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Vol 46 Issue 39

10th Febuary to 16th February 2018

Let noble thoughts come to us from every side 80p

JAITLEY BIDS ON HEALTH, AGRI

From the world's largest healthcare programme, to massive spending on rural infrastructure, Jaitley's budget focuses on agriculture, and achieving high growth rate. In his last full year budget before the 2019 national election, Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley spoke about a massive funding for rural infrastructure and win over votes from the villages. It is evident that general budget 2018-19 focuses on faster growth. Presenting the budget in the Parliament, Jaitley said that the Indian polity, society, and economy had shown remarkable resilience in adjusting with structural reforms.

In his first bilingual speech, he reiterated Modi government's promises. “Four years ago, we pledged to the people of India to give this nation an honest, clean, and transparent government. We promised a leadership capable of taking difficult decisions and restoring

India's U-19 team creates history

Detailed report on page 32

Former leader, 2 SC judges arrested in Maldives

Detailed report on page 23 strong performance of Indian economy. We promised to reduce poverty, expedite infrastructure creation and build a strong, confident and a New India.” He added, “When our government took over, India was considered a part of fragile, a nation suffering from policy paralysis and corruption. We have decisively reversed this. The government, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has successfully

implemented a series of fundamental structural reforms. With the result, India stands out among the fastest growing economies of the world. This year's budget, he said, will consolidate these gains and focus in particular on strengthening agriculture and rural economy, provision of good health care to the financially challenged, taking care of senior citizens, infrastructure creation, and working

with the states to provide more resources to improve quality of education. WORLD'S LARGEST HEALTHCARE PLAN In a national healthcare scheme that is set to give the much-talked about Obamacare a complex, Jaitley announced an Ayushmann Bharat for over half a billion of India's poor citizens in a massive giveaway to voters. Continued on page 16

Volatile ex-husband jailed over ex-wife's murder

Detailed report on page 21


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Finsbury Park attacker jailed for minimum 43 years Following a nine-day trial at Woolwich Crown Court, Darren Osborne, 48, who rammed a rented van near Finsbury Park mosque, killing 51year-old Makram Ali on 19th June 2017, has been found guilty and has been sentenced to life imprisonment, serving a minimum term of 43 years in jail. Police analysis of Osborne's online searches have revealed that prior to committing the atrocious attack, between 4th and 17th June last year, police identified 30 references to Tommy Robinson, the founder of the far-right English Defence League (EDL) who also help develop the anti-Islam movement, Pegida UK. Mrs Justice CheemaGrubb said that Osborne had planned “a suicide mission” and he had expected to be shot dead. She told him, “This was a terrorist attack – you intended to kill.” Darren Osborne, from Cardiff was found guilty of murder and attempted

Darren Osborne jailed for a minimun 43 years

murder. As he was led away from the court after being sentenced, he said, “God bless you all, thank you.” In court, Justice Cheema-Grubb told Osborne that he was “rapidly radicalised over the internet by those determined to spread hatred of Muslims.” She said, “Your use of Twitter exposed you to racists and anti-Islamic ideology. In short, you allowed your mind to be poisoned by those who

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claimed to be leaders.” Before Osborne was sentenced, the court heard a statement from the daughter of Makram Ali, Razina Ali, who said had suffered “recurring nightmares” since the death of her father. “The incident was near to our house and I walk past it most days. It keeps me awake at night thinking about the attack. My father was the most sincere and warmest person I know. He was full of jokes and laughter, and full of love for his family and grandchildren. His life was taken in a cruel way by a narrow-minded, heartless being.” Regarding this verdict, the Head of the Met's Counter Terrorism

Makram Ali died in the attack

Command, Commander Dean Haydon said, “I welcome the judge's decision to sentence Osborne under the Terrorism Act, which reflects the gravity of his actions. Osborne's evil and cowardly attack meant a family has tragically lost a husband, father and grandfather. There were also 12 others, who having gone to Mr Ali's aid, sus-

tained various injuries from the collision. Some of those injured have still not fully recovered and could suffer from health issues for the rest of their lives. I would like to pay tribute to Mr Ali's family and the local community in Finsbury Park, for their tremendous support and understanding with our investigation during what must have been an extremely difficult time for them. From the very outset, this investigation has had the full weight of the Met's Counter Terrorism Command behind it and I hope today's outcome means those affected can start to think about putting this terrible ordeal behind them.”

While sentencing Osborne, the judge also praised imam Mohammed Mahmoud who protected Darren Osborne from being attacked by the crowd. He showed “true leadership” and chose to “respond to evil with good”. Justice Cheema-Grubb said, “His behaviour throws into sharp relief the bile spewed out online from those who aspire to lead the haters. Not because his exhortation to desist from punishing the perpetrator was remarkable, but because he had the strength of character to do the right thing under pressure. He chose to respond to evil with good.”

Hospital NHS Trust. Initially, prosecutors decided that there was a lack of sufficient evidence to bring gross negligence manslaughter charges, however, inquests will commence this year relating to four of Saker's patients who died. The victims were aged between 68 and 84. While sentencing Sudip Sarker at Worcester Crown Court, Judge Robert Juckes told him, “I have to sentence you for the lies you told in an interview. On the job description you knew what it required and you told highly significant lies and grossly exag-

gerated. There has been criticism of your lack of questioning. It was your exaggeration that I cannot ignore. It had consequences that were disastrous. You were in work which puts people's lives at risk so there is very high culpability indeed.” The judge stated that the trust could not be blamed for giving Sarker the job as he had provided proper references from his previous employers at the Whittington Hospital and the Royal Free Hospital; both hospitals in London. Sarker will also face a proceeds of crime hearing in May.

Surgeon lied to get £84k job

48-year-old surgeon, Sudip Sarker, has been jailed for 6 years after he was found guilty of fraud after lying about his surgical experience to get a job as a consultant at Alexandra Hospital in Redditch. Sarker had lied about his experience to acquire the £84,000 per annum job. It is alleged that he had twice as many patients die as his colleagues. He worked at Alexandra Hospital from August 2011 to June 2012. It is said that he had lied about performing 51 out of 85 keyhole bowel operations working on his

Sudip Sarker

own, when in actuality he only worked on 6. The NHS was left with a £2 million bill for 19 medical negligence claims against Sarker, who managed to fool an expert panel of interviewees into giving him the job at Worcestershire Acute

Police arrest woman in connection with Ramniklal Jogiya’s murder inquiry A 22-year-old woman has been arrested on suspicion of conspiring to kidnap and robbery following the death of Ramniklal Jogiya. She is the ninth person to be arrested as part of the investigation into the Leicester jeweller's suspected murder. Four men aged 19, 20, 23 and 29 have been charged with the kidnap and robbery of Mr Jogiya and have appeared at Leicester Magistrates’ Court. They have been remanded into custody to appear at Leicester Crown Court on a later date. Two arrested men, aged

Ramniklal Jogiya

22 and 18, have been released under investigation and two arrested men, aged 20 and 21, have been released with no further action. Meanwhile on Monday the grieving family of Ramniklal Jogiya made an impassioned

appeal for information. In the video they also paid tribute to their father, whom they describe as "kind, gentle, humble, caring, loyal (and) giving to a fault". Describing the family's emotions in the wake of Mr Jogiya's death, one of his sons, who did not want to be named said: "We're all feeling absolutely shocked and devastated. "We're all constantly thinking about what has happened, and I keep imagining and visualising what he was going through when he was taken and beaten up repeatedly and worried what he was feel-

ing and thinking at that particular moment in time, all helpless and all alone fearful and scared and not understanding what is going on and why it is happening. I can imagine him all alone left out there at night and nobody there to hold him or comfort him. Helpless." In their video plea, Mr Jogiya's sons begged for anyone with information to come forward. The son who spoke appeared alongside his brother who looked emotional throughout the video and comforted his sibling as he finished the difficult speech.

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COMMENTS

Jaitley’s Budget The Budget placed before Parliament on the afternoon of February 1 was notable for its strategic sweep. The Finance Minister kept an eye on the general election scheduled for May/June 2019, and hence the need to satisfy a number of populist demands. However, fiscal prudence – the need to balance the books and keep expenditure and revenue broadly aligned - was vitally important to keep inflationary pressures in check and money in the pocket hold its value. A landmark measure tabled by the Finance Minister was a comprehensive health care system designed to bring the poor and disadvantaged sections of society into the into the safety net. The budget allocation of Rs 52,800 crore brought K.Sujatha Rao, former Union Secretary of the Ministry of Health and Family Planning to tweet: ‘ Excell ent initiative…for the poor…extremely excited that the drought facing health may be over.’ Dr K. Srinath Reddy, President, Public Health Foundation of India, while welcoming the statement, said: ‘However, implementation challenges lie in expanding the size and skills of the workforce needed for primary health care and in creating capacity to efficiently manage strategic purchasing of secondary and tertia ry care.’ (continued COMMENT PAGE 3). Agriculture: Widespread reports of farmers’ suicides across northern India forced the government to address rural distress, as about 49 per cent of India’s workforce earn their livelihood growing food.. A major solution to the problem, as former Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuran Rajan opined recently at Davos, ‘should be on removing supply bottlenecks than on creating much more additional demand.’ Be that as it may, bumper harvests, low prices, drought and near zero incomes have driven many farmers to commit suicide. The picture is grim. The government’s decision to put in place a procurement mechanism to meet costs for farmers, and guarantee an improved price for farm produce, is a welcome step. But, say critics, the Finance Minister’s Budget speech fell shor t of dealing adequately with the marketing mechanism, as recommended by the Ashok Dalwal Commission on doubling farmer incomes. The Commission had suggested that the One India Market would benefit if agricultural marketing was brought under the Concurrent List instead of being placed under exclusive authority of the States. Marketing should surely operate on a pan-India level for agriculture to achieve its true potential, surmounting the rural-urban economic and social divide. Food Parks: Minister Jaitley’s proposal to set up modern facilities at 42 mega food parks across the country was to ensure that Indian brands on display would reassure potential importers of their quality. Should the project fulfil this goal, marketing would reach an exponentially higher level and augment farmers’ incomes significa ntly. Communications: National Highways hope to construct 9000km in 2017-18, Bharat Mala 35,000 km. The Golden Quadrilateral highways linking the metropolitan cities was conceived and implemented by

the first BJP government at the Centre at the start of the century. The venture should be grist to contemporary planners engaged in extend road transport and thereby improve markert accessibility. Tax Relief: Small and medium size businesses with incomes of Rs 250 crore will have their tax reduced to 25 per cent from the current 30 per cent tax charged companies large and small. The move, it was hoped, would encourage them to hire more staff, reducing levels of unemployment, which remain unacceptably high. Boost for Railways: Fresh focus on new infrastructure has led to the highest ever allocation for the ongoing modernization of the railways. Minister Jaitley allocated a massive capital expenditure of Rs 1.48 crore. By next year, he averred, people would experience the enhanced capacity of the rail network. The technological spin-off in new rolling stock would be of critical benefit to the further development of this mass transport system. The Railways have been the cash cow of governments down the years. Former Minister Suresh Prabhu (now in charge of Commerce) set the reform bell rolling; his able successor Piyush Goyal has taken taken reforms forward with gusto. For instance, the 100-old signaling system is being updated with the most technologically advanced system in the world. He has brought in the private sector in the management of rail assets and streamlined the administrative structure and reduced red tape - an ongoing process which is beraring fruit.. Digital boost: The government’s flagship Digital India gets investment of Rs 1,425. 63 crore, which, in the next fiscal, is expected to jump to Rs 3, 073 crore. India is benefitting from the tailwinds of the global economy, now on a fast growth track. ‘Global economy is transforming into a digital economy, thanks to the development of cut ting edge technologies in digital space machine learning, artificial intelligence Internet of things, 3D printing and the like,’ said Minister Jaitley. ‘Under Digital India Rs 864.22 crore will be spent on the promotion of electronics, manufacturing, followed by Rs 425 crore on delivering e-governance services, Rs 400 crore on the government digital literacy programme and Rs 300 crore on the development of manpower.’ Subjects worthy of notice are disinvestment, urban sector development and export promotion to boost foreign exchange earnings. The planned disinvestment of government enterprises is the highest on record, and should go considerable way to reduce the government’s current fiscal deficit of 3,5 per cent. National budgets rarely command all-party approval. Opposition parties seek to score electoral points over their rivals. This constant will remain for the next millennium. The views of industrialists, company executives, engineers etc are trustworthy sources of wisdom, pros and cons.

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has issued the umpteenth call to the government to raise the annual cap on the numbers of non-EU workers permitted to enter the country for employment. ‘Hitting the cap and limiting skilled from across the globe damages UK competitiveness,’ warned Neil Carberry of the CBI. Prime Minister Theresa May, in China striking trade deals, was too preoccupied to respond. If the past is anything to go by, the CBI’s latest appeal will fall on deaf years. The Brexit picture is a fog of baffli ng images and statements. That said, Y.K. Sinha, India’s High Commissioner to the UK, in a forthright speech in London drew attention to the negative images of India in the British media. This is nothing new andis unlikely to

change anytime soon. The Times, Guardian and Financial Times are almost as toxic as their American peers, much too driven by vision of an Anglo-American international order buttressed by NATO military muscle as enforcer. Hence the ‘benign neglect’ of the Commonwealth, to which Mr Sinha rightly alludes is a tablet cast in stone. When wisdom dawns, the goal of an apartheid global order will be perceived as the absurdity it assuredly is. President Theodore Roosevelt’s injunction to ‘speak softy and use a big stick’ was feasible for its time when the United States manufactures constituted 40 per cent the world’s total output. A century has passed and new ground realities require policies to match.

Britain’s rudderless foreign policy

Trump’s Cold War message spells global disorder US President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address to Congress included a significant passage on foreign policy. It was a disturbingly truculent statement of intent against rival powers, whom he singled out as North Korea, Iran, Russia and China. He accused them of challenging American ‘interests’ and ‘values.’ A simultaneous emanating from the Pentagon warned that America would use nuclear weapons against any state that attacked it with conventional arms or subjected the US cyber attack. ‘Interests,’ it would appear, are what America will them to be. US Republican Senator (Richard) Black, disconcerted by these developments, told a TV interviewer that ‘war hawks’ in his country were setting the foreign policy agenda, that new US nuclear weaponry might lead to a new arms race and, possibly a Third War and Armageddon. He decried the anti-

Russian hysteria that had taken hold in his country and the relentless search for enemies to justify an escalating defence budget. President Trump juxtaposed American ‘values’ with American ‘interests.What were the ‘interests’ and ‘values’ he claimed to be defending? Surely not in the Greater Middle East, where US military interventions have reduced to a charnel , where entire societies have been destroyed, with dispossessed humanity risk life and limb for salvation across the deep in fragile craft in Europe’s unwelcoming shores. The United States has much to be proud in its many achievements; its entrepreneurial energy, its feats in science and engineering have long been the envy of the world. The absence of conscience and elementary humanity remains a major blot on its record at home – gun violence claims 500,00 lives annually - and abroad.

Asian Voice | 10th February 2018

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I will seize fate by the throat; it shall certainly never wholly overcome me. - Ludwig van Beethoven

Seema Malhotra MP

Labour and Co-op Member of Parliament for Feltham & Heston Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury

Rejoicing 100 years of women's right to vote

100 years ago, our country took the first step towards getting women the vote with the passing of the Representation of the People Act on 6th February 1918. Men over 21 and women over 30 who met a property qualification got the right to vote. This was a huge step, though it wasnt until November 2018 that women got the right to stand for Parliament, and it wasnt until 1928 that women and men got equal suffrage. Now, 100 years later, there are 208 women MPs – a record total representing 32% of the House of Commons. There are 216 women in the House of Lords – 26%. 32% of councillors are women. Today I am proud to be a statistic – the 367th woman ever elected to Parliament out of a total of 489 women MPs to date. I am the first woman ever elected to represent my constituency Feltham and Heston and the first female MP of Punjabi origin. And I am proud of the stand taken by the Labour Party in changing the dynamics of UK politics. 283 of the 489 elected have been Labour. Until 1997, women had never formed more than 10% of all MPs. And now Labour will be taking the next step – making sure every woman in this country has their voice heard. We won’t stop until women are fully represented, in our policies and in our Parliament. Tories have had two women leaders - that’s a matter for celebration. But does it show that the Tories are committed to the advancement of women in society? Their record shows otherwise. Theresa May sat round the Cabinet table that has forced cuts where women bear 86% of burden. Labour has had two deputy leaders who became acting leaders in incredibly difficult circumstances – the Rt Hon Margaret Beckett MP – who became Britain’s first woman Foreign Secretary, and the Rt Hon Harriet Harman MP – now the Mother of the House with the longest continuous service of any woman MP in history. 45% of all Labour MPs are female while only 21% are Conservatives. Currently all female Labour MPs now represent one quarter of all the women elected in the last 100 years. Women MPs have been instrumental in changing the policy conversation and changing the culture of our politics. Labour introduced the National Minimum Wage benefiting hugely women on low wages, child tax credits and paternity pay. Continued on page 4 Editor: CB Patel

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Asian Parliamentarians strike back at Trump for NHS criticism Rupanjana Dutta US President Donald Trump has infuriated UK MPs, sparking a backlash with his recent comment on NHS. The President in his usual style with a tweet criticised the US Democrats pushing for a universal health system, and said "thousands of people are marching" in the UK because the NHS is "going broke and not working". This was believed to be a reference to a Save the NHS march on Downing Street on Saturday, demanding more funding. Downing Street said Theresa May was "proud" of the UK's system. Organisers of the demonstration said it had been aimed at showing people's "love" for the NHS. The chief executive of NHS England also said the US president had "got the wrong end of the stick". NHS that has many Asians working for the trusts, represents a free health system for UK residents, funded out of general taxation, though currently due to lack of resources it has been going through a tough time. But without fail it still remains one of the world's best healthcare system. In the US, when people get treatment they have to pay, most often through health insurance providers. President Trump's tweet came after ex-UKIP leader Nigel Farage appeared on Fox And Friends, one of the president's favourite shows, talking about the weekend march and the perils of UK's high population. In response, Mr Hunt reportedly said that while he "disagreed with claims made on that march", noone wanted "to live in a system where 28 million people have no cover". He added: "NHS may have challenges but I'm proud to be from the country that invented universal coverage - where all get care, no matter the size of their bank balance." Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn - the leader of Her Majesty's Opposition - also hit back, reportedly saying: "People were marching because we love our NHS and hate what the Tories are doing to it." He added: "Healthcare is a human right." Asian MPs took also took the media platform to protest against President Trump's comment. Seema Malhotra, told Asian Voice, “Donald Trump wants a

health system that checks your wallet before it checks your pulse. That’s not a society we want to live in. We fought for our health system at the point of use. I could not be more proud of our NHS.” Labour MP Virendra S h a r m a s a i d , “President Trump’s illinformed comments on the NHS show yet again how unqualified he is to be President. Not one of the people marching last weekend wants to move to a US style system. Nigel Farage’s lapdog attitude to the US President is embarrassing and tragic, but no more than we expect from him. The NHS is a national institution, it saves lives and is loved by millions. This Tory government has strategically underfunded sections of the NHS to help the argument for privatisation. We must stand against this, for a public sector NHS, free at the point of use.” Conservative Peer, L o r d Popat said, “The NHS is our most cherished institution. Anyone who has ever had to be treated in an emergency situation knows how lucky we are to have it. The Government rightly continues to invest heavily to meet the demands of an ageing population. No system is perfect – but the ideal of ensuring equitable access to all people regardless of who they are, where they

come from or what they can afford is utterly priceless. It’s what makes us human – and it’s what makes us British.” Lib Deem Peer Lord Dholakia told Asian Vo i c e , “ T h e U n i t e d States is an important ally of the United Kingdom. It is time its President stopped tweeting about issues of which he has no knowledge. "We know that he has apologised for his previous tweets on matters relating to security and terrorism. "Trump is dangerously deluded about the NHS. He needs to read up on how his own health system works before attacking others. “The NHS is a jewel in the crown of UK society. We should always be proud of the fact that British people can see a doctor without the fear and anxiety of being hit by a massive medical bill. “Trump’s unwillingness to listen to new ideas is not only a damaging indictment of his approach to leadership, but also leaves Americans unhealthier, poorer and with a lower quality of life.” R Gopal, a GP with the NHS said, “We walk on tight ropes, work within small budgets, and junior doctors are often overworked, but NHS remains the best free medical service in the whole world.”

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Cllr Sachin Shah Leader of the Harrow Council

I take my role of Leader of Harrow Council seriously As with many Indian residents of Harrow and Brent, I took some time off over Christmas to visit India. It’s always nice to get away from the cold, into the warm air of India and also to eat all the lovely food that India has to offer. I also took the opportunity to visit a number of temples to pay tribute to the many communities we have in Harrow. Harrow has the highest number of Jains anywhere in London, and as a Jain myself, I am keen to make sure the council recognises this. I also visited a Swaminarayan Mandir. The Swaminarayan community in Harrow is large and we have a number of Mandirs around Harrow. Both in India and here, I continue to be impressed with the work ethic of the Swaminarayan community. The number of hours of volunteering that’s put in and the work done in the community is amazing. This is something that the community should be proud of. I was particularly impressed when I went to the Swami Vivekanand Mandir in Rajkot. I went to the Mandir because in Harrow, I have been working with others to bring a statue of Swami Vivekanand to Harrow, at no cost to the taxpayer. I learnt a lot about his teachings, and was impressed with the work he did to raise awareness of Hinduism as a religion. I spoke to a number of people at the temple about his teachings and his desire to spread the message of the religion. It is vital that Harrow does what it can to recognise the large contribution the Hindu community has made to the area, this is why I, and the Labour run Harrow council are fully supporting the work to bring a statue to Harrow.

As we have just had the 70th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s death, I took the opportunity to visit his birth place, the home that he grew up in. For such an amazing man, what stays with me is how simple his beginnings were. The history of India’s struggle for independence and Gandhi’s part in that was very clear. His view that no matter what happened, no matter how unfair, that non violence was the only way to do things was vital. It set him apart from others and it showed that no matter how difficult things get, violence is never the answer. A lesson we can all learn from today. And of course, in Harrow we have a link to the struggle, Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India studied in Harrow; a link that is all too often forgotten. I take my role of Leader of Harrow Council very seriously, and by visiting these temples in India, it is an important way of making sure I really understand the background and the history of so many of the communities we have in Harrow, so I can truly represent them all. Finally now I’m back, my attention is now drawn to the up coming elections across London. This election cannot be more important. With the Government still planning to make huge cuts to Harrow Council, it’s vital that we have a council that is willing to fight for more money for Harrow, while making sure we continue to improve lives for Harrow residents. That will always be my focus and I look forward to making that case to all Harrow residents in the forthcoming campaign.

Rejoicing 100 years of women's right to vote

Continued on page 3 From the Equal Pay Act to The Equality Act 2010, introduced by Labour, which enshrined in law the public sector equality duty, to women and enterprise task force and targets for equality on public boards, Labour women have led the way. Whilst progress has been made, we know there is still a long way to go – just one example is gender pay gap currently at 9.1% per hour for full time employees in the UK, or £1.32 per hour. The vast majority of victims of domestic violence are women – and the scale of the problem is a national scandal. In 2016 there were 2 million female victims of domestic vio-

lence. 2 women every week are killed by a current or ex-partner and other close relative. Refuge funding is under threat and other services to protect women from violence in all its forms underfunded and under-supported. As we remember our history and the sisters who fought for us, and indeed honorary sisters like Keir Hardie - the first Leader of the Labour Party and the first ever Labour Member of Parliament who was a fervent supporter of women’s suffrage – we also look to our challenge of the future. Women’s equality, access to opportunity and to power in all parts of society has to be our ongoing goal, and part of our driving purpose. See page 15 for Suffragette story

Victim of burglary disappointed by police

A victim of a burglary has criticised the police for not fully investigating the incident despite assembling evidence to help nab the thieves. Assistant professor at the University of London, Ayesha Siddiqi's home was burgled on 3rd January. Her laptops, two bags and her wallet were among

items stolen on the day. She was able to track the use of her stolen bank cards which was used at her local Londis store in Harlesden. Siddiqi went to the store and spoke to staff members. They showed her CCTV footage of a woman who took out a payment card from a “bright yellow distinctive” purse

which Siddiqi recognised as belonging to her. CCTV also captured the registration number of the car driven by the alleged thieves. Ayesha Siddiqi, 34, handed all the evidence to the police at Wembley Police Station the following day and Continued on page 21

Ayesha Siddiqi with partner, Salman Mohammad


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Asian Voice | 10th February 2018

Staggering £375,000 pledged at launch for London National Sikh War Memorial

Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi, MP for Slough

Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi (MP for Slough) hosted the parliamentary launch of the campaign for a National Sikh War Memorial in central London. The campaign is being delivered under the auspices of the National Sikh War Memorial Trust, a charity instituted in 2017 for the express purpose of finally delivering on this longstanding community aspiration. The launch was presided over by the Speaker of the House of Commons, Rt Hon. John Bercow MP, and attended by the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government Rt Hon. Sajid Javid MP, Members of Parliament from across the political spectrum including Parliamentary party leaders such as Jeremy Corbyn MP (Labour), Vince Cable MP

(Liberal Democrats), Ian Blackford (SNP), Liz Saville Roberts MP (Plaid Cymru) and Nigel Dodds MP (DUP), Tom Watson MP (Labour Deputy Leader), John McDonnell MP (Shadow Chancellor) as well as over 100 prominent representatives from various Sikh organisations from across the country. The campaign for a National Sikh War Memorial in London is to commemorate the Sikh soldiers who exhibited extraordinary bravery and sacrifices in the service of Great Britain, during both World Wars. Though Sikhs made up only 2% of the population of British India, they formed 20% of the British Indian Army during the First World War, and hundreds of thousands of Sikh soldiers saw active service during the two major wars and many other conflicts. More than 83,000 turbaned Sikh soldiers laid down their lives and more than 100,000 were injured during the World Wars. Tan Dhesi said, “Memorials already exist in London for Soldiers from the Commonwealth, British India, Poland, AfricanCaribbean nations, and for the Gurkhas but none of a

turbaned Sikh Soldier. For over a decade there has been a demand from various quarters for the installation of such a national monument in our capital city. It is clear that the memorial has cross party support and with the efforts of the National Sikh War Memorial Trust, it will become a reality. A staggering £375,000 has already been pledged by fifteen generous donors, donating £25,000 each. Hopefully with the active support of the Government, the Mayor

something which is very close to my heart.” The donors, including Jasminder Singh, Chairman & CEO, Edwardian Hotels London and Dr. Rami Ranger CBE, Chairman, Sun Mark Ltd, were feted during the event. Inderneel Singh, Managing Director, The Mayfair Hotel was present on behalf of Edwardian Hotels London. Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said, “Britain and the world owe a huge debt to the Sikh servicemen and women

Sikh community in London and the contribution they have made to the capital – socially, culturally and economically - I feel proud. Seva, or selfless service, is integral to Sikhism and this principle of charity and equality is something I deeply respect. From the outset of my Mayoralty, I have made it clear that a memorial should take pride of place in London to commemorate those who served and died in the wars. I welcome the news that a

monument in our capital city, the first in any country apart from India, would be a magnificent tribute to those brave Sikh servicemen to whom we all owe a great debt of gratitude.” Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Rt Hon. Sir Vince Cable added, “One of the forgotten aspects of the British efforts in the World Wars was the enormous number of soldiers from the Indian sub-continent. There were 1.3m Indian troops in the First World War, includ-

The donors to the Sikh memorial feted at the event

of London and the local authorities, we will in the very near future have a permanent national monument in a fitting central London location. It would have huge additional benefits for community cohesion and integration within our country,

who fought alongside British troops during the First and Second World Wars. The heroic Sikh soldiers who laid down their lives for our country and the freedoms we enjoy today should get the recognition they deserve. When I think of the

National Sikh War Memorial Trust will be set up and look forward to supporting their good work to get proper recognition for Sikh service men and women.” Leader of the Labour Party, Rt Hon. Jeremy Corbyn MP expressed, “A

ing more than 74,000 who died, and around 2.3m served in the Second World War. There were, in fact, a disproportionate number of Indian soldiers, including Sikhs, and it is entirely right that we commemorate their contribution.”

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6

Nominate your favourite charity

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Indian boy enrols as international college’s 1,000th student Rupanjana Dutta

Do you know of any UK based charities / individuals who are solving pressing social issues of our time, both in Britain and globally

NOMINATIONS

OPEN NOW!

Nomination deadline

31 March 2018.

Nominate them for the Asian Voice Charity Awards 2018 by visiting our

w ww.asianvoicecharityawards.com

The Awards ceremony will be held on Friday 18th May 2018 at the Hilton, Park Lane , London

Award Categories

For Charities and Not-for Profit Institutions I Charity of the Year

This award recognises a UK-registered charity for their outstanding work and contribution to society, as well as demonstrated excellence service and achievement in its work over the last five years.

I

Start-Up of the Year

This award is similar to Charity of the Year, but specifically for charities that have been operational for three years or less.

