash Mungra reiterated the long and lasting bonds of heritage and history between their respective countries and India, with lots of inspiration and encouragement derived from the Gadar Movement for the struggle for independence in their respective countries. Their attendance and participation certainly enhanced the program and made it more global in outreach and appeal.


Photo below: From l to r. Dr Renuka Misra (GOPIO National Coordinator, USA);  Inder Singh (Chairman of GOPIO International); Hon Bayney Karran (Guyana's Ambassador to USA);  Hon Nirupama Rao (India's Ambassador to USA);  Hon Neil Parsan (Trinidad & Tobago's Ambassador to USA);Hon. Subash Mungra (Suriname's Ambassador to USA);  Ashook Ramsaran (President of GOPIO International); Dr Piyush Agrawal (Senior Vice President of GOPIO International); Jay Bhandari (President of GOPIO chapter of Virginia).

GOPIO Gadar Centennial Launch in Washington, DC

Photo above: Audience at the program


Remarked program coordinator Dr. Piyush Agrawal, "We are grateful for the overwhelming support of Hon. Ambassador Nirupama Rao as well as the close collaboration of Hon Dr.Virender K Paul, Minister of Press, Information and Culture at the Indian Embassy, to make this a highly successful program. In addition, I want to thank our organizing team for their individual and collective effort, commitment, enthusiasm and determination. We are also grateful for chapter members, friends, associates and community members who attended in large numbers. We look forward to a very successful the GOPIO Gadar Centennial Commemoration in the USA and Canada, as well as worldwide".




A Coffee Table Book "Global Indian Diaspora" was released by Hon. Ambassador Nirupama Rao and also presented to Ambassadors Karran, Parsan and Mungra. That was followed by discussion of GOPIO Gadar Centennial Commemoration worldwide and in particular the USA by respectively Mr. Ashook Ramsaran (President of GOPIO International) and Dr Piyush Agrawal (Senior Vice President of GOPIO International). Dr Renuka Mishra concluded the program with thanks and appreciation to all who contributed to its huge success. Then followed the showing of the GOPIO's Gadar Centennial Commemoration documentary and refreshments catered by Woodlands.

 GOPIO Coffee Table Book Global Indian Diaspora released in Washington DCPhoto above: GOPIO Coffee Table Book "Global Indian Diaspora - GOPIO Making an Impact" released in Washington DC by Ambassador  Nirupama Rao. From l. to r.: GOPIO-Washington DC Capital President Dr. Zafar Iqbal, GOPIO Chairman Inder Singh, Ambassador Nirupama Rao, GOPIO US National Coordinator Dr Renuka Misra,  GOPIO President Ashook Ramsaran, GOPIO-Virginia President Jay Bhandari,  GOPIO Intl Senior Vice president Dr Piyush Agrawal.


The new released book is available by sending a check for $23 (includes postage and handling) to GOPIO International, P.O. Box 560117, New York, NY 11356, USA or contact the publisher in India, Mr. Sayantan Chakravarty, Email: sayantanc@gmail.comTel: (91)-11-2923-1515 or (91)-11-2923-3647.


For more details on GOPIO GADAR Centennial events, visit:


For more information, please contact GOPIO Chairman Inder Singh, at +1-818-708-3885, Email:





The Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) and the Kerala Govt. is getting ready to host the 11th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) from January 7-9, 2013 in Kochi, Kerala, India. It will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on January 8. The President of India will deliver the valedictory address on January 9 and also confer the Pravasi Bhartiya Samman Awards. The pre-conference seminars will also be organized on January 7 followed by plenary and panels sessions beginning on January 8. Mauritius President Rajkeswur Purryag will be the chief guest.


PBD has become a significant forum to connect the overseas Indians from all over the world and the PBD-2013 will be focusing on more connectivity with overseas Indians. Kerala will be the Partner State of the 11th PBD, which would provide the Diaspora an opportunity to understand the vibrant culture and potential of the State. More than 2000 delegates are expected to participate in PBD-2013 from all over the world.


For any further queries, kindly contact: MOIA Director of Diaspora Services, Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs at



The Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) has approved GOPIO's request for discount registration by GOPIO delegates to PBD2013 at 50% rate of $125. 


Please refer to the PBD2013 registration link and information below:


For more information on  PBD 2013, visit 



GOPIO International plans to hold its annual executive and general council meetings, followed by its conference starting on January 5 afternoon and concluding on January 6 immediately preceding, and in conjunction with Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2013 events of January 7-9, 2013 in Kochi, Kerala, India. 




GOPIO-Kochi met on December 12 at the Presidency Hotel on the GOPIO-2013 Convention coordination. The meeting was chaired by Chapter Mr.P.C. Cyriac who was former Chief Secretary of Tamil Nadu and was attended by  GOPIO 2013 Convention Chairman and GOPIO Executive VP Sunny Kulathakal, GOPIO Convention 2013 Convener T.P. Ibrahim Khan and other officers including Secretary Jose Thomas and Vice president Kurian Abraham. A special guest was former Tourism Minister and Chief Secretary of Karnataka Mr.J. Alexander. Others present at the meeting were Advocate C.V. Prakash, Jose Puthukadan ans other committee members.


The arrangements for GOPIO Kochi Convention 2013 were discussed at the meeting. GOPIO Convention Chairman Sunny Kulathakal and Convention Convener Ibrahim Khan briefed the progress of the arrangements to receive nearly 400 delegates from 60 countries for the  Kochi Convention 2013.


GOPIO 2013 Annual Convention Planning Meeting at KochiPhoto above: GOPIO-Kochi officials at the convention planning meeting. Fifth from left is former Tourism Minister and Chief Secretary of Karnataka Mr.J. Alexander and next to him are GOPIO Exec. VP Sunny Kulathakal and GOPIO-Kochi President P.C. Cyriac.


GOPIO Convention 2013 - Kochi, India


Detailed Program


January 5 - 6, 2013


GOPIO Meetings, Regional & Country Reports,

  Conference Program

& Community Service Awards Banquet


To download pdf copy opf GOPIO Convention 2013, click below:

GOPIO Convention 2013 in Kochi - Detailed Program


5thJanuary 2013 - GOPIO Meetings, Regional & Country Reports

Venue:  The Presidency Hotel, Kochi



10:30am - 12:30pm    GOPIO Executive Meeting

Chaired by Ashook Ramsaran, (President, GOPIO Int'l, USA)

(Not Open to the Public)


12:30pm - 1:30pm     Lunch


1:30pm - 2:30pm       Regional & Country Reports


Chaired by Inder Singh (Chairman GOPIO Int'l, USA)

 Open to the Public

Dr. Markandey Rai - Kenya 
Ved Prakash Goojha - France 
Deo Gosine - Trinidad & Tobago