Rachit Patel, a Gujarati origin student from Mumbai in India has become the 1000th student at Birmingham's City University International College. Students, staff and alumni at the college in the UK celebrated it on Monday as the institution enrolled its 1,000th student. 19 year old Patel, began his studies on the Art and Design Foundation programme at the College. The significant milestone was marked with a celebration that saw him presented with a £1,000 bursary to help towards his studies and all those present enjoyed a slice of a specially-commissioned cake. Rachit Patel said: “I am deeply honoured to be the 1,000th student to enrol at BCUIC and this wonderful bursary is a real help toward my education. Coming to study here in the UK was something I had always wanted to do and I was really excited to be here, but I never expected I would be making history on my first day! “When researching places to study in the UK, I fell in love with Birmingham online and I chose BCUIC specifically because of the incredible service I received from its admissions team. Now I can’t wait to further my education here at BCUIC in these beautiful surroundings, before I progress on to the BA

I Most Enterprising

This award recognises a social enterprise or the trading arm of a charity that has made a significant difference to beneficiaries through its ability to generate income to meet its social goals over the last two years.

For Corporate Partnerships: I Excellence in Corporate Social Responsibility

This award recognises the best corporate partnership and corporate responsibility programmes. It honours a company which goes beyond simply CSR projects to engage in partnerships in the last two years with either UK-registered or international charities, social enterprises or unincorporated charitable projects, to demonstrate quantifiably positive impact to the community.

For Individuals: I Inspiring Individual

This award recognises an individual who has demonstrated dedication, professionalism and integrity over a sustained period of time, and who has produced an identifiably profound effect on the social sector in the UK or otherwise through their work, which could be voluntary or otherwise.

I Inspiring Young Person

This award recognises a young individual who has demonstrated dedication and integrity through their work with the social sector in the UK or otherwise over the past year.

FOR INFORMATION CONTACT : 0207 749 4085

email: rovin.george@abplgroup.com

area’s iconic Village Green – which itself has been declared as one of the best green spaces in the country (Green Flag Award 2017) – BCUIC is also only a few miles from the vibrant centre of one of the UK’s most diverse cities. The College provides pathways to over 130 undergraduate and postgraduate courses at Birmingham City University, with a 95 per cent successful progression rate. Cheryl Badhams, College Principal, Birmingham City University International College, said: “We are thrilled to have reached this milestone of enrolling 1,000 students – and in under five years is a real achievement! “I believe our success is owing to the continued hard work of our dedicated team of academic and support staff, who work Continued on page 13

Recognising excellence early on

This award recognises excellence in charity PR, either in-house at a charity, or an agency undertaking a PR campaign on behalf of a charity

This award recognises an organisation for the social impact they have created and their contribution to society.

(Hons) Media and Communication undergraduate degree at Birmingham City University in September.” Opened less than five years ago, BCUIC provides undergraduate and postgraduate pathways to Birmingham City University for international students who do not meet the University’s direct entry requirements – enabling them to progress on to a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree. BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally recognised education provider with the knowledge and resources of staff from more than 35 different colleges and campuses worldwide. Based close to the world-famous Cadbury’s chocolate factory in Birmingham’s Bournville suburb – described as one of the nicest places to live in Britain (Joseph Rowntree Foundation, 2003) – and bordering the

Start-Up of the Year

I Outstanding PR Team

I Social Impact Award

BCUIC’s 1,000th student Rachit Patel and Cheryl Badhams, College Principal

Pratik Dattani

Our two Start-up of the Year winners in 2016 and 2017 have been exceptional recipients and have shown the merits of our tough screening process that seeks to showcase excellence and support organisations that are delivering practical solutions to present-day problems. Our inaugural winner My Life Films combine music, photos, clips and interviews to celebrate the lives of those with dementia and help carers build better patient relationships. Since winning in our Awards, their income has risen from

just over £27,000 a year to more than £117,000, they have hired staff, been successful in a number of grant applications and won another award at the National Dementia Care Awards. It’s a testament to how our Awards give a priceless leg up to charities that need it, and recognise excellence wherever it exists in the sector. The 2017 winners One Kind Act were born out of a family tragedy. Two years ago, Alisha Malhotra, a 26-year-old from Harrow had an unexpected brain haemorrhage. Despite a miracle recovery, Alisha was unable to return to work as a teacher because she has aphasia. In short, she has awoken from a fourweek coma and forgotten how to speak. She had to re-learn every single word all over again. Father Shamit Malhotra, founder of One

Kind Act, decided to use this as the impetus to set up the charity to raise awareness and funds for brain injuries around the world. Just last month, Alisha gave a speech to 600 people at a fundraising dinner for the charity to multiple standing ovations, which showed what a long way she had come, and what an inspiration she was. Just like these two charities, we want to unearth the next wonderful charity or social enterprise start-up that can. The third annual Asian Voice Charity Awards, powered by Charity Clarity, are taking place on 18th May 2018 at the London Hilton on Park Lane and nominations for deserving causes are open until 31st March. Apply today at www.asianvoicecharityawards.com. Applications close in a few weeks.


UK

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Navin Shah AM urges Government to do more to end child poverty

The End Child Poverty coalition published figures providing a new child poverty map of the UK. The new figures reveal that there are now constituencies within the UK where more than half of children are growing up in poverty – compared to one in ten, in the areas with the lowest child poverty rates. The figures also show that some of the most deprived areas of the UK have seen the biggest increases in child poverty since the coalition's last local child poverty figures for December 2015. Increases of 10 percentage points in some areas demonstrate the growing crisis of child poverty in the UK. The local child poverty estimates are broken down by parliamentary constituency, local authority and ward. Child poverty is the highest in large cities, particularly in London, Birmingham and Manchester. Among the twenty parliamentary constituencies with the highest levels of childhood poverty, seven are located in London, three in Birmingham, and three in Manchester. On the issue of child poverty, Navin Shah AM, London Assembly Member for Brent and Harrow said, “It's sad and frustrating to hear that around a third of children in our capital are growing up in poverty. These statistics, published by the End Child Poverty coalition, are yet another damning indictment of the Government'd punitive agenda of cuts to welfare and its failure to address the cost

7

Asian Voice | 10th February 2018

Head of Ofsted warns British values are being undermined The head of Ofsted, Amanda Spielman has warned that religious extremists are “preventing” by using schools to not let children broaden their horizons as well as isolating them from wider society.

Navin Shah AM

of living crisis. Worryingly, in Harrow, figures show that 31.69% of children are growing up beneath the breadline. It is a disgrace that families in our community are unable to afford basic provisions to feed or clothe their children. The Government says that work is the best route out of poverty, yet in London, 58% of those in poverty are from working families.” Navin Shah added, “I support calls from the End Child Poverty coalition for the Government to end its policy of freezing children's benefits until 2020 to alleviate the burgeoning costs of living in London. With ever-increasing rents further stretching the budgets of families living in private rented accommodation, one of the clear solutions to help children out of poverty is to build more council housing. We need the government to start acting now to eradicate inequalities leading to child poverty. The delivery of genuine council homes at social rent would be a good place to start.”

Amanda Spielman suggested that community leaders and some parents allegedly see schools as a platform to “indoctrinate impressionable minds with extremist ideology”. She has also called Neena Lall Amanda Spielman on headteachers to “tackle those who stated that headteachers must tice their religion, while also actively undermine fundastressing that it was up to parhave a right to decide the mental British values”. ents how they decide to dress school's uniform policy. Recently, the headteacher and raise their children. She said, “Rather than of the top primary school in Ultimately, the ban was adopting a passive liberalism, England, Neena Lall was comremoved due to the fury. that says 'anything goes' for pared to Adolf Hitler in a video In a move that may seem fear of causing offence, school on social media, circulated by leaders should be promoting a rather unusual, Ofsted inspeccommunity leaders and parmuscular liberalism. It means tors arrived at the top primary ents. This is due to the head of not assuming that the most school to check on the welfare St Stephen's primary school in conservative voices in a parof staff and pupils, as well as East London, Neena Lall's ticular faith speak for everyto show solidarity with Neena decision to ban girls under the one – imagine if people Lall. age of 8 wearing the hijab on thought the Christian In her speech at a Church school premises. This caused Institute were the sole voice of of England schools conferan outrage among some parence, Amanda Spielman stated Anglicanism. And it means ents and Muslim community that it was a matter of “deep schools must not be afraid to leaders. Councillors had also regret, that St Stephen's was call out practices, whatever protested against the ban, and subjected to “a campaign of their justification, that limit accused Neena Lall of underabuse by some elements withyoung people's experiences mining the freedom to pracin the community”. She also and learning.”


Political&

UK

8

Public Life Awards NOMINATION FORM

12th Asian Voice Political & Public Life Awards 2018 The prestigious Asian Voice Political and Public Life Awards represent our modest effort to honour a number of outstanding individuals from different communities, walks of life and diverse political persuasions who serve society in their own special way, and who contribute significantly and making a big difference in their COMMUNITIES.

Please

 

tick the appropriate category

Political

     

Campaigner of the year Minister of the year Conservative Backbencher of the year Shadow minister of the year Public Service Awards Peer of the year

       

Philanthropist of the year Lifetime Achievement of the year Community Service Awards Young Entrepreneur of the year Restaurant of the year Business Person of the year Professional of the year Travel Company of the year

Public Life

Application Form 

Full Name of the Person you are Nominating: ___________________________



His/Her Contact Details (Tel & email): ___________________________________



Occupation of the Nominee: ___________________________________________



Please attach the Nominees's CV which includes the following information

(Please do not exceed a limit of 1000 words) (1) Personal background (2) Most important career achievements till date. (3) Nominee's contribution to the community and nation. (4) Future Plans, ambitions and visions. (5) Any notable obstacles in the Nominee's career that has helped him/her to reach where they are today. ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________  Summary - (Please include a summary in not more than 150 words why the nominee is worthy 

  

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Asian Voice | 10th February 2018

of winning the particular award in a separate sheet)

Your name and contact details: ________________________________________ Your current Occupation/Company: _____________________________________ Your contact _________________________________________________________ Email:_______________________________________________________________

Deadline for Nomination: 17th February 2018 * NOMINATION AND SELECTION PROCESS

Make sure that you fill in this application form and send it on or before 17th February 2018 by email to L.George at support@abplgroup.com If you are sending it by post the address is L.George, ABPL Group, 12 Hoxton Market, London N1 6HW.

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Record number of foreign students apply to UK Despite warnings about the impact of the EU Referendum and Brexit having on higher education, the first figures for 2018 reveal that over 100,000 EU and overseas candidates have applied to take up higher education courses this autumn. These figures will undoubtedly be welcomed by institutions in the UK as they have been faced with a 2.5% drop in the number of 18year-olds in Britain in comparison with last year, which has resulted in unprecedented numbers of unconditional offers to the candidates of all abilities. The Universities and Colleges Admissions Services (UCAS) figures reveal that the application rates have reached a record high having increased by 0.3 percentage points to 37.1% of their peers. However, the figure is significantly lower than the overall figure from last year. There has been a 0.9% reduction in the number of people applying to higher education, compared to 559,000 in 2017.

This result reveals the fall in 18-year-old population in Britain as well as a fall in the applications from older students. The number of overseas application has increased by almost 6,000. The number of applications from India rose by 36%, or by 1,180 students, while applications from China increased by 20% or by over 2,000 students. Foreign students have been very beneficial to the UK, especially for the British economy. Another report has concluded that the British economy benefits from the money brought in by international students, which totals to approximately £20 billion each years. The past few years has seen a decline in the number of Indian students coming to the UK for higher studies. Regarding the decrease in Indian students studying in the UK, Lord Karan Bilimoria stated, “The reason for the UK’s decline as a destination for Indian students is the rigid stance on immi-

gration adopted by the prime minister (and former home secretary), Theresa May. With her target to reduce net migration to the tens of thousands, the treating of students as immigrants leads to negative perceptions in India of the UK’s restrictive visa regime: perceptions that discourage Indian entrepreneurs, highly skilled workers and talented students from even looking to get started in the UK. During my trip to India, I saw newspaper adverts from companies promoting international study in Canada, the US and Australia, but there was no mention of the UK. There is no justification for seeking to reduce numbers of international students.” Apart from helping the UK boost its economy, foreign students, who spend an intensive amount of time in the UK to pursue their higher education, go on to spread the British culture, values and way of life when they head back home.

“High value jewellery” theft on Jubilee line The theft of “high value jewellery” from a woman occurred on the Jubilee line and the British Transport Police (BTP) are investigating and tracing a man. This incident took place on 14th November 2017 at about 12:10pm, on a southbound Jubilee line train between Wembley Park and Neasden. The victim was a 25year-old woman who had accidentally left her bag which contained jewellery worth thousands of pounds on the train. Initially, she had reported the incident as lost property, however, the police have since established that a man had taken the bag from the train carriage and did not hand it in.

Police would like to speak to this man regarding the incident

A spokesperson from the British Transport Police said, “Officers would like to speak to the man shown in the CCTV images as he may have information which could help the investigation.”

If you have any information regarding this incident, contact BTP on 0800 40 50 40 or text 61061, quoting reference number 253 of 14 November with information.

PhD-educated man jailed for supplying firearms

58-year-old Mohinder Surdhar, dubbed as the “Breaking Bad of the gun world” has been jailed for 14 years after he supplied weapons to criminal gangs all over the UK. PhD-educated Surdhar, from Handsworth, Birmingham, is said to have acted as a middleman for the firearms dealer Paul Edmunds, 66, who made his home in the countryside a mini munitions factory. It is said that Surdhar used lawful firearms certificate to collect weapons which were then given to crooks for up to £3,000 for

Mohinder Surdhar Paul Edmunds

each firearm. Mohinder Surdhar admitted conspiracy to transfer prohibited firearms and ammunition at Birmingham Crown Court and was given a 14-

year jail sentence. The court also heard how Surdhar allegedly used code words such as “watches” for guns and “batteries” for bullets on WhatsApp to arrange gun sales.


UK

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Asian Voice | 10th February 2018

Golden year of Bapu at Tavistock Square

Reshma Trilochun

Marking Mahatma Gandhi's martyr day (Gandhi Nirvan Din) on 30th January, the High Commission of India, in association with India League, hold an observance of Bapu's death anniversary where people come to pay their respects

Camden gave a very prime sight in Central London for Gandhi's statue, which to this day is very well-maintained by India House. The staff at the High Commission of India UK maintain the statue at Tavistock Square on Gandhi's birth anniversary (2nd October) and Gandhi's martyr

9

Patel said, “Last year, an academic from SOAS [School of Oriental and African Studies] situated nearby, informed me that students, scholars and visiting from NGOs regularly ask about Mahatma Gandhi's statue at Tavistock Square. Millions must have been inspired by this great man.”

From left: Mr Sunil Kumar, First Secretary (Head of Chancery); Mr Singh; Dr Nandakumar, Director of Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan; H.E. Y.K. Sinha, High Commissioner of India (UK); Councillor Richard Cotton, Mayor of Camden; Mr CB Patel, Chairman of India League; Mr A.S. Rajan, Minister (Coordination) at High Commission of India (UK); and Mr Srinivas Gotru, Director of Nehru Centre

The High Commissioner of at his statue in Tavistock day (30 January). Apart from India (UK), His Excellency Y.K. Square. CB Patel, chairman of the maintenance of the statue, Sinha said, “On the 70th death India League started the tribIndia House organise prayers anniversary of Mahatma ute proceeding at the event. for Gandhi Jayanti and Gandhi Gandhi, a universally revered This year marks the golden Nirvan Din, in association global icon and the father of anniversary of the unveiling with India League. Since 1968, the Indian nation, we must of Mahatma Gandhi's statue. the High Commissioner of India graces both occasions. remember his timeless mesThe India League were very It is remarkable that the sage of peace and non-vioinstrumental in introducing former colonial “master” of lence. His teaching and ideals Gandhi's statue to Tavistock India, Britain took a bold step are relevant even today and Square in London. The statue the best tribute to was sculpted by him would be to Fredda Brilliant, internalise his and was erected by message in our the Mahatma daily life.” Gandhi Memorial Councillor Committee, with Richard Cotton, the support and Mayor of Camden guidance of the also graced the India League who commemoration had raised funds and gave a warm for the statue. tribute to the life The Father of and message of the Nation's statue Mahatma Gandhi. was unveiled on He also conveyed 17thMay 1968 by greetings from the the Prime Camden Council. Minister, Rt. Hon Members of the Harold Wilson MP. The Vidya first High From left: Shreya, Atiqa, and Allen from the Bhartiya Bhartiya Bhavan were also Commissioner of Vidya Bhavan singing at the memorial present at the occaindependent India, in honouring the great man sion where they sang V.K. Krishna Menon, was also Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram at the unveiling of Mahatma who was instrumental in freeand Vaishnav Janato Tenere Gandhi's statue in ing India from the clutches of Kahiye. Bloomsbury. The Mayor and British imperialism. The camRev. G. Nagase from dignitaries from Camden paign to have Gandhi's statue London Peace Pagoda, and Council, as well as others from in London was helped by Lord Rev. Y. Maruta from Milton British politics were also preSorenson, Lord Fenner Keynes Peace Pagoda sent at this also attended the monumental memorial. Rev. G. event. Nagase, who has V.K. Krishna been attending the Menon, who has observance every been involved year since 1978, with India recited prayers at the League from commemoration. 1920s, was a Gandhi preached great pillar of about peace and strength for this unity throughout his project. Menon was also the St lifetime. His message P a n c r a s of peace and oneness From left: Rev. Y. Maruta from Milton Keynes Peace B o r o u g h Pagoda, Rev. G. Nagase from London Peace Pagoda, and of mankind is more imminent in this Councillor from Vishakha Yaduvanshi, First Secretary, Economic. chaotic day and age. 1934- 1952. Many Please read the article on Brockway, Michael Foot, as British dignitaries also backed India League in Asian Voice well as by many leaders from the India League, including (dated 23rd December 2017). different political parties. The socialist political theorist Read the article on our webcampaigned was spearheaded Harold Laski, and philosopher site: https://www.asianby Dr Tarapada Basu, who was and Nobel laureate Bertrand voice.com/Culture/Indiathe Chairman of India League. Russell. League At Tavistock Square, CB The London Borough of

Trump First President Right About The West and Pakistan I write from India. Trump made clear he believes Pakistan has played the US. Something India has been telling them for years. In the West there is a popular moral equivalence with Western liberal terror apologists: ‘we brought it on ourselves’ and ‘I am sure we are just as bad as they are’. It’s worrying that Western youth too often think this way. We in the West did not create terrorists we found hiding in Pakistan like Osama Bin Laden. Let me give a history lesson – after the Second World War, our former allies, the USSR became our adversaries and enemies. They wanted a world painted in communism, just as we to this day want one painted in democracy. We think our system is better. We think our system though not perfect, is worth dying for. Yes we actually do, though we would rather live for it. Our system which though imperfect sees women Heads of Government from Britain to Israel to India and hopefully the USA soon. Anyway, the Russians invaded Afghanistan in 1979, although they claim they were invited – just like the Pakistani army claimed the Kashmiri’s invited their troops in 1948. We did not want Afghanistan to turn communist and were willing to fight them for that. We don’t like Islamic Republics much either, like Saudi Arabia, not just because of the lack of freedom of religion, speech and human rights, but we tolerate them. We don’t think all political systems are equal and we do interfere in their affairs ever since we created the UN. Back in 1979, we were not going to tolerate the communists as much as we do now, say in China. So we funded the Mujahadin, or freedom fighters, led by one Osama Bin Laden. We

funded them through the corrupt Pakistani Government and their General Zia. We got played because those funds meant to repel the Russians found their way to Kashmir. Kashmiris doesn’t grow M16 rifles on trees and the kind of special training and gear you need to take out the military posts of a regional superpower like India – so we know where they got their training, it wasn’t in the tranquil Dal Lake. Anyway, I say we in the West got played because once the Mujahadin, with our Western armoury defeated the Russians, they decided to attack us. Oh, they told us they wanted to live in peace after the Russians. Remember, we didn’t blow them up, we gave them military training, weapons and money. So why did they turn against us? Turns out if you’re from Saudi like Bin Laden and crazy enough to go to Afghanistan to hate the Russians, you also are going to hate the West – but even more so. They hated us well before we funded and fed them and clothed them and gave them their freedom from the Russians. What did we do but give them billions for their freedom? They didn’t have or need an excuse to hate us back then. They decided they had a holy war against us. Our fault? No. They played us. You think they’re too stupid to play clever old us? Well, they managed to penetrate our airspace – the most secure in the world and bring down our most prestigious buildings. Oh they played us. Guess where we found Bin Laden? In a major Pakistani military city – not in some cave in Afghanistan. You think he was directing global terrorism by himself from there – or you think there are a load more housed, protected from there?

Markle refused curry before nuptials Meghan Markle has been refused curry or beer, the night before her nuptials to save her from puffy eyes. Never mind the usual regime of skin-soothing face masks and a good night's sleep, Markle's beauty adviser Sarah Chapman has parted with her top tip wowing the world.

It remains a close guarded secret who will help Markle to prepare for her wedding, but seems Chapman is certainly among the frontrunners for backstage wedding-day duties. The Royals are well known to love curries, like most Britons.

Civil weddings can protect Muslim women's rights A review ordered by the government has concluded that Muslim couples who get married in Sharia ceremonies should also be required to have a civil marriage as well. The independent report into Sharia states that the registration of Sharia marriages will give Muslim women the rights and protections of UK family law, while also ensuring that they face “less discriminatory practices”. The survey, conducted in November 2017, found that two thirds of Muslim women “married” in Britain are not legally married as their ceremonies are not recognised by the law. The review, led by Mona Siddiqui, a professor of Islamic studies at

Edinburgh University, also heard that the percentage of Muslim couples who fail to have a civil marriage was “high and increasing”. The review was set in 2016 by Theresa May when she was the home secretary as there were concerns that some Sharia councils allegedly operated an informal parallel system of justice. The review also calls for regulations of courts and Sharia councils that deal with Islamic law, however, the government had dismissed the proposal. The Home Office stated that the recommendation on regulation was not supported by everyone on the review panel and hence, it was dismissed.


10

READERS’ VOICE

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Asian Voice | 10th February 2018

Hijab ban

Referring to your news headteacher likened to Hitler as activists protest against Hijab ban, Please publish my following views. It is good to keep discipline in school and all the students wearing a certain dress or uniform.But there are people who are stuck in their religious beliefs and we have to understand that fact of life. People must also understand where they are living , they must follow the traditions of that country and don't try to impose their views on them.Many Muslim girls looks very beautiful with colourful Hijabs and Hijabs also help to protect you from cold. London Borough of Newham and Redbridge both are having communities from various religions of the earth ,so more understanding are required by the heads of the institutions. They should have at-least once a month meetings with parents and discuss the issues and try to adjust and convince what is good for their children. Dharam Sahdev Former Cllr London Borough of Newham By email

Vijay Patel: Loss of an unsung hero to the community

I refer to my letter of above heading published in last week’s AV and Editor’s comment, inviting readers to express their views, as it was most widely debated news item among Asian community, especially role of Hindu community, overshadowed by the involvement of Jewish and indigenous British people. While attendance at our temples, especially at festive times is encouraging, involvement of these establishments, our priests is minimal at grass-root level. Two decades ago, I was hospitalized for a lengthy period of time, due to hospital mishap. The patient next to me was young Jewish boy regularly visited by Chaplin based at their local synagogue. As I was never visited by Hindu priest, he hesitantly approached me, introduced himself as Joseph who was here from Germany to polish his English. Looking at copies of AV, IL and my novels, he realized I was hobby journalist, an interesting person to talk to. He even visited me after Jewish patient was discharged. We talked about variety of subjects, even holocaust and establishment of the Jewish State of Israel, frank and free exchange of views but mainly about Hinduism and Judaism. I knew next to nothing about Judaism, that Jewish holy books are referred by Christians in Old Testament as Tenakh, also known as Pentateuch or five books of Moses that governs Jewish orthodox society. The official language of Israel is Hebrew. But in Germany, they also speak Yiddish, a Judo-German language developed by Ashkenazi Jews of Central Europe. As this encounter was long time ago, it is now a fading memory, brought up by this tragic event. It is time for our community to wake up, for priests to get involved in such humanitarian work where we are light years behind other cultures and religions, yet we call ourselves enlightened community which we are in many respects, sadly not on caring front. Bhupendra M. Gandhi By email

Indian Budget: dream vs reality

The Indian budget has raised interesting observations in the financial press abroad. Prime Minister Modi’s government has introduced a budget which appears to be radical and of far reacing consequence esp in the health of the nation. Like several initiatives taken by Chief Minister Modi in Gujarat, the budget has huge ambitions which appear sometimes on the verge of over-optimism. Think big, install the necessary structures and systems and peoples own inertia makes things possible out of great challenges. Ashwin Gorad Barbican

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PIO concerns

I would like to highlight a few more things that concern me in regards to the PIO and they are as follows: a) All existing pio cardholders applied according to gov't. of India's rules and requirements of documents and fees. b)They specified term of 15years first, then made it life long. c)At the time of declaring lifelong issue of pio cards the gov't website said all cards will be deemed lifelong now, and if the current passport with which pio card is issued expires people can still use pio card with taking old passport and new passport no need to get changed on new passport. d) They issued handwritten pio cards, people did not ask for handwritten cards. Now if they want every one to have a computerized one it's their duty to convert all cards at no further charge. e)If government of India is installing new machines to read only computerized pio/oci cards then it is their duty to issue new pio cards in lieu of hand written ones . f) gov't website says something different than the website of Highcomisson in London or USA or Singapore for example, none carry the same information, all are different which is confusing. g) they must give advanced warning that old cards will not work rather then advise every one to get the new cards. We appreciate your help in such matters and hope a query raised to gov't. of India by esteemed newspaper like yours will get results. Ghanshyam Khambhaita By email

Hindu gurus

Niranjan Vasant suggests in his letter in Gujarat Samachar of 3-2-2018 that Hindu gurus should advice, guide and undertake projects that can benefit rural areas eg digging wells, building hospitals and televise such endeavor to inspire others. His suggestion is valid as 68% population is rural and pastoral, residing in remote villages. He seems to be unaware that many gurus are already active in such fields. Free food is provided by Swaminarayan temples, ISKCON, Sikh Gurudwaras etc. ISKCON has safe haven for cows. Free medical treatment is provided by Sathya Sai Baba and mobile clinics by Art of Living foundations. 24 hour water is piped to thousands of villages by Sathya Sai Baba group. Swami Ramdevji’s affordable Ayurvedic medicine has gripped all over India and abroad. Narayan sewa group is active to render free treatments to disabled persons. Didi Ritamhara ji’s Vatsalyagram for orphans and infants is also famous. Pujya Morari Bapu has donated generously towards flood relief funds. Health benefits of Yoga are stressed by every Guru. I know of all these via television programs in various channels which televise such activities 24 hours. But many projects are not adequately televised due to lack of funds. Many gurus do not seek publicity whereas many are denied televised coverage. Besides these, many Hindu Gurus notably Pujya Morari Bapu, Satyamitranand Giriji, ISKCON, Brahmkumari Womens’ University, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar of Art of Living Foundation, are actively spreading Hindu cultural and religious matter to all and sundry. I am sure that many youngsters are able to lead a clean and ethical lives after hearing these and such Gurus. India’s demands are increasing day by day and all altruistic gurus must lend a hand to undertake projects that beyond reach of government or delayed by red tape. Ramesh Jhalla By email

Being taken for a ride

I agree entirely with Dineshbhai Sheth's letter on this subject. The retired parents are entitled to have their own space/time to do as they wish. After toiling for over 40 years, they deserve to enjoy their retirement without being tied up in a continuous series of obligation & commitments related to their grand children. Life is too short. The sad thing is that we can get afflicted with ailments as we get older and these ailments and health issues affect our ability to enjoy life so I would say, enjoy your well earned retirement. Nobody knows what tomorrow will bring! We might be lucky to live till 90 but will we have good physical & mental health to enjoy a good quality of life? In my view, Quality of life is more important than longevity. What do other readers think? Dinesh Rai By email

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Budget did not benefit Indians

I did not find the Union Budget 2018-2019 beneficial at all. I expected an increase in the income tax slab to help the middle-class income groups save more. I also expected an increased limit on tax-saving sections like 80C, 80C, 80CCC & 80CCD (deduction for premium paid for annuity plan of LIC or other insurance policies). Besides this, I also expected that the tax-free limit on interest earned from bank fixed deposit be raised to Rs 50,000 per annum. But the Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley did not give us (the common man) the benefits. The budget only benefitted the government at the Centre. Both, the Finance Minister and the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi should resign from their posts as this budget was friendly only to the Prime Minister, the President, the Vice President and Governors and Members of the Parliament because of a super huge increase in their salaries and also with condition to increase it further as per inflation. They Live, We Die! Jubel D’Cruz, Mumbai, India

The glamour and the glitter

I watched the Asian Achievers’ Awards ceremony on the Box on 28 January and wished I was at the Edwardian Hotel at least as a guest, if not as the recipient, of an award!. We, the letter writers, have been canvassing for a bite at such a cherry, albeit not on a grand scale like this, for some time now. I have made such an occasion my cause celebre’ and other letters have also jumped on my band wagon. I have received e-mails from other veteran writers asking me to resurrect the idea and persuade the publisher/ editor to organnise the ceremony this year. As a number of people have intimated, most of us are getting old in the tooth and may want to put up our feet near the fire place and admire the certificate and or a trophy on the mantle piece which could bring back the fond memories of their long association with AV and GS – as subscribers and contributors. They could reminisce about the occasion when they met their fellow letter writers and think of their own magnum opus which may come up in conversation with others. With all the expertise of ABPL in organising award cereminies, it should not take much effort on its part to organise the event. I was disappointed that due to unavoidable circumstances, the letter writers’ get together few years ago at the prestigious venue of House of Lords had to be cancelled. Dinesh Sheth Newbury Park, Ilford

Are we culturally too sensitive?