Dr. Arnold Thomas - Caribbean

Munish Gupta - Africa

Dr. Sai Giridhar - Middle East

Umesh Chandra - Oceania (Fiji, Australia, N. Zealand)

Rajindre Tewari - Europe

Amb R. Dayakar - South Asia

Dr Piyush Agrawal - North America

Jay Bhandari - Virginia, USA

Dr Sunny Wycliffe - Metro DC, USA

Roy Bodjhwan - Netherlands

Pradeep Kapoor - New Zealand 

Jean Ramsamy - Reunion Island 

Mrs. Lucky Singh - Australia 
Dr. Prabhu Kulkarni - Ireland

Koshy Thomas - UK

Mr. Radha Krishnan - Indian Organizations in the USA

K. N. Gupta - Liaison with Government of India

Harbachan Singh -  Liaison to United Nations

Sunny Kulathakal - GOPIO Council Reports

Dr. Piyush Agrawal - GOPIO Chapter Developments


2:30pm- 4:30pm        General Council Meeting

Chaired by Inder Singh (Chairman GOPIO Int'l, USA)

 Open to the Public


6:00pm                       Reception/Dinner

Venue: Dream Hotel, Kochi


6thJanuary 2013 - - GOPIO Conference Program

Venue:  The Presidency Hotel, Kochi



9:00am                                    Registration


9:30am                                    Inauguration


  • o   Welcome: Sunny Kulathakal (Executive Vice Pres, GOPIO Int'l, Bangalore)
  • o   Welcome: P. C. Cyriac (President of GOPIO Chapter, Kochi, India))
  • o   Remarks by:  Inder Singh (Chairman GOPIO Int'l, USA)
  • o   Remarks by:  Ashook Ramsaran, (President, GOPIO Int'l, USA)
  • o   Inaugural Remarks by:  Former Gov M. M. Jacob (former Governor of Meghalaya& Arunachal Pradesh, India)
  • o   Book Release: EDGE OF THE CLIFF by Anand Mullo (Historian, Mauritius)
  • o   Thanks: Suman Kapoor (Chair, GOPIO's Women's Council, New Zealand) 

10:00am -11:30am     Session I: Diaspora Issues: Challenges & Opportunities

  • o   Chair: Sunny Kulathakal (Executive Vice Pres, GOPIO Int'l, Bangalore)
  • o   Co-Chair: Ms. Lucky Singh (President, GOPIO Chapter Sydney, Australia)
  • o   Note-Taker: Sarat Maharaj (GOPIO of Brisbane, Australia)
  • o   Lead Speaker: Paresh Rughani (GOPIO Chapter of London, UK and Management Consultant)
  • o   Speaker: Dr. Chandrashekar Bhat (Prof. at Tezpur University and Former Dir of Diaspora Studies, Hyderabad, India)
  • o   Speaker: Prof Mohan Gautam (Co-Chair, GOPIO Academic Council, Netherlands)
  • o   Speaker: Umesh Chandra (Int'l Coordinator, Oceania, Australia)
  • o   Speaker: Anita Bhat(Youth Director, GOPIO Youth Council, USA)
  • o   Speaker: Dr. Arnold Thomas (Int'l Coordinator, Caribbean, St. Vincent)
  • o   Speaker: Dr. Isaac M. Nooranal (Chairman of Soukya, India)
  • o   Q/A: Radha Krishnan (National Director, Liaison to US Indian Organizations, USA)
  • o   Thanks: Jaswant Mody (Associate Secretary, GOPIO Int'l, USA)                                                          

11:30am -11:45am      Coffee/Tea Break


11:45am-1:30pm        Session II: Freedom Movements in the Diaspora - Gadar & Others

  • o  Chair: Inder Singh (Chairman GOPIO Int'l, USA)
  • o  Co-Chair: Dr. Neerja Arun (GOPIO Academic Council Co-Chair, and Coordinator cum Dir, Gujarat Univ. International Program, Ahmedabad, India)
  • o  Lead Speaker: Prof Harish Puri (Researcher, Historian, & Author of Books on Gadar Movement, India)
  • o  Speaker:  DrSavitri Sawhney (Daughter of Gadar Hero Khankhoje, Author,  India)
  • o  Speaker:  Manpreet Kaur Singh (Author, Journalist, Australia)
  • o  Speaker: Sunny Wycliffe (Community Leader, GOPIO Metro DC, USA)
  • o  Q/A:  Ved Prakash Goojha (President of GOPIO France, France)
  • o  Conclusion: Harbachan Singh (Director, Liaison to United Nations, USA)
  • o  Thanks: Jay Bhandari (President, GOPIO of Virginia, USA)                                                          

 1:30pm-2:30pm          Lunch


  • o  Introduction: Kurian Abraham (GOPIO Chapter, Kochi, India)
  • o  Guest Speaker: Ashok Rao (Chair, TiE Global, USA)
  • o  Thanks: Issac John Pataniparambil (Chair, GOPIO Media Council, Dubai)


2:30pm-4:00pm         Session III: Economic Progress in the Diaspora:

Making an Impact in Global Investments

 & Business Entrepreneurship


  • o                      Co-Chair: Dr Thomas Abraham (Exec. Trustee, GOPIO Foundation & GOPIO Founding President, USA)
  • o                        Co-Chair: Rajindre Tewari (Int'l Coordinator, Europe, Netherlands)
  • o                        Lead Speaker: PNC Menon (Founder of Sobha Developers Limited, Oman)
  • o                        Speaker: Shri K. Mohandas (Former Sec of MOIA & Shipping, India)
  • o                        Speaker: Americai V. Narayanan (GOPIO Chapter of Chennai, India)
  • o                        Speaker: Dr. Muhammed Majeed (President and CEO, Sabinsa Corporation, USA)
  • o                        Speaker: T. Ramappa, Secretary, GOPIO-Bangalore and Chamber of Commerce
  • o                        Q/A: Prasad Yarlaggada (GOPIO of Australia Chapter)
  • o                        Conclusion: Arvind Sood (President, GOPIO Chapter of Central NJ, USA)
  • o                        Thanks: Deo Gosine (Co-Chair, GOPIO Business Council, Trinidad)         


4:00pm-4:15pm           Coffee/Tea Break


4:15pm-5:30pm           Session IV: Economic Progress in the Diaspora:

Investment in India; Creating India-Diaspora Science, Technology & Innovation Knowledge Network