In a recent storyline in widely watched, popular soap EastEnders, Queen Vic pub landlord Mick Carter (Danny Dyer) rings his Pakistani friend Masood Ahmed (Nitin Ganatra) who once owned Indian restaurant “Argee Bhajee” as well as take away outlet “Masala Masood” for advice regarding cooking Indian curry, as a special treat for his wife Lynda (Kellie Bright). The story line was widely criticised on social media, calling it not at all funny, indeed a cringed EastEnders. While by far most EastEnders fans see nothing wrong in such a simple, every day storyline that makes Soap popular, it seems there is an army of do-gooders, especially in indigenous population, perhaps with good intention, ever ready and willing to take up arms on behalf of supposedly downtrodden ethnic minorities that may do more harm than good. Even many Councils behave in similar manner, banning Christmas parties and decoration in offices during festive season, on the pretext that it will offend non-Christian minorities. Are we living in a Nanny State? Do we need these so called guardians of morality to act on our behalf? There was a time in my working days when we used to celebrate every occasion, whether it was Diwali, Christmas, Baisakhi or any special occasion, even our birth days and anniversaries? After all working as nurses in NHS was not a bed of roses even then, many now consider as the “Golden Era” and it is much worse now. These light entertainment acted as diversion from stressful environment, as losing a kind and jovial patient, especially children we may have looked after for some time was as painful to nurses as to their family members. It is time to move away from constraining working environment and create friendly, carefree atmosphere we once enjoyed. Kumudini Valambia By email


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Asian Voice | 10th February 2018

Gujarati Awards ceremonies at BAPS Swaminarayan Sunday Schools

Some of the students who received awards during the ceremony

Awards ceremonies celebrating outstanding results in GCSE, A-Level and AS-Level Gujarati were held for students of the Swaminarayan Sunday School at various BAPS mandirs and centres around the UK during January 2018. The majority of the 57 examinees had achieved grades A* or A, with 88% scoring a B or higher. The Swaminarayan Sunday School has provided free Gujarati learning for children since 1985 and was inspired by His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s vision of instilling Hindu culture, heritage and values to younger generations through proficiency in their mother tongue. The School’s high standards have been regularly applauded by national bodies, including recently with a second gold award from the National Resource Centre for Supplementary Education and a Schools Language Award from the British Academy. Students were accom-

panied by parents and teachers who had gathered to celebrate the achievements of the young participants. The ceremonies began with Gujarati prayers sung in unison. Yogi Patel, lead volunteer of the BAPS Swaminarayan Sunday School nationally, discussed the history of the School and elaborated upon Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s vision as well as the tireless dedication of volunteer teachers, some of whom have been serving continuously since the School began. Certificates, trophies and medals were awarded by Satyavrat Swami, a senior swami based at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Neasden, London, who emphasised the importance of Gujarati and bilingual learning in order to maintain cultural and religious values and for the holistic development of a child. A video clip was shown of His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj discussing the importance of the Gujarati language and his

joy at hearing British-born children speak the language with clarity and confidence during his recent visit to the UK. Shaileshbhai Pujara, an examinations officer for the Sunday School, thanked students, parents, swamis and the inspiration of Mahant Swami Maharaj for the continued excellence in Gujarati training. A ‘Long Service Award’ was also conferred to longstanding members of the teaching staff at centres around the country. The ceremony concluded with group photographs of the children with their awards. BAPS is currently operating Gujarati classes at 15 centres in the UK – Birmingham, Crawley, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leicester, Loughborough, Luton, Manchester, Reading, Southend-onSea, Wellingborough, and four centres in the capital, in Brent, East London, South London and South East London – as well as in Paris and Antwerp in mainland Europe.

The UK is increasing its support for a global education fund for developing countries by 50% to £75m per year. International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt is making the announcement at a global conference in Senegal, as part of a new emphasis on targeting aid at education projects. Ms Mordaunt said supporting schools in poorer countries was a "hardheaded" investment in a more prosperous future. But aid agencies warned the amounts promised were still insufficient. Ms Mordaunt is promising £225m funding over three years at a global education conference in Dakar, hosted by France's President Emmanuel

Macron and Senegal's President Macky Sall. This event will see international leaders pledging funds for the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), which works with developing

countries on raising education standards in some of the poorest parts of the world. The UK government has faced accusations of either giving too much or too little in overseas aid.

UK raises overseas education aid by 50%

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Labour warns Council Tax increases will not repair damage from council cuts New research from Labour has shown that Council Tax increases proposed by the Government will do little to address the black hole created by local government cuts. The money local government has to operate services is running out fast and councils face an overall £5.8 billion funding gap in just two years. The Government failed to provide the funding to address this funding gap in the Autumn Budget, and many looked to the Local Government Finance Settlement to set out its plan for how it will fund local services both now and in the future Independent House of Commons research commissioned by the Labour Party has suggested that the move will raise only

£219 million next year hardly touching the £2bn shortfall in children’s services, the £600 million cost to councils of paying for the Government’s National Living Wage next year, let alone the growing funding gap. Rather than providing new money, the Government has passed the buck for funding our public services onto already struggling households, and local authorities who resist will be blamed by the Government for their failure to draw on all available funding options. Relying on council tax as a solution to the funding crisis is not a solution. Authorities with the greatest need, and often those with a weaker tax base will be unable to raise

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The prelude to Budget day has been an inevitable flurry of reports, opinion pieces, newspaper editorials on what the Finance Minister should do and what he should avoid doing. The government’s Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian, presenting the Economic Survey 2017-18 (ending March 31) was upbeat with cautionary caveats. On the fiscal front, he noted that 2017 had been no ordinary year because of demonetization and GST. Thereafter, there had been a noticeable revival of economic activity and consolidation. (see comment page 3) Emerging cities Delhi, Mumbai, Bangaluru have been designated emerging cities by global property consultant JLL. Mapping the routes to success, the JLL report evaluated their opportunities and potential to make it to the higher grade. ‘After years of no show on the global annual survey, for the first time, three cities from India have featured in the amongst the top order as part of the Emerging World Cities group,’ said a JLL statement. Delhi and Mumbai were categorized as Megahubs, while Bangaluru was deemed a ‘High Enterprisers City.’ (Business Line January 26).

Kolkata a digital destination A specialist UK report has suggested that Kolkata could replace Bangaluru as India’s hub for start ups. The report entitled ‘Kolkata 4.0: Developing an Innovation Ecosystem,’ outlines the city’s place as a major cultural centre also emerging as India’s digital powerhouse. The Indian Chamber of Commerce in tandem with TechUK launched the report in London recently. ‘We normally associate words like innovation and ecosystem with Bangaluru and Hyderabad,’ said Pratik Danni, who authored the report. Eyes were now turned east and Bengal was well positioned to benefit. ‘Agricultural productivity in Bengal is double the rest of India. Manufacturing productivity is 50 per cent higher. The last few years have seen a rapid pace of reforms in the State before tax collections, reduction of deficits in debts, and these all offer opportunities (Times of India January 30).

India, Russia bloc trade talks India is engaged in working out an agenda for far-reaching talks, the goal being a free trade agreement with Russia and its Eurasian Economic Union partners, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan – a bloc of five states – that would raise Indo-Russian trade from the present 22 per cent rise to $7.4 billion in 2016-17 to $ 30 billion by 2025, driven by a 10-15 per cent rise in mutual investments.

Market access India is in negotiation on the International North-South Transport Corridor Project with Russia to promote bilateral trade. The project envisions greater movement from Nhava Sheva in Mumbai via Bandar Abbas in Iran to Astrakhan in

Russia. An green corridor for duty free textiles, leather and pharmaceutical products would permit greater market access (Economic Times January 29).

India, Russia in missile shield talks India has commenced final contract negotiations with Russia on acquisition of five of its mobile surface-to-air S-400 Triumf defence systems with capability to track down and destroy up to 100 to 300 targets simultaneously. These include hostile strategic bombers, stealth fighters, spy planes, incoming missiles and drones at a range of up to 400 km and an altitude of 30 km. India is keen to conclude the estimated $5.5 plus billion deal in the 2018-19 financial year. The force multiplier will change the dynamics of air defence in the region, said an Indian Defence Ministry source.

Capability The system has battlemanagement of command post and launchers, acquisition and engagement radars, and allterrain transporter-erector launcher vehicles, all to be delivered within two years of the signature of the contract. The agreement process was finalized in the Modi-Putin summit talks in October 2016, and included Indian acquisitions of 200 Kamov 226T helicopters, four Grigorivich frigates and the lease of a second nuclear submarine. Indo-Russian ties remain strong and durable (Economic Times January 22).

INS Karanj a boost for India’s naval muscle India’s third state-of-the art Scorpene submarine was launched last week by Reena Lanba, wife of the navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba. Six Scorpene submarines are being built under Project 75 by the Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd, Mumbai under a $3.75 billion technology transfer from France, signed way back in 2005. The four-year delay in delivery brought a rocket from the Prime Minister’s Office to the Ministry of Defence. Cumbersome procedures including bureaucratic red tape were singled out for censure (Hindu February 1). The PMO would do well to turns its guns also on the Ministry for the continuing delay in addressing in the continuing shortfall of 12 squadrons in the Indian Air Force.

Russia matters in submarine plans An informative edit-page article in the Hindu newspaper (December 20, 2017) by Yogesh Joshi will repay the reader for his time. He is a Nuclear Security Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation, Stanford University, USA. He starts with a critical observation. ‘India is the only country in the world to have operated a nuclear submarine on loan from a nuclear power, and Russia is the only such state to have leased one.’

support from BJP dissidents, among them MP Shatrughan Sinha. The launch of Yashwant Sinha’s new party was attended by a sprinkling notables from a range of parties out of curiosity, one suspects (Hindu January 31).

Sonia Gandhi joins the fray

Russian concerns Although Russia remains India’s largest defence supplier, New Delhi’s propensity to look to the US for certain defence equipment could be source of strain in Indo-Russian ties. Joshi referred to Vice Admiral Mihir Kumar Roy’s reminiscences of his time as commander of India’s eastern fleet and his interactions with legendary Soviet Grand Admiral Sergey Gorshkov, which led eventually to the first lease to India of a nuclear submarine, sanctioned finally by Premier Mikhail Gorbachev. Since then India’s own nuclear submarine, INS Arihant, owed a great deal to Russian technological INS Arihant is the model for similar submarines now for those under construction in Indian shipyards. Finally, Joshi answers his own concerns of an Indian tilt towards the US, as evinced by former US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter (during the Obama administration). Indian naval chiefs, valuing the Russian connection, had resisted Carter’s overtures for a tighter embrace.

L&T third quarter net profit up 53 per cent Mumbai-based engineering giant Larsen&Toubro posted a massive 53 per cent third quarter profit, signalling the revival of growth across the broader economy. The profit margin, which eased past the Bloomberg projection, was based principally on high domestic demand (Economic Times February 1).

Yashwant Sinha’s political front Yashwant Sinha, BJP minister in the Vajpayee government, long a sniper targeting Modi dispensation, has now turned cavalryman and charged the

Sonia Gandhi

Forming opposition alliances to unseat the ruling BJP in the general election scheduled for mid-2019 has become something between a spectator sport and a country fair. It is entertainment with a predictable ending – seizures of boredom, until the next time. What does Sonia Gandhi bring to the table? Rancid slogans plus the precociously ambitious heir apparent Rahul.(Hindu February 1).

Congress sweep Rajasthan polls

Sachin Pilot

In a wake-up call to the State BJP and the Centre, the Congress party swept the Rajasthan municipal polls and won two Lok Sabha by-elections in the bargain from Alwar and Ajmer, and an Assembly seat at Mangalgarh to take pole position in the upcoming Assembly elections. State Congress President Sachin Pilot is rightly credited for his party’s robust performance (Hindu February 2).

TMC dominates West Bengal The ruling Trinamool Congress held its own in the West Bengal by-elections in Uluberia and Noapara, drubbing the Communist Party of India (Marxist), which had governed the State with its Left Front allies for 34 years, before falling to the TMC tsunami in the Assembly elections of 2011. The BJP has steadily increased its vote share in the State and is now TMC’s principal rival (Hindu February 2).

Yashwant Sinha

Boeing in talks to sell fighter jets to Indian Navy

Modi government of grave misdemeanors. His Rastra Manch (party) has attracted

American multinational Boeing is in talks with the Indian Navy to sell its F/A-18 Hornet fighter

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jets. A lot of technical evaluation has yet to take place, Gene Cunningham, Boeing's vice president for defense, space and security, told reporters at the Singapore Airshow. The company is also seeing opportunities for its KC-46 multi-role tanker in India and other countries, Cunningham said. The Indian Navy last year invited proposals for 57 jets for its aircraft carriers. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who plans to spend $250 billion in the coming years on defence equipment, wants India and local companies to get a share of the deals it enters into by calling on foreign manufacturers to make products locally. The foreign manufacturers said they would produce in India if they win contracts large enough to make investments worthwhile.

Mumbai airport creates new world record Mumbai airport on January 20 created a new world record for single-runway operations by handling 980 arrivals and takeoffs in 24 hours, or almost one flight every minute! With this, Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International airport bettered its own feat of 974 flights in 24 hours, recorded on December 6, 2017. While Gatwick, the UK’s second largest airport, remains the most efficient single-runway airport in the world, Mumbai, despite battling a severe space crunch, is now headed to achieving the four digit mark in flight operations in a 24-hour window. Officials said any increase in the number of flight movements using a single runway will be a major achievement for the airport operator. A senior airport official said, “We are constantly aiming to better the record, while keeping the constrains in mind.” Sydney-based CAPA report had said Mumbai airport, which has reached 94% of its maximum passenger handling capacity, will reach saturation point in 2018.

PM Modi takes a dig at Cong Prime Minister Narendra Modi take a dig at the Congress while addressing a massive rally of BJP men in Bengaluru on Sunday. He said that the crowd’s enthusiasm indicated a countdown to the Congress’ exit from Karnataka. “We’ll make Karnataka Congress-free”, he said. Assuring the people that the BJP is not very far away from taking over the state, Modi said that the party would speed up the development in the state, taking it to new heights. “We will develop Karnataka’s infrastructure according to the requirements of 21st century," he said. Modi added that his focus would be to make the lives of the poor and farmers easy. “Farmers are my TOP priority, and by ‘TOP’ I mean ‘Tomato’, ‘Onion’ and ‘Potato’. If Yeddyurappa, son of a farmer, becomes CM of Karnataka, the projects for farmers will work at its best because he has farmer’s best interest at heart," Modi said.


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Skilled migrants protest in London demanding fair visa policies AsianVoiceNews

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Rupanjana Dutta

Photo courtesy: Facebook

The Indian professionals along with highly-skilled migrants are planning a huge peaceful protest at the Parliament Square against the UK government's "unfair and inhumane" immigration rules on Wednesday 21st February from 11am-2pm. This is a follow up after the successful and peaceful protest outside Downing Street on Tuesday January 30th, where hundreds joined. A petition by the Highly Skilled Migrant group is doing rounds and has almost reached 25,000 signatures. The group has over 600 doctors, engineers, IT professionals, teachers, lawyers and want to challenge the Home Office in the courts.

The Tier 1 (General) visa previously known as the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme, meant for skilled professionals who needed a minimum point score to qualify, was shut by Theresa May, when she was the Home Secretary in 2010. Professionals from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and other countries were also present at the last Tuesday's demonstration. This group has contributed a minimum of £250bn to the British economy and have lived here lawfully for over a decade. Aditi Bharadwaj, who is running the petition said, “We have been reading, hearing a lot about 'hostile environment' for 'illegal immigrants' but the truth is under the current government it is a hostile environment for legal immigrants too! Those immigrants who were mainly on a highly skilled programme in the UK, working in respectable industries and positions are going through almost inhumane conditions.” The petition and the protesters have claimed, the government instead of formalising the immigration policies are actually making conditions for legal immigrants worst by eventually making them leave UK, which in turn is becoming a victory for the Conservative government that wants immigration numbers to reduce. “One of the things happening is applications for a lot of non-EU migrants for indefinite leave being held for over 10 months,” said Aditi. “Some even reaching to 15-17 months. That basically means they have no travel document to go back in any given circumstances. No official form of ID if they don't have a licence. Some of these people have lost their loved ones back home; ageing parents; family problems; mid life crises; jobs; careers everything at stake...We also saw the introduction of new restrictions on access to privately rented accommodation, driving licences, bank accounts and the

Protest outside Downing Street on 30th January

introduction of an NHS surcharge and deport first appeal later rules, which are very discriminatory...” The most damaging of all according to the group is the removal of the right to appeal which is restricted to only appealing on human right decisions, grants of asylum and removal of refugee status. Others are doomed under an internal review system known as ‘Administrative Review’ whereby the Home Office has to review their own decisions and not scrutiny through an independent adjudicator. Under the new Bill the Secretary of State will also have the power to certify ‘human rights’ claims. This will effectively require appellants to leave the UK before they can exercise a right of appeal on human rights grounds. Only where an individual can meet a very high threshold of ‘serious and irreversible harm’ would then be able to remain in the UK during the appeal process. “This sees family members of British Citizens, children, seriously ill persons and those who may not have left the UK for many years, and who may have lost all ties with their country of origin, having to uproot their lives in order to challenge a Home Office decision, which statistically has a 50/50 chance of being successful. Some of these migrants are also being referred to a threat to the country just because they might have filed their tax late or may have even amended their taxes later which is allowed by HMRC. Most of these migrants have been in the country for almost a decade.” said Aditi. One such candidate is Pakistani origin Dr Syed Kazmi, who works in acute medicine at Queen Elizabeth hospital in Birmingham. He will return to Pakistan in February after the Home Office refused his application for ILR. Kazmi’s application was rejected because of an error in a tax return.

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He had noticed the error himself and withdrew his application in order to correct it. The Home Office, however, used this admission to trigger a section of the Immigration Act designed to tackle criminals and those judged to be a threat to national security. Another case was of Indian origin Savita Vyas, who was kept at a detention centre in Heathrow for days, when her further leave to remain was rejected after a one year wait for the application to be processed by the UK Home Office. She was married to someone living in the country legally with a permanent residence. She has lived in the UK for 10 years herself. Asian Voice tried reaching out to her for a comment, but was not available. The petitioners are demanding UK Home Office to start processing the applications within the service standard times at the least - which is 6 months. They also want the Secretary of State to acknowledge late paid taxes or amendments. The protest comes after the newspaper Guardian highlighted the fact that senior doctors from overseas who had been appointed to fill key roles in hospitals around the UK were being prevented from taking up their jobs by Home Office because their NHS salaries were too low under immigration rules. A Home Office spokesperson reportedly said: “We aim to resolve all visa applications as quickly as possible and we continue to meet service standards for straightforward applications. It is vital, however, that the correct decisions are made, particularly with complex tier-1 applications that require detailed consideration and verification of evidence with HMRC. “These robust checks are essential to avoid the potential abuse of our immigration or tax system. Where such abuse is identified, we will act accordingly.”

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Asian Voice | 10th February 2018

Year 4 student features in top 100 Mathletics Hall of Fame Born in New Delhi, India in the year 2009, Sohini Roy is currently a Year 4 student of Nelson Primary School in Birmingham and has recently featured in UK's Top 100 Students in Mathletics Hall of Fame ranking 82nd in the whole of Britain. Mathletics is an engaging, supportive online learning resource - targeted to the various national maths curricula of the UK, from Foundation to Key Stage 5. Exciting Live Mathletics adds a competitive dimension to learning, allowing children to play live mental arithmetic games against other children from all over the world in a completely safe, online environment. Her father Mainak believes Mathletics has helped Sohini to gain excellent Math skills through interactive fun games and tools and also improve her numeracy skills and confidence in the subject. Sohini also feels really excited to solve Maths in an online learning environment to earning a place on the live World Hall of Fame. She even holds to her credit multiple Merit Awards from school. Her teacher said,

Sohini Roy

“Sohini has displayed some higher level understanding of the maths covered this year. Sohini works at age related expectations across all subjects. She applies herself to all her learning and this has been reflected in her attainment this year. I look forward to seeing Sohini continue to flourish and there is absolutely no doubt she will have a very successful academic life and life thereafter.” Musically inclined, Sohini also takes active interest in learning piano and singing. She is learning Hindustani Classical Music from Dakshinayan UK (London). We wish Sohini every success in all her future endeavours.

Indian boy enrols as international college’s 1,000th student Continued from page 6 together to provide a safe and supportive learning environment to international students, within our unique Bournville campus. “In summer 2017 we were proud to see our very first cohort of students graduate, four years after enrolling with us in 2013.

We are delighted to have come full circle, and look forward to many more happy graduations in the years to come!” 23-year-old Kathy-Zöe Baira, from Kwekwe, a city in Zimbabwe’s Midlands Province was one of the first students to enrol at BCUIC in September 2013, went to do a LLB and LLM later.

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CII and Indo-British All Party Moresand Group's annual “Beat Group organise historic the New Year's Blues” event Parliamentary showcase of Indian companies in UK

PS Kang

Sukhdeep Singh Kang

John Kalia

On 19th January, one of the largest independent British Indian travel and tourism companies, Moresand Group held its annual party, “Beat the New Year's Blues” at Le Méridien Piccadilly Hotel, in London.

now prides itself as being one of the best in the business. In 2017, the company grew by 25% with a turnover forecast to reach £180 million. Sukhdeep Singh Kang and John Kalia are the company's directors.

Airlines, Lufthansa, Qantas, Thai, plus many more. Moresand Group has call centres in India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. This year, Crystal Travel are due to open branches in the USA, France, as

Staff, directors and guests at the annual luncheon

The luncheon was attended by more than 150 esteemed guests from major travel, tourism and airline industries. The delicious Indian food was provided by Ragamama Ragasaan. Moresand group was started by the chairman and managing director Paramjit Singh Kang, who is fondly known as PS, in 1996. The company

Some of Moresand's brands include Crystal Travel, Sam Travel & Tours. Travel Center UK, Tour Center, Affordable Luxury Travel, Taprobane Travel and Air Travel Guide. The group enjoys excellent relationship with some of the world'd leading airlineas including British Airways, Emirates, Etihad, Philippine

well as Spain. They recently opened London's West End based Crystal Corporate, which has hundreds of satisfied corporate clients. Additionally, over 7,000 people went to Hajj and Umrah via Moresand Group. In 2017, they were number 4 in the Hajj and Umrah Ministry Top 10 for most MoFA visas issued.

High Commissioner of India (UK) H.E. Y.K. Sinha, Virendra Sharma MP, Rt Hon Matthew Hancock MP, Suchita Sonalika, Lakshmi Kaul, along with other guests

The first of its kind historic showcase of high-growth Indian companies in the UK was held at the Terrace Pavilion in UK Parliament on Thursday, 1st February 2018 providing parliamentarians a great opportunity to interact with several Indian business leaders and representatives from across the UK. The programme, hosted by Virendra Sharma MP, Chair of the IndoBritish All Party Parliamentary Group was organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) supported by Grant Thornton and Manchester India Partnership (MIP). Highlights of key case studies from the CII-Grant Thornton “India Meets Britain” tracker and “India in the UK: India’s business footprint in the UK” report supported by the UK India Business Council (UKIBC) and were shared on the day. Over 100 stakeholders including Indian companies, parliamentarians, government representatives and institutional partners participated in this unique event aiming to

highlight the major success stories of UK-India economic cooperation. The programme was attended by key dignitaries including Baroness Fairhead CBE, Minister of State, UK Department for International Trade, Rt Hon Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Culture, Sports & Media, HE YK Sinha, High Commissioner of India, David Landsman, Chair, CII India Business Forum and Executive Director, Tata Limited, Lord Jim O’Neill, Andrew Cowan, CEO, Manchester Airport Group and Chair,Manchester India Partnership along with nearly 30 MPs and Peers across party lines representing various constituencies and regions of UK. A walkthrough exhibition of Indian companies such as Tata, Tech Mahindra, HCL Technologies, ICICI, Union Bank, Hero Cycles, Air India and Varana World represented the diversity of sectors where Indian companies operate including Technology, Manufacturing, Services, Banking & Financial Services,

Tourism, Fashion and Luxury products. HE YK Sinha, High Commissioner of India emphasised the need for such interactions to highlight Indian success stories and generate more positive news about the increasing footprint of the Indian companies in the UK and the strengthening of UKIndia relationship. He said, “ I am happy to note that the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Indo-British All Party Parliamentary Group are jointly promoting Indian businesses and companies in the UK. Indian companies have contributed immensely towards the growth of the UK economy, creating wealth and a large number of jobs. These companies contribute significantly to enhancing the economic and commercial engagement between India and the UK. I would like to convey my best wishes on the launch of the Manchester India Partnership and would be happy to extend support to this initiative.”

Launch of The Indian CEO’s Forum (ICF)

From left: Lord Sheikh (seated), Lord Karan Bilimoria, Councillor Sunil Chopra and former mayor of Southwark council (seated), Daljit Jagait (standing), Ajit Mishra- founder Indian CEO’s Forum, Tarun Sawhney – Times Now (seated)

On 31st January, Ajit Mishra a dual qualified lawyer, corporate partner and Head of India Group at Rosenblatt Solicitors, launched the Indian CEOs’ Forum. The launch event was organised at the House of Lords, Place of Westminster, London UK and the host of the evening was Lord Sheikh. Key speakers included: Lord Karan Bilimoria, Chairman of the Cobra Beer partnership, Ajit Mishra, Founder of The Indian CEO’s Forum, Sunil Chopra, former Mayor Southwark Council and Tarun Sawhney from Times now. The Indian CEOs’ Forum (ICF) is a networking platform for the Indian and British Indian Businesses operating in UK to promote bilateral trade and business

opportunities between the two countries. The UK Indian community has done phenomenally well and each Indian business is a case study in itself. These are the businesses which were started by people who came from India and succeeded in UK inspite of all challenges and hardships. To celebrate the success of such businesses, ICF is hosting various events in UK and India, with an endeavour to increase business opportunities in the two countries. While Indian is celebrating 70 years of the independence, we have partnered with the Times Now to profile 70 British-Indian CEOs and Indian businesses through series of events which will be organised in major cities in UK till August 2018.


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Parliament appoints artist to explore impact of race relations laws

Scarlett Crawford

Artist Scarlett Crawford has been appointed by the UK Parliament for a new project entitled First Waves: Exploring the impact of race relations legislation in the UK. Over the course of her residency, she will work with six partner organisations across the country – including the University of Leeds and the Glasgow Women’s Library - to create artworks with local communities that explore and celebrate the 1965, 1968 and 1976 Race Relations Acts. The artworks will be displayed in Parliament for an exhibition in 2019 which will look at the impact of race relations legislation and the stories of the people who fought for change, before being returned to the communities that inspired them. Upon completing the residency, the First Waves artist will be invited to present a proposal, based on her research and experiences, for an artwork for permanent display in the Houses of Parliament and inclusion in the Parliamentary Art Collection. One of the key objectives of this community focussed project is to capture the voices of generations who have been directly impacted by the Race Relations Acts, but

who may have had little opportunity to have their voices heard in Westminster. It is hoped that engaging the British public with the work of Parliament will in turn strengthen national and regional engagement with democracy. The First Waves artist will also delve in to the Parliamentary Archives and meet with parliamentarians and social historians as part of her residency. Scarlett Crawford, First Waves artist said, “I’m really excited to have been chosen to creatively explore the impact of race relations legislation across the country. Working in collaboration with local communities I hope to discover the unheard stories of those who were affected by the changes, to honour the contributions of those who led the way, and to inspire future generations of people from all backgrounds to engage with art and politics.” Alison McGovern MP, Chair of the Speaker’s Advisory Committee on Works of Art said, “Scarlett Crawford is uniquely qualified to take on what will be a challenging artistic residency, and the Speaker’s Advisory Committee on Works of Art is excited to see the artworks gathered together in Parliament in 2019.”

Child sex grooming cases have grown over the years in the UK, with the most common case involving vulnerable children or young adults exploited into believing they are in a relationship with their abuser. It is about time parents, and the society stood up for the future. In a much-needed awareness session to bring to light cases ensuing grooming and entrapment, the National Hindu Welfare Support Wellingborough Area has organised an interactive talk session on February

18, 2.30pm to 5.00pm, at Wellingborough District Hindu Association, Hindu Community Centre, 148 highfield Road, Wellingborough, NN8 1PL. The seminar will address topics related to the pushing of children into inappropriate relationships with adults, abuse, entrapment, and possible sexual slavery. Also, real life cases of grooming and entrapment will be featured and discussed, with the purpose to safeguard the child and youth of the community.

National Hindu Welfare Support organise free awareness seminar

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Asian Voice | 10th February 2018

100 years of women voting Are women truly equal to men in this modern era?

100 years on since the Suffragette and their movement won women the right to vote. Something that we may take for granted today was fought for with great vigour to ensure women had an equal say. To commemorate the 100 years of the historical Representation of the People Act 1918, a 7ft bronze sculpture of a shoe factory machinist, Alice Hawkins, who led the suffrage movement in Leicester, has been unveiled in the city. Alice Hawkins' great-grandson, Peter Barratt shared, “Alice and the other women were often heckled by the crowd but today we have been here to cheer Alice on. We have always been strong in our belief that if we could get the statue of Alice here in the market place, it would not only be of 'Alice Hawkins, Suffragette', but it would also be representational of working class women who worked such long hours but stood up for what they believed in and became suffragettes.” Kate Barratt, Alice Hawkins' great-great-granddaughter added, “Alice actually gives me a lot to live up to. I get asked questions about how I am following in her footsteps but just like many women I go about my day-today life. I have my freedom, I have my vote and I don't even need to think about it, whereas Alice had to fight for that.” Princess Sophia Duleep Singh, a descendent of Sikh royalty was instrumental and also a pivotal figure in getting women the right to vote. Granddaughter of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, and the Goddaughter of Queen Victoria, she became a pioneering suffragette. Her strong stance of “No Vote, No Census. As women do not count, they refused to be counted” echoed throughout the Suffragette movement. She was arrested and imprisoned as she fought for women to gain the right to vote.