  • o                        Chair: Munish Gupta (Int'l Coordinator, Africa, India/USA)
  • o                        Co-Chair: Dr. Ramesh Caussy (Chair, GOPIO Science & Tech Council, France)
  • o                        Lead Speaker: Yousuf Ali (Managing Director of EMKE Group, Abu Dhabi)
  • o                        Speaker: J. Alexander (former Karnataka Tourism Minister, India)
  • o                        Speaker: Deepak Sharma (Kotak Mahindra Bank, India)
  • o                        Speaker: Nirankar Saxena (Senior Director, FICC, India)
  • o                        Speaker: Sujata Sudarshan (Diretor, CII & CEO of OIFC, India)
  • o                        Q/A: TP Ibrahim Khan (GOPIO of Kochi Chapter)
  • o                        Conclusion: Dr. Markandey Rai (GOPIO of Kenya, Africa)
  • o                        Thanks: Dr. Harish Srivastava (Dr. Harish Srivastava (Senior Consultant, 
  •                                                           Rockland Hospitals Group, Delhi/Agra)


5:30pm-5:45pm         Session V: Conclusion & Wrap-Up

  • o                        Speaker: Ashook Ramsaran, (President, GOPIO Int'l, USA)
  • o                        Supported by: Dr. Piyush Agrawal (Senior Vice Pres, GOPIO Int'l, USA)
  • o                        Note Taker: Shyam Das (GOPIO, Australia)
  • o                        Thanks: Netram Rambudhan  (Treasurer, GOPIO Int'l,USA)          


5:45pm-6:00pm         Session VI: Resolutions


  • o                      Chair: Dr Thomas Abraham (Exec. Trustee, GOPIO Foundation & 
  •                                 GOPIO Founding President, USA)
  • o                      Research: Dr. Piyush Agrawal (Senior Vice Pres., GOPIO Int'l, USA)
  • o                      Co-Chair: Amb. R. Dayakar (Int'l Coordinator, South Asia, India)
  • o                      Thanks: K. N. Gupta (Director, Liaison to Gov't of India, India)                           

6thJanuary 2013 - - GOPIO Community Service Awards Banquet

Venue:  The Crowne Plaza Hotel, Kochi


7:00pm                        Reception

8:00pm                        CSA Banquet


Honored Guests


His Excellency H. R. Bhardwaj, Governor of Karnataka and Kerala

Hon. Vayalar Ravi, Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA)

Hon. Oommen Chandy, Chief Minister of Kerala

Lord Bhikhu Parekh, House of Lords, London



7thJanuary 2013 - - GOPIO Wrap-up Meeting

Venue:  The Presidency Hotel, Kochi


9:00am                                    Breakfast


10:00am- 11:00am      GOPIO Executive & Council Meeting

Co-Chaired by Inder Singh (Chairman GOPIO Int'l, USA)

Co-Chaired by Ashook Ramsaran, (President, GOPIO Int'l, USA)

         o   Finalize Resolutions; Assessment; Planning




Special rate of Rs. 4,000 for double room plus taxes for GOPIO delegates at PresidencyHotel. Make your reservation at Presidency Hotel (Near Ernakulam Town, near North Train Station), Kochi, Tel: +91-484-2394300, Contac5t: Mr. Nibu Mathew at +91-9746471257. Transportation will be provided from Hotel Presidency to Dream Hotel for Jan. 5th evening dinner and to Crown Plaza Hotel for GOPIO Conference and Banquet on Jan. 6th. Since it is PBD Hotel, there will be transportation from Presidency Hotel to Le Meridian Convention Center on Jan. 7, 8 and 9. 



Click below for         





If you like to volunteer in the convention committee, please contact Convention 2013 (Kochi).




For more information on GOPIO Kochi Convention, contact Convention 2013 (Kochi) Chairman, Mr. Sunny Kulathakal at at +91-9845756692 (India Mobile). or Convention 2013 (Kochi) Convener, Mr. T.P. Ibrahim Khan at




Registration to attend the GOPIO Conference and the CSA banquet is FREE for all GOPIO delegates and all others. However, pre-registration is needed. Contact Thomas Abraham, Joint Secretary, GOPIO-Kochi, E-mail:




GOPIO is collaborating with reputable tour and hospitality groups in Kerala to provide optional tours at discounted rates for delegates attending GOPIO and PBD2013 events in Kochi. These tours are designed to be made in advance of GOPIO and PBD2013 and after the PBD starting on Jan. 10th. See more details by downloading the document.




Mystical Holidays Pvt. Ltd., No.4/593-D, Ground Floor, Marottichodu, Edappally P.O., Kochi 682024, Tel: 091-484-4061516, or contact Mr. Noble Jose at +91 9446361516, e-mail:



The Commonwealth Symposium was held on November 15, 2012 at Birmingham Council House, Victoria Square in Birmingham, UK   and GOPIO was prominently featured as the leading Diaspora organization. The presentation was made by GOPIO International president Ashook Ramsaran who spoke on the Indian Diaspora and GOPIO's role in connecting, nurturing and strengthening the Diaspora for the benefit of both India and the Indian Diaspora.


The symposium was organized by Derek Douglas, working in collaboration with University of Liverpool and Birmingham City Council, for the primary purpose of Cultural Comparisons of Diaspora Policy initiatives in three ACP Commonwealth Countries.

The specific aims of the project: 

  • Hold a symposium to explore the common themes and common experiences across Diaspora, to consider differences and the cultural variations in the approach to Diaspora, and to specifically compare the experiences of three nations and Diaspora across the ACP region;
  • Publish papers for use by students and others wishing to adopt or adapt lessons for conceptualizing and creating their own Diaspora initiatives;
  • Identify that best practice from Commonwealth countries which has developed though the development of Diaspora.

The symposium discussed Diaspora policies formulated by selected communities and explored the cultural distinction which underpins these polices.  The symposium also considered cultural variation and specifics among countries that have hindered formulation of policy at a government level. Also participating in the symposium was Shri V. S Ramalingam, Consul General of India in Birmingham.

As was done in El Salvador in June 2012, Ramsaran's presentation focused on "how GOPIO works, its best practices and the resulting benefits; and to highlight experiences and lessons learned from Diaspora-Government-Private Sector partnerships for the development of Human Capital". His presentation as an informative discussion centered around the following topics: The Indian Diaspora - what it is and how it adapts and evolves; GOPIO, the global Indian Diaspora organization; GOPIO's Role in Connecting and Strengthening the Indian Diaspora; GOPIO and the Government of India: A hand-in-hand relationship; Government of India's Initiatives & Programs for its Diaspora; Benefits to the Government of India; Benefits and rewards for the Indian Diaspora; Lessons of the Indian Diaspora for others".


Following the symposium, Ramsaran met with Michael Murray of Birmingham City Council who discussed how Birmingham and other UK cities work with Inclusive Cities network (ICN), a Commonwealth local Government Forum to "share good practice, policies, know-how, experience and learning on inclusive city development and governance".