The recent controversy regarding the BBC gender pay gap reveals that even in the year 2018, women are still subjected to discrimination regarding their pay. They work equally as hard (some much harder) than men, yet some are paid much less in remuneration. The glass ceiling also exists which prevents women from reaching top notch positions or gaining promotions, 7ft sculpture of Alice Hawkins in Leicester losing out to men. Although women Undoubtedly, the Suffragette have the freedom to express theirmovement brought in a monumenselves, be it vocally or through their tal change enabling women to voice chose of attire, there is still a long themselves and demand equality as way to go for them to fully claim well as the respect that they that equality has been achieved. deserve. However, to say that we live However, compared to other nations in a true and equal world today where women still do not have the would be farfetched as there are still right to make their own decisions many pressing issues in today's day and have to abide to male supremaand age which indicates gender cy, Britain excels in many ways. inequality has not been abolished.

Princess Sophia Duleep Singh

Actors Sanjeev Bhaskar and Bhasker Patel urge community to take part in stroke survey – do you know the signs of a stroke? Actors Sanjeev Bhaskar and Bhasker Patel are calling on South Asians to participate in a new survey by Public Health England (PHE) in conjunction with Asian and black media, to understand the current levels of knowledge about stroke. The survey is designed specifically for Asian and black communities and will run during PHE’s Act F.A.S.T. campaign. Stroke is now the fourth largest cause of death in England and South Asians are at a higher risk than their white counterparts due to high blood pressure and diabetes being significant factors. Actor Sanjeev Bhaskar who is committed to

Sanjeev Bhaskar

improving the community’s understanding of the risks and signs of stroke, said: “The Asian community is at a higher risk of having a stroke and are more likely to have a stroke at a younger age therefore it’s important we recognise the signs and know how best to respond when we see them in ourselves or

others so more lives can be saved. “I would urge the Asian community to take advantage of this unique opportunity to play a direct role in helping PHE to understand whether the message is getting through to our community.” Actor Bhasker Patel who is featured in the stroke Act F.A.S.T. film adds: “The stroke Act F.A.S.T. campaign reminds people of the key signs of stroke and the importance of calling 999 immediately if they notice any single one of the signs in themselves or others. This survey will make us all think about what we know about stroke and hopefully will encourage us to find out more information that we can share with our family and

friends. All you have to do is answer a few simple questions, it only takes a few minutes.” Professor Julia Verne, Public Health England Director, said: “We are committed to ensuring that those at risk of stroke recognise the signs and know what to do if they notice any single one of the signs so that we can improve chances of survival. We’d like to encourage as many South Asian people as possible to complete the survey to help us understand current levels of knowledge of our Act F.A.S.T. messages.” The survey can be completed online at http://bit.ly/StrokeSurve yAV and will close on 28 February 2018.


JAITLEY BIDS ON HEALTH, AGRI

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BUDGET

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Asian Voice | 10th February 2018

Continued from page 1 Jaitley said India's most vulnerable families would be able to access up to Rs 5,00,000 a year for hospital cover through the initiative. The government currently provides Rs 30,000 towards healthcare for poor families, an amount that is insufficient to cover most medical procedures. The country spends a little over one per cent of its GDP on public healthcare, one of the lowest proportions in the world. “This will be the world's largest government-funded healthcare programme. The government is steadily but surely progressing towards a goal of universal health coverage,” Jaitley said. The scheme would take public healthcare in the country “to a new aspiration level.” Adequate funds, the FM said, would be provided to roll out the insurance programme to 500 million of India's poorest nationwide. He said the government was “seriously concerned” that millions of Indians had to borrow or sell assets to receive adequate treatment in hospital.

AGRICULTURE: OPERATION GREENS AMONG SLEW OF MEASURES Jaitley has outlined a slew of measures to boost agricultural production and the rural economy, extending an enhanced support for the existing schemes to the

tune of Rs 14.34 trillion in the Union Budget. The first subject touched upon by the minister in his speech, he said, “The focus of the government next year will be to provide maximum livelihood opportunities in rural areas by spending more on livelihood, agricultural, and allied activities and construction of rural infrastructure.” He added, “In the year 2018-19, for the creation of livelihood and infrastructure in rural areas, the total amount to be spent by ministries will be

£143.4 billion from extra budgetary and non-budgetary resources.” Efforts will be made to link small and marginal farmers to markets, in order to get adequate remuneration for their produce. One of the steps include setting a minimum support price at 1.5 times the cost of production of Kharif corps. Another step include an increase in agricultural credit to Rs 11 Trillion. Other measures include development and upgradation of 22,000 rural markets at a budget of £200 million, and provision of £50 million for 'Operation Green' to promote agriculture logistics.

RURAL INFRASTRUCTURE Ahead of the national elections, the government will make efforts to link villages and rural roads to agriculture markets, secondary schools, and hospitals, under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna (PMGSY). The corpus of funds available to women in self-help groups was £4.20 billion in 2016-17, Jaitley said, adding that this would be increased to £7.50 billion by March 2019. An increase in funds for the National Rural Livelihood Mission has been announced under the Rural Ministry to £575 million in 2018-19, from £450 million last year. Jaitley also announced an allocation of £260 million to ensure irrigation facilities in 96 irrigation

deprived districts, besides funds to boost fisheries and animal farming. RAILWAYS AND TRANSPORT An all-time high allocation to rail and road sectors is committed to further enhance public investment. Modi himself reviews targets and achievements in infrastructure sectors on a regular basis. Railways Capital Expenditure has been pegged at £14.85 billion. Four thosand km of electrified railway network is slated

for commissioning during 2017-18. Work on Eastern and Western dedicated Freight Corridors is in full swing. Adequate number of rolling stock- 12,000 wagons, 5,160 coaches, and approximately 700 locomotives are being procured this year. A target of track renewal of over 3,600 km has been made, and redevelopment of 600 major railway stations is being taken up. The infamous Mumbai local train network will have 90 km of double line tracks at a cost of over £1.10 billion, 150 km of additional suburban network is being planned at a cost of over £4 billion, including elevated corridors on some sections. Also, a suburban network of approximately 160 km at an estimated cost of £1.70 billlion is planned to help boost the Bengaluru metropolis. GOVT MISSES FISCAL DEFICIT TARGET The fiscal deficit target for 2018-19 has been set at 3.3 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP) to accommodate higher demand for expenditure against the earlier target of 3 per cent. Modi government also revised deficit target for the year ending in March 2018 to 3.5 per cent of GDP from the targeted 3.2 per cent. Jaitley, in his last full budget, accepted key recommendations of the NK Singh Committee on fiscal discipline to reduce debt-to-GDP

ratio to 40 per cent by 202425 from 50.1 per cent in 2017-18, and has consequently, introduced amendments to the present Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act. A fiscal deficit occurs when a government's total expenditures exceed the revenue that it generates, excluding money from borrowings. Deficit differs from debt, which is an accumulation of yearly deficits. The Modi government now aims to reduce its debt-

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to-GDP ratio to 48.8 per cent in 2018-19, 46.7 per cent in 2019-20, and 44.6 per cent in 2020-21, while fiscal deficit as a percentage of GDP is targeted to be reduced to 3.3 per cent, 3.1 per cent, and 3 per cent respectively. Jaitley has also marginally increased its borrowing programme to Rs 6.06 Trillion for the next fiscal from Rs 6.05 Trillion in the current fiscal year. While the budget estimate of fiscal deficit for 2017-18 was 3.2 per cent of GDP, the revised estimate is now 3.5 per cent, the same as 2016-17. The government achieved the fiscal deficit target of 3.5 per cent of GDP after cutting down capital expenditure by £3.60 billion in 2017-18. Jaitley pinned the slippage to the government receiving GST revenue for 11 months in 2017-18 and facing a shortfall in non-tax revenue due to lower receipts from spectrum auction. He added that part of the shortfall was met through higher direct tax collections and disinvestment. EXPERTS REACT: BUDGET STRIKES A FINE BALANCE In the annual announcement and reveal of the Budget this year, four different sectors namely health, education, agriculture and infrastructure were the focus areas. FM Arun Jaitley also called the country's cleanliness campaign as “one of India's biggest success stories”.

Sanitation Experts from different fields covering issues from toilet construction, to air pollution, weighed in on the announcement. Modi's Swachh Bharat Abhiyan was launched in 2014, when toilet access was promised to every citizen of India. As many as 60 million toilets have been built in the last three years, and the target for this year remains 20 million toilets. However, the budget has reduced the sanctioning amount to £1.69 billion from last year's £1.92 billion. Mamata Dash, Campaign Manager at WaterAid India said, “My reaction was a rather disappointing one. If you calculate then by March 2019 India will have a total of 80 million newly built toilets and the government’s overall target is 110 million by October 2019. Building the rest of the toilets within those few months is a big question mark.” She added, “This is absolutely regressive. Although fund isn't the only vital aspect of the mission. The government also needs to monitor if the funds are getting utilised. Questions like

Raw cashew nuts, Solar tempered glass or solar tempered glass used for manufacture solar panels/modules, Raw materials, parts or accessories used in making cochlear implants, Select capital goods and electronics such as ball screws and linear motion guides.

how much of last year's Swachh Bharat budget has been used needs to be answered.” Indoor and Outdoor Pollution Jaitley called air pollution in Delhi NCR “a cause for concern”, adding that “special scheme will be implemented to support Haryana, Punjab, UP, and Delhi NCT” to address the issue. He spoke about the Ujjwala Yojana, which aims to reduce indoor air pollution faced by women from burning firewood for cooking. Anumita Roychowdhury, Executive Director, CSE, said, “Addressing the huge problem of crop burning is definitely the need of the hour. Giving subsidies to farmers will hopefully bring down the pollution levels. But one needs to remember

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here that pollution isn't limited to northern regions of India, it is a national crisis.” She said indoor pollution is a very serious health concern. “Providing clean energy via preventing firewoods is a significant move. This needs to be scaled up across India.” Agriculture Keeping the aching agriculture sector and its farmers this year, Jaitley's budget has promised the country's backbone a minimum support price (MSP) that will be 1.5 the production cost of crops to honour BJP's promise of implementing the MS Swaminathan report. The decision has been hailed by experts. Prof Satish Verma of Reserve Bank of India chair at Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development, Chandigarh, called the move appreciable and that it reflects the Centre's intent to implement the Swaminathan Commission's recommendations. “Even if the government tries to achieve this with steps to reduce cost of production, it's a win-win for the farmers,” he said. Dr Subhash Sharma, director, Centre for Economic Policy, said the government had taken a revolutionary decision to link the MSP calculation to cost of production. “Till now, farmers used to complain that the MSP increase was not in sync to the increase in production cost.” Healthcare Managing Partner at Head-Tax and Regulatory services, BDO India, Milind Kothari commended the Budget announcement relating to the area of healthcare. “The announcement in the area of healthcare is clearly path-breaking for the sheer size, coverage, and the amount committed per family. This ushers India firmly in the next generation of social security as India moves aggressively towards a progressive developing economy. Antony Jacob, CEO, Apollo Munich Health Insurance, said, “ The world's largest government's funded healthcare program National Healthcare Protection Scheme (NHPS) announced by our FM, with approximately 500 million beneficiaries, an insurance scheme of up to Rs 5,00,000 per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization is a welcome move not just to maintain a healthy India but this I believe will also create several new jobs in the country as new healthcare facilities will come up in smaller districts and villages. This move will go a long way in empowering India's poor and underprivileged.”

BUDGET

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What Union Budget has to offer to the NRIs

UNION BUDGET SECTOR-WISE ALLOCATION Agriculture Rs. 11 Lakh Crore Health Rs. 52,800 Crore Railway Rs. 1.46 Lakh Crore Defence Rs. 4.04 Lakh Crore Aviation Rs. 1014.09 Crore Telecom Rs. 10,000 Crore Infrastructor Rs. 5.94 Lakh Crore MAJOR INDUSTRIAL PLAYERS RESPOND TO THE UNION BUDGET Vice President of business consulting firm Frost & Sullivan, Mamta Wadhwa said, “The impact of 2018 budget is positive for Agriculture and Food Processing sector, affordable housing sector, health insurance industry and the textile sector. Demand for agriculture-related products such as fertilisers, crop protection chemicals, micro irrigation equipment will go up. Since the focus will be on technology and modernisation, warehousing and logistics industry will also get benefitted. The affordable housing sector will continue to grow in the coming years. We will see increased growth in low income/ small budget houses in tier 1 cities, and growth in housing in tier 2 and 3 cities.” She added, “This will boost the health insurance sector, health service providers, and also the pharmaceutical sector in general. Overall healthcare expenditure will get a boost. Share prices of most of the sector in general. Overall healthcare expenditure will get a boost. Share prices of most of the sector in general. Overall healthcare expenditure will get a boost.” Hemal Zobalia, partner at Deloitte India, said, “Budget 2018 demonstrates the Finance Minister's intent to boost investments in rural development, education, healthcare and social sectors. The budget recognises the role of “Infrastructure sector” as growth driver of the economy with an estimated investment requirement of a massive £500 billion. All time high allocation has been made to rail and road sector. The Finance Minister has again shown interest to develop smart cities and bullet trains, but more action is expected at the ground level.” Kunal Bahl, Co-founder & CEO, Snapdeal, hailed the budget saying, “We commend the focus on growing the digital footprint, providing better physical infrastructure, and improving not just the ease of doing business but also ease of living in the country. The enhancement of digital infrastructure with more broadband access in rural parts, unique ID to companies, record allocation to building national highways and railways, and multifold increase in airports will go a long way in broad-basing growth in the economy.”

CONG UNIMPRESSED WITH THE BUDGET, SAYS GROUND REALITIES DIFFERENT The main Opposition party has called the Union Budget a “big let down” and “defeatist”, accusing the Modi government of throwing in the towel instead of making belated efforts to solve problems. Party president Rahul Gandhi tweeted, “4 years gone; still promising farmers a fair price. 4 years gone; fancy schemes, with no matching budgets. 4 years gone; no jobs for our youth. Thankfully, only one more year to go.” Former finance minister P Chidambaram said the government failed to boost exports, agriculture, healthcare, jobs, investment and provide tax relief. He said health insurance was a welcome step but much will depend on implementation. “The government has run out of ideas to boost exports. The finance minister has imposed additional customs duties to restrict imports. The Prime Minister’s speech at Davos has been forgotten within a few days.” He added, “There is nothing to indicate that farmers' real income will rise. Farm sector distress will continue and deepen, putting in peril the lives of a majority of people primarily dependent on agriculture.” Meanwhile, BSP leader Mayawati has called the Budget anti-poor and procapitalists. She has stated that the government showed little concern for the poor, labourers, farmers, and the working class, which is why unemployment is rising and the gap between the rich and poor is increasing. Former prime minister Manmohan Singh said tall promises were made in the budget, however, ground realities were different. Singh raised doubts on whether the Modi government had the money to back its budgetary announcements. In a meeting of opposition parties, he said the government could not achieve the growth it had projected in the budget. He said to double the income of farmers, as promised, agri growth will have to touch 12 per cent which was not possible. He said the budget's objective painted a bright picture but did not appear to be supported by the reality of fiscal arithmetic. Jaitley's budget hiked custom duties on several products that are imported in the country. Following are a list of things that will make a hole in your pocket this year.

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CA Rajesh Dhruva femaonline.com

Presenting Fifth consecutive Union Budget Shri Arun Jaitley has continued Shri Narendra Modi Government's efforts and endeavors of Equity and Justice for all sections of society and fulfilling dreams and hopes of Rural & Poor population of India for just a simple decent living . The Budget promises to connect Rural Bharat with Urban India by making large allocations for Rural India and particularly providing for additional 80 mn free Gas connections ; 40 mn electric connections and 20 mn Toilets ; and to top it all begins an era of health care offering medical care facilities up to Rs. 0.5 mn to more than 100 mn poor families across India giving a distinct touch of Modicare to Medical care. The Budget balances to brighten all sectors of the economy and promises a 7% GDP Growth in years to follow. For Non Resident Indians (NRIs) this Budget has few important announcements which are briefly discussed herein :

I. Long Term Gains of Equity shares and Equity Funds :

1.

Capital gains arising from Equity Shares & Equity Mutual Funds held for more than 1 year and subjected to Security Transaction Tax presently exempt from Income Tax are now proposed to be taxed from 1st April 2018. As this exemption was biased against all other active and passive income earners who were subjected to tax in India and the quantam of Equity Long Term Capital Gains (LTCG) having ballooned to Rs. 367,000 crs in previous year the same are now to be to be taxed at flat rate of 10%. To give level playing field against tax exemption of LTCG prior to 31st March an advantage of substituting Market Value as on 31st January 2018 as cost of purchase is offered for LTCG arising and taxed from 1st April 2018. 2.

As such Equity Shares and Equity MFs sold before 31st March 2018 will be exempt from tax.

3. Equity Shares & Equity MFs sold on or after 1st April 2018 will be granted benefit of substituting Market Price or Net Asset Value on 31st January 2018 as the Purchase cost if the same is higher than actual purchase price . 4. If Equity Shares were not traded on 31st January ’18 traded price of the latest date before 31st January

value will not be allowed benefit of indexation as in case of all other LTCG. .02 For Non Residents computation of LTCG will be in Indian Rupees only and not in Foreign Currency of original investment as provided presently. 9. Capital gains of Non Residents will be subject to Tax Deduction at Source (TDS) at the rate of 10%. CA Rajesh Dhruva

will be substituted. 5. If sale price is less than market value but more than actual purchase price such sale price will be substituted as purchase cost. 6.

If sale price is less than market value and also purchase price then cost of purchase price will be determined as Long Term Capital Loss (LTCL).

7. For clarity examples of various situations of sale are computed herein for Equity purchased on 1st February 2016 for Rs. 100 ; traded at Rs. 200 on 31st January 2018 : .01 100 shares sale on 25th March 2018 at Rs. 300. : Gain of Rs. 200 being Rs.300 – Rs.100 is Exempt from tax as sale before 1st April 2018 continues to enjoy old rule of being tax free. .02 100 shares sale on 2nd April 2018 at Rs. 400 : Market value of Rs. 200 being more than Purchase the same will be deemed cost and Gains of Rs. 200 being Rs. 400 - Rs. 200 will attract tax of 10% . .03 100 shares sale on 1st October 2018 at Rs. 150 : As the sale price is more than the Purchase price but less than Market Value of Rs. 200 ; Rs. 150 will be deemed Purchase and Gains be Nil being Rs. 150 - Rs. 150. .04 100 shares sale 2nd December 2018 at Rs. 50 : As sale price is below the purchase price there will be Long Term Capital Loss of Rs. 50/- being Rs. 50 - Rs. 100 which can be set off against LTCG of other assets of current year or carried forward for 8 years and set off against LTCG of other assets.. .05 In above example above if the Market Vaue on 31st January 2018 was Rs. 50 than Purchase Price of Rs. 100 being more than MV of Rs. 50 ; Rs. 100 will be considered and deductible as Purchase Cost. 8.

LTCG will be taxed at flat rate of 10% i.e. cost or market value as on 31st January ’18 only will be deductible from sale price and such purchase price or market

10. In case of bonus shares which are acquired free of charge market value of the said shares as on 31st January 2018 will be considered as purchase price and will deductible from sale price to compute taxable LTCG. .02 If Equities sold before 31st March 2018 results in a loss same will not be set off or carried forward as capital gains are exempt.

II. Filing Tax Returns : 1. Presently for financial year ending on 31st March , due date for filing Tax Returns for most of the NRIs is 31st July . .02 NRIs missing the due date have an option of fling latest by 31st March of the following year. .03 However from current year ended 31st March 2018 Tax Return filing before due date is almost compulsory as failure to file tax returns before 31st July will result in disallowance of permissible deductions of investments like Insurance Premiums , Ta free Equity MFs , Mediclaim Premium , etc.. .04 Moreover such delay will also be subject to penalty of Rs. 10,000/-. 2. Such gains will be taxed in Rupees only and will not be computed in Foreign Exchange as permissible / if the sale price is less than market value as on 31st January 2018 then higher on such sale price or actual cost will be considered as cost of purchase.

III. International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) : 1.

To promote IFSC in India like Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT) Non Residents are granted tax exemptions for foreign currency gains arising from transactions on a recognized Stock Exchange allocated in IFSC .

02 The exemption is granted for trading in Forex Bonds ; Global Depository Receipts ; Indian Corporate INR Bonds and Derivatives.


JAITLEY BIDS ON HEALTH, AGRI

16

BUDGET

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Asian Voice | 10th February 2018

Continued from page 1 Jaitley said India's most vulnerable families would be able to access up to Rs 5,00,000 a year for hospital cover through the initiative. The government currently provides Rs 30,000 towards healthcare for poor families, an amount that is insufficient to cover most medical procedures. The country spends a little over one per cent of its GDP on public healthcare, one of the lowest proportions in the world. “This will be the world's largest government-funded healthcare programme. The government is steadily but surely progressing towards a goal of universal health coverage,” Jaitley said. The scheme would take public healthcare in the country “to a new aspiration level.” Adequate funds, the FM said, would be provided to roll out the insurance programme to 500 million of India's poorest nationwide. He said the government was “seriously concerned” that millions of Indians had to borrow or sell assets to receive adequate treatment in hospital.

AGRICULTURE: OPERATION GREENS AMONG SLEW OF MEASURES Jaitley has outlined a slew of measures to boost agricultural production and the rural economy, extending an enhanced support for the existing schemes to the

tune of Rs 14.34 trillion in the Union Budget. The first subject touched upon by the minister in his speech, he said, “The focus of the government next year will be to provide maximum livelihood opportunities in rural areas by spending more on livelihood, agricultural, and allied activities and construction of rural infrastructure.” He added, “In the year 2018-19, for the creation of livelihood and infrastructure in rural areas, the total amount to be spent by ministries will be

£143.4 billion from extra budgetary and non-budgetary resources.” Efforts will be made to link small and marginal farmers to markets, in order to get adequate remuneration for their produce. One of the steps include setting a minimum support price at 1.5 times the cost of production of Kharif corps. Another step include an increase in agricultural credit to Rs 11 Trillion. Other measures include development and upgradation of 22,000 rural markets at a budget of £200 million, and provision of £50 million for 'Operation Green' to promote agriculture logistics.

RURAL INFRASTRUCTURE Ahead of the national elections, the government will make efforts to link villages and rural roads to agriculture markets, secondary schools, and hospitals, under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna (PMGSY). The corpus of funds available to women in self-help groups was £4.20 billion in 2016-17, Jaitley said, adding that this would be increased to £7.50 billion by March 2019. An increase in funds for the National Rural Livelihood Mission has been announced under the Rural Ministry to £575 million in 2018-19, from £450 million last year. Jaitley also announced an allocation of £260 million to ensure irrigation facilities in 96 irrigation

deprived districts, besides funds to boost fisheries and animal farming. RAILWAYS AND TRANSPORT An all-time high allocation to rail and road sectors is committed to further enhance public investment. Modi himself reviews targets and achievements in infrastructure sectors on a regular basis. Railways Capital Expenditure has been pegged at £14.85 billion. Four thosand km of electrified railway network is slated

for commissioning during 2017-18. Work on Eastern and Western dedicated Freight Corridors is in full swing. Adequate number of rolling stock- 12,000 wagons, 5,160 coaches, and approximately 700 locomotives are being procured this year. A target of track renewal of over 3,600 km has been made, and redevelopment of 600 major railway stations is being taken up. The infamous Mumbai local train network will have 90 km of double line tracks at a cost of over £1.10 billion, 150 km of additional suburban network is being planned at a cost of over £4 billion, including elevated corridors on some sections. Also, a suburban network of approximately 160 km at an estimated cost of £1.70 billlion is planned to help boost the Bengaluru metropolis. GOVT MISSES FISCAL DEFICIT TARGET The fiscal deficit target for 2018-19 has been set at 3.3 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP) to accommodate higher demand for expenditure against the earlier target of 3 per cent. Modi government also revised deficit target for the year ending in March 2018 to 3.5 per cent of GDP from the targeted 3.2 per cent. Jaitley, in his last full budget, accepted key recommendations of the NK Singh Committee on fiscal discipline to reduce debt-to-GDP

ratio to 40 per cent by 202425 from 50.1 per cent in 2017-18, and has consequently, introduced amendments to the present Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act. A fiscal deficit occurs when a government's total expenditures exceed the revenue that it generates, excluding money from borrowings. Deficit differs from debt, which is an accumulation of yearly deficits. The Modi government now aims to reduce its debt-

Cars and motorcycles, Mobile phones, Silver, Gold, Vegetable, fruit juices, including orange and cranberry, Sunglasses, Miscellaneous food preparations other than soya protein, Perfumes and toilet waters, Sunscreen, suntan, manicure, pedicure preparations, Preparations for oral dental hygiene, denture fixative, pastes and powders; dental floss, Pre-shave, shaving or aftershave preparations, Deodorants, bath preparations, depilatories, perfumery, Scent sprays and similar toilet sprays, Truck and Bus radial tyres, Silk Fabrics, Footwear, Coloured gemstones.

to-GDP ratio to 48.8 per cent in 2018-19, 46.7 per cent in 2019-20, and 44.6 per cent in 2020-21, while fiscal deficit as a percentage of GDP is targeted to be reduced to 3.3 per cent, 3.1 per cent, and 3 per cent respectively. Jaitley has also marginally increased its borrowing programme to Rs 6.06 Trillion for the next fiscal from Rs 6.05 Trillion in the current fiscal year. While the budget estimate of fiscal deficit for 2017-18 was 3.2 per cent of GDP, the revised estimate is now 3.5 per cent, the same as 2016-17. The government achieved the fiscal deficit target of 3.5 per cent of GDP after cutting down capital expenditure by £3.60 billion in 2017-18. Jaitley pinned the slippage to the government receiving GST revenue for 11 months in 2017-18 and facing a shortfall in non-tax revenue due to lower receipts from spectrum auction. He added that part of the shortfall was met through higher direct tax collections and disinvestment. EXPERTS REACT: BUDGET STRIKES A FINE BALANCE In the annual announcement and reveal of the Budget this year, four different sectors namely health, education, agriculture and infrastructure were the focus areas. FM Arun Jaitley also called the country's cleanliness campaign as “one of India's biggest success stories”.

Sanitation Experts from different fields covering issues from toilet construction, to air pollution, weighed in on the announcement. Modi's Swachh Bharat Abhiyan was launched in 2014, when toilet access was promised to every citizen of India. As many as 60 million toilets have been built in the last three years, and the target for this year remains 20 million toilets. However, the budget has reduced the sanctioning amount to £1.69 billion from last year's £1.92 billion. Mamata Dash, Campaign Manager at WaterAid India said, “My reaction was a rather disappointing one. If you calculate then by March 2019 India will have a total of 80 million newly built toilets and the government’s overall target is 110 million by October 2019. Building the rest of the toilets within those few months is a big question mark.” She added, “This is absolutely regressive. Although fund isn't the only vital aspect of the mission. The government also needs to monitor if the funds are getting utilised. Questions like

Raw cashew nuts, Solar tempered glass or solar tempered glass used for manufacture solar panels/modules, Raw materials, parts or accessories used in making cochlear implants, Select capital goods and electronics such as ball screws and linear motion guides.

how much of last year's Swachh Bharat budget has been used needs to be answered.” Indoor and Outdoor Pollution Jaitley called air pollution in Delhi NCR “a cause for concern”, adding that “special scheme will be implemented to support Haryana, Punjab, UP, and Delhi NCT” to address the issue. He spoke about the Ujjwala Yojana, which aims to reduce indoor air pollution faced by women from burning firewood for cooking. Anumita Roychowdhury, Executive Director, CSE, said, “Addressing the huge problem of crop burning is definitely the need of the hour. Giving subsidies to farmers will hopefully bring down the pollution levels. But one needs to remember

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here that pollution isn't limited to northern regions of India, it is a national crisis.” She said indoor pollution is a very serious health concern. “Providing clean energy via preventing firewoods is a significant move. This needs to be scaled up across India.” Agriculture Keeping the aching agriculture sector and its farmers this year, Jaitley's budget has promised the country's backbone a minimum support price (MSP) that will be 1.5 the production cost of crops to honour BJP's promise of implementing the MS Swaminathan report. The decision has been hailed by experts. Prof Satish Verma of Reserve Bank of India chair at Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development, Chandigarh, called the move appreciable and that it reflects the Centre's intent to implement the Swaminathan Commission's recommendations. “Even if the government tries to achieve this with steps to reduce cost of production, it's a win-win for the farmers,” he said. Dr Subhash Sharma, director, Centre for Economic Policy, said the government had taken a revolutionary decision to link the MSP calculation to cost of production. “Till now, farmers used to complain that the MSP increase was not in sync to the increase in production cost.” Healthcare Managing Partner at Head-Tax and Regulatory services, BDO India, Milind Kothari commended the Budget announcement relating to the area of healthcare. “The announcement in the area of healthcare is clearly path-breaking for the sheer size, coverage, and the amount committed per family. This ushers India firmly in the next generation of social security as India moves aggressively towards a progressive developing economy. Antony Jacob, CEO, Apollo Munich Health Insurance, said, “ The world's largest government's funded healthcare program National Healthcare Protection Scheme (NHPS) announced by our FM, with approximately 500 million beneficiaries, an insurance scheme of up to Rs 5,00,000 per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization is a welcome move not just to maintain a healthy India but this I believe will also create several new jobs in the country as new healthcare facilities will come up in smaller districts and villages. This move will go a long way in empowering India's poor and underprivileged.”