 GOPIO at Commonwealth Diaspora SymposiumPhoto above (l-r): Dr Amanda Sives (University of Liverpool, UK); Shina Alege  (Nigerian High Commission, Minister/Deputy Head, Political Department, UK); Chris Webb (St George's Community Hub); Ashook Ramsaran (President of GOPIO International); Richard Bourne (Senior Fellow, Institute of Commonwealth Studies); Dr. Clara Rachel E. Casseus (Int'l Migration Policy Consultant, Universit? de Poitiers, France); Dr Mashuq Ally (Assistant Director Equalities Birmingham City Council); Lincoln Downer (Minister Counsellor, Jamaican High Commission, UK); Ruth Jacobs (Council Birmingham and West Midlands Jewry)





GOPIO International's India Chapter held a meeting on November 23, 2012 in New Delhi to discuss and encourage participation at the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) 2013 and the GOPIO Annual Convention 2013 to be held at Kochi, Kerala.    

India Chapter President Rajendra Prabhu was indisposed so the meeting was chaired by K N Gupta, Director of Government Liaison for GOPIO International in India. The function was presided by GOPIO International Coordinator for South Asia, Ambassador (Retd.) R Dayakar. The event was co-hosted by GOPIO International Coordinator for Africa, Munish Gupta, and Nirankar Saxena, Snr. Director, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) Center for Technology Commercialization. Munish & Nirankar have spearheaded a unique collaboration through an MoU signed between FICCI C Tech and GOPIO Science & Technology Council chaired by Dr. Ramesh Caussy of GOPIO France. 


GOPIO India chapter used the occasion to welcome Dr Thomas Abraham, founder President of  GOPIO International, who was on a visit to  India, and Dr. A Didar Singh, recently appointed Secretar General of FICCI, the oldest and biggest chamber of commerce in India. Dr. Didar Singh was specially welcomed because of a longstanding association with GOPIO due to Dr. Singh's previous assignment as Secretary, Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs, Government of India. GOPIO India thanked Dr. Abraham for his inspiration and long guidance while looking forward to enhancing the cooperation between GOPIO and FICCI under the stewardship of Dr. Didar Singh. FICCI has recently been engaged by Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs to now take over organizing and conducting the Pravasi Divas beginning with the 2013 event in Kochi. 


Dr Singh encouraged expanding interaction and exchanges between GOPIO & FICCI and hoped it would translate into action and actually engage the Indian Diaspora further with the Indian industry. He highlighted GOPIO's two Memoranda of Understand (MoUs) with FICCI, the second between GOPIO Women Council and FICCI Ladies Organization (FLO). Nirankar Saxena of FICCI thanked Gupta for pioneering the latest MoU on Science & Technology that could become the harbinger the creation of a tremendous knowledge network combining that of India with its Diaspora.


Dr. Abraham said he was excited about the S&T initiative between the two organizations that could pave the way for Diaspora's direct interaction with Indian industry. K.N.Gupta welcomed two eminent personalities from GOPIO India chapter and the media. Mr Kanak Sen Deka from Northeast India is also the President of GOPIO Northeast India and one of the most decorated literary and media figures; Mr. Deka is also President of Assam Sahitya Sabha and Northeast Newspaper Society. Mr. Prem Prakash MBE, UK, is an NRI and originally from Delhi, also the Chairman of India's biggest TV news agency, Asian News International (ANI).  Both of them chatted with the members about the 50th anniversary of India's struggle with China in 1962. Mr Prakash had witnessed the 1962 struggle with his presence in Tejpur (Assam).


Munish Gupta welcomed more than 20 attendees of GOPIO India and even visiting NRIs from the US. Munish emphasized that regular GOPIO India programs were an important means of GOPIO outreach to bring more and meaningful members into its fold, note the concerns of visiting and returning Diaspora in India and ways to enhance the engagement of India with its Diaspora. The meeting condoled the death of Gr. Capt. K.R.Gopalan, founder member of GOPIO India Chapter. 


 Book on Global Indian Diaspora - GOPIO Making an Impact released in New DelhiPhoto above: Book on Global Indian Diaspora - GOPIO Making an Impact is released in New Delhi. From l. to r.: Mr. Kanak Sen Deka, Publisher of 'Agradoot' Assamese daily newspaper and President of the Northeast Newspaper Society and President of GOPIO  Northeast; Mr. K N Gupta Editor in Chief PIO TV ( and Director of Government Liaison of GOPIO International; Mr. Gupta Chairman PIO TV ( and International Coordinator-Africa of GOPIO International; Dr. Thomas Abraham Founder of GOPIO International and Chairman of the GOPIO Foundation; Sayanthan Chakravarty, Editor, India Empire; Dr. A. Didar Singh Secretary General of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) and former Secretary of Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs; Mr. Nirankar Saxena, Snr. Director, FICCI Center for Technology Commercialization; Ambassador (Retd.) R Dayakar International Coordinator - South Asia of GOPIO International. 





The following persons have been appointed to GOPIO's Academic, Cultural and Youth Councils in the continuing effort to expand and grow the organization to meet the increasing needs of a rapidly increasing PIO/NRI population living in more countries than before.


New appointments as council chairperson are follows:


  • Chairperson, GOPIO Academic Council: Prof. Prabhu Guptara  (Switzerland)

Distinguished Professor of Global Business, Management and Public Policy, William Carey University, India. As the Honorary Chairman of Career Innovation, he acts as a thought-leader, building links with individuals and organisations around the world.  Widely known as a speaker and broadcaster, Prabhu had for 15 years (to February 2011) the unique job of adding value in cutting edge and non-foreseeable ways to UBS, one of the largest banks in the world), where he was responsible for Think Tanks as well as for the Distinguished Speaker series. Dr Guptara was the lead speaker at GOPIO's India-US Geo-Economic Forum on Examining Indian and US Geo-Economic Roles in the 21stCentury held on April 21, 2012 in New York. Recently in October 2012, Dr Guptara was a speaker at NFIA convention in Chicago


  • Chairperson, GOPIO Cultural Council: Dr. Maurits Hassankhan ( Suriname.

Former Minister of Home Affairs, Dr hassankhan is a historian, researcher and prooponet of preservation of Indian heritage. He has written several books and is a speaker at regional and international events.  Dr Maurits Hassankhan is a member of GOPIO of Suriname, is very active in Indian Diaspora matters in the Caribbean, visits India regularly, participated in the GOPIO conference in St Vincent (June 2-4, 2012) and is a sought-after speaker at major events.

Dr Maurits Hassankhan will take the lead role as convener of the upcoming Indian Diaspora Conference in Suriname (June 2013).


  • Chairperson, GOPIO Youth Council: Ms. Kirty Matabadal (Netherlands)

Ms. Kirty Matabadal, born and raised in the Netherlands, PIO of SurInamese Indian descent, is the Youth Representative of the Netherlands to the United Nations. Ms Matabadal  has experience in the Dutch National Youth Council,, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Netherlands, Jacob Soetendorp Institute for Human Values; Hoge Raad der Nederlanden, Dag van Respect,  Dutch National Youth Council.

GOPIO International President Ashook Ramsaran, ably assisted by current and previous office bearers, began an intense effort towards the goal of global representation at all levels.

"My objective is work collaboratively to further expand and grow GOPIO, to make it much more globally representative as GOPIO continues its vital outreach and service to an ever increasing population in the global Indian Diaspora," says President Ramsaran.



The GOPIO women's chapter in the Netherlands organized debate on the 28th October in Rotterdam on female gendercide.


A documentary named 'It's a Girl' was shown as the first part of the event. This documentary showed female foeticide is being practised in large scale in India but also China.  As the Sruti's talk about the respected position of women, they are referred to be as sacred. The question was why in our modern society women, especially in India, don't have the right to life: 'female gendercide' has become quite common. One panellist, Dr. K. Madan from the University of Amsterdam, studied this phenomenon and signalled that in 10 to 15 years there will be 7 million men without a woman.


The GOPIO Women's Council in The Netherlands felt the need to address this issue and to raise its voice against injustice which happening right now in India to women.


The panel discussion representing the Indian and Chinese community living in the Netherlands discussed the issue of female gendercide and the consequences for society. Awareness is necessary to take any action. That's the reason the GOPIO Women's Council in the Netherlands organized this event.  The event was closed with a sketch performance by Sheetal Gandhi, a performer from Los Angeles.


GOPIO-Netherlands launches GOPIO Women Chapter 

Above Left, from l to r., Mr. D. Woei, Pt. Ashish Mathura, Dr. M. Schipper, Mr. R. Ramdas (Moderator) & Dr. K. Madan. Right, Members of the Women's Chapter with GOPIO International  Coordinator for Europe, Drs. Rajindre Tewari, From left to right:  Asha Tewari-Kanhai, Sheela Vyas (Chapter President),  Rajindre Tewari, Mahesvari Autar & Mrs. Namita Krul.






Dr Alwyn Didar Singh has been appointed Secretary General, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).  He is a former civil servant who until recently served as the Secretary to Government of India in the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs where he was very supportive on issues of interest and concern of the Indian Diaspora, in particular GOPIO's initiatives on Passport Surrender and Kolkata Memorial.  He was Member of National Highways Authority of India, Department of Road Transport and Highways at New Delhi. He served as Joint Secretary with the Ministry of Heavy Industries and Ministry of Commerce (Foreign Trade).


Dr. Singh has hands-on experience in e-Commerce and e-Business, having been Managing Director of two Information Technology enterprises in Punjab, India where he was instrumental in establishing an IT Park and satellite earth station at Mohali in late 90's. He holds a Masters in Development Administration from Birmingham University, UK and has the distinction of having done the first PhD in India on the Policy and Administration of e-Commerce. Dr. Didar Singh is an internationally known expert in e-Commerce and ICT development and presented a number of papers and made presentations at Conferences on the subjects of E-Commerce and Trade both in India and abroad.  Author of: e-Commerce for Managers (2002); e-Commerce In India: Assessments and Strategies for the Developing World (2008).


In a congratulatory letter to Dr Didar Singh on October 19, 2012 GOPIO International president Ashook Ramsaran stated that GOPIO "looks forward to working closely and collaboratively with you the new Secretary General of FICCI as we have successfully done when you were Secretary of the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) with major accomplishments such as Kolkata Memorial and Passport Surrender issues. We look forward to adding to the two (2) current MOUs with FICCI: GOPIO's Women's Council (GWC) and FICCI Ladies Organisation (FLO) in 2010; GOPIO Science & Technology Council (GST) and FICCI's Center for Technology (FCT)". GOPIO plans on giving Dr Didar Singh special recognition "in recognition and appreciation of his commendable service to the Indian Diaspora" at GOPIO's CSA banquet on January 6, 2013 in Kochi preceding the annual Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2013.




Prakash Narain, M.D., served as Mayor of Cypress, California in 2010, during his first term on the Cypress City Council. On December 10, the five-members of the Cypress City Council elected Dr. Prakash Narain to a second term as Mayor of the City of Cypress, effective immediately. Narain will hold this position for one year, until December 2013.


"I look forward to continuing to lead this city down the path of success," said Mayor Narain. "In 2013, we will continue our progressive infrastructure improvement projects." He continued, "In 2013, our community can expect more quality municipal services, educational business forums, and an annual job fair."


On January 23, 2013, at the annual State of the City event in Cypress, he will share with the community the achievements of the city in the past year and the goals for the coming year.


Narain has already achieved many "firsts". He is the first Indian-American to be Mayor of a city in Southern California, the first Indian-American elected to the Cypress City Council, and the first physician elected to the Cypress City Council. Remarkably, Narain, a first-generation immigrant, won election in his first attempt at public office.


Dr. Narain is currently serving on his second term on the City Council, having been reelected in 2010, unchallenged. He was selected as Mayor Pro Tem for 2009, as well as for 2012.


Although Cypress has a population of almost 50,000 people, South Asians comprise only 0.2% of the voting residents. When asked about his political success, Mayor Narain stated, "It is not enough to interact with our South Asian community. Living in this country, we must try to mainstream as well. It is important to find ways to do community service in our local cities and build bonds with our fellow residents."  Narain has been very active in the community for many years. He served on the city's Senior Citizens Commission for eight years.


In addition to his political career, Dr. Narain maintains a full time  medical practice in Seal Beach, California. He has a specialization in internal medicine and geriatrics.


Narain grew up in Ranchi and graduated from Darbhanga Medical College in Bihar. He immigrated to the United States in 1980. Since 1987 he and his wife and two children have been living in Cypress, California.




Deepika Kurup, 14, a ninth grader at Nashua High School in Nashua, N.H., has won the 2012 "Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge" for developing a cost-effective and sustainable water-purification system, harnessing solar energy to disinfect contaminated water. Kurup was named "America's Top Young Scientist", winning $25,000 and a trip to Costa Rica from Discovery Student Adventures.


Kurup and the nine other finalists presented their innovative technologies Oct. 15-16 at the 3M Innovation Center in St. Paul, Minn. In a phone interview, the young Indian American student told India-West Nov. 6 that her water purification system has two advantages over existing technologies. It is more cost effective and it is safer to use because it prevents chemical-based photo-catalyst coatings from "washing off into the water."


A highlight of the program was the chance for all the finalists to be coached over the summer by a 3M scientist. Her mentor, Jim Jonza, "had so much to share with me about the innovative process," Kurup said. The New Hampshire student was thrilled to visit the 3M labs in St. Paul and see the company's cutting edge research.


The main project constituted 60 percent of the total score in the contest, with two additional challenges each accounting for 20 percent. One challenge was to combine multiple 3M technologies in new ways. The other was to building a "Rube Goldberg" machine designed to turn on a light bulb using science and engineering principles. "We not only had to build the machine, but we had to show that we could communicate that knowledge," Kurup said.