BUDGET

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What Union Budget has to offer to the NRIs

UNION BUDGET SECTOR-WISE ALLOCATION Agriculture Rs. 11 Lakh Crore Health Rs. 52,800 Crore Railway Rs. 1.46 Lakh Crore Defence Rs. 4.04 Lakh Crore Aviation Rs. 1014.09 Crore Telecom Rs. 10,000 Crore Infrastructor Rs. 5.94 Lakh Crore MAJOR INDUSTRIAL PLAYERS RESPOND TO THE UNION BUDGET Vice President of business consulting firm Frost & Sullivan, Mamta Wadhwa said, “The impact of 2018 budget is positive for Agriculture and Food Processing sector, affordable housing sector, health insurance industry and the textile sector. Demand for agriculture-related products such as fertilisers, crop protection chemicals, micro irrigation equipment will go up. Since the focus will be on technology and modernisation, warehousing and logistics industry will also get benefitted. The affordable housing sector will continue to grow in the coming years. We will see increased growth in low income/ small budget houses in tier 1 cities, and growth in housing in tier 2 and 3 cities.” She added, “This will boost the health insurance sector, health service providers, and also the pharmaceutical sector in general. Overall healthcare expenditure will get a boost. Share prices of most of the sector in general. Overall healthcare expenditure will get a boost. Share prices of most of the sector in general. Overall healthcare expenditure will get a boost.” Hemal Zobalia, partner at Deloitte India, said, “Budget 2018 demonstrates the Finance Minister's intent to boost investments in rural development, education, healthcare and social sectors. The budget recognises the role of “Infrastructure sector” as growth driver of the economy with an estimated investment requirement of a massive £500 billion. All time high allocation has been made to rail and road sector. The Finance Minister has again shown interest to develop smart cities and bullet trains, but more action is expected at the ground level.” Kunal Bahl, Co-founder & CEO, Snapdeal, hailed the budget saying, “We commend the focus on growing the digital footprint, providing better physical infrastructure, and improving not just the ease of doing business but also ease of living in the country. The enhancement of digital infrastructure with more broadband access in rural parts, unique ID to companies, record allocation to building national highways and railways, and multifold increase in airports will go a long way in broad-basing growth in the economy.”

CONG UNIMPRESSED WITH THE BUDGET, SAYS GROUND REALITIES DIFFERENT The main Opposition party has called the Union Budget a “big let down” and “defeatist”, accusing the Modi government of throwing in the towel instead of making belated efforts to solve problems. Party president Rahul Gandhi tweeted, “4 years gone; still promising farmers a fair price. 4 years gone; fancy schemes, with no matching budgets. 4 years gone; no jobs for our youth. Thankfully, only one more year to go.” Former finance minister P Chidambaram said the government failed to boost exports, agriculture, healthcare, jobs, investment and provide tax relief. He said health insurance was a welcome step but much will depend on implementation. “The government has run out of ideas to boost exports. The finance minister has imposed additional customs duties to restrict imports. The Prime Minister’s speech at Davos has been forgotten within a few days.” He added, “There is nothing to indicate that farmers' real income will rise. Farm sector distress will continue and deepen, putting in peril the lives of a majority of people primarily dependent on agriculture.” Meanwhile, BSP leader Mayawati has called the Budget anti-poor and procapitalists. She has stated that the government showed little concern for the poor, labourers, farmers, and the working class, which is why unemployment is rising and the gap between the rich and poor is increasing. Former prime minister Manmohan Singh said tall promises were made in the budget, however, ground realities were different. Singh raised doubts on whether the Modi government had the money to back its budgetary announcements. In a meeting of opposition parties, he said the government could not achieve the growth it had projected in the budget. He said to double the income of farmers, as promised, agri growth will have to touch 12 per cent which was not possible. He said the budget's objective painted a bright picture but did not appear to be supported by the reality of fiscal arithmetic. Jaitley's budget hiked custom duties on several products that are imported in the country. Following are a list of things that will make a hole in your pocket this year.

17

CA Rajesh Dhruva femaonline.com

Presenting Fifth consecutive Union Budget Shri Arun Jaitley has continued Shri Narendra Modi Government's efforts and endeavors of Equity and Justice for all sections of society and fulfilling dreams and hopes of Rural & Poor population of India for just a simple decent living . The Budget promises to connect Rural Bharat with Urban India by making large allocations for Rural India and particularly providing for additional 80 mn free Gas connections ; 40 mn electric connections and 20 mn Toilets ; and to top it all begins an era of health care offering medical care facilities up to Rs. 0.5 mn to more than 100 mn poor families across India giving a distinct touch of Modicare to Medical care. The Budget balances to brighten all sectors of the economy and promises a 7% GDP Growth in years to follow. For Non Resident Indians (NRIs) this Budget has few important announcements which are briefly discussed herein :

I. Long Term Gains of Equity shares and Equity Funds :

1.

Capital gains arising from Equity Shares & Equity Mutual Funds held for more than 1 year and subjected to Security Transaction Tax presently exempt from Income Tax are now proposed to be taxed from 1st April 2018. As this exemption was biased against all other active and passive income earners who were subjected to tax in India and the quantam of Equity Long Term Capital Gains (LTCG) having ballooned to Rs. 367,000 crs in previous year the same are now to be to be taxed at flat rate of 10%. To give level playing field against tax exemption of LTCG prior to 31st March an advantage of substituting Market Value as on 31st January 2018 as cost of purchase is offered for LTCG arising and taxed from 1st April 2018. 2.

As such Equity Shares and Equity MFs sold before 31st March 2018 will be exempt from tax.

3. Equity Shares & Equity MFs sold on or after 1st April 2018 will be granted benefit of substituting Market Price or Net Asset Value on 31st January 2018 as the Purchase cost if the same is higher than actual purchase price . 4. If Equity Shares were not traded on 31st January ’18 traded price of the latest date before 31st January

value will not be allowed benefit of indexation as in case of all other LTCG. .02 For Non Residents computation of LTCG will be in Indian Rupees only and not in Foreign Currency of original investment as provided presently. 9. Capital gains of Non Residents will be subject to Tax Deduction at Source (TDS) at the rate of 10%. CA Rajesh Dhruva

will be substituted. 5. If sale price is less than market value but more than actual purchase price such sale price will be substituted as purchase cost. 6.

If sale price is less than market value and also purchase price then cost of purchase price will be determined as Long Term Capital Loss (LTCL).

7. For clarity examples of various situations of sale are computed herein for Equity purchased on 1st February 2016 for Rs. 100 ; traded at Rs. 200 on 31st January 2018 : .01 100 shares sale on 25th March 2018 at Rs. 300. : Gain of Rs. 200 being Rs.300 – Rs.100 is Exempt from tax as sale before 1st April 2018 continues to enjoy old rule of being tax free. .02 100 shares sale on 2nd April 2018 at Rs. 400 : Market value of Rs. 200 being more than Purchase the same will be deemed cost and Gains of Rs. 200 being Rs. 400 - Rs. 200 will attract tax of 10% . .03 100 shares sale on 1st October 2018 at Rs. 150 : As the sale price is more than the Purchase price but less than Market Value of Rs. 200 ; Rs. 150 will be deemed Purchase and Gains be Nil being Rs. 150 - Rs. 150. .04 100 shares sale 2nd December 2018 at Rs. 50 : As sale price is below the purchase price there will be Long Term Capital Loss of Rs. 50/- being Rs. 50 - Rs. 100 which can be set off against LTCG of other assets of current year or carried forward for 8 years and set off against LTCG of other assets.. .05 In above example above if the Market Vaue on 31st January 2018 was Rs. 50 than Purchase Price of Rs. 100 being more than MV of Rs. 50 ; Rs. 100 will be considered and deductible as Purchase Cost. 8.

LTCG will be taxed at flat rate of 10% i.e. cost or market value as on 31st January ’18 only will be deductible from sale price and such purchase price or market

10. In case of bonus shares which are acquired free of charge market value of the said shares as on 31st January 2018 will be considered as purchase price and will deductible from sale price to compute taxable LTCG. .02 If Equities sold before 31st March 2018 results in a loss same will not be set off or carried forward as capital gains are exempt.

II. Filing Tax Returns : 1. Presently for financial year ending on 31st March , due date for filing Tax Returns for most of the NRIs is 31st July . .02 NRIs missing the due date have an option of fling latest by 31st March of the following year. .03 However from current year ended 31st March 2018 Tax Return filing before due date is almost compulsory as failure to file tax returns before 31st July will result in disallowance of permissible deductions of investments like Insurance Premiums , Ta free Equity MFs , Mediclaim Premium , etc.. .04 Moreover such delay will also be subject to penalty of Rs. 10,000/-. 2. Such gains will be taxed in Rupees only and will not be computed in Foreign Exchange as permissible / if the sale price is less than market value as on 31st January 2018 then higher on such sale price or actual cost will be considered as cost of purchase.

III. International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) : 1.

To promote IFSC in India like Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT) Non Residents are granted tax exemptions for foreign currency gains arising from transactions on a recognized Stock Exchange allocated in IFSC .

02 The exemption is granted for trading in Forex Bonds ; Global Depository Receipts ; Indian Corporate INR Bonds and Derivatives.


18

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Asian Voice | 10th February 2018

British scientists trying to sell time to traders

Dr Leon Lobo the current Strategic Business Development Manager at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) that primarily focusses on precise time dissemination solutions, was interviewed by the Financial Times regarding the changing timekeeping of global financial markets and how British scientists' global chronology system can help regulators to keep tabs on high-speed transactions. The FT wrote that in 21st century trading is conducted across continents in imcomprehensible speed and for regulators policing in such a world is very difficult. Now, European legislation has decided to tighten the rules around high-speed trading, leading the markets to rethink the way they measure time in digital age. The new rules (Mifid II), introduced beginning of this year, offer greater protections for investors and inject more competition into markets. Dr Lobo said this could affect the infinitesimal timekeeping of global financial markets in the same way the railway changed the way time was measured in the 19th century. He has previously been the Group Leader for Time and Frequency, working with the team managing the UK’s

timescale and developing quantum frequency standards. His background is in mechanical and optical engineering, with a PhD in high power laser material processing. He has previously developed solutions for standoff IED and trace explosive detection, remote in-vehicle personnel monitoring and less than lethal weaponry. The NPL has been located in a sleepy suburban town of Teddington in South-West London since 1900. The laboratory is the UK's national measurement institute- it keeps the official time and holds responsibility for making thousands of high-precision calibrations for science, physics and technology. Now it has a new commercial market added to its clientele, providing a reference point for superfast computers that power global trading of 21st century. More than a dozen institutions have signed

up including giants like UBS and Swiss Bank. With a job to sell time, Dr Lobo told FT, “NPL's product is the finest thing that is almost creating a network of time around the world. We have been developing new techniques to disseminate time.” Traders and exchangers hence have decided to timestamp events against a globally agreed standard known as Coordinated Universal Time or UTC. But timestamping all the trades in Europe is not easy, as clocks on trading computers are not collectively synchronised, therefore time is not uniform. It has its own challenges, and Dr Leon is here to find solutions. So if the NPL scientists are proved right, Teddington will become a time standard for a new commercial age, like Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) was for railways in 19th century.

Hyundai set to beat Maruti in electric vehicle launch Hyundai India is all set to give close rival Maruti tough competition by launching an electric vehicle in India. The car major will reportedly invest over $1 billion in India over the next three years, including funding for local assembling of Kona electric SUV, which will roll out in 2019. The Korean company also looks to bring in an electric version of its Xcent entry sedan. India's secondbiggest passenger vehicle maker, Hyundai India has been carrying out feasibility studies around electric mobility. “We will be launching electric vehicles in India from next year. We feel it is appropriate to begin with SUVs and thus Kona will be assembled from completely knocked down kits,” said India MD & CEO YK Koo. The group intends to launch nine models, including

upgrades, and build a large headquarters in Gurgaon. “We will invest $1 billion for this.” Koo said that even though companies introduce electric models in India, considering the government's aggressive initiative towards clean technology, there is a need to address critical issues like establishing a charging infrastructure. “We are waiting for a roadmap on the front of support infrastructure,”

he said. He also added that the government needs to bring down duty on electric vehicles from existing 12 per cent. The CEO said his company wants to increase its share in the country, and will introduce new models and upgrades towards the end. Hyundai's current share in the Indian passenger vehicle market is around 17 per cent. It sold around 6,80,000 vehicles last year.

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State Street's new Heads promise to conquer challenges Not long ago Ron O'Hanley was named the next Chief Executive of State Street, the world's second largest trust bank. He has been joined by Cyrus Taraporevala, the new President and Chief Executive of State Street Global Advisors, the investment management arm of State Street Corporation and a global leader with $2.7 trillion in assets under management. While the company marches on, he has challenges of his own, but with a long term thinker as Mr O'Hanley, SSGA is pushing in into higher margin products. State Street Global Advisors provides disciplined investment solutions spanning both indexing and active strategies to many of the world's largest, most sophisticated investors. Cyrus is also a member of State Street Corporation’s M a n a g e m e n t Committee, the company’s most senior strategy and policymaking team. Prior to this role, Cyrus was Head of the Global Institutional Group at State Street Global Advisors, responsible for leading the global client-facing, product and marketing teams delivering SSGA's capabilities to institutional investors around the world. 51 year old Cyrus has more than 27 years of experience in asset management. Prior to joining SSGA in 2016, Cyrus led Fidelity Investments' Retail Managed Accounts and Life Insurance & Annuities businesses. Cyrus joined Fidelity from BNY Mellon Asset Management, where he was Head of North American Distribution. Previously, Cyrus helped to oversee Legg Mason's institutional business, directed business strategy for Citigroup Global I n v e s t m e n t Management, and was a partner in the Financial Institutions practice of McKinsey & Company, based in New York and Copenhagen in the course of his 14 years at the management consulting firm. Cyrus received his Bachelor's degree from Sydenham College, University of Bombay and his MBA from Cornell University's Johnson Graduate School of Management. He serves

Cyrus Taraporevala

as a board member of The Trustees of Reservations, a Massachusetts-based non-profit conservation organisation. Mr O'Hanley and Mr Taraporevala both in an article in the the Financial Times said that they are generally pleased at the direction of financial regulatory

Rakhi Kumar

reform under Donald Trump Administration. If all goes well, with technology upgrades and other improvements, State Street's return on equity could be an industry-leading 15 percent by 2020 from 10.6 last year. On the other hand, in a new age of equality, the SSGA is getting tough on executive pay, and it promises to signal its displeasure over lavish packages by refusing to back them. Rakhi Kumar, head of Corporate Governance at SSGA, said that last year the group voted against nearly 600 of 5200 pay proposals. It had concerns over 300 more, which it classed as "qualified support." The FT wrote that in this year's shareholder meetings SSGA will make clear its unease by abstaining. Rakhi Kumar is Managing Director and Head of ESG Investments and Asset Stewardship at State Street Global Advisors (SSGA). As Head of ESG Investments, Rakhi leads SSGA's efforts to strengthen integration of ESG into the investment process. She is responsible for developing the firm's ESG investment philosophy and global business strategy. As Head of Asset

Stewardship, she oversees all of SSGA's proxy voting and engagement activities and is responsible for developing SSGA's thought leadership and voting guidelines in this area. Rakhi is also the Chair of SSGA's ESG Investment Working Group and is a member of SSGA's Senior Leadership Team, Global Proxy Review Committee, International Class Actions Committee, and State Street's Corporate Responsibility Working Group. She is also a member of the Council of Institutional Investors' Corporate Governance Advisory Council and a member of the Principles of Responsible Investors' (PRI's) Bondholder Engagement Working Group. In 2017, Rakhi was honored with the Abigail Adams Award by the Massachusetts Women's Political Caucus and was named on the Ten to Watch list of innovators and influencers in 2018 by wealthmanagement.com and on the Power50: Newsmakers list by the Boston Business Journal for her efforts to enhance gender diversity on company boards. She was also named to the 2017 and 2016 NACD Directorship 100, the annual list of the most influential people in the boardroom and on corporate governance. In 2015, she was a recipient of the North America Industry Leadership Award by the 100 Women in Hedge Funds group for her work in the field of corporate governance. Prior to that, Rakhi was named as one of the ten most influential people in corporate governance in 2014 by the Global Proxy Watch magazine. Rakhi earned her MBA ('02) from Yale University and her Bachelors of Commerce ('95) from Bombay University. She has been a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India since 1997. Ms Kumar said SSGA's abstention drive would begin with votes on pay but could cover other management proposals. She said talks had started with big companies about how they should interpret such vote. It is also supported by Cyrus and he thinks this kind of engagement should be routine for companies that effectively manage "permanent capital".


REAL ESTATE VOICE

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We are looking to close a few deals in Birmingham. This move was prompted in part by a client who has only a small sum to invest. His means are limited, but he has the enthusiasm to do something, and has invested through us for many years.

Suresh Vagjiani

Sow & Reap London Property Investment

London currently is an uncertain market, and therefore unless you are buying very cheap, or with an angle, it might be better not to buy at the moment, as capital growth is unlikely for the next two to three years. If you buy cheap, then money is made on the way in, when closing a deal. The popular saying ‘don’t wait to buy real estate, buy real estate and wait’ doesn’t quite ring true in this environment, and this locality, at present. People like simple

Asian Voice | 10th February 2018

headlines, to avoid the need to think and discriminate. Furthermore, the yields in Central London are paltry. So, you can’t even earn from holding the asset whilst waiting for the capital growth. The advice then, is to only pick up very cheap pieces; and they are floating to the surface. My inbox has several emails of properties titled price reduction. There are two, and only two, ways to make money from property. Capital growth and yield. If growth is uncertain, then the obvious thing to do is focus on the other, namely yield. This is the prompt to move away and shift focus further north. The deal sizes are a lot more digestible, and the yields justify investing,

AGONY AGENT IS HERE TO HELP! This week I thought I would bring to your attention an issue that has affected a few agents that I know. Beware of fake Right to Rent documentation. The Right to Rent Document checks came into force on 1st February 2016. Letting agents should have incorporated this immigration check into their standard pretenancy checks and referencing. As a landlord you are required to check if a prospective tenant has the legal right to rent in the UK, and there is a

chance you could potentially be provided with false documentation by tenants. The BBC covered this issue some time ago, and suggested that these rules around the new law may be fuelling a black market for forged ID documentation. And, unfortunately, you as the Landlord need to spot fakes!!! The Right to Rent (RtoR) scheme requires landlords to check prospective tenant documents to confirm their eligibility to live in

BUY TO LET OPPORTUNITY

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the UK. The Government has created a comprehensive guide that clearly sets out which documents you can accept as a landlord, and what to do in different situations, to ensure you are doing the right thing. With the number of fake ID documents clearly on the rise, here is a list of some of the things to look out for when carrying out RtoR checks: l Does the name on the document match up with the name given by the tenant?

irrespective of whether the property even goes up in value. This looks good on the surface, and we are currently scrutinizing the deals we are considering, to ensure there is nothing missed. Due diligence checks are especially important with these deals, many of the properties we are looking to close will be auction lots. Auctions are a favoured ground for dumping bad property. There are several reasons why auctions are chosen as the means of sale, not all bad. Some organisations like the transparency of an auction sale, this is also true in the case of probate. However, there have been many times when we have come across property where things were not as

l Is there a clear likeness between the tenant and the photo on the ID provided? l Are there any signs of document tampering? The words and numbers is one part of an ID document which is commonly messed with, so it's important to check closely. l How does the size and position of the photo look on the document? l Is the information provided in date? If you don't comply with RtoR checks, you could be hit with a heavy fine or criminal prosecution! According to the Home Office, since October last year, there have been 170

they first appeared to be. Some tell-tale signs are when last minute changes are made in the legal documentation as addendums. This often translates to undisclosed information on purpose, which the seller puts in at the last minute to cover themselves and fool the unwary buyer. When the seller is a large corporate body, generally speaking this is a good sign, as games like this will not fines issued to landlords under the scheme. If you are not sure about this, the Government has plenty of online guides and videos to help you through this. If the tenant doesn’t have the correct documents, you can always ask the Home Office if: l the Home Office has their documents l they have an outstanding case or appeal with the Home Office l the Home Office told them they have ‘permission to rent’ With the risk of being given potential fakes, and

likely be played. The issues with auction lots is a lot of due diligence needs to be done up front, with no guarantee the lot will be purchased. This requires time and expense, as well as the right expertise. On the plus side, a sale will be done on the day and the deal can be wrapped up with little fuss. It’s a gamble. We are looking forward to our foray next week and will hopefully report a few closed deals.

fines for not carrying out the correct checks, it’s becoming increasingly important for landlords to ensure their tenants have the right to rent in the UK. For further information on this, either look at www.gov.uk/checktenant-right-to-rentdocuments or contact me for a quick chat. Richard Bond Lettings Manager Sow & Reap

l Two floors, comprising of a large reception room, three bedrooms, separate kitchen and a bathroom l Private parking space l Sought after estate l Very long lease

l After minor refurbishment, expected resale

Carlton Hill, NW8 Purchase Price: £649,000

Specialists in Central London Property Sourcing

value is £1.1M Call us now for more information!

0207 993 0103

info@sowandreap.co.uk www.sowandreap.co.uk 27 Gloucester Place, London, W1U 8HU SowandReapProperties

Sowandreapuk

Turning land into cash Get in touch about our land opportunities


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Asian Voice | 10th February 2018

Consultant Editor Financial Voice Alpesh Patel Dear Financial Voice Reader, I write to you from India, before hitting my trading desk at the start of a new week. Here in India the annual budget by the Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley, has been interpreted by some as yet another death knell for Cryptocurrencies, but actually it is an attack on corruption.

Pioneers India is one of the main countries that is pioneering the way for regulating cryptocurrency. India is cracking down just like some of the other governments while still continuing to embrace the block chain technology for its incredible encryption and the widespread technological benefits. While cryptocurrency may have delivered a product that is not deemed to be helpful for Indian business, the technology behind it is something being embraced in many industries. One of the greatest reasons why this announcement was included as part of the finance announcements by Arun Jaitley starts with the basis for the current leadership. Prime Minister Narendra Modi as well as the BJP party won the hearts of the people in 2014 by focusing on an anticorruption based platform. Through this type of public popularity, the finance minister and his cabinet were likely to target corruption in cryptocurrency and online sales. Another example of how the finance minister is working to improve the Indian economy comes with trends that started in 2016. Indian finance was dealt a catastrophic blow when the government authorized the withdrawal of all Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes from circulation to remove the chance for “black money”. Though this move the government left a giant gaping hole available for bitcoin exchanges to take up the rest of the underground currency market. With the threat of cryptocurrency set to take over this black money exchange within the market, many banks began to freeze accounts that were tied to bitcoin exchanges across the country as part of a government order. The problems therefore India is trying to solve, are global problems for all Governments and cryptocurrencies and this is the first major Government to give time and space in their annual budget speech. It is not a shutdown, but, how to work with this technology in a way safe for Governments. Mass adoption of cryptocurrency without regulation in India would most certainly lead to an extensive amount of corruption as well as a huge degree of civil unrest within the economy. If there is a mass adoption of cryptocurrencies online this would represent a shadow economy within India that would act parallel to the current economic structure as well as remove a massive amount of financial resources from an economy that has had recent problems maintaining their treasury. According to a 2017 study performed by transparency international, 7/10 people that were accessing public services throughout India were forced to pay some type of bribe. By making items like these bribes completely anonymous, it could drive the cost of obtaining even basic services almost impossible for many people. Almost every basic service within India generally requires some type of small bribe. Whether you are grabbing a train ticket, securing a court date or even getting a license test. It’s estimated that 60% of people in India did not actually complete any type of test to acquire their drivers license but rather paid a bribe to get it instead. Petty corruption is rampant even in basic services like healthcare, education and the judicial system many estimate that with 11 basic services in the government and a fairly standard corruption rate of 60%, the economy misses out on nearly 4.9 billion dollars US annually as a result of people having to pay small, petty cash bribes for fake tolls, healthcare, and the most basic of services. Major companies can actually pay just as larger contribution in siphoning money away from the economic prosperity of the country, the telecom industry was able to siphon away close to $30 billion in a 2G spectrum scam whereby licenses were granted to mobile phone companies through fake legislation the government was not even tied to. With some of the largest service providers even falling victim to corruption and manipulating markets across the country, having the ability to do this anonymously would only lead to greater problems within the country. Alpesh Patel Alpesh Patel and Juventus Football Club are Official Partners of 24Option.com brokers. Alpesh.patel@tradermind.com

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Air India may get new owner by June-end New owners of debt-ridden Air India could be decided by June-end as the government intends to complete the “legal closing” of the transaction by December when the airline's assets are transferred to the winning bidder. AI will be split into five parts, with four of them- AI, AI Express, AI SATS ground handling unit, engineering units, and Alliance Air, to be offered for sale. The fifth, meanwhile, will be an SPV that will remain with the government. The SPV will have AI's “unsustainable” debt, Centaur hotels, land and the priceless art collection

the airline has gained over the years. Aviation Minister Jayant Sinha gave the fine print of AI's disinvestment in terms of value and revenue, a day after the Union Budget was announced.

According to the schedule decided by the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (Dipam), the government expects to have the winning bidder by June-end.

The process is expected to be over by the end of the year. Sinha said, “We will soon issue information memorandum for all the four entities being offered for divestment that will contain all their details. Then, interested parties will bid for whichever unit or units they wish to, with the highest bidder getting the same. This is the biggest reform being initiated by the Modi government.” He added, “There are some ways of valuing an entity. It can be done on 'ongoing entity basis', where it will be a sum multiple of cash flows.”

Reliance to invest £250 mn in Assam, create 80,000 jobs

Reliance Industries boss Mukesh Ambani has announced an investment of £250 million in various sectors of Assam, including retail, petroleum, telecom, tourism, and sports. The money will potentially create jobs for at least 80,000 people over the next three years. Speaking at the inaugural function of the Global Investors Summit 2018, he said, “Today, I am happy to announce five commitments for Assam over the next three years. Reliance will invest an additional £250 million to augment its presence in this market.” The company, under its programme, will enhance its

Mukesh Ambani

retail division's outlet to 40 from existing two, while the number of petrol depots will increase to 164 from the existing 47. “We are also going to open new offices in all 145 tehsil headquarters

across Assam. Our approach has always been to create sustainable livelihood opportunities and have generated 20,000 jobs in Assam,” Ambani said. He stated that the state had always been low priority market for other telecom operators, but a 'Category A' market for Reliance. “We now target to increase the sustainable livelihood opportunities by five-fold to 1,00,000 jobs.” The company's CSR wing Reliance Foundation will partner with the Assam state government, for the tourism sector, and set up a centre in a university to promote “wildlife protection and ecotourism”. Ambani said, “In

India's SEBI gets teeth to act against exchanges The government of India has given more powers to the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to impose monetary penalties on important market intermediaries such as stock exchanges and clearing corporations and also act against newer categories of participants likes investment advisers, research analysts, real estate investment trusts and infrastructure investment trusts. The new act now allows the market regulator to impose a monetary penalty of at least £500,000 on stock exchanges, clearing corporations and depositories for non-compliance with regulatory norms. The penalty can go up to £2.5 million or three times the amount of gains made out of such failure or non-compliance. Hitherto, SEBI only had the power to censure or warn against any form of failure. Incidentally, the new powers come at a time when the National Stock Exchange is under the SEBI

scanner in the co-location matter, with regard to which it has been alleged that a certain set of brokers were given preferential access allowing them to make undue gains. The amendments also allow SEBI to act against entities that furnish false or incomplete information to the regulator. Earlier, it could act only if the entity did not furnish any information. The whole-time members of SEBI have also been given additional powers to act against wrongdoers. “[Powers to] punish for filing of false, incorrect or incomplete information, return, report, books or other documents was very much needed for SEBI,” said Sumit Agrawal, a regulatory lawyer and an exSEBI official. Quality of disclosure “It will increase the quality of disclosure rather than just tick-the-box approach. Twin-fold penalty powers with the wholetime member and adjudicating officer (AO) is wel-

come for efficient use of human resources. Minimum penalty of £500,000 proposed on market intermediaries such as stock exchanges, clearing corporations and depositories [has emerged] for the first time and is likely to be used rarely,” he added. This is not the first time that the government has used the Union Budget to empower the capital market regulator. While presenting the Budget for 2015-16, finance minister Arun Jaitley proposed the merger of the then commodity market regulator Forward Markets Commission with SEBI. This followed the £560 million settlement scam at the National Spot Exchange Ltd., which came out in the open in July 2013. “Since things are more electronic now, it is becoming easier for regulators to keep track of happenings in the market, more so [to track] non-compliance,” said Pranav Jain, partner, MDP & Partners, a law firm.

football, ISL is a huge success in Assam. We have decided to establish a top class football academy in partnership with Government of Assam to produce global players from the state.” He said Reliance Industries has become the largest private sector investor in Assam by putting in £500 million over the last few years. Jio, the company's telecom arm has over 30,00,000 users currently and aims to increase it manifold in the coming months. Ambani complimented Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal for organising the 'Advantage Assam- Global Investors Summit 2018'.