Discovery Education chief executive Bill Goodwyn said in a statement, "Kurup and the rest of this year's finalists have shown incredibly innovative thinking, and I am certain that they will be prepared to compete in today's global economy and create a bright future for our country."


The ninth grader told the New Hampshire Union Leader newspaper that she would use the $25,000 for college, donate some to charity and also create a platform to encourage more young women to consider science as a career. The daughter of Pradeep Kurup, a professor at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, and Meena Kurup, a homemaker, the Indian American student told the newspaper she wants to pursue a career in neurology. Her other interests include martial arts and playing the clarinet and saxophone.  


Three other Indian American students placed in the top 10 in the young scientist challenge are: Anin Sayana of Bellarmine College Preparatory in Cupertino, Calif., for his research targeting chemotherapy-resistant cancer stem cells; Anishaa Sivakumar of Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville, Pa., for her project that treats patients suffering from macular degeneration; and Naren Gaurav, of Meadow Park Summa Middle School in Beaverton, Oregon.




While there is no official or unofficial figure of the number of Indian-Americans appointed by Obama in his administration in the first four years of his Administration, it is estimated that the list could easily be at least a few dozens or even touch the half a century mark.


This is a far cry from the Regan Administration when the first Indian Americans was appointed to a senior administration post to his administrations. In 1987, Regan appointed Joy Cherian as one of the Commissioners to Equal Employment Opportunities Commission. He continued to serve as a Commissioner under Bush and Clinton administration till 1994.


Indian Americans have come a long way since them and have travelled quite a distance under the Obama Administration.

Obama, who in four years ago became the first African American to have been elected as US President, appointed Raj Shah, as administrator of USAID -- the highest ranking Indian American in any administration.

Vinai Thummalapally, the US Ambassador to Belize, became the first Indian-American Ambassador in the US history.

Highly talented, Vikram Singh in his capacity as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for South and Southeast Asia (SSEA) is the highest ranking Indian American official in the Pentagon.

The anti-terrorism and anti-Wall Street crusade of Preet Bharara, the US Attorney, who is another Obama appointee, is well known.

Dr. Subra Suresh in his capacity as Director of the National Science Foundation, the agency responsible for promoting science and engineering through research programs and education projects, overseas billions of dollars in scientific research.


Others in the administration are as follows:


Nisha Biswal: Assistant Administrator, Bureau for Asia in the USAID.


Dr. Islam A. Siddiqui: Chief Agricultural Negotiator at the US Trade Representative (USTR).


Priya Aiyar: Deputy General Counsel for Environment and Nuclear Programs in the Department of Energy.


Mythili Raman: Department of Justice.


Subhasri Ramanathan: Counselor to the Secretary, Department of Homeland Security.


Sri Srinivasan: Principal Deputy Solicitor General in Department of Justice.


Kiran Ahuja: Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI).


Nealesh Kemkar: Deputy Counselor to the Secretary in the Department of Interior.


Lopa P. Kolluri: Deputy Chief of Staff, Operation and Strategy in the Department of Housing and Urban Development.


Taara Rangarajan: Special Assistant to Susan Rice, the US. Ambassador to the UN.


Atman Trivedi: Senior Advisor in the Bureau of International Security and Non-Proliferation (ISN).


Jeremy Bernton: Priority Placement Director.


Rachana "Ruchi" Bhowmik: Deputy Assistant to the US President and Dy. Cabinet Secretary in the White House Office of Cabinet Affairs.


Shilpa Phadke: White House Dy. Director of Cabinet Affairs.


Gautam Raghavan: Associate Director of Public Engagement at the White House.


Aneesh Raman: Presidential Speech Writer at the White House.


Rishi Sahgal: Dy. Associate COUNSEL at the White House.


Kevin Samy: Special Assistant for Public Engagement at the White House Council on Environmental Quality.


Kamala Vasagam: Special Assistant to the President, Office of Presidential Personnel.


Rohan Patel:  Associate Director for Public Engagement, White House Council on Environmental Quality.

Puneet Talwar: Senior Director for the Gulf States, Iran and Iraq at the White House National Security Council.


Arun Chaudhry: First White House Official Videographer.


Rashad Hussain:  U.S. Special Envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).


Farah Pandith: Special Representative to Muslim Communities.


Early this year Obama appointed Paula Gangopadhyay Member of the prestigious National Museum and Library Services Board, and Sonny Ramaswamy; Director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).


Romesh Wadhwani was appointed board of trustees of John F Kennedy Center for Performing Arts. Anuj C Desai, Associate Professor of Law at University of Wisconsin Law School, was appointed by Obama as member of the Foreign Claims Settlement Committee.


And this is not a comprehensive list of Indian Americans serving in the Obama Administration.


Quite a number of them having served in the first four years of the Obama Administration decided to either join the private sector or work for his re-election campaign like popular Indian-American actor Kal Penn, or to chart their own political career like Vivek Kundra.


Kundra who served for more than two years as the first chief information officer of the United States, is aiming to run for the post of Virginia Lt Gov.


Kal Penn left his lucrative career in Hollywood to serve as the Associate Director in the White House Office of Public Engagement. And then he quite the White House to play a key role Obama's victory by mobilizing the country's youth in the run up to the November 6 presidential elections.


Richard Verma; the Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs, at the US Department of State until March 2011 and Neera Tanden served as senior advisor for health reform at the Department of Health and Human Services, advising Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and working on Obama's health reform team in the White House to pass the bill.


Both Verma and Tanden have joined the Center for American Progress - an eminent Washington-based think tank. Verma was one of the key foreign policy surrogates for the Obama Campaign.


Ro Khanna spent two years as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce and has written a book "Entrepreneurial Nation" after leaving the administration; and Suresh Kumar served for two years as the Assistant Commerce Secretary for Trade Promotion and Director-General of the US Foreign Commercial Service.


His son Aditya Kumar served at the White House as the Deputy Assistant to the Vice President and Senior Advisor to the Chief of Staff.


Anil Kakani, who served as Senior Advisor for India at the US Department of Treasury for nearly two-and- a-half years, was possibly the only Indian-American in the Obama Administration to move to India to join the private sector.


Compiled from PTI and other sources.




Forty-four Indian American and Indian-origin scholars from academic institutions in the U.S. and other countries were among the 702 scholars that the American Association for the Advancement of Science recently elevated to the rank of Fellow.


The pre-eminent national scientific organization selects Fellows based on their efforts in advancing science or fostering applications considered scientifically or socially distinguished.


The new inductees will receive an official certificate and a gold and blue rosette pin Feb. 16 at the AAAS Fellows Forum during the 2013 AAAS Annual Meeting in Boston, Mass.


Recognized for their contributions to science and technology in their respective disciplines were:


In Agriculture, Food, and Renewable Resources:


Avtar Krishan Handa of Purdue University, Ravi Naidu, University of South Australia; and Sanjaya Rajaram, Resource Seed Mexicana.


Biological Sciences:


Soman Ninan Abraham of Duke University Medical Center, Anurag Agrawal, Cornell University; Priya Davidar, Pondicherry University, India; Lakshmi A. Devi, Mt. Sinai School of Medicine; Ratnesh Lal, University of California at San Diego; Mitzi Nagarkatti, University of South Carolina; D. C. Rao, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis; and Mrinalini Chatta Rao, University of Illinois at Chicago.




Prabir K. Dutta of Ohio State University, Kattesh V. Katti, University of Missouri-Columbia; N. Rama Krishna, University of Alabama; Krishna Kumar, Tufts University; Ursula Mazur, Washington State University; and Mohan Srinivasarao, Georgia Institute of Technology.




Amit Bandyopadhyay of Washington State University, Yogesh Jaluria, Rutgers University; Suhada Jayasuriya, University of Central Florida; Soundar Kumara, Pennsylvania State University; Azad M. Madni, University of Southern California; and Samir Mitragotri, University of California at Santa Barbara.


Also recognized in this category were Ranga Narayanan of the University of Florida, Rama Venkatasubramanian, RTI International; Darsh T. Wasan, Illinois Institute of Technology; and Rama Krishna Yedavalli, Ohio State University.


Information, Computing & Communication:


Prabir Bhattacharya of the University of Cincinnati, Raj Jain, Washington University in St. Louis; Prasant Mohapatra, University of California at Davis; Manish Parashar, Rutgers University; and Nagarajan Ranganathan, University of South Florida.


Also recognized in this category were Arun K. Somani of Iowa State University, Aravind Srinivasan, University of Maryland at College Park; and Ashok N. Srivastava, NASA Ames Research Center.


Medical Sciences:


Raghu Kalluri of Harvard Medical School/Beth Israel Deaconess.


Pharmaceutical Sciences:


Anil Kumar Sood of MD Anderson Cancer Center.




Ashutosh Kotwal of Duke University, Aneesh Manohar, University of California at San Diego; Nitin Samarth, Pennsylvania State University; and Surajit Sen, University at Buffalo.




Nitis Mukhopadhyay of the University of Connecticut, Haikady N. Nagaraja, Ohio State University; and Ajit C. Tamhane, Northwestern University.




Four Indian-Americans are among the recipients of the 2013 Marshall Scholarships. Aditya Ashok from Boston College, Aditya Balasubramanian from Harvard University, Paras Minhas from the University of Pittsburgh and Rahul Rekhi from Rice University will each receive funding to study at a university of their choice in the United Kingdom next fall.


The Marshal Aid Commemoration Commission administered the two-year scholarship for American students, which is named after Secretary of State George C. Marshall and commemorates the humane ideals of the Marshall Plan.


Ashok, who won a Harry S. Truman Scholarship for public service in 2011, will study global health at the University of Glasgow in August next year. "I am pleased to win the Marshall Scholarship, which will provide me with an opportunity to better understand health disparities that exist between the United States and the UK," his is quoted as saying in a press release on the Boston College website.


Balasubramaniam, a Harvard College senior concentrating on history, will study at the London School of Economics. After his junior year, Balasubramanian took a year off from school to work at the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab in India, where he investigated voter and politician information campaigns. "I am most interested in the rising inequality in the United States and India, since they are both countries I have ties to," he said on the Harvard University website. 


Microbiology student Minhas, a senior in the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh, will begin pursuing a Ph.D. in molecular cell biology at University College London next fall. During the spring semester, Minhas, who was named a Goldwater Scholar and an Amgen Scholar, plans to continue researching the HDAC3 enzyme, a press release on the university website said. He will also study British laws on mental health and whether it would be beneficial to implement similar legislation in the United States.


Rekhi, who is majoring in bioengineering and economics at Rice University, will use the scholarship to complete a Master of Science degree in international health policy at the London School of Economics and a Master of Science degree in bioengineering at Oxford University.


"I'm very excited by the opportunity to conduct cutting-edge translational research at Oxford's Institute of Biomedical Engineering, where scientists, engineers and physicians from around the world collaborate to develop the next generation of therapeutic technologies," Rekhi was quoted as saying in a press release on the Rice University website. At LSE, Rekhi plans to engage with world leaders on health care policy and health economics while gleaning insights from the British National Health Service that can be applied back in the U.S., the release said.


Credit: News India


Friday, December 07, 2012 AT 05:09 PM



Dr. Latha Ganti Stead, an emergency medicine physician from Gainesville, Fla., has been honored by the American Medical Association. She was presented the Dr. William Beaumont Award in Medicine on Nov. 12 at the AMA's semi-annual policy-making meeting. The award recognizes a distinguished young physician for his or her work in the medical sciences.


"It is an honor to present Dr. Stead with this award recognizing her outstanding contributions to emergency medicine," AMA Board Chair Dr. Steven J. Stack, was quoted as saying in a press release from AMA.


"Dr. Stead's dedication to medicine is reflected by the volume of research she's published, her commitment to patients and time spent mentoring other physicians," he added.


A professor and chief of the division of clinical research at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Stead is also the Toral Family Foundation Endowed Professor of Traumatic Brain Injury.


At the age of 38, she became the first and youngest full professor of emergency medicine at the Mayo Clinic, her bio data on the university website said.


She has authored 22 books, including the best-selling "First Aid for the Clinical Clerkship" series.


Stead has received awards from the Mayo Medical School for excellence in teaching. The American College of Emergency Physicians awarded her with the National Outstanding Faculty Teaching Award in 2005, and she also received the first ever Mentorship Award from the Emergency Medicine Residents' Association in 2008. She was also named a 2012-13 Fulbright Scholar for her project entitled "Strategy & Innovation in Clinical Research for the Global Health Era."


Stead received her medical degree from Ponce School of Medicine in Puerto Rico. She completed her residency in emergency medicine at the Jacobi-Montefiore Program, Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, N.Y.


She has a master's in clinical and translational science from the Mayo Graduate School and a master's in business administration from the Kellogg School of Management.





Pandit Ravi Shankar, who spearheaded the worldwide spread of Indian music, and had a major influence on Western musicians like the Beatles, died Dec. 11 in San Diego at the age of 92. Shankar, whose health had been fragile for the past several years, underwent heart-valve replacement surgery Dec. 6 at the Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, Calif., where he breathed his last.

A recipient of the Bharat Ratna in 1999, Shankar maintained residences in both India and the United States. He was also awarded the two other top Indian national civil honors - the Padma Bhushan in 1967 and Padma Vibhushan in 1981. The Indian Prime Minister's office called him a "national treasure."