Investors in India lose £96 billion in 3 days The turmoil in the Indian stockmarket saw investors losing £96 billion in three days with the rout continuing amid sell-off in world markets. The BSE benchmark Sensex slumped 1,274.35 points to hit the day's low at 33,482.81 in Tuesday's early trade. Post the Union Budget on February 1, the 30-share index has plummeted by 2,164.11 points. Led by a continuous selloff, the market capitalisation of BSE-listed companies went down by £96.09 billion to £143.39 billion in three days. Commenting on the markets' poor show, Finance and Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia said that the government would look into what it can do after a slump in local market reflecting global sell off. When asked if the government will scrap or review the long term capital gains (LTCG) tax which was introduced last week in the federal budget, Adhia said the local markets are mimicking global weakness, "but the government will look into what it can do". The Sensex slumped 309.59 points, or 0.88 per cent, to end at 34,757.16 on Monday. The index had crashed 839.91 points, or 2.34 per cent, on Friday. "The crash in the mother market - the Dow plunging by 2,200 points in two days has unnerved equity markets globally. The sell-off in the US has led to a global sell-off.


UK

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Asian Voice | 10th February 2018

Officials investigate suspicious assets

Lord Loomba speaks in House of Lords on the centenary of Peoples Act, 1918 Reaffirms his position as an advocate of women and girls’ rights, urging UK to lead the way for female participation in Parliament

Vijay Mallya

Officials are preparing to use new orders to seize suspicious assets until those who are under the investigative radar can properly account for their acquisitions. Scores of targets have been identified and two test cases are being readied. The security minister, Ben Wallace told The Times newspaper that he wanted the “full force of government” to investigate criminals and corrupt politicians who use Britain as a haven. He warned, “When we get to you we will come for you, for your assets and we will make the environment that you live in difficult.” About £90 billion of

Lalit Modi

Dawood Ibrahim

Iqbal Mirchi

illegal money gets laundered every year in Britain, the government has estimated. Indians are also in the same frame as such cases with these allegations have also been made in India, making scandalous headline news. The mastermind behind the Indian Premiere League (IPL), Lalit Modi, and the business tycoon and former politician, Vijay Mallya, have also come under severe scrutiny in India. Lalit Modi faced allegations of of financial irregularities in broadcast deals as well as rigging auctions. After being sacked from the board, he had fled to the UK,

allegedly citing that the decision was due to threats to his family's safety. The flamboyant business tycoon, Vijay Mallya, who is currently in London and has been making court appearances regarding his extradition to India, faces allegations for moneylaundering as well as conspiracy. Mallya, considered as one of the wealthiest people in India with his major brands such as Kingfisher, resigned as a prominent member of parliament in India and moved to London, which he considers as his second home. The list also includes

the world's most wanted gangster, the notorious smuggler and extortionist Dawood Ibrahim, is considered to be the second richest criminal to have ever lived after the Columbian druglord, Pablo Escobar. Ibrahim is currently in hiding in Pakistan and is allegedly worth an estimated $6.7 billion. He is alleged to be involved in match-fixing, global heroin trade, as well as responsible for one of the most atrocious terror attacks in India. Dawood Ibrahim's right-hand aide and alleged conspirator, Muhammed Iqbal Memon, also known as Iqbal Mirchi also faced similar allegations.

Volatile ex-husband jailed over ex-wife's murder “Your selfish pride fuelled your anger,” said Judge Timothy Spencer QC, as he gave Ashwin Daudia, 51, a life sentence with a minimum of 18 years behind bars, for strangling ex-wife Kiran Daudia with her own scarf. “In my judgement, you were arrogant, bullying, and bent upon maintaining control,” the judge said as he passed the sentence. Judge Spencer also added, “In short, I'm quite satisfied the course of destruction of your family was a course charted by you.” Leicester Crown Court heard that Kiran, 46, was reported missing by her family on January 16, when she didn't return home from work. Authorities were called who spoke to Daudia, who in turn claimed he hadn't seen her. Soon, a missing person enquiry was initiated and it was during a perimeter

Ashwin Daudia

search that the police found Kiran's phone wrapped in two plastic bags on the roof of a business premises. On January 17, the police received a call from a neighbour who found a suitcase abandoned in their back yard in a neighbouring street. Investigation found drag marks from Daudia's home address to the yard. The case was strengthened when CCTV footage of the accused pulling the suitcase through the streets on the evening of January 16 was recovered. Daudia was

Kiran Daudia

consequently arrested and interviewed by officers from the East Midlands Special Operations Unit, and charged with Kiran's murder two days after her death. Detective Sergeant Mark Wesley said, “The evidence against Daudia was overwhelming, with CCTV work and forensic examinations helping us to build a strong case against him. He was solely responsible for the death of his ex-wife. Kiran had her family at the heart of everything she did.” Wesley added, “Through his own

Victim of burglary disappointed by police Continued from page 4 “felt confident” when the police indicated that the match in registration number was enough to make an arrest. However, she felt let down by the police. She said, “Sadly, the police response has been most disappointing. We gave them the car registration number the next day but then it took them 10 days to go and col-

lect the CCTV footage. I don't feel that there is any kind of urgency or even serious intent at their end.” She added, “We took a lot of burden of police work on ourselves. We were doing the leg work for the police so they could take us seriously. I don't feel we got an adequate response. There doesn't seem to be any systematic approach to appre-

hension.” A spokesperson from Met Police said, “Officers attended the shop and viewed the footage, which appeared to show an unknown suspect handling stolen goods. Enquiries to identify the suspect – and whether they were involved in the original offence – and an associated vehicle are ongoing.”

selfish, cowardly actions, Daudia ripped this family apart, leaving two doting sons without a mother and other family members distraught and struggling to get over the pain and heartache he has caused.” The court heard that Daudia resort to the extreme step as he was due to be kicked out of the home he shared with the deceased. The couple, who had an arranged marriage in 1998, continued to live together even after their divorce in 2014. However, their home was sold to Kiran's sister, and Daudia was to move out on January 16 last year. The victim's family issued a statement following the verdict. They wrote, “Kiran was full of life, with a vibrant personality, a loving, caring mother, and a very thoughtful daughter, sister, and aunt. She was the backbone of the family, very kind, generous, and angelic.” They also said, “We cannot thank enough for the support given to us throughout this difficult time and we would like to especially thank East Midlands Special Operations Major Crime Unit including Senior Investigating Officer DI Simon Shuttleworth, officer in the case DS Mark Wesley and DC Jenny Tattersall our family liaison officer, Leicestershire Police and the Crown Prosecution Service.”

Lord Loomba spoke during the debate in the House of Lords to take note of the role of women in public life and the progress made in increasing their representation in Parliament 100 years after the Representation of the People Act 1918, that enshrined in law the right for some women to vote. Lord Loomba, reaffirming his position as an advocate for women and girls' rights across the globe, that has underpinned his charitable work, opened his speech by saying "progress continues to move at a snail’s pace." "These rights," he said, "that we are celebrating today have been hard won and are still being hard won the world over," but it was as long ago as 1792 that Mary Wollstonecraft, the "acknowledged leader in the battle for votes," wrote A Vindication of the Rights of Woman." Here in this House," he continued, "female participation, through life Peerages, took

a further 40 years after the 1918 Act to achieve." Urging our country to do better, Lord Loomba said: "It is something that we, as a developed nation, should be leading the way on." "We should," he asserted, "be setting an example on the world stage that we truly believe in equality in political life," as he noted that it took a further 98 years, until 2016, "for the total number of women ever elected to our Parliament—to date, 455— to reach the same number as male MPs sitting at present."

Hari Budha-Magar who was banned from climbing the Mount Everest because he is a double amputee had to fly back to the UK from Nepal after the government refused double amputees, blind people and solo climbers from tackling the world's highest peak. 38 year old Magar, pictured, who was very disappointed, in communication on his way to Kathmandu told Asian Voice exclusively, “I will dig out what is the exact rules and take action accordingly. I wouldn’t give up on climbing as its also rights of disable.” Upon returning to the UK, he told the Daily Telegraph, “I am working on what we can do about it. Everyone who has supported me is very positive and helping me to see what we can do to change the Nepal government's mind.” The amputee Gurkha who fought along side Prince Harry in Afghanistan was banned from climbing the Mount Everest, despite training for five years. It is believed that the Nepalese tourism ministry has ruled that double amputees and blind people are to be banned from climbing to try reduce death figures. Magar who served in the 1st Royal Gurkha Rifles, and lost both his legs in a bomb blast in April 2010. The father of two lives in Canterbury, Kent with his

wife, two young boys and a daughter, dreamed of climbing the world's tallest peak since he was a child. If he was allowed to climb the peak, he would have been the first person with above knee amputations to do so. Hari joined the British Army when he was 19. He served the Crown with the Royal Gurkha Rifles for 15 years. He was a part of the Conquering Our Dreams team that consisted of Hari, alongside some of his friends. In this particular case, his friends include Royal Gurkha, U.S. Marine Corps and other special forces veterans Krishna, Christopher, and Mingma. Though he was aware of the harrdships, he created a crowd sourcing page before the climb and wrote, “this is my dream and I believe this is possible with the right help and support." Since his injury, Hari has learnt or relearnt to skydive, Alpine and Nordic skiing, kayaking and many other such great sports.

Lord Raj Loomba

Double amputee Gurkha soldier vows to fight on after ban


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WORLD

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PAK-BANGLADESH

Pakistan a 'Taliban centre': Afghan president KABUL: Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani accused Pakistan of failing to move against the Taliban and pledged a new security plan for Kabul after hundreds of people were killed and wounded in two deadly attacks on the capital last month. “We are waiting for Pakistan to act,” Ghani said in a televised address after weekly prayers, in which he accused Pakistan of being the “Taliban centre”. A recent attack on the Intercontinental Hotel in

Kabul and a suicide bombing on a crowded city street a week later have stoked public anger in Afghanistan and stepped up pressure on Ghani’s Western-backed government to improve security. “The attack is not against our men, women or children but against the Afghan nation and it requires a national, comprehensive response,” Ghani said, adding that security officials would present new plan to contain the militants.

Ashraf Ghani

Abbasi hits back at Trump In Islamabad Pakistan

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi hits back at US President Donald Trump’s actions in the region and reiterated that there is no military solution to the long-running conflict in Afghanistan, warning little progress would be made until all sides entered into peace talks. “At the end of the day the Afghans have to sit down and talk,” Abbasi insisted. He voiced scepticism over Trump’s decision to increase the number of troops to assist the Afghan security forces and said, Islamabad was

Jadhav again under trial in Pakistan NEW DELHI: Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav, who's on death row in Pakistan for alleged espionage, is now under trial on charges of "terrorism and sabotage", Pakistani newspaper Dawn reported. An unidentified official who revealed the news didn't say whether this trial too is being conducted in a military court. Jadhav, a former Indian Navy officer, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court in April last year. His execution was stayed last May by the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The Pakistani official reportedly told Dawn that Jadhav has multiple cases against him in which he had been indicted on alleged terror- and sabotage-relat-

Hindu woman to contest as Senator in Pakistan KARACHI: A Hindu w o m a n from Thar in Sindh province has been nominated Krishna Kumari by Pakistan People’s Party to contest for a general Senate seat, a report said. If Krishna Kumari from Nagarparkar district wins the election, she will be the first Hindu woman to become a Senator in the Muslimmajority Pakistan. Kumari is a Kolhi woman from the family of freedom fighter Rooplo Kolhi, who had waged a war against the British colonialist forces when they had attacked Sindh in 1857. She had joined the PPP as a social activist along with her brother, who was later elected as Chairman of Union Council Berano. Kumari said she had made all the necessary documentation to file her nomination papers. Born to a poor peasant Jugno Kolhi in 1979, Kumari and her family members spent nearly three years in a private jail owned by a landlord.

Kulbhushan Jadhav

ed charges. The official further said the trial elating to alleged spying had only just concluded. Dawn further said that the Pakistan government, which says Jadhav works for India's intelligence agency RAW, has repeatedly sought access to 13 Indian officials, including National Security

Adviser Ajit Doval and a former RAW chief. Others that Pakistan wants to access include intelligence operatives, bankers and passport officials. "We want to reach Jadhav's handlers," the official told Dawn. Jadhav's execution was stayed in May last year after India appealed to the ICJ in The Hague. Jadhav has never been given consular access. India challenged the Pakistani military court's death sentence on Jadhav in The Hague for violating the Vienna Convention in not giving Jadhav consular access. Pakistan has yet to give Jadhav consular access. It did allow Jadhav to meet his mother and his wife in December, but that further

worsened relations with India because Pakistani officials harassed and intimidated Jadhav's family members. On May 18 last year, the ICJ ruled that Jadhav must not be put to death by Islamabad until the international court has had enough time to pass the final judgement in the case. The oral arguments in the ICJ are yet to commence. The ICJ fixed April 17, 2018, and July 17, 2018, respectively, for India and Pakistan as the respective time limits for filing written pleadings in the case. Pakistan claims Jadhav was arrested from Balochistan in March 2016. India says he was kidnapped from Iran where he'd gone in his personal capacity for work.

Root of Rohingya crisis lies in Myanmar, solution too: Bangla PM

DHAKA: Stating that the root of Rohingya problem lies in Myanmar, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina urged the international community, including Switzerland, to keep up pressure on Myanmar for an early and peaceful solution to the crisis. The Prime Minister came up with the call in a joint statement after a meeting with visiting President of Swiss Confederation Alain Berset at her office. "We had a fruitful meeting today. We've discussed the Rohingya crisis during bilateral talks. I shared that as the root of the problem lies in Myanmar, the solution has to be found in Myanmar," she said. "I put emphasis on full and immediate implementation of the recommendations of the Kofi Annan Commission report, as that will be critically important for the sustainable return of the Rohingya people, in safety and dignity, to their homes in Myanmar," Hasina said. At the meeting, she said, they discussed the

ready to help mediate talks with the Taliban. Relations between Islamabad and Washington have nosedived in the past year. Pakistan has been repeatedly accused by the US of not taking enough action against terror groups that strike its neighbours. In his first tweet of 2018, Trump flagged a cut in military aid worth about $2 billion and said Pakistan gave “lies and deceit” in return for US funding. Abbasi hit back at charges that Pakistan

has been selective in its fight against terrorism and said, there was no evidence the country was backing militants fighting across the border after a spate of violence left hundreds dead and wounded in Kabul last month. Action has been taken against United Nations Security Council sanctioned charities linked to Jamaatud Dawa (Jud) Chief Hafiz Saeed. More action against Saeed is unlikely as “we have no charges against him,” Abbasi maintained.

Chinese national shot dead in Pakistan KARACHI: A Chinese national working with a shipping company in Pakistan was shot dead by a group of unidentified men in the port city of Karachi on Monday. According to police, the suspects, travelling in a car, opened fire at 46year-old Chen Zhu’s car in the city’s Clifton area. The victim was the managing director of Cosco Shipping Lines Co, a Chinese shipping company. “It was a targeted attack as he was shot after being followed by armed assailants,” police said, adding that 30-year-old Hassan Abbas, a passerby, was also shot in the leg. Police recovered nine bullet casings from the crime scene. Initially, police had said that Chen was alone in the car but later police said that another Chinese national was with him.

“The second Chinese citizen managed to escape. We are looking for him,” police said. Chen was rushed hospital in a critical condition. “He was shot in the head and died during treatment,” a doctor said. The targeted killing comes nearly two months after China had put its citizens in Pakistan on high alert after receiving intelligence reports about the possibility of attacks targeting them. On its official website, the Chinese embassy in Islamabad had posted in December that it had information about a “series of terror attacks” planned against Chinese organisations and personnel. It did not give further details but urged its citizens to avoid crowded places. Thousands of Chinese workers are employed in Pakistan.

SRI LANKA

No secret detention, torture camps in Lanka: President Sheikh Hasina with Alain Berset

2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which provides a unique opportunity to build new global partnerships. Hasina said both the countries agreed to conclude a framework MoU on collaboration on matters related to the implementation of Agenda 2030 in near future. A joint declaration identifying the key areas for broader cooperation between the two countries was issued, she said adding, "We may now ask our respective authorities to develop a roadmap for the implementation of our joint undertakings in a time-bound manner for the shared prosperity of our two people." She thanked Alain

Berset for making his historic visit to Bangladesh and termed it a milestone in 45 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries. Hasina recalled her visit to Switzerland in December 2000 at the invitation of the then President of the Swiss Confederation. She said Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had great admiration about Switzerland for its democratic values, high economic achievement, unique foreign policy of peace, friendship and firm neutrality. "Bangabandhu, my father, looked at Switzerland as a model and wanted to develop Bangladesh as the 'Switzerland of the East'."

COLOMBO: Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has assured the minority Tamil community that his government was not running any secret detention and torture camps in the country. The president said he was concerned about the persons who were still missing years after the end of nearly three-decade-long civil war. “I have several times met the relatives of the disappeared persons. I am concerned about their problem of the missing relatives,” Sirisena said while campaigning in the Tamil-dominated Jaffna city for the February 10 local council election. “They have told me that the missing people are being held by the government in secret detention camps. I made inquiries and I told them that there were no such

camps run by the government,” he said. Sirisena said his government had addressed the concerns of the Tamils by returning to them their land that had been held for military purposes since the mid 1980s. The Tamil and international rights groups had blamed the former Mahinda Rajapaksa government of running secret detention and torture camps. The relatives of the missing persons have regularly held public demonstrations, demanding urgent government attention to their concerns. The government has set up an Office of Missing Persons (OMP) which is yet to become operational. The OMP was one of the accountability mechanisms advocated in UN Human Rights Council resolutions on Sri Lanka since 2013.


WORLD

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Asian Voice | 10th February 2018

Former leader, 2 SC judges arrested in Maldives

MALE: The Maldives opposition leader and two Supreme Court judges were arrested on Tuesday hours after the government declared a state of emergency in the Indian Ocean nation which has plunged into deeper turmoil after the top cout ordered the release of several jailed politicans. The charges against opposition leader Maumoon Abdul Gayoom include bribery and attempting to overthrow the government, his lawyer, Maumoon Hameed, said. Gayoom was president from 1978 to 2008, when Maldives became a multiparty democracy, and is the half brother of the current president. The 15-day emergency decree issued on Monday gives the government sweeping powers to make arrests, search and seize property and restricts freedom of assembly, officials said. Soon after the declaration, security forces stormed into the Supreme Court building, where Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed and judge Ali Hamid were arrested. The charges against them have not been specified. The whereabouts of the court’s other two judges were not known. Since the surprise ruling last week ordering the release of imprisoned opposition leaders, President Yameen Abdul Gayoom has lashed out at the court, opposition protests have spilled into the streets of the capital, Male, and soldiers in riot gear have stopped lawmakers from meeting in the parliament building. In a statement, Yameen

said “though certain rights will be restricted, general movements, services and businesses will not be affected.” In a statement, Yameen said the court’s order to release prisoners had encroached on the powers of the state and was an “infringement of national security and public interest.” He urged the court to “review the concerns” of the government. The government has also said the court has not properly responded to letters citing problems with implementing its order, including that the cases against the political prisoners are at different legal stages. A Supreme Court statement said “there are no obstacles in implementing the ruling ... and that this has been informed to the Prosecutor General’s office.” The government did not comment on soldiers entering the Supreme Court building or on Gayoom’s arrest, but the president’s main rival, who lives in exile, urged people not to obey what he called an “unlawful order.” “This declaration is unconstitutional and illegal,” former President Mohamed Nasheed, the country’s first democratically elected leader, said in a statement. Nasheed was one of the opposition leaders the Supreme Court had ordered freed, ruling that the guilty verdicts had been politically influenced. The United Nations, United States and other foreign governments have urged the Maldives to respect the court order. The US also strongly criticized the emergency decree, which State

Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said also imposes travel restrictions. In addition to ordering the release of the political prisoners, the court also reinstated 12 lawmakers who had been ousted for switching allegiance to the opposition. When those lawmakers return, Yameen’s Progressive Party of the Maldives will lose its majority in the 85member parliament, which could result in the legislative body functioning as a rival power to the president. Known for its luxury tourist resorts, the Maldives became a multiparty democracy 10 years ago after Maumoon Abdul Gayoom’s rule, during which he was repeatedly the only candidate for the presidency. Nasheed won the nation’s first democratic election in 2008 but resigned during his term following protests over the arrest of a judge. He lost the 2013 presidential election to Yameen, then was convicted under Maldives’ anti-terrorism laws over ordering the judge arrested. The trial was widely condemned by international rights groups. He was granted medical leave while serving 13 years in prison and traveled to Britain, where he has lived since 2016 since being granted asylum. Nasheed said last week after the court ruling that he would mount a fresh challenge for the presidency this year. Yameen had been set to run for re-election virtually unopposed, with all of his opponents either jailed or exiled.

Sky is the limit for India-US relationship: Nikki Haley WASHINGTON: Top American diplomat Nikki Haley said that sky is the limit for India-US relationships and that President Donald Trump is very fond of his country's growing relationship with India. Praising Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for being aggressive in pursuing economic and administrative reforms, the US Ambassador to the United Nations told a select gathering of IndianAmericans that the Trump administration has also undertaken a similar operation. It makes sense for the two democracies, having so much in common values to work together, Haley said in her remarks during her luncheon

Nikki Haley

meeting hosted by the Indian Ambassador to the US, Navtej Singh Sarna, at his residence. The luncheon was attended by some of the top IndianAmericans from across the country. "It is always a delight to see the sense of pride that Ambassador Haley has in her Indian roots, and the high value she

23

attaches to the India-US relationship even as she plays such a prominent role in the American political sphere," Sarna said a day after. Haley said when she entered the Trump administration, she desperately wanted to see the USIndia relations to be very strong "which wasn't the case during the last two presidencies. It didn't make sense to me because when you look at the values, they're the same. When you look at the work ethic and what they believe from a corporate standpoint -- the same. When you look at the research and all the things that we do, these two democracies have so much in common," she said.

BBC temporarily drops Anita Anand from her show LONDON: Anita Anand, one of BBC's leading women presenters, has been temporarily dropped from her show because of her public criticism of the gender pay gap. She has been the presenter of Radio 4’s Any Answers since 2012 and had been scheduled to present Monday's edition. But strangely, less than 24 hours before she was due to go on air, BBC bosses told her to stand down because the edition was due to feature discussion of the pay dispute engulfing the corporation. The programme was instead presented by a man, Julian Worricker, although on the BBC iPlayer website, the edition was still illustrated with an image of Anita Anand. It is thought she will return next week. Critics accused the BBC of ‘insulting’ women journalists by implying that they would be incapable of being impartial. Tory MP

Anita Anand

Andrew Bridgen said: ‘What the BBC is saying is that none of the victims of pay discrimination can be trusted to discuss the issue

impartially and fairly. It smacks of some sort of throwback to the days of Soviet Pravda.’ The BBC has been desperately trying to end the dispute over the gender pay gap, which in recent weeks has centred on the dispute between former China Editor Carrie Gracie and her bosses, after she discovered she was earning far less than male colleagues in similar roles. Anand, 45, has tweeted and retweeted a number of messages in support of the campaign for equal pay. On November 9, she wrote: ‘It is fair and it is a legal requirement. Equal pay for equal work. This applies to all employers and all women.’ She is the latest victim of BBC impartiality rules which state journalists and presenters who have spoken out on issues cannot then take part in on-air discussions about the same subject.


24

INDIA

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Asian Voice | 10th February 2018

SOUTH

AIADMK to mend broken ties? CHENNAI: In a bid to save the Tamil Nadu ruling government in case the Madras High Court sets aside disqualification of 18 rebel MLAs, the AIADMK has offered to hand over authority of the party to the Sasikala family, on a condition that they keep TTV Dhinakaran away. Sources said that Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami (EPS) and deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam (OPS) sent over some ministers to negotiate with the Sasikala family. In return for the offer, they have asked not to disturb the government. They said they were confident of winning over

change our stand,” a family member said. Another source said the ruling group had i n v i t e d Dhinakaran for the party Edappadi K Palaniswami and general council O Panneerselvam meeting in the ambitious family, howSeptember last year and ever, a deal could not be made an offer, which he struck. Many are hesitant declined. “We are sure that to desert Dhinakaran, who the party cadres are with proved his position by winus. A large number of ning the RK Nagar by-eleccadres have worked for the tion in December. Also, it is victory of TTV in RK widely known that Sasikala Nagar,” they said. relies on him too. “Some It has also been reportministers came to us, but ed that other than rewe have no inclination to inducting expelled leader

Sasikala along with other family members, two key party posts have been offered to the family. Meanwhile, the Dhinakaran camp is unrelenting and not ready for any compromise that fails to remove both, EPS and OPS, from their posts, and there are not a lot of takers of the idea. A source said, “Edappadi will not agree for a compromise that involves his stepping down. Rather, he will go down with the ship. But ministers are a worried lot. They want the government to continue at any cost, even if it warrants a change of guard at the top.”

SC refers Jallikattu row to Constitution bench NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has referred matters pertaining to bull-taming sport Jallikattu to a Constitution bench. Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice RF Nariman framed five questions to be adjudicated on by the Constitution bench. While reserving the order, the court had said the larger bench would decide whether states had the “legislative competence” to make such laws on grounds, including that “Jallikattu” and bullock cart racing fell under the cultural rights enshrined under Article 29(1) and could be protected consti-

tutionally. “We have formulated five questions for the Constitution bench,” Justice Nariman said while giving the order. The SC had said on December 12 last year that it would refer to a five-judge constitution bench a batch of pleas challenging Tamil Nadu

and Maharashtra laws allowing Jallikattu and bullock cart races. On November 6, the court sought a response from the Tamil Nadu government on a plea of animal rights body PETA, challenging the state law that allowed the sport in the state. It had tagged it with other pending petitions on the issue after issuing a notice on PETA's plea. The group for animals has assailed the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Bill 2017, passed by the state assembly on

several grounds, including that it circumvented the apex court verdict holding the sport as “illegal” in the state. It alleged that it was a blood sport in which bulls were subjected to different types of cruelty. The SC had earlier dismissed the Tamil Nadu government's plea seeking a review of the 2014 judgement banning the use of bulls for Jallikattu events in the state. In its 2014, the court had said that bulls could not be used as performing animals, either for Jallikattu events or bullock-cart races in Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra or elsewhere in the country, banning their use all over India.

NORTH

Former Haryana CM charged in land scam

CHANDIGARH: Former Haryana chief minister, Bhupinder Singh Hooda, is among 34 persons to be framed in the Manesar land scam as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed a huge chargesheet in the special CBI court in Chandigarh. The move comes nine months after the CBI interrogated Hooda. It is alleged that the Haryana government had issued a notification under the Land Acquisition Act, to acquire 912 acres for setting up a model industrial township at villages in Manesar, Naurangpur, and Lakhnoula in Gurugram. The chargesheet, along with annexures, covers over 80,000 pages. Others charged are Hooda's prinicipal secretary Murari Lal Tayal, former union public service commission (UPSC) member Chhatar Singh, and retired IAS officer SS Dhillon. The CBI took

Bhupinder Singh Hooda

over the case from the Haryana Police in 2015. The state police had registered a case on allegations that certain private builders had conspired with unknown public servants to purchase 400 acres from Manesar farmers at throwaway prices under threats of acquisition by the government between August 27, 2004 and August 24, 2007. The CBI has stated that the private builders used the threat to acquisition to get the land at meagre rates.

CBI chargesheet against Sirsa dera chief, two doctors PANCHKULA: Almost six months after Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh was convicted of raping two sadhvis or female followers, a fresh set of charges has been filed by the CBI against him. The Central Bureau of Investigation has filed case of castration of 400 followers, against Singh and his two Dera doctors, Pankaj Garg and MP Singh. Officers claim that the three castrated the followers, promising that it would lead to realisation of God through the Dera chief. CBI spokesperson Abhishek Dayal said, “The petitioner had alleged that around 400 male devotees, including himself, belonging to Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, etc., were castrated at the place under the false claim made by the said chief of religious organisation that castration would lead to realisation of god through him

Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh

and thus, they were emasculated through surgeries done at the behest of the chief of said organisation, as alleged.” The castration reportedly took place inside the Dera premises in Sirsa. The probe was handed over to the bureau by the Punjab and Haryana High Court on the plea of a Dera follower. MP Singh is currently in judicial custody for inciting violence and vandalism in Panchkula. A special CBI court awarded a 20-year imprisonment to Gurmeet Ram Rahim in a 2002 rape case in August 2017.

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WEST BENGAL

TMC wins by-elections

KOLKATA: The ruling Trinamool Congress has registered a massive victory in the by-elections to Uluberia Lok Sabha and Noapara Vidhan Sabha seats in the state. However, they faced tough competition as the Bharatiya Janta Party managed to replace CPM as the runners-up to both the seats. TMC's Uluberia candidate and former MP Sultan Ahmed's widow Sajda Ahmed won by over 4,74,000 votes over rival BJP candidate Anupam Mallick, the ruling party's Noapara candidate and Garulia municipality chairman Sunil Singh secured 63,018 more votes than BJP candidate Sandeep Banerjee. TMC secured almost 61 per cent of the polled votes, roping in around

7,67,000 votes in Uluberia while BJP gained 23 per cent of the votes garnering around 2,93,000 votes. The party gartnered 1,11,000 votes in Noapara, cashing in on 57 per cent votes, while the BJP garnered 20 per cent votes secured 38,711 votes. The CPM bagged 1,38,000 votes in Uluberia and 35,497 votes in Noapara. Sajda Ahmed said, “People are with TMC and this is the result of my late husband's hard work in the constituency. I will stay with the people and try to complete the pending works by the next two and a half years.” Education Minister Partha Chatterjee said, “As long as people are with us nobody can dislodge us. There is an unwritten alliance between the opposition parties.”