He is survived by his wife Sukanya; daughter Anoushka Shankar Wright and her husband Joe Wright; daughter Norah Jones; three grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. "It is with heavy hearts we write to inform you that Pandit Ravi Shankar, husband, father, and musical soul, passed away today," Sukanya and Anoushka, said in a joint statement. "As you all know, his health has been fragile for the past several years, and on Thursday he underwent a surgery that could have potentially given him a new lease of life... His spirit and his legacy will live on forever in our hearts and in his music," they continued in their joint statement.

A three-time Grammy award winner, Shankar last performed in California on Nov. 4 along with his daughter Anoushka Shankar. Ravi Shankar has also been nominated for the 2013 Grammys for his album "The Living Room Sessions Part-1" and was pitted against Anoushka in the same category.

A Bengali Brahmin, Ravi Shankar was born named Robindra Shankar on April 7, 1920 in Varanasi. The youngest of four brothers, he spent his first 10 years in relative poverty, brought up by his mother. He was almost eight before he met his absent father, a globe-trotting lawyer, philosopher, writer and former minister to the Maharajah of Jhalawar.

In 1930, his eldest brother Uday Shankar uprooted the family to Paris, and over the next eight years Shankar enjoyed the limelight in Uday's troupe, which toured the world introducing Europeans and Americans to Indian classical and folk dance.

"As a performer, composer and teacher, Shankar was an Indian classical artist of the highest rank, and he spearheaded the worldwide spread of Indian music and culture," said writer and Editor Oliver Craske, who provided additional narrative for Shankar's autobiography "Raga Mala."

Shankar achieved his greatest fame in the 1960s when he was embraced by the Western counterculture. Through his influence on his great friend George Harrison, and appearances at the Monterey and Woodstock festivals, and the Concert for Bangladesh, he became a household name in the West.

Shankar has authored violin-sitar compositions for Yehudi Menuhin and himself, music for flute virtuoso Jean Pierre Rampal, music for Hosan Yamamoto, master of the Shakuhachi and Musumi Miyashita, Koto virtuoso, and has collaborated with Phillip Glass (Passages). Harrison produced and participated in two record albums, "Shankar Family & Friends" and "Festival of India" both composed by Shankar. Shankar also composed for ballets and films in India, Canada, Europe and the United States. The latter includes the films "Charley," "Gandhi," and the "Apu Trilogy."

A Magsaysay award winner, Shankar was nominated as a member of the Rajya Sabha in 1986. Believing in the greatness of Indian classical music and blessed with charisma and intelligence, he pursued a dream of taking the music out to the Western world. Between the early 1950s and the mid-1960s he became the leading international emissary for Indian music, first performing as a solo artist in the USSR in 1954, in Europe and North America in 1956, and Japan in 1958.

He developed a characteristic sitar sound, with powerful bass notes and a serene and spiritual touch in the alap movement of a raga. The sitar virtuoso was responsible for incorporating many aspects of Carnatic (south Indian) music into the north Indian system, especially its mathematical approach to rhythm. He also gave a new prominence to the tabla player in concert.

He was appointed director of music at the Indian People's Theatre Association, and later held the same position at All India Radio (1949-56). He composed his first new raga in 1945 (30 more would follow) and began a prolific recording career. The music doyen wrote a new melody for Mohammed Iqbal's patriotic poem "Sare Jahan Se Accha."

Shankar won the Silver Bear Extraordinary Prize of the Jury at the 1957 Berlin International Film Festival for composing the music for the movie "Kabuliwala." He was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for 1962 and was named a Fellow of the academy for 1975. In 2001, Shankar was made an Honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Elizabeth II for his "services to music."

Shankar married his teacher Ustad Allauddin Khan's daughter Annapurna Devi in 1941 and had a son, Shubhendra Shankar. He separated from Devi in the 1940s.

An affair with Sue Jones, a New York concert producer, led to the birth of Norah Jones in 1979. Jones became a successful musician, winning eight Grammy Awards in 2003.

His second daughter Anoushka was born in 1981 with Sukanya Rajan, whom Shankar had known since the 1970s. He married Sukanya in 1989.

Credit: India West





The provision relating to 2 months gap between two visits of a foreign national to India on a Tourist visa has been reviewed by the Government.


The Government has decided, with immediate effect, to lift the restriction of two-month gap on re-entry of foreign nationals coming to India except in case of nationals of Afghanistan, China, lran, Pakistan, Iraq, Sudan, Bangladesh, foreigners of Pakistan and Bangladesh origins and Stateless persons.



GOPIO is a non-partisan, non-sectarian global organization with chapters in several countries, actively promoting the interests of people of Indian origin worldwide by monitoring and addressing current critical issues of concern, and by enhancing cooperation and communication between groups of Indians living in various countries.


GOPIO Individual Life membership is open to all who believe in the mission of GOPIO. The one- time fee is $5,000 for Platinum Life Membership, $2,500 for Gold Life Membership and $1,500 Silver Life Membership and half the amount for each category for those from developing countries and India.


GOPIO is looking forward to opening chapters in all major cities of the world so as to network people of Indian origin all over the world. If you do not have chapter in your city, please visit GOPIO website ( and get details of chapter initiation (visit Process involves sending a letter of intent to start a chapter by a committee of five people or more. For more information, contact:


GOPIO Chairman - Inder Singh, Tarzana, California, USA, Tel: +1-818-708-3885, E-mail:


GOPIO President - Ashook Ramsaran, Fresh Meadows, New York, USA, Tel: 718/939-8194, E-mail:


GOPIO Executive Vice President - Sunny Kulathakal, Bahrain, Tel: +973 39441956 or +91 9845756692, E-mail:


GOPIO Senior Vice President - Dr Piyush Agrawal, Weston, Florida, USA, Tel: +1-954-684-6494,


To become a Life member of GOPIO, one can sign up online at or fill up the form and send it with a check to: GOPIO International, PO Box 560117, New York NY 11356, USA.



Chief Editor: Dr. Thomas Abraham, Founder President and Chairman Emeritus of GOPIO Intl. and Executive Trustee, GOPIO Foundation (Stamford, CT, USA)

Editor: Nami Kaur, Secretary, GOPIO International (New York, USA)

Co-Editors: Bina Mahabir, Co-Chair GOPIO Media Council, GOPIO International (Guyana-New York, USA) and Nilofar Pardawala (Portland, Oregon, USA)

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

Contributors of this issue: Ashook Ramsaran (President, GOPIO Intl.), Sunny Kulathakal (Exec. Vice President, GOPIO Intl. Bahrain), Dr. Piyush Agrawal (Senior Vice President, GOPIO, USA), Rajindre Tewari (International Coordinator, GOPIO Europe), Munish Gupta (GOPIO Intl. Coordinator for Africa)


Contact Dr. Thomas Abraham, Tel: 203-329-8010, E-mail:


GOPIO NEWS welcomes NRI/PIO related stories from all over the world. Be a volunteer correspondent or reporter.

Visit GOPIO's Official site at or