£10 mn fund for Bengal farmers KOLKATA: West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra has dished out a number of relief measures targeting the agriculture sector during the presentation of the state budget for 2018-19. He announced relief in payment of stamp duty fees for the rural sector, exemption of agriculture tax and cess on green tea leaves, mutation fees exemption for farmers, farmers' pension, and creation of corpus for assisting them. Several measures for women have also been considered, including an increase of 'Kanyashri' scholarship and introduction of marriage assistance under the 'Rupashree' scheme with an initial outlay of £150 million.

Also announced are measures to help the physically challenged by increasing their pension amount for Rs 750 to Rs 1,000 per month that will benefit 2,00,000 people. An outlay for the scheme, named 'Manabik' has been pegged at £25 million. Stamp duty payment in the rural areas for properties between Rs 4,00,000 and £100,000 had been reduced from 6 to 5 per cent. Stamp duty has also been reduced for the urban sector, from 7 to 6 per cent. The government also proposed to create an assistance corpus of £10 million for the farmers to be given out when in distress, and increase in farmers' pension from Rs 750 to Rs 1,000 per month to cover 1,00,000 beneficiaries.

Mobiles banned while driving KOLKATA: The Mamata Banerjee government has decided to ban the use of mobile phones while driving following the bus tragedy in Murshidabad that claimed 42 lives. Officials of state transport corporations said ignoring the rule would prompt fines and or suspension. It is reported that the decision was taken after passengers of an accident-stricken bus claimed the driver was talking over his phone while driving and lost control over the vehicle. The rule will be implemented immediately and drivers would be suspended and fined if found using

mobile phones when on the road, said South Bengal State Transport Corporation (SBSTC) chairman Tamonash Ghosh. Similar measures would be taken if drivers and conductors are found drunk while on duty, Ghosh said, adding the SBSTC would soon install CCTVs in all its buses to ensure a strict implementation of the rule. “We currently have CCTVs installed in 120 buses out of a total 600. We will soon complete installing CCTVs in the rest of the buses. This will help us in keeping a tab of the behaviour of the drivers,” Ghosh said.


HERITAGE HISTORY

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Asian Voice | 10th February 2018

Dr. Hari Desai

Pakistan in search of 5000 year history Common Heritage must be kept alive if the future is to grow strongly Political leadership of the Islamic State tries to woo all minorities If one locates a book in New Delhi’s World Book Fair titled “5000 years of Pakistan” published by a Karachi publishing house, one would certainly express surprise for a moment: How can a seven decade old country claim to have the history of 5000 years? Of course, irrespective of Indian or Pakistani citizenship, one has to accept a common heritage of more than 5000 years, though Pakistan was born only in August 1947. She was part of British India or even pre-historic India too.

T

he history of Pakistan does not begin from the 17 year old Muslim general Muhmmad Bin Qasim who conquered Sind in the year 711-712 CE. The geographical or political boundaries may change with time, but one cannot deny the common heritage of thousand years. And how can the present areas of Pakistan be considered alien even by Indians since the oldest sacred book “Rig-Veda” of Hindus was written in the present day Pakistan? Even the scholar, Panini, who developed grammar

medicine, politics, warfare, accounts, commerce, documentation, music, dance and other performing arts, futurology, the occult and mystical sciences and complex mathematical c a l c u l a t i o n s . “Arthshashtra” famed Kautilya, the great scholar, was a teacher at Taxila. His student turned the founder king of Maurayan empire was Chandragupta. The centre of a powerful ancient civilization, Mohenjo Daro, was one of the world’s earliest citiesa Bronze Age metropolis boasting flush toilets and water and waste system.

Taxila or Takshashila, one of the oldest Universities in the world

of Sanskrit, the pious language Hindus claim as their own, was a Pashtun born in Gandhara region on Pak-Afghan border. One of the oldest recognized universities of the world, Taxila or Takshashila, flourished during the 1st to 5th century CE the Gandhara period in present day Rawalpindi region. At least 10,500 students studied here including those from Babylon, Greece, Syria, and China. Experienced teachers taught languages, Vedas, philosophy,

Some 5,000 years on, archaeologists believe, the ruins could unlock the secrets of the Indus valley people, who flourished around 3,000 BC in what is now India and Pakistan before mysteriously disappearing. Even Harappa civilization is common with both the countries. According to mythology, Taxila is said to have been founded by Taksha, the son of Bharat, the brother of the legendary hero, Rama, and stood on a hill that commanded the river Tamra Nala, a tributary of

the Indus. It is held to have been an important cultural centre since inception, and the Mahabharata was reported to have first been recited here. The legendary history of Lahore on the official website of the capital city of Punjab province of Pakistan connects with Luv, one of the two sons of Lord Rama. Though Pakistan has turned an Islamic state, at least 30 lakh Hindus continue to reside in various provinces. Hingalaj Mata temple in Baluchistan and Katas Raj temple in Chakwal have been centres of faith for Hindus from all over the world. Even Nanakana Sahib, the birth place of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikh religion, attracts people from Sikh faith visiting it in large number. The history textbooks in Pakistan are rather bias towards Hindus and there is an effort to rewrite the history. The authorities under the pressure from the Islamic fundamentalists are compelled to go for coloured history, but of late even the leaders of the ruling Muslim League of Miya Nawaz Sharif and the Pakistan People’s Party of Bilawal Bhutto have been openly attending the Hindu festival celebrations to garner minority support. The ruling parties at national level as well as at

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India records in his book: “Indra had won the battle, but Siva won the war.” Wheeler tries to make distinction between battle and war. Calling Chandragupta’s grandson, Asoka, the Great, Wheeler praises him as reformer and adds: “Asoka was ahead of his time- perhaps more so than we today would care to calculate- and the whole fabric of his empire, spiritual and secular alike, broke up in the years following his death in 232 B.C. His most lasting gift to Taxila was a deep-rooted Buddhism, which was thenceforth to dominate 900 year old Katas Raj Temple and Kund the city’s cultural life.” He makes a distinction provincial level are trying between “an inspired Pakistan” written by R. E. to give representation to teacher” and “a God”. M. Wheeler in 1949, Fazlur Hindus in the Ministry. Wheeler writes : Rahman, the Minister of “Salam, Namaste, Sat “Buddhism was, in origin, Commerce and Education Sri Akal and Good Morning not a religion but a philosof Pakistan writes : “The to all my brothers belongophy of life. The Buddha, heritage of Pakistan must ing to different religions… the Enlightened One, was be kept alive if the future I am the Prime Minister of not a God; he was an is to grow strongly and all Pakistanis…be it a inspired teacher, who healthily out of it. It will Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, about 500 B.C., preached be no good to the new Christian or (those of) any on the Ganges plains the leaves on to a dead tree.” other religion. You are all Middle Path between In the book, Wheeler, indulgence and asceticism and sought an ultimate deliverance from accumulated sin in supreme detachment, nirvana. Such was the Buddhism of the great Asoka(273-232 B.C.),who probably the first to encourage this way of life in Pakistan.” Though he writes for Pakistan, the State established on the basis of Islam, Wheeler seems to The then PM, Nawaj Sharif, offering Dua at Katas Raj Mandir be non-fanatic. His writings are not trying to justiArchaeological Adviser to equals.” Nawaz Sharif told fy Islamic icons. He conthe Government of a cheering audience at the tinues to use the phrase Pakistan, has covered the Katas Raj Hindu temple in “Islamic invaders” for history of both Western Chakwal district of Punjab Arabs, Turks, Pakistan and on 11 January 2017. He had or E a s t e r n Next Column: Mongols gone to inaugurate its renMoghuls who Pakistan (now ovation. In 2005, former Chhatrapati tried to establish Bangladesh). Indian Deputy Prime He considers Shivaji, a Ruler for their rule over Minister and BJP leader, L. India. When most the Rig-veda as Hindavi Swaraj K. Advani, was invited to of the Saudi Arabian the oldest and lay the foundation stone of Universities prefer to be notes: “Its absolute the renovation. The tight-lipped on predate is less certain, but Pakistan government has Islamic history, Pakistan, there is general agreement spent Rs.6 Crore for renodespite her limitations, amongst philologists that vation of the 900 year old opens up for debate. it dates back to the twelfth Shiva temple and the Amar (The writer is a Sociocentury B.C. or earlier.” Kund attached to the compolitical Historian. E-mail: The former Director plex. Even Pakistan’s Chief haridesai@gmail.com) General of Archaeology in Justice, Saqib Nisar, declared Katas Raj as National Heritage. In preface of the book “Five thousand Years of

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INDIA

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Asian Voice | 10th February 2018 In a rare event, leaders of 10 South-East Asian countries shared a pedestal with Indian President Ram Nath Kovind as he took the salute at a magnificent military parade on January 26, Republic Day. The event that had the whole world glued to their TV screens took place just a little over two months after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Manila for a summit with the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), that groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. The leaders were in the National Capital to hold another summit, a day before Republic Day, to commemorate 25 years of the India-ASEAN dialogue partnership. With a theme that said 'Shared Values, Common Destiny', it is no secret that the summit was held against the backdrop of China's aggressive economic and strategic actions in Asia. A joint statement released after the meeting called for strengthening and deepening “strategic partnership for mutual benefit, across the whole spectrum of political-security, economy, socio-cultural and development cooperation.” There also was a reaffirmation of their mutual commitment to work “closely together on common regional and international security issues of mutual concern and ensure an open, transparent, inclusive and rules-based regional architecture through existing ASEANled frameworks and mechanisms.”

India warms up to South-East Asian countries, China peeved

From Left: Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, Philippinian President Rodrigo Duterte, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc, Prime Minister of Thailand Prayut Chan-o-cha, Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Hassanai Bolkiah, Indonesian President Joko Widodo, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, Prime Minister of Laos Thongloun Sisoulith, and Cambodian President Hun Sen

10 ASEAN Leaders review R-Day parade The sight of supremos from neighbouring countries sharing stage with Indian leaders was an open demonstration of PM Modi's strategic outreach to the South-Eastern countries. Modi' neighbourhood policy is yet to hit puberty, and there are several factors hampering its growth including China, Pakistan military, and Nepal's political situation. China's

hegemonic behaviour in the South China Sea and the navy's deep penetration into the Indian Ocean Region has raised global concerns. India's outreach to ASEAN is in a way to further counterbalance China. Parallelly, Australia, India, Japan, and the United States' Quad is developing into pivot in the IndoPacific. Former ambassador to Thailand Pinak Ranjan Chakravarty said, “The challenge for India is

PM urges Asean to invest in northeast

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has appealed to ASEAN countries, and neighbours- Bangladesh, Nepal, and Bhutan, to invest in the n o r t h e a s t . Inaugurating the 'Advantage Assam: Global Investors' Summit' in Guwahati, he said, “The Act East Policy envisions increased people-to-people contract, trade ties and other relations with ASEAN countries.” He said, “Assam has been ranked first in the Modi inaugurates Global Investment Summit in Guwahati 'Ease of Doing Business' and is the “Whether it's the oured guests at the most sought after state for ASEAN countries, Republic Day parade in investment at present.” Bangladesh, Bhutan or New Delhi.” He recalled In the summit that was Nepal, we are all, in one the recent ASEAN-India attended by government way or another, dominantCommemmorative Summit and business delegates ly agrarian economies. So hosted to celebrate 25 from India and 13 different the unity of our farmers in years of partnership countries, the PM said, these regions can propel us between ASEAN and India, “Ties between India and to new heights,” the PM describing it as a “comprethe ASEAN countries go added. He reiterated his hensive vision” of cooperaback thousands of years. It government's development tion between ASEAN counwas a privilege for India to strategy of “transformatries and the benefits that host the heads of 10 tion through transportatheir people get through ASEAN countries as hontion”. such action.

to scale up trade and investment. While ease of doing business is improving making FDI more attractive, and projections by the IMF are all positive, there is a long way to go to tackle corruption, energise the bureaucracy and cut through the maze of regulations that continue to deter business and trade. India also seeks cooperation in the negotiations to conclude the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the

mega FTA that has been under negotiation for many years. The rigidity of ASEAN countries in balancing trade in goods and services has held up the RCEP.” Things, however, won't be easy for India. ASEAN has its own rules of engagement among its members and its unity is sometimes undermined by issues like Myanmar's treatment of the Rohingyas and issues prompted by China's assertiveness.

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Rubbing Dragon the wrong way As the India and ASEAN countries held hands, the Chinese media reflected on their apparent displeasure. A Chinese state daily printed an editorial titled “India's geopolitical bluff baffles China”. “India and ASEAN have the right to hold the summit, which exerts no negative effect upon China,” the editorial wrote. It however accused “some Indians” of being “tenacious in exaggerating the meeting's implications to China.” The piece also said, “ASEAN's trade volume with China is more than six times that of India, and China's investment in the region is 10 times that of India.” It even accused “some members of the Indian elite” of “engaging in geopolitical bluster.” “But, they cannot truly gauge the reality of Inda's comprehensive strength and diplomatic experience. They are beginners playing at geopoliticism.” Despite the fact that the newspaper dedicated an entire piece on India, it ironically claimed that “Chinese people are not occupied by India.” “Honestly speaking, Chinese people are not occupied by India. New Delhi is not Beijing's major trading partner and, despite border disputes, is not an imminent security threat to us Chinese. China expects peaceful co-existence with India and is happy to witness its cultural and societal progress. China attaches more importance to its eastward development and the Belt and Road initiative,” it wrote.

Agni- I successfully test fired from Abdul Kalam Island India test-fired its indigenously developed nuclear capable Agni-I ballistic missile as part of a user trial by the Army from a test range off the Odisha coast. User trial of the 700 km range missile from launch pad-4 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Abdul Kalam Island in Balasore, was conducted by the Strategic Forces Command of the Indian Army. Defence sources said the trial reconfirms the army's readiness to fire it at short notice. They added that this was the 18th version of Agni-I, which could achieve all parameters within the stipulated time period. The surface-to-surface, single-stage missile, powered by solid propellants, was launched as part of a regular training exercise by the armed forces. The 15-metre-long, 12 tonne missile can carry payloads up to 1000 kg. The last successful trial was conducted on November

22, 2016, from the same base. "The trajectory of the trial was tracked by a battery of sophisticated radars, telemetry observation stations, electro-optic instruments and naval ships right from its launch till the missile hit the target area with

pin point accuracy," the sources confirmed. Agni-I was developed by the Advanced Systems Laboratory or ASL in collaboration with the Defence Research Development Laboratory (DRDL) and the Research Centre Imarat (RCI).

Happy 70th Birthday Rajendrakumar Patel Happy 70th Birthday to Rajendrakumar Patel, a self-made and highly respected member of the community who founded The Prideview Group over 30 years ago. During his career he has helped so many Asian families to be settled and prosper in the UK through commercial property ownership. When he lost his eyesight 10 years ago his life changed forever, yet thanks to his strength, positivity and incredible bravery he has perse-

Rajendrakumar Patel

vered and ensured the next generation continues to thrive whilst continuing to inspire those known to him.


HEALTH & LIFESTYLE

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Asian Voice | 10th February 2018

14 Super Foods That Naturally Lower Cholesterol

Although people of all ages, genders, and ethnicities can have high cholesterol, there are certain factors that put you at a higher risk, such as obesity, a poor diet, diabetes, a sedentary lifestyle, and hypothyroidism. Genetics is the one factor that is out of your control; however, almost everything else is completely within your control. Since high cholesterol has no symptoms, you should get your cholesterol levels checked whenever you go in for a physical or according to what your doctor recommends. If not caught in time, high cholesterol levels can lead to serious, even life threatening complications, such as heart disease, chest pain, stroke, or heart attacks. You can naturally lower cholesterol levels, without drugs, simply by making healthy changes to your diet and lifestyle. Here are 14 super foods that have been known to help lower high cholesterol levels. 1. Tomatoes: Tomatoes are known to lower LDL cholesterol, as well as triglycerides, which is why you see tomatoes on those heart healthy diets. One of

the great things about tomatoes is that they release more lycopene when you cook them, but don’t let that stop you from eating plenty of raw ones in salads or on sandwiches. 2. Oatmeal: Oatmeal is one of the best cholesterol-fighting foods around! Oatmeal reduces cholesterol levels by absorbing it right from your blood. The fiber in oatmeal also helps keep you feeling full. Eating oatmeal has been shown to be connected to a lower risk

of diabetes and heart disease. Have a bowl of healthy oatmeal for breakfast or add it to smoothies and baked goods to help lower cholesterol. 3. Almonds: Recent studies found that eating tree nuts, such as almonds, reduced LDL cholesterol by as much as 19 percent and

Mike walked into a post office just before Valentine's day, he couldn't help noticing a middle-aged, balding man standing in a corner sticking "Love" stamps on bright pink envelopes with hearts all over them. Then the man got out a bottle of Chanel perfume from his pocket and started spraying scent over the envelopes. By now Mike's curiosity had got the better of him, and so I asked the man why he was sending all those cards. The man replied, "I'm sending out 500 Valentine cards signed, 'Guess who?'" "But why?" asked Mike. "I'm a divorce lawyer," the man replied. *** "You came home early from your date," John observed to his roommate. "What happened?" "Well," said the flatmate, "after dinner she invited me up to her flat. We had a couple of drinks and she put on some soft music. Then she reached over and turned out the lights." "So, what next?" asked John, eyebrows raised. "I can take a hint," said his flatmate. "I came home." *** As a speech therapist, Susan was working with a preschooler on body-part identification and the k sound. To that end, she had him use Play-Doh to make a sculpture of her. “Is that my neck?” Susan asked, trying to get him to repeat the word. “No, that’s your chin,” he said. He added more Play-Doh. “ Is that my neck?” she asked. “No, that’s your other chin.”

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also found that almonds were a great way to prevent the beginnings of cardio-metabolic disease. Eat just a handful each day for tons of cholesterol lowering power in a big, crunchy way. 4. Spinach: Well, Popeye knew that spinach was healthy but he probably didn’t know that it could lower cholesterol levels! This is one of those “helps whatever ails you” foods.

Add more spinach to your diet, and watch those cholesterol numbers drop! Most leafy greens, including Swiss chard, turnip greens, and kale, are good for what ails you. 5. Oranges: Oranges are a true super food that can lower cholesterol. A study in 2000 found that subjects who consumed orange juice each day had improved blood lipid profiles than those who did not indulge. Eat two or three oranges each day, or drink two glasses of freshly squeezed orange juice to naturally lower your cholesterol levels. 6. Apples: Apples are full of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and polyphenols, which provide support for almost every organ in the body. Enjoy two apples of your choice each day for a super food that will lower your cholesterol and taste good doing it! 7. Kale: Like spinach, kale helps with cholesterol in several ways. Kale is high in lutein, while containing quite a bit of fiber. Lutein has been shown to lower the bad cholesterol (LDL) in the body while it prevents cholesterol from accumulating. 8. Soy Beans: Soy beans and other soy products except for soy-based cooking oils are a complete plant based protein that can really help lower cholesterol levels.

Although it might not accomplish as much as perhaps spinach or oatmeal can, soy does still lower LDL cholesterol in

the body. It has low levels of saturated fat, plenty of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and high levels of polyunsaturated fats. 9. Dark Chocolate: Dark chocolate has been shown in study after study to reduce LDL cholesterol and elevate HDL cholesterol in the body. A study in 2013 found that dark chocolate contains a substance called theobromine, the active compound when it comes to increasing the good cholesterol in the blood. Moderation is important here; you only need one or two ounces of dark chocolate, max, to get all the health benefits. Be certain that you are eating chocolate with at least 60 percent cocoa. 10. Green Tea: Drinking two or more cups of freshly brewed green tea each day is one of the healthiest, and easiest, ways to reduce total cholesterol levels in the body. Green tea also prevents plaque buildup in the arteries. 11. Garlic: If it has to do with a healthy heart, garlic seems to be on the list! This super food prevents blood clots, reduces blood

pressure, and protects us from heart disease, all while reducing cholesterol levels. Eat two or three slightly crushed, raw, organic cloves of garlic each day, and add more garlic to your meals to do a real number on kicking high cholesterol to the curb. 12. Olive Oil: This oil is super high in monounsaturated fats which can naturally lower LDL cholesterol levels. Once cholesterol is lower, the risk of stroke or heart attack is also reduced. 13. Blueberries: Rich in antioxidants, blueberries are loaded with more fiber than you might know and contain a special compound which help the body metabolize cholesterol and can lower both triglycerides and LDL cholesterol. Keep a bag of frozen blueberries in your freezer at all times so you can add some of those luscious berries to everything! 14. Avocados: Avocados are a great source of those healthy monounsaturated fats which lower cholesterol in the blood. Monounsaturated fats also increase the good (HDL) type of cholesterol. Avocados are rich in fiber, B-complex vitamins, vitamin K (which is important for blood clotting) and they are a good source of protein.

To Our Readers

We are publishing these items in good faith, kindly consult your Doctor before you try to implement any advice. We do not hold any responsibility for its efficacy...

Super soothing breathing exercise may help you catch more zzz’s

For the chronic insomniac, a good night’s sleep is about as elusive as achieving the ever-mysterious runner’s high (and TBH—it’s likely just as euphoric). But for the sleep-deprived among us, there are things you can do to try and reverse your track record. In a new book entitled ‘The Mindful Way to a Goodnight’s Sleep’ by Tzivia Gover’s newest book, the dream therapist and director of the Institute for Dream Studies says that sleeping well has a lot to do with how you breathe (yes, breathe!) before crawling under your covers. “During the day, we’re often not conscious of our breath. We’re not breathing deeply into our diaphragm or our lower bellies so our breath’s getting caught in our chest,” explains Gover in an interview. To stimulate mindful, sleep-inducing breathing, she recommends alternate nostril breathing, a technique that balances both hemispheres of your brain while simultaneously telling the chatter in your mind to chill out. She recommends completing this while sitting up on the edge of your bed. After, you’ll be ready to nestle in for a full night’s rest. This is also known as Yogic Breathing or Nadi Shodhana. Here’s how to do it: 1. With the palm of your right hand facing you, fold down the pointer and middle finger, keeping the other fingers extended. 2. Close your right nostril with your right thumb and inhale slowly and gently through the left nostril. 3. Lightly close the left nostril with your ring finger and little finger so both nostrils are held closed for a brief pause. 4. Open your right nostril and exhale slowly through the right; then inhale slowly on the same side. 5. Gently close the right nostril with your right thumb, and pause for just a moment as you hold both nostrils closed again. 6. Open your left nostril and exhale slowly; then inhale slowly on the same side. 7. Repeat the cycle several times before sleep. 8. On each exhalation let go of worries or concerns from the day. With each inhalation, breathe in peace and contentment.

Drinking hot tea increases your risk of esophageal cancer FIVE-fold Drinking hot tea can increase the risk of esophageal cancer, especially if you are a heavy drinker or smoker, a new study has found. Researchers warned more tests are needed to assess how damaging it could be. The new study done by scientists in China found drinking tea heated to over 65C (149F) was associated with a five-fold increased risk for esophageal cancer when combined with excessive drinking or heavy smoking.


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Asian Voice | 10th February 2018

‘Padman’

A newly-married welder breaks through societal norms to revolutionise the manufacturing of sanitary napkins

‘Aiyaary’

An East Indian colonel has 36 hours to capture his former protégé -- a rogue major who can bring down the government.

Pooja Hegde to be Mahesh Babu's next heroine

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fter collaborating with AR Murugadoss for a bilingual film 'Bharat Ane Nenu', Mahesh Babu is shooting for his yet-to-be titled 25th film directed by Vamsi Paidipally of Oopiri/Thozha fame. The music for this film is to be composed by Devi Sri Prasad. Now, the team has also signed a female lead! It is none other than the beautiful, Pooja Hegde. Pooja debuted in Tamil with Mysskin's 'Mugamoodi' and her latest release was Allu

Arjun's 'DJ.' Meanwhile, Mahesh Babu and his wife Namrata recently helped save a young boy's life. According to reports, the young boy, Taneesh, had been fighting cancer for a long time and one his family members made an appeal for help on social media. Mahesh Babu and his wife extended financial help to Taneesh's family. With the help, the boy underwent teatment and now he is free of the deadly disease.

Man arrested for harassing Amala Paul

Prabhudeva approves the moves in Kollywood

Fan throws shoe at actress Tamannaah

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n an interactive session with students at Dr GR Damodaran College of Science, 'Gulaebhagavali' actor Prabhudeva opened up about his experiences in the industry, and his relationship with comedy. His arrival in the Tamil industry was a horrorcomedy, a genre he openly prefers. When asked about his bias, he said, “I think it has a lot to do with the theme. If it is a comedy film, but the theme is serious, it'll get boring. If I am convinced with the theme of the film, I am comfortable doing any kind of film. I am extremely comfortable doing comedi films.” Talking about superhit 'Devi', a Tamil film that was touted as his comeback... of sorts, Prabhudeva said he signed several Tamil films after that. “I think it's because of the success of 'Devi'. It is a different experience for me to work with new directors. I was in Mumbai for the last 12 years and it feels great to come back and work in Kollywood. There is a huge difference in the industry from what it was 10 years back. I think there are quite a few realistic films hitting the screens these days.” He also stated that the standard of dancing has gone up in Kollywood. “It has gone to a different level altogether; there is a lot of support for aspiring dancers. Parents have started supporting their children to take up dancing. Many TV channels are providing several opportunities for aspirant dancers. Online platform is a huge boost to talented artists. These are the main factors that there is so much emphasis on dance now.” The multi-talented artist is currently working on Bollywood movie 'Thugs of Hindostan' with Amitabh Bachchan, Aamir Khan, and Katrina Kaif.

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32-year-old man was arrested for harassing Kollywood actress Amala Paul while she was at a dance school. The man identified as Azhagesan visited the dance school and introduced himself and inquired if she would be visiting Malaysia for a function. The actress replied in the positive. He then asked if there was any party planned for a day after the programme, to which the actress replied that after-parties are a routine for programmes held abroad. The man, then went on to ask her if she is interested in attending a party thrown by an individual at his guest house in Kuala Lumpur. Sensing something was

amiss, Amala later lodged a complaint with the police. Police registered a case under Section 4 of Tamil Nadu Women Harassment (Prevention) Act. During inquiries, Azhagesan told police that his friend Baskar, informed him that a businessman is throwing a party for the actress in Malaysia which the actress has agreed to attend, and asked him to confirm of her attendance and also gave him her Malaysia contact number. Azhagesan told the police that he called the actress' Malaysia number and that her manager asked him to meet her in the dance school. However, the manager denied talking to Azhagesan. Azhagesan was remanded in custody.

Dubsmash girl Mrinalini set to join Kollywood

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rinalini Ravi, a popular Dubsmash artist, is all set to join Kollywood. The young girl whose name is quite popular in Dubsmash circle conquering a great fan following on social media has now entered Kollywood through 'Aaranya Kaandam' director Thiagarajan Kumararaja's upcoming film 'Super Deluxe'. Vijay Sethupathi is playing a role

of transgender in the film. The other leding actors include Samantha, Fahad Faasil, Ramya Krishnan and Mysskin. The film is jointly written Thiagarajan Kumararaja, Mysskin, Nalan Kumarasamy and Neelan Shekar. While Yuvan Shankar Raja is composing the music for the film, PS Vinod and Nirav Shah are taking care of the cinematography.

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ctress Tamannaah Bhatia, who is acting across different industries had a tough time last week. The 'Sketch' actress who was in Hyderabad recently to launch a jewellery store had a shoe hurled at her by her die-hard fan while coming out of the store. However, the shoe missed the target and hit an employee of the jewellery store. Tamannaah was shocked by the behaviour of the person. The 31-year-old miscreant was quickly caught by the security personnel and handed over to police. During interrogation, Karimullah, a B Tech graduate, had revealed that the reason behind his act was because of Tamannaah's brief hiatus at Tollywood. He also added that he was frustrated by the actress' roles in her recent films.


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Deepika touched by the Kapoors' gesture

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anjay Leela B h a n s a l i ' s 'Padmaavat' proved to attract controversy both before and after release. With both, appreciation and criticism withstanding, one can vouch for lead actors Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh, and Shahid Kapoor's stellar acting in the movie. The three, who played pivotal characters, have found praises from leading figures of the film industry, and the public. Deepika, however, got a wonderful surprise from Neetu and Rishi Kapoor, one that she shared on her Instagram. Sharing a photo of a bouquet and a note that read 'Excellent work!!! So very proud of you', that she received from ex-beau Ranbir Kapoor's parents, Deepika wrote, “It was

so lovely seeing both of you yesterday... Thank You for all the love & appreciation! @neetu54 #RishiKapoor”. Later in an interview, the actress said she was touched by Neetu and Rishi's gesture and that she shares fond memories with them. The actress recently joined her family as her father and ace badminton champion Prakash Padukone received the 'Lifetime Achievement Award' by the Badminton Association of India, an honour that was presented to him by Vice President Venkaiah Naidu in Delhi. She accompanied her father, mother Ujala, and sister Anisha Padukone. Pictures from the event even saw her get emotional while her father was presented with the honour.

Are Ranbir and Alia having an affair?

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ack in the days when young actor Alia Bhatt was only ready to make an entry in Bollywood, she had admitted to having the “biggest crush” on Ranbir Kapoor, and we all nodded in approval. A handful of years later, after establishing her talent in the industry, Alia is reportedly acting upon her school girl feelings. It is known that Ranbir and Alia will share screen space in Ayan Mukerji's upcoming 'Brahmastra'. Sources now reveal that the two are sharing a lot more than just time on camera. They have reportedly been spending a lot of time at each other's houses, and are

making efforts to keep their closeness under wraps. The 'Ae Dil Hai Mushkil' actor dropped by the 'Love You Zindagi' actress' house at 11 pm last week, leaving only in the next morning. Also, they are throwing off photographers by sending their cars back to their own house, when they stay over at each other's place. The trick is familiar to the paparazzi as something Ranbir did during his initial days of relationship with Katrina Kaif. Incidentally, Alia is good friends with Kat, and the two had recently appeared together on a chat show.

Aamir Khan

29 Asian Voice | 10th February 2018

delivers yet another superhit in China

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he tale of an Indian Muslim girl's struggles to become a singer has topped China's box office since its local release on January 19. The secondstraight hit to be delivered by the actor-producer Aamir Khan in the country, 'Secret Superstar' even surpassed sales for 'Sales Wars: Last Jedi' as per reports. In a demonstration of the Dragon's preference of Indian movies, the film grossed $38 million and rose above three Hollywood movies, touching $65.4 million after 10 days. The total worldwide gross of the film now

stands at $100 million, making it the fourth highest grossing Indian film after 'Dangal', 'Baahubali 2: The Conclusion', and 'PK'. Aamir's substantial fan following in China, has made him the only Indian actor to have three $100 million worldwide grossers. Commenting on the update, Xinhua News Agency wrote, “Chinese filmgoers' appreciation of Aamir Khan's films reflect the common aesthetic pursuit of the two countries, which should be extended from the cultural aspect to broader areas, including politics and the economy.”

Arjun, Pari to travel across the world A ctors Arjun Kapoor and Parineeti Chopra are all set to share screen space, six years after their first film together was released. One of their upcoming ventures is Vipul Amrutlal Shah's 'Namastey England', a romantic drama that will go on floors this month. Word is, along with Mumbai, Punjab, and the United Kingdom, the film's narrative virtually travels across half the world. The news was confirmed by Shah, who said, “I will start shooting very soon and I plan to kick it off with some scenes and then step

into the songs. This film is very special for everyone. Yes, it involves a lot of travelling because the script has turned out to be that way. There will be times when my family will join me at work and times when I will be far off, but I want to shoot this film exactly the way the script has shaped up. I want to stick to it and if travelling half the globe is the way to do it, so be it.” The movie moves across Amritsar and Ludhiana, moving on to Dhaka, with a portion shot in Brussels. Several sequences will be shot in parts of London, the UK countryside, and Mumbai.

Bachchan Sr threatens to quit Twitter

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ollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan has threatened to quit micro-blogging website Twitter. A highly active social media user, Bachchan recently tweeted, “T 2599 - TWITTER ..!!! you reduced my number of followers .. !!??HAHAHAHAHAHAHA .. !! that's a joke .. time to get off from you .. thank you for the ride .. .. there are many 'other' fish in the sea - and a lot more exciting.” The

actor stated that the website is reducing his number, in a tweet that has now gone viral. The comment interestingly came after he was surpassed Shah Rukh Khan. While the former was just at 32,919,128 followers on the platform, the latter was leading with 32,932,668. The gap, however, increased as Bachchan's followers decreased to 32,900,085. Fans of

both the stars are now locked in a war of the followers, waiting to see whether Bachchan Sr will catch up with Shah Rukh. The veteran actor has made his social media a platform for his admirers to interact with him. He was recently in the news for a hand-written note to 'Padmaavat' actor Ranveer Singh. On the work front, Bachchan is working on 'Thugs of Hindostan' with Aamir Khan.


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UK

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CJ RABHERU’S FUNERAL

Chandrakant Jivraj Rabheru (also known as CJ) was born in Morogoro, Tanzania on 17th August 1945 and passed away on Tuesday 30th January 2018. He came to the UK in 1964 to study BSc in Engineering at City University. CJbhai was the son of Late Jivrajbhai Lavji Rabheru and Late Raliatben Jivraj Rabheru along with six brothers, Late Ramniklalbhai, Late Jayantibhai, Late Vinodbhai, Late Suryakantbhai, Rajnibhai, Ashokbhai and three sisters, Kantaben, Urmilaben and Shakuntalaben. He leaves behind his wife Bhartiben, son Amitbhai, daughter Sitalben and grandchildren Anya, Nayan and Shailen.

Funeral Details

Date: Thursday 8th February Venue: South West Middlesex Crematorium Time: 3.15pm The funeral will be followed by Prasad at Jalaram Jyot, Repton Avenue, Sudbury, HA0 3DW Contacts: Rajnibhai J Rabheru - 07400 759 314 Ashokbhai J Rabheru CVO DL - 07939 511 507 Amitbhai Rabheru - 07710 275 222 Sitalben Nakarja - 07900 880 220

Carillion's ex finance director insists he did everything possible before collapse at a tetchy session with a joint meeting of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee Work and Pensions Committee that Carillion had been destroyed by a series of blows in 2017. He told the MPs the 2016 accounts had been properly scrutinised and denied claims of aggressive accounting.

The fired finance director of Carillion on Tuesday denied being 'asleep at the wheel' as the construction giant veered toward collapse. Zafar Khan, who was replaced as finance director shortly before the firm fell apart last month, insisted he did everything he could have done in the post. He insisted to MPs

Coming Events

l NCGO (UK) holding a discussion on Domestic Abuse on Saturday 10th Feb, 3pm to 5pm, at Shree Jalaram Jyot Mandir Wasp, Repton Avenue, Sudbury, Wembley HA0 3DW. l Sree Sree Thakur Anukulchandra’s Satsang on Saturday 10th Feb, 6.30 pm onwards, at Brent Indian Association Building, 116 Ealing Road, Wembley HA0 4TH. Mahashivrati Celebrations l London Sevashram Sangha all-night celebration. Tuesday 13th Feb, 99A Devonport Road, London W12 8PB. Pujas at 6.00pm, 9.00pm, 12 midnight, 3.00am and finish with havan yagna. l BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Tuesday 13th Feb, 105-119 Brentfield Road, Neasden, London NW10 8LD.

Sneh Joshi

erfully in your Solar chart, amorous affairs are likely to become extremely intense. Sometimes it is better to get a more objective view of the pattern of your life. You may find that you can enrich your lifestyle by simplifying certain areas and re-organising your priorities.

TAURUS Apr 21 - May 21 With Venus in your solar 11th house, you should enjoy a very popular phase in your life where everyone wants to invite you to parties. You will meet people of your own calibre and pursue any romantic liaisons. Your communications are extremely high making it easy to make friends. GEMINI May 22 - June 22 Venus transits your solar

tenth house. Relationships with authority figures, superiors, and with the public are in focus during this cycle. It's a time when being a team player reaps the most rewards, and you may be mixing business with pleasure now. This may be a time when you are especially enjoying your career or position and making the most of it.

CANCER Jun 22 - Jul 22

If your child has a good joke, poem or any suggestions they would like to share please email us with the name, age and school. Email:- support@abplgroup.com

THOUGHT OF THE WEEK

Experiment of the week

“Don't stop when you're tired. Stop when you are done.”

Written by Diya Patel, Age-10

Design your own parachute

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Facts You Didn't know about Technology

l The 1st camera took 8 hours to snap a photo. l The 1st computer mouse was wooden. l There is a factory in Japan which can run unsupervised for 30

days at a time. This is because it is entirely managed by robots. l The 1st alarm clock could only ring at one time of a day which is 4 o'clock. l In Japan, 90% of mobile phones are waterproof as many people use them in the shower.

TECHNOLOGY WORD SEARCH

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Joke of the week A family moves into a new neighbourhood. One day, the family overslept and their sixyear-old daughter missed her school bus. The father, though late for work himself, had to drive her. Since he did not know the way, he said that she would have to direct him to the school. They rode several blocks before she told him to turn the first time, several more before she indicated another turn. This went on for 20 minutes - but when they finally reached the school, it proved to be only a short distance from their home. The father, much annoyed, asked his daughter why she'd led him around in such a circle. The child explained, "That's the way the school bus goes, Daddy. It's the only way I know."

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What you'll need: A plastic bag or light material Scissors String A small object to act as the weight, a little action figure would be perfect Instructions: 1. Cut out a large square from your plastic bag or material. 2. Trim the edges so it looks like an octagon. 3. Cut a small hole near the edge of each side. 4. Attach 8 pieces of string of the same length to each of the holes. 5. Tie the pieces of string to the object you are using as the weight. 6. Use a chair or find a high spot to drop your parachute and test how well it worked, remember that you want it to drop as slow as possible.

Ta s k t o d o f o r t h i s Half term Holidays

1) Be Responsible for your Homework. 2) Have own Library card and read the H I C S books also be responsible for late fees. I B O M 3) Create a “Day in the Life” video of your family. (Makes a great holiday gift!) 4) Vacuum a room, Mop a floor, Carry clothing to the laundry room and sort, Organise your closet, etc. 5) Plant own garden. Even if Sudoku Answer Edition 8 it’s only a pot or window box! 6) Do something nice for SUDOKU - 008 someone who is expecting 9 6 2 1 5 7 4 8 3 sickness or loss. 8 4 7 2 6 3 5 1 9 7) Answer the phone 5 3 1 9 8 4 6 2 7 politely and take a message 7 1 9 4 2 8 3 5 6 in the absence of your parent. 6 2 3 5 7 9 8 4 1 8) Help make dinner and 4 5 8 6 3 1 7 9 2 lunch. 1 8 6 3 9 5 2 7 4 9) Enjoy your holidays and 2 9 5 7 4 6 1 3 8 have a fun. 3 7 4 8 1 2 9 6 5

The UK’s leading Vedic writer and TV personality

ARIES Mar 21 - Apr 20 With Venus resonating pow-

You are widening your horizons and learning new information that can be applied to your work. Many creative ideas inspire you and these involve travel to set things up. Relationships look great as Venus helps to enhance your personal magnetism and put you in a gregarious mood.

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Venus is transiting your solar eighth house. During this transit, you may see benefits in any of the areas ruled by the eighth house - joint finances, shared resources, loans, taxes and personal transformation. Decluttering your life will also be beneficial as you are learning that one should not hold on to things from the past.

LEO Jul 23 - Aug 23

VIRGO Aug 24 - Sep 23

This is almost certain to be an eventful time for affairs of the heart. The transit of Venus through your opposite sign augurs well for those hoping to meet the right partner. A party that you attend allows you to connect with interesting new people, one of whom may be interested in you as a romantic partner.

LIBRA Sep 24 - Oct 23

Venus's transit in your solar 6th house, you will find it easy to do well at work and rise to great heights. During this transit you will enjoy robust health and find physical activities very enjoyable. Plan your spending and set sensible budgets to reach your financial goals.

SCORPIO Oct 24- Nov 22

Venus continues to favour your love life. If you are still seeking the ideal partner, things are definitely looking up. An increase in your social life is likely to bring you in touch with someone attractive. At work you need greater flexibility as well as a degree of patience. Do not step on any one's toes.

020 8518 5500

Venus is transiting your Solar 4th house of home and family. You are likely to find much joy and pleasure in your family connections and experiences during this transit. Opportunities to buy or sell real estate for financial gain may present themselves. Home improvements and renovations are also favoured.

SAGITTARIUS Nov 23 - Dec 21

CAPRICORN Dec 22 - Jan 20 Venus is transiting your solar third house. Educational and communication opportunities present themselves. During this period, neighbours or relatives could be especially helpful in your life. If you're a student, school is especially favoured. If you're in business, you are likely to find sales are especially strong. AQUARIUS Jan 21 - Feb 19

Financial and business affairs are unlikely to give rise to any major problems this week. The gentle influence of Venus ensures that most things run smoothly and that your cashflow remains viable. Domestic and career interests are likely to come into conflict - try to aim at a more balanced pattern of life and remember that work is not always a virtue. With Venus traversing your sign for some time to come, it will put you in the right mood if you intend to indulge your pleasure-loving instincts. Venus, the planet of love and romance throws a pleasing light on affairs of the heart. Existing emotional differences can be easily sorted out now.

PISCES Feb 20 - Mar 20


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31

INDIA CRUSH SA BY 9 WICKETS IN 2ND ODI AsianVoiceNews

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Asian Voice | 10th February 2018

the scoreboard. Hashim Amla (23) was the batsman dismissed. The introduction of the spinners triggered the collapse, with Chahal picking up the wickets of joint topscorers Jean-Paul Duminy and debutant Khaya Zondo who both scored 25. The third ODI will be played in Cape Town on Wednesday.

India's wrist spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav ran through the South African side in the second ODI and bundled out the hosts in their lowest score at home and help India take a 2-0 lead in 6-match series. The spinners shared eight wickets between them and helped India to register a ninewicket victory over South Africa. However, their moment of triumph was reduced to a farce by the umpires.

Aleem Dar and Adrian Holdstock stuck to the rules and called for a lunch break with the tourists needing just two runs for a win. That ensured the final act was played out 40 minutes later in front of a sparse crowd, a decision that left both teams bemused. Chahal finished with five

for 22 in 8.2 overs, ripping through the middle-order, as India skittled out the hosts for 118, South Africa’s lowest total at home. India reached the target in the 21st over. India always looked in control of the chase as opener Shikhar Dhawan (51 not out from 56 balls) and captain Virat Kohli (46

not out from 50 balls) made light work of the South African attack. The decision to call for lunch with the game all but over was one of the talking points of the match, but it did not overshadow what was a dominant display from a highly impressive Indian unit. Left-arm spinner

Yadav finished with figures of three for 20 in six overs as South Africa slipped from 51 for one to lose its last nine wickets for 67 runs. The hosts were captained by 23-year-old Aiden Markram in just his third ODI game. They made a cautious start, losing their first wicket in the 10th over with just 39 on

India win 1st ODI by six wickets During the 1st ODI at the Kingsmead Stadium in Durban, Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane gave a batting display as India romped home to a six-wicket win. Chasing 270 for a win, India lost two wickets before touching 70 - Rohit Sharma (20) & Shikhar Dhawan (35) - before the third-wicket partnership between Kohli (112) and Rahane (79) took the game away from the hosts.

Towards the end of the chase, when India began playing shots in the air, wickets looked possible for the South Africans, and they did walk away with Rahane and Kohli's scalps. However, by then, with Kohli already having registered his 33rd century, India were knocking on the doors of a comfortable win. Theirs was a 189-run partnership for the third wicket in which they made South Africa's attack look toothless. In the process, be it Imran Tahir - the world's top-ranked oneday bowler, or Kagiso Rabada - the world's topranked Test bowler, India took a toll on them all. It was South Africa's inability to slow down the proceedings that allowed India to largely dominate the game, barring SA skipper Faf du Plessis' exceptional century.

Indian-origin players a force to reckon in world cricket Indian-origin players are a major force in the world of cricket. You can meet them in almost all cricket playing countries Following are some of the leading players: Jason Jaskirat Singh Sangha Jason Jaskirat Singh Sangha has been the captain of Australia’s Under 19 team for the World Cup which was held in New Zealand. He is a middle order batsman and a rightarm leg break bowler. The Indian-origin cricketer made headlines across the cricket world for becoming the youngest batsman since Sachin Tendulkar to score a century against England in a first-class match while representing Cricket Australia XI in a tour match. He was 18 years and 62 days old and held his own while scoring a 226-ball 113. Param Uppal Eighteenyear-old Param Uppal, born in Chandigarh, like Sangha, is a classy right-handed batsman who scored 370 runs at this year’s under-19 championships at an impressive average of over 60. Uppal also bowls right-arm offspin. Jeetan Patel Jeetan Patel is an off-spinner who represented New Zealand in 19 Tests, 39

ODIs and 11 T20Is since making his international debut in 2005. Although the 36-year-old hails from an Indian family, he was born and raised in Wellington, New Zealand. His consistent performances in First-class cricket early on in his cricketing career earned him a spot in the national side and he played his first ODI in August 2005. Interestingly, Jeetan made his debut appearance as a ‘supersub’, a now defunct cricket rule which allowed teams to make tactical substitutions. The offie played his last international match back in 2013, a Test against South Africa, and had refused to return to the New Zealand team in 2014 in order to concentrate on county cricket. Ish Sodhi Talented New Zealand leg-spinner Ish Sodhi was born in the city of Ludhiana, Punjab. While he was still a youngster, his parents migrated to south Auckland where Sodhi kickstarted his cricketing journey. The 23-year-old made his Test debut against Bangladesh in the year 2013 and has since played 13 matches in the format for his 35 wickets. Although the leggie has been decent in Tests and ODIs, his best performances so far have come in the 20-over format with 16 wickets in 10 matches at an average of just over 15.

Ronnie Hira A left-arm spinner, Ronnie Hira is one of the few Indianorigin cricketers to have played for New Zealand in international cricket. He was born in Auckland and played most of his early domestic cricket for them before moving to the Canterbury side. Although Hira has played a few firstclass matches, he is considered more of a limitedovers specialist and represented the Blackcaps side in 15 T20Is. He was unable to make much of an impression, though, as he picked up just 10 wickets at a high economy rate of nearly 8. However, Ronnie Hira is just 29 years old at present and can find his way back into the national side by performing well in domestic cricket. Tarun Nethula Born in the Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh, leg-spinner T a r u n Nethula was a 12-yearold when his f a m i l y moved to New Zealand. He made his debut in First-class cricket for Auckland in 2008 and achieved early success when he finished as the leading wicket-taker in the season with 28 wickets. Nethula had a brief stint with the Kiwi national team in the year 2012 as he played 5 ODIs for them. However, he failed to make the most of his opportunity and could muster just 5

wickets at a pretty high average of a little under 50 and an economy rate of 5.65.

is not easy to bowl with this action, Ansari bowls with good pace and a nagging line.

Jeet Raval Left-handed batsman Jeet Raval was born in Gujarat, India but has played all his professional cricket in N e w Zealand. Raval is a prolific run-scorer in First-class cricket and has been given the nickname ‘Rahul Dravid of Auckland’ due to his batting exploits. Based on his stellar First-class performances, the southpaw was picked in the Kiwi squad for the tours of Zimbabwe and South Africa. However, he did not get a game against either opposition and was dropped from the squad for the tour to India.

Rajesh Ranpura Another player of Indian-origin from Oman, R a j e s h Ranpura is the posterboy of O m a n ’ s resurgence at the international level. Born in Palanpur, Gujarat, Ranpura quickly rose to the national side by putting in a series of impressive performances. A fast bowler, Ranpura regularly opens with the new ball, extracting movement in the air and off the seam as he tries to cut the opposition team down to size. His new ball partnership with Munis Ansari troubled many teams in the recently concluded ICC T20 Qualifiers. Ranpura is Oman’s leading wicket taker in T20s, with 15 wickets in 15 matches at an economy of 6.52.

Munis Ansari When you look at Oman’s Munis Ansari at the start of his run-up, bounding towards the batsman and preparing to deliver the ball, you don’t think you’re going to see anything special. It’s at the start of his bowling action that all hell breaks loose. Munis Ansari is a slinger – called Oman’s Malinga – because of the similarity in their actions. Born in Sehore, Madhya Pradesh, Ansari quickly made his way into Oman’s international side thanks to his quick bowling and deadly accuracy. Though it

Ajay Lalcheta Ajay Lalcheta represents the country of Oman, and is the embodiment of their hopes and dreams. Born i n Po r b a n d a r, Gujarat, Lalcheta, a slowleft arm bowler, initially played for Saurashtra in underage cricket. He would play his last match in India in 2005 and then emigrate to Oman. Jatinder Singh Meet Oman’s best bats-

man – Jatinder S i n g h . Originally f r o m Ludhiana, Jatinder is presently the face of Oman cricket. He is the highest run-scorer for Oman in T20s, with 349 runs in 11 matches, with a highest of 65. He initially impressed in the 2012 World T20 Qualifier with two contrasting half centuries – a slow 56 against Ireland and a stroke-filled 56 against Denmark. An elegant right handed batsman, Jatinder proved that he could hit the big shots when he made his highest score against a strong Netherlands team which was looking to overwhelm them in the group stages. Hashim Amla Of Indian origin - his grandparents migrated to South Africa from Gujarat Hashim Amla is one of the finest stroke-makers in the game. His supple wrists are a delight to watch, especially when he stands up tall to play those forcing shots off the back-foot, or when he is tucking it off his pads nonchalantly through the on side. He was appointed captain of his state side - the Nashua Dolphins - at the tender age of 21 and soon impressed everyone with his demeanour. Earmarked as a special talent right from his young age, he led the South African side at the 2002 Under-19 World Cup and made his Test debut against India in 2004-05.


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Asian Voice | 10th February 2018

AsianVoiceNews

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INDIA'S U-19 TEAM CREATES HISTORY

India's U-19 team, led by Prithvi Shaw, created history last week when they defeated Australian youth by 8 wickets to clinch the ICC U-19 World Cup trophy. With the victory, India became the only country to win the trophy four times. The star of the show remained Manjot Kalra, who knocked a century to take India to an easy victory. Kalra became the second player in history to score a ton in ICC U-19 World Cup final, after India’s own Unmukt Chand. India were the only side to remain unbeaten in the tournament. Indian skipper Prithvi Shaw and Manjot Kalra got off to a strong start, completing yet another 50-run partnership. Shaw was dismissed by Jack Edwards for 29, as Australia tasted their first success with the ball. Kalra made another 50-run stand with Shubman Gill as the left-handed batsman completed his first half-century in the tournament. Gill, who has scored three fifties and a century, failed to score one in the final after his stumps were knocked down by Param Uppal for 31. Manjot Kalra and Harvik Desai took control of the situation and steered India towards victory.

comfortably in the end - with 67 balls to spare. Brief Scores: India 220/2 (Manjot Kalra 102*, Harvik Desai 47*) beat Australia (216 all out).

With the pitch looking like a solid surface to bat on, Australian skipper Jason Sangha elected to bat first after winning the toss at Bay Oval stadium in Mount Maunganui. Coming out to open, Jack Edwards and Max Bryant gave a strong start to their side and added 32 runs before Ishan Porel took his first wicket. He dismissed Bryant for 14, with Abhishek Sharma taking a tremendous catch. The Bengal pacer quickly struck another soon after, dismissing the dangerous Jack Edwards for 28 as Australia lost both their openers. The Indian bowlers restrict Australia to 216, a total that India scored comfortably in the end - with 67 balls to spare.

Kamlesh Nagarkoti dismissed Australian skipper Jason Sangha soon after, with wicketkeeper Harvik Desai taking a decent catch. Param Uppal and Jonathan Merlo built a 75-run partnership but Anukul Roy, who is the leading wicket-taker for India U-19, broke the partnership dismissing Uppal for 34. Merlo went on to score his 50 but he was not supported by any other batsman on the other end. Shiva Singh took two wickets of Nathan McSweeney and Will Sutherland in quick succession late in the innings, while pacers Shivam Mavi and Kamlesh Nagarkoti took care of the tailenders. The Indian bowlers restrict Australia to 216, a total that India scored

Cash reward for team The BCCI announced a cash reward of Rs 30,00,000 each for the U-19 squad, while head coach Rahul Dravid will receive Rs 50,00,000. Apart from that, members of the support staff will also get Rs 20,00,000 each. Chairman of CoA Vinod Rai congratulated the team for the victory and hoped for a brighter future for the U-19 squad. Former India cricketer Diana Edulji praised the team for their unbeaten run to the title saying the victory is a testament to the environment provided by the BCCI for the youngsters to flourish. "The consistent performance is a testimony to the fact of BCCI's initiative in nurturing the talent and providing them an environment to the youngsters and perform to their potential. I congratulate Rahul Dravid and his team for returning home with the glittering ICC World Cup," she said.

Bhavnagar’s Harvik Desai plays steller role Harvik Desai, the wicketkeeper batsman who hails from Bhavnagar in Saurashtra, played a steller role in India's victory in the U-19 final. On Saturday, India thrashed Australia by eight wickets at Mount Maunganui in New Zealand to bring home the U-19 ICC World Cup for the record fourth time. Prior to this, India and Australia had won the tournament thrice. Though all eyes were on star players like captain Prithvi Shaw, opener Manjot Kalra, Shubman Gill and pacers Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Ishan Porel and Shivam Mavi, the 18-year-old Desai first shone with three catch-

es and effecting a run out of his counterpart Baxter Holt before compiling an unbeaten 47. Desai also helped opener Manjot Kalra complete his century.

Indians dominated the Under-19 World Cup team announced by the ICC, with five players from the triumphant side making it to the world eleven. India lifted a record fourth U-19 World Cup trophy after beating Australia in the final last week. The world team has the top three of the Indian batting line-up - captain Prithvi Shaw, player of the final Manjot Kalra and player of the tournament Shubman Gill. Left-arm spinner Anukul Roy and fast bowler Kamlesh Nagarkoti are the other Indians in the team.

The team of the ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup was picked by a five-person selection panel that comprised former Windies fast bowler Ian Bishop, former India women’s captain Anjum Chopra, former New

Harvik Desai

Desai's family members were elated with his contribution. His father Manish Desai, who runs a tailoring shop in Bhavnagar said, “I have initially struggled to support my son in his passion, especially buying kit and accessories.” However, it was his exploits on the ground which convinced the neighbours to persuade his parents to send him for further coaching. His first coach Narendrsinh Gohil said, “One thing that I vividly remember is that he was very punctual and disciplined when he first took up this game at the age of nine.” His performance in the tournament decider didn’t

disappoint his coach. “Today he has proved to be a very reliable wicket-keeper batsman for the country,’’ said Gohil, who is also the secretary of the Bhavnagar District Cricket Association. “His keeping has improved a lot and from an attacking batsman, he has become a more matured cricketer who plays according to the demand of the situation,” he further stated. Saurashtra Cricket Association jointsecretary Madhukar Worah too praises Desai’s performance. “Desai has been performing exceedingly well over the last couple of years and we have a lot of hope on him,’’ said Worah.

5 Indians in ICC’s under-19 WC team

Prithvi Shaw

Manjot Kalra

Shubman Gill

Anukul Roy

Zealand captain Jeff Crowe, journalist Shashank Kishore and former Australia allrounder Tom Moody. The Team: Prithvi Shaw (India), Manjot Kalra (India), Shubman Gill (India), Finn Allen (NZ), Raynard van

Kamlesh Nagarkoti

Tonder (SA, captain), Wandile Makwetu (wk) (SA), Anukul Roy (India), Kamlesh Nagarkoti (India), Gerald Coetzee (SA), Qais Ahmad (Afghanistan), Shaheen Afridi (Pakistan); 12th man: Alick Athanaze (WI).

Pujara to play County cricket for Yorkshire Chesteshwara Pujara, the India middleorder batsman, has penned a deal with Yorkshire for the 2018 England domestic season, the Yorkshire County Cricket Club confirmed. He is expected to arrive just in time to play Yorkshire's fixture against Leeds Chesteshwara Pujara Bradford MCCU, starting from April 7. Pujara had signed a deal with the County several weeks ago but the announcement was purposely postponed to account of the Indian Premier League Auction. The veteran batsman is set to return to India after the Royal London 50-over game against Lancashire to partake in the one-off Test against Afghanistan, commencing from June 14. However, he is scheduled to return to England to play in the County Championship game versus Hampshire, starting on June 20. There is also a possibility of Pujara staying on in England after the completion of the fivematch Test series between India and the home side, to play fixtures against Hampshire and Worcestershire in September. Previously, Pujara had signed with Yorkshire as Younis Khan's replacement in April 2015. He played four matches during that season, compiling 264 runs at an average of 52.80. He has also played for Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. During the 2017 County season, Pujara represented Nottinghamshire, accumulating 333 runs at 27.75. Sachin Tendulkar, who had replaced an injured Craig McDermott as Yorkshire's overseas cricketer for the 1992 England domestic season (the first overseas-born cricketer to represent the County), and Yuvraj Singh (8 first class matches in 2003), are the other Indian cricketers to have played for Yorkshire. "I'm really excited to be able to have the opportunity to represent Yorkshire once again,” Pujara said.

Indian pugilists win eight gold medals It was a golden climax as Sanjeet Singh and Mary Kom led the host to eight gold medals in the Spicejet India Open international boxing championship. It was a fine success rate for India to win eight out of the 18 finals, with three gold medals emerging out of all-India finals. The host collected 40 medals to sweep $41,000 of the $100,000 at stake, with gold medallists getting $2,500, silver $1,000 and bronze $500. While Olympic bronze medallist and fivetime World Champion Mary Kom’s gold looked a foregone conclusion, as she has consistently tackled the Filipino Josie Gabuco over the years, Sarita Devi was unlucky to lose 3-2 to Mira Marjut Potkonan of Finland, after a robust performance. After the Uzbeks and Cuban had accounted for the first three golds of the day, it was Sanjeet Singh who broke the shackles for the host with a 3-2 victory over Sanjar Tursunov of Uzbekistan, with his left consistently landing on target from start to finish, in the heavyweight class. Pwilao Basumatary was equally impressive in taming Sudaporn Seesondee of Thailand in a nerve-wracking women’s 64 kg bout. There was some drama as Lovlina Borgohain was quickly reinstated as the winner by the announcer after she had wrongly declared Pooja as the champion in women’s 69 kg. Pinki Rani came up with an inspired performance to out-punch Ochirabat Jargalan of Mongolia for the 51 kg gold. After Manisha and Amit had scored victories over compatriots to increase the gold haul for the host, it was announced that Manish Kaushik had got a walkover from Mongolian Battumur Misheelt in the 60 kg category.

AV 10th February 2018  

Asian Voice Weekly Newspaper (Issue no.: 39)

AV 10th February 2018  

Asian Voice Weekly Newspaper (Issue no.: 39